I've long suspected that my daughter is a criminal mastermind. It was her attempt at two years old to kidnap Santa and jack his bag of presents that initially clued me in.
Think about it. She'd pondered the arrival of Santa and his big bag of gifts hours before, and had realized that getting that bag meant more presents for her. She'd then cased the layout of the area around the tree, located a place where she thought she could avoid detection by her parents, and filed this info away. Then, eight hours later, she let us think she was going to bed like normal, only to sneak out of her bed shortly after we left her room and take up her predetermined place from which she would attack Santa Claus and steal his entire bag of toys. (I am not sure how she planned to overpower Kris Kringle, though it would not surprise me to find that she'd mail-ordered chloroform or curare darts. Remind me to check her closet tomorrow.)
I don't know whether to be impressed by her cunning or to fear for my life.
This is all well and good. For the most part, I've managed to keep her from breaking any major laws or violating anyone's civil rights or whatever. She's a good egg. Or so I thought, until late last week, when I overheard her playing with her brother's collection of plastic Army men.
The toys were set up on the floor of her room in neat rows. She paced back and forth in front of them, hands behind her back, looking up at the sky as she spoke.
"Men, we have a mission. It's a very hard mission. The princess must be rescued. She has been taken by the evil bad guys. They are evil and bad."
[pause, look directly at the soldiers]
"And if anything goes wrong on this mission, I'll kill every one of you."
And I'm pretty sure she meant it.
Official team record for most sacks by a Texan over a five-game stretch, by Mario Williams from week 11 through week 15, 2007.
Sacks by J.J. Watt over his last five real games (i.e. not preseason games), including the 2011 playoffs.
12; 11; 6.
Quarterback hurries, tackles for a loss, and passes defended, respectively, by J.J. Watt over that same five-game span.
Number of defensive linemen in the Top 20 in number of passes defended. That one? Obviously, J.J. Watt, whose 5 PDs tie him for ninth.
Fix Yo' Font.
This is neither. This is a written word -- pronounced "UCK-luh," I suppose (or "OOK-la," for you Thundarr The Barbarian fans) -- that is meaningless and stupid. And it's not even an institution-wide thing: UCLA's website doesn't use it, nor do most of the sports, as far as I can tell. I seem to recall the men's basketball team using it briefly, but that wasn't during Lew Alcindor's day, nor was it during the O'Bannon brothers'.
So it's just a bizarre, nonsensical thing that the Bruins football team uses. Why? WHY?!?
Consecutive days, as of this writing, that the Texans have had at least a share of first place in the AFC South. Yes, I'm counting days between the end of the 2011 season and the start of the 2012 season. Why? Well, did anyone pass the Texans? No? Then that's why.
Total yards from scrimmage in 38 career games for Arian Foster. For comparison, here are the totals through 38 games of some people you may have heard of:
- Eric Dickerson: 4,993
- LaDainian Tomlinson: 4,612
- Terrell Davis: 4,537
- Marcus Allen: 4,262
- Barry Sanders: 4,260
- Walter Payton: 4,218
- Curtis Martin: 3,979
- Tony Dorsett: 3,878
- Marshall Faulk: 3,759
- Emmitt Smith: 3,655
- Thurman Thomas: 2,751
On the one hand, Eric Dickerson's number is ridiculous. On the other, Arian Foster is really, really good at football. Like historically good.
Sports Writers Have Little Use For Critical Thought, Part 1.
See if you can spot the huge flaw in Bill Simmons' argument:
You know who the biggest failures have been? The players. If they're as disenchanted about the officiating as they claim, then why not threaten to boycott games until the real officials come back? They could say it's a safety issue — that they don't feel safe playing a violent sport when it's being overseen by incompetent officials. If they threatened to boycott the first quarter of Sunday's early games in protest, we'd see the real officials return in about 1.39 seconds.
Sounds reasonable enough at first glance, right? But did you think about it for half a second and see the hole in it?
Article 3, section 1, of the Collective Bargaining Agreement is fairly clear on this matter:
No Strike/Lockout: Except as otherwise provided in Article 47 (Union Security), Section 6, neither the NFLPA nor any of its members will engage in any strike, work stoppage, or other concerted action interfering with the operations of the NFL or any Club for the duration of this Agreement, and no Clubs, either individually or in concert with other Clubs, will engage in any lockout for the duration of this Agreement. Any claim that a party has violated this Section 1 will not be subject to the grievance procedure or the arbitration provisions of this Agreement and the party will have the right to submit such claim directly to the courts.
So, were the players to follow Simmons' advice, they would immediately be in breach of the CBA, and the NFL could skip arbitration and file suit against them in court.
It's pretty straightforward, really. The CBA purports to be the complete understanding of all parties in an arms-length transaction. Nowhere in the CBA does it require the NFL to provide a specific set of officials. And non-injury grievances are limited to "any dispute (hereinafter referred to as a "grievance") arising after the execution of this Agreement and involving the interpretation of, application of, or compliance with, any provision of this Agreement, the NFL Player Contract, the Practice Squad Player Contract, or any applicable provision of the NFL Constitution and Bylaws or NFL Rules pertaining to the terms and conditions of employment of NFL players." Taking it one more step, Article VIII, section 8.7 of the NFL Constitution & Bylaws explicitly, in no uncertain terms, states that each team "shall . . . accept as game officials for any game such game officials as the Commissioner shall assign to such game."
So players have no non-injury grievance route to complain about the officials (and, in fact, boycotting a game would violate the CBA and terminate their right to pursue CBA grievance remedies if they actually existed for this situation), and the teams absolutely have to accept whatever officials are assigned to a game by the Commissioner. Brilliant plan, Simmons.
But what about Simmons' suggestion that the players could call it a safety issue? Still without merit. The non-injury grievance procedure doesn't cover something as amorphous as a "safety issue," and injury grievances under Section 44 are limited to situations where a player's contract is terminated while he's physically unable to perform due to an injury suffered as a football player.
Number of career games in which Peyton Manning has had a completion percentage lower than the 50% he had against Houston on Sunday.
Sports Writers Have Little Use For Critical Thought, Part 2.
In his 10 Spot last week, Adam Schefter wrote:
6. What might have been: Peyton Manning is in Denver, and this week, so are the Texans. But it still is intriguing to think about what would have happened had the Texans decided to make a run at Manning rather than stay committed to Matt Schaub, whom Houston signed to a contract extension on the eve of the season.
People who know Manning remain convinced he would have been interested in the Texans had the interest been mutual. Some believe that if Houston wanted in, the Texans would have been the favorite to land Manning. They had a loaded roster, played in a division (AFC South) Manning already knew well, and had a strong organization. But Houston never wavered. Now the Texans will get an up-close look at the quarterback they passed on in a potential AFC Championship Game preview.
Rather than delve into all the ways this is absurd, I'm just going to throw out a few numbers and chalk this up to Schefter being a complete hack.
Matt Schaub, 2012: 63-96 (65.6%), 5 TD, 1 INT.
Peyton Manning, 2012: 69-115 (60%), 5 TD, 3 INT.
Would Manning's numbers be higher if he were on the Texans? Possibly. But his lack of mobility for roll-outs, to say nothing of his current Chad Pennington-esque arm, are hardly a fit for what the Texans (currently 3-0, in case you missed that) are doing.
Length, in yards, of Andre Johnson's TD on Sunday, the fifth-longest TD catch of his career. All five were thrown by Matt Schaub.
Yards needed by Andre Johnson to reach 10,000 receiving yards in his career.
Average yards per game for Andre Johnson against Tennessee since the start of 2007.
Career TD passes for Matt Schaub as a Texan, in 67 games. For comparison, David Carr had 59 in 75 games in Houston. Because he was terrible.
Also, in case you were curious, Schaub's 103 career TDs puts him 13th among active QBs.
Random '90s Rap Video.
Sacks that Connor Barwin had at this point last year.
Sacks that Connor Barwin had as of the end of week 8 last year.
Sacks that Connor Barwin finished the season with in 2011. So chill out already.
I know I said last week that I'd use a lot of footnotes this week. I planned on it, even. But, with the changeover to United, I wanted to see how the formatting of everything looked before I did it. Also, too, I'm lazy. DOUBLE WHAMMY!
On the season, BESF RB Chris Johnson has 33 carries for 45 yards (1.4 YPC) and no TDs. He also has 9 catches for 63 yards and no TDs. He hasn't had a 100-yd rushing day since December 4, 2011, against the Bills, a span of 7 straight sub-100 games. (For comparison, the longest such stretch of Arian Foster's career is two games.
Speaking of Foster, CJLOLK's season yardage total (108) is less than Foster's single-game rushing total against the Jags in week 2, and it's the same as Foster's total yardage against Denver in week 3.
Number of carries at this current YPC pace that Chris Johnson would need to crack 1000 rushing yards.
Cap hit per yard of offense gained by Chris Johnson so far in 2012.
One of the best parts of BBQ in America is the regional differences. Yet, sadly, many people are wholly unfamiliar with these regional styles. This season, the 2DH is going to feature a different BBQ region and a recipe from that region. This week: Kentucky
It would probably not surprise you to learn that Kentucky BBQ is, for lack of a better word, weird. Like, "I asked for BBQ; what the hell is this?!" level weird. For one thing, the traditional meat for Kentucky Q is mutton. (If you've ever had cabrito or even cow cheeks, the taste is pretty similar in my opinion.)
And why would Kentucky BBQ older sheep rather than the traditional BBQ animals? Because, long ago, back when BFD was barely a teenager (mid- to late 1800s), Kentucky was the top producer of lamb in the nation. While they no longer hold that distinction, the tradition of eating older sheep as BBQ persists in regions of the state, especially western Kentucky, east of Louisville. (For reasons that I will never understand, Owensboro, KY, touts itself as the BBQ Capital of the World and holds the "International BBQ Festival" every year.)
The second real oddity of Kentucky Q is the traditional sauce used on the mutton. While many places now serve a slightly more traditional sauce, or a bourbon-based sauce, the original black sauce can still be found around Owensboro. It's a Worcestershire-heavy black sauce that, while it sounds sketchy, is actually not bad on a strongly flavored meat like mutton, and it's an interesting change up on pulled pork from time to time.
Kentucky Style Black Sauce
2 c. water
3/4 c. Worcestershire sauce (Lea & Perrins, preferably)
3/4 c. distilled white vinegar
1/2 c. brown sugar, loosely packed
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. finely ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
1/4 tsp. allspice (optional, but I recommend it)
Mix all the ingredients in a sauce pan and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Prepare the mutton leg the way you would prepare a pork shoulder, then slice and douse with warm sauce just prior to serving. Traditionally, this sauce is used as a baste while the meat cooks -- a method that I generally eschew, but then I've never cooked mutton myself -- and used as a finishing sauce as well.
The Origin Of The BESF Moniker.
Sports Writers Have Little Use For Critical Thought, Part 3.
If you were bouncing around the Twitter machine late last week, you might have caught some of the abject idiocy spewing from the e-mouth of Denver sportswriter Mark Kiszla. It started, as these things are wont to do, with Kiszla making a "point" about the Texans.
The response to this was predictably, appropriately, "WTF?" So Kiszla doubled down.
Taking these two posts in order, we can very quickly show that Kiszla is either a blatant troll or a moron (or both!)
Michael Turner, 2008: 1,699 rush yds, 17 TD, 41 rec yds. DVOA 4.3%, DYAR 203.
Arian Foster, 2010: 1,616 rush yds, 16 TD, 604 rec yds, 2 TD. DVOA 18.0%, DYAR 372.
Last three seasons (in which we include a season where Foster played only 6 games, with 1 start, because picking endpoints is fun!):
Turner (43 games): 3,870 yds from scrimmage, 33 total TDs.
Foster (35 games): 4,411 yds from scrimmage, 33 total TDs.
So, basically, unless you want to pretend like the difference in total number of games played in that time period doesn't mater (despite Foster having more rushing yards/game (88.5) than Turner (83.3) over that span) and that only rushing yards matter when discussing RBs, Kiszla is nowhere near making a cogent and correct point.
But, faced with that kind of evidence, he's not one to back down.
Fun fact: the internet makes it incredibly easy these days to point out when someone is making a disingenuous argument. For example, while Anderson only had 12 starts in 2000, he played in all 16 games and had a couple huge rushing days in those non-starts. Conversely, Foster started 13 games in 2011 . . . only played in 13 games. On a per-game basis, Foster was better in 2011 (and certainly in 2010) than Anderson in 2000 almost across the board.
Foster, 2010: 101.0
Foster, 2011: 94.2
Anderson, 2000: 92.9
Foster, 2010: 126.25
Foster, 2011: 141.6
Anderson, 2000: 103.5
Foster, 2010: 1.13
Foster, 2011: .92
Anderson, 2000: .94
So how does he reply to more facts?
OH, HELLO STRAWMAN THAT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ANYTHING THAT ANYONE SAID.
Then, as a follow-up . . .
Clearly, he proved his point, so it made sense to restate his thesis. Honestly, reading this whole thing, with his drop-the-mic Big Finish there, I'm reminded of this:
Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer Inexplicable Decision Of The Week.
[Author's note: It's a sad day in Two-Day Hangover Land. It seems that Marijuana Pepsi Sawyer has gotten married and changed the name on her public profile to the much more professional sounding, "Marijuana Sawyer-Clardy." Dang. Thankfully, we have a long memory around here, at least when it comes to stuff like this, so we'll just forge ahead and pretend like nothing has changed.]
Much like the decision to name your daughter "Marijuana Pepsi," Shaun Hill's decision to snap the ball on 4th & 1 in overtime against the Tennessee Titans was baffling. According to Jim Schwartz, the plan was to try to draw the Titans offsides and, if that failed, call a timeout and kick the game-tying field goal. Apparently that plan got lost in translation, and Hill opted to snap the ball and try the QB sneak when the hard count didn't succeed. I'd honestly have had less of an issue with the play if Hill had run a real offensive play. At least that might have caught the Titans off-guard. No one was going to be fooled by a QB sneak there.
TXT MSGS Of The Week.
It's too bad that Schaub isn't tough and is so injury prone. /texanstalk
Things Matt Schaub can give you: part of his ear. Things he cannot give you: any of his fucks.
Texans own and JJ Watt is your new Jesus.