Tuesday Wednesday, friends - and welcome to the Year in Review Edition of You Got Served. Since that sterling example of journalistic football excellence, Peter King, ran his YIR piece Monday, I feel like I need to one-up him today, as I review the year that has been.
January, 2010 – I left MileHighReport.com and started a website that I was sure was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread. Sliced bread is pretty damn great, so I was setting a high standard for myself.
February, 2010 – I started to realize that writing all of the content, doing all of the site’s technology management, and still working a full-time job was a lot. Still, I pressed on.
March, 2010 – I still pressed on, and imagined that I was learning what it was like to bang my head against a wall repeatedly.
April, 2010 – I felt burned out from football writing, and after the Draft, I took a break that ultimately resulted in being the end of SmarterFans.com. It wasn’t that good from the beginning anyway, and I knew it. On the bright side, I got asked to play in a golf tournament at work - never having played much golf, I bought clubs, started taking lessons, and set about trying not to embarrass myself in June, when it was time to play.
On Tuesday, one of our readers said that he felt Robert Ayers’ low sack production to date means that he shouldn’t have been drafted in the first round. He opined that the reason people seem to imply or call Ayers a flat-out bust is this supposed over-drafting.
I have some problems with this thinking, and I decided to focus on it today. I don’t blame the commenter, and I’m not picking on him or her. Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and my purpose today is to explain my own.
I didn’t love the Ayers pick when the Broncos drafted him 18th overall in 2009. I also didn’t love the Knowshon Moreno choice six picks prior, and of course, I did love the Alphonso Smith pick in the second round. Obviously, my opinions have changed over time on all three. Moreno is on his way to being an outstanding all-around RB, Smith really isn’t very good at all, and Ayers is the best player of the three.
Somehow, somewhere along the way, I became Ayers’ biggest supporter in the Broncos internet world. I feel like I should explain myself. As a member of the Fat Man team, you should be used to me saying that the best way to win football games is to pass the ball down the field, and to stop other teams from doing so.
Happy Tuesday friends, and welcome to another kicking-it-old-school edition of You Got Served. As Doug lamented Sunday, we’re now into the extended no-football period, of which this is my third as a blogger. In the past two, this was the time to get really excited about soon-to-come free agency, and in a parallel sense, the draft evaluation activities such as the Combine and various Pro Days. It’s been an exciting time, with lots to write about.
This year, of course, rosterbation feels a little strange. Since we don’t know what’s going to happen on March 4th, we don’t know if this is going to be a boring time, or a really exciting one. I tend to think that it will be exciting sooner rather than later, and I’m proceeding under that assumption. In any case, we’re going to keep bringing it to you like room service here at the Fat Man. While other sites fall off, we’re going to keep getting stronger. Ready….. BEGIN!!
1. Two weeks ago, I wrote the most focused article I’ve ever written about football, regarding the clear overvaluation of NFL franchises by Forbes - it’s been a gigantic success in the scheme of this site’s current footprint. It’s been viewed about twice as many times as the next most-viewed article here so far in 2011, and yet, I feel like it’s just scratching the surface. I’ve been sort of shamelessly trying to push it to finding critical mass, and really widespread (millions of people, rather than thousands) consumption, and while I’ve gotten some wide-platform people to read and compliment it, it hasn’t yet gotten the push I’m looking for. (For the record, I almost never push my work anywhere once it's done, but this seems different. It's like I want to be seen in my Sunday best.)
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served. I had a busy day today, including my 3-hour project management class, and a busy weekend, so I’m starting at 9:10 PM on Monday night, and I’m going till I run out of gas. This is kicking it old school, like back in my ST&NO days (I would have watched 8 games in 4 hours then, instead of going to class, but whatevs.) Ready…. BEGIN!
1. I really enjoyed the Super Bowl on Sunday, because it spawned so much good subject material, much of which has already been discussed by Doug and TJ. I’ll absolutely cosign with Doug that Green Bay should have gone for it on 4th and goal late in the game. Either you score a TD and effectively end the game, or you make Pittsburgh play out of their own end zone, trailing by three at the two-minute warning, with only one timeout. Either way, it’s a lot better than kicking off with a six-point lead, even if you minimize the kickoff return. I know this, and you should know it by now, but read this article, which Doug linked in yesterday’s Lard, if you need mathematical proof.
TJ also made the salient point that the halftime show was atrocious. What in the hell was that plastic device on Will.I.Am’s head? And Fergie did butcher Sweet Child O' Mine. It couldn’t have gone worse if Barry Manilow and Tom Jones adapted it as a duet for the 60-something women set, complete with pelvic gyrations. (Whoa... scary thought.) The NFL decided to dip their toe back into contemporary music, and came up a loser on that roll of the dice.
When I write a long column, I number my different topics and always retire Number 7 for John Elway. I've seen that done by others, here and there, and I always think it's cool to be the guy who started it. As a player, John Elway's career was amazing, and he's very well-deserving of having his greatness honored in whatever little way that people like us can do it. I advocated for the hiring of Elway to a front office role, and I was glad when it happened, but I have to tell you, I'm troubled with what I've been seeing from him.
I have no doubt that Elway is a smart guy, and I have little doubt that he can be a good front office guy. I keep hoping that he'll stop with the media blitz, and that he realizes that it's inappropriate, but there doesn't seem to be an end in sight. I listened to Brian Xanders on Sirius NFL Radio last night, and he's been at it too. It seems like they want to be the public faces of the Denver Broncos, and this is a huge mistake. The front office should speak to the media sparingly, and only in the offseason. Otherwise, they severely risk handcuffing the Head Coach, who is essentially required by NFL policy to be the public face of the team.
A Navy buddy of mine named Billy Gamble recently asked if I thought there would be a lockout that would affect the 2011 season. He couched the question in terms of his own outrage with paying $8 for a beer, and I think that's a fairly common and reasonable fan reaction:
I spend a lot of money on football, so what the hell is the problem? Why would there even be talk of a lockout? Isn't there enough money coming in right now for everybody to get a fair piece? I mean, come on, 8 freaking dollars for a beer?
The short answer is, no, I don't think there will be a lockout that causes any games not to be played. It's possible-to-likely, though, that a lockout occurs which delays the start of the new NFL year, and makes things which are normally orderly, like free agency and offseason workouts, a bit chaotic.
I decided that I'd talk extensively today about NFL economics, and move from that into a discussion about the real issues in this collective bargaining negotiation. As usual, my assumption is that my readers are smart enough to understand all of this, but I realize that there may be some detailed questions which you may have. I'll be glad to answer those in the comments.
First, let's talk about some accounting concepts, at a really basic level. This is obviously what I do for a living, and it can get very complicated, but, for now, I'm only going to touch on stuff which frankly everybody should understand, and which a shocking number of people misunderstand.
The first key term is revenue, which is the top line of any income statement. Revenue simply means gross income received for goods and services. The $8 for the beer, the $200 for the ticket, and the $1 billion that DirecTV pays each year for Sunday Ticket rights all end up as revenue. All current-term and future cash inflows related to business operations become revenue.
Happy Tuesday, friends! Step up to the buffet for a serving. This is going to be shorter than in some weeks, because I’m putting more effort than normal into the next edition of Fat Camp. That’s going to be about NFL economics and how they affect the CBA negotiations, and as you can imagine that’s not a topic that can be covered in any value-adding way without writing a lot of words, and doing a lot of research about it. I could have included it here, but I wanted to publish it under separate cover for a few reasons. Honestly, I'd already started working on it over the weekend, but I’m tabling it for the time being so I can bring you YGS as regularly scheduled. Let’s get right to it. Ready…. BEGIN!
1. Sunday’s games were both excellent in the end after having started off in lopsided fashion. I think what that tells us is that each of the four teams was worthy of being there. Here are some thoughts from the Packers-Bears game:
a. I’m such a smart analyst that I thought the Bears would be a 4-12 team this year, but they played much better than I'd expected them to. When I said that, after their lucky/undeserved win against Detroit in Week 1, their offensive line looked so atrocious that I couldn’t imagine them having a good season. A lot of credit goes to offensive line coach Mike Tice for shuffling his group and putting them in the best position to be successful. A key was realizing that Chris Williams is much better at Left Guard than he is at Left Tackle - just like Oakland experienced with Robert Gallery. Yeah, you used a first-rounder on the guy - but if he can be solid in a new spot, and he’s lousy in the one you drafted him for, you move him to where he’s solid, and get the most you can out of the guy. It still makes me chuckle that when I was a newish rank-and-file poster at MHR in the spring of 2008, I was getting hit HARD for publicly preferring Ryan Clady over Chris Williams. I was the guy who didn’t know what I was talking about. Everybody LOVED Chris Williams and Earl Bennett, and Denver was going to become Vanderbilt West, and the winning tradition of the Commodores would be transplanted into the Broncos. Or something.
Hello, friends, and welcome to the new news. I'm very pleased to be joining the outstanding team here at IAOFM, and I'm ready to do my part in making this the best football site on the internet. With the group of writers we have in place, I feel that that is an attainable goal. Thanks in advance for your support of my work.
Have you noticed how NFL Insider has become a job title in sports journalism? Adam Schefter is the NFL Insider for ESPN.com. Adam Schein is the Jets Insider for SNY. With the popularity of reality TV, it seems like everybody wants to be inside the thought processes, and backstories of every event. Even the normally mundane events, like a car ride from DIA to Dove Valley for a coaching interview, are getting shared with fans. In that spirit of transparency, and reader-friendliness, I granted an interview to an intrepid journalist, who wanted to know about my Decision to join IAOFM.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to Information From My Eyes. MHR people will recognize that title as something I used for sections in my old Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations posts. The title refers to a phone survey about sports blogging I participated in with a Penn State journalism student last year. The guy asked me where I get my information, meaning what websites. I guess in his mind, bloggers find information from “professional” writers, and repost it. I got a little annoyed with the poor kid, and told him my information came from my eyes.
I think Information From My Eyes is apropos of my whole Tuesday article though, particularly in the regular season, because this is going to revolve around games I watch on Monday nights. Normally, I come home and watch 5-6 recorded Sunday afternoon games, and then the Monday night game live. That’s what I did tonight. Of course, as we get into the offseason, there will be less to watch, so I will probably go back to regular season game video for that analysis.
Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to the triumphant finale of Shallow Thoughts & Nearsighted Observations on MileHighReport.com. I'm obviously excited for my new venture, but I'm a little sad to have just typed that sentence. The feedback I've received has been very positive, and I particularly thank those who emailed me offline with encouragement on my new direction.
For today, I'm still very proud to be part of the staff of the best Broncos site in the world, and tomorrow, I'll be just as proud to be an alumnus of it, and a branch from the John Bena tree. (More branches are coming, trust me on that; quality like we have on this site breeds it.) Taking my MHR responsibility very seriously, and recognizing that some might not care a whit about my new site, I am going to hold off on the details of it for now, and include it as a postscript to this ST&NO, for those who are interested. Those who aren't can simply skip it, and not feel like I subjected them to undue pain and suffering. I think that's a fair deal, and I'll assume by your silence that you assent to its terms.