Mark it Zero

You give stats a bad name - how I’ve failed to become a statistical Bon Jovi

I long ago lost my faith in the quality of Bon Jovi's work.

Yet I can't recall the exact game I stopped believing in NFL statistics.  Perhaps it's best if I tell you when I began to lose my faith.

It was last year's game when the Broncos were pulverized (yet again) by the Baltimore Ravens.  You probably remember the statistical headlines from the game.  Kyle Orton threw for over 300 yards and Brandon Lloyd went for more than 100 yards receiving.  I had already posted my Gut Reaction to the game, which like all Gut Reactions, are usually posted within fifteen minutes of a game's finish.  It was well-written, yet there was something that still haunted me.

So I hit the game tape over and over again.  It didn't take more than a few series to see the horror that was Haloti Ngata.

Ngata was dominant that day, even though he finished with only three tackles.  Play after play he dominated the Broncos' offensive line.  Ngata got gap penetration; he used the same swim move what seemed like half a dozen times (which I promptly taught to a pee-wee football team the following week); he pushed the line back into the backfield two or three yards; he was a nightmare that, to this day, probably causes Ryan Harris to wake at night in cold sweats.

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Your letter to Roger Goodell

Perhaps many of you remember Mad Libs

They were the creation of screenwriter Leonard Stern, who passed away earlier this week.

In honor of Stern, Mad Libs, and the ridiculousness that is the NFL lockout, we decided to give you our own fill-in-the-blank Mad Lib.

This one is a letter to Roger Goodell.  

Just fill in each blank with whatever comes to your mind and click on the "create story" button once you are done.  A small window will pop up with your own letter.  You can copy your story from the window in the comments below if you'd like.  I took the liberty of creating the first.

It should be ridiculous.  But that's the point of Mad Libs.

Enjoy!

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A rabbit’s foot and a hoodie

Will John Fox be a good coach?  Will he be a great coach?  Will he be fired after two seasons?

Rather than offer up a Kool-Aid-based opinion, in which I defend Fox as a turnaround artist and the victim of bad ownership in Carolina, I thought I'd let sheer randomness take a crack at the question.

So let's start our own NFL.  You've always wanted to do that, haven't you?  Now, instead of being born an heir to the Johnson & Johnson fortune, you can just have a team.  Yeah, I'm that nice a guy. Savor it.

The ground rules of our league are quite simple.  We don't even need to pay Roger Goodell his meager $1 salary.  The rules are as follows:

  • You have thirty-two teams
  • All of the teams have new coaches
  • Twelve out of these thirty-two teams will make the playoffs each year
  • Each team has an same probability of making the playoffs each and every year (37.5% or 12/32)
  • We play four seasons

Why four seasons?  Well, that happens to be a common contract length for a new coach.  But who's counting, eh?

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When the going gets tough, the tough don’t cut payroll

The NFL lockout has given many teams an excuse to trim payroll.  Cuts (or furloughs) for coaches and staff are reported to have hit the Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, Buffalo Bills, Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaquars, Kansas City Chiefs, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, and Tampa Bay Bucs. 

Greedy owners?  Sure.  Greedier than other teams that aren't cutting payroll?  Perhaps.

Stupid?  Absolutely.

The Denver Broncos are one of several teams who have said they won't be cutting back.  

They should be lauded for the move, but not for some moral, ethical, or emotional argument.  They should be lauded because it's smart business.

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This is your brain; this is your brain on college football. Any questions?

Americans sure are a conflicted lot.

Perhaps it's our Puritan heritage mixed with a healthy dose of risk taking.  After all, it requires a special type to flee religious persecution and immediately begin executing witches (good times!).

We've been battling our demons ever since.

Take sex, for instance.  In 2004, we Americans collectively blew a gasket after seeing Janet Jackson's nipple during the Super Bowl. At the same time, the pornography industry outearned Microsoft, Google, Amazon, eBay, Yahoo, Apple,and Netflix combined.  Gambling is another of our favorites.  According to this research from Fairleigh Dickinson University, 53% of Americans oppose betting on college and pro sports, but 62% of these same Americans have gambled at a casino at least once.

The list goes on and on.  Pick any topic, and it's likely Americans will have conflicted themselves in some manner.

Perhaps the biggest joke of them all is college athletics.  Education and college athletics may be allowed on the same bus (or chartered jet), but education has to sit in the back.

This week, we were again reminded of this reality.  Everyone's favorite grandfather in a sweater vest, Jim Tressel, resigned from Ohio State University.

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John Elway would have made a great cologne

For months I had been working on a new men's cologne called Elway.

The name was just local color.

My true intention was combining the pungent smell of the Broncos' locker room with the grassy aroma of the Mile High turf

Originally, the name of the cologne was going to be Johnson 9-5 on account of the fact that it took about an hour for you to work up enough sweat so that your female coworkers could get a whiff of your "natural" pheromones.

The name Elway just sounds better.  I don't anticipate it will help sales in the least.  My lawyer told me to say that, but in my heart, I believe it.

The strong scent was guaranteed; the results with your female coworkers were not.

Now that I've received a letter from some NFL quarterback telling me to cease and desist with this cologne, I'm guess I'll just write some limericks wrapping up this week's most interesting news.

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I played the game, so just shut up

I'm not a huge NBA fan, but this story about Scottie Pippen drew my attention yesterday.

It seems Pippen made a comment that LeBron James might eventually be the greatest player in NBA history--greater even than Michael Jordan.

That's not the interesting part of the story.  If Pippen believes LeBron is that good, he's certainly entitled to it.  What's more interesting is what he tweeted to fans who disagreed with his assessment:

For all of you that don't know I played the game you keep watching and cheering.

Here we go again--another former athlete who thinks that just because they played the game, their ability to evaluate talent is far superior to the ability of anyone else.  Further, they think everyone else should just shut up.

Pippen could have easily been a former NFL player saying the same thing.  Ryan Leaf famously remarked that only players could really understand.

The antichrist to this view is, of course, Matt Millen.  A Pro Bowler and NFL champion four times over, Millen was, at best, a below average talent evaluator.  One NFL executive even remarked that Millen had made more draft mistakes than anyone else had in two centuries.

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The Dude’s Mail Revue: Flipping tackles, a lockout guide, and Evil Elway

Fat Man writer TJ “The Dude” Johnson posts The Dude’s Mail Revue on Thursdays, in which he takes your questions and gets your opinion about the state of the Denver Broncos.

You wanna tie the room together?  Or say what you'd like about the tenets of national socialism?

Drop TJ a question: tjthedudejohnson@gmail.com.

(NOTE: Marmots were harmed in the writing of this Revue)

TJ, since the Broncos are hell bent on dropping Ryan Harris and going with rookie Orlando Franklin at right tackle, why not flip our tackles so our best lineman, Ryan Clady, is protecting Tebow’s blind side?

--Antonio Boselli,  Jacksonville, Florida

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Ten reasons I freakin’ hate (love) Tim Tebow

A year later, and Tim Tebow is still as polarizing as he's ever been.

From his religious views to his throwing motion, the cat has split Broncos Country like Al Davis splits time between sanity and loco--which is to say, about half the time.

If a weed-smoking Boulder liberal can't come to common ground with a Christian Baptist from Colorado Springs over the game of football, what has this world come to?

Pack it up.  The Chinese have won.

It forces me to tears--little Tiny Tim (Tebow) tears.

I can't stand it any longer.  I'm going biopolar.

Here are ten reasons to hate (love) Tim Tebow:

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Tres Hombres - Three Limericks

After receiving dozens of requests from readers to bring limericks back to football, I've finally decided to do it.

What brought me back from the depths of bawdy and crude artistic expression?

The Denver Broncos' quarterback debate--that, and a whole hell of a lot of time to kill during a lockout.

Orton versus Tebow?

Tebow and Orton versus Quinn?

Woody Paige versus the world?

All of it pales in comparision to whether I can work in a reference to Rick Mirer, The Bible, and Jockey underwear on a Sunday afternoon.

Enjoy.  If you dare.

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