Monday, January 05, 2009

Grog hate numbers! Arrrrgh!

As far as sports stats are concerned, football is third - miles behind baseball and quite a ways behind basketball.

So I am all for networks throwing random stats - however silly they may be - at me to look at while Madden tries to pronounce Brandon Manumaleuna. It's cute that they're trying!

Phil Mushnick - who I can only assume is the progenitor of a group of monsters known as the Mushnicks - does not like them there numbers. Not at all.

NBC's two wild-cards,

He means games, I think.

Saturday, were typical NFL telecasts in that they seemed designed by those who don't know better for those who wouldn't know better.

I think "for those who don't know better" would have flowed much better. Also, I just want to watch football. I don't care if they have Scooter, the talking football explaining crossing routes to me.

They were so overloaded with useless, football-is-baseball stats that legit fans might have thought they were watching (or reading) ESPN. Or Fox. Or CBS. Or the NFL Network.

None of those mentioned entities use stats to any in-depth level. ESPN maybe. But the NFL Network has Deion Sanders screaming at me in a checkerboard/paisley suit while dancing and not many stats.

What did it matter that QB passing ratings are created by adding nonsense to silliness, then dividing ridiculous by the square root of stupid?

Hardy har har har.

1. Go to Wikipedia
2. Search "passer rating"
3. Read

Yes, it's esoteric and weird (why not out of 100, please? We like that number), but it also gives us insight into how good a QB is. More so than TDs or wins or numbers of guns slung per game.

Throughout the Falcons-Cards game, NBC not only posted Matt Ryan's rating,


it went micro - when he throws to the right, to the left, when winning, when trailing.

Somewhat interesting, especially considering they then said that most QBs are more comfortable going right.

(Apparently, he hadn't yet thrown in a scoreless or otherwise tied game, nor had he thrown over the middle.)

I'm confused. So you want more stats now?

Despite 22 people in motion at once and hundreds of variables, TV wants you to believe that everyone operates alone, from inside a lab, inside a test tube. TV producers believe it, so should you.

What the hell are you mushnicking about?

No one thinks football is an individual game. Yes, QBs are deified, but no one is dumb enough to think they could do it one on eleven. Football is number one precisely (well, the violence helps) because one can watch it and enjoy any number of a billion things going on, including dreaded stats.

Late in the Colts-Chargers game, headed for the wire, NBC asked us to stop paying attention to the game in order to consider a graphic - the Chargers' record in games determined by "eight or fewer points." Why not show us a kitten pawing at a ball of yarn?

The cat with the yarn ball would be awesome.

The Chargers record in those games: 0-7. I think there is a little something to that. Mostly, that they were unlucky in close games, or, as annoucers would say, "They just couldn't win the close ones."

As it happened, they won this close one. Still, the fact that they hadn't all year is at least bottom-line scroll-worthy.

Late in the third quarter, Ravens' safety Ed Reed, who prevents TDs by scoring them, was injured while returning his second interception. CBS even showed a replay of his leg being bent backward.

And then CBS forgot about him, not a mention as to whether he was in the game during Miami's next two possessions, when he suddenly re-appeared, making a tackle.

Would this have sated you?

"And Ed Reed will be sitting a few plays out with what trainers are calling a sore leg. His return is probable."

*Two friggin playes later*

"Reed is coming back on the field! And I'm not talking about Willis!"

But during that time, CBS posted a graphic comparing this game's score and stats to the 2001 wild card the teams played. Nurse!

And that, inexplicably, is how the article ends.

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