Friday, January 20, 2012

... (The I Should Have A Catchy Title For This Post Post)

It's 7:07 a.m. I'm sitting in a McDonald's in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, drinking coffee and listening to Let Go, by jj:

And killing time until I have to go give a seminar on mortgage litigation at 8:30, and the "colon/semicolon" key on my laptop just broke off, so now I don't have the d or that critical semicolon key and I am a huge fan of semicolons,

A seriously huge fan of semicolons.

And I've been up since 3:30 a.m. and this was a long week so I've hit that level of tired where every single thing including this Kinks song (Long Distance)

is annoying me, and I decided to clear out the notes on my phone where I store ideas for things to blog about, so here are a bunch of sports-related things I once thought I'd blog about but then didn't and now did; the bold print is the exact text of my note:

John 3:16 Commercial: Focus on the Family, which I'm kind of certain is generally a group I dislike, aired a "John 3:16" commercial during the Broncos-Patriots* blowout. I didn't see it, as I tape the games to watch at night because during the day I do things that are more important, like play Spider Chase with Mr Bunches, our youngest, which is a game in which I have to pretend to catch a spider and then chase him and put it on him, and then he does the same, which secretly horrifies me because I can't stand spiders, but that's what parenting is all about: letting your kids put imaginary spiders on you instead of watching Tebow's last game this year.

So I don't know much about this commercial. You can read about it here; I have not even read that article. I haven't read it because thinking about Tebow made me recall what I have started thinking every time I think of Tebow, which is this:

How stupid and bad at their jobs are John Elway and John Fox?

Let me give you a breather with the song that's now on my iPod, The New Love Song by Joshua James:

And let me also add that I bought my coffee at 6:53 a.m. and it's now 7:19 a.m. and I took a sip and it burned my mouth, so McDonald's learned nothing from that famous coffee case that everyone thinks was frivolous but which was not.

Anyway, here's why John Elway and John Fox are stupid, in three simple steps:

1. Everyone says Tim Tebow is a terrible passer.
2. Tim Tebow has been on the Broncos for two years.
3. John Elways is widely regarded as a great quarterback, and John Fox widely regarded as a great coach (or at least a good one).
4. Neither of those to geniuses (where's that sarcasm emoticon?) has thought "Hey, let's teach Tim Tebow how to throw!"

I know that's more than three steps but I'm too lazy to go change it.

When The Anointed One Aaron Rodgers came into the league, he learned how to throw the ball a non-Tedford way. Tiger Woods once famously changed his swing and struggled for a year before coming back to his prior form. People can learn how to do things differently.

So the Broncos, with John Elway and John Fox, have this quarterback with phenomenal athletic abilities, and they have a Hall of Fame quarterback in the building and there are other quarterbacks like Jake Plummer and Kurt Warner who are retired and maybe could use some income and nobody apparently has ever bothered to make Tebow learn how to throw the way they want him to?

Have they? Have I missed something? Nobody's saying "Hey, we worked with him and that kid just can't get it", are they? No, they are not.

So what you have is John Elway talking to John Fox at practice and here's how I imagine that goes:

Elway: Look at him. He's awful.

Fox: Yeah, I don't know what to do.

Elway: Well, I mean, if there were someone here who was responsible for teaching him how to play football, almost coaching him, if you will...

Fox: Yeah, and if we had a guy like that and then there were someone who knew how to play his position and had really excelled at it, we could probably work on him.

Elway: What a pity.

Fox: Yeah. Let's go rip him on national TV and then halfheartedly pull it back.

Elway: Sounds good. Have you seen my Super Bowl rings?
Hm. Under Mike Holmgren, Brett Favre went from rocket-armed wild man to an improvisational but more balanced quarterback. Under Darrell Bevell, Favre looked almost disciplined. Under the Eagles' coach, Michael The Dog Killer almost became a pocket passer and has become more accurate. Quarterbacks have learned not to throw sidearm... etc.

Why can't Tebow throw? Because nobody is interested in teaching him how to throw. If the Broncos were truly invested in their supposed starter, they'd have him in quarterback camp. But they're not.

"Hey, thanks for making us millions in
jersey sales and winning those games.
I'm gonna go rip you on national TV now, okay?"

Now up, Real Life, "Send Me An Angel."

QQ Irsay picasso:
This refers to a quote by Colts' owner Jim Irsay: the whole quote is:
Anyone can take a hatchet to a Picasso...but pasting back together! Now that's the trick,isn't it!
And Irsay said that after firing Bill Polian at the end of this season. Polian, remember, is the guy who built the good Buffalo Bills' teams when they were good, and built the good Colts' teams, too. But now the Colts are 2-14 and the lack of talent on the roster is almost certainly due to the fact that Peyton Manning's salary keeps the Colts from being able to put more good players on the field, and now Peyton Manning's salary is going to either require that the Colts trade him in order to draft Andrew Luck, which would require that the new team rework the contract, which gives Manning a great deal of power over where he goes, or that the Colts not draft Andrew Luck, which may not be the worst thing in the world because the consensus number one pick isn't always a good idea, but, then, if you draft Greg Oden and he stinks, you keep your job. If you skip him because you suspect he stinks, you lose your job when the team doesn't immediately win, which is why Houston is in the playoffs but they don't have the GM that drafted that defensive end instead of Reggie Bush.

How could you tell
if it was pasted together correctly?

So Bill Polian, who built a team that went to two Super Bowls and won one, is out, and if he's the guy who decided to make the Colts a one-man show, that's a reasonable decision. But Irsay's quote still makes no sense.

1,000,000 to have your team lose: This refers to a poll I heard about where Vanity Fair asked a bunch of people whether they would kill their pet in exchange for a million dollars. Some people said they thought the results would change if you put an actual million cash in front of the person and asked them the same question.

Me, I don't know. I'll take heat for saying this, but a million dollars? To have my pet put asleep? (The poll, I don't think, mandated that I have the killing done brutally or anything.) I'm a fervent believer in people before pets and with a million bucks I could ensure that my kids always have therapy available no matter what our stupid society does about autism and insurance, and I could set up that low cost/no cost legal foundation I wanted to, and I could help people even more than I already do... all for the cost of a cat?

I'd have to think long and hard about that.

Anyway: My thought was what if you could get $1,000,000 but in exchange your favorite sports team would never ever win a game, again, ever?

That seems simpler, doesn't it? A million bucks and the Bills never win another game? (In my case, that's easy: the Bills don't win enough to make it matter if I doom them to losing.)

And it's certainly not as hard a question as killing a pet.

But if you think about it, if you take the million, you doom every player on that team ever to never win, affecting not just their lives but also their income: if they lose all their games, they won't be pro players for long and won't likely get endorsement deals. Front office people will get fired more quickly. The team's income will drop.

And the fans of that team: They'll never get to see their team win, ever. No playoff hopes for them, ever.

So your million bucks is bringing a lot of misery and problems for not just a cat or dog, but for thousands, if not millions of people.

Not so easy, then, is it? Easier than "Would I kill a pet?" But not so easy, after all.

The question of what you would do for a million dollars is important in everyone's life, whether you think it is or not. Half of all households in the U.S. earn more than $49,000 per year. That means in your lifetime, you will likely earn a million dollars (if not more.) So when you consider what you're doing now and did in the past and will do in the future, every day you do it you are answering the question "What would I do for a million dollars?"

On that philosophical note, I'm going to end on Don't You Worry by Jim Noir, and a tip from the How To Do Everything podcast. The tip is this: if you are having a stressful day, try to put on some artsy, techno-noir music like this:

Because, they said, having that in the background as you are stressed out makes it seem more like the stress in your life is not stress but instead is part of an arty, noir-ish movie (like the movie Drive) and that helps your mind interpret it not as stress but as something exciting.

And it worked for me because I'm still in that McDonald's listening to that song and instead of being tired and crabby and semicolonless I'm feeling more adventurous.

Let's finish on a "sports" note, though, and by that I mean a scantily-clad cheerleader:

That's Melissa Rycroft, a cheerleader who was on Dancing With The Stars. I found her picture on "The Hottest Girls Of Cheerleading," and I bet that more readers click that link than the one that led to income stats or the autism redefinition.

But I don't blame you. Not just because I'm listening to the rousing "Power Lines" by The Interiors, a song I can't find on Youtube, but also because if you clicked on the cheerleader instead of the autism link, you showed you were more interested in leering at women then learning about a problem that affects 1 in 100 children and costs our country billions every year, so don't judge me for saying I might put a cat to sleep to make a million bucks.


Grumpy Bulldog, Secret Agent said...

Did you ever watch that movie "The Box" (not many people did) where a family gets offered a million bucks if they push a button on a box that will kill some random person? (Spoiler alert: they push the button, then change their minds, a lot of weird shit happens, and then James Marsden has to shoot Cameron Diaz--or is it the other way around?--to save their kid.)

Anyway, when he was going to the draft, I remember Tebow worked with some coach to work on his mechanics. Maybe he should have kept doing that.

I don't think it's that big of a deal. In baseball the pitching and hitting coaches work with players all the time to change their throwing motion or swing. Even a 24-game Cy Young winner like Justin Verlander needs a little coaching and practice every now and then to erase bad habits.

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