Thursday, December 6, 2012

5 comments Gregg Easterbrook Thinks the Denver Broncos Winning All of These Regular Season Games Really Hurts Their Playoff Chances

Last week in TMQ, Gregg decided he was the only person to remark on the academic angle of the 2011 Orange Bowl between Stanford and Virginia Tech. He decided this without doing any sort of research or an Internet search on whether other writers had remarked about the academic angle of this game. Gregg also criticized the University of Maryland for being greedy for money (and I am sure Gregg pimped out his new book repeatedly in TMQ a few weeks ago simply because he has no need for book sales, and therefore money) and thinks coaches should choose to do a "surprise" two-point conversion attempt more often from the field goal kicking formation. This week Gregg talks about the young quarterbacks in the NFL and how great they are playing. Naturally, Gregg skips over the part where two of these young quarterbacks, Griffin and Luck, also happen to be highly-paid, highly-drafted glory boys. Gregg usually tells us these type of players don't work as hard as undrafted or lowly drafted players, while these players also have an air of entitlement about them. Gregg glosses over the fact Griffin and Luck don't meet his stereotype for first round picks. As usual, Gregg ignores any evidence that he finds inconvenient when trying to prove a point.

Three rookie quarterbacks -- Robert Griffin III, Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson -- led their teams to monster wins, one on "Monday Night Football," the other two on the road. The road wins were both comebacks,

Luck was drafted #1 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft and Griffin was drafted #2 overall in the 2012 NFL Draft, while Russell Wilson was a third round pick. This will go unmentioned by Gregg Easterbrook in regard to his previous belief that highly-drafted, highly-paid glory boys don't work as hard or perform as well as undrafted or lowly drafted players.

Now add that two of the quarterbacks were the first two choices of the draft, while the third was a guy his own college team wanted to get rid of.

There is really no other way to say this other than this is a complete and utter lie. This isn't an opinion that Gregg Easterbrook is espousing. He is taking facts and twisting them around into a lie. Russell Wilson was not unwanted by his college team. He had completed his undergraduate work at N.C. State and chose to transfer because N.C. State had Mike Glennon ready to play quarterback for them over the next two seasons. Tom O'Brien wanted a quarterback who would participate in spring practice, which Russell Wilson was unwilling to do since he was playing in the Colorado Rockies organization at that point. So Wilson refused to participate in spring practice and N.C. State released him from his scholarship and he transferred to Wisconsin. N.C. State didn't want to get rid of Wilson, but they wanted a quarterback willing to participate in spring practice and Wilson was off playing baseball at that point.

Wilson is a lesser-known player whom even Seattle passed on high in the draft.

"Lesser-known." He only led his college football team to the Rose Bowl last year. Who has ever heard of the Rose Bowl anyway?

In 2011, his college team, North Carolina State, told him to take a hike, because the Wolfpack wanted to start someone else.

Again, this is an outright lie. Gregg Easterbrook is an embarrassment to journalism. He takes facts and twists them around into what he wants them to be. Russell Wilson wasn't told to take a hike. Tom O'Brien wanted a quarterback who would participate in spring practice and Mike Glennon would do so, while Russell Wilson would not. Glennon had two years of eligibility and Wilson had one year of eligibility, as well as the option of playing at another school. N.C. State stated Glennon would be the starter and Wilson CHOSE to transfer. It worked out for all parties.

Out of the many things I don't get about ESPN, I don't see how they can allow a columnist to blatantly twist facts around and lie. It's all about the entertainment aspect though isn't it? Facts and journalistic integrity be damned.

But Griffin is a lot faster than Tebow, and throws the ball a lot better. Griffin's glowing aura even caused the Redskins' defense to play well in the fourth quarter.

No, it didn't. You are an embarrassment to the human race.

How many rookie quarterbacks have ever defeated the defending champions on "Monday Night Football"?

If he doesn't do any research to find out the answer to this question, then Gregg can just claim Robert Griffin is the only quarterback ever to do this.

Luck rolled to buy time, saw everyone in the end zone well-guarded, flipped the ball to Avery -- then sprinted downfield to try to get a block.

Yes, he sprinted "downfield." That whole 14-15 yards he had to sprint "downfield" to get a block for Donnie Avery was very helpful. What a team player. You would think Luck was an undrafted free agent and not a highly-paid glory boy the way he hustled those 14-15 yards "downfield." 

Joe Montana could not have run the Colts' final drive any better. Forlorn at 2-14 last season, Indianapolis now has a strong chance of the playoffs -- and is 7-1 in close games, an indicator of a poised rookie quarterback.

Being 7-1 in close game is also an indicator of good coaching and just a little bit of fortunate happenstance.

North Carolina State told Wilson to hit the road so it could start a 6-6 quarterback.

Mike Glennon is also projected to go pretty early in this year's NFL Draft, which is a little factoid Gregg Easterbrook left out. N.C. State did not tell Russell Wilson to hit the road. They wanted him for spring practice and Wilson did not want to attend spring practice and wanted to play baseball for the Rockies.

The guy who made that canny decision was fired a few days ago, but that's another matter.

O'Brien's firing had nothing to do with choosing Glennon over Wilson. Not to mention, Wilson is the guy who wanted to be a baseball AND football player, while O'Brien preferred he stick to football. If anything, O'Brien was correct that Wilson be a football-only athlete.

Luck and Griffin are very well-known, Wilson not so much.

This is idiocy. Russell Wilson had been pretty well known throughout his college career until he went to Wisconsin and became very well known. Then he was named the Seahawks starting quarterback and is now becoming a household name.

But his matinee-idol looks should make Wilson popular as a product endorser, unless he's "too short" for that too.

Gregg wants to know why Russell Wilson didn't get named one of "People" magazine's Sexiest Men of the Year. Wilson has everything Gregg Easterbrook looks for in a man...if only Wilson would do more shirtless photo shoots.

Are the Broncos winning too fast?

Now here's a forced debate that "First Take" somehow overlooked. Are the Broncos winning too fast? Should they intentionally lose games? Why does Gregg Easterbrook come off as so smart when discussing national issues, but comes off as an unintelligent idiot when discussing the NFL?

"Is LeBron James too good?"

"Does LeBron James' talent actually make the Heat a worse team?"

"Tim Tebow...too sexy for his shirt? Does it really make him hurt?"

"Are the Patriots winning too many games in the regular season to where they don't have any wins left for the postseason?"

"Tom he a better quarterback with longer or shorter hair?"

"Is Russell Wilson delicious man-meat or just a good pin-up?" 

When Manning was at Indianapolis, in the 2005 and 2008 seasons the Colts won their division, and then the best seeding, so soon they lost focus, then were defeated in the postseason opening round at home.

Gregg knows the Colts lost focus because he knows what everyone is thinking at all times. Right now, Gregg is very unhappy with me because he knows I think he's hack writer who lies to cover up for his lack of NFL knowledge.

As Tuesday Morning Quarterback noted in September, though Schiano claims that attacking a victory formation worked for him at Rutgers, this tactic never resulted in a turnover, let alone a Rutgers victory. Schiano simply isn't telling the truth about his unsportsmanlike tactic.

As I noted in September, Schiano hasn't ever had a turnover created, but there have been fumbles caused by Schiano-coached teams in circumstances such as this. While I don't like the tactic, and a turnover has not resulted, the possibility of a turnover due to a fumble is present.

Why does the city of Tampa want to be represented by a little bully who breaks a sportsmanship standard observed by everyone else in football?

Probably for the same reason ESPN wants to be represented by a writer who lies and deceives his audience in order to cover up for his lack of NFL knowledge...because of wins and pageviews.

Stats of the Week No. 5: Twice this season, Seattle has won games decided by official review on the final play.

Or in less fancy terms, twice this year Seattle has won a game by scoring a touchdown with no time left on the clock. Touchdowns are now automatically reviewed by the replay booth.

Stats of the Week No. 9: New England is on pace for 445 first downs; the NFL record, by New Orleans, is 411.

If Sean Payton coached New England then he would have his players commit penalties on plays that don't result in first downs in order to get a chance to replay the down so this record could get broken.

Trailing Atlanta 17-7, New Orleans faced second-and-goal on the Falcons' 5 with 12 seconds remaining before intermission, out of timeouts. Drew Brees threw underneath to Darren Sproles, who was stopped at the 2, where the clock expired. Sometimes an underneath throw can work in this situation, as Andrew Luck and Russell Wilson demonstrated. But it was the fifth consecutive snap on which Brees had thrown short to Sproles, so there was no chance of surprising the defense.

There was no chance of surprising the Falcons defense which is why they left Darren Sproles wide open on the play. I bet Gregg thinks NFL defenses often use a defense tactic of not covering a player to show the offense they aren't surprised when that player gets the ball. Basically the moral here is it's fine to throw underneath to score a touchdown if it works, but if a team throws underneath and doesn't get the touchdown then they shouldn't have thrown underneath. Gregg always relies on the outcome when determining whether to criticize a head coach's decision or not.

Sweet 'N' Sour Play of the Week: Leading the Flaming Thumbtacks 7-3, Houston reached first-and-goal on the Tennessee 5. A man came in motion toward the left; he and everyone else zone blocked left; Matt Schaub play-faked and bootlegged right, throwing to uncovered backup tight end James Casey for a touchdown, and the Texans never looked back. Sweet. Houston bootlegs more than any other NFL team -- how could the Titans have been completely surprised by this action?

Is Gregg too stupid to understand the idea of a play-action fake? The reason the Titans were surprised by this is because the Texans also run the ball a lot, so there is a chance the running back and not Schaub has the ball. That's the entire purpose of a play-action fake, to confuse the defense as to who has the football.

The sci-fi show "Revolution," a surprise hit for NBC, just reached its midseason cliffhanger. Actual line by a character: "Run, you fools!" Viewers have been saying that to the screen since the series began.

This is true, other than the fact viewers obviously haven't been saying "Run, you fools" since the show became a surprise hit. To be a surprise hit, there has to be viewers watching the show to make it a hit. Gregg, you have failed again.

Many recent forms of entertainment -- "Revolution," "John Carter," the "Assassin's Creed" video games -- feature bloodless instant death by sword. Actual death by sword is gruesome; the body is ripped open, the victim struggles and gasps.

"John Carter" was rated PG-13, so they can't show a person's body being ripped open. The same thing goes for "Revolution." It is on NBC and gruesome deaths aren't often seen on networks like ABC, NBC, and CBS. So I'm not entirely sure what Gregg wants. He complains about unrealistic violence on television poisoning our nation's mind, but he also seems to want more graphic death scenes on television.

Then Gregg starts in on his weekly "Television shows aren't realistic when it comes to violence" rant. It's boring and used-up. Let's move on.

Then again, in "Gunfight at the OK Corral," made in 1957, Morgan, Virgil and Doc are all shot and fine minutes later; the bad guys who get shot all die instantly.

So Gregg has absolutely no point and this is just how Hollywood has chosen to show gun violence for the past 55 years. I'm glad we get to hear Gregg rant about the inaccuracy of modern television shows when this is a 55 year trend in Hollywood.

Now the premise: One must suspend disbelief to watch any sci-fi.

Gregg knows this, yet he bitches about science-fiction television shows every single week in TMQ.

What I am not willing to believe is that after the House and Senate Armed Services Committees approved tens of billions of dollars to build an ultra-gigantic top-secret anti-electricity installation, then suddenly all electricity stopped, yet not one single person in the White House, Pentagon or Congress put two and two together. It would have been TOTALLY OBVIOUS that someone turned on the machine.

If I had to spend the holidays with Gregg Easterbrook I would try to poke his eye out with a chicken bone or do myself a bigger favor and just not spend the holidays with him. Spending any time with this blowhard academic douchebag would be less preferable than roaming the streets eating out of a trash can so I wouldn't be putting myself in a position to listen to Gregg bloviate.

Bigger complaint: If an electricity-neutralizing field existed, all people and animals would die. The mammal nervous systems use electrical current: The voltage gradient between neurons is what handles signals. 

Can't ESPN find someone to write about the NFL that doesn't bore us to death with "look at how smart I am" bullshit?

Leading 33-21, the Lions had second-and-10 in Colts territory with 4:24 remaining. Run, advance the clock! Instead incompletion, incompletion, punt. Indianapolis scored the winning touchdowns as the clock expired. Had the Lions simply run up the middle for no gain on their second-and-10 and third-and-10 snaps, Detroit almost certainly would have won. Instead Detroit twice stopped the clock, keeping the Colts alive.

I thought "Fortune favored the bold"? Jim Schwartz was just trying to show his team that he is serious about winning the game. According to nearly everything Gregg Easterbrook has ever said, doesn't this mean the Lions should have won the game since Jim Schwartz told his team he was playing to win by being aggressive? Or does "Fortune favor the bold" only when "The outcome of the game favored the bold," so when a team is bold and loses a game, then clearly that team shouldn't have been so bold?

It's so hard to keep up with all of Gregg's rules, especially since they change constantly depending on the outcome of the game he is discussing and what point he is trying to prove.

The Lions are first in the league in passing. Offensive coordinator Scott Linehan has been a head coach before, and may want to be a head coach again. Perhaps Linehan was more concerned with padding the Lions' passing stats than with icing the game. 

He was being bold! Gregg claims to love it when teams are bold. Don't punt! Be aggressive as a head coach in telling your team you want to win this game! Don't mega-blitz, but be bold!

That is unless none of these tactics work, in which case a team should have punted, should not been as aggressive as they were, and should have blitzed rather than just rush four.

Maybe what started Detroit's epic collapse was a coordinator caring more about his own career than about the team.

This is Gregg's takeaway from the Lions choosing to try and get first downs at the end of the game rather than milk the clock. Scott Linehan wasn't trying to be aggressive in putting the game out of reach, he was trying to pad his stats.

First Andy Reid fired defensive coordinator Juan Castillo, in order to deflect criticism from himself; since Castillo was fired, the performance of the Philadelphia defense has declined. After Sunday night's loss at Dallas, Reid fired defensive line coach Jim Washburn, in order to deflect criticism from himself. Yet it was the Philadelphia offense, which Reid runs, that gave up the killer turnover late in the contest. It was Reid who made the decision to put the ball into the hands of novice Bryce Brown, who essentially did not play in college and who had fumbled twice the previous week.

Brown is a hard-working, lowly drafted player, which Gregg conveniently leaves out of this discussion. Brown has also run for four touchdowns and 347 rushing yards over the last two games. So while LeSean McCoy is injured, Bryce Brown is a turnover-prone but highly capable running back.

The trophy is announced Saturday, and Johnny Manziel of Texas A&M may become the first freshman winner. But just as TMQ disqualifies quarterbacks from my annual Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback Non-Running Back NFL MVP, I disqualify quarterbacks from the Heisman, too. Here are my votes:

Gregg votes for three offensive linemen as runners-up to the Heisman. The issue I find with this is that a quality offensive line requires five players to work together, while the Heisman is an individual award. Yes, a quarterback or running back relies on his teammates as well, but an offensive line blocks as a unit, so one offensive linemen could give up a sack when it wasn't his fault he gave up the sack.

Runner-up: Rick Wagner, Wisconsin, offensive line. You don't rush for 539 yards against a ranked team without a great offensive line.

Right, and other than naming Wagner a Heisman finalist based on one game, the biggest problem is giving one member of this offensive line individual credit for Wisconsin rushing for 539 yards against a ranked team.

Heisman Trophy: Manti Te'o, Notre Dame, linebacker.

Te'o has been the most important performer in Notre Dame's unexpected run to the BCS title game. He tackles as well as anyone who has ever played football.

That's some high praise right there from Gregg. I'm sure this isn't just an opinion Gregg is giving about Te'o being one of the best tacklers in football history and he has statistical evidence to back this claim up. He just forgot to backup this claim with evidence this week, but I'm sure he'll be more clear on how he came to this conclusion next week.

He's a former Eagle Scout. He's a Mormon who grew up in Hawaii, combining this year's presidential election qualities. 

This is so incredibly irrelevant as to whether Te'o should win the Heisman or not.

Manziel needs to prove he isn't a one-year wonder. 

The Heisman Trophy isn't a lifetime achievement award. It is for the best college player in the nation in a given year. If Manziel is the best college football player for 2012, then he should win the award. That's the bottom line.

Wisconsin and Alabama huddled up and ran between the tackles, exhausting the defense with hard-hitting blocking while not snapping more than usual -- 60 plays for the Wisconsin offense, 72 plays for Alabama.

Is the pendulum swinging back toward power-rush tactics? Sixty or 70 well-executed power-rush plays may tire a defense more than 80 or 90 Xbox passing downs.

Absolutely. Let's overreact and say the pendulum is swinging back towards a power-rushing offense based on two games out of thousands of college football games. That's doesn't seem reactionary at all.

Recently The New York Times quoted a Jackie Cohen of San Francisco. Her job? She "edits a blog about Facebook."

This is not nearly as "real" of a job as writing lies about the NFL and bitching about how unrealistic science-fiction television shows are. That's some real work right there.

Leading Jacksonville 7-3, Buffalo faced fourth-and-5 on the Jaguars' 37. This is a classic Maroon Zone situation -- too close to punt, too far to attempt a field goal. Bills coach Chan Gailey went for it, and his charges failed. But going for it and failing can be better than launching a mincing fraidy-cat kick: Going for it tells the players their coach is challenging them to win the game. Buffalo went on to prevail 34-18.

Of course Buffalo only won this game because they went for it on fourth down in this situation. There's no other logical explanation for the 16 point differential between these two teams, other than to explain it saying a failed fourth down attempt caused the Bills to play better.

Weasel Coach Watch: Northern Illinois won the MAC title on Friday night, positioning itself for a BCS bid, the biggest bowl date in the school's history. And just hours later, coach Dave Doeren walked out on his promises to take a higher-paying job at North Carolina State.

Brian Kelly has "walked out" on two college football teams and Nick Saban "walked out" on two college footballs and an NFL team. They have been punished by having to meet in the BCS Championship game.

I fail to understand how taking a better and higher paying job is being "a weasel." So if I took a higher paying job with a bigger company would that make me a weasel? How is trying to earn as much money as possible, while furthering your coaching career being "a weasel?" Doeren got a good job offer and he accepted it. Gregg Easterbrook is trying to tell us he has never taken a job with another company or magazine in his life in an attempt to further his career? Or is it fine for Gregg to do this because he's Gregg Easterbrook and the rules don't apply to him?

Hidden Play of the Week: Hidden plays are ones that never make highlight reels, but stop or sustain drives. Trailing Chicago 14-10 with 1:11 remaining in regulation, the Bluish Men Group faced fourth-and-3 at midfield. The crowd thought the game was over; the Bears' defense thought the game was over; Russell Wilson threw for 7 yards to tight end Zach Miller. 

So Gregg believes the fourth down conversion that kept a drive alive for the Seahawks and allowed them to go on and win the game is a "hidden play?" This fourth down conversion seems like a very unhidden play considering it helped the Seahawks go on to win this game.

Indianapolis facing third-and-11 on the Lions' 17, all Detroit needs is to play straight defense and get an incomplete pass. It's a six-man blitz! Touchdown to Donnie Avery: step 1 of Detroit's epic collapse .

And of course in Gregg's fictional world where all of the assumptions he makes are correct, the Lions would have just dropped four men and played "straight defense" (whatever the fuck that is) and then automatically the Colts would have thrown an incomplete pass.

Illinois State 38, Appalachian State 37 (Division 1AA playoffs). The Redbirds' Sam Martin blocked a PAT attempt in overtime to seal the victory. 

Thanks for reminding me, asshole.

Next Week The San Antonio Spurs find a mysterious amulet that restarts their older players.

I wish there was an amulet that would help Gregg Easterbrook write a better weekly NFL column. 


rich said...

Now the premise: One must suspend disbelief to watch any sci-fi.

He's becoming more and more like Bill every week. It feels like he's actually trying to actively take credit for figuring this out.

"look at how smart I am" bullshit?

Except it's wrong. Very, very, very wrong.

At the risk of boring the fuck out of everyone who reads the comments, I will elaborate:

Bigger complaint: If an electricity-neutralizing field existed, all people and animals would die...The voltage gradient between neurons is what handles signals.

::clears throat:: No they wouldn't.

Electric fields produced by the bodies of animals and people are generated is a significantly different way and on a much smaller level. Neurons move physical ions around to generate current - which would be something that you can't stop.

Case in point, if there were an EMP (say like in Goldeneye), it would absolutely screw over your electronics, but you'd be left (relatively) unharmed. Why? because the way current is generated and transferred in devices is wholly different than that of your brain.

Essentially it comes down to this, your electronics are filled with conductors and you can seriously fuck with those in a variety of ways: temperature, pressure, too much power, etc. Your brain is pretty stable around moderate fluctuations. It's why your iPod stops working if you drop it in the sink and you continue to breathe perfectly fine despite the fact your brain is covered is liquid.

Even then, if you ignore those glaring differences, the writers can easily just come out and say "listen the field only works on a scale above 25mm" or something. Electronics still end up getting fried (most of them anyway), but that wouldn't effect people or animals.

I also doubt this asshole knows what a "voltage gradient" is. In fact, despite 8 years in engineering, I have never heard that fucking term because a voltage gradient is more commonly known as an electric fucking field.

after the House and Senate Armed Services Committees approved tens of billions of dollars to build an ultra-gigantic top-secret anti-electricity installation

Again, no.

Does Gregg honestly think the House and Senate know the details of every fucking project the DOD is working on? They don't.

And even then, tens of billions of dollars? Wow, the government pisses through eighty billion A WEEK. Don't think anyone is too concerned about where 1/80th of the defense budget is going.

Sorry, I had to. It's just so fucking wrong.

ivn said...

the broader point here, rich and Ben, is that Gregg spent 1,500 words (I copy-pasted into a word document to see how many it was) picking holes in Revolution, a show that is by all accounts universally ridiculed. it's like bragging about beating your nephew in checkers.

Luck and Griffin are very well-known, Wilson not so much.

Wilson was the starting quarterback for a ranked team in a major conference. he was (very briefly) a dark horse Heisman candidate. he played in a Rose Bowl. he's "not so" well-known among people who don't really follow college football, which is to say, Notre Dame fans, which is to say, Gregg Easterbrook.

When Manning was at Indianapolis, in the 2005 and 2008 seasons the Colts won their division, and then the best seeding, so soon they lost focus, then were defeated in the postseason opening round at home.

The Broncos are currently the fourth seed in the AFC.

Leading 33-21, the Lions had second-and-10 in Colts territory with 4:24 remaining. Run, advance the clock! Instead incompletion, incompletion, punt. Indianapolis scored the winning touchdowns as the clock expired. Had the Lions simply run up the middle for no gain on their second-and-10 and third-and-10 snaps, Detroit almost certainly would have won. Instead Detroit twice stopped the clock, keeping the Colts alive.

Leading 33-28, the Lions had 1st-and-10 near midfield with two and a half minutes left. if they just ran the ball they would almost certainly win.
1st and 10 at DET 44 R.Reiff reported in as eligible. J.Bell left tackle to DET 42 for -2 yards (C.Redding).
Timeout #3 by IND at 02:26.
2nd and 12 at DET 42 R.Reiff reported in as eligible. M.Leshoure right end to DET 49 for 7 yards (A.Bethea).
3rd and 5 at DET 49 (Shotgun) M.Leshoure left end to 50 for 1 yard (R.Mathews; J.Freeman).


The Lions gave the ball to Mikel Leshoure 21 times. He gained 57 yards. the Lions typically pass the ball a lot because they are a bad running team.

Bengoodfella said...

Rich, I think I followed what you said. Basically, the electric fields that are generated by animals and electronics are completely different to where it doesn't affect humans. So Gregg is wrong and humans and animals wouldn't die if the writers worked around it correctly.

That true. The House and Senate probably know only bits and pieces about what the DoD are doing. It's probably by choice to cover their own asses. Plus, it is a television show.

Ivn, that is very true. That was a very long discussion on Revolution...longer than usual.

That's what she said.

Russell Wilson was very well known. I knew of him only because he played at N.C. State, but after that he was a pretty well known national QB. Plus, there was a lot of talk going into the draft about how he was a player a lot of teams liked. Granted, he didn't get drafted until the 3rd round, but I know Carolina looked hard at him and I think he would have gone higher if he had been taller.

Yep, the Lions have trouble running the ball. For some reason Gregg believes all NFL teams can run the ball well whenever they need to. It's simply not true.

Anonymous said...

I just e-mailed Greggggggggggggggg and explained to him that neurons would not stop working if a magical electrical field dissipating device was created. I also told him "stop making shit up." Do you think he will e-mail back? What a freaking moron.

Bengoodfella said...

Anon, I emailed him a few years ago and he completely ignored me. I asked him specific questions and he never emailed me back.