Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

27 Jan 2014

Mandatory Monday: Super Spectacle

How to turn the Super Bowl into the holiday it truly is. As usual, I am doing gags heading into the week so I don't burn out on other things, but stick around to the end for a piece what makes Russell Wilson unique enough to lead the Seahawks to the Super Bowl.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 27 Jan 2014

15 comments, Last at 27 Jan 2014, 11:22pm by young curmudgeon


by Jerry :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 9:07am

This seems like an an appropriate place to post this link on some Super Bowl ephemera:


by Jeff M. :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 9:18am

When you mention your "Alex Smith is just as good as Russell Wilson" post here on FO, you may want to add a "by the way, I completely ignore FO's stats for this one" disclaimer (note that "replacement level" Fitzpatrick outperformed Smith this year by DVOA).

by Jeff M. :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 9:50am

Ok, this motivated me enough to actually go back and quickly do the analysis.

Seahawks had zero margin of error in regular season or playoffs, so we start by assuming the only candidates are guys who played as well as Wilson (Manning, Rivers, Brees, Ryan, Foles, Brady, Romo, Kaep by DYAR, but when we add rushing value in he passes up the last two and nearly matches Brady).

Next we adjust for context (the Seahawks offense) by removing less-efficient guys who only beat him on volume (Ryan and Brady) and we have to significantly regress Foles' performance in predicting him in a new system, so he's out too (but in exchange we'll add Rodgers, figuring that TJack could have kept them in it during the injury, and maybe Brady back in on career stats).

So a fairly conservative reasonable projection is that the Seahawks would have performed as well with Peyton, Rivers, Brees, Rodgers, and maybe Brady.

by dank067 :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:18am

Yes, but even though I (and probably most people who visit this site) think DVOA and DYAR are pretty good stats, they still don't analyze QBs in a vacuum- it's Russell Wilson playing with the Seahawks OL, WRs, defense, scheme, etc.

Even though I would mostly agree that it's unlikely that Alex Smith leads Seattle to the Super Bowl this year, note that in San Francisco in 2012 he put up a very similar passing DVOA to Wilson this season (14.8% vs. 16%) and a higher rushing DVOA (27.1% vs. 23.1%)- albeit with a little less than half as many attempts (if you prorate Smith's 2012 rushes to 16 games). But hell, Smith had a higher rushing DVOA than Wilson this season too, and his # of runs was in the same ballpark (60 to 79).

by Ryan D. :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:19pm

"a whole-family trip to D.U.I. McStaggerkeggers"

My sides hurt from laughing at this. Thanks, Mike!

by Sixknots :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 12:47pm

For non-northwesterners, it's pronounced goo-eee-duck.

by NoraDaddy :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 1:19pm

Geoduck digging was featured on one episode of Dirty Jobs so many of us non-NorthWesterners have actually heard of the beast. I've never seen it on a menu or in a store though.

by Independent George :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 6:48pm

Yup, that's how I first learned of it, too. There's a hilarious YouTube clip somewhere of Mike Rowe making nonstop penis jokes about it.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 1:32pm

So "geo" = "goo-ee"? Huh, kind of like how "Favre" = "Farve" I guess.

by rbc :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:43pm

It's from Coast Salish (if I recall), or maybe another of the local Native American languages. The same word is sometimes transliterated as "gweduc" or "gweduck," which gives a better idea of its pronunciation.

Minimal sports relevance: Geoducks is also the nickname of the teams at Evergreen State College in Olympia, WA. See Evergreen.edu/geoduck/

by young curmudgeon :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 5:32pm

If only the Evergreen State Geoducks would play UC Santa Cruz (the Banana Slugs)--I'd pay good money to see that!

by young curmudgeon :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:03pm

"the heavy metal we listened to as teenagers: Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, Jethro Tull"

Is this a "one of these things is not like the others" moment? I never thought of Jethro Tull as heavy metal in the way that Iron Maiden and Judas Priest were. OTOH, I'm not sure where I would categorize them. And I wasn't all that taken with Aqualung and didn't pay too much attention to them after that. So I'm not the best judge, but finding Tull on this list surprised me a little.

by dbostedo :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 6:57pm

That's a bit of a joke relating to the Grammy's, as Jethro Tull won "Best Metal Album" one year for a metal album that pretty much was not metal. So yes, one of those things is intentionally and jokingly not like the others.

by young curmudgeon :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 11:22pm

Wait, Tanier was making a joke?!? Mike Tanier?!?

Thanks for the explanation--among the things I've paid even less attention to than Jethro Tull's output after the first two or three albums is the grammies, so it went right by me.

by young curmudgeon :: Mon, 01/27/2014 - 3:08pm

Corned beef for new years? That's not going to go very well with the black-eyed peas and collards.