Football Analycyst: A Thoroughly Deep Look at the Festering Issues of Week 4 in the NFL

by jackdw44

 (plus commentary on Butthurt Deadspin and Smug Bleacher Report)

Ladies love Jordy butt

Before I get started on answering some of your most pressing questions (and I thank those who submitted questions, so thanks dad, Nick, Grim, Adam), I would like to discuss a couple pet peeves that have been readily irritating like monkey butt sans-Gold Bond .

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The first is with Deadspin. I’ve long ago become an independent, unofficial criticizer of ESPN. I even started my own hashtag, #antiESPNbandwagon, so I’m quite privy to the media malfeasance propagated by the Wordwide Leader. I’m not the cunning linguist I strive to be; thus, I’ll refer to Anders Holmvick and co. to ascribe an appropriate word for Deadspin. That word, of course, is Butthurt. There’s a time and place to assail a media company for egregious misjudgements, sensationalism, blind bias, etc., but Deadspin steps on the line, and then sprints past it. You can find here a list of stories related to their bitter angst towards the network. About two or three times a week Deadspin reports on how evil ESPN is as both a media conglomerate and as an employer. Some of this criticism is fair, some of it is just stubborn, ignorant, and downright condescending. Since merging with Gawker, Deadspin is just another big media bully portraying itself as the little guy to fight the man.

In this case, ESPN is the man, and their mass layoffs to offset costs along with their hiring of “unqualified,”  younger and cheaper employees are simply, in Deadspin’s eyes, injustices bestowed upon the working man. Ironically, it seems (at least to me) that Deadspin feeds off of the shoddy programming of ESPN and then parlays that into an all-the-time shtick. Yes, Skip Bayless sucks. Nobody disagrees with that. But Darren Rovell? He gets in a bit of a Twitter feud (and these always become news for whatever reason) with someone, and then Deadspin has to rip on him for this obsession with brand management and his “company man” demeanor. First of all, if I’m going to go through the list of people whose credibility tank is empty, it’s not going to be Rovell’s. He’s a Northwestern grad (same with Greenberg, Musberger, and Wilbon), and his niche is similar to Andrew Brandt’s on the MMQB–he reports and analyzes the business side of sports. I know why Rovell gets under Deadspin’s skin: he doesn’t make emotional, knee-jerk criticisms against companies like Nike who operate outside the United States. Instead, he provides reason divorced from the emotional bubble that is elementary liberalism. I’m only defending Rovell not because I’m a big fan or even a supporter, but because I believe he’s receiving unwarranted criticism.

As I’ve referred to, Deadspin’s writers are unilaterally liberal like its Gawker counterparts. As a result, they show the inability to present issues in fair context. Example: Chris Kluwe’s response to the gay marriage debate was covered quite romantically whereas Matt Birk’s response, which ran opposite of Kluwe’s (but written with lesser inflammatory language), was deemed “terrble.” Personally, I am completely disinterested in the gay marriage debate. If you wanna be gay, go be gay. I don’t care at all. Our country has much more pressing matters. But I do ask that the fifth estate (BTW, the actor playing Julian Assange in The Fifth Estate looks like a bonafide serial killer pervert) be at least a little fair in the portrayal of civic discourse.

The last point in all this that needs to be addressed is that Deadspin doesn’t even know its role anymore. It’s best work is when they are conducting original enterprise journalism, i.e. the Favre-Sterger story or the Manti Te’o story. They don’t need ESPN, but they report it on it anyway, including their snide remarks because they need to fill content and, simply put, it’s easy.

OK, I’m done with that. Now moving on to my next pet peeve.

Ya know what else chaps my ass, Lloyd? It has to do with another media company, but for a slightly different reason. The perpetrator here is Bleacher Report. Where Deadspin is butthurt, Bleacher Report is downright smug. I tried following Matt Miller, aka @nfldraftscout, on Twitter, but I could only handle so much (note: do any you feel his Twitter handle is narcissistic? Even those whose jobs require a social media presence don’t have their job title as their handle, do they?). Here are two things every fan and sportswriter should tell him/herself before saying anything. 1. If you knew more than the coach/player, why are you just a fan/writer and not a coach/player? 2. There is too much nuance involved in a single play to say with exactitude that a single player was playing it right/wrong (see: Jarrett Bush in the Super Bowl on his interception. Per NFL films, Bush actually broke coverage and got lucky. Unfortunately for Roethlisberger he understood the defense better than Bush did). It’s nice to guess, but please reserve your arrogance for your living room.

I sat on a couple Sundays, syncing my Twitter feed/”NFL draft scout’s” insight with my own observation and all I can say is that they (him and some other BR writers) need to revert back to number 1 in my “two things we should remind ourselves of while watching football.” It’s one thing to point out a flaw, misread, etc. It’s another thing to say it as if it was the most obvious mistake in NFL history. Hindsight is always 20/20. Unfortunately for my chi, Bleacher Report employs a many Captain Hindsight.

Or maybe I’m just butthurt because Bleacher Report keeps declining me as a contributor.

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Nick in Appleton writes: “How many cheeseburgers can Mike McCarthy eat in one sitting?”

Good question, Nick. As a cheeseburger aficionado, my burgerodometer has never been truer. First thing we have to do is decide if McCarthy prefers the McDouble, a butter burger (the Culver’s or Kopp’s variety), the traditional home-made, hand-rolled patty with an S. Rosen bun, or the Bubba Burger’s box o’ burgers. I would like to address these burger by burger. First, the McDouble: McCarthy, being the bigger gentleman he is, looks like he can pound beef. By taking my intake and multiplying by the coefficient of fat (1.07), one could ostensibly see McCarthy ingesting close to nine whole McDoubles. Next is the butter burger. Again, I’ll use my formula, which of course is my grotesque appetite absent social etiquette (eating on a date vs. eating alone, on your couch, while watching late-night Cinemax) multiplied by 1.07, I’ll guess that McCarthy can eat four butter burgers before bursting his stomach open. The hand-made burger equation is little different because of the variables involved in who is making the burger and which cheese(s) are included. Assuming it’s a traditional burger with a single slice of processed American cheese with an S. Rosen poppy-seed bun, I’m going to venture a guess of about five burgers. Last, and most underwhelming, is the pre-shaped burgers in a box. For you little people out there, these are construed as sliders to chubby folk. Simply put, McCarthy could eat infinity burgers based on my equation. You eat, and you never get full, and then digestion takes over, and, well, you turnover a new leaf.

Nick may also be referring to McCarthy’s play calling. I do think he laid a couple eggs, not burgers toward the goal line. Eddie Lacy was mauling defenders all day long, and the offensive line was winning the battles up front. Why not prove your ground game is a force? Put the ball in Lacy’s hands on first down and see what he can do. Otherwise, they get backed up too far, making the inevitability of a high-tendency pass all too…inevitable.

P.S. I like McCarthy. I think he’s a great coach for Green Bay, and no way is his fictionalized eating habits reflected on him as a coach, but rather more on me as fat kid.

Aaron on the Eastside writes: “Does Aaron Rodgers need to bring back the Fu Manchu mustache in order to regain his “swagger”? (I know you hate that word.. So do I but I was at a loss for words)”

Yes, I hate the word swag. I also hate t-shirts that read, “YOU MAD BRO?” or hats that say “I like Haters” with the “like” being a Facebook thumbs up.

I like mustaches on athletes. That’s why people were more athletic in the 70s. It’s a fact.

Also what’s a fact is that Aaron Rodgers has been in two-game funk. The Packers offense isn’t connecting  some conversions and red-zone opportunities. A fu manchu has everything and nothing to do with that. I think it’s pretty clear that Rodgers had his best game when he was slightly bearded up against Washington. What he actually needs to do is  to ensure conversions on third and short. I blame play calling on this (which is also Rodgers’ fault as he waived Lacy off on a 3rd and 1). I’ve watched enough Packers football to see their tendencies. Really, they run a handful of plays in certain situations, and if I can see it, certainly a guy who gets paid Scrooge McDuck money will see it too. If I had to make a list of things that worry me about this team, this isn’t one of them. Rodgers facial hair grows in quite well, as does his tendency to throw touchdowns.

On Twitter, @adamwente asked: “Where is Ahmad Carroll?”

Below you will see the extent of my enterprise journalism

Apparently he’s a super senior times, like, 8

Dad asks two questions: “How do you stop Peyton Manning?” and “Where is Datone Jones?” 

First question. To paraphrase a cliche, you can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him. Peyton Manning is playing really really well. Playing against Manning is like playing your first online game of Madden out of the box and unfortunately stumbling across the guy who doesn’t do anything but play Madden online. He makes so many pre-snap adjustments that the defense cannot surprise him. He’s not mobile, but when he moves, he does so with utmost efficiency. He looks like Rodgers two years ago, which I then say to Denver fans: caution. This ride will be fun. It may last all season long, but as soon as a weakness pops like a hole in a boat, it better get repaired before it becomes a full blown albatross. They don’t have much of a running game, and it’s not a problem right now. But down the road, when snow starts to fall, and catching a leather rock becomes difficult, the unstoppable force may just become slightly vulnerable.

Denver is probably the easiest game plan because you know you won’t win the chessmatch. You just need to win the one-on-one match ups. The defensive line needs to get a push, and the secondary needs to “get fresh” with the wide receivers. Additionally, the opposing offense must own the time of possession. I don’t care who is playing quarterback, it’s much harder to consistently score on short, brisk drives than it is to score with a full clock to work through. Those two factors are, for me, really the only way to hope for a win.

On to the next question. It’s easy to get upset with the play from a rookie. We want to see instant success. Realistically, we should expect a first round pick to be in instant contributor and future impact player. Nick Perry finally showed the promise he flashed so many times before with two sacks against Detroit. Mike Neal, after three years, has finally found his place as an OLB. Thankfully, those two are coming into their own when Clay Matthews is set to miss a month because of a broken thumb.

Datone Jones needs time to adjust to the game. I’ll go back to my first year at a job analogy. If you can tell me you were as good at your job now as you were on the first day, I’ll know you are full of it. He needs to learn how to play at game speed all while getting used to the reads/mental aspect. It’s not easy. I certainly hope for more than what he’s shown, but I wouldn’t write him off until the latter half of year two or the beginning of year three. Players develop differently. He has the physical tools, and I wholeheartedly believe that Green Bay is the ideal environment for a young player. It’s an incubator for success. Plus, they have enough depth that they don’t have to overburden him. Let him get right mentally, then the game will slow down and his physical tools can develop.

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