Showing posts with label ridiculous claims. Show all posts
Showing posts with label ridiculous claims. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

7 comments Baseball Writers Love Their Lazy Narratives: NLCS Edition

The St. Louis Cardinals stand for tradition and the Los Angeles Dodgers stand for the immediate gratification, self-obsessed society that we have become. That's the narrative and much like the beard-enhanced storylines that follow the Red Sox, this is a story that followed the St. Louis Cardinals throughout their series against the Dodgers. Fortunately, the right team won and the world is safe for team respect and bravado has been held off from taking over baseball for another week. The narrative that the Dodgers are evil and the Cardinals are all that is good about baseball was written about by many, many sports columnists during the NLCS. It doesn't matter whether it is a local St. Louis writer who blindly followed the narrative or a national columnist who blindly followed (I KNEW Bob Nightengale would eventually write a column where the Dodgers are the evil, ghetto-ized version of baseball and the Cardinals are the saviors of the sport. If there's a mindless, lazy narrative Bob Nightengale is sure bet to write a column that follows this narrative) this narrative. 

I'll start first with the local St. Louis writer who says the NLCS pitted bravado against team respect. It's nothing against the Cardinals either, I just wish sportswriters wouldn't follow lazy narratives and just realize the Cardinals are like every other MLB team...just slightly more perfect of course.

The longer this Dodgers-Cardinals thing lasts, the clearer it becomes that there’s more going on here than a best-of-seven race to reach the World Series.

It's a race to see which sports columnist can write the worst column about the NLCS. It's okay, there are no winners, only losers who follow the lazy narrative.

By the way, Joe Strauss wrote this column. Not that the author really matters since the message is really just talking points sent out from the super-secret czar of creating narratives. 

The Dodgers are winning the subtler battle, the one to get under their opponent’s skin. Three days of Hollywood and five games of right fielder Yasiel Puig have rubbed the Cardinals raw.

Get them Cardinals players out of Hollywood and back to the normal life in the small city of St. Louis these Cardinals players prefer!

The Dodgers have scored 13 runs in a taut series. The Cardinals have scored 12. The Dodgers hold statistical edges but the Cardinals have won a 13-inning and a 1-0 game. This is a series where every hit, every pitch and every reaction has meaning.

A series where every hit, every pitch and every reaction has meaning...otherwise known as "every NLCS or ALCS in the history of the MLB playoffs."

The Dodgers see rookie Michael Wacha flex and shout after a huge out in Game 2.

This is not bravado, this is celebrating great pitching. Meanwhile Yasiel Puig pointing and celebrating after a triple is putting himself above the needs of the team. The difference lies in that Puig is Latino and plays for the Dodgers while Wacha plays for the Cardinals is from Iowa.

The Cardinals hear Gonzalez chirp at starting pitcher Adam Wainwright from third base on Monday and see him don imaginary Mickey Mouse ears after the first of his two home runs Wednesday.

Of course, in between Wainwright off-handedly referred to Gonzalez’ behavior as “Mickey Mouse.”

You can clearly see the "clash of cultures" that is going on. The teams are engaged in a pissing contest, which is a clash of two cultures that really aren't that different except sportswriters feel the need to differentiate them in order to better write a column.

The Dodgers invited comedian Will Ferrell on field to proclaim Greinke Wednesday’s “winning pitcher.” One problem: Ferrell’s act took place before the game with the Cardinals standing at the dugout rail.

Ferrell is a comedian. The joke is funny because the game had not been played yet. Learn to sip a crisp, cool Budweiser after eating barbeque spare ribs and take a joke. Yes, that is a picture of Will Ferrell endorsing Bud Light, which is a beer made by Budweiser, which is a company founded by a member of the Busch family, and Busch Stadium (III) is the name of the ballpark the Cardinals play in. Mind. Blown.

But anyway, back to talking about how the Cardinals culture isn't like the Dodgers Hollywood culture.

Hey, baseball is the primary religion in Our Town. Out here it’s a place to be seen, maybe flash some gang signs on the matrix and bat a beach ball. 

"Out here" is Los Angeles and the irony of Joe Strauss talking about gang signs in Los Angeles while writing for a St. Louis newspaper is delicious. Apparently Joe Strauss has never been to East St. Louis (which I have) and it's a place where you can see quite a few gang signs thrown or perhaps the occasional murder if that's your thing.

The Cardinals boast about the “best fans in baseball.” The Dodgers prefer to boast of the coolest ones. Something’s got to give.

“There are two completely different styles of baseball. That’s probably the best way I can put it,” said Cardinals second baseman Matt Carpenter. “We’re two very different teams. That’s really all there is to it.”

Oh, so the players for the Cardinals and Dodgers don't think their two teams are very much alike? Well, that changes everything because baseball players are so smart and all.

Gonzalez pimped the blast by flipping his bat. Then, as he approached the dugout, A-Gon held his thumbs to each ear and wiggled his fingers, the unmistakable sign of Mouse Ears.

“I mean, to me, if you can’t have fun out there in these situations, then you shouldn’t be out there,” he said afterward.

It's also hilarious to me that Joe Strauss is painting Adrian Gonzalez as this emotional, bravado-driven baseball player while Dan Shaughnessy took great pains to paint Gonzalez as unemotional and seemingly lacking any type of ability to care about his performance. I guess a sportswriter paints Gonzalez however he sees fit at that moment in order to prove the point he wants to prove.

Asked if the move might incite the Cardinals, Gonzalez continued, “I don’t see it that way. I think you (media) guys are building it up more than anything. 

Well, I've said sarcastically baseball players aren't smart. Still, I think Gonzalez is actually right.

The Dodgers have nothing to lose except one more game. If they sense that their style agitates their opponent, why not go with it?

Catcher A.J. Ellis, a Missouri native, voiced his respect for the Cardinals and their tradition. But that’s hardly an apology for the Dodgers’ up-front style.

Ellis is from Missouri, so obviously he respects the Cardinals, but he has betrayed the One True Way to play baseball by choosing to play for the Dodgers. May he burn in Hell with Will Ferrell.

The Cardinals would rather keep their irritation among themselves and close out the series.

But when sacred unwritten rules are being broken with such bravado, the Cardinals just have to say something about it.

On Monday Puig loafed out of the box on what he thought was a home run. When it bounced off the wall, Puig made third base standing despite clapping and pointing on the way.

Puig’s Tuesday offense was dramatizing a high, inside fourth-inning pitch from Lance Lynn. Some Cardinals lit into him so loudly after Tuesday’s ninth-inning double play that others in uniform called them off the rail.

These fucking Latinos. Taking our jobs, illegally immigrating to this country, and now having the audacity to publicly celebrate their achievements. I'm glad the Cardinals are around to stop this madness from continuing and standing up for what is right and good in baseball. There's no room in baseball for excessive celebrating and ridiculous dancing around. 

It found him again in Wednesday’s ninth inning when Puig apparently lost Matt Holliday’s fly ball in the sun, overran it then acted as if he’d been asked to pick up someone else’s garbage. 

Which is what these Latino players should be doing instead of not playing the game of baseball the right way, amirightorwhat Joe? Go be a garbage man Yasiel Puig and don't forget to send some money back home to your family. You shouldn't play baseball if you can't play the game the right way. 

Even several teammates were incensed enough to scold Puig in private.

“That’s the learning. He has to learn. It’s tough to learn,” said ex-Cardinal Skip Schumaker, now a Dodgers reserve outfielder. Schumaker obviously has been exposed to both clubhouse cultures. “But very rarely do you see him make the same mistake twice. You say, ‘Go in hard on someone and don’t veer off,’ the next time he goes in hard on someone. It’s not frustrating because he does soak it in.”

It does sound from these comments that Puig was scolded pretty harshly and Schumaker is very incensed.

“He wants to be the guy, and that’s great,” Schumaker said. “How could you not want him to be the man? It’s a great thing. I wouldn’t want to take that away from him.”

The anger at Puig in Schumaker's voice is palpable.

Notice how this column has slowly turned into another anti-Puig column? The Dodgers bravado is basically just Yasiel Puig with a little bit of help from Adrian Gonzalez. Other than that, the narrative fails, but that won't ever stop guys like Joe Strauss from desperately clinging to it.

It’s the difference between where Skip sat last October and where he sits this October. It’s the same game viewed through different prisms.

Every baseball clubhouse is different and has a different culture, but the Dodgers and the Cardinals aren't as different as Joe Strauss wants them to be.

Never one to ignore a contrived and lazy narrative, Bob Nightengale jumps on the "difference in cultures" train. Again, it's not a shock. Nightengale is probably one of the laziest columnists when it comes to piggybacking narratives and I'm not sure I've ever read one of his columns and found his viewpoint to be in any way original.

The St. Louis Cardinals spent the past week watching all the antics. The Mickey Mouse gestures. The home-run pimping. The umpire staredowns. Even the screaming actors.

Thank God they get to go back to St. Louis where the Cardinals players can home-run pimp and celebrate on their own field. The Cardinals are wealth of purity in the world that contains filth from Los Angeles like Mickey Mouse. Mickey Mouse is nothing but a drug abusing, chain-smoking corporate whore.

The Cardinals actually felt ambivalent toward the Los Angeles Dodgers at the start of this National League Championship Series, but five games later, can't stand the sight of them.

And of course this isn't immature at all, because the Cardinals are good and the Dodgers are evil. So while it may seem immature to whine another team celebrates too much, it's fine in this situation because the Dodgers are all about themselves while the Cardinals play a team game of baseball. You know, it's really too bad the Cardinals have an All-Star catcher already because Brian McCann would fit in really well with them.

This isn't just about flying another pennant in their stadium - their fourth in 10 years - or having the opportunity to win their 12th World Series championship.

Oh no, now it is personal. Before the Cardinals were all like,

"Yeah, we'd like to make it to another World Series, but whatever. It would be good, but we're just happy the tradition of baseball being played the right way continues. That's what is really important."

But now it's personal and the Cardinals are all like,

"If you are going to celebrate beating us and dare to show outward emotion, then we are going to also enjoy beating you. Winning the World Series was important, but not all that important before, but now everything has changed. We are angry the Dodgers are disrespecting baseball by being happy and showing it. This isn't a children's song, it's baseball, if you are happy and you know it, then don't clap your hands."

It's about the responsibility of upholding tradition.

Yeah, the Dodgers have a pretty good tradition too. Winning six World Series titles, integrating the majors, and Vin Scully.

But of course (puts on a serious voice) the tradition must be upheld. What tradition is this again Bob?

It's for old-time baseball.

Ah...old-time baseball. I've seen the Dodgers play quite a bit this past year and the type of baseball they appear to be play is old-time baseball. They have pitchers who pitch the baseball, fielders who field the baseball, and hitters who hit the baseball.

They want to show this generation, that yes, it's still hip to be square.

This is the worst. I want to gouge my eyes out.

"This is St. Louis, we have values here,'' said Brian Schwarze, 32. "My grandfather used to always tell me, 'This is a gentleman's game. You play the game right.'

My grandfather used to tell me games and sports are stupid and I need to focus on things that matter like world events and making a difference in my community. Welp, he's dead and I'm watching baseball still, littering everywhere I can in order to destroy the environment, and I miss him. Wait, what are we talking about again?

"If he were alive watching what LA did, he'd be shaking his head.''

Which would be fine as long as he doesn't shake his head in a demonstrative manner. THAT'S AN OUTRAGEOUS OUTBURST AND UNNECESSARY!

Schwarze just so happens to be the grandson of Stan Musial.

Stan "The Man'' Musial, baseball's perfect warrior, whose statue stands prominently outside the gates of Busch Stadium.

No one has been revered here like Musial, who died in January.

Let's tone down the hyperbole just a little bit when calling Stan Musial "baseball's perfect warrior." He was a great player, a great guy and deserves to be revered. Calling him's a bit much.

Imagine Musial's reaction watching Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig hit a ball to right field, throw his arms into the air, admiring what he believed was a homer, only to run the bases for a triple, and celebrate again?

Or first baseman Adrian Gonzalez hitting the first of his two home runs Wednesday, flipping his bat, returning to the dugout, and wiggling his fingers by his ears, impersonating Mickey Mouse?

I don't know what Stan Musial would have against Mickey Mouse, but the reason Gonzalez wiggled his fingers by his ears is because a Cardinals player said the Dodgers engage in "Mickey Mouse" crap. So the Cardinals really got that impersonation started by making this comment.

"My grandfather wasn't controversial, but what if Bob Gibson was on the mound,'' Schwarze said. "(Puig) never would have made third base, because Gibson would have run around the bases and tackled him.

"That stuff takes away from the game. That's not baseball.'' celebrating a good hit or arguing with an umpire is not baseball, but tackling a player prior to the player reaching third base IS baseball? If anything takes away from the game, it is a pitcher tackling a hitter before that hitter reaches third base. That's definitely not baseball.

They'd like to know if everything, even the crowd noise, have to be fake in Southern California. Do fans really have to be instructed when to scream as if they're a game-show audience? Can't anything on the scoreboard be shown besides fans acting crazy, dance contests, and kiss cams?

I don't know, ask the Cardinals.

See, that's the best part about this lazy narrative. It's just so absolutely lazy and indefensible a writer has to absolutely ignore obvious evidence that doesn't further his claim in order to follow the narrative. Before writing whether anything can be shown on the board other than fans acting crazy or kiss cams Nightengale doesn't even have the energy to do an Internet search and think, "Maybe I should make sure the Cardinals don't do a kiss cam before I write there is more to baseball than just that." Because, dammit, Bob Nightengale doesn't care. This is his narrative and he is going to continue to follow it regardless of whether it is factually true or not. Sports journalism today everyone! The truth will always take a backseat to a narrative.

The Cardinals would never engage in ridiculousness, because they are all about the game of baseball and won't do anything that takes away from the game.

Schwarze, who went to Los Angeles with three of his buddies to watch Games 3 and 4, couldn't even enjoy being a regular fan.

Schwarze wore his jersey with Musial stitched across the back, at Dodger Stadium. He wouldn't have minded good-natured ribbing from Dodgers fans, but the reaction he received, he said, bordered on horrific.

"I walked through the parking lot, and people were yelling at me,'' Schwarze said, "saying they were going to kill me.

We've already sort of been through this before with Dodgers fans. They have a reputation for being crazy. I would never excuse the behavior of fans who threaten to kill someone for wearing the opposing team's jersey, that's not excusable. I will say, after the Bryan Stow incident I would be very careful to not wear an opposing team's jersey to a Dodgers game. In general, I probably wouldn't wear an opposing team's jersey to any sporting event, because it's an easy way to draw the wrong kind of attention.

"People kept telling me, 'You better take that (expletive) thing off.' People were throwing popcorn,

Oh no, not popcorn. Were there any severe injuries?

"Can you imagine that happening in St. Louis? There were even two police officers on horses in the parking lot looking for trouble. One of the officers said, 'You OK? I said, "Yeah, except for everyone hassling me.

"And they just laughed.''

I don't really care if Brian Schwarze is Stan Musial's grandson. It doesn't make him more important in my mind, so to the police officers he was just a guy wearing a Dodgers jersey getting harassed. More importantly, it's not illegal to hassle someone for wearing the opposing team's jersey. Did Schwarze want the police to ride off on their horses and arrest someone for hassling another person? It's not like Schwarze said these people were threatening to kill him or were trying to harm him in some way. He just said Dodgers fans were hassling him, which isn't illegal and isn't grounds to be arrested.

Considering St. Louis is one of the most dangerous cities in the country, then yes, I imagine this could happen in St. Louis. Also, it's pretty clear St. Louis cops aren't arresting people for simply harassing someone wearing an opposing team's jersey in Busch Stadium (III).

Just like everyone laughed at the Dodgers' antics, believing it's now cool to flip your bat and showboat around the bases.

"Nobody would laugh in St. Louis if someone acted like that," insists Schwarze.

My God, Brian Schwarze feels like he would be an intolerable person to know. He's the typical high-and-mighty Cardinals fan that has caused the fan base to get so much backlash.

Times are changing. Fans want to be entertained - or at least teams perceive as much. Ballparks have become entertainment venues on grass.

Yet here, where Clydesdales still trot the field, the Cardinals are trying to preserve tradition.

I hope the Clydesdales don't accidentally step on the Rally Squirrel.

The Dodgers are a personal affront to the Cardinals' value system, and they're going to do everything in their power to assure that style isn't celebrated in the World Series.

At least the Cardinals weren't being uptight dipshits about the Dodgers celebrating. Because we all know the Cardinals would never celebrate or take part in silly dances. This narrative is so tiring.

Beat the Dodgers, and send them back to Disneyland, where their escapades can be appreciated.

The Cardinals will take the stage at the World Series, representing the National League, and reminding the baseball world that old-school tradition remains alive and well.

Follow that narrative! I just feel bad Bob Nightengale will have to pursue other narratives during the World Series when the Cardinals face the Red Sox. I'm sure he will find what other sportswriters are writing about and then write his own "beards v. tradition" column. Nightengale is lazy like that.

"This is a big responsibility,'' Matheny says, "we've got a lot to take care of.''

At least you aren't being over-dramatic about it. It's sad to hear the Cardinals players are buying into this "bravado v. tradition" narrative, but I guess it's easy to do this when the media is making them look so good when reality shows there isn't such a huge distinction between them and the Dodgers. 

Thursday, October 6, 2011

12 comments Banging My Head Against the Wall Again

I'm still amazed Bleacher Report is taken seriously as a web site by many in the media. It is also amazing to me how lists and slideshows that are completely the author's opinion can be taken so seriously as sports journalism. There is some interesting stuff written on Bleacher Report by some authors, I won't doubt that, but then there are the massive amount of lists and slideshows which seem to serve no purpose. A great example is the following list/slideshow of NFL frauds for 2011. There are 50 frauds on this list/slideshow. 50. How can a person reasonably expect any type of accuracy with a list so large? You can't, so the list needs to be narrowed down. As always, I will assume it is all for pageviews because rather than put the list on one page a person has to flip through a separate web page for each "fraud." There are two things I find interesting about this list/slideshow:

1. The author of his list of frauds wrote nearly the exact same list/slideshow on September 13. These were "overrated" players and not frauds, yet many of the same players appear on the list of overrated players as appeared on the fraud list. It's like he writes a column of 50 things and just substitutes a different noun in the title.

2. Does the author even understand what the word "fraud" means? A fraud is:

A person or thing intended to deceive others, typically by unjustifiably claiming or being credited with accomplishments or qualities.

In his brilliance, the author puts Jimmy Clausen on the list of frauds. What has he deceived NFL fans into believing? What type of accomplishments or qualities has been presented to Clausen that he doesn't really have? He was a highly recruited college quarterback? That was 5-6 years ago when he was highly regarded like that. He was a fairly underwhelming quarterback (compared to the hype around him out of high school) and been a terrible quarterback in the NFL so far. I'm not sure there are too many people who can believe he is a fraud anymore than any player who tries to make it in the NFL and doesn't succeed at the level he is expected to succeed is a fraud.

So just keep in mind as we view the list/slideshow, we are playing loosely with the word "fraud" in describing these 2011 NFL frauds.

There are plenty of teams, players and coaches across the NFL that I don't believe in, and I'm sorry that you will agree as well.

You mean "certain" that you will agree as well? Why would you be sorry someone agrees with your opinion? How about "the 4th largest sports media site with 20 million readers" hire an editor or two for this guy?

Here are 50 teams, coaches and players we don't believe in.

So if you don't believe in someone, then that makes them a fraud? Interesting way of looking at the definition and intent of the word. Basically this is going to be a long list of the author's opinion with little factual support passed off as fact. Not one of Bleacher Report's better showings.

Randy Moss

Moss may put up stellar regular season stats, but when it comes playoff time, he rolls into the fetal position.

Moss has 47 catches, 865 yards, 10 touchdowns in 12 postseason games. That comes out to 63 catches, 1153 yards, and 13 touchdowns for a full season. What a fetal position he rolls into during the playoffs.

For an example, during the 2007 playoffs with the New England Patriots, Moss played in three games and only caught seven passes for just one touchdown—five of those passes coming in just one game.

I didn't realize he had one average postseason, that changes my opinion not at all. The game during that postseason where Moss didn't roll into a fetal position and caught five passes? The Super Bowl. That's a pretty important time to come out of the fetal position. If we are going to pick small sample sizes and base an entire conclusion on those, then how about the 1999 playoffs where Moss caught 14 passes in two games for 315 yards and three touchdowns? Wouldn't that make him a wonderful performer in the playoffs?

What a terribly cited and backed conclusion that Moss is a choker in the postseason and therefore he is a fraud.

Eric Mangini

Thank God that Eric Mangini is no longer a head coach in the NFL—he's nothing but a fraud.

Does Mangini's career 33-47 record impress you? I hope not.

What's fraudulent about Mangini? He isn't a good NFL head coach. Everyone knows that.

San Diego Chargers

You can probably label every single play and coach to be a San Diego Charger a fraud—

Just as background, the guy who wrote this is a big Patriots fan. I just want you to have this information in order for you to decide if it is relevant or not.

LaDainian Tomlinson

LaDainian Tomlinson was once the league's best running back, but at this point of his career, he's nothing but average.

So Tomlinson's entire career is a fraud because he has declined as he has gotten older? That's what I don't get. So is Tomlinson a fraud now and will cease to be one upon his retirement or is his entire career a fraud? This is never explained.

In fact, despite LT's dominance in the regular season, he has never performed well in the postseason.

Again, we are struggling with the definitions of words. "Never" means he hasn't ever performed well in the postseason. This isn't true. Tomlinson's 133 total yard performance in 2004, 187 total yard two-touchdown performance in 2006, and 99 total yard two-touchdown performance in 2011 speak a bit differently to this claim.

John Fox

Was John Fox ever a good head coach? I mean, his career 73-71 record is average at best.

That's it. That's all that is written about why Fox is a fraud. It's sad to think some people may read this article and believe they have received any type of knowledge from it as it concerns John Fox's coaching career.

Cam Newton

I know, this is simply just a prediction, but it's a bold one.

Really, is this a bold prediction? I would say more people expect Newton to bust than expect him to become a great quarterback.

Tony Dungy

I hope that Tony Dungy never returns to the NFL to be a head coach—he's a fraud and a choke artist.

It certainly sounds like this is an opinion not affected by a personal distaste of Dungy at all.

Sure, Dungy has an amazing regular season career record of 139-69, but he's just 9-10 in the playoffs.

Peyton Manning has a 9-10 career record in the playoffs, so I would imagine he is a fraud as well.

Mark Sanchez

Is it just me, or does a career 54.4 completion percentage not impress?

What I find just delightful is the changing criteria on how the author measures a player or head coach when it comes to being a fraud. When it useful to point out a head coach hasn’t won many games in the playoffs then that coach is a fraud. When he runs into a quarterback with a 4-2 career record in the playoffs, then that doesn’t matter because it is his completion percentage that is the problem. Using playoff wins to determine whether a coach or player is a fraud or not is useful until that information contradicts what the author wants to write, in which case the career playoff record becomes irrelevant and completion percentage becomes super-important.

Sanchez's completion percentage isn’t very impressive, but using the same small sample size criteria used to criticize Moss and Tomlinson, Sanchez has a 60.5 completion percentage in the playoffs with 9 touchdowns to 3 interceptions and a 94.3 quarterback rating. That doesn't make him a fraud, right? He plays well in the playoffs. I hate using smaller sample sizes like this to prove something, but I do enjoy beating the author at his own game of cherry picking statistics.

Mark Sanchez is a fraud, end of discussion.

Of course he is. His completion percentage is below average. That makes him a fraud.

Alex Smith

Again, I would ask who among us think Alex Smith is a good quarterback? He’s not a fraud if we already know he isn’t very good.

Philip Rivers

This is actually double-counting Rivers since earlier the entire San Diego Chargers team were revealed earlier to be frauds.

Rivers has a career 55-25 regular season record but has done absolutely nothing in the playoffs.

What about Rivers’ 63.8 completion percentage for his career? I thought that meant something? It did a minute ago concerning Mark Sanchez.

See? It is hilarious how the standard a player is judged up on moves around based on what the author is desperately trying to prove. It is hilarious, but it is also terrible writing. Rivers has a career 3-4 record in the playoffs, which is apparently “doing nothing” in the playoffs. The author has a preconceived notion of what he wants to write and doesn’t care if he uses a changing standard or has to cherry pick one thing that player did poorly in his career to prove his point.

Steve Slaton

After Steve Slaton's amazing 1,282-yard rookie season, he has done didley-squat—he's just fallen off of the map.

I think this is the appropriate time to mention Steve Slaton has been in the NFL for two full years. He played behind Arian Foster last year, so he didn’t get a big chance to perform well after he lost his starting job. Slaton will probably never be a good NFL running back, but he isn’t a fraud because I am not sure huge numbers are even expected of him anymore.

Chad Henne

Henne has a career 75.3 quarterback rating and has yet to solidify as the Miami Dolphins starting quarterback.

Apparently Henne hasn’t solidified yet and is still a liquid or gas-based quarterback for the Dolphins.

Derek Anderson

2010 proved that Derek Anderson is, without a doubt, a fraud.

Derek Anderson had one good year in 2007. No one thinks he is a good quarterback. He’s not a fraud because he isn’t deceiving us into believing he is anything but that which we already know he is.

Andy Reid

Philadelphia Eagles head coach Andy Reid has had his fair share of success during the regular season but has yet to win a Super Bowl.

Reid has a career 118-73-1 record in the regular season and just a 10-9 record in the playoffs.

Wouldn’t it have been easier just to title this list/slideshow “NFL athletes/head coaches with bad postseason records?” That’s pretty much all it contains.

Matt Hasselbeck

Matt Hasselbeck may have won a few games in Seattle, but he was never able to take his team deep into the playoffs and win it all.

See a trend? Once again, this article/list/slideshow can’t even stay true to its title. This isn’t a list/slideshow about players or head coaches that are frauds. This is a list/slideshow of players who haven’t performed well in the postseason. It’s just incredibly lazy to call a player or head coach a fraud because he has a near-.500 or slightly below .500 postseason record.

Lovie Smith

Smith may have a career regular season record of 63-49, but has been awful in the postseason.

Not sure I would consider 3-3 to be “awful,” but then again I am not a Patriots fan. Compared to Bill Belchick, who I am guessing is the head coach our author is measuring all head coaches against, Lovie Smith has been awful in the postseason. Perhaps the author should get some perspective on playoff records and how they reflect on head coaches. It’s not easy to have a great postseason record and that’s why the all-time great coaches (i.e. Belichick, Lombardi, Walsh) are all-time great coaches.

Matt Leinart

At this point of his career, Matt Leinart is a big-time bust—he's not even a starting quarterback!

OMG! For realisies?

How is Leinart a fraud? We all know he isn’t very good at playing quarterback.

Jim Caldwell

I actually agree with this. What’s interesting is when calling Tony Dungy a fraud, the author mentioned that both the Colts and Bucs went to the Super Bowl the year after Tony Dungy retired, insinuating the teams performed better with a better coach at the helm. Then the author names Dungy’s successor as a fraud as well. So he essentially somewhat undercuts his point about Dungy by saying Dungy's successor as the Colts head coach wasn’t actually any good either. Either that or he thinks pretty much any Colts head coach is a fraud.

Eli Manning

I'm sorry, but when you throw 25 interceptions in a season, you should not be considered a great NFL quarterback.

No, I’m sorry, who considers Eli Manning to be a great quarterback? You can’t just make up the perception of a player in order to debunk this perception by calling the player a fraud.

“Chris Johnson is a fraud. You shouldn’t be considered the greatest running back in the history of the NFL if you haven’t won a single playoff game in the NFL.”

Seattle Seahawks

Houston Texans

So at this point, the author has named 3 NFL teams that are frauds. 10% of the NFL teams are frauds. I can’t help but wonder if they are frauds this year or frauds in every single year? It's hard to tell because the author uses both past and present events to call these teams frauds.

Terrell Owens

Terrell Owens is definitely one of the greatest wide receivers of all time, but what has he done in the playoffs?

How the hell can one of the greatest wide receivers of all-time be a fraud because he has only made one Super Bowl in his career? Why isn't there some factual proof, other than the author's opinion, that Owens hasn't played well in the playoffs? I hope the author understands the utter stupidity of calling a player he ADMITS is one of the greatest receivers of all-time a fraud because his teams haven’t always done well in the playoffs. Someone separate this man from his keyboard.

In case you were wondering, and I will do the research since others are too lazy, Terrell Owens has played in 11 playoff games, has 54 receptions, 751 yards, and 5 touchdowns, including a performance of 9 catches for 122 yards in his only Super Bowl appearance. Of course, it is purely his fault his teams haven’t won 4-5 Super Bowls at this point.

So “what has he done in the playoffs?” projects to 78 receptions, 1092 yards and 7 touchdowns over a full season. I’d say he’s played fairly well in the playoffs. Why do all of the evaluations of these players, teams and head coaches only include a judgment on how they performed in the playoffs?

I realize that football is a team sport, but someone with the caliber like T.O. should be able to carry his team a little bit more than he has.

Again, you need to do more research than you have.

Cincinnati Bengals

That’s now four NFL teams that are frauds. So how in the hell are the Bengals frauds? What have they proclaimed themselves to be or convinced the public they are other than a NFL team with very poor upper management? The Bengals are exactly what most people believe they are.

Then the author lists Andy Dalton and Mike Brown next because, dammit, he has to get to 50 “frauds” even if he has to double count.

New York Jets

There is always so much hype around the New York Jets, but what have they done?

Other than make back-to-back AFC Championship games without the benefit of a single home playoff game? Other than that, they haven’t done shit.

All I know is that Rex Ryan has been predicting a Super Bowl for the past couple of years but has choked in back-to-back AFC Championships.

This is the part where I would tell the author, as a fan of the Patriots (and I'm not tweaking Patriots fans here, just want the author to remember this fact), which is a team that lost to the Jets last year in the playoffs, he should probably figure out exactly what “choking” really means. I’m pretty sure making back-to-back AFC Championship games as a road team for two straight years isn’t choking.

Chris Johnson

Is Chris Johnson really the best running back in the NFL?

Quite possibly he isn’t the best running back in the NFL.

I don't think so.

You can’t take your perception of what everyone else thinks about a player and then call a player a fraud because he doesn’t meet your perception of what everyone else thinks about that player. Well you can, but it seems a bit unfair to call a player a fraud based simply on your perception of what everyone else thinks.

Also, some statistics or other factual data would be helpful in proving your point that each of these players, teams and coaches are frauds. The “proof” they are all frauds basically boils down to two things:

1. The player/coach/team hasn’t done well in the playoffs.

2. Everyone thinks Player/Coach/Team X is good and I don’t think they are…then no further proof or information is included.

That’s pretty weak.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

10 comments That Pain In Your Head Isn't a Concussion, But a Headache From Reading TMQ

A friend of mine quickly set up a hockey league and we need players to join. I have no idea what I am doing since this is my first season doing fantasy hockey. He set it up yesterday and the draft is Friday evening at 8:15pm EST. We both wanted to join a hockey league and so we have. We still need some more teams, so if anyone wants to join the league ID is "96573" and the password is (wait for it) "password." Feel free to join because right now we have four teams.

I don't spend a lot of time complimenting Gregg Easterbrook, but he has been at the forefront of the many columnists who now write about the NFL in regard to talking about player safety. He's not always right about some of the solutions to this problem and I don't agree with all of his ideas on the issue, but he generally speaks well about the cause (the mentality of football ingrained in players that begins with coaches in junior high and high school) and where it needs to start being prevented (when youth begin playing tackle football). So even though I will disagree with him on some of the issues regarding helmet safety, Gregg is on the right track. Naturally, he talks this week about players using their helmet as a weapon. Don't worry, he is wrong about a lot of shit too. I ain't going soft or nothing.

(cues up Air Supply as background music while writing this)

Josh Cribbs of the Browns suffered a concussion on a helmet-to-helmet hit by James Harrison of the Steelers on Sunday. No flag was thrown. Later in the same contest, Mohamed Massaquoi of the Browns left the field with a head injury after a helmet-to-helmet hit by Harrison. No flag.

I have watched these two hits a few times online to look for any type of intent to hurt these players on the part of James Harrison. It is hard to judge intent, but both hits look malicious on the part of Harrison and neither time did he make an attempt to tackle or wrap up the ball carrier. There should have been a flag thrown and there was not...twice. I'm the type of person who accepts football is a violent sport and players are going to get hit hard and it will hurt, but there is no excuse for leading with your head.

I am pretty sure a tackler can't lead with his head even if the offensive player is a runner. I could be wrong about that, but I think it is called spearing.

Sam Bradford's helmet was knocked off by a helmet-to-helmet hit by Kevin Burnett of San Diego. No flag.

Sam Bradford's helmet was knocked off? Bradford should be ejected from the game immediately! He didn't have his helmet tight enough!

Gregg has the bright idea that if a player's helmet comes off then he should be removed from the game immediately because of this...this is a punishment of some sort that Gregg believes in. This is one of Gregg's terrible ideas. You can see here how a player's helmet being knocked off isn't always that player's fault. Obviously in Gregg's mind this isn't the result of Kevin Burnett's hit, but is a result of Bradford not having his helmet fastened properly. Gregg most likely fails to see why/how is suggested rule for helmets that fall off a player is stupid.

It's right here for him to say, "hey, that rule I proposed about ejecting a player for his helmet coming off...that's stupid and I see why."Of course Gregg Eastebrook won't do that. He will talk about a player getting hit so hard his helmet falls off without acknowledging that a player's helmet can come off without the helmet being loose and his stupid rule about ejecting players who have their helmet fall off is stupid.

Especially, strictly enforce the "defenseless player" rule, which is supposed to forbid contact after an incompletion goes past a receiver. A high percentage of helmet-as-a-weapon hits occur in this situation -- and defensive backs inflict brutal blows after the ball goes past a receiver because they know the foul is almost never called.

I'm not saying this is a bad idea, because it sounds like a good one, but Gregg often isn't realistic about what goes on during a football game. Yes, defensive backs do inflict blows after the ball goes past the defender, but there are times when they don't have time to pull up. Action on the football field goes by very quickly and once the players have committed to an action, there may not be time to pull up. So I am all for strictly enforcing the "defenseless player" rule, but Gregg thinks too often players have a chance to think on the field, which isn't true.

That the NFL has not, till this moment, acted to impose strict enforcement of rules against use of the helmet as a weapon points to the dark side of football marketing. Namely: a perception that the league doesn't really mind a few severe injuries, considering blood and pain are part of the product.

This is the same league that wants to expand the season to 18 games and doesn't seem to give a shit about many of the retired veterans and their pensions. The NFL doesn't care. The NFL is making money and they don't know why they should change now. So the blood and pain are part of the product and always have been. It's good to see Gregg is 30 years late on this issue. How many times have we seen pictures of old football players with blood on their face and how many times when a player gets hit hard do networks show the replay? Violence has always been celebrated. Eli Manning got hit in the head in a preseason game this year (and his helmet flew off, so he should have been ejected according to Gregg) and ESPN probably showed this replay 20 times, including him walking off the field with blood coming down his face. Blood and pain are part how they sell the product.

Hollywood eagerly markets to the desire to watch violent harm, but movie violence is fake.

This coming from a guy who every week tells us about a television show or a movie that isn't realistic enough. Is movie violence fake Gregg? Or should it be more real/boring?

When Cribbs was hit in the head by Harrison, Kevin Harlan of CBS, calling the game, said, "Wow what a hard-hitting rivalry the Steelers and Browns have," not mentioning head trauma.

Announcers should not glamorize the hard hits that knock a player out, but I do question what responsibility besides saying something about the hit being wrong or potentially hurting Cribbs that Harlan has. I'm pretty sure Kevin Harlan knows nothing about head trauma, so possibly mentioning the concept that Cribbs could get hurt wouldn't be so bad, but I would leave it at that.

If you listen to what the announcers said after the hit, it is clear that Kevin Harlan was concerned when Massaquoi got hit. The analyst mentioned that the hit was helmet-to-helmet and a flag should have been thrown. Of course the analyst also said the hit on Cribbs was legal because he was a runner, which is something I doubt it correct.

After Joseph Addai took two deliberate blows to his helmet -- first a helmet-to-helmet hit from Kedric Golston, then a forearm-to-helmet hit from London Fletcher -- and collapsed in the Indianapolis-at-Washington game, Cris Collinsworth of NBC said, "That is a perfectly clean hit, blows to the head are allowed on running plays."

Really -- it's "perfectly clean" to slam your forearm into another player's helmet?

I am not sure that is against the rules. It is probably really stupid for the defensive player to do this too often. Helmets don't seem to have as much "give" as a person's arm might. A player who starts smacking helmets with his limbs is asking for broken limbs.

Existing rule 12, 2, 7g bans "using any part of a player's helmet (including the top/crown and forehead/hairline parts) or facemask to butt, spear, or ram an opponent violently or unnecessarily," and also states, "violent or unnecessary use of the helmet is impermissible against any opponent."

If it really were "perfectly clean" to deliver deliberate blows to a ballcarrier's head, then no one should play football.

This rule says nothing about a player hitting deliberate blows with his forearm against an opponent's helmet. I just thought I would mention that since Gregg is talking about London Fletcher using his forearm on a ball carrier and then citing this rule as a reason for why this is against the rules, yet this rule doesn't cover what Fletcher did.

Most important, Rodney Harrison said on NBC that players guilty of deliberate helmet-as-a-weapon hits should not just be ejected but suspended. Coming from a former NFL star, Harrison's statement got the NFL's attention.

I do understand union rules and the code of silence among NFL players, but it is still fairly convenient Harrison wants to change these rules after he has retired. It's not hypocrisy, it is just interesting how he feels about this issue now that he has quit playing.

If the league is just blowing smoke, or the sports media return to boosterism, then Congress should step in and regulate the playing standards of professional sports.

Since there are no other pressing issues like mid-term elections, a piss-poor economy or a couple of wars going on involving the United States...this sounds like a great way to spend congressional resources.

By the strangest and most amazing coincidence, this season the early BCS ranking creates a chance Boise State and TCU may be paired in a bowl again, so they cannot defeat teams from the AQ-insider conferences. By the strangest and most amazing coincidence!

I am pretty sure the BCS rankings are partially put together by a computer, so I am not sure how much room for manipulation by those who oversee the BCS. I'm on the "give Boise State and TCU respect" train, I really am. I am under the impression the BCS is computer generated and the idiots who do the polls don't have too much influence over it.

You know it is common knowledge, though not widely spoken, that computers and robots are some of the racist, sexist and major conference loving members of our society but this just goes to prove how true it is. I've always heard that computers inherently hate mid-majors or teams from non-BCS conferences, but this just confirms my suspicions.

The Eagles have two red-hot quarterbacks in Michael Vick and Kevin Kolb. Who should start? Andy Reid faces the Judgment of Paris -- and in that story from ancient mythology, no matter how Paris chose, he was doomed.

Since real life mirrors ancient mythology (I am pretty sure mythology is defined as "an exact realistic story that deals with modern life and details something that actually happened"), Andy Reid is clearly doomed.

I like how Gregg Easterbrook spends 1,000 words most weeks complaining about how unrealistic television shows are, but he looks to mythical stories as an example for why the quarterback controversy in Philadelphia will result with Reid losing no matter who he chooses.

Stat of the Week No. 9: (College bonus.) Arkansas and South Carolina combined for 1,039 yards of offense -- and both lost.

BUT HOW MANY PLAYS DID THEY GET OFF IN THE GAME? THAT'S THE KEY TO WHETHER A TEAM WINS OR NOT! These teams should have run 5-10 more plays than their competition and always gone for it on fourth down and they would have won the game.

Stat of the Week No. 10: The San Diego Chargers are ranked No. 1 in offense and No. 1 in defense -- and their record is 2-4.

This could easily be fixed by Norv Turner going for it on fourth down and not wearing warm weather clothing in cold weather. Or maybe the Chargers have that "California attitude" and wanted to go to the beach sooner than they normally do.

(I combined three of Gregg's stupid ass theories in there. It would take me 10,000 words to include all of his stupid theories.)

But the sweetest play of the game, if not of Week 6, was 5-foot-9 undrafted free agent Danny Woodhead, out of Division II Chadron State, picking up Ray Lewis on a blitz block.

The sweetest play of the week was when a player did his job correctly? So no other blitzes were picked up by running backs this past weekend in the NFL? Or is this sweetest play of the week chosen by Gregg because it involved an undrafted free agent?

Because the Green Bay strategy worked, the touchdown itself was the easiest NFL touchdown ever. What does it tell you about the modern, pass-wacky NFL that on fourth-and-goal from the 1, the defense was so sure a pass was coming that it didn't even attempt to prepare for a quarterback sneak?

It tells me the Dolphins called a terrible defense and Rodgers quick-snapped the ball before the defense could adjust.

Now trailing 28-17 with 2:55 remaining, Detroit faced fourth-and-2 on the Jersey/A 32. In came the field goal unit. Yes, at that point the Lions needed two scores. But you're not going to reverse the psychology of a 23-game road losing streak by launching a fraidy-cat kick on fourth-and-2 with 2:55 remaining. Now you need to reverse the psychology of a 24-game road losing streak.

It's not about reversing a losing psychology, it is about winning the game. Leaving points on the board by not going ahead and getting the field goal and spending more time trying to get a touchdown when they need two scores anyway doesn't make sense. Detroit was onside kicking anyway once they scored, so why waste time getting a touchdown when they have to recover the onside kick anyway to tie the game? If the Lions recover the kick, they have nearly three minutes to go 50 yards, which opens up the playbook for them in going for a touchdown, rather than wasting time trying to get a touchdown and chance leaving little time on the clock to get in field goal range if they do recover the onside kick.

Mike Vrabel catching a touchdown pass after reporting eligible at the goal line is on the cover of the 2005 NFL Record and Fact Book, the league's flagship publication. The past decade or so of the Record and Fact Book should sit near every NFL coach's desk. Yet the Texans were fooled -- that's sour.

Gregg Easterbrook believes coaches forget how to defend the 3-4 defense after it has not been popular for a while, but he believes coaches can remember what the cover of a book that is five years old depicts on its cover?

Thomas Bender of Chicago writes, "I just received an e-mail for the U2 concert in Chicago at Soldier Field -- on July 11, 2011. Tickets on sale now."

When are tickets supposed to go on sale for a concert? When is the appropriate damn date to allow the public to buy them? Is May a good time? It is still spring at that point and the concert doesn't take place until July, which is in the summer! That's "Summer Creep!" How about these tickets going on sale in June? It's not even July yet at that point! That's "July Creep!" I would love to know when the appropriate time to put these tickets on sale would be.

Erik Kneebone of Genoa, Ill., writes, "Henry Kravis just donated $100 million to Columbia to expand its business school. Not only is Columbia Business School's main contribution to society the Wall Street sharks who caused the 2008 financial meltdown -- $100 million is more than twice the annual operating budget of my local community college, McHenry County College in Crystal Lake, Ill. That kind of money at McHenry County Community College could transform lives. At Columbia, it will just channel more insider status to elites."

True, but Henry Kravis went to Columbia and not McHenry County College, so that explains why he gave the money to Columbia.

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg's donation of $100 million to the Newark, N.J., public school system sounds like the reverse of what Kravis did -- like exactly the kind of progressive philanthropy that deserves applause. My hesitation: Zuckerberg hasn't actually given the money; rather, he said he "plans" to donate $100 million, if Newark raises a matching $100 million.

Because giving $100 million to a failing school system with no strings attached makes a hell of a lot of sense. God forbid, Zuckerberg actually wants to see reform in the public school system and wants to see dedication by the school system to this actual reform. If I was handing over $100 million I would want to see the money be used for the purpose I gave it.

If Zuckerberg does give $100 million to Newark schools, he is a hero. That he's accepted the adulation without actually handing over the money is a red flag.

That he just isn't handing a failing school system money without that system being dedicated to reform is not a red flag in my mind. Putting stipulations on the money tells me he actually wants to see reform.

Esquire just named Minka Kelly, the actress who played super-cheerleader Lyla Garrity on "Friday Night Lights," the "sexiest woman alive." That shy ingénue look she projected in the show's first season? Replaced by bedroom eyes and dominatrix gloves.

And that is why they call it "acting."

Mike Martz, his sinister Mr. Martz personality showing, called an everybody-out pattern, despite the Bears' recent problems with sacks. Chicago botched the line call -- right tackle JaMarcus Webb turned inside to double-team a defender, leaving no one to block Aaron Curry, who sacked Jay Cutler so fast Cutler could barely set up.

Clearly this is a lie. Aaron Curry can't sack the quarterback at all according to Peter King. That's why Curry sucks so bad.

At Washington, Indianapolis used an NFL version of Oregon's blur offense, quick-snapping so fast that it wasn't clear how Colts players were getting the plays -- Peyton Manning calls most plays himself, but barely shouted or signaled anything to his backs, linemen and receivers.

Oh, you mean the same no-huddle offense the Colts have been running for a few years now with Peyton Manning? Boy, they really stole that "blur" offense from Oregon.

Washington countered with the Times Square defense -- the front seven milling around at random, like tourists in Times Square. Manning couldn't predict where the front seven would be because the defenders themselves didn't know; they were instructed to move randomly.

These players didn't have assignments or anything. They were just told to "go tackle somebody." I am sure Jim Haslett created a defense where the defenders don't have assignments or zones to play. Those players who want to blitz or want to guard a certain player, could feel free to do so. That's exactly what happened. Who cares if certain offensive players may not be covered?

Trailing 24-21, Dallas faced fourth-and-5 with 2:40 remaining. Wade Phillips of the Cowboys sent in the punt team. Do I even have to tell you who won?

No he doesn't have to tell me, because Gregg only brings up instances when teams don't go for it on fourth down and then lose the game. He leaves out all the times teams punt and then go on to win the game. So if Gregg is going to talk about a team not punting on fourth down, he will only talk about this when the team lost.

Most sports-agent scandals involve comparatively small amounts of money. The three North Carolina players took a total of about $20,000 in cash, gifts and travel benefits, for example. No one is getting rich, or even making something like income, on this sort of minor graft.

$20,000 is a lot of money in cash, gifts and travel benefits. If no one is getting rich or benefiting financially from this graft than why do the player's and agents do it? One party has to be benefiting in some way.

You're trailing with less than three minutes remaining -- why are you punting? That's what Dallas did, if for no other reason than to shift the blame away from Wade Phillips, who would have been denounced if a fourth-down try failed, and onto his defensive players.

Because we all know that Wad Phillips is doing a great job of staying under the radar to avoid getting fired by Jerry Jones. Jones evaluates his coaches by whether they win football games or not, not by how close the games are. This is pretty much a known fact. Jerry Jones wants to see results, not close games. So either Gregg Easterbrook is making shit up (highly likely) or Wade Phillips is a moron for believing keeping the game close will save his job (likely, he isn't stupid enough to think a close loss saves his job).

The sad part is that if Mike Jenkins had not committed a penalty on third down, then the Vikings would have punted and Phillips decision not to go for it on fourth down would have paid off. So Gregg was really close to being wrong, though I am sure he would argue the Football Gods caused the penalty on the Cowboys for not going for it on fourth down during their previous possession.

After Minnesota took the punt and the Boys used their timeouts, the Vikings faced third-and-6 with 2:22 remaining. Cornerback Mike Jenkins brushed a Vikings receiver, and the pass fell incomplete. Then Jenkins turned to the closest zebra and made the "not me I didn't do anything" gesture -- at which point the zebra threw yellow for pass interference. Jenkins basically pleaded with the official to throw the flag!

This is a lie. FOX's cameras showed the official started pulling his flag before Jenkins had pleaded for a flag not to be thrown. It was getting thrown no matter what Jenkins did.

Forget whether Renaldo Hill of Denver committed pass interference at the Broncos' 2 with 1:26 remaining, setting up the winning touchdown for Jersey/B -- how did a Jets receiver get so deep single-covered? At the snap it was Denver leading 20-17, Jersey/B facing fourth-and-6 on the Broncs' 48. Denver rushed five, leaving six to cover four. Yet Santonio Holmes was alone down the sideline nearly to the end zone. In the replay you can't even locate the Denver safeties, they were so far out of position.

Possibly they were guarding the other receivers who had gone out on pass patterns? There are usually only two safeties on the field, so they can't be everywhere all the time. Yes, one of them should have covered the deep pattern, but we (and Gregg) don't know what kind of defense the Broncos were running. Maybe the one of the safeties had man coverage on Dustin Keller and the other was providing over the top help on Braylon Edwards.

Finally, many readers with good memories, including Gwen Peterson of Lexington, Ky., wrote to remind that I forgot to run my annual item that appears whenever the last undefeated team falls. The last undefeated, Kansas City, fell so early this year that it skipped my mind. (Last season the item did not run until Dec. 29.) Here it is, produced from my AutoText with only the initial specifics changed -- as I will produce this item from my AutoText every season, because no NFL team's going to go 19-0. My heirs will be using this item!

Why do I feel like Gregg uses AutoText for his entire column?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

8 comments Scoop Jackson Fact Checks Michael Jordan And I Fact Check Scoop Jackson

I know nobody is tired of hearing about LeBron James and his hugely important decision to join the Miami Heat over the next five years. Even though I know no one is tired of this story, I am not planning on focusing on James in this post anyway. I want to focus on the poor argument that Scoop Jackson makes. Scoop Jackson believes Michael Jordan would have done the same thing LeBron James did if he was given the opportunity. Scoop believes this despite the fact Magic Johnson, Charles Barkley and Jordan have all said publicly they would not have joined forces together and play on the same NBA team.

I personally think Barkley would have done this, since he essentially did with the Rockets when he joined Hakeem Olajuwon and Scottie Pippen in Houston. Though all of them were past their prime at that point, I think Barkley would have joined up with other great basketball players to win a title based on him doing this later in his career when he played for the Rockets. Magic Johnson never needed to team up with any other Hall of Fame players because he already played with a few on the Lakers team. He really had no need to go find quality teammates because he always had quality teammates on his team. So that leaves Michael Jordan. I don't think he would have teamed up with other players to win a title because of his competitive spirit and how we wanted to be "the man" on a team. Scoop Jackson disagrees.

Before any more of us jump on the Michael Jordan bandwagon and use his statement about the new-look Miami Heat as a knock against LeBron James for the next decade or so -- before the LeBron-will-never-be-Michael conversations continue -- there are a couple of variables that need to be addressed.

There aren't even a couple of variables that Scoop wants to address here. There is only one major variable. So Scoop's entire point is based on the fact that Michael Jordan had few friends in the NBA so he wouldn't have a chance to team up with other players...and that's why he never would pull a "LeBron" and team up with other great players. Scoop's entire argument is based on assuming Jordan had few friends in the NBA and then assuming he would have joined forced with these friends if he had any.

Fact is, for Jordan to have been in the position -- this is with hindsight, mind you -- to make a move with Larry Bird and Magic Johnson like James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh just did, he would have had to be tight friends with Bird and Magic from the minute they all entered the league. If not before.

This is incorrect. Dwyane Wade, Chris Bosh and LeBron James weren't tight friends before they came into the NBA. They became tight friends after being drafted in 2003 and playing together on the USA Basketball team. So Jordan wouldn't have had to be friends with Bird and Johnson before he came into the league to meet the standard Scoop is holding him to in order to have friends in the NBA.

Also, Magic and Bird were older than Jordan so it isn't even a fair comparison to say Jordan would have teamed up with them. Jordan was the new superstar in the NBA after Bird and Magic had competed for NBA titles against each other. So I think in the example given where Jordan mentioned he would not have teamed up with Bird and Magic, it isn't a comparable example to what Wade, Bosh, and James did.

I don't think Jordan would have teamed up with Bird or Magic because they were further apart in age, so Scoop has the wrong players to match up with Jordan in the very beginning if he wants a fair comparison. I think a comparable example would be if Jordan teamed up with Charles Barkley and Hakeem Olajuwon, but this isn't even a good comparison because neither Barkley nor Olajuwon had a similar skill set to Jordan. Both Wade and James have a similar skill set in that they can handle the ball as a taller point guard and like to drive to the basket to score.

So my final answer is that this would be like if Clyde Drexler, Barkley, and Jordan teamed up together. Using any of these examples, I just don't see Jordan teaming up with these guys to win a championship, whether they were friends or not.

The deal with James, Bosh and Wade is as rooted in friendship as the arrangement Kevin McHale and Danny Ainge made that sent Kevin Garnett to Boston. McHale and Ainge were teammates for nine years in Boston and won three rings together. They maintained a friendly relationship as general managers of different franchises in their post-playing careers.

Those three players may have been friends, but that isn't the point. The point is that simply because Michael Jordan didn't have close friends in the NBA (which is a lie because he did have close friends) doesn't mean he would have teamed up with these friends if given the opportunity.

Actually, since Wade, Bosh, and James are all friends I would prefer they be on the same team because I would rather they be on the same team trying to get their team to the playoffs rather than fucking laughing it up on the court together while competing against each other in the playoffs. I am one of those people who doesn't like to see the superstars being great friends on the court in the playoffs.

Michael Jordan had friends in the NBA, like Charles Barkley, and he didn't team up with him to win a title.

C'mon, son.

Be real, yo.

To ignore the friendship facet of the Heat situation is disingenuous.

To ignore the fact Michael Jordan did have friends in the NBA is disingenuous when just assuming that false premise is the reason why Jordan never teamed up with each other.

And to not consider it in making the comparative analysis Jordan did is unfair to Wade, Bosh and James.

Michael Jordan didn't make a comparative analysis, he just said he would not have teamed up with other great players on the same team like LeBron James did. As I have said, I have no problem with what LeBron did, I just don't think it was the right move. Few players want to end up like Kevin Garnett and get stuck on a team with absolutely no help for most of ten years. It is even stupid to try and compare the situation Michael Jordan was in during his playing career with the situation that LeBron James was in this summer. Jordan just said he wouldn't have done what James did, and since Jordan never did what James did and his massive go wouldn't have let him share the spotlight, we have to assume it is the truth.

Especially James, the one at the center of it all.

If anything, I want to make sure we are fair to LeBron James. I am sure he really cares if we are being fair to him.

What is really unfair are any comparisons of James to Jordan. James is a much more willing passer than Jordan was at this stage in his career. Jordan had to learn to play with his teammates while James is great at playing with his teammates, he just needed better teammates. The whole Jordan-James comparison probably shouldn't even be made and I am sure I have made it at some point as well. LeBron James and Michael Jordan are completely different players and that is why LeBron would even think of joining forces with two other great NBA players. For me, Wade is more like Jordan than James is like Jordan.

Magic, Bird and Jordan, although they liked and respected one another, did not get down like that in their playing days. They weren't friends. Weren't fam. And because of that, it's almost impossible to take what Jordan is saying as an admissible assessment.

It hurts my feelings to defend Michael Jordan. It goes against everything I like or want to do. He went to UNC-CH, played for the Bulls, and was an asshole to my fiance one time at a golf course because she tried to give him Powerade. I don't like the guy.

It is easy to take what Jordan is saying as an admissible assessment because he never did join another team with two other great players like James did. Isiah Thomas and Magic Johnson were friends and they never played together.

I am sure some people would say the entire problem with the NBA is that Wade, Bosh, and James are friends and "fam." The buddy-buddy routine seems to take away a bit from the competition between two teams. That's how some people see it and those who don't like James' move to Miami also probably believe the NBA is a better league when the players aren't friends or "fam" with each other.

It's definitely hard to accept it as something we can hold against LeBron for leaving Cleveland to go to Miami.

Not really. Jordan played in the "golden age" of the NBA when the superstars where fairly well separated on different teams and when superstars team up this dilutes the NBA because you don't have the separation of superstars on different teams. When Jordan played in the Eastern Conference there was Jordan on the Bulls, Bird on the Celtics, Dominique Wilkins on the Hawks, Isiah Thomas on the Pistons, Patrick Ewing on the Knicks, Reggie Miller on the Pacers...etc.

When superstars team up, this separation goes away. So those who think the team of Wade, Bosh, and James isn't good for the Eastern Conference or the NBA may have a point. Separating superstars like this could possibly dilute the Eastern Conference.

A more accurate and applicable analogy might have been possible if Jordan had set up a scenario in which he'd played for Charlotte -- near his hometown, the same way Cleveland is near LeBron's Akron -- for the first seven years of his career, during which he'd won no rings and didn't have Scottie Pippen as a teammate or Phil Jackson as a coach. And if he'd imagined further that his contract was up at the same time that, say, Patrick Ewing and Charles Barkley were becoming free agents and Ewing -- already with the Knicks -- pitched the concept of those three friends playing together in New York … if Jordan had set it up that way and still said he would have turned down the opportunity so he could prove he was "the Man," then his comments might be easier to accept and appreciate.

I hate this bullshit point of view. This is the same thing as people who always justify their actions because "you don't know how it feels to be in my shoes." Scoop wants us to believe that because Michael Jordan didn't face THE EXACT SAME SITUATION as LeBron James, he isn't in a position to judge what James did. I say this is bullshit. Jordan doesn't have to be in the exact same position as LeBron to have his comments easier to accept and appreciate. The fact Jordan won 6 NBA titles while being "the man" and sticking it out on a Bulls team that for a while in the late 1980's seemed to be going nowhere is evidence of what he would have done.

Also, we can't just assume that Phil Jackson and Scottie Pippen never played or coached for the Bulls because they did. The fact is that Michael Jordan didn't attempt to get "his coach" for the Bulls nor did he make it clear he needed to see changes in the team or he would jump ship. So the fact the Bulls got the right players around Jordan, eventually, is evidence that perhaps LeBron should have stuck it out longer. That's what Jordan was trying to say.

His reality right now is that he's the majority owner of the Bobcats. So more important than him saying that he'd never have orchestrated an MJ-Bird-Magic collaboration as a player is whether he'd resist a James-Wade-Bosh-like alliance as an owner.

These are two completely and utterly different things. Choosing to go with two other great players to a different team as a player is COMPLETELY different from being an owner and choosing to sign three great players. Simply because as a player Jordan didn't think forming an alliance with two other players was a good idea, doesn't mean as an owner he wouldn't think it may be smart to sign three players who want to form an alliance together.

If we take Michael at his word about wanting "to beat those guys," then he should have the same mentality as an owner as he did as a player. Shouldn't he?

No. Absolutely not. Because Jordan would want to sign these players as a player doesn't mean he would have been a part of a team that had two other great players. Owners or GMs who are ex-players don't necessarily build a team based on how they liked to play the game of basketball. In fact, it would be stupid to do this.

As a player, Jordan wanted to compete against the other superstar players in the NBA, but as an owner if three superstars want to be on his team then it isn't hypocritical to sign all three players. He couldn't assume every player has the same type of competitive drive or preferences for teammates that he had as a player.

So to follow this logic through from his comments about what he wouldn't do, Jordan would rather try to win a championship with Gerald Wallace and Stephen Jackson on his roster than sign three of the league's 10 best players for his squad.

Jordan said he wouldn't have met up with two other superstars as a PLAYER. This has nothing to do with him doing this as an owner. He runs his team differently from how he played basketball himself.

The Heat did not sign three of the league's 10 best players. Chris Bosh isn't one of the best 10 players in the NBA. He is the second best player on a good team. There are easily 10 better players to be found in the NBA. Bosh has been the best player on a shitty team. He's not even a superstar.

And if one of Jordan's "superstar" players suggested that scenario to him -- as Wade did to the ownership of the Heat -- he'd turn it down!

Absolutely not true. Scoop Jackson is making a terrible comparison. Michael Jordan as an owner and Michael Jordan as a player are two completely different things.

It's hard to believe that he'd stay true to what he said he'd never have done as a player if the same opportunity fell into his owner's lap the way the James-Wade-Bosh deal did for Micky Arison in Miami.

That's entire point that Scoop Jackson seems to miss. Michael Jordan wouldn't pass up the opportunity as an owner to add James, Bosh, and Wade. As a player, Jordan did not and claims he would not have tried to get two other superstars together with him on the same team. I don't get why Scoop Jackson can't get that Michael Jordan as a player had different motivations from Michael Jordan as an owner.

And that is what, deep down, makes it hard to believe that even Jordan believes it.

Simply put, this is why it would be wrong to take his comments and apply them directly to the situation at hand, why it would be wrong to suggest that Jordan believes the Miami situation is an admission of surrender by LeBron, implying that LBJ is really not a "king" because kings don't join forces with other kings, or that there is room for only one "king" per team.

Scoop Jackson is an idiot. Why the hell would Michael Jordan as an owner give a shit if LeBron wants to join the Bobcats and potentially undermine his role as the "king" of a team? Jordan doesn't care as an owner what James does, but as a player Jordan thinks that LeBron is passing up a chance to be considered in the upper echelon of NBA players.

I know the idea of a person having two different points of view on a situation depending on his role in the situation is WAY over Scoop's head, but this isn't a hard concept. Jordan was making a quote as an ex-player who assumes that LeBron James wants to win a title as the best player on a team because Jordan wanted to win a title as the best player on a team. Knowing this, you can appreciate Jordan's quote as his actual opinion.

Jordan is saying, as a superstar player, he wouldn't have joined forces with any other players. As an owner, I am assuming he doesn't care if other players want to do this, he will be willing to sign all three players. Jordan isn't saying teaming up with Wade and Bosh is a bad idea, he is saying that he (Jordan) would not have done this as a superstar player. That's all. This opinion in no way reflects on whether he would want these players on his team as an owner.

Outside of the many verifiable truths that are being overlooked here (such as, fundamentally there is no difference between this and the assembling of the original Dream Team),

The Dream Team was a team put together for exhibition games, specifically the Olympics. The Dream Team was together for a limited time and if the United States could allow pros to play basketball in the Summer Olympics, then inherently within this idea is the realization the best players in the NBA would have to play together. Michael Jordan didn't seek out to play with the best players in the NBA on the same team. In fact, I bet Jordan wouldn't have minded the Dream Team being him and 11 other college basketball players.

Wade, Bosh, and James are playing professional games and have signed contracts to be together for five years...or 4 years and many months longer than the Dream Team was ever together. Fundamentally there is a difference in "this" and the Dream Team, because "this" was done on a micro-scale of competing against teams in the NBA, while the Dream Team was on a more macro-scale of competing against teams from other countries.

it's hard to believe that Michael Jordan, if given the exact same situation LeBron was in, would have done something differently.

I don't find this hard to believe at all. Michael Jordan wanted to be the absolute best player on his team and he didn't want to share the spotlight with anyone. It was always clear that Pippen was the Robin to Jordan's Batman. Jordan could probably never have long-term co-existed with another superstar player.

And it's virtually inconceivable to believe that he will carry that same mentality and philosophy with him as an owner.

He's too smart for that.

It is inconceivable he carries this mentality and philosophy with him as an owner because he doesn't. He is smart enough to realize what was good for him as a player may not be good for all NBA players.

So when he says "there's no way" he would have done what LeBron just did, it contradicts almost everything we hold dear when we honor Jordan's legacy.

¿Qué demonios significa esto?

I am going to start typing in Spanish because I feel like I am reading a different language anyway, so I may as well show off the Spanish I learned (threw into a English-Spanish translator online) in 10th-12th grade.

Because the way I see it, LeBron's decision -- right or wrong, agree or disagree -- was about basketball. It was about trying to win championships, not win hearts. It was about an opportunity to make history, not prove a point.

If there is anything we know about Michael Jordan it is that he wanted to make history WHILE proving a point. He wanted to prove he was the best player in the NBA, he wanted to prove he could beat the Pistons and the Lakers, he wanted to prove he could play baseball while serving his suspension for gambling, he wanted to prove he could come back whenever the hell he wanted and win more NBA titles, and he wanted to prove he could return to the NBA and play into his 40's. He succeeded on most of these attempts to prove a point. Jordan made history while proving the point that he was the best NBA player of all-time.

So this decision really has nothing to do with Jordan's legacy.

To us, Michael Jordan personifies, defines and embodies winning in the context of team sports.

But as the best individual player on those teams. This is a point that Scoop Jackson just can't seem to understand. Michael Jordan won championships in the NBA while being the best player in the NBA and the clear best player on his own team.

No one did it better. But his comments wreak of something different. It's a fragrance called "For The Love Of Self," not "For The Love Of The Game."

Obviously Jordan is very self-involved, but his comments on LeBron reveal the difference in he and LeBron James. It isn't a difference that reflects poorly on either of them. Jordan wanted to win championships on his terms and show that he could win a title as the undisputed best player on a team at all times, while LeBron wants to win championships by any means necessary even if it means he has to reduce his star status or be relegated to a co-headliner. Jordan wasn't willing to reduce his star status and wanted to win on his own terms.

Jordan's comments just reflect the surprise that a person who calls himself "King" James is willing to be a co-headliner and doesn't want to win a championship on his terms as the undisputed best player on a championship team. Scoop Jackson completely misses the point by even trying to compare Jordan's attitude towards superstars playing together on his team as an owner of the Bobcats and Jordan's attitude towards himself playing with fellow superstars as a player.