Thursday, January 1, 2015

7 comments Gregg Easterbrook Suggests the NFL Play Two-Handed Tag Instead of Tackle Football

Gregg Easterbrook took a bye week the week before Christmas and then I didn't get a chance to cover his December 23 TMQ. So, here it is. When we last checked in with the diarrhea splatter of loosely-based facts and contentions which are opinions held by Gregg that change on a weekly basis, he was throwing his authentic games metric to the side as just a joke-y metric he created that meant nothing so don't really believe Gregg thought it was accurate and making his fourth Super Bowl pick of the NFL season. This week is giving NFL fans permission to move on from teams that are losers, as well as using his lack of knowledge about the NBA to give NBA fans permission to give up on their team as well. I wish Gregg would give up writing TMQ.

What if your favorite NFL team is terrible -- should you stand firm?


No. It's OK to be a fair-weather fan.

I disagree.

Five teams -- City of Tampa, Jacksonville, Jersey/B, Oakland and Tennessee -- are poised to finish with no more than three wins, versus only two teams that bad last season. The Bears and Giants have been huge disappointments, while the Eagles knocked themselves out of a seemingly locked-up postseason bid with an all-time phoned-in bad game versus 4-11 Washington. Buffalo hasn't reached the postseason in a league-worst 15 years and laid an egg versus 3-12 Oakland.

If any of these are your favorite teams, just write them off until such time as they may improve.

The Eagles and Bears made the playoffs last season and the Redskins made the playoffs two seasons ago, so giving up on them until they improve is the very definition of fair weather fandom. I wouldn't doubt that Gregg thinks it is fine to be a fair weather fan. It seems to fit his personality and how he writes a weekly NFL column, because he doesn't seem to understand much about the sport of football, including the emotional attachment to a certain team.

NFL teams that consistently promise to improve, then stay terrible, are manipulating you. Strike back! It's OK to be a fair-weather fan.

How is not cheering for that team "striking back"? Enough fans will stick by the team that an NFL team won't really care if a few fans give up on the team until they are good again. When that team is good again, then a fair weather fan will jump right back on the bandwagon. That's the annoying thing about fair weather fans. Plus, three of these teams that Gregg listed made the playoffs recently and the Giants won the Super Bowl just a few short years ago. The NFL is consistent only in that it isn't consistent on a year-by-year basis. It's ridiculous to state an NFL team is terrible if they have two bad years in a row. I don't think the Giants, Bears, or Eagles have "stayed" terrible and the Redskins were in the playoffs two years ago. I wouldn't expect any type of accuracy from Gregg of course. He will mislead his readers in order to prove his point.

Fans and boosters of college football should stay true to their schools through thick or thin because colleges play a larger role in society.

Plus, people graduate from these colleges with degrees as well as give money to these colleges, so boosters of a school have a financial tie. But yeah, "larger part of society" and all of that. Sure. I'm sure that's why fans and boosters should stay true to their schools.

NFL teams are strictly entertainment organizations. If the entertainment is bad, write 'em off. You wouldn't purchase a crummy album by a pop star. Why watch the games of a terrible NFL team?

It's different to cheer for a team and buying an album from a pop star. Again, there is an emotional tie to the team that isn't there to the pop star (usually).

That some NFL clubs consistently are good while others consistently are bad may be a case study in coaching and management. Regardless, if your favorite team is bad, you owe them nothing.

Then don't attend games. That makes sense. Otherwise, it doesn't require much in terms of spending to be a fan of a team. Watch their games and choose to care or don't care. In the sports world, not caring because a team isn't good can be frowned upon for whatever reason. No one likes someone who sticks around only through the good times. It doesn't shock me at all that Gregg tries to be academic about fandom and doesn't understand the fans of an NFL team can cheer for the team because they want to, not because they consider the team to be a product that is purchased.

Don't feign loyalty. Take pride in being a fair-weather fan!

Cheering for a losing team isn't feigning loyalty. That's being loyal. Cheering for a team that is terrible is the very definition of being loyal to that team. I think that's the part Gregg doesn't get. Redskins fans aren't feigning loyalty, they are loyal when they cheer for the team. This is part of why Gregg shouldn't broach the topic of being a fair weather fan in TMQ. He doesn't understand the loyalty is real and not fake. For Gregg, he pretends to be too smart and clinical to be capable of understanding why fans of a team would stick with that team through thick and thin.

The NFL is trying to make football less violent, and to safeguard its substantial economic investment in quarterbacks. Fair enough. 

Or, you know, in order to reduce concussions. This just happens to be one of Gregg's pet projects and all. But sure, the NFL is changing rules to protect a team's investment in quarterbacks and it's not about making the sport safer overall.

So TMQ proposes a new "passer stance" rule: a player in a passer stance cannot be hit in any manner and is down with two-hand touch.

Seriously, go away. Just go away.

Of course, Gregg throws this idea out there without actually fully explaining his rule. It's not his job to explain the rule he just created, and after all, he may need to change the rule down the road when it's proven this is a stupid rule. So it's best if he just create the rule and then not mention anything else about it with too many specifics in case he needs to contradict the rule down the road.

I'm in earnest about this. A two-hand touch rule for the quarterback would not sissify football, anymore more than banning grabbing the facemask (once that was legal) sissified football.

This is so stupid, I won't even address it. Here is why Gregg says the current rules protecting the quarterback don't work:

But the pendulum has swung too far, especially considering it is unrealistic for a defender who is charging hard toward the quarterback to come to a complete halt the instant the ball is released.

So Gregg's idea is that because it is too difficult for defenders to stop their momentum and pull up when they are trying to tackle a quarterback, it will be easier to pull and two hand tag that quarterback. Got that? Try this at home. Go charging full speed at something and then try to pull up at the last minute. Then go charging at something, pull up and then try to two-hand tag that something. I'm betting your momentum is going to be hard to stop either way.

This is where Gregg's ability to be academic and realistic comes into play for the worse. It's not the tackling that is the issue, but the momentum a defensive player has which is the issue. So changing it to where the defender has to two-hand tag the quarterback won't stop the momentum he has when trying to go after the quarterback. The defender will still go full speed, even if only to two-hand tag the opposing quarterback. It's not like the invention of an absurd two-hand tag rule will mean defenders won't go full speed anymore. Gregg is very proud of his academic idea that really doesn't work in the real world. Either way, the defender will pull up when trying to tackle the quarterback or two-hand tag the quarterback. He still has momentum caused by his speed, it's just he will two-hand tag the quarterback and not tackle him. And also, a 280 pound defensive lineman doing a two-hand tag is still pretty violent. It's enough to injure the opposing quarterback, especially if the lineman does two-hand tag on the quarterback's arm, neck, shoulder or even his ribs. Quarterbacks can still get hurt when not being tackled. It's a dumb idea that doesn't fix the problem.

No more endless debates about what part of a quarterback can be hit in what manner. Make the rule that a "passer stance" player simply cannot be hit, but is down by two-hand touch.

No really, J.J. Watt can still hurt a quarterback with two-hand tag. It's like Gregg has a complete lack of understanding about how quick, fast and strong NFL players are. A blitzing linebacker or safety can still hurt a quarterback with two-hand tag.

At times such a standard would work against the offense. Quarterbacks may wriggle out of sacks, then scramble to make big plays. There would be no wriggling out of a two-hand touch. The down would end.

Oh, so the game will be less fun to watch AND this idea really won't fix the problem of a defensive player having too much momentum to pull up and not hit the quarterback? Great.

The rules already treat a quarterback who has taken off running as a regular ballcarrier, so no change is needed there. A two-hand touch standard for the quarterback when he is a passer would eliminate booing over ticky-tacky roughing- the-passer calls, make games more interesting by reducing quarterback injuries, and give the defense a better chance of a sack, since the quarterback could no longer wriggle away.

Here is where Gregg's refusal to define what he means further contributes to this stupid, fucking idea. When is a quarterback a passer? When is he a runner? If Cam Newton leaves the pocket and starts running, but is still behind the line of scrimmage, is he a passer or a runner? He can still pass, but he's running. Does the defender have to wait for Newton to pass the line of scrimmage and then he can tackle him? And also, who isn't looking forward to replays determining whether a quarterback was tagged with both hands or not? Not me, that's who. I don't care to see replays where the announcers try to figure out if a defensive player's left hand grazed the quarterback or not in conjunction with that defensive player's right hand.

But really, Gregg does not at all define when a quarterback is a passer or a runner. So without that definition his idea has zero validity. Gregg loves to throw out ideas and then never explain them fully. When is a quarterback a passer? If he pump fakes and then pulls the ball down, is he a runner or a passer?

Sour 'N' Sweet Plays: Carolina leading 17-13 with 3:33 remaining, must-win situation for Cleveland, the Browns punted from midfield. Who cares if it was fourth-and-13? This sour play was Cleveland coach Mike Pettine making sure that if the Browns went down the players would be blamed for performing poorly, rather than him being blamed for a coaching decision.

I'm sure that was Pettine's intent. Of course, he could have been trusting his defense to stop the Carolina offense and get good field position for the offense, but that would be crazy to do. Converting a fourth-and-13 with an offense that had 228 total yards on the day and had completed 10 of 21 passes on the day was a much more likely scenario to have occurred.

Now the Cats have second-and-9 on their 21, 2:44 remaining and Cleveland holding two timeouts. Either rush to move the clock or if you throw, go for the home run.

A short pass to convert the first down or set up a manageable third down was apparently not at all an option. Why would it be when there are only two options available? Obviously the Browns' defense should have set up a defense to expect a rush or a deep pass, because Carolina certainly wasn't going to have any players running shorter routes.

Dallas scored to take a 7-0 lead. On the subsequent possession, Indianapolis faced fourth-and-11 at its 19. The Boys lined up with no one across from either gunner, which the Colts must have come into the contest anticipating. Punter Pat McAfee called an "automatic" -- an audible that is dictated by the defense, as opposed to a signal coming in from the bench -- and threw a nice lob to gunner Dewey McDonald for what would have been the first down. McDonald, a rookie safety, dropped the pass as if it were a live ferret.

Doesn't Gregg mean that Dewey McDonald, an undrafted free agent from a small non-football factory school, dropped this pass as if it were a live ferret? Of course not! Because if Gregg mentioned those two facts then his readers might see through his bullshit about undrafted players and athletes that come from non-football factory schools. Gregg contends undrafted players, especially those from non-football factory schools, work harder and perform better on the field, and Gregg won't allow any attempt at reality to interfere with this thinking.

On the first Dallas snap after the dropped pass, Tony Romo threw a touchdown strike to Dez Bryant on a simple go route.

I think Gregg means highly-paid glory boy Tony Romo threw a touchdown strike to highly-drafted glory boy Dez Bryant.

Checking on an expected arriving parcel, I found that the Postal Service had employed a 22-digit tracking number. Nine digits are needed to assign a unique number to every American citizen, with 684 million combinations to spare. Twenty-two digits is almost enough to assign a unique number to every star in the observable universe. A 22-digit number is a sextillion -- a 1 followed by a quadrillion millions. Yet the USPS needs that many digits to track a package. UPS is far more efficient, as it used a mere 18 digits to track a package. An 18-digit number is 100 quadrillion. Eighteen digits would seem enough to assign a unique number to every living thing in the galaxy. FedEx was super-efficient tracking my package with 11-digits. That's still a 10 followed by a billion, or more unique tracking numbers than there are people on Earth.

It must be nice to have time to worry about pointless shit like this. Gregg's life is so empty he just sits around and has to create things to be outraged about that don't bother normal people.

Doug Marrone's afraid-of-my-own-shadow game management causes Buffalo to be dropped as an Authentic team. So too are the Browns, Dolphins and 49ers, all eliminated. Dropping these four as Authentic entails reshuffling of the standings, as does adding Houston, which is still alive, if a long shot, while others have fallen away.

The problem is that past Authentic Games standings were based on these teams being authentic teams. So Gregg's previous Super Bowl selection changes, was not based on anything that team has done, but based on what other teams have done. I just hate the Authentic Games metric. Gregg has already pointed out how pointless and useless it is. I don't know why he insists on still using it as if it means something.

One premise of this metric is that it's better to play lots of difficult games and lose some than to face only soft opponents: 

Right, but what was once a soft opponent could later be seen as a difficult game.

Gregg's Super Bowl prediction this week based on this stupid metric is Pittsburgh v. Arizona. But no worries, he has two other Super Bowl predictions that he has made also. Actually three. He had his real prediction of Denver-New Orleans, his alternative pick of Seattle-Indianapolis, and his other alternative pick of Seattle-New England. Also thrown in his Authentic Games pick of Pittsburgh-Arizona and Gregg has taken four shots at making a Super Bowl prediction. One of them will be correct and Gregg will certainly brag about it. If it's the Authentic Games prediction that ends up being correct, then he'll say the metric is shit, but also brag about how the metric was correct.

My Non-Authentic Games standings have revealed the following Super Bowl matchups so far:

Packers and Broncos
Saints and Dolphins
Packers and Patriots
Eagles and Bills
Rams and Texans

This week my Non-Authentic Games pick is Houston-Dallas. So my shitty, made-up metric looks like it could be right as well with my Packers-Broncos, Packers-Patriots or Carolina-Pittsburgh picks. What a great metric.

With Buffalo, Cleveland, Miami and Santa Clara removed from the index, the total number of wins goes down, allowing Pittsburgh to take over first place at 5-1. And though the Broncos just took a beating on "Monday Night Football," at 6-3 they have the most Authentic wins so don't count them out.

But of course, the Steelers have played fewer games against authentic teams and won fewer games against these teams than the Broncos, but Gregg's metric has the Steelers as more "authentic" than the Broncos. That's the sign of a great metric. The Authentic Games metric is supposed to determine the better NFL team based on the "authentic" teams a certain NFL team has played. The metric in this case has an NFL team that's played and won more games against "authentic" teams as compared to another NFL team ranked lower in the Authentic Games metric.

ESPN Grade sorts the Top 25 by graduation rate. Reader Ronald Dufresne of Marshfield, Vermont, put all FBS colleges into a database and found that if overall football graduation rates are weighted, rather than just the Top 25's graduation standing, the final four through Week 15 would be:

Alabama. 1 in AP, 1 in USA Today, 25 in GSR = ESPN Grade 27
TCU. 4 + 4 + 20 = ESPN Grade 28.
Ohio State. 6 + 6 + 29 = ESPN Grade 41.
UCLA. 16 + 17 + 12 = ESPN Grade 45.

Oregon drops out at 3 + 3 + 60 = ESPN Grade 66.
Florida State drops further at 2 + 2 + 89 = ESPN Grade 93.

While throwing all FBS teams into the mix is a much better idea, you can see the ranking a team has on the field is still weighted too much as compared to that team's ranking in the classroom. There's no team ranked in the Top 10 in classroom performance in the final four, while three teams ranked in the Top 10 on the field are part of the final four. This metric will never useful until it measures classroom and on the field performance equally and factors in all FBS teams.

In other football-academics news, Nina Mandell of USA Today reports Hugh Freeze of Ole Miss boasted that his team's overall GPA of 2.57 was highest "in recorded history" of Rebels football. So first, we don't know what Ole Miss football GPA was like during the Triassic Period.

Okay, smartass. Was there Ole Miss football in the Triassic Period? There wasn't? So try to understand what you are being snarky about before being snarky. Freeze didn't say "recorded history" overall, but recorded history of Ole Miss football, which hasn't been around since the Triassic Period.

Two weeks ago TMQ wondered how the mega-enormous starship of the heavily promoted SyFy Channel miniseries "Ascension" could have gotten into space using the technology of the 1960s. The Big Reveal turned out to be that the Ascension was never in space. Six hundred people were locked into an underground model of a mega-enormous starship, then tricked into thinking they were on their way to another star system. The real purpose was a sinister experiment in natural selection.

Okay, it's a TV show. But how were the original passengers of the Ascension made to believe they were in outer space if there was never a blastoff? Ascension is said to be moving at 5 percent of the speed of light, which would have meant weeks or months of hard g-forces during acceleration. The original passengers were said to be elite scientists, it would have been obvious to them they were inside something that wasn't accelerating.

How did this happen? It's a television show. Stating, "Okay, it's a TV show" and then completely ignoring this because you want to ignore that it's a TV show is a pointless exercise. Gregg is acknowledging why his complaint is ridiculous, then makes the complaint anyway.

 TMQ hopes for fancy chocolates in a box with "Swarovski Elements". The "scintillating opulence" will leave recipients "speechless." Last week the gift was listed as out of stock, which appears to suggest the One Percent has so much money to burn that members can spend $150 on a box of chocolates. Ho ho ho!

Gregg writes this as if he isn't a part of the 1% or anything like that. Gregg is 61 years old and I'm betting he makes about $350,000 per year for his writing and book sales. If not, he's probably pretty damn close to the 1% that he talks about here.

Why does everyone around Rex Ryan contract chronic boasting disease? Geno Smith declared "I've shown flashes of being a Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback."

Rex Ryan doesn't really boast that much anymore. Smith also said after that,

"but what we're looking for here is consistency. The best teams have consistent quarterback play and I realize that and that's truly what I want to show to the fans and everyone outside the building,"

So Smith did say he had shown flashes of being a Pro Bowl quarterback, but was also clear to acknowledge that he hasn't been very consistent. To take his quote in context isn't as much fun as taking it out of the context though.

Then Sheldon Richardson said he is as good as J.J. Watt. When Richardson said this, he had 6.5 sacks, one forced fumble, one recovered fumble and no touchdowns; Watt at the same juncture had 16.5 sacks, three forced fumbles, five recovered fumbles and five touchdowns.

Well, Richardson is pushing for a new contract like J.J. Watt and Gerald McCoy received. And Richardson is pretty good by the way.

Santa Clara's passing attack continues to be awful, while the once-unstoppable Colin Kaepernick continues to regress.

Let's not forget that while Gregg Easterbrook is calling Kaepernick unstoppable now, Gregg stated just last season that the zone read was dead and counted the 49ers out because Kaepernick was suddenly becoming stoppable. So Gregg calls Kaepernick "unstoppable" even though he's never really thought Kaepernick was unstoppable.

For weeks Bill Belichick has seemed to have a clear understanding that the AFC title may come down to where the Broncos and Patriots meet in January. Now any Denver-New England postseason meeting will occur in winter conditions in Massachusetts, opening the door to a Flying Elvii return to the Super Bowl.

Bill Belichick knew that Manning wouldn't want to play in winter conditions so he made it a goal to get homefield advantage throughout the playoffs and try to win every single game. This is as opposed to previous seasons when Belichick didn't try to get homefield advantage in the playoffs and didn't care to win every game the Patriots played.

On Monday night, Manning often saw the press coverages he's seen since last season's playoffs, yet responded by trying to throw super-short. Manning likes to throw super-short but this just doesn't work when receivers are jammed, as the Seahawks demonstrated in the Super Bowl.

If wide receivers are jammed then a team can't throw super-short. This is some great analysis from Gregg. All an opposing team has to do is jam the Broncos receivers and Peyton Manning can't complete a pass. Why hadn't opposing teams thought of doing this before? After all, jam the Broncos receivers and they can never break the jam or catch a pass. This is a rule and not some bullshit that Gregg just made up based on the result of a couple of games.

But yes, if a team has good enough corners to jam the Broncos receivers and not allow them any open space to catch a pass then the Broncos will struggle. The problem is not every team has good enough corners to do this and not every team runs a defense where the cornerbacks will jam the Broncos receivers. So Gregg's analysis leaves out a mention that it's not just as simple as jamming the Broncos receivers.

Cincinnati leading 30-28, Denver took possession on its 20 with 4 minutes remaining. Manning threw super-short twice, setting up third-and-1. On the night the Broncos rushed for an average of 4.5 yards per carry, why not run for the first down? An audible to a deep pass also was attractive.

As we learned earlier in this TMQ, the Broncos do have two options here and only two options. Run the football or throw it deep. Surely the Bengals knew these were the only two options and called up one of those defensive plays that cover the run and cover a deep pass.

Pre-snap, Manning saw seven Bengals on the line of scrimmage and 10 close to the line, a Cover 1 look that fairly screams, "Throw deep!" Instead the call was another super-short pass. Manning retreated 9 yards -- to gain 1 yard! -- then lobbed the ball short into double coverage for the pick-six that iced the contest. Ouch.

But there are only two options for the Broncos here. Throw deep or run the ball! Manning has to choose between these options, because the defense will totally not expect either one. Surely the Broncos would have scored a touchdown if they had just thrown it deep.

Any one rich person taxing himself or herself would do little to alter the overall national-debt equation. But this act would show sincerity and leadership. Treasury nominee Antonio Weiss -- put your money where your mouth is by taxing yourself, and disclosing the proof.

I'm embarrassed for myself that I read TMQ every week, even if I read it just to criticize and make fun of Gregg.

Now it's Steelers 10-6 with 27 seconds remaining before intermission, Kansas City facing fourth-and-1 on the Pittsburgh 12, Chiefs holding a time out. Normally conservative Andy Reid goes for it! But TMQ's Law of Short Yardage holds -- Do a little dance if you want to gain that yard. Power set, straight ahead rush -- no man-in-motion, no misdirection. Runner stuffed.

But going for it here would tell Andy Reid's team that he is very serious about winning the game and then this would inspire the Chiefs to win, right? Even if this fourth down conversion failed? Isn't that how it works? Fortune favors the bold, even if a little dance (which, if a team does misdirection or puts a man-in-motion to gain short yardage then wouldn't this be a tip-off that team is running so the misdirection or man-in-motion wouldn't be nearly as effective?) wasn't done? Why didn't the football gods that Gregg talks about reward Andy Reid for the boldness of going for it on fourth down?

Blur Offense Honks Out: The clock struck midnight for Mark Sanchez, who turned back into a pumpkin as the heavily favored Eagles lost to the woeful Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons. Once 9-3 with an inside track to the postseason, the Eagles are now consigned to the couch for January.

Chip Kelly looked as though he thought he was back at Oregon coaching against a cupcake such as Tennessee Tech, with victory automatic. Philadelphia trailing 17-14 in third quarter, on fourth-and-1, Kelly sent in the field goal unit. The Eagles entered with the league's second-ranked offense: what good is the second-ranked offense if you're afraid to try on fourth-and-1 when trailing a bad team in a must-win situation?

What Gregg neglects to mention is that for the past two seasons he has touted the Chip Kelly and other "West Coast" offenses as the future of football. Of course, he won't mention this when discussing how the Blur Offense of Chip Kelly honked out at the end of the NFL season. Rest assured, once a fast-paced offense picks up again Gregg will have at least one TMQ describing how Blur Offenses are taking over the NFL, while he describes how he knew this was happening. When a Blur Offense doesn't succeed, not much is heard from Gregg about how "West Coast" offenses are taking over the NFL. It's like how Gregg pronounces the zone read dead, then calls Colin Kaepernick "unstoppable" while running the zone read. Gregg loves to mention how revolutions in the NFL are starting or ending, but when faced with the failure or success of that revolution he gets quiet and forgets to mention how he touted or wrote that revolution off. It's dishonest writing, or at the very least, misleading writing that leaves out facts or details which don't match the point Gregg wants to prove.

Buck-Buck-Brawkkkkkk: Trailing by 11 points with six minutes remaining at Jacksonville, 2-12 Tennessee faced fourth-and-goal on the 5 -- and Ken Whisenhunt sent in the field goal unit. The Flaming Thumbtacks needed two scores, but if the trailing team takes the field goal in this situation, then it needs three scores -- field goal, touchdown, deuce conversion.

I don't really consider that to be three scores, but I'm sure Gregg says that only to criticize the Titans. If the Titans don't get a touchdown on the fourth down play then the game is over. They need to score a touchdown at some point anyway, so why not just take the three points and get the ball back knowing they need a touchdown and two-point conversion? Use the same play they would have used on fourth-and-goal (since Gregg is so confident the Titans could convert the touchdown) for the two-point conversion. Yes, the Titans are close enough to score a touchdown, but take the points and trust the defense to get the football back. Maybe I'm too conservative, but when given the chance to get points, I take them. A failure on fourth down here effectively ends the game, and it's not like the Titans wouldn't have to score another touchdown in order to prevent having to get "three scores," even if they did convert the fourth down here into a touchdown. 

The end zone was only five yards away, and needless to say, Tennessee never got near it again.

If the Titans didn't get near the end zone again then it doesn't matter what the fuck they did on this fourth down play. They weren't winning the game anyway. It's not like the Titans' defense would have gotten the football back if they were down four points and not eight points. The result is the same and this play ended up not making a difference in the game.

NBA Race to the Bottom Intensifies: With Rajon Rondo traded, the Celtics now hold at least nine first-round choices in the next four drafts, possibly 10 depending on fine print, plus extra second-round selections. Hey 76ers -- two can play at the deliberate-losing game! If only it were just two: many of the NBA's teams are diving into the tank, though attaining high draft picks often doesn't even work. The Knicks, 5-25 as of Tuesday, are cooperating with the Celtics in the goal of making a mockery of old NBA rivalries.

Except the Knicks aren't tanking intentionally, they are just not a very good team.

So be a proud fair-weather fan and write off the Knicks, Celtics, 76ers and others until such time as they may improve.

Why should I write off the Celtics? It costs me nothing to cheer for them when they are terrible. I don't have a chance to go to the games and I think they have a good plan to be a good team in the future. Why write them off because they are bad for one season? This is annoying point of view. It's not like the Celtics are a consistently bad team that causes me to write them off based on continuous lack of success. It's silly to claim fans should write off a team because that team struggles for a few seasons. It's not feigning loyalty to cheer for these teams, but is the definition of being a loyal fan.

Stay true to your favorite college basketball team because colleges play a larger role in society. NBA teams are just entertainment organizations. 

Well, college sports are entertainment as well. Not to mention, the role in society the NBA or NFL plays is irrelevant as to whether a person should be a fair weather fan or not.

Trailing Arizona by 9 points with six minutes remaining, a loss meaning elimination, facing fourth-and-goal at the Cardinals' 1, St. Louis coach Jeff Fisher sent in the placekicking unit. Yes, Les Mouflons needed two scores. But a field goal can be launched from long distance, St. Louis was just one yard away from the touchdown it had to get. The closest the Rams would come for the remainder of the contest was the Arizona 43.

So could the Rams have made the kick from the Arizona 43? That's a 60+ yard field goal from there. I'm not saying the conservative route is the way to go, but Tre Mason had 2.5 yards per carry during the game and the Cardinals are the a decent team against the rush (13th in the NFL). If they don't convert, the game is over. Fine, go for it, but even if the Rams converted they still may not have won the game.

Seattle leading 21-6 in the fourth quarter at Arizona, the Cardinals had no margin for error on defense. The Bluish Men Group faced first-and-15 deep in their territory. Arizona put nine men into the box against the expected clock-killer run. Marshawn Lynch broke through and reached the Seattle 45, where he was hemmed in at the sideline by Patrick Peterson and Rashad Johnson. Antonio Cromartie, the third defender close to Lynch, came to a complete stop and watched.

That Lynch managed to escape Peterson's grasp is impressive -- Peterson seemed to be trying to shove the Seattle tailback out of bounds rather than use proper form and wrap up. Ricardo Lockette, an undrafted Division II player who is a TMQ favorite, hustled like mad to get downfield and block Johnson out of the action. Cromartie simply stood watching as Lynch got away, not beginning to hustle until it was too late to stop the 79-yard touchdown that all but ended Arizona's bid for home-field advantage leading up to a Super Bowl on Arizona's home field.

You know who else is a TMQ favorite on this play? First round pick Marshawn Lynch. Funny how his draft position isn't mentioned at all when he was the guy running the football, while Gregg takes care to mention an undrafted free agent hustled down the field to block.

Next Week: Who will be fired on Black Monday?

Not Gregg Easterbrook, that's for sure.


Snarf said...

I realize he's being intentionally obtuse to some degree, but one thing gregg is potentially neglecting re: tracking numbers is that sometimes there is additional info contained in the number, thus limiting available digits to use as an identifier. For example, if USPS wanted the date and originating zip code, using today and 12345, that 22-digit number for a package sent today could be: 2014010212345xxxxxxxxx, so only 9 "available" numbers to serve as unique identifiers. Not sure this is the case, but something that could explain what's going on.

Dan said...

As a Bears fan it pains me to say this, but they did not make the playoffs last year :(

Bengoodfella said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bengoodfella said...

Snarf, that could make sense. Personally, I have much bigger things, like the writing habits of sportswriters, to worry about.

Dan, what? I thought they did. I really thought they did. Ugh, nevermind. This is what I get for not doing research.

Eric said...

1) While there are 7 billion people in the world (approximately), I guess Gregg would like to ration us to one parcel per person per lifetime so that we could keep the number string low. What a stupid argument by Gregg. 22 on its own might be excessive, but not nearly as much so as he claims considering the average person probably mails far more than one package per year, let alone per lifetime.

2) Gregg's speed of light argument shows what a fake intellectual he is. He claims a ship would have to accelerate at "high G-forces" for weeks or months to reach 5% of the speed of light. Here is why he is wrong. At 1G (earth gravity) a ship is accelerating at 1 m/s-squared. Acceleration equals velocity divided by time. The speed of light is 300,000,000 m/s. 5% of this is 15,000,000 m/s. Taking this into account, a ship accelerating at 1G would reach 5% of the speed of light in approximately 15,000,000 seconds. Each day contains 86,400seconds. Divide 15,000,000 by 86,400 and you get just over 173 days... So, at G forces that are exactly what we are used to feeling, and would be what we would feel on a ship accelerating at 1G, it would take just over 6 months to reach 5% of the speed of light. I hate you Gregg.

Anonymous said...

Gregg's columns aren't even fun to make fun of. His points are so absolutely asinine that it makes my head hurt. If QBs could only be brought down with a two-hand touch, what exactly are pass rushers supposed to do, rush at half-speed? You can't run a hundred miles an hour at something and then come to a complete stop on a dime. And think about how many times QBs get out of would-be sacks. Under Gregg's idea, all of those plays would immediately be down with a two-hand touch. The rhythm of a football game would be completely ruined if pass rushers couldn't rush, and QBs couldn't escape potential sacks. I'm trying to think if I've ever heard of a stupider idea in my life, and I'm failing to do so.

I guarantee that once upon a time, people in the UPS offices sat down and decided how to determine tracking numbers, and what type of information needed to be in it, including what package it is, what facility it's coming from, things like that. I guarantee there was a lot of thought put into it. And I guarantee the system works for them. Then comes along this haughty dipshit who has put no thought into it whatsoever, and he has to criticize their methods. There is nothing worse than being talked down to by someone who has no idea what you're doing.

Gregg must walk around thinking he's the only smart person in the world, and everyone else is stupid. What else would even compel someone to criticize the UPS for their tracking numbers? I just assume that they know what their doing, and have a system in place to ensure millions packages get delivered. Not Gregg though! He assumes they have no idea what their doing, and add digits to their tracking numbers just for the hell of it. What a complete and utter asshole. I feel safe in saying Gregg is one of the worst writers in recorded history. Yeah that's right Gregg, RECORDED HISTORY. INCLUDING THE TRIASSIC PERIOD.

Bengoodfella said...

I think I'm going to put "Including the Triassic Period" at the end of all my declarative statements from now on.

Peyton Manning is the biggest choker I've seen in NFL history. INCLUDING THE TRIASSIC PERIOD.