Sirs and madams,
We are now a week and two days away from professional football. Well, I know the Dolphins are still involved, but as professional as it gets.
I would like to take this spot to rail a little bit on FOXSports.com commentator/writer Peter Schrager, who went on a bit of a Twitter rant about replacement referees. To wit, here are some of this gentleman's quotes about the situation:
I'm serious. I wouldn't get in a car with a driver who I didn't think could drive. If the refs are SO bad, why are the players taking field?
How many Fantasy Referee Drafts did you take part in this week? 3? 4? Accurate holding penalties called are worth 3 or 4 points? Get real.
This is a negotiation. All negotiations have two sides. I'm just presenting the other side, which, for whatever reason, is overlooked.
Let's toss aside the fairly obvious strawmen here, because as much as player safety is a nice thought (and a fun logical fallacy that the NFL likes to pretend matters in their decisions), this isn't about player safety. It's about the sanctity of the game. The NFL goes through extensive training procedures and demands a lot of its current referees. They still screw up a rather large amount.
Having watched my fair share of preseason games, I can tell you that these replacement refs are making those brutal calls and glaring mental errors at a much higher rate. I can tell you that as someone who has casually partaken in sports gambling before, I won't be doing so until the referee lockout has ended. To make something the best of the best, high standards have to be enacted on every level. It seems to me that, by valuing the integrity of the game at roughly a pittance of each NFL club's revenue, the league has effectively said that their product is not as important as their pocketbook.
And that's fine. That is their right as Americans. Just don't go blaming the media because the "Goliath stomps dumb, poorly organized refs because it can" angle isn't a popular one. Turns out it's something that a large majority of sports media isn't really in-tune with for whatever reason. Almost like we're not all driving rocket cars to the moon.
Anyway, on with the mailbag!
Which do you consider the superior form of underwear: boxers or boxer-briefs?
I am incredibly biased on this question, but as the owner of some real thick thighs for most of my adult life, the answer is boxer-briefs. Chafing has been an issue.
My progression has been tightie whities -> boxers -> gym shorts -> boxer-briefs. There's really no comparison in terms of comfort and function. I'm sure they could look a little cooler, but really, who the hell is worried about how cool their underwear is? People who have much more sex than me, is probably the answer.
(I actually did buy a pair of Simpsons boxers once -- I can't find an online image, but it involved Surly Duff. It pretty much just collects dust in a drawer.)
Ryan Tannehill: This year's Blaine Gabbert?
Ryan Tannehill does play for a bad Florida team with little offensive talent, sure. He is going to make his share of mental mistakes, yes. I think the big difference between them is that I knew a few people last year that thought Blaine Gabbert was a good draft pick who could contribute right away. I don't think anyone that I've spoken to thought that Tannehill was NFL-ready.
And really, shit, a large majority of internet-based draft scouts thought that Cam Newton would take time to get acclimated. I'm not comfortable saying that Tannehill is going to buck that trend, but I also wouldn't completely discount it. If you're asking me to guess? Yeah, I think he's in for a rocky first year.
Blaine Gabbert: This year's Ryan Leaf?
(googles "Blaine Gabbert painkillers")
No results found for "blaine gabbert painkillers".
I'm going to say that Blaine Gabbert has the upside to be a solid citizen, and there doesn't appear to be any danger of him going into a mental institution or jail just yet. That said, a few more Connor Barwin sacks, and you never know.
Case Keenum: This year's Gifford Nielsen?
I dunno, I think he has the ability to hang on to the practice squad. Local CBS affiliate sportscaster is definitely a field I can see him breaking into within a few years though, what with his inability to actually play quarterback for an NFL team.
Matt Schaub: This year's Matt Schaub?
Rivers-As one of my six favorite Battle Red Bloggers, I am thrilled you are taking over duties for "Da Bag". If it's not to be MDC, I couldn't be happier that you're swinging the BIG RED SACK now. That said, and perhaps by way of introduction to newer readers, can you please tap your vast analytical resources and answer the following questions?
Rivers McCown - Is this a Pen Name?
Are you related to either Josh McCown or Luke McCown?
If this awesome handle is your given name: could you explain its origin?
Were your folks big fans of the Phoenix clan? Do you have a sibling named Joaquins? Did they idolize Joan Rivers? If Doc Rivers, Steve McQueen and Robert Downey, Jr had a baby would it be named Rivers McCown? If so, do you bear any resemblance to an amalgamation of the three gentlemen in question?
kurtie! asks:What are Trindon Holliday's chances of actually making the team? If he makes the team, what are the chances he actually sees some time at WR? If he sees time at WR, what are the chances he can score a TD in that capacity? Trindon is so adorable as the littlest guy of the field, he's getting my wife and kids interested in football.
I have an upstairs bedroom in my house where the double sinks inexplicably fill up with water from the drain. I haven't turned on the faucets, but more and more water keeps showing up. I don't want to hire a plumber, but Google has been non-helpful. Where does the water come from? Is there a black hole in my sink? Is there a portal to the ocean? How can I know?
Josh Brown asks:My question regards Owen Daniels and his potential production. Once considered a top receiving tight end, Daniels had essentially two seasons (2009 & 2010) marred by an ACL tear. In 2008, the 29-year-old former Pro Bowler had 70 receptions and 862 yards, though just two touchdowns. The question is this: Will Daniels ever reach, or dare I say, surpass, those numbers again?
Touchdowns have never been Daniels' forte- we all know that. What he does offer are reliable hands and fleet-feet after the catch. When Andre Johnson went down last year *hold for moment of silence* my contemporaries and I (read: dad and brother) thought Daniels would step up in a huge way. Then the offense was relegated to a third-string QB, and passing numbers plummeted. So, with Teh Schaub back, and Joel Dreessen stealing touchdowns from Denver tight ends, what are the expectations for Daniels this year?
BricAM asks:With MJD reportedly wanting a trade out of Jacksonville I have two questions.
Where might he get traded to?
Would you be happy or sad to see him potentially out of the division?
Please refresh my memory as to the underlying facts and dispute of Supreme Court v. McCown.
Why isn't MDC doing the Bag anymore?