Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

25 Oct 2005

TMQ: Coaches in Pajamas

This week Gregg takes on licensed clothing, the sportsmanship paradox, the terrible Buffalo offensive line, and naked Canadians. If you thought TMQ would criticize the Broncos for blitzing on the final New York Giants drive of the game, you win!

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 25 Oct 2005

68 comments, Last at 28 Oct 2005, 12:36pm by Carl

Comments

1
by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 3:55pm

TMQ was surprisingly easy on the Eagles and Chargers for combining for less than 40 running plays in the entire game.

2
by Sophandros (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 3:58pm

The other shoe theory failed on Sunday afternoon when Manning fumbled and Carr threw a pick on the ensuing play. Furthermore, he proves it wrong later within his own article.

There was a stink elsewhere about things like this, and because there are a lot of them who post on FO, I'll pose the question here. In the section titled "The Sportsmanship Paradox", the reader will find this gem:

Zach Summers of New Haven, Connecticut, proposed one: "Being accustomed to arbitrary line-drawing -- I am a Yale Law student -- I propose the four-minute mark of the third quarter be the last time a team that is ahead by four touchdowns or more tries hard to score."

Now, I know a lot of Ivy Leaguers and other alums from top schools, and most of us are modest about our alma maters. However, there is always a certain number that go around and try to insert where they went to school in what seems like every other sentence. Personally, I find it pretentious and annoying (and as a future attorney, Zach Summers--love child of Zach Morris and Buffy Summers?--just might be pretentious and annoying), and I've encountered many people who feel much, much stronger about it than I do. But that's neither here nor there, I guess.

3
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:05pm

TMQ wonders why "bottomless" pits abound in science fiction. Well, it takes a lot of material to make those giant starcruisers and death-stars, that material must come from somewhere. As for the lack of guard rails, the actual mining is done by robots, and who cares if they fall down a bottomless pit, you can always make more.

4
by OMO (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:07pm

Can someone tell me what would possess anyone to wear their cheerleading outfit in the manner that Tara W. of the Cincy Bengals does so that her breasts look like they start at her clavicle?

Is that supposed to make them look big? Or defy gravity?

I think it just looks creepy.

5
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:13pm

I don't see why they wouldn't let them wear a suit with a branded tie, since they do have those. Or just go ahead and make suits for the coaching staff with logo'd cufflinks and collars or something. All I know is that if I were an NFL coach, I'd rather look like Lombardi than Bellichik.

6
by JG (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:14pm

I think coaches should start showing up in pajamas or licenced boxer shorts and ties, or whatever the most rediculous thing they can think of is. The licensed appearal thing for head coaches is dumb. I don't care about the 400 or so assistants each team seems to have, or even the coordinators, but let the head coaches have some class if they want to.

7
by EJP (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:15pm

Re: #4. Perhaps you should visit the Miss Nude Canada website TMQ references in his article. I would assume there are no such outfits that distort proper breast buoyancy.

8
by Travis (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:21pm

In Week 2 of the 1992 season, the Giants almost came back from a 34-0 3rd quarter deficit against the Cowboys, scoring 4 straight touchdowns AND getting the ball back with about 3 minutes to play. If that last drive had succeeded, would TMQ's rule on not running up the score be different?

Also, Texas Tech is a relatively undersized team running a gimmicky, 20 plays in the playbook, pass-dominated offense. Tech has a senior starting QB and a freshman backup. Under those circumstances, isn't it better to give the backup some work rather than risk injury by sending your small RBs into the line every play?

9
by Joe (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:28pm

Here's an idea - TMQ could actually do some objective research on his theories such as "the other shoe" to see if they actually hold up. I'd guess that this is one of those (like clutch hitting in baseball) where it's just a result of selective memory. You remember the instances that back up your theory, and you forget the ones that don't.

Also, I like how he always goes out on a limb and writes "game over" in his notebook when a team is down 2 touchdowns in the 4th quarter.

10
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:30pm

I did a quick search for "blitz" and didn't find a comment about last night's game - Madden said on one play on the last Jets drive, I think, that the Falcons were blitzing seven. Imagine my surprise when I saw that they still had men dropping back into coverage ... even from a 3-4, wouldn't blitzing seven leave one man to cover the receivers? I'd expect that kind of play only in a video game like, well, Madden.

11
by MAW (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:33pm

I thought the comment about coaches in pajamas was going to concern Mike Martz trying to phone a play in from his hospital bed.

12
by foos (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:36pm

TMQ sounds like such an ignoramus when he writes about science. He needs to stop. Now.

13
by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:41pm

"In other football news"

The first three grafs were about "football news?" It seemed to me it was a dated tangent about coaching attire that was settled by the Reebok buyout.

By the way, the biggest issue the players revolted against since the CBA was the Reebok deal because so many of them either wanted to wear equipment they had always used (Nike or other footwear), or they had side deals with other companies that were in peril.

Players thought they'd have to rip out the Swoosh seams on their shoes. The NFLPA and league brokered an agreement on the matter.

"Pittsburgh knew rookie Bengals' linebacker Odell Thurman would be lined up over Miller, as he was; aggressive rookie linebackers fall for play-fakes."

On the Tivo, it seemed to me as if Thurman overplayed the coverage, which actually is part of the Bengals' system. I think that might be what Easterbrook believes was "aggressive" gullibility on play fakes, but it's also a component of the d-scheme.

"Best Purist Drive"

Houston lost. Badly.

"Best Postmodern Drive"

Philly won. Postmodernly.

"That camera perspective adds to the drama is one of the reasons football works so well on television."

See also NASCAR and NBA.

"Bills' blockers ... continue to compete with Houston's for the dubious distinction of worst offensive line in the league. Buffalo quarterbacks have not had a 300-yard passing day since September 14, 2003. Consistently awful offensive line play is the reason."

Well, that's one perspective. Another might suggest that perhaps -- nutty as this sounds -- Buffalo's QBs haven't been all that swell, and their wideouts not much better.

Since Buffalo is one of the teams I follow on tape, I've been struck by how good their rush blocking has been. Easily some of the best in the NFL, and this even when the opponent has to know you're going to rush first, pass second.

I've actually been struck by how bad Pittsburgh's right side rush blocking has been. Ditto, their pass blocking from the right.

But CW would have people believing that Pittsburgh has a "dominant" offensive line, when, in fact, Buffalo has done a superior job rush blocking, IMHO.

I haven't had a chance to check the sack differential, but I can bet you that Buffalo has probably half as many sacks as Houston or San Francisco.

Minnesota would be on that list if the Vikes didn't have a QB who is a tad more talented than most other passers in the league. Sure, he hangs on more than most, but he also gets to play in a division not known this year for its dominant defensive lines.

Obviously those three teams spring to mind as far, far, far worse pass blocking teams than Buffalo.

"Leading 56-3 at halftime against Illinois, Penn State did not attempt a forward pass in the second half."

If GE had his way, no NFL team would be allowed to attempt a forward pass in the second half.

If teams continue to scrimmage against the Colts with their layered DB/LB zones, this will become a reality in the RCA Dome.

Pick your poison, I guess.

"Game scoreless, San Francisco blitzed six against Washington; 43-yard completion to Santana Moss, and the Skins record their first touchdown three plays later."

Blitzing decisions are the least of SF's worries.

"Yet the Saints are no slouches at creating their own problems."

I thought they were the new "America's Team?" I wonder if there could be a King v. Easterbrook smack down on this?

"Stop speakin' Klingon and lay off the Saints!" growled King.

"Eat fist latte, Big Boy!" yelled Easterbrook.

By the way, am I the only one who has thought of the Phillip Roth baseball novel when contemplating the plight of the 'Aints this year?

"It's one thing for power backs such as Jerome Bettis to drive the pile forward; usually once under tackle, just put both arms around the ball and get on the ground."

You know, JB never considered himself a "power back." He's actually been a far more nimble rusher than a lot of the beefier backs who came into the league when he did, guys like Okoye.

Jerome has stayed in the league so long because he has been a most reluctant "line mover." He taught himself fairly early to twist and dodge tackles, using archival game film of Csonka and Riggins to do sort of create a dance system to use as he read an oncoming tackler.

It's actually a pretty complex system of feints, dodges and drops. He "hits the pile" only when he runs out of split-second options.

He really doesn't even like the moniker.

"In 49 career starts for Detroit, Joey Harrington has never run for a touchdown."

He didn't pass for many either.

"A.J., J.P. -- Not a Good Year for Initials Quarterbacks"

And yet the last century was pretty good for a guy abbreviated to "Y.A."

"Plus abandoning the run simplifies life for the defense."

Want to really simplify things for a defense? Abandon the pass. Nothing like putting nine in the box.

"Panicking and going pass-wacky, on the other hand, almost never works."

Unless you read the stat work ups on NFL teams since 1978.

Might YPA in the passing game be a more relevant stat than, say, total yards rushing?

Hmmmmmmm...

"Obscure College Score of the Week Campbellsville 62, Cumberland of Tennessee 60."

I have alluded to a mistake Easterbrook made earlier in the year involving the loser in this very contest. They actually have an illustrative football history (albeit an ignoble one), star-crossed by Georgia Tech many moons ago.

14
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:43pm

How exactly do you construct a bottomless pit? And what would be involved in maintaining such a pit? Unless it's actually a normal pit with an interdimensional gateway at the bottom, or something like that, I don't get it.

15
by pawnking (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:47pm

I'll say this about Easterbrook. No matter what the problem, football, baseball, war, politics, term paper needs to be finished, whatever, his answer is always the same: Run the football.

16
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:48pm

Re 14: It's easy. You start digging on one side of the planet, and keep going till you reach the other. Some people might call this a tunnel, but it's really a bottomless pit.

17
by EJP (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:49pm

Re: 15. He gets that from Tom Jackson.

18
by zip (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:49pm

#2

As recent Harvard Med School graduate with a 4.0 GPA, I also find it very annoying when people try to work the name of their school into things that have nothing to do with where they got their education.

19
by EJP (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:50pm

Re: 14 and 16. Or, you get Peter King to open his mouth. . .

20
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 4:59pm

Peter King did a good job of rationally discussing Philadelphia's offense on ESPN radio this Monday, so he gets a "get out of overly long article free" card.

21
by Jerry P. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:02pm

Carl, I like reading what you write so I am going to help you make it easier to read. Put a lowercase "i" in between greater than and less than signs and all text after it will be italicized. Do the same thing but with a "/" before the "i" to end the italics and return to normal text.

This will let you have large posts but break them up better visually so we can see where the quotes end and the Carl begins. Just write like you normally do and then go back in and paste the italics tags around the quotes. Thanks.

Also, I understand you have (had?) some sort of involvement with the Steelers and that accounts for your interest and insight into them but why the Bills? Just because Buffalo is close to Pittsburgh? General AFC interest? Mularkey connection? I think your assessment of the Bills line is pretty spot on as well.

22
by JG (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:35pm

carl-

Minnesota would be on that list if the Vikes didn’t have a QB who is a tad more talented than most other passers in the league. Sure, he hangs on more than most, but he also gets to play in a division not known this year for its dominant defensive lines.

I completely agree that the Vikes have one of the worst 3 offensive lines in the league, but I disagree with your assesment of the NFC North. The Packers D-line does indeed stink, the lions line is mediocre, but the Bears line is quite dominant, even with the second stringers rotating in. To illustrate this point I will point to one of Tank Johnson's sacks in the 4th quarter of sunday's game against the Ravens (Tank came in when Tommie Harris had leg cramps). The Ravens had to pass to catch up, so they kept their 5 lineman, 1 TE, and 1 back in to block. No blitz, just the 4 guys off of the line versus 7 blockers and Tank slips through and gets the sack. What more can you ask of a D-line?

23
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:42pm

I would love to have a chart that showed the biggest deficit overcome at any given point in a game. E.g. "the biggest deficit overcome with 5:30 to go in the 4th quarter is 19 points."

24
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:45pm

Sorry for the double post, but it's curious that the article on dark energy he links to seems to refute the very point Easterbrook is trying to make.

25
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:45pm

JG: agreed, the Bears are able to generate good pressure with just their line rushing.
B: If by "bottomless" you mean "point at which you'll stop," then your example wouldn't actually be bottomless, since you'd stop at the exact center, where the gravitational pull from all points of the planet would be counterbalanced by a point on the exact opposite side. That's the experiment that lead Newton to invent Calculus! And then that gravity stuff.

26
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:47pm

edit: "bottom" as "point at which you stop."

27
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 5:58pm

I'm not sure that's right. At the center there would be no force acting on someone, which means they would have no further acceleration. But why would they slow down approaching the center and then stop at the center?

At the surface, their acceleration would be about 9.8 m/s^2 (earth value, adjust accordingly for Romulus, Endor, etc). This would gradually decrease to 0 at the center, then to -9.8 m/s^2 on the other side of the planet. If the planet is perfectly balanced, and we negate friction losses, they should come to a complete stop at the other surface. They should actually be at maximum speed at the center.

28
by B (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:07pm

But once you reached the opposite side and stopped, you'd immediately start falling in the opposite direction. In a frictionless enviroment, you'd fall forever, but if there is any friction at all, you'd end up in the center. Either way, I define the bottom as the place where the hole stops, not the person falling through it does.

29
by JG (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:12pm

RE Bottomless Pit-
Trogdor is right, you would momentarily stop at the other side, but given the gravity is now acting in the opposite direction you would start excellerating toward the middle again, only to pop out the side you started. This would continue indefinately or until an obstical was put in your path to slow you down - atleast theoretical. Assuming this is a real life situation and we have to take friction due to air into account, then each pass through you would be slightly farther away from the surface at the apex of your "fall", until at the end you actually are stopped in the center of the planet. I guess that makes Fnor right too.

30
by JG (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:13pm

B, you beat me to the submission. I like the way you think though.

31
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:13pm

#27,28: True, I am assuming the atmosphere of the planet would extend into the hole, which would shorten the fall on either side until eventually it reached 0. Thanks for out-snarking me, by the way ;P.

32
by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:27pm

Sorry for the long post. I'm getting hate emails now.

I should let others reach the same conclusions I did.

JG, you're right about the Bears and their d-line. It is impressive and they tore Peppy a new one the last time they played.

The irony is that GB, with a truly atrocious d-line, was able to sack Peppy more than the Bears!

That might say more about the Vikes' o-line than anything else.

The Lions are slightly above average (their downfall has been defending the pass, except for one CB I really like).

The rest? Poo.

The paradox of the tunnel brought back to me Galileo (a bit before Newton). Drat that astrophysics degree!

s = (1/2) a t²

The free fall of a body would be 386 inches per second, squared, at a constant.

Upon reaching the center of a perfect orb, you should achieve weightlessness because the gravitational pull of the (equal) mass of the orb will exert equivalent force on you.

If anyone wants the formula for proportionality, I can provide it, but suffice it to say that r eventually will reach 0, and the "free fall" Galileo described in formula will reach stasis.

But the earth isn't a perfect sphere. It's obloid, which is why we get such nifty things as "seasons," and "weather" and Hurricane Wilma. For junior cartographers at home, you can try this yourself by checking out the radius of the equator and comparing it to the radius connecting the two polar opposites.

See?

That's neither here nor there, except to say that the greater mass will pull the free falling body toward itself. Now, you have your Newton.

I'm not an expert on the various strata of the earth, but I could actually imagine a body wobbling to a stop somewhere short or farther from of the center of the mythical tunnel, swayed on way or the other by variations of mass in the mineral strata.

That last part is just a hunch. Me know physics. Me know no geology.

I recall there's a fair amount of nickel.

33
by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:33pm

That was a long way of saying "bottom" is wherever the body reaches stasis through free fall, which might not be a "center" from a true, measured distance, but rather one of counter-balanced forces.

34
by Fnor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:38pm

Carl: Correct, the center of gravity is not always (read: almost never) the exact center of an object. The earth would definitely fall into that category
And wow, all this just for giving B a bit of trouble!

35
by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:52pm

I would not get book your trip to the center of the earth anyway, B.

From my scuba diving experiences, I would surmise that you would be crushed along the way by the great forces at play.

I'm thinking gigapascals of pressure, not bars on a dive chart, by the way.

After becoming human origami, you then become deep fried in a radioactive core of melting elements.

It might not be exactly a "bottomless pit," but travel through it would be science fiction, indeed.

36
by Earl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 6:58pm

What's a gigapascal?

37
by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:08pm

One billion clones of Blaise Pascal.

38
by James Gibson (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:15pm

Could I imagine going into a business meeting in a 3-piece suit with an orange stripe down it? Well, I did do my PhD defense in a suit while wearing Denver Broncos tie, complete with some bright orange, so for me, I think maybe I could imagine it.

39
by TimW (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:18pm

But, we're not talking about water at the center of our tunnel, we're talking air. The pressure would be much less. Since there's more mass pulling outward at the center, wouldn't that mean the air pressure is negligable, since gravity is pulling the air out? I suspect you'd have far more to fear from the temperature, than from the pressure.

40
by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:24pm

A gigapascal is a unit of measure (GPa).

The air around you now is about 1 atmosphere of pressure. It's how you feel now.

Let's say you were to hop aboard Aaron's Super Deep Diving FO Molten Core Explorer.

Some miles below the surface your pressure gauge detects 12 gigapascals of pressure.

That's the equivalent of 120,000 atmospheres of pressure. Had someone turned up the heat inside the Explorer about 5 GPa ago, all of you would have been turned into diamonds.

That's how much pressure there is when you start throwing around GPas.

David Carr hits the earth at about 20 gigapascals because his tailback hasn't learned to block blitzing safeties.

41
by Trogdor (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:32pm

Please - travel to the earth's core is easy and fun! Just watch the documentary The Core, quite possibly the best movie ever made. Check out the analysis of the completely credible physics of that movie (linked, near the bottom of the page).

42
by Malene, cph, dk (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:36pm

I recall there's a fair amount of nickel

unlike in GE's dream-universe, where offenses would always run, run, run it up the middle and no defensive package would have more DB's than just a strong safety...

43
by Drew (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 7:49pm

Re: #41

I'm not sure I'd go so far as to call it easy or fun. As I recall, the survival rate while filming that documentary was around 1 in 3.

44
by Snooper (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 8:10pm

Soph,

I checked out Gregg's bio. He graduated from Colorado College and Northwestern.

They are the Tigers and Wildcats, respectively.

In 2004, he wrote an essay in The Atlantic, "Who Needs Harvard?"

So I would imagine he's not overly impressed by the kid's credentials.

45
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 8:22pm

Great link, Trogdor. I love that site ...

... but I have to confess that I was thinking of the other example that B mentions in #28, not the one that he was using. On the other hand, in a bad sci-fi context, digging a hole that passes completely through a planet would probably give you a bottomless pit.

In that context, you discover that the pit is bottomless when a villain is tossed into it, crying out all the way down, until the noise disappears. No doubt there would be a point past which you'd be unable to hear him, and as long as he didn't pop out the other side (on that point, I think we all agree) and couldn't be found in the middle (also a point of agreement), then it's effectively a bottomless pit, right?

46
by peachy (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 8:31pm

appropriately for a thread about TMQ, football entries are now outnumbered more than two to one...

47
by tunesmith (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 9:08pm

Q: How can you tell if someone you just met went to Harvard?

A: They tell you.

48
by Harris (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 9:25pm

Man, there are a lot of nerds in here. I really feel compelled to stuff some of you in a locker or hand out a few atomic wedgies.

49
by Catfish (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 9:26pm

Re: 45

But if the pit is bottomless, how do you define middle?

50
by RCH (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:05pm

As a Harvard graduate (GPa undisclosed) I'm starting to think that this thread is the only tangible proof of a bottomless pit that anyone really needs.

Why don't we all just post our Wonderlic scores and be done with it.

51
by NF (not verified) :: Tue, 10/25/2005 - 10:30pm

Theoretically, it is possible to survive a trip to the earth's core. However, you have to be in a tiny heat-proof probe floating on 10,000 tons of molten iron sinking down through a giant hole in the earth's crust with no means of return to the surface, and would be crushed by the pressure once the probe reached the core. Everything other than having a person in the probe came from a science journal article. I'd google a link referring to it except I'm lazy.

52
by zip (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 1:18am

For the record, #18 was a joke.

53
by Fnor (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 2:22am

My wife would like the record to show that Fitzpatrick should never, ever start, and that Harvard Hockey sucks.
You can put the gun down, now, dear. Really.

54
by deadteddy8 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:02am

It doesn't take an English Lit major from NYU (ha!) to see that Easterbrook's point has nothing to do with the bottomless-ness of the pits, but with how often they show up in film and why they do. "Bottomless" is an expression meaning "we can't see the bottom, therefore we can't definitively say there is one", not that a pit is literally bottomless. GE's overall point is inane, however, because the main reason for guard rails in elevated parking lots and the like in our world is to prevent cars from falling, while in the Star Wars world, virtually all vehicles fly. It also makes sense that the vehicles need to be unencumbered by walls on their arrival or departure. Many multi-level parking lots in our world have only low walls on their top levels which are easily scalable by people. And the two Star Wars pits I remember off the top of my head (Episodes V and VI) were both natural formations/creatures in the middle of nowhere, so there would be no reason to put guard rails up, just as there's no reason to put rails up at the peak of Mt. Everest.

55
by deadteddy8 (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:18am

And the Yale law student was making fun of his own program by making that comment, implying that his work consists mostly of arbitrary line drawing. Seems more self-deprecating than anything else.

56
by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 9:17am

RE: Bottomless pit. Technically, a bottomless pit is simply what it says, a "pit" defined by websters as a hole, shaft, or cavity in the ground, without a bottom. Obviously, this isn't possible on Earth, but in space, not only would it be possible, but there would be conceivable reasons for them.

For example, supposing the articial gravity so popular on starships is too ineffecient or expensive to use over a larger cruiser. Instead, gravity would be sinulated through rotation. The rotation would possibly involve spinning not as a solid shape, but as a hollow tube shape which would resemble, yes, a bottomless pit.

This would open a lot of other questions, such as why there would be gravity at the top of the pit, and why Skywalker would fall if there was no rotational pull. Also obviously, there would be limited artificial gravity at the top to make it practical for workers to operate there, and anything "dropped" off the side would have to be pulled by artificial gravity outside to avoid it damaging some equipment.

It is all explained easily.

57
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:20am

All this talk about bottomless pits and what it's like at the center of the planet, how come nobody's mentioned the mole men or the lava people yet?
By the way, my definition of the bottom of a pit would be a solid physical mass clearly delineating the end of the pit. Think of a glass with the end cut off so it looks like a tube. It has a beginning, a middle and an end, but no bottom. I'm perfectly well aware that you can't actually survive a fall in such a pit, but the whole point of one is to dispose of bad guys, so who cares about survivability.

58
by fyo (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:22am

Been a TMQ fan for a long time, as I suppose many here have, but the articles are getting rather repetitive, aren't they?

59
by elhondo (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 12:10pm

The center of the earth thing makes for some interesting speculation. I'm pretty sure that for a hole all the way through the earth, and with some sort of force field to prevent the soft chewy center from filling it in, a body would come to rest near the center of the earth, pinned up against the side, being pulled by half the planet. It might not be 1/2 a G though, since the "top" of the planet is busy pulling it toward the other side, and the spin of the earth being the deciding factor of which side the body came to rest on (or polar wobble if the hole is from norh to south pole).

I mention this not to make a cheap joke about Aaron's use of his hole site, but to declare that in the center of the earth, under the conditions assumed, Brady would be a better quarterback than Manning (either one).

Oh, incidentally, Japan just finished a ship that is going to attempt to drill through the Earth's crust, to the MOHO. Good article in the news about it yesterday.

60
by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 1:39pm

Re 48: yes, I've noticed that as well. Maybe that's why we end up discussing the sci-fi rather than the football ...

I would say that "bottomless" meaning "has a bottom, but out of sight" is more applicable to '50s and '60s sci-fi. A Star Wars pit seems more likely to be the hole-all-the-way-through-the-planet type, which would actually be a bonus, because you'd have two pits in one.

On the other hand, there would probably be a finite number of bad guys who could be dropped into the pit before their remains, however tightly compressed, formed a solid surface onto which subsequent bad guys would fall. Then you'd be back to the former definition of "bottomless pit."

61
by B (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 2:31pm

Maybe to bring the conversation back to football we can all nominate players, coaches, announcers, columnists, etc who should be disposed of in a bottomless or virtually-bottomless pit. I would like to start with Skip Bayless.

62
by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:18pm

Drilling to the center of the Earth is a dangerous undertaking. Doesn't the Heat Miser live down there? You don't want to mess with that guy.

63
by PatsFan (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 3:52pm

For those who hate TMQ, you can exercise your hatred even more with his new "Reader Animadversion" Wednesday weekly column:
http://www.nfl.com/news/story/9004996

64
by Darth Goofy (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 4:50pm

Speaking as a football and Star Wars fan...

Most of the bottomless pits seen in Star Wars are of artificial makings (Death Star I [Ep IV], Cloud City [Ep V] and Death Star II [Ep VI]). There was a bottomless pit in Ep I that was dug into the planet (On Naboo, assumption that it was bottomless, since one was never shown).

Bottomless pits make sense in man-made objects, as they take less materials, reduce weight and provide a method for atmosphere circulation. Terrestrial bottomless pits make less sense, except that energy was mined on Naboo and they might have needed a pit that deep in order to "mine" it.

Just my two cents in this non-football related topic

65
by Shark in DC (not verified) :: Wed, 10/26/2005 - 10:41pm

I thought Easterbrook jumped the shark when he went to NFL.com.

I realized today that the only reason I open up Football Outsiders is to see what Carl has to say about Easterbrook or King.

I've come to the conclusion, therefore, that Football Outsiders has jumped the shark, too. It coincided with their move to Fox.

When a former NFL player like me decides to bolt, something is wrong. I like Carl because he's middle ground between Football Outsiders and reality. I predict he will jump the shark next year, which will leave bastards like me with Eisen.

Damn you, Carl!

66
by Another (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 7:59am

I hate to say it, but I agree. I am one of those guys who come in here only to read Carl. FO is not what it used to be.

Where do you live in DC?

67
by dryheat (not verified) :: Thu, 10/27/2005 - 9:08am

And to think I showed up to discuss Miss Nude Canada.

I'll go now and let the Bottomless Pit discussion continue. Maybe I can find someone else to discuss bottomless pageant contestants.

68
by Carl (not verified) :: Fri, 10/28/2005 - 12:36pm

Don't use my name to make a point I don't believe in.