TMQ Thread

dynomite

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SidelineCameras said:
Once a faithful reader, I haven't clicked on TMQ all year. Looks like nothing has changed. I'm going to go ahead and assume he's also mad about the government and the fact that he saw some Valentine's Day decorations last week or something else equally critical.
Same here, except I stopped reading during 2007's Spygate silliness, when Greggggg descended into a state of complete and utter hysteria about what most NFL people acknowledged had been a widespread long-standing custom, such that (if I remember correctly) he didn't think the NFL had any choice but to give Belichick a lifetime ban (and wanted an investigation about whether to take back the trophies as well).

For a writer with such pretentious intellectual aspirations, who questions football orthodoxy and often takes pains to break down plays in an attempt to reveal the Xs and Os behind them, it's really striking how -- for lack of a better word -- stupid he is about football sometimes. For instance:
 
weeba said:
TMQ wrote: This generated bad karma that came back to haunt Belichick in that season's Super Bowl loss. What's the point of generating more bad karma now?
That's one of the stupidest fucking things I've ever read about anything. Ever.

The casual way in which, with a straight face, he assigns part of the Patriots Super Bowl loss in 2007 to "bad karma" baffles me. That's the kind of comment I would expect from a 22-year-old who works at a hair salon and posts links to Onion articles on Facebook with a "Can you guys believe this actually happened?!?" tagline.

Are you fucking serious, Gregggg? Karma? KARMA!?!?!

Put aside that the Patriots didn't run up the score. Put aside that this isn't a 4th grade soccer game and "running up the score" isn't a fucking thing because these are professional fucking athletes paid to fucking play football and the fucking crowd is in the fucking stands because they fucking paid to watch football not some bullshit fucking gentleman's romp.

To warn the Patriots not to act a certain way because of "karma" should in and of itself prevent Gregggg from being taken seriously ever again.
 

MyDaughterLovesTomGordon

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I'm not a huge fan of Gregg's (though I thought the Progress Paradox was an okay book), and I've stopped reading his column just because it's so repetitive it became hard to read, but I always assumed he was being tongue in cheek with all that karma stuff. 
 
I mean, he writes about games being decided by how much clothing the cheerleaders are wearing... Surely you don't think he actually believes in that, too?
 

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I haven't read his stuff in years, but he's always been exceptionally intellectually dishonest.  A cherry picker of the worst sort.  If you ever read a diatribe about blitzing, or punting near midfield, or any of 100 other things he talks about over and over and over, you know that he only cites examples where his theories prove correct while ignoring the many times they are completely wrong.  Often in the same game or same drive.  To him, it's as if they never happened because they don't agree with his theory.  He never challenges his own opinions or looks for counter-examples, which leads to a 100% success rate in his mind and the right to be an arrogant prick.
 
To summarize, he is:
 
1. Repetitive
2. Repetitive
3. Unfunny
4. Often factually wrong
5. Incapable of self-examination
6. Arrogant
 
A tasty cocktail indeed.
 

dynomite

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MyDaughterLovesTomGordon said:
I'm not a huge fan of Gregg's (though I thought the Progress Paradox was an okay book), and I've stopped reading his column just because it's so repetitive it became hard to read, but I always assumed he was being tongue in cheek with all that karma stuff. 
 
I mean, he writes about games being decided by how much clothing the cheerleaders are wearing... Surely you don't think he actually believes in that, too?
Honestly, I don't know what to think.

His references to "the Football Gods" and examples of teams who violate his bullshit moral code and later get their comeuppance are so constant and consistent that (before I stopped reading him) I began to suspect that he thinks there might be some strange truth to the notion.

And in any event, that paragraph makes my eyes bleed. Writing an entire paragraph about the Patriots being poor sports and claiming that "bad karma" will haunt them -- even if tongue-in-cheek -- is mind-numbingly stupid. It's not funny or insightful, so why put it in his column?
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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He's always had that strange quirk of applying a strict behavioral moral code to a professional sports league. And not in a "hazing is a societal evil" sort of way (although I'm sure that's going to be discussed in today's column) but more in a "tut tut we should all be good sports and chap on the field" in a very English boarding school type of way. He's part statistical guru ("No punting") and part shrieking housewife.
 
And as others have mentioned he is intellectually dishonest. Gloryboys and high draft picks are bad! Except when they're good. Punting is bad! Except when the team wins. Etc.
 
There's a reason that Deadspin's section on TMQ is titled " Gregg Easterbrook is a haughty dipshit."
 

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dynomite said:
Honestly, I don't know what to think.

His references to "the Football Gods" and examples of teams who violate his bullshit moral code and later get their comeuppance are so constant and consistent that (before I stopped reading him) I began to suspect that he thinks there might be some strange truth to the notion.

And in any event, that paragraph makes my eyes bleed. Writing an entire paragraph about the Patriots being poor sports and claiming that "bad karma" will haunt them -- even if tongue-in-cheek -- is mind-numbingly stupid. It's not funny or insightful, so why put it in his column?
 
I guess I'm right there with you. For a guy who otherwise seems fairly intelligent (you don't get to Brookings without doing something along the way that impressed somebody), it's fairly inexplicable that he could actually believe in the sort of tit-for-tat explanations he trots out. Yet he does it again and again, so I'm left in much the same place you are. 
 
He must sort of believe it!
 
But I still wonder if he thinks he's being funny or something. It's just so otherwise odd that a guy who purports to love science, and spends huge paragraphs debunking science fiction, would also put some kind of stock in "the football gods."
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Well today he shows that he's a foul hypocrite:
 
 
Maybe it was running up the score for Drew Brees to throw deep at the start of the fourth quarter, his team already leading 35-17. But Jerry Jones and his players boast so much, then play so poorly, it's impossible to feel sympathy. For the game's final 13 minutes, the Saints did not attempt a forward pass. This did not matter: The Boys allowed a 78-yard touchdown drive consisting entirely of plain-vanilla running plays. Dallas is on a pace to allow 7,037 yards, which would be the second-worst performance ever by an NFL defense.
 
The Pats scoring in the 4th by running the ball when up 17? RUNNING UP THE SCORE, VERILY THEY SHALL BE SMITED.
 
The Saints scoring in the 4th by running the ball when up big? GODFREY DANIEL, THE COWBOYS ARE AWFUL.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Then there's this:
 
 
Trailing 17-10 on the final snap of regulation, Cincinnati launched an improbable Hail Mary that was caught for a touchdown that made it 17-16 with the clock expired. Line up for a PAT kick, then fake it and go for two! Succeed, and the game ends with Cincinnati victorious. Kick the singleton and go to overtime, where the chance is 50-50.
 
Are the odds of a deuce better than 50-50? Historically, half of NFL deuce tries succeed -- last season it was 47 percent. But that stat mainly reflects expected tries. Surprise deuce attempts from kicking formation almost always succeed.
 
Evidence? Nah, Greg's not gonna provide any stinking evidence. FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD.
 
A professor would return that paper with "Show your work."
 

SidelineCameras

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So many questions.
 
So would it be OK for the Patriots to run up the score against the Cowboys?
Maybe it would be OK to do so against everyone Gregg hates, like Michael Crabtree or others?
Wait, wait, that doesn't matter, because the evil Patriots practiced their evil evilness against the Redskins in 2007. Even if they are owned by Evil Lord Voldemort Synder, Spygate evil + running up the score evil trumps all other evil?
Do non-football antics matter in this bullshit worldview? The Steelers QB - he's not exactly a saint, right? Maybe it wasn't running up the score against the Steelers in 2007 after they had that safety who guaranteed regular season victory?
How does Bountygate come into this? I mean, it's obvious that filming opposing teams is way more evil than intentionally trying to injure them. But does Jerry Jones being a dink really trump Bountygate? Are they not stained for the foreseeable future for their evil actions as the Patriots are? Or are they off the hook because Sean Payton served his sentence than that's that?
 
On second thought, don't answer any of this Gregg. Trying to understand this logic is like dividing by zero in my head. Whatever. Thanks TMQ, i am done with you forever.
 

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
Well today he shows that he's a foul hypocrite:
 
 
The Pats scoring in the 4th by running the ball when up 17? RUNNING UP THE SCORE, VERILY THEY SHALL BE SMITED.
 
The Saints scoring in the 4th by running the ball when up big? GODFREY DANIEL, THE COWBOYS ARE AWFUL.
 
 
Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
Then there's this:
 
 
Evidence? Nah, Greg's not gonna provide any stinking evidence. FORTUNE FAVORS THE BOLD.
 
A professor would return that paper with "Show your work."
 
And to me the worst of the bunch:
 
On the safety that was among the most dramatic two-point plays in the sport's annals -- runner tackled 5 yards deep in the end zone, almost as he was receiving the handoff -- emergency guard Nate Garner did not block anyone. Garner simply stood up and looked bewildered as Tampa linebacker Lavonte David crashed untouched through the center of the Dolphins' offensive line.
 
 
I watched the play live and didn't see that and you can see in ESPN's own highlights package that Garner was completely engaged with Gerald McCoy and not standing around blocking anyone. Fuck Easterbrook, he's a lying tool.
 
edit: grammar
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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Drew Magary has a good bit in his TMQ is a Haughty Dipshit piece today:
 
 
Who had the manliest manly man sweet play this week in the esteemed TMQ's eyes? Not that HIGH-PRICED GLORY BOY Tony Romo!
 
 
"Tony Romo, paid about as much as Super Bowl winners Tom Brady and Joe Flacco, does hit lots of passes but often vanishes in the clutch. The Boys were 0-for-9 on third downs. Ye gods."
 
Jiminy Ayer's Rock! Once Tony Romo, formerly a scrappy undrafted underdog, got handsomely rewarded for his hard work, he became a repulsive ME-FIRSTER incapable of completing a third-down pass! He's not clutch at all, except for the fact that he's had the second most comeback wins for QBs since 2011 and the third most game-winning drives since 2011. I'm sorry, but now that Romo has money he is all about the STATSAPALOOZA.
 

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TMQ often irritates me, but some of the complaints above in this thread seem a little disingenuous. His schtick is really not that hard to understand - he takes certain stances regarding football, and uses these as a prism for his weekly round-up of the action. His columns are deliberately constructed to be highly subjective in nature, in much the same way that Bill Simmons columns are. I can certainly see that this sort of thing is less likely to appeal to the highly analytical crowd here at SoSH, but for better or worse, that is what they are. So the accusations of hypocrisy or of believing that karma actually affects football outcomes clearly miss the mark.

Having said that, I entirely agree that there is no excuse for blatantly making things up in support of his points, and it is on these occasions that I find him to be completely insufferable. In addition to the example regarding the Miami-TB safety mentioned above, I have to call BS on his column a couple of weeks ago, when in the course of praising Trestman for the 4th-and-1 conversion against the Packers, he claimed that his breakdown of when to go for it on 4th down has been supported by computer simulations. This is clearly false, as this scheme fails to consider a wide range of relevant variables, and often gives the wrong decision (Trestman's over-aggressive call being just one example.)
 

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Bellhorn said:
TMQ often irritates me, but some of the complaints above in this thread seem a little disingenuous. His schtick is really not that hard to understand - he takes certain stances regarding football, and uses these as a prism for his weekly round-up of the action. His columns are deliberately constructed to be highly subjective in nature, in much the same way that Bill Simmons columns are. I can certainly see that this sort of thing is less likely to appeal to the highly analytical crowd here at SoSH, but for better or worse, that is what they are. So the accusations of hypocrisy or of believing that karma actually affects football outcomes clearly miss the mark.
 
 
TMQ isn't annoying because he talkes subjective views about football, they're annoying because he uses the football gods and karma and his inconsistent ad hominem attacks as device to inject his football columns with inane, naive, and in my honest opinion often racist, views about morality. Gregg lives in a world where undrafted scrappy slot receivers and hard working farmboys on the offensive line are the true heros, where spoiled pampered first rounds wideouts from big schools are cancers who contribute little to winning games, where surly coaches who compete to fiercely deserve to lose but those who display their religion and speak in platitudes deserve to win. He then constructs his columns to reinforce his views.
 
I just want to know more about what really happend in Sunday's games, or in the league in general, and he stopped helping me with that years ago.
 

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Bellhorn said:
So the accusations of hypocrisy or of believing that karma actually affects football outcomes clearly miss the mark.
 
I see these as two completely different things.
 
Karma, refusing to punt, the coach not wearing a jacket, scantily-clad cheerleaders and all the other things that apparently lead to victory are either a joke he is telling, or, if he is serious, a sign that he is nuts and not to be taken seriously. I will give you that.
 
But how does pointing out inconsistency and showing a writer contradict himself miss the mark? As you say, he's taking a "stance" about football that is "highly subjective." But being subjective shouldn't give someone with a national platform license to contradict himself as the situation suites him.
 

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It bugs me how he says things like:
 
Stats of the Week No. 1: The Carolina Panthers are on a 12-3 streak.
 
Isn't the generally accepted usage of "streak" in sports that you have either a run of wins or of losses. Not some of each?
 
I don't know, maybe it's technically fine, but it bugs me.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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I realize he writes tongue-in-cheek much of the time, but the display of ego here is breathtaking:
 
 
The Secret of Blast Gold at Last Revealed: Years ago when Page 2 still existed and still had a background of yellow kryptonite, your columnist claimed to have drawn up a play that was "100 percent unstoppable." The play was called Blast Gold. A year after the boasting item linked in the previous sentence ran, in a middle-school game I called Blast Gold on fourth-and-short from our own 18, and the result was a touchdown. If I could have sold the diagram to an NFL team using eBay, I would have. Time marched on, and I never revealed the secret of the play.
 
Sunday, the St. Louis Rams ran Blast Gold. Tavon Austin lined up wide; came in motion left, back toward the formation; took a toss left; took one hard step left and then executed a planned reversal of field, sprinting right behind a pulling blocker for a 65-yard touchdown. Reversal-of-field runs are high-risk, high-reward. Usually they occur spontaneously on broken plays. They should be planned more often.
 
Sure, Greggggg, an NFL team ran your play that you never described two years ago. Alrighty then.
 

joe dokes

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
I realize he writes tongue-in-cheek much of the time, but the display of ego here is breathtaking:
 
 
Sure, Greggggg, an NFL team ran your play that you never described two years ago. Alrighty then.
 

Smiling Joe Hesketh

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In the game, Niners zone-read quarterback Colin Kaepernick struggled against one of the league's worst pass defenses, often sailing the ball where no receiver awaited. Lead by a highly drafted, magazine-cover, college-style quarterback, the Niners are last in the league in passing.
 
15-24, 235 Yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs.
 
The intellectual dishonesty is staggering.
 

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This guy, Peter King, CHB, even, to switch media, Francesa. . . .
 
is there a law that says, after X years as a sports columnist/pundit, you have to degenerate into a twitchy, self-referential bag of tricks?
 
(signed,
 
A Message Boarder)
 

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MarcSullivaFan said:
He's being flamed on twitter for claiming that both SEA and SF run "vanilla" 4-3 schemes.

https://twitter.com/smartfootball/status/423195605838491648
 
Smart Football is an even more of a pedantic ass than Easterbrook--he calls himself smart football for crissake and he doesn't even argue/show why Easterbrook's statement is false-so rooting for one of the other is a bit of a king kong v. godzilla deal from where I sit. 
 

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
 
15-24, 235 Yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs.
 
The intellectual dishonesty is staggering.
It's not dishonesty.  Or intellectual.  :)  He just doesn't pay any attention to anything beyond his own confirmation bias.
 
He's like the color guys who tell a story about what happened on a play and stick to it while clearly being contradicted by the simultaneous replay. 
 
Except he's got two days and a DVR to write about most of the stuff.
 

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Shelterdog said:
 
Smart Football is an even more of a pedantic ass than Easterbrook--he calls himself smart football for crissake and he doesn't even argue/show why Easterbrook's statement is false-so rooting for one of the other is a bit of a king kong v. godzilla deal from where I sit. 
I don't think anything in my post suggested that I was rooting for one or the other. I was reporting the fact that TMQ was being flamed for his stupid column, by Smart Football, among others. Smart Football did provide specifics in the tweets that followed, namely that Seattle uses multiple fronts and does blitz regularly, though usually one extra rusher rather than 2 or 3. And, obviously, SF doesn't even play a base 4-3. As this article discusses, the 49ers spend considerable time out of their base defense: http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/49ers-cash-nickel-defense-against-packers

In other words, TMQ created the West Coast Defense from the whole cloth because it sounds cool.
 

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MarcSullivaFan said:
I don't think anything in my post suggested that I was rooting for one or the other. I was reporting the fact that TMQ was being flamed for his stupid column, by Smart Football, among others. Smart Football did provide specifics in the tweets that followed, namely that Seattle uses multiple fronts and does blitz regularly, though usually one extra rusher rather than 2 or 3. And, obviously, SF doesn't even play a base 4-3. As this article discusses, the 49ers spend considerable time out of their base defense: http://www.csnbayarea.com/49ers/49ers-cash-nickel-defense-against-packers

In other words, TMQ created the West Coast Defense from the whole cloth because it sounds cool.
 
 
My gripe is with Smart Football, not with you. SF runs a 3-4 and both SF and Seattle seem to run reasonably complex schemes so TMQ certainly appears to be making stuff up, but Smart Football's snootiness just gets me.  Smart Football seems to know his stuff reasonably well but he spends more time stating that TMQ is a dumbass than actually demonstrating why TMQ is a dumbass.
 

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Shelterdog said:
 
 
My gripe is with Smart Football, not with you. SF runs a 3-4 and both SF and Seattle seem to run reasonably complex schemes so TMQ certainly appears to be making stuff up, but Smart Football's snootiness just gets me.  Smart Football seems to know his stuff reasonably well but he spends more time stating that TMQ is a dumbass than actually demonstrating why TMQ is a dumbass.
He has a pretty good article today breaking down Seattle's D, if you're interested: http://grantland.com/features/whos-laughing-now/
 
It was a tweet, so I don't know that it's reasonable to expect him to detail why Easterbrook is a dumbass in 140 characters. I'm indifferent as to whether Brown is "snooty" or not, but I find him a lot more informative than TMQ.
 

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Super Nomario said:
He has a pretty good article today breaking down Seattle's D, if you're interested: http://grantland.com/features/whos-laughing-now/
 
It was a tweet, so I don't know that it's reasonable to expect him to detail why Easterbrook is a dumbass in 140 characters. I'm indifferent as to whether Brown is "snooty" or not, but I find him a lot more informative than TMQ.
 
He could have tweeted twice.  Or done what some of the other commentators said and noted that SF runs a 3-4.
 
Interestingly enough the article doesn't really rebut TMQ as far as Seattle goes--his article says essentially Seattle runs a 4-3 under with one two-gapping DE and plays a ton of cover-three (which he says is a simple defense).  
 

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Shelterdog said:
 
He could have tweeted twice.  Or done what some of the other commentators said and noted that SF runs a 3-4.
 
Interestingly enough the article doesn't really rebut TMQ as far as Seattle goes--his article says essentially Seattle runs a 4-3 under with one two-gapping DE and plays a ton of cover-three (which he says is a simple defense).  
Not trying to call you out, but he did follow up that tweet with more substance.

https://twitter.com/smartfootball/status/423196443742982144

https://twitter.com/smartfootball/status/423198582447951874

I don't agree with your characterization of Brown's article. He mentions that they use one or two two-gapping linemen, and mix press coverage into cover three with on the fly adjustments based on the routes being run. True, he doesn't characterize these tweaks as wildly exotic, but they also do not jibe with TMQ's characterization of the Seattle defense as lacking nuance.

Moreover, the schemes run by SF by SEA are obviously different, from the base alignment to use of sub packages.

He was definitely being snarky, and his breathless use of end punctuation was excessive, but TMQ deserved to be called out for being full of shit. Calling yourself "SmartFootball" is obnoxious, but he's at least showing his work.
 

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Ralphwiggum said:
No, see, at Cal you don't take the "When to Kneel and When to Score" class until your senior year, so Lynch missed it.
 
Poor Ryan Fitzpatrick. Harvard only teaches "throw it to the guys wearing the same colored uniform as you"  to grad students.
 

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MarcSullivaFan said:
Not trying to call you out, but he did follow up that tweet with more substance.

https://twitter.com/smartfootball/status/423196443742982144

https://twitter.com/smartfootball/status/423198582447951874

I don't agree with your characterization of Brown's article. He mentions that they use one or two two-gapping linemen, and mix press coverage into cover three with on the fly adjustments based on the routes being run. True, he doesn't characterize these tweaks as wildly exotic, but they also do not jibe with TMQ's characterization of the Seattle defense as lacking nuance.

Moreover, the schemes run by SF by SEA are obviously different, from the base alignment to use of sub packages.

He was definitely being snarky, and his breathless use of end punctuation was excessive, but TMQ deserved to be called out for being full of shit. Calling yourself "SmartFootball" is obnoxious, but he's at least showing his work.
I didn't see those tweets and if he'd started with tweets like that I'd be a hundred percent behind him. TMQ deserves to be mocked, Chris Brown is a good guy to do it, I just wish he spent more time on substance than on being a smartass.   
 

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MentalDisabldLst said:
Bill Simmons, especially when picking NFL bets.
Can't argue with that. I was just taking the opportunity to paraphrase my favorite BB quote of all time:

"Who's been wrong more than Charley Casserly since he left the Redskins? His percentage is like a meteorologist," Belichick said.
 

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Shelterdog said:
I didn't see those tweets and if he'd started with tweets like that I'd be a hundred percent behind him. TMQ deserves to be mocked, Chris Brown is a good guy to do it, I just wish he spent more time on substance than on being a smartass.   
It certainly doesn't add to his credibility as a writer. And he's preaching to the choir. There seems to be high level of snark among the new-wave football writers. I don't have a problem with it as a rule, especially when it's directed towards a someone as pretentious and self-righteous as TMQ, but it does get tiresome when they harp on the same issue over and over, e.g, Barnwell and his crusade against momentum.
 

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MarcSullivaFan said:
It certainly doesn't add to his credibility as a writer. And he's preaching to the choir. There seems to be high level of snark among the new-wave football writers. I don't have a problem with it as a rule, especially when it's directed towards a someone as pretentious and self-righteous as TMQ, but it does get tiresome when they harp on the same issue over and over, e.g, Barnwell and his crusade against momentum.
 
You mean Barnwell and his crusadeS against everything involving conventional wisdom. Barnwell has had a horrific season. I thought he was pretty good last year, actually. This year he's just been a turd in the punch bowl.
 

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From TMQs stats this week

Stats of the Championships No. 1: Before Spygate, Bill Belichick's Patriots were 12-2 in the playoffs and 3-0 in the Super Bowl. Since the taping scheme was discovered, they are 6-6 in the postseason and 0-2 in the Super Bowl.
If he had previously displayed self-awareness on this issue, I would just give him credit for trolling New England fans. However I think he is quite serious. Never mind that the rosters from 2009-2013 bare almost no resemblance to the rosters from 2001-2004; or the fact that in the two years immediately before the taping scheme was revealed, the Pats went 3-2 in the playoffs and didn't make the Super Bowl, yet they made the Super Bowl in their first year after; or the fact that Belichick's regular season record with the Patriots post-spygate is 88-24, and was 75-37 prior.

Edit: typo on the record (88-24, not 88-14)
 

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The taping scheme didn't pay off until the last 2-3 minutes of Super Bowls, when, oh, yeah, the opposition had the ball.
 
Did they tape offensive signals too?  Oh, they'd have to intercept playcalls electronically.  Wait, what about teams in the no-huddle?
 
My brain is collapsing in on itself.
 

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Mystic Merlin said:
The taping scheme didn't pay off until the last 2-3 minutes of Super Bowls, when, oh, yeah, the opposition had the ball.
 
Did they tape offensive signals too?  Oh, they'd have to intercept playcalls electronically.  Wait, what about teams in the no-huddle?
 
My brain is collapsing in on itself.
We all know Wes Welker dropped that ball in the Super Bowl two years ago because Ernie Adams was unable to decipher the Giants sideline play call in time without his precious video tapes that would have been delivered to him two weeks later.
 

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Smiling Joe Hesketh said:
Obviously reaching the Super Bowl twice and losing them both by a total of 7 points means the franchise is a failure and should be mocked.
 
Cheaters never win, Joe.
 

Hendu for Kutch

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Apr 7, 2006
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Nashua, NH
Have you ever been able to pin someone down in conversation and make them articulate exactly what advantage the Patriots got from taping from the sidelines?  It's hilarious the mental gymnastics they'll go through to try and justify it.
 
Q: "So you're saying that in the 12 minutes of halftime, they're able to break down an hour and a half of film, watching both signals and the corresponding play, sufficiently closely that they can identify signal patterns and crack the other team's signals?  Do they have a time machine or an area where time moves at a different speed than the rest of the world?"
 
A: "Well, uh...ya, they watch the tapes at halftime to get the other team's signals.  And that's why they won so much."
 
Q: "So you're saying that knowing the other team's signals in the 2nd half of games is the main factor in their success, or at least a vitally important one?"
 
A: "Ya, they don't win anymore without it!"
 
Q: "So what if I told you that the Patriots had a halftime lead in 10 of their 14 playoff games from 2001-2006?  That they were outscored in the 2nd half in over half of those games.  That they were actually over SEVEN times better in the 1st half than the 2nd half of playoff games during their "cheating" stretch.  Seriously, they are +80 in the 1st half in those 14 games, but only +11 in the 2nd half.  In fact, in the 3 championship years, the only game they trailed at halftime was the Oakland game in 2001.  But they were outscored in the 2nd half in 6 of those 9 games.  How do you explain this startling mountain of evidence that more or less proves the narrative completely wrong?"
 
A: "They had tapes of the other team's practices.  That's why they started out so quick"
 
Q: "You know that wasn't a true story right?  That it was retracted and shown that the guy telling the story was full of shit?"
 
A: "Ya, right.  Or there was a coverup.  Goodell destroyed the evidence."
 
Q: "But you still haven't explained how we benefited from taping the signals."
 
A: "You're such a homer.  Goodell wouldn't have punished them if it didn't help them."
 
Q: "Wait, so Goodell is your source for righteousness now?  I thought you said he was involved in a coverup a second ago?"
 
A: "Patriots never win anything any more!  They lost again, see?  I was right!"
 

redsahx

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Sep 26, 2007
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Hendu for Kutch said:
Have you ever been able to pin someone down in conversation and make them articulate exactly what advantage the Patriots got from taping from the sidelines?  It's hilarious the mental gymnastics they'll go through to try and justify it.
 
The best take on spygate IMO still to this day is King Kaufman's piece on Salon.com just a couple of days after that Jets game (The links I could track down for this piece no longer work). He suggested Goodell just get rid of the video taping rule because it's pointless. He also pointed out the obvious to those outraged at the idea of someone stealing signs from coaches standing in plain public view of 60,000+ people; the reason coaches are using funny signals to begin with is because there is no expectation of privacy there. 
 
The worst take by far is still TMQs the following week (SOSH had a good takedown of it) where he dropped this nugget
 
The San Diego coaching staff has changed since the playoff game, so presumably its defensive calls are different. But San Diego's new defensive coordinator, Ted Cottrell, was defensive coordinator for the Bills and Jets, both AFC East teams, in the Belichick period. Perhaps Belichick has spied on Cottrell's calls before and took out the tapes of the spying rather than handing them over as Goodell demanded. Was New England cheating again Sunday night, when the Patriots advanced the ball with such ease it seemed they knew what defense San Diego would be in?
Just imagine the thought process required to come up with such an elaborate theory that falls apart upon the slightest reflection, then actually including it in a widely read national column on football. To steal from TMQs single-worst-play-of-the-season gimmick: Gregg Easterbrook, you are guilty of the several dumbest things written about spy gate thus far!