Thursday, October 4, 2012

5 comments Gregg Easterbrook Has Had Enough of These Powerful Offenses

Last week in TMQ, Gregg Easterbrook had perhaps his worst criticism of the season when he criticized the Philadelphia Eagles for not chasing after the Cardinals' James Sanders after he recovered a Mike Vick fumble on the Cardinals six yard line and ran down the field to score a touchdown. Sanders had 5-6 Cardinal defenders escorting him and there were only a couple of Eagles who were in the frame after he had picked the football up, yet Gregg expected the Eagles to chase Sanders down by running at a superhuman speed, get past the 5-6 Cardinal players escorting Sanders and prevent the touchdown from occurring? I'm sure Gregg can't be so stupidly critical this week...can he?

This week Gregg updates us on Pulaski Academy and also says the NCAA needs to do something about all these offenses that are out of control. Gregg bases his position on watching the Baylor v. West Virginia game and noticing there were other high scoring NFL and college games this past weekend while happily ignoring the 23-16, 20-13, 19-13, 19-17, and 24-11 games that were played in the NFL this weekend. He also happily ignores prominent college football games that had scores of 17-16 (Ohio State v. Michigan State), 21-16 (Missouri v. Central Florida), 27-24 (Cincinnati v. Virginia Tech), 27-17 (Arizona State v. California), and 24-13 (Texas Tech v. Iowa State). Yes, I can't argue NCAA football has excessively low-scoring games, but I don't think it is an issue which affects the quality of the games. Of course Gregg needs something to discuss, so why not create an issue where there may not be one?

Baylor and West Virginia combined for 133 points and 1,507 yards of offense. New England and Buffalo combined for 1,018 yards of offense. Two players had at least 300 yards receiving in the Baylor-WVU contest, four players at least 100 yards of offense for New England. A quarter of NFL teams are averaging at least 400 yards of offense per game. NCAA and NFL scoring are at record highs.

There are also low scoring games being played as well. The Super Bowl has tended to be a fairly low scoring affair over the past decade. No team has scored more than 32 points in the Super Bowl since 2004 and since 2004 four winners of the Super Bowl have scored 25 or less points in the game. The BCS National Championship Game has had high scoring affairs and low scoring affairs since 2007. Offenses are dominating defenses in college football, but there are teams who play really good defense and play close, relatively low scoring games. Both West Virginia and Baylor have weak defenses and strong offenses and the same seems to go for the Buffalo Bills and New England Patriots. So scoring is up, but I don't see it as a huge issue.

Way back in the mists of history -- a few years ago -- defense won championships. After the 2011 season, the top playoff slots went to New England and Green Bay, the league's 31st- and 32nd-ranked defenses.

Right, and the Green Bay Packers lost their first playoff game to the New York Giants, who went on to beat the Patriots in a Super Bowl that wasn't high scoring. The score was 21-17 in that game. So the best teams still tend to play good defense against each other.

For a generation, the football establishment has been tweaking rules to favor offense. Maybe the pendulum has swung too far and it's time to tweak rules to favor defense.

The NFL wants to crack down on hard hits which could cause concussions and maintain standing as the most popular sport in the United States...good luck getting the NFL to tweak rules in favor of the defense and run the risk of taking any of the excitement out of the game or allowing defenders more leniency in getting more physical with offensive players.

The big rules changes were the 5-yard chuck rule, instituted in 1978 and made more strict in 2004; end of the head slap by defenders; allowing offensive linemen to use their hands; and making most contact with the quarterback illegal. These changes were designed to increase scoring, and had the intended impact.

The changes to making most contact with the quarterback illegal was also designed to protect quarterbacks who often are in a defenseless position when throwing the football. Quarterbacks are the big celebrities in the NFL and protecting these players is important to the NFL.

Rules evolution in college football roughly mirrors the NFL, and has the same purpose: to increase scoring. College adds the style-points dynamic. 

Another part of the evolution of college football is that offenses are far ahead of defenses right now. It is a matter of the spread offense in college presenting problems that many defensive coordinators haven't been able to solve yet. It is also important to remember there is generally a wider gap in talent between two teams in college football. I would guess scoring would decrease as conference play begins and the defenses start catching up with the offenses.

In fact, Gregg used this exact same reasoning last year during Week 1 and Week 2 when discussing how NFL offenses are going to regress because NFL defenses will eventually catch up to the NFL offenses. So the idea college and NFL offenses are going to have their scoring per game slightly decreased as the season goes along isn't a new argument to Gregg since he made this exact same argument last year.

The pros have no polls; a 16-13 victory is as good as a 45-3 win. In college, the high-scoring win is what impresses pollsters. In the NFL, there are no boosters;

It seems Gregg is claiming NFL teams don't try to score as many points as possible in a game. That's an interesting theory.

Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and a few others still line up their best athletes on defense. But putting the best athletes on offense is popular across the college scene.

So basically the teams that win National Championships are the ones who put good athletes on defense as well as offense.

The occasional high-scoring game is fun, but do we really want football to become basketball on grass, with almost every possession resulting in a score and whoever has the ball last winning?

Obviously we don't, but as I have already stated, the teams that win National Champions play good defense as well. Defenses may not completely catch up with the offenses, but I don't think football is at the point where the last team to have the ball wins the game. Even in the Baylor-West Virginia game the Mountaineers were pretty solidly in the lead for the entire game. They were usually a touchdown ahead of Baylor when having possession of the football.

Relax the chuck rule (and also call it the Charles rule, which is more dignified) to allow contact with a receiver up to 10 yards downfield.

As somewhat discussed in the Chuck Klosterman post from a few days ago, I'm not sure this is the direction football will end up going. To me, allowing contact with receivers up to 10 yards downfield, which would include a receiver going over the middle on a crossing route could run contrary to the intent to decrease concussions.

Make offensive holding an officiating "point of emphasis." Right now an offensive lineman has to wrap both arms around a defender to be called. Any grabbing of jersey or arm should be a flag.

So how is an offensive lineman expected to block if he can't grab any jersey or the defensive player's arm? I'm not saying the offensive lineman should be able to tackle the defensive player to the ground, but part of blocking is grabbing a player's arm. Even the NFL rules seem to allow an offensive player to use his hands to grab the opponent's arm as long as he isn't restricting him. 

I'm all for whatever makes the NFL better, but defensive players are so athletic that offensive linemen have to be able to block them by grabbing jersey or an arm as long as they aren't restricting their motion in some way.

Just as the NBA allows traveling so long as you dunk, the NFL allows illegal motion so long as the result is more offense.

Clearly Gregg watches a lot of NBA basketball. In the NBA, a player can sometimes travel even if he isn't dunking, though the NBA has tried to crackdown on players taking extra steps in going for a layup or dunk. This isn't necessarily comparable to the NFL's role of illegal motion either way.

Whether Gregg wants to change these rules or not I don't see the NFL stopping the rise of the offense as long as the fans enjoy seeing offense.

Trailing Seattle 7-3 and facing fourth-and-goal on the Bluish Men Group 2 at the end of the first half, St. Louis did the expected, sending in the field goal team. No Seahawk noticed Danny Amendola flanked wide, almost on the sideline. Holder Johnny Hekker threw to him for a touchdown -- sweet! Extra-sweet was that because Amendola had been on the field the previous down, he was not required to be inside the hashmarks before this snap, as is a substitute entering the game. The play design is that if the receiver isn't noticed, throw; if he is noticed, just go ahead and kick the field goal. 

This is how smart Gregg Easterbrook is. He knows exactly how this play was designed by the Rams' special teams coordinator. Despite not being on the Rams' coaching staff, he knows if Amendola was going to be noticed then the Rams were going to go for the field goal. Sure, in reality it might make sense to assume the audible on this play to just kick the field goal, but how does Gregg know for sure this is the play design? He seems pretty sure this was the exact play design. I don't see him cite any quotes to back up this contention and I haven't read anything that supports this. It sounds like nitpicking, but this is typical of Gregg. He just writes things and hopes his readers believe them to be true.

Arizona coaches kept an extra blocker back and sent Andre Roberts on an out-and-up. Dolphins corner Richard Marshall bit hard, while the safety on that side, Chris Clemons, jumped a short route -- leaving no one between Robert and the end zone. Sour for Miami, whose coaches began the season by trading away their best defensive back, Vontae Davis, in order to bank future draft choices. 

How dare the rebuilding Miami Dolphins trade away their "best" defensive back, who was so much considered the best cornerback on the Dolphins roster that he was their third-string cornerback, in exchange for a second round pick which will probably be in the late 30's or early 40's of the 2013 NFL Draft. It's just so stupid for a rebuilding team to trade underachieving players for second round draft choices in an effort to build a good team for the future. The Dolphins traded Davis fully knowing they would eventually give up a touchdown pass later in the year. What terrible management. Clearly Vontae Davis would have prevented this touchdown pass from being thrown.

Now Atlanta has the ball on its 1 with 59 seconds remaining and no timeouts. Where oh where might the pass go? Maybe up the field? Yet the Panthers put eight defenders "in the box" as if expecting a power rush, then fell for a play fake. The Falcons had no choice but to throw deep. Yet Carolina stacked against the run and then fell for a play fake.

Gregg now criticizes Carolina for giving up the long pass to Roddy White that essentially lost the game for them. I don't feel like reliving that play again, but I will say while one player did seem to go for the play fake (it also appears he was running a delayed blitz, so it didn't affect his coverage), Carolina was not playing eight men in the box as Gregg contends they did. 

Carolina was simply running man-to-man defense and were close to the Falcons players on the line of scrimmage. If Carolina had run a soft defense, which Gregg criticizes them for doing two plays after this one, Gregg would have criticized this as well. The defense didn't really fall for the play fake and there weren't eight men in the box. The entire issue on this play wasn't a lack of soft coverage or the man coverage but the fact the two Panthers safeties didn't protect well enough against the deep pass.

TMQ is following the fourth-down results at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark., where head coach Kevin Kelley has eschewed the punt for years.

Last season, Pulaski punted once and won the state title. So far this season the Bruins are 3-2 and have gone for it on fourth down 34 times, converting 16.

For the record, against good competition where the games were close Pulaski Academy has converted fourth down 4 times, out of 14 possible chances. I feel like this is important because it very well could show when the talent difference between two teams is smaller fourth down conversions won't happen as frequently.

Fourth-down results by the backups:
Fourth-and-2 on opponent's 38: converted. Fourth-and-10 on own 35: pass, incomplete.

This is my main problem with using a talented high school team going against a clearly inferior opponent as proof NFL and college teams need to go for it on fourth down. Pulaski faced two fourth downs the entire game. Clearly, they were the better team in this game. I don't see how a very good high school team which has better talent than most teams it faces on a weekly basis tells us whether going for it on fourth down is smart or not. I think the talent difference in Pulaski and their opponents is too great to accurately project how going for it on fourth on every possession would work in the NFL.

At kickoff in Philadelphia for a night game it was a nippy 62 degrees with temperatures falling. Eagles cheerleaders showed professionalism by wearing their bikini-beach summer outfits, and this appeased the football gods, who smiled on the home team. 

Gregg must be a real peach to work with around the office.

"Show some professionalism Linda, show us some more leg, and get shorter skirts. Let the Gods of journalism have a chance to shine on you (high fives the other 10 nerdy white guys who work in the office and are sexually repressed like Gregg)."

Game scoreless, Philadelphia faced third-and-9 on the Jersey/A 19 just inside the two-minute warning of the first half. The Giants blitzed seven; the Eagles went max-protect, keeping eight back to block; despite Jersey/A having four in the secondary to guard two receivers, DeSean Jackson got open on a combo pattern for a touchdown; the hosts went on to win 19-17. How four men can fail to guard two is anyone's guess. But why the all-out blitz? Since the play began on the Jersey/A 19, a sack would have left Philadelphia in field goal range. An incompletion, not a sack, was what Jersey/A needed. 

Yes, but with an incompletion the Eagles would still be in field goal range. So the Giants were being aggressive in trying to make the Eagles attempt a more difficult field goal. Doesn't fortune favor the bold? Gregg has no point here. He's basically saying the Giants shouldn't have gone for a sack because the best that could happen is the Eagles stay in field goal range, but then he says the Giants shouldn't have been aggressive and tried to get an incompletion...which still would have kept the Eagles in field goal range. In fact, the Eagles would have had a closer field goal attempt after an incompletion than after a sack. The result aside, how is the decision to go for an incompletion better than the decision to go for a sack? Either way, the Eagles are going for a field goal. 

Yet research shows that U.S. alcohol consumption has remained relatively stable. This 2010 Gallup study found that U.S. alcohol consumption peaked in 1978 and is mainly down since. This year, Gallup's Wellbeing arm found that college-aged Americans report 5.4 drinks per week, hardly Dionysian, that only one-third in the college-aged group say they "sometimes drink too much."

I'm not sure you can entirely trust a survey based on the opinion of college-aged kids as to whether they "sometimes drink too much" or not. It's all about perspective. I never thought I drank too much in college, but looking back, I certainly did drink a lot. I don't know if you can trust a survey based on college-aged kids giving a relative judgment about their drinking habits. There is nothing wrong with the perspective of the college kids, but "drinking too much" is a subjective question which a 21 year old views differently from a 31 year old. What was once the amount of alcohol I drank BEFORE going out to drink is now the amount of alcohol I drink when I go out to drink. It's all about perspective and whose perspective we are looking at the question from. So I don't take a lot of stock in one-third of college students saying they "sometimes drink too much" because it depends completely on what your opinion of "drinking too much" may be.

I don't know where the hell they did this survey either, but 5.4 drinks per week isn't even close to the amount of alcohol college-aged kids I knew drank in college over a week. Maybe double that and it could be more accurate...or perhaps my friends and I were just raging alcoholics.

Gallup also found young men prefer beer while young women prefer wine; liquor is a low priority to the college-aged. 

What a revelation! We need a survey to figure out liquor is expensive and Busch Beer or Milwaukee's Best is cheap.

Three snaps after the fumble, Drew Brees threw an 80-yard touchdown pass to Joseph Morgan. Green Bay corner Sam Shields was making the high school mistake of looking into the backfield, trying to guess what Brees would do,

Doesn't Gregg mean "undrafted and lowly-paid, but extremely hard-working" Green Bay corner Sam Shields? As usual, Gregg leaves a player's draft position out when it isn't convenient or it goes against the narrative he wants to preach.

As "Taken 2" premieres, forget that Liam Neeson once was an actor. Forget that at age 60, he is depicted as effortlessly beating up gangsters half his age. Forget that not once, not twice, but three times in "Taken," Neeson's character walked into a situation unarmed and within seconds had killed half a dozen men who had guns. 

"Taken" isn't a realistic movie and "Taken 2" probably won't be either. They are fun movies where you get to watch Liam Neeson say threatening things and kick people's ass. It's not intended to be indicative of reality. For God's sake, Maggie Grace plays a teenager and she is almost 30 years old in real life.

The Packers, Redskins and other teams are showing the Pistol, pioneered at Nevada by Chris Ault, college football's least appreciated coach. In a Pistol, the quarterback is in the shotgun but it's a short shotgun closer to the center than a true shotgun,

Clearly Gregg is giving us the extremely technical definition of the Pistol.

"See what happens here in the shotgun is the quarterback takes the snap but stands further back away from the center's ass. It's a long snap, but it is shorter than a long snap for a punt or field goal so the long snapper isn't in the game. So in the shotgun, the center snaps the ball longer than he would normally do because the quarterback isn't behind him, but he doesn't snap it so far as to actually perform a 'long snap' but it is more of an intermediate snap. Now let me explain the option-read offense to you. The running back is behind the quarterback and rather than immediately hand the ball off to the running back, the quarterback starts running in a certain direction and then may or may not throw the ball to the running back, but isn't like a forward pass because most of the time it is backwards except when it is forward..."

Bill Belichick keeps his offense fresh by constantly adding new formations and actions. Harbaugh/West is doing the same.

So no other NFL coaches add new personnel groupings or formations in during the season? You would think other coaches would try to keep the offense constantly fresh, but what I've learned from Gregg is they don't. Only the really good coaches keep the offense fresh by constantly adding new formations and actions. I learn so many questionably fact-based new things when reading TMQ.

So why does the penny endure? The zinc lobby profits from the penny. The zinc lobby is not exactly the oil lobby or the Hollywood lobby. But it's a lobby, and in modern American politics, every lobby seems to get whatever it asks, the public be damned.

Those damn zinc lobbyists! If only the wood lobbyists had as much pull as the zinc lobbyists we would still have wooden nickels.

I'm starting to get suspicious of all this discussion in the public about safe-sex and using a condom to prevent disease and pregnancy. I have a feeling safe-sex isn't really important, it is just the latex lobbyists trying to further their own agenda.

Speaking of sex, Gregg has suddenly become incredibly sexually-liberated over the past year or so. In parts of TMQ he has started railing on the 1960's "free love" hippies who he now considers to be hypocrites for writing articles about the scandalous nature of sex. There is a lot of generalizations in his statements, but it is funny to read coming from him. I'm not sure when Gregg turned into becoming a leader of the sexual revolution, but it appears he is headed in that direction. Maybe he is just fighting for his right to ogle cheerleaders who are almost a third of his age.

All news organizations, including ESPN, sometimes publish ill-thought-through articles.

Like this one...every single week.

What's compelling about this one is the sociological change reflected. When they were young, the Baby Boomers who now run big news organizations extolled free love and mocked the older generation's conventional expectations about sexuality. Now that the Boomers have aged and are not getting any themselves, they evince shock that younger people are fooling around. 

Yeah, they are just jealous they are getting any right now. Good point, Gregg!

Also, who is this "they" that Gregg keeps referring to Baby Boomers as? Baby Boomers are individuals born between 1946-1964 and Gregg was born in 1953. He is a Baby Boomer, so all the "they" references need to be changed to "we" because Gregg is one of the very Baby Boomers he seems so desperate to separate himself from.

When Buffalo used its first draft selection on big cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the Bills' brain trust said the reason was to match up with Gronkowski. How'd that work out for you? Gronkowski had a 41-yard reception on New England's first possession and went on to a 100-plus-yard afternoon that included a touchdown reception on which he simply ran up the field uncovered by anyone.

This was part of the reason the Bills drafted Gilmore, not the entire reason, though I am sure the difference doesn't matter to Gregg because his point stands.

The second half, in which New England had a 45-7 scoring streak, was like watching Itzhak Perlman give a violin lesson to a child.

Clearly this analogy was meant for the same Baby Boomer crowd that Gregg apparently doesn't consider himself to be a part of, yet expects his jokes to relate to them.

Going into the contest, the Patriots were on a 16-1 streak versus the Bills, and a 53-15 streak in the division. So what was star C.J. Spiller doing playing injured? Spiller separated his shoulder the week before, and belonged in a sweatsuit. Buffalo leading 14-7 with goal-to-go, Spiller carried up the middle against an overstack, lowered his shoulder, was hit on his shoulder and fumbled.

Of course if Spiller didn't play then Gregg would have criticized him for being a highly-paid first round pick glory boy who doesn't want to be a part of the ass whipping the Patriots gave the Bills. So either way Spiller loses. He tries to play through an injury and Gregg criticizes him, yet Gregg won't give him credit for being a highly-paid glory boy who doesn't fit his narrative-definition of a lazy first round pick who only cares about his own performance and not how the team performs.

As Toby Harshaw notes at Bloomberg View, the numbers actually are positive, because they reflect ever-rising participation in college board testing by minorities, immigrants and ESL kids. Once the SATs were taken only by whites from affluent backgrounds; then by whites from all backgrounds; increasingly they are taken by everybody. 

I mean naturally we should expect SAT scores to fall once minorities, immigrants and ESL kids start taking it, since they are not as smart as white kids? I read the article and get the author's point and how he comes to his conclusion, but it is one of those conclusions I sort of shake my head upon hearing. It just sounds mean.

Having almost everyone in high school aspire to college is much more important to society than small score declines, which don't translate to much anyway.

I understand, but to say, "well we have immigrants taking the test now, so the scores are going to be lower" sounds mean, even if it is true.

Now it's Minnesota by 20-6, Detroit facing fourth-and-goal on the Vikings' 5 in the fourth quarter. Minnesota blitzed seven against seven Detroit blockers. No Detroit player even made contact with edge rusher Everson Griffen, who came through unblocked for the sack. 

Sure, NOW blitzing is a good idea. Notice Gregg doesn't mention the blitz worked in this situation. It doesn't fit his narrative that blitzing in situations like this is always bad strategy.

The Lions have a mélange of big-bucks, high-drafted players who seem more interested in strutting and boasting than performing. 

That's some expert analysis right there. Why doesn't Gregg has his own "NFL Matchup" type show on ESPN?

TMQ noted in my preseason preview that the Browns were going nowhere until Greg Little stops dropping the ball.

Plus they will go somewhere once they get better overall talent on both sides of the ball and a better quarterback...but mostly it is Greg Little's fault.

Regarding the Seattle-Green Bay ending, many readers including Ginny Kimmelman of Portland, Ore., noted, "You often say that on fourth down or a Hail Mary, the rule is 'fourth down knock it down.' Yet M.D. Jennings played for an interception. Why did you not chide him for making a catch?" The rule indeed is "Fourth Down, Knock It Down." But the day before, Tennessee's defensive backs tried to knock down Detroit's Hail Mary and succeeded only in tipping the ball to the Lions for a touchdown. My guess is this was fresh in the minds of Green Bay players that night. 

Or Jennings thought the ball was coming right to him and he decided to just catch the ball. I doubt in the time the football was in the air, M.D. Jennings had time to think of the Lions players who unsuccessfully tried to knock a ball down the previous day and decided to catch the ball instead of knocking it down. Of course I can't read players' minds like Gregg can.

Davidson was the first elite college to adopt a no-loan philosophy -- students who qualify for financial aid receive their aid as grants and campus jobs, so they graduate without debt. No-loan aid is wonderful for the middle class, but offered mainly by highly selective colleges that are hard to get into.

Plus these highly selective colleges need two other things most college don't have...

1. A large enough current and continuing endowment to hand out large scholarships and grants to students without reducing the overall size of the endowment.

2. Students who can afford to pay cash for the balance they owe the school after scholarships and grants have been received.

Davidson is expensive, so they need students who are qualified enough to pay a large sum of cash each year to go to the college without having to take out loans.

Single Worst Play of the Season -- So Far:

Houston leading 14-7, the Texans' Danieal Manning intercepted a Flaming Thumbtacks pass. As he commenced a cutback return, several Tennessee players merely jogged in his general direction. Tennessee's Chris Johnson, who boasts of being the fastest player in the league, quit on a play when Manning was still at the Tennessee 35-yard line and Johnson was not far behind. Johnson simply came to a halt and watched Manning run for a pick-six.

Upon watching the replay of this interception, I'm not entirely sure Chris Johnson could have caught Manning. Gregg seems to struggle sometimes with understanding how one NFL player just can't catch up with another NFL player. Much like last week when he couldn't understand how the Eagles couldn't catch James Sanders. NFL players are all very athletic and even if Chris Johnson can run a 4.24 40-yard dash it doesn't mean he could have caught Manning. Johnson was on the other side of the field when Manning cut left to score the touchdown.


rich said...

After the 2011 season, the top playoff slots went to New England and Green Bay

How conveniently Gregg leaves out the fact that Baltimore (missed FG) and San Francisco (all those fumbles) were both insanely close to winning their respective conferences.

Defense is still important, the Giants don't win the SB last year if the defense doesn't go lights out against Atlanta, GB and NE. They also don't win in 2008 without the defense either.

The thing about seeding though is that it does seem to favor the offenses a little more, but if your defense sucks ass, you aren't going to do very well.

Think about the Patriots - they lucked into a matchup against Denver and absolutely killed Tebow and the Broncos offense and then were a missed FG from losing the next week.

Alabama, LSU, Ohio State and a few others still line up their best athletes on defense.

No, they put their defensive players on defense. Sure some players switch positions at college, but a majority of them have a predefined position coming out of HS. Unless they're limited at that position, either b/c of size, skillset or the depth chart, they typically don't move.

Lets not make it like OSU turned Terrell Pryor (by far their best athlete) into a safety.

But why the all-out blitz?

It's almost like Gregg doesn't watch the SB. This is what the Giants do. The LBs couldn't cover a rock, so rushing 7 isn't a completely un-natural move for them.

Plus, with the way Vick has been playing this year, pressuring him into an interception also isn't out of the question.

How'd that work out for you?

Holy shit a rookie got beat by an All-Pro TE? What a fucking bust. Who knows when the next time the two teams will play each other?

Having almost everyone in high school aspire to college is much more important to society than small score declines

And is the reason why even the most bullshit school costs 50K in tuition. Americans bitch about school getting more expensive when more kids "want" to go (higher demand) and fight to go to a relatively steady number of schools (constant supply). The fact that any dumbass can get 200K+ in loans is also insane to me... you'd think that the gov't would realize funding an "art history" major for 4-5 years was not a wise investment.

Having everyone "aspire" to go to school is not necessarily a good thing because it allows artificially inflated prices (and interest rates on loans) and allows schools to dilute their product. Most of the kids I taught during my PhD program were incapable of even basic thinking and writing skills, even after $250K and 5 years of classes, because no one gives a shit.

Davidson was the first elite college to adopt a no-loan philosophy

A quick google search shows Davidson started this in 2008.. too bad Princeton started theirs in 2006/2007, so the answer is Princeton, Princeton is the first elite college to institute this policy.

They also make most of that money back on graduate student as not all grad students get a fellowship or assistantship.

j-dub said...

"When Buffalo used its first draft selection on big cornerback Stephon Gilmore, the Bills' brain trust said the reason was to match up with Gronkowski. How'd that work out for you? Gronkowski had a 41-yard reception on New England's first possession and went on to a 100-plus-yard afternoon that included a touchdown reception on which he simply ran up the field uncovered by anyone."

Gilmore was given the responsibility of covering Brandon Lloyd most of that afternoon, and he dominated that matchup, breaking up at least 3 long pass attempts. Gronkowski was covered by Justin Rogers on that 41-yard reception, and by LBs and other members of the secondary all afternoon. So to put Gilmore in that context with Gronkowski's production is erroneous on all accounts.

100 bucks says Gregg didn't watch that game even though it was televised in DC. Quick check of the stat sheet + knowledge of the game's outcome = wrongful conclusion. Gregg is a lazy son of a bitch

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, defense isn't going away, especially in the NFL. Teams that can play defense will always have a great chance of succeeding in the playoffs. The Giants came into Green Bay and played great defense and the next thing you know they have beaten the Packers. The Super Bowl was between two teams with good/great offenses and it was still fairly low scoring.

The all-out blitz was for the purpose of knocking the Eagles out of an easier FG attempt.

It's shocking that Gronk can beat a rookie corner isn't it? Who would have thought that could happen.

I don't always think it is a good thing for everyone to want to go to college. Obviously that is what many people aspire to, but you are correct in the supply and demand. The student loan discussion is an annoying one for me as well. The biggest student loan crisis isn't with the traditional students, but with adult students who have the high loan limits and take out excess loans in order to pay for their lifestyle while they are in college. You end up with a 30-50 year old person with $30,000 in debt and getting their first degree.

Not to mention Davidson's endowment is about $50 million if I am remember correctly. That always helps.

J-dub, I tried to find video of the Gilmore/Gronk TD, but my computer wasn't loading it so I gave up. It doesn't shock me to hear Gregg is erroneous in saying Gilmore covered Gronk. Besides, Gilmore is a rookie corner, what would Gregg expect?

Gregg is lazy and he tries to convince us he isn't lazy by pointing out specific plays to criticize. That's why it is good to call him out on it.

jacktotherack said...

"Just as the NBA allows traveling so long as you dunk, the NFL allows illegal motion so long as the result is more offense."

That is the dumbest, least truthful sentence Gregg has ever written. The part about the NBA is bullshit and stupid, and the part about illegal motion is complete bullshit and stupid. When was the last time you saw any NFL official, including replacement refs, giving the offense a pass on illegal motion? Does Gregg even know what illegal motion is? What the fuck is he talking about?

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, I can answer your questions pretty easily.

I haven't ever seen an official give a pass on illegal motion. Like other calls, I have seen an illegal motion get missed.

No, he doesn't know what illegal motion is.

He isn't sure what it is talking about, but people read and that is all that matters.

I wonder what is the least truthful sentence Gregg has ever written?