Greg Easterbrook starts this week by devoting over 2,200 words to dispel the hot rumor that scoring is actually up in the NFL and NCAA. I have not heard this rumor about the NFL. I don’t pay 5 minutes of attention all season to the NCAA.
Now, let’s follow up on the running theme that Easterbrook only sporadically talks about coaches being more manly men versus “fraidy cat” (his words) based on fourth down attempts. As Gregg already had a 2,200 word opening, he didn’t have to make up a trend to comment on. However, he would have had a legitimate point as this week there were only 26 fourth down attempts, but far the lowest this season (.93 per team game versus 1.32 last week – a 30% decline). In week 2 it increased 0% over week 1, which warranted an intro from Easterbrook about an increase in attempts. In week 4 it increased 1% over week 3 and made the intro as implying that there was a big increase. In week 3 it increased 24% over week 2 and that warranted a comment because Easterbrook thought that his week 2 “manly men” pronouncement was premature, even though teams went for it more in week 3. So he had it backwards. His inconsistency, and the shoddy wording of this paragraph, has probably confused the shit out of you. Let’s move on.
NFL news, is there a Crabtree Curse? San Francisco broke out of the gate 3-1, in part because management's no-compromise attitude toward holdout diva Michael Crabtree sent the message that nobody is bigger than the team. Then last week, suddenly Crabtree is granted $16 million guaranteed even though he skipped training camp, doesn't know the playbook, and spent the first month of the season relaxing on the couch. Suddenly the message sent is that you can jerk the 49ers around and get away with it. Immediately San Francisco lost to Atlanta 45-10 at home.
Yes, 100% of the reason they lost to the Saints is because the players ceased viewing the organization as a "no-nonsense – nobody is bigger than the team” organization.
What a fucking fruitcake.
In other football news, is Cincinnati this year's Team of Destiny? I advise you not to get up for a beer during the final minute of any Bengals game. I strongly advise you not to defy TMQ's law, Cold Coach = Victory. On a 30-degree day at Denver, Bill Belichick came out in a heavy winter parka plus woolen ski hat, with tassel; Josh McDaniels wore a hoodie with a baseball cap. At kickoff, seeing how they were attired, TMQ said, "This game's over." And yea, verily, it came to pass.
What to make of the Flaming Thumbtacks' collapse? Since the moment Tennessee took the field in the playoffs holding home-field advantage throughout the postseason, Tennessee has lost six straight. The loss of Albert Haynesworth cannot be the explanation, as his new team is struggling.
Wow. Is that a stupid thing to say. Wow.
Holy shit. Wow.
The loss of a key defensive player to a bad team can’t the explanation, because that key defensive player is now playing on a bad team! Wouldn’t the comparison be the Titans with Haynesworth’s productivity last year versus his replacement’s performance this year, to figure out if the loss of Haynesworth has had an impact?
What if Haynesworth had remained a Titan but died in the offseason? Would you say…."well the death of Haynesworth isn’t the explanation. He’s a dead guy. He can’t even move. If they put him out there he would do absolutely nothing positively for the team. It would be 11 versus 10. So that’s not the reason.”
Congratulations Gregg Easterbrook, you are guilty of the stupidest thing a columnist wrote about the NFL this week.
Sarah Palin has an instant book out next month, and in keeping with the Unified Field Theory of Creep, it's already on bestseller lists though no volumes actually have been shipped from the warehouse.
You can sell books that haven’t shipped. This isn’t some cute thing you noticed.
It’s not on a list of most widely read books, just most purchased.
Single Worst Play of the Season -- So Far: San Francisco trailing 35-10, Dre' Bly of the Squared Sevens intercepted a pass and saw green in front of him. Bly started showboating for the home crowd at his own 40, then was caught from behind by Roddy White -- one of the league's fastest players, the sort of thing Bly is paid to know -- and fumbled. Atlanta ball. Showboating when you are about to score the winning points, as Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie did for Arizona, is bad enough. Showboating on your own 40 and when your team is down by 25 points is inexcusable. Dre' Bly, you are guilty of the single worst play of the season -- so far.
Yeah I actually agree with this.
Here is the clip.