When a talking head speaks the phrase, "I'm not a numbers guy", what usually follows is a string of idiotic anecdotes and cherry-picked "stats" to seem edgy or against the public opinion. They are almost always wrong and always hilarious.
ESPN Radio's resident talking head king, Colin Cowherd used that dreaded line to precede this gem: Vincent Jackson (SD wide-out) is better than T.O. - who should be outright cut from the Cowboys.
Excerpts transcribed from 1/8/09 show
*Said after cartoonish "Nerd alert!" sound bite*
I'm not a nerd. I don't watch a lot of TV.
Well thank God, because dem nerds can't be trusted. With their calculators, pocket-protectors, horn-rimmed glasses with masking tape holding them together in the middle, high-pitched voices and lack of confidence when it comes to women.
Did I forget anything? Oh yeah, mom's basement living.
Not into fantasy stuff. I get guys who are, I'm not banging on ya,
Your previous sound bite and entire existence beg to differ
but statistical analysis is largely overrated.
I know this is a radio "show" and speaking properly is hard, but this logistically makes no sense. Do you mean the way stats are used in the media is overrated? The stats themselves cannot be, neither the analysis of them. Unless, of course, there was a list of awesome things and stat analysis was too high for Cowherd's liking.
In that instance, yes, statistical analysis would be overrated. Everyone knows puppies are great.
Let me just throw a few "nerd alert" numbers at you: ... T.O. had two games all year when he was a "huge game influencer."
Quotes mine. "Huge game influencer" may be one of the dumbest ways to gauge a wide receiver - or any athlete.
Here are games in which I think T.O. had a "good"* game:
Week 1: 5/87/1
Week 2: 3/89/2
Week 4: 7/71/1
Week 5: 2/67/1
Week 12: 7/213/1
Week 13: 5/98/1
Week 16: 5/63/1
Week 17: 6/103/0
Week 2 against the Eagles; two touchdowns and week 12 against the Niners where he was unguardable, seven catches.
Love the omission of the ridiculous 213 yards and a TD versus the Niners.
He averages just over four catches. Of his biggest days in total receptions - his BIG days - he had two seven catch days and one six catch day. Two resulted in a loss, one they beat the mighty Niners.
Those things are unrelated. The Skins game was 24-26. Probably not T.O.'s fault. And the six catch game they turned the ball over roughly 25 times and got their ass kicked. Again, not T.O.'s fault.
And when he faced premiere defenses - the Giants twice and Pittsburgh and Baltimore - four games, no "breakout" games, one TD.
I have the numbers right in front of me and it's making me more and more confident that Cowherd does not.
NY, Pitt., Bal., combined stats:
Seems alright to me, especially against good defenses.
Now let's compare $8.6 million/year T.O. to Vincent Jackson at San Diego. ... But in his big five games, *smarmy voice, engage* they translated to four wins
Jackson's "good" games:
Week 1: 3/47/1 (L)
Week 6: 5/134/1 (W)
Week 7: 4/42/1 (L)
Week 8: 4/60/1 (L)
Week 12: 2/57/1 (L)
Week 14: 5/148/1 (W)
Week 15: 6/89/1 (W)
Week 16: 7/111/0 (W)
Those wins were against New England, Oakland, KC and Tampa. A veritable murderer's row!
He had his biggest games often against divisional rivals or against New England or at Tampa Bay.
Oooooo, divisional rivals! The mighty Chiefs and Raiders (combined 7-25).
T.O. had his biggest against *smarmy voice again* the Niners.
Well Jackson had his biggest against *smarmy voice* the Raiders.
Cowherd makes good points here about salary and age, but then goes right back to his old ways.
Whereas T.O. disappears during playoff games, ... Vincent Jackson elevates his game.
All I had to do here is click the "playoffs" tab on profootballreference to find how wrong Cowherd is.
So yes, in less than half as many games, Jackson has ever-so-slightly better numbers.
Jackson is 1/10 price, 1/100 the disruption, ten years younger and his numbers are significantly better against the better teams, where T.O.'s disintergrate.
Well I am going to use the average season for each and not the games against "better teams" because that's stupid.
Who's really better?
T.O. career average:
Jackson's career average:
I mean come on.
It's not a question of WHETHER you cut T.O., it's when. It's obvious.
I hope Jerry Jones is listening.
*good being ten or more fantasy points; six points/TD, one point/ten yards receiving.