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
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
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 Brady...is 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.