Football Outsiders
Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis

2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

comments by Aaron Schatz

Once again, I would like to thank everyone who voted on the awards this season. Here are the second half of this year's Football Outsiders awards.

Who is the best national football columnist, not counting Football Outsiders writers on FOXSports.com? (two votes per ballot) (Last year's winner: Dr. Z)

23.4% Paul Zimmerman (Dr.Z), SI.com
21.7% Len Pasquarelli, ESPN.com
16.3% Gregg Easterbrook (TMQ), NFL.com
9.6% John Clayton, ESPN.com
6.7% Peter King, SI.com
6.5% Chris Mortensen, ESPN.com
3.2% Jay Glazer, FOXSports.com
2.6% Michael "not David" Smith, ESPN.com
2.1% K.C. Joyner, ESPN.com (subscription only)
1.9% Vic Carucci, NFL.com
1.7% Don Banks, SI.com
4.3% (seven other candidates)

We expanded the list to 18 candidates this year, and gave every ballot two votes instead of one. Len Pasquarelli moves up for the second straight year, Peter King moves down for the second straight year. Jay Glazer is by far the most popular of the non-FO FOX columnists, with more than twice as many votes as the other three listed candidates combined. We listed two ESPN Insider-only writers: It's nice to see some votes for K.C. Joyner, one of the few writers out there whose perspective is similar to FO, but I'm a little surprised there were so few votes for Todd McShea (one of ESPN's Scouts Inc. guys). Nobody seems to have any reason to visit CBSSportsline's NFL coverage anymore, as Pete Prisco and Clark Judge barely received any votes.

By the way, I'm told that Michael "not David" Smith's nickname among other NFL writers is actually Michael "Word" Smith.

Which is the best announcing team in the NFL? (top 8 listed) (Last year's winner: Madden/Michaels)

22.3% Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, FOX
21.4% John Madden and Al Michaels, ABC
13.3% Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnson, FOX
13.0% Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS
6.7% Dan Dierdorf and Dick Enberg, CBS
6.4% Ian Eagle and Solomon Wilcots, CBS
4.1% Randy Cross and Kevin Harlan, CBS
3.5% Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger, FOX

A huge jump for the top FOX team, which nearly doubles its percentage of the vote this year. Here's my guess: this is not because of Joe Buck, this is because it is clear that Troy Aikman thinks things through a lot more than other color analysts, as evidenced by the "Aikman Ratings." (By the way, I messed up and listed FOX's top team as still including Cris Collinsworth. I assume that didn't affect any votes.)

Which is the worst announcing team in the NFL? (top 8 listed) (Last year's winner: Patrick/Maguire/Theismann)

71.8% Mike Patrick, Paul Maguire, and Joe Theismann, ESPN
7.0% John Madden and Al Michaels, ABC
4.3% Joe Buck and Troy Aikman, FOX
3.0% Dan Dierdorf and Dick Enberg, CBS
2.5% Jim Nantz and Phil Simms, CBS
2.3% Sam Rosen and Bill Maas, FOX
1.8% Randy Cross and Kevin Harlan, CBS
1.5% Kenny Albert and Brian Baldinger, FOX

The Three Stooges retire undefeated, winning this category by a larger amount each year: 30% in 2003, 57% in 2004, and 72% in 2005. You can relive their glory days by clicking here or  here or here or here.

Once again, Dick Stockton and Daryl Johnson reign as the "most inoffensive announcing team," as the only announcers with more than 10% of the vote for "best announcing team" but barely any votes for for "worst announcing team."

Who is the best Sunday morning pre-game personality? (top eight listed) (Last year's winner: Chris Berman)


19.8% Tom Jackson, ESPN
13.4% Chris Berman, ESPN
11.4% Howie Long, FOX
10.3% Steve Young, ESPN
10.0% Terry Bradshaw, FOX
8.6% Boomer Esiason, CBS
4.8% Greg Gumbel, CBS
4.6% James Brown, FOX

Not much to say here. Howie Long moves up, Boomer Esiason moves down. Once again, we make this category "Sunday" pregame personality because otherwise Ron Jaworski would win in a landslide for Monday Night Countdown.

Who is the worst Sunday morning pre-game personality? (top eight listed) (Last year's winner: Michael Irvin)


38.5% Michael Irvin, ESPN
20.0% Shannon Sharpe, CBS
12.2% Terry Bradshaw, FOX
6.6% Chris Berman, ESPN
4.2% Boomer Esiason, CBS
3.9% Mike Ditka, ESPN
2.9% Greg Gumbel, CBS
2.5% Dan Marino, CBS

For the second straight year, Jimmy Johnson received almost no votes for either best or worst pregame personality. Is he even on the set?

Which team is the best fit for Terrell Owens?


24.4% Denver
17.0% Dallas
15.3% Atlanta
14.8% Oakland
7.9% Miami
5.0% Baltimore
4.9% Carolina
4.9% Chicago
4.4% Washington
1.3% New York Jets

Every year we ask a random personnel question, so this year we asked about T.O. It does look like he's headed to Denver at this point, doesn't it? I like the idea of sending him to Chicago. How would a defense cover Owens and Muhammad without leaving tons of space for Thomas Jones and Cedric Benson to run? Even if Rex Grossman is really no better than a replacement-level quarterback, he's better than Kyle Orton, and that would be a much better offense than in 2005 -- keeping the Bears in Super Bowl contention even if the defense does regress to the mean a little bit.

The best commercial during NFL games this year was: (Last year's winner: Peyton Manning "Cut that Meat")


33.4% Burger King mascot superimposed on classic NFL footage
24.7% Master Card Peyton Manning "D-CAF!"
8.8% Sony HDTV Cal vs. Stanford as tabletop electric football
8.4% Dr. Pepper "I'd Do Anything for Love"
8.1% Visa New England Patriots offensive line as "Metaphors"
6.6% Miller Lite lawsuit commercial with Flava Flav
3.8% NFL Network Big Man Dance Challenge II
3.6% Diet Pepsi Machine drafted by Patriots
2.5% Coors Light "Silver Bullet" through Super Bowl history

Good year for good ads. The best part of the Burger King campaign was that every few weeks they would introduce a new one so that you wouldn't get tired of it. Did it make me go and buy a burger from Burger King? Nope, I haven't eaten there in months. That Sony HDTV commercial was great because it didn't try to convince you that Sony was better by showing you the TV. Usually a commercial shows you an HDTV set and tells you how great the picture is. But how are you supposed to tell the difference between that HDTV and your current television when you are watching the commercial on your current television?

The most annoying commercial during NFL games this year was: (Last year's winner: "anything even remotely connected to erectile disfunction")


18.6% Nokia "I delete him from my phone"
17.7% Diet Pepsi Machine drafted by Patriots
14.1% Coors Light "Silver Bullet" through Super Bowl history
11.8% Visa New England Patriots offensive line as "Metaphors"
11.1% Capital One "Just Say No"
8.3% FedEx "Stop Using Football Cliches"
5.0% MasterCard Peyton Manning "D-CAF!"
4.3% All Miller Lite lawsuit commercials without Flavor Flav
3.5% NFL Network Big Man Dance Challenge II
3.2% Domino's Steak Lover's Pizza "They're Statues"
2.5% Dr. Pepper "I'd Do Anything for Love"

The target audience for football is men aged 18-44. Seriously, was that Nokia ad supposed to make us want to buy a Nokia mobile phone? That ad would be annoying during figure skating too, but at least then it would be reaching the correct audience. Then again, I like the Coors Light ad and the Dr. Pepper ad makes me want to claw my eyeballs out so maybe I don't think like the rest of you.

The Patriots finally start doing a ton of ads and lose in the postseason for the first time since 1998. By the middle of the season, two of the "metaphors" were lost with season-ending injuries and a third, Tom Ashworth, was stuck on the bench. Let this be a warning for Alan Faneca and Marvel Smith.

Other than Football Outsiders, what is the best independent football site on the Web (i.e. not ESPN.com, SI.com, NFL.com, CBS Sportsline, FOX/Sporting News)? (top 12 listed) (Last year's winner: Pro Football Talk)

A lot more votes on this category compared to years past, so thanks for everyone who answered this question. Pro Football Talk has become an indispensable site for news and rumors, although I could do without their weird feud with Len Pasquarelli and the random pointless gay jokes. (By the way, Mike Florio is welcome to use this quote as a testimonial, as long as he uses the entire sentence.) 

I did include votes for independent sites that aren't necessarily football-specific, like Deadspin and PROTRADE. Deadspin really exploded onto the scene this year. People should check out PROTRADE, which is now using advanced statistical measurements on NBA players and will be adding baseball to the game soon. And, speaking of new sites this year, yay for FO reader Tunesmith and his beatpaths. It's cool that FO is inspiring people now to create their own innovative stats and create their own pages.

Football Commentary finished second last year, but William Krasker didn't write much this season.

Which local NFL writer do you feel deserves a more national profile?

Once again, this question didn't get that many votes, although there were certainly more votes than last year. The top vote-getter was Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe, who writes an indispensable weblog about the Patriots as well as exhaustive regular mailbag columns. Why don't other newspapers have content like this? I think the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a similar weblog but I'm not sure what else is out there. Anyway, I finally had a chance to go to lunch with Mike last week, good guy, definitely someone that those of you outside of Boston will be hearing from someday.

Other writers who received at least three votes included:

  • Michael Felger, Boston Herald
  • Mike Sando, Tacoma News-Tribune
  • Rick Gosselin, Dallas Morning News
  • Ed Bouchette, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Tom Curran, Providence Journal
  • John McClain, Houston Chronicle
  • Mark Maske, Washington Post
  • Joe Posnanski, Kansas City Star

Also receiving a few votes were two analysts who aren't writers but are local: Mike Carlson, who covers the NFL for NFLUK.com and Channel Five in Britain, and Ray Didinger from NFL Films and the Comcast Sports Network in Philadelphia.

The funniest moment of the NFL season was: (Last year's winner: Boomer Esiason dismisses Peyton Manning as "this generation's Dan Marino" with Dan Marino sitting right next to him)

31.0% Clinton Portis and his weekly Thursday costume press conferences
26.3% Ron Mexico
22.3% Carolina Top Cats
14.7% Minnesota Vikings Love Boat
5.7% Lil' Ronnie and the Indianapolis Colts theme song, "Super Bowl Bound."

Shocking upset! I was convinced that the lesbian Carolina Panthers cheerleaders would win this in a landslide. I guess you can't stop Southeast Jerome and all his friends, unless you have Coach Janky Spanky and his defense that features an extra two Sean Taylors. For those interested, Portis has a list of all the characters on his website with fun facts about each one, and all the press conferences are archived on Redskins.com.

Frankly, any of these five events would have won this category last year. 2005 was a very funny year.

The ballot ended with some questions about Football Outsiders. Thanks to everyone who gave us their comments. We forgot to add an optional e-mail for "whose ballot is this," anybody who had a question for us in their comments should re-send the question using the comment form so that one of us can answer it.

There were a lot of good requests and suggestions. Some ideas, unfortunately, are simply not feasible at this stage in our research, like judging player contracts based on DPAR per dollar, or creating values to measure the effect of specific injuries on a team. The other issue is time, since I'm still the only FO writer who does this as my full-time profession

That's why, for example, you have not seen much from the game charting project -- something brought up by a few readers. We did this charting with a crew of reader volunteers who ended up missing many games for various reasons. (That even includes me -- my DVR hard drive bit the dust when I was only halfway through the Week 13 Cincinnati-Pittsburgh game.) This being the first year of the charting, the information that we did get came in all different formats. You wouldn't believe how many ways there are to mark which defender was covering an intended receiver. So we have to fill all the holes and games we missed -- only Seattle and Pittsburgh are complete -- and then clean up all the data to make the formatting consistent.

There's also the problem of how to present the data, of course. Some of you will remember that before the season, I was trying to figure out how we could change the format of DVOA to make it easier to understand. Then I had my family tragedy and when I came back from that we were already in the third week of the season. That's what led to the question on the ballot about how to format DVOA, and here were the results:

40.4% Leave DVOA as is
32.3% Change to represent the number of points a team is better or worse than average, with average as 0.0
19.7% Change to look like standard NFL stats for points per game, with average as the actual NFL average of points per game (roughly 20.6)
7.6% Put on a 1-100 scale similar to the Aikman Ratings

Well, that sure was inconclusive, and I still don't know what to do.

We also asked readers which was their favorite team.


Favorite Team of FO Readers, End of 2005 Season
NE 11.4% WAS 4.8% CAR 2.6%
PIT 10.5% IND 4.3% BUF 2.4%
PHI 7.1% SF 3.7% CIN 2.4%
SEA 6.8% DAL 3.4% DET 2.4%
CHI 5.6% GB 3.2% NYJ 2.4%
NYG 5.4% DEN 3.1% Others 18.5%

We also asked this in the Loser League entry form before the season started so it is interesting to see how the results have changed. The Steelers, Seahawks, Redskins, and Broncos are up. Patriots and Eagles fans, at least as a percentage of our readers, are down. The only team not to receive at least one vote was Arizona. I know we have one Arizona fan who reads the site regularly, but he must not have voted in the awards. Here's that list by division:


FO Readers by Division, End of 2005 Season
NFC East 20.7% NFC West 11.6%
AFC East 18.2% AFC South 8.5%
AFC North 15.6% AFC West 8.3%
NFC North 12.4% NFC South 4.6%

Ha! East coast bias! We certainly would like to have more southern and western readers. Besides Arizona, the bottom four teams were all NFC South teams. Only two readers said that their favorite team was Tampa Bay, which means that with Ian Dembsky returning to write Scramble for the Ball, the FO staff now has as many Tampa Bay fans as the FO readership. (Russell Levine is the other one.) The Rams, Jags, and Dolphins were way down as well, so please tell all your friends in Missouri, Georgia, and Florida about Football Outsiders.

And now, for the final element of this year's awards balloting, we present, as voted by the Football Outsiders readers ...

The 2006 Class of the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame

Mike Tanier first introduced the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame in this article and it was so popular that we decided to induct five players each year. To merit induction into the Fantasy Football Hall of Fame, a player or coach must:

  • Have had a five-year NFL career, and must be retired for at least one season.
  • Have made a significant contribution to the game of fantasy football.
  • Have no chance in this world of getting into the real Hall of Fame.

Super Bowl appearances count against potential candidates, as do other noteworthy accomplishments like an MVP award. A candidate's best seasons had to occur after the dawn of the fantasy sports era (the mid-to-late 1980s) and bonus points are awarded for non-football factors like a catchy nickname or related food product.

TERRY ALLEN

Outstanding fantasy season, 1996. Ran for 1,353 yards and scored 21 rushing touchdowns, seven more than any other running back. Three other 1,000-yard seasons with at least eight touchdowns. Most valuable fantasy running back in 1996, fourth in 1992, and seventh in 1997. Long knock-around career as a veteran running back for hire. Emerged from two years as a part-timer to score nine touchdowns (eight rushing, one receiving) for the 1999 New England Patriots.

TERANCE MATHIS

Outstanding fantasy seasons, 1994 and 1998. Top six in fantasy value among wide receivers both years. A run 'n' shoot receiver. Holds the career record for two-point conversions. Is short. The 1994 season was one of the great come-from-nowhere seasons in fantasy history, as Mathis went from a four-year bench warmer with the Jets to 1,342 receiving yards and 11 touchdowns with the Falcons. Finished third in the NFL in both categories that year. 1,136 yards and 11 touchdowns in 1998 after two down years. Negative factor: had three postseason touchdowns during the Falcons Super Bowl run in 1998. Now an aspiring NASCAR team owner. Seriously.

ED McCAFFREY

Outstanding fantasy seasons, 1998-2000. At least 1,000 yards and 7 touchdowns in each season. Top 20 fantasy wide receiver three straight years despite the fact that Rod Smith was always the team's number one target. Legitimately cool nickname: "Easy Ed." Had his own mustard. Suffered the second most gruesome injury in Monday Night Football history. Negative factor: had considerable postseason success.

CARL PICKENS

Outstanding fantasy seasons, 1994-1996. Unexpected breakout in 1994 (twice as many yards as previous season) responsible for many fantasy championships. One of the seven most valuable fantasy wide receivers in all three years, with an average of 1,180 yards and 13 touchdowns. Caught 540 passes but never played in the postseason. Obvious, overused nickname: Slim.

BUDDY RYAN

Unleashed Randall Cunningham on an unsuspecting public. Punched Kevin Gilbride. Popularized the 46 defense, creating some of the most dangerous "team defenses" of the early fantasy era. 1988 Eagles were 27th in yards allowed per pass attempt, second in interceptions. 1985 Bears, 1989 Eagles and 1994 Cardinals led NFL in interceptions. Never won a playoff game. Career record is exactly .500 (55-55-1). Punched Kevin Gilbride. Coined the term "chuck 'n' duck." Placed bounties on opposing kickers. Punched Kevin Gilbride.

Comments

121 comments, Last at 21 Dec 2012, 7:02pm

1 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I simply cannot wrap my head around how much credit Tom Jackson gets. He offers nothing of value, just run of the mill tripe echoed by the majority of NFL "analysts" around the nation. He takes the safe route almost every time out, and it seems to me that this is a reaction to his one brief flirtation with danger, when in early 2003 he looked straight at the camera and told the nation that the Patriots "hated" their coach, as a result of Lawyer Milloy's release. Of course, he would have every reason to turn timid after this, as New England lost only three games and won two more Lombardis in the next two seasons, and it was revealed that Jackson did not have a single source in the NE locker room that backed up his opinion. That might have been the single most irresponsible comment an ESPN pundit has ever made--and this is the network that employs Sean Salisbury--and to this day, I do not know why he has never taken any heat for it, other than from Belichick, himself. So, to recap, Jackson's one strong opinion of the last three years was rendered not credible and laughably off-target, and ever since he has fallen back into safe-mode, consistently talkign a lot and said almost nothing of value. That he received the most votes is a sad commentary on the state of football analysis.

3 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

#1

anyone comes off as rationale and lucid when they are sitting next to steve young, mike irvin and chris berman. the very fact that we see so much of jackson and the fact that he is clearly the lesser of 2 very big evils + chris bermans tiresome schtick goes a long way.

4 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

It may be East Coast Bias but I am a rader from California but I justhappen to not like any of the teams out here, besides I am an Midwest transplant.(I was bor in Oshkosh, Wisconson).

anywho,

I was not shocked to see that the two favorite teams of readers on this site were NE and PIT, of course these are you favorite teams. they have won the past 4 out of 5 superbowls.
as far as the commercials the Burger King one made me sick, I did not like it at all. I much preferred the Coors Light Commercials.

thans again Arron for giving us the run down, hope you do not have to work too hard this off season, see you around for the Pre-Season

5 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I thought this site might have gone round the edge after the worstofficiatedsuperbowlever (WOSBE for short) but Fantasy Football Hall of Fame has restored the love.

6 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

"Punched Kevin Gilbride."

Is that not the greatest moment in NFL history? Seriously, what could possibly top that?

7 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

of course when i try typing fast I suck at it. Post #4 is supposed to be reader not rader and born not bor

oh well.....

8 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re #4

I can see Burger King making you 'sick' but that commercial was classic. The Steve Young is my favorite.

The Coors Silver Bullet was great as well. I thought that it was so tipped to the first few Super Bowls really showed the greatness of NFL Films back in the day. I mean Super Bowl IV is no classic but thanks to NFL films it will live on.

9 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I have to disagree on one point regarding FFHOF: Ed McCaffrey's injury was the third most gruesome injury on MNF. I think Bryant Young's snapped shin, followed by his cleats getting stuck in the turf, belongs at #2.

10 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Also, it's too bad NFL Network's "Time to get your story straight" commercials come out after the balloting is opened. Those are my favorites.

Boy, that Drew Rosenhaus sure knows how to get the most for his clients. I sure wish he were my agent.

11 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

#4: Tampa Bay won that 5th Super Bowl, and they got no votes, so there might be more to it than New England and Pittsburgh winning Super Bowls.

12 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I didn't watch much Sunday pregame stuff, but one I distinctly remember was Michael Irvin jabbering away, while Tom Jack, sitting right next to him, turned away slightly and stared into the distance off camera. What a great show they put on there.

13 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Terance Mathis also has the longest punt return for TD in NFL history (I'm pretty sure), 98 yard return when he was with the Jets, not sure what year.

14 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

RE: 13
the longest punt return in NFL history is now over 100 yds because they include endzone depth when you catch it in there i think it stands now at 103 yds.

16 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

With Randy Moss out of the picture, things are going to be smooth sailing for the Minnesota Vikings.

That one is just brilliant.

17 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

We listed two ESPN Insider-only writers: It’s nice to see some votes for K.C. Joyner, one of the few writers out there whose perspective is similar to FO, but I’m a little surprised there were so few votes for Todd McShea (one of ESPN’s Scouts Inc. guys).

I think the key there is that they appear on the Insider section, which probably means that a lot of people (including me) never see their stuff. I've never even heard of Todd McShea.

Maybe I'm old fashioned, but I don't think that a website that nearly crashes my computer with flash advertisements should be charging me to read it. Perhaps I'll give in one day, but for now I'm a holdout.

18 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re 1: Tom Jackson has built up a lifetime of good will simply by running Rush Limbaugh off the set.

I'm guessing by the low numbers that not that many people have had a chance to check out KC Joyner, which is a shame, as his writing is about the most insightful analysis to be found outside of FO. He's singlehandledly the reason why I subscribed to ESPN Insider this season, and his Scientific Football 2005 has been one of my two bibles for the season (the other being PFP 2005). And good call on Todd McShea, who is excellent on the draft.

Profootballreference.com is indispensible for anyone who wants to do research, as is drafthistory.com.

19 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

The record for longest punt return is held by Robert Bailey of the Rams, who returned one 103 yards for a TD in a game against the Saints in 1994. The game featured, IIRC, a total of 668 return yards, including multiple return touchdowns. I believe Bailey's return instituted a rules change, as the punt went into the end zone, but none of the Aints players bothered to actutally down the ball once it reached the end zon, but instead walked toward the sidelines. Bailey waited, realized the play hadn't been blown dead, picked up the ball, and started running for the end zone. It's still one of my favorite plays, because it shows the value of playing until the whistle blows. Alas, it instigated a rules change, as the officials now blow the play dead if the ball goes into the end zone without it having touched.

Mathis is part of a quartet in second, a group that includes Gil Lefebvre of the Cincinnati Reds from 1933.

20 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

But the other part of that long Bailey return was that a whole bunch of guys from the Rams' offense and the Saints' defense started walking onto the field, assuming the play was over. The whole thing should have been called back because of offsetting penalties for too many men on the field, but the officials didn't stop it. That was the first thing I thought of when I watched the last play of Michigan-Nebraska.

21 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I dunno, the look of utter, incredulous anger on Marino's face is a pretty good bet to beat all but Ron Mexico, in my opinion.

22 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I remember when Jackson made that observation about Belichik being hated, and thinking immediately that there was almost zero chance that Jackson had any real knowledge of what he was talking about, which made me wonder why he would say such a thing. Was he Lawyer's buddy?

23 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re: 18 "Tom Jackson has built up a lifetime of good will simply by running Rush Limbaugh off the set."

How does Jackson get credit for this? He sat there and didn't say a peep when the 'controversy' occured? Limbaugh was gone whether or not Jackson decided to jump on the bandwagon.

24 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Vic Ketchman writes a daily mailbag column (Ask Vic) for jacksonville.com -- not just about the jaguars, but about the game, the league, past players/eras, etc. He doesn't seem to be afraid to call out the team's front office either.

26 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I think the "Top Cats" story is better than Clinton Portis's characters (in fact, it's probably the second-best news story ever, behind only Fabio getting hit in the face with a goose on a roller-coaster), but Portis is funnier. That's why I voted the way I did -- for Portis.

27 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re 23: The rumor going around at the time was that Jackson got off the set and said that he wouldn't go back on so long as Limbaugh was around.

(He then proceeded to polish up his tackling technique from Bristol University and waited for Limbaugh in the parking lot.)

28 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I'm not surprised that Arizona got no votes nationally; even here in their home state, Cardinals fans are scarce and often ridiculed by their peers that root for the 30 other successful teams (AZ and HOU are in the same "losers" boat). There's a reason Sun Devil Stadium is a madhouse on Saturdays for Arizona State, and then a ghost town the next day, and that's because Arizona just plain doesn't like the Cards. If you took a blind poll of football fans in Phoenix, you'd think that we are just a suburb of Oakland.

29 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re: 26

The 'Top Cats story' itself was mildly amusing. OTOH, the FO reader commentary on the 'Top Cats story' was the funniest thing I've read in years. I could not help but laugh out loud.

Re: 27

Far be it for me to cast doubt upon a juicy rumor regardless of how inconsistent it seems with the facts. :-)

30 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

#9: Agreed. I have a very faint memory of that one, but I was watching that game when it happened. I remember Kolber talking about it being a very gruesome compound fracture and play was frozen for the better part of fifteen minutes while he was getting examined and carted off.

31 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Glad Buddy made the list. Some classic moments include:

1. After cutting Chris Carter: "All he does is catch touchdown passes" Later, of course, Carter's drinking problem, the real reason for his release, comes out.

2. After the infamous "snowball game" where Jimmie Johnson got pelted leaving the field, Johnson blasted Ryan, saying Ryan "ran his fat butt off the field" Ryan responded with "I thought I looked good."

3. Ryan's inability to remember players names. Old footage of Ryan has him calling everyone by their number. "Get in there 81!" etc. Fred Barnett got the nickname "Arkansas" because Ryan could never remember his name, but recalled that he went to U. of Arkansas, so he used to say, "get in there, Arkansas."

4. He used to refer to the Eagles absentee owner as "the guy from France."

5. His hatred of the Cowboys was legendary and he used it to win favor with Eagles fans. He's famous quote was that Eagles fans would love any coach he won two games a year - so long as both were against the Cowboys.

6. People remember the Bounty Bowl, but also there was the body bag game, where the Redskins wound up with a third-string RB playing QB due to the hard-hitting defense.

32 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

In case the links to the SNF hilarity don't work for you (they didn't work for me. STUPID IE at work!), it is post #238 in the first link, post #363 in the second, post #506 in the third, and post #438 in the last one. Thanks to Adam for that, that was some great stuff.

35 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

the Coors Lite commercial stunk. it was yet another commerical where when the beer is opened/arrived/mentioned everything snows and it frosts over. could someone please tell the beer companies WE GET IT - drinking your product is like being in a blizzard (there's a selling point). how many beer commercials have done this tired "frost brewed" nonsense? time to move on to something else! how about back to the funny days of "less filling" vs "tastes great?"

the BK commercial was worse, taking one of the greatest scrambles ever and ruining it. Steve Young should sue until he owns BK and then he should just close them all down because their food isn't as good as their commericals.

36 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Pro Football Talk has become an indispensable site for news and rumors, although I could do without their weird feud with Len Pasquarelli and the random pointless gay jokes.

I agree.

BTW, Aaron, I asked this in the other thread, but could we get a breakdown of the number of votes this season compared to past seasons? Thanks

Once again, this question didn’t get that many votes, although there were certainly more votes than last year. The top vote-getter was Mike Reiss of the Boston Globe, who writes an indispensable weblog about the Patriots as well as exhaustive regular mailbag columns.

Reiss is awesome. I'm obviously not a Patriots fan, but Digit pointed me towards his stuff, and it really is amazing. The quality and quantity of the content he puts out is pretty much unparalleled. He's pretty young, too.

37 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

It really is amazing that only 11.4% voted for New England as their favorite team. It's a testimonial to how popular this site has become. In 2004, that number might have been 30% or something.

RE: 11

New England and Pittsburgh have huge fanbases. The Super Bowls are only a part of the reason why ~22% of voters cited one of those two teams (although one could argue that the Patriot SB wins more than doubled the overall NE fanbase).

RE: 17

I think the key there is that they appear on the Insider section, which probably means that a lot of people (including me) never see their stuff. I’ve never even heard of Todd McShea.

Maybe I’m old fashioned, but I don’t think that a website that nearly crashes my computer with flash advertisements should be charging me to read it. Perhaps I’ll give in one day, but for now I’m a holdout.

Agree on both points. I didn't expect McShea to get many votes because how many people have access to his stuff? I've only read a few of his columns over the last two years. And ESPN.com is terrible. Bloated with advertisements (many of the annoying kind), and they put tracking cookies on your computer.

38 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

RE 35
yea but at least on the coors ones you had a little flesh to look at.

the ones with tom brady and his O-line were even dumber.

Oops I mean no disrespect (genuflect)

39 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Seriously, those time to get your story straight commercials are really really funny.

That 'I thought I looked good' line is right up there with Wayne Fontes when he sauntered out in to a press conference looking all happy. Then when he looked up and saw all of the angry people, he got a suprised look on his face and fake scurried off the stage.

40 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re:#28
I live in Arizona and am the only Cardinals fan I know. I would bet at least 60% of fans in Phoenix are Cowboys fans. The rest are Raider and Steeler fans. It's going to be embarrassing next year when the Cowboys come in to our new stadium and have a home game.

41 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

The funniest thing about the 'time to get your story straight' commercial is that the comments are probably all things that NFL network people said themselves before the season. But after the fact, the media always distance themselves from bad predictions with stuff like "many people thought..."

42 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

"remember when Jackson made that observation about Belichik being hated"

I think Tom was talking as a player. I think he was on target. Football is a very emotional game. At that current time I bet a lot of Pats players did feel that way. By the end of the season the Pats were winners again and were happy as can be. Emotions can change very quickly. I think Tom is a class guy and was a great replacement choice for the Axe.

And yes I hate HDTV commercials that "show" me on my own set how great their picture is.

43 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

#33: I was about to say a suburb of Dallas but it seems like ever since SB XXXVII the Raiders fans have taken over the city.

#40: Pretty true. Like the two home games they got every year when ARI and DAL were in the same division. Only this time it'll be even worse since Cardinals Stadium is based off of the design of Texas Stadium, retractable roof and all.

I can only say I've seen a handful of Steelers fans in Phoenix and Tucson. I know I saw a bit more black and gold up to and immediately after SB XL, but the Raiders are predominant here on the southeast side.

44 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Re 40: A lot of Packers fans as well. Lots of people from the Wisconsin/Minnesota area have moved down to Phoenix. All that said, it's about as frontrunning a town as you're going to find, which means that they'll be quick to pick up the Cardinals should the team ever do well.

45 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

Good to see Mike Carlson getting a mention. The guy does an amazing job on five's nfl coverage.

I'd be amazed if five didn't make a loss on their coverage (showing regular season games only, at 2 in the morning), but the standard is excellent and I hope it gets them the respect they deserve.

46 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

#42: The really ironic thing about the HDTV commercials like that is that they totally demonstrate on my HD why it's so good. You can really tell the difference.

Since I've already bought an HDTV that doesn't really help their cause, mind you, but it makes me feel a lot better about the purchase.

47 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I don't get why so many think highly of Dr. Z. He predicted the Bears, Chargers, and Panthers to be the worst teams in the NFL in the past three years and all three went to the playoffs. The Panthers even made it to the Super Bowl! He's by far the worst sports analyst I've ever heard about, and I can't believe what I'm seeing here. Ah well, at least you guys got the most annoying commercial right.

48 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

I thought the FedEx football cliches commercial with Bettis was pretty good, and he didn't really look at all awkward (at least, not more awkward than usual for Bussie), which you cannot say for the guys that followed.

49 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

[Dr. Z]’s by far the worst sports analyst I’ve ever heard about

That can't be right. You picked something out that he predicted badly. But all experts pick poorly, pretty much. And you could certainly find predictions which, in hindsight, you can bash them for.
Dr. Z is pretty good, and he's better than most NFL writers you'll find. He watches a lot of football, more than most writers, that's for sure.

50 Re: 2005 Football Outsiders Awards, Part II

There should be a category for worst sideline announcer, in which case my vote would be one of those throw away votes since i'd submit:

"ALL OF THEM!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1"