Gregg Easterbrook still hates numbers that are calculated to the tenth and hundredth of a unit of time. I expected we would read Gregg's yearly complaints about absurd precision earlier than May. Since Gregg really has no good ideas for his weekly TMQ, he mainly just rotates the same discussions every year in talking about concussions and how offense is taking over the sport of football until he decides in November the defenses will start catching up. He is beholden to repeating the same column ideas every year. At some points during the year there will be a column about "unwanted" and "undrafted" players, there will be a column criticizing the over-precision of numbers (rounding to the hundredth of a second is too precise for Gregg...he's the absolute worst), and in every column there is a discussion on how television shows aren't realistic. Gregg lives in this world where fictional television shows need to be realistic, tenths of a second are too precise, and every single thing that happened in the NFL over the last week is now a long-term trend until he decides it's not a long-term trend so just forget what he said earlier, okay?
So Gregg is back and he is mocking the mock drafts. Well, he's not really "mocking" them seeing as nothing Gregg writes is clever or funny. He's just sort of using the type of humor he and his other white, upper-class haughty academic friends would think is funny to discuss the NFL Draft.
Suppose you were basing your draft strategy on results of recent Super Bowls. Here's what you would want:
If you are a GM who bases your draft strategy entirely on the results of recent Super Bowls then you are also going to be more likely watching future NFL Drafts in the comfort of your own home and not in a team's strategy room.
The height of the past ten Super Bowl winning quarterbacks: 5'11, 6'0", 6'2", 6'4", 6'6", 6'4", 6'5", 6'5".
Never change your lack of research and total reliance on the immediacy of events to predict a long-term change, Gregg. It makes you as terrible as you are.
Tall defensive backs.
Lots of defensive ends.
Fine, let's talk about the last five Super Bowl champs. Here are the heights of the top-5 defensive backs on these teams and the number of defensive ends on the roster.
Seahawks: 6'3", 6'1", 6'3", 5'10", 6'0" and five defensive ends.
Ravens: 6'0", 6'1", 5"11, 6'2", 6'1" and three (and a half...Ngata/Hall moved around) defensive ends.
Giants: 6'0", 6'0", 6"0, 6'0", and 6'2" and five defensive ends.
Packers: 5'11", 5'11", 5'11", 6'1", 5'11" and three (and a half...Pickett moved around) defensive ends.
Saints: 5'11", 6'1", 5'11", 6'2", 5'11" and four defensive ends.
It depends partially on what your definition of "lots" of defensive ends would be, but I wouldn't consider any of the teams other than Seattle and the Giants to have lots of defensive ends. The Seahawks also seem to have the tallest corners of any other Super Bowl bowl-winning team in the past five years. Most of the other Super Bowl champs have corners who were between 5'11"-6'1", so yet again Gregg is taking an event that happened recently and trying to turn it into a long-term league-wide trend. He's ridiculously terrible and what he writes is often a joke.
Two of the past five Super Bowls have been won by quarterbacks who are
"too short" -- Drew Brees and Russell Wilson. Throw in Delaware alum Joe
Flacco, and three of the past five quarterbacks who stood in a confetti
shower at season's end did not meet the draftnik ideal of magnificent
physical specimen from a football-factory program.
I'm LOL'ing like fucking mad right now. Joe Flacco, the guy who is 6'6" and 245 pounds didn't meet the draftniks ideal of a magnificent physical specimen from a football-factory? Flacco IS the physical specimen that NFL teams look for in the draft and he was drafted in the first round of the 2008 draft. FIRST ROUND, that's where he was drafted. Gregg is just absolutely full of shit. It's astonishing to me that ESPN allows him to get away with writing absolute lies in his TMQ. That's what any claim Flacco doesn't fit the physical ideal NFL teams want, an absolute, 100% lie.
Also, Russell Wilson graduated from Wisconsin and Drew Brees went to Purdue. I won't argue Purdue is a football-factory, but Wisconsin puts quite a few players into the NFL. More lies and deception.
But while your quarterback can be short, your defensive backs should be
tall. Seattle's memorable defensive season was partly the work of
cornerback Richard Sherman and safety Kam Chancellor, both 6-foot-3.
Don't forget cornerback Byron Maxwell, at 6-1. Scouts used to think tall
guys can't change direction quickly enough to play the secondary.
Apparently they can.
This is the result of one team winning the Super Bowl. I'd love to hear Gregg explain how the Packers won the Super Bowl with one member of the starting secondary over 6-feet tall. I guess trends that don't go the direction Gregg wants them to get ignored by him.
Seattle's 2013 defensive performance was so spectacular -- at the Super
Bowl, the No. 1 defense blew the No. 1 offense off the field -- that TMQ
predicted an NFL revival of drafting for defense.
It will be a revival of drafting for defense and a revival of defense in the NFL until Gregg's Week 2 column about how the NFL has runaway offenses yet again and can these offenses ever be stopped? This is followed by the offenses slowing down in November and Gregg writing that he knew this would happen.
We'll see. Remember, this column's motto is "All Predictions Wrong Or Your Money Back."
What a coward. What an absolute coward. Gregg is going to be perfectly willing to talk about how right he was if there is a revival in defense in the NFL, but on the off-chance he is wrong he basically writes, "Oh, well I don't know anything anyway," like he's not supposed to be accountable for the predictions he makes that aren't correct. Why should Gregg be accountable for what he writes? It's all in good fun when Gregg is wrong, but he'll tell us how he was one of the first people to mention a defensive revival if he turns out to be correct.
Quality defensive ends are as difficult to find in the draft as quality
athletes at any other position. But if you have three defensive ends who
can bring it, field them all at once.
"If you find good football players, put them on the field!"
You learn so many things reading TMQ, even if some of these things are obvious or outright lies.
In other football news, everyone's got a mock draft: Although TMQ
annually mocks the mock drafts. Below is my 15th mock of mock drafts, as
the column's 15th season approaches.
Guaranteed to be less clever and more annoying every single year.
In the run-up to the draft, everyone is obsessing about
hundredths-of-a-second differences. See below for TMQ's annual lampoon
of absurd precision.
Oh, "everyone" is obsessed about hundredths-of-a-second differences? I didn't know "everyone" was obsessed with this, but I bet I would be more persuaded if Gregg could provide a few links showing this obsession "everyone" has. Gregg really enjoys trying to mislead his readers. He makes a statement but can't provide one link to show it's truthfulness.
1. Houston Texans: Idina Menzel, coloratura soprano.
The Texans intend to select Johnny Manziel, but accidentally write
Menzel's similar name on card.
These are the type of things Gregg believes to be hilarious and clever.
2. St. Louis Rams (from Washington): John Lofting,
inventor of draft beer. St. Louis drafts first or second for the fourth
time in eight years. If there were draft choice standings, the Rams
would be awesome.
This is another example of Gregg absolutely misleading his readers. It's another lie and shows just how little research Gregg puts into this column, even though the fact this pick is from Washington is in parenthesis. This is astounding. I'm sure Gregg will claim he is just trying to be funny, but he's not. The only reason the Rams have that pick is because that is the Redskins first round pick. The Rams are making their pick at #13.
5. Oakland Raiders: Lacy T., lead plaintiff in the Raiderettes' lawsuit against the team. As someone who has been pounding the table for years about fair pay for cheerleaders -- see a 2009 item headlined "Cheerleader Exploitation" -- Tuesday Morning Quarterback has this to say about the wave of cheerleaders' lawsuits: Go! Fight! Win!
The idea that Gregg Easterbrook is against cheerleader exploitation is hilarious. Gregg Easterbrook puts pictures of cheerleaders in his column and even has a rule that says the less clothing the cheerleaders wear the better the team they cheer for will perform. Gregg is against cheerleader exploitation, but he's perfectly fine exploiting their looks slightly in TMQ.
Fans of HIMYM raged against the series finale, but fans always dislike
finales -- "Seinfeld," "The Sopranos," etc. -- because they don't want
the show's artificial universe to vanish.
Again, this is an assumption Gregg shouldn't make. Fans love the ending of shows that end in a way they like for the show to end or makes sense. "Breaking Bad" and "The Shield" are two good examples.
TMQ viewed the HIMYM closing scene as a tragic ending. If Robin always
was The One, then she and Ted will have each other as consolation in
aging, but were denied the young lustful years that are the sweetest
part of a long-term romantic partnership.
Of course Gregg would view the story from a completely nonsensical direction. Ted and Robin did date (twice!) while they were young and lustful. So I'm not sure Gregg understands what's talking about. Most fans hated the end of the show because the entire last season was dedicated to Ted meeting the mother and then she is killed off-screen in the last 3 minutes of the finale so that Ted could be with Robin, which is the direction the writers SWORE they would not go with the story. It's a bait-and-switch. The writers made you care about the mother, created the entire last season around the very specific spot and time Ted would meet her, and then killed her off. It was annoying.
In the Cruise movie, intelligent insects invade Earth. Maybe they seek
revenge for mosquito spraying. The big-budget sci-fi flicks "Ender's
Game" and "Starship Troopers" also featured insectoid civilians bent on
destroying our planet. In both films, when Earth's counterattack reaches
the insects' home worlds, no machines or technology are found. The
intelligent spiders of "Starship Troopers" were able to teleport an
asteroid across interstellar distance, a technological feat that defies
imagination. Yet their home world had no factories, vehicles, buildings
or computers; their soldiers lacked guns.
So in a movie where intelligent giant spiders were killing humans, Gregg has a problem with the fact these spiders could teleport an asteroid and didn't have any weapons or factories? Intelligent giant spiders are okay, but Gregg draws the "this lacks realism" line at these spiders not having RPG's and their inability to build a beer factory.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: Kevin Canevari, guard, Mercer
University men's basketball. The Steelers are too reserved, too uptight.
Canevari could teach them better touchdown dances.
Canevari did a lot of dancing for a guy who played six minutes, missed his only shot of the game and let his more talented teammates do all the hard work. I guess when you average nine minutes per game as a senior you have a lot of time to work on your dancing while your teammates work hard enough to deservedly win an NCAA Tournament game.
21. Green Bay Packers: Pharrell Williams, world's coolest person. The Packers seem a little uptight, too. The world's coolest person is the solution.
I enjoy how Pharrell has been producing, singing and writing music for almost two decades, but now he's appealed to people like Gregg Easterbrook by having a cross-over hit that appeared in an animated movie.
Judged events are always subjective -- was Kim's artistic perfection or Sotnikova's athletic power more impressive? There can be no answer to that question. Sotnikova sure was ballin'.
See? When Gregg finds Pharrell Williams' music these are the type of things that happen, he uses the word "ballin'" in a sentence. Pharrell has the eye of the middle-aged white people now. Up next, a duet with Tony Bennett.
25. San Diego Chargers: Swimsuit Barbie. She'd fit
right in on the city's beaches. After swimsuit Barbie "posed" for the
annual Sports Illustrated cheesecake number, the toy company ran a
full-page ad in The New York Times declaring girls
should "celebrate who they are," which means feeling "free to launch a
career in a swimsuit, lead a company while gorgeous or wear pink to an
interview at MIT." TMQ yields to no one in his enthusiasm for attractive
women in scanty attire,
"TMQ yields to no one in his enthusiasm for attractive women in scanty attire" but of course he is outraged that NFL teams exploit cheerleaders and has them wear scanty attire in the process of exploiting them. It's so different and not at all a contradiction on Gregg's part. See, he thinks NFL cheerleaders shouldn't be exploited, but he is perfectly fine with ogling the cheerleaders while they are being exploited.
26. Cleveland Browns (from Indianapolis): Ariel,
mermaid who hoards. When the woeful Browns traded away Trent Richardson,
and traded 2013 draft picks to bank choices for this year, they seemed
engaged in NBA-style tanking. But with the 2014 draft shaping up as one
of the deepest ever, Cleveland's choice-hoarding strategy suddenly seems
a masterstroke. The Browns go twice in the first, third and fourth
rounds -- given the quality of the draft, it's a chance for a talent
It's almost like Gregg's preconceived notions don't always turn out to be true. Who could have ever thought this to occur? Bill Simmons would say, "We" were wrong about the Browns tanking. At the time of the trade I believe I told Gregg the Browns weren't tanking, but simply taking advantage of the Colts trading a 1st round pick for a running back who wasn't part of the team's long-term plans.
31. Denver Broncos: Kevin Durant, 6-9 "small" forward,
Oklahoma City. The Broncos set football's regular-season scoring record,
then were crushed in the Super Bowl. Only one of the 10 highest-scoring
NFL teams has won the Super Bowl the same season. Over in the NBA, of
the 67 regular-season individual scoring champions, only 11 went on to
win the title.
There is a big difference in a team not winning the Super Bowl as the highest scoring team in the NFL and an individual player's team not winning the NBA Title after that player led the NBA in scoring. Two totally different things. The Super Bowl/NBA Title is a team achievement, while a team leading the NFL in scoring is a team achievement, and a specific player leading the NBA is scoring is an individual achievement.
It's a bad comparison. It's like saying of the NBA players who led the league in rebounding in the last 20 years, only one of those players has been on a championship team. The outstanding ability of one player in one statistical category on an entire team shouldn't mean that team is expected to win a title due to this one outstanding ability.
Unified Field Theory of Creep: Reader Cody Herche of New York
City reports U.S. News & World Report published its 2015 ranking of
law schools on March 11, 2014.
But it's the school year that ends in 2015, so this isn't necessarily incorrect or "creep." You know what? Forget it.
"Crisis" begins by having kids from an exclusive prep school in the
nation's capital board a bus for a field trip to New York City. Soon the
bus heads down a lonely one-lane blacktop in a remote area, where
kidnappers attack. A Secret Service good guy accompanies the field trip
because the president's son is aboard the bus. The Secret Service guy
protecting the president's son never says, "Hey, why are we heading down
a lonely one-lane blacktop in a remote area instead of using I-95?"
It's a television show. It's fictional. Watching a television show expecting reality reflects more on you than the reality of the program you are watching.
In a "Blacklist" episode, a bad guy is said to be in "Dorchester,
Massachusetts," which producers seem to think is a town; it's a
neighborhood of Boston. The good guys race to their black SUV, peel out
with the Capitol in the background; make a quick turn and are on the
Williamsburg Bridge in New York City; moments later they are in Boston.
In another "Blacklist" scene, the crawl says "Fairfax, Virginia";
viewers see an abandoned warehouse in a gritty industrial district.
Fairfax, Virginia, is actually a high-income bedroom suburb.
There are NO abandoned warehouses in Fairfax, Virginia. Much like Gregg Easterbrook himself, it seems "Blacklist" plays fast and loose with facts. That's probably why Gregg is so good at recognizing when a television show is misleading viewers, because Gregg misleads and lies to his readers all the time in TMQ.
When one draft prospect is said to run a 4.58 and another a 4.59,
draftniks have something to talk about -- though only in track and
swimming might hundredths of seconds merit attention. Americans love
It's not absurd precision when a number is rounded to the nearest tenth or hundredth of a decimal. It's basic use of numbers to convey information. There's absolutely no reason to call rounding a number to the hundredth of a decimal "absurd precision."
In the latest Star Trek movie, Spock says an idea has "a 91.6 percent
chance of success," which is supposed to make him sound smart --
actually it makes him sound like a crackpot.
No, it makes him sound like the kind of person who understands the difference in a 91% and 92% chance of success.
Here are amusing examples of absurd precision since last year's pre-draft item on the topic:
New Jersey raised its capital-gains tax to 8.97 percent. It's certainly not 9 percent!
It certainly isn't, dipshit! Because if I have capital gains in the amount of $1 million then the difference in what I would be taxed at 8.97% and 9% is $300. Maybe $300 doesn't mean much to Gregg Easterbrook, but I know most people could find a use for saving $300 on a capital gains tax.
Memphis was playing George Washington in the men's basketball
tournament. Trailing by three, G.W. launched a buzzer-beater; the ball
caromed out of bounds and the horn sounded, ending the contest. Wait --
officials are huddling with the monitors. "I'm guessing they put 0.6
seconds, maybe even 0.7 seconds back on the clock," broadcaster Reggie
Miller said. Miller can sense tenths of seconds!
How infuriating. No, Reggie Miller can not sense tenths of a second. He has access to instant replay which slows down when the ball went out of bounds. Reggie Miller has eyes and the ability to use them to see when the ball went out of bounds.
Officials told the timekeeper to put 0.4 seconds back on the clock. Officials can sense fifths of seconds!
I can sense when Gregg Easterbrook is being a haughty, willfully ignorant moron. The officials, much like Reggie Miller, have access to instant replay which shows exactly when the ball went out of bounds. They are then able to use their brain (a tool Gregg doesn't use when writing TMQ) to tell the timekeeper how much time to put on the clock. The officials don't have to "sense" anything when they can just look at the replay.
Prince George's County, Maryland, a suburb of Washington, reported it
was hiring more firefighters so that "response times would improve by 12 seconds."
12 seconds is a big fucking deal when it comes to firefighters responding to the scene of a fire. I hope Gregg's house catches fire and he's trapped in there and the fire department responds 12 seconds slower than usual, just to see how that feels. All of a sudden, absurd precision isn't so silly anymore is it? I don't want Gregg to be hurt in a fire in this hypothetical situation, but in terms of a fire lasting 12 more seconds, this is a big deal. But whatever, we'll let Gregg think a fire department responding to a fire 12 seconds slower isn't a big deal.
ESPN Insider projected that the Phoenix Suns would win "17.2" games. The actual was 48 -- that's 30.8 more victories!
This number was projected after thousands of simulations, so that's why it is rounded to the tenth of a decimal. It makes sense to someone who has any type of grasp on statistics.
Exactly 101,157 signatures were required to certify a recall vote on San Diego's mayor.
This isn't absurd precision, this is the exact amount of signatures needed according to the recall process in order to get the required 15% of the registered voters in the City of San Diego. It's the number required to recall the mayor, not an absurdly precise number pulled out of thin air.
Sports Illustrated said Peyton Manning releases a pass in "2.51
seconds." During the Indianapolis-Kansas City playoff game, an NBC crawl
said Andrew Luck was averaging "2.27 seconds" per release. Pro Football
Focus said Robert Griffin III takes "2.66 seconds" to throw a pass.
In football, the difference in a defensive end getting to the quarterback three-tenths of a second late or early is the difference in a touchdown pass, an interception, or a sack. I recognize Gregg doesn't seem to understand these in-depth facts about the NFL (even though he writes a weekly column during the NFL season about the NFL), but how quickly a quarterback releases the ball can be semi-important.
A Swedish research agency advised the United States to cut its greenhouse gas emissions by "29.1 percent."
Considering the output of greenhouse gases per year is 44 billion tons, I think the difference in the United States cutting emissions by 29% rather than 29.1% is rather significant.
Next Week: TMQ's annual grade-inflation draft grades -- everybody is above average.
Just be sure to round the draft grade to the nearest whole number or else Gregg throws a hissy-fit about absurd precision. Because after all, firefighters getting to a fire 12 seconds later than they otherwise could isn't a big deal, right?