You Got Served: If I had two billion dollars

I was asked Thursday night what I believe in, spiritually speaking, and the answer I gave is that I believe in the power of people, specifically myself.  What I really believe in is self-interest, and that all people will strive to achieve theirs, to the extent that they’re fully able to understand what that self-interest is.  The world is an enormous collection of self-interests, and that’s true of people, companies, nations, and any other type of entity.

This is a key determinant of my thought process about everything that happens in the world.  For example, it’s why I consider myself to be a foreign policy realist.  (In terms of the American political spectrum, realism is centrist-to-center/right; it has been a key tenet of the foreign policy activities of the Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush I, Clinton and Obama administrations, and it was openly disdained by the Bush II administration.)  Nations act in their own best interests, and therefore the best way to approach diplomacy is to try to understand what those interests are, and what those nations think their interests are, in the event that there is a difference.

I decided to share this, because it’s just so fundamental to my thought process, and by reading my work, each of you knowingly partakes of the resulting thoughts.  Today, as always, I’ve got some thoughts to share.

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Cornerback stats Lard 5-20-11

Happy Friday, Broncos fans! Khaled Elsayed of PFF shares some fascinating data on cornerback play, and there are some interesting findings, if not so much in the way of surprises. The conventional wisdom on cornerbacks measures them by interceptions, which of course is how players like Deltha O'Neal and Tory James make the Pro Bowl. Thankfully that's changing, as folks are learning to focus on how many times corners are targeted and how many receptions they allow in front of them. And while that's a good start, there's a lot more to it - with targets and receptions, we're talking about those dreaded counting stats, and those things don't usually paint the most accurate of pictures.

We prefer rate stats here at IAOFM, as does Elsayed, clearly - if Player A gives up 15 catches in 100 coverage plays (15%) while Player B allows 20 catches in 250 coverage plays (8%), who's better? Proponents of counting stats (or Raiders fans) would see that Player A gave up fewer plays and choose him, while an IAOFM reader would prefer player B, naturally. Of course, we can go deeper and look at rates of plays/targets/catches, which Elsayed does.

Anyway, the result of this data is that Nnamdi Asomugha ranks as tops in a couple of categories, while Champ Bailey isn't too far behind (although probably farther than you might expect). As would follow logically, these two players' CB partners (Stanford Routt and Perrish Cox) saw among the most throws per play as a result. But more interesting to me is that Sean Smith ranks among the elites, while Alphonso Smith is among the worst. You know who's been saying precisely those very things for a long time now? Ted Bartlett, of course. Now, Ted's not as big a fan of stats as I am, but since I happen to think both that Ted knows his stuff and that eventually there would be data to confirm Ted's evaluations, it's quite clear that I AM THE WINNER here (thanks Hondo).

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Fight Club: Goodell versus Smith

There are eight rules of Fight Club. 

Roger Goodell and DeMaurice Smith have broken all of them, except one:

"Fights will go on as long as they have to."

Although all of us out here in fanville would prefer they simply followed rule one (don't talk about Fight Club!), it's been unavoidable.  For every one of Smith's biting and over-the-top punches, Goodell (and his lap dog Jeff Pash) have countered with a calculated yet Chicken Little-ish jab.

I've seen girl fights more exciting than this.  At least girls pull hair.

At this point in the process, what more is there to do than sit back, relax, sip some iced tea, wait for litigation, and try out our newest random quote generator?

Give it a whirl and see what happens when DeMaurice Smith and Roger Goodell say ridiculous things at the same time.  I've included 30 quotes from each, so have as many spins as you'd like.  Don't forget to laugh.  Feel free to even declare a winner if you'd like in the comments below.

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Paige vs. Orton Lard 5-19-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! In his latest mailbag, Woody hints at there being a lot more to his collection of negative stories about Kyle Orton and reminds us that Josh McDaniels came very close to trading him away last summer. Without getting into details, he basically says that Orton is two-faced in presenting himself publicly as a good teammate while behind the scenes being something else entirely. It'll be interesting to see whether Woody comes through with details at some point, or if anyone else does, for that matter. He also (as expected) claims credit for Orton having shown up to last week's group workouts and for John Elway having been hired, and writes that Denver is (of course) not going to sign Nnamdi Asomugha.

I've written here before that I think Woody has it in for Orton. To be clear though, I'm referrring to the way he slips these little nuggets in as asides and his column last week saying Orton should be leading workouts. I see those as Woody's way of turning public opinion against the QB in a manner that strikes as insidious. However, I do not believe that Woody Paige has ever played fast or loose when it comes to presenting facts, and I am not accusing him of doing so here, either. If Woody says that Kyle Orton hasn't been the good soldier everyone assumes he's been, and that he hasn't treated Tim Tebow with much in the way of respect, I believe him. It's understandable that he doesn't just come right out and tell us everything he knows about Orton, as that could place Woodrow's own relationship with the organization in jeopardy, and what then if Orton isn't traded?

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Tweets of the Week - Mustachioed ladies edition

We can't talk lockout all day, can we? I know I can't, nor do I want to. In that spirit, it's time to again churn up the ole' tweet machine, folks! As I expressed in our first installment, please try to take everything that follows (the players' tweets and my commentary) with a generous pinch of salt. These are young men who have spent much of, if not their entire lives chasing the dream of playing in the NFL. Life perspective, proper spelling and grammar don't always fit in or go along with that pursuit - so while we're making light of their tweets, we probably shouldn't view them as painting accurate pictures of who these young men really are. With that in mind, let's see what our favorite players have been up to of late...

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The Daily Lard 5-18-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! Andrew Brandt thinks that the Eighth Circuit's decision to permanently stay Judge Nelson's lockout injunction points to the owners also winning their appeal, and expects that decision to be delivered in late June or early July. On the flip side, Brandt points out that the players are still likely to score big victories in the Brady antitrust case as relates to the draft, free agency and the salary cap, should we reach the point of the players actually litigating those issues. However, such actions are quite far away from actually happening, and likely wouldn't reach a courtroom for perhaps a matter of years. So although mediation is not due to pick up for another three weeks from yesterday, Brandt wonders if we've reached a window where a deal could be reached.

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Fat Camp: The Box

Since we're notably still in legal limbo, I decided to invent some more content today.  I almost said "out of whole cloth" at the end of that sentence, but I stopped myself.  What does that even mean anyway - whole cloth?  As opposed to what, partial cloth?  Sometimes the urge to use stupid cliches is strong and unconscious, but we must fight it so that we don't become Clark Judge-like.  (Remember the Broncos' coaches "calling 911" about the defense?  SMDH)

Speaking of stupid, don't ask me why I follow Jay Glazer on Twitter, but for some reason, I do.  I'm long on record saying that he's a name-dropping douchebag who can usually be found publicly kissing the haunches of Dana White or Jared Allen.  Some random fan asked the ever-brilliant Glazer if the stay being granted by the Eighth Circuit made football less likely in 2011.

Glazer said no, because it could force the players to finally negotiate.  (You'll hear a lot of this inanity, that it's an unwillingness to negotiate by one or both parties.) I told Glazer and his interlocutor that that was completely moronic, because it is.  If the injunction stands, there will be football.  This we know with 100% certainty, because the NFL would be forced to impose rules and have a season with no CBA while litigating in the background.  That's not what the NFL wants, but it's what would happen.

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Longer lockout Lard 5-17-11

Good Morning, Broncos fans! The NFL last night won its first victory in the labor battle with the players, as the Eighth Circuit made permanent their stay of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction, or in plainer English the lockout is back on in a big way. Even more plainly, yesterday means that there is in fact now a real chance that the 2011 season will be delayed, as the lockout will likely continue throughout the appeals process if not longer. Arguments before the Eighth Circuit will begin on June 3, although yesterday's decision makes it appear the owners are likely to win their appeal of Judge Nelson's lockout injunction.

Granted, this decision is not a huge surprise in light of the Eighth Circuit's prior granting of a temporary stay, the lengthy time it took to make that decision permanent, and its expedition of the appeals process. And while this most certainly swings a good deal of leverage back to the owners, whatever penalty Judge Doty imposes in his looming decision regarding the TV lockout insurance money is expected to give "momentum" back to the players. Of course, the owners will surely appeal that decision as well, as is their right...

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Gut Reaction: Eighth Circuit grants stay of lockout injunction

The Eighth Circuit today granted the NFL's request for a stay, by a 2-1 majority.  In the accompanying opinion, the two concurring judges disagreed with Judge Susan Nelson's ruling that this situation was a labor dispute, and not a matter of litigation.

They went so far as to say that the NFL was likely to prevail in their appeal, which will likely occur in June.

The Court, as the NFL had openly hoped, voted along partisan lines and delivered a pro-business ruling.  Frankly, the merits of the Court's comments don't make a lot of sense to me.

The majority completely ignored the fact that the NFL agreed not to pursue a claim of a sham decertification in 1992.  The NFL wanted the NFLPA to recertify at that time, so that they'd be afforded the antitrust protection of a non-statutory labor exemption, which we've been all through here at IAOFM.

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Broncography: Nate Irving

By now, most of us have heard the basic story about Nate Irving.

A top linebacker from North Carolina State, the now-22-year-old player decided to drive back to school in Raleigh late one June night from his home in Wallace, North Carolina. He fell asleep at the wheel of his truck, which struck two trees on the night of June 28, 2009. It was a life-threatening one-vehicle accident. His injuries included a broken rib, a compound fracture of the tibia, a separated shoulder and a punctured lung. To this day, Irving keeps a picture of the wreck on his cellphone to remind himself of the frailty of human life, and how easily it can be lost. Irving now has a metal rod in one leg, and also bears the tattoo of a cross on the underside of his left forearm, with the date of the accident - 6-28-2009 - perpendicular to the base of the cross. Noted Irving,

I noticed that within a snap of a finger it can all be taken away. I want to go out and play every play as hard as I can, every practice as hard as I can, be at every meeting and do every workout. Just to be out there and take full advantage of it and appreciate the game for what it is really worth.

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