When it rains, baseball players trot to the clubhouse. Basketball is staged indoors. Volleyball, indoors or on sun-drenched beaches. Soccer, a summer sport, usually doesn't play in winter. Ice hockey is almost always in an enclosed arena.
You may not believe this, but Gregg didn't do a great amount of research before jotting down these sentences. Seems to me this soccer league takes place right in the middle of winter. What do you know, this soccer league plays in the winter too. And God knows soccer never takes place in the rain. Ever.
Among the major team sports, football alone is performed in all conditions.
Except for the football games that have been canceled due to snow, like what happened this very NFL season to a game in Buffalo. But yeah, as long as Gregg ignores all of the examples that prove him wrong, football is performed in all conditions.
From sweltering humidity to freezing cold, in rain, snow and wind, football is a manly man pursuit that laughs at the elements -- unless the team has a domed stadium, of course. "Hot to cold" is a longstanding football goal, meaning the team begins training in August heat and is still playing in the wintry winds of January.
In general, football is played in all weather. Soccer is played in nearly all weather as well, outside of lightning or some other event that could very well also cancel a football game.
In rain and gusting wind at New England, the dome-based Colts were blown off the field. In rain and gusting wind at Seattle, the cold-acclimated Packers lost a close one to the rain-acclimated Seahawks, whose natural habitat is drizzle.
LO-fucking-L! The Colts won an outdoor road game the week before in Colorado. Meanwhile, Gregg is really writing that the Green Bay Packers, the Green Bay fucking Packers, aren't used to playing in the rain so that is why they lost that game to the Seahawks. Oh sure, the Packers are great at playing in frozen rain and snow, but once that rain isn't frozen it just messes their mind all up and they start making conservative play calls and bad decisions that don't initially appear to be caused by the rain, but are totally to be attributed to the rain. See, Mike McCarthy didn't call a conservative game, it's just the fact the rain wasn't frozen messed with his head so much he couldn't function as a play caller.
Gregg makes a lot of things up. It's just in his nature.
Weather conditions dictated a strange first half at Seattle, where Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson, entering the contest with six total career postseason interceptions, threw five interceptions in that half alone. Both teams dropped passes as receivers couldn't hold slick footballs.
And of course the Packers are used to playing with snow and frozen rain on the football, so the fact the ball was slick from normal rain meant they couldn't catch the passes thrown to them. I would also like to hear Gregg explain how the Seahawks natural habitat is drizzle but they were also dropping passes because the ball was slick. Isn't he pushing the bullshit story that the Seahawks had an advantage because they are used to the rain? So how come they were dropping passes because it was raining? Where is this supposed advantage that Gregg claims the Seahawks have? As always, Gregg is simply making things up.
One Wilson interception looked like a deep completion when released, then was held up by a gust of wind.
But Gregg, you JUST claimed the Seahawks were performing in their natural habitat so they had the advantage. Detailing instances where the Seahawks struggled in the rain is contradicting the point you are trying to prove.
Rodgers threw a pick on a play that began just as the rain increased considerably.
Of course if it were snow or freezing rain then Rodgers would have thrown the ball perfectly fine.
Both quarterbacks had trouble releasing the ball cleanly and missed open receivers.
Gregg can't possibly be this stupid. If both teams struggled, there was no advantage one way or another and his point about the weather is proven to be incorrect.
When weather-based luck favored Green Bay in the first half -- helping the Packers to four Seattle turnovers and a 16-0 lead at intermission -- the visitors seemed to grow overconfident and not consider that weather-based luck might go Seattle's way later. The drop-off in rain and wind arrived just as the Hawks' furious comeback began.
Now I'm confused. So as soon as the drop-off in rain and wind occurred, the Seahawks began to come back? So the Seahawks had the advantage once there was no bad weather and the Packers had the disadvantage because they aren't used to playing in good weather? This is completely counter to what Gregg just wrote. He wrote:
the NFL teams left standing tend to be the ones that can deal with weather...In rain and gusting wind at Seattle, the cold-acclimated Packers lost a close one to the rain-acclimated Seahawks, whose natural habitat is drizzle.
Then Gregg says once the drizzle stopped the Seahawks started to score points. So his point is the Packers played better in the drizzle, the same drizzle that Gregg claims is the Seahawks' natural habitat and allowed them to win the game, while the Seahawks played better in weather without rain and win, yet Gregg claims they are used to playing in the rain and it's their natural habitat. Doesn't this mean Gregg believes the Packers struggle playing in good weather? Of course this is ridiculous. What's more ridiculous is Gregg just writes shit in TMQ and absolutely doesn't care how many times he contradicts himself or whether what he is writing makes sense.
At New England, rain was a factor in five first-half dropped passes, a muffed fair catch and a badly off-target field goal into wind. The Patriots won so decisively that the weather was irrelevant by the end.
Gregg's topic of discussion in this TMQ is how weather impacted the AFC and NFC Championship Games. Then while in the discussion Gregg is basically like, "Weather had no impact on the AFC and NFC Championship Games." Okay, then. So why even bring up the topic of weather if it didn't impact the games?
I can't wait for Gregg to talk about how the deflated balls had an impact on the Colts-Patriots game and then he'll come up with an imaginary curse that has befallen the Patriots due to this.
But in the first half, when the contest was close, Indianapolis seemed totally flummoxed to be playing in rain and wind rather than the ideal conditions the Colts are accustomed to.
Again, they won a road game in Colorado the week before.
New England outrushed Indianapolis by 94 yards; Seattle outrushed Green Bay by 59 yards. When the weather is bad, you'd better be able to run the football.
The weather wasn't that bad and Gregg has already stated the weather had no impact on the outcome of the Colts-Patriots game.
Now Seattle and New England advance to a Super Bowl in Arizona -- ideal conditions.
Which apparently Gregg thinks are conditions the Packers would struggle in, just as they struggled once the conditions got better in Seattle on Sunday.
In TMQ news, six weeks ago this column foresaw a Super Bowl pairing of Seattle versus New England.
This was TMQ's third try at getting the Super Bowl pairing. At a certain point, it's just guessing and no credit should be given.
Sure, it was a hedged bet; during the season I made several Super Bowl forecasts -- one of them had to turn out right!
You joke, but it's annoying to hear you say you "foresaw" the Super Bowl pairing while admitting that you made several Super Bowl forecasts. I am simply afraid that some people take Gregg seriously.
In the time-honored tradition of analysts who made multiple forecasts only one of which proved correct, that's the only one I will point to.
Fine. Please explain how you say the Seahawks had the advantage because of the rainy weather and then claim the Seahawks started a comeback once the weather got less rainy. I need to know how the hell this makes sense.
I'm surprised Gregg didn't include as one of his Stats of the Week that the Green Bay Packers opened the season with a loss at Seattle and ended the season with a loss at Seattle.
On the third-and-1, left tackle Nate Solder also reported eligible -- the first time he'd done so. This should have been a bright flashing light to the Indianapolis defense. But Colts defenders didn't notice New England went unbalanced line on the play. That made Solder the tight end on the left, though to the defense he looked like the left tackle. The 15-yard touchdown pass to the 6-foot-8, 320-pound Solder was a thing of beauty, and it broke open the contest.
Note that what happened was the guy who seemed to be lined up as the left tackle was actually a tight end -- same thing that happened on New England's big odd-formation completion versus Baltimore and on Baylor's touchdown pass to an offensive linemen in its bowl game. Because most offenses are right-handed, defenders pay more attention to the offensive right.
What? So Gregg believes because most offenses are right-handed, defenders know this and pay attention to the offensive right? I don't even know what to say to this. Wouldn't defenders pay more attention to the right side of the offense (thereby meaning the left side of the offense from the offense's point of view) since more defenses are right-handed? This is so nonsensical it almost doesn't even deserve a rebuttal. I really, really, really doubt defenses pay attention to the handedness of the offense and then turn their attention to whatever side of handedness the offense is. This is a ridiculous claim.
With Green Bay seemingly in command with the score 19-7 and three minutes remaining, Seattle threw a deep "wheel" pattern to Marshawn Lynch for a 26-yard gain --- his sole reception of the NFC title contest. The Bluish Men Group would get a touchdown three snaps later, and the fateful onside kick was set in motion.
Middle linebacker Sam Barrington was covering Lynch deep, after first being run through a pick by Seattle tight end Luke Willson. Twice earlier, Seattle had tried this play and Willson failed to pick Barrington off; this time, he succeeded. Warned Seattle was trying to set a pick to get Lynch deep, Green Bay coaches didn't react -- and left the middle linebacker running deep with a Super Bowl invitation on the line.
Gregg is basing this criticism on hindsight. The Packers can't simply put an extra corner on the field every single time that Marshawn Lynch is on the field just in case the Seahawks run this wheel play. More times than not, Lynch will be running the football, which will require a linebacker and not an extra corner on the field. For some reason, Gregg thinks the Packers should always keep an extra corner on the field instead of a linebacker, just in case the Seahawks run this play. Either that or Gregg seems to believe Dom Capers is psychic and knew the Seahawks would run this play, yet decided to cover Lynch with a linebacker. Oh, and Sam Barrington is a lowly-drafted 7th round pick that got beaten on this play. Interesting how his draft status got left out of the discussion.
The Seahawks scored 15 points in 44 seconds to force overtime, then won the coin toss. The football gods were smiling on Seattle, possibly because with 52 degrees, rain and gusty winds at kickoff, the cheerleaders came out wearing miniskirts.
And to think Gregg got an attitude with someone on Twitter who accused him of being pervy, yet week-after-week he acts like a pervy old man who ogles the cheerleaders and encourages them to wear less clothing. Here is the Tweet:
@craigrlowell amazing how morally superior you are to people you've never met. see a therapist
— Gregg Easterbrook (@EasterbrookG) January 9, 2015
That's classic that Gregg calls the guy "morally superior" to people he hasn't met, as if the guy is judging Gregg based on something other than almost a decade of evidence in TMQ that Gregg ogles cheerleaders. As if the words Gregg writes in TMQ aren't indicative of his opinion, feelings or emotions and he shouldn't be judged by them. To take any of the words Gregg writes and come to a judgment is being "morally superior." What a crock. If I write racist crap on this blog could I just say, "Don't judge me as a racist because you haven't met me. See a therapist because you consider yourself to be morally superior to me"? Most likely that excuse wouldn't go over well.
In "Skyfall," James Bond hangs by his fingertips from a high bridge, then from a skyscraper, as does a bad guy Bond is trying to kill. Four times in the 2009 Star Trek reboot, New Improved Kirk hangs by his fingertips from a great height (the first time viewers see Kirk, as a boy, he's hanging by his fingertips). In the second movie of the reboot, New Improved Spock hangs by his fingertips. In "Elysium," Matt Damon hangs by his fingertips from a great height. On TV's "Hawaii Five-0," all the leads at some point hang by their fingertips from a great height; some guest actors too. The 2001 chick flick "Kate & Leopold" had its leads dangle by their fingertips from the Brooklyn Bridge; the movie was a romance!
Really? It was a romance and it showed the leads dangling by their fingertips? It makes no sense to have the leads in any movie hanging by their fingertips, but in a romantic comedy it makes totally no sense! All movies should have certain rules about what scenes they can and can not show based on the genre of that movie. For example, in a romantic comedy there should be no dangling by fingertips, while in action movies there should be no kissing between two characters.
Academy Awards note: Why is there no Oscar for goofiest statement by a Hollywood grandee? TMQ's nominee: Sylvester Stallone apologized for not enough violence in "The Expendables 3" and called the decision to go PG-13 "a horrible miscalculation ... I'm quite certain it won't happen again."
It's not a terribly goofy statement. Those going to see that film were going to see the violence in the movie and going with a PG-13 rating didn't allow the viewer to see the violence that viewer was expecting. Maybe it sounds goofy to Gregg, but as far as Stallone trying to appease his target audience it makes sense.
Has any team ever looked more defeated than Seattle did when Morgan Burnett picked off Russell Wilson with five minutes remaining in the fourth quarter?
Intercepting, Burnett deliberately went down. In retrospect, many are wondering why he didn't attempt a runback. Green Bay thought the game was over: Burnett's teammates made the "get on the ground" gesture. This wasn't a bad decision on his part -- no risk he'd fumble.
It was sort of a bad decision because he could have gained additional yardage and then run out of bounds so he didn't fumble or gained additional yardage and then fallen to the ground before he was tackled to avoid fumbling. There were other options available other than falling to the ground immediately. And no, only one teammate was motioning for Burnett to get down. That was Julius Peppers. It may not have been a bad decision to avoid fumbling, but it was a bad decision to not gain as much yardage as possible before falling to the ground.
Somehow, the Packers managed to take only 64 seconds off the clock and leave Seattle with one timeout before booming a punt. On all three snaps, Green Bay rushed directly into a nine-man box.
Gregg Easterbrook every other week in TMQ: "If Team X had run the ball three straight times and not thrown the ball then they likely would have been victorious."
Gregg Easterbrook this week in TMQ: "Why did Green Bay run the ball three straight times into a nine-man front instead of trying to pass the football?"
The only consistent thing about Gregg is his inconsistency. He has no beliefs, though he loves to espouse all sorts of rules and laws in TMQ, but his only belief is an NFL team should have done what worked. So hindsight is usually required for Gregg's criticism to be justified and he doesn't mind contradicting his previous opinions.
Seattle offered Aaron Rodgers a chance to ice the contest with a long pass -- and as in every other instance in the game, given the choice between conservative tactics and being bold, the Packers went conservative.
Nearly every week in TMQ Gregg tells NFL teams to run the ball to chew up clock and they will surely be victorious. Now all of a sudden, NFL teams shouldn't run the ball at the end of the game to chew up clock. Why? Because it didn't work in this specific situation. Undoubtedly Gregg will never address his previous statements about chewing up the clock at the end of a game by running the ball, because it would show how full of contradictory bullshit he can be.
After the touchdown that made the count 19-14, Seattle onside kicked, and the Green Bay hands team botched the play. Another quick Seattle touchdown made it 20-19 home team. On the deuce try, Russell Wilson was flushed from the pocket and retreated all the way to the Packers 18 before lofting a crazy, cross-the-field pass that was in the air for three seconds -- quite a long time for a pass to be airborne. Tight end Luke Willson, assigned to block, had scrambled left when he saw Wilson in trouble. He caught the deuce pass, which Green Bay safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix inexplicably simply watched, rather than knock down.
Gregg is simply echoing the same criticism that Troy Aikman had for Ha Ha Clinton-Dix. First off, the pass wasn't in the air for three seconds. I barely counted to two every time I watched the video. Second, Clinton-Dix didn't simply watch the ball while in the air. He seemed to approach Willson and then look like he misjudged the ball and jumped too short to make a play on the ball. I don't know what the hell Clinton-Dix was doing, but he appeared to try and make a play on the ball, only to fail to judge the flight of the ball correctly. Yes, he screwed up, but I think he would have knocked the ball down had he not misjudged the flight of the ball (which he seems to have done).
Then Gregg goes on a looooooooooong discussion of politics, federal and state spending, and other non-interesting non-NFL topics that I really don't care to discuss while I'm discussing TMQ.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback is reporting on an exclusive basis that two sources say multiple Seattle Seahawks were injected with grape Ovaltine before Sunday's NFC title contest. "Grape gives you so much more rush than chocolate," an unnamed player said. Long before 5 Hour Energy, Ovaltine promised to keep you going through the day.
What was the point of this paragraph? It's not funny at all. I don't get it.
Right now, most touts have Jameis Winston and Marcus Mariota atop the draft. Don't be surprised if neither ends up there.
First, both are Heisman-winning quarterbacks, and beware the Heisman Quarterback Curse. Of the Heisman quarterbacks currently in the NFL -- Johnny Manziel, Robert Griffin III, Sam Bradford, Carson Palmer and Cam Newton -- none has a winning career record.
I wouldn't say this is a curse any more than it is a product of these quarterbacks being drafted by teams that aren't very good. Bradford, Newton, and Palmer went #1 overall to teams that weren't good at all. Palmer would have a career winning record if it weren't for his time in Oakland, Newton is one game under .500,and Manziel wasn't even the Browns starter for the majority of the season. So yes, these quarterbacks don't have a career winning record, but this could have as much to do with them being drafted by teams that aren't very good as much as some fake curse.
Gregg talks about the Heisman Quarterback Curse, how about the Heisman Curse overall? Mark Ingram hasn't lived up to expectations, Tim Tebow is out of the league, Troy Smith is a career backup, Reggie Bush doesn't exist anymore as a Heisman winner, Matt Leinart is out of the league, Jason White was barely in the NFL, the same goes for Eric Crouch, Chris Weinke is a career backup, and Ron Dayne didn't have a good NFL career. The last Heisman winner to not befall the "curse" (though I would argue Palmer and Newton haven't had the curse befall them) of being a non-productive player on a bad team would be Ricky Williams. He has a winning record for his career and he was a productive player.
In the past 20 years, 14 Heisman quarterbacks have departed college. Danny Wuerffel became a star for the Rhein Fire; Gino Torretta, Chris Weinke, Eric Crouch, Jason White and Troy Smith had no NFL achievements; Charlie Ward never put on pads; Matt Leinart and Tim Tebow were flashes in the pan; Palmer, Bradford and Newton became secure starters, but none has a career winning record;
Again, Palmer has a winning record if his time with the Raiders is ignored. All three of these quarterbacks were taken #1 overall by teams who aren't very good, so they started their career out with more losses than wins. I wouldn't call it a curse more than I would call it Gregg judging an individual player on his team's achievement.
This isn't much to write home about and suggests the kind of athletes who become Heisman quarterbacks aren't likely to shine in the NFL -- the major factor being that they played on stacked college teams that made everything look easy.
I would dare Gregg to name three other players on the Auburn roster during the year Cam Newton was there. I'm guessing he couldn't do it, nor could he do it for Carson Palmer or Sam Bradford.
On several downs in the Oregon-Florida State semifinal, Winston's passes sailed far from any receiver's hands. The Seminoles quarterback before Winston, EJ Manuel, has struggled in the pros with accuracy and reading defenses. There will be worries Winston will struggle in the same manner.
This is basically Gregg saying, "Hey two black quarterbacks came from the same university. I know EJ Manuel struggled with accuracy in the NFL and I saw a game where Jameis Winston struggled with his accuracy. I bet Winston has the same issue in the NFL that Manuel has."
As if Winston is the only college quarterback to ever throw a pass far from the receiver's hands or anything like that.
Winston and Mariota both play like a tall Robert Griffin III, which might be a strike against them on draft day.
Oh, a tall Robert Griffin III. Gregg does realize that Winston and Mariota are only two inches taller than Griffin, right? It's not like Griffin is much shorter than other these other two quarterbacks or anything.
With New England leading 7-0, Indianapolis reached first-and-10 at the Flying Elvii 33 and went incompletion, incompletion, incompletion. Chuck Pagano sent out the field goal unit, though a 51-yarder in rain into a stiff breeze was likely to fail. The kick missed badly, which gave New England great field position to take the ball the other way for a touchdown.
I wonder how Gregg comes up with the factual comment that a 51-yard field goal is "likely to fail"? He couldn't just be making this up could he? Surely Gregg knows that Adam Vinatieri was 3-for-3 on the year on field goals that were 50+ yards long. I kid of course. There's no way Gregg knows this. He knows the field goal missed and a long field goal seems like it would be hard to make, so he just says, "Hey, this is a tough field goal to hit, so it's likely to miss" and continues on writing without doing any type of research to see if Vinatieri had success with 50+ yard field goals on the season. Why would he do research when so many of his readers will just believe whatever he writes?
The New England defense basically toyed with the Indianapolis offense. Bill Belichick likes to "take away" the opposition's best offensive player.
I don't know why "take away" is in parenthesis here.
The Patriots had corner Kyle Arrington shadow T.Y. Hilton pretty much everywhere he lined up -- it looked more like a basketball defense than football -- while shading a safety to Hilton's side.
Well, you know these defenders do "guard" the offensive players like it's basketball. At least that's what Gregg seems to believe.
Belichick knows Baltimore sells out to stop the run, so versus the Ravens, New England passed constantly.
Gregg took zero steps to prove this as accurate. He's making shit up again.
Belichick knows Indianapolis sells out to stop the pass, so Patriots coaches called 40 rushing plays.
Again, what the hell does it mean and what kind of proof does Gregg have that the Colts sell out to stop the run? Gregg is just saying this is true because he wants it to be true. If the Colts always sold out to stop the pass then every NFL team would beat the Colts by running the football.
Six weeks ago, the Authentic Games metric forecast a Denver-Arizona Super Bowl. I said I didn't trust the metric this year -- though last season, in early December it forecast a Denver-Seattle Super Bowl -- and my gut said New England-Seattle.
So you, and your Authentic Games metric, are equally full of shit? Got it. Carry on.
The metric didn't start forecasting New England-Seattle until three weeks ago.
So what's the point of the metric then? If it's October and I want to use the metric to figure out who will be in the Super Bowl, then the Authentic Games metric would have been absolutely useless to me. It predicts nothing and only simply reacts to the information that it is arbitrarily given by Gregg. The metric didn't choose the right Super Bowl matchup until around the time the playoffs had started and 20 of the teams were eliminated from contention to play in the Super Bowl.
It ends by clearly endorsing the two Super Bowl entrants. If it didn't, I'd be back to the drawing board.
You should go back to the drawing board anyway, because hey, the Authentic Games metric is all for fun anyway and doesn't really predict anything. Right? Isn't that what you told your readers back when the metric was coming up with a result you didn't like? Now all of a sudden, the Authentic Games metric has authenticity again because after 8 tries it finally got the correct result.
Single Worst Game Of The Season -- So Far:
If the Packers were to win the NFC championship, they needed to be aggressive when close. Play-not-to-lose tactics wouldn't work.
Yet after reaching fourth-and-goal at the Seattle 1 in the first quarter, Mike McCarthy sent in the field goal unit, after a third-and-goal play on which the Packers just ran straight ahead, with no misdirection. (At the Indianapolis 1 yard line, Bill Belichick had a tight end shift to split wide, then another tight end shift, then a man-in-motion away from the playside, which resulted in an uncovered man for the touchdown.) After reaching fourth-and-goal at the Seattle 1, again McCarthy opted for a placement kick. Then, upon reaching fourth-and-1 on the Seattle 22, again McCarthy sent out the kicking unit.
I do agree the Packers should have been more aggressive in this situation. Though of course, I don't really give a crap about a team "doing a little dance" or anything like that. The Packers have Eddie Lacy, they shouldn't have to do much but get him to run forward with the football in his hand in order to get a touchdown.
Tuesday Morning Quarterback noted two weeks ago the Packers tend to lose the fourth quarter.
I noted this is because the Packers are often playing a softer defense due to occasionally having a large lead in the fourth quarter.
If there's one place the visitors will lose the fourth quarter, it's at Seattle. So Green Bay could not sit on its hands in the third quarter. On the day, Green Bay rushed for a 4.5-yard average. Go for the first down!
While I do agree the Packers were too conservative, Gregg consistently doesn't understand a 4.5-yard average per rush statistic doesn't necessarily mean much in a third/fourth-and-short situation. Situational down and distance tends to vex Gregg so he just lazily falls back on a team's per carry average for the game as proof that team could easily pick up the first down on third/fourth-and-short.
Next Week: Nominees for the coveted "longest award in sports," TMQ's Non-QB Non-RB NFL MVP.
After taking a year long break from this ridiculous award, Gregg has brought it back. For a guy who lauds undrafted, non-glory boy players, it sure is interesting that of the 13 winners of this award 6 of them were first or second round draft picks. I'm guessing Gregg has given up on the "unwanted/undrafted" team he used to put together every year because he finally realized how ridiculous it was to say a team didn't want a player because he was cut for salary cap reasons.