Thursday, October 30, 2014

9 comments Gregg Easterbrook Outright Lies In TMQ About Something Rex Ryan Said

Gregg Easterbrook pointed out all of the teams that weren't going to make the playoffs after Week 7 in last week's TMQ. He also indicated that a team with a 7% chance of making the playoffs should be worried, while a team with a 6% chance of making the playoffs probably should be excited about their chances. This stuff never ends with Gregg. Let's see how he will ignore that the Cardinals and the Redskins won games this weekend through blitzing the opposing team. Spoiler alert: He sort of ignores it, but simply dismisses blitzing is a defensive tactic that can win football games. In the face of evidence that disproves your hypothesis, ignore such evidence. That's not Gregg's mantra, but probably should be. This week, Gregg still harps on academics being factored into the college football playoff and does all the same annoying shit with second-guessing teams and leaving out information that he does every week in TMQ. I would say there is about 35% more lying and misleading this week.

Today, the new College Football Playoff selection committee releases its first rankings, a hint at the four power schools that will square off in the inaugural football factory elimination tourney. Records, schedule strength, quality of victory and even quality of defeat will be debated.

What if graduation rates were considered, too?

Then it would be stupid because the College Football Playoff (am I supposed to capitalize it?) only deals with how teams perform on the field and not in the classroom. What if schools ranked academically by "US World Report" and other publications ranked the school based on their academic criteria, but also how good that school is at football? Would that make sense?

In August, ESPN introduced ESPN Grade, a new way to think about college football rankings. 

"A new way" meaning "A stupid way" of thinking about college football rankings because it only factors in the schools in the Top 25 and weighs football results more than it weighs academic results. If ESPN Grade were a true blend of academics and football then it would have a 50-50 mix of academics and football. But of course, it doesn't. Therefore, uselessness is the result.

Here's what would happen if ESPN Grade were applied to the CFP: Right now, the top four seeds, in order, would be Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn.

So the SEC would have three teams along with an independent school. I can't imagine how this would be a problem. Plus, this ESPN Grade result would result in a four team playoff that has teams who are ranked 1, 4, 11, and 14 in academics among the Top 25 teams. I think that alone shows the uselessness of ESPN Grade. What about the two teams who are 11th and 14th in academics? ESPN Grade claims to reward schools with great academics, except it doesn't. Like the good ESPN boy that Gregg is, he will continue to force ESPN Grade down the throats of his readers.

The CFP's initial No. 1 seems likely to be Mississippi State, which is first in the major, victories-only polls. Factoring in the classroom causes Mississippi State to plummet, given that its football graduation rate is an unimpressive 59 percent, 21st among the Top 25 colleges. Florida State plummets, too, with an embarrassing 58 percent football graduation rate, which is 23rd of 25. Ole Miss plummets as well, with a 55 percent football graduation rate, 24th of 25.

As much as I love academics, it still makes no sense to base a football poll on a team's graduation rate. In Fairy Tale Land, where Gregg thinks college football is played, it makes sense, but not in the real world. Plus, ESPN Grade leaves out the academic standing of every team not in the Top 25. So ESPN Grade doesn't even measure the majority of Division-I football teams' success in the classroom and on the field as a comparison to Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia and Auburn.

Suppose Mississippi State or Florida State go on to win the first big playoff title. A champion that graduates barely more than half its football players would be terrible for the sport, to say nothing of the young men not receiving degrees.

I guess if you as a sports fan are under the impression that the best college football team should also be the best college football team who is also the best at academics, it would be terrible for the sport. Otherwise, nope, Florida State won last year and college football still manages to survive. Go figure. It's almost like most sports fans realize the college football playoff (or BCS at the time) isn't intended to measure a team's ability in the classroom, as well as that team's ability on the field.

In contrast, an inaugural CFP championship by Notre Dame, Alabama, Georgia or Auburn would reflect well on collegiate athletics, as these schools combine success on game day with success on commencement day.

Because a college that is 14th among 25 teams in academics would be a great source of pride for the NCAA. This team has a graduation rate that is in the middle of a 25 team subset! What an accomplishment. 

But the core purpose of college is education. Providing sports entertainment, a secondary mission, gains legitimacy only through results on commencement day. Unless you'd prefer the big conferences become semipro leagues that have nothing to do with universities -- with the lore and excitement of college traditions instantly lost -- you need to care about graduation rates.

Umm...Gregg, the big conferences ARE semipro leagues that have very little to do with the universities, while the lore and excitement of college traditions have not been lost. So, that's a pretty fucking weak argument you are furthering.

All universities say they educate their athletes. The ones that do a better job should be rewarded in the rankings.

Yes, in Fairy Tale Land they should. In the real world, where the intent is to win football games and bring in revenue to the school, the job is to win football games and make sure the students stay eligible to play sports. It's a sad world, I know.

On a related point, the University of North Carolina scandal just keeps getting worse. According to a new report, for 18 years, the Chapel Hill school offered "paper" courses that handed out an average 3.62 GPA (that means the average grade was an A) to about 3,100 students, about half of whom were NCAA athletes.

This past winter, when CNN reported a University of North Carolina instructor warned about continuing extremely poor academics in Chapel Hill sports, new chancellor Carol Folt, says they could not verify the information.

Yes, that is what she said, but Gregg is leaving out the second part of that. Carol Folt said (and you can read what she said in the link Gregg provides and didn't apparently read):

In an open letter emailed to university students, faculty and employees Thursday, chancellor Carol Folt said she takes Willingham's allegations "very seriously." But the chancellor said the school has been "unable to reconcile these claims with either our own facts or with the data currently being cited as the source for the claims."

I'm not in the business of defending UNC for a variety of reasons, but Carol Folt was simply indicating they couldn't verify the information because they questioned the source and how the information Willingham provided matched the facts she (Folt) had. It's not that she was too stupid to verify the information, it was just a matter of this information not reconciling with other information she had.

The new scandal is not about athletic eligibility -- it runs much deeper than that, going to paper courses and fake grades for a broad range of students. The University of North Carolina has in recent years attempted to portray itself as among the "public Ivies." The latest report calls into question whether the University of North Carolina should even retain its accreditation. Thousands of students in fake classes would embarrass even a sleazy online school.

I don't know, I've seen some sleazy online schools that do shady crap than this.

People at the top of institutions often justify their high pay and perks -- Folt earns a taxpayer-subsidized $520,000 a year -- by saying the buck stops with them. Then, when something goes wrong, they claim they were not responsible and should not face accountability. There will be no consequences?

To be fair, Folt was in her first academic year replacing Holden Thorp as president of UNC-CH. So it's not like there wasn't accountability, because Thorp left due to the fallout from these academic issues. Gregg tries to muddy the water a little bit in an effort to make it look like there was not accountability, when there may not be accountability throughout upper management, but UNC already had a president leave due to these academic allegations. So there was accountability and Folt's time to be accountable has started.

Looks like character education is not on the curriculum at Chapel Hill.

Zing! Good one Gregg!

In other sports news, the NBA tips off Tuesday night. Tuesday Morning Quarterback believes basketball is 1 percent as interesting as football, so I annually devote 1 percent of my column inches to the hoops sport. See some NBA comments below.

Despite the fact Gregg thinks the NBA is 1% as interesting as football, he still thinks he has 100% knowledge about the NBA and doesn't hold back criticism of the NBA as if he holds an in-depth knowledge of the sport of basketball. Fake it so others don't know you aren't that smart. 

Stats Of The Week No. 3: The Detroit "at" Atlanta game in London aired live at 6:30 a.m. on the West Coast and 3:30 a.m. in Honolulu.

Time zones are fun. 

Stats Of The Week No. 6: The Bengals are on an 12-0-1 regular-season home streak and an 0-3 postseason home streak.

Yes, the Bengals still haven't won a home playoff game. One would expect this to change at some point when the NFL playoffs roll around, but to quote this statistic every week prior to the next NFL playoff game taking place seems unnecessary.

Great News -- Jerry Jones Embarrassed in Prime Time: Were the Cowboys that overconfident or did Colt McCoy acquire superpowers by returning to Texas and drinking its water? Three things are certain from the "Monday Night Football" mega-upset: First, as TMQ has noted before, "Colt McCoy" is the best football name ever. Second, Robert Griffin III wore a heavy ski cap indoors.

Under Gregg's theory that the coach or cheerleader who dresses with the least amount of clothing wins the game, doesn't this mean that the Redskins should have lost to the Cowboys? This would also mean Gregg's theory is horseshit, but we all know Gregg's theories could never be horseshit. Never.

The Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons figured to face constant running plays, what with Washington having a mediocre run defense and Dallas boasting the league's first-ranked rushing offense. Running plays are especially effective at home, because they ramp up crowd energy.

This is a 100% fact and not at all an opinion. Passing plays actually bore the home crowd. That's also a fact and not an opinion. Gregg holds so much knowledge that may seem to the amateur as an opinion, but is indeed a fact.

Washington gambled by big-blitzing on third down, and the gamble paid off with two sacks of Tony Romo by safety Brandon Meriweather: one knocking Romo out of the contest for a while, the other causing a fourth-quarter fumble.

Stop me before I blitz again! Big blitzing doesn't work and a good quarterback can easily beat a big blitz. Isn't that what Gregg tells his readers? Well, apparently not. I do like how Gregg just acknowledges the Redskins blitzed a lot and managed to win the game using this tactic, yet Gregg will criticize another defensive coordinator for blitzing a lot in other instances, and claim this is what caused his team to lose the game. Then from there, Gregg will attempt to make it seem like playing a base, boring defense like the Seahawks run is the best defense to run in order to win games. Then my head will explode.

McCoy scored a touchdown on a designed quarterback draw at the goal line -- this common Texas prep school play must have made him feel right at home.

Yes, this quarterback draw at the goal line is a common Texas prep school play, but also a common play in the NFL with a quarterback who is mobile. Heck, the Panthers beat the Packers 15 years ago on a quarterback draw by Steve Beuerlein from the five yard line. So it's a common Texas prep school play, but also a common football play.

The Persons broke an 0-8 streak (and 0-9 road streak) against NFC East teams. Now, sure-to-be-former head coach Jay Gruden faces yet another dilemma -- bring back RG III, or let the third-stringer play? Don't be surprised if Gruden sides with McCoy. A Griffin comeback would be a media circus, while Gruden can take credit for having the foresight to sign the unwanted McCoy last spring.

Or Gruden could choose to start Colt McCoy because McCoy has played well as the Redskins' starter and won a road game against the Cowboys. But no, I'm sure the decision to start McCoy will be based primarily on satisfying Gruden's ego and need to feel smart. It won't have anything to do with the fact McCoy has played well for the Redskins.

Sweet Play Of The Week: With the Steelers leading Indianapolis 28-10, Pittsburgh had first-and-10 on the Colts 47. Colts defensive end Arthur Jones got free on a spin move and lunged at Ben Roethlisberger's feet. Roethlisberger stumbled, and Jones seemed likely to pull the Pittsburgh quarterback down. Then undrafted Steelers guard Ramon Foster jumped atop Jones and immobilized him.

Foster makes a great play, Gregg mentions his draft position.

Freed, Roethlisberger threw a 47-yard touchdown pass to Antonio Brown.

Ben Roethlisberger throws a 47-yard touchdown pass and his draft position isn't mentioned at all. Neither is that fact that Antonio Brown, a highly-paid glory boy, caught the touchdown pass. This is how Gregg works. He assumes his readers are stupid and lazy, so he can mislead them and leave out information that fits his agenda.

When Roethlisberger was drafted out of Miami of Ohio, the book on him was he was a terrific leader but lacked finesse as a passer. One reason for this view is Roethlisberger looks like a linebacker and plays a tough-guy style -- when he's sacked, he barely seems aware of it. Now Roethlisberger has two Super Bowl rings, and on Sunday, he became the only quarterback in NFL annals to throw for 500-plus yards on more than one occasion.

But what round was he drafted in again?

Roethlisberger will never get into Brett Favre or Peyton Manning territory for career passing yards.

I'm still thinking about undrafted Steelers guard Ramon Foster, so what rounds were Favre and Manning drafted in again?

Sour Play Of The Week: With Baltimore leading 24-20, the Nevermores had host Cincinnati facing third-and-10 on its own 20 with 3:48 remaining. All the visitors needed was an incompletion. Knowing Cincinnati needed to throw deep, surely Baltimore wouldn't safety blitz! But free safety Darian Stewart blitzed, and it was a 53-yard completion to Mohamed Sanu, who went straight to the area the free safety vacated for a key down in the Cincinnati comeback victory.

Doesn't Gregg mean undrafted free safety Darian Stewart? Oh that's right, Stewart didn't make a good play so his draft position is irrelevant in Gregg's mind.

Playing at home, the Panthers never trailed the defending champions until there were 47 seconds remaining, and they left the field losers. Sour. Down 13-9, the Cats faced fourth-and-25 on their own 8 with 26 seconds showing. Essentially, this was fourth-and-99. When Cam Newton threw short incomplete, the home crowd booed lustily.

Newton didn't really "throw short," he threw a screen pass that didn't get to the intended receiver because he was about to be trucked by a defensive lineman for the third play in a row.

It turns out Super Bowl MVP quarterback Joe Flacco faced a nearly identical fourth-and-99 situation on his final snap at Cincinnati and also threw a futile short pass. But Flacco wasn't at home, so he did not hear boos.

You can't find this type of analysis anywhere else.

Reader Joshua Thrailkill of North Carolina noted the Panthers fielded four undrafted offensive linemen. But in the NFL, every team must deal with injuries.

Nope, I think what Joshua may have been pointing out is that Gregg goes on and on and on and on about undrafted free agents and how they work so hard, only care about the team and are preferable to "me-first" glory boys, but the Panthers have a pitiful offensive line nearly made up entirely of undrafted free agents. Because Gregg lacks self-awareness, he is unable to see that Joshua very well could be pointing out the fallacy of Gregg's assertions in TMQ. In this case, the assertion is that undrafted players are often preferable to highly-drafted players. It's better to be blind to his assertions being incorrect and keep making the same assertions over and over rather than Gregg subjugate his ego to admit his theory is horseshit and based entirely on assumptions and cherry-picked information that ignores evidence contrary to his assumptions.

"The 100" is teen angst goes to outer space. The title refers to 100 teenagers who descend to Earth from an enormous space station where a remnant of humanity has spent the past century in terrible conditions while waiting for radiation to fade after a nuclear apocalypse. In the series pilot, aboard the enormous space station, we see teens, and we see their parents -- but no children. How could there be 100 teenagers if there are no babies, toddlers or tweens?

Because it is a fictional television show. That's how.

On "The 100" it's the middle of the 22nd century, yet everyone speaks southern California English using present-day slang. One hundred sixty-five years into the future, people say, "Game over, man."

This is a pretty stupid criticism for two specific reasons:

1. If a television show invented it's own language and slang then Gregg would criticize the show for not using realistic language.

2. If a television show invented it's own language and slang then the viewers would have some difficulty relating and understanding what is being said by the characters. There are television shows that create their own language, but include subtitles and the entirety of the show isn't this new language (I'm thinking "Game of Thrones"). So for "The 100" to create new slang (The Shins will change your life), would involve the viewers in 2014 understanding slang used by every character from 150 years in the future. I'm not sure that's a good way to draw viewers.

In the Will Smith interplanetary ego vehicle "After Earth," it's 1,000 years into the future, and language is exactly the same as today. Characters say "I'm good to go" and "We need this ASAP."

Because it's preferable to use language nobody watching the movie understands. Makes sense.

Contrast that with the literary science fiction novel "Riddley Walker," which is set centuries after a global nuclear war pushed humanity back into the iron age. Author Russell Hoban invented an elaborate future dialect. For instance, the ancients (us) are referred to as the "Puter Leat" -- the computer elite. Surely, if there is ever a Hollywood version of "Riddley Walker," future slang will disappear and characters will say, "Sup, dog?"

See Gregg is so stupid, he doesn't understand that if there was a Hollywood version of "Riddley Walker" then slang like "Sup, dog?" would make sense. Gregg is advocating Hollywood update slang in movies or television shows that take place in the future, but then he sarcastically states "Sup, dog?" would appear in a Hollywood version of "Riddley Walker." Well, "Riddley Walker" was written in 1980, so using future slang from 2014 in a movie about the future is EXACTLY what Gregg is encouraging Hollywood to do, yet he sarcastically states this is what Hollywood do, as if the movie version should use slang from 1980. The idea of using slang from 1980 is against what Gregg wants Hollywood to do in terms of updating language based on "future slang" that would be used in movies and television shows about the future.

Chicago mayor Rahm Emanuel admitted the city deliberately shortened yellow lights. The goal was more ticket revenue -- some $8 million from 77,000 automated tickets that would not have been issued had yellow lights been set to the federally recommended, three-second minimum. 

In order to fund public-sector pensions, cities and states increasingly stoop to any means to reach into citizens' pockets.

I do agree with Gregg on this issue, but that's what parking tickets, speeding tickets, and various other penalties are, an attempt to reach into citizens' pockets. I own a car. I have paid for my car entirely, yet I have to pay a tax to my local government on the value of my car. Why do I have to pay the tax? I own the car entirely and the city is supposed to receive revenue from me because I have the audacity to own a vehicle? It's an attempt to reach into my pocket and take money. I don't advocate shortened yellow lights, but this is one of the small examples of government reaching in the pockets of citizens. Every year people who have the audacity to own a car have to pay to get the car inspected. To drive a car, a person is forced to get it inspected and there is a charge for this too. It's just weird Gregg uses shortened yellow lights as an example of government overreach when there are plenty of other more egregious examples (at least in my opinion).

Automated red-light cameras are springing up in many places -- though if set to short yellow, they render the roads dangerous by causing drivers to slam on the brakes. Colorado's legalization of marijuana was inspired partly by the state's desire to tax sales. If betting on sports becomes legal -- being disputed right now in New Jersey -- the reason might be government's desire to tax this underground economy.

Yep, welcome to what some people realized a decade ago.

In effect, there were four turnovers, as Green Bay failed on a fourth-and-inches near midfield while the margin was close. Officials on the field initially signaled first down; a challenge changed the spot to fourth-and-inches.

Then the Packers, inspired by their coach's decision to go for it on fourth down and show a real need to win the game, were so motivated they rallied and beat the Saints at home, right? Wait, that didn't happen like Gregg will claim happens when a coach goes for it on fourth down? I don't understand how Gregg's "Go for it on fourth down and it will inspire your team to win the game" theory could ever be wrong.

The NFL Is More Interesting Than The NBA: Many sports enthusiasts prefer basketball to football. But even for those who do, there's a reason the NFL is more interesting: More football teams than basketball teams start the season with a chance.

There are 30 NBA teams. 53% of these teams make the playoffs.
There are 32 NFL teams. 37.5% of these teams make the playoffs.

I'm not entirely sure Gregg understands what he is writing isn't true. Either that or he just likes to outright lie. More NBA teams have a chance of making the playoffs at the beginning of the season as compared to the chance NFL teams have of making the playoffs. Therefore more NBA teams have a chance of winning the NBA title than NFL teams have a chance of winning the Super Bowl. This is true statistically at the beginning of the season at least. Carry on...

NBA teams play so many games followed by a postseason based on the "best of" series concept that by the end, the top team almost always wins the title, thereby washing out the effects of luck. By contrast, the NFL plays only 16 games followed by a postseason knockout round. There's room for variability based on luck or degree of effort.

The fact there is less room for variability in the NBA doesn't mean more NFL teams start the season with a chance to make the playoffs or win the title. Perhaps practically this is true, but statistically it is not. I'm not sure if Gregg is just dumb or trying to be willfully stupid to push his own agenda or not. Regardless of the odds an NBA team has of winning a playoff series, more NBA teams have a chance to win the title simply because a greater percentage of NBA teams qualify for the playoffs.

In turn, small NBA rosters can mean one smart trade or draft selection improves the team dramatically. Large NFL rosters take longer to build because they have more moving parts.

While true in part, there are always exceptions. It's how the Colts can go from 2-14 to making the playoffs in a calendar year.

The result of these factors is every NBA season begins with a handful of teams holding a realistic shot at the title, compared to many teams that have no chance at all. The numerous NBA teams that are goin' nowhere know who they are from the start of the season. Every NFL season begins with a larger number of teams that might win the Super Bowl and a relatively smaller number with no shot.

This argument doesn't make sense in the context of Gregg's argument above on how the smaller NBA rosters mean a team can improve dramatically in one season. If the NBA has smaller rosters and a team can be improved through one draft pick or trade, then doesn't that mean there is more variability in the NBA standings, which means there are more teams who can make one smart move and be an NBA title contender? If large NFL rosters take longer to build (and remember this is me dissecting Gregg's argument, not what I think), then doesn't that mean there are NFL teams who don't have a shot to win the Super Bowl at the beginning of the season because they have more moving parts and require more players to improve the team's chances of winning games?

So Gregg's argument about the increased variability in an NBA team's success doesn't necessarily make sense in the context of his assertion more NBA teams start the season knowing they don't have a shot at the title, because an NBA team can make fewer moves that result in that team going up or down in the standings. Gregg's conclusion seems to be correct, but I'm not sure how he reached his conclusion is accurate.

That there's more variability in the NFL than the NBA is shown by the fact that in the past 15 years, 10 NFL teams have won the Super Bowl, while six NBA clubs have monopolized that league's titles. Twelve of the past 15 NBA titles have been won by the Lakers, Spurs and Heat; the equivalent figure is seven of the past 15 NFL titles have been won by the Patriots, Giants and Steelers. Also note that 15 of the 48 Super Bowl winners failed to make the next postseason, while just two of 68 NBA champions (the 1998 Chicago Bulls and the 1969 Boston Celtics) failed to reach the next year's postseason.

This is accurate. This also goes against Gregg's assertion that one smart trade or draft selection can improve a team dramatically. If that were totally true, then wouldn't there be more volatility in which teams win the NBA title? The truth is Gregg isn't entirely wrong, but it's the fewer moving parts, along with the ability of one player to have a large impact, that allows NBA teams to stay in title contention from year-to-year. Gregg talks about how NBA teams have dramatic improvement from year-to-year, due to the addition of one player, but this doesn't happen too often. It's hard to find a Kevin Durant or LeBron James in the NBA. My basic point is Gregg isn't wrong, but he argues there is a lot of variability in the record of an NBA team based on the addition of one player to a roster, but logically this would be an argument for greater volatility in terms of which teams can win an NBA title. Yet, he is arguing the opposite.

The Charlotte Hornets -- 14 years removed from their latest playoff series victory -- have a chairman, a vice chairman, a "president, chief operating officer & alternate governor," a general manager, an assistant general manager, two executive vice presidents, three senior vice presidents and six regular vice presidents. That's 16 senior executives for 18 players. 

This is a great example of Gregg Easterbrook outright lying or misleading his readers. The Charlotte Hornets haven't existed since the 2001-2002 season, when they last won a playoff series. The New Orleans Hornets did win a playoff series in 2007-2008, but the reason the Charlotte Hornets haven't won a playoff series in 14 years is because they haven't existed in 14 years. The Charlotte Hornets moved to New Orleans, then moved back to Charlotte for the 2014-2015 season. So the team actually has won a playoff series as the Charlotte Hornets three of the last five seasons they existed as the Charlotte Hornets. But to mention this would submarine Gregg's point of "Look at all these people required to manage a failing team!" Dishonesty at all costs.

No wonder the Hornets are so terrible!

Yep, they made the playoffs last year as the Charlotte Bobcats. Make up your mind. Are the Charlotte Hornets the New Orleans Hornets (now Pelicans) who have won a playoff series in the last 14 years or are the Charlotte Hornets the Charlotte Bobcats who aren't terrible and made the playoffs last year?

So what do you think? Do you think Gregg is just so uninformed about the NBA he thinks the Charlotte Hornets have been in Charlotte all of these years or do you think he is just misleading his readers as to the success of the Charlotte Hornets over the past 14 seasons? The Charlotte Bobcats are a completely different team from the Charlotte Hornets that won a playoff series 14 years ago. So comparing the Hornets last playoff victory from 14 years ago is misleading, because the Bobcats (now Hornets) haven't won a playoff series, but have only existed since the 2004-2005 season. The 2004-2005 season wasn't 14 years ago. Gregg can't seem to figure out which Charlotte Hornets team he wants to talk about, yet still manages to be wrong either way. Quite the accomplishment. It's a very clumsy and misleading point Gregg is attempting to make.

Then, with Philadelphia leading 20-17, the hosts faced third-and-5 on their 25 with 1:33 remaining. Arizona could've tried to nickel-and-dime into field goal position for overtime, but playing to win apparently made more sense. That meant big chunks of yards. Yet at the snap, the deepest Philadelphia safety, Nate Allen, was 8 yards off the line of scrimmage

Oh Gregg...NFL teams can not read minds and don't have the benefit of hindsight that you have. The Eagles didn't know the Cardinals would try to gain a big chunk of yardage. They wanted to stop the Cardinals from throwing short, but Bruce Arians called a great play that went against what the Eagles thought the Cardinals would do. That's all. It was a good play call and the Eagles' defense did the right thing to anticipate a shorter pass, rather than a 75-yard bomb.

Safeties are coached to "keep everything in front of you" in situations such as this. Brown got behind all Eagles with apparent ease.

This is true, but the Eagles also didn't want to give up an easy reception in front of them to where the Cardinals could convert a third down into a first down.

The game would conclude with Arizona calling a big blitz on six of Philadelphia's final 13 snaps, including a seven-man blitz with 1 second remaining and the Eagles on the host's 16. It worked this time. But if Arizona continues to big-blitz so much, the chickens -- or the cactus wrens, considering indigenous birds of the Grand Canyon State -- might come home to roost.

Yes, stop blitzing or one time it may not work! That one time it doesn't work, no matter how many times it has worked, Gregg will point out when blitzing doesn't work. Why? Because that's how Gregg works. He feels free to point out the one time a blitz is ineffective, while ignoring or just warning they won't be effective 100% of the time (which is incredibly obvious).

'Tis Better To Have Rushed And Lost Than Never To Have Rushed At All: Detroit played it ultra-conservative in London, where the Tories rule. Jim Caldwell kicked down 21-0 and twice kicked on fourth-and-short inside the Atlanta 5-yard line.

And because his team saw that Jim Caldwell wasn't trying to win the game, they ended up losing. Right? Wait, that didn't happen? It's like Week 8 in the NFL was just a series of Gregg's theories and assertions being totally wrong. What a wonderful world it is.

So Atlanta's penalty effectively created a timeout for Detroit. Then, on third-and-10 with 1:50 remaining, the Falcons threw incomplete, which stopped the clock. Considering the Lions would kick the winning field goal as time expired, had Atlanta simply knelt on these two downs, the Falcons likely would have prevailed.

Yes, this is "likely" based on Gregg's own assumption that not shockingly supports his contention. It's also "likely" that Gregg assumes too much.

Flaming Thumbtacks Go Down In Flames: In my preseason AFC Preview, I warned the Titans season might devolve to "Zach Mettenberger handing off to Bishop Sankey." And verily, it came to pass. Final: Houston 30, Tennessee 16.

Is relying on rookies to win games in place of ineffective veterans really "devolving"? Sankey was a 2nd round pick and if Mettenberger is ready to play then there's no harm in putting him on the field.

On Sunday, quarterbacks Geno Smith and Michael Vick combined for a 17 rating. After the game, Rex Ryan, who in the preseason implied he was "one of the best of all time" as a coach, told Ben Shpigel, "Why we're not playing better, I don't know." An all-time great should know! 

I don't remember Rex Ryan implying he is "one of the best of all time" as a coach. I do remember him saying he was NOT one of the best of all time as a coach. Here are Ryan's quotes in question and you can clearly see Gregg's lies at work. 

Ryan clarified that he’s not claiming he’s Vince Lombardi.

“I’m not saying that I’m the best or whatever . . . or the best of all time,” Ryan said. “I just know that I’m the best that I can be. I know that I’m willing to do the work. I may have limitations. I get that. But nobody’s going to convince me that they’re more passionate about their job than I am . . . and that they’re more passionate about their organization than me.”

Maybe Gregg Easterbrook is functionally illiterate, or Ryan was using new slang that Hollywood created, but the way that reads to me as a person who can read words in English and has an education beyond the 6th grade is that Rex Ryan was saying he is NOT the best of all time. I can see how Gregg got confused though when Rex said specifically,

"I'm not saying that I'm the best or whatever...or the best of all time." 

This is a confusing sentence structure for someone who wants to lie to his readers and mislead them into believing Rex Ryan said something he in fact did not say. Notice how Gregg provides a link to Ryan's quote about how he doesn't know why the Jets aren't playing better, but he doesn't provide a link to Ryan implying he is one of the all time best coaches. That's because Gregg knows he is lying and doesn't want his readers to know that he is deceiving them.

Thus, Cleveland surrendered a first-round draft pick and three decent players for a second-round draft pick and Euro-stashed gents who are long shots to bounce a ball in the NBA. But Cleveland got rid of Jack's and Zeller's contracts, which could not have happened without Boston supplying its $10 million trade exemption. The Cavs ended up holding extra cap space, which they (and nobody else at that juncture) knew was the final piece of the puzzle to sign LeBron James.

Really Gregg? No one knew? Here is a search for "Tyler Zeller trade to Celtics LeBron James." Doing the work that Gregg refused to do in order to pretend his assertion was correct, one can see it was assumed this trade helped free cap space for LeBron James. So "nobody else at that juncture" knew the trade freed up money for LeBron to sign with Cleveland is just an outright lie.

Tactical Use Of Cheer Babes: With City of Tampa leading Minnesota 13-10, the Vikings had the ball on their 23 at the two-minute warning. The host's cheerleaders ran onto the field, lined up almost in the Vikings' huddle and began to shake their booties in hopes of distracting the visitors.

Gregg hates how the NFL exploits these people he calls "cheer babes."

This Year's Human Development Report: Football columns are not likely to be your best source of global development news.

Or in the case of TMQ, a football column is not likely to be the best source of NFL news.

Luckily, Tom Brady Has A Bye Week In Which To Do Some Modeling: When the Flying Elvii struggled at home versus Oakland then were blown out at Kansas City, sports pundits were asking if the New England golden age were over.

Ah yes, more dishonesty. Gregg refers to "sports pundits" as a group and doesn't mention his part.

Is The Sun Setting On Tom Brady? A week ago before their home crowd, the Patriots barely outlasted the woeful Raiders. Monday night they were ground up into burger meat -- "Of course we're speaking in the figurative sense," as Weird Al would say -- by the Chiefs. Is New England's Brady-Belichick Golden Age drawing to a close?

Brady was openly frustrated throughout the contest. Every star athlete must deal with nationally televised defeat -- just ask LeBron James -- but rarely has Brady lost badly. His life with the Flying Elvii has been all news conferences, endorsements, championship rings and supermodels, 'til last night, when the Patriots looked like the Raiders East.

Gregg hates it when "sports pundits" do things like this. Of course, he isn't honest enough to mention he is the one asking if the "golden age" of Brady-Belichick was over, because that would require he admit he was wrong and made a knee-jerk reaction to a Patriots' loss. It's amazing to me how much Gregg misleads his readers and how he leaves important pieces of information out in order to protect his own ego.

Since that juncture, the Patriots have won four straight.

I can't wait for January when Gregg writes "sports pundits" said the Seahawks could miss the playoffs this year, while ignoring he is that "sports pundit" and he wrote this conclusion the Seahawks won't make the playoffs just last week.

Next Week: Will AIG issue credit-default swap insurance on NBA salary-cap trades?

I wish someone at ESPN would stop allowing Gregg to write TMQ. Or just maybe stop him from misleading his readers and only including information that makes him look correct, while leaving out information that shows when he is wrong. 


Chris said...

If Gregg really wants to go on about people justifying their salaries, I would love to see him try and justify however much ESPN pays him to make up shit off the top of his head and outright lie to his readers.

Chris said...

Also isn't a little contradictory to praise the redskins for the win in Dallas, but still refer to Gruden as soon-to-be-former head coach Jay Gruden?

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I do wonder how much he gets paid for each TMQ. It's not my money, so I shouldn't worry about it I guess.

He wants it both ways! He wants to praise Gruden, but also not praise Gruden.

Slag-King said...

So what do you think? Do you think Gregg is just so uninformed about the NBA he thinks the Charlotte Hornets have been in Charlotte all of these years or do you think he is just misleading his readers as to the success of the Charlotte Hornets over the past 14 seasons?

I think he is miffed that he wasn't selected as a high ranking management, so he lies about the supposed failures of a franchise. He definitely has a Napoleon complex.

So American man, you sound just like Gregg!

Snarf said...

Wouldn't it make sense for refugees of present day in a post-apocalyptic world, or even their descendents, to speak in a contemporary dialect? I would think that with so much focus on survival, most pop-culture/language/slang/etc. would more or less end up frozen at the point in time in which the escape/survival/whatever began. Oh god, now I'm actually acknowledging Greggggg...

Bengoodfella said...

Slag, I deleted that comment about American women. Censorship at it's worst or I'm just cleaning up the comments? You decide!

I think Gregg doesn't know which franchise the "Charlotte Hornets" are. I believe that he believes they are the franchise in Charlotte, but they haven't existed for 14 years. If they are the franchise in New Orleans, they have won a playoff series. If he's talking about the name "Charlotte Hornets" then they haven't existed in 14 years. So he's really accomplished at being wrong.

But yes, Michael Jordan probably threw away his resume away.

Snarf, that is an interesting point. It's okay to acknowledge him. I would think refugees in the present world would keep their same dialect much in the same way those who use slang from their generation keep using that same slang until their kids tell them to stop using that slang. It's the natural order of events.

Eric C said...

Have to agree with Snarf. Language evolves when there are millions of people speaking the language. If you locked a small subset of people and their offspring in a space station I would venture to guess the language would not evolve as much. I almost think it would devolve a bit. Assuming devolve is a word.

Gregg clearly links to the Hornets page (Bobcats version) on the NBA page, which means he is clearly talking about the wrong team. I mean, there are clearly some stinkers in there (7-59 in 2011-2012 stands out), but they have made the playoffs twice in their first 10 years as an expansion team.

Am I the only one waiting for Gregg to second guess the Royals for not sending Alex Gordon?

Frank said...

I can't say it enough, ben - I absolutely love this column. Don't ever stop writing it :)

Bengoodfella said...

Frank, thanks. At some point I will stop writing it, unless prior to my death I apprentice someone on writing TMQ and Gregg Easterbrook passes the column off to someone just like him. I'll try to not stop writing it though.