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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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   201. T.J. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 09:58 PM (#3446082)
Peter Brady's basketball pounding on Mrs. Brady's vase...

!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

(Yes, I know 121 beat me to it, but I had to mention it again.)
   202. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:04 PM (#3446086)
I think that the pace of football, when a team is driving, is just fine. The issues are with automatic commerical breaks bracketing every kickoff and after every possession switch ... but of course these are TV rules, not football rules.
   203. base ball chick Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:09 PM (#3446089)
Lassus Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:49 AM (#3445694)

I understand completely that it's personal, but I'd rather read 1000 more steroid threads than one more WWII post.


- well, not me
the steroid thingy been SO autopsied that there ain't even no recognizeable lumps of tissue left

the thing i likey most about BTF is that you can't never tell where a thread gonna get hijacked TO.

all this stuff about the generals/commanders and what they did with what they were given is interesting

and it really DOES explain to me why us females haven't done all the generalling even though we are smarter

for example
BBC goes to command the Southern Front:
my HOTTT aide and driver, commander Summersby Ausmus brings me the port-a-phone
General Gray, it's your Husband on line 1. AGAIN!!! sez one of the Dogss ate the kidz homework and the Dog won't eat the mustard to make him barf. what should he DOOOOOOOOO?
   204. JPWF13 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:10 PM (#3446090)
How many people are truly capable of doing that?


Too many.

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


One history channel program on WWII was great because they had a British Historian who'd done a fawning biography of Monty- everytime someone else said something unflattering, or pointed out where Minty had lied about something (not hard to prove, he did it all the time, during and after the war) this guy had some excuse handy, and depending on how lam the excuse was, he had an attack on some American General handy as a distraction.

"The goal wasn't a breakout at Caen, or even taking Caen, the goal was to tie down the Germans so the Americans could breakout, and in order to do that he needed sufficient and credible forces to make the Germans believe the breakout was going to be at Caen, that's why he demanded those resources, and he never said otherwise, except when it was part of the deception plan, so I can see why you were confused, but speaking of confused...

Monty = McClellan, yeah, that works pretty well, both had grandiose plans that took forever to set up, and then didn't quite seem to come off so grandiosely, largely because they weren't prosecuted as vigorously as they should have been... to be fair to Monty, he wasn't as quick as McClellan to decide a plan had failed and fall back in retreat...
   205. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:14 PM (#3446094)
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.


In the last home game of the season, the Atlanta Falcons' kicker pulled a muscle at the start of the second half. The last couple of kickoffs were handled by Kroy Bierman. It was damned entertaining. And the lack of a FG specialist turned Mike Smith into Paul Johnson on fourth downs too close to punt. All in all, the game was better that way.
   206. sunnyday2 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:16 PM (#3446095)
Brett Favre throws an interception that costs his team a trip to the Super Bowl.

The best one was Tom Jackson who said “That’s the thing about Brett Favre; he’s not afraid to throw an interception.


It's a bit unfair to say Favre's interception cost his team a trip to the Super Bowl. 4 fumbles had something to do with it. And without the int, they still need a 50+ yard FG.

And if Tom Jackson says something really stupid, that's on Tom Jackson.
   207. sunnyday2 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:18 PM (#3446096)
The big mistake was that the French thought the Maginot line was a substitute for having a mobile army.


I think you mean the mistake was thinking the Maginot line was a substitue for having an army.
   208. Dag Nabbit is part of the zombie horde Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:18 PM (#3446097)
That's the thing about Tom Jackson. He's not afraid to say something stupid. Gotta respect that.
   209. T.J. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:19 PM (#3446099)
In the last home game of the season, the Atlanta Falcons' kicker pulled a muscle at the start of the second half. The last couple of kickoffs were handled by Kroy Bierman. It was damned entertaining. And the lack of a FG specialist turned Mike Smith into Paul Johnson on fourth downs too close to punt. All in all, the game was better that way.

Somewhere I saw someone propose that you had to kick a FG or XP with a player who had been on the field on the previous play. Sounds good to me (although I suppose for FGs the coach would simply put in a kicker as a WR on third down to run a play up the middle to set up for a FG attempt on 4th down).
   210. sunnyday2 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:21 PM (#3446101)
It was a defensible noncall, as the defender who hit Farve low was pushed in the shoulders toward the ground by the OL he beat on the play. You could make the case that contact made him go low.


Some of us know that you made that up. Pushed a half hour earlier, you mean.
   211. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:26 PM (#3446107)
Somewhere I saw someone propose that you had to kick a FG or XP with a player who had been on the field on the previous play. Sounds good to me (although I suppose for FGs the coach would simply put in a kicker as a WR on third down to run a play up the middle to set up for a FG attempt on 4th down).


I'm sure Wes Welker would be the scrappiest, most super try-hard competitive place kicker ever.
   212. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:27 PM (#3446109)
One history channel program on WWII was great because they had a British Historian who'd done a fawning biography of Monty- everytime someone else said something unflattering, or pointed out where Minty had lied about something (not hard to prove, he did it all the time, during and after the war) this guy had some excuse handy, and depending on how lam the excuse was, he had an attack on some American General handy as a distraction.

"The goal wasn't a breakout at Caen, or even taking Caen, the goal was to tie down the Germans so the Americans could breakout, and in order to do that he needed sufficient and credible forces to make the Germans believe the breakout was going to be at Caen, that's why he demanded those resources, and he never said otherwise, except when it was part of the deception plan, so I can see why you were confused, but speaking of confused...

Monty = McClellan, yeah, that works pretty well, both had grandiose plans that took forever to set up, and then didn't quite seem to come off so grandiosely, largely because they weren't prosecuted as vigorously as they should have been... to be fair to Monty, he wasn't as quick as McClellan to decide a plan had failed and fall back in retreat...
Indeed. McClellan didn't even wait for the plan to fail.

He was convinced that Lee had 200,000 men, so when Lee exposed Richmond in the Seven Days, he retreated because he was worried that Lee would crush him if he didn't get under the cover of the gunboats. At Sharpsburg, he was convinced that Lee had 100,000 reserves waiting to attack as soon as he committed his last reserves. So Porter's corps just waited while McClellan passed up multiple opportunities to exploit a breach in Lee's line.
   213. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:27 PM (#3446110)
Kroy Bierman does an entirely respectable job

If everyone has an emergency kicker that solid on the team, this idea suddenly gets much less interesting. I mean, it's great to have fewer touchbacks and more 4th down attempts, so it's still a good idea. But the game doesn't get revolutionized.
   214. Joey B. has reignited his October #Natitude Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:34 PM (#3446121)
It's a bit unfair to say Favre's interception cost his team a trip to the Super Bowl. 4 fumbles had something to do with it.

They only lost three, but it could easily have been even worse.

If people are going to rip Favre every time he throws a pick, sooner or later people are going to have to start asking Adrian Peterson what he's going to do about his fumbling problem, which seems to be getting worse lately.
   215. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:35 PM (#3446122)
I'm sure Wes Welker would be the scrappiest, most super try-hard competitive place kicker ever.


I'm not sure if you are referring to this, but Welker is 1-for-1 in FG's for his career!
   216. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:41 PM (#3446124)
obvious answer to NFL overtime: Just play a shortened (but not sudden death) extra period like every other fricking sport! simple, elegant, easy, fair. it boggles my mind that everyone, including the NFL, doesn't seem to like this. How about something in the 8-10 minute range, almost guaranteeing that both teams get the ball at least once.
   217. JPWF13 Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:43 PM (#3446126)
He was convinced that Lee had 200,000 men, so when Lee exposed Richmond in the Seven Days, he retreated


I've read a lot of conflicting stuff about the 7 days, no doubt because everything was confused, what it seems to me was:

1: McClellan felt he was facing larger and better equipped forces than he was
2: McClellan felt that his whole army was at risk- indeed he wired Washington in tones of panic
3: McClellan's conduct of the campaign convinced Lee that McClellan had fewer resources than McClellan actually had- if Lee HAD been able to catch the bulk of McClellan's forces and fight the "battle of annihilation" he was seeking- that battle would likely have been a tactical stalemate.
4: Stonewall was in the middle of some existential crisis/schizophrenic episode/ severe depressive phase assuming he was manic depressive (some books say he was suffering from severe sleep deprivation- I don't buy it, something was going on, but that wasn't it)

What was overlooked was that this was the first significant engagement- especially in the eastern theatre, where the South suffered more combat casualties than the North- if the quality of the southern foot soldier had been superior to the north's at the start of the war (which it may have been, or may not have been- their senior officer corp was certainly better), that no longer held true. If the northern soldier could stand up and shoot the southerners on a man to man basis/ one to one basis, the south was screwed.
   218. RobertMachemer Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:49 PM (#3446132)
Incidentally, for those of you who like such things, in Kansas City there is an absolutely terrific WWI museum, well worth a visit.
   219. nick swisher hygiene Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:53 PM (#3446135)
ok, so how many Civil War generals really deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?
   220. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:53 PM (#3446136)
Ok. So is there better movie for fake beard viewing than Gettysburg?
   221. base ball chick Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:56 PM (#3446138)
To Kill a Marlon Byrd (Voxter) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 01:52 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.

- amusement

even greater amusement

so WW2 threads are different from every other thread like HOW???

it seems to be how males talk to each other unless you are talking about something don't anyone know anything about. then all yall figger SOMEthing you know SOMEthing about so as you can show how the other guy don't know MORE than you do
   222. Nasty Nate Posted: January 25, 2010 at 10:59 PM (#3446143)
Ok. So is there better movie for fake beard viewing than Gettysburg?


Life of Brian?
   223. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:00 PM (#3446144)
I suppose for FGs the coach would simply put in a kicker as a WR on third down to run a play up the middle to set up for a FG attempt on 4th down.

Some of my favorite football cards from when I collected them in the late 70's and early 80's were the Pat McInally cards for the highly unusual position combination of "P-WR".
   224. Cabbage Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:02 PM (#3446147)
ok, so how many Civil War generals really deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?

Probably Cromwell unless you think slaughtering the Irish is as grave a sin as steroids.
   225. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:03 PM (#3446149)
Incidentally, for those of you who like such things, in Kansas City there is an absolutely terrific WWI museum, well worth a visit.

In Illinois, in Wheaton I believe, is a really nice modern musuem dedicated to the First Division which McCormick's son was part of during WWI. I've mentioned it before but they have a gigantic walk-through exhibit that starts on a landing craft which drops its ramp to reveal the exhibit and you walk through the various battles of the first division. Really impressive stuff.
   226. WhoWantsTeixeiraDessert Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:09 PM (#3446155)
Yeah, but at least in Life of Brian, Graham Chapman's beard was real.
   227. nick swisher hygiene Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:09 PM (#3446156)
As a man, bbc, I plan to make your point 50 posts later and get credit for coming up with it myself.....
   228. PreservedFish Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:14 PM (#3446159)
so WW2 threads are different from every other thread like HOW???


If you were a man you would be able to discern the subtleties of these dick-measuring contests.
   229. GregQ Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:15 PM (#3446161)
Anybody been to the WWII museum in New Orleans? It is huge, I only managed to finish half before it closed for the day last time I was there.
   230. Rickey! trades in sheep and threats Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:20 PM (#3446168)
If everyone has an emergency kicker that solid on the team, this idea suddenly gets much less interesting.


The best play of that game was on the last kickoff - the third kickoff Biermann booted. It wasn't as good as the first, but a bit better than the second. Not a squibber, but not enough hang time for the coverage guys to get down the field. So the returner breaks off a 40-50 yard return in the last minute of a game that was already salted away. The only reason he didn't run it back for the TD?

He was chased down from behind by Kroy Biermann.
   231. esseff Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:20 PM (#3446169)
Some of my favorite football cards from when I collected them in the late 70's and early 80's were the Pat McInally cards for the highly unusual position combination of "P-WR".


Back in the day, the Cardinals had a guy named Chuck Latourette who both punted and returned punts, returned kickoffs, sometimes played DB and between games went to medical school. He became a dr., then was shot to death at age 37. Just a normal guy, in other words.
   232. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:25 PM (#3446175)
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?


Other than the plagiarism, I think my very most favoritest thing about DKG is her belief that inaugurating her bone-deep Red Sox fandom with the summer of 1967 was some kind of prescient and soulful accomplishment.

Ok. So is there better movie for fake beard viewing than Gettysburg?
Life of Brian?


Nicole Kidman in "Days of Thunder," "Far and Away" and "Eyes Wide Shut"?
   233. The Good Face Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:27 PM (#3446182)
Ok. So is there better movie for fake beard viewing than Gettysburg?
Life of Brian?

Nicole Kidman in "Days of Thunder," "Far and Away" and "Eyes Wide Shut"?


Zing!
   234. Anthony Giacalone Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:35 PM (#3446188)
You should see how "professional" historians play this game.


This.
   235. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:38 PM (#3446191)
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?


One thing I wonder about when thinking about the U.S./U.K. 2003 Iraq war is why the Germans and Japanese accepted that they were defeated after 1945, as opposed to having large portions of their population engage in a long, drawn out, low intensity conflict which tires the invader.

Th best explanation I can think of in Germany's case is there was no public simpathy for more war (even for ex-Nazis), plus there were enough German speaking Allied troops to keep the German population honest (and perhaps the topography and climate were not conducive to guerrilla warfare). In re: Japan, I think I've read that McCarthur pretty much became a quasi-Emperor, and the Japanese people were willing to kow tow to him (and the U.S.) because McCarthur set-up a post-invasion structure which wasn't that different (from a hierarchical standpoint) from the pre-1945 Japan structure.

Iraq (and Afghanistan, for that matter) is a broken, non-homogenous polity which can only be kept together through LOTS of force and terror (or by de facto partition /at best, loose confederation).
   236. Mr. J. Penny Smoltzuzaka Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:40 PM (#3446193)
If the northern soldier could stand up and shoot the southerners on a man to man basis/ one to one basis, the south was screwed.


Union soldiers from the rural areas of the North were often every bit the equal of their Southern opponents - they often didn't get the quality of leadership they deserved.

My grandmother's grandfather was a 19 year old soldier in the 5th Vermont and was wounded at Savage's Station June 29, 1862 during the Union army's withdrawal from the Peninsula. In this rearguard action, half the regiment's men were killed, captured, or wounded delaying the Southern advance. The South suffered heavy losses as well and Major General George "Young Napoleon" McClellan was actually given credit by some that his army and most of the artillery escaped. The Union left behind thousands of wounded and sick while destroying tons of supplies and equipment. McClellan was fortunate General Jackson didn't bring his "A" game.

My ancestor was also later wounded at Spotsylvania May 12, 1864 at the "Bloody Angle". He survived the war and was a farmer the rest of his days.
   237. Cabbage Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:40 PM (#3446194)
In Illinois, in Wheaton I believe, is a really nice modern musuem dedicated to the First Division which McCormick's son was part of during WWI. I've mentioned it before but they have a gigantic walk-through exhibit that starts on a landing craft which drops its ramp to reveal the exhibit and you walk through the various battles of the first division. Really impressive stuff.


Cantigny. Great place. They've got a bunch of tanks out in front that the kids can climb all over. Nice golf course too.
   238. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:48 PM (#3446202)
It's a bit unfair to say Favre's interception cost his team a trip to the Super Bowl. 4 fumbles had something to do with it. And without the int, they still need a 50+ yard FG.


Right. I mean, he _did_ play pretty well. And he really did get beaten up out there.
   239. McCoy Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:48 PM (#3446203)
Yeah, I used to climb the tanks when I was a kid. I used to live only a handful of miles down the road from there though technically old man McCormick's property ended only about 1000 feet from our door. The family owned huge amounts of land back in the day.
   240. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:49 PM (#3446205)
I would just point out that this is not the first time in Favre's career he has thrown a critical playoff interception. And as for playoff interceptions Favre now has thirty in his career.

There was the interception against Frisco in 1999 when the Packers had the 49ers on the ropes but Favre throws among 3 guys and it's picked off by Woodall leading to a SF score soon after.

The six interception debacle against the Rams where two interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Several of those interceptions were bad luck tips/on receivers but two were simply Favre throwing it up for grabs.

The 2003 Atlanta game he gets a pass as the team offense was gutted by injury leading into and during the game.

The devastating overtime interception against the Eagles where Favre simply tossed it to Brian Dawkins for no discernible reason.

The four interceptions against the Vikings where an undermanned Vikings team beat GB in Lambeau where after the game the Vikes defenders gloated about just waiting on number 4 to 'throw up a prayer'.

The crushing interception against the Giants in the conference championship game.

And these are just the playoffs over the last decade.

The guy is tough. He can still play. But let us not think that Favre has no weakness nor is this 'just trying to make a play'. For his own reasons he has, at times, just thrown the ball in the air for no good purpose.
   241. Ron Johnson Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:49 PM (#3446206)
many Civil War generals really deserve to be in the Hall of Fame?


What are you using as a standard? The are any number of generals who did a terrific job at the divisional level but failed when they were moved up. Cleburne and Hood were both outstanding divisional commanders while Hood was a failure in army command and his record commanding a corps is nothing to write home about.

Longstreet was worthless in independent command but the best corps commander of the war at a tactical level.

Sherman did a great job as an army group commander but his record at a lower level wasn't great.

Thomas drove Grant nuts as an army commander but was probably the best union corps commander and the right guy for an army command when slow and steady was all that was needed.

My first cut would have: Grant, Sherman, Thomas, Sheridan, Hancock, Meade, Lee, Forrest, Jackson, Longstreet, Cleburne, Hood, A. P. Hill

The next most important generals on the Union side would probably be Schofield, Hooker, Howard and maybe Wilson or Hunt. Hardee was the only competent western Corps commander. Stuart and Wheeler were more famous than effective in my opinion. No shortage of fine brigade commanders (Gordon may have been the best and did very well with limited resources when advanced)
   242. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:50 PM (#3446208)
One thing I wonder about when thinking about the U.S./U.K. 2003 Iraq war is why the Germans and Japanese accepted that they were defeated after 1945, as opposed to having large portions of their population engage in a long, drawn out, low intensity conflict which tires the invader.

I'm not very familiar with Japan, but I think in Germany a lot of it has to do with the fact that the German population had just been through a long, drawn out conflict. By 1945 war exhaustion was such that most sane people in Germany were just glad the war was over, win or lose.
   243. Cabbage Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:51 PM (#3446210)
Yeah, I used to climb the tanks when I was a kid. I used to live only a handful of miles down the road from there though technically old man McCormick's property ended only about 1000 feet from our door. The family owned huge amounts of land back in the day.

I think every kid should be shown a WWI gas mask and told, "be thankful, because your great grandfathers had to rely on this piece of junk while everyone was dumping mustard gas. Do you know what happens when you get mixed up in the mustard gas? Well let me tell you son..."
   244. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:53 PM (#3446211)
By 1945 war exhaustion was such that most sane people in Germany were just glad the war was over, win or lose.


That doesn't seem to be working in Afghanistan, which has (arguably) been at war for over 30 years.
   245. Cabbage Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:54 PM (#3446213)
Harveys,

If Desmond Howard fumbles some of those returns in SB 31, are we now talking about a world were Brett Farve is considered a playoff choke artist?
   246. Greg K Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:56 PM (#3446214)
That doesn't seem to be working in Afghanistan, which has (arguably) been at war for over 30 years.

I guess we've all just been too easy on the general population. They're not exhausted enough!
   247. jingoist Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:57 PM (#3446215)
"Cantigny. Great place. They've got a bunch of tanks out in front that the kids can climb all over. Nice golf course too."

Having a quality golf course handy is one of my leading decision criteria when selecting a war museum. Tanks strewn across the lawn is purely a secondary consideration.
   248. hokieneer Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:57 PM (#3446216)
I'm unable to see anything positive about the NFL's 45 second clock.

Back when I played sports games, I loved play Madden a lot better than the NCAA game because of the extended play clock. I usually audibled or changed a few receiver routes every play. I would get numerous delay of game flags in the college PS2 game.

But in real life, watching football, there is no need for a play clock to be that much.
   249. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 25, 2010 at 11:59 PM (#3446217)
Cabbage:

Favre played great in the playoffs under Holmgren who was a tyrant and when he has had rest before the game. Sherman was unable to provide sufficient guidance to keep Favre from following his instincts. Childress looks to have made headway there.

Except for yesterday late
   250. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:06 AM (#3446220)


I'm not very familiar with Japan, but I think in Germany a lot of it has to do with the fact that the German population had just been through a long, drawn out conflict. By 1945 war exhaustion was such that most sane people in Germany were just glad the war was over, win or lose.


FOr the most part I think everybody realized it would be futile to fight that kind of war in Germany. What would it gain? You think the Russians were going to play that game nicely? And why would you force the West into that kind of war?

As for Japan, I don't have a great answer for that. The emperor capitulated which a lot of Japanese from that time period state was a huge shock and factor for how quickly they gave up. Plus what else were they going to do? What would they have fought with? Japan is an island nation which by that point had its economy destroyed and had almost no resources to fight a war. What would they gain by going off into the mountains and sniping at the allies?

In neither case did the Allies totally replace the powers in charge which I think plays a huge role in this.

Oh and one more thing. Think of the sizes of the occupational forces and then compare that to Iraq.
   251. ?Donde esta Dagoberto Campaneris? Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:09 AM (#3446221)
One thing I wonder about when thinking about the U.S./U.K. 2003 Iraq war is why the Germans and Japanese accepted that they were defeated after 1945, as opposed to having large portions of their population engage in a long, drawn out, low intensity conflict which tires the invader.


One key component in Japan was the Emperor- who announced that the fighting was over.

More importantly, a key consideration in the Iraq example is the notion that the occupying force lacks the will (or the ability) to commit sufficient resources to the occupation and that impeding their occupation will convince the occupiers to abandon their effort. I'm guessing the Germans didn't see that possibility as likely.

Am I advancing any common misconceptions?
   252. JPWF13 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:13 AM (#3446224)
I'm not very familiar with Japan, but I think in Germany a lot of it has to do with the fact that the German population had just been through a long, drawn out conflict. By 1945 war exhaustion was such that most sane people in Germany were just glad the war was over, win or lose.


Japan: The Emperor told them to quit- the ones most likely to carry on a protracted post war insurgency were also the ones most likely to listen to the Emperor.

Germany: there was a lingering low level insurgency for some time- it was stomped on brutally- and not just by the Soviets -
sheer physical incapacitation - who tends to make up the overwhelming bulk of an insurgency? young males- where were Germany's young males- dead or in POW camps.

WRT Afganistan, they had a multi-year insurgency against the Soviets, post soviets they collapsed in the face of the Taliban- whose foot soldiers tended to be young males who spent the Soviet insurgency days in refugee camps in Pakistan- they weren't war weary (the older mujaheddin were) they were just getting started.

One thing that would be interesting, and I have no idea what the answer is, is just who the Taliban's fighters are now, how long have those individuals been fighting?
   253. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:14 AM (#3446225)
The six interception debacle against the Rams where two interceptions were returned for touchdowns. Several of those interceptions were bad luck tips/on receivers but two were simply Favre throwing it up for grabs.


And that's how you win: by "throwing it up for grabs." Virtually all such passes are deep balls that you're trying to get to your wideouts so that your wideouts can have a good chance to make a play. And in most cases, an interception is as good as a punt anyway, so if it's third down you don't lose a whole lot. And the gains are huge. You can't connect on deep passes if you don't throw deep passes.

Banging on Favre is pretty silly. He's been an extremely good quarterback, has been very successful, his teams have won, they've been in the playoffs a ton, and they've won a Super Bowl. This is like criticizing Carl Yastrzemski for not being Ted Williams.
   254. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:23 AM (#3446228)
I would just point out that this is not the first time in Favre's career he has thrown a critical playoff interception. And as for playoff interceptions Favre now has thirty in his career.


By the way, this is a bogus stat. He's also played a ton of postseason games in his career, which (A) is a good thing, and (B) means that he's had a ton of opportunities to throw interceptions. Why someone would cite this stat (ESPN also has been doing it) without at least adjusting for opportunity is beyond me.
   255. JPWF13 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:24 AM (#3446229)
And in most cases, an interception is as good as a punt anyway, so if it's third down you don't lose a whole lot


There was an announcer who used to day that, "as good as a punt"

Years ago, I remember a game where a team decided to go for it on 4th and 1, from about their opponents 40, play action fake, through the ball way down field... WR slipped, Corner caught it like he was catching a punt on the 5...

mike picked up some coach SCREAMING from the sidelines, "NO! DROP IT YOU BASTARD!!!" That was of course the CB's coach yelling at him his intercepton cost his team 40 yards...
   256. JPWF13 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:30 AM (#3446234)
More importantly, a key consideration in the Iraq example is the notion that the occupying force lacks the will (or the ability) to commit sufficient resources to the occupation and that impeding their occupation will convince the occupiers to abandon their effort. I'm guessing the Germans didn't see that possibility as likely


There were discussion regarding the permanent dismantling of German industry, forcibly turning them into a third world nation and the mass deportation and resettlement of millions, 1945/46 1:that didn't seem so far fetched- 2: it COULD have been done; also 3: what didn't seem so far fetched was that the Soviets would keep killing Germans until pacification had been reached (your point). Continuing to fight was a really bad idea.

It's been a bad idea for the Iraqis too, but not as self-evidently a bad idea as it would have been for the 1945/46 Germans
   257. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:33 AM (#3446237)
An old Atari football game didn't have a punt option so my friends and I came up with the hail marry interception punt. In this game it was possible to head off screen in one direction and pop back into screen from the other direction. So on fourth down the QB/RB would drop back to pass and throw a bomb while the LB blitzed and then went passed the QB and off the screen. By the time he got back on screen the ball would be 40 yards or so down the field and he would intercept the ball to complete the "punt".
   258. hokieneer Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:40 AM (#3446239)
#255, you are absolutely right. 30 Ints mean nothing unless they are given in context.

farve postseason career -- scroll to the bottom.

24 games, 60.8% comp, 86.3 Rating, 44 TD 30 INT.

Not bad, pretty much in line with his career regular season stats.
   259. Zach Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:43 AM (#3446243)
One thing I wonder about when thinking about the U.S./U.K. 2003 Iraq war is why the Germans and Japanese accepted that they were defeated after 1945, as opposed to having large portions of their population engage in a long, drawn out, low intensity conflict which tires the invader.

I live in Berlin these days. If you look at any building that was around in 1945 -- well, actually I can't think of any. Maybe Tempelhof airport. The whole city was pretty much rubble, relying on the occupying armies for basic rations. Germany didn't have anything to fight for, and they didn't have anything to fight with.
   260. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:47 AM (#3446248)
I regard Favre as pretty much the Nolan Ryan of football--freakishly durable stat compiler whose uniqueness caused him to be dramatically overrated historically--but

(a) He had a great year this year, one of the better years of his career, actually;
(b) the end-of-regulation interception was only one of about ten hideous mistakes the Vikings made to cost themselves the game. My Vikings-following friends tell me this is completely normal for them, and most of them are incensed about the large contract extension Brad Childress just received.
   261. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:47 AM (#3446249)
#255, you are absolutely right. 30 Ints mean nothing unless they are given in context.

farve postseason career -- scroll to the bottom.

24 games, 60.8% comp, 86.3 Rating, 44 TD 30 INT.

Not bad, pretty much in line with his career regular season stats.


And by my count his teams are 13-11 overall in the playoffs, and that's of course against good teams. Not bad at all.

I don't mean to pick on Harveys, but listing Favre's big interceptions kind of only tells one part of the story. Why not list his TDs or his big completions?
   262. JPWF13 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:52 AM (#3446251)
I live in Berlin these days. If you look at any building that was around in 1945 -- well, actually I can't think of any. Maybe Tempelhof airport.


I've read that one of the Flak Towers still stands, it was in the French Zone, they were supposed to demolish it, they sent demolition team in, bored holes, wired up the explosives, detonated it, and the damned thing still stood, then then called in the bull dozers, buried it under tons of dirt and planted stuff, it's now a "hill" in some park, but it's still standing, archaeologists have been asking for permission to excavate it for a few years now...
   263. Zach Posted: January 26, 2010 at 12:59 AM (#3446253)
It was really interesting to see the Soviet War Memorial about a block from my building. It's got a 40 foot tall Soviet soldier crushing a swastika under his foot. This is in the German capital, mind you. The Soviets weren't in any mood to tolerate a resistance movement.
   264. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:01 AM (#3446256)
I live in Berlin these days. If you look at any building that was around in 1945 -- well, actually I can't think of any. Maybe Tempelhof airport.


I was in Berlin in 1988, the year before the wall came down. I stayed in an old Hotel which must have been pre-war. Don't remember the name or exactly where it was. Just off the Ku'dam, within walking distance of Ka-De-We. Anyway, the whole neighborhood looked like it survived the war. Old buildings, old trees. I remember walking in and around the hotel, and mentally transporting myself to the spring of 1945 and trying to imagine what it was like. A truly transcendental experience.
   265. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:01 AM (#3446257)
The other thing about Favre is that he went to the playoffs 12 times and won 1 Super Bowl. Since 12 teams make the playoffs each year, all else being equal he'd have a 1 in 12 chance of winning the Super Bowl in any given year. So winning one doesn't seem all that unusual. I suppose he could have won more of them, but again, nobody is claiming he's the greatest QB ever.
   266. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:14 AM (#3446263)
It was really interesting to see the Soviet War Memorial about a block from my building. It's got a 40 foot tall Soviet soldier crushing a swastika under his foot. This is in the German capital, mind you. The Soviets weren't in any mood to tolerate a resistance movement.

I was there in June 1991, with one other person -- a man -- who wound up bawling uncontrollably. The Soviets were rightfully very proud of their role in crushing fascism and the memorial evokes that pride dramatically. I'd classify the statue "Soviet giganticism."
   267. WillYoung Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:14 AM (#3446265)
My Vikings-following friends tell me this is completely normal for them, and most of them are incensed about the large contract extension Brad Childress just received.


Any Viking fan who wasn't expecting a loss in the most excruciating and seemingly unimaginable way possible is living in denial. I cheer for them to do well because it makes a lot of my friends happy, but as someone who is pretty emotionally distant from the team but grew up in Minnesota - that was the most predictable way for the game to play out. It was like the entire game was trying to figure out a way to be even more heartbreaking than the 98 NFC Championship when Gary Anderson missed his first FG of the entire season.

Oh, and that loss and play-calling and everything is all at Chilly's feet. If his dumbass can figure out how to huddle out of a TO, then Favre doesn't need to make the pass. Or, if his dumbass doesn't decide he's satisfied with a 50-yard attempt and takes his foot off the gas and kill 45 seconds, then Longwell's got an easier kick regardless of the distance. Basically, Chilly is a buffoon and everyone knows it.
   268. Brian White Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:17 AM (#3446266)
The best play of that game was on the last kickoff - the third kickoff Biermann booted. It wasn't as good as the first, but a bit better than the second. Not a squibber, but not enough hang time for the coverage guys to get down the field. So the returner breaks off a 40-50 yard return in the last minute of a game that was already salted away. The only reason he didn't run it back for the TD?

He was chased down from behind by Kroy Biermann.


A few (3-4?) years back, the kickoff specialist for the Florida Gators was also a second string linebacker. He didn't have the strongest leg on the team, and most of his kickoffs barely reached the five yard line. But I remember two instances where he kicked off, shed a potential blocker, and simply leveled the return guy around the 25 yard line. Having an eleventh, competent tackler on your kickoff team I thought outweighed the extra seven or so yards of distance on your kick you'd get with a regular kicker.

At the college level, it might be better for some teams to teach a linebacker or safety to kick, rather than teaching a kicker how to tackle.
   269. GregQ Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:20 AM (#3446268)
I am not positive but I believe that part of the Soviet War Memorial is Hitler's desk, or at least the marble from it.
   270. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:21 AM (#3446269)
I was in Berlin in 1988, the year before the wall came down. I stayed in an old Hotel which must have been pre-war. Don't remember the name or exactly where it was. Just off the Ku'dam, within walking distance of Ka-De-We. Anyway, the whole neighborhood looked like it survived the war. Old buildings, old trees. I remember walking in and around the hotel, and mentally transporting myself to the spring of 1945 and trying to imagine what it was like. A truly transcendental experience.

There's also the big cathedral just off the Ku'damm that was bombed to smithereens and, at least according to guidebooks and plaques, the Germans left standing as a reminder of the horrors of war.

I found the experience transcendental also. Large chunks of the Wall were still up when I was there. The Potsdamer Platz was a no-man's wide-open wasteland where, on one weekend, there was a bungee jumping contest going on around a carnival that was Fellini by way of Berlin. By 1997, when I went back, there were buildings sprouting up there, and scores of cranes indicating many more were about to go up. I believe they've built up a lot of the area around Checkpoint Charlie, also. In the summer of 1991, it was still essentially what it had been since 1961. The memories of the Wall and the armed guards with orders to shoot to kill in the watchtower were still raw.

The Unter den Linden for a mile east of the Brandenburg Gate was the Soviet embassy, some nondescript Communist style buildings and one lone newly-free bookstore, which was the setting for the final scene in The Lives of Others.
   271. JJ1986 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:25 AM (#3446272)
A few (3-4?) years back, the kickoff specialist for the Florida Gators was also a second string linebacker. He didn't have the strongest leg on the team, and most of his kickoffs barely reached the five yard line. But I remember two instances where he kicked off, shed a potential blocker, and simply leveled the return guy around the 25 yard line. Having an eleventh, competent tackler on your kickoff team I thought outweighed the extra seven or so yards of distance on your kick you'd get with a regular kicker.

David Bueheler kicks off for the Cowboys and plays on punt coverage. And he's really really good at kickoffs.
   272. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3446274)
Oh, and that loss and play-calling and everything is all at Chilly's feet. If his dumbass can figure out how to huddle out of a TO, then Favre doesn't need to make the pass. Or, if his dumbass doesn't decide he's satisfied with a 50-yard attempt and takes his foot off the gas and kill 45 seconds, then Longwell's got an easier kick regardless of the distance. Basically, Chilly is a buffoon and everyone knows it.


The huddle was a crucial mistake, and I too noticed that they let up instead of trying for another few yards for better field goal position. Running the ball straight into the pile like that when the defense knows what's coming is damned near useless. People will argue "Look what happened once they did turn Favre loose," but if Favre is throwing on first or second down *still* in reasonable field goal range, he's much less likely to try to make something happen and throw a pick.
   273. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:26 AM (#3446275)
There's also the big cathedral just off the Ku'damm that was bombed to smithereens and, at least according to guidebooks and plaques, the Germans left standing as a reminder of the horrors of war.


Yes, I remember that one well. Not too far from our hotel.

I found the experience transcendental also. Large chunks of the Wall were still up when I was there.


Of course the entire wall was up when I was there. I was not expecting the entire western side to be covered in graffiti.
   274. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:32 AM (#3446279)
The huddle was a crucial mistake, and I too noticed that they let up instead of trying for another few yards for better field goal position. Running the ball straight into the pile like that when the defense knows what's coming is damned near useless. People will argue "Look what happened once they did turn Favre loose," but if Favre is throwing on first or second down *still* in reasonable field goal range, he's much less likely to try to make something happen and throw a pick.

The Vikings lollygagged at the Saints 33 with 50 seconds to go and first down. That cost them the game.

In OT, I thought the spot on 4th and 1 was terrible, the pass interference call was a joke, and Meacham didn't have possession. All those cameras and all those eyes, and all that time, and it's still 50/50 they get the call right. I don't see any reason they can't allow challenges for pass interference calls; the penalty is so potentially severe that it's tough to accept such blatant screwups.
   275. The Id of SugarBear Blanks Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:33 AM (#3446280)
Yes, I remember that one well. Not too far from our hotel.

Could you freely cross zones?
   276. PreservedFish Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:36 AM (#3446281)
If football gets to the point where every team has a kickoff specialist that can boot a toucback 75% of the time, do you think they'll change the rules?
   277. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:38 AM (#3446282)
The Vikings lollygagged at the Saints 33 with 50 seconds to go and first down. That cost them the game.

In OT, I thought the spot on 4th and 1 was terrible, the pass interference call was a joke, and Meacham didn't have possession. All those cameras and all those eyes, and all that time, and it's still 50/50 they get the call right. I don't see any reason they can't allow challenges for pass interference calls; the penalty is so potentially severe that it's tough to accept such blatant screwups.


...And with that, I find myself in complete agreement with SugarBear.

The Favre interception was obviously a back breaker and a mistake, but it needs to be viewed in context.

It's hard to criticize players for making snap judgments on the field, but I really don't see why he didn't run it or pass it to the right. Either play was right in front of him.
   278. Eddo Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3446283)
Cantigny. Great place. They've got a bunch of tanks out in front that the kids can climb all over. Nice golf course too.


And to tie in both baseball AND movies, a scene from A League of Their Own was filmed there.
   279. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:39 AM (#3446284)
If football gets to the point where every team has a kickoff specialist that can boot a toucback 75% of the time, do you think they'll change the rules?


This happened 15 years ago.
   280. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:43 AM (#3446288)
I was in Berlin in 1988, the year before the wall came down. I stayed in an old Hotel which must have been pre-war. Don't remember the name or exactly where it was. Just off the Ku'dam, within walking distance of Ka-De-We. Anyway, the whole neighborhood looked like it survived the war. Old buildings, old trees. I remember walking in and around the hotel, and mentally transporting myself to the spring of 1945 and trying to imagine what it was like. A truly transcendental experience.

Misirlou, there's no such thing as a time machine, but for re-creating the atmosphere of Germany in the immediate aftermath of defeat, this Rossellini film (Germany: Year Zero) is about as close as you can get. It's the least known of his wartime trilogy that also includes Open City and Paisan. You can allow for my usual hyperbole, but just about anyone who's seen these three films would rate them among the top 50 of all time. There's never been an American war movie even remotely comparable to any of them. Criterion just put out an expensive boxed set, but Netflix already has it, and eventually I'm sure they'll show up on TCM. There are earlier versions of Germany: Year Zero still available, but the subtitles on those are a total crapshoot.
   281. Pops Freshenmeyer Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:48 AM (#3446290)
but again, nobody is claiming he's the greatest QB ever.

Terry Bradshaw did before the game on Sunday.
   282. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:48 AM (#3446292)
And Terry Bradshaw should know a thing or two about overrated quarterbacks.
   283. rlc Posted: January 26, 2010 at 01:56 AM (#3446295)
A recent movie that gives a sense of Berlin at the end of the war is A Woman in Berlin.
   284. JPWF13 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:06 AM (#3446298)
A recent movie that gives a sense of Berlin at the end of the war is A Woman in Berlin.


There was also a movie filmed in Berlin around 1947 or so, can't remember the name...

but for re-creating the atmosphere of Germany in the immediate aftermath of defeat

Sarajevo immediately after the blockade/siege was lifted? Mogadishu any time...
   285. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:10 AM (#3446299)
A recent movie that gives a sense of Berlin at the end of the war is A Woman In Berlin.

Hey, thanks, rlc. I just put it at the top of my Netflix queue. Never knew about it before.
   286. Jolly Old St. Nick Is A Jolly Old St. Crip Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:17 AM (#3446301)
There was also a movie filmed in Berlin around 1947 or so, can't remember the name...

That would be A Foreign Affair, with Jean Arthur, John Lund, Marlene Dietrich and Millard Marshall, which shows often on TCM, and in fact just played last night right after the Saints game ended. It was filmed in Berlin in 1947 and released in 1948, and shows a lot of footage of the bombed out city. Corny as hell plot, but it's still worth watching just for the "scenery" and for the running commentary of the Millard Mitchell character. But you can tell by the original trailer that it's not exactly in the Rossellini category.
   287. akrasian Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:28 AM (#3446306)
Ah good. This is now becoming a movie thread. That should please some.
   288. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:29 AM (#3446307)
Could you freely cross zones?


Yes. I was in the Air Force at the time, and we had unrestricted access to all parts of Berlin under the 4 power agreement. When we crossed into East Berlin, they weren't even allowed to search us. Thus, we were able to buy our Ostmarks in the west at the market rate of 10:1 instead of the official East German rate of 1:1. The irony was, everything was dirt cheap, but there was nothing to buy.
   289. phredbird Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:39 AM (#3446312)
In OT, I thought the spot on 4th and 1 was terrible, the pass interference call was a joke, and Meacham didn't have possession. All those cameras and all those eyes, and all that time, and it's still 50/50 they get the call right. I don't see any reason they can't allow challenges for pass interference calls; the penalty is so potentially severe that it's tough to accept such blatant screwups.


anybody can play this game. if the vikes had won, someone would be on here sure as shooting saying that some crummy calls on the saints and bad breaks made the difference. bad calls are always going to happen. the pass interference call that gave minnesota first and goal on the one was pretty ticky tacky too.
when you talk about shaky decision making, you are on better ground. vikes lost because they couldn't keep their act together. more than one viking fumble was from getting the ball punched loose by a defender. vikings were darn lucky on one of petersons fumbles, it was a miracle he got it back, so don't say they didn't catch any breaks.
favre had been getting his clock cleaned all night long, and so he has a lapse in judgment at the end of regulation. i don't think the two are unrelated, and its to N.O.'s credit that they figured out that they needed to do that.
if the vikings can't hang on to the ball or manage their drives, it doesn't mean they are a hard luck team, it means they aren't that good.
   290. John DiFool2 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:47 AM (#3446317)
"I'll take the ball on my -- yard line."


I'll eat that taco with 3 squirts of hot sauce.
I'll eat it w/ 4 squirts.
5 squirts.
Eat that taco.


A few (3-4?) years back, the kickoff specialist for the Florida Gators was also a second string linebacker. He didn't have the strongest leg on the team, and most of his kickoffs barely reached the five yard line. But I remember two instances where he kicked off, shed a potential blocker, and simply leveled the return guy around the 25 yard line. Having an eleventh, competent tackler on your kickoff team I thought outweighed the extra seven or so yards of distance on your kick you'd get with a regular kicker.


Ray Guy was a college safety (when not punting of course)-I recall several nasty hits he laid on returners. BTW, did you know Ray Guy ranks 64th in gross punting average? Before you claim that he is overrated, I'll point out that there's nary a single contemporary (c. 1973-1986) above him, because when they moved the goalposts back in his 2nd year, teams started punting from the opposing side of the 50 much more often, limiting the gross yardage you could get (because of touchbacks).
   291. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:55 AM (#3446320)
anybody can play this game. if the vikes had won, someone would be on here sure as shooting saying that some crummy calls on the saints and bad breaks made the difference. bad calls are always going to happen. the pass interference call that gave minnesota first and goal on the one was pretty ticky tacky too.


Yes, but this assumes that the bad calls evened out, which seems unlikely. And if they didn't even out, then, yes, the Vikings have reason to complain.

The Vikings had all three questionable calls go against them in overtime, when it could be argued that all three of them should have been in their favor. That's pretty hard to even out, unless you're saying that had the Saints gotten their calls in regulation there wouldn't have been an overtime. Which would be a fair point.

when you talk about shaky decision making, you are on better ground. vikes lost because they couldn't keep their act together. more than one viking fumble was from getting the ball punched loose by a defender. vikings were darn lucky on one of petersons fumbles, it was a miracle he got it back, so don't say they didn't catch any breaks.


Sigh. This reminds me of the baseball playoffs last fall, when people were arguing that despite the umpire gaffes, the Twins had "only themselves to blame" for losing to the Yankees in the postseason, since the Twins made boneheaded baserunning blunders. No. Calls from refs or umpires are a completely separate issue. No team "has only themselves to blame" if they fall victim to bad officiating, no matter how many mistakes they make of their own.

But I agree with you that fumbles are often not accidents; they are often the result of skill by the other team (the Saints were ripping the ball out) and/or a lack of skill in protecting the football.

By the way, is it just the proliferation of camera angles now, or has it become more commonplace in the NFL that players try to rip the ball out? It seems like players try for this now far more often than they used to.
   292. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2010 at 02:55 AM (#3446321)
I'll eat that taco with 3 squirts of hot sauce.
I'll eat it w/ 4 squirts.
5 squirts.
Eat that taco.


Is that a Foxtrot reference? Maybe we can turn this into a comic thread.

What happened to the funnies? In my youth, I could rely on Calvin and Hobbes, Far Side, Tom the Dancing Bug and Foxtrot to deliver the goods on a regular basis. Now Foxtrot has lost it, Bill Waterson has become a hermit, Gary Larson retired and Tom the Dancing Bug is gone or retired or hidden, I don't know which. The funny pages are pretty gosh darn unfunny, save for absurdist appeal of Mark Trail and Rex Morgan MD.

It's pretty easy to figure out why, but that doesn't make it any less of a shame.

I'm sure you old toots could make me dizzy with your knowledge of the so-called golden years.
   293. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:04 AM (#3446325)
Non Sequiter is pretty good, there are a few Far Side ripoffs that are okay and Dilbert is still good.
   294. JRVJ (formerly Delta Socrates) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:13 AM (#3446327)
Haven't seen A woman in Berlin, but I definitely liked the Good German (and I have seen the Third Man, so I sort of understand the atmosphere of despair and do-whatever-you-have-to-do which permeated that time period in Berlin).

Misirlou, were you allowed into East Berlin during down time? I ask, because if you had had a chance to do so, it may have been dirt cheap to eat and drink beer in East Berlin with your true market rate Ostmarks.
   295. The District Attorney Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:20 AM (#3446329)
As Ken Tremendous succinctly put it today, "Favre says 2010 return is 'highly unlikely.' So, that's the end of that."

Speaking of Civil War generals, here's an article claiming Grant was one of our greatest Presidents.
   296. Der-K and the statistical werewolves. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:25 AM (#3446331)
291: I thought it was name that tune.
My understanding is that most of the good comics are online, but I wouldn't know...
   297. Misirlou's been working for the drug squad Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:36 AM (#3446334)
Misirlou, were you allowed into East Berlin during down time? I ask, because if you had had a chance to do so, it may have been dirt cheap to eat and drink beer in East Berlin with your true market rate Ostmarks.


I was there on leave, and for only 4 days. Yes I did eat and drink there. Beer worked out to be about 10 cents a pint. Horrid stuff though. The good stuff we tried to buy, good quality Vodka, Zeiss binoculars, Red Army Surplus coats, gloves, hats, ... they wouldn't sell to us. Precisely because they knew we brought in our market rate Ostmarks.
   298. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:42 AM (#3446339)
Interesting article! It never jibbed with me that Grant, an effective and intelligent leader of men, a man of good principle and utterly devoted to his family, could be such a failure as a president. At least, a failure in the common perception. I still don't know enough to have any meaningful opinions, but that article is a good starting point. I've been meaning to read Grant's memoirs for quite some time.

I used to work at a bank, and a lady once approached me looking to make a withdrawal from her expense account. She owned a bead shop or something. I ask if she's okay with fifties. She flips out: she says she despises Grant and refuses to possess anything that bears his likeness. Her reasoning wasn't that he whupped the South. That would have made a degree of sense. No, no. Apparently he was nasty to the Native Americans. Someway, somehow. She wanted 20s. Bearing the likeness of Andrew "Trail of Tears" Jackson is okay, apparently, but US Grant is not.

I made a point to investigate a bit into Grant's service as president. Shockingly, and contrary to what that loon had been spouting, Grant was in fact a tireless servant in the protection of people's basic humanity, particularly in the cause of Indians and African-Americans. I swore to myself that if that crackpot ever showed up again, I'd give her a piece of my mind, customer service be damned. Fortunately for me, I never saw her again.
   299. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:04 AM (#3446345)
NO ONE WILL READ THIS.

But "Tom the Dancing Bug" is still available online, at Salon.com at least.
And Gary Larson put out a terrific kids' book a couple of years ago called "There's Hair in My Dirt: A Worm's Story."
   300. greenback calls it soccer Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:10 AM (#3446347)
In the summer of 1991, it was still essentially what it had been since 1961.

I visited in October 1989 and March 1990, and some of the Wall areas already had changed significantly. No new buildings yet, but even before the unification, the fortress look was yielding to the vacant lot look.

We tried to visit the Tiergarten Soviet war memorial one evening, and the Russian soldier (stationed?) there made it abundantly clear that idea wasn't acceptable to him.
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