Friday, October 10, 2014

6 comments It's Week 5, So Obviously This is the Best Time For Gregg to List All the Super Bowl Contenders

Gregg Easterbrook called the 25th most accurate passer in NCAA history "inaccurate" as a college quarterback in last week's TMQ. He criticized "Sleepy Hollow" for not being realistic enough. It is a show about a headless horseman who kills people and time jumps are involved as well. Gregg is the worst. This week he tries to figure out who could win the Super Bowl, because after all it is Week 5, so it should be obvious who will be in the Super Bowl at this point. We are one week closer to Gregg making his third crack at which two teams will be in the Super Bowl this year. At a certain point, he will have named all NFL teams and then can brag about how right he was.

The league's last two undefeated teams, both well rested coming off byes, went into action Sunday and were pounded. Early in the season, there is no undefeated team left standing -- no clearly dominant team, either. If the Super Bowl were tomorrow, who the heck would go?

It sort of seems like the Seahawks and the Broncos are the dominant teams. Not to mention, the fact there are no undefeated teams left doesn't also mean there are no dominant teams or the Super Bowl picture is more murky than usual. The Broncos played the Seahawks in Seattle in Week 3. If it weren't for that loss and the Broncos had played the Raiders then the Broncos would probably be undefeated and Gregg would consider them to be a dominant team. It just so happens the Seahawks and Broncos both played good teams early in the season, so the narrative goes that they are not dominant. It doesn't mean it's true.


Teams listed are not contenders, unless they end up being contenders, in which case they are contenders.

Cincinnati: Lots of victories in recent seasons but has not won a playoff contest since 1990. This is the league's longest drought. The Bengals are on an 0-4 streak in nationally televised games, folding in the limelight.

Or they draw very good teams when playing in a nationally televised game and they just aren't good enough to beat those teams they play in the national spotlight.

New England: A little early-season turmoil never hurt a good team. Of recent clubs to hoist the Lombardi Trophy, the Baltimore Ravens were openly feuding early in their Super Bowl season, including firing their offensive coordinator. The Giants began their recent Super Bowl season with a dreadful loss to rival Washington. The 2010 Super Bowl champion Packers took an early loss on "Monday Night Football." All used early turmoil to work out their issues and were powerful late.

Gregg Easterbrook last week: Is the Patriot Way over? Is this it for the Patriots?

Gregg Easterbrook this week: Forget what I said last week. All teams face a little turmoil at the beginning of the year. Nothing to worry about. It's typical and can make the Patriots better in the end.

San Francisco: Early turmoil can also lead to late turmoil -- the 49ers have significant meltdown potential.

So Gregg Easterbrook is on record as definitively stating that early turmoil may or may not lead to late turmoil. Only after the season is over can Gregg definitively state which direction a team will end up going.

Philadelphia: A team that fell behind 17-0 to Jacksonville, then at home allowed St. Louis, with a third-string quarterback, to run up 21 unanswered points, may be hard to take seriously. "Tough 4-1, soft 4-1. It doesn't matter," Chip Kelly said Sunday. That's the attitude of a football-factory coach looking for nonconference cupcakes to schedule.

No, it's the attitude of a head coach who knows a little bit of luck is required sometimes during the season and all that matters is his team's record.

Indianapolis: TMQ's pick to win the AFC, and I am sticking with my cards.

Gregg is sticking with his cards other than when he makes his alternative Super Bowl selection of Seattle and Denver or inevitably makes another Super Bowl pick later in the 2014 season. 

Green Bay and New Orleans: Both sputtering early, both potentially deep playoff contenders.

These two teams may or may not be Super Bowl contenders. Stay tuned until after the season to find out whether they will be or not, but remember, Gregg said they could compete in the playoffs or maybe not.

This is heartbreaking, but is it a reason football should not be played? On average, five teen males die per day in car crashes, suggesting that in the period since the first of the three horrible prep football deaths, about 50 teen boys have been killed by driving.

Life cannot be lived without risk: the risk of mortality in football is lower than other kinds of risk society accepts for teens. Long-term brain damage from repeated head hits, which affects tens of thousands of high school players, is a larger social concern than tragic but rare deaths caused by football.

So while true, Gregg is also the person who has stated in TMQ multiple times that he can see high schools giving up football due to the prevalence of head injuries. Gregg also has tried to attribute high schools giving up football programs to the eventual downfall of the NFL. So there is a certain amount of gloom and doom regarding football and injuries caused by playing football that Gregg has predicted over the years, at least until he decides the potential of long-term brain damage won't chase high schools away from having a football program.

In college football news, the new consortium of Power 5 conferences said last week it will provide full-cost scholarships to football players, grant multiyear scholarships and offer long-term health-care coverage for former players.

In fact, Tuesday Morning Quarterback would argue the Power 5 deal moots the debate about pay for college football players. For all football players in the Power 5 to receive the progressive new package is a much better outcome than a few college stars receiving high income.

It's a better outcome for those athletes who aren't having their image used by the NCAA and universities in order to make money. Those who are having their image used to make a profit (which is what the argument for paying college athletes is really about) probably still aren't very happy.

Another year as the sole perfect professional team is a nice feeling: Recall this amusing Reebok ad that aired moments after the Giants knocked off the 18-0 Patriots in the Super Bowl, which was the latest an undefeated fell, or could fall. But what if your football-factory college team gained 812 yards, committed no turnovers, had touchdowns of 90 and 86 yards and lost?

What if Gregg Easterbrook quickly changed the topic from one sentence to another without a rhyme or reason why he did so? Would it be disorienting and would I wonder how the conversation went from undefeated NFL teams to football-factory college teams gaining a lot of yardage and losing within the span of one sentence? Yes, yes it would be distracting and disorienting.

Stats of the Week No. 5: Minnesota first-half possession results at Green Bay: punt, punt, punt, punt, punt, interception, interception, fumble, half ends.

It's almost like they were playing with their third-string quarterback or something on the road.

Sour Pair of Plays: Facing third-and-1 at Indianapolis, Joe Flacco play-faked and rolled right, hoping for a big gainer. Instead, sack. Later, the Ravens went for it on fourth-and-1 from the Colts' 3. Same action -- play fake, roll right. Same result -- sack. Sour.

Very sour. What's really sour is John Harbaugh went for it on fourth down, which based on everything Gregg has told us about going for it on fourth down should signal to his team he is very serious about winning the game. Yet, the Ravens didn't win the game and got a poor result on fourth down. I thought Gregg's hard-and-fast rules about going for it on fourth down being met would please the football gods?

Sweet 'N' Sour Play: Arizona bringing its West Coast Defense to Denver, the Broncos clung to a 14-13 lead with 1:48 remaining before intermission, pinned on their 14.

Arizona isn't really the West Coast. It's more the Southwest isn't it? I have never thought of Arizona as being on the West Coast, but more in the Southwest part of the United States. Of course I have never thought of a school as a "football factory" either and Gregg constantly refers to certain colleges (mostly colleges in ESPN Grade's Top 25 actually) in that manner.

There was only 1:48 remaining, and the Broncs were pinned .They'd either kill the clock or take deep shots. Why was Arizona in an overstacked, rush-prevent front with only one safety? Sour.

I don't know if I would call this a lie, because it's an opinion of sorts, but it is a stupid opinion. Why would the Broncos only kill the clock or take deep shots in this situation? Why wouldn't the Broncos try to get a first down by throwing the football on shorter routes? With Peyton Manning as the quarterback it is nearly the same thing as killing the clock to throw short routes and keep the clock moving. I think it is a huge fallacy to say the Broncos were either going to kill the clock or take deep shots, mostly because those are polar opposite strategies. One is intending to kill the clock and the other is dismissive of killing the clock in favor of taking chances.

Once again, Gregg makes a faulty assumption in order to prove his criticism of an NFL team correct. It's not true the Broncos would either kill the clock or take deep shots. They very well could have thrown the ball to receivers like Welker or Thomas on shorter routes to keep the clock moving. If the Cardinals had been in a two-deep safety look and Manning ran the clock out by throwing underneath then Gregg would have criticized them for playing too deep, because after all, the Broncos would either run the ball or throw short passes to chew up clock.

Knock Him Down! How their paths have diverged since the 2012 NFL draft. Robert Griffin III was obtained by Washington for one of the largest king's-ransom trade packages ever; 

Gregg requests that you don't remember when he stated on two previous occasions the Rams must be regretting the day they didn't keep the #2 pick so they could take Robert Griffin. He will now criticize the Redskins for trading all those picks for Griffin after criticizing the Rams for receiving all of those picks in exchange for the #2 pick used to draft Griffin.

Russell Wilson was selected unnoticed by Seattle in the third round after Jacksonville took a punter. Now Wilson is 31-10 with a Super Bowl ring, RG III is 13-18 and in street clothes. At least Griffin has far more endorsement income.

I don't even understand this portion of TMQ (this paragraph and the one above it). Gregg is feebly attempting some comparison of Russell Wilson and Robert Griffin and how their paths have diverged, as if they had similar paths at some point prior to the 2012 draft. Their paths were already diverged prior to the draft. The Seahawks had nothing to do with the Rams-Redskins trade and Robert Griffin had no affiliation (other than being black and playing quarterback in college) with Russell Wilson. Of course their paths diverged, these two quarterbacks never had the same path.

Among other sins, the Persons violated TMQ's immutable law of playing up: You can't dance with the champ, you've got to knock him down. Trailing 17-7 on the first possession of the second half, Washington faced fourth-and-1 on the Bluish Men Group's 9. Sure-to-be-former head coach Jay Gruden sent in the kicking unit.

And again, every NFL head coach is sure to be the former coach of his team unless he is immortal.

TMQ's law of fourth-down decision-making holds: If the opponent is relieved to see your kicking team, then you should be going for it.

Bengoodfella's law of fourth-down decision-making holds: There is no way to read your opponent's mind to know if he is relieved to see your kicking team, so TMQ's law of fourth-down decision-making is stupid and nonsensical and there should never be a law of fourth-down decision-making other than go for it if you think it's in your team's best interests and the fourth down will be converted.

Notice how Gregg's "law" requires the use of information that no NFL head coach could ever obtain without having the ability to read minds. Kind of a shitty law if there is no way to obtain the information required to follow the law, no? So Gregg expects NFL head coaches to be immortal and able to read minds. Sounds reasonable to me.

As the Persons' placement unit trotted in on fourth-and-1, Steve Raible, the Seahawks' flagship radio announcer -- he refers to the team as "us," its tailback as "Marshawn," and so on -- said, "Jay Gruden is making the right decision here." Which shows he was making the wrong decision.

So Jay Gruden should have read the minds of the Seahawks players to see if they were happy he was punting here and then listen to the Seahawks broadcasters in order to determine what they think he should do and then do the opposite. He should do all of this in 40 seconds so as to ensure the next play is run before the play clock runs out. Of course.

If you told your employer you would be absent for long periods while traveling to promote yourself, yet still expected to receive full salary and have your expenses paid, plus bodyguards provided, you'd be laughed at. If you told the local law enforcement agency you want a police escort so you could roar through red lights, you'd be laughed at. Yet politicians do these things all the time.

Then, having shown they happily squander public money, they seek higher office so they can squander even more. Politicians do this because the public lets them get away with it. Perry's and Christie's behavior is another example of why the United States needs resign-to-run laws.

I understand the idea of a resign-to-run law and don't think this is a bad idea, but wouldn't this give a further advantage to an incumbent who is able to fundraise while he/she is still in office (I'm assuming the resign-to-run law wouldn't apply to an incumbent) and his opponent holds a political office already? For example, here in North Carolina Thom Tillis would have to resign as Speaker of the House to run against Kay Hagan for Senate. Would Tillis run for Senate against Hagan if he knew he had to resign his position or would this resign-to-run law further dilute the quality (and I use that term ever-so-subjectively) of politician running for political office? So an incumbent could fundraise and run while holding the office and any opponent would have to fully commit to running by resigning from any public office he/she holds. It could easily dilute the quality of politician running for office.

Book News: My book, "The King of Sports," has just been released in paperback with a new subtitle: "Why Football Must Be Reformed." Now that you can buy this book for less than $15 or on the Kindle for $9.99 -- it's certainly not $10! -- really, what are you waiting for?

You to stop writing TMQ. You to stop misleading your audience by making assumptions that aren't true if you took the time to investigate your assumptions. You to stop providing your audience with certain information only when this information goes to prove a point you want to make or a narrative you would like to further. You providing links that you believe prove your point when in fact if you read the article you linked then you would realize it doesn't prove your point. I'm waiting for all of these things.

The First-Round Curse: Highly drafted quarterbacks -- Christian Ponder, Jake Locker, Ryan Tannehill, Blaine Gabbert, Robert Griffin III, EJ Manuel -- continue to struggle around the NFL. Manuel, just shown the bench, is an example of the First-Round Curse for quarterbacks.

I don't think Ryan Tannehill should be on this list. Perhaps I'm being too kind. And no, there isn't a first round curse for quarterbacks. It's that NFL teams really want to find a franchise quarterback and so they end up spending high draft picks on a quarterback in the hopes to find a franchise star for a QB-driven league.

A list of "cursed" players at nearly every position could be put together. Is there a running back curse? Trent Richardson, David Wilson, Isaiah Pead, LaMichael James, Ryan Williams, Daniel Thomas, Mikel Leshoure, Mark Ingram and Christine Michael have all been drafted in the first or second round since 2011 and they are all underperforming for their draft position. There are underperformers at every position in every draft, it's just teams seem to reach more often for a quarterback, and quarterbacks are easier to notice when they stink.

When a quarterback is selected in the top portion of the first round, he's either an instant hero or instant goat. Drew Brees struggled in his first two seasons, but because he was not a first-round selection and thus not expected to become an instant hero, got time to develop.

See, Gregg understands, even though his actions in his writing about "cursed" quarterbacks show that he doesn't really understand.

Burning a first-round draft choice on Manuel was the final bumble in Buffalo by Bumbling Buddy Nix, former general manager. Nix is the same genius who, in the 2010 draft, used a second-round selection on Torell Troup, OOF -- Out of Football -- in just two seasons. Nix passed on the next guy selected: Rob Gronkowski, who is from Buffalo.

Gronkowski is actually from Amherts, which isn't Buffalo, but is a suburb of Buffalo. What good are facts if Gregg can't bend them a little?

Joey Harrington, Ryan Leaf, Mark Sanchez -- the highway is jammed with broken heroes chosen in the first round as quarterbacks.

This can go for players at nearly every position drafted highly over a multiple year span of time.

But Buffalo's recent quarterback decision-making seems especially odd. The Bills made a mega-trade for Rob Johnson, then gave up on him;

The Bills gave up a first and fourth round pick. I don't know if that's a mega-trade or not. The Bills didn't give up on Johnson, he got a concussion in his first game as the Bills' quarterback, then suffered another injury while Doug Flutie was winning games for the Bills, and then after that he continued to get injured or struggle which resulted in the Bills awarding the job to a different quarterback. The Bills gave Johnson four years to prove he was the starter and he was injured for quite a few games during that time. They didn't give up on him.

they made a mega-trade for J.P. Losman, then gave up on him. (This is more indication that mega-trades don't work.)

The Bills gave up a second round pick to move back into the first round. This isn't a mega-trade.

Buffalo has a league-worst 14 years without reaching the postseason. Perhaps this is because the Bills' coaches and general managers consistently act as though they are unaware that quarterback is the most important position in football.

This is interesting criticism. Gregg runs through a list of quarterbacks the Bills have started at the quarterback position,

In 2010, the Bills devoted their entire offseason to working with Trent Edwards at quarterback -- then waived him three games into the regular season. Had he suddenly become a different person? After drafting Manuel in April 2013, the Bills spent their entire offseason working with him. Then, in late August they brought in Leinart and Thad Lewis. Leinart played the final preseason game then was waived the following day. In 2014, the Bills spent their entire offseason working with Manuel, failing to notice his lack of development. In late August, they brought in Jordan Palmer, who played in the final preseason game then was waived. As the season was starting, Buffalo brought in Kyle Orton, giving him no time to prepare. He's now "the man."

Then claims the Bills are unaware that quarterback is the most important position in football. If the Bills were unaware of this then why have they spent so many draft choices (and made what Gregg would call "mega-trades") and so much time trying to find a really good starting quarterback? Gregg can't honestly criticize the Bills for making so many mega-trades and moves to find a good starting quarterback and then claim the Bills don't understand the importance of the position. It's clear they suck at finding a starting quarterback, not that they don't value the position enough.

Buffalo trailing 14-6 in the fourth quarter, the Bills reached first-and-goal on the Lions' 2. TMQ's Law of the Goal Line holds: play fake on first down, when the defense is cranked to stop a rush, not on second down, after the defense just stuffed a rush. The Bills play-faked -- touchdown to the uncovered backup tight end. 

Bengoodfella's Law of the Goal Line holds: If a team always play fakes on first down, then the defense won't ever fall for the play fake and the play won't succeed. Another part of Bengoodfella's Law of the Goal Line is there is no law of the goal line, because running certain plays in certain situations becomes predictable and turns into a tendency which the defense can exploit.

'Tis Better to Have Rushed and Lost Than Never to Have Rushed at All: Ahead 10-6, Kansas City reached second-and-1 on the Santa Clara 40. The Chiefs threw incomplete then, on third-and-1, threw incomplete again. They lined up to go for it on fourth-and-1 but jumped offside. A second-and-1 at the 40 ended up as a punt from the 46; the 49ers took the ball the other way for a touchdown. On the day when the Chiefs averaged 4.7 yards per rush, had they run on either second-and-1 or third-and-1, the game outcome might have been different.

Or the outcome of the game might not have been different. As always, Gregg can't understand situational rushing. On a second, third or fourth-and-1, the defense is more keyed up to stop the run, so a team may not average 4.7 yards on that rush. Gregg seems to not comprehend that a team averaging 4.7 yards per rush won't necessarily get that amount of yardage on a running play when it comes to certain down-and-distance situations.

Sure, the Chiefs probably should have run the ball, but Gregg is fresh off criticizing the Broncos for not expecting a deep pass and Gregg has stated on multiple occasions the best time to go deep is on short yardage situations when the defense isn't expecting it. It's annoying to me that Gregg only bases his criticism on what ends up working and not on the process used to make a decision. It results in him contradicting himself at times.

Since the full calculation does not show an inequality emergency, Piketty ignores tax rates and benefits. A thesis is certainly "most powerful" if you pretend there is no counterevidence!

Gregg is discussing income inequality, which I won't cover here because------zzzzzzzzzz, but for Gregg to criticize a book (which is what he is doing here) for pretending there is no counterevidence to claims stated in that book is especially rich when he makes this criticism in TMQ, where Gregg constantly cherry-picks information and ignores evidence contrary to his beliefs and any law of the NFL he proposes.

Do a Little Dance If You Want to Gain That Yard!: TMQ's Law of Short Yardage holds, do a little dance if you want to gain that yard.

My law holds that if you want to gain that yard, don't do a dance or you will be stopped in the backfield. The only Law of Short Yardage is make sure the offensive line gets a push and stops any penetration from the defense. That's about it. All there is.

Leading 28-22 versus the Browns at home, the Tennessee Titans lined up to go for it on fourth-and-1 from their 42 with 3:09 remaining. It was the right tactical decision -- but a vanilla play. No shifts, no misdirection, no quick snap. Backup quarterback Charlie Whitehurst simply tried the sneak and was stuffed, positioning the visitors for victory. True, against Cincinnati, Tom Brady converted a fourth-and-1 on a sneak. But he runs the sneak better than any current NFL quarterback, and the Patriots rushed to the line to quick-snap.

"True, my law isn't really a law because it's not true as often as I pretend that it is true, but wouldn't it be great if what I wrote wasn't dishonest and misleading" (goes on a 1,000 word rant about "Revolution" not accurately portraying the result of a world wide blackout)

Basically, the best time for an NFL team to run a QB sneak is when it ends up working.

For the amount of time movies and TV shows devote to military and quasi-military action, Hollywood continues to get details wrong. Characters say "let's lock and load," which makes no sense. Once the action of a firearm is locked, it won't load.

As someone who took 15 seconds to do research, I found out that this phrase could come from multiple origins, but more importantly, Gregg isn't reading the phrase correctly. The phrase isn't "let's lock THEN load," it's "let's lock and load," meaning the loading doesn't have to take place after the locking. So therefore the expression could make sense if a character is going to load and then lock his weapon.

Memes seem to travel in action cinema. This year every action show has some good guy say, "he's in the wind," meaning, "he got away." TV cops say "he's in the wind." Actual cops surely say "he got away."

Yes, based on Gregg's extensive history of not being an actual cop he knows they SURELY say "he got away" rather than some form of "he's in the wind." This is Gregg's assumptions at their worst. He's criticizing movies for using "he's in the wind" when Gregg isn't even sure if cops don't use this phrase, he just assumes they don't because that's what he wants to assume.

Once again, the Bengals honked out in prime time, dropping passes and missing tackles. Coming in with the league's best defense against points, allowing only 11 per game, Cincinnati gave up 43 points, and it might have been worse if the hosts had not switched to clock-killer tactics in the fourth quarter.

Clock-killing tactics? The Bengals had better watch out for those deep passes the Patriots offense is sure to throw! Either that or the Patriots will run the ball. The Bengals had better be prepared for both, so they should essentially play defense like they usually do?

Leading 20-10, New England faced third-and-16 on the Bengals 35 in the third quarter. A trap draw gained 19 yards and a first down, positioning the hosts for the touchdown that gave them a commanding margin. Cincinnati had no idea what was happening -- tailback Shane Vereen sprinted past two Bengals defenders who seemed not to know where the ball was.

I think Gregg means highly-drafted second round pick Shane Vereen, right?

In 1980, Pittsburgh beat the Los Angeles Rams at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, California, 16 miles from the stadium in which the Rams then performed. In 1985, the 49ers defeated the Dolphins at Stanford Stadium, 30 miles from where the 49ers then performed. The Rams and 49ers are not considered to have hosted the Super Bowls they reached because the game was not held in their respective facilities. If the Cardinals make Super Bowl XLIX, they will be the first team in the contest at their own field.

What will be said if the 49ers make Super Bowl L? That game will be held at the field on which the 49ers perform, but the field is in Santa Clara, California, 45 miles from San Francisco -- a greater distance than the Rams and 49ers were from their homes when not considered to be hosting the Super Bowl.

I have to admit, sometimes Gregg's intentional ignorance is impressive. He states that NFL teams are considered to have hosted Super Bowls when the game was held in their respective facility. Then he goes on to state the Super Bowl L (which no longer goes by roman numerals anymore, but Gregg was too busy lecturing others about their mistakes to notice this) will be held in Santa Clara on the 49ers homefield, but isn't sure if the 49ers will be considered to host the Super Bowl since the game isn't in San Francisco.

If it takes place on the 49ers homefield, they are considered to be hosting the Super Bowl. It's that easy. It doesn't matter whether the 49ers play in Santa Clara and have San Francisco in the team name or not. It also doesn't matter if other teams have played closer to their "real home" in previous Super Bowls and weren't considered to be playing in their home stadium. If the 49ers play the Super Bowl in the stadium they play 10 games a year in as the home team, they are playing in a Super Bowl they are hosting. It's very simple.

Now that everything is computer animated, there's nothing more boring than special effects. Computer animation might sell -- the video game-like "Transformers" movies have been big money-makers -- but is not interesting because it's so obviously fake. Computer animation also divorces movies from natural law: There's no gravity or action/reaction in contemporary action sequences because these don't happen inside software. The result is fast-paced, colorful dullness.

Then stop watching movies with special effects. It will save you the trouble of bitching about how these movies aren't realistic (and they are movies, so they aren't supposed to be realistic) and it will save my eyes from the energy required to read over the bitching in TMQ and focus on the 40% of the column that is actually focused on football, which is supposed to be the intended topic of TMQ anyway.

Best Crowd Reaction: "Heath! Heath!" the Pittsburgh home crowd chanted when Heath Miller caught a pass to the Jacksonville 1. Wait, the game was in Florida, not Pittsburgh. No fan base "travels" as well as Steelers fans -- there is appeal in having a league-best six Super Bowl rings. Between the easy availability of Jaguars seats and the allure of a Florida side trip, so many Pittsburgh supporters decamped to Jacksonville that there seemed nearly as much gold in the stands as blue.

Or Steelers fans live in Florida and Jaguars fans don't want to pay money to come out and support a team that may end up moving to London eventually and can't put a winning team on the field currently. It's not that Steelers fans "travel well" it's that they are a historically successful team with fans in many cities.

I run into this issue a lot here in Carolina. There are fans of the opposing team at the game cheering very loudly, but then when you speak to these fans sometimes their favorite team is the Panthers when they aren't playing that fan's real favorite team. I went to see the Packers play the Panthers one year and a father and daughter were wearing Aaron Rodgers jersey's and openly cheering for the Packers. The next game I went to they were wearing Steve Smith jersey's and cheering for the Panthers. There is a lot of sports bigamy going around like that. It's terrible.

The whole Vikings' season might be slipping into desperation mode, with Adrian Peterson in limbo, Teddy Bridgewater hurt, an offensive line performing poorly and a nothingburger secondary despite two recent first-round draft picks. Throw in a rookie coach who punts on fourth-and-short, and the picture isn't good. At least Minnesota taxpayers are being fleeced for nearly $500 million to subsidize the super-rich Vikings ownership family!

Disclaimer Of The Week: Recently in New York City, I stayed, at someone else's expense, at the Parker Meridien -- excuse me, at Le Parker Meridien. If you call the hotel, the synthesized computer voice says, "To ensure this experience is memorable, we may record this conversation."

Oh Gregg, just because you admit you did this doesn't make it all right considering how hard you go after other people who find ways to not pay for traveling expenses. Why should anyone else have to pay for an expensive hotel so that you can go on the road and promote your latest book or idea?

Really, there is nothing to be upset about here, but it's hilarious that Gregg spends so much time criticizing politicians for having taxpayers pay for traveling expenses, while Gregg has someone else pay for his hotel as he promotes his latest journalistic endeavor. But hey, as long as he admits he is not paying for the hotel, that's totally different isn't it?

Five years ago, Oregon debuted the Blur Offense; two years ago, Mike Leach arrived with his pass-wacky mindset;

Gregg, please pay attention to the world around you. You write a weekly football column. There are things you should know, like Mike Leach coached at Texas Tech for 10 years and is the all-time winningest coach in team history. So Mike Leach arrived over a decade ago with his pass-wacky mindset, so don't assume the world started spinning again just because you recently woke up.

The Pac-12 has become the place for scoreboard-spinning, big-college contests. Because half the country heads to bed before Pac-12 night games kick off, this entertaining craziness is underappreciated.

Yes, college football fans have never watched Big-12 games from a few years ago and have no idea that games where there is a lot of offense exist. Thanks for tipping the entire world off to high-scoring college football games. No one else can appreciate exciting offensive games without you pointing out how exciting these games are.

Hosting Arizona State, USC led 34-25 with three minutes remaining, visitors ball on their 27. Only a dramatic, long touchdown could revive Arizona State's hopes. So why were nine USC defenders close to the line of scrimmage at the snap? Seventy-three-yard touchdown pass.

Maybe they were close to the line of scrimmage because they figured there are only two plays the Arizona State team would run, either a short run or a long pass, and they guessed that it would be a short run?

Now, it's USC 34, Arizona State 32, with seven seconds remaining, visitors at midfield. Maybe, just maybe, the pass will go the end zone. Arizona State kept seven back to block, and USC rushed three. That meant eight defenders to check three receivers. Since the play absolutely had to reach the end zone -- the game would end with any runner down on the field of play -- why were three USC defensive backs standing doing nothing around the 25-yard line?

Just in case Arizona State runs a hook-and-lateral play where a short pass is thrown and then lateraled to another Arizona State player? USC wanted to make sure they didn't allow the Arizona State team to have free reign of the middle of the field and then get closer to the end zone without a USC defensive player getting in his way.

Since USC is near the bottom for football graduation rates among ranked teams, perhaps mental mistakes should be no surprise. Which leads us to ...

Near the bottom? But Gregg, in ESPN Grade USC is the 20th best team at combining on-field play and academics. 20th in ESPN's proudly rolled out grading system that is no longer mentioned in Gregg's TMQ. ESPN Grade is such an effective way of measuring how well a Divsion-I team combines athletics and academics, how can being 20th in these rankings be a bad thing?

Next Week: After three straight blowout losses by teams with a new coach playing on Thursday night (Buccaneers, R*dsk*ns, Vikings), the league spots any new coach a touchdown in Thursday games.

Absolutely not hilarious. And still, we know you are writing "Redskins" even when you leave out vowels.

I can't wait for Gregg to make his third Super Bowl pick for this year. If he keeps guessing, he will be right at some point.


Chris said...

Why is Gregg still talking about Chip Kelly like he still coaches for Oregon? Along those same lines nonconference cupcakes? Umm Chip Kelly doesn't decide who plays Philadelphia, the NFL makes the schedule. But at this point i'm not surprised that Gregg can't be bothered to research any of his talking points.

I also wonder how much awareness there is of Gregg's articles. If not for you Ben I wouldn't know Easterbrook existed, let alone wrote for ESPN. He's buried on page 2 behind Simmons. I wonder if Gregg has some sort of awareness of this because I have to believe Julio Jones and Chip Kelly would fire something back considering how much Gregg has ridiculed them in the past.

Chris said...

In terms of Gregg's resign to run law, I don't feel like the law as Gregg wants it would work at all. Yes it may be annoying that politicians get this treatment but Gregg is forgetting part of the reason they get police escort is because they are sitting Governor's of States. Mostly I think it's a matter of safety and an adundance of safety. I don't want to sound like I'm fear mongering but would Gregg rather the Governor of New Jersey be shot to death because he is unprotected? Congresswoman Giffords is a good example of this. I'm sure she got some kind of police presence wherever she was and someone still tried to kill her so in a way the police escort stuff is sort of a necessary evil.

Also how does Gregg not understanding that Perry and Christie are self promoting because they want to run for President? They are trying to attract independent and undecided voters so they can get their message across and hopefully in their minds, win the Presidency in 2016. They are campaigning. Campaigning is mostly self promotion. Obama did it, so did McCain and Romney and others will do it too. That and to nitpick a little Gregg complaining about Perry doing this is sort of incorrect since Perry isn't running for Governor again because he is term limited.

franc said...

so... last week gregg thinks the patriots may be done, and this week he thinks good teams need a little turmoil to really get going, except when turmoil leads to bad results later on in the season? what the fuck? he's basically saying teams may or may not play well during a season. and the patriots are either done or not done. excellent analysis indeed. i am stunned by this.

Anonymous said...

Does Gregg just hate the 49ers for some reason? I'm pretty sure they have the best record over the past three years, are very good at drafting (and finding value in later rounds) and are generally an organization worth praising at the moment. Yet all he has to say on their behalf is that they're coming apart/descending into turmoil ( last year he pounced on then when they were 1-2, en route to 12-4) and then some unfunny joke about the fact they don't actually play in San Francisco anymore. No one cares where they play and it doesn't affect football performance. Isn't this supposed to be analysis?

Also, I don't actually read the source columns, but it seems like he writes about the same topics every week. Not only that, but he says pretty much the exact same things on these topics and even repeats his own jokes. If he mentions another longstanding Bengals losing streak I'm gonna die. It's just not worth reading, praise to you Ben for working thru this tripe every week.

Anonymous said...

"Since USC is near the bottom for football graduation rates among ranked teams, perhaps mental mistakes should be no surprise."

I just did a quick search and found that U.S. News & World Report ranks USC as the 25th best university in the country. That's not 25th best university among FBS schools, that's the entire country, Ivy League and everything. USC is a fantastic academic institution. I can't speak for what their football players learn (and it should go without saying that football smarts and academic smarts are two different things, although Gregg is conflating the two), but overall it's a great school.

This is not the first time I've seen Gregg harp on Minnesota having a couple first round picks in their secondary, and I just want the record to show that Harrison Smith might be the best safety in football, and is at the very least in the top 5. Gregg mentions this like Minnesota has completely whiffed in the secondary, but actually Harrison Smith is an excellent player.

Bengoodfella said...

Chris, I don't think Gregg really cares if somebody fires back at something he writes. He'll just ignore it. I wouldn't believe anyone involved with the NFL would take him seriously in any way. His writing seems amateurish to me.

I didn't know Perry was term limited. Resign to run laws sound good on paper, but I don't know how they work in the real world. I would be interested in examples of them working well/not well.

Also, I don't like the amount of spending that goes on when governors visit other countries and all that, but there is an argument the security being there is what prevents violence from happening.

Franc, exactly. The Patriots may or may not play well this year. Turmoil helps teams form into champions, unless it doesn't, in which case Gregg will point out what a mess that team is.

Anon, I don't know if he likes the 49ers. He's a Redskins fan I think, so maybe he has some hate from them based on the 49ers being good in the 80's and early 90's. Either way, turmoil can be good, right? Just like turmoil is good for the Patriots.

USC players don't graduate apparently and Gregg thinks being smart at sports and academics is the same thing. For a smart man, he makes some really dumbass assumptions.

Smith is a good player, but Gregg knows nothing of him because he plays for the Vikings and because Smith isn't an UDFA. Rest assured, if Gregg could further a narrative around Smith being hard-working and undrafted he would know who Smith is.