Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

01 Dec 2005

Festivus for the Rest of Us

Brian Bassett of the Jets Blog is celebrating Festivus. As you all know, a big part of Festivus is the "Airing of Grievances," and first on the list is Jets GM Terry Bradway. Fans of other teams should also feel free to air their grievances here. And remember, traditionally, Festivus is not over until the head of the household is wrestled to the floor and "pinned".

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 01 Dec 2005

45 comments, Last at 03 Dec 2005, 7:08pm by Raul Allegre\'s Snowplow


by Harris (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 10:46am

I'm an Eagles fan; I don't know where to start, yet I have so much hate.

by Bassett (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 10:58am

My festivus will end when I am "pinned" (maybe out argued?) by one of the readers... shouldn't be too tough... :D

by Goober King (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:00am

Not sure where else to put this, so I'll air my grievance here:

What's with TV and radio commercials that attempt to use NFL properties, but can't actually say or show them? Is there some sort of contractual issue where companies have to pay through the nose to be allowed to say the words "NFL", "Super Bowl", or a team name?

The strangest example I can think of was a Dick's Sporting Goods radio commercial after the Pats won the Super Bowl, and they were saying things like "As your New England championship team returns from winning the big game down in Jacksonville, come to Dick's to get all your football championship gear!"

And just as I was driving into work this morning, I heard Ellis Hobbs on a radio commercial for some local jeweler say "I'm Ellis Hobbs from your favorite football team." How is it they can use a player from an NFL team, but can't actually say the name of the team he's from?

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:12am

When do we have the feats of strength?

by Todd S. (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:25am

I'm a Colts fan, and to Bill Polian I say...uh...well, you could be nicer to people, you know?

by Kevo (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:31am

Re: 1

There are only two letters on my list.

by Soulless Merchant of Fear (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:45am

All right, I got a lot of problems with the Bills.

First, what the crap are you thinking, drafting wide receivers in the first round two years running? What, you want to repeat the stunning successes of the Lions and Falcons?

The Bills' brain trust is not big on building the offensive line.

Hm. They have three good-to-excellent receivers, an above-average running back, a young QB who may or may not develop into a weapon...

...and zippity-doo-dah protecting any of them.

Yeah, that's smart.

Though I will give them a nod for their one attempt at a big-time patch to the line: Mike Williams, right tackle and right major bust. He flopped, but I give them credit for trying on that one.

Also, might I suggest that if you build a defense around planetoid-class DTs that occupy blockers, that you make sure you actually have planetoid-class DTs? Worked great the last few years when you had 'em. Not so much now. And it's not like you didn't have fair warning they were leaving. Both Williams and Adams were old, grumpy, and increasingly expensive. Nice forethought.

To the coaching staff: winning football is not like trying to be homecoming queen. Stop trying to be cute. I've heard they're getting better about this. I hope it's true.

To the sportswriters: when the football gods hand you a premade headline, you take it. The head coach's last name is "Mularkey." For the love of Damon Runyan, use it!

To the owner: the new uniforms are hideous. The throwbacks were cool. There is no shame in bright colors! Go back to electric blue, white, and bright freakin' red! It looks good! Be bold! They look like a dingy CFL team now.

And now I will wrestle Tom Donahoe to the ground.

by Soulless Merchant of Fear (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:47am

(By the way, yes, I know Sam Adams is technically still on the roster, but he's hurt a lot and increasingly spotty in games. He's only kinda-sorta still on the team.)

by Ben (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:48am

Yeah there's He Who Shall Not Be Named and the fact that they don't have a big power back. How many 5'8" ~200lb running backs do you need on the roster.

by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:49am

Mike Patrick, Joe Theismann, Paul Maguire, and a dash of Suzy Kolber.

by Kevo (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 12:06pm

Re: 9
Apparently a lot, since Buckhalter's guaranteed to go on IR every training camp.

Put Mike Anderson on my Festivus wish list. He's worth a draft pick or two.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 12:20pm

Thank You Washington Redskins for underachieving the past three weeks. You beat the Bears, Seahawks, and Cowboys to start the season. Last time I checked, all of those teams are in the NFC playoff race... why are you so inconsistent?

Thank you NFL officials for not overturning the Mike Alstott 2 point conversion, even though his elbow is clearly down short of the goal-line. You would rather see the home team win than get the call correct. It's only a matter of time before poor officiating costs a team a playoff game or Super Bowl. ... oh wait, it won't because you guys don't let the suck referees screw them up.

Thank you Joe Gibbs for having a poor feel for play calling. Against the Raiders Clinton Portis was tearing it up, averaging 5+ yards a game, and you're play calling was pass-pass-pass-punt. After hearing criticism of not runnin the ball, against the Chargers you had success through three quarters mixing up the pass and run, yet, in the fourth you're play calling was run-run-pass-punt. Would it kill to throw on first down or second down, and not from the shotgun?

Thank you Robert Royal for having stone hands... you make Mike Sellars look like Jerry Rice. If you make any of the catches you flubbled last week, its doubtful San Diego makes a comeback.

Thank you Frost, the Redskins punter. You always have poor hangtime on your punts... you were even cut from Cleveland? We know it's not your fault that you have a noodle-leg but, at least Andy Groom would boom a 50 yarder every coule of punts. Your poor field position has cost the Redskins at least 2 games. Is it that hard to find a backup punter in the NFL?

Thank you commissioner Tags for diluting the NFL talent level. David Carr, Joey Harrington and Patrick Ramsey are not NFL starting material, but due to expansion... they played. Is it a good thing that some fan base lays their hopes on Trent Dilfer or Gus Ferrotte having a good season? Oh, and expansion to Los Angeles is a brilliant move... because people there don't have their own NFL teams to root for, and don't spend their Saturday's at the Rose Bowl and Colliseium... You need to do more about the poor calls plaguing your officials... where oh where is Jerry Markbreit!

by JonL (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 1:10pm

Why can't the Redskins find more than one decent wide receiver? Is it the system? Is it the scouting? Come on, Gibbs. Throw us a bone. First, you had all intermediate passes and no long-range passing game. Now it's the opposite.

And to Clinton Portis, I'll say this - stop it. Just stop it. You're not Darryl Dawkins, much as I wish that you were. I know it's not your fault that Gibbs likes throwing to Mike Sellers in the red zone, but five touchdowns? Greg Jones has four!

And LaVar, I had some sympathy for you earlier this year when you might as well not even have dressed for games, but now you have to do something other than get beat every week.

And while we're at it, what's up with all the coaches you have? Do you need an assistant head coach AND a coordinator? Gibbs has more advisers than John Kerry's campaign, and look where it's gotten the Redskins - under .500, and needing to beat the Rams to even think about the playoffs.

Finally, to Dan Snyder - congratulations. That's some team you're running. It's good to see you developed a management strategy and stuck with it.

I will now wrestle Taylor Jacobs to the ground, because I think I can get him to injure himself. Again.

by TMQbot (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 1:22pm

Let's see, grievances, grievances:

1. Kicking play instead of going for 4th down conversion/going for TD/going for 2.
2. Failure to stop Pats on WR screen in the red zone.
3. Pass-wacky.
4. Blitz-wacky.
5. Some SEC team running up the score on a tomato can.
6. Cheerleader midriffs not exposed, temperature above freezing.

by michael (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 1:37pm

re #14:

You forgot "announcers referring to the end-around as a reverse; the reverse as a double-reverse".

by Dman (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 1:42pm

Matt Millen. I think thats all that need be said.

by charles (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 1:42pm

furtek and jonl took all my good redskins greivances so...

i like this site and i bought pfp 2005, but still thanks for the outsiders for saying that kevin jones will lead the league in rushing and thanks for continuing to say he will be a fantasy sleeper with the lions remaining schedule.

by Murr (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 1:52pm

TO: I have never wished harm on another human being. But I sincerely hope somebody "Culpeppers" your knee in the first game of next season.

Donovan McNabb: Thanks for finally getting the surgery you should have had 10 weeks ago. And if you can get something implanted that will stop you from throwing the ball at your receivers' feet 40% of the time, that would be great, too. Please don't make me change my son's name now (see link).

Andy Reid: Hey, Coach - try running the ball occasionally *before* you're out of playoff contention next year, 'kay?

Dan Snyder: You keep doin' what you're doin', buddy. The schadenfruede in this town is awesome.

by ABW (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 2:04pm

I have a grievance with Aaron and his made-up statistics that have a clear bias against any or all of the following:

1) The West Coast
2) The Broncos
3) The Falcons
4) The Redskins
5) The Colts
6) The Patriots, because even though he admits that he's a fan he won't tweak the numbers to make them #1 all the time.
7) The Seahawks
8) Michael Vick
9) Adam Vinatieri, since you say Akers is better
10) Kyle Orton and his excellent "game-managing' skills
11) Everything else that this site has ranked low, or even ranked highly but slightly below some rival

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 2:06pm

Thank you, Vikings, for doing something smart, if only due to the previous owner's tightfisted ways, by trading Randy Moss, and then likely negating it by employing a poor draft strategy.

Thank you, Chris Liewinski and Mike Rosenthal, for choosing the opening of the 2005 season to have your performance go into steep decline, just as running the ball efficiently became imperative for the Vikings to get off to a non-disastrous start.

Finally, thank you, Red McCombs, for operating this team like an undercapitalized used-car lot for the past five years.

by Daniel Warehall (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 2:17pm

My thank you is to the Ford Family... 5 year extension?!?

I'd also like to thank Charles Rogers for making Harrington look like a draft steal.

I'll also thank James Hall, because on almost every Lions defensive play I've watched the last two weeks he has jumped offsides...

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 2:20pm


* Commercials after a touchdown and then after the ensuing kickoff. Grrrrrr!

* Patriots cheerleaders wearing ugly, baggy cold-weather clothes instead of skin-tight cold-weather clothes.

* A Pats defensive front seven that is the same as last year except for Ted Johnson being completely and totally unable to put any pressure on opposing QBs.

* Monochromatic uniforms.

* Calling uniforms "unis".

* Sportswriters who buy into whatever the hype-of-the-week is instead of doing original writing.

by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 2:45pm

Re 22:

What about commercials that return in the MIDDLE of the ensuing kickoff? I've seen commercial breaks end in the middle of a play too many times this season for this to be an isolated incident.

by Mikey (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 2:59pm

Re #3:

Yeah, those are contractual issues. If you want to use Tom Brady in a commercial you only have to pay Tom Brady. But if you want to use Tom Brady of the New England Patriots you have to pay Brady and the Pats. And if you want to use Tom Brady of the Super Bowl Champion New England Patriots, you're paying Brady and the team AND the league for use of the words Super Bowl.

Obsessive NFL viewers may recall that in the Pats "not in our house" commercial last year Gillette Stadium was called the home of the "world" champions and not the Super Bowl champions, as no one has yet figured out a way to own the licensing rights to the word World (although I'm working on it).

This leads to a lot of creative stuff. One year Pepsi was the official soft drink of summer. For several seasons Visa was "proud to celebrate the fans this season." Geez, I'm a fan and I didn't see a dime from Visa. What gives?

It all sounds silly, but my understanding is that the average NFL team gets over 10% of their revenue from sponsorships, so there is a powerful incentive to protect those words and marks.

by PatsFan (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 3:06pm

Re: #23

Or commercials that return after the drive starts! I can't remember which Pats game it was, but when CBS came back from commercial after the kickoff, the down-and-distance box was reading 2nd-and-8 (!). And that happened at least twice in that game.

And speaking of screen graphics, someone tell FOX to tone down the animated swoopy crap. And to shrink their down/distance/scores box to one corner of the screen when the ball is live (like CBS does).

And another Pats-specific gripe -- at the stadium, how about showing team and player stats more often than twice per game. You people at Gillette certainly have more than enough available screen space to do it.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 3:28pm

Re: #23, #25

The best was last year's Colts-at-Pats division playoff game. CBS decided to sneak in another commercial, and Brady decided to go with a quick-count QB draw at the goal line.

They cut back to the game as the refs were digging out the pile at the goal line.

by Trevor (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 5:08pm

To the Carolina Panthers:
Edregrin James and Shawn Alexander were both available for a 2nd-3rd round pick last offseason. We love to run the ball. We drafted a RB with a 2nd round pick. WHY DID WE NOT TRADE THIS PICK TO THE HAWKS OR COLTS FOR ONE OF THOSE 2?

Now, Panthers fans get to see the RB formerly known as Steven Davis, or hope Deshawn Foster is something more than a mirage. WHY?

by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 5:33pm

Re 27,

Wow, I'd forgotten about that. There are probably a half-dozen GMs that need to be beaten about the head and chest for botching that one.

My only grievance is that my job sucks.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 5:49pm

For everyone who mentioned TO: isn't the airing of grievances what started the whole thing to begin with?

Are the goalposts made of aluminum? If so, then football is truly the sport of Festivus!

by ABW (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 5:51pm

Re: 27 and 28

Two words: cap space.

Last I checked, the only team with enough cap space to sign either of those guys was the Philidelphia Eagles. You have to figure at least a $7 million cap figure for either of those guys.

by jack (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:13pm

A rose by any other name...

would still stink it up. The Texans have become the Oilers.

by ToxikFetus (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:14pm

Re 30:

While the long-term cap effects might have been disastrous, imagine the possibilites of a dual-headed backfield of Westbrook and James/Alexander. I'm not sure if a marquee back would acquiesce to sharing the (minimal) rushing load of Andy Reid's offense, but the concept is intriguing. To dream...

by Drew (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:23pm

Re 30

Well, the Eagles were at the top of my list. I'm also counting the three teams that spent top 5 picks and big money on unproven rookie RBs. SF and AZ could stand a good back, although I'm not an expert on their cap situations.

by cjfarls (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:42pm

My grievances-

1) Any and all Denver Broncos that have tried to play as the #2 or #3 receivers since Ed McCaffrey retired... is any semblance of consitency too much to ask?

2) The Hall of Fame selection committee... the fact that John Elway is the only Bronco enshrined is a travesty. If Zimmerman, Atwater & Gradishar aren't hall-worthy, you mine as well blow the whole place up.

3) All the pundits in the national media and even here at FO that poopoo'd the aquisition of the Denver Brown-cos lineman... as Kibbles, myself and others with orange-fever pointed out, all 4 were improvements over last year's sad-sacks. Wasn't that hard to see...

Other than that, we're 9-2 (although I won't be surprised if we lose 2 out of the next 5... tough schedule ahead), so I'm pretty happy. Onto the Feats Of Strength!

by Trevor (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 6:46pm

aren't both eligble for FA this year. It's a 1 year trial, and you can cut bait cleanly. 2, the draft comes before 53 rosters and 6/1 deadline, so you could cut Davis' $ to get under the cap (I think he makes 5 mil this year, with a small bonus).

by Rushin' Roulette (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 7:16pm

Mike Sherman

Mike Sherman

Mike Sherman

by PhillyCWC (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 8:21pm

Re: #18

Murr, Your little boy is very cute. I am counting this year as a mulligan, so hopefully the grown-up Donovan will be back to top form next year and you won't need to rename your son. Although why you would have named him after a football player is a little beyond me....


1. Ditto on the Eagles running game. Why, oh why, did you wait until this late in the season to discover you had one?

2. Thanks to He Who Shall Not Be Named for (almost) single-handedly destroying a legitimate Super Bowl contender. Dude, what is your problem - did you forget to take your meds, or what?

3. The Jets' entire season.

by Spacemonkey (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 8:23pm

I only got two grievances, as we have *always* had total nincompoops for sportscasters, you young'uns just don't remember how bad they were before the Sportsline/Berman years...

1) DirecTV and the NFL Sunday Ticket(TM), or should we call it the "NFL Sunday Channel Switcheroo thanks to local coverage, overtime, and prozac popping producers who forget to show the game you forked hundreds of dollars to see from your team". You guys really, really suck. If someone buys the NFL Sunday Ticket, then show them the freaking football game, period! Forget this nonsense about overtime, local coverage and all that garbage, please.

2) Pittsburgh's Offensive Playcalling, which is quite offensive. I've waited thirty years to get excited about having a real quarterback on my team, and you bollox it all up with some really boneheaded calls that my four-year-old could have easily outdone. Just getting your QB back from knee surgery, and he just scrambled and took some heat? Go for it, time for a QB sneak, it's only four yards and you are averaging less than two with your current starting running backs... AAIIIEEEeeeee...

Besides, you know you are going to get the ball back with that surprise onside kick. NOT!

Maybe I have to cut the playcallers some slack, being that their entire stock of wide receivers are considered average height. That is, in Japan. YACRabbits, you say? I'd say this is more like YACoompaloompas.

(spacemonkey bangs head on desk)

by joel in providence (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 8:29pm

as an eagles fan, here are my non-TO-related-grievances:

- lito sheppard still can't cover a guy one-on-one. hello. you're a friggin pro bowler. how do you let terry glenn get BEHIND you to score a huge touchdown when you're lined up at least 5 yards off the line of scrimmage at the start of the play? (sorry. that glenn TD has been just eating away at me for weeks now).

- Rosenhaus still hasn't been named White House press secretary for his stunning ability to non-answer questions. (credit due to steven colbert for that one.)

- Reno mahe, how on god's green earth are you still cashing NFL paychecks?

- And Koy Detmer, please shave off your neckbeard. this is the NF-friggin-L!

by Fnor (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:01pm

Dear Festivus Claus,

@#%&*@#^@ing offensive line.


by Murr (not verified) :: Thu, 12/01/2005 - 11:52pm

Re: #37

Thanks -- but I didn't actually name him after McNabb. My family is Scotch-Irish, and we wanted a name that was 1) Gaelic, 2) not common in our family, 3) sounded nice, and 4) wouldn't get him beat up in school. Donovan was the favorite out of the 3 or 4 we came up with. (The fact that it's also the name of my home town team's QB is just an added bonus.)

Oh, and I forgot some grievances/Festivus wishes:

- Would someone in the Eagles secondary not named "Dawkins" *PLEASE* learn how to tackle?!?! I loved Michael Lewis last year - but he's regressed past rookie-status this season.

- Please don't ever, ever, ever, ever let anything unpleasant happen to David Akers again. EVER. I'm serious. I've never had such respect for special teams in my life.

- We play the Giants again soon. I swear - if there's a single play in that game where Plaxico is not double-covered, I will personally run onto the field and spray him with ashes myself.

by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:08am

My beef isn't with T.O. He's been
pretty much what everybody
expected; spectacular on the field, a
spectacular pain in the ass off it. I'm
mad at Reid/McNabb (I sometimes
suspect they share a brain) for not
ending all this nonsense early on by
either trading him or putting him in
check South Philly style. I'm mad
the team low-balled T.O. in the first
place, then refused to kick out what
was likely to be chump change back
in March. I'm mad the team let
Corey Simon walk away and didn't
get anything in return. I'm mad Reid
mismanaged his personnel so badly
that a rookie who started the season
4th on the depth chart is no the
team's best WR. I'm mad McNabb
has the disturbing tendency to come
up smallest when it matters most.
I'm mad Andy Reid is fat. I'm mad
that a defensive backfield with
Munster (Bledsoe) and Rinfield
(Glenn) use them like a
syphllis-ridden whore. I'm mad that
this team has needs at all the same
positions as last year. (OLB, DT,
WR, RB, and an heir apparent to
Dawkins at SS) I'm mad that the
Football Gods have not seen fit to
afflict Drew Rosenhaus with
bleeding anal lesions and scrotal
polyps. What the hell good are
Football Gods if they're not going to
afflict Drew Rosenhaus with
bleeding anal lesions and scrotal

by Harris (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 12:09am

Sorry about the formatting. I have no idea what the hell happened. I'm mad about that too.

by Ben (not verified) :: Fri, 12/02/2005 - 1:00am

I don't think the Corey Simon issue is that bad, I doubt there was/is much of a market for an overweight DT with a propensity for laziness that needs to play his way back into shape. I've only seen a handful of Colts games this year, but he doesn't seem to be doing much up there. I don't even remember seeing him or hearing his name.

by Raul Allegre\'s Snowplow (not verified) :: Sat, 12/03/2005 - 7:08pm

Two words: Jay Feely.

(I was at the Pats-KC game earlier that day, when I spotted a Adam Vianateri jersey in the stands. I asked 'Who buys a kicker jersey, really? I mean, no one's going to run out and buy a Jay Feely jersey.'

Now whenever I talk about that game, I feel it necessary to shout: "THIS IS WHY NO ONE BUYS YOUR JERSEY!")

Other grievances:
-The Vikings game. I mean, what happened there, seriously?
-If you've just ripped off a 70 some-odd yard run, you might want to consider running the ball to give your kicker a better chance of hitting a FG. Just a thought.
-Brandon Jacobs: Ron Dayne The Sequel