Gregg Easterbrook: Cam Newton is Your New Heathen God

Last week Gregg Easterbrook dazzled us with his ability to compare the Indianapolis Colts to a sh*tty Christian parable written over a century ago by some fuddy duddy Englishman. Basically, the gist of it was you must accept Tony Dungy as your Lord and Savior or you will be cast into the bowels of hell with all the Muslims. If you think that level of idiocy would be tough to top, well, you don’t know our friend Gregg very well. This week, he tackles the issue of Quarterback play and makes more stupid metaphors. He also complains about blitzes and something called ‘creep’, read on if you can handle it.

Perhaps this means Newton should ascend directly to Asgard, to dwell with the football gods. Perhaps Newton is a celestial being walking amongst mortals. Perhaps he is the latest reincarnation of Balrama, the Hindu god of strength, duty and upright behavior.

Haha, just kidding, we all know that no heathen god could be morally upright. Especially one that demanded money to play at Mississippi State.

And he has company. Tony Romo is on a pace to throw for a record 5,496 yards. Drew Brees is on a pace to throw for a record 5,512 yards. Philip Rivers is on a pace to throw for a record 5,592 yards. And Tom Brady — who with his glowing hair makes TMQ exclaim, “Hey, isn’t that Vishnu in the pocket?” — is on a pace to throw for an incredible 7,520 yards.

I wonder what Dungy-Aslan-Jesus would think about this…

The first two weeks of season have been characterized by lots of scoring, and pinball-machine totals for passing yards. Does this mean tough-guy football is being replaced by basketball on grass? People didn’t push the panic button about football toughness in 1984, when Marino threw for the record. But because this season there is officiating emphasis on protecting receivers from helmet-to-helmet hits, and because the rules have gotten even stricture about hitting quarterbacks, there’s a sense that passing yards are the result of the league babying offenses. ESPN columnist Michael Wilbon lays out that notion here.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback isn’t ready to buy into this.

Do you watch football? Breathing on a QB is cause for a personal foul. You can’t even use proper technique to tackle a quarterback in the NFL today without being called for roughing the passer, but go ahead make your point

… Defensive backs seem to be hitting as hard as ever, though in at least some cases, finally trying to avoid the head. Safety Nick Collins of the Green Bay Packers was taken off the field on a stretcher after a monster hit. Cornerback Dunta Robinson of the Atlanta Falcons should have been ejected from the Atlanta-Philadelphia game for a vicious lead-with-the-helmet hit.

Wow. Gregg made a point, then undermined it, then undermined his undermining in the course of two sentences. THAT’S HUSTLE! Your move Peter King.

TMQ thinks the culprit in all these passing yards is blown coverages.

Nobody at all was covering Jeremy Maclin on his first touchdown reception against the Falcons. Nobody at all was covering David Nelson when he caught the game-winner against the Oakland Raiders. Two defensive backs just watched as Devery Henderson ran deep for a 79-yard touchdown catch against the Chicago Bears. Two defensive backs just watched as Jesse Holley ran deep for the 77-yard reception that proved the decisive play against the San Francisco 49ers in overtime.

Way to cherry-pick stats.

In other football news, this column reserves its most love for “all-unwanted” players — those who were not drafted, or were let go, or who in college played below the testosterone-pumped level of Division I. In Buffalo’s 35-point, second-half comeback that led to a last-second victory against Oakland, the offensive starters included Fred Jackson (undrafted out of Division III Coe College), Donald Jones (undrafted out of Division I-AA Youngstown); David Nelson (undrafted) and Erik Pears (undrafted, waived by three teams). Also starting were Ryan Fitzpatrick (played at Harvard, let go by two NFL teams) and Scott Chandler (let go by four NFL teams). Seventh-round draft choices Demetrius Bell and Stevie Johnson performed well, as did Chad Rinehart and Kraig Urbik (both waived twice). The head coach for Buffalo was Chan Gailey, who’s been fired twice in the past five years and was OOF — out of football — all of 2009.

First round picks should be abolished! Wait, I thought the Bills were cheap for playing all these players instead of high-priced mediocrity like Trent Edwards? I’m so confused… Help me out here Gregg…

Jackson, who suited up for the Sioux City Bandits and Rhein Fire after going undrafted, and did not take his first NFL snap till age 25, has become one of the league’s best running backs. He led rushers in the Oakland-Buffalo game with 117 yards. That means the undrafted tailback from tiny liberal-arts Coe College outperformed two other tailbacks on the field — Darren McFadden and C.J. Spiller, both high first-round draft choices from enormous football-factory universities.

Take that, players who do well enough to merit attention early in your careers! Work harder and you can someday struggle to be appreciated and toil in anonymity like Fred Jackson.

Stats of the Week No. 1: As a starter in home games, Tom Brady is on a 29-0 streak in the regular season and a 0-2 streak in the postseason.

This is clearly because of Spygate.

Stats of the Week No. 4: The Washington Redskins are on a 8-0 streak against the St. Louis Cardinals.

The Cardinals play in Arizona.

Stats of the Week No. 5: The New York Giants, who visit the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday, have lost six straight to Philadelphia.

*Kicks desk, grabs foot in pain*

Sweet Special Teams Play of the Week: City of Tampa trailed 17-0 at intermission at Minnesota. Scoring to pull within 17-7 in the third quarter, the visitors executed a sweet onside kick. Tampa did not score on the possession, but the play set the tone for a comeback that led to a Buccaneers’ winning touchdown with 35 seconds remaining. Tampa played the second half with far more enthusiasm than Minnesota, which has gone 6-13 since taking the field for the NFC championship against New Orleans.

This play did not have a meaningful effect on the game, but it changed the game entirely! Or, Minnesota just flat out sucks…

Declining Football IQ No. 2: The Raiders have already committed 23 penalties, most in the league. At Buffalo, Oakland coach Hue Jackson drew a 15-yard penalty for throwing the challenge flag on a touchdown. This season since all touchdowns are automatically reviewed, trying to challenge a touchdown has become an infraction — which every team except Oakland seems to know.

To be fair, simply becoming the Raiders’ head coach results in a 50% decrease in intelligence. This is why Jon Gruden is such a terrible broadcaster.

Sour bonus: New England was now pinned on its 1. Golly gee willikers, what might happen next? Maybe New England will line up with an empty backfield on its own 1 — exactly what New England did in that situation in Week 1 on “Monday Night Football.” Maybe New England will throw to Wes Welker — exactly what New England did in that situation on “Monday Night Football.” Pass to Welker, first down, sweet. Sour was that San Diego was surprised by exactly the tactic the entire nation just watched on Monday Night Football.

Norv’ed again?!

Sweet ‘N’ Sour New England-San Diego Plays No. 2: Patriots leading 17-7 with 19 seconds remaining before intermission, Bolts ball on the New England 29, Ticonderoga-class defensive tackle Vince Wilfork chased a screen man into the flat, intercepted Philip Rivers’ pass and huffed and puffed for 36 yards. Sweet. “Go! Go! Go!” viewers must have chanted as the big man sprinted. Wilfork is listed as 325 pounds. His true weight may be close to 400 pounds: you could see his stomach bouncing up and down as he ran. (Understatement of the true weights of NFL players will be the subject of a coming TMQ.)

I could not care less about anything than Vince Wilfork’s actual weight.

Dunta Robinson of Atlanta was fined $25,000 by the NFL for a vicious helmet-to-helmet hit in 2010, and committed another vicious helmet-to-helmet hit against Philadelphia on Sunday. Last year, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he would suspend repeat offenders involved in using helmets as weapons. Yet Robinson was fined $40,000 for Sunday’s hit, but not suspended. Goodell is signaling NFL players that all this talk about neurological safety is just talk. Goodell might as well have said to Robinson, “Go ahead and aim for the head, the fans think it’s entertaining.”

Yeah, I’m sure Dunta Robinson doesn’t care that he just lost $50,000. Maybe he just likes spearing Eagles’ receivers more than money?

A Cosmic Thought: Not long ago, it was assumed that planets existed beyond the solar system, but owing to great distances and the fact that planets don’t shine like stars, none had been found. As of the end of last week, the count of known exoplanets was up to 683.Millions, or billions, of other worlds may exist in our Milky Way galaxy alone, and there are at least 100 billion galaxies.

Not even slightly relevant to football…

Now trailing 35-31, Buffalo staged a 15-play drive to take the lead with 14 seconds remaining, twice converting on fourth down. On the Bills’ final nine snaps, Oakland big-blitzed seven times. Several big blitzes worked: then backfired on both fourth downs, first allowing a conversion on fourth-and-3, then the winning touchdown on fourth-and-1 from the Oakland 6.

Here’s another Easterbrook staple, complaining about blitzing. Don’t expect him to mention that the Saints effectively murdered Jay Cutler by blitzing almost constantly.

Now about “Terra Nova.” Even if, in the year 2149, everyone somehow forgot that dinosaurs once existed, why would the people be sent 85 million years into the past? That’s an unimaginable span, about 17,000 times as long as the period between the present and the construction of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Supposing the plucky group did “restart civilization” that far back in the past, after 85 million years had gone by, their civilization might have vanished, or its people have evolved into a form unrecognizable to us.

If heading into the past made sense, the place to go to restart civilization would be 15,000 years ago — when the last ice age was ending and the Holocene beginning. The world of 15,000 years ago would be recognizable to people of the 22nd century, and near enough in time that any better society they created might last into the present.


Other time travel premise problems:

• Suppose it is possible to travel into the past and change things. If so at the instant you step into the time machine, any changes you caused already happened long ago, and the present would already be transformed. The instant the first settlers stepped into the “Terra Nova” time machine, whatever impact they were going to have they’ve already had. The year 2149 would already be a result of their past impact.

• If people emerged from a time portal in the past, they wouldn’t forget how they got there. They might conclude that unless the Earth of 2149 was falling apart from pollution, the time machine would never be built, they would never be sent back, so they would cease to exist. Therefore they would have to conspire to ensure that human history unfolded in such a way as to cause calamity in 2149. Maybe the whole reason the world of 2149 needs a time machine is that a prior world of 2149 had a time machine!

Gregg Easterbrook clearly hated Terminator.

Tuesday Morning Quarterback has been on a high horse about government officials who surround themselves with taxpayer-funded bodyguards not for security, but in order to feel more important.

Because, you know, no politicians have been shot in the past year… Oh, yeah…

Trailing 7-0 at Detroit, Kansas City faced fourth-and-1 on the Lions’ 15. The Chiefs entered the game in a tailspin, a 2010 playoff team that had lost its past three by blowout margins. Kansas City seemed to change its psychology — it needed to go for the first down.

Early in the first quarter, kicking the field goal was actually the rational decision. I can’t believe I just agreed with Todd Haley…

Tuesday Morning Quarterback would love for 2011 to result in a Super Bowl pairing of Buffalo versus Detroit. One of them would have to win! I think.

How’s that Saints – Colts pick looking right now Gregg?


Posted on September 20, 2011, in FJM Style, NFL and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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