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Monday, January 25, 2010

CtB: Calcaterra: If Brett Favre rules applied to baseball

Calcatetris…it’s sweeping the nation!

So last night Brett Favre throws an interception that costs his team a trip to the Super Bowl. You think he’s going to be ripped for it, but within minutes of the game ending the ESPN talking heads are launching right back into that “he’s like a kid out there/he’s a gunslinger” baloney. The best one was Tom Jackson who said “That’s the thing about Brett Favre; he’s not afraid to throw an interception. That’s one of the things I most admire about him.”

I thought that was some of the best suck-up-inspired denial of reality from a commentator I’ve heard in ages, so I quickly tweeted the following for laughs: “That’s the thing about Bill Buckner. He’s not afraid to muff a grounder. That’s one of the things I most admire about him.” Worried that people may not get the joke,  I applied a #FavreRulesForAll tag on it.  I giggled to myself for approximately four seconds, shut my computer down and went to sleep.

I woke up this morning to find that the meme had been picked up (the tag improved to #ESPNFavreRulesForAll). Between 11pm and 5am this morning, hundreds of people had made thousands of “That’s the thing about [infamous person] he’s not afraid to [make a big historical failure]. Gotta respect that.” posts.  Most were pop culture related. My favorite was Will Leitch’s “That’s the thing about France: It’s not afraid to build a war plan around the Maginot Line. Gotta respect that.” It was lightning fast. It was kinda brilliant. By dawn this morning it was utterly played out, at least on Twitter. There is something glorious about that.

 

Repoz Posted: January 25, 2010 at 02:44 PM | 1018 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   101. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 06:59 PM (#3445850)
As soon as I saw it I immediately recalled virtually every single Bears game I watched this year.

I kinda miss Grossman. He sucked, but he was entertaining in how often he'd lock on to the go or post route and throw to that receiver no matter what was unfolding in front of him. It's the way I used to play Tecmo Bowl.
   102. SteveM. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3445855)
I might add that one reason the French did not extend the Maginot line was because of the sheer cost. The Franco-Belgium border had higher water tables, meaning that it would have cost for more to construct then the portion guarding the German border. The 1930s saw the world's economies in a depression after all.
   103. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:01 PM (#3445854)
actually, Pfish, it's a common misconception that threads about WWII are really about dicksize
   104. Davo Dozier Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:02 PM (#3445857)
All of these discussions start with some stupid throwaway reference and then the next comment is 500 words beginning with, "Actually, that's a common misconception."
Actually, that's a common misconception.

The original article's reference to the Maginot Line wasn't just a throwaway reference--it wass....

I can't continue.
   105. Juan V Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:04 PM (#3445860)
Hey, I think war hijacks are among the site's highlights. Keep it going.
   106. Russ Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:04 PM (#3445861)
After last night, I was more convinced that Ben Roethlisberger is Brett Favre's long-lost love child. So many of those decisions were ones that Roethlisberger has made in big games at important times. #28 had it right... when guys like Favre and Roethlisberger actually convert on their insane decisions they look like geniuses and Hall-of-Famers... when they don't, you get what happened last night. They live so close to the edge on almost every down that it's not surprising that they fall off so often.

You had a great contrast with Favre with Manning earlier in the day. Manning's greatest weakness is his obsessiveness to control the situation, which turns out to be his greatest strength. Manning should have never tried to hurry into the QB sneak on the goal-line in the first half. That could have really cost the Colts down the line. However, he absolutely abused the Jets from the 2 minute warning for the half onwards. Two great quarterbacks, two completely opposite styles. Even Manning's improvisation at the line seems meticulously planned.
   107. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3445862)
Why do you guys always argue about WWII? More than any other regular tangent the WWII stuff seems to always be about measuring your dicks. All of these discussions start with some stupid throwaway reference and then the next comment is 500 words beginning with, "Actually, that's a common misconception." And then it's on.

REally? You are really going to single out WWII as somehow being unique in this regard? If anything this statement could follow the same theme as the linked article's theme. Obscure music, politics, movies, Billy Beane, Mets, Red Sox, so on and so on. You know I don't running around looking for every single obscure music threads so that I can bash the people involved.
   108. Tripon Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3445863)

I kinda miss Grossman. He sucked, but he was entertaining in how often he'd lock on to the go or post route and throw to that receiver no matter what was unfolding in front of him. It's the way I used to play Tecmo Bowl.


I thought Jay Cutler was the second coming of Rex Grossman?
   109. Conor Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:05 PM (#3445864)
I don't mind the OT rules. I definitely like the NFL rules better than college. I think perhaps it would be better if kickoffs were moved up to the 35 instead of the 30. I think when kickoffs were from the 35 the team that won the toss won very close to 50% of the time.
   110. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3445869)
Lee needed to destroy the Union army if he and the South ever hoped to win the war. McClellan was simply never going to let him do that while he was in charge of the main army.
Not true. Lee had a fantastic opportunity to destroy the Army of the Potomac during the Seven Days' Battles, but his divisions could never properly coordinate their attacks.
   111. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3445870)
REally? You are really going to single out WWII as somehow being unique in this regard? If anything this statement could follow the same theme as the linked article's theme. Obscure music, politics, movies, Billy Beane, Mets, Red Sox, so on and so on. You know I don't running around looking for every single obscure music threads so that I can bash the people involved.

I will say the one time I got involved in a discussion on here about military history, by the end of it I had entirely forgotten what my original point was.

Of course that was about WWI, not WWII, and was therefore a much cooler conversation.
   112. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:09 PM (#3445871)
I might add that one reason the French did not extend the Maginot line was because of the sheer cost. The Franco-Belgium border had higher water tables, meaning that it would have cost for more to construct then the portion guarding the German border. The 1930s saw the world's economies in a depression after all.

Well, the French after the completion of the Maginot line were still spending money and were building a mechanized army.

The French never really viewed the Maginot line as an impregnable line. They saw it as a defense that would slow the Germans up and allow the French to counter attack and roll into Germany with their own mechanized units. Nor was Belgium defenseless. They too built fortifications that were formidable but they were simply not prepared for the Germans.
   113. Anthony Giacalone Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:10 PM (#3445873)
The only thing more entertaining than reading baseball experts do half-assed analysis of history would be to read historians do half-assed analysis of baseball.
   114. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:11 PM (#3445874)
Proposed NFL postseason OT rule:

First Overtime: Full 15-minute OT -- no sudden death
Second Overtime: First team to lead by 6 or team leading after 15 minutes.
Third Overtime & Beyond: Sudden Death
   115. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3445875)
to read historians do half-assed analysis of baseball

I'm a half-assed historian doing half-assed analysis of baseball...does that count for anything?
   116. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:13 PM (#3445877)
Of course that was about WWI, not WWII, and was therefore a much cooler conversation.


I'll see what I can do.

Lee needed to destroy the Union army if he and the South ever hoped to win the war. McClellan was simply never going to let him do that while he was in charge of the main army.


McClellan = John Jellicoe. Discuss.

How's that?
   117. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3445878)
The only thing more entertaining than reading baseball experts do half-assed analysis of history would be to read historians do half-assed analysis of baseball.


YOU LEAVE KEN BURNS OUT OF THIS!
   118. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:14 PM (#3445879)
I miss the threads about "obscure" music - whatever happened to them?
   119. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3445882)
McClellan = John Jellicoe. Discuss.

I was actually thinking the same thing. It makes for pretty boring warfare, and Jutland really demonstrated some serious flaws in the British Navy, but you can't really argue with the overall strategy.
   120. rr Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3445883)
I'm a half-assed historian doing half-assed analysis of baseball...does that count for anything?


One complete ass.

(sorry couldn't resist)
   121. Edmundo got dem ol' Kozma blues again mama Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:15 PM (#3445884)
pounding on Mrs. Brady's vase

I've never heard it expressed quite that way before.

The only thing more entertaining than reading baseball experts do half-assed analysis of history would be to read historians do half-assed analysis of baseball.
Not a big Doris Kearns Goodwin fan, I take it?
   122. phredbird Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3445885)
It sounded to me like Aikman wanted to jump on him but realized that it wasn't very professional. He submitted his criticism and let it go. You shouldn't, IMHO, continue to rag on guys anymore than you should praise every little thing. Critique the play and move on. I think Aikman is really good in the booth - enough so that he makes Buck almost tolerable. I wonder how Buck would fare in MLB if he had a really good partner.


As for the play, yes, Favre has been making that play for decades but I think a lot of it was his leg. I think he simply didn't want to run 10 more yards and get smacked, though if he does the Vikes are likely in the Super Bowl.


bingo. he'd been getting killed all night, and i think he just got a little gun shy.

aikman is a hard-###. he didn't think the saints should have been penalized on the play where the saint pass rusher picked up favre and planted him in the turf, which i thought was funny coming from an ex-QB.
   123. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3445887)
REally? You are really going to single out WWII as somehow being unique in this regard? If anything this statement could follow the same theme as the linked article's theme. Obscure music, politics, movies, Billy Beane, Mets, Red Sox, so on and so on.


Hmmm. I don't think so. Most of these hijacks don't start off in the same show-offy way. Certainly not Mets/Sox/Beane.

Music often has a more joyous feeling ("Hey, great Replacements reference! I've been listening to Tim a lot recently and really think it stands up as one of the best albums of the 80s").

The movie/music threads start out as discussions and, if they get big enough, all semblance of discussion breaks down and they just turn into lists of things that people like. ("No mention of Lion in Winter? For shame!") So this is something worth criticism but a different type of beast.

Politics is politics, people aren't trying to show off their erudition, they're belittling the opposing viewpoints or, frequently, just outright flaming.

WWII threads seem unique to me in the neverending quest to prove that you have read more books, or have a more nuanced appreciation for historical complexities, or whatever.
   124. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:16 PM (#3445889)
One complete ass.

I was thinking more like...

So I'd be doing the work of one whole ass....[nodding] that sounds about right!
   125. Pasta-diving Jeter (jmac66) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:17 PM (#3445891)
The only thing more entertaining than reading baseball experts do half-assed analysis of history would be to read historians do half-assed analysis of baseball.

as somebody once said: "the art in restaurants compares favorably to the food in museums"
   126. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:17 PM (#3445892)
Proposed NFL postseason OT rule:

First Overtime: Full 15-minute OT -- no sudden death
Second Overtime: First team to lead by 6 or team leading after 15 minutes.
Third Overtime & Beyond: Sudden Death


Reminds me of all the re-alignment/schedule change proposals we get here. Like 2 more teams in NYC, shorten the schedule, add more doubleheaders, 8 divisions, eliminate the wild card and interleague... AKA never in a million years.
   127. Delorians Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:18 PM (#3445893)
Proposed NFL postseason OT rule:

First Overtime: Full 15-minute OT -- no sudden death
Second Overtime: First team to lead by 6 or team leading after 15 minutes.
Third Overtime & Beyond: Sudden Death


This plan would definitely be supported by whichever team is scheduled to play the winner the following week.
   128. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3445895)
McClellan = John Jellicoe. Discuss.


I was actually thinking the same thing. It makes for pretty boring warfare, and Jutland really demonstrated some serious flaws in the British Navy, but you can't really argue with the overall strategy.


George Washington sort of fits that mold as well. No matter how many battles he lost, no matter how many cities he abandoned, as long as he kept the Continental Army intact, he would eventually win.
   129. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3445896)
This plan would definitely be supported by whichever team is scheduled to play the winner the following week.

I don't think that the NFL's mentality in postseason games should be "just get it over with already".

I think at the very least this should be the overtime rule for the Super Bowl.
   130. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3445897)
McClellan = John Jellicoe. Discuss.

I always thought that Bernard Montgomery was a flashier McClellan.

Oh, wait, we weren't supposed to be talking about WWII, were we?
   131. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3445898)
Actually, the movie threads can get annoying. There is always a certain percentage of people that assume this critical voice which suggests that they have seen every movie ever made and are the ultimate arbiters of quality.
   132. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:25 PM (#3445901)
It's the way I used to play Tecmo Bowl.


What a great, great game that was. So simple and so much fun. Nowadays when I try to pick up the X-box or whatever it's impossible to sit down and just quickly figure out how to play the game. You're dealing with 12 different buttons, retarded angles, wind currents...

Though I suppose if I were fifteen again I could do it. Now I just don't have the patience to learn.
   133. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:30 PM (#3445906)
I would like to see the NFL adopt a rule that if the receiving team in OT scores without relinquishing possession on their first drive, the kicking team in OT has to be given one possession to tie (or lead). That would stop silly nonsense like pulling up at the 30 to kick a FG on the opening drive - you'd be much better served to try to score a TD.

Yeah, because the only problem with the NFL is that the games aren't long enough. Sheesh.

There is NOTHING in college football worse than their overtime rules***, which are little more than an endless series of Mulligans. If a pro defense can't stop a team on its first drive, they deserve to lose. If you want to make it tougher to score on the first try, then just start all opening possessions on the 20, but sudden death is one of the many things that makes the pro game better.

***not even the FSU tomahawk chop
   134. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:31 PM (#3445907)
Actually, the movie threads can get annoying. There is always a certain percentage of people that assume this critical voice which suggests that they have seen every movie ever made and are the ultimate arbiters of quality.

My ears are burning!
   135. rlc Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:31 PM (#3445908)
I had no idea Jubal Early (from Firefly) was named after a real person. This thread got very confusing for a minute

According to IMDB, the real Jubal Early is one of Nathan Fillion's ancestors, and that's why they chose the name; they may have realized the show was a lost cause by then...
   136. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3445912)
If a pro defense can't stop a team on its first drive, they deserve to lose.
Except when you've got two teams with great offenses playing great that day and meh defenses, you've essentially turned overtime into "whoever wins the coin toss wins the game". More than that, the current overtime rules turn the game into something different at the end of regulation. Not as bad as college of course, but field position and clock management are no longer factors.
   137. Ron Johnson Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:46 PM (#3445917)
Lee had a fantastic opportunity to destroy the Army of the Potomac during the Seven Days' Battles, but his divisions could never properly coordinate their attacks.


I think most people vastly overestimate the probability of destroying any decent sized Civil War force.

And underestimate the difficulty of pulling off an attack on a temporarily isolated force. See the various failures during the Atlanta campaign.

A victory on the level of Chancellorsville was certainly possible, but destruction? Pure fantasy as best I can tell.

Not too many people come out of the 7 days with an enhanced reputation. I think Porter did well but that's about it.
   138. bunyon Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:48 PM (#3445919)
I had no idea Jubal Early (from Firefly) was named after a real person.

The entire concept for Firefly came out of Whedon reading an account of an "ordinary" Southerner in the Reconstruction era. I also figured it was that - though I just saw rlc's post (135), which I didn't know.
   139. bunyon Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:50 PM (#3445921)
Proposed NFL postseason OT rule:

First Overtime: Full 15-minute OT -- no sudden death
Second Overtime: First team to lead by 6 or team leading after 15 minutes.
Third Overtime & Beyond: Sudden Death


I'd shorten it a bit. First OT as you say, but the second OT would just be 8 minutes.


Or they could emulate soccer and simply have each team's respective offensive line attempt 25 yard FG off a tee. Best of five.
   140. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:52 PM (#3445924)
WWII threads seem unique to me in the neverending quest to prove that you have read more books, or have a more nuanced appreciation for historical complexities, or whatever.


This. A thousand times this. Every thread like this always eventually becomes everybody "correcting" each other, in an attempt to make themselves seem like more of an authority than the other person.
   141. JJ1986 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3445926)
Except when you've got two teams with great offenses playing great that day and meh defenses, you've essentially turned overtime into "whoever wins the coin toss wins the game".

The opposite just happened in Green Bay/Arizona.
   142. Cabbage Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3445929)
I'd shorten it a bit. First OT as you say, but the second OT would just be 8 minutes.

Best idea I've heard is the silent auction sudden death. Instead of a coin toss, each coach would bid how far deep he'd be pinned in his own territory in exchange for the first possession.

So the Saint could bid for possession on their own 7, and the Vikings would win with a 6 or below. Tie goes to the home team, flip for a kick if both bid the 1 yard line.

Avoids the artificial alternating possession systems, while eliminating some of the luck.

I'm not sure where I first heard this, maybe TMQ or Football Outsiders.
   143. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:57 PM (#3445933)
Except when you've got two teams with great offenses playing great that day and meh defenses, you've essentially turned overtime into "whoever wins the coin toss wins the game".


Coin toss winner wins something like 52% of the time, right?

It looks like the Vikings scored on 4 of 12 possessions yesterday. Saints on 5 of 12.

So, I think you are incorrect.

(This doesn't adjust for short possessions after turnovers, or possessions where the team might have attempted an early FG had they been in OT)
   144. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: January 25, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3445935)
I like it, Cabbage.
   145. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3445937)
If a pro defense can't stop a team on its first drive, they deserve to lose.

Except when you've got two teams with great offenses playing great that day and meh defenses, you've essentially turned overtime into "whoever wins the coin toss wins the game".


Well, then they both deserve to lose, and the faster you can get it over with, the better. And if the team that loses the toss can step it up and make a stop, they deserve to win all the more.

But as I said, you can always start the team that wins the flip at their own 20. That at least takes the long kick return out of the equation.

More than that, the current overtime rules turn the game into something different at the end of regulation. Not as bad as college of course, but field position and clock management are no longer factors.

Different, but not any worse. It just makes the coach's job a bit more vulnerable to second guessing.

Not as bad as college of course,

Nothing could be as stupid as college football overtime, which reminds me of the NBA in the early 60's, or college basketball today with its three point line that a 12 year old can shoot from. The only thing that's good about CFB overtime is that it brings about the occasional go-for-broke 2 point conversion, but most coaches just play it safe and drag the game on for yet another pair of series.
   146. depletion Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3445938)
What I like about Ben Bernanke is that he's willing to lay back and let market forces have their way, even during a multi-trillion dollar implosion. I really respect that.
   147. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3445939)
Best idea I've heard is the silent auction sudden death.


I favor a skills competition. 100 yd dash, bench press, etc.
   148. JPWF13 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:02 PM (#3445940)
I think most people vastly overestimate the probability of destroying any decent sized Civil War force.


Most battles featured forces that were too evenly matched in terms of men and firepower, no one, not even Lee at Chancellorsville had a casualty ratio sufficiently in his favor that would allow him to "annihilate" the enemy army. Even in the more lopsided battles the winner tended to incur too many casualties and lose too much equipment to allow a rapid follow-up.

I suppose in an alternative history, if the North had leveraged its industrial and technological advantages- ie: arming entire divisions with lever action rifles and guarding the flanks/supply train with gatlings, the North *could* have at some point fought such a battle, like the Battle of Königgrätz in the Prussian-Austrian War, where the North's overwhelming rate of fire advantage could have inflicted a truly devastating battlefield defeat on the South. Howver, the North's quartermaster Corp HATED "repeating" rifles...
   149. JPWF13 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:03 PM (#3445942)
What I like about Ben Bernanke is that he's willing to lay back and let market forces have their way, even during a multi-trillion dollar implosion. I really respect that.


virtually all "conservative" US economists advocate/advocated just that.
   150. TDF, situational idiot Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3445943)
After last night, I was more convinced that Ben Roethlisberger is Brett Favre's long-lost love child. So many of those decisions were ones that Roethlisberger has made in big games at important times. #28 had it right... when guys like Favre and Roethlisberger actually convert on their insane decisions they look like geniuses and Hall-of-Famers... when they don't, you get what happened last night. They live so close to the edge on almost every down that it's not surprising that they fall off so often.


With one exception - instead of throwing an interception when trying to force a play, Roethlisberger will wait until either the end of time or he gets sacked to make a play. Often, it's the latter.

Yea, he's often bigger than the vast majority of the defenders, but those guys get paid alot of money to tackle him. He needs to learn to throw the ball away more often.
   151. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:04 PM (#3445944)
Best idea I've heard is the silent auction sudden death. Instead of a coin toss, each coach would bid how far deep he'd be pinned in his own territory in exchange for the first possession.

Now THAT would be interesting, though if they ever implemented it, we'd probably see our first NFL coaches' strike.
   152. bunyon Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:06 PM (#3445948)
I'd bid the opponents one, just to see if the refs can't account for which side of the field and simply award lowest number.
   153. Forsch 10 From Navarone (Dayn) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:08 PM (#3445952)
but sudden death is one of the many things that makes the pro game better.

You, sir, are a scoundrel.
   154. phredbird Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:09 PM (#3445954)
favre thought he could throw over the maginot line and set up the field goal but he didn't account for lee's forces being mobile enough to put a defender on the ball ...

in other words ...

it was a trap!
   155. zack Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:10 PM (#3445955)
Overtime should be decided by alternating kick-offs until someone scores off the kick. I mean, they are the special teams. Oh and no substitutions, even for injury.
   156. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:24 PM (#3445964)
This. A thousand times this. Every thread like this always eventually becomes everybody "correcting" each other, in an attempt to make themselves seem like more of an authority than the other person.


That's not the case. OTOH, WWII threads do seem to be mainly caused by Repoz linking Craig Calcaterra; at least lately.
   157. joker24 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:25 PM (#3445965)
virtually all "conservative" US economists advocate/advocated just that.


They also advocate/advocated not using the GSE's to make mass amounts of credit available to otherwise unworthy credit risks for the purpose of politicized social engineering via implied taxpayer backing. Fools they are.

I'd say the better analogy is "What I like about Ben Bernanke is that he was willing to lay back and ignore the housing bubble over the course of years and still might keep his job. I really respect that."
   158. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3445968)
Yeah, because the only problem with the NFL is that the games aren't long enough. Sheesh.


I've solved this problem, Andy.

I quite literally don't watch NFL games live anymore. I always start them on a tivo delay, and I skip:

1. All commercials.
2. All pre-game shows.
3. All halftime shows.
4. All postgame shows.
5. All kickoffs except when it's crunch time in the 4th quarter.
6. All punts except when it's crunch time in the 4th quarter.

Seriously, I can pare the games down to no more than 90 minutes that way. It works great.

There is nothing more boring than kickoff and punt returns, even if the returner breaks them, except in a close game in the 4th quarter.

Well, there is one thing more boring and senseless: all of the pre-game, halftime, and postgame shows. Do I really need to hear a bunch of canned jokes about Jimmy Johnson's hair or Terry Bradshaw's lack thereof? Do I really need to watch Boomer Esiason flip the football to Bill Cowher, and then watch as Cowher drops the ball on purpose and they all have a bad laugh over it? No, and no. These studio shows are as bad as the late night shows (Letterman, Leno, Conan), and that's pretty awful. The tidbits of analysis you get in exchange simply aren't worth the pain you have to go through to get them.
   159. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3445969)
but sudden death is one of the many things that makes the pro game better.

You, sir, are a scoundrel.


OTOH I'd love to see CFB return to one platoon football and see how many Sammy Baughs, Chuck Bednariks, and Lou Grozas might emerge from the woodworks. You'd get a higher grade of all-around athlete, and by allowing wholesale substitutions at the start of each new quarter, you could still give an advantage to the team with greater roster depth. IMO it would make for a far more interesting game, not to mention a much faster one.
   160. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3445970)
So...Jubal Early vs. Jimmy Carter for History's Greatest Monster?

I guess we can throw Neville in there, too.
   161. Srul Itza Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:34 PM (#3445972)
as somebody once said: "the art in restaurants compares favorably to the food in museums"


I must disagree. I have found the food at the Tate, at the Contemporary Museum on Tantalus (Honolulu) and at the State Art Museum in down town Honolulu to be excellent.
   162. CraigK Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:35 PM (#3445973)
All I've gotten from this thread is that Brett Favre was the president of the CSA.
   163. OsunaSakata Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:37 PM (#3445977)
I'd like the NFL overtime to be the auction combined with "Name That Tune". At the beginning of overtime, the referees bring the two head coaches to midfield explaining they will bid on where they will start on offense. The visitng team coach starts by saying,"I'll take the ball on my -- yard line." Then they respond in integer increments. Of course, whoever takes it on their 1 automatically wins. Anytime before that, the other coach stops by saying,"You've got the ball."

The best soccer overtime suggestion I've heard was to play in increments of 10 minutes each. At the end of each ten minutes of overtime, each side has to remove a player. The removed players are in a free substitution status and are not permanently removed from the game. They can come back to replace somebody if they have sat out a 10-minute overtime period. Teams also get an additional permanent substitution, like the regulation rules, at the start of overtime, and every 30 minutes thereafter. If there are fewer defenders, I'm sure it will be easier to score a goal.
   164. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:38 PM (#3445981)
I was actually thinking the same thing. It makes for pretty boring warfare, and Jutland really demonstrated some serious flaws in the British Navy, but you can't really argue with the overall strategy.
There's something profoundly icky about the kind of popular war historiography that tends to drive these threads, that I think this tossed off description exemplifies.
   165. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:39 PM (#3445983)
All I've gotten from this thread is that Brett Favre was the president of the CSA.


Why have only one Antietam when you can have three or four.
   166. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:39 PM (#3445984)
This. A thousand times this. Every thread like this always eventually becomes everybody "correcting" each other, in an attempt to make themselves seem like more of an authority than the other person.

Which is the same for every other thread here. There is nothing unique in the way these war threads go here on BTF. The difference is that you simply do not enjoy talking about this topic. Well, welcome to BTF where tons of people talk about a ton of things you don't like.
   167. Lassus Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:39 PM (#3445985)
Which is the same for every other thread here. There is nothing unique in the way these war threads go here on BTF.

Yeah, disagree. Even politics has more acknowledged subjectivity than the endless debate about battle facts.

You know, I have to say, it has been a LONG time since we've had a good music thread. Those seem to take more to erupt than the war threads.
   168. Kurt Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3445986)
The only thing that's good about CFB overtime is that it brings about the occasional go-for-broke 2 point conversion, but most coaches just play it safe and drag the game on for yet another pair of series.

Two point conversions are required after (I think) the second "OT".
   169. RobertMachemer Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3445987)
So...Jubal Early vs. Jimmy Carter for History's Greatest Monster?

I guess we can throw Neville in there, too.


Garvey doesn't count because, like all lepers, he exists outside the Law of Time?
   170. JustDan Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:40 PM (#3445988)
I always start them on a tivo delay


This sequence happened in the Jets Colts game:

Colts run play.
-- First quarter ends - commercial break.
Colts kick FG.
-- Commercial break.
Colts kickoff - touchback.
-- Commercial break.
Jets get 80 yard TD, kick extra point.
-- Commercial break.
Jets kickoff.
-- Commercial break.
I go do something else.

5 plays, 2 of which are kickoffs and one is a short FG. (granted - the Jets TD was exciting). But come on!
   171. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:44 PM (#3445991)
This sequence happened in the Jets Colts game:

Colts run play.
-- First quarter ends - commercial break.
Colts kick FG.
-- Commercial break.
Colts kickoff - touchback.
-- Commercial break.
Jets get 80 yard TD, kick extra point.
-- Commercial break.
Jets kickoff.
-- Commercial break.
I go do something else.

5 plays, 2 of which are kickoffs and one is a short FG. (granted - the Jets TD was exciting). But come on!


Didn't you read the WSJ analysis? There's only ~10 min of live action in an NFL game. They've got tospread it out to get to a 4 hour telecast.
   172. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:45 PM (#3445995)
There's something profoundly icky about the kind of popular war historiography that tends to drive these threads, that I think this tossed off description exemplifies.

Reality is often icky. People want bold decisive action. They don't want stalemates and they don't like results that they can't quickly see and comprehend. This is true as it happens and as well as when looking back. People don't want to hear that if they continue this blockade or simply hold this ground they'll win in 5 or 6 years.
   173. Gaelan Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:50 PM (#3445999)
The problem with overtime isn't that the team with the ball first has an unfair advantage. The problem is that it emphasizes the worst part of football: fieldgoals. The result is that teams no longer try and score touchdowns and the excitement of the game is needlessly drained away. Making it a game of first team to six would solve all of the problems in one stroke.
   174. bads85 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:50 PM (#3446001)
Every thread like this always eventually becomes everybody "correcting" each other, in an attempt to make themselves seem like more of an authority than the other person.


You should see how "professional" historians play this game.
   175. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:51 PM (#3446003)
Also, friggin' awesome war stuff is, well, friggin' awesome. I realize finding aesthetic awesomeness in the death of others can be offensive, but that doesn't make B-17s or Tiger tanks or the mushroom cloud from an atomic blast not majestic, awe-inspiring, and pants-pissingly-badass.
   176. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:52 PM (#3446004)
Reality is often icky. People want bold decisive action. They don't want stalemates and they don't like results that they can't quickly see and comprehend. This is true as it happens and as well as when looking back. People don't want to hear that if they continue this blockade or simply hold this ground they'll win in 5 or 6 years.

They don't want to hear it because a lot of them will be dying during those 5 or 6 years. Which is why democracies have a horrible time fighting counter-insurgencies.
   177. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:52 PM (#3446005)
Making it a game of first team to six would solve all of the problems in one stroke.


My favorite would be the silent auction. That won't happen. This one seems like it could actually have a shot.
   178. SoSH U at work Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:52 PM (#3446008)
Reality is often icky. People want bold decisive action. They don't want stalemates and they don't like results that they can't quickly see and comprehend.


In an interesting dovetail of the two side-by-side themes here, that's pretty much the same explanation for football's overtime systems.
   179. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:53 PM (#3446009)
The problem with overtime isn't that the team with the ball first has an unfair advantage. The problem is that it emphasizes the worst part of football: fieldgoals. The result is that teams no longer try and score touchdowns and the excitement of the game is needlessly drained away. Making it a game of first team to six would solve all of the problems in one stroke.

Or, we could just eliminate all kicking (and punting) from football.

I know it will never happen, but, 4 downs, first down or turnover that's it, would be a lot of fun.
   180. bunyon Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:54 PM (#3446010)
YOu could just make FGs worth one point. Kick the ball through the uprights, you get one point whether it be an extra point or FG. Oh, and make safeties worth three.
   181. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:54 PM (#3446013)
I was actually thinking the same thing. It makes for pretty boring warfare, and Jutland really demonstrated some serious flaws in the British Navy, but you can't really argue with the overall strategy.


Free Darko should come out with a Macrophenomenal Almanac on warfare; which generals and admirals are more Free Darko than the competition? It would give the whole concept of Liberated Fandom a different meaning.
   182. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 25, 2010 at 08:58 PM (#3446014)
I know it will never happen, but, 4 downs, first down or turnover that's it, would be a lot of fun.

My favorite football rule change that will never happen is eliminating the incomplete pass - the ball is live until either downed or out-of-bounds.
   183. Lassus Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:00 PM (#3446015)
Or, we could just eliminate all kicking (and punting) from football.

No kickers in football, no DHs in baseball, no enforcers in hockey, cut the NBA bench to three; and all those leftover players can be put on a Dharma plane.
   184. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:03 PM (#3446017)
They don't want to hear it because a lot of them will be dying during those 5 or 6 years. Which is why democracies have a horrible time fighting counter-insurgencies.

Well, a lot of them may die but generally speaking less would die than if they were simply trying to do mega battles to decide the war. People want death to mean something, in that I mean they want to see something tangible immediately. Like a fallen city or a breakthrough. People are more willing to accept 100 thousand deaths if it means the fall of city rather than 50,000 deaths over 5 years which brings another nation's army to the brink of collapsing.

Look at Jellicoe. If Jellicoe simply went out and tried to force some big showdown many many men would die and if he lost many many more men could die as a result of that defeat. Simply by staying out of major battles and playing a game of containment Jellicoe helped to defeat Germany. There was no need to force a showdown.

Counter-insurgencies are different than conventional wars but I do think democracies inability to fight these kinds of wars are over-stated. Deomcracies have shown that they can commit to these types of wars and even stay in them for very long periods of time. Vietnam, Iraq, Ireland, Afghanistan, probably a few others I'm forgetting. The problem with these kinds of wars is that very few nations, democratic ones or otherwise, are very hesitant to employ the necessary strategy to win these kinds of wars. Only the most brutal of nations and leaders are usually capable of winning these types of wars. You basically have to say I'll kill them all and salt their earth to win this war. How many people are truly capable of doing that?
   185. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:04 PM (#3446019)
Hold on. Football without feet? To tell the truth, football would be more interesting if there were no specialist kickers and you had to rely on Jeremy Shockey or Pierre Garcon to kink the gamewinner. Shrink the rosters back to 33. Also, bring back the leather helmet. That might reduce the concussions and the shorter rosters will make for less of a role for the behemoths.
   186. Dewey, Soupuss Not Doomed to Succeed Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:06 PM (#3446021)
Hold on. Football without feet? To tell the truth, football would be more interesting if there were no specialist kickers and you had to rely on Jeremy Shockey or Pierre Garcon to kink the gamewinner. Shrink the rosters back to 33. Also, bring back the leather helmet. That might reduce the concussions and the shorter rosters will make for less of a role for the behemoths.

I'd love to see football go to a "single substition" rule, like baseball has - if a player comes out of the game, he's done for the day. It would be a much different game, that's for sure.
   187. Hack Wilson Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:08 PM (#3446023)
All I've gotten from this thread is that Brett Favre was the president of the CSA.


I wondered what happened to Brett after his brilliant acting in that movie with Ben Stiller. I thought he was in England doing Hamlet.
   188. Van Lingle Mungo Jerry Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:09 PM (#3446026)
My favorite football rule change that will never happen is eliminating the incomplete pass - the ball is live until either downed or out-of-bounds.


Also, defensive backs should be allowed to carry and use those medieval spiked-ball-on-a-stick thingies.
   189. RJ in TO Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:12 PM (#3446029)
Also, defensive backs should be allowed to carry and use those medieval spiked-ball-on-a-stick thingies.


Are you thinking a mace or a flail?

And would you be willing to give a team extra points if they use either on Brett Favre?
   190. Cabbage Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:12 PM (#3446030)
Hold on. Football without feet? To tell the truth, football would be more interesting if there were no specialist kickers and you had to rely on Jeremy Shockey or Pierre Garcon to kink the gamewinner. Shrink the rosters back to 33. Also, bring back the leather helmet. That might reduce the concussions and the shorter rosters will make for less of a role for the behemoths.


Each team gets one blind man armed with a tranquilizer gun. He is positioned at the back of the endzone with 3 darts. Each dart contains enough tranquilizer to fell a grown man for up to 4 hours. He must wear headphones and aim using the description of the field before him as narrated by his team's radio announcers. He may only fire while the ball is in play, or when the sideline reporter is conducting an interview.
   191. Srul Itza Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:15 PM (#3446033)
Also, defensive backs should be allowed to carry and use those medieval spiked-ball-on-a-stick thingies.


Maces and morningstars are just fancy kinds of clubs, and don't require nearly the skill level to make them interesting.

Flails, on the other hand, require some skill to keep them from damaging the wielder.
   192. esseff Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:19 PM (#3446037)
Also, defensive backs should be allowed to carry and use those medieval spiked-ball-on-a-stick thingies.


Each team gets one blind man armed with a tranquilizer gun.


Ah, yes, 43-man squamish.
   193. Styles P. Deadball Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:25 PM (#3446043)
You basically have to say I'll kill them all and salt their earth to win this war. How many people are truly capable of doing that?


Most any SEC fan's probably OK with this.
   194. Yeaarrgghhhh Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:32 PM (#3446053)
Do I have this right?:

Mace: Club with a ball or ball-like object on the end.
Morningstar: Mace with spikes coming out of the ball.
Flail: Morningstar with chain connecting ball and shaft (no jokes, please)
   195. dave h Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:33 PM (#3446054)
For Tivoing football, program the 30-second ahead button. The time between plays is almost exactly 30-seconds, and by using that and forwarding through commercials, you can watch a game in 20 minutes.

For OT, have the home team choose where the opening kickoff will be from. Then have the away team choose whether to kick or receive.
   196. Zac Schmitt Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:36 PM (#3446057)
Oh crap, a WWII and Civil War thread. First person who brings up Pavement is gonna get it.

...

Damn it!

That’s one of the things I most admire about him.” Strikeouts are bad, but the best hitters don't go to the plate with the idea that they absolutely will not strike out.


I'm not sure that's the best analogy. A strikeout doesn't automatically end the inning for the offense, it just gets them closer. A turnover is much worse - a strikeout is a little bit more like an incomplete pass, really.
   197. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:41 PM (#3446067)
For OT, have the home team choose where the opening kickoff will be from. Then have the away team choose whether to kick or receive.
This is the same system my parents used for my sister and I splitting a piece of cake or something like that.
   198. Ron Johnson Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:46 PM (#3446072)
#195 (and others) Speaking of which, I'm fine with multiple substitutions, big rosters, etc. What I'd like to see is a much shorter play clock. The CFL has a 20 second play clock and it's 25 in US college football. I'm unable to see anything positive about the NFL's 45 second clock.
   199. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:53 PM (#3446076)
I'm unable to see anything positive about the NFL's 45 second clock.


It allows instant replays from 17 different angles, 4 different speeds, and 6 different screen wipes between shots of the previous play.

Edit: Boy that's an awkward sentence, but I'm not sure how to clean it up without reducing the hyperbole.
   200. zenbitz Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:56 PM (#3446079)
Bernard Montgomery


I about busted up when I saw the fawning Monty wing in the Imperial War Museum in London. A great comp to McClellan.

McClellan problem was that he would not lead from the front, so he never really knew what what going on.

He never could have won the war for the North, because he was never willing to commit to battle.

I do think McClellan's story would make a great biopic.
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