Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

06 Sep 2005

TMQ: America's Only All-Haiku NFL Season Predictions!

This week's TMQ brings us America's only all-haiku NFL season predictions, some love for Pro Football Prospectus 2005 and an answer to perhaps the most important question of the preseason: which came off best in the Carl's Jr. commercial showing a soapy Paris Hilton washing a Bentley -- babe, burger or automobile?

Posted by: P. Ryan Wilson on 06 Sep 2005

98 comments, Last at 11 Sep 2005, 9:31am by Rodafowa


by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 4:53pm

I liked his comments on the "activate emergency boosters!" statement. I always found it funny that ships with automatic everything still required people to hit buttons to do things that even today are automated (particularly in emergency situations).

I always wondered, for example, why it was necessary for the captain (in Star Trek/TNG/etc., for example) to say "Shields up!" and wait for someone to manually hit the "shields" button after the ship was hit by enemy phasers. Why, at the minimum, given that the entire computer was voice activated, couldn't the shields just respond to the captain's oral request? I guess someone could mimic the captain's voice, but I'm sure there could be safeguards against that.


by Jason (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 4:56pm

I never understood in Star Trek why they ever turned OFF the shields, why not just leave them on. I'd imagine if they had fusion energy and can generate enough power for warp speed that keep the shields always raised would not be a big deal. Why risk harm to an unshielded ship if u od not have to

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 4:58pm

I didn't know "AARP" was a word. Here I've been pronouncing it eh-eh-are-pee all this time.

by Jason (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 5:02pm

TMQ says about Rice

"Obviously he's the best receiver ever"

"Consider the spread between the best-ever in several major sports categories and the second-best ever -- a point TMQ has made before about Rice, but now updates for the final time."

TMQ must never have heard about Don Hutson, Hutson's numbers compared to others were WAY higher that Rice's. Hutson's numbers many times Doubled or Tripled his next nearest competitor

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 5:12pm


I never understood trying to understand the logic in a show where the control panels routinely had rubber duckies on them.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 5:19pm

I could accept the argument that perhaps the way the warp drive worked interfered with shields, so maybe they can't have shields up while going at warp speed.

But beyond that, you make a good point.

On the other hand, I recall reading once in one of the TNG novels that the "powers that be" got really upset if someone "directly beamed" somewhere (you know, when someone would ask "Beam me directly to the bridge") because of the power requirements. But then in the next sentence it said the reason it was so power intensive was because it essentially required them to beam them twice - once to the transporter pad, and then immediately from the pad to the new location. I remember in one of the books where someone in trouble yelled for directly beaming to sickbay and the transporter-operator-du-jour (i.e. some redshirt, not O'Brien) at first refused and asked for a good reason since it was so intensive to beam someone twice compared to once.

But at the same time, anyone that reads ST books or watched the show (particularly in the TNG or later phase) can plainly see that they use the transporter for almost everything. Tourists, friends, family, refugees, what have you, are all routinely brought onto ships via the transporter, not via shuttlecraft (which would be the only other option, and which they might use if power consumption really was an issue). The thing is in use all the time. Given that, it makes one question exactly why "double beaming" is so terrible.

The answer, of course, is that the people running the show don't think of these things. The power economy of the ship is not something one really make sense of.


by marc (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 5:52pm

Ah, good old haiku!
Plug in words, appear smarter:
Pompous TMQ.

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:00pm

"Shall we beam you back, sir?"
"No! No more beaming! This time I'll walk!"

by Dennis (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:01pm

I'm still waiting for him to get a clue about the Sunday Ticket. The reason it's only available on DirecTV is because they paid the NFL $3.5 billion to keep it that way. Yet every week he has to ask why the NFL can't make it more widely available. The answer is the NFL chooses not to because they get more money this way.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:05pm

We could go on and on about the paradoxes of Star Trek. Here are some oldies but goodies:

1) Why did the away team always include the Captain, first mate, and chief doctor? Who would take control if there were a disaster?

2) Didn't they ever worry about toxic air? What about microbes? They never even wore masks!

3) Why did everyone, including the aliens, speak English?

4) Why did those same aliense generally come in a delicious form of babe?

5) What was the Prime Directive anyway, and why did Kirk get away with ignoring it all the time? Didn't he ever face a court marshal for his repeated offenses?

Feel free to add more.

by Tim (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:06pm

Re: #4

I'm glad to see someone else mention Hutson. When you look at his stats, they are so far ahead of his competition in catches, yards and TDs, much in the same way as Babe Ruth was with home runs in baseball. No liberalized passing rules in the 40's either, and no HOF QBs delivering him the ball(Is Cecil Isabel in the HOF? I could be wrong.) There are a few things working against him, noteably he played in a different era and a few years were during WWII. But I think his accomplishments at least warrant a mention in the Rice discussion from scribes who make their bacon by claiming to know football.

by Jason (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:10pm

I could understand someone arguing Rice is better than Hutson but to say it is not even debatable about the Greatest WR of ALl Time is comical.

As for #4 (why they all speak English) it is because their Universal Translator translates all the languages into English so that they can understand it. There are a few episodes where the language is so strange the Universal Translator cannot translate it

by J-Diddy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:14pm

What is Carl's Jr? I remember Paris Hilton being in a very seductive Hardees commercial... but that's it.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:17pm

Carl's Jr is what they call Hardees in California.
Oh, and speaking of Hutson vs Rice, since I beleive Carl is off fighting some place, I'll point out that Hutson put up his numbers in a time when half the best players in the country weren't allowed to compete, and a large portion of theo ther half were too busy fighting WWII to play football.

by kleph (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:29pm

well, keeping to the star trek discussion (lord, please let the regular season begin soon) there is the existential problem posed by the transporters.

if the idea is that the machine will break you down to bits of information and reassemble you elswhere then, for all intents and purposes, it kills you and creates a perfect copy that thinks it is you.

which is kind of bad for you since you are now... well, dead. but it works out since your copy will have the same problem pretty soon too.

by Jason (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:32pm

I don't buy the whole Hudson did not compete against the Best players. Pearl Harbor took place on Dec 7, 1941. Hutson retired in 1945. The vast majoirty of his career was played before then. Really only the 42-45 seasons overalapped and those were the last few years of his career.

*Not only was Hutson possibly the Greatest receiver of All Time but Also possibly the Greatest Safety/DB. WHen he retired he was SECOND All Time in Interceptions despite only playing Defensive Back for the last 5 or so years of his career. Having 30 interceptions over the Span of roughly 5 years is quite incredible, especially when one considers that they played around 10 games per season. Hutson was basically a cross between Rice and Ed Reed/Deion Sanders

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:33pm

re #10: i find this very depressing, but i actually know the official star trek answers to your complaints.

1) Why did the away team always include the Captain, first mate, and chief doctor? Who would take control if there were a disaster?
in almost every episode, the first mate would try to dissuade the captain from going with the team, but he/she would insist. really. almost every episode. it was ridiculous.

2) Didn’t they ever worry about toxic air? What about microbes? They never even wore masks!
they scanned the atmosphere from orbit and would only actually walk around on planets that were "M-Class", or safe for humans (and incidentally all kinds of other aliens). almost every planet, of course, would be M-Class. it was ridiculous.

3) Why did everyone, including the aliens, speak English?
Universal Translators.

4) Why did those same aliense generally come in a delicious form of babe?

5) What was the Prime Directive anyway, and why did Kirk get away with ignoring it all the time? Didn’t he ever face a court marshal for his repeated offenses?
the prime directive was to observe and not interfere. kirk (and all the captains, for that matter) got away with it, because if they didn't, there would be no show.

i really shouldn't have responded. now i'm even more depressed.

by mallarme (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:43pm

Re: #15, ST: TNG took this issue on fairly directly when they discovered a copy of Riker living on a planet he had once visited during a mission. The planet's atmosphere caused excessive interference, so, in order to beam him up, the transporter chief doubled the beam, one of which deflected off the atmosphere, the other of which made it to the ship. In effect, they accidentally copied Riker, leaving one of him stranded on the planet and mooning for Troi. This prompts the question, why didn't the Federation's enemies simply make a billion copies of their best warriors and wipe out Star Fleet? Or, more specifically, why not the Borg? They already had superior technology; with massively superior numbers as well, humanity would have had no hope against them.

Thank God there are only two more days until kickoff.

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:44pm

re #15:

your problem is not so much an existential one as a metaphysical one. it only exists if you assume the existence of a metaphysical human soul which is not communicated along with the molecules. if the human being is only composed of physical elements and nothing metaphysical, then the human is just as alive when he's reassembled as when he's disassembled.

if you really want to give yourself a headache, consider that possibly, the "you" that is reading this is just a copy of the "you" that started reading this, with all of its memories, but located in a different point in time, with the old "you" having been left behind.

and yes, the football season needs to start, now.

by TMK (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:48pm

I believe the comment about "not playing against the best" refers to the color line in football of that era, as the Browns did not assemble their great (and integrated) teams until after the war.

I find it amazing that in all the discussion about "best ever" that has been floating around today, there is no mention about the man who obsessed every defense for a decade, while transforming the game and setting records that still stand, over forty years after the fact.

When you talk about the Greatest Ever, that conversation starts and nearly ends with John Unitas. It's that simple.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:51pm

Last Star Trek Comment:

If it's true that the crew was "Boldly going where no... errr.. no ONE had gone before" well, ummmm, how did the universal translator know what to translate? Did they analyze a few grunts, extrapolate a congigated form of the English Language, including inflection, homonyms, references, slang, etc., and not only have the earthmen hear in English, but broadcast their English words into alienese? What if there was a culture which communicated mostly through gestures? Would the translator then cause the aliens to see the pantomime equivalent of the English words? My head hurts.

As an aside, it always bugged me that in the movie "The Last Starfighter" where they had the Universal Translator thing going for the hero, no one back on earth had any problem understanding the alien co-pilot when they came back to the trailor park to pick up his girlfriend. How did that happen? Did all of trailor park folk get equipped with translators while the big space battle was going on?

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:56pm

Sadly, Not the Last Star Trek Comment:

thinking too much
can only cause us headaches
in science fiction.

by Astro Boy (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 6:58pm

RE #9:

TMQ knows exactly what the situation is between DirecTV and the NFL regarding Sunday ticket. When he wrote for ESPN.com, he was so worked up over this issue that he called for a Congressional investigation into the legality of DirecTV’s monopoly. Now that he works for the NFL, he still offers occasional protests over the fact that Sunday Ticket is only available by satellite, but those protests are obviously much milder. Maybe it’s unfair to expect a guy to bash his employer over an issue like this, but I agree that it’s a little annoying that he currently pretends to be more ignorant on the subject than he actually is.

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 7:01pm

the fact that i can't
compose a proper haiku
proves my brain damage.

by Harry (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 7:28pm

Why does TMQ continue to ignore Battlestar Galactica? It's an awful big stretch to claim that the Stargates have sole claim to the video sci-fi throne.

by kleph (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 7:48pm

on the upside, the star trek debate we are having is 100 percent more productive than the never-ending brady/manning controversy we are just days from being deluged with again.

by Balaji (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 7:56pm

Now I know TMQ likes to be clever, but this bugged me:

Super Bowl three-peat
seems back in Quaternary.
The Dallas Cowboys.
Forecast finish: 8-8

When did Dallas ever "three-peat"? I know they won three out of four, but I don't think that really qualifies as a "three-peat".

by Drew (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:01pm

Re #21:

There was at least one episode which showed that the universal translator does have limits (see link).

The even more unbelievable aspect to me was that in the new "Enterprise" series, the universal translator had not yet been invented, and the crew actually had a person who could hear languages and decipher them on the spot.

by David (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:01pm

After the way he was kicked off of Page 2, I think Mr. Easterbrook may be a tad skittish of biting the hand that publishes him.

Oh, and the show did in fact claim that the universal translators instantly analyzed and began translating new alien languages. In fact, an episode of DS9 revolved around a language that was so strange that the translator took HOURS (gasp, shock) to decode, without references of any kind, its vocabulary and syntax.

by Zac (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:02pm

> Since there is no gravity in space,
> Wemyss notes, people would not fall
> forward in a nose-diving star cruiser.

TMQ (or in this case) readers have said this several times. This is wrong. Gravity is everywhere. It is universal (hence Newton's theory of universal gravitation).

On the surface of the moon, people experience 1/6 the gravity of earth, because the moon is 1/6 the size of the Earth.

Astronauts on the Space Shuttle (which only orbits between 115 and 400 miles above the earth, compared to the 240,000 miles from the earth to the moon) appear to be weightless because the entire shuttle is orbiting the Earth. They still are being pulled toward the earth, but their movement perpendicular to the earth keeps them "falling around" it instead of falling into it.

Re: pawnking

1. Alright, this was dumb. It was always Scotty who ended up running the ship. And he was the engineer, he don't know anything about command! Star Trek: The Next Generation fixed this by saying it was the duty of the first officer to try to keep the captain on-ship as much as possible.

2. That's why the have sensors, to check for appropriate environmental conditions. Of course, why did they always land on oxygen rich planets? This kind of relates to ...

3. Jason said it earlier, but they had the Universal Translators. A cynical person would wonder why their lips were always synched to what was being said if it was really being translated. For the answer to that, I direct you to the theme to Mystery Science Theater 3000. "Repeat to yourself 'It's just a show, I should really just relax'".

4. So Kirk could fall in love with them, only to have something bad happen before the episode was over.

5. The Prime Directive said that they were not to interfere with the development of any primative (usually taken to mean societies that are incapable of faster than light travel, and thus would be unaware that they are not alone in the universe) society in any way. As noted in the wikipedia (click my name) Kirk broke the Prime Directive at least 7 times, as did Picard. And Janeway didn't understand what it really meant anyway. Kirk was never punished for this, but he did stand trial for neglience and purjery (found innocent), and he later was found guilty of disobeying a superior officer and stealing the Enterprise (relating to what happened in Star Trek III), resulting in his demotion back to Captain at the end of Star Trek IV.

by Adouble (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:09pm

I found this via googling, which seems pretty compelling that while only a few of his pro seasons involved playing against weakened competition, they were key to his monster stats: "His best seasons were from 1941 through 1945, or when World War II was taking many of America's most able bodied young men away, when Hutson made 284 of his 488 catches, had five of his six best yardage seasons and caught 56 of his 99 touchdowns."

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:21pm


Trust an astrophysicist, kay? :)

Astronauts on the Space Shuttle (which only orbits between 115 and 400 miles above the earth, compared to the 240,000 miles from the earth to the moon) appear to be weightless because the entire shuttle is orbiting the Earth.

Anything in orbit is weightless, just like anything in freefall is weightless. The astronauts don't appear to be weightless. They are weightless. The fact that their reference frame is rotating around the Earth is immaterial to that fact. This is the basic principle of general relativity.

Regarding a nosediving spacecraft, TMQ is both correct and incorrect. There's no directionality in space, but if a spacecraft accelerates, you are going to be thrown. Backwards - i.e. against the direction of thrust - from simple inertia. Depending on the orientation of the spacecraft, that could mean thrown up, down, left, or right. Ask any astronaut about that. Things still shimmy and shake in space.

Ah, TMQ. The only place where football and Einstein's general relativity will meet.

by Jose (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:22pm

I really used to enjoy TMQ's writing, but the glaring errors are dragging down his whole column.

1. Doug Brien didn't "barely miss" the 43-yarder; he hooked the ball so far left that it missed the net entirely.

2. The play in the Syracuse-West Virginia game WAS a double reverse, with the QB handing off to the RB, then the RB handing off to the first WR, then the first WR handing off to a second WR. After the play, Bob Griese commented that he didn't understand the point of a double reverse, because the players that would be fooled by the first misdirection would then be in perfect position to make the tackle after the final handoff.

3. Vince Young "heaved up" exactly 2 passes in the 2nd half, 1 of which was incomplete and 1 of which was intercepted. Texas' final possession consisted of 3 runs (starting at its own 25) with players not on the depth chart.

4. Nebraska's played pretty well in bowls lately (http://www.cfbdatawarehouse.com/data/

by MCS (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:22pm

We certainly love to debate don't we? :-) It looks like Hutson v Rice has taken the place of Peytom Branning.

There was a long disucssion on the Rice/Hutson thing earlier this summer on this site. My search cannot find the discussion now though.

Before we get into it again, remember that regardless of Hutson's dominence both before and during WWII, racial descrimination by the NFL of Hutson's era is definitely a factor.

by Drew (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:23pm

Just saw that I was wrong in #28. The translator did exist. But I do remember Ensign Sato being able to learn languages on the fly.

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:24pm

The even more unbelievable aspect to me was that in the new “Enterprise� series, the universal translator had not yet been invented,

Yes it had. It just wasn't particularly good.

and the crew actually had a person who could hear languages and decipher them on the spot.

She did it with the help of the universal translator. The basic idea is that there's only a finite number of grammars, and so you just need a large enough corpus to start guessing usage patterns.

Wow, I feel like a dork.

by Jason (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:37pm

All you can judge a player against is how well he dominated his peers. For example Ruth played only against Whites and Michael Jordan pretty much only played against Americans. You can't say that the NFL was diluted from the war in 1941 since Pearl Harbor did not take place until December that year (as we all know December is near the end of the football season-unless u cheer for the Pats or Eagles). Even if you disregard 42-45 Hutson was better relative to his peers than was Rice. Hutson was as dominant of a 2 position player (Wr/DB) as was Ruth (Hitter/Pitcher)

by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:44pm

Ok, I justify this post by the fact that the season hasn't begun yet, nor has Serenity opened:

1. What's with all the officers? The lowest-rank I've ever seen on ST is ensign. Shouldn't those away teams be led by a trusted NCO?

2. Does anybody else seem to think being able to beam only a half-dozen people aboard at a time presents a major logistical problem for a ship with a crew numbered in the thousands?

3. Is it me, or does it seem ridiculously easy to board the Enterprise and take over the bridge? How hard can it be to aim at a boarder during the 3 seconds it takes for them to materialize, and pop them before they get even oriented? Besides which, doesn't it generally seem like good protocol to have a couple marines on duty in vital areas when entering combat?

4. Better yet, if the shields are down, why bother even sending a raiding team? Just beam the crew into the space (or the brig, if you feel like gloating) and be done with it.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 8:51pm

Given their centrality and importance on so many plays, compared to other players, a QB is almost by default the best player ever, and Unitas would probably get my vote. Here's something to ponder; if Unitas is healthy in 1968, do the Colts lose to the Jets in the Super Bowl? Earl Morral was a good player (he did win MVP in '68), but he was no Unitas, and a healthy Unitas might have been the difference in the most important of all Super Bowls. It was better for the popularity of the game that the Jets won, of course, and if the Colts had won, perhaps the Chiefs upsetting the Vikings after the '69 season would have had the same effect, but who knows?

by sippican (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 9:34pm

Do I have to enter this on every entry today? What's with all the Wayne Gretzky references today? Even TMQ, who should know better, wanders into comparing Rice to Gretzky as their game's greatest.

Bobby Orr transformed his sport, like Ruth. He could skate backward faster than 99 could skate forward. Bobby Orr led the league in scoring-- as a defenseman.

Gretzky was a slightly better that Phil Esposito, (but not much,) that I'll grant you.

But Bobby bleeping Orr? Fuhgettaboutit.

Bobby Orr! Bobby Orr! Can I get an Amen?

by Björn (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 9:56pm

Bobby Orr's career was cut too short. I say Maurice Richard, me being a big Habs fan, and all. How many pro athletes have sparked riots?

I think TMQ makes a good argument for Rice being the NFL's most Prolific player. Not the greatest, but the most prolific.

by Balaji (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 10:23pm

#40: "Gretzky was a slightly better that Phil Esposito, (but not much,) that I’ll grant you."

I won't dispute that Bobby Orr was one of the (if not THE) greatest defensemen of all time, but maybe you should stick to talking about football.

by RCH (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 10:27pm

The debate over the best or greatest player ever should be reconstituted to Most Successful or something similar (like prolific). All we have to go by are statistics and they most reliably identify success, but success isn't always directly related to the quality of the individual. In a team game like football success depends not only on ability but also very much on the team around you.

Here is a simple example: Rice was drafted 16th in the 1st round by the 49ers, who obtained the pick from the Patriots (for basically Trevor Matich). Had he played his career for those Patriot teams his statistics would have been nowhere near where they were with the 'Niners. Yet would he have been the same receiver, no? (I always maintained that had the 'Niners drafted Irving Fryar in '85 instead of Rice in '86 that we'd be having these conversations about him.)

by HLF (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 11:08pm

re #40, you and Grapes are simply nuts on that one. No disrespect to Bobby Orr at all (or any other truly great player), but he's not even clearly the best defenseman ever. To say he could skate backwards faster than Gretz could skate forwards is absurd. Provencialism never dies for Bostoners or New Yorkers, which is why they should never be in charge of anything serious.

I can make as good a case for Stevie Y as I can for Bobby Orr, and that ain't that good a case.... (nice grammar, eh?)

Hopeless Lions Fan,

by Dervin (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 11:43pm

Totally off topic, but I have to post this somewhere...

I'm in Hong Kong, Does anybody know of any sites where I can download NFL games. I've got Bittorrent now, but I'll switch to anything.


by B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 11:47pm

Lamest Star-trek complaint:
Couldn't the universal translator at least speak english correctly?
To boldly split infinitives where not infinitives have been split before.

by Josh (not verified) :: Tue, 09/06/2005 - 11:59pm

As a Habs fan myself, I would still say Orr was the greatest hockey player ever, and i hate all things bruins(and maple leafs for that matter). Richard was great in his own right and he was one the most intense players ever, but Orr had size, lightning fast speed, could play good D, excellent puck handling skills, and a great shot. Gretzky is not the greatest because he was always protected and babied since he was the "Great One," though he had an uncanny ablilty to see a play before it happened.

by jack (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:06am

re #44, how about not being a thieving jackass? Just because you're in a different country doesn't make laws disappear. If there isn't an ESPN or satellite option maybe you should just deal with the fact that you're in HONG FREAKIN KONG. Where the hell did you get the idea that this was some kind of NFL piracy board anyway?

by Balaji (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:19am

I'd comment on post #47, but reproduction and discussion of that post are permitted only by the express written consent of the National Football League.

by The Load (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:52am

If you are living in a country other than the US (i'm in good old Oz) then you can order a subscription of your favourite team for a fairly reasonable cost. The company is called Pontel (linked in my name. Google the name if it doesn't work)

They have the official distribution license for outside North America, and i have ordered from them before, and they are tres reliable and quick.

If you don't want one team, you can order a specific game every week.

by Basilicus (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 3:44am

Not having read the TMQ article yet, but enjoying the discussion that's resulted from it...

"on the upside, the star trek debate we are having is 100 percent more productive than the never-ending brady/manning controversy we are just days from being deluged with again"

Brady would be a better captain. Hands down. (I'd most want to go into battle with Sisko at the helm myself.)

I think the reason why TMQ doesn't discuss Battlestar Galactica is that A) he doesn't watch it (too bad for him) or that B) they actually focus on using very little science but on using that science correctly, and thus there isn't a whole lot to complain about. I enjoy a sci-fi show where you have to physically jury-rig your internal networks together with unwieldy stretches of cable in order to get things done and where you have to address things such as fuel and supplies. (That said, I'm still a Star Trek nut...still the only sci-fi franchise where you wanted to see the captains of giant warships in space talk things out more than you wanted to see them just blast away at each other on sight, which is more of an accomplishment than I think people realize, and what the show was truly about.) Just waiting for Serenity....

by Moe (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 3:45am

Re 49
Thanks for the info Load! I wasn't aware of the existence of Pontel - just placed an order for the first Vikings game to give the service a try.

In the "how did you hear about this site" section I told them they should advertise here on FO.

by Dervin (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 5:39am

RE#47, Humor me, would it be wrong for you to send a videotape of an NFL game to a friend of yours? This is what I'm doing.

The NFL owes me, I made my parents buy me the overpriced and underinsulated parkas back in the 1970's. I lived in Philly when the Eagles were Bad, went to College in Worcester when the Pats were bad and the Eagles were good, moved to NYC when the Giants & Jets were bad and the Eagles were mediocre to awful to great. I suffered through watching Amazingly bad football teams for the slightest glimpse of an Eagles Highlight. I paid my dues. I had to watch the Rich Kotite and Pete Carroll Jets. I watched the Ray Handly Giants. I went to college bars suffering from overprice beer and drunk Frat boys. I buy the official Eagles Team merchandise. I sat in the Luxury Box at Giants Stadium as a thank you from my company watching the Jets vs. 49ers, eating cold chicken strips and drinking cheap beer, but I had to leave early. I woke up at 5am on a monday morning, to watch the Superbowl in Hong Kong, eating undercooked eggs, english style bacon and bland sausage - only to have my heart broken again.

And through it all, the disappointments, the cheating, I still love the NFL. I spend my time here in Hong Kong, not as a shamed american, shrinking before the ever pervasive EPL. I act as an Ambassador for the NFL, I explain to them the latent homosexual feelings reporters have for Bret Farve, how Brady gets his powers from eating babies. I am a preacher, all glory and honor is yours, almighty NFL, for ever and ever.

by Dervin (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 5:47am

RE49, Thanks I placed an order with them for the first game of the season, but what do they mean by later?

by elhondo (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:01am

Who would make a better starship captain, Brady or Manning? How about just for away teams?

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:13am

Manning, obviously, because he performs best in domes.

by The Load (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:14am

RE: 54

This is the first time I have placed a subscription for my team, so I can't tell you exactly how long it took. If this post is still alive next week, i'll tell you exactrly how long it takes.

I ordered a couple of games from last year, just to see if they were a legit service, and they came fairly quickly (sorry I can't be more accurate.)

The only possible downside is that they leave the ads in: it's just like taping it off US TV and posting it. So, with the Steelers vs Pats midseason last year, the first drive was cut to catch the end of the Colts vs Chiefs shootout, as i'm sure it was cut on US TV as well. The advantages of it though are that it gives you NFL Prime Time, with all the highlights of the week! Oh yeah, and american ads, if that floats your boat.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:58am

I can't believe no one has pointed out that Captain Kirk was, indeed, court-martialed twice (and acquitted both times).

by Moe (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 11:46am

re 57:

I talked to Pontel's customer service department and they told that they get the tapes on Monday ship on Wednesday and that I should get the DVD on Friday.

Not sure how much interest I will have in a game thats nearly a week old, but curious to find out.

Some day direct TV or the equivalent will come and that will cause much rejoicing in the expat community.

by jack (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 11:58am

"RE#47, Humor me, would it be wrong for you to send a videotape of an NFL game to a friend of yours? This is what I’m doing.

The NFL owes me"
Yes, duplicating and distributing the NFL's/network's intellectual property would be just as illegal in each case.
The NFL owes you nothing. Absolutely nothing. Any money you paid, or made your parents pay, was of your or their own accord, and you recieved either merchandise or live, in person football for those payments. You're just rationalizing criminal behavior. Like it or not you asked for a blatantly illegal service, and if we allow this place to become a bit torrent/downloading board next thing you know Aaron is in jail coming up with new stats to explain the prison rape adjusted value of mandatory showers.

by GBS (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:30pm

I teleported home one night
With Ron and Sid and Meg.
Ron stole Meggie's heart away
And I got Sidney's leg.

Sorry, I guess that wasn't a haiku.

by White Rose Duelist (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:50pm

Obviously, Capt. Peyton Manning's USS Colt would destroy more Romulan Warbirds than any ship in Federation history, but he would be killed on an away mission to an icy planet by aliens who chant "Cut that meat!" as they go into battle.

The USS Patriot, led by Capt. Tom Brady, would win battles any way they could manage, with security officers acting as extra engineers, and would triumph in the pivotal battle of the war against the Borg

At the celebration afterwards, Rodney Harrison would complain that he was disrespected because he only got one medal and a promotion to Lt(jg).

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 12:56pm

I don't know about that. Manning, like Piccard, would always lead from the bridge and send his first mate on all the away missons. Whereas Brady, like Kirk, would always go on the away missons (and score with hot alien chicks).

by dryheat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:05pm

Kudos #61. I have a bad habit of randomly reciting those very words.

I was wondering if anybody was going to bring up the Babel Fish, which is clearly superior to any other universal translator.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 1:47pm

Well, we have to realize that Captain Manning's ship would be outfitted with so many offense weapons, it would quite overwhelm lesser enemies, providing him with flashy victories. But with all of the resources poured into the guns, there would be precious few left for the shields. Despite Captain Manning's tactical genius, he would not be able to stand up to a well defended Romulan warship after a few blasts.

Captain Brady would ride his superior technology through solid, book-perfect leadership to win after win. He would compile a brilliant record by winning every battle he was supposed to win and avoiding battles where he was outgunned and outmanned. His Admiral would get all of the credit for providing him with the tools to defeat all enemies encountered, which would be deserved.

by Tarrant (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:00pm

Re: 38

That would be pretty funny. You always have the two sides talking to each other, then either they cut off communication and put up the shields and start firing, or a boarding team is beamed over.

The thought of instead using your "we can beam 6 people!" ability and taking the entire enemy bridge crew and beaming them into outer space is wonderful.

Also, one can note that when beaming, they always stand on the white lit circles on the transporter pad, and they always get beamed to those whenever they arrive. But sometimes they beam like, injured people or such onto the transporter pad, and they arrive lying down, spread across two or three of the 'circles'. Which means the circles don't seem to mean anything - the whole pad itself is 'transport-able'.

In which case, why bother with having the circles?


by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:17pm

Let me guess, Josh, you never speed when you're driving, either.

by Walt Pohl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:20pm

Oops, I meant Jack.

TMQ is right about the star cruiser. If it starting nose diving, the crew would fall in the direction that the ship had just been travelling in.

by zach (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:35pm

need. football. now.

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:42pm

Lions 4 and 12?
Clearly an extra home game
Will not help that much.

Sorry, I couldn't work in a reference to nature.

by Ben (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:50pm

Who's excited about the season?

by jack (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 2:56pm

I don't go to the mall and ask strangers to help me speed. If you think this is the right place to request bit torrents and downloads of copyrighted material, go ahead and expose the FO staff, and yourself, to potential litigation.

by HLF (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 3:10pm

You know, there are several brands of decaffinated coffee on the market now that taste just as good as the real thing.

by Dennis (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 3:20pm

Re #23: I don't expect him to "bash" anyone about the DirecTV Sunday Ticket exclusive. I'm just tired of his "occasional protests" as you call them (and you seem to equate "every week" with "occasional") because he asks the same question every time: "why can't the NFL find a way to let people who cannot get satellite signals subscribe to Sunday Ticket?" He should get off his butt and find out the answer (it takes all of 15 seconds using google, or heck, he works for the NFL now, he can just ask someone there) and stop crying about it.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 5:48pm

You know, there are several brands of decaffinated coffee on the market now that taste just as good as the real thing.

You, sir, are dead to me now.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 5:54pm

TMQ is right about the star cruiser. If it starting nose diving, the crew would fall in the direction that the ship had just been travelling in.

No. They'd fall opposite the direction of the thrust. The ship doesn't have to be pointing in the direction of the thrust, nor does it have to be traveling in the direction of the thrust. If the ship's in orbit about the planet, aligned along direction of motion, and thrusts downward towards the planet, the people will hit the ceiling.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 6:07pm

What about momentum. The people in the ship had momentum in the direction the ship was traveling, on top of which is added thrust in the opposite direction the ship is moving. On the other hand, wouldn't the gravity that's now pulling the ship toward the planet also act on the contents of the ship?

by C (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 7:12pm

Hardee's is called Carl Jr's in California? Really? Why?

by pawnking (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 7:35pm

A very amusing "Bad Movie Physics" review of the Star Wars III movie. A lot of the points about interspace battles certanly apply to the Star Trek movies as well.

by Drew (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 8:04pm

Re #78:

The bigger question is, "why is Carl's Jr called Hardee's outside of California?" Carl's Jr bought out Hardee's some years back, leading to a complete overhaul of the Hardee's menu. Considering its reputation at that time, why they kept the Hardee's brand name rather than changing it escapes me.

by Duane (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 8:39pm

Re: (way back)#3: In recent years the American Association of Retired Persons has officially become AARP, and to my knowledge is OK with being referred to as "arp", one syllable. (Score one for TMQ).

by ABW (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 8:58pm

Re: 77

Neither momentum nor gravity affects this situation.

Gravity is affecting the entire ship-passengers system equally, so it can be ignored, unless you want to put it all in the frame of reference of the planet(obviously the planets gravity affects the planet differently from things in orbit around it). However, you don't want to put this in the frame of reference of the planet, because we're thinking about what happens to the passengers relative to the ship, not the planet.

As far as momentum is concerned, prior to the spaceship using it's thrusters, the passengers and the space ship had equal velocity, so the only thing that matters is the change in velocity from the thrust. You don't even need to worry about the mass of these objects, so it's easier to talk about this in terms of velocity than momentum.

The only thing that really matters in this situation is the thrust from the space ship. If it makes it easier to think about, just get rid of the planet entirely and just imagine the spaceship in the middle of space with nothing around it, and think about what would happen to the passengers if the ship suddenly started accelerating in one direction.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:05pm

OK, I think I can clarify things a little bit, because I also wondered about the effect of inertia (or momentum), and now I see why it doesn't really matter in this case.

Imagine a ship traveling 'forward' with a passenger standing on the bridge. Both the passenger and the ship are therefore moving 'forward' (um, along the x-axis, yeah that sounds better) with velocity v(x). Now the ship fires thrusters on the top, giving it downward thrust (along z-axis). The ship still has velocity v(x), along with the new velocity v(z). The passenger only has v(x), and v(z) for him is 0. Therefore the passenger will remain in the same location relative to the ship in the x-axis, but will quickly approach the top of the ship (at -v(z)) in the z-axis. Therefore he will appear to move up when the ship moves down, or he will move opposite the direction of the ship's thrust. Until he smacks into the top of the bridge, that is. Then he either busts through, or very quickly and painfully accelerates to v(z).

Correct me if I'm wrong, please.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/07/2005 - 10:28pm

Nope, you're dead on right, Trogdor. It's the exact same reason why you feel like you're being pulled in the opposite direction when you go around a corner in a car. You're not being pulled in the opposite direction - it's just the car's far wall is being accelerated towards you, and you need to exert effort to keep that from happening.

Good, old fashioned Newton's first law of motion.

Now, want to get more complicated? Imagine an aircraft plummeting towards Earth, in the atmosphere, in freefall. What happens to the pilot inside? He falls downward because the aircraft is falling slower than freefall because of air resistance, and the pilot doesn't experience that air resistance (he's not outside the craft). So he's yanked forward.

But that only happens due to air resistance.

by Josh (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:04am

im torn on that one. though i dont really condone illegal activities(though i do speed sometimes while driving, and if you say you dont then you are a huge liar), i highly doubt the NFL will notice if you send a tape to a friend. but to absolve myself from any questioning and/or punishment, i didnt see you making a tape.

by Josh (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:07am

nor do i have any knowledge of a tape being created.

by Dervin (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:18am

I don't want to be an outlaw, but it looks like I have no choice...

by dervin (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 4:29am

This is the email I rec'd from the company...

I am afraid at this time we are not licensed to sell NFL games to Hong Kong. We hope to have Hong Kong included in our next agreement with the NFL for the 2006-07 season, so at the moment we are unable to process your order, sorry.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 10:33am

RE #78/80: The Carl's Jr company must have felt there was some value in the Hardees name, or else they wouldn't have bought the company.
ABW, Trogdor, Pat: Thanks for explaining the physics thing. I get it now.

by Domer (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 5:14pm

I think Brady would be better at illegally obtaining bootleg copies of NFL games, because Manning would spend too much time making goofy hand signals.

This may be the best thread ever.

by Domer (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 5:18pm

And re: #53 - I had the same parka, with the zipper down the middle of the hood, right? We ARE owed.

by B (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 5:28pm

Manning's bootlegs would be more artistic but the last two minutes would be ruined by Elaine's dancing.

by Björn (not verified) :: Thu, 09/08/2005 - 7:50pm

RE: #73

No. Nooo. Hot.

by Pat F. (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 11:03am

RE: 83
The starships also have their own gravity, though, which accelerates the crew toward the deck and keeps them "stuck" to it, more or less, so that unless the ship made a particularly violent change of direction no one should fly into the ceiling. If the ship suddenly pitched down 90 degrees, the crew would appear to fall over, or if as in your situation the ship starts moving "down" without pitching, it would be similar to riding an elevator. They should still flop around quite a bit during battles and other times that the ship makes quick, sharp maneuvers, though, which of course brings up another humorous Star Trek issue: why is it that in the 24th century they seem to have forgotten how to make seat belts?

(or circuit breakers, for that matter, to save all those poor ensigns who get blown up by exploding pannels every battle :) )

RE 21:
Linguistics shows that most languages are in fact very, very similar, in that they all have basically the same tenses, parts of speech, etc. The idea with the Universal Translator is that it can actually figure out what's being said and then output the translation by using those basic rules and deducing on the spot what sound is associated with what. Of course, it works absolutely flawlessly because, well, in the 24th century their computers are just that damn good... right :)
There are times where the crew encounters a species whose language is so unlike those of earth that it fails, as someone mentioned.
And yes, the other aliens' lips shouldn't be synched to the speech we hear, but practically speaking that'd be much more of a hassle making the show than it'd be worth.

RE 38:
I don't know quite how the transporter is supposed to "work," physically, but they mention from time to time that it can't go through shields. So in a battle they can't just beam people on and off of any ship as they please, they have to wait for the enemy's shields to be taken down, and then drop their own. Of course, most of the captains are too 'ethical' to do such a thing anyway(it's worth noting that Star Fleet is NOT a military organization. It has a military branch, which is what we see because it makes for more interesting TV, but no one in it is first and foremost a military person. Thus, their tactics are generally pretty bad. They actually might not even think of using the transporter as a weapon. They don't think of a lot of things... in one TNG episode they actually figure out that the transporter can be used to reverse-age someone, making Capt. Picard and the crew into 11 year olds. The thought never crosses their mind that they've just discovered immortality)

by Darwin (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 5:10pm

omg #1 you are the biggest nerd alive - wtf cares about that crap, tmq is a nerd too i always skip over his sci-fi crap......LAME

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Fri, 09/09/2005 - 5:51pm

Re: #94

Hey, it's my example, and I don't want artificial gravity generators on this particular starship. So there! Or since the original problem dealt with nose-diving starships in emergencies, who's to say that if it did have artificial gravity that it would still be working?

The assumption for this explanation was that the passenger inside is not attached to the ship in any way, to illustrate why his inertia will not come into play. So my ship has no internal gravity. And it also has frictionless surfaces, frictionless massless pulleys, there are perfect insulaters and heat sinks, and the atmosphere is ideal gas.

by kleph (not verified) :: Sat, 09/10/2005 - 6:42pm

i gotta disagree with the whole manning/brady sci fi debate here. i think manning has the star trek first mate look to him than a starfleet captain while brady seems more of a dave bowman type from 2001 a space odyssey.

by Rodafowa (not verified) :: Sun, 09/11/2005 - 9:31am

RE: 38

1. What’s with all the officers? The lowest-rank I’ve ever seen on ST is ensign. Shouldn’t those away teams be led by a trusted NCO?

I've just read through this entire thread hoping against hope that someone else knew the answer to this one so that I didn't have to prove my credentials as the leading nerd on the site.

From playing the Star Trek RPG (shut UP! Once, alright? I played it ONCE!) I happen to know that Constitution-class starships (including the original Enterprise) were exclusively crewed by officers, Ensign and up. The only NCOs on board were support staff, ie the yeomanry.

{coughs) You see that Bears game last week? What a game! What a game! Bears gonna go all the way!