Thursday, February 6, 2014

5 comments Gregg Easterbrook Thinks NFL Teams Will Now Try to Put the Best Possible Defense on the Field, Since They Weren't Trying to Do This Already

Gregg Easterbrook again claimed last week that he chooses not to sit in the press box at football games, because he can see the action better sitting closer to the field. I'm still not sure I believe this. Gregg also allowed his readers to vote on the TMQ MVP award and it went to Richard Sherman. He also neglected to mention Peyton Manning's pocket presence and quick release is one of the reasons he wasn't sacked often this year. This week Gregg also takes back everything he has said all of this year and in years past about offense ruling in football and now wonders if defense will now become dominant. Gregg is absolutely fucking unbelievable. For 2-3 years now he has been harping about how offense is taking over football on all levels and now after a Super Bowl where a historically great defensive team beats a historically great offensive team he takes it all back. Of course, I know next season when offenses start off strong again then Gregg will write about how there are runaway offenses all through football and he will wonder if defenses will ever catch up. Then in November when defenses catch up Gregg will say he expected this to happen all along. Then if the Seahawks repeat as Super Bowl champs he will wonder if defense is dominant again. The cycle will continue after that.

Duck -- because the pendulum is swinging, from offense back toward defense.

Gregg is the worst. Just the worst. All year it's been about how offense is taking over the NFL. Now after the best defensive team in the NFL wins a Super Bowl, he announces (at least until next August) the pendulum is swinging back to offense. It's a rather quick change for a guy who has preached about offensive superiority all year. Once offenses start dominating again, Gregg will completely ignore he claimed the pendulum was swinging back to defense.

The outcome will have long-term impact across professional football, and perhaps in the college and prep ranks as well. For a decade, all attention has been on offense -- best athletes on offense, new high-tech tactics, crazy pace, pass-wacky. It has been offense, offense, offense. Even Bill Belichick, who got his start as a defensive coordinator, has converted to high-speed offense as the new gold standard.

Right Gregg, because the Seahawks won the Super Bowl all of these fast-paced offenses will just magically disappear. I'd love to hear from Gregg why this didn't happen back in the year 2000 after the Ravens won the Super Bowl. In fact, that was near the beginning of when Gregg claims these fast-paced offenses started to take over football. Amazingly, the Ravens winning a Super Bowl with defense did nothing to deter fast-paced offenses from becoming prevalent. It's funny how that works isn't it? Gregg claims an all-time great defense will change the landscape of football, even though that's been proven incorrect already. Gregg is the worst. Just horrible. Next year when scoring is up again, I hope I can remember this column. I know if scoring increases, then Gregg will immediately throw out a horseshit excuse for why he was wrong and hope his readers forget this column.

Now that's over.

HAHAHAHA! All of that stuff Gregg has been talking about pertaining to runaway offenses over the last 2-3 years, forget about it. It's all done now. Every NFL team is going to try to put together a historically great defense, since these teams weren't trying to do that already or anything, and offenses will forget how to score points because every football team from the high school level to the NFL will have a fantastic defense.

This offseason will be about NFL teams looking at their defenses -- personnel, styles of play, mindset. Head coaches will shift from focusing on offense to defense.

Tom Brady! You are fucking fired! Get out of here! Bill Belichick is going to try to put together a great defense now, you know since he wasn't trying to do that before and all. Gregg Easterbrook somehow managed to make his last column of the year the worst column of the year. Kudos, Gregg. He has managed to contradict everything he has said before about where the NFL is headed and he is making things up as usual. Brilliant, well done.

Money and draft choices will go to the defense.

I'm going to laugh my ass off when 8 of the first 10 picks in this year's NFL Draft are offensive picks. It's going to be a riot.

Crazy defensive schemes will be tossed out and replaced with traditionalism. 

Moron, the Seahawks have a historically good defense. They have a great rotation of defensive linemen, great linebackers, and an outstanding secondary. They can run a traditional defense because they have this talent. Not every team has this talent and not every team can just magically gather this type of talent. If they could, they would have done so by now.

The idea that defense not only can slow down the other team but can itself win the game -- the Seattle defense outscored the highest-scoring NFL offense ever -- will be revived.

This idea never died.

In Super Bowl matchups of No. 1 offense versus No. 1 defense, defense is 5-1. Of the 10 highest-scoring teams in NFL annals, only one, the 1999 Rams, won the Super Bowl that season.

And yet, high-scoring offenses and fast-paced offenses have been prevalent and every NFL team isn't ignoring offense and focusing mainly on defense. Weird how that works. It's almost like Gregg makes shit up and then hopes his readers forget that he lies and deceives.

Some thought the arrival of quick-snap, shotgun-spread, call-everything-at-the-line offense fundamentally had overcome the edge of pressure defense.

YOU! You and only you! I actually get bored of typing "defensive pressure is the key" because it's the fucking key. Defensive pressure is now and will always be the best way to beat a great offense. There are no exceptions. Get pressure on the quarterback. It works. Teams know this too, it's just hard to find great defensive linemen that can get pressure with four rushers.

Now we know that's not true.

Don't "we" your readers. You are the one who has said runaway offenses are taking over the NFL and never considered the idea great pressure on the quarterback is the key to beating a great offense. It's easy to have a "traditional" defense when that defense can get pressure with four pass rushers. Don't "we" everyone who reads your column. YOU were wrong about the runaway offenses (even though Gregg really wasn't, he thinks he was), not "we."

Pro, college and high school coaches will re-evaluate everything they do. Keep your head low as the pendulum swings back toward defense.

I'm going to keep my head up high so I can look for when Gregg completely ignores that he said the pendulum will swing back towards defense. The Seahawks Super Bowl victory didn't signify a dramatic change in defensive philosophy, but merely signified a dominant defense that won the Super Bowl. There is no way that coaches on all levels will re-evaluate what they do as a response. Coaches are already trying to put the best possible defense on the field, so they will continue trying to do this while still scoring as many points as possible. Let's just say I don't think scoring will decrease dramatically and Gregg is going to feel like an asshole when it doesn't. Actually, Gregg has no shame so he will feel nothing.

As the season concludes, see below for TMQ's annual State Standings.

I can't wait. We have heard Gregg claim all year that superior football resides on the West Coast while Texas is the home of football.

Stats of the Super Bowl No. 1: Teams that return an interception for a touchdown are 12-0 in the Super Bowl.

I guess the lesson to learn is that teams should try to return an interception for a touchdown. Look for a complete change in philosophy on high school, college, and the NFL level where teams will now start trying to intercept passes and take them back for a touchdown. Teams were not trying to intercept passes to return for a touchdown previous to this past Super Bowl.

Stats of the Super Bowl No. 8: Mannings have started in five of the past eight Super Bowls.

But they have only won three of those five Super Bowls. Clearly this is because of the Peyton Paradox.

The Seahawks set two men left, including undrafted Doug Baldwin, a finalist for TMQ's Non-QB/Non-RB MVP. In "combo" moves, the first guy always sets the pick and the second guy always is the target.

ALWAYS! There are no exceptions.

Defenders should know this.

Yes, defenders should know prior to the play starting it is a combo move being run. Defenders should use telepathy, like the Seahawks are able to use. This will represent a change in philosophy for football teams on all levels. They will start to use telepathy to guess the play being run.

The victors would end the night with four offensive downs longer than any gain recorded by Denver's offense -- plays of 37, 30, 24 and 23 yards. These gains mattered almost as much as the defensive stops.

This is great TMQ analysis. These gains of 20+ yards mattered in this game almost as much as the defensive stops. You wouldn't think four gains for a total of 114 yards would matter, but they did, and these are all obviously hidden plays as well.

So it's Bluish Men Group by 5-0. No problem for the highest scoring team in NFL annals. Denver took possession, advanced to fourth-and-2 on its 43 -- and punted. What good is the highest-scoring offense in NFL history if the Broncos are afraid to try on fourth-and-short from midfield?

Highlight reels will show Seattle's touchdowns on interception and kickoff returns -- but to TMQ, this was the pivotal moment of the contest. Facing the league's best defense, Denver needed to set an aggressive tone. Instead the Broncos set a passive, retreating tone.

Well, of course. The Seahawks clearly scored 43 points because the Broncos punted in this situation and the Broncos only scored 8 points over the rest of the game because the tone of the game was passive. If the Broncos had gone for it in this situation, even if they had not converted, then they would have won the Super Bowl. Gregg wrote "Game Over" in his notebook when the Broncos punted here.

Chancellor drops back into a high Cover 1 position, as if he were the free safety. Six men rush, Manning is hit as he releases, and the pass goes directly to Chancellor for Denver's first of many turnovers. The play caused an electric reaction in the stands, people seeming to think. "Peyton is going to self-destruct again!"

Or they were excited because an interception had occurred. You know, either way. Oh yeah, I'm probably wrong because Gregg can read minds. It also so happens that Gregg's ability to read minds coincides with the mind being read having a thought that supports Gregg's point of view.

Though it is hard to argue with the Super Bowl MVP going to a linebacker rather than a quarterback or running back -- Seattle's Malcolm Smith, 10 tackles and a pick-six, hoisted the award -- Chancellor got TMQ's MVP vote. His early interception, his pick, nine tackles, two passes defensed, including a jarring legal hit that caused Wes Welker to drop what would have been an important completion, and a bone-jarring early tackle on Demaryius Thomas, set Seattle's physical tone.

When Gregg says "His early interception, his pick..." so does Gregg mean the pick Chancellor had in his hair set Seattle's physical tone? Was it a very intimidating pick in his hair? I wonder, because if not, then Gregg listed Chancellor's interception twice when lauding his accomplishments during the Super Bowl...then began to talk about all of the items the "New York Times" got wrong in the past six months, which seems ironic to me.

New York Times Corrections on Fast-Forward: From the past six months of the corrections page in the Paper of Record:

If there was a list of Gregg's mistakes over the past six months I bet it would surpass the mistakes from the "New York Times." At least the "New York Times" acknowledges their mistakes, which Gregg won't often do.

Acknowledged that certain "stellar events" must have occurred far more than 4.5 billion years ago, the dating given in an article. The Times huffed, "A reader pointed out the error in an email two months ago; this correction was further delayed for research." Research into events before the formation of the Earth?

No idiot, research into whether the reader who pointed out the error was correct or if the original article was correct.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback's annual State Standings are based on the states in which teams actually play: Maryland teams are the Ravens and R*dsk*ns, and so on. State news: it has now been 18 years since teams from California or Texas, the centers of football culture, won a Super Bowl.

Oh my, it's almost like naming two certain cities the center of football culture and believing this to mean that professional football teams from those states will win more Super Bowls than teams from other states is a fallacy. This couldn't be true though, could it?

Washington state: 16-3
Colorado: 15-4
Massachusetts: 13-5
North Carolina: 12-5
Indiana, Louisiana: 12-6
Arizona: 10-6

So basically this is the record of the Seahawks, Broncos, Patriots, Panthers, Colts, Saints, and Cardinals. The whole State Standings thing is a bit silly overall. Also, when Gregg writes "R*dsk*ns we know he is writing Redskins, so it ruins the point of not writing the word.

TMQ continues to think that getting a college diploma is a better reward for football than any amount of pay players might receive;

Try telling this to college athletes who grew up in poverty and couldn't have afforded college without a scholarship. Yet again, Gregg reveals his upper-middle class, white upbringing and lifestyle by thinking a college diploma is a better reward than any amount of pay the players might receive. That diploma isn't going to buy lunch at McDonald's or put gas in a football player's car while he is in school. Not every college athlete has mommy and daddy sending him money every month to finance his college lifestyle.

More good sports-and-academics news: the son of former Cowboys star Larry Allen turned down FBS offers to pick Harvard. Most high school athletes, even those who do well in the classroom, won't have a Harvard option. But they could prioritize recruiting offers by graduation rates. Suppose a potential FBS player has offers from, say, USC and Wisconsin. USC is dismal at 53 percent graduation, Wisconsin is strong at 72 percent. The smart recruit factors likelihood of a diploma into his choice.

If this potential FBS player is highly recruited and highly ranked then the smart recruit would choose the college football team that will allow him to start the soonest and plays a style that takes advantage of his strengths. That's assuming this FBS player wants to make it into the NFL. A recruit who is a wide receiver and wants to catch 10 passes per game would probably choose USC over Wisconsin since the Badgers are better known for running the football. But Gregg's naivety and simplistic approach is very endearing.

And also, a smart recruit also knows that HE controls whether he graduates from college or not. Whether he graduates has nothing to do with whether he chooses USC or Wisconsin, but whether he puts in the effort and work to graduate from college. It just seems that USC recruits high school athletes who don't graduate as often as Wisconsin athletes do, but this is a decision by the student-athlete not to graduate, not necessarily the school.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback noted last week, "The Broncos must throw deep, even if that means Peyton Manning holding the ball for more than 2.36748790345 seconds or whatever his average is supposed to be. The drip-drip-drip short passing Denver has lived on this season will be difficult against Seattle's in-your-face press coverage. Nobody covers short better than the Seahawks. Short and sideways is not the formula for defeating Seattle."

And I wrote:

Of course if it is cold out or somewhat windy then it may be hard for Manning to throw deep, plus the Seahawks corners are tall and by playing press coverage they make it difficult for receivers to get a clean release which would make the Broncos successful deep passing game difficult to achieve. 

What I left out is that the Seahawks could have a great pass rush which would make Manning holding onto the football longer a recipe for disaster. If I had added that, then I would have been correct. Throwing deep is a great idea, but Manning doesn't have the arm strength to throw deep consistently and he didn't have time in the first half to throw deep. The Seahawks pass rush was getting to him quickly.

Yet in the first half, the Broncos threw short almost exclusively, as if they either hadn't looked at the the Broncos' defense or were so overconfident they believed all they had to was snap fast and victory would follow. Denver didn't try to move the ball down the field until the contest was out of hand -- the Broncs' longest first-half gain was 19 yards.

Since Gregg is big on analysis, I wonder why he leaves out that the Broncos didn't have time to run deep routes? Probably because if he acknowledged the Broncos didn't have time to run deep routes it wouldn't make him feel like he got what the Broncos game plan should have been completely correct.

Though Denver was held to a miserable 27 yards rushing, Broncos coaches never adjusted and called traps between the tackles. Everything went sideways. This played into the hands of Seattle's speed-based defense. The football saying is, "Run toward speed and away from strength." Instead of rushing straight ahead -- toward speed -- Denver tried to run sideways, away from speed.

I remember the Broncos running up the middle quite a few times. Of course it doesn't make sense to run the ball a lot when you are down 22-0 and Peyton Manning is your quarterback.

Then Seattle leading 22-0, Denver going on fourth-and-2 from the Seahawks' 19, the Broncos had Thomas and Wes Welker left. Welker beat his man and was open in the end zone; Manning looked that way, then threw incomplete to Thomas. A touchdown would have pulled Denver to within two scores at the half, changing the game's psychology.

Oh, so now the Broncos punting on fourth down early in the first quarter didn't end up setting a passive tone, as Gregg claimed earlier in this TMQ? Well if punting early in the game did set a passive tone, then that tone could have been offset by a touchdown pass thrown in this situation. So the passive tone set in the first quarter didn't really play a part (as admitted by Gregg) in the Broncos loss did it? It was a series of problems that caused the Broncos to lose the game. Also, the psychology of the game could have changed with a touchdown here, but I don't think it means the Broncos would have scored the 29 additional points they needed to win the football game. But good try to make shit up. I'm sure someone fell for it.

Obviously, Seattle's performance was magnificent. Early, the Seahawks showed a conventional Cover 2, the defense that Manning sees most often. Then they began switching to unorthodox coverages, and Manning never caught on.

Gregg Easterbrook from earlier in this column:

Crazy defensive schemes will be tossed out and replaced with traditionalism.

Seattle proved a hard-hitting but very traditional defense -- conventional fronts, few blitzes, tight coverage and nasty disposition -- could roll over the highest-scoring offense in professional football history.

I'm guessing that Gregg doesn't consider unorthodox coverages to be a non-traditional type of defense? Either that or Gregg simply forgot what he had written earlier in the column.

For much of the contest, Richard Sherman was defending Eric Decker one-on-one, as if it were a basketball game. Seattle seemed to decide to take Decker out of the game, which it did. The Seahawks knew this would open up opportunities for Demaryius Thomas, who made 13 receptions. But Seattle also knew the rap on Thomas is that he's mistake-prone.

Gregg is literally writing fiction right now. He's writing complete lies. Thomas has eight fumbles in his four year NFL career, including two fumbles this season. Eric Decker has six fumbles in his four year NFL career, including two fumbles this season. Wes Welker has 25 fumbles in his 10 year career, including one fumble this season. Demaryius Thomas was not only the Broncos best receiver this season but he didn't fumble any more than Eric Decker fumbled and two fumbles on the season isn't being "mistake-prone."

Causing Denver to throw to Thomas worked beautifully -- he lost a fumble, and twice pulled up and quit running when he might have caught slightly overthrown deep balls.

Thomas fumbled in the Super Bowl, this doesn't make him mistake-prone. As far as him not running hard or quitting on a ball thrown, I'm not sure I saw that. Of course I didn't have the view that Gregg had sitting in the lower level of the stands and only watched the game on television where I could seem multiple replays.

Seattle got terrific pressure on Manning using a conventional four-man rush. Bear in mind, this is how the Giants twice defeated the high-scoring Patriots in the Super Bowl -- not funky blitzes, conventional four-man rush combined with tight coverage so the ball doesn't come out fast, allowing the rush time.

No Gregg, you keep it in mind. Most knowledgeable NFL fans know how the Giants beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl and know a strong front four is how you beat a great offensive team.

Manning seemed so sure he would not be hit in the pocket that on those interceptions, he heave-hoed when he would have been much better off just taking the sack.

I would agree that Manning was better off not throwing the interceptions, but remember he is coming off multiple neck surgeries and is 37 years old. Taking a sack means Manning may not be getting up feeling 100% or could cause him to get injured. Manning stood in the pocket and threw the football several times during the game, but he's old and just can't take a beating anymore.

Denver has downplayed kick defense all season, having some of the league's worst stats. The Broncos' attitude seemed to be -- We score so much, who cares?

I'm sure that's the exact attitude of the Broncos. Fuck special teams, who cares?

Not only did this attitude lead to a Seattle kickoff return for a touchdown, three times the Seahawks stopped a returned kickoff inside the Denver 20, meaning the Broncos would have been better off with a touchback. This was an impressive demonstration of what disciplined kick defense can accomplish.

While I recognize the Broncos were bad on special teams, they did have Trindon Holliday as their kick returner and he is one of the better kick returners in the NFL.

TMQ warned early this season of the Peyton Paradox, then throughout the season had warned that high-scoring teams -- the 1990 Bills, 2007 Patriots, 2010 Oregon Ducks, 2011 Patriots and 2012 Ducks and Baylor Bears -- tend to peter out at the last.

The Peyton Paradox is real, people. The paradox is that Peyton Manning's teams are cursed to be Super Bowl contenders every year, but they don't manage to win the Super Bowl every year.

Obviously, the pattern repeated. I note all my warnings not so much to pat myself on the back (OK, a factor) but to show that Denver should have had plenty of notice about this common football phenomenon. Instead, the Broncos seemed shocked and unprepared when they didn't fly down the field.

Well, what the fuck should the Broncos have done? Decided to score fewer points? Played at a slower pace so they score fewer points? Somehow manage to make their defense much, much better halfway through the season through the use of traditional defensive techniques? It's fine to brag about being right (though notice Gregg won't mention when he was know, like his opinion of the read-option), but what sort of correction should the Broncos have made to ensure they don't score as many points and how would they have improved their middling defense halfway through the season? If you are going to brag about the Broncos being "unprepared" then tell us all how they should have been prepared better.

Plus for a college bowl or the Super Bowl, there's extra time to break down film of the offense's tendencies and know what's coming, as Seattle often seemed to.

Other NFL teams are going to start watching film of the opposing offense's tendencies, since they don't do that already. This is going to be a complete change on all levels of football.

As the pendulum swings back toward defenses,

It's not.

offensive coaches need to bear in mind that the scoreboard tends to spin early in the season

But I thought the pendulum was swinging back towards defenses?

but not late.

So stop scoring so many points late in the season? Is that the solution?

Verbal tics such as saying "you know" may be human nature. The one that drives TMQ to distraction is "frankly." This verbal tic is either void of meaning -- many United States senators would order lunch by saying, "Frankly, I'll have the turkey club" -- or communicates that most of the time the speaker in lying, but just this once has decided to tell the truth. 

That "frankly" means "most of the time I am lying" is disturbing when one considers how often politicians employ this interjection.

Mostly the word is verbal foam, unless the speaker actually means to admit that he or she usually lies.

The word "frankly" can also mean the speaker is speaking in a frank manner. Being "frank" can also mean unmistakably evident. So "frankly" doesn't mean the speaker otherwise lies, but could serve to tell the listener/reader that the speaker/writer is being direct and unmistakably evident with what he is about to say. So "frankly" doesn't necessarily mean "most of the time I am lying," but can mean "I'm not mincing words." It is possible to look these type of things up before writing TMQ. Fuck accuracy and being frank with your readers. Who cares?

The word "frankly" is used in a weird context sometimes, such as when ordering a sandwich, but Gregg's interpretation of the meaning isn't entirely accurate.

From earlier in the column: 

The two great highbrow publications of New York City, the New York Times and the New Yorker, seemed strangely uninterested in the Super Bowl in their midst.

Having the Super Bowl come to your city seems big, so why did the New York Times and New Yorker not respond with enterprise reporting?

From later in the column:

Many Super Bowl guests, including your columnist, stayed in the days before the game in Manhattan, where New Yorkers were blasé: "Super Bowl, that's all it is?"

Gee Gregg, maybe that's why New York papers were uninterested about the Super Bowl, because they knew those who read the paper were blase about it. I doubt it though, because that would make too much sense.

My initial read was Denver's night because the Broncos cheer-babes showed great professionalism, starting the game with bare midriffs and plunging necklines, while the Seattle cheerleaders wore track suits.

And remember, Gregg got done telling us in last week's TMQ that he thinks the NFL objectifies and takes advantage of these cheerleaders. So back to Gregg ogling the cheerleaders and thinking it gives one team an advantage if that team's cheerleaders wear less clothing...or as Gregg calls it "showing great professionalism."

Returning to the hotel, I clicked on ESPN coverage -- and the first thing I beheld was a Peyton Manning endorsement commercial. Manning is accessible to the media, and of course does endless endorsements. How much time in the week before the Super Bowl was he doing interviews rather than watching film of the Hawks?

The commercial that Manning filmed was probably filmed prior to Super Bowl week, you know, around the same time he was setting NFL records for passing yards, points and touchdowns in a season. If Gregg is accusing Peyton Manning of not watching enough Seahawks film prior to the Super Bowl then I would imagine he is dead wrong. Manning is well-known for studying film of the opposing team and trying to find weaknesses in the defense. In fact, part of the reason Manning is able to offset his average arm strength and physical abilities is that he has such a great knowledge of his offense and the opposing team's defense. NFL players are required to fulfill certain interview obligations on Super Bowl week, but I doubt Manning was shooting a commercial. Even if he was, I feel confident saying he wouldn't let it interfere with preparations for the game.

I couldn't help thinking if Manning didn't grant so many interviews and make so many commercials, there would not be a debate about his legacy, since he would not have flamed out so often in big games.

There is a correlation between athletes flaming out in big games and doing a lot of endorsements. That's one of the reasons Michael Jordan never won an NBA title, because he was too busy shooting Nike commercials with Spike Lee.

His fellow Broncos must be pleased to have made the Super Bowl, whatever the result. One can't help but wonder how they feel about being extras in the endless video clip that is Manning's life.

Considering Manning's playing ability makes every offensive player around him and his offensive coaches look good, then I don't doubt they have no issue with it.

As a loyal son of Buffalo, N.Y., your columnist has been stumping for years for the notion that Andre Reed belongs in the Hall of Fame: "He came from a small-college program, Kutztown University, and when he retired he had the third-most receptions, trailing only Jerry Rice and Cris Carter. Reed's accomplishments were compiled despite playing for a cold-weather, rush-oriented team while Rice played for a warm-weather passing team and Carter played most of his career indoors." But Reed also threw his helmet in the Super Bowl, and it doesn't matter that defensive pass interference should have been called on the play. That knuckle-headed moment cost him eight years of nail-biting waiting as a passed-over finalist -- sort of Canton purgatory.

I really doubt Andre Reed was denied entry into the Hall of Fame because he threw his helmet in a Super Bowl game. Hall of Fame voters haven't denied entry to guys like Lawrence Taylor so I doubt Reed throwing a helmet in a Super Bowl is why he wasn't elected into the Hall of Fame prior to this year. The Pro Football Hall of Fame has a somewhat odd induction process that only allows a few players in per year, which leads to a backlog of qualified candidates. I think that's a more accurate explanation as to why Reed wasn't elected into the Pro Football Hall of Fame prior to this year.

Last week in New York for that Super Bowl thing you might have heard about, I lunched with my literary agent. I feared he would tell me the book market was in such a swoon that I should change careers. Actually he said my chances of another book advance this year were strong, which was music to my ears.

That's great, Gregg! We are all pleased to hear that you will soon be making more money. Hopefully you will write your book on a subject that you don't sound like a complete dipshit discussing. I'm not confident of this.

In theory, authors should be OK, though the situation has far from shaken out. Write a book that sells 55,000 copies (my best result, for "The Progress Paradox," published 2003) and the royalty would be about $2 per hardback and $1 per paperback. Electronic books sell for half the price of printed books, thus half the royalty, and all the price pressure is downward. Suppose electronic formats enable authors to sell far more copies, with lower royalties per sale. There's no reason an author could not have about the same income, but with a far larger readership while offering better deals to readers.

That's even better, Gregg! Your readers care about you personally and want you to make as much money as possible. When you do make a lot of money selling a book, please tell me how much you made. Because, truly, I give a shit.

When a book is printed the author must always live with any factual errors or dumb sentences -- trust me, I have plenty of experience -- but no government agency or corporation can make anything controversial in the book disappear. Electronic books are easily changed, and this can be done remotely.

You know, sort of what is done in Gregg's TMQ every week. A mistake is made and then immediately covered up never to be mentioned again. Gregg is afraid he won't be able to point out the mistakes of other authors, but has no problem covering up mistakes made in TMQ.

But the far larger concern is censorship. Books contain information the White House or some big company doesn't want the public to know. What if those passages mysteriously disappear?

The author of those passages would know that the information has disappeared, and unless the United States turns into a total police state and the author is detained and prevented from speaking, could alert the public that his book was altered and describe exactly what was altered.

If you have an electronic book that might be altered remotely, the only way to be sure would be to print it out and keep the printed copy. Which may be the best case for the future of printed books.

I understand where Gregg's concerns lie, but the author and anyone else who read the book prior to it being altered would know something was left out of the book eventually. So some passages could mysteriously disappear and it may take time before someone figures it out, but I doubt any excised passages would stay hidden from the public's knowledge permanently.

Hidden Play of the Super Bowl: Hidden plays are ones that never make highlight reels, but help win championships. Denver threw a quick sideways screen to the tailback -- and the play was run down in the flat for a gain of only 1 yard by Seattle defensive tackle Michael Bennett. When a defensive tackle is catching a tailback in the flat, your defense has speed and your mind is in the game.

Apparently this play was so well hidden that Gregg doesn't know Michael Bennett is a defensive end, not a defensive tackle. But facts are just small details that should be ignored to prove a larger point.

"The Public School Advantage" by Sarah Lubienski. Poor public schools are a problem in many places. But the good public schools, this book contends, do a better job than any private school at any price. Lubienski thrusts up a mountain of data to show that a good public school is the ideal choice for most young people: both in educational quality and in exposing students to the cross-section of society missing from the snobby prep schools.

So a person wrote an entire book telling the public that a good public school is the ideal choice for most young people? I mean, I don't know, this seems sort of obvious. A free public school that can provide a good education obviously seems like the best choice for most young people. It doesn't mean some people shouldn't choose to attend a private school, just in the same way a Toyota Camry could be just as reliable as a BMW, but a person could still choose to purchase a BMW. I'm interested in reading a book that tells us how we can make more public schools be good public schools, rather than a book that seems to state the obvious, that a good public school is the best option for most young people.

I've done a fair amount of radio in conjunction with the release of "The King of Sports," and now finally pay attention to Twitter. Something I've heard more than once this season is that the column has never been better -- people do actually say that! -- but that my enthusiasm for football seems to be declining.

I think what they mean to tell you is "The column has never been better than any other football column posted on the Internet."

Here's the deal. Football as a sport engages me as much as it ever did, more perhaps, as with each year my understanding improves of both tactics and the culture of the game.


Does your understanding improve though? You still think a defensive end is a defensive tackle, still think cornerbacks cover a single man as opposed to cover a zone, and still can't understand that a team's offensive line getting a push is much more important than "doing a little dance" as it pertains to getting a first down on short yardage. You can improve your knowledge and still lack a lot of knowledge.

Single Worst Play of the Season -- Final Edition: The Broncs moved quickly from their 23 to first down at the Bluish Men Group 38. The most important Seattle defensive series of the night then occurred, though without any flashy play -- incompletion, incompletion, loss of a yard. Now it's fourth-and-11 on the Seattle 39, and in trots the punting unit.

Not only was Denver punting when down by 29 points in the second half of the Super Bowl, not only was the No. 1 offense in pro football history punting when down by 29 points in the Super Bowl, a team trailing by 29 points in the second half of the Super Bowl was punting in opposition territory.

This shouldn't shock anyone who has watched John Fox coach. He's very, very conservative. Sure, the Broncos may not have gotten four more possessions in the game, what happens if the Broncos don't convert this first down? They could lose the game, you know.

I'm not all about going for it on fourth down, but in a situation where a team may not get enough possessions to tie the game up, and they are down 29-0 in the Super Bowl? Yes, you go for it in that situation. This is one of the most frustrating parts of John Fox's tenure in Carolina. His ultra-conservative nature...well, that and third-and-long draw plays.

Peyton Manning trotted off with his head hanging, not protesting the decision. There is no way on God's green Earth that Tom Brady, Drew Brees or Brett Favre would have trotted off passively in that situation. They would have gone to their coaches agitated, demanding a try.

Acting like a child and throwing a temper tantrum isn't going to serve to make John Fox change his mind. It will only serve to show the opposition how frustrated you are. We all know if Peyton Manning had trotted off the field and berated Fox for punting here, then Gregg would have said that the Seahawks knew they had won the game at this point because Peyton Manning (who never loses his cool) had lost his cool. Acting like a baby and throwing a tantrum isn't leadership and I'm sure Gregg would have found a way to twist it if Manning had gotten agitated.

As the punt boomed, your columnist thought, "This is the single worst play in all of football history." And yea, verily, you don't need to know anything about the remainder of the game.

You don't need to know anything else about the remainder of the game mostly because it was 29-0 in the third quarter.

Next Week: The stadium lights are turned off, the film rooms are dark and the cheerleaders put their miniskirts away in very small drawers. Tuesday Morning Quarterback will return weekly in August.

We are without TMQ until the time of the NFL Draft, yet somehow I will get by reading columns about the NFL from sportswriters who actually seem to understand the game and don't make shit up on a whim. Remember though, come Fall the focus in football on all levels will be defense and teams will no longer score a lot of points with the fast-paced offenses becoming a thing of the past.

Notice how Gregg doesn't do his "Wrong Predictions" and "All-Unwanted or Undrafted Team" column anymore. I wonder if it is because he realizes they are stupid columns full of hypocrisy and contradictions on his part or he just couldn't find enough unwanted and undrafted players to field a team?


Ericb said...

"How much time in the week before the Super Bowl was he doing interviews rather than watching film of the Hawks?"

Bruce Arians sent the Broncos all his notes and scouting reports on the Seahawks (whom he beat in Seattle). I'd imagine that Manning spend the weeks studying those.

Snarf said...

I think Drew Magary over at Deadspin may have just come up with one of the most apt descriptions for TMQ's seeming repetition to date:

"Please note that Gregggg quotes himself no less than six times during this week's column. In fact, every TMQ column is cumulative. The reason it's 10,000 words long is because he added three words to the 9,995 words he wrote last week and re-posted it. The headline of TMQ should always have (UPDATED) at the end of it."

Anonymous said...

"State news: it has now been 18 years since teams from California or Texas, the centers of football culture, won a Super Bowl."

I missed the part where the NFL held territorial drafts where the Raiders, 49ers and Chargers draft California kids and the Cowboys and Texans get Texas kids. It's almost like the state you play in means jack shit in the NFL. It's not college recruiting, dipshit.

I actually enjoy that he calls them the R*dsk*ns, because a quick glance at it makes it look like he's typing Dickskins, which is even funnier to my juvenile mind.

Gregg must be insufferable to be around in real life. Everything he writes is a huge jump to conclusion. Seahawks win the Super Bowl...DEFENSE RULES ALL OF FOOTBALL. Broncos punt down 29-0...THIS IS THE WORST PLAY IN THE HISTORY OF THE WORLD. Nothing could just be, the Seahawks have a really good defense. No, they've changed football forever.

Does he act this way in real life? If his kid gets a D in school, does he immediately empty the college fund and hand his kid a mop to be a janitor for the rest of his life? If his wife cooks a poor meal, does he throw away all of their food and cooking supplies and have them eat out forever? Nothing he writes is level-headed, it's either the best or worst ever, no in-between. Insufferable.

I would pay Gregg a million dollars if he could tell me where Michael Bennett went to college without looking it up. Keep in mind, I don't get paid to know this like Gregg presumably does.

Slag-King said...

How many times did Gregg write "Game over" in his notebook this game? I think I lost count.

Bengoodfella said...

Eric, I didn't know that. Bruce Arians probably should have given Manning better notes. They did not work.

Snarf, that's about right. He also pimped his book yet again in TMQ. It's like a long advertisement for himself.

Anon, you missed the territorial draft? It was never and the first draft pick was no one. I greatly dislike those State Rankings.

I always think he is writing Dickskins too. I thought I might have just been me.

Football is different today. Don't doubt it. Defense always rules and the offenses will never catch least until August.

I'm guessing he is that way in real life and I don't doubt he is insufferable. There's no way he knows where Michael Bennett went. I am guessing Texas A&M like his brother. I know the RB Michael Bennett went to Wisconsin, does that count?

Slag, I'm guessing he wrote it 5 times.