Saturday, October 20, 2012

8 comments Gregg Easterbrook Wonders Where All the Sexy Pictures of Tim Tebow Have Gone

Gregg Easterbrook, who is well-known for criticizing science-fiction television shows and movies, began criticizing commercials last week for their lack of accuracy. I missed it in my TMQ, but it was pointed out in the comments that Gregg had done this. He was disappointed the NFL used actors in a commercial and didn't tell us these were actors. Basically, Gregg wants 100% accuracy in everything, except for his TMQ of course. It's perfectly fine with Gregg if he continues to mislead and confuse his readers with statistics like,

Bears defensive back Charles Tillman has more career touchdowns (seven) than Bears wide receivers Earl Bennett, Dane Sanzenbacher or Alshon Jeffrey.

This isn't very shocking and is somewhat misleading because Tillman has been in the NFL since 2003, Jeffrey is a rookie and Sanzenbacher was drafted in 2011 and is barely used. That's just how Gregg is though. He enjoys slightly misleading his readers. This week he focuses on Ray Lewis' "transformation" while wondering why no one still talks about how he covers up for murderers, criticizes more television shows (that he clearly watches) for a lack of accuracy and follows up with Pulaski Academy and their efforts to punt as little as possible. 

Father Time is catching up to others on the Baltimore front, too. But Lewis' decline is obvious. Traditionally teams run away from him; this season they've run at him. The reason is aging, a human condition that appears irreversible.

Yeah, well tell that to Roger Clemens and Barry Bonds. They didn't seem to think that aging was irre---wait, nevermind. Carry on.

So how to assess Lewis? The positive are many: Super Bowl ring, two defensive Player of the Year awards, an amazing 12 Pro Bowl trips. Among the few middle linebackers of the modern era who do not come off the field on passing downs (Brian Urlacher and London Fletcher head the short list of others). 

"Short list" and London Fletcher is short. I see what Gregg inadvertently did there.

 Active in public service. 

The negative: Lewis has a criminal record, from pleading guilty to a serious crime. He cannot be understood without this context, which in recent years has been strangely absent from sportscasting and sportswriting.

I'm not a big Ray Lewis defender, but he isn't the only NFL player with a criminal record. Granted, his criminal record is for a crime other NFL players probably don't have on their record also. Then again, his criminal record was started 12 years ago, which explains perfectly why it has been absent from sportscasting and sportswriting. It happened 12 years ago and isn't a typical part of a conversation during a football game. So it makes sense to judge Lewis based on the events in Georgia twelve years ago, but I don't think it is strange for mention of these events to be absent from sportscasting. It would actually be weird if a mention of his criminal record wasn't absent from sportscasting during a game.

(Announcer#1) "Ray Lewis with a great play in running down Mendenhall. He's still showing the sideline-to-sideline speed isn't he? "

(Announcer #2) "Yes, he is! Remember the time Ray Lewis was arrested for murder and then pled guilty to a less serious crime?"

(Announcer #1) "I do. What does have to do with his sideline-to-sideline speed?"

(Announcer #2) "Well, absolutely nothing, but I feel like we need to keep bringing this fact up in the discussion of Ray Lewis' football abilities."

(Announcer #1) "Ok, then. Roethlisberger drops back, no one open, steps up in the pocket and is sacked by Ray Lewis! Great anticipation by Lewis to see Roethlisberger was about to take off running and keep him in the pocket for the sack."

(Announcer #2) "Ray Lewis has slowed down some, but he still shows great anticipation. Better anticipation than he showed 12 years ago when he was arrested for murder and then later pled to a lesser crime. What does that say about him regarding this specific game? I'm not sure, but it---"

(Announcer #1 has the producer mute Announcer #2's microphone)

Lewis admitted lying to police, and based on his testimony, the best-case reading of his actions is that a huge, muscular NFL player stood by doing nothing while his companions killed a pair of men.

This may be true. Of course Gregg will go on to say we aren't really ever sure what happened in this case, so Gregg's "at best" situation may have not even occurred. It's a part of Lewis' legacy though, so it will be considered. I don't know why sportscasters should bring this topic up.

The companions subsequently were acquitted on grounds of self-defense; it was suggested, though never proved, that the two men killed threatened Lewis' group with a gun. Society might never know for sure what happened that night.

So about that "at best" situation Gregg just theorized. How do we know that's true again? It may be or Lewis may have killed this guy. Who knows, but this isn't something sportswriters or announcers are going to talk about when discussing Lewis' football exploits.

That is -- Lewis, by appearances, is redeemed. No one can know what is in another person's heart. But since 2000, Lewis has seemed a changed man. And this is more important than his achievements as a football player. 

Are we going to consider Ben Roethlisberger's bathroom sexual exploits when considering him for the Hall of Fame or considering his career? I'm not against a conversation like this, but Gregg is acting like sportswriters and announcers are remiss for not continuously bringing up this 2000 incident when this isn't something that needs to be continuously brought up at this point. We know it is a part of the story. His "redemption" is part of who he is as a person, but announcers should stick to calling the game they are working.

Sweet Play of the Week: Backup corner Sheldon Brown snagged a pick-six in the fourth quarter to ice Cleveland's victory, making the Browns the final team of the 2012 season to post a win. 

Doesn't Gregg mean "second round pick glory boy Sheldon Brown" snagged a pick-six? I keep forgetting that Gregg fails to mention it when a highly drafted player makes a good play on the football field.

Sweet 'N' Sour Plays of the Week: Trailing favored New England 23-10 halfway through the fourth quarter, Seattle faced fourth-and-3 on the Patriots 10. New England appeared to expect something short; rookie Russell Wilson threw to the end zone, touchdown, sweet. 

I hope Gregg knows that even though New England expected something short this doesn't mean they had defenders out of position if the Seahawks threw to the end zone. He probably doesn't know this. This was simply bad defense.

Now New England leads 23-17 with 1:27 remaining, the Bluish Men Group has possession on the Flying Elvii 46. Where oh where might the pass go? Maybe up the field! Yet Sidney Rice was able get behind the entire New England secondary for the winning touchdown. Sweet for Seattle, sour for New England -- how can a receiver get behind a secondary that expects a deep pass?

Doesn't Gregg mean how did highly-paid, highly drafted glory boy Sidney Rice get behind the secondary for a deep pass? The answer to this question Gregg poses is that New England didn't necessarily expect a deep pass in this situation. The Seahawks only had 46 yards to go in order to get a touchdown, so it wouldn't necessarily make sense for Seattle to take a chance deep when they could run the game clock down and not allow the Patriots offense to get the ball back. So the secondary didn't have a logical reason to expect a deep pass. Should they have been covering to prevent a deep pass? Of course, but the secondary wouldn't have a reason to expect a deep pass since the Seahawks could take their time scoring a game-winning touchdown.

Postscript: Because the voter rolls, which are public record, show the members of my household always vote in every election, including primaries, biennially our home is buried under campaign mailings. In this election cycle, our home phone has rung nonstop with robocalls backing John Delaney, Democratic candidate for the new 6th District seat. The outfit robocalling for Delaney calls itself Accountable America. But when the phone rings with Delaney's robocalls, the caller ID says "anonymous." Some accountability! 

There is probably a reason the robocalls come from an anonymous number. For example, caller ID sometimes says "anonymous" if there is no call back number or if it is a private line. Most likely, the caller ID says "anonymous" so people don't call the robocall back or perhaps because that phone can't take incoming calls. There is a reason that could have nothing to do with accountability.

I propose this rule: Always vote against any candidate or single-issue group that robocalls your home.

Or simply get rid of your landline and have a cell phone.

Weirdly, in pro football, some equipment use is optional -- mouth guards still aren't obligatory. A clause in the Collective Bargaining Agreement says the NFLPA must consent to any equipment mandates, and the NFLPA doesn't want to give on knee and thigh pads unless it gets a concession in return.

Mandating knee and thigh pads would improve player safety -- isn't that getting something in return?

Oh my. No, this is not "getting something in return" from the NFL. There is a difference in "getting something in return" as Gregg so well turns the phrase around and "getting a concession in return." Gregg turns this phrase around to make them seem like they are the same thing when they are not. Players are getting something in return for wearing thigh and knee pads, more safety, but the NFL isn't conceding anything. The NFLPA would want the NFL to concede something if knee and thigh pads are mandated. There is a difference in "getting something in return" and the NFL making a concession that I know Gregg understands, yet he plays dumb.

The Squared Sevens looked very mortal -- the Giants basically toyed with them. The vaunted Forty Niners offensive line surrendered six sacks to a conventional four-man rush. 

What Gregg really means is the 49ers vaunted offensive line gave up six sacks to Giants players, four of those sacks were caused by highly drafted players drafted in the first or second round. Alex Smith was intercepted three times, all three times by players who were first round draft choices. You can guarantee if these players were lowly drafted or undrafted Gregg would have reminded us of this fact.

As for the Bills, at this point it's a moral victory when they don't collapse in the second half. Mario Williams had his first good game since signing the richest contract in NFL annals for a defender.

This was Mario Williams first good game since signing this contract as long as we don't count his 4 tackle, 1.5 sack game against the Browns. Why would this game count though? It doesn't help to prove Gregg's point, which is all Gregg seemingly cares about.

TMQ's second law of comebacks holds that if the big lead is attained by halftime, the trailing team has just as much time to come back as the leading team had to get ahead.

This isn't a law. This is logic. If a team is trailing by 20 at halftime, then that team has thirty more minutes to catch up to that team. Hence why it is called "halftime," because half of the time in the game is already over. This is by no means a law, but instead is common sense.

With San Diego leading 24-7 late in the third quarter, the Bolts had third-and-8 on the Denver 33. Football IQ needs to be at work here. A field goal makes it a 27-7 edge with little more than a quarter remaining. When you're behind, be bold; when you're winning by this much, rush, then get three.

As always, Gregg has hard-and-fast rules every NFL team should adhere to, unless those rules don't work in which case NFL teams should avoid these rules. I thought "fortune favors the bold?" Why would San Diego not be bold and aggressive? That's right, because the team winning a game shouldn't continue to be aggressive. I never knew this was a position of Gregg's that a team in the lead needs to be conservative to win the game. I'll have to remember this next time Gregg criticizes a team that plays soft defense and allows the opposing team to come back and win the game. Gregg also criticizes San Diego for continuing to pass the ball. They were simply being bold and aggressive. What happened to fortune favoring that? Why doesn't Gregg's hard-and-fast rule not apply in this situation?

The Broncos showed a double overload blitz -- two edge rushers outside each offensive tackle. Rivers had six to block six, but with an unorthodox blitz coming and an undrafted rookie at tackle, the odds of an offensive line breakdown were higher than usual.

My world is rocked. For years now we have been hearing Gregg preach that "fortune favors the bold" and undrafted players work harder and are better players than first round draft picks. So now Gregg doesn't think fortune favors the bold and he thinks an undrafted rookie is a liability? Gregg's rules are stupid in the first place, but his moving away from this rules when convenient is even more stupid.

Peyton Manning is a serious quarterback. At halftime, he knew he was on the cusp of ridicule. Had Denver lost, the sports world today would be saying Manning was washed up. Touts would be noting Manning was 2-4 in his first six Broncos starts, while Tim Tebow was 5-1 in his first six Broncos starts last season. 

No, stupid NFL writers and every single person who works at ESPN, both of whom are desperate to mention ex-backup quarterback punt protector Jets in every possible column would notice this and then mention it. Most other people would give this little statistic the attention it deserves by ignoring it.

Rivers seemed to take the second half off -- like, hey, the Chargers never bring it until December.

I believe two or three years ago Gregg said the Chargers disappear in December and then made a stupid comment about how the players are too busy hanging out on the bench at this point in the year to worry about football. I couldn't find it in my archive unfortunately.

Now that the new television season is in swing, consider "NCIS: Los Angeles" one of the top-rated shows. Your columnist has viewed perhaps a quarter of the episodes in its oeuvre. Not once, but twice in that sampling, three NCIS agents and one LAPD officer have flown from Los Angeles to a distant nation, entered posing as tourists, gotten weapons and seemingly a case of ammunition through airport security unnoticed, killed a dozen bad guys, rescued someone, then simply returned to the airport to fly home on a commercial jet. 

It's almost like this is a television show that is presented for the purpose of entertainment and isn't in any way supposed to be represent reality. Of course we all know television shows are supposed to perfectly adhere to reality, so this couldn't be the case.

Forget that there is never the slightest hint what conceivable jurisdiction the LAPD has in Dubai or Romania.

The NCIS members aren't LAPD because they are special agents of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, so the fact LAPD has no jurisdiction in Dubai and Romania may be irrelevant if NCIS has jurisdiction of any kind in those countries. So perhaps asking about LAPD's jurisdiction is an irrelevant question, even if one member of the LAPD accompanies members of NCIS to another country. 

In Hollywood and TV nonsense, no one is ever checked at airports. 

And you never see someone go to the bathroom on television either! How do network executives have the guts to continuously falsely portray the bathroom habits of human beings!

Near-perfect last season, the Packers always had an opponent-specific game plan.

Every NFL team has an opponent-specific game plan. As general rule I just made up, if you write a weekly NFL column and don't understand each NFL team game plans for each specific opponent, then you need to stop writing a weekly NFL column.

The Packers are now 3-3 -- an asterisk 4-2 owing to the officiating fiasco at the end of their contest against the Seahawks. A .500 record is not flashy. But check Aaron Rodgers: 16 touchdown passes versus four interceptions. That's the sort of amazing number he posted in the past two seasons, when the Pack were the team to beat. By Thanksgiving, they might be the team to beat this season.

So now Gregg thinks the Packers could end up being the team to beat? In his Week 1 TMQ, Gregg proposed maybe the Packers streak of winning was over. 

Funny how time changes a person's perception of a team. 

Tebow Beefcake:

I'm not sure why Gregg is continuing to search out pictures of men on the Internet, nor am I sure why he was complaining earlier this year there weren't enough pictures of men without clothes on to be found on the Internet, but it sure is a bit disturbing. Now he is calling ex-backup quarterback punt protector Jets a "beefcake." It seems Gregg has given up discussing NFL cheerleaders so he has more time to discuss men without shirts on.

As recently as last week, Jockey's website offered numerous beefcake photos of Tim Tebow in naught but briefs. Now it offers this with this the only Tebow/Jockey photo yours truly could locate. What happened?

I don't know Gregg, perhaps you should have bookmarked those photos or saved these photos to your hard drive when they were posted. More importantly, why are you continually looking for pictures of ex-backup quarterback punt protector Jets without clothes on? This is as creepy, if not more creepy, than Gregg's insistence at including pictures of cheerleaders in his TMQ.

Let's hope it's not that Tebow get a hard time from the religious right for posing shirtless for Jockey and Vogue.

Yes, that would be a tragedy if this occurred and the religious right was responsible. Regardless of who is responsible, it is already a huge tragedy to Gregg that shirtless pictures of men have been taken off the Jockey website. I'm not sure why this is a tragedy for Gregg, but he certainly seemed concerned enough to mention it in TMQ.

There's no reason a person cannot be religious and also admire the human form, or be enthusiastic about sex appeal.

Keeping telling yourself that Gregg...and pull your pants back up. Can't have anyone catch you like that.

Reader Matt Anderson of Richmond, Va., reports, "I attended Vikings at Redskins. For the first quarter, the cheerleaders wore pink tee shirts, and the home team fell behind 9-0. To start the second quarter, the cheerleaders stripped to two-piece bikini-beach numbers. The Skins instantly became unstoppable on offense and a wall on defense, outscoring the Vikings 38-17 for the remainder of the contest." 

Matt, you are a part of the problem. Please stop egging Gregg on (damn, that's a lot of "g's" in that sentence).

Stop Me Before I Blitz Again! Les Mouflons leading Miami 6-0 in the second quarter, the Rams' defense showed big blitz. Ryan Tannehill audibled to a go to wide receiver Marlon Moore, who caught a 29-yard touchdown pass. Corner Janoris Jenkins ignored Moore, letting him run up the field uncovered: Jenkins was busy making the high school mistake of looking into the backfield trying to guess the play.

I don't know what the heck Jenkins was thinking on that play, but it wasn't the blitzing that caused the touchdown, it was the fact Jenkins either got his coverage mixed up or thought he had safety help. He just let Moore go right by him. So even if there wasn't a blitz, I can see a situation where the safety wouldn't have gotten there in time. It looks like the Rams were playing Cover 1 off the blitz and the safety couldn't get there in time. Maybe if the Rams have a safety back the touchdown could have been prevented, Moore did blow right by Jenkins, so there is a chance a safety couldn't have helped anyway. The bottom line is this play isn't a warning against blitzing, but is a warning that rookie cornerbacks will often get confused and make mistakes. This touchdown is mostly on Jenkins, not the fact the Rams blitzed.

Stop Me Before I Blitz Again! No. 3: Washington led visiting Minnesota 31-26 with 2:56 remaining, facing third-and-4 on its 26. The Vikings, holding two timeouts, were fine if they forced an incompletion. Instead, Minnesota blitzed six. RG3 stepped up into the pocket and took off -- when he crossed the line of scrimmage, he had already passed six of the 11 Minnesota defenders. Seventy-four yards later, his untouched touchdown run was complete, and the rest was filler. 

This touchdown wasn't only caused by the blitz. It was also caused by the defender for the Vikings not holding containment and allowing Griffin to escape the pocket. If the Vikings edge defenders had held containment then there is a good chance the Vikings could have sacked Griffin.

Interested in Modern Online Finance? Get the scoop from a handsome guy. 

It's just becoming bizarre now how Gregg will actively start looking for handsome men on the Internet.

This season, TMQ is following the fourth-down results at Pulaski Academy in Little Rock, Ark., where coach Kevin Kelley has eschewed the punt for years. Last season, Pulaski punted once and won the state title. 

Pulaski has also won a state title while punting the football, but because Gregg selectively chooses his facts in order to prove his point, he neglects to mention this little tidbit.

Friday, Pulaski won 45-14 to advance its record to 5-2. Kelly reports, "This week one for six on fourth downs in awful weather conditions."


Fourth-and-4 on opponent 34-- pass, did not convert.
Fourth-and-2 on opponent 44-- pass, did not convert. 
Fourth-and-4 on opponent 42-- pass, did not convert. 
Fourth-and-13 on opponent 25 -- pass, did not convert. 
Fourth-and-11 on own 23 -- pass, did not convert. 
Fourth-and-1 own 17 -- pass, convert. 

One for six is how well Pulaski did. It was the weather conditions' fault though and not representative at all of whether going for it on fourth down every single opportunity works or not.

Trailing Jersey/A 23-3 in the third quarter, San Francisco's Harbaugh/West went for it on fourth-and-15. When the play was a short underneath pass with little chance of gaining 15 yards, the home crowd booed lustily. 

But Harbaugh was bold! Doesn't fortune favor him because of this? Apparently fortune doesn't favor him because Alex Smith had the audacity to throw the ball short. If Alex Smith had gone for a longer pass there is no doubt in Gregg's mind he would have completed it and gotten the first down.

I opined that considering the way the arts are financed, when civic orchestras go on strike, essentially they are striking for more charity. Ryan Leonard, of Pittsburgh, notes that although civic orchestra members are well-paid if they work the full year, often they don't, while they constantly audition: "The auditions are insanely competitive, you do them at your own expense, then sometimes it ends up no one is hired. Skilled musicians would be very content with one-tenth the annual pay of skilled football players." 

This isn't a very good defense of civic orchestras by this reader. The arts tend to be financed through the giving of others. I don't think this reader disputed this. Quite a few people would be very content with one-tenth the annual pay of skilled football players since that would be around a salary of $100,000. So it isn't like musicians go through more to find a job than a normal person may or a skilled musician is working for peanuts. Job openings in the normal working world are also insanely competitive and job hunters have to go to the interviews on their own time, often taking time off work from their current job to go to the interview. Basically I am saying it isn't a good defense to say skilled musicians would be very content with one-tenth the annual pay of skill football players and there is a competitive environment for a job, because both are true statements related to many jobs.

Next Week: Why doesn't General Motors market Batmobiles? 

That wouldn't be a waste of taxpayer money at all. 


Eric C said...

"Doesn't Gregg mean "second round pick glory boy Sheldon Brown" snagged a pick-six? I keep forgetting that Gregg fails to mention it when a highly drafted player makes a good play on the football field."

I think Gregg is just as likely to call him unwanted because he was dumped by the Eagles. If he blows coverage next week, he'll be a glory boy again.

Anonymous said...

As someone who travels for work, let me say that the LAST thing I want to see while trying to be entertained is people going through security. It isn't fun when I do it and it certainly wouldn't be fun to watch other people, unless there is some sort of plot development or humorous scene that takes place during airport security. It sounds like Gregg wants to see routine security checks, though. You know what else they don't show? People sleeping. Adults should be getting 6 to 8 hours of sleep a night. Is network television suggesting that these characters don't? It's either deceitful, irresponsible, or both!

Regarding Tebow beefcake... How long until Peter is asking about JJ Watt/Greg Zuerlein pics?

JimA said...

Nah, Peter likes 'em older. Anything with Brett Favre works for him.

jacktotherack said...

Sweet 'N' Sour Plays of the Week: Trailing favored New England 23-10 halfway through the fourth quarter, Seattle faced fourth-and-3 on the Patriots 10. New England appeared to expect something short; rookie Russell Wilson threw to the end zone, touchdown, sweet.

I love the way Gregg frames this. It isn't like Seattle chucked it down the field on 4th & short, they were 10 yards away from the endzone. It was still a relatively short pass that Seattle scored on.

waffleboy said...

Can we just note that Pulaski Academy beat that other team by 31 points, and that was going 1 for 6 on 4th down attempts. Thank God for bad weather or that other team might have gotten beat by 60 points. Isn't running the score up on a weak opponent something the football gods punish? An early sign of Glory Boyism? I know Gregg doesn't like punting, or logical thought, but I'm pretty sure if his pet theory on punting wasn't involved, the coach at Pulaski Academy would be a horrible human being, wrapping the fragile minds of our Nation's youth.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I missed that. He is a glory boy or an unwanted player. I guess it just depends on what Gregg wants to prove.

Anon, when do these characters eat on television? You rarely see these characters who clearly work out eating healthy and hitting the guym. Why aren't networks promoting good eating habits?

I like to think Peter already has a slideshow J.J. Watt pics. I just assumed at least.

Jack, you don't understand. The Patriots weren't playing defense for a pass that went longer than 10 yards. They were only trying to cover a pass for 3-4 yards. That's apparently what Gregg thinks at least. I would love to hear Gregg talk X's and O's sometime.

Waffle, you would think running up the score is something the football gods punish, but Gregg tries to make it clear when Pulaski puts the backups in the game. I think that is a sign of being a weasel coach, though Gregg would never call Kevin Kelley that because he hasn't left Pulaski for a better job...yet.

Anonymous said...

"Let's hope it's not that Tebow get a hard time from the religious right for posing shirtless for Jockey and Vogue."

My head almost exploded after reading this a third time.

Forget the 4th grade sentence structure, what's worse is I can't help but picture Easterbrook irrepressively grinning while sipping his bag-in-the-box white zinfandel bemused he was able to string together "Tebow getting a hard time from the religious right."

His internet chair must be filthy.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I missed the "hard time" part of that sentence. My head is a mess from reading TMQ anyway.

Do they make bag-in-the-box zinfandel, so perhaps I will do a search for this.