Friday, August 16, 2013

8 comments Let's Welcome Gregg Easterbrook Back by Convincing Him to Stop Writing Forever

There is 1 more spot open in the BotB Fantasy Football League. The league ID is 265989 and the password is "eckstein" if anyone else cares to join. We need one more person to join the league so we can have an even number of teams. Email me if you have questions. 

Gregg Easterbrook is back and he is talking about the NCAA and Johnny Manziel. Since there are no NFL games being played and Gregg can't ignorantly second-guess the decision of NFL head coaches and further show his lack of basic defensive or offensive principles he decides to talk about the NCAA, takes on the lack of realism on "Blue Bloods," and of course talks about naked men. It's hard to cover TMQ after taking a three month break. I should be able to ease into Gregg's own particular brand of idiocy. I can't wait for his NFL preview columns that don't really involve predictions or insight about the coming season of any sort, but mainly consists of Gregg wrapping up and summarizing how well that NFL team did the season before.

Who looks worse right now, Johnny Football or the NCAA?

I think the NCAA looks much worse right now since the NCAA can't blame their issues on being a 20 year old college student.

Johnny Manziel stands accused of breaking NCAA rules by selling his autograph; the accusation follows a series of temper tantrums by the Heisman winner, who is barely even pretending to be a college student.

To be fair, the NCAA and Texas A&M don't treat Manziel like a college student. They treat him like a cash cow.

The big conferences and powerhouse programs look bad, drowning in cash generated by unpaid players -- $81 million in football revenue and $44 million in football profit last season at BCS champion Alabama, according to Department of Education figures.

Gregg needs to be more fair about this. He is intentionally making it seem like every NCAA Division I college football program clears $81 million in revenue and $44 million in profit when Alabama is at the very top of the pyramid when it comes to revenue and profit off of football. Some schools lose money on their football program. Quite a few NCAA football programs are making money, though not many are making the type of money that Alabama is making.

Three cheers for Jay Bilas, who shamed the NCAA into dropped its direct sales of jerseys and other player "merch," happening even though the NCAA suspended A.J. Green, when he was at Georgia, for selling a jersey that was his own property.

See, the argument from the NCAA is that the jersey isn't A.J. Green's property. So Gregg's contention Green sold a jersey that was his property is seen very differently by the NCAA. 

Wouldn't all this nonsense end if the players were paid? Or perhaps allowed to charge fees for autographs and public appearances, and to do so openly.

I don't think college athletes should be paid. For me, this brings up questions about Title IX fairness and how these players would end up getting paid compared to each other. If it is an equitable pay based on each player getting a set amount, then this wouldn't accurately reflect the revenue a certain individual athlete brings into the school. You can't treat A.J. McCarron and the backup fullback for Alabama the same by paying them the same amount of money. I am absolutely open to a college athlete charging a fee for his autograph or for making a public appearance. I don't believe an athlete should get paid, but I don't have as much of an issue when it comes to the athlete making money in the free market on his accomplishments.

In a free-market situation, Manziel would be raking in fees, as would Jadeveon Clowney, Teddy Bridgewater and a few others. The current rules clearly penalize them. But they are stars -- the ones likely to become wealthy from sports in any case.

Yes, but these stars are the players that the NCAA and the school is making the most money off of. The entire purpose of switching to a free-market situation is to allow the market to decide who gets paid for autographs and who doesn't. It's not about fairness. A system of "fairness" would not be fair. If each college athlete got paid $1000 for playing football, it's not fair for the 3rd string QB to get paid as much as the starter. That's not fair either.

A small number of collegiate stars would roll in money from age 19 on, while the overwhelming majority of collegiate players would receive pocket change or nothing at all.

The conversation about paying athletes isn't about the backup safety on the Texas A&M football team. No one wants his autograph and he isn't bringing that much money into the school. The conversation is about Johnny Manziel and other stars who help to bring money into the athletic department of a school. So if the majority of players don't receive money, that's too bad. That's the nature of the free market system.

Germain Ifedi, Nehemiah Hicks, De'Vante Harris -- how much would they be paid if NCAA amateurism rules ended? All might start for Texas A&M this fall; only stars such as Manziel would be pulling down appearance fees.

If these guys ended up starting for A&M and making an impact, I'm sure they could find a way to make a few bucks off it. Gregg's complaints about the free market system would essentially ruin the entire purpose of the free market system. A free-market system isn't considered with fairness. Besides, there's no fair way to pay college athletes, so I would suggest if a system to compensate college athletes were set up it should be done in a way to compensate the players who are bringing in the revenue and profits to the school. For Texas A&M, that's not Nehemiah Hicks. That's Johnny Manziel.

Under a deregulated free-market system, perhaps 95 percent of college football players would not attract any payments, nor have any bargaining power, since they are so easily replaced.

Under a regulated system 5% of the football players would not receive compensation relative to the amount of income they bring in to the university.

Making the stars of college football wealthy could backfire by causing the sport to become less popular, with the revenue used for scholarships going into decline.

Boosters who don't like the idea of the players making money off their name and likeness could very well decide they are going to contribute less money to the program. I would think that Gregg would like the idea of revenue used for scholarships going into decline since he is always talking about how professors and academic departments at colleges are underpaid compared to college coaches. So I would think Gregg would back anything that allowed academic departments to potentially receive more funding.

the always-enterprising Allie Grasgreen reports that SEC football coaches earn eight times what SEC classroom instructors earn -- while subsidies flow from tuition to sports, harming typical students.

So not only would a free market system make it more likely that academic departments get more funding from angry boosters (all hypothetically of course), but the college athletes who are the ones making the money for the university will also be able to profit from their name. Sounds like a great idea to me.

But if college athletes could sell themselves while in school and live like kings, a small number of stars would benefit tremendously while declining public interest in college sports might harm all other NCAA athletes.

I fail to see how Chris Webber making money off his likeness in college could hurt other NCAA athletes anymore than they are currently getting hurt. At the worst, a college athlete doesn't make money for playing college sports, which is the exact situation that same player would be in today.

That's true -- but most Michigan athletes generate little, if any, income for the university. Should Webber have been paid a lot while other Michigan athletes lost their scholarships?

The other Michigan players would not lose their scholarships. They would still get scholarships, but they just could not/would not make money by signing autographs or wouldn't make as much money as Chris Webber would have made of their name. It's not like Webber is going to sign autographs at the opening of a club in the Detroit area (assuming he were still in college) and this meant Dugan Fife would lose his scholarship to play basketball at Michigan. I don't believe it would work that way. The NCAA athletes would still get scholarships, but they could make money off their name. I don't see it as a zero-sum game where if Chris Webber makes $10,000 then that is $10,000 Dugan Fife could not have made.

If college athletes get paid or don't get paid, it doesn't matter to me. I will watch college sports either way. I think the best way to compensate college athletes would be to allow them to use their likeness or name to sign autographs or make money in some fashion. I don't see it as unfair that a high-profile athlete makes money off his name compared to a lower-profile athlete that wouldn't make as much money. Most likely, the high-profile athlete is the one bringing more money into the university since he seems to the athlete whose autograph (or whatever) is in demand.

But if paid football players ended the charm of collegiate sports, the scholarship system might falter.

Gregg sort of throws this idea out there without explanation of how exactly he believes the scholarship system might falter, but I shouldn't expect anything different. Sure, the scholarship system could falter or it may not falter. But why would it falter? Gregg doesn't explain.

Colleges are still going to want to attract highly talented athletes to play sports for their school, so I would imagine a scholarship is one very good way to attract these highly talented athletes to the school. I don't see the scholarship system faltering because schools are still going to want to give full rides to athletes that are considering attending that school, as a sort of incentive to choose to attend that school. If Player X has to choose between Alabama and Florida, don't you think the fact Florida is offering a full scholarship could play into his decision?

A diploma is their reward. Nowhere near enough football players graduate, but that is a separate issue. Too much attention is bestowed on stars like Manziel, for whom wealth awaits; average players should be the focus of concern.

Actually, average players should not be the focus of concern. I don't agree with this point. Yet again, Gregg doesn't explain this comment at all. What does he mean the average player should be the focus of concern? Does he mean average players should get a full scholarship? Often, these average players do have a full scholarship under the current scholarship system. Is Gregg saying average players should get paid? If so, why should average players get paid? Simply because they don't have a pro career ahead of them? If the point is to compensate athletes for the money they bring into a university then guys like Johnny Manziel are the ones who should receive this money. Manziel's backup isn't the guy whose jersey is getting sold at Texas A&M bookstores and under the current system Manziel's backup will be receiving the same "reward" in the form of a diploma that Gregg argues is the true reason this person should attend college.

Gregg's point of view seems to be only average players should get paid because they don't have a professional future in football ahead of them, while the college athletes who actually make the most money for the university don't get any money because they are bound to play in the NFL. I guess that's Gregg's point of view. He doesn't really describe it all that well and just sort of throws a sentence out on what he believes and then doesn't elaborate.

But it is fair for the NCAA to say to Manziel and others like him, "If you want to use our system to become famous, you must follow our rules." Screwed up as the system is, it does confer most of its benefits on average athletes.

Right, but here is the issue, Johnny Manziel is not the average athlete. So telling Manziel, "Well the average athlete is helped by the system" doesn't help Manziel feel better when he sees his jersey hanging in the A&M bookstore and he is being investigated for charging for autographs. Manziel is not the average college athlete, so using this reasoning to explain the system to him is stupid and pointless.

The system does confer benefits on the athletes, but that's not the point. The point that many who want to see college athletes get paid are making is that everyone is profiting from Manziel except for Manziel. He gets a free ride to college, which does have value, but this is the same benefit any full ride scholarship athlete will receive. I don't see how college athletes making money off their autograph would cause the scholarship system to falter, but Gregg apparently doesn't either since he just throws this idea out there and never sufficiently elaborates.

As for Tuesday Morning Quarterback -- I'm back and I'm bad!

I agree. You are awful.

The offseason saw the fifth Hollywood treatment of F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby." Each one-ups the previous by portraying Gatsby as even richer than before. In the novel, Gatsby lives in an ostentatious home with a circular drive and a pool, but not in a palace. In the new Leonardo DiCaprio iteration, Gatsby seems to own the entire extent of Long Island, occupying a mansion the size of a city block.

So Gatsby would have needed around $5 million in the money of the time to buy a stunning home plus afford servants and the very best in clothes, cars and parties. At the time, bootleg spirits were $2 or so a bottle. If Gatsby received 10 percent of the take -- a lot for a front man -- gangster Meyer Wolfsheim, his boss, would have needed to sell 25 million bottles of moonshine in a short period. Did bootleggers really move this kind of weight during Prohibition?

I don't know, let me check...yep, "The Great Gatsby" is a fictional movie based on a fictional book so it doesn't matter at all.

"Congratulations on Your Prestigious Award, You're Fired!" Nuggets coach George Karl won NBA Coach of the Year, then was let go. Denver management was mad because the team performed well during the regular season but exited the playoffs in the first round. This problem will be corrected next season if the Nuggets don't make the playoffs.

As usual, Gregg attempts to mislead his readers as to the real reason behind something Gregg is mentioning. The Nuggets fired Karl because he was going into the last season of his contract and wanted a contract extension, which isn't something the Nuggets were willing to do, so they went ahead and let him go rather than make him a lame duck coach.

Now there's another publicity-stunt lawsuit against the NCAA, filed in the offseason by the Paterno family and a few others. The suit claims a tort based on the NCAA's enforcement of its own rules and also claims the NCAA defamed Joe Paterno. This seems another One L mistake -- generally, the dead cannot be defamed. A few states allow slander litigation regarding the deceased; Pennsylvania is not one.

At any rate Paterno was an "all-purpose public figure" under state law and thus nearly impossible to defame.

I didn't realize Gregg was an attorney. Isn't it possible that part of the reason the Paterno family filed the lawsuit is because they want to argue Paterno isn't an all-purpose public figure? There's no need for that when you have Gregg Easterbrook, who apparently can determine this without the need for the case to go to court. It must be nice to know everything, or at least believe you do.

Even if they can be proved false, NCAA claims are backed by a report supervised by a former federal judge, rendering it close to inconceivable Paterno's estate could prove the claims were calculated malice or knowing falsehood.

It's probably a frivolous lawsuit, but it's not like the Paterno family has dealt very well with Joe Paterno's death and the accusations that he helped to ignore Jerry Sandusky's crimes. They feel Joe Paterno was wronged so they file a lawsuit hoping that a judge (who isn't Gregg Easterbrook) doesn't see Joe Paterno as an "all-purpose public figure."

Last month researchers led by Stefan Duma of Virginia Tech, whom TMQ has been praising for years,

The article that Gregg links is from July 2011. I guess that means "for years" since "years" is plural. I don't know, that's like me saying the Green Bay Packers haven't won a Super Bowl in years. I feel like it is overstating the case a little. Gregg has been talking about concussions for a while, that's for sure, but the link to support his "for years" contention leads to an article only two years old.

A popular football highlight is the Jadeveon Clowney hit in the 2013 Outback Bowl. The hit is dramatic because Michigan running back Vincent Smith's helmet flies off. Whenever a helmet flies off during action, that means either the helmet was improperly fitted or the chin straps weren't fastened -- both are concussion risk factors. TMQ has seen this hit replayed on numerous sports shows and never heard a sportscaster note that what's depicted is lack of helmet safety.

This could be because sports shows don't have sportscasters but have sports anchors whose job is not to lecture the audience on helmet safety, but show highlights.

I Am Positive This Item Is Right! A study showed that pundits who act confident and speak loudly are more likely to be believed than pundits who admit they don't know everything.

You mean sort of like when a person who isn't an attorney or a judge confidently states something like the following:

At any rate Paterno was an "all-purpose public figure" under state law and thus nearly impossible to defame. 

It seems to me Gregg Easterbrook is speaking (writing) confidently about this and is more likely to be believed than someone who might state whether Paterno is an "all-purpose public figure" is for the court to decide.

TMQ liked the low-budget summer flick "The Way, Way Back." But what year was being depicted? In a movie set at a beach town, male characters wore knee-length shorts and girls wore triangle tops, contemporary fashion cues; the 1970 Buick woodie station wagon driven by Steve Carell is referred to as a valuable classic. But cell phones, laptops and tablets seemed absent, despite numerous teen and tween characters, and everyone wanted to play the Pac-Man machine at the tavern. What year was being depicted?

Absent the men wearing knee-length shorts, wouldn't a movie set where there are no laptops, tablets, cell phones and Pac-Man is huge take place in the 1980's? Throw in the 1970 Buick as being a classic and it seems quite obvious the movie was set in the 1980's.

Offseason Supreme Court decisions made it likely gay marriage will be recognized by most if not all states -- though legislatures, not courts, should decide.

Is this Gregg Easterbrook writing confidently in an attempt to make himself more believed? After all, whether the Supreme Court or the state legislatures should decide if gay marriage will be recognized seems like a matter of opinion to me.

Then Gregg starts talking about gay marriage using such wonderful insights as:

Once interracial marriage was taboo, and now is widely accepted. Gay marriage is making the same transition.

When people of different races wed, they become a walking advertisement for the teaching that love hopes all things and endures all things. It's the same when people of like genders wed.

Either same-sex attraction is God-given or is one of the many natural aspects of human sexuality -- a topic nobody really understands and which, in the long run, maybe we are better off not understanding.

For example, why is it that Gregg considers himself to be heterosexual, but he still loves seeing a picture of a shirtless man? Why is this?

The larger issue is that same-gender unions always will be rare.

Oh ok, I didn't know Gregg Easterbrook, Esq. was also a sociologist who knew exactly how many same-sex marriages there would be over the next 10-15 years. Same-gender unions are going to be rare because same-sex couple hate marriage. Gregg knows this as a fact. He's so good at everything!

There is a far more significant group society should be concerned with -- the not-wed.

Yeah, everyone should HAVE to get married!

The number of American adults who are not married always will be much larger than the best-case outcome for gay marriage. How do the not-wed feel as the married of any sexual orientation congratulate themselves on the front page? There's an aspect of self-flattery to the wedded boasting of their status.

Marriage is an important institution, especially for the raising of children. But postwar Western Europe has shown that marriage is hardly the only way to order a responsible, successful life. The financial, emotional and social concerns of those who either couldn't or didn't wish to join the ranks of the wedded should matter.

Perhaps I am just not smart enough, but I don't get what Gregg is getting at here. He's saying that people who get married are self-flattering themselves by announcing their marriage and marriage isn't necessary to have a successful life, but then says it's an important institution at the same time. So marriage is great and important, but just don't announce you are getting married?

I'm also not sure who is trying to take away the financial, emotional and social concerns of those who aren't married and I'm not sure what Gregg is suggesting in saying these people should "matter." Is he suggesting the non-married get the same benefits as those who are married?

I feel like Gregg is full of half-formed thoughts and vague insinuations in this week's TMQ. It's sort of hard for me to write about.

Goofy NBA Trades of the Offseason: Not only did the Nets trade their 2018 first-round draft choice to the Celtics as part of the Kevin Garnett deal -- no one in Nets top management will be around when that debt comes due -- Boston assented only when Brooklyn agreed that the Celtics could add Jason Terry to the trade package they were sending.

Anyone who knows anything about the NBA understands this is how NBA trades work. The Celtics wanted Jason Terry off their payroll and onto Brooklyn's payroll. The Celtics are looking to clear money off their ledger. Therefore Jason Terry's contract was added to the trade.

That is, Boston wanted to give more than Brooklyn wanted to receive. The Celtics' goal was to get rid of Terry's contract.

So doesn't this make this not a goofy trade? The trade clearly had a purpose, to clear Jason Terry's contract off the Celtics' books. It seems counter-intuitive to want to give up more than the team you are trading with wants in return, but there is a clear purpose for getting Terry's contract off the Celtics' books.

TMQ noted around this time last year that the mainstream media keep asserting "hooking up" is a shocking trend among the college-aged -- though can't seem to explain how it differs from "meeting someone at a party." Your columnist pointed out statistics showing young women and teen girls have become somewhat less sexually active during the very period the MSM says orgiastic "hooking up" is turning college females into sex maniacs.

Basically people have been more open in talking about their sexuality and their sexual exploits with others in recent years. Talking about "hooking up" wasn't done 40 years ago to the extent it is now. Also, I don't understand why Gregg cares so much about whether young women and teen girls have become less sexually active. Maybe all this reporting on young women and teen girls being sexually active is ruining Gregg's game at the local high schools and universities. 

TMQ repeats his claim from last year: Mainstream media types are wringing their hands over contemporary collegiate sexuality because "they feel mad that they missed the party," having already had their campus years.

I love how Gregg talks about "mainstream media types." Isn't he talking about people just like himself who are middle-aged and comment on sociological trends for magazines like "The Atlantic" and websites like How is Gregg not a mainstream media type?

Best line from the Times piece: "It is by now pretty well understood that traditional dating in college has mostly gone the way of the landline."

I'm glad the Times is around to tell us what's going on in the world of "the kids." Without the Times how would we ever keep up with the changing state of "the kids"?

Annual Swimsuit Issue Count: This year's Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue offered (counting editorial content only) 136 pictures of gorgeous women in bikinis, 35 photographs of topless models with hands or other items strategically placed (the best was a see-through inner tube), 16 pictures of women in only body paint and nine photographs of naked women, including cover model Kate Upton naked outdoors in Antarctica.

Not that Gregg is a creepy old man who is counting each swimsuit picture and then categorizing it by how much clothing that model is wearing of course. I would not be shocked to see a spreadsheet on Gregg's computer where he categorizes each swimsuit picture by several categories in order to maximize his creepiness. I imagine this spreadsheet has the following categories:

Model Name
Bathing Suit Present?
Color of Bathing Suit
Bikini or One Piece?
Body Part over Model's Breasts
Percentage of Breast Area Covered
Percentage of Nipple Visible
Percentage of Sexual Excitement Level
Is the Picture Better than a Picture of a Shirtless Man?

There were also eight pictures of women in traditional one-piece suits. 

(Checks spreadsheet) Yep, and it seems these one-piece suits only got a 46% Sexual Excitement Level for Gregg and only three of these pictures were better than a picture of a shirtless man.

Advertising was highlighted by a Las Vegas tourism foldout offering 34 women in bikinis, and a seven-page advertisement of a tiny Dodge Ram driving across the body of a gorgeous woman in a string bikini. Issue grand total: 245 cheesecake pictures.

(Checks spreadsheet)

Yes, and the average Percentage Area of Breast Covered for these 245 pictures was 57.45% and the percentage of Sexual Excitement Level over these 245 pictures was 77.12%. Not quite was good as last year's 79.32%, but not that far off either.

Over at ESPN The Magazine (Published on Earth The Planet), the annual Body Issue went for quality rather than quantity, but didn't mince around -- all subjects were naked. Make that nude, which sounds more artistic. Colin Kaepernick graced one of the covers nude, one leg strategically placed, in a pose that must have required hidden guy-wires. (Guy-wires, get it?) 

Yes Gregg, we get it. Let's talk some more about Colin Kaepernick's penis. This is a column about the NFL after all.

The Mag's Body Issue looks like what's next -- beefcake to appeal to the female audience, which increasingly commands economic power.

Women can read too now! Look for women to start making an impact on society with their newfound ability to be literate. Pretty soon, they will be voting too.

Reader Steve Sayre of Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, reports, "GMC began advertising a 'summer closeout' sale on June 19th, one day before the start of summer in the Northern Hemisphere.

These "creep" sections always annoy me. To accuse GMC of "creep" is to fundamentally misunderstand the intent of advertising. GMC wants to create urgency so that a person will come to the dealership and purchase a car. Usually purchasing a car takes longer than a day and can take up to a month if a person does enough research, so GMC understands this and decides to have a "Summer Closeout" sale before summer ends.

Five Star, which makes classroom supplies such as binders, began advertising "back-to-school savings" on July 6.

Here's a news flash: School supplies don't expire or go bad, so a parent can buy school supplies for their child early when they are cheap and won't have to worry about beating the crowd a week before school begins. Again, the intent is to create urgency and sell products. Back-to-school sales begin early so a company can tell parents that great deals are happening and create the urgency to buy the school supplies now. See, companies want to make money and by having sales prior to the day before school begins, this helps them make money. Anyone with an IQ above 35 should be able to understand this.

"Big Ten athletic directors discussed moving to a 10-game conference schedule, but it ultimately proved too difficult because many league teams need to play at least seven home games a year to meet their budgets."

Big Ten and other football-factory colleges that want gimmick schedules to ensure revenue don't need the money for players: the money goes to high living by coaches and administrators.

This is probably true, but as usual, Gregg leaves out other important information. This money also goes to support other sports at the school that aren't revenue-generating sports. Football supports other sports at schools that don't make money, so some of the revenue from these home games goes to ensure a school doesn't have to cut other sports. Again, why would Gregg point this out when he can get back on his soapbox about how college head coaches and administrators are overpaid?

In 2012, Illinois spent more on coaches' salaries than on all scholarship aid for all athletes in all sports.

Yes, coaches are paid well, but this revenue also goes to help other sports at the school survive by providing revenue to these non-revenue generating sports.

For their offseason departures, Greg Jennings took out a full-page ad in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, and Ed Reed took out a full-page ad in the Baltimore Sun, to thank local fans for cheering for them. They join Drew Bledsoe (when leaving New England), Phil Hansen (when leaving Buffalo) and other NFL stars to make this classy gesture. Why is it we don't type the terms "classy" and "NFL" in the same sentence more often?

Because writers like you are too focused on talking about how the NFL isn't being responsive enough to concussions caused by hits and other negative aspects of the NFL to focus on something players leaving a team might do as a farewell gesture.

Donnie Wahlberg, who plays an NYPD detective on the CBS police show "Blue Bloods," acquired his fourth hot-babe partner in three seasons. Wahlberg's partners have been played by actresses Jennifer Esposito, Megan Ketch, Megan Boone and Marisa Ramirez, all unusually attractive. Is this in Wahlberg's contract?

It's pretty much in the contract of any actor or actress that he/she must co-star with attractive individuals. It's television. No one wants to see Donnie Wahlberg date a woman who is ugly. This is how television works. Attractive people interact only with other attractive people.

"Blue Bloods" is the thoughtful member of the genre: Characters debate law-enforcement ethics. But as on all procedurals, incidence of gunplay is exaggerated: Wahlberg's character has shot and killed more bad guys than, most likely, all current actual NYPD detectives combined.

Gregg always talks about how television overplay how much action and gunplay is involved in a policeman's life. Television is supposed to be entertaining and no one wants to watch 42 minutes of the characters debating law-enforcement ethics, followed by these same characters then cruising around in their car stopping speeders. As soon as Gregg can understand that television is entertainment and not intended to accurately reflect real life I can't help but think he will stop bitching about television shows and their lack of realism.

In the "Blue Bloods" season finale, the mayor of New York is gunned down while touring a housing project. The impression was given that shooting at public officials is a routine event in New York City -- though William Gaynor, 103 years ago, was the sole New York mayor ever shot at.

The impression being given by the show is that one mayor got shot, not that the mayor gets shot at every time he goes to an event.

Detectives rapidly gather evidence against the gang members responsible, and find witnesses who will identify them. In the concluding scene, an NYPD army invades the housing project, snags exactly the right suspects on the first try and drags the bad guys away as law-abiding residents clap. In other words, the season finale was science fiction. Even the best detectives would need weeks to build a case against an entire gang.

Gregg Easterbrook: Attorney, sociologist, detective. There is no topic that Gregg doesn't believe himself to be an expert on.

Playing under the finale's scene depicting the NYPD as perfect guardians of justice was the Rolling Stones song usually called "Heartbreaker," though the title is "Doo Doo Doo Doo Doo." The lyrics begin with the words "The po-lice in New York City," which seems why the music was used -- but the song goes on to describe incompetent cops killing the wrong person. Didn't any of the producers listen to the lyrics?

It's like a person who would write a column called "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" and then post the column around 11:30am or noon, thereby making the column not a "morning" column, but more of a mid-day column.

They Might Have Recused Themselves: Adam Schefter reported that at an owners meeting, the vote to toss out the tuck rule was 29-1-2, with the Redskins and Patriots abstaining. Abstaining?

The Patriots abstained because the most famous implementation of the tuck rule involved a playoff game between the Raiders and the Patriots. So the Patriots felt they shouldn't vote.

The Basketball Gods Chortled: Liberty University made the March Madness men's basketball tournament while defending champion University of Kentucky did not.

This is an incredibly misleading statement that endeavors to prove something, but only goes to prove that Gregg Easterbrook still lies to deceive his audience. Liberty University won the Big South tournament, thereby getting an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Had Kentucky played in the Big South I venture to guess they would have gotten the automatic bid by winning the conference tournament. So it isn't like the selection committee chose Liberty University over Kentucky, but Liberty got an automatic bid by winning a mid-major tournament while Kentucky plays in a major conference and didn't win the SEC Tournament. Gregg is trying an apples-to-apples comparison between these two teams and that's misleading.

Note No. 2: Beginning this fall, UNC Charlotte will field a football team in Division I-AA, planning to move up to Division I in 2015. If the past is any guide, adding football to its campus will bring UNC Charlotte lots of media attention, plus cause cutbacks in the school's academic budget. Of the roughly 250 colleges and universities playing top-division football, all but 23 lost money on athletics. Sis boom bah!

And this is why schools need as many home football games as possible in order to generate income and support the other sports at the school. These home games helps to ensure the entire athletic department doesn't end up losing money. Thanks for helping to prove my point that refuted your point, Gregg.

Makeup Team?: At the red carpet at the Oscars, Charlize Theron thanked "my hair team and my makeup team." Hair team?

The Oscars took place back in late February, so six months later Gregg Easterbrook has a comment about them. Also, actors/actresses don't go to Great Clips to get their hair done. This seems so incredibly obvious, yet Gregg acts like an actress having a "team" who does her hair is a foreign notion to him.

At Least He Wasn't Promoted: After the media spotlight on the GSA scandal faded, the executive to blame, whom Barack Obama said was "fired," quietly got his job back.

If you read the very short article, which is apparently something Gregg didn't do, Obama was correct in saying the executive was fired. The board ordered the executive to be reinstated. So Obama wasn't lying, he just seems to have gotten overruled.

Dennis Erickson is now the "co-offensive coordinator" -- that's sure to work out -- at the University of Utah.

Quite a few college football programs have co-offensive coordinators and it works out well. Wisconsin had co-defensive coordinators a few years ago and I believe Texas (or was it Oklahoma?) also had co-offensive coordinators at one point.

Next Week: TMQ's AFC preview.

Again, it's not really a preview in that Gregg doesn't predict very much that will happen so that he isn't held to anything he says and can criticize others' predictions without actually making too many himself. These "previews" are usually just reviews of the previous season for each NFL team. I'm going to force myself to read it, unfortunately. 


kingharis said...

Under a deregulated free-market system, perhaps 95 percent of college football players would not attract any payments, nor have any bargaining power, since they are so easily replaced.

So false on many levels. On good teams (say Alabama) stars want to win and that requires being surrounded by other talented players, whom the team would have to pay. On very bad teams, you find players scholarships so you can field a team, which most students and alumni want. For teams in between it's a mix.

Basically all that would happen is that at top teams more money would go to the players who do the work (and tear ligaments) and less to coaches and administrators, those leeches.

Anonymous said...

"That is, Boston wanted to give more than Brooklyn wanted to receive. The Celtics' goal was to get rid of Terry's contract."

If Gregg writes these columns seriously and not ironically, it's amazing how much stuff that is blindingly obvious he finds fascinating. "The Celtics gave the Nets more than they wanted!" Well no, they wanted to dump a contract. This happens in the NBA all the time. They didn't just give the Nets a free player, they gave the Nets another contract with multiple years remaining.

"Five Star, which makes classroom supplies such as binders, began advertising "back-to-school savings" on July 6."

He apparently has no concept of the idea of "sales." In Gregg's world, school supplies shouldn't go on sale until a week before school, and not a second sooner. It doesn't occur to him that some companies might like to put these supplies on sale sooner, so as to beat the rush and attract parents who don't want to wait until the last minute.

"But as on all procedurals, incidence of gunplay is exaggerated: Wahlberg's character has shot and killed more bad guys than, most likely, all current actual NYPD detectives combined."

Good Christ, this guy's a moron. No one wants to watch a TV show depicting literal real life. Real life is literally boring 99% of the time. TV shows and movies take creative liberties in order to make their product fascinating. In Gregg's world, a cop show should just be cops doing paperwork, drinking coffee and telling the occasional pedestrian not to jaywalk.

"Dennis Erickson is now the "co-offensive coordinator" -- that's sure to work out -- at the University of Utah."

Steve Sarkisian and Lane Kiffin were co-offensive coordinators at USC, and both are currently head coaches. But I wouldn't expect someone paid to know that actually know that.

Couple other thoughts; you just know Gregg is hoping the NCAA will start paying players, just so he can complain about the method in which they do it. His next mission would be to get students of all kinds a paycheck. I also find it funny how Gregg thinks television and movies need to be SO literal, yet when he talks about 40 yard dash times he says, "why do they extend it to the hundreth of a second?" This guy is the ultimate EVERYONE IS STUPID BUT ME writer, and it's annoying as shit.

Snarf said...

Note No. 2: Beginning this fall, UNC Charlotte will field a football team in Division I-AA, planning to move up to Division I in 2015. If the past is any guide, adding football to its campus will bring UNC Charlotte lots of media attention, plus cause cutbacks in the school's academic budget. Of the roughly 250 colleges and universities playing top-division football, all but 23 lost money on athletics. Sis boom bah!

I feel like this is a somewhat misleading number that people that desire to rag on big athletics love to trumpet. What is not captured in here is how many donations (to the general fund) arise as the result of an athletics program.

Bengoodfella said...

Haris, if athletes are going to get paid then I think the free market aspect is the best way to go. I don't understand why Gregg seems to think the scholarship system will go away, unless boosters just stop giving money to the school. I'm not sure that's going to happen.

Anon, I'm pretty sure he is being serious, which is sad for him.

I don't thin Gregg, and even some of his readers who chime in, do understand the concept of sales. I thought it was a pretty basic and obvious concept. I guess not.

I thought USC had co-head coaches, but for some reason I thought it was Norm Chow was a co-OC back when he and Carroll didn't get along.

That's a really good Gregg wants shows to be very, very specific, but he thinks in other aspects too much specificity is pointless.

Gregg does think everyone but him is stupid, which is only interesting because he's not so smart in discussing the issues he thinks he is so smart about.

Snarf, I have a friend who works at UNC-C. There have been no cutbacks yet and there has been an increase in applications over the past couple of years. Plus, UNC-C is one of the few UNC system schools that don't have a football team and most of the other schools have thrived. Thirdly, there is a large base of wealthy individuals in Charlotte (among them Jerry Richardson) who really want the program to succeed. I imagine the football program will lose money, but the academic budget may not suffer as much as Gregg believes.

Slag-King said...

One of Gregg's favorite troll baits is that if the prima donnas of NFLs who get paid mucho money and perform poorly, he gladly castigates them in this TMQB; whereas, he raises someone who gets minimum salary who performs well on a Mount Olympus pedestal. He treats this the be-all end-all example of working hard without getting paid as a virtue or moralistic lesson (or something like's so hard to put into words the twisted Easterbrookian logic).

He seems to relish the fact that 95 percent of college athletes won't get paid so he can jump hard ans squash the highly paid "glory boys".

He's such a drama queen.

Bengoodfella said...

Slag, he is a drama queen. What Gregg fails to realize is that in the NFL these players who worked hard and made the minimum were the big men on campus at one point, and whether it was in high school or college, the other players around that guy were the small fish who just worked and didn't get a full ride to college. It's not like guys like Wes Welker were the crappiest players on the team throughout their lives.

Also, Gregg doesn't understand that every lowly-paid player is working hard simply to become one of those highly-paid glory boys he despises so much.

jacktotherack said...

In 2012, Illinois spent more on coaches' salaries than on all scholarship aid for all athletes in all sports.

What Gregg fails to mention is Illinois was also having to pay off the remainder of the contracts for a fired football coach and two fired basketball coaches. But fuck context, what use is that to Gregg??

Bengoodfella said...

Jack, he misled me on that one. I didn't remember Illinois was paying for Bruce Weber and Ron Zook still. See, that's how Gregg misleads his readers so you have to pay attention to nearly every little thing he writes because it could be a lie or misleading.