Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

20 Sep 2005

TMQ: Remember the Titans

In typically small-c catholic TMQ fashion, Gregg Easterbrook begins this week with a discussion not of the football team in Tennessee but with a NASA rocket. We also get an assortment of pictures of ladies, not just Lora, a cheerleader for the Eagles, but also Marie Antoinette.

Posted by: Michael David Smith on 20 Sep 2005

130 comments, Last at 26 Sep 2005, 8:17pm by j


by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:27pm

"Minnesota, which has the league's most expensive defensive backfield -- $25 million in bonuses to defensive backs in the last two years -- has already surrendered 536 yards passing to rank 28th in pass defense."

Because of an absolutely worthless O-Line, the Vikes' defense has had to spend a lot of time on the field.

If they were bigger souls, I could see the CBs getting together to blanket party the OTs, Gs, TEs and Cs.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:29pm

"For an instant, nobody was sure where the ball was, and an instant is a long time at NFL speed."

"Nobody" included Kerry Collins.

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:30pm

before the GE-bashing begins, let me take this opportunity to remind TMQ-haters that they are pretty much required to root for the Eagles to win the superbowl this year. the eagles embody everything GE hates in football - lots of passing regardless of the game situation, lack of a power running game, regular blitzing and worst of all a misbehaving star receiver. if they were to win a superbowl, GE would be finally forced to admit that these elements can in fact win games (since apparently the nesharim's consistent success over the past few years can still be dismissed as "not sustainable").

full disclosure: i am both an eagles fan and a fan of TMQ, when he's not venting about the eagles or capitalism.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:32pm

"More, United States spending on foreign aid is much lower than popularly imaged -- only about one half of one percent of the federal budget is used for this purpose. We ought to give more."

Which, in a sense, we do. Through private donations and pass-through contributions from churches, foundations and other nonprofits.

Still, I agree. Not enough.

by JG (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:37pm

I have been somewhat disappointed with TMQ so far this season. I have been a fan for a couple years now, but this season has not brought anything new to the table. What I mean by that is that GE seems to just be rehashing articles that I've read before with very little in the way of new content, atleast related to football. The last two columns particularly seems to just have been phoned in. Hopefully it picks up as the season goes along.

by Mike M (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:44pm

#1: Because of an absolutely worthless O-Line, the Vikes’ defense has had to spend a lot of time on the field.

How true it is. The Vikings defense looked great in the first game and kept the offense within striking distance the entire time. Two touchdowns to Wiggins called back by penalty (the first of which was the most obvious non-penalty I've seen since VT-USC in '04) made all the difference in that game, and I give the defense a ton of credit. Minnesota's defensive DVOA for week 1 was -26.9%, good for tenth in the league!

As for week 2, I can't think of a defense that can overcome 7 turnovers. It's just too much to ask.

Vikings fans such as myself can take consolation in the fact that this year we won't be 9-0, lose the next 7 games, and miss the playoffs. Or something.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:44pm

"But as the season progresses, offenses jell and their coordination improves; blitzing ceases to cause general disruption."

What really hurts defenses as the season progresses is NOT that offenses become somehow more "coordinated," but that mounting injuries to the DB and DL ranks make defenses more uncoordinated.

An O-line will average an injury rate of about 40-50 percent per season. But it's nearly 20 percent higher on the D-line, and about eight out of every 10 CBs and Ss will get hurt before this season ends.

Because injury rates for the offensive side are lower, it's the defense that falls apart. Offenses naturally become more "coordinated" against increasingly weaker opponents.

But see, the Super Bowl and playoff bye weeks, where a long delay allows many elite teams to recover their injured and bring back a tough and aggressive defense (often at home).

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:44pm

Lora of the Eagles, a dance major at DeSales University who, according to her team bio, has no middle name.

DeSales University, formerly Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales (not located in Allentown...), is located about a mile from my parent's house in the middle of nowhere between Allentown and Quakertown.

It became a "University" by adding an MBA program, saying that it wanted to stress its Catholic nature (because, somehow, "DeSales University" screams "Catholic" whereas "Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales" does not, apparently).

Never thought I would see it referred to anywhere. After working there for a few months, I can safely say I never thought I would see a cheerleader from there.


by elhondo (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:45pm

Well, I think the sack success stats are new. It's been the subject of many complaints that he hasn't backed up his claims on that measure.

by pawnking (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:45pm

I was wondering if GE would mention the fact that sometimes kicking from the opponent's side of the field works out, but he didn't. I'd have respect for the guy if sometimes he'd admit that he doesn't know every thing about football, every once in a while. I wasn't too impressed with his qualification of "Well, blitzes do work, but only in the first few weeks of the year." I don't remember him saying that before the season started, so I don't think hindsight counts.

by SJM (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:46pm

JG: I agree

But more importantly, wow! 3 posts from Carl, none of which are viciously critical of Easterbrook! That has to be some kind of record.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:48pm

"I want whatever the Indianapolis defensive line is having for breakfast!"

So far they've brunched on a hearty diet of Jaguar and Raven. Mmmmmmm. Tasty.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:50pm

"Are the Houston offensive linemen just terrible, or do they lack pride? Pick your unattractive explanation."

They also have a tailback who hasn't learned it's his job to pick up the blitzing safety curling across the D-line.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:52pm

"Reader Mike Enos points out the Philadelphia 76ers have just announced they will add a male dance team, to be called the Broad Street Beefcakes."

Pat, you're allowed to cry now. In lieu of a pennant, a Super Bowl or an NBA trophy, we give you homoerotic halftime entertainment.


by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:52pm

Not that you would have Enos envy.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:53pm

Or for Aaron, Ennis envy, seeing as he was from the Big 10.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:56pm

"Green Bay blitzed six; a simple quick slant to Braylon Edwards became an 80-yard touchdown because there was no one back there to tackle the gentleman."

As I mentioned earlier this year, this might be the worst Green Bay D-line we've seen in a long, long time. It explains why they've decided to blitz so many. They're trying to overcome a profound inability for either the front four to stop the rush or penetrate the halo.

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:57pm

indeed #10, classic post hoc.

also, i feel obligated to gripe about the lack of TMQ's love for an eagles LB kicking an extra point, and an eagles TE (long-snapper, really) kicking off the ball and making the ensuing tackle on the kick returner. i thought he loved that kind of stuff! also, he neglected to mention that despite the 39-to-30 pass-to-run ratio on sunday, the eagles really did get in a few legitimate power runs with lamar gordon, which in fact opened up a lot of pass opportunities. fans of the other 31 NFL teams, feel free to gripe about lack of mention now.

p.s. (although actually pre-script): is it a coincidence that the logo in that Babies are Born to be Breastfed ad looks a lot like a single-bar football helmet?

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:57pm

"Note to Harrington: If you're being hit, don't release. Just take the sack."

Well, the good thing is that no one will try the Detroit line by the end of the season because they will be so "coordinated" with their passer-in-chief.

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 4:58pm

Or for Aaron, Ennis envy, seeing as he was from the Big 10.

Enis, just to make the joke worse.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:01pm

"Tuesday Morning Quarterback will resume tracking the NFL in Iran."

Yes, because the cheerleaders in Qum are so hot.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:04pm

"Tuesday Morning Quarterback will resume tracking the NFL in Iran."

Yes, because the cheerleaders in Qum are so hot.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:08pm

Solomonic cheerleader chant:
"Cut that kid"

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:10pm

Ooops. Doubleshot.

"worst defeat in football history"

Uhhhhhh, what about Georgia Tech's demolition of hapless Cumberland 222-0 in 1916?

Cumberland was so horrible, and so overmatched, they resorted to kick the ball back immediately after receiving it following a Yellowjackets' touchdown.

GT ended up cutting the quarters by three minutes to end the game sooner and agreed to never pass the ball to keep the clock running.

Coach Heisman's squad recorded 978 yards on the ground (upon hearing that, King yells, "Must've had Travis Henry on the team!"). The game never stopped to move GT's chains (they always scored within four downs).

At the end of the game, Tech scrimmaged for half of an hour. Coach thought they hadn't had a good enough practice.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:11pm

I wasn’t too impressed with his qualification of “Well, blitzes do work, but only in the first few weeks of the year.� I don’t remember him saying that before the season started, so I don’t think hindsight counts.

He says that every year.

by JohnnyFever (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:14pm

In an attempt to completely derail the conversation (sorry) I just want to point out to everyone how completely disturbing those Old Spice-NASCAR commercials are. You have a bunch of shirtless rednecks (who presumably stink) in various homoerotic poses, all to some song that says "the more we get together, the happier we'll be..." My God.

by JG (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:15pm

pawnking: I remember Easterbrook claiming the same thing about blitzes(working early, not late) last season too, so it's not entirely without precedent. How true it is I'm not sure. I mean, I will absolutely agree that blitzes open things up and give the offense big plays, but they can work the other way around too. A great example was during the Bears/Lions game. The Bears FS Chris Harris came on the blitz, Harrington threw the ball and Mike Brown stepped infront to pick off the poor throw. Oddly enough, TMQ mentions this play as a favorite Mike Brown play of the week, without mentioning that a blitz set up the play.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:17pm

"Tuesday Morning Quarterback calls the place where the Steelers play Ketchup Field."

It's also falling apart. Click on name for breaking news of a stadium that's broken!

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:20pm

"In 2003, 1,057,640 boys participated in high school football -- and 1,615 girls did."

The girls have gone on to helm the offensive lines of the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.

by Rufus O. Hifflelumpenberger (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:22pm

"but I get e-mail protesting that Tuesday Morning Quarterback is too short."

Not from me.

by Pat (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:25pm

The girls have gone on to helm the offensive lines of the Houston Texans, Minnesota Vikings and Baltimore Ravens.

I think that's insulting to the girls.

Seriously, though, I'm waiting for the year when a female kicker comes along to actually challenge for the NFL. I know there've been several who tried to get into the college football level.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:28pm

Then she'll get drunk up in Canada and trash Manning, Harrison and the rest of the Colts.

We've come along way, Baby.

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:29pm

As long as the female kicker in question is Kathy Ireland, I'm for it.

by Independent George (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:37pm

#19: you know, that line bothered me, too, for a different reason. How do you not release the ball if you're hit in the middle of a throw? I've never played QB, but I imagine that holding onto the football one-handed in the middle of a throwing motion while being mauled by a D-lineman sounds pretty darned difficult.

Didn't TMQ used to have a featured called "Stop me before I... Hey, it worked!", dedicated to successful blitzes?

by B (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:39pm

Holding onto a football one-haned while getting plastered by a 300 lb lineman sounds like a good recepie for a fumble.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:44pm

Yes, because the cheerleaders in Qum are so hot.

I don't think it's spelled "Qum" ...

(Sorry. I couldn't help it.)

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:47pm

"Solomonic cheerleader chant:
'Cut that kid'"

Or, "halftime."

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:49pm

"if they were to win a superbowl, GE would be finally forced to admit that these elements can in fact win games"

Yes, New England and St. Louis weren't enough proof for him. Adding Philadelphia to the list won't help.

by zach (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 5:57pm

you have a point carl, but the key is getting all the hated elements in there.

by zip (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 6:16pm


Because of an absolutely worthless O-Line, the Vikes’ defense has had to spend a lot of time on the field.

Spending a lot of time on the field doesn't excuse blown coverage leading to a 70 yard TD on the second play of the game, and giving up two TDs on their first two possessions.

You want to talk about a defense getting worn down by an offense that can't move the ball, look at Buffalo versus Tampa Bay this week. But Minnesota gave up 14 points on the first two possessions and 27 points in the first half, I don't think that's just because their poor defense was "tired."

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 6:25pm

I'm not defending blown coverage, Zip, but it should be noted that the Bengals held the ball for 12 minutes in the first quarter.


This dominance was repeated in the fourth.

The Vikes couldn't hold onto the ball long enough. They wanted to give it away!

I think Culpepper's two sacks are more indicative of the kind of game he faced than the multitude of interceptions.

by TMK (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 6:27pm


If your background in the game is anywhere near what it seems to be, you know that only did Vanderjagt NOT get "liquored up," but he had several personal and family reasons to make sure that he doesn't get drunk in public. All of that was laid out in an ESPN mag piece on Vanderjagt months after the incident.

Not that Peyton was ever made to address that, of course. We can't have our golden boys actually being called on being a jerk in public. It would affect the image.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 6:50pm

OK, I concede that I don't really follow the offseason drinking habits of AFC South kickers.

Punters, yes. Kickers, never!

I don't know if he was drunk or not, TMK. I was just recalling a funny moment in kicker history.

For all I know, Martin and Bill Gramatica do a wonderful foxtrot; Jan Zendejas has a full head of hair and Sebastian Janikowski buses tables at the Police Athletic League flapjack fundraiser.

I suspect, however, that LSU has dedicated a new dorm at Baton Rouge to the everlasting memory of Alexis Serna.

by Carl (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 6:53pm

"but I imagine that holding onto the football one-handed in the middle of a throwing motion while being mauled by a D-lineman sounds pretty darned difficult."

At that point, the better quarterbacks yell, "Tuck! Tuck!"

by TMK (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 7:02pm

I don't about the other stuff, Carl; it was never printed in a mass circulation magazine as a major story.

I like most of your stuff; and you usually have your facts lined up, so it was surprising to see you go for a cheap laugh.

by mel (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 8:02pm

why does the link to the article show up as plain text in the RSS feed????
and where's the link to the article on this page (i checked the source: nowhere on this page does it say:http://nfl.com/news/story/8869519) ????
the title doesn't; it points here:
TMQ: Remember the Titans


by Duane (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 8:41pm

Re: #17, and Stop Me Before I Blitz Again: On the 62-yard game-icing touchdown pass to Cleveland's Heiden, Mark Roman called off the blitz when Dilfer audibled at the line. In one of the rare moments when crowd noise works in favor of a visiting offense, the defensive call was not heard by the linebackers, who proceeded to be part of the seven men across the line, thereby leaving Roman out to dry, as it were. Granted, Paris Lenon is partly culpable for not recognizing the change, but the roaring home fans are equally culpable. (Mea culpa: It was deafening, as it should have been in that situation. But what's a fan to do?)

by Brad (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 9:50pm

I will have to admit that I haven't read all the comments on hee yet, so I could be missing something someone else already said -- but I was pretty surprised TMQ didn't mention "Tis better to have rushed and lost than never to have rushed at all" in relation to the Colts. They had problems on offense all day -- yet in the deciding drive they rush 14 times to pound it right at the Jags instead of passing it by them. And on 3rd and 6 they ran it in! Am I missing something -- or is TMQ?

by sippican (not verified) :: Tue, 09/20/2005 - 11:16pm

I always enjoy TMQ.

A few things:
I rarely click on the cheer babes links. I clicked on the eagles babe. Holy Krakatoa, Batman.

I'm tired of the Americans don't give enough in charity crap. It's not true. The entire GNP of every european country and many non-european countries has been 5% higher minimum for the last 55 years because we shouldered the defense costs of holding off the USSR. The number is in the trillions.

Private charities are the preferred method of giving for americans. People try to portray the US as stingy by ignoring private charity. They dwarf the giving, both by percentage and dollar figure, of the rest of the world.

Giving money to Africa for aids drugs will kill more people than it saves. The afflicted people will simply stay alive longer to infect more people. Behavioral changes are necessary to stem the epidemic, whether money is lavished on treatment or not. It makes people like TMQ happy to say we should spend more on drugs, but it's counterproductive.

A few million dollars to spray DDT in Africa would save millions of people every year who die of malaria, but DDT is banned because of environmental mandates forced on African countries by environmentalists. DDT is safe for humans, and its impact on wildlife was wildly overstated.

Spray a few pennies worth of DDT, save billions of africans. Spend billions on AIDS drugs to make TMQ feel better, sentence additional millions to death.

I'll take the DDT.

by DavidH (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:29am

I'm not gonna disagree - the cheerbabe was hot. But where is this "sensuous" picture he's talking about? I was expecting maybe her partially nude on some satin sheets with candles lit in the background. I saw a bunch of shots of her in a swimsuit, smiling for the camera, nothing particularly special.

by jack (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:45am

re 49
Since when are you the authority on "Africa"? Africa is an absolutely huge god damn continent with a lot more than just aids and malaria in it. TMQ needs to get off his high horse, but so do you. Since a banned pesticide might have a more immediate impact(despite not being viable since it is, ya know, banned) AIDS patients don't deserve drugs? Oh yeah, I forgot, those silly africans are too stupid to not infect more people. Good thing americans like you are around to tell those crazy folks how to behave.

by Pat F. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:47am

I agree that TMQ doesn't seem as good this year. Seems almost like he's going through the motions.

My main gripe with this one is his reaction to the NASA announcement. I'm a wholehearted NASA apologist, I'll admit it, but he's way off on that one. The original Shuttle design could've gone to the moon; that was scaled back trying to cut costs to get the budget through Congress. The new vehicle does go back to capsule technology, as the Shuttle proved to be much more costly than it was worth, but unlike the Apollo design it's semi-reusable(~10 flights per) and built on Shttle technology, specifically the boosters. It can also carry a TON more than Apollo ever could. They're going back to the moon because the plan is to establish a long-term base there to conduct experiments, research the geology up close, etc., so they will have stuff to do. And best of all, that whole program costs $104 billion -- the Apollo program cost $125 billion 2005 dollars! (according to Wikipedia) So in reality it's more analogous to announcing that you could make a faster, sturdier, higher-range wooden prop plane for 16.8% less 50 years after the Wright brothers made theirs. Oddly enough, that was precisely the case in that situation as well.

RE: sippican, by your logic treating any disease is counterproductive. And in some ways it is. And you're right, behavioral changes are needed more than just drugs. But various groups ARE working to promote such changes; "money for AIDS drugs" is a catch-all for the overall treatment of the disease. The cute little "teach a man to fish" proverb misses out on some important factors; if the man is too emaciated to haul in the fish, or if there aren't any edible fish nearby, or any of a bunch of other problems, knowing how to catch the fish does no good. The best approach is to give the whole village some fish to munch on while they all get the hang of fishing, which is what is at least starting to be done now with AIDS. Yes, cultural changes are needed if the epidemic is to be slowed/stopped, but just withholding the drugs(and other medical technology) while that happens won't make them happen any faster, it'll just piss the people off. There's obviously no cure for AIDS at this juncture, but with proper treatment many sufferers can at least carry on with some semblance of a normal life, rather than wasting away on a sidewalk. We have the means to make that possible in Africa, and TMQ's absolutely right that more needs to be done to make that possibility reality.

by james (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:05am

africa aids blah blah...

in other news some more dumb coaches did some more dumb shit and some more smart coaches did some more smart shit

5 syllables
7 syllables
5 syllables
7 syllables
-Dr. too much time on my hands

See I can be TMQ as well.

These articles are getting old. TMQ is becoming more predictable than Joe Gibbs. Still look forward to reading his article more than any other "expert' out there. Was highly pissed when it didnt come out until after 1 today.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:47am

The Vikings o-line was awful in game one, and serviceable in game two. The defense was serviceable in game one, and awful in game two. In the Bengals game they started running the ball very well, and then Bennett started fumbling, and Culpepper started throwing interceptions. The defense was too often placed in short field situations, but they allowed too many touchdowns early, whereupon Culppepper started throwing as if he wanted to score 14 points on every throw. Truly a team loss.

Their punter had a nice game, though.

by Alan Milnes (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:00am

If the Eagles and Patriots getting to the Superbowl last year didn't convince GE that a Coach can be GM and HC then nothing is going to change his mind about his prejudices - and that's probably the point of his column. It's not a real sports journalist one it's a fan with a typewriter - enjoy it for what it is.

by james (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:06am

re 55
Only two guys have ever been successful with it(head coach and GM) out of a bunch.

I think that is the point he is trying to make.

by wyote (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 8:21am

#49 seriously over-estimates US private donations, if he was talking about charity abroad. US Private foundations and NGOs give about $6 billion a year; .05% of US GNP. Including public donations, that brings US international aid to .21% of GNP, which is still among the lowest of nations that donate international aid.

I think TMQ's a windbag, but his numbers are right on this one.

In other news, Africa has more problems than AIDs and malaria; but in those two cases aid could make a huge difference: mosquito nets and condoms.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 8:38am

Spray a few pennies worth of DDT

And you have to parachute cats into Borneo.

No, it's not overstated. Get a clue.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:04am

Sadly, Pat, that effect of the DDT debate is overstated.

Wide-area, airborne spraying has effects on wildlife as described. But that's a wildly inefficient way to use DDT anyway (though effective at mosquito suppression).

If what you want is to limit the number of mosquitos biting people, rather than suppress the entire population in a region, then you selectively spay exterior walls of homes and other areas people tend to be. By doing that, you get most of the desired effect (keeping people from contracting mosquito-borne malaria) while minimizing environmental impact. And DDT is still the most effective way to do that.

Whereas, snapping, "get a clue," and linking to a children's morality play, is probably not the most effective way to convince people that your position has merit.

by jack (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:20am

"Whereas, snapping, “get a clue,� and linking to a children’s morality play, is probably not the most effective way to convince people that your position has merit."

Promoting a banned option(for malaria prevention) in place of a non-banned option(for aids prevention) is probably not the most effective way to convince people that your position has merit.
If you want to contribute to the fight against AIDS, DDT is not only banned but pointless.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 9:36am

Jack (#60 )--

Thanks for the tip, but I wasn't talking about AIDS. Telling me that DDT is ineffective for AIDS control misses my point entirely. To forestall your next message, fire extinguishers and parachutes are also ineffective in preventing the spread of AIDS, but that doesn't mean they are of no use in areas they're actually intended for.

And DDT is banned for export by most Western countries, but not for use in most African countries, which is how we've found out that selective spraying works for malaria control. So you're simply wrong, there.

And condoms for AIDS prevention (or any other use) *are* banned in many areas of Africa, since they contravene various religious laws and local customs. I've linked a BBC article about such a ban in Zambia from last year. So you're wrong there, as well.

by JPC (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 10:03am

#49 said "Giving money to Africa for aids drugs will kill more people than it saves. The afflicted people will simply stay alive longer to infect more people. "

This is so completely ignorant and ridiculous that it's hard to contemplate people actually think this way.

by MET (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 10:11am

Re #10

He did mention in an article last year where a punt from inside the opponents half was a good move as it pinned a poor offence near the goal line against a good defense. I think it was a Buffalo game.

by Sophandros (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 10:26am


I've been wondering why some of the soccer women don't try out. I remember Mia Hamm drilling a few kicks on some video.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 10:34am

JPC (#62 )--

Sadly, that proposition is not nearly as ridiculous as it should be.

Since there are folks in Western countries who take their retrovirals and indulge in unprotected sex (sometimes with unknowing partners), the blanket condemnation of sippican in #49 is actually even less valid than his blanket assertion. (Link to a BBC article on this phenomenon in the United States).

Sippican is probably exaggerating, to state that providing retrovirals to Africa will "sentence additional millions to death." But human behavior being what it is, it's a certainty that some in Africa whose lives are prolonged by such therapy, will spend their additional years infecting others, rather than suffer the inconvenience of using condoms.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 10:50am

"The Vikings o-line was awful in game one, and serviceable in game two."

Did we Tivo the same game, Will? I thought Game 2 was pretty much a confirmation of what I thought about Week 1, especially the pass blocking. I gave up counting the botched timing patterns Culpepper was counting on after seven. Tough to throw to that receiver when you're in the grasp of a beefy DT before the WR has even turned around.

Culpepper is pretty rugged and nimble, but he was hard pressed in Week 2 (against a defense I'm not so sure is all that good) to function in the pocket.

That might improve, and the Vikes are lucky to play in a weak division that's in a weak conference. But so far they don't look good, and that has NOTHING to do with Randy Moss, which some commentators are saying.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:28am

linking to a children’s morality play

It's not a children's morality play. Well, it is, partially, but it's also an true account of what happens when we play around (on a large scale) with things we don't understand. That's the point. In fact, it's a little worse than that. They thought they fixed the problems with DDT in Borneo by simply parachuting in 14,000 cats. Then the thatched houses collapsed due to another problem. Oh, and then they found out they couldn't fish due to another problem.

Blindly stating that DDT use is okay, because we know how to avoid the problems that occurred in Borneo is simply hubris. We simply don't know anything about ecological engineering - the world is littered with examples where people thought they had a solution that would be problem-free, and, well, it wasn't.

You know the saying "once bitten, twice shy"? That's what this is all about. The people who want to push DDT in Africa have a lot of work to do: first to prove that it's safe, and second to convince people that this time, they know what they're doing.

I think people that push DDT don't realize exactly how big an environmental disaster it caused. Regardless of whether it was used correctly or not, people are reasonable to be suspicious of it.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:28am

Carl, look at the first two drives, when they still had a chance to run the ball. If the test of a serviceable offensive line is the ability to pass protect well on the road when down 27-0, well, there ain't too many serviceable offensive lines in the NFL.

Once this team lost Moss, the key to success for them became sound defense (not giving up 75 yard passes on the second play of the game, for instance), and running the ball effectively (not fumbling on the first possession, for instance), while Culpepper still made use of his considerable talents, without making him go out and try to throw four touchdowns per game without a certain WR.

I actually thought Culpepper played well against Tampa Bay, which may have been helped by the fact that the defense had several three and outs against the Bucs. This is where football becomes so much more difficult to evaluate than baseball. Offensive and defensive perfomances are so much more interdependent that it becomes harder to identify what is causing what. I think the closest baseball equivalent is a good pitcher with a terrible fielding team behind him who then attempts to make every pitch perfect.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:32am

But so far they don’t look good, and that has NOTHING to do with Randy Moss, which some commentators are saying.

I'm not so sure that's true. Are you sure that the offensive line is playing worse because they are worse (okay, they're worse without Birk, sure), or because they're facing more of a pass rush because defenses aren't worried about a deep threat?

I mean, all it took before was one broken play, one long bomb to Moss, and the defense failed. One mistake, and they pay. You don't think defensive lines would play differently under those conditions?

by Adam H (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:49am

In light of all the problems the Vikings have I thought it was especially nice of Mike Tice to throw Peppy under the bus.

by Adam H (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:52am

Here it is, the bus throwing.

by Mike B. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 11:54am

Re: #70

Yeah, well, he's going to keep throwing until he's fired. Maybe week six, at this rate.

by billiamstein (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 12:02pm

re 70/71, who the hell is peppy? Thanks I guess for the link, but without being able to decode your naming scheme how am I supposed to find the "bus throwing" (what the hell is that supposed to mean anyway?) in a 2,900 word transcript?

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 12:43pm

Culpepper. Tice blamed the loss on Culpepper. "Throwing under the bus" means placing all the blame on.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 12:54pm


I'm going to go out on a limb and suggest that "Peppy" is Daunte CulPEPPer.

Here's the bus when it meets the All Pro speed bump:

"No, I thought they played three coverages yesterday. We just got to make sure as I said that we stay within the scope of scheme and just go down the list and ba-boom ba-boom ba-boom and that will take care of the rhythm in the passing game. I thought once we tried to get him (Daunte) some protection and the process of how we are going to read it out, tie all that together, and work hard to get open, continued to work hard in the accuracy of the depth of our routes, I think then it will all come together."

No. The defense wasn't the problem. And, well, we gave him "some protection."

I don't think my Tivo is lying. I think what I saw was accurate. The reason there wasn't a deep threat wasn't because the threat is playing in Oakland, but because there is no timing when a Bengals (!) defense is shredding your line.

Unlike the inimitable Mike "TicketMaster" Tice, I saw heard a different sort of "ba-boom ba-boom ba-boom." That was the sound of ol' Peppy hitting the grass: Twice for sacks, and the rest of the time in vain throw-it-away tosses or, most unfortunately, in forced lasers to cornerbacks in orange helmets.

Of course, none of this was because of "play calling" (Tice liked that because, well, Tice called a lot of the plays).

I could never figure out why Tice kept his job. He's kind of made the Vikes into a slightly better New Orleans Saints.

But I think his time has come. There's nothing wrong with Culpepper, and the receivers aren't shabby. They need to un-screw that line. Now.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:06pm

Pat, I don't necessarily dispute that losing a guy like Moss, a player who can truly stretch the field, would be a major loss.

But remember that Burleson is kind of lame right now (although he should be better for the next game), and I'm not sure anyone east of Seattle really believes Koren "Hands of Meatloaf" Robinson is the answer.

Tice does. Which probably says a lot about Tice.

When I forwarded through the game, I thought I saw a lot of timing patterns that were blown up NOT because of Culpepper misreading the play or the WR failing to get open.

It was more a problem of having to unload too soon too often. I agree that when you're trailing big you tend to have to throw more. But it's not exactly as if Daunte was throwing against the Bucs, Jacksonville or (I can't believe I'm saying this) Indianapolis on Sunday.

These are the Bengals! One is going to assume they'll hold the Browns to 13. I think we'll see the real Bengals D when they host Indianapolis.

Before the season started, I would have put the over/under at 106. I'm not so sure now.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:06pm

I haven't seen the Vikings play yet but from what most people are saying, the line is pretty bad for an NFL team. In years past though it's been considered one of the best in the league. What's the difference? Birk and Dixon gone? No Moss? A less credible running threat? Poor coaching finally caught up with them?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:08pm

Carl, you are too easy on Culpepper's performance against the Bengals. The first interception was a terrible throw under some pressure, and upper-echelon NFL quaterbacks are expected to make decent throws under some pressure. That said, if the defense doesn't give up 337 yards in the first half, and Bennett doesn't fumble twice, it might have been a competitive game, which is like saying that Mrs. Lincoln was seeing a nice play until it was interrupted.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:17pm

Losing Birk was very, very, big, and they are attempting to start a rookie at left guard, which is always a risky proposition. I know the consensus here is that Tice's I.Q. is lower than an offensive lineman's jersey number, but this team has traditionally had well coached offensive lines, including when that was Tice's responsibility. I do think that previous ownership let Linehan get away, by being so cheap with coaching salaries, and handcuffed Tice in seeking a replacement, which resulted in Loney taking on dual roles of offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. There's a reason this is done so infrequently; it tends not to work out very well.

by Scott de B. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:18pm

But human behavior being what it is, it’s a certainty that some in Africa whose lives are prolonged by such therapy, will spend their additional years infecting others, rather than suffer the inconvenience of using condoms.

It certainly doesn't help that the U.S. shuns aid to groups that distribute condoms and advocate their use in Africa.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:25pm

But remember that Burleson is kind of lame right now (although he should be better for the next game)

Will Carroll just suggested Burleson will be out for a while, actually.

It was more a problem of having to unload too soon too often. I agree that when you’re trailing big you tend to have to throw more.

Yah, but it's a question of why he was having to unload. Is the offensive line just incapable of pass protection anymore? Or are they facing different defenses?

The Vikings offensive line collapsed last year during the Vikings-Eagles game because the Eagles just kept pass rushing (Culpepper: 24/46, 316 yds, 1 TD, 2 INT). Not as bad as this year, yes, but way below his usual.

by zach (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:36pm

i personally am of the opinion that our gov't shouldn't be donating any money to AIDS relief in africa, simply because there is a debate about whether or not that actually helps. let me rephrase that - the fact that there is a debate means that our government shouldn't be donating money, regardless of what side of that debate you stand on.

that way, if you feel that donating money to AIDS relief is helpful, you can still do so yourself, and in fact choose the exact way in which you want to do so. if you don't, or if you don't like the way the government does it, then you're not forced to participate by having a percentage of your tax money go towards it. simple. if we really should be giving more, GE would do better to plead for more private contributions, rather than suggest that more of our tax money needs to go towards it.

re 67: your basic reasoning, "don't mess with what we don't understand", would preclude all kinds of research (especially GM-related) that could feed and treat billions.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:47pm

Pat (#67 )--

It's true that using DDT, as we did in the '50s, caused big problems. But malaria is a big problem, and I'm inclined to err on the side of "save millions of lives" over the precautionary principle.

In any case, I'd be perfectly content to let the African countries actually affected by the use/non-use of DDT, make that choice.

Scott de B. (#80 )--

Since the behavior described in the article I linked, actually occurred in the United States, where "aid to groups that distribute condoms and advocate their use in Africa" has zero impact, I'm not sure what you're trying to refute. The U.S. government doesn't have magical powers to make private individuals halfway around the world change their behavior.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 1:57pm

"Will Carroll just suggested Burleson will be out for a while, actually."

I agree completely, Pat. I was being facetious. Tice is the one who is crowing that Burleson might be back any day now, but I'm skeptical.

In the meantime, enjoy Koren Robinson!

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:10pm

Losing Birk was huge. But it was NOT expected. The Vikes knew he had to get surgery, but refused to (1) guarantee his contract and (2) find a free agent replacement under the PUP exemption they would have received by shelving him.

Maybe the dickering over the sale of the franchise had something to do with this. Maybe the duties that accrued to an offensive staff trying to revamp the team after Moss departed had something to do with it.

And maybe Tice's inability to understand the implications of losing Birk and Moss had A LOT to do with this.

Regression analysis is pretty clear about the devastation that happens to teams when they lose starting O-linemen and WRs for one game. You can imagine what the losses do for a season.

The left side of the line, I thought while scanning, looked OK. Tice yaps about getting Wiggins "involved," but Wiggins was spending a lot of time in protection. If he's going to help the team more by catching short, quick passes rather than blocking, then that's what the COACH should do with the play calling.

You know, the Vikes aren't exactly a team with a lot of depth at tackle (right or left).

Kleinsasser was the prototypical blocking tight end who could catch a little (with some of the biggest biceps I've ever seen in a NFL locker room), but that knee injury from last year isn't quite healed.

If Wiggins isn't going to be used for catches, then maybe Kleinsasser should be used more than he is, perhaps in a two TE set that will give Culpepper more short options until they start stretching the field.

At this point, Tice seems ready to make Robinson his downfield target. Good luck.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:10pm

Oooops. not UNexpected.

by Trogdor (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:31pm

The lizards kill all the pigeons, then the town is overrun with lizards. Then we bring in Japanese needle snakes that eat the lizards, but the town is overrun with the snakes. Then we bring in special gorillas from Africa that eat the snakes, but then won't the town be overrun with gorillas? That's the beauty of it - when winter comes the gorillas simply freeze to death, problem solved.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:36pm

Carl, if it wasn't unexpected, why didn't he just have both hip labrums operated on at once? From what I read, the second tear was not discovered until Birk went to see a different doctor in August, after experiencing unexpected continued discomfort.

As to Robinson, well, at least they haven't guaranteed much money to him. The first challenge is for the guy to stay sober, which is certainly no gimme. Then they'll find out if he can meaningfully contribute. I'm not expecting a replay of the Cris Carter theft, but they don't have much to lose at this point, because from this point on, if they don't become an effective running team, six wins will be an accomplishment.

by zach (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:42pm

on the topic of pseudo-intellectual football commentary, who is this Rich Eisen joker?

by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 2:44pm

I read an article about some scientists that were changing the DNA or whatever of some mosquitos so that they would be unable to spread malaria. There were some concerns, obviously.

The article was on Salon. Should be easy to find if you are interested. It's pretty wild stuff.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:03pm

Trogdor: But who cleans up the dead gorillas? Willie, that's who.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:07pm

Will, the way it was related to me was that the sports hernias led to deteriorating labrums on both sides of the hip. One was determined to be an immediate candidate for surgery and the other a "concern."

He had pain on both sides, of course, but everyone in the NFL hurts.

There was some talk that he wouldn't have been ready for the season even if he didn't have the second operation, but someone would have to ask him about that.

All I know is that Withrow is giving up close to 30 pounds on this side of the line, allowing for pretty deep penetration from what I've seen. Not to mention not exactly being in sync with "Peppy," but I might be reading into that.

Birk has played through some pretty painful hernias in the past, and he probably would have sucked it up and held the center with a ripped labrum. But the Vikes would've had to have guaranteed that salary.

I mean, when you have five operations in a year, you might be a red flag in some coach's or GM's in box. Especially after he missed four games the year before.

Maybe I'm wrong.

Off the top of my head, I think Kevin Long was a salary cap casualty from the Titans. He was pretty serviceable. And the tall Rabach from the Ravens. I think he's with the 'Skins now. Not sure.

No, they're not exactly All Pro replacements, but they might have been worth looking at when Birk went under the knife the first time.

At this point, maybe I'd consider (I can't believe I'm saying this) Adam Goldberg. At least he's big. You can't coach huge.

I'm trying to guess which week Culpepper will go down too hard for the last time. Then we can watch the ever so mobile Brad Johnson at work!


by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:09pm

Salon article linked. I think.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:16pm


I'm serious, if you can get a copy of the children's book mentioned in my above link, get it. It's hilarious.

Starshatterer (#83):

True, true, fair point, and I'd agree with you. Truth is I was really arguing against downplaying the risks of DDT. It is seriously, seriously dangerous and should be used with extreme caution. But then again, you can say the same thing about chemotherapy. Saying that the reason we don't use it is because the risks are overstated isn't right. We don't use it because we're worried, for good reason.

by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:18pm

I'm no expert but I think Fumblepepper holds the ball too long. I think he waits until a guy is two or three steps open before he throws the ball. I don't think I have ever seen him throw any kind of timing pattern.

Again, I'm no expert. But I have watched just about every game he has played in and discussed his technique with a local small college QB coach who's main beef with Pepper was that, "He doesn't throw on time." Oh, and I stayed at a Holiday Inn last night.

by Parker (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:23pm

To illustrate the point. There is a particular play (don't remember what quarter) where Robinson runs a comeback pattern (if that's what it is called). Pepper double clutches before releasing the ball. On the replay, we see Robinson drive his man off, stop and turn around. Funny, the ball is not there. About a second or second and a half later the ball arrives, which is right when the defender does. Ball knocked down, incomplete.

I understand that Robinson should be moving toward the ball to protect his QB, but I also expect the ball to be there on time.

by jds (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:28pm

Will/Carl, I think you've got it pegged on the Vikes O-line. As for blame as well, cheapness of former ownership must play a part as well as stupidity/being-out-of-touch on the coaches part. Last year the Vikes had an offensive line coach and an OC. OC goes to Miami - solution, give his duties to the O-line coach. This was the solution prior to the ownership change, and should be remedied by the new head coach after they can Tice.

I also read Tice's press conference after the first game, and it was clear he did not know his guard's name. He was questioned about the O-line play, and twice his answer was with reference to "the kid". I then scanned the Vikes depth chart to see who he was referring to (and I guess "the kid" must be Johnson), but I don't think he knew "the kid's" name.

Another thing from the depth chart, the Vikes list a starter at each position and one back-up (more for the center, but that's probably a long-snapper). But the one guy they list as backing up every position is the same guy: Adam Goldberg. Is it realistic to field a team with 6 guys available for the 5 interior line positions?

All in all, the fact that they are being under-coached, the head coach doesn't know the names of the players, and the fact that they are under-manned in terms of bodies available suggests to me that this situation is not going to be fixed any time soon.

PS. The fact that they didn't have a RB to replace the Whiz doesn't help this situation at all. You are right, if anything happens to Culpepper and they have to put the mobile Brad Johnson in, things may get scarier.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:44pm

J, I haven't seen an updated Vikes depth chart in awhile, but the last one I got (in the mail thanks to the timely PR machine) shows Owens as a TE backup, and Fowler as the second C (not much of an upgrade over the starter) and Tony Herrera as a filler G/T.

Ironically, this is a Vikings team with a lot of depth at LB and DL.

I think the original idea about Kleinsasser was to slot him as a FB and use his considerable strength, size and catching ability to either open up the running game or pass protect for "Peppy."

At this point, I'm not sure it wouldn't be a bad idea to put him permanently at FB (for better blocking and short screens) and line Owens on the right in 2-TE sets, giving Culpepper three short targets.

I'm not sure who on the practice squad is a TE. I don't think it would be prudent to make Loeffler your backup TE.

TEs are pretty fungible, however, and there are guys out there who can play backup.

This is all pie-in-the-sky because there's no way the Vikes would ever implement this. But other teams have had success with this kind of emergency makeover.

I doubt Tice would be the guy to do it.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 3:54pm

Another solution would be to woo David Dixon back. Whether he would leave his coaching duties as offensive lineman coach at Champlin Park H.S. is open for debate.

The Vikes realized they might have some problems on the O-line during the summer. But rather than pay Dixon more than $800,000 per year, they decided to let him retire.

The guy was an unrestricted free agent after a zillion years, and no missed games, for the Vikes.

He's probably out of shape now, but he was big, strong and mean. Think anyone would move him off the line?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:08pm

You don't have to be a Tice supporter to recognize that all sorts of head coaches, even some with HOF credentials, don't refer to their rookie players by their names, and that isn't proof that they don't know their names. Again, this organization has had very well-coached o-lines since Tice has been in the organization. No doubt it has hurt them to have Loney handling both jobs, but that was the last owner's decision, not Tice's.

Carl, if you want to fault Tice for failure to pick up another center, fine, but I also think they were pleased with Herrera's play well into training camp, prior to his getting a staph infection from which he is just now recovered.

Parker, you are correct. Culpepper's biggest fault as a QB is that he holds the ball for a very long time. When they frequently went max protection, it was not so critical, due to the coverages a certain WR dictated. They don't have that luxury anymore, which is one reason why they really need to become an effective running team again.

Finally, I'll note how difficult is to evaluate QB performance based on t.v. coverage. Without being able to see more of the field it becomes tough to to see what the quarterback should be seeing.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:11pm

Carl --

Maybe the Vikes can hire Dixon as a line coach. ;-)

Can't hurt. Might help. Maybe fire Tice first?

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:14pm

Carl, I heard that Dixon has become EXTREMELY overweight, but perhaps that is just a rumor.

He was a mean hombre, though.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:18pm

Mike Tice is kinda beefy. Maybe he should get out there and help out the old team. He isn't doing much athinkin' and afigurin' for 'em on the sidelines.

If I know the Vikings, however, they'll fire Tice and woo Wannstedt out of Pitt to replace him. Or pick up a Jim Haslett clone. Or (name your very good NFL assistant to a very bad head coach) here.

Perhaps the problem starts at the front office, and not with Tice.

by Will Allen (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:37pm

The Vikings have had mediocre management and ownership since Jim Finks left in the early 70s, which makes it somewhat amazing that they have had what success they have experienced. They haven't been terrific, but they have made the playoffs a bunch, and have been to 3 conference championships in the past 18 years. Maybe that was just luck, but I do think that talent evaluators Frank Gilliam and Jerry Reichow, who both came in way back in the dawn of the Bud Grant era, and were on the payroll until well to the end of the Denny Green era, were pretty good. In fact, the more that Denny got control over personnel, the worse the personnel got, with the very large exception of Randy Moss. I always though that if the Vikings had drafted Warren Sapp instead of Derrick Alexander, they might have won a Super Bowl, but perhaps they wouldn't have gotten a crack at Moss in 98 if Sapp had been on their roster.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:37pm

Maybe Dixon and Tice can trade jobs. Dixon can offer Tice his superbowl tickets to compensate for the salary discrepency. I'm sure Tice would be more qualified to coach a high school team than the Vikings.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 4:58pm


Well, too bad this didn't happen last year when the floodgates of coaching jobs opened up. Brad Childress was available, and maybe someone could've wooed Jim Johnson, though I doubt it. Now, of course, Childress has got a long contract, so nuts to them.

by Jeff J. (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:14pm

Wow, all this talk of Tice and pigeon-eating lizards has my head hurting.

Somewhere upthread somebody mentioned that Gibbs is predictable. Madden whined about him being conservative with the offense.

Guess he wasn't either in the fourth quarter, was he?

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:20pm

Anyone can be daring when you're down 13 points with 3 minutes left.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:20pm

Maybe Sapp can eat the lizards. Or gorillas. I'm kind of confused about the order of fauna masticating at this point.

If Will is right, then Dixon has been eating all the lizards, pigeons AND gorillas. All that, and wrapped in spandex speaking Kiwi.


by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:22pm

"Anyone can be daring when you’re down 13 points with 3 minutes left."

But see, Dave Wannstedt.

Handoff to running back... Handoff to running back... Incomplete pass in heavy coverage... 4 and 2, punt...

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:32pm

But see, Dave Wannstedt.

Well, that's not surprising. We're talking about the same guy who had faith in A.J. Feeley.

by Pat (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:36pm

Maybe Sapp can eat the lizards. Or gorillas. I’m kind of confused about the order of fauna masticating at this point.

Incidentally, my favorite example of exactly how stupid humans are at ecological engineering is mongooses in Hawai'i. The mongoose was introduced to try to control the rat population.

Rats are nocturnal.
Mongooses are diurnal.

They aren't awake during the same portion of the day.

by B (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:45pm

Pat: That's what the mongoose coffee shops are for.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:46pm

OK. I'm really confused now. Do the mongoose and rats eat the gorillas? Maybe DDT can kill a mongoose?

Does Dixon eat DDT? Titans? Mike Tice?

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 5:52pm

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the horrible job the Cowboys did to run out the clock after the first 'Skins TD. I think the sequence went... incomplete pass, run + penalty (first down), incomplete pass, complete pass called back by penalty, run, complete pass... and they didn't even manage to burn off 60 seconds from the clock. The Redskins only had 2 timeouts. I know it's a moot point because it wasn't a long drive downfield, but they left way too much time on the clock.

Contrast that with the 'Skins running out the clock. They ran it 3 times to Portis... and took more time off the clock. As sweet as a pass for a first is, the risk is higher and people underestimate the value of having timeouts during last minute drives.

So with under 3 minutes left if you run 3 times... you'll take off 15 seconds if you're unsuccessful, but the stress on an offense with no timeouts is greater.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:09pm

FACTOID THAT MAY ONLY INTEREST ME: at 4.20pm Wednesday, the TMQ comment thread caught and passed the MMQB thread, despite TMQ being TAQ again this week.

Anyone know what the speed record for that one is?

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:10pm

Ahhh... Mike Tice and Dave Wandnstedt.

See, good assistant coaches who never should have been given had coaching positions. Also see: Norv Turner, Dave Campo, Richie Pettebon, Brian Billick.

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:22pm


It's in King Kaufman's Salon contract to have the last word on any Peter King-related thread. We were honoring that, and then some MMQB scofflows (see Pat) decided to pile on.

Bad cricket.

by Matthew Furtek (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:23pm

Better Column Siting of the Week 2:
I propose FO stop Extra Pointing MMQB and start Extra Pointing Bill "Boston Fanboy Extraordinarie" Simmons' Friday Afternoon "How to Lose Your House in Vegas" column.

He's a better writer than Peter King ever will be. I like how we can all be experts because of the Internet...

by zlionsfan (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:26pm

Re #82: that pretty much rules out any use of tax money for charitable causes, doesn't it? I can't think of one cause that would muster unanimous support.

By the way, Monday night's game?

Worst. Playcalling. Ever.

I can understand wanting to be unpredictable by passing when they're expecting a run to kill the clock, but really, that only seems to be worth the risk if you've been able to pass successfully earlier in the game.

The funny thing is that on the first TD pass, I think, Brunell underthrew Moss yet again, but Williams didn't know the ball was coming, so Moss was able to reel it in. An alert DB might have turned for the ball and perhaps deflected it ...

by Carl (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:34pm

" I like how we can all be experts because of the Internet"

Hey! I pay my dues to the Association! I'm an expert because I get the Radisson Hotel discount on game days (subject to not getting it on game days)!

by zach (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 6:48pm

Re #82: that pretty much rules out any use of tax money for charitable causes, doesn’t it? I can’t think of one cause that would muster unanimous support.

exactly. and what would be so wrong with that? charity is supposed to be voluntary. tax money is supposed to be used to run the country.

by mactbone (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 7:54pm

And part of what makes a country run is having other countries to interact with. There are many instances where the US spends money to help another country and gains a valuable ally and trading partner.

BTW, what is up with Simmons? Nothing new all week. Also, I'm starting to think Pasquerelli isn't that bad but he's notorious for pumping up players and team officials with less than altruistic motives. I really can't totally trust the guy because of that.

by Starshatterer (not verified) :: Wed, 09/21/2005 - 8:30pm

BTW, what is up with Simmons?
The Patriots lost, and the Sox are trying to lose the division to the Yankees. He's probably hiding from his bookies.

by Daniel (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 12:52am

DDT is being used in many parts of Africa to combat malaria and has been very successful. The difference is that they only apply a fraction of the amount that was used in the U.S. during the 1960s and 70s. While that is well and good there is enough evidence that DDT is harmful to many other lifeforms and should be used carefully. It is, after all, a poison.
As for changing behavioral tendencies among African population to combat AIDs I would agree that in principle it is a good theory. But you are talking about the second largest continent and it is home to millions of people speaking several thousand different languages. Communicating reliable information to large masses of population is nearly impossible. I think GE missed the point about the African leaders by failing to mention that the majority of these rulers are direct descendants of the rulers that collaborated with Europe and America to enslave their own people. And that these leaders maintain their lofty status through a continued partnership with foreign nations and corporations that continue to exploit the natural resources without providing any gain for the common citizens.

by Joey (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 2:32am

Africa is so screwed up you can point a finger in any direction and hit on somebody who's to blame in some way. I agree we should probably do more to help them, but the U.S. isn't the only country in the First World. What about the countries who had colonies over there? Shouldn't they be the natural choice to take the lead? God knows they took everything they could out of that continent. Then there's the UN—representatives of which I'm sure were filling up every luxury suite not already occupied by officials from the needy nations.

America is an unbelievably generous nation but part of our hubris is we tend to believe generosity can cure every ill. If that were the case, there'd never be an empty bed in a shelter as long as there was somebody homeless.

by Kevin Beane (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 10:13am

Re: Bill Simmons. I agree it should become an "Extra Point" here. But should they just do his NFL columns, or branch out into his, "Here's another group of people who think I'm RIGHT about the WNBA and dese silly wimmin'." columns? Or how about his, "I'm the epitome of the alpha male, let's hoot at athletes who do unmanly things that FHM would disapprove of." columns? Or his columns where he can't think of an ending? Oh wait, that's all of them.

(But I still read almost everything he does because he IS funny as hell.)

by MDS (not verified) :: Thu, 09/22/2005 - 1:20pm

Click my initials for an article about the use of DDT in South Africa.

by Ballard Fremont Edmonds (not verified) :: Fri, 09/23/2005 - 8:23pm

Carl, re: #76 even way out here in Seattle we know that Koren Dropinson will help the Vikes the same way Bret Boone helped the Twins. We probably know it better than most, actually. Both moves were good for the Seattle native in me, but made me wince for my Minesota in-laws.

On a related note, the Seahawks picked up Peter Warrick, billed as a punt return specialist, and so far he's mis-played all but one or two punts. He's as bad in real life as he is on Madden 2006. Someone in Cincinnati is laughing.

by j (not verified) :: Mon, 09/26/2005 - 8:17pm

I really wish TMQ would stop bringing up the "average" gain from a blitz versus a straight defense. Averages are not a particularly good statistical indicator of success. If he has the data in a little spread sheet somewhere he should give the "median" gain of the blitz versus the straight defense. That will tell you what is more likely to happen as it smooths out the extremes on both ends.