Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Aug 2012

MMQB: Camps 6-10

This week, Peter travels to the Bay Area and Florida, focusing on much-maligned Kyle Williams, new Raiders GM Reggie McKenzie, and the case against Terrell Davis making the Hall of Fame.

Posted by: Rivers McCown on 06 Aug 2012

127 comments, Last at 11 Aug 2012, 1:08am by Guest789

Comments

1
by Lance :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:45am

I'll be curious to read his case against Davis (the actual article doesn't seem to be up yet). I've been of two minds about it for a long time. On the one hand, his career was too short. But it was due to a serious injury and not just because he was a bad player who had one fluke-ish year. I mean, he went for 1500, 1700, and 2000 yards. That's not some flash-in-the-pan. That's someone who was legitimately great. While he no doubt would have regressed to the mean even without the injury, I feel like he still could have put together another 3+ seasons of 1500+ yards. That and two Super Bowls is HoF material.

I know, I know, you can't just put someone in on hypotheticals ("he was good-- but what if he'd been on a better team?!?"). But it is the Hall of Fame, not the Hall of Awesome Career Stats or something. And being the driving force on a two-time Super Bowl champion, NFL MVP (and Offensive Player of the Year), Super Bowl MVP, plus a 2000 yard season-- I think those things put someone in the "fame" category.

I could be swayed, but I'm leaning towards the "in" category.

(Note: Not a Denver Homer)

2
by tuluse :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:01pm

It is called the Hall of Fame, but it was not created to just honor famous people in football. Here is it's mission statement:

  • To honor individuals who have made outstanding contributions to professional football
  • To preserve professional football’s historic documents and artifacts
  • To educate the public regarding the origin, development and growth of professional football as an important part of American culture
  • To promote the positive values of the sport

I don't think this hurts your overall point, but using the actual mission statement is better than arguing about semantics of "fame." Instead we can argue about semantics of what an "outstanding contribution" is.

edit: the formatting options on this site really blow. Unordered lists are worse than useless.

3
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:29pm

Not that it matters, but my opinion for a long time has been that Terrell Davis and Kurt Warner are the two most difficult HOF cases to decide at the moment. A legitmate case can be made either way for both of them. They both have HOF-worthy accomplishments, and yet their career numbers end up lacking.

Personally, I'd have no problem with Davis being in the HOF. But outside of the Super Bowl rings, which are a team accomplishment, I fail to see how his personal accomplishments are that much greater than those of Priest Holmes or Shaun Alexander or Edgerrin James.

It really boils down to what your idea of HOF-worthy is. And in the absence of defined criteria, such debates will linger, which is probably what the HOF and the NFL want anyway.

5
by tuluse :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:37pm

Davis's peak seems a lot higher than Edge or Alexander..

6
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:46pm

Holmes, from 2001-2003, had more yards from scrimmage, more touchdowns, and fewer fumbles than Davis from 1996-1998.

If we're talking rushing only, then yes, Davis' peak was much higher. But I don't think we can exclude Holmes' receiving totals.

16
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:59pm

Higher perhaps, but also shorter. That's the whole crux of the problem.

8
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:03pm

I would love to know the case against Warner. High peak (1999-2001 & 2007-2009). Great playoff success (which will mean more to teh HOF guys than it should). All-around nice guy who media guys loved (again, shouldn't mean anything but probably will). Achieved success with two historically down franchises (at least the Rams in STL were bad). Has good career rate numbers, and quite a bit of black ink from his Rams days, leading the league in passer rating twice, completion percentage and Y/A three times. Two time MVP. Super Bowl MVP. The only thing against him is his career volume numbers are low, but to me, that isn't enough to keep him out. He won't be first ballot, but he should be a Hall of Famer.

15
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:54pm

The main case against Warner, as you mentioned, is his career totals. 32k yards for a career just isn't that much these days, at least not for a 12 year career. Also bears noting that in addition to his high highs, he had some low lows.

Don't get me wrong though -- I'd vote for him. The 2nd MVP award puts him in a very select group. And just to tie this back to Terrell Davis, if it was a choice between Davis and Warner, I'd vote for Warner.

19
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:26pm

His low lows were basically seven games in 2002-2003. He had a disastrous six games to start 2002 after he, I believe, broke his thumb. He then played the season opener in 2003 and fumbled six times, and didn't really play again in 2003.

His Giants career and even his first two years in Zona were decent. For those three years, he completed 63.9% (524-820) for 6,144 yards (7.5 y/a, 11.7 y/c) with an 86.8 passer rating. The weird part of this period was his lack of TDs (just 23, so 2.8% of his throws). It really wasn't that "low" but merely a mix between Chad Pennington (accuracy, lack of picks) and Jason Campbell (yards, lack of TDs) for three seasons with some average teams.

24
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:46pm

I'll leave it to Giants fans to vote on whether Warner was decent during his time there. My recollection was that he fumbled a lot. In fact, his career fumble numbers are pretty high. Some of that could be the Martz offense, but he didn't play for Martz his whole career.

I'd also say that, if he was disasterous for 2 years, and then a mix between Chad Pennington and Jason Campbell for 3 years, that's almost half of his career played at a decidedly non-HOF level.

27
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:53pm

Right, but many HOF QBs have years where they are a mix of Pennington/Cambpell (and he was a mix in that he had the best qualities of both). Aikman had quite a few odd years. Marino had down years. Statistically, Elway had a lot.

I feel like conventional thinking is Warner was excellent for three years, absolute garbage for six, then rose from the ashes of his career like a Phoenix in 2008. In reality, he was never all that bad except for 2002-2003, where he only played 9 games anyway. Who's to say if Martz stuck with him in 2003 instead of benching him for Bulger after one, admittedly awful, game he doesn't have a good year in 2003.

It says a lot about Warner's skill that his years in the football abyss, years that are generally thought of as being down years, were actually about average for an NFL Starting QB. He's not an all-time guy, and probably not a 1st-4th ballot guy, but probably a deserving HOF. It's just that his career arc was a little backward (great at the beginning and end, bad to good in the middle).

28
by tuluse :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:58pm

HoF QBs rarely get benched for their backups. This happened 3 times to Warner.

Also, Dan Marino has a single year of ANY/A+ below average and it's his final year.

31
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:08pm

Warner has two years with an ANY/A+ below average. I'm not trying to call him Marino. Warren Moon had 6. Elway had 5. Fouts had 4, as did Bradshaw. Aikman had three. Warner's would be one of the least accomplished HOF QBs, but I still think he deserves it.

Also, re: being benched. A lot of his benching for Eli was not truly based on his play (although I think he fumbled a few times the game before he was benched) but a want to get Eli playing time. Same with Leinart. Yes, getting benched three times is not necessarily good, but is an inane criteria to draw, especially since he wans't playing all that badly two of the times.

33
by tuluse :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:12pm

It's not inane. If was playing at a HoF level, 1) the teams he was on would not have drafted first round QBs (don't say he went to teams where they had already drafted a QB, his services would have been in higher demand too), and 2) they wouldn't have benched him anyways (see Favre, Brett).

He has a big chunk of his career where he not at a HoF level right in the middle of two sections where he is MVP level. Just an insane career.

32
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:11pm

Also worth pointing out that Warner best "peak" year in ARI, 2008, is a little better than his 11 starts in 2000, his worst peak year in STL. Conflating the two periods tends gives the impression that he was a bit better than he really was - he was very good from 2007-2009, but great in 1999-2001.

I'm undecided on whether he's a HoF quarterback - I just find it interesting that the end of his career is a bit rose-tinted, only three years after his retirement.

38
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 4:51pm

That the history of the Cardinals is essentially a bottomless abyss (2nd oldest franchise; 3rd most games; 100 more losses than the Lions; zero undisputed championships) upon which sun only shines on the Warner years is somewhat telling. His ARI peak may not have been StL stunning, but it was so far above and beyond what anyone else had done as a Cardinal that it's still an amazing achievement. His playoff performances as a Cardinal are historically elite.

As to other HOF QBs:

Moon, Kelly, and Young -- started careers outside of NFL.
Brees -- Benched for Phil Rivers.
E. Manning -- Traded for Phil Rivers.
Favre -- traded by Falcons (and put up awful INT numbers on many a season)

58
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:11am

"E. Manning -- Traded for Phil Rivers."

Not the same as the other examples. That was a draft day trade, and it was only made because Eli didn't want to play for the team that had the #1 pick.

Now that I think about it, I'm not sure Kelly is a good example either. The USFL was throwing money around in those days in an effort to steal good players from the NFL.

61
by Dean :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:50am

What was disputed about the 1947 team?

65
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 9:32am

The existence of the 1947 Browns in the AAFC. There wasn't much depth to the AAFC, but those Browns ran over the NFL when they joined in 1950, and a roster comparison seems to give the favor to the Browns.

Also, I enjoy picking on the Cardinals for having to bribe their way to championships.

67
by Dean :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 9:51am

Maybe some day DVOA will go back to 1947 and we can get a better look.

69
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 10:09am

Well then, disputed isn't really the right word. That a better team may have existed outside the NFL doesn't affect who the rightful champion of the NFL is. It may affect the prestige of said championship, but not its legitimacy.

73
by dryheat :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 11:20am

Ages 22-27: 0-0 record, 39 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INTs, 47.2 QB rating, 0-0 playoffs.

Ages 28-30: 35-8, 12,612 yards, 98 TDs, 53 INTs, 104 QB rating, 6-2 playoffs

Ages 31-35: 8-23, 7,940 yards, 27 TDs, 30 INTs, 80 QB rating, 0-0 playoffs

Ages 36-38: 19-16, 10,175 yards, 73 TDs, 42 INTs, 92 QB rating, 3-1 playoffs

I believe that I saved this from another poster during the last Warner HOF debate (my "vote" is no), so I apologize for cribbing somebody else's stats.

57
by Leyoz :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 5:59am

I think Edge and Priest would be worthy additions to the Hall.

82
by dryheat :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 2:03pm

The Edge is already in, and if people like Dusty Springfield and the Furious Five are already enshrined, I could support Priest, although they would be up against the likes of Maiden and Dio.

4
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:36pm

"Michael Phelps should be everyone's hero."

Ugh. "Hero" is a very loaded word, and I'd like to think we've learned over the years that idolizing an athlete you don't know isn't the greatest idea. Being good at a sport, even being REALLY good at a sport, doesn't make someone a hero. We can admire and respect the accomplishment, but that's about where the line should be drawn.

10
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:13pm

Frankly most people who get where Michael Phelps are are borderline mentally ill. I doubt that is something most people should aspire too.

11
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:20pm

What on earth are you trying to say?

17
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:03pm

I am trying to say that if you actually know some world class athletes as people (which I happen to), you will find that compared to the rest of the population they are a lot more likely to have some mental health issues.

Which you know makes perfect sense since getting to where they are requires a mindset not many have and that may be harmful, just as many other aspects of there training is harmful.

For a banal example look at Curt Schilling's quotes of the collapse of his game design studio and the loss of his fortune. He really honestly believes that if he just wanted something enough that he would ALWAYS be successful? You think that is an effective life strategy? It is not.

I have friends/acquaintances who were/are professional athletes, in addition to being genetically gifted, many of them were self-absorbed also hyper-competitive a-holes with no regard for anyone but themselves? You don't think that helped them get to that level? A few of their siblings who were just as gifted, but would rather lead balanced lives and not train 10 hours a day, or not absolutely annihilate every competitor they ever met did not make it to the highest levels, you don't think those things were correlated?

A few truly gifted people can coast by on pure talent, but a lot of pro athletes making it there by working harder and being more dedicated than their peers, which to some extent is a laudable trait, but can be taken to excess.

As Aristotle advised, moderation in all things.

29
by CraigoMc (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:01pm

Why would you believe, based on anecdotal evidence, that high-level athletes are mentally ill than the rest of the general population? Isn't that an area where you'd want to draw conclusions based on statistics and not your limited, subjective experiences?

30
by Joshua Northey (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:06pm

??? Do I have access to statistics on that? Has there even been research on that? No. So I am forced to use the evidence I have available. Not saying it is definitive, but presumably that is part of what the discussion boards are for, sharing information and having discussions. Not as a place you can only post peer review research.

I think the fact that IN MY OPINION athletes are frequently not right mentally (for day to day life) bears quite a bit on whether or not people should be looking up to them, or society should be holding them up as heros.

You obviously have a different opinion. Thus we have a discussion. DO you have any opinions (or research) that make you think this isn't the case?

34
by SandyRiver :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:43pm

And like anyones else, you're free to state your opinion and shouldn't be pilloried for doing so. However, "mental health issues" is such a loaded phrase that I think one needs to be very cautious in using it without anything beyond one's subjective opinion. YMMV.

52
by Purds :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 9:00pm

I strike the middle ground here. I think mental health issues is a severe phrase, but it certainly seems true that most of those at the highest level have an obsession that motivates them to an unusual, and often almost unhealthy level. It is certainly true in track and field, a sport I know well. Olympic level coaches will say with honesty that if an athlete is mentally balanced, he likely won't make it to the top. (Referencing Brooks Johnson, who coaches Dvid Oliver and others.)

119
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:30pm

I think it's fair to say that athletes have to be fairly obsessive personalities in order to succeed (in a fair world), that they are highly compelled to cheat when they aren't quite good enough, and that they suffer from overly positive ego-reinforcement from family, friends (good and bad), the press, and anyone who sees them as a source of monetary gain. There are endless examples of athletes -- from bicycling to football to tennis -- who have suffered from personality disorders, in some cases from dealing with stress and overly ambitious expectations.

Personally, I think female gymnasts must be the most disturbed personalities of all, with their sociopathically obtrusive wholesomeness and cheerfulness.

13
by jackiel :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:51pm

I don't get King's comment either.

Is he heroic because he got himself together in time for 2012? Of course not. He decided to party it up in Baltimore after Beijing, stopped training, and stopped listening to his mother (the real pants wearer in the Phelps story IMO).

Is he heroic because he dominated a sport for such a long period of time? Perhaps.

18
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:17pm

I don't use the word "hero" to describe athletes, unless, among other examples, they deliberately seek to miss several years of their athletic career to go fly dozens of combat missions in Korea, or fight the Taliban in Afghanistan, or try to save kids from drowning despite not being able to swim. Even then, it is important to note that our heroes are complex figures, like the hero who flew the missions in Korea, and not unvarnished examples of virtue.

Having said that, I know for a fact that Michael Phelps put in a work load for years that would reduce the overwhelming majority of people, if they tried to replicate it for a week, to a puddle of tears. It resulted in him having unprecedented accomplishments. That is extremely honorable, and completely undeserving of cheap comments about his mother's influence.

21
by chemical burn :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:42pm

It's impressive, not honorable.

37
by jackiel :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:53pm

I agree. I greatly respect and admire the accomplishments, but to lionize him is going overboard. In addition, I know a lot of people who know the guy personally - chicks who've dated him, people he went to high school with, current friends. Let's just say that the private persona is much more "interesting" than the public one.

And the mother comment is not a cheap shot. Almost every single TV, magazine, or newspaper feature about the guy features her prominently. If she weren't instrumental to his career, then she wouldn't such be such a constant person of interest to writers.

39
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:00pm

If the comment was that she played an instrumental role in his success, I would not have said it was cheap commentary. That wasn't the comment, however. The comment was cheap.

40
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:02pm

Extremely hard work is very honorable unless the hard work is in service to an unethical goal.

44
by chemical burn :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:43pm

Hard work being put forth in service of a neutral goal (like winning a sporting event) is by definition not honorable, only neutral. Honor has an essential positive quality, of nobility and justice. Working really hard at something is not by itself noble or just.

46
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 6:09pm

You and I will have to disagree about the inherent nobility of working extremely hard to fufill an ethical goal. The pursuit of an ethical goal inherently benefits someone other than the one trying to reach the goal, even if that is not the concern of the person trying to reach the goal, and very hard work that serves the interest of of others in an ethical fashion is inherently honorable.

47
by chemical burn :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 6:44pm

But his goal isn't ethical either - it's purely neutral. In fact, it's easy to make a case that the goal he is pursuing is at least mildly unethical. The problem I think is that you're using an incorrect definition of "honor" and "ethics" - those are both words that have literal positive associations and you're reducing their meaning to "a lack of indisputably negative elements." But that's not what they mean... and by now focusing on "ethics" which has a far shakier set of rules (by what set of ethics are we judging a professional athletic contest?) you're essentially just admitting that honor isn't exactly what you mean, but a far lower bar which we can both agree Phelps meets. But there's a word for his behavior that clears that bar: impressive.

Or to put it this way: if I go out and train at swimming every day and do exactly as much work as Phelps, I won't be even half as good as him. Being a trust-funder who can provide for myself without effort and therefore incurring no negative impact from devoting myself to training, there's nothing inherently UNethical about me doing so. But I won't have done anything honorable - to use the word in that context would lack all meaning. The only difference between that proposed scenario and what Phelps has done is that he has a natural talent. That means what he's accomplished is impressive. If you want to say I'm honorable for employing trainers and a swimming pool maintenance crew, that's again just such a pointlessly low bar it devalues real honorably activity. Saying Phelps is honorable is devaluing the word.

49
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 8:31pm

The fact that you fail at what you endeavored to accomplish would not make the pursuit of the goal any less ethical than Phelps' pursuit, any more than an attempt to help an old lady across the street is less ethical and honorable if instead you trip over your shoelace and break your nose.

The strenuous pursuit of physical excellence, which will entertain millions, and incentivize others to do the same, is very ethical and honorable.

59
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:25am

I agree that Phelps' sporting accomplishments are neither honorable nor dishonorable, ethical nor unethical. They are impressive athletic feats, period.

That said, he has found a way to take his morality-neutral athletic ability and turn it into something more beneficial, by using portions of his winnings to fund a charity that promotes children's fitness. In this way, his athletic accomplishments can benefit someone besides himself, and that is honorable.

Still, I think "hero" is overblown.

63
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 9:03am

It is not the accomplishments which are honorable and ethical. It is the work that produced the accomplishments which are.

66
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 9:37am

Henry Howard Holmes invested a prodigious amount of work into his accomplishments. I would be hesitant to state they were either honorable or ethical.

70
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 10:10am

I would think you would be hesitant to imply that working extremely hard, towards an end which will provide pleasure to millions of people, is akin to working extremely hard to kill people.

72
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 10:48am

"It is not the accomplishments which are honorable and ethical. It is the work that produced the accomplishments which are."

You said nothing about the nature of said accomplishment, merely about the amount of work involved.

76
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 11:45am

"The pursuit of an ethical goal inherently benefits someone other than the one trying to reach the goal......"

-me

85
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 3:01pm

Frank Geyer benefited substantially from Holmes, as did Erik Larsen.

68
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 10:02am

In that case, I'll have to agree with chemical burn, that your definition of honorable and ethical is different from mine. In my opinion, swimming faster than anyone in the world is extremely impressive, and the tremendous amount of excruciating work that goes into it is even more impressive. But I don't see it as being possessed of any particular moral virtue.

71
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 10:16am

If swimming faster than anyone in the world was done in private, without anyone knowing, I would agree. However, when the work is engaged in, with the goal of swimming faster than anyone in the world, in a venue which will provide pleasure to millions, then it becomes ethical and honorable.

It is ehtical and honorable to work extremely hard in the hopes of doing something very unusual, if doing so provides others with pleasure.

77
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 12:51pm

I should state up front that I do not know Michael Phelps and the following is only my opinion, and not some inside information as to his motivations.

With that out of the way, I strongly doubt that Michael Phelps puts in the time and effort he does with the goal of entertaining the masses. He puts in that time and effort because he's competitive and he wants to win. Not saying he's OPPOSED to people being entertained by his performance, but I strongly doubt that, in hour #10 of a grueling day of training, he pushes himself to do one more lap by thinking "THIS will be the one that makes me that much more entertaining."

79
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 1:14pm

I never said he did.

Let me see if this can be stated more clearly. Working phenomenally hard to accomplish something is very ethical and honorable, when that accomplishment, whether it is achieved or not, and regardless of what other motivations the person doing the work has, would provide other people with pleasure.

A plumber who works extremely hard, to become the best plumber he can be, is doing something very ethical and honorable, even if he makes a mistake, and even if he only does plumbing for the money, because plumbing, done right, makes people's lives better.

A swimmer who works extremely hard, to win a lot of gold medals, is doing something very ethical and honorable, even if he fails at the task, and even if he is doing it to hook up with attractive women and obtain endorsement deals, because winning a lot of gold medals provides a lot of pleasure to people, and thus makes their lives better.

81
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 1:56pm

I understand what you're saying, but I don't agree that being momentarily entertained makes someone's life better. I'll pose this hypothetical -- if Michael Phelps had never taken up swimming, would your life be affected in any appreciable way? If the answer is no, then how can you say that Michael Phelps winning gold medals has made your life better?

And the use of the word "ethical" continues to confuse me. It's completely irrelevant to the discussion. Of course working hard is ethical. Sitting at home eating pizza is also ethical.

83
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 2:33pm

Literally billions of people, every day, behave in a manner which disputes your assertion that being momentarily entertained does not make their lives better, by taking measures to ensure that they are momentarily entertained. Are you claiming that you have insight as to what makes their lives better that surpasses their own insight into what makes their lives better?

If no one took up swimming, with which to entertain me every two or four years, yes, my life would be affected, by having fewer enetrtainment choices. I never claimed that Phelps was alone in being ethical and honorable via the pursuit of gold medals in swinmming. I implied that his accomplishments implied that very few people labored more diligently to pursue excellence in swimming, excellence which has entertained millions of people.

I agree that eating pizza is ethical, or at least usually is. I don't make insulting remarks about people for being engaged in ethical activities, and especially not when those ethical activities include an element of honor. I couldn't figure out why someone would engage in cheap comments about Phelps' relationship with his mother. For all I know the guy is a creep, but if I'm going to denigrate a guy who has worked incredibly hard in an honorable manner, I hope I'd come up with something more substantial than "Hey, his momma wears the pants!", because that is extremely lame.

87
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 4:03pm

"Are you claiming that you have insight as to what makes their lives better that surpasses their own insight into what makes their lives better?"

No, but I will confidently claim that people's behavior is not always driven by what makes their lives better, or even by what they THINK will make their lives better. People choose to momentarily entertain themselves in all sorts of destructive ways. (Yes, I know watching swimming isn't a destructive behavior, just illustrating a point.) A lot of what passes for entertainment is really just something to pass the time.

"yes, my life would be affected, by having fewer enetrtainment choices."

That's why I added the word "appreciable" to my statement. Having 299 channels to watch instead of 300 is not an appreciable difference. If I wasn't watching Phelps, I'd watch something else during the 3 minutes he's on TV. In my opinion, saying that Michael Phelps makes people's lives better belittles the everyday, unglamorous things that people do to ACTUALLY make peoples lives better -- people like nurses, scientists, teachers, social workers, etc. Michael Phelps swimming slightly faster than someone else does not make people's lives better in an appreciable way.

"I implied that his accomplishments implied that very few people labored more diligently to pursue excellence in swimming, excellence which has entertained millions of people."

I agree wholeheartedly. Essentially, we're arguing the definition of the word "honorable".

I'm not going to get into the bit about his mother, because I didn't make that comment.

88
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 4:29pm

Actually, you are trying to claim that you have greater insight as to what makes people's lives better than they do themselves, which is why you claim to know that not having Olympic competition to watch would make no appreciable difference. I think you are overrating your knowledge. I have no such knowledge, I'm sure, so I'll simply acknowledge that when hundreds of millions of people express a preference in something that human beings quite evidently gain a great deal of pleasure from, being entertained, those people making that choice have far greater insight as to what makes an appreciable difference in their lives than I do.

I fail to understand why it is thought that working hard to do something, when that something provides a great deal of pleasure to people, is not inherently honorable.

89
by Jerry :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:40pm

Many people (including me, if not you) enjoy MMQB. Is the work that Peter King puts into it every week "honorable"? Does that make him a "hero"?

90
by tuluse :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:46pm

2 things: 1) I think Will Allen has already said Phelps is not a hero, 2) PK doesn't try hard at his craft.

91
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 10:36pm

As was noted already, I specifically disagreed with the notion that Phelps was heroic. I also see little evidence that King works very hard, unless yakking on a cell phone and watching t.v. on Sundays can be considered work.

94
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 8:44am

"Actually, you are trying to claim that you have greater insight as to what makes people's lives better than they do themselves"

Not at all. I said that people's behavior is not always driven by what will make their lives better. People engage in destructive activities for enjoyment every day. This does not make their lives better. That is common sense for anyone with any life experience whatsoever. If you "have no such knowledge", I'm not sure what to tell you. None of this relates to swimming, obviously, but it relates to your repeated contention that the mere fact that people choose to participate in an activity and enjoy it necessarily means that said activity makes their lives better.

"which is why you claim to know that not having Olympic competition to watch would make no appreciable difference."

Strawman. Never said that. I posed the question as to whether your life would be appreciably affected if Michael Phelps had never taken up swimming. The existence of televised Olympics games obviously changes people's lives, Michael Phelps among them.

95
by Will Allen :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 10:29am

If nobody takes up swimming, or other Olympic sports, then there can be no televised Olympics for people to enjoy. Michael Phelps and the other athletes have taken up these sports, and have worked very hard at them, thus providing people with a lot of enjoyment. That is very honorable.

Is Michael Phelps an Olympic athlete? Have you made the assertion that not having Michael Phelps as an Olympic athlete would make no appreciable difference in a sports fan's life? Have you conceded that people who work hard at other professions are making people's lives better? If one of them decided to go live as a hermit, would not they have been replaced by someone else?

To say that Michael Phelps not taking up swimming would make no appreciable difference in a sports fan's life logically entails one of two other conclusions; either no person on earth is making an appreciable difference in another person's life via their professional pursuits, given that everybody would be replaced by someone, or not having Olympic competition to watch would make no appreciable difference. Given that you have already conceded that there are people who make an appreciable difference in other's lives via their professional pursuits, even though those people would have been replaced by someone if they not taken up that profession, for you to state that Michael Phelps not taking up swimming would have no appreciable difference in a sports fans life logically entails that you are also arguing that not have Olympic competition to watch would make no appreciable difference. You did say that, just not directly.

Look, if you wish to declare that working very hard at something that entertains people does not make people's lives appreciably better, it's a free country. The people apparently disagree with you, given people choose to spend a lot of time being entertained. You say that you know better than they do.

97
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 11:42am

Hey, if watching Michael Phelps has really made a positive impact on your life, great. By my reckoning, the criteria you're using to say that he improves people's lives -- working hard, independent of results, and entertaining people -- could also be applied to the guy who came in 14th in archery, or Joey Chestnut, or every athlete in any spectator sport ever. Personally, I think that cheapens the concept of positively affecting lives, to the point of making it meaningless. It goes all the way back to the original post about the word "hero". When we throw words around too freely, we blunt their meaning.

We'll just have to agree to disagree. And maybe one day I'll get over my hangup and give Joey Chestnut proper credit for everything he's done for me.

98
by Will Allen :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 12:05pm

If you'll read the thread, you'll see I already wrote that it was the work to become a champion, and the not gold medal result, which made the activity honorable, so, yes, 14th place finishers who have worked as hard as champions, and have thus provided entertainment to sports fans, are just as honorable as the gold medalists.

If you watch Joey Chestnut, and if you know Joey Chestnut has worked very hard to accomplish what he has, then you absolutely should given him credit for the honorable work he has put in to entertain you, because hard work that other people derive benefit from, which does not cheat innocent third parties, should be honored, be it in plumbimg, teaching, nursing, or entertaining. I don't watch him, and am completely ignorant of what he has had to do to accomplish what he has, so I can't really say much with regard to Joey Chestnut.

109
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 1:55pm

Man, I turn my back for two seconds and this is what break out. Anyway, I'll just say that you didn't address my original point, which is that if I work very hard at something ethically neutral and achieve absolutely nothing as a result of talent, is that "honorable?" I don't know in what world it is, even if it has mild benefits like giving my training staff a paycheck or employing pool cleaners.

If we're in a world where Joey Chesnut is honorable, what word do we have for ethically righteous folks defend the wrongfully accused pro bono or give up high paying residencies to go work for nothing to help refugees in Africa? Those people are honorable. As in deserving of honor.

111
by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 2:09pm

You made an assertion that working very hard at swimming is ethically neutral. The assertion is unsupported. Working hard at something, towards an ends which others will derive tangible benefit from, as long as no person is unethically harmed, is a positve ethical good, even if the hard work does not pay off.

"If we're in a world where Joey Chesnut is honorable, what word do we have for ethically righteous folks defend the wrongfully accused pro bono or give up high paying residencies to go work for nothing to help refugees in Africa?"

Much, much, much, more honorable? Why do we have to pretend that we live in a world without gradations of a quality? I'm 6 foot 5. That makes me tall, even though there are a ton people who are much taller.

113
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:01pm

"Working hard at something, towards an ends which others will derive tangible benefit from, as long as no person is unethically harmed, is a positve ethical good, even if the hard work does not pay off."

Yeah, my trainers get money to support their family and the pool boys get a job. There's a tangible benefit. And no negatives can really be argued my private hard work and pursuit of excellence the way many have made arguments against the corporatism, jingoism, advertising hypocrisy and "culture of competition" of the Olympics (please note: I don't care about having that argument. Do not pursue it.) Not everyone agrees that Phelps as an Olympian is an ethical neutral either - the assertion is unsupported, some might say.

I'm not saying gradations don't exist - I'm saying words have meaning and you're misusing one of them.

(I was thinking about this and in addition to "impressive," I would even accept if you said "admirable." Words like "noble" and "honorable" have connotations about the actor's intent towards positive ends. That's just what they mean.)

116
by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:44pm

I'm only misusing one of them if it is assumed that hard work which provides others with tangible benefit, and does not harm others in an unethical manner, is not inherently honorable. The fact that you make that assumption (and it is just an assumption, given you given no reason for it, other than to say that you believe it to be the case) does not make the assumption accurate.

I put forth the argument that hard work which provides others with tangible benefit, and does not harm other in an unethical manner, is inherently honorable, for the following reasons. People can choose to work hard, or not work hard. Working hard imposes an immediate cost, without guarantee of benefit.

People can choose to work hard at something which provides tangible benefit to others, or work at something which does not do so. People who do the former are limiting the universe of things from which they can derive the benefit of hard work.

People can choose to work hard at something which provides benefit to others, which also does not harm others in an unethical manner, or they can can harm others in an unethical manner. Doing the former limits the universe of ways someone is willing to work hard, which will benefit those that the worker wishes to have benefit.

Next, here is a good definition of "honor", in my opinion.

1.personal integrity: strong moral character or strength, and adherence to ethical principles
2.respect: great respect and admiration
3.dignity: personal dignity that sometimes leads to recognition and glory

Well, just a matter of logic, it is inaccurate to claim that someone who decides to work hard, but only if it provides tangible to others, and does not harm someone else in an unethical manner, is not displaying personal integrity and adherence to ethical principles. They just stated their ethical principles, unless you are now claiming that working hard at something which provides benefit to others, while not harming others, is not a principle, in which case we cannot even agree on the meaning of the most basic elements of language.

I do also suspect that that you do not believe in the inherent dignity of hard work which provides benefit to others, or at least not when the benefit is entertainment, or when the entertainer is seeking great reward as well. I suspect that your belief lies in an assumption that honorable activities have to be selfless. I don't know why that would be the case.

117
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 6:26pm

Now I'm curious...

Pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious

Antidisestablishmentarianism

Lopado­temacho­selacho­galeo­kranio­leipsano­drim­hypo­trimmato­silphio­parao­melito­katakechy­meno­kichl­epi­kossypho­phatto­perister­alektryon­opte­kephallio­kigklo­peleio­lagoio­siraio­baphe­tragano­pterygon

siebenhundertsiebenundsiebzigtausendsiebenhundertsiebenundsiebzig

I'd throw out the full name of titin, but that would be obnoxious.

127
by Guest789 :: Sat, 08/11/2012 - 1:08am

How narrow will these columns go?
-----

“Treat a man as he is, and he will remain as he is. Treat a man as he could be, and he will become what he should be.”

99
by Ryan D. :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 1:43pm

In pleasuring millions of Americans by winning, isn't he also causing billions of people from other countries some kind of displeasure? What if the displeasure of others is a bigger motivation to him than the pleasure of his fellow Americans? What if he is only interested in his own single pleasure of winning? Does that make him any less "honorable?"

100
by Will Allen :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 2:28pm

I didn't say he was pleasuring millions of people by winning. I said the winning implied that he worked exceedingly hard at this competition, and the competition entertained hundred of millions of people. As I have repeatedly stated, any person who worked as hard as Phelps, to participate in the competition, has behaved just as honorably as Phelps, regardless of outcome.

It truly is puzzling to me that people have difficult time acknowledging that people who entertain us are providing a tangible benefit to us, and that working very hard at something, when that something provides tangible benefit to others, without engaging in fraud or other unethical actions, is very honorable.

102
by Ryan D. :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:07pm

Will, I was just screwing with you. :)

103
by Will Allen :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:26pm

DOHHHHHH!

120
by LionInAZ :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 10:39pm

Exactly, with Chemical Burn's modification.

Heroism means rescuing others without consideration of personal gain. Accomplishments in sports fail by a long shot to meet this definition.

75
by Joe Theisman (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 11:30am

He's not a hero. A hero is somebody like Norman Einstein.

78
by Travis :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 1:10pm

FWIW, Norman Einstein was the valedictorian two grades ahead of Joe Theismann in high school.

80
by Will Allen :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 1:18pm

That's awesome!

86
by dbostedo :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 3:46pm

+2

7
by Dinger (not verified) :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 12:50pm

While a Davis-fan and Denver homer, I do think the "career too short" argument goes out the window when a player suffers a football-related injury -- can't predict a freak shot on a knee. While not as objective as I would like to be, I do think that Davis's three-year window was absolutely dominant. On the very subjective side, I think that in the history of football, Davis's accomplishments "mean" more than, say, Curtis Martin's. MVPs, Super Bowl MVPs do matter for the Hall of Fame in this opinion.

9
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:06pm

"I do think the 'career too short' argument goes out the window when a player suffers a football-related injury"

I'm not sure I follow. Can you elaborate on what you mean by that?

14
by jackiel :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:53pm

He's saying that a short career shouldn't be a ding because the shortness was caused by an injury playing the game.

22
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:42pm

I don't agree. Of course a short career is a ding. Terrell Davis produced at a Hall of Fame level for three seasons. If he had produced at a Hall of Fame level for eight seasons, obviously his case would be much stronger. But he didn't.

And what difference does it make that the shortness was caused by injury? You mean his case would be weaker than it is if he'd retired voluntarily after the '98 Super Bowl? That makes no sense. His performance is what it is. His numbers are what they are. Maybe they're HOF-worthy and maybe not but he doesn't get some kind of a bonus because he got hurt.

42
by Xao :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:14pm

No, he means that if a player's performance just falls off a cliff, that's markedly different than having a joint wrecked on the field by large, angry men. A mediocre career with a brief, dizzying peak may be considered differently than an excellent career with an early termination.

48
by chemical burn :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 6:47pm

That's true, but when we get to HOF discussions, all the "what if" stuff has to stop. Davis didn't accomplish as many other Hall of Fame backs in terms of his career. He accomplished way more than most average backs, but the fact (no "what if") is that he numbers are lower, he was involved in fewer meaningful games, he is less a part of the story of the NFL. I personally think he deserves to go in, but the early termination of his career has to be taken at face value - and there's an argument that some guys who had a great ability to avoid injury hurt their HOF cases by hanging around sliding towards mediocrity. Davis never had to face that reality either.

50
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 8:46pm

So you mean that if instead of getting hurt Davis had followed his three awesome seasons with five relatively healthy but overall mediocre 1000-yard seasons, you'd think he had a worse case for the Hall than he does now? Why?

107
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 1:46pm

Because his case is currently built on having an amazing peak - look what happened to Warner's chances by having a handful of down years. Down years can have the effect of hurting your case - if Warner was just considered in terms of his peak years, he'd be pretty close to a shoo-in.

We don't know that Davis wouldn't have struggled through an injury plagued campaigns or that Shanahan wouldn't have waffled on him as starter - he could easily have had Warner's career, we just don't know. That's what I mean but "what if" has to be discounted.

110
by tuluse :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 2:02pm

If Warner retired after 2001 there is no way he would ever make it in.

114
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:05pm

That's not what I meant, you get to take into account only his best years: 1999-2001 and 2007-2009. The discussion of his career would be very different. It would resemble the discussion of Davis' career right now. He was ONLY great! Imagine if he had played a full 12 year career!

115
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 5:40pm

OK, that's what I thought he meant. Yeah, I don't see it that way either. First, as I think you say, there's no sentence relevent to someone's Hall of Fame credentials that includes the words "imagine if --" Second, I'm pretty much of the view that good seasons should help your HOF case, but bad seasons shouldn't really hurt it. I don't regard the horrible seasons Namath had at the end of his career has hurting his HOF case, for example.

118
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 7:46pm

the implication of Davis case is that he would have accomplished as much as his peers if not for injury. He didn't. His career is inferior -you can't compare him to other players of his level of quality because it if too brief - in shot, his case relies on an implication of "Imagine if he didn't get injured - his career right now might compare to other HOF backs." Right now it doesn't. Lots of players are great for a few seasons - HOFers are great for their entire career. If Davis should be in there guys like Jeremiah Trotter have a case - he dominated at his position for 3 years. His case (or Andre Rison's case or Sterling Sharpe's case or someone else who put up huge numbers for a brief amount of time) isn't as solid as Davis' but if you only take peak into account into account then they have cases. Which they shouldn't. Davis doesn't have to account for down years or decline or team-wide off years. If Warner is only judged on his peak years, he's as much of a shoo-in as anyone. Davis didn't have the career of a HOF. The only way to pretend he did is to play "what if..."

121
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 1:14pm

We're agreed that the "what if..." game is pointless. But I don't agree that that's the only way to make a case for Davis. For one thing, it's not right to compare running backs, who have the shortest careers of any position, with linemen or linebackers, who can be productive well into their thirties. It's common for running backs who had only 4-5 dominant seasons to make the Hall of Fame. When Marshall Faulk came up for enshrinement, he was rightly considered a no-brainer first ballot guy. But he only had four dominant years ('98-'01), compared with Davis' three -- not a big difference. The big difference in their career numbers comes from Faulk's middling early seasons with the Colts and his decline years with the Rams. Can you really say, based on that, that Davis has no shot?

122
by tuluse :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 1:23pm

If you careers are built on binary dominant or not dominant seasons, then I guess there is only a 33% difference in career value between Faulk and Davis.

I live in world where there are many degrees to things, and see that Faulk also 4 pretty good years in addition to his 4 astoundingly good years. Davis has 1 and 3, respectively.

123
by Aloysius Mephis... :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 2:24pm

I basically agree with you. I was just trying to make the point that there's a case to be made for Davis that doesn't involve "what ifs." The case is that his peak compares pretty well to the peaks of some other running backs that are consensus HOFers. It's very high in terms of quality, and not that much shorter than the peak of the typical HOF running back.

12
by jackiel :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 1:45pm

Those mid-to-late 1990s Denver teams were absolutely loaded on the both sides of the ball. I think that the knock against Davis is that we don't know how he would've fared post Elway. If he managed even 1 or 2 excellent seasons post Elway, he'd be a slam dunk hall of famer.

Guys like Sayers had superior impact on bad teams. They could undoubtedly carry an offense...that's what made them great. Because Davis never demonstrated that ability, we can only imagine.

51
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 8:59pm

Well, those late 90s teams were driven much more by the running game than the passing game, especially 1998 when Elway only threw 2800 yards and 22 TDs. That same year, Davis led the league in yards, rushing TDs and combined TD, yards per carry, rushing yards per game, and AV.

64
by jackiel :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 9:16am

Davis being the focal point of an offense with a HoF QB and TE, a perennial Pro Bowler at C, and solid WRs (McCaffery and Smith) is much different than MJD winning the rushing title carrying a Jacksonville offense that had perhaps the most dreadful passing unit in the league last year.

53
by justanothersteve :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:25pm

Let's not forget those Denver teams were loaded because they were violating the salary cap. They were fined almost $1M and lost a third round pick. I think any team would trade that for two Super Bowl shots.

20
by Karl Cuba :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:38pm

After PK brought the subject up, as an Englishman I'd like to ask how our Olymipcs are being viewed overseas?

(We think they're great, especially as we're winning plenty of medals considering that the USA and China are much, much bigger than we are)

24
by dmstorm22 :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:46pm

I haven't heard much talk about how London is doing as a host. As far as I can tell, they're doing fine. I am surprised so many of the soccer early-round games were played outside London considering the amount of clubs in Lodon.

In America, most of the talk is about how bad NBC is doing at covering the games.

26
by tuluse :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:53pm

NBC is awful, and their coverage pretty much represents everything that's wrong with old media and their lack of being able to transition to modern technology.

Also, London is too cold and the beach volleyball players having been wearing long sleeves and sometimes long bottoms!

All kidding aside the sporting events have been pretty good and the opening ceremony was impressive.

104
by Kevin from Philly :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 5:32pm

Nah, I sat at a bar watching the opening ceremonies. The only good part was the queen jumping out of the helicopter.

105
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 12:16pm

That's it, you are hereby banned from the United Kingdom! I'm just off to tell the Queen to set James Bond on you. Wars have been started over less.

35
by Marko :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:45pm

"After PK brought the subject up, as an Englishman I'd like to ask how our Olymipcs are being viewed overseas?"

Probably the same way they are being viewed elsewhere: Mostly on TV and a little bit online.

Joking aside, I think the coverage and the complaints about the coverage are basically the same as always when the Olympics take place in a different time from the U.S. The network covering the Games generally airs the marquee events on a delayed basis to maximize viewership, some people watch these events live online or on one of the various cable channels providing coverage throughout the day, and many people complain about the coverage.

Some of the criticism of the coverage is like a TMQ article or a Mad Lib. The basics of the articles can be mapped out before the Games and reused every four years. All you need to do is fill in the blanks.

36
by SandyRiver :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 3:52pm

Agree with 24 and 26. I cringe each time a mike is shoved in the face of a gasping athlete immediately post-race. However, SOME of the commentators have shown an admirable even-handedness instead of the often-heard jingoism.

So far I'd give London an A-, the main issue being the typical London weather. Not many Olympic sites do as well, IMO.

41
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:14pm

The only negative thing I've heard is that Paul McCartney is still singing "Hey Jude".

More seriously, Americans tend to have warm affection for the U.K., so it is mostly very positive. When the Games return to the U.S. however, I certainly hope they don't roll out a 70 or 80 year old Bruce Springsteen to sing "Born to Run".
Then again, I am the sort of person who hates every opening ceremonies and every Super Bowl Halftime Show that doesn't feature a guitar solo with giant shadow phallus imagery.

45
by chemical burn :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:44pm

You're only saying that because Prince is a Vikings fan.

74
by SandyRiver :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 11:24am

"Every" opening ceremony? I hope there's a bit of hyperbole intended. Did you view Lillehammer? That remains my favorite opener, by a large margin.

Totally agree on PM's "Hey Jude"!

106
by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 12:49pm

Yes. I really hate opening ceremonies. They remind me of a fat Elvis Presley doing a medley, with people marching around holding flags, while torches burn.

No thanks.

108
by chemical burn :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 1:48pm

I'm sorry we can't even agree that fat Elvis is the best Elvis. He shot t.v.'s with a revolver and ate fried peanut butter and banana sandwiches!

112
by Will Allen :: Thu, 08/09/2012 - 2:11pm

Ya' gotta point there!

84
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 2:52pm

I've only watched online as I don't have cable or satellite and it's been fine. I actually get British or Australian announcers most of the time, which is refreshing because they know stuff about the non Americans. From what I can tell London is doing a fine job, the weather being the only real knock as cooler weather can impact performance in some events.

I've been pretty happy to see UK atheletes on the podium so much, makes me happy for the local fans. Host country boost is a good thing.

I did have to check populations of countries though because I thought the UK had more people than it does (I think I was thinking it was about as populous as Germany which is about 82 million)

UK: 62,641,000 (2011)
US: 311,591,917 (2011)
CN: 1,344,130,000 (2011)

So yeah the US is 5 times as populous as the UK and China is 4.3 times as populous as the US. For some reason I still have the US as like 250 million in my head. Stupid outdated numbers from when I was younger and had to know some of this stuff for some class.

124
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 4:45pm

I also want to say here that something I'm really appreciating the fans at the stadium for is their support for everyone regardless of nationality. Sure they cheer automatically for UK athletes, but I've really enjoyed the track events where any competitor can clap over their head and the crowd will start cheering for them, so if someone is trying to get pumped up for an attempt at a field event the crowd will cheer them loudly. It's very cool.

125
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 6:14pm

For that response you are awarded 10,000 internet points, spend them wisely. (I thought China had one billion, when did they get another three hundred million people?)

Disclaimer: Internet points have no monetary value and practically no other value. They will not be redeemed in stores, marketplaces or hobo swap meets.

126
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Fri, 08/10/2012 - 6:35pm

I also want to say here that something I'm really appreciating the fans at the stadium for is their support for everyone regardless of nationality.

Umm let me correct that from typing quickly while at work to something that can be read by most English speakers.

I also want to say here, that something else I'm really appreciating are the fans, especially at the Olympic stadium, for their support for everyone regardless of nationality.

I think you managed to translate that mangled mess, and I appreciate the 1000 internet points. I'll spend them wisely. :)

The fans at the natitorium were great too. Going silent for the starts without prompting and again cheering any good performance as well as their home country heroes. The Beach Volleyball crowds were great for supporting good performances as well.

So yep, gold medal for the UK fans making the internet feeds even more enjoyable.

23
by Dean :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 2:44pm

Did Pete really brag about how he now has his own drivers? Not even one, but two drivers?

Yet I'm sure he still feels like he's a man of the people. Petey from the block.

43
by Will Allen :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 5:15pm

He pays them extra to cut off 10 year olds chasing foul balls and home runs.

54
by justanothersteve :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:31pm

Poor PK is going to go into shock when he sees there's like three Starbucks in the entire Green Bay metro area and none are downtown. (There is one in the middle of the hotel district south of Lambeau I've enjoyed several times.) I realize GB is smaller than any other NFL city. Hopefully, he will take advantage of any of the excellent small business coffee shops near downtown.

55
by Eddo :: Mon, 08/06/2012 - 11:36pm

"You know, I finally had this 'McCafe' stuff. Mighty fine, I would say. You Packer fans are a lucky bunch."

56
by tuluse :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 1:04am

Hahaha

60
by Revenge of the NURBS (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:27am

Watch your back Starbucks! I hear the owners of McCafe might look to go national.

62
by Dean :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 8:52am

I'd say we're right about due for Honest Abe to make an appearance. But I have concluded that he's not Pete after all. Rather, he's one of our regular posters yanking all our chains.

92
by TeeKay (not verified) :: Tue, 08/07/2012 - 11:00pm

how about the fact that olandis gary and mike anderson went from nobodies to dominant rushers while in the denver system. and portis had 5.5ypc both years. fact is denver made TD and he has no business in the hall.

93
by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 8:04am

Really, Olandis Gary and Mike Anderson were "dominant" rushers? I think we need to retire that word because apparently it's become totally meaningless. And Portis was good in 2002 but he didn't even make the Pro Bowl that year.

Davis: 3x 1st team all pro, 3x Pro Bowler
Gary, Anderson, and Portis in Denver: zero 1st team all pros, 1 pro bowl

96
by dryheat :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 11:04am

Fairly or not (and I'm in the "not" camp), the success of guys like Gary, Anderson, Tatum Bell, Dayne, Droughns probably carries a lot of weight in the argument against the HOF for Davis.

I think over time Portis proved he was a really good player, but he stepped into the scheme as a rookie and was just as productive as the non-Davis group.

101
by jackiel :: Wed, 08/08/2012 - 3:05pm

True. However, I think that guys like Portis get underappreciated. Of course, they were never in the top 2-3 during their primes, but they were in the top 10. And I don't think that general opinion reflects their significantly better than average but not elite status. Portis was an excellent player in both Denver and Washington before injuries took their toll.

The fact is that there is a significant gap between Portis and Gary, Anderson, Droughns, etc. And further, there is a significant gap between Davis and Portis. Davis was the much better player.

Calling Davis a system player and using the weaker accomplishments of his successors as proof is a weak argument. It's like saying Michael Jordan was just one of many great players in NBA history because Kobe had similar success in the triangle.