Do your memos lack pizzazz? Not coming off as enough of a vindictive autocrat in your emails? Does your business and personal correspondence fail to convey the sense that your decisions are cruel sentences handed down by a vengeful deity? There’s a simple solution: Rogerize! Using our patented Rogerize system of workbooks and videos, you can easily make the most innocuous communiqués sound like edicts issued by an omnipotent, bloodthirsty despot. Don’t believe it? Look at this before-and-after example. Here’s a text message from a wife to her husband before she learned the Rogerize method: "Get milk on your way home plz. Thx." And here’s the same memo, with the Rogerize advantage: "For the past six days, you have failed to take a meaningful part in meeting the nutritional needs of this family. Your egregious unwillingness to act on this matter has had a severe and inexcusable impact upon the integrity of breakfast. Your immediate compliance with my milk-procurement directive is required, not just for dietary reasons, but for the continued viability of our marriage. I sincerely hope you realize and accept the graveness of this situation and your complicity in what has become a stain on the reputation of our entire family." The Rogerize method is essential for anyone who wants to succeed in the workplace, get an edge in social situations, or just likes browbeating the holy living hell out of those around them. Use it to discourage disagreement, terrify subordinates, exacerbate conflicts or simply make people wish that they had never crossed your path in the first place. Here’s another before-and-after, this time from a troubled relationship. Before: "I think we should give each other some space for a while. It’s not you, it’s me." After: "I have a preponderance of evidence, both documented and from eye-witness accounts, that prove beyond all reasonable doubt that you have had repeated conversations with another woman in the last six months. Your claims that these conversations were innocent, that some of my evidence is simply hearsay from my gossipy friends, and that the woman in question is in fact your elderly aunt is actually a tacit admittance that you had such conversations, show no remorse for them, and subscribe to the philosophy that it is okay to be non-forthright about the interactions you have with people other than myself. That you even questioned the logic or sanity of my decision to dump you demonstrates that you do not take the romantic disagreement process seriously and have chosen to exclude yourself from an honest and open conversation about my irreversible decision. Also, I am keeping all the stuff you left in my apartment." The Rogerize method can turn anyone into an inflexible authoritarian tyrant who mistakes his (or her) personal agenda for absolute truth in just a few short lessons. But that’s not all. Order now, and you will receive the Impartiality Rationalizer absolutely free!
The Impartiality Rationalizer makes a great gift for the township Building Code Inspector who also runs the township’s largest building contracting firm, or for the school administrator who is also the school’s sexual harassment officer and likes young teachers. Use the Impartiality Rationalizer to vaporize that tiny nugget of conscience that tells you that your screaming, obvious conflict of interest will prevent you from doing your job fairly. The Impartiality Rationalizer include features like "a person of my wisdom and stature does not need a system of checks and balances"; "I ruled against my own interests back in 2006, so that proves my impartiality forever"; "the appeals process is ultimately more important than the possibility of an appeal ever being overturned"; and the best-seller: "you signed the collective bargaining agreement that allowed this to happen, Chumpenstein." Act now, supplies are running out. With the Rogerize method and the Impartiality Rationalizer, you can sound and act like the judge, jury, and executioner for your home and office! (Warning: Rogerize method and Impartiality Rationalizer do not impart omniscience or exempt you from any state, federal, or natural laws. Do not mix with megalomania. Overuse could really come back to bite you in the ass someday.)
I am a Shill
Football Outsiders Almanac 2012 and KUBIAK are out. Get them. Eagles Almanac is now available on Kindle, Nook, and probably some of those other tablet things. It contains a long chapter in which I rant about last year’s Eagles defense and offer some hope that things will be better this year. I haven’t plugged my own book for a while: The Philly Fan’s Code. Upon writing it, the Phillies promptly went into the tank. Luckily, they don’t take away World Series rings or pennants, so the chapters about Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, and others, while a tad optimistic, aren’t totally obsolete. Also, Donovan McNabb started acting like a ninny, so my long defense of his legacy sounds a little pleading now. But read for yourself.
Oilers/Titans Top Five Running Backs
1. The Tyler Rose Everyone should watch at least four minutes of Earl Campbell highlights every morning before breakfast. 2. Eddie George After sabermetrics, it became impossible to look at certain kinds of baseball players the same way. Players and player types who were superstars before sabermetrics became suspicious characters, at least to the analytical-minded fan. Base-stealers, for example: if you know your baseball stats, you know that base stealing provides a minimal-at-best contribution to run totals, because the speedster’s success rate has to hover above 65 percent to be anything but a drag on run production. High-batting-average banjo hitters also got the statistical business, as Bill James and others patiently taught us that the .240 hitter with the .360 on-base percentage and power is more effective than the .300 hitter with the .340 on-base percentage and less power. There are millions who still don’t believe it, and I believe I have sat next to each and every one of them at the bar at some point, but the numbers are inarguable. Eddie George and his ilk –- the 1,000 yard rusher who averages 3.7 yards per carry –- is the NFL equivalent of the empty .300 hitter. George’s career high in single-season DVOA (new version) was 5.9% as a rookie, one of only two years above 0%. He was a low-negative in his best years, which is not unusual for a power back getting 320-403 carries. In his later seasons, he was routinely cranking out negative DYAR to go with the DVOA. At 3.7 yards per carry, durably soaking up carries helps the team. At 3.0-3.4, where he hovered in his last three seasons, it handicaps the offense. Jamal Lewis was this kind of back after about 2004. John Riggins was, after his holdout. Rodney Hampton was for his whole career. Some of the 1970s bruisers may fall into this category, though I am reluctant to single them out because the game changed so much and cloud-of-dust tactics had more merit in offensively-challenged times. None of these guys stunk or anything, and most of them earned their reps and carries by being durable, taking care of the ball, converting in short yardage, and chewing up the clock at the ends of wins. The moment any of them stopped doing any one of those things well, they were hurting their teams, but most stuck around for an extra year or three anyway. George was a great guy, by all accounts, and kept himself in immaculate physical condition. He gave his coaches every reason to keep running him out there. From 2001 on, though, the hard work and great attitude didn’t matter. He just was not good. 3. Chris Johnson I’m not expecting any kind of major rebound here. To get KUBIAK’s opinion, you will need to buy the book! 4. Lorenzo White We now have DVOA data dating back to 1991. If you are my age or older, that does not seem like a long time ago, but it was 20 years ago, at a time when the Oilers used a run-‘n’-shoot offense with White as the featured back. White’s signature season occurred in 1992: 1,226 rushing yards, 4.6 yards per carry, 57 receptions. He ranked second in rushing DYAR, third in rushing DVOA, and first in Success Rate (61 percent) that season. He also ranked third in receiving DYAR, meaning that we rank him as more than 500 yards better than a replacement level rusher that season. Emmitt Smith bested White in rushing DYAR but couldn’t touch him in receiving DYAR that season. Committee backs Derrick Fenner and Heath Sherman took the top DVOA slots, with Emmitt sixth. White had the best season of any running back in the NFL that year. That was the year the Oilers lost to the Bills in the playoffs: Frank Reich, greatest comeback ever, and so on. More on that in a minute. Warren Moon was injured for much of the year, with Cody Carlson playing okay in relief. Large running backs like White (who was a size-speed specimen at 220 pounds) often had fine seasons in the run ‘n’ shoot because defenses of that era had no idea how to defend an every-down spread offense. White usually got 17 or 18 carries per game, netting 70-80 rushing yards against defenses that maybe had six defenders in the box. For a team that used one back and four receivers on every play, the Oilers were stacked with great collegiate rushers in the run ‘n’ shoot era. White inherited the more-or-less featured role from Heisman Trophy-winning bruiser Mike Rozier. Notre Dame star Allen Pinkett was the change-up guy. The Oilers drafted 235-pound thumper Alonzo Highsmith third overall in 1987, the year they began tinkering with the scheme. All four were on the roster for 1989 and part of 1990: three former first-round picks (Rozier in the supplemental draft, a big deal in the USFL era) and a well-regarded third-rounder (Pinkett), all pretty young, all drafted by the Oilers, all taking turns. None of them ever became stars for a variety of reasons, including the fact that they leeched opportunities from one another.
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Anyway, I pulled up a blurry old gamebook of the 1992 Reich game. The Oilers led 28-3 at halftime, then 35-3 after a Pick-Six at the start of the third quarter. White had 15 carries for 64 yards at that point. The Bills score a touchdown, recover an onside kick, scored again, and it’s 35-17. Next drive: a three-yard Moon completion, White up the middle for no gain, incomplete pass. Punt. The Bills score a touchdown. It’s 35-24, still the third quarter. White is flagged for illegal motion on a pass play, then a Moon interception. Soon, it is 35-31. The next drive is six Moon pass plays, including a strip sack recovered by White. The Oilers punt, the Bills punt back. The Oilers execute 13 plays on the next drive, counting plays called back by penalties: 11 passes, two runs. White ran for one yard and five yards, the one yard on second-and-1. Moon gets sacked twice and has an interception called back because of roughing the passer. The drive ends with a bobbled field goal snap. The Bills drive for a touchdown to take the lead. Now playing from behind, the Oilers start passing, or start passing more, or pass about the same amount, but at least now it makes sense. White runs a draw play near the goal line at the end of a 12-play drive, the Oilers kick a field goal and the game is tied. Overtime. The Oilers get the ball at the start of overtime and throw three passes: a five-yard completion, a three-yard completion, and an interception that gives the Bills the ball deep in their own territory. Greatest comeback in history. White carries four times for 11 yards in the second half, with the Oilers playing with the lead until the 3:08 mark of the fourth quarter. This is how offensive philosophies die, or at least get dragged back to the factory and re-engineered as something a little more flexible. The Oilers never quite got into a situation where they could eat the clock, but a 91 percent pass-run ratio when playing with a lead in the second half is a little crazy. That’s what the run-‘n’-shoot did to you. 5. Charley Tolar The Human Bowling Ball takes the fifth spot because he was 5-foot-6 and 200 pounds in the early 1960s ... and because he was nicknamed The Human Bowling Ball. Tolar was one of the stars of the 1961 AFL champs and rushed for over 1,000 yards in 1962. In the tradition of many early AFL stars, he faded quickly as the quality of play improved and was out of the game by 1966. Billy Cannon was Tolar’s backfield mate and the better player in 1960 and 1961. He was one of the AFL’s first big stars and the object of one of the great inter-league bidding wars. (Bud Adams reportedly met him in the end zone after the Sugar Bowl with a contract offer, though it wasn’t a lifetime contract, and Adams did not give Cannon the finger for turning it down.) Cannon left the Oilers after the 1963 season and became a deep-threat tight end for the Raiders. Rozier was one of two Heisman Trophy winners from Camden County, New Jersey. You didn’t think you would get through this segment without that being mentioned, did you? Rob Carpenter was Campbell’s fullback. Announcers used to joke about how infrequently Carpenter got the ball, but he had 82-97 carries in Campbell’s signature years, totals a modern fullback would strangle Le'Ron McClain for. Back then, Ron Springs would get 172 carries during a season when Tony Dorsett was healthy and in his prime, because the "key breaker" principle was so ingrained into offensive thought. Carpenter could block pretty darn well. Hoyle Granger had some rugged seasons late in the AFL era, as the Oilers slowly slipped into hopelessness.
Jaguars Top Five Running Backs
1. Fred Taylor Taylor was the yang to Eddie George’s yin. George’s assets were his durability and his ability to chug along at 3-4 yards per pop against teams like the Ravens. Taylor’s weakness was his inability to stay healthy, which forced the Jaguars to platoon him with James Stewart, Greg Jones, and Maurice Jones-Drew most of his career. George’s yards-per-carry totals were bad in his best years and awful in his worst, though he deserves some slack for the battering ram duties he consistently drew. Taylor’s YPC were great -- he averaged 4.6 over his whole career -- but they were inflated somewhat by the fact that other backs were usually handling the short yardage chores. Taylor managed a negative DVOA in 2004, a year in which he gained over 1,200 yards and averaged 4.7 yards per carry, because his Success Rate was pretty low (45 percent) and Jones and others did so much short-yardage dirty work. DVOA was kinder to Taylor than to George in his best years -- with the new normalized DVOA, he has above-average rushing DVOA in seven of the 10 seasons where he had at least 100 carries -- and Taylor was a very good back who overcame early injuries to have a long career. I would take him over George, but if I could have them in the same backfield, they would complement each other nicely, and my team would win a few Super Bowls. 2. Maurice Jones-Drew Most of us probably agree that the rookie salary cap is a good thing, or at worst a necessary evil. Most of us also understand why teams don’t offer big extensions or re-negotiations to running backs like MJD and Matt Forte: running backs age quickly, are rather replaceable, and rarely pay dividends on "reward" contracts. We all agree that it is a wise strategy to draft running backs in the middle-to-late rounds, because good players are abundant at the position. Do you see the bottleneck that is about to happen? Running backs must now sign multi-year contracts at a slotted salary based on their draft position, which in most cases will not be very high. When those contracts expire, they hit the market to discover that teams are reluctant to pay for the (let’s say) three 1,200-yard seasons they just had. Running backs will soon face two choices: hold out aggressively after their first good seasons, when they still have future young-and-great years to leverage, or accept their fates as the most underpaid superstars in American sports. The simplest solution to this dilemma may be automatic performance escalators, so young running backs can ring the Wall Street bell if they crank out big seasons. There should be a special MJD clause in every contract: if you play for a cash-strapped organization with a clueless rookie quarterback that undergoes a massive ownership/regime change in midseason, and you still crank out 1,600 yards and rank seventh in DVOA, you automatically get ten million dollars. Perhaps they can pay it with leftover bank bailout money. 3. James Stewart
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Pretty solid top three, isn’t it? Stewart was a plugger who had his best seasons with the post-Barry Sanders Lions. I remember him best for his five-touchdown game against the Eagles on October 12, 1997. 4. Natrone Means Means had two mammoth games in the 1996 playoffs: 175 yards and a touchdown against the Bills, then 140 yards and a touchdown in the legendary game against the Broncos. His regular season efforts for the Jaguars were nothing special, but two huge games in a memorable playoff run means a lot for such a young franchise. 5. Stacey Mack Another big thumper. Mack led the Jaguars in rushing in 2001 when Taylor was hurt, then served as Taylor’s power guy in 2002 and was very good at it. Mack was arrested during his playing career for soliciting an undercover cop he thought was a prostitute. How do the police decide which female officer has to play the prostitute? How does that conversation with the captain go? I see an old Dennis Farina cop, rubbing the back of his neck, trying to explain to the idealistic young female officer that she’s the most prostitute-like young lady on the force. But he means it in a good way, of course! In the movies, Angelina Jolie or somebody would be the cop, and after a quick makeover montage you would instantly believe that she’s a prostitute (albeit one that is so gorgeous she could charge $11,000 per minute). I had a cousin who was a 21 Jump Street-style narc in a high school (this was years ago, I am not blowing his cover), but that is not quite the same thing. Perhaps the officers volunteer, which could lead to an even more awkward conversation: "Sorry, officer, but you do not look convincing enough as a prostitute." "Why?" "Err ... it’s a compliment?" Anyway, Greg Jones probably deserves the fifth spot over Mack for his years as a goal line back and fullback, but I had to get that rant out of my mind.
116 comments, Last at 17 Jul 2012, 5:57am
#1 by PhilipGunns (not verified) // Jul 12, 2012 - 12:34pm
Aside from being generally stunned by Earl Campbell's astonishing pace, power and agility, the main thing I notice is how loose he carried the ball. Quite often it looks like he's going to switch hands or toss the ball, like a scrambling quarterback.
From the stats I've seen he has 43 fumbles on 2187 attempts, which is high compared to the present day. And though I know the inherent futility of such speculation, I wonder if he'd get away with carrying the ball like that in the modern era, and whether or not it would have changed the way he ran.
I'm not well acquainted enough with anything before late 80's football to know if this was just how it was back then or Earl's style though.
#5 by Eddo // Jul 12, 2012 - 1:13pm
P-F-R had a blog post a few years ago discussing fumble rates over time. A brief summary:
So Campbell's rate (1.97) is actually slightly lower than the league-wide fumble rate (EDIT: at the time he played), based on this data.
#3 by Thomas_beardown // Jul 12, 2012 - 12:58pm
I think it's thanks to stickem he was able to do this.
You see Walter Payton use a similar style.
#8 by Raiderjoe // Jul 12, 2012 - 1:24pm
Stickum was banned after Canoebell's 3rd season so you will want to look at his fumble stats before 1981 and after 1981 and then go from there to make final scientific finding
#12 by dryheat // Jul 12, 2012 - 2:43pm
I've always had a dream of opening a fast food joint on a well-traveled river catering to small watercraft. I think Canoe Bell would be a perfect name for it.
#51 by Karl Cuba // Jul 12, 2012 - 7:56pm
You could try to compete with the fare served on the ferries on the Thames. It fits all of your criteria.
#88 by LionInAZ // Jul 13, 2012 - 11:59pm
Oddly enough, Campbell fumbled at a worse rate before 1981 than after. He had 21 fumbles in his first 3 years, and 10 in 1981. After that he got a lot better until his final season.
#116 by Eggwasp (not verified) // Jul 17, 2012 - 5:57am
more likely because refs stopped calling fumbles once they could check whether the knee was down? Cue Phil Simms "In my day, if the ball came out, it was a fumble. These days I have no idea what the rule was etc etc etc etc through week 17".
#10 by Bright Blue Shorts // Jul 12, 2012 - 2:36pm
I too was somewhat surprised by Campbell's pace, power and agility - mostly because I seemed to recall the other highlight videos of him were mostly of him charging headfirst into tackles and trying to run through tacklers.
His pace, power and agility strongly reminded me to think of another #34 - Bo Jackson.
#84 by Pete Rozelle's Shoes (not verified) // Jul 13, 2012 - 7:23pm
I vividly remember Earl single-handedly demolishing my Dolphins more than once. He was all of the above...one of the two or three greatest RB's ever.
#65 by LionInAZ // Jul 13, 2012 - 12:47am
I noticed how loosely he carried the ball too. I expected high fumble stats and it sounds like that was the case.
#73 by Noahrk // Jul 13, 2012 - 11:50am
Uh, no. Read the comments above.
We are number one. All others are number two, or lower.
#100 by enderwiggins (not verified) // Jul 14, 2012 - 7:49pm
What really made Earl great was that everybody on every team and in every stadium knew that he was going to get the ball on almost every play. Despite the fact that the defense knew that the next play would be a handoff to Earl he still gained yards on most plays. When Stabler was his quarterback he could only throw the ball about 5 yards so the defenses strictly played run defense
#2 by SFC B (not verified) // Jul 12, 2012 - 12:39pm
Oh God... the Houston-Buffalo game... still... haunts... my... nightmares...
#15 by Dr. Mooch // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:28pm
I had to listen to it on the radio because it was blacked out in Buffalo. (Yeah, a playoff game, blacked out.) I only watched the game for the first time about a year ago.
#91 by SFC B (not verified) // Jul 14, 2012 - 6:14am
I watched it live as a young Oilers fan. I was heartbroken.
To this day I have to turn off ESPN or NFLN when they do a "Greatest Comebacks" list. I already know what is on it, usually at #1.
#101 by Vincent Verhei // Jul 14, 2012 - 9:44pm
I was 16 or 17, working at a grocery store. We had a different person taking a break every 15 minutes, and each guy would bring a scoring update when he returned to the front of the store. So it went from "Not missing anything, glad I'm here getting paid," to "Wait, are you serious?" to "HOW CAN I POSSIBLY BE EXPECTED TO BAG GROCERIES AT A TIME LIKE THIS?"
#22 by trill // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:51pm
Saw the game for the first time just a couple months ago. What was shocking to me was not Houston's inability to run the ball (BUF's DL was really good), but the general awfulness of Houston's secondary. If Frank Reich had his shit together in the first half, that game's a continuous shootout rather than an amazing comeback.
#31 by justanothersteve // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:52pm
Oops. Posted after wrong post. Deleted.
#4 by dryheat // Jul 12, 2012 - 1:13pm
I am going to Rogerize the hell out of my 2:30 meeting. Great walkthrough -- and timely!
#6 by Raiderjoe // Jul 12, 2012 - 1:20pm
Oil/Tit top 5-
1. Earl Campbrll
2. E. George
3. Chris Johnson
Jack tip 5
4. N. Means
5. Greg jones
#20 by BG (not verified) // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:49pm
Oil/Tit? What kind of establishment is this...
#21 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:51pm
I think they do lube jobs.
#64 by BaronFoobarstein // Jul 13, 2012 - 12:12am
full body latte
#76 by FrontRunningPhinsFan // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:19pm
I found the Jack Tips quite helpful too.
Fire Jeff Ireland.
#7 by Thomas_beardown // Jul 12, 2012 - 1:22pm
The rookie cap wouldn't really affect MJD or Forte as they were both 2nd round picks.
#34 by Jimmy // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:00pm
The new CBA does ban renegotiation before the third year meaning running backs are going to have to do as much as possible to try to get contracts after their third season.
#9 by Marko // Jul 12, 2012 - 1:30pm
When I think of Earl Campbell, the two plays that immediately come to mind are his long touchdown run in that memorable Monday Night Football game against the Dolphins and when he put his helmet in Isiah Robertson's sternum, knocked him down and continued romping through the Rams' defense. Both of those plays are in the highlight video linked above.
#69 by JimZipCode // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:57am
I remember Earl romping thru the Baltimore Colts defense, just shredding it, like a man playing against children.
There was one play, though, where Earl ran a sweep right, and Colts safety Nesby Glasgow flattened him like a cannonball for a loss.
#11 by Bright Blue Shorts // Jul 12, 2012 - 2:38pm
RB salaries ... seems to me that RBs have long been the glory boys ... so for my liking they should accept minimal salaries as they get lots of hero worship and are likely (I haven't counted up) overrepresented in the HoF. And will certainly get more endorsements than your average lineman or linebacker.
#49 by Greg F (not verified) // Jul 12, 2012 - 7:29pm
by this logic, QBs should have to pay to play in the league.
#60 by AnonymousA (not verified) // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:45pm
QBs are incredibly difficult to replace, and work poorly in committee. RBs are largely fungible and you usually have 2-3 in a single game. QBs *deserve* the glory because they have a huge impact on the game. RBs get glory because they touch the ball.
#66 by LionInAZ // Jul 13, 2012 - 12:53am
RBs also get beat up a lot more than the glory-boy QBs and WRs. The only reason things have changed for RBs is that throwing the ball gets more yards per play these days. If you love the physical aspects of footbally you treasure the RBs who grind it out over those skinny guys who try to avoid contact.
#92 by Mountain Time … // Jul 14, 2012 - 6:20am
In the circles the players probably walk, any player doing a good job regardless of position is going to be recognized by their peers. How much do you think players care about the number of fans wearing their jersey vs. last year?
#13 by Will Allen // Jul 12, 2012 - 2:55pm
Goodell's job is to serve the owners' interests. Now, perhaps a case can be made that appearing to be unfair, or a jerk, harms the owners' interest, but that really isn't clear to me at this point. On the whole, there is some pretty good evidence to suggest that being the Lord High Executioner has had the effect of players reducing their arrest rate, and a pretty good case can be made that it is in the owners' interests to have players avoid being arrested. I guess it doesn't strike me as being crazy to think that being the same A-hole in regards to player infractions pertaining to safety, in the context of the lawsuits, is serving the owners' interests as well.
I have to admit that I kind of like it when one party to a contentiously negotiated contract completely outwits the other, the side which was outwitted gets referred to as "chumpenstein", whether it be Al Davis, Dan Snyder, Demaurice Smith, or Levar Arrington.
#33 by justanothersteve // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:55pm
Goodell's job description as Lord High Executioner reminds me of Dolores Umbridge.
#39 by Will Allen // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:50pm
The way some folks write about Goodell you'd think he was Voldemort. Hell, the guy isn't even an attorney; he's just a skilled PR flack, carrying the water of his employers.
#40 by Thomas_beardown // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:59pm
If he was that skilled at PR, I think he would have cultivated a better image of himself.
Personally, I see him as just place holder. He doesn't seem to have a grand vision about the NFL or where it should go (other than into obvious unexploited markets) like Tagliabue had. He doesn't seem to be doing a good job keeping all the owners on one page. Probably because he doesn't have the vision so there is nothing to entice them with. It's just more of the same with him.
Plus he's dealt with more labor strife in 5 years than we've seen since the 80s.
Also he lacks an engaging personality.
#50 by jackiel // Jul 12, 2012 - 7:37pm
Given the huge increase the league is getting in rights fees, I'm not exactly sure how someone can call him a marginal comissioner. Of course he lacks vision and too often seems to be the owners' lap dog (18 game season proposals in a naked money grab that would be significantly detrimental to quality of play and player health, for example). When your vision is all about making more money, getting stadiums built with taxpayer funds, and salivating over the ridiculous valuations that franchises are selling for, you tend to have problems due to the lack of being about anything non-financial. Adding guys like Synder, Jerry Jones, and Steve Ross (people who are wholly consumed with making money and are incredibly sophisticated businessmen) to the mix only causes more problems.
Most of the labor strife he's dealt with is a direct result of the previous regime getting outnegotiated by the players association in previous deals. Why else would the league threaten a lockout over escalating player salaries?
I view him and Tags as having equally prickly personalities.
#57 by Will Allen // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:36pm
Yeah, I don't think he believes that his public image is all that important, short of a Paternoesque collapse. His job is to promote the image of the people who sell the commercials and jerseys, while minimizing their compensation to the greatest extent possible, and minimizing other expenses, from stadiums to lawsuits. He's either greatly driven down the players' arrest rate, or just has gotten lucky, he outmaneuvered the players in the latest CBA, he's been fantastically successful at minimizing stadium costs, and is now working like a maniac to minimize the disaster of the concussion lawsuits.
I don't even think Jerry Jones or Dan Snyder are anything less than pleased with his performance.
#87 by RichardD (not verified) // Jul 13, 2012 - 11:50pm
"Paternoesque"-- if I had read that a few years ago, it would have brought up a completely different set of connotations in my mind.
But of course that was the point.
#67 by LionInAZ // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:04am
If Goodell has had to deal with more labor strife than past commissioners it's the fault of his overlords, the team owners. Which one of them has an engaging personality or vision, by the way? How do you feel about the Bears ownership, for example?
Goodell is a shill and mouthpiece for the NFL owners, to the extent that they actually manage to have a unified voice on NFL matters. There's not much room for vision either. I don't know that NFL football can get much more popular than it already is, there's probably not much room for expansion of revenues, and expansion of the league outside of North America is not so much a dream as a logistical nightmare.
#70 by justanothersteve // Jul 13, 2012 - 8:43am
They do have vision. Unfortunately, it's the dollar signs in their eyes.
#71 by Thomas_beardown // Jul 13, 2012 - 9:54am
I wasn't really trying to judge Goodell but rather explain his perception.
#72 by jackiel // Jul 13, 2012 - 11:23am
Old school owners like the Halases, the Rooneys, the Wilsons in Buffalo, etc. were lucky enough to buy into the league early and thus have gained many, many multiples on their investments. People--especially the 2nd and 3rd generations of the founding owners--who are sitting on gains of, say, 50x are less motivated to monetize every single aspect of the game relative to guys like Steve Ross who spent $1 billion on the Dolphins and will have to expend a lot of effort just to get that thing to be worth $2 billion in 5-10 years.
I view the current Bears ownership as people who like to sit around and count their money.
#74 by johonny (not verified) // Jul 13, 2012 - 12:52pm
So Ross is doing bad making a billion dollars capital gain running the Dolphins franchise into the ground for 5-10 years. Man I feel for him.
#75 by jackiel // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:16pm
Aside from the ego boost, flipping franchises for a profit is why a lot of people buy professional sports teams. I'm just saying that anyone who buys in to the NFL now has to do a lot of work to make the type of profit that they want, because of how much they paid to get in. People who have owned teams since the 1960s have already made spectacular returns and they can afford to be less worried about monetizing league functions.
#86 by Will Allen // Jul 13, 2012 - 10:29pm
Hell, as late as 1985 the Eagles were sold for a mere 65 million, then flipped in 1994 for about 185 million. Off the top of my head, my guess is that they would sell for north of a billion today.
#107 by PatsFan // Jul 15, 2012 - 9:36pm
In 1994 Kraft bought the Patriots for an NFL-record $175 million.
I believe the franchise is valued at over a billion these days.
#108 by Will Allen // Jul 16, 2012 - 12:23pm
Yeah, but Ol' Kraftie wasn't able to stick the taxpayers with a 500 million (or more!) dollar invoice for a new stadium. The real pros get their billion dollar playpens paid for by welfare checks.
#78 by Jeremy Billones // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:33pm
I'm wondering who the Lord High Everything Else is.
#14 by Mike Y // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:00pm
What does the Doctor's companion have to do with Earl Campbell?
#35 by Shattenjager // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:20pm
I approve of this joke.
That probably means you should feel ashamed.
#52 by Karl Cuba // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:00pm
Surely Cambell Earl or some crap spelled in the language of a long lost planet backwards that's shoehorned in to make the writers look clever. (Didn't Melody die on the library planet or have I remembered that wrong?)
#16 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:35pm
"Everyone should watch at least four minutes of Earl Campbell highlights every morning before breakfast. "
AMEN! Somewhere on a musty old tape there's an Eagles/Oilers game recorded off Classic Sports Network (before it sadly got ESPNized) where Campbell was near the end. The man was still breathtaking with the football.
He wasn't the greatest RB of all time, but I don't know if there's a single back in all of football that I enjoy reminiscing about more than Earl Campbell.
#44 by Marko // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:50pm
Your last paragraphs reminds me of this classic quote from Bum Phillips about Campbell: "I don't know if he's in a class by himself, but whatever class he's in, it don't take long to call the roll."
#56 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:36pm
Nice! My second-favorite Bum Phillips quote, only to his observation about Don Shula: "he can take hisunz and beat yurunz and can take yurunz and beat hisunz."
#68 by JimZipCode // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:53am
Bum's other great quote about Earl, and why Earl ran the ball so often: "When you have a big gun, you shoot it."
#17 by Sophandros // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:37pm
Specific play-calling, not the run and shoot system, cost Houston that game. You said it yourself: They passed it 91% of the time in the second half with the lead. They COULD have run it more, but chose not to.
That's Gilbride's fault for not calling more running plays, not for running the run and shoot.
Sports talk radio and sports message boards are the killing fields of intellectual discourse.
#19 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:46pm
And people wonder why Buddy Ryan got so fed up with him?
#24 by trill // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:55pm
Buffalo's DL dominated the second half of that game; if I remember correctly, Houston called quite a few 1st and 2nd down runs, screens, and even some draws on 3rd down. They couldn't move the rock.
#32 by justanothersteve // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:53pm
If they passed 91% of the time after they had their max lead, that's a run every 11 plays. If the Oilers had 44 plays, that's 4 runs. You are probably including runs as they built that huge lead.
#18 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:45pm
It's not timely anymore, but Rogerization can't help but remind me of what happened to Terrell Owens in Philadelphia when he thought he was bigger than the team.
#23 by chemical burn // Jul 12, 2012 - 3:55pm
Donovan McNabb got injured and Mike McMahon became the QB?
#26 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:04pm
Before that. I was fondly remembering the letter Andy Reid wrote Owens to inform him that he was suspended without pay for the rest of the season. It was impersonal even by Cap'n Andy standards. I assure you, there were no "happiest chubby guy" references in the letter.
#29 by chemical burn // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:12pm
God, do I ever hate remembering the eagles in 2005. I ran into an ex-girlfriend at a bar as they were in the midst of losing to the freakin' Cardinals late in the season and thinking "Well, this Sunday couldn't get much worse."
#42 by Danny Tuccitto // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:38pm
And yet, the 2005 49ers lost to them 42-3.
#53 by Karl Cuba // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:05pm
Thankyou, thanks for that. Less than eight projected wins and a reminder of those sorry days, I thought I came here to alleviate the daily grind. Why not hand out twenty feet of rope with cheery stuff like that? I remember that game, we were lucky to get three and to hold them to forty two.
At least the niners are a better team nowadays...
#58 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:38pm
And you DO get to play the Rams twice. Of course, that means you have to deal with Laurenitis...
#62 by chemical burn // Jul 12, 2012 - 9:54pm
But that's what was so frustrating about the 2005 team - they got out to a 4-2 start including that Falcons game they never should have lost where Trotter got ejected after getting baited into a fight by the Falcon's 3rd string CB and McNabb got injured getting slammed in the sternum by the defensive player's crown. They looked like a 5-1 team, they really did, but everything was just wobbly after that infuriating opener. And then in that Broncos game everything just went haywire in the 4th quarter after they had staged a bit of comeback. And then that Dallas game they lost by a point after leading all game, the game where McNabb finally went down for the year, they one that finally gave them a losing record for the first time in the season, that was just the bullet in the head. I really think if the Falcons game hadn't been such a fiasco, they wouldn't have gotten off on the wrong foot (and instantly get TO's mouth running) and they would have continued to pile up 42-3 victories... Instead they lose to the Cardinals and I realize I can't go to my favorite sports bar anymore because my ex has decided to start hanging out there.
#63 by Danny Tuccitto // Jul 12, 2012 - 10:42pm
Ha! Just had to show my lack of sympathy for 2005 PHI when SF fans spent Sunday, 9/18/05 eclipsing "loss + seeing -ex" misery. Namely, it was "draw a warm bath + get a straight razor ready" misery.
#95 by AJ (not verified) // Jul 14, 2012 - 2:34pm
Does anyone else think they should've just bit the bullet and paid TO??? I mean, To was still in his prime more or less and had at least two or three productive years in dallas before he became washed up.
And really, if i am to believe mike irvin, To was being grossly underpaid by leaguewide standards for a player of his caliber and the eagles could afford it. I mean, i understand the need to play hardball but once To really started to run his mouth, the organization started to look like a vindictive mob family trying to whack an informant.
#98 by Dean // Jul 14, 2012 - 6:38pm
I think you're absolutely, completely, 100%, dead WRONG.
Owens signed a 7 year, $49 million deal with the Eagles with a huge signing bonus, which made him one the highest paid WR in football. The salaries were back loaded, but he had huge signing and roster bonuses at the front of the deal. It averaged out to be something like the 3rd highest paid WR in the game at a time when he was easily a top 10 WR, but not in the same league as, say, Marvin Harrison, Randy Moss and Torry Holt. He was putting up numbers comparable to Eric Moulds, Muhsin Muhammad and Darrell Jackson, but was collecting a far greater paycheck then those guys - largely due to the desperation in Philly. Owens cashed in. No two ways about it. I won't go so far as to say he was overpaid, but he was a lot closer to overpaid than underpaid.
He knew when he signed he was being paid huge up front in exchange for cap flexibility in the middle of the deal. It was only when he got all the up front money (and, as history shows us, squandered it) that he acted up. He wanted to get paid the big money and then renegociate as if the middle years of the contract were a minor inconvenience to be swept aside. He figured that since the squeaky wheel got the grease once, it would happen again. When the Eagles said no, suddenly he was ignoring coaches, trashing his QB, dividing his locker room, getting in fistfights with former teammates, and doing situps in his driveway.
Irvin's an ex-player and an ex-WR. Every WR in the game is underpaid in his eyes. And local talk radio knew that Owens generated ratings, and trashing the Eagles for being "cheap" generated ratings - but WIP (and Angelo specifically) are well known for never letting the facts get in the way of the narrative.
#99 by theslothook // Jul 14, 2012 - 7:42pm
Ok, lets begin with the assumption that im strictly playing devils advocate. I have never disliked nor been a particularly huge fan of to so i like to think im pretty impartial. With that said, i believe he is definitely one of the nfl's most notorious malcontents and really personifies the ugly diva wide receiver.
With that said, there seems to be two elements in your reply that I disagree with. Im not going to spend inordinate amounts of time researching this, but just off wikipedia, it says, "On April 2005, Owens announced that he had hired a new agent, Drew Rosenhaus, and indicated that he would seek to have his contract with the Eagles renegotiated. Owens made $9 million in 2004 (most of which was bonus money, as his base salary was only $660,000), and was slated to make $4.5 million in 2005. This two-year amount did not place Owens in the top 10 paid wide receivers playing." Now that could be 100 percent false and in a way, nfl contracts are structured in complicated ways for cap purposes, but still, it does indicate at least from that statement owens was being underpaid.
Now to the 2nd pt, why do you say TO was behind harrison, holt, and randy moss? In terms of numbers, all of the receivers mentioned above have very similar career peaks, some better than others at different stats. By career av, owens' 119 is ahead of holts' 100, but slightly behind moss and harrison at 124 and 122. But essentially, it says they are all in the same ball park career wise.
Furthermore, when you put the numbers in context, you realize in comparison to the rams, vikings(and patriots), and the colts versus the various teams To has been on, those other receivers were on much higher passing dvoa teams, meaning they played in offenses that were generally better. Part of that might have been the receivers themselves making up the difference, but i doubt it. I suspect most of it just came down to better qb play along with better o lines/surrounding receivers. This is just a suspicion and no one can definitively say one way or the other which it was.
Bottom line: To was an elite receiver in the company with those other elite receivers and the wikipedia page implies he was being underpaid. Despite all of that, My whole point was maybe the eagles should have caved in to his demands because they were smack in the middle or late middle of mcnabb's prime and the eagles window was open.
#104 by Bnonymous (not verified) // Jul 15, 2012 - 7:46am
lets start by asking why you even pretend itsa question when you clearly already have your mind made up?
#105 by Bright Blue Shorts // Jul 15, 2012 - 1:51pm
If I want answers to questions about how to build/coach a successful football team I always ask myself "What would Belichick do?" ... and my guess is that he wouldn't have renegotiated TOs contract after one year into the 7-year term.
Why do I think this ... think about the Patriots current star WR Wes Welker ... more catches than anyone in the league over the past 5 years ... and they're still struggling to come to agreement on a new contract.
And if you want further proof that the team comes first ... Belichick wasn't afraid to bench Welker for the first series of a PLAYOFF game for some media comments against the opposing coach.
So ... no ... personally I don't think the Eagles were wrong to play hardball.
#106 by theslothook // Jul 15, 2012 - 3:34pm
Are you implying that the reason the patriots are so successful is their coach doesn't bend to his players demands? As in, thats why the patriots keep winning?
Firstly, they sometimes do give into demands- like when they paid randy moss after he complained about his contract(the first time), until gronk and hernandez rendered moss expendable.
Its the two names above that likely are making welker's leverage much less as well.
Finally, they dealt seymore and branch after they played hardball and guess what? hindsight said both moves were mistakes.
#110 by Bright Blue Shorts // Jul 16, 2012 - 1:48pm
According to Wikipedia - Moss signed a 1-year contract with the Patriots when he was traded from the Raiders. He then signed a 3-year, $27 million deal as a free agent they wanted back. At the beginning of the final year (2010) Moss started to complain about not being offered an extension and after the Miami game he was traded. How is any of that giving into his demands?
Why does hindsight say that trading Seymour and Branch, each for 1st round draft picks was a mistake? Branch himself now says that he wishes he had stayed with the Patriots which says to me that if he could do it over he would accept the money they were offering. What message do you think he is telling the younger players on the team as they come up to contract renewals?
Seymour perhaps - the Patriots could have done with a little more passrush in recent years but the money they saved by not overpaying can be redistributed to strengthen elsewhere on the team, avoids other holdouts and they got a 1st round pick.
They've made 5 Super Bowls with this philosophy. You can't judge longterm success with short term measures.
#111 by dryheat // Jul 16, 2012 - 3:30pm
In fact, trading Seymour was what made the extension for Wilfork possible. They drafted Seymour with a first round pick before the 2001 season, got 8 seasons of high-caliber play out of him, then traded him for a first round pick. Then used the cap space to extend Wilfork, a younger and more critical part of their defense and let somebody else give Seymour the huge-dollar extension. I think it was the right move in a salary-capped world.
People like to point out that they haven't won a Super Bowl without Seymour, but hell, they haven't won one without Lonie Paxton or Troy Brown either. It's damned hard to win Super Bowls.
#114 by BigCheese // Jul 16, 2012 - 7:56pm
The facts are clear. The Patriots haven't won a Superowl without Vinnatieri, but he has won one without the Patriots. Ergo, letting him go was Billichek's biggest mistake by far :P
Phil Simms is to analysts what Ryan Leaf is to NFL QBs
#25 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:02pm
BTW - do yourself a favor and click the youtube link that starts the story. Even if you don't watch the whole thing, jump to the 3:12 mark to see Campbell vs Jack Tatum in what may be the single greatest hit in NFL history.
#28 by chemical burn // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:10pm
What's great about that play is that Tatum clearly think's he about to deliver a highlight blow and the little replay seems to capture just how stunned he is that Campbell shook off his absolute best shot and chugged in for a TD. I mean, nobody did that to Tatum.
#54 by Karl Cuba // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:07pm
Today it's a 15 yard unnecessary roughness and an ejection.
#59 by Dean // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:39pm
Two of the most ferocious players of their time - or any other for that matter. And Tatum must have had a running start from somewhere in North Dakota. You can see Campbell is dazed on his feet and staggering, but that's still unheard of from taking a shot like that from a guy like Tatum. Might have to go watch that again.
#27 by drobviousso // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:05pm
Thanks Tanier. I'm pretty sure my Italian American mother order the Rogerize system about four years ago when she realized all her children where moving away to chase a job or grad school.
#30 by theslothook // Jul 12, 2012 - 4:24pm
Is anyone else beside themselves with disappointment that Tanier did NOT write the redskins section again this year? i mean, no disrespect to aaron, but nothing captures a redskins summary quite like Tanier's wonderfully charming frustrated cynicism.
Hopefully he'll be back to it by popular demand.
#80 by Mike_Tanier // Jul 13, 2012 - 3:40pm
I was really happy to have a year off from the Redskins.
#36 by akn // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:30pm
(Warning: Rogerize method and Impartiality Rationalizer do not impart omniscience or exempt you from any state, federal, or natural laws. Do not mix with megalomania. Overuse could really come back to bite you in the ass someday.)
If your superiority complex lasts longer than 4 hours, contact a labor friendly federal judge in Minnesota immediately.
#37 by Shattenjager // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:32pm
"High-batting-average banjo hitters also got the statistical business, as Bill James and others patiently taught us that the .240 hitter with the .360 on-base percentage and power is more effective than the .300 hitter with the .340 on-base percentage and less power."
Seriously, why did everybody ignore Branch Rickey saying the same things 40 years earlier and why does no one give him any credit even now? Not only did he say those things, he put them into practice and was arguably the greatest general manager in the history of American professional sports.
#38 by Eddo // Jul 12, 2012 - 5:46pm
Not sure why nobody listened to Rickey, and you're likely dead on about him being the greatest of all time.
But in defense of Mike, James did really bring this sort of knowledge to the masses more effectively. Maybe fans were just more ready to challenge conventional wisdom in the 40 years between them.
#45 by Shattenjager // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:53pm
I understand that James popularized these things much more. He also wrote far more extensively about them. I'm really a big Bill James fan. I just don't like that people give all credit either to Michael Lewis/Billy Beane (the general public) or Bill James (people who know better than the general public) while ignoring people like Branch Rickey and F.C. Lane (Who is so non-famous he doesn't even have a Wikipedia entry and was another 30 years ahead of Rickey.) who came up with the ideas and wrote/talked about them openly so much earlier. It's especially galling in the case of Rickey, because he has such obvious authority on the subject from his monumental achievements as a team-builder.
#47 by Led // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:56pm
And IIRC Bill James, himself, did give Branch Rickey a lot of credit.
#48 by Shattenjager // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:59pm
He's given some. He's also spent a ton of energy running down Branch Rickey for generally being a pompous snob (which is, to some extent, true).
#41 by Raiderjoe // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:36pm
Branch Rickey Al Davis of GMs. Visionary, smart, genius, innovator, winner
#43 by Shattenjager // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:47pm
Coming from you, "Al Davis of GMs" is probably the highest possible compliment.
#46 by Marko // Jul 12, 2012 - 6:54pm
I had a similar thought based on what you said and the additional observation that Raiderjoe's comment does not contain any misspelled words. That alone speaks volumes about the respect that RJ has for Rickey.
#55 by Karl Cuba // Jul 12, 2012 - 8:11pm
The Rogerize system would be readily apparent to anyone who has has to deal with the hellish systems of a modern civil service or corporate public relations department, those swines play with the goal of everybody losing and still they win.
#61 by Joey-Harringto… // Jul 12, 2012 - 9:27pm
You have DVOA from 1991? When are they going to be posted on the site? I'm very eager to see how the '91 Eagles defense comes out, where the '91 Redskins rank among SB winners in the DVOA era, and as a Lions fan, I want to see if the '91 Lions are the worst 12-win team in the DVOA era.
#77 by MJK // Jul 13, 2012 - 1:30pm
Wow, the thing that I first notice watching those Earl Campbell highlights is that he had terrible ball security. He looked practically untackle-able, but if hte defenders had simply worked on chopping or batting the arm that he consistently was holding the ball out with, I think they would have had better luck!
#79 by Honest Abe (not verified) // Jul 13, 2012 - 2:52pm
That quote from raiderjoe has to be a forgery since it has no misspellings or grammatical mistakes. Just saying.
#81 by dbostedo // Jul 13, 2012 - 4:44pm
Nope... Raiderjoe has been known to take his time and spell everything properly when he thinks it's important or respectful. Plus, it's a registered name, requiring a log-in.
#83 by Raiderjoe // Jul 13, 2012 - 5:06pm
Somewhat true. Always careful most of all when writing stats or dates
#82 by Raiderjoe // Jul 13, 2012 - 5:05pm
Phone autocroret goes on and off for part two moths now. Have no clue how to turn on or of. Must have turned it on by accident one day in may or June becuuae have had phone since december
#85 by Honest Abe (not verified) // Jul 13, 2012 - 7:55pm
There's the true raiderjoe speaking.
#89 by duh // Jul 14, 2012 - 12:30am
If an athlete like 'The Tyler Rose' came along today ... what and where would he play?
As some others have mentioned ... he's not the best I've ever seen but he might have been the most memorable .... that Monday night game against the 'fins in 1978 I'm not sure I'll ever forget......nor pretty much that whole 1980 season ... of course it helped that I was a college kid in those days ....
#90 by Raiderjoe // Jul 14, 2012 - 12:38am
Odd call by 3rd.base coach.there. Sandovla get triple. Then 3rd base coach sends him home short fly left. Throw beat Jim by mile but Sandoval run into C and knock ball lose.
#93 by Raiderjoe // Jul 14, 2012 - 10:01am
Sorry. Forgot what message board had open
#94 by Mike_Tanier // Jul 14, 2012 - 11:43am
This raises more questions than ever. RaiderJoe on baseball message boards?
#97 by dbostedo // Jul 14, 2012 - 5:22pm
I assume he's GiantJoe on those boards...
#109 by Aaron Brooks G… // Jul 16, 2012 - 1:11pm
He might be a Pirates fan.
Oh wait. There aren't any.
#113 by Jerry // Jul 16, 2012 - 6:14pm
Harrunph. Not only are there those of us who have continued to call ourselves Pirate fans (with varying levels of enthusiasm) since they last had a winning record in 1992, but people are hopping on the bandwagon as the current team wins.
#115 by Raiderjoe // Jul 17, 2012 - 12:14am
Do like a team called Pirates but not Pittsburgh ones. Am big fan Andrew McCutchen tjiughm. Liked ever sijcebfirst called up 2009.
#96 by Dan // Jul 14, 2012 - 2:49pm
Are you a fan of the Giants rather than the A's?
#102 by Raiderjoe // Jul 14, 2012 - 10:38pm
No. Like xrappier team. Have Sandoval on fantasy team Nd was surprised after fatso get triple that 3rd base coach make him run again on short fly to left field
#103 by fmtemike // Jul 15, 2012 - 6:23am
Putting aside the Philly Props, my memory says Coughlin cut Mack after the Jags were
having fumble probs, and Mack fumbled twice on the goal line in one game,proving that when it comes to making a point, it's always better to make it with the undrafted....
#112 by Byron (not verified) // Jul 16, 2012 - 3:32pm
I'll never forget seeing Fred Taylor collapse while completely alone in the open field, in so much pain that he fumbled the ball. My memory even includes the almost certainly false fact that the first defensive players on the scene were so concerned about him falling like he'd been shot that they didn't even grab the fumble.