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05 Jan 2011

Walkthrough: Resume Builder

by Mike Tanier

Do you have your resume in order? Tony Softli does.

Softli was one of the early candidates for the 49ers general manager position. When he interviewed with the York family last week, writer David Fucillo of Niners Nation tracked down Softli's online resume using LinkedIn. Softli's former employers include the Rams, Panthers, and University of Washington. Nothing unusual there. Then, things get strange, as Softli clearly didn't prune away his early career listings:

  • Sales Rep at Nordstrom
  • District Manager & Outdoor Sales Rep at Black Tie Formal Wear

The profile is still up. LinkedIn has a "see more, see less" toggle, and this is a case when the job candidate hopes the employer clicked "see less." You can picture Jed York calling the personnel department and Nordstrom now, can't you?

York: "Yes, Hello. My mom owns a football team and I am calling about one of your former employees, Tony Softli."

Human Resources Worker Bee: "OK, well, Softli in our Juniors department in 1996 and 1997."

York: "I see. Did Softli ever demonstrate any general managerial skills during that time? Did he supervise a draft or select quarterbacks? Did he give you the impression that he could motivate Vernon Davis? Did he sell anything to Jim Harbaugh?"

Worker Bee: "To the best of my knowledge, he folded shirts."

Softli's over-detailed resume raises many other questions. For example, who buys formal wear outdoors? The last thing I want to worry about when trying on tuxedos for a cousin's wedding is a flash thunderstorm while I am wrestling with a cummerbund. If Mike Nolan were still around, Softli's formalwear experience might come in handy. Maybe he can attract Harbaugh to the Niners with the promise of a well-fitted ascot.

It's resume season in the NFL. Every day brings a new round of firings and interviews. Tom Cable just got fired, making the streets less safe, and Perry Fewell is jetting around the country in Rooney Rule Force One, a converted stealth bomber the league refitted to make life more bearable for each season's highest-profile minority coordinator. I use a redesigned Santa Tracker to follow Fewell, but for everyone else, writers must comb through LinkedIn, Wikipedia, and team sites, examine each obscure assistant's coaching history, and try to form intelligent observations about the candidates. This is half as easy and twice as boring as it sounds. For example: Do you recognize the following coach?

  • Virginia Tech Defensive Line Coach, 1994-94
  • Michigan State Defensive Line Coach/Assistant Head Coach 1996-98
  • Colts Defensive Line Coach, 1999-2001
  • Texans Defensive Line Coach, 2001-2004
  • Cleveland Browns Defensive Coordinator, 2005-2007
  • Cowboys Defensive Line Coach, 2008-09
  • University of Georgia Defensive Coordinator, 2010

Why, that's Todd Grantham, whose name has come up for several anticipated defensive coordinator vacancies. A solid resume, but what separates him from, say, Todd Bowles, the Dolphins assistant who is also up for the same jobs? You cannot tell from a list of previous employers, and the gushing propaganda the team-sanctioned profile pages are worse. "In his first season with the Browns in 2005," wrote the Cowboys media department on Grantham's old profile page, "Grantham led a defensive unit that converted to a new 3-4 defensive scheme and finished first in the AFC in red zone defense (44.0 touchdown percentage), fourth in the NFL in pass defense (179.2 yards-per-game), 11th in points allowed (17.7 points-per-game) and tied for 16th in total defense (316.8 yards-per-game)." And 12th in cherry-picked statistics! Granted, team-sponsored sites are not going to trash their own coaches (and I have little interest in reading slam-jobs of lowly assistants), but litanies of "his unit finished ninth in third quarter defense!" and "he overcame numerous injuries and helped develop a mediocre strong safety!" amount to disinformation. At least I know what a sales rep at Nordstrom does.

If you are like me and unlike Softli, you purged the early jobs from your resume long ago. For football coaches and players, just like for parents, those first few jobs are only relevant when they can be romanticized into some character-building anecdote. Force me to write a profile on an otherwise boring rookie linebacker, and I will cross my fingers and hope he spent his high school summers working on grandpa's farm: "Every morning, he woke at 4:30 a.m. and drove a Ford F-250 far onto the prairie, a blind old bloodhound at his side. For six hours, he baled hay, stacking bales until his muscles ached and sweat soaked through his shirt. Compared to those hay-baling summers, training camp was a breeze."

Unfortunately, Nordstrom doesn't inspire that kind of myth making: "Each day, Softli parked in the employee lot and trudged through the fragrance department. If he was lucky, he had 10 minutes to fuel up at Cinnabon before a grueling shift in the men's casual department."

I read Anthony Bourdain's "Kitchen Confidential" recently, and Bourdain has a funny riff on waiters' resumes. I can't lay hands on the book right now, but to paraphrase: Don't tell the chef that you played "Biff" on some soap opera or once portrayed the narrator in a production of "Our Town," because the last thing any chef wants to deal with is another frustrated actor who thinks he's too talented to serve appetizers. Tellingly, Softli's Linkedin list doesn't mention his current ESPN Radio gig. It may be an oversight, or he may not want to appear too Millen-like. Jim Harbaugh, the coach the Niners covet most, might not want to remind anyone in San Francisco that he was Mike Singletary's teammate for six years. Baby Belichick Brothers Josh McDaniels and Eric Mangini may want to wait tables or perform little theatre for a while until their personality flaws are forgotten. Those two would kill in Glengarry Glen Ross.

For the record, my first job was as a busboy in a now-forgotten steakhouse just outside Camden. It was owned by a former bantamweight boxer, it played host to the likes of Ella Fitzgerald and Johnny Ray in the 1950s, but it clung to the edge of a ghetto by the time I worked there in the 1980s. I witnessed a lot of Bourdain-worthy debauchery, so it was an easy job to repurpose as a picaresque teenage adventure if I ever need to make myself sound more colorful. But it is not on my resume.

Then again, maybe Softli outfitted mob bosses at Black Tie Formal Wear. They had to work outdoors, so the FBI could not bug their conversations. It is all a moot point, as York passed over Softli and promoted Trent Baalke from within. Either way, it's better to rule at Nordstrom than serve as defensive line coach at Michigan State, especially when applying for a job with the Yorks, who know quite a bit more about retail than about football.

Jacoby Ford

Thanks to everyone who read the All-Rookie Team last week and debated some of the choices. I wanted to talk about one of my more controversial selections: Jacoby Ford over Dez Bryant. Here is a broad outline of the thought process that led to Ford's selection:

1. Ford was really fun to watch. I spend most Sundays in a sports bar, and whenever Ford would make a big play, guys would point at the screen and say things like "Wow, that guy again?"

2. Ford has a rushing DVOA of 237.0%, though it wasn't quite that high when I selected the team. It's such a crazy figure that I wanted to reward it.

3. Ford was a "big story" player for a team that out-performed expectations. Bryant was part of a committee of receivers on a team that underperformed (most people's) expectations.

4. Bryant was hurt late in the year. That didn't eliminate him from contention, but it gave Ford a chance to make a more memorable impression while I was selecting the team.

5. I wrote a lot about Bryant during the draft and in my Rotoworld columns, so I felt like writing about someone else.

Of my five reasons, four are completely unscientific and arbitrary, and the fifth is pretty flimsy. I don't think rushing DVOA is predictive of anything, but I don't think an All-Rookie selection is supposed to be predictive, either. I am not ranking players by potential, but what they did in 2010. Both Ford and Bryant had great years, and after factoring in supporting cast, rushing ability, the injury, and impact on the standings, I figured they were pretty close. I picked the player I liked the best. I did the same thing with the Gronkowskis, to some extent.

Figure 1: Ford's touchdown

Ford celebrated his selection with a touchdown run against the Chiefs. Figure 1 shows the play, but Zach Miller's pre-snap motion is not diagrammed for the sake of clarity. Ford (12) takes two hard strides down the field at the snap, which helps to sell this play as a shotgun sweep by Michael Bush (29). Ford turns and takes a reverse pitch from Bush. Ford is not a stereotypical Raiders burner. The quickness with which he reverses field to take the pitch is stunning, and he throttles down and directs his blockers as he crosses the formation and turns upfield.

Note that Jason Campbell (8) blocks Tamba Hali (91) on this play. I oversimplified a bit on the diagram. Hali followed the flow of the play, tangled briefly with the left tackle, then came off the block to find Campbell waiting for him. The quarterback delivers a no-nonsense block. Also, note Louis Murphy (18), who roamed through the secondary looking for someone to hit. Darrius Heyward-Bey (85), couldn't contain his cornerback, so Murphy eventually ran completely across the field to finish the block.

Fun stuff. Fun player.

Diagramming Note

Those of you looking for play diagrams for playoff teams will find them elsewhere on the site. I am writing a "signature play" series for NBC Sports, and I will provide links on the front page of FO as the articles go online.

This week marked the end of my Rotoworld column for 2010. Thanks to Gregg Rosenthal and his team for giving me a chance to talk fantasy. I may not be the best fantasy strategist in the world, but thanks to the Football Outsiders database, I was able to share many unique statistical facts with readers.

Run it Back

On Sunday morning, I found my 8-year-old in the family room pausing, rewinding, and rewatching an NBA game in slow motion.

Some things just run in the family.

C.J. didn't tape some late night basketball game for later diagramming and analysis. He was watching Run it Back, an NBA-produced show that airs on Sunday mornings on the Cartoon Network.

Forget for a second that the Cartoon Channel broadcasts many non-cartoons. By law, the more explicitly stated a network's programming philosophy, the more quickly and forcibly that network veers from that philosophy. (In five years, OWN will be the only place on earth where you will not see Oprah Winfrey's face.) I like a few of Cartoon Network's live-action shows, including Destroy, Build, Destroy, and after a few hours of garishly animated cookie-cutter cartoons about smart-alecky suburban preteens with superpowers, I welcome any attempt to create some unique children's programming. And Run it Back may be the best idea the NBA or Cartoon Network has had in years.

Think of Run it Back as Game Rewind meets VH1's old Pop-Up Video, with a touch of Johnny Bench's Baseball Bunch thrown in. Each one-hour show features an edited playback of a recent NBA game. On Sunday, it was a Celtics-Sixers game from earlier in the week. Comic book-style captions appear on the screen, revealing each player's nickname or some other kid-friendly fact, highlighting players in advance who are about to do something cool, or just adding some wham-bam comments like "Rejected!" or "Drills the jumper!" During timeouts, there are player profiles and tutorials on the fundamentals of the game: jump shooting, offensive rebounding, etc. My son plays biddy basketball now, and he was rerunning one of the tutorial segments to get a better look at how to square up for a jumper.

The pace is quick, and the tutorials pitched are just right for younger fans (there's no "how to dunk" nonsense for 8-to-10-year-olds). While the Dick Vitale cliché captions are a little silly, it's a kid's program, and a little gentle trash-talk helps them understand what they are watching. The NBA produced a similar program a few years ago, but it was mostly filler. This is a real basketball game, just with some Xbox-ready enhancements.

So why doesn't the NFL do something like this?

The NFL teamed up with Nickelodeon in the summer to produce a children's cartoon. I remember reading the news, then quickly forgot about it. I watch a lot of Nickelodeon. If you think I know football, ask me about Fairly Oddparents. If you watch Nick, you know that they cross-promote like crazy. Watch the commercials during Spongebob Squarepants, and you will know that the Penguins of Madagascar Arbor Day special will air on Friday night and the iGet a Pimple movie is coming soon. I just assumed that if the NFL and Nickelodeon co-produced a show, I would be assaulted with ads and previews in both my professional and personal life.

So I was shocked to discover that NFL Rush Zone: Guardians of the Core has been a regular part of the Nickelodeon lineup since September. Both parties must be working hard to hide this program in plain sight. I can actually sing Big Time Rush songs and know what Planet Sheen is, but I survived an entire autumn without knowing that the same network that tortures me for hours on end produces a football-themed cartoon. C.J. also had no knowledge of the show, and he is so cartoon-savvy that he can classify Pokemon by their smell.

I have only been able to watch a few minutes of Rush Zone. It's bad. So bad that it deserves its own Walkthrough (February, probably). I will tease my future demolition of the program and its creators with two observations. First, it takes place in a world where everyone, from 10-year-old boys to their moms, speaks and thinks like the Football Outsiders staff. Characters say things like, "Hey, there's Antonio Gates, who caught 79 passes for 1,157 yards in 2009." Second, it's essentially the story of a suburban kid with superpowers, making it just like every other cartoon produced for boys in the last decade.

I keep waiting for C.J. to have an epiphany and realize that Timmy Turner, Jimmy Neutron, Johnny Test, and Phineas and Ferb are the same character -- middle-class kids with dorky friends, idiotic parents (mom business-oriented, dad housebound, both criminally inattentive), a neighborhood full of stereotypical bullies and puppy love interests, and some contrivance that allows them to have supernatural adventures -- realize he is being pandered to, and decide to watch Masterpiece Theatre. But that is not how wish fulfillment works, which is why every fat sitcom slob has a wife two orders of magnitude too hot for him in real life.

So the NFL missed an opportunity to create a Run It Back-type show, full of game action and Pop Warner tips, opting instead to produce a genre cartoon with force-fed football content. You would expect it to be the other way around: The NBA is the league of crass marketing, the NFL the league of substance, or so football fans like us like to think. I want the NFL to scrap this goofy Rush Zone and create a Run it Back copycat. I want to see my son rewinding football games and showing me the blocking techniques he learned on Nickelodeon. A replay of a good game, with a few nods to kids' tastes, can do more to attract young fans than some corny cartoon with robots.

Posted by: Mike Tanier on 05 Jan 2011

85 comments, Last at 21 Jun 2011, 3:53am by winona


by srsbzns (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 6:48pm

you bale hay, not bail it. you're not getting it out of jail.

/lives in midwest
//once actually tipped a cow

by ABW (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:40pm

I've heard that is actually a lot harder than it sounds(the cow tipping, not the hay baling. Baling hay sounds hard).

by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:47pm

Most farmers have kick balers meaning the baling machine has a chute that propels the completed bale into a wagon trailing the unit OR they generate big hay rolls that can be left in the field until needed.

Stacking bales and unloading the wagons along with working to stack the hay in a mow (rhymes with cow and is the part of the barn where baled product is stored) is indeed tedious.

My brothers and I used to have contests on who could unload a kickloader generated wagon of hay the fasted. The key of course was getting a beachhead established since the bales were all jumbled tightly together. But once you got a space to work the bales would start to naturally fall your way and easily unloaded.

Working in the barn s*cked because it was summer, no ventilation and hay dust everywhere.

by Danish Denver-Fan :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:18am

You still use kick balers? I haven't seen one here in Denmark in, maybe 15 years.

Or are you talking about the device, that slings the bale through the air into the wagon? I don't think I've seen one in serious use in my lifetime (1981).

by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:12pm

Well, I grew up on a dairy farm on Wisconsin so unless you are talking about a calf I contend anyone who states that they tipped a cow is full of (expletive deleted by the writer). A full grown cow, even a smaller breed like a Guernsey, is upwards of a 1000 lbs, is built solidly, has four feet to splay out to keep themselves upright, and don't take being pushed around which is why canes and stock prods exist.

Though the baling correction is accurate.

by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:51pm

Milked cow oncne. Vrey big animal. Woudl take grat strength to tip one. Saw happen on Bevais & Butthead one time but dont remmeber too well. Cow has to be slepping or something. In Beavis show the cow was standing. How does stand and sleep at smae time? Doesn't make any sense. If cows do sleep whiel standing htne maybe tipping them is possiible if put feather duster by cow's nose. Maybe make it sneeze to startle cow and maybe falls over that way.

by bill (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:08pm

I'll dive in:

Good sir -

Many hooved animals are capable of sleeping standing up. The inner ear or some such keeps them in balance, and they often snore away like lumberjacks. It is possible to approach them, esp in herds, as everybody's breathing masks your approach. Then, if you deliver a decisive blow with all your mass and might into the flank, you can tip them over, esp since their legs don't lean out to the sides near as well as, for instance, ours do.

That said, please do refrain, if at all possible, of basing one's reality on Beavis episodes.

Go Raiders!


by Raiderjoe :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:19pm

thanks for reply. Knew horses slepe when standing but didn't knwo cows do it too.

Other poster wrote anyoen who claim to tip a cow is male cow crap artist.

Therad needs more commenters with cow knwolege to cofnrim or deny bigtencrazy comment.

by dryheat :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:44pm

Please, please, put "male cow crap artist" in the glossary of next year's almanac.

by silasrude (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:26am

O brother. A male cow crap artist? Really? A cow is female. Lord.

by Raiderjoe :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:16am

Poster is lietrally rude. Is poster also from Asia or something? Hewre in West these anmals all caelld cows. If saw a group of them on farm woudl clall them cattle. Or woudl call them cows even if some bulls are in field too.

For cow Webster's says
3. a domestic boivne animal, whetgher a steer, bull, cow, or calf

by Yesimadolphinsfan (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:31am

I never thought I'd see the day Raiderjoe used a definition from Webster's in a post. 2011 is looking like its going to be an interesting year.

by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:09pm

The odd thing is that he cut and pasted that definition from the web site.

by MilkmanDanimal :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 11:03pm

Olny sloution, cow needs moer siera nevdada

by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:10pm

Shouldn't that be "mooer Sierra Nevada"?

by Jerry :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:03pm

I don't think Sierra makes a milk stout.

by Jon Silverberg (not verified) :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 12:16am


by LnGrrrR :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:10pm

*slow clap*

by IAmJoe (not verified) :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:30pm

Next week's Walkthrough: Cow Tippin'

RJ makes my day, every single time.

by Whatev :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:21pm

Does anyone else find it funny that Jacoby Ford has more rushing DYAR than receiving, but Darren McFadden has more receiving DYAR than rushing?

by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:09am

Not "haha" funny.

Its kind of odd, but it also makes sense. McFadden is better than most backs as a receiver. Ford is better than most receivers as a runner.

by ChicagoRaider :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:21pm

On the Jacoby Ford play, what happened to that deep safety? One would think that he would do what deep safeties are supposed to do...

by Whatev :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:39pm

Kendrick Lewis is the safety in question; sadly the highlight video has him off-screen for a couple crucial seconds. It looks like he got confused by the reverse and ran forward, then saw what was happening and moved back to tackle Ford, but Ford turned on the jets and he whiffed. He should have moved further towards the sideline before moving to confront Ford, as even if he misses that tackle, Arenas probably would've stopped Ford around the 2.

by dbt :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:54pm

If you watch the highlight of the run on nfl.com, you can see a pretty decent all-22 replay. The deep safety actually played this pretty well and managed to put a hit on Jacoby Ford, unfortunately for him it was 10 yards downfield and already in the end zone.

by Whatev :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:16pm

That was the other safety, Javier Arenas. He's the one who was lined up on the right in run defense. Lewis was the one lined up deep.

by joon :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 10:29pm
by JonFrum :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 8:48pm

If Tony Softli leaves Nordstrom's off his resume, people would be asking - in a snarky, internet kinda way - 'what is he hiding?' Was he dusted for the year? Did he serve time in the old graybar motel? Did he live in mom's basement playing Pac-Man?

Now let's all poke through each other's resumes, and interview each other's ex-girlfriends to see how they remember us.

by tuluse :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:32pm

I read Tanier's comments more as bemusement at others over analyzing Softli's resume than actually making fun of it.

by LnGrrrR :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:04pm

Tanier, wonderful writing, as always.

by CathyW :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:28pm

Great column, as always.

A couple of things:

1. I think I remember that steakhouse, although the name is escaping me at the moment. It was in Pennsauken, and I ate there once or twice in the early 90's, when my ex-husband and I were first dating. As I recall, there was a lot of red velvet in the decor, making it look like a formerly high class but now shabby bordello. But the food wasn't bad.

2. As the mother of a 10 year old boy, I spend LOTS of time (admittedly too much time) with Phineas, Jimmy Neutron, and the rest. Please, please, please, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, I implore you - bring back Bugs Bunny, the Flintstones, and the other classics. I'd even take Hong Kong Phooey. The stuff you show today is pure dreck and I can feel my brain cells dying every time I am exposed to it.

3. Why are first jobs always so embarassing? My first job was as a cashier at Kmart. I was also the "Blue Light Special" lady (those of you over a certain age will know exactly what I am talking about).

by tuluse :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:38pm

You know they are making a "new" Looney Tunes? Redesigned characters and everything. I fully expect it to be terrible.

Judging from Tanier's and your comments, every cartoon seems to star children or at least teenagers as the main character. Reminds me a review I read of the new Star Wars films complaining they had too many children in them. The reviewer made the observation that children don't want to watch other children be heroes, they want adult heroes because children can't wait to be adults. Not sure if it's true, but it's something to think about.

by Bobman :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:06am


Just in case anyone has not seen the final film (curiously called, by my kids, Episode 3. Will they never learn...?). People over 30 or so think of it as the sixth one.

They solved the problem of having too many kids by having Anakin kill them all. It also saved on payroll. That's my take on it, anyway.

by dbostedo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:51am

"...curiously called, by my kids, Episode 3."

But it IS Episode 3. The first one in 1977 was Episode 4. It said so right at the beginning of the movie.

by MCS :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:31am

We just called it Star Wars.

by DGL :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:38am

I, like anyone over the age of 40, reject this alternate reality. (And if I'm reading your irony correctly, you do too.)

by dbostedo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:03pm

Well I'm under 40, and didn't mean to be ironic. I can totally see how you took it to be snarky though...Maybe I didn't see the snark in the original post.

by zlionsfan :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:58pm

I think it's OK to call the original trilogy 4-6 and still deny the existence of 1-3.

In fact, given the existence of other movie series that were rewritten successfully (Batman, Star Trek), it's not out of the realm of possibility that someone will write 1-3 in a way that might compel me to watch them. (Obviously this will require the absence of Mr. Lucas.)

by Eddo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:46am

I thought the original 1977 Star Wars didn't show "Episode IV" or "A New Hope" on its main titles until after Empire came out, and the original was re-released.

by dbostedo :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:02pm

That could be. I didn't see Star Wars until probably about 1982.

by zlionsfan :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:58pm

That is my impression ... I seem to recall that the original plan was to release 4-6, then 1-3, then 7-9 (and since I think 7-9 were axed and then possibly reconsidered, although given what Lucas has done recently I would rather not have them done at all), yet they didn't actually say that in 4. At first, it was just Star Wars, and then I guess they figured out people wouldn't understand if the "first" movie was 4 unless they actually marked it that way. (I mean, how many people followed Memento all the way through?)

The first time I saw 4 with Episode IV: A New Hope, it definitely seemed different.

by verified (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:08pm

Star Wars != Memento.

by MP (not verified) :: Mon, 01/10/2011 - 3:45am

No it didn't. The original theatrical release did not have the line that said "Episode IV: A New Hope". That was added later. (My old old old laser-disc of "Star Wars" does not have the "Episode IV" line. The recent "original version" DVD release does not have it either.)

by Podge (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 7:13am

Pah. Bugs Bunny? Mr Benn, Dangermouse and Thundercats, with a bit of Wacky Races thrown in. All you could possibly need.

Captcha - Debacted. Definition: One actor getting overshadowed by another, described by Emmitt Smith.

by Jon Silverberg (not verified) :: Thu, 01/13/2011 - 12:30am

What a maroon! (or, as my son Eddie says to his parents frequently, "What's wrong with you?") Someone who doesn't appreciate Looney Tunes? Des-shpicable!

by Joseph :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 1:42pm

I would love for a TVLand/Cartoon network merging, resulting in non-stop reruns of Looney Toons, Woody Woodpecker, Jetsons, Flintstones, the OLD Scooby Doo, GI Joe, and Justice League (Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, etc.) and others. I abhor these new cartoon remakes of Scooby Doo, SpiderMan, Batman Beyond, and others. Too many "new" cartoons today teach kids to disrespect their parents, teachers, and any other authority (who are, in the script, not very respectable). Whatever happened to Brady Bunch, Leave it to Beaver, My Three Sons, and others where the parents were respectable adults who helped their kids cope and understand real-world problems & situations?

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:22pm

Whatever happened to parents who were respectable adults who helped their kids cope and understand real-world problems & situations?

by evenchunkiermonkey (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 6:27am

they stopped making them during the great depression.

by NYExpat :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:04pm

Re 2: It's astounding to me how stale the cartoon format has become. Even '80s cartoons that were crass marketing on some level had *some* originality: Transformers; G. I. Joe; Real Ghostbusters, which had several episodes centering on Lovecraft mythology -- they even had a cult raise Chthulu off of Coney Island!

Real Ghostbusters and Scooby-Doo became harbingers of what we're seeing now with the emphasis placed on Slimer and Scrappy-Doo, respectively. Contrary to what someone else wrote in this thread, the Powers That Be seem to think that kids won't watch something without a stand-in for themselves. This may also explain Elmo.

Speaking of which it seems the Programming Zombies have now come for Cookie Monster as well (warning, a couple of NSFW words, but it's so, so worth it).

"realize he is being pandered to, and decide to watch Masterpiece Theatre."

To be fair, whenever I've seen an ad for Masterpiece Theater these days, it's either a modern British Mystery, or a Merchant-Ivory style drawing room drama, so it's just another kind of pandering at that point.

On the other hand, IFC is showing Larry Sanders, so maybe your son can get into that.

by matt w (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 10:42am

What's so "even" about Hong Kong Phooey? Hong Kong Phooey is great. Way better than the Flintstones.

by are-tee :: Wed, 01/05/2011 - 9:47pm

Forget about the Dez Bryant snub - any All-Rookie team that excludes Tanner Purdum can't be taken seriously. Well, at least you didn't select another long snapper over Purdum.

by kasino (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:40am

nice blog good content I think I remember that steakhouse, although the name is escaping me at the moment. It was in Pennsauken, and I ate there once or twice in the early 90's, when my ex-husband and I were first dating

by Mike Tanier :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 9:35am

I will not reveal the name of the restaurant. Someone will chime in and name it soon. Hopefully, someone who does not associate it with an ex-spouse...

I am proud to have inspired so many comments on cow tipping and hay baling. Not a lot of hay in Jersey. A lot of blueberries, not much hay.

by squid (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:25am

Pretty sure it's The Pub.

by Southern Philly :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:57am

Agreed. Is it even around anymore?

by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:57pm

Oh yeah - at least the sign's still up.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:45am

Ex spouse?

So it's Franks Chicken House!

by HostileGospel :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:00pm

Oh, outstanding. That made my day.

They must of thought I was the old Osama Bin Laden they made me strip down somethn crucial at the airport sheeeeesh... not djacc I'm str8

-Djacc, via Twitter

by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:07am

it takes place in a world where everyone, from 10-year-old boys to their moms, speaks and thinks like the Football Outsiders staff

I want to go to there.

by Mike Tanier :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:20pm

No you don't! Imagine if every mention of any NFL player or team came with extra qualifiers. It would even get old while watching a game. "Hey, it's the Eagles, who are coached by Andy Reid and won their last championship in 1960" instead of "the Eagles are on."

the Pub is INCORRECT. It is still around, BTW

by squid (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:30pm

I had to begrudgingly resort to Google:


Old Mill Inn?

I'm from the area and about your age; I'd never heard of this place.

by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 12:49pm

"and Tim Tebow, who was exposed to dysentery as a fetus, hands off to Correll Buckhalter, who's had more knee surgeries than knees, for a gain of three."

by Jerry :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:04pm

Sounds like NBC's Olympic coverage.

by Stats are for losers (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:23pm

I can hear it in Costas's voice!

by tuluse :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:25pm

Damn you, now I can too.

by Dean :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:39am

Softli acutally does a very good job on ESPN Radio. He seems to fill the role of "x's and o's guy." He's not nearly as shrill as most ESPN "personalities" and doesn't seem to be interested in sports as a medium for grown men to yell at each other.

When they want to talk about the soap opera de-jeur, he's quiet. When they want to talk about why and how the other teams DT is going to cause matchup problems for the Rams interior line, they turn the airwaves over to Softli.

Hopefully for him, that doesn't mean he's another Matt Millen.

by DGL :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 11:41am

I find it wonderful that describing a play diagram showing a wide receiver reverse, with the WR starting downfield before cutting back into the backfield, a second WR blocking all the way across the defensive secondary, and the QB releasing downfield to throw a block on a defensive end who appears to have done a spin move on himself, Mike says he's left out the TE pre-snap motion "for the sake of clarity".

by BenM (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 2:10pm

always loved the diagrams, but why not include the NFL Rewind link along with it? Seems like a win-win.

by verified (not verified) :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 3:13pm

I would watch a children's cartoon starring the Fox NFL robot.

I would also encourage the NFL to pursue cross-promotional opportunities with other children's programs, e.g., The Wonder Pets Save Mike Singletary. "What's gonna work? Teamwork!"

by Kevin from Philly :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 4:02pm

Why not a cartoon of the Fox Pregame crew? Oh wait. they're already cartoon characters.

by jtduffin :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 5:11pm

Kudos to the Wonder Pets Save Mike Singletary suggestion. That show struck me at first as the most horribly poor cartoon of all time, yet my 2-year-old loves it and has watched it enough that the songs (and, lord help me, storylines) are now embedded in my brain.

by CathyW :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 10:22pm

GAH! Now that horrible Wonder Pets song is brain-worming its way through my skull! Make it stop!!!

by boog :: Thu, 01/06/2011 - 6:04pm

Gotta say I object to you lumping Phineas and Ferb in there with the rest of the Cartoon Network dreck. 1) P&F is actually pretty clever and well-written; fans of mystery fiction will love their "detective" episode, and 2) their dad is Riff-Raff.

by Athelas :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 6:45am

Out of all the dreck on Disney and Nick(Degrassi? shudder), Phineas and Ferb is the only one I'll actually watch.

by Tri Shanku (not verified) :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 3:27pm

Totally with you guys -- P&F is pretty good.

by Thok :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 10:51am

To be fair, the appeal of P&F isn't P&F; Phineas is probably the fourth most important/interesting character on the show (behind Perry, Professor Doofemheitnz(sic) and Candace), and Ferb is maybe 10th.

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 7:28am

Big fan of Hanna Barbera cartiins

by Raiderjoe :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 7:32am

double post so will lsit ones liekd the most

The Flitnstones
The Jetsons
Captain Caveman
Huckleberry Hound Shwo

The Jetsons one alwhays make think of football beucuause it had Jets in name so thta was added bonus to what was greta carytoon about fduture that had tlaking robots and flying cars. The Raidersons would jave been a gretater name,.

by Kevin from Philly :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 3:21pm

The Raidersons - a family set in the future that still tries to do everything the same way as in 1967.

by Hurt Bones :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 4:49pm

No Hanna-Barbera list is complete without Jonny Quest.

by mathesond :: Fri, 01/07/2011 - 11:54am

Roger Ramjet was my favourite, although that may be because I was exposed to high-quality Canadian cartoons like Rocket Robin Hood and Hercules.

Can't forget about Super Chicken, either

by Thok :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 10:53am

Should I feel bad for watching Batman: Brave and the Bold and Total Drama World Tour? That makes up a large portion of my non-sports TV watching schedule.

by TomKelso :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 3:16pm

Not at all -- my son got me watching B&B -- classic comic book stuff -- and I'm pretty sure Raiderjoe was one of the characters singing in the all-musical episode.

Total Drama, though -- you're on your own, dude.

by CathyW :: Sat, 01/08/2011 - 5:27pm

When my son turns on Total Drama, I want to put a pen through my own eye. Ugh.

by DEW (not verified) :: Mon, 01/10/2011 - 12:28am

Two things I love about that discussion of the Jacoby Ford play:

1. Jason Campbell getting to block Tamba Hali (and doing it well). How often does a QB get to lay out the opposition's sack leader?

2. The concept of Darrius Heyward-Bey blowing his block and Louis Murphy coming from across the field to clean up for him...pretty much sums up both their careers, actually. My favorite Murphy moment from last year was on that long, rumbling, very slow Zach Miller TD reception when he blocked one player, then ran down the field and cleaned out a second one.

by winona (not verified) :: Tue, 06/21/2011 - 3:53am

Ford celebrated his selection with a touchdown run against the Chiefs. Figure 1 shows the play, but Zach Miller's pre-snap motion is not diagrammed for the sake of clarity. I like this. resumes for mining jobs