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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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   301. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:12 AM (#3446348)
But "Tom the Dancing Bug" is still available online, at Salon.com at least.


Excellent.
   302. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:17 AM (#3446349)
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.


My dad managed to work out a trip to Moscow during the 70s. Some of the women in his tour group made a game of trying to get the uniformed Russians to smile or at least react to advances. It never worked. On the other hand, Franco's men...
   303. Lassus Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:10 AM (#3446369)
Ah good. This is now becoming a movie thread. That should please some.

An Andy, Morty, and Donelson discussion of dead people movies do not a movie thread make.


As far as online (this one is also printed in weeklies) go,

Wondermark is 110% awesome.
   304. villageidiom Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:18 AM (#3446371)
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.
I can see this whole discussion taking place in a Boston bar, with Will Hunting calling everyone out for simply parroting whatever WWII book they'd last read.
   305. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:30 AM (#3446376)
I just wish Verne Lundquist was doing the NFC title game. "Inexplicable!" would've been my bet for his reaction. Anybody hear Paul Allen (Vikes PBP guy) lose it in the booth after Favre's INT?
   306. CFiJ Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:34 AM (#3446378)
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.
I agree to an extent, but given that Hirohito whethered two attempted coup d'etat by hawks in his military, one before the war and one immediately preceding the surrender, I don't think this can be the only answer.

IMO, the key was the establishment of nationwide urbanization and a large middle-class before the war. This provided a framework of infrastructure for the Allies to maintain control of and administer the occupation. Insurgencies thrive with the support or indifference of the general population. If the general population is actively against an insurgency, it doesn't have much of a chance. Using the existing infrastructure, the Allies were able to bring their resources to bear on feeding and clothing the general populace. A well-fed man is not going to support guerillas whose actions may affect his comfort.

Further, the would-be leaders of such an insurgency had presented themselves as standard military men during the war, which opened them up to prosecution by the war tribunals. The Allies were able to quickly decapitate the possible brain-trust behind any kind of organized insurgency. At the same time, they protected the interests and wealth of the conglomerates that had funded the war. Thus there was no much incentive for wealthy individuals to financially back would-be insurgents.
   307. Infinite Joost (Voxter) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:42 AM (#3446382)
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


Of course you're right. Maybe it bothers me in the war threads because I don't really give a ####. Well, it bothers me in the other threads, too, but at least there I get to participate.
   308. CFiJ Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:53 AM (#3446388)
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.
He was all that, but at the same time he wasn't the best judge of men, at least when it came to financial matters. The reason that Grant's presidency is thought so little of is because it was constantly plagued by scandal and corruption. None of this really reached Grant himself, and in fact the man himself often found himself broke after starting business before the war and after his presidency. In the latter, he was swindled by his business partner, leaving his family quite poor, and his memoirs were his own way to leave his family with financial stability.
   309. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:57 AM (#3446390)
In the latter, he was swindled by his business partner, leaving his family quite poor, and his memoirs were his own way to leave his family with financial stability.


What sort of person swindles US Freaking Grant. My goodness. Straight to hell, do not pass go, do not collect two hundred dollars.
   310. akrasian Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:19 AM (#3446396)
What sort of person swindles US Freaking Grant.

Pretty much everybody. A large number of those he appointed to his administration took advantage of their positions to make money, his business partner after his presidency did. Grant was one of those who had trouble seeing people not doing the right thing, since he wanted to do right himself. This despite his rather large personal flaws. Pity - he squandered so much political capital with his trusting his friends - and he had more political capital than any president except Washington.
   311. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:32 AM (#3446398)
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.


You're not alone in this observation Ray. Players do try to strip the ball far more often. Personally, I don't mind the punch or strip if it's done in the process of tackling a guy. But way too many guys go strictly for the ball without trying to wrap the player up. I think it's ugly, though I don't suppose there's anything the league can (or should) do about it.
   312. akrasian Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:38 AM (#3446400)
You're not alone in this observation Ray. Players do try to strip the ball far more often. Personally, I don't mind the punch or strip if it's done in the process of tackling a guy. But way too many guys go strictly for the ball without trying to wrap the player up. I think it's ugly, though I don't suppose there's anything the league can (or should) do about it.

It's far from clear that it's not the right mindset. While going for the strip undoubtedly means that there are a few longer gains, maybe even for TDs, it also means that there are more turnovers, which are huge defensively. Getting the ball on a turnover is definitely a win defensively. Add in that the emphasis on stripping the ball gets at least some players to put more of their emphasis on that rather than on running as effectively as possible for extra yardage, and I wouldn't be surprised if an analysis (that likely isn't fully possible) showed that players were doing the right thing by going for the strip.
   313. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:42 AM (#3446401)
But way too many guys go strictly for the ball without trying to wrap the player up.


Several times on Sunday you could see where guys had blown a tackle for exactly this reason.

Now: is "fumbles caused" an individual defensive stat?
   314. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:52 AM (#3446402)
It's far from clear that it's not the right mindset. While going for the strip undoubtedly means that there are a few longer gains, maybe even for TDs, it also means that there are more turnovers, which are huge defensively. Getting the ball on a turnover is definitely a win defensively. Add in that the emphasis on stripping the ball gets at least some players to put more of their emphasis on that rather than on running as effectively as possible for extra yardage, and I wouldn't be surprised if an analysis (that likely isn't fully possible) showed that players were doing the right thing by going for the strip.


I don't necessarily disagree with this, as I have no idea whether it's a net positive. I simply find it aesthetically unpleasing.
   315. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:18 AM (#3446406)
I just happened to look at a collection of Earl Campbell clips. Can't remember if he was unusual in this way (and if so, how unusual) but he didn't seem to protect the ball much at all. Football's equivalent of the slide step?
   316. zenbitz Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:26 AM (#3446408)
Now: is "fumbles caused" an individual defensive stat?


Yes, Forced Fumbles. It has been reported in NFL gamebooks and "detailed" box scores for at least 10 or 12 years now. However, I think it might not be an "official stat".
   317. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:42 AM (#3446410)
I wonder if this

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.


coincided with this

Forced Fumbles. It has been reported in NFL gamebooks and "detailed" box scores for at least 10 or 12 years now.


Because there are too many "tackles" possible to seem sexy, but "forced fumbles"? SEXY.
   318. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:11 AM (#3446417)
I just happened to look at a collection of Earl Campbell clips. Can't remember if he was unusual in this way (and if so, how unusual) but he didn't seem to protect the ball much at all. Football's equivalent of the slide step?


Not terribly. Loaf of bread style ballcarrying was not uncommon in Campbell's era, though it did earn the wrath of the coaches in the broadcast booth (and for good reason). Earl, however, might have been strong enough to pull it off on most occasions.
   319. Ron Johnson Posted: January 26, 2010 at 09:38 AM (#3446424)
I've been meaning to read Grant's memoirs for quite some time.


I think the circumstances of the memoirs say some interesting things about the man. Written while he was dying of throat cancer. I'd think that requires a lot of will power.

The sole reason he wrote them was to provide for his family. Nobody doubts that he personally did not profit from the corruption of his administration.
   320. Ron Johnson Posted: January 26, 2010 at 09:46 AM (#3446425)
#313. General rule of thumb (I think from the Pete Palmer football book) is that a turnover is worth ~40 yards. Actually an INT turned out to be worth around 10 yards more than a recovered fumble, and a forced fumble isn't a recoveredd fumble, but it sure looks to me like you can afford to risk 15 yards to cause a fumble.
   321. Bhaakon Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:01 AM (#3446426)
My recollections of the Grant presidency boil down to the idea that many of the attributes which made him an upright person and great general also made him a terrible politician. He surrounded himself with cabinet members and advisers who were personally loyal (usually family, friends, and former army comrades), but crooked and/or incompetent. Furthermore, he tended to try to dictate policy rather than work through the system, which rarely works at any time, but was exacerbated by a culture which expected the President to be much more respectful and submissive towards the legislature than we do today. As a result, he was constantly surrounded by both scandal and plenty of politically savvy opponents to use it against him.
   322. PASTE Thinks This Trout Kid Might Be OK (Zeth) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 11:29 AM (#3446431)
#313. General rule of thumb (I think from the Pete Palmer football book) is that a turnover is worth ~40 yards. Actually an INT turned out to be worth around 10 yards more than a recovered fumble, and a forced fumble isn't a recoveredd fumble, but it sure looks to me like you can afford to risk 15 yards to cause a fumble.


It's also important to note that, so far as has yet been discovered, forcing fumbles is somewhat of a skill (and/or fumbling the ball is somewhat of an unskill), but once the ball's on the ground, recovery of fumbles is essentially random.
   323. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 26, 2010 at 11:35 AM (#3446433)
Ron:

FootballOutsiders assigns "points" value to turnovers. For example, the Vikings fumble inside the 5 cost the team 3.67 points. Adrian Peterson's nine fumbles this season cost the team almost 30 points.

FWIW
   324. CFiJ Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:13 PM (#3446484)
I think the circumstances of the memoirs say some interesting things about the man. Written while he was dying of throat cancer. I'd think that requires a lot of will power.

The sole reason he wrote them was to provide for his family. Nobody doubts that he personally did not profit from the corruption of his administration.
And that's not all, according to this article. Apparently, Grant was going to work with Adam Badeau, his former secretary and historian, to finish the memoirs. But when Badeau feared that Grant's memoirs would overshadow his own work on the war, he asked for more compensation to be involved on the product, in the process disparaging Grant's literary ability and strongly implying that he would be ghost writing the work. Grant basically told him to take a hike, that he didn't need Badeau, nor did he even want to put his name to something he did not truly write. Grant could have just had Badeau write the book, it still would have secured his family's fortune, and Grant could have spent his last days in comfort awaiting the end. Instead, he wrote and wrote everyday through the pain of throat cancer, finishing the memoirs a mere five days before he died.
   325. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:26 PM (#3446494)
Harveys, how do you like FO? I haven't really read them much since I found Smart Football and Advanced NFL Stats.
   326. sunnyday2 Posted: January 26, 2010 at 03:56 PM (#3446526)
As to the strip, it's a calculated risk and when it works, it's a big play.

My beef would be exemplified by a play earlier this year. All Day got stood up and gang tackled by about 5 guys. If he had gone all limp, if he had tried his very hardest to go down to the ground, he could not have done so. The play now is the first 3 guys stand him up while the next 2 go for the strip. After the runner has gone 5 yards backwards the whistle still has not blown--hey, he's still standing--and out comes the ball. This is bullshit.
   327. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:01 PM (#3446531)
My recollections of the Grant presidency boil down to the idea that many of the attributes which made him an upright person and great general also made him a terrible politician. He surrounded himself with cabinet members and advisers who were personally loyal (usually family, friends, and former army comrades), but crooked and/or incompetent. Furthermore, he tended to try to dictate policy rather than work through the system, which rarely works at any time, but was exacerbated by a culture which expected the President to be much more respectful and submissive towards the legislature than we do today. As a result, he was constantly surrounded by both scandal and plenty of politically savvy opponents to use it against him.
Part of it was that he had the mentality of a general. In the military, if he told a subordinate to do something, it would be done. As President, he assumed that it would be the same way, and this allowed people to take advantage of him.
   328. SoSH U at work Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:03 PM (#3446535)
My beef would be exemplified by a play earlier this year. All Day got stood up and gang tackled by about 5 guys. If he had gone all limp, if he had tried his very hardest to go down to the ground, he could not have done so. The play now is the first 3 guys stand him up while the next 2 go for the strip. After the runner has gone 5 yards backwards the whistle still has not blown--hey, he's still standing--and out comes the ball. This is ########.


The one that stood out to me was the Urlacher play on Monday Night Football a few years ago against the Cardinals (the "Crown their Ass" game) . Edge James gets stood up, but is still trying to fight for yards. Urlacher moves in, makes absolutely no effort to do anything but rip the ball from James, and James is basically powerless to stop it since his body is stuck between three defenders. Urlahcer yanks it out of his hands and scores a TD on the play. Offends the sensibilities.
   329. Pat Rapper's Delight Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:23 PM (#3446558)
but again, nobody is claiming he's the greatest QB ever.

Terry Bradshaw did before the game on Sunday.

Terry also once said he "wouldn't walk across the street to watch baseball," so take his opinions for what little they're worth.

(and I say that as a former student at Louisiana Tech who dug seeing all his memorabilia, jerseys, etc on display in the basketball arena)
   330. Eddo Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:28 PM (#3446564)
Not terribly. Loaf of bread style ballcarrying was not uncommon in Campbell's era, though it did earn the wrath of the coaches in the broadcast booth (and for good reason). Earl, however, might have been strong enough to pull it off on most occasions.


Yep. And fumble rates thirty years ago were more that twice as high as fumble rates today. Pro-football-reference.com had a blog post on this (my Google skills have slipped apparently, but it's out there); Walter Payton, notorious for being a fumbler early in his career, had 30 fumbles over his first three season. Peterson, with the same reputation, had 20. However, factoring in league-wide rate and number of carries, Payton fumbled 33% more than an average back in his era, while Peterson fumbled 97%(!) more.
   331. Eddo Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:32 PM (#3446573)
Harveys, how do you like FO? I haven't really read them much since I found Smart Football and Advanced NFL Stats.


This isn't directed at me, but I'll give my two cents.

I read all three; Burke at Advanced NFL Stats gives the best overarching statistical analysis; that is, he has the best data for "coaches go for it too little" and discussions of game theory. I find him the most arrogant, and his team-rating figures sometimes don't pass the smell test and are a bit too simplified.

Smartfootball is great for technical breakdowns of football, though it focuses more on the college game. I really like Chris's writing.

FO has the most content of them all, so I read it the most. They have some very good writers (Tanier) and I actually like their subjective writing a bit more than their stats, though I like their stats better than Burke's, as you can do more with them (splits, trends, etc.). FO also has the best comment section (which really separates them), though I'd prefer they force users to register before posting, to cut down on trolling.
   332. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 04:37 PM (#3446581)
though I'd prefer they force users to register before posting, to cut down on trolling.
Yeah, that'll work.
   333. Ron Johnson Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:06 PM (#3446601)
#330, "He couldn't spell 'cat' if you spotted him the 'c' and the 'a'." -- Hollywood Henderson on Bradshaw. (Yeah, yeah. Consider the source. Still a great line.)
   334. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:13 PM (#3446612)
I read all three; Burke at Advanced NFL Stats gives the best overarching statistical analysis; that is, he has the best data for "coaches go for it too little" and discussions of game theory. I find him the most arrogant, and his team-rating figures sometimes don't pass the smell test and are a bit too simplified.


That sums up my feelings; although the only time I detect a hint of arrogance is when he says whether or not a move was right.

Tanier's the guy I should read at FO? I'll keep that in mind.
   335. SoSH U at work Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:25 PM (#3446627)
#330, "He couldn't spell 'cat' if you spotted him the 'c' and the 'a'." -- Hollywood Henderson on Bradshaw. (Yeah, yeah. Consider the source. Still a great line.)


I thought it was the C and the T. The internet seems to be split on the matter.
   336. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:29 PM (#3446631)
I agree with Eddo
   337. Eddo Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:31 PM (#3446634)
Tanier's the guy I should read at FO? I'll keep that in mind.


In my opinion, yes; Tanier's "Walthrough" is the best weekly column that's penned by a single writer. I like his writing style, and "Walkthrough" combines some humor with real analysis, such as play-diagramming. It is simultaneously more analytic AND entertaining than anything you'll get from a "sports entertainment" media outlet.

I'm a big fan of "Audibles at the Line", the Monday-morning compilation of emails that FO's writers send back-and-forth during the weekend's games. It doesn't contain much real analysis, but it's entertaining and a good way to get some actual information (not just highlights) on games I didn't get to see.
   338. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 05:53 PM (#3446660)
   339. PreservedFish Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:01 PM (#3446672)
It's a good meme.
   340. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:14 PM (#3446687)
I'm a big fan of "Audibles at the Line", the Monday-morning compilation of emails that FO's writers send back-and-forth during the weekend's games. It doesn't contain much real analysis, but it's entertaining and a good way to get some actual information (not just highlights) on games I didn't get to see.


I'm not a fan of the in game back and forth. They read like Game Chatters and I was never big on those either.
   341. Cabbage Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:40 PM (#3446723)
I like FO's stuff. They seem to put a lot of effort into striking a balance between objective and subjective analysis. It's not perfect all the time, but they do a good job of explaining when, how, and why they're using their numbers. So its pretty easy to read through and understand where the flaws might be.

[edited for horrid syntax]
   342. phredbird Posted: January 26, 2010 at 06:53 PM (#3446734)
anybody can play this game.

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.


bad calls evening out is not the point. they happen, expecting them to even out in a single game is dumb. the vikings did not lose because of bad calls, because the bad calls you reference should never have been made. they were in overtime, which if brett favre had kept his cool, would not have happpened.

when you talk about shaky decision making, you are on better ground.

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.


maybe its the saints fan in me, but we'll have to disagree. too often nowadays, you'll have the press eliciting comments from coaches and players blaming or sorta kinda blaming the refs for the loss. the right response, even if in your heart you feel differently, is to admit you didn't make the plays needed to win. in your example, if the twins don't mess up, the officiating becomes moot.

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.


looks that way to me. i don't watch a lot of football anymore. been watching these playoffs because i'm originally from N.O. and my family is rabid. it struck me that defenders seem to have a sort of punch move when they tackle that i never noticed before.
   343. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:08 PM (#3446749)
they were in overtime, which if brett favre had kept his cool, would not have happpened.

Isn't that unclear. Even absent the INT, they're stiill looking at a long, 45+ yards, FG to win.

IMHO Peterson should get way more blame than Favre for this one. I'm shocked they didn't just go with Chester Taylor at some point.
   344. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:12 PM (#3446753)
maybe its the saints fan in me, but we'll have to disagree. too often nowadays, you'll have the press eliciting comments from coaches and players blaming or sorta kinda blaming the refs for the loss. the right response, even if in your heart you feel differently, is to admit you didn't make the plays needed to win. in your example, if the twins don't mess up, the officiating becomes moot.


Let's say the umpires blew one call per inning against the Twins. Would you still feel that "hey, if the Twins hadn't messed up, they could have won?" It's the same concept.
   345. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:17 PM (#3446762)
Even absent the INT, they're stiill looking at a long, 45+ yards, FG to win.


More like 55+ yards. The Vikings absolutely needed to gain yardage on that last play, or they were looking at a FG try that couldn't have had much more than a 1-in-4 chance of succeeding.

All the Favre pick cost them was that one last-gasp chance. Their chances of winning wouldn't have been much better if he had thrown the ball away.
   346. Alex_Lewis Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3446769)
Grant basically told him to take a hike, that he didn't need Badeau, nor did he even want to put his name to something he did not truly write. Grant could have just had Badeau write the book, it still would have secured his family's fortune, and Grant could have spent his last days in comfort awaiting the end. Instead, he wrote and wrote everyday through the pain of throat cancer, finishing the memoirs a mere five days before he died.


Heckuva story. A true inspiration to writers of any stripe. Odd that Badeau had such conflict with Grant. He said of the general, "What a wonderful man he is. His goodness is greater than his greatness." Perhaps this is the heart of Grant's failures as a politician. Men were quick to assume his goodness, and take advantage of it as such.
   347. Eddo Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:21 PM (#3446770)
IMHO Peterson should get way more blame than Favre for this one. I'm shocked they didn't just go with Chester Taylor at some point.


Agreed that Peterson's more at fault than Favre, who actually had a pretty good game. Peterson was benched for a while, though it coincided with pass-heavy playcalling.
   348. Best Dressed Chicken in Town Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:22 PM (#3446771)
as 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.

LT started that (the swipe down on the ball/forearm while tackling; the more blatant efforts to simply rip the ball out are an evolution of that, I guess).
   349. Eddo Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:36 PM (#3446792)
More like 55+ yards. The Vikings absolutely needed to gain yardage on that last play, or they were looking at a FG try that couldn't have had much more than a 1-in-4 chance of succeeding.

All the Favre pick cost them was that one last-gasp chance. Their chances of winning wouldn't have been much better if he had thrown the ball away.


Sure they would have.

Your 1-in-4 claim is probably not true; Longwell is 22 of 36 (61.1%) from 50+ yards in his career, 14 of 21 (66.7%) from 50+ yards indoors.

And even if, for whatever reason, Longwell does only have a 25% chance of hitting the field goal, if Favre throws it away, 25% of the time, the Vikings win in regulation. Of the remaining 75% of the time, they win half, which is an additional 37.5%. If the Vikings attempt the 55-yard field goal, under your assumption, they have an overall 62.5% chance of winning. After the interception, they had a 50% chance. That's not nothing.
   350. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:47 PM (#3446812)
Peanut Tillman loves to do the punch out of the ball. He is pretty good at it I just wish he was as good a pass coverage guy as he is a ball puncher. In coach Smith's initial year or so of coaching the bears were very good at gang tackling runners and then stripping the ball from them. It seems they have gotten away from that lately. Plus it doesn't help when you lose Brian in the first game and Mike Brown is playing for KC. I always thought the importance of Mike Brown do that defense was understated. Whenever he would go down with his season ending injury their defense would never be the same.
   351. hokieneer Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:51 PM (#3446820)
All the Favre pick cost them was that one last-gasp chance. Their chances of winning wouldn't have been much better if he had thrown the ball away.

The entire 3 downs once they got to the 35 yard line was horrible, not just the Farve play. 2 TO, ball at the 35 with 1:10 left. They tried to basic up the middle runs and wasted the clock down to 19 seconds. Then the 12 men flag. Why the Vikes never tried to advance the ball into a more make able FG range is beyond me. Why would you want to pin your hopes on a 50+ yarder when you have the field position,time, and downs to improve your odds of winning the game is beyond me. The farve pick was just the cherry on top of what was 50+ seconds of Herm Edwards-level terrible game-management on the part of Childress and the Vikings.
   352. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:53 PM (#3446828)
I take your point about the game percentages, but I disagree with your point about Longwell hitting from 50+. This attempt would have been 56 yards, and the longest FG Longwell has made in his career was 55. The vast majority of those 50+ field goals were from about five yards closer than this one would have been.
   353. Santanaland Diaries Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:55 PM (#3446831)
Agreed that Peterson's more at fault than Favre, who actually had a pretty good game. Peterson was benched for a while, though it coincided with pass-heavy playcalling.


Peterson's fumbles were hugely annoying, and the one fumble really cost them points, but remember that the other two fumbles were recovered - one he recovered about 10 yards forward from where he fumbled, and the other was a 10 yard loss that was immediately overcome by a pass to Shiancoe, on a drive that Peterson finished off with a TD. So Favre had two turnovers to Peterson's one (it's 3 to 0 in the record books, but I blame Peterson for the goal line fumble). I don't think I would actually agree with the "Peterson more at fault than Favre" idea.

Really, you could blame Peterson, Favre, Berrian and Harvin equally.
   354. Ron Johnson Posted: January 26, 2010 at 07:58 PM (#3446839)
#337 I like using "f" and "h" or something equally nonsensical.
   355. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:03 PM (#3446847)
I have made mention of this in the Lounge, but there HAS to be a study done that is circulating among NFL coaches attesting to the certainty of 50 odd yard field goals made in domes. Becuase time and again over the past several years I have witnessed coaches get to the 32 yard line or so and then do exactly as Childress. Two sorry running attempts, a rollout pass attempt to nowhere and then kick the field goal. Or run twice and then kick.

It's pretty bizarre.

And infuriating when the coach orchestrating this nonsense is the guy leading your team.
   356. Ron Johnson Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:05 PM (#3446849)
LT started that


Butkus was very well known in his day for trying for strips. He was fond of trying for after the whistle strips on a "you never know, you might get the call" basis.
   357. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:10 PM (#3446860)
Peterson's fumbles were hugely annoying, and the one fumble really cost them points, but remember that the other two fumbles were recovered - one he recovered about 10 yards forward from where he fumbled, and the other was a 10 yard loss that was immediately overcome by a pass to Shiancoe, on a drive that Peterson finished off with a TD. So Favre had two turnovers to Peterson's one (it's 3 to 0 in the record books, but I blame Peterson for the goal line fumble). I don't think I would actually agree with the "Peterson more at fault than Favre" idea.

You are forgetting the Fumble at NO 10 yard line between Favre and Peterson. They blamed it on Favre but that one could have gone to either of them and probably should have gone to Peterson. Plus it can be argued that Peterson's fumbles forced Childress to pull him and alter the plays while Favre's interceptions did not.
   358. Tom Nawrocki Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:22 PM (#3446878)
They blamed it on Favre but that one could have gone to either of them and probably should have gone to Peterson.


There's no judgment call there; a fumbled handoff is always credited (debited?) to the QB. The thinking is that Peterson can't be charged with a fumble when he never had possession of the ball.
   359. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:28 PM (#3446890)
I'm not arguing about what the official scorer has to do but who is actually at fault for that fumble.
   360. bunyon Posted: January 26, 2010 at 08:59 PM (#3446939)
Dialling back, thnking about it (faculty meeting), I think the OT rules for the Super Bowl should simply be full period OTs until someone is ahead at the end of one. There is no next game, so no reason to look for ways to shorten the game. Yes, this gives the edge to the team that is in better shape and deeper, but...why wouldn't you want to do that anyway?
   361. Santanaland Diaries Posted: January 26, 2010 at 09:40 PM (#3446998)
You are forgetting the Fumble at NO 10 yard line between Favre and Peterson.


Not forgetting at all; that's the one fumble that really cost them points, and you notice I make it clear I put the blame on Peterson there. Are you mistakenly attributing one of the other fumbles to Peterson?

As to the play-calling idea, possibly. Peterson only sat out about half a series, and Taylor did fine in his absence. Peterson had several rushes thereafter, and the Vikings rushed on the two plays prior to Favre's late INT, so I think it's a stretch to say that it meaningfully altered the play-calling.
   362. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:09 PM (#3447033)
I was thinking about Eben Emael today and that led me to think about just how stupid the military tactics were in virtually all of the Star Wars films. First off X-Wings have light speed capabilities. Why? Have you seen an X-Wing cockpit? Traveling at light speed or faster it would still takes days if not weeks, months, years to get from point A to point B. What the hell is a pilot going to do in that cockpit during all that time? Secondly what the hell is the point of having a fighter with light speed capability? Fighters can't harm the capital ships unless they get extremely lucky so there is no point to sending out X-Wings to do battle against big ships. You need capital ships and if you need capital ships then those ships will be big enough to house the fighters. But then what is the point of those fighters once you get engaged in a battle. What is an X-Wing going to do against a Star Destroyer? Nothing, so why use the resources to create so many fighters?

Second thing. Where the hell was the air coverage when the Imperials attacked Hoth? Pretty much the only thing AT-AT walkers are vulnerable to are air attacks and yet the Empire sends this overwhelming fleet to destroy the Rebels once and for all but they decide to keep the air coverage stowed safely away?

Third Thing. Why the hell didn't the Deathstar have a fleet with it? Plus there is no way that an attacking fleet would be able to jump out of hyperdrive so near the deathstar. Something going that fast over that much distance with an unknown variable such as the location of a deathstar at the end of it (while not even considering all the other moving variables that are known and unnknown) would never be able to get that close. You would probably have to do something like what Star Trek films do to build suspense which is fall out of warp speed at the edge of the galaxy and fly in under normal propulsion from there. Then once the attack commences the Imperials basically let the rebels have air equality? I don't think so. Or how about the fact that these people can create computers powerful enough to chart course over billions of miles safely while traveling faster than the speed of light but they can't create a computer that can sufficiently track a fighter and shoot down all while those freakin fighters basically try no evasive manuevers.

Fourth thing. What the hell is up with "swords" and all the infantry level close in fighting? There is a battle scene in Star Wars I where basically everybody forgets they have freakin laser guns that shoot a long way and both sides go rushing at each other. Why? How the hell is that a reasonable strategy? And why the hell do storm troopers where that bulky armor if it can't stop a basic blaster? There is a reason why soldiers moved away from personal armor during the late middle ages and on and that is because it became increasingly useless.
   363. Voros McCracken of Pinkus Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:17 PM (#3447048)
Butkus was very well known in his day for trying for strips. He was fond of trying for after the whistle strips on a "you never know, you might get the call" basis.

Believe it or not, my Dad played High School football with Butkus at CVS. He says Butkus was doing it way back then, and my Dad says (I have no way of knowing) that back then it (punching the ball out) was considered:

a) Poor form
b) Illegal

It's hard to imagine a dispute over whether b) is true or not, but I could see a situation involving High School football at the time where everybody assumed something was illegal and it wasn't. I could even see High School officials calling penalties on things not actually against the rules.

He also said that Butkus was pretty much the best player at every position on the field, including the kickers.
   364. Mefisto Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:17 PM (#3447049)
Ok, McCoy, that's a level of geekdom reached not even by the Geek Trio on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.

I'm in awe.
   365. Cabbage Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:20 PM (#3447052)
McCoy needs to read Ender's Game.

Once there is ultra-highspeed travel and interspace combat, there is basically no such thing as a defensive structure. If you want to stop an enemy, you must attack him first.
   366. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:23 PM (#3447058)
Traveling at light speed or faster it would still takes days if not weeks, months, years to get from point A to point B. What the hell is a pilot going to do in that cockpit during all that time?
If he was traveling at light speed, no time whatsoever would pass, from the perspective of the pilot.
   367. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:26 PM (#3447062)
McCoy, you should watch this. All 70 minutes of it. Trust me, it's 100% worth it.
   368. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:27 PM (#3447069)
Believe it or not, my Dad played High School football with Butkus at CVS. He says Butkus was doing it way back then, and my Dad says (I have no way of knowing) that back then it (punching the ball out) was considered:

a) Poor form
b) Illegal

It's hard to imagine a dispute over whether b) is true or not, but I could see a situation involving High School football at the time where everybody assumed something was illegal and it wasn't. I could even see High School officials calling penalties on things not actually against the rules.

He also said that Butkus was pretty much the best player at every position on the field, including the kickers.
I'm sorry, Dick Butkus.
   369. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:32 PM (#3447074)

If he was traveling at light speed, no time whatsoever would pass, from the perspective of the pilot.


But in the Star Wars universe that isn't true. We see the passage of time during lightspeed travel from people that are going as fast as lightspeed or faster.

McCoy needs to read Ender's Game.


I keep meaning to read it but I haven't gotten around to it.



Once there is ultra-highspeed travel and interspace combat, there is basically no such thing as a defensive structure. If you want to stop an enemy, you must attack him first.

That is basically taking Drouhet's Bomber Strategy and theories to the space age. In otherwords the bomber will always get through. It isn't true for our age and I doubt it would be true for the space age.
   370. Srul Itza At Home Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:52 PM (#3447103)
There is a reason why soldiers moved away from personal armor during the late middle ages and on and that is because it became increasingly useless.


And yet, it seems we are going back to personal armor, if you see what current infantry wears.
   371. McCoy Posted: January 26, 2010 at 10:58 PM (#3447108)
And yet, it seems we are going back to personal armor, if you see what current infantry wears.

I think we are going back to armor because it is somewhat effective against small arms fire and small explosive devices and it has become cheap enough to produce at mass quantity levels. I'd have to ask my cousins again but from what I can remember they said that pretty much anything like an assault rifle or better goes through them like hot knife through butter. Granted I could be misremembering what they said.
   372. phredbird Posted: January 26, 2010 at 11:15 PM (#3447122)
Let's say the umpires blew one call per inning against the Twins. Would you still feel that "hey, if the Twins hadn't messed up, they could have won?" It's the same concept.


um, yeah. that's a hypothetical that does not need to be addressed, and the reason should be obvious.

The entire 3 downs once they got to the 35 yard line was horrible, not just the Farve play. ... The farve pick was just the cherry on top of what was 50+ seconds of Herm Edwards-level terrible game-management on the part of Childress and the Vikings.


this. in my earlier posts i make it sound like it was all favre's fault they lost, but it could be said it was a general breakdown by the vikings when they had a real chance to win. were the saints lucky or were the vikings just not good enough to close the deal? or a little bit of both?
i'm not enough of a football expert to stay in the fray, i 'm just happy for my dad and all the thousands of saints fans in my old home town. they deserve a super bowl team fer sure.
   373. Cabbage Posted: January 26, 2010 at 11:28 PM (#3447133)
And yet, it seems we are going back to personal armor, if you see what current infantry wears.


Politically, we place a lot more value on human life. That is part of the cost of sustaining the political will to fight. We just don't look at battle like, say, Charles XII did.
   374. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:10 AM (#3447184)
Believe it or not, my Dad played High School football with Butkus at CVS. He says Butkus was doing it way back then, and my Dad says (I have no way of knowing) that back then it (punching the ball out) was considered:

a) Poor form
b) Illegal


I wouldn't call it "poor form" or cheap or anything like that but I confess there's something aesthetically unpleasing about it to me.
   375. Ray (RDP) Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:13 AM (#3447187)
   376. SoSHially Unacceptable Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:20 AM (#3447201)
It's not often we're in perfect lockstep Ray (see Post 315).
   377. JPWF13 Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:22 AM (#3447205)
And yet, it seems we are going back to personal armor, if you see what current infantry wears.


The trend really picked up in WWI
At the start of WWI all armies wore cloth uniforms, and only the Germans wore helmets- and those helmets were made of leather and were useless.

Steel helmets were not much use against direct bullets- but were enormously helpful WRT shrapnel (and when an enemy soldier reached your trench and wanted to club you in the head)
Other the helmets, infantry still didn't wear armour- but guys who didn't have to run around- artillery and AA crews , started wearing armour, silk and metal plate

next came pilots and flight crew wearing flak jackets- before kevlar- flak jackets weighed a ton- but if you were going to be sitting, well then (In Vietnam I read one memoir where a soldier noted that Helicopter crews always carried along an extra flak jacket- one to wear and one to SIT ON.... yeah I can see why that'd be a good idea)

Kevlar was the game changer, a jacket using steel/silk needs to be much thicker and much heavier than a comparable kevlar jacket, now they moved past simple kevlar jackets and it's kevlar and ceramics-
it's a combination of weight and economics- the armour has to be light enough that the soldier can MOVE, and cheap enough so that govts will buy it. (and if the armour is cheap but not cheap enough for the govt, individual soldiers will start buying)
   378. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:36 AM (#3447220)
McCoy, you should watch this. All 70 minutes of it. Trust me, it's 100% worth it.


Seconded. Just watch the first one, only ten minutes. You'll want to continue with the other six.
   379. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:39 AM (#3447225)
Oh and one more thing about Hoth.

So the Imperials and Rebels have the ability do drop out of lightspeed virtually next to a moving enemy combatant but they can't land an invasion force close to a rebel base? And where the hell was the space bombardment? You got a ship called a star destroyer for crying out loud. What is the point of a big giant ship housing thousands and thousands of men if it can't inflict some serious damage on your enemy?

And what do the rebels do when the attack is coming? Why they get into a freakin trench. Are you serious? Is that what the Vietnamese did against the Americans? Hey a bunch of helicopters are coming, and look here comes some tanks and jets. What should we do? I know lets get into this trench.
   380. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:39 AM (#3447228)
I think future space battle would look like a cross between big rigged sailing ships going at it and submarine warfare. Ridiculous amounts of ECM and anti-ECM warfare, plus a small handful of ships ducking and dodging behind planets and stars in protracted fights. Ordnance will take the form of smart cluster anti-matter nukes or some such being fired and speeding up to near light speed, almost like smart depth charges. The occasional laser weapon potshot if they get close enough, but I doubt they would.
   381. Srul Itza Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:40 AM (#3447232)
and if the armour is cheap but not cheap enough for the govt, individual soldiers will start buying


And this is what makes me think that currently available armor -- even if it is only the more pricey kind -- must be effective to some degree. Throughout history, and orders be damned, soldiers who had some actual field experience did not tend to lug around things that were not of use to them.
   382. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:42 AM (#3447234)
McCoy, granting that a lot of Lucas' SW battle vision is silliness, the rebel starfighters with hyperspace makes sense. The capital ship parks nearby, the fighters jump into a neighboring system less than a day away, strike a space depot, freighter convoy, frigate, mid-sized capital ship, etc. then jump back out. The Imperials have no clue where they came from or how to follow them.

The rebels had very few capital ships and, as such, couldn't afford direct confrontations. Rebel fighters with hyperspace reinforce their guerrilla tactics. It also allows rebel pilots to escape if their host ship is destroyed, and the alliance couldn't afford to lose trained pilots like the Empire could.
   383. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:44 AM (#3447237)
Well, even in 1801 wearing a full knight's armor had some degree of effectiveness.

The kind of operation that they are doing in Iraq right now armor has its advantages but it wouldn't be all that great in more conventional battles.
   384. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 12:58 AM (#3447247)
McCoy, granting that a lot of Lucas' SW battle vision is silliness, the rebel starfighters with hyperspace makes sense. The capital ship parks nearby, the fighters jump into a neighboring system less than a day away, strike a space depot, freighter convoy, frigate, mid-sized capital ship, etc. then jump back out. The Imperials have no clue where they came from or how to follow them.

The rebels had very few capital ships and, as such, couldn't afford direct confrontations. Rebel fighters with hyperspace reinforce their guerrilla tactics. It also allows rebel pilots to escape if their host ship is destroyed, and the alliance couldn't afford to lose trained pilots like the Empire could.


The thing is there is no such thing as a neighboring system a day away or less. The second problem is that even if there was systems that close how do you know what is going on in the system next to you? If you are able to figure out what is going on next to you then they should be able to figure out what is going on in your system. Even if somehow they can't figure out where you are how can a fighter that doesn't really know where you are drop out of hyperspace even remotely close to you. If I'm a capital ship or really any ship moving around in a star system I am one small needle in a very large haystack and somehow I don't think a guy billions of miles away and traveling at the speed of light is going to land close to me.

If the Rebels can't afford to lose pilots then why send those pilots off to fight capital ships since capital ships are pretty close to impervious to fighters? Fighters only make sense as star system scouts, attacking small targets, close air support with land based armies, and escorts for small targets.

One last thing. If you can build a computer that can chart a safe course through billions and billions of miles at space while traveling at the speed of light you can also build a computer that can figure out where you are coming from or at the very least a general direction of where you are coming from. Secondly if you can communicate through hyperspace then you can track through hyperspace as well.
   385. PreservedFish Posted: January 27, 2010 at 01:04 AM (#3447252)
"The wars of the future will not be fought on the battlefield or at sea. They will be fought in space, or possibly on top of a very tall mountain. In either case, most of the actual fighting will be done by small robots. And as you go forth today remember always your duty is clear: To build and maintain those robots."
   386. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 01:25 AM (#3447270)
Capital ships aren't impervious to fighters. They're pretty vulnerable, going by non-canon sources. In X-Wing or TIE Fighter (PC games) every rebel fighter but an A-Wing can down a corvette with ease and a handful can take out a frigate and more. Throw in a couple squadrons and boom, you can knock off those ridiculous Star Destroyer shield generators and turn them into awfully imposing looking paper weights.

It's not a hard scenario to imagine. Rebel spies get word of convoy going through trade hub or capital ship arriving at depot. Alliance cruiser pulls up next door to the system (maybe only deep space, but far enough away that the Imperials can't find them). Rebel fighters launch, jump in at appointed time, hit, run. Booya Imperial suckas.

Inbound, most things happen in orientation to planets. So if you know a starbase is in orbit somewhere, you pop in near that orbit. Outbound, the Empire can say "This is their trajectory," but not how far, and the rebels likely hop somewhere first as a red herring, then back in the direction of their fleet.

The rebels have the advantage in this enterprise because they know where Imperial planets and bases are. If the Empire knows where a rebel planet, base, or fleet is, they come in and crush it. Starfighters with hyperspace doesn't make sense for them but it's a necessity for the alliance.
   387. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 01:58 AM (#3447290)
Capital ships aren't impervious to fighters. They're pretty vulnerable, going by non-canon sources

Which is complete crap. (not your argument just the video games doing this). I agree that fighters can knock off smaller ships, I recall saying that in one of my earlier posts but actual large warships? No, I don't think so.

The Imperials can easily match any amount of X-wings (using X-Wing as shorthand for all the different deep space traveling rebel fighters) coming their way with their own squadrons of fighters tucked away in their hangers. Then on top of that each star destroyer is loaded to the gill with weapons that can destroy an x-wing with a single shot. Again, their fire control systems should be out of this world. Fighters simply could not take on a star destroyer and hope to come out of it alive and with the star destroyer blown up. In the entire movie saga only one star destroyer gets destroyed and it was pretty far fetched. The super star destroyer (which dwarfs even star destroyers in sheer size) has a shield generator collapse right when an out of control A-Wing? is careening out of control towards the main control room. And that doesn't even destroy it, the impact merely disables the controls temporarily and for some stupid reason the SSD was really really freakin close to big giant gravity suckin man made object. In reality the SSD wouldn't be anywhere near the deathstar and even if somehow that impact did immobilize the SSD it wouldn't have destroyed it and it wouldn't have knocked it out for any real length of time.

As for rebel bases they can only be effective on the outer rim. In otherwords in undeveloped parts of the star wars universe. They have no real hope of setting up some sort of jump point in neighboring systems in the developed part of the universe since they would be quickly spotted. So their effectiveness would be limited. Which is why you got a rebel base on Hoth since the Empire has kicked the alliance out of the developed part of the universe and thrown them into the weeds.

Another thing why would convoys be exposed for any real length of time? They too have deep space capability so it isn't like they are wandering the galaxy at normal propulsion. They are at planet A and wish to go to Planet B. Well, in the star wars universe you simply get off the planet or undock from the port, push a button and bam you are next to the planet or spaceport you wanted to go to. The window of opportunity would be extremely small and virtually non-existent. Basically you could interdict intersolar system travel to a degree but you enemy would quickly adapt. Routines would no longer become routine meaning that your own fighters would now have to jump in and then patrol for targets much like the old pirate days which with Star Wars technology means it is more likely that you will eventually be met by a response that will crush you. While the rebels can be anywhere at anytime while the imperials have to be everywhere all the time it only takes one bullet to the head to kill a rebel but it takes billions of bullets to kill the empire.

In short if you are sending fighters up against capital ships you are sending them out to die in which case it is a complete waste of resources to equip those ships with deep space travel. The tactics that make deep space fighters practical is only possible on low value targets in low value areas making the commitment to deep space fighters to be a foolish one.
   388. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:08 AM (#3447296)
I can't remember whether it was Dark Empire or Timothy Zahn but one of them had to jump through some pretty stupid hoops to explain how the Rebels not only escaped the Deathstar trap but actually won it. I believe they came up with the storyline that the Emperor was so powerful in the ways of the force that he was able to make his forces better than they actually were and when he died they simply collapsed and couldn't fight the rebels despite the fact that they seriously outnumbered them in both manpower and firepower at that battle. I guess that makes him the ultimate Mr. Intangibles. The original Paul O'Neil?

Oh and apparently there is a fire in the neighboring apartment building. So if you don't hear from me again that means I died in a fiery blaze.
   389. Fred Lynn Nolan Ryan Sweeney Agonistes Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:12 AM (#3447300)
Oh and apparently there is a fire in the neighboring apartment building. So if you don't hear from me again that means I died in a fiery blaze.


Only funny after the fact. Please be careful, McCoy.
   390. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:28 AM (#3447316)
I agree with everything you say in a rational realistic universe, Bones, but in Star Wars lala land it doesn't hold. The fire control sucks, so little fighters are extremely useful for weaving in and out of Star Destroyer's turbolaser fire (still dangerous, just avoidable).

Agree with the exposed convoys, but I guess if a flight of X-Wings jump a convoy of a few freighters, a corvette, and a handful of TIE fighters, the Empire is going to think "Aha, a chance to kill rebels" not "Oh crap, let's scramble and jump ASAP." Little do they know that skilled pilot Tealy Blackfisher is behind the joystick.

Star Wars tactics make a little sense within the ridiculous limits of Star Wars technology. If you speed up that technology, then of course even the few explicable tactics suck.

Also, they couldn't bombard Hoth because of the energy shield. Yes that's stupid because they had an entire fleet and surely could have worn it down. Further, they didn't send in air support because...of...the energy shield? They assumed the rebels had air superiority? Because TIE fighters look worthless in an atmosphere? (they are built on the cheap, after all).
   391. Johnny Chimpo Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:29 AM (#3447318)
This page has a lot of interesting info about possible space combat (such as why there will never be any such thing as hiding a ship radiating at 300K in space). Focuses on more realistic, near term stuff, though.

http://www.projectrho.com/rocket/
   392. GGC don't think it can get longer than a novella Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:40 AM (#3447330)
When the heck did this turn into a Star Wars thread?
   393. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:44 AM (#3447331)
The thing about the shield generators is that an AT-AT walker can destroy a shield generator with a laser but a star destroyer can't. Which makes no sense. As for air coverage the rebels didn't use X-wings they used snowspeeders and didn't have a lot of them. It shouldn't be hard for the Empire to gain air superioty in this battle. And of course it makes no sense that the REbels can fire out of a shield and have vehicles leave a shield but the Empire can't fire through a shield or travel through a shield. As you say shields fall all the time in the Star Wars universe all those Star Destroyers should have been able to destroy that shield rather quickly and leveled the hell out of the base.


And sure if we stay within the reality of the make believe world the fire control sucks but the fighters are still peashooters going up against a battleship and unlike little gunboats of WWI they don't even really have the deadly torpedo that can cripple the battleship. They have lasers that pretty much do nothing against these big ships and their torpedoes don't do squat against them or if they do they simply do not carry enough of them to do any real damage. As we saw in the movies the fighters can even crash into the ships and do very little damage. Against big capital ships they would simply never get used. They would change their tactics rather quickly because this would become rather obvious very quickly. If anything they should have already known this since star battles had been going on for years.
   394. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:56 AM (#3447338)
When the heck did this turn into a Star Wars thread?

Well, all are war threads have a habit of going back in time. WWII then WWI then the Civil War, so on and so on. Talking about Star Wars is just naturally the last logical point in that debate.


A long time ago, in a galaxy far far away. . . .
   395. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 02:58 AM (#3447341)
The thing about the shield generators is that an AT-AT walker can destroy a shield generator with a laser but a star destroyer can't.


This parts easy. The shield generator is protecting a large chunk of the planet and is presumably being projected up into the atmosphere. It doesn't cover the terrestrial location of the generator.

And of course it makes no sense that the REbels can fire out of a shield and have vehicles leave a shield but the Empire can't fire through a shield or travel through a shield.


I suppose the rebels could time their shot. Set their lasers to a certain wavelength that the shield won't block or just drop the shield for a split second. Also, it might be that ion cannons--which is what the rebels used--aren't affected by the shield.

those Star Destroyers should have been able to destroy that shield rather quickly and leveled the hell out of the base.


Vader did come down to the planet, so it seems like they wanted to capture the base intact. Possibly for Skywalker, whose presence he felt, possibly for Leia and the rebel leadership, possibly for the strategic coup of all the data associated with the rebel HQ.

unlike little gunboats of WWI they don't even really have the deadly torpedo that can cripple the battleship


Yes and no. A squadron of rebel fighters, per the video games, can handle a ship smaller than a Star Destroyer. Think of it like WWII fighters and dive bombers going against ocean-going capital ships. Corvettes, freighters, frigates, no problem, cruisers (I guess that would be the victory-class Star Destroyers or the SW-universe Dreadnoughts) are tough to bring down without a whole wing attacking, and battleships (the Star Destroyer equivalent) basically will not go down.

Against big capital ships they'd (1) fight for space superiority against TIE fighters, (2) Go for escorting cap ships, and (3) Go for shield generators and other external parts like comm towers.
   396. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 03:21 AM (#3447347)
This parts easy. The shield generator is protecting a large chunk of the planet and is presumably being projected up into the atmosphere. It doesn't cover the terrestrial location of the generator.

Not really that easy because if that is the answer then why doesn't the empire simply send ships down to the terrestiral area and bomb the hell out of it? They have TIE bombers or I'm sure something else that can do it. But even if you want to say that Vader wanted to capture the base or he didn't want to simply obliterate the base it still makes no sense to stay off planet and destroy the shield generator with the star destroyers. The shield protected the escaping fleet until the last possible moment and protected the ion cannon. Knocking out the generator means that the ion cannon would be quickly destroyed and any frigate wishing to get off of Hoth would be exposed as soon as they fired up the engines.


Against big capital ships they'd (1) fight for space superiority against TIE fighters, (2) Go for escorting cap ships, and (3) Go for shield generators and other external parts like comm towers.


But space superiority against the TIE fighters is meaningless. Escorting capital ships is meaningless. Attacking shield generators and comm towers has some value but a capital ship can do that as well and are not as vulnerable as a little fighter. What does it mean to have space superiority over TIE fighters in a battle that consists of three star destroyers against your frigates and corvettes? Nothing really. It would be like a bunch of little wasps buzzing around a tank. What good would they be escorting these ships when there are star destroyers around? And finally why waste the resources building deep space fighters to harass the shield generators and comm towers when you could simply put another gun on a frigate for the fraction of the cost?

I don't really buy the video game reasoning since it is possible for a single X-wing to knock out several frigates if I recall my X-wing playing days. It has been well over a decade but I recall it taking a couple of torpedos or something like that. If they are truly that fragile they wouldn't be used in war. Think of them as cruise ships during WWI and WWII. They were used by the military but they were not used as ships of war.
   397. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: January 27, 2010 at 03:25 AM (#3447348)
Oh and apparently there is a fire in the neighboring apartment building. So if you don't hear from me again that means I died in a fiery blaze.
Copycat.
   398. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 03:28 AM (#3447350)
I'm broke and I'm desperate.
   399. Home Run Teal & Black Black Black Gone! Posted: January 27, 2010 at 04:11 AM (#3447374)
McCoy, I enjoy your profile page avatar.

Re/ X-Wing, frigates took twelve torpedoes and an X-Wing had six, so a single flight had a pretty good shot. This doesn't seem too far-fetched--I'm sure an F-15 Eagle or Tomcat or the JSF could take out a destroyer by itself using air-to-ground missiles.

In the games I don't think fighters ever singularly down a Star Destroyer-sized ships. You help down a Star Destroyer by going after its shield generators and stuff, but even then the Mon Calamari Cruiser you're with is actually in charge of doing the real damage. So I would agree that even by non-canon sources you're not supposed to be using fighters against ships of the line.

But it's a big universe and every ship can't be a capital ship, so they still have their place in the SW universe.
   400. McCoy Posted: January 27, 2010 at 04:18 AM (#3447376)
I agree that fighters have their place I just don't agree with the view that fighters needed to have hyperspace engines. The Star Wars universe ignored the economic cost of fighting a war and I simply cannot see how the Rebels would come out ahead by opting to build/buy vastly more expensive fighters that have limited operational capabilities.


I'm surprised it took that many I seem to recall being able to take out a frigate with just one X-wing but then again I think I played that game back in 1993 or whenever it came out. Or was that Wing Commander?
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