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» Week 4 DVOA Ratings

Five different teams from last year's DVOA top eight rank in the bottom half of the league through four weeks of 2014. What can we learn from other teams with similar starts in the past?

07 Jun 2012

Walkthrough: Funny Unusual

by Mike Tanier

Has anyone seen Reggie Bush since the Miami Zombie Bath Salts Apocalypse incident?

The incident occurred at roughly the same time as Dolphins OTAs, which Bush mysteriously skipped. He was probably miffed about something, but there is a slim, disturbing, chance that he is naked and faceless. There have been Tweets, but the guy who allegedly hacked Jabar Gaffney’s Twitter account in April might have taken over Bush’s. Silly, self-serving ramblings; who could tell the difference? This is how the Miami Zombie Apocalypse ends: Bush tries to eat Kardashian flesh and chokes on the maintenance-free vinyl siding.

Jeff Ireland is safe from the Miami Zombie Apocalypse. He cannot schedule a face-to-face meeting with anybody. The CDC assures us that there is no Zombie Apocalypse, which is exactly what they say at the beginning of every zombie movie, and why believe them when your niece disagrees on Facebook? The CDC assurance included several rude allegations against Lito Sheppard, so the guy who hacked Gaffney’s account may just be really busy.

Someone asked me recently, in a professional setting, how to write in a funny way. What an incredible ego boost it was until I realized I had nothing but stupid answers. The right answer to that question, like the right comeback or the right joke, usually arrives three days late. That’s why the fastest bloggers are rarely the funniest bloggers, and vice versa.

The funny thing about an event is rarely the most obvious thing. You have to move sideways away from the incident. Zombie jokes were obvious and ubiquitous in the wake of the face-munching story. They weren’t funny. Move laterally, into the Miami sports scene, and yoke Bush to the plow, and you have the chance to be funny.

But Bush jokes are hackneyed. In fact, Bush, Kardashian, and zombie jokes are all hackneyed. Bungee them all together, toss them into the room, and run: maybe you have a chance at a laugh. Change the subject fast by marshalling Gaffney and Ireland to the cause. The Ireland gag arrives two weeks late, but it has good laterality, juxtaposing bleak comedy about a wayward soul and his hopelessly addled brain with a story about a druggie who ate another guy’s face.

Move fast when trying to be funny. Establish a rhythm. Grammar and diction are your best friends. Grammar and diction rules are your worst enemies. Fragments: grammar’s smoldering roach clips. A sentence can be funny if it ends in an avalanche of penises. Put those penises in the wrong place and the results can be painful. Referential humor can grow boring; it is easy to Admiral Akbar your way into trouble. Never telegraph a reference. Pickle it. Assume your reader is coming with you, not following you. When referencing something well-referenced, like Star Wars or The Simpsons, it is best to travel to Wilmington and let your readers visit the screen door factory.

That’s how you write funny, I think. And when all else fails, make fun of Reggie Bush.

Traveling with the Times

When not hammering away at Football Outsiders Almanac 2012, which will be available in a few weeks, I am preparing to embark on another New York Sports Odyssey for The New York Times

This year’s schedule is better than last year’s. There will be a Stanley Cup hockey game. There is a chance at a Triple Crown. There is some track and some on-television events, like the Pacquiao-Bradley fight, which I will watch at Jack Dempsey’s in Manhattan before crawling into hotel slumber. There will also be a Strat-o-Matic baseball marathon at Foley’s Pub on 33rd Street, and I plan on stopping there around noon.

Yes, yes, some of these things are not sports, or are limited-interest sports. But there are a lot of them, and I will be writing a lot about them, all day at The Times on Saturday. Stop by. Leave some encouragement on the message board. If you are in or around New York, look for me. I will be the nerdy middle aged guy who appears giddy and sleep deprived but who isn’t playing Strat-o-Matic baseball in a bar.

Buffalo Bills Top Five Running Backs

1. O.J. Simpson

2. Thurman Thomas

One of the biggest differences between the rushing records of old-time running backs (using the term loosely, say, up to the 1982 strike) and modern backs is the amount of hang-around yardage the modern back accumulates.

Emmitt Smith, as amazing as he was in his prime, stopped being an excellent running back around 1996 and stopped being a good one by 2001. His rushing record contains somewhere between 3,000 and 9,000 yards of padding, depending on how generous you are with the concept.

LaDainian Tomlinson’s hang-around period starts in 2008. Four years may not seem like a long time, but Tomlinson gained 3,034 yards and scored 30 rushing touchdowns during his wind down phase.

Not all modern careers fit this trend. Curtis Martin is all over the place, for example. Jerome Bettis had a four-year wind down of 2,700 rushing yards and 38 rushing touchdowns. Marshall Faulk had a long wind-down. Some earlier backs, like Franco Harris, had long hang-around periods as well. But if you look at earlier backs, you will often find a clear demarcation line where they just cannot cut it anymore, then two or three seasons in which they total around 1,000 yards before calling it quits.

Simpson had an excellent 1976 season, then missed half of 1977, then was all but finished. His "wind down" was three years of 1,610 rushing yards and four touchdowns. Thurman Thomas is one of the all-time hang around champs. DVOA started hitting him with negative values in 1993, when his yards per carry dipped from 4.8 to 3.7 and he stopped leading the league in scrimmage yardage. He remained a negative-DVOA rusher (with slightly better receiving numbers) from 1994 through 1996, years in which he barely crossed the 1,000-yard mark. Then, he spent four more seasons as a bit player, the last one for the Dolphins. Giving the benefit of the doubt for 1993, he started for four seasons and racked up over 4,000 rushing yards long after his period of greatness.

Hang-around yardage increased for a bunch of reasons you can probably list yourself, but I am getting paid to do it. Medical and training procedures improved, so meatball knee surgery no longer guaranteed that a running back would lose one step of speed and lots of cutting ability. Offensive levels changed in 1978, and the schedule itself changed, so a 300-yard hang-around year in 1976 became more of a 600-yard year in 1997. Offensive styles changed as well. A 1960s or 1970s running back on the decline became part of a two-back offense or three-back committee: the other backs took over, and the production plummeted. Thomas shared carries more often than other great backs of his generation, but there was still a binary factor to being a featured back in his era: it was either 280 carries or a bench role. That may be changing again.

The trick to hang-around value is knowing when and if to lop it off when making a comparison. Simpson and Thomas had comparable peaks. Simpson was the best running back in the NFL from 1972 to 1976, leading the league in yards from scrimmage three times, among his other feats. Thomas led the league in yards from scrimmage four times and was the second-to-fourth best running back in the NFL from 1989 to 1993. Simpson was a one-man gang, Thomas part of one of the best offenses in his era. The peaks are close, but the edge goes to Simpson.

In terms of career value, I don’t want to erase 1994 and beyond, but when comparing all-time greats you have to be a little cruel. Thomas just wasn’t doing much to move the needle on the Hall of Famer scale after 1994. The hang-around phenomenon is a double-edged sword for modern backs. On the one hand, they get paid an extra few years, which is a big deal, and they get to rack up all-time yardage. On the flip side, they create a big mental barrier between their best seasons and their retirement. Great modern backs help their teams and provide moments of excitement during their wind-down years, but they are doing something most 1960s and 1970s backs never got a chance to do. That should not be held against the early backs.

And the fact that one of these guys murdered his wife is relevant on just about every element of life except a listing of the top running backs in a team’s history.

3. Joe Cribbs

Cribbs had four fine seasons with the Bills, then bolted for the USFL. He had two 1,000-yard seasons for the Birmingham Stallions, then returned to the Bills in 1985 when the writing on the USFL wall was glowing neon. He returned to the NFL after a summer USFL season and was, not surprisingly, tanked.

Cribbs, William Andrews, Billy Sims, and Wilbert Montgomery were all great backs in the brief era between the 1978 rule change and the 1982 strike whose careers fizzled because of injuries, the strike, the USFL, and other oddities. There are probably other backs in that category. Earl Campbell was the king of them, but he is a category unto himself.

4. Fred Jackson

The Bills have spent Jackson’s whole career trying to replace him. They finally figured out how good he is now that he is 31. It is not clear what impact Jackson’s long career in the football hinterlands will have on his aging curve; I’ve walked on some of those minor league surfaces, and I am not sure I would let my kids play rough-touch on them. Another year or two hovering around 1,000 yards, with some receiving value, and he will push past Cribbs.

5. Jim Braxton

Braxton was Simpson’s fullback for the glory years. It was not unusual for Braxton to rush more often than the Bills quarterback threw.

Braxton was injured for the first half of Simpson’s 2,000-yard 1973 season, but when he returned he was the second option in the Bills offense. In one victory over the Falcons, Simpson carried 24 times for 137 yards while Braxton provided 23 rushes for 80 yards and two scores; Joe Ferguson completed 7-of-12 passes on the day. Braxton provided 24 attempts, 98 yards and two touchdowns to Simpson’s 34 carries, 200 yards, and a score in the season finale, a game in which the Bills were feeding Simpson the ball to crack 2,000 yards. Ferguson threw just five passes. You get the picture: Braxton as a "key breaker" was a huge part of Simpson’s success, and his blocking was also a factor.

Braxton gets the nod over lots of recent guys who had a few 1,000-yard seasons but clear holes in their games: Willis McGahee, Travis Henry, Marshawn Lynch, Antowain Smith. Henry ranks fourth on the Bills all-time rushing list because of a 1,438-yard 2002 season, but that season earned negative DVOA because of Henry’s 11 fumbles. There is not much else to recommend these recent players from one another, which is a good sign that the fifth spot belongs to a very useful fullback.

Miami Dolphins Top Five Running Backs

1. Larry Csonka

Speaking of "hang around" value: Csonka played three seasons with the Giants after his peak, grinding out 1,344 forgettable yards. He then returned to the Dolphins and had a fine final season: 220 carries, 837 yards, and 12 touchdowns in a 16-game season. The mid-70s Giants were putrid, the Dolphins usually great, and Csonka would have had a few more 700-800 yard seasons had he not defected to the World Football League, then got trapped with the Giants.

At his peak, though, Csonka was much better than that, gaining 1,000 yards as the leader of a committee backfield, averaging 4.5-5.4 yards per carry up the gut, and providing a wisp of receiving value in his early years.

2. Tony Nathan

The Dolphins list after Csonka is incredibly muddy. Given the choice between Csonka’s teammates and the Wildcat gang, I am calling a screen pass to Nathan. Nathan spent most of his career sharing carries with fullbacks like Andra Franklin and Woody Bennett. The fullbacks gained a few more rushing yards and scored more touchdowns, while Nathan pitched in 450-650 receiving yards in his best seasons, to the fullbacks’ nearly zero.

Nathan was productive during the WoodStrock era, then stuck around as Dan Marino’s safety valve for the "holy cow" years. In 1985, he led the Dolphins in both rushing and receptions. His yards-per-carry hovered in the 4.7 range. That was inflated quite a bit by lots of draw plays and no short-yardage carries, but it was still productive yardage. He was a very good back for a long time.

3. Mercury Morris

Morris had very good yards-per-carry numbers, was an excellent return man, and was outstanding in 1972 and 1973, for historic teams. On the downside, he had no receiving value, was part of a three-headed backfield that was so good that it is hard to evaluate the constituent parts, and piddled his career away on drugs.

4. Jim Kiick

Most people would rank Kiick ahead of Morris. It is a tricky call. He had AFL Pro Bowl seasons in 1968 and 1969, before the Dolphins became great and before the merger. They aren’t eye-popping seasons. He was the best receiver out of the backfield for the Super Bowl Dolphins, but by the glory years he had ceded many of his other tasks to Csonka and Morris.

If we put Csonka, Morris, and Kiick on three separate teams, we might have three players with multiple 1,000-yard seasons. But then, we might not. Morris was going to get high one way or the other. Kiick would have had some great numbers from 1968 through about 1972, but late in his career, he was a 276-yard rusher, and it is hard to project that into superstardom. There is no good, right answer for placing these players in order, except to put Csonka on top.

5. Ricky Williams

Williams would rank second, third, or fourth if DVOA did not despise his 2003 season, giving him negative -13.5% value and negative DYAR despite 1,372 rushing yards. DVOA was lukewarm about Williams’ 1,800-yard 2002 season (253 DYAR is nothing special for all that effort), and our stats are mum on the subject of disappearing for a few years to smoke pot on an island. On the one hand, Williams is Morris, with a drug-shortened career that has a few major highlights but reeks of wasted potential. DVOA suggests he is something less. And of course, he cannot use his Saints production here.

Ronnie Brown gets honorable mention, but now that we look back on his career, we can see that there was little "there" there. The Dolphins famously went from 1978 to 1996 without a 1,000-yard rusher, though that factoid is largely meaningless. They reached the Super Bowl twice in that span and employed some capable runners like Nathan, Franklin, and Mark Higgs, who was something of a 90’s Nathan. The Dolphins were a pass-oriented, committee-backfield team for that span, and their running games were rarely terrible. Still it explains why this list amounts to Nathan and two sets of teammates.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 07 Jun 2012

79 comments, Last at 20 Jun 2012, 4:16pm by HCH

Comments

1
by Michael19531 :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:07pm

No Cookie Gilcrest on the Bills top 5 rbs? Interesting.

48
by duh :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 4:22am

I find that interesting as well. Unless Braxton is being big props as a blocker, it is hard to understand ...

50
by SandyRiver :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 9:00am

I'd put him 3rd or 4th, as he led the league in rushing twice and was a punishing blocker and a decent receiver. Maybe the fledgling years of the AFL get discounted a bit.

2
by Dean :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:17pm

Andra Franklin is the great "what if" in that bunch. Phenominal power. If he doesn't tear his knee up, who knows how good he could have been. There's a great chance that Marino has a ring or two in the 80s if he could have played with a healthy Andra Franklin.

5
by Thunderbolt of ... :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:45pm

The problem with the 80s Dolphins was less the lack of a running game and more the lack of a consistent defense. The 1984 Dolphins were the first Marino team with a shot, and ran into an all-time great 49er team in the Super Bowl. From 1985 to 1989, the Dolphins finished 12th, 26th, 16th, 24th, and 22nd in the NFL in points allowed - hardly a championship defense. By the time they put a good defense together in the early 90s, the Bills were dominating the AFC.

68
by Noah of Arkadia :: Sat, 06/09/2012 - 12:09pm

It was both. The running game didn't do Dan any favors. I particularly remember a period when the Dolphins would always run on 2nd and 10 and invariably gain 1 or 2 yards. Opposing defenses could key on the passing game without fear of getting bit in the ass for it.

Which is why I don't get the Tony Nathan love. Sure, he was a good receiver and blocker, but he couldn't run squat, at least in the Marino era (which is when I started watching).

------
We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.

71
by johonny (not verified) :: Mon, 06/11/2012 - 4:04pm

or you could argue Tony Nathan, Jim Jensen, Tony Page and Keith Byars were key to the run/pass game. The Dolphins in that era used their backs in short yardage to catch high percentage short passes to move the chains. Today in modern football just about everyone uses short passing in some way or another. Marino was generally slow to hand the ball to his backs, but his fast release made it smart in general to throw to the back than to just run a conventional back. Look at these guys totals. They were getting first downs, just not with traditional runs. Shula's best teams even in the 80s rotated backs and stressed throwing to the back.

3
by dryheat :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:17pm

Allegedly murdered.

6
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 1:04pm

Nope. The fact that a criminal jury didn't find him guilty doesn't mean anyone else has to use "allegedly".

12
by dryheat :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:19pm

It's been a long time since I've studied law, but writing that Simpson murdered his wife is libelous. Writing he allegedly murdered his wife is OK, even if he's been found not guilty. Certainly Fred Goldman, among others, alledges that OJ murdered Nicole, jury be damned.

I'm sure there are plenty of readers who are practicing that will correct me if necessary.

15
by Independent George :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:38pm

Not a lawyer, but in a libel case, wouldn't the defense basically just re-prosecute the murder case with a lower standard of evidence to prove the murder?

18
by Dean :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:47pm

I'm also not a lawyer, but if I understand right, there are two facets to this. As a public figure, OJ would have to prove that Will willfully and maliciously lied about him. The fact that he was found not guilty makes it a lie in the eyes of the law, but that doesn't mean that Will made the statement with any malice.

The second part of it is that OJ would have to prove that Will's statements caused harm. Given the state of OJs reputation, that would be extremely difficult for him to prove.

23
by tuluse :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:17pm

Not guilty is not the same as innocent.

One can have committed a crime, but not been found guilty of it (or even caught), it doesn't mean they didn't do it.

24
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:32pm

He would have to prove actual malice, which is defined as knowledge of falsehood or reckless disregard for the truth.

Of course, satisfying the actual malice standard only defeats a constitutional privilege. He would still have to prove all of the elements of libel (including damage) separately.

19
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:01pm

Nope. If I'd written that Simpson had been convicted of murder in a criminal court, then, subject to some other hurdles, that might make me subject to a libel judgement. Simply calling him a murderer, if I believe it to be true, (I can assure you, I do) does not mean I've libeled Simpson.

61
by Dr. Not an Attorney (not verified) :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 2:10pm

Can writing that Simpson murdered his wife be libelous when he was found liable for her death, based on the preponderance of evidence, in a civil trial?

72
by Kevin from Philly :: Mon, 06/11/2012 - 4:38pm

Tanier said "one of these guys murdered his wife". Has anybody spoken to Mrs. Thurman Thomas recently?

9
by Harris :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 1:40pm

Craig James appreciates the distinction.

10
by White Rose Duelist :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 1:50pm

Did not murder but caused the death of wrongfully?

25
by Jim C. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:01pm

I understand that there's a book out arguing that OJ's son was the murderer, and that OJ covered for him. If that's true, then OJ committed a variety of crimes, but actual murder wasn't one of them. (And yes, I am a lawyer.) I haven't read this book and don't plan to, but I wonder if anyone here has an opinion on that subject?

27
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:06pm

I've never know a sociopath, which I think can be established with regard to Simpson outside of nearly beheading Nicole Brown and Mr. Goldman, to have that much concern for others, even their children.

29
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:09pm

Sociopaths don't often commit bloody crimes of passion and leave behind messy evidence trails.

That's pretty much a defining trait of them.

30
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:19pm

Here's a summation of the DSM-IV definition....

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition (DSM IV-TR), defines antisocial personality disorder (in Axis II Cluster B) as:[1]
A) There is a pervasive pattern of disregard for and violation of the rights of others occurring since age 15 years, as indicated by three or more of the following: 1.failure to conform to social norms with respect to lawful behaviors as indicated by repeatedly performing acts that are grounds for arrest;
2.deception, as indicated by repeatedly lying, use of aliases, or conning others for personal profit or pleasure;
3.impulsiveness or failure to plan ahead;
4.irritability and aggressiveness, as indicated by repeated physical fights or assaults;
5.reckless disregard for safety of self or others;
6.consistent irresponsibility, as indicated by repeated failure to sustain consistent work behavior or honor financial obligations;
7.lack of remorse, as indicated by being indifferent to or rationalizing having hurt, mistreated, or stolen from another;
B) The individual is at least age 18 years. C) There is evidence of conduct disorder with onset before age 15 years. D) The occurrence of antisocial behavior is not exclusively during the course of schizophrenia or a manic episode.

....I don't think anything in this precludes leaving bloody crime scenes and messy evidence trails.

31
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:34pm

There's not. In fact, the impulsiveness/inability to plan ahead and reckless disregard for self and others makes them relatively likely to do so.

38
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 8:03pm

I'm using Lykken's subdivision of sociopathy and psychopathy out of the rather blunt instrument definition of ASPD from DSM-IV. Although in practice, there seems little uniformity in the term.

40
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:06pm

Hey, I know less about mental illness than a lot of stuff I yak about, so my opinion is of limited value. I'll get all professional jargony for a moment, though, and simply note that in my view, The Juice is loony, and violently so.

33
by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 5:10pm

I read an article on the author of the "OJ's son did it" book. It's like that line from Demolition Man where Stallone says "Send a maniac to catch a maniac." He supposedly spent over $1 million over several years, basically stalking OJ's son. He hunted down and purchased his old car, staked out his house, went through his trash, even dressed up like a doctor and spent days at a medical center ingratiating himself to the nurses and staff in an effort to get his hands on the guy's medical records.

35
by Karl Cuba :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 5:42pm

Did he work for News International?

(that's some topical news based humour from the UK there, probably a rule one violation for regular BBC viewers)

54
by JMM* (not verified) :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:13am

I think its fine you don't plan to read the book.

43
by Marko :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:15am

Since he wasn't convicted, I would just say "killed." And to nitpick, it was his ex-wife. And of course Ron Goldman.

And on an entirely different note, how about this to tie together O.J. and Reggie Bush: One of O.J.'s best friends (who also was an attorney and was part of his defense team) was the late Robert Kardashian. One of his famous-for-reasons- beyond-me daughters is Kim Kardashian, who of course is Bush's ex-girlfriend. Many people think that Robert Kardashian hid or disposed of the knife for O.J. I'll bet Kim knows what happened to it.

53
by Led :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:42am

If you were an accessory after the fact to a well publicized, gruesome murder, would you tell your daughter about it?

76
by LionInAZ :: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 1:07am

Do the Kardashians seem intelligent enough to avoid negative publicity and possible arrest?

59
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 1:44pm

"Many people think that Robert Kardashian hid or disposed of the knife for O.J. I'll bet Kim knows what happened to it."

I cannot imagine in what cavernous hole Kim Kardashian could hide a small, phallic object.

4
by DavidL :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 12:27pm

Larry Csonka's great contribution to the Giants, of course, coming in a play where he officially didn't even touch the ball.

32
by Mike Tanier :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:47pm

Oh I remember!

7
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 1:06pm

Well, I suppose if you can't dock Simpson points for being a murderer (which I think is correct), then I guess you can't dock Morris points for being a tiresome pain the ass, as tempting as it may be.

42
by Whatev :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:47pm

It's for the best; the league is filled with tiresome pains in the ass.

8
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 1:16pm

Simpson is clearly better than Thomas to me, because in an age where everyone knew everyone was going to try to run the ball a lot, Simpson was a touchdown threat every time he touched the ball, in a way that Thomas was not. I know there is some wisdom in thinking that boom or bust guys are less valuable than guys who have a higher rate of successful plays, but I think the notion may be missing an important element; that a guy who is the greater boom threat forces opposing defenses to make adjustments which opens thing up in the passing game. Of course, this may have been less true pre '78, given the freedom corners had to mug receivers, so it gets, as always, hard to assess.

I do know that in today's environment that a running back who isn't such a threat is much more easily replaced than a guy who is. Chris Johnson appears to have some issues with professionalism, and there are some things about Adrian Peterson that I wish he would work on, but their teams were not entirely irrational in thinking them a large cut above the typical Pro Bowl running back.

11
by sundown (not verified) :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:18pm

"And the fact that one of these guys murdered his wife is relevant on just about every element of life except a listing of the top running backs in a team’s history."

____________________________________

But Ricky Watters being a jerk is relevant concerning the lists? Okay...

13
by dryheat :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:21pm

You're expecting an Eagles fan to be a rational actor regarding Eagles football. That's probably not a good assumption.

28
by Kyle D. (not verified) :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:07pm

Mike's hatred of Watters seems to be more of a transference of what should be directed at the Eagles coaches and front office. His biggest gripe is that Watters got picked to start ahead of guys who were better than him.

57
by chemical burn :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 1:12pm

Yeah, but Garner so much better than him in 1995-1997! SO MUCH! Also, if you think that Eagles' fans don't hate everyone in front office and the coaches from 1991-1998, then you are underestimating the amount of hate they possess. Keep in mind, many of them hate Andy Reid even.

14
by Dean :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:37pm

Simpson's situation occurred long after he stopped playing football.

Watters being a selfish egomaniacal jackass happened not only during his playing days, but happened on the field. So yes, it is specifically relevant to his place on lists such as these.

16
by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:41pm

OJ Simpson didn't let his murdering get in the way of his football career. Ricky Watters' douchebaggery did.

58
by tuluse :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 1:22pm

I think it's like the difference between TO (team wrecking personality) and Marvin Harrison (might have been involved in the murder or cover up of a murder).

On has no bearing on how helpful he was to his team, the other does.

62
by MCS :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 4:03pm

Double post

17
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 2:43pm

Zombie apocalypse coming soon . Have secret hideout ready

20
by Shattenjager :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:09pm

I have to admit that Raiderjoe would be near the top of my list of people with whom I would want to spend the zombie apocalypse.

21
by Theo :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:10pm

You spelled Sierra Nevada wrong.

37
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 7:28pm

No
Spelled it right
Meant spectre hideout
Somehow triggered autocorrect on phone. Will get tacos now. Sierra Nevada later for watching Celtics vs Hear game. But of course secret hideout has cold area for Sierra Nevada bottles.

63
by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 5:10pm

The Sierra Nevada brewery does not count as a secret hideout.

22
by dbostedo :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 3:15pm

Maybe you could learn to speak like you type and the zombies would just think you were one of them? (And I don't mean that as an insult! It might be a good survival strategy!)

26
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 4:02pm

I'm playing 36 a day at Riviera with Bill Murray, in zombie makeup.

34
by akn :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 5:14pm

The right answer to that question, like the right comeback or the right joke, usually arrives three days late.

It's jerk store, Jerry! Jerk store!

36
by Michael LaRocca (not verified) :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 7:10pm

If he did it ... or is that humor that misfired due to bad timing?

39
by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 8:24pm

One great idea for zombie apocalypse is to have footballs around. It will help save bullets and you could get some football throwing in. Have very good arm for throwing balls at zombies' heads.

41
by Will Allen :: Thu, 06/07/2012 - 11:11pm

RJ, who would be the best qb, in terms of velocity and accuracy, for killing zombies? Is a quick release important, if there is a stampede shuffle of a whole herd of the undead? Could it be that Jeff George just did not have the right context to showcase his talents?

44
by Marko :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:31am

Jeff George actually may be a zombie, as Jason Whitlock periodically tries to reanimate his career.

I think the best in terms of velocity, accuracy and quick release would be Dan Marino. However, I think mobility also would be an important factor in fighting off zombies. So the best might be Aaron Rodgers, although he would have to adjust his target from the back shoulder to the head. John Elway also would be excellent.

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by tuluse :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:44am

Favre or Elway would be my first picks. With the Wrangler salesman you'd have to hope he wasn't thinking about retiring, on the other hand, seeing as how he handled his father's death, I imagine he would just get better and better as people dropped to zombies around him.

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by Will Allen :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 3:11am

Of course, in the latter stage of his career, I maintained that Favre was the King of Zombies, since all humans who came into contact with him lost their powers of reason. Hmmmmm........if you can figure out a way to train a zombie, a zombie would obviously be the best zombie killer, since they don't have to avoid infection....did anyone actually see whether lil' Brett was still attached to something when big Brett was taking pictures of lil' Brett?

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by bubqr :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 8:56am

I just don't get why Vick is not the ultimate anti-zombie QB - Cannon arm, excellent mobility, can duck and spin around bite attempts.

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by Bowl Game Anomaly :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 9:12am

Not even Zombies are fooled by his play action fakes.

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by Dean :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:33am

He can't hit the broad side of a barn, let alone a zombie.

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by Will Allen :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 12:46pm

And just hitting the zombie is inadequate; the zombie must get it squarely in the head. No, Mr. Vick is not the field general needed for this task.

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by bradmerrill :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 10:02am

I think his has to be Favre. Arm strength, accuracy, gunslingery-ness, and resistance to injury all make him the ultimate antizombie QB. The only negative is what happens when he gets bit and changes teams so to speak. His first targets to devour in a zombie haze will be those previously closest to him.

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by The Hypno-Toad :: Sun, 06/10/2012 - 6:08pm

I think there's a definite risk of him "playing through injury" and putting us all at risk after being bitten, in order to keep alive his streak of consecutive zombies killed, to the detriment of his team (in this case, all of humanity).

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by Led :: Mon, 06/11/2012 - 5:09pm

He's also susceptible to distraction by the lady zombies.

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by Aaron Brooks Go... :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 1:46pm

Clearly it was Aaron Brooks, who confuses zombies with his lack of brains.

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by Karl Cuba :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 5:11pm

Well played.

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by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 11:01pm

Think j. Cutler would be gerat. Excellent throwing ability. Broncos make big mistake getting rid of him.
But was not writing about NFL qbs throwing balls at zimbies. Was talking about prople like me and you getting lots of balls tothrow at zombies. It is fun to throw footballs and doing it at zombie's head is nice added bonus.

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by Joe T. :: Sat, 06/09/2012 - 10:42am

These are classic "Night of the Living Dead" or "Last Man on Earth" zombies, right? If it came to a fantasy draft, I'd wait until the late rounds and take a combo of Donovan McNabb (take out their knees, incapacitating them and making them even easier targets) and Chad Pennington to finish them off with head shots when they got close.

If these are more contemporary, faster moving undead, I'd be inclined to draft Steve Young in the first. And then Tebow, who just seems to be ideal for this sort of thing.

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by Marko :: Sat, 06/09/2012 - 1:24pm

I agree that Steve Young would be good, but the rest of your choices would be awful and wouldn't last 2 minutes against a group of zombies. Tebow would be the worst. His long, slow delivery combined with his inaccuracy would prevent him from taking out any zombies before they got to him. (His religious beliefs might, too, as he might simply try to pray with them in hopes that they could be un-zombified.) And if he started Tebowing, he would be even more vulnerable. His best bet might be to just try to use his brute strength to plow through the hordes of attackers.

McNabb also would be awful. While some of his throws might take out the knees of some zombies and incapacitate them, many of his throws would just hit the turf and thus be useless. (And when McNabb tried to blame the coach, that would serve no useful purpose, either.) As for Pennington, his lack of arm strength would be his downfall. He would be accurate, but his soft throws would merely be glancing blows and thus would serve only to slow down the zombies rather than finish them off.

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by AJ (not verified) :: Fri, 06/08/2012 - 1:00am

It sucks for those who started in 99 who are too young to remember the likes of elway, marino, aikman and others...especially since times and rules have eroded stats completely. I was looking at the nba for example, where the standards of scoring are actually looser in the old days than today, but more or less are the same. Not so for the nfl where only 10 years ago(still in 2000), the standard has changed so drastically. In terms of ultimate physical tools based on what ive seen, rodgers probably tops the list.

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by Boom70 :: Sat, 06/09/2012 - 11:42am

No RB "wind down" discussion can be had without mentioning OJ Anderson who had some very productive years with The Giants.

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by Kevin from Philly :: Mon, 06/11/2012 - 4:45pm

" Put those penises in the wrong place and the results can be painful."

Now THAT'S funny writing!

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by RickD :: Thu, 06/14/2012 - 12:48pm

Getting in late to the game, I know.
But...Tony Nathan? Really?

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by LionInAZ :: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 1:18am

I'd be interested to hear about the RBs who had no "wind down" at all. Barry Sanders and Jim Brown are the obvious leaders. Anyone else?

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by dryheat :: Tue, 06/19/2012 - 7:22am

Clearly not on that tier, but Robert Smith would be another.

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by HCH (not verified) :: Wed, 06/20/2012 - 4:16pm

I agree with Nathan being underrated. He kept coming up big as a runner and receiver in the post-season (they don't win that '85 playoff game with Cleveland without him, for example). Disagree with Higgs being a 90's Nathan, as Higgs had little receiving value. Terry Kirby (before the knee injury) was much closer to Nathan's skill set, but Nathan was a better runner.