Wednesday, January 18, 2012

11 comments TMQ: Apparently the New Batman Movie Will Sway the 2012 Presidential Election

Last week Gregg Easterbrook done learned us that modern day defenders don't care about playing good defense and they are only concerned with making spectacular plays. He don't learnt us this good. So naturally, this past weekend great defense and great defensive plays led the Patriots, 49ers, Giants, and Ravens to wins. Michael Crabtree contributed a touchdown to the 49ers victory (that's the same Crabtree that caused the "Crabtree Curse," which Gregg has mealymouthed his way out of admitting was bullshit) and a good amount of highly drafted players led their team to wins this week, but Gregg will of course ignore that. When Gregg finds himself wrong about something or the results on the football field don't directly back up Gregg's previous contentions, he uses the "look, something shiny" maneuver in order to distract us. This week Gregg talks about positive coaching and how this helps players turn their performance around.

It has come to this: Football is more popular than Hollywood.

Is this one of the signs of the apocalypse? I'm pretty sure it is, right next to Alex Smith quarterbacks a team to the NFC Championship Game and I openly root for the Patriots to win a playoff game (still bitter about the Super Bowl 8 years ago).

In 2011, nine of the 10 highest-rated television broadcasts were NFL programming, eight of them besting even the Academy Awards.

You mean boring four hour long award shows where Hollywood stars give themselves awards for how well they did during the year preceded and followed by vain, shallow, boring interviews that mostly discuss how excited the star is to be there and who made the outfit they are wearing doesn't draw as high of ratings as an athletic event? What is our world coming to?

Tom Brady is more popular than Christian Bale and Natalie Portman!

Let's take a step back. The fact the Academy Awards don't do as well as some NFL games doesn't mean Christian Bale or Natalie Portman are individually less popular than Tom Brady. Let's stay in our lane, or more appropriately just end this topic immediately.

The trend continues into the new year. The Pittsburgh-Denver playoff game drew a spectacular 43 million viewers, more than any TV show since the most recent Super Bowl.

If QB Broncos showed up at the Academy Awards, who knows how well the ratings would do?

at which point viewers who stayed home to watch the NFL rather than go out to the movies gave up and switched to the Miss America Pageant. Football is even more popular than beauty queens in bikinis!

As much as men like beauty queens in bikinis, I really doubt the target audience for a sporting event and a beauty pageant overlap very much. So I doubt these people switched over to the Miss America Pageant. If men really want to see women in bikinis, there are about 10 other better outlets than having to sit through the Miss America Pageant.

Of the 20 most-watched television events globally, all 20 were Super Bowls. Recent Super Bowls averaged more than 1 billion viewers worldwide.

So it had come to this many years ago that the NFL is more popular than Hollywood? Yet again, Gregg seems to act like an old trend is actually a new trend. He did this when commenting on the use of tight ends in the slot and when discussing the 3-4 defense in previous TMQs. So the fact the NFL is more popular than Hollywood isn't new or revelatory information?

Football's zany excesses, slamming bodies and scantily attired cheer-babes are the primary television image the United States presents to the larger world.

I hope Gregg understands he is part of the small, small percentage of people who watch football for the cheerleaders. I am starting to believe Gregg has some sort of weird sexual perversion dealing with cheerleaders. If I had a daughter, I would not allow her to be near Gregg, or at the very least make sure she never became a cheerleader.

Here are possible reasons for football's TV dominance:

Football is America's most popular sport, and Americans love sports.

So football may be dominant because it is so popular? Why didn't I think about this reason beforehand? What a discovery by Gregg.

Football is a great DVR sport. The advent of the DVR makes it convenient for viewers to go back through plays and understand what happened. This engages the viewer with the show.

I think a lot of sports are shows to DVR. Baseball, basketball, football...all of them. Maybe its just me. I think football is dominant because it is currently the most popular and exciting sport.

Football is live. You don't know what's going to happen. The people involved don't know what's going to happen.

Again, this goes for every sport or event on television. All sporting events are live and can be DVR'd. What makes football different is the excitement and its overwhelming popularity. This reasoning also somewhat directly contradicts the idea football is popular because it is a great DVR sport. It isn't live if it is DVR'd. I'm not sure these two ideas are mutually exclusive, but I also don't know if football is popular because it is live and because it can be DVR'd.

Other shows doing very well in recent years are "American Idol" and "Dancing with the Stars." As with football, viewers don't know what will happen.

Some weeks TMQ comes up with an interesting discussion at the beginning of his columns. This isn't one of those weeks.

Women are acquiring more social and economic power. Paradoxically, this is good for football. A quirky 1995 book, "The Stronger Women Get, The More Men Love Football," contended that increasing women's freedom will cause men to retreat into the realm of football, in which macho rules and women's sole role is to look pretty and cheer for the men.

Because apparently we are working under the assumption all men are sexist and don't want women to have an active fully-clothed role in watching or enjoying sports.

The author, Mariah Burton Nelson, a former Stanford basketball player, believed men would contrive to suppress women's athletics, a view that turned out completely wrong.


But her larger point has stood the test of time.

Gregg thinks her larger point has stood the test of time because it agrees with what he thinks is the reason for football's popularity.

And, finally, football dominates television because:

• Only men can understand flat-screen HD TV remotes.

Apparently Gregg believes bad jokes about women not understanding technology is funny not only in Tim Allen sitcoms, but in real life as well.

In other football news, last week this column warned that New Orleans "blitzes way too much … too much big-blitzing is playing with fire, and you know the saying about what happens to those who play with fire."

Yea, verily, it came to pass that the New Orleans Saints did themselves in by too much big blitzing.

Verily, the Saints also did themselves in by not covering Vernon Davis. Gregg doesn't want to talk about this though, because Davis is a highly drafted first round pick and to acknowledge he was unstoppable would be to also acknowledge a highly drafted player is good at football. Gregg also wants to blame the loss on big blitzing rather than the Saints coverage problems mostly because it just isn't as much fun to talk X's and O's and it is easier for him to just blame it all on big blitzing. We have seen Gregg's struggles with understanding defensive coverages in the past, so in lieu of providing in-depth information that may or may not be accurate, Gregg just blames the Saints loss on big blitzing.

New Orleans will prevail unless it allows a dramatic long gain -- and the Saints' call is a six-man blitz, exactly the sort of defense that allows dramatic long gains. Not only a big blitz but a big blitz with Cover 1, meaning only one safety deep when the opposition must go the length of the field!

What? I can't believe the Saints used this same defensive strategy of blitzing that led the Saints to a 13-3 record this year and a Super Bowl victory two years ago. Especially against a weak team like the 49ers who only had a 13-3 record this year. The Saints really blew this game by using a strategy of blitzing that had worked for most of the year successfully.

Is a six-man blitz really a big blitz? It leaves five men back in coverage, which depending on the play call by the offense, could be enough defenders to cover the offensive players.

Vernon Davis runs a short cross under the lone safety, who ignores him, allowing Davis to catch a 47-yard pass that positions the hosts for the winning touchdown.

It was a Cover 1 defense, shithead. The safety wasn't responsible for man coverage on Vernon Davis, especially since he was running a short cross. See, if the safety moves up out of Cover 1 and follows Vernon Davis across the field that leaves the Saints open to a deep pass. So the safety wasn't incorrect in ignoring Vernon Davis running a short cross, the defensive call was poor though. The safety was incorrect in not tackling well and reacting in a timely fashion. It would have not been smart to follow Davis on the crossing route because Davis could have been clearing out the safety to set up a deep pass.

Mike Singletary, who previously ran the Niners, used the negative-reinforcement technique of slamming Davis in public while denigrating him before his teammates at practice. Harbaugh used the positive technique of challenging Davis to improve.

I would love to know how Gregg Easterbrook knows the exact motivational technique Jim Harbaugh used on Vernon Davis. There isn't a link showing the positive technique, so I will just assume that Gregg assumes this is what Jim Harbaugh did to motivate Vernon Davis. Maybe Harbaugh did use a positive technique in coaching Vernon Davis, but assertions without some sort of citation annoys me.

Harbaugh discards that baggage, criticizes only in private, and hugs players when they excel.

Again, without a corresponding link, I would love to know how Gregg Easterbrook criticizes his players in private. There's no way without a documented article Gregg knows this since Harbaugh only private. So private conversations are private, so how does Gregg know this is when Jim Harbaugh criticizes players? I really enjoy documentation when it comes to Gregg Easterbrook's comments because I think he makes a lot of things up to fit his purposes.

Also, there are a lot of NFL coaches that presumably criticize their players in private, yet they don't have the success the 49ers had this year. So positive coaching isn't the major difference in the 2010 49ers and the 2011 49ers.

The Niners' season is in many ways the story of the difference between negative coaching and positive coaching.

In many other ways it is the story of the difference in a below average quarterback and an average defense and an above average quarterback and an excellent defense. But again, this type of improvement in the 49ers defense and quarterbacking isn't fun for Gregg to talk about so he talks about positive coaching being the difference. I would think in a column about the NFL, Gregg would acknowledge the 49ers real improvement has been because of the defense and quarterback.

Baltimore at New England: The Ravens finished 9-0 at home and are 4-4 on the road. The Bill Belichick-Tom Brady combo has followed a 10-0 postseason streak with a 5-5 streak. New England has not beaten any team that finished the season with a winning record.

This is a somewhat interesting statistic. The Patriots have beaten several teams that finished the season 8-8 and the Broncos did have a winning record before losing to the Patriots on Saturday. I'm not sure this statistic means too much though.

Note three of the four teams still standing -- Baltimore, Jersey/A and San Francisco -- play conventional, fundamentals-first defense, not the crazy blitz fronts that have been this season's fad.

I don't get what Gregg means by crazy blitz fronts and why New England isn't on this list. I didn't know the Patriots ran a crazy blitz front (or even what that really means). I did know of that 3 of the 4 teams left in the playoffs run a 3-4 defense which tends to show the quarterback interesting fronts in order to disguise who is blitzing. I am not sure if that is what Gregg means or not. Since Gregg has referred to the 3-4 defense as a "fad" in past columns, I'm pretty sure he wouldn't consider the 3-4 defense to be conventional. So I'm very confused about what Gregg means.

On the left, wideout Kyle Williams came in motion back toward the formation. Left tackle Joe Staley pulled left while Williams cracked back on a linebacker and Smith sprinted around left end -- a designed quarterback run. Staley and two other offensive linemen got blocks in the Saints' secondary. Many Saints didn't realize Smith was running till he already had the first down. Smith scored a 28-yard untouched touchdown on one of the sweetest play calls of the season.

Staley is a highly drafted player by the way. Gregg won't mention this.

But as he reached the 5, TMQ was hollering -- DON'T SCORE! Had Smith gone to the ground inside the New Orleans 5, the clock would have hit the two-minute warning; then San Francisco could have knelt three times, forcing New Orleans to use its final timeout; then San Francisco could have kicked a field goal for the lead, leaving the Saints only seconds to reply against the Niners' stout defense.

Doing the math on this, the field goal would have gone through the uprights with about 35 seconds left. So the Saints couldn't have won this game in 30 seconds, could they have? Wait, you mean the Saints scored a touchdown 34 seconds after this field goal that would have given the 49ers the lead? So the Saints could have won the game in 30 seconds? Actually, I will let Larry B at Fire Jay Mariotti break it all down for you.

Of course no player can think this kind of thing through when the end zone beckons. And had Smith deliberately gone to the ground, football enthusiasts everywhere would have been deprived of the 173 yards of offense and two touchdowns that occurred in the final two minutes.

And the 49ers could have been deprived of a win that led them to the NFC Championship game.

(When Jimmy Graham was running by his lonesome with 1:30 on the clock, New Orleans trailed by more than three points, so Graham could not deliberately stop at the San Francisco 1 -- he had to score.)

This would potentially have been the play that would have ended the game and led to a Saints loss if Alex Smith took a knee at the one yard line.

The Giants ran a toss to Ahmad Bradshaw, who motored unopposed for 23 yards and then was allowed by the Green Bay defense to step out of bounds, stopping the clock with a few ticks left.

It's not like the Packers didn't try to tackle Bradshaw, so he wasn't "allowed" to step out of bounds, the Packers just stunk at tackling on this play.

Maybe Capers' head was not in the game because he knew that former Packers executive Reggie McKenzie, new general manager at Oakland, was considering Capers for a head coaching vacancy.

That's probably it. This explains why the NFL's worst defense played so out of character all game by playing like the NFL's worst defense.

Voters in South Carolina are being barraged with claims that Bain Capital, which Mitt Romney once ran, represents either "vulture capitalism," as Rick Perry says, or created "thousands of jobs," as the Romney campaign counters.

Prepare for madness...

The sequel arrives this summer -- the title is "The Dark Knight & The Deathly Hallows," or something like that. Many readers, including Debbie Eckhart of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., note the "Dark Knight" sequel opening has already sold out,

The movie has sold out in New York and Los Angeles. Not every city in the United States. The qualifier of where the movie has sold out already is important when relaying this information.

Here's where the movie syncs to the election. The supervillain, played by Hardy, is the Bat's comic book adversary, Bane, who is mega-strong based on a mysterious drug. One hundred million Americans are about to see a guy named Bane as the personification of badness.

Of course most people will be clear that Bane, the comic book character, and Bain Capital, named for management consultant William Bain, have nothing to do with each other. But in the 2000 presidential election, popular vote winner Al Gore lost because a few thousand people became confused by a hard-to-read ballot in Florida. In the 2004 presidential election, popular vote winner George W. Bush would have lost if about 100,000 votes in Ohio had swung the other way.

I'm going to go ahead and spoil this. Gregg is suggesting people who see "The Dark Knight Rises" are going to confuse a comic book character with a corporation and vote for President Obama over Mitt Romney because they think Bane, the comic book character, works for Bain Capital. I'll be the first one to discuss the stupidity of Americans, but this seems like something even the dumbest of Americans wouldn't be confused by.

Suppose 100 million people see the new "Dark Knight" movie, and one-half of 1 percent come away confused about the Bane/Bain distinction. Elections have been decided by less.

Now I'm not one to underestimate the stupidity of Americans, but I would find the inability of people to understand this distinction to be nearly impossible. Gregg is afraid 500,000 people will be confused about this Bane/Bain distinction. This is assuming every single person who watched "The Dark Knight Rises" also voted in the 2012 Presidential Election. For a point of reference, the 2008 Presidential Election had 131,013,548 votes cast. So the majority of the 2012 Presidential Election voters would have seen "The Dark Knight Rises." No person would confuse a comic book character with a corporation. In fact, I would submit if a person is too stupid to understand the difference in Bane, the comic character, and Bain, the corporation, that person not only (a) isn't voting in the 2012 Presidential Election but also (b) would not pay enough attention to politics to know what the hell Bain Capital is in order to confuse it with Bane the comic book character.

The idiocy of Gregg's contention astounds me at times. I don't see this Bane/Bain problem as a big one.

So big blitzing helped New Orleans gets sacks and turnovers but also helped San Francisco get the long gains and touchdowns that won the game.

So is Gregg saying in the end big blitzing neither hurt nor helped the Saints?

Old-school defensive tactics were largely invisible: the objective was an incompletion or a run stopped for a short gain. Today's tactics are flashy, intended to result in highlight-reel sacks and defenders dancing wildly. But for every one defensive highlight, three big offensive plays are surrendered.

Not true. I just pulled some statistics from my ass that say something completely different. It says for every blitz of six guys or more, a turnover has been created 69% of the time. My fake statistics also say teams that big blitz have a 98% chance of winning a game.

Any football team can get sacks by big blitzing. But the points of defense isn't sacks, it is preventing scores. New Orleans' flashy blitz-wacky defense surrendered 22 points a game this season, and could not hold the lead with the opponent 85 yards from the end zone and less than two minutes remaining.

Just for the record, the conventional, old-school defensive tactics by the 49ers also couldn't keep a lead with two minutes remaining. It only took the Saints 34 seconds to score against the traditional, conventional, non-blitz wacky 49ers defense.

Perhaps right now New Orleans defenders are saying, "How could you expect us to win when the offense turned it over five times?"

Which would be a valid argument. Again, Gregg thinks this is bullshit because it doesn't support his point of view that blitzing is bad. Bottom line, no matter how well a team plays defense, if that team turns the ball over 5 times, most likely that team isn't winning the game. That's just common sense.

The offense had New Orleans ahead with 1:37 remaining and San Francisco needing 85 yards.

This is true, but the offense also turned the ball over 5 times.

If I were Jersey/A offensive coordinator Kevin Gilbride, I'd go at San Francisco safety Donte Whitner, the sole Niners defenders who gambles trying to make "SportsCenter"-class plays. Whitner was juked out of his cleats on the Darren Sproles long touchdown that was the first of the late spate of touchdowns, then completely whiffed on Jimmy Graham's long late touchdown, leaping as if to try to intercept after Graham had already caught the ball and started upfield!

Whitner also had a forced fumble, which Gregg conveniently leaves out.

"Justified" has won praise for cinematography, acting and gritty realism. The cinematography and acting are good; the show is ridiculously unrealistic. In both season finales so far, Olyphant's character deliberately walks into a trap set by lots of heavily armed criminals. Yet he doesn't call for backup or even tell the Marshals Service where he is going.

I'm pretty sure Raylan was told to stay away from the heavily armed criminals, at least in Season Two, so that's why he didn't tell the Marshals Service where he was going.

Not only is the character both times saved by an implausible deus ex machine, any marshal who repeatedly injected himself into deadly situations without following procedures would lose his job.

It's almost like the show isn't a documentary and instead is a work of fiction!

Had the Packers become spoiled by the schedule quirk that kept them at home for a solid month?

So how would this have affected the Packers in the playoffs since they were playing at home against the Giants?

So the man who runs the Packers' previously efficient offense was seriously distracted, and in their playoff opener, the Packers' offense was a mess. Football games are irrelevant compared to lives. But why was Philbin even with the team, just after burying his son?

I don't know. Great question. So Gregg suggests the Packers should have told Philbin he isn't allowed to come back to work after losing his son to a drowning? You are supposed to be nice to people who have lost a child and allow them time to churn through their emotions in their own way, not limit them from what they want to do. Maybe Philbin shouldn't have been coaching, but who was going to be the person to tell him to stay away?

The story of the game was that the Giants wanted it more.

This was the story of the game. Remember, Gregg gets paid to provide this type of analysis.

And with Green Bay down by 10 points but ample time remaining, Ryan Grant had a first down at midfield, but then made the classic mistake of continuing to struggle while under tackle and having no hope of more yards.

How is Grant supposed to know he has no hope of gaining more yards? If his forward progress wasn't stopped and the whistle had not blown, then Grant has been taught to keep trying to gain yardage.

This was a disastrous failing of fundamentals by Grant. If a runner who cannot gain more yards doesn't get on the ground, he's fairly asking for the ball to be stripped.

Again, how does Grant know he can't gain more yards? How does Gregg Easterbrook now a Giant defender wasn't making sure Grant couldn't go down? Grant had already broken one tackle on the play.

Expect a sound, fundamentals-first game when the Giants play at the 49ers.

Also expect Gregg to criticize any defensive play that doesn't work.

T.J. Yates was OK for a rookie backup, but his three interceptions were forced into double coverage, and he forced another pass into double coverage that might have been picked except several Ravens collided trying for the ball.

Yates was a rookie 5th round pick who was the 3rd string quarterback. He played about as well as you expect a 5th round rookie to play. It's almost like Gregg doesn't realize most 5th round picks would play worse against a tough defense like the Ravens.

Yates finished with a 28.8 passer rating. If every pass a quarterback attempts clangs to the ground incomplete, his rating is 39.6 under the NFL system.

Gary Kubiak sent his kicker in to attempt a 50-yard field goal on fourth-and-6 from the Baltimore 32. The miss gave the Ravens possession nearly at midfield, and this was an old-fashioned low-scoring game, the kind that is determined by struggles over field position. Fourth-and-6 on the 32 is a classic Maroon Zone dilemma -- why didn't the Texans try for a first down?

I'll let Gregg explain to himself using his own words why the Texans went for a field goal instead of going for it on fourth down:

Yates finished with a 28.8 passer rating. If every pass a quarterback attempts clangs to the ground incomplete, his rating is 39.6 under the NFL system.

A field goal attempt was the better option.

If the Texans had punted, Gregg would criticize the Texans. If the Texans had gone for it and failed, Gregg would have asked why they didn't kick the field goal. It doesn't matter what happens, if a play fails Gregg will second-guess the coach's decision...even if the reasoning behind the decision was solid.

Now it's third-and-4 on the New Orleans 14 with 14 seconds remaining, the Squared Sevens holding a timeout, down by three points. This snap is San Francisco's play to win. A short gain is meaningless for San Francisco, since the Niners would call the timeout, then kick to force overtime. In overtime, the high-flying New Orleans offense would have the advantage.

I'm sorry, this conclusion is based on what evidence? The 49ers were at home and they would have scored exactly as many points as the Saints had scored in the game up until that point. So why would the Saints have the advantage in overtime? Because they have a more powerful offense? If the Saints win the coin flip, maybe they would have an advantage, but the result of that coin flip was yet to be determined.

Linebacker Scott Shanle lines up across from Davis. At the snap, Shanle does not jam Davis. All of the swagger by Williams about his supposed super-macho defense -- why don't the Saints jam receivers at the goal line? Davis runs a simple quick post -- and no one at all covers him.

Absolutely untrue. The Saints were clearly running a zone defense and Shanle was in Davis' zone. In fact, Shanle didn't play terrible coverage on the play. Obviously his coverage wasn't good enough. The defense being played didn't call for jamming the receiver and Shanle dropped back in his zone. There was no man coverage on the play. Gregg consistently can't understand zone coverage and seems to believe all NFL teams play man defense all the time. He's frustrating in that way. So after watching the play linked you can see Shanle dropped back in his zone and wasn't responsible for man coverage on Davis.

Shanle just stands like topiary, watching him blow by. It's easy to get open when no one covers you.

Shanle did not have responsibility for Davis after Davis passed Shanle's zone. It then became the safety's responsibility, which the safety actually reacted decently on the play and hit Davis exactly after he caught the ball. It was a great throw and a great catch. There was a small window to through the ball into and Smith threw the ball into that window.

On the winning touchdown, New Orleans defenders Shanle, Jon Vilma and Tracy Porter are near Davis -- all of them covering no one at all.

This is what frustrates me about TMQ. Gregg's stupidity and inability to understand NFL defenses causes him to criticize players. Porter was responsible for his zone, which he did cover. Vilma was responsible for the deep middle zone coverage, which means he wasn't responsible for Davis on the play until Davis entered his zone. Shanle did play his zone. I'm not saying the Saints played perfect defense, but Smith threw the ball well into a small window and Davis made a great catch. Gregg doesn't understand this isn't basketball where every player has a man he guards. The Saints were playing a zone defense, so each player covered a zone.

On the game-deciding snap, New Orleans defenders just stood around in a super-soft backed-off zone. New Orleans Saints, you are guilty of the single worst play of the season.

This super-soft backed-off zone was the play call. Criticize Gregg Williams, not the Saints defenders. This is another situation where Gregg criticizes a team no matter what they do. He has criticized the Saints endlessly for blitzing and leaving Davis open earlier on this same drive, but then the Saints don't blitz and Gregg criticizes them for playing "super-soft" defense. I would love for Gregg to tell me what the appropriate defensive call would have been here since he seems to have the answer to every defensive situation an NFL team may encounter. This will never happen because Gregg only has the right answer to the defensive situation after the play is over.


HH said...

Football is even more popular than beauty queens in bikinis!

We grew up with internet porn. For us, bikinis are practically Amish.

The Bill Belichick-Tom Brady combo has followed a 10-0 postseason streak with a 5-5 streak.

"5-5" fits no known definition of "streak."

New England has not beaten any team that finished the season with a winning record.

To be fair, the Jets and Broncos don't have winning records BECAUSE of the Patriots. (And bad QBs.) Also, thinking about it, New England only played two teams I can recall with winning records (Steelers/Giants) and barely lost to one of them. This probably means less than it seems.

Smith scored a 28-yard untouched touchdown on one of the sweetest play calls of the season.

Staley is a highly drafted player by the way. Gregg won't mention this.

Alex Smith was picked first overall.

Suppose 100 million people see the new "Dark Knight" movie, and one-half of 1 percent come away confused about the Bane/Bain distinction. Elections have been decided by less.

Offset partially by the people who know that barracks are substandard housing but can't differentiate that from Barack Obama.

But why was Philbin even with the team, just after burying his son?

Because it's a great distraction from terrible thoughts? I'm pretty sure Philbin's situation didn't make Rodgers miss wide open receivers nor did those receivers drop passes as a result.

jacktotherack said...

The least surprising thing I've ever read is that this shithead agrees with fellow shithead Mike Florio that Alex Smith should have gone down on the 1 instead of scoring. A few comments:

1. I would bet every single $$ I've made in my entire life that Gregg was not screaming at Smith to "fall down." I call complete and total BULLSHIT on this claim. There is no way a man who just discovered tight ends and 3-4 defenses, and who can't grasp the simple concept and potential gains of blitzing, was able to break down the time remaining, New Orleans time outs remaining, score, and situation to know that Smith should have gone down (in his opinion) at the 1 to kill the clock. There is just no way this happened. The man is a fucking liar, but we already knew that didn't we (Julio Jones diva comments, etc)?

2. On top of how full of shit Gregg is, I completely and totally disagree with this strategy to begin with. The benefit of going up 5-7 points (if they make the 2 point conversion) far exceeds the gain of running the clock down to 35 seconds and then allowing NO to potentially win the game with a FG. How hard is this to understand? Maybe, MAYBE I could agree with these two idiots if the Niners could have run the clock down to zero before kicking the FG, but still I hate taking guaranteed points of the board and risking something bad happening on the FG attempt. I'd rather have some faith in my defense, who had already forced 5 turnovers in this game.

You can just feel the smug from Gregg and Florio when you read them. You can tell how clever they think they are for telling us how the 49ers should have won. Guess what boys, they still won the damn game, so eat shit and tell us something constructive instead of coming up with laughably stupid ideas when given the benefit of hindsight.

Also his whole thing with "cheer-babes" "scantily clad bikini models" etc creeps the shit out of me. I always get the impression that Gregg is trying to hide something by telling his readers how into women he is. I think I may have mentioned this before, but that's my take on it.

jacktotherack said...

"On the game-deciding snap, New Orleans defenders just stood around in a super-soft backed-off zone. New Orleans Saints, you are guilty of the single worst play of the season."

I hate this man, I really do. I hate Gregg Easterbrook. I hate ESPN for giving him a platform to voice these uninformed, simpleton opinions. Smith made a GREAT throw through a tiny window to 1st round GLORY BOY Vernon Davis, who is as big as a Sherman tank. Roman Harper gets there right as the ball does and unloads, but bounces off said monster Davis because Davis is huge and a badass.

Can this man not understand that sometimes plays work because one team executes to near perfection, not because the play or execution of the opposition were poor?

Bengoodfella said...

HH, exactly. Beauties in bikinis are nothing to our generation.

I did argue that whole "winning record" point but decided TMQ was running long so I cut it out. I am with you, I don't know if this means anything.

Yep, Smith was picked first overall, Staley was a first round pick. Justin Smith was a first round pick, as was Carlos Rogers, Vernon Davis, Patrick Willis and a couple other members of the 49ers o-line. There was an obvious lack of undrafted talk in this week's TMQ.

That "Dark Knight" factoid just hurt my head. Maybe some people would vote for Romney b/c they think he is affiliated with Bane?

Philbin's situation didn't have much to do with the Packers losing, unless the Packers players were thinking about it. Otherwise, who wants to be the one to tell Philbin he can't coach? Anyone?

Jack, I don't doubt Gregg caught on to Smith falling on the one yard line later on Monday or so. I doubt this thought went through his mind during the game too. He loves to lie. If Smith had gone down and the Saints scored, Gregg would kill Smith for being a bust, highly drafted player who is too busy making money to understand what the best strategy on the football field would be.

In that situation, I go for the touchdown. I may, maybe, run the clock down to 5 seconds and kick a FG if possible. I would maybe do this b/c Akers is a reliable kicker, but otherwise I take the points. You are right, this is a case of Florio and Gregg trying to outclever everyone else with an alternative strategy. In reality, the Saints scored in 35 seconds, so they very well could have scored in 30 seconds to win the game.

Many guys love scantily-clad women, but it is creepy for Gregg to constantly talk about this. You think he is overcompensating, huh?

Obviously the Saints did something wrong b/c they lost the game, but Smith threw a great ball and Davis did great in holding onto the ball. Harper was right there to make the hit. Sure, the Saints should have done something different. I say that knowing the result of what they did, but it took two great plays for the touchdown to happen. With the defense that was being run, the Saints could not have pressed Davis at the line either.

Gregg fails to understand that sometimes shit happens. The 49ers made great plays and the Saints defense wasn't able to get to Davis in time. It's that simple. I watched that replay several times and other than Shanle getting a deeper in his zone or Vilma shading Davis' way there wasn't much that seemed to go wrong in regard to the Saints defense. Maybe I missed something.

ivn said...

The New Orleans Saints did themselves in because Roman Harper is seriously one of the single worst defensive backs I've ever seen. And to channel my inner Bill Simmons, as someone who watched Brian Russell in a Seahawks uniform for 32 games, I'm kind of a connoisseur of bad defensive backs.

And raking Shanle over the coals like that is kind of a cheap shot. Shanle is a decent player, but he's gotten old and slow. Even on his best day he's going to struggle to keep up with someone like Vernon Davis.

He also calls out "unwanted All-Pro" Charles Woodson for "not even trying" to tackle Ahmad Bradshaw on the play before the Manning-Nicks Hail Mary. I saw that play live, and watched it again on Youtube because it was a great run, and Woodson was, at best, the fourth- or fifth-closest Packer defender to Bradshaw as he crossed the field towards the right sideline. For one, it's a bullshit recurring theme for TMQ to call players out for "giving up" on plays like that when they're at least like 10 yards away from the guy moments before he scores/goes out of bounds. For another, saying Bradshaw was "unopposed" is completely ignorant. The run was designed to go left, but Bradshaw had to reverse field and cut right. Do you think he would have done that if he was "unopposed"?

I also really want to hear Greggg's rationale for The Dark Knight being "the worst motion picture ever made." Overhyped? Sure. Overrated? Pretty easy to argue. but the worst ever?

rich said...

The Niners' season is in many ways the story of the difference between negative coaching and positive coaching.

Good drafting and a third place schedule also helped.

Tom Coughlin is a negative coaching guy and his team is also in the game and has a Super Bowl victory.

It depends entirely on your team, some guys rise up when challenged, others slink away.

Oh and Bill Belicheck, he'd fall under the "negative" coaching view and he's done pretty well for himself.

The Giants ran a toss to Ahmad Bradshaw, who motored unopposed for 23 yards and then was allowed by the Green Bay defense to step out of bounds, stopping the clock with a few ticks left.

Not to beat a dead horse, but that god awful call by Bill Leavy cost the Giants a TO. Gregg should be touting the football gods coming to the Giants aid!

Oh and Bradshaw had some seriously good blocking on the play by the WRs. Nicks is a fantastic blocker and Cruz isn't too shabby himself. Like I said when it happened, I don't think I had ever seen worse defense on back to back plays than on the Bradshaw run and the Nicks hail mary, but to say GB "allowed" Bradshaw to do anything is moronic.

"Justified" has won praise for cinematography, acting and gritty realism. The cinematography and acting are good; the show is ridiculously unrealistic.

It's a modern style Western, it's not supposed to be realistic, it's supposed to be entertaining.

Who wants to watch tv that's realistic? After a day of dealing with reality, I'd prefer not to come home and watch a tv show about a guy who sits at his desk all day in the Office nor do I want to watch a Justified show about a cop that cruises the middle of buttfuck nowhere busting speeders.

But yet this is a man who thinks that Batman could sway the election.

Expect a sound, fundamentals-first game when the Giants play at the 49ers.

I'm convinced Gregg has never watched the Giants. They've been wildly inconsistent and downright sloppy at times. The defense looked good because of the 8 drops. Any defense would look good when the opposing team drops EIGHT passes.

Squared Sevens

This pisses me off. It's not "squared 7s" because then you have seven being plural meaning it's 7^2 and 7^2, so you have 49 and 49... then what? They're the 49ers, not the double 49ers.

The correct term is "seven squared's". I wouldn't pick on this stuff, but for a self-proclaimed genius he's a dumbass.

J.S. said...

LMMFAO@Bain!!!, fuck that's awesome

Bengoodfella said...

Ivn, I think you aren't giving Sherrod Martin his due. He's terrible. I know Harper is not great, but I thought he played the last play on defense decently. They made Smith make the throw...and he did.

I would argue nearly any LB is going to struggle against Vernon Davis, not just Shanle.

Gregg has struggles with numbers sometimes, so it doesn't shock me he doesn't understand one football player can't catch another football player who is running. These guys are top athletes so a defense doesn't often "give up" on a play, but just has not chance of catching that player. I'm not sure why he criticized Woodson there.

"The Dark Knight" may be overrated, but it is an action movie that didn't underwhelm the audience. It's not the worst movie ever. I have seen much worse movies. Gregg just looks for too much realism in his films.

Rich, I thought it was interesting Gregg believes there is one way to motivate players. Ron Rivera basically told his defense this year if they aren't better they aren't on the team. I guess we'll see next year how that worked. If a player isn't playing well, then negative technique may be called for.

I'm just mad he screwed with "Justified." I really enjoy that show. Sure, it isn't realistic, but like you said it is a modern day Western. It's not supposed to be realistic and I don't want a realistic show about a US Marshall not doing anything all day.

That "Batman" election theory could deserve its own post.

You should email Gregg that correction to "The Squared 7's." He won't respond, but for a guy who nitpicks everything I'd like to see if the printed it.

J.S., this guy gets paid to espouse theories like that. Maddening.

Anonymous said...

Why do I suddenly have the urge to google "christopher nolan jewish"?

Brizzle said...

Since TMQ love the "if" game, let's play.

If the Saints had played tighter coverage at the goal line on the last play, and the Niners happen to throw a touchdown to the back of the endzone, because the back of the endzone is now vacated due to the Saints playing tighter coverage. Well, we know that TMQ would be harping about how "With so few yards for the Niners to go, and this clearly being an endzoe or incomplete throw for Smith, how do you let a receiver behind you. The defense's job is to keep the offense in front of them."


Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I shouldn't laugh at that, but I will. I am not saying I Googled that, but I will say I Googled it and it doesn't appear Christopher Nolan is Jewish. David Goyer, who wrote the script for "TDKR" is Jewish.

Brizzle, I can easily see Gregg asking that question if the Saints played tight coverage. He would ask why the Saints couldn't cover the smallest part of the field. You can't win. He'll criticize as long as the result was bad.