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Football notes

Tuesday 1/11/22

Wrote on here the other day that it would be surprising if Georgia won, so Georgia goes out and wins. Thought that was a pretty entertaining game. Tight defensive, pop-'em-in-the-mouth slugfest in the first half--old school football, somewhat like Georgia's first game of the year vs. Clemson--and then things opened up a bit in the second half. Impressive win for Georgia after being outclassed and embarrassed by Alabama in the SEC championship game.

Antonio Brown is being written about like Charlie Sheen was in whatever year he did the tiger blood thing. That story--which was hardly a story--with Brown walking off the field and quitting on his team--which rates no more than a couple lines of coverage in a reasonable world--is still being written about. Imagine being that kind of writer? That's what you grew up to be--someone who writes brainless pieces about an Antonio Brown, parsing the gossip, looking for gossip, repeating what others have also written, because there's nothing new? Then just hoping someone reads your crap because the headline--which someone else wrote--fooled that person into thinking there was anything there, thereby getting the click, for the piece that was glanced at for five seconds. It's like the people who pick over Star Wars, saying that this scene in this new whatever now changes this sand people seen in the first film. There is actually an outlet I learned called BroBible. Jesus H. Christ.

How empty does your life have to be to write such pieces? I can't even conceive of writing such trash. Such mindless trash. These are the same people I pitch (well, obviously not BroBible people), who hate me, because of what I do and am about. You know, the whole actually having talent and something interesting to say thing. What a crazy concept! This isn't even muckraking. It's humiliating. Imagine telling people what you write about if you're one of these people? "I write about Antonio Brown gossip that I get from other articles that already got them from other articles, so I basically steal and rephrase crap, but I don't rephrase it that much." "I write about a woman who farts into mason jars and sells them." "I write about pies that aren't culturally diverse enough." "I'm a full-blown race hustler, all I can do is hustle race and make up shit about discrimination that isn't there, though I wish it was, because that's how I get paid and I'm not smart or talented enough to come up with anything on my own." You couldn't even tell anyone. They'd laugh at you.

Rob Gronkowski had an excellent year and no one is talking about it. In only twelve games, he had 800 yards receiving. Production-wise, that's one of his best seasons.

This was a bad Patriots season. A bad team who caught some teams down a lot of key players on account of injuries and COVID, which resulted in the seven game winning streak that is really all the Patriots' season was on the plus side. They don't have playmakers, they are slopping in their execution, they're not well coached--which I think has much to do with Belichick's nepotism, rather than finding the best assistants--and they start every game slowly. Further, Mac Jones is not the guy. I've seen enough to know that. He doesn't have the physical tools. That ball is up in the air forever. He simply does not have the arm strength to be what you need to be in the modern NFL. It's not going to work. He was okay this year. He's the Blaine Lacher of NFL quarterbacks. A so-so rookie year, that I think will turn out to be his best. He's also not that heady. Nor do I think he's a leader. His comments after the bye about how the team felt sorry for itself because they had to play on a Saturday stunned me. When he drops back to pass, I have no idea what will happen, and I feel the possibility of the pick-6. Right from 2001, when Brady dropped back, I always felt good things were in the offing. The ball came out with zip and fire, and he still has that zip and fire. I can't see a team winning if they're counting on Mac Jones to do very much. He's a poor man's Chad Pennington. Pennington was smarter on the field.

I hope I am dead wrong, naturally, as I was about the outcome of last night's national championship game. I also hope I am dead wrong about the Patriots in Buffalo this Saturday. Josh Allen beats this team. Doesn't struggle to do so. He's not the umpteen guys the Bills had at QB after Jim Kelly. He beat them twice last year, he's beaten them once this year--handily--and one can just throw out that weird weather game in Buffalo. Sans that weather, the Patriots would have lost. The Patriots cannot beat good teams. Buffalo is a good team.

I posted on Twitter, after the Titans game, that the Patriots gave up an alarming amount of rushing yards, to a team that was also missing key personnel from their rushing attack. Some bro-type responded by saying it was the game plan. "Bend don't break. They literally did it to perfection." Ugh. They gave up like 300 yards or whatever it was. Well, as I said, this team cannot stop the run at all, even when they know it is coming, like they did against Miami (also: I am mystified that the Dolphins fired Brian Flores, which will help out the Patriots, because he struck me as someone who knew what he was doing and likely more than the next coach will), who sliced through the Patriots defense for another 200 rushing yards.

That is the first sign of a bad football team: they can't stop the run. The Patriots might not be bad, but they're not a lot better than mediocre. I don't think they have the quarterback going forward, and I'd be looking for someone for next year, though I would be shocked if they are. I don't think they really wanted Jones. I think they just did a kind of "eh, whatever, we'll take him," pick, because there they were, there he was, and Cam Newton is dreadful. Then again, as I wrote in these pages, it was obvious Newton was dreadful before they brought him in, so why they made that move, I have no idea.

The 17 game schedule throws off everything statistically, more so than going from 14 games to 16 did. 1000 yards rushing or receiving really means nothing now.

These are some of my all-time favorite football players: Alan Page, John Hannah, Ray Guy, Andre Tippett, Dan Marino, John Elway, Carl Eller, Jim Brown, Chris Doleman. Was thinking about them last night. How they impacted games, changed the sport.

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