Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The Twenty-Second Letters Segment

The Most Thoughtful Sports Analysis on the Blogosphere will be tackling many thought-provoking issues in this week's edition of The Whole 42 Letters. Anon:

Where are you on the Peyton Manning/Andrew Luck saga these days? Do you think, with almost a season's worth of hindsight, the teams did the right thing?

So back in March, I wrote a post  about how I thought the Colts were making a mistake letting go of Peyton Manning. Jon then wrote a counter-post. In the meantime, the Colts are having a winning season, and Luck looks like he has the makings to be a really great quarterback. Peyton Manning is also having a Peyton Manning-esque season with the Broncos, and he's in the conversation for MVP of the League. Peyton Manning is having a much better season than Andrew Luck. The Colts, who are now 7-4, would almost definitely be even better with Manning than they would be with Luck. I think the Colts should have just bitten the bullet and paid Peyton Manning, had Luck sit, and played for the Super Bowl. Everything has kind of played out as I figured it might (not that I made any bold predictions; I said Manning would be great and Luck would struggle but be fine), so I'm sticking by what I said in March.

BJ Upton: Great Player, Stupid Narrative

News broke this afternoon that BJ Upton has signed with the Braves. The deal appears to be 5 years and $75 million with a potential sixth year. This is a good deal for the Braves who needed to replace Michael Bourn while getting younger and more right-handed (they were 30-31 against lefty starters last season and 63-37 against righties). BJ Upton is the perfect example of old stats v. new and ability v. narrative. If you've read anything on this blog before, you know where we stand.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The NBA Goes Caroling

I don't have much to add to this, except whoever is in charge of the NBA marketing team is doing an awesome job.

I love many things about this, but none more so than the fact that Dwyane Wade does essentially nothing. Just like his current role in the Miami offense! Zing!

Your move, Bud Selig.

Monday, November 26, 2012

According To The Atlantic, Aaron Rodgers May Be Over The Hill

Aaron Rodgers - 2012 passer rating leader as of Week 11, reigning MVP and Super Bowl XLV MVP - is apparently aging and potentially past his peak. So says the Atlantic, at least, which used this week's Packers-Giants matchup to determine (or maybe not) the future fate of the losing quarterback's career. It's a truly stunning piece of terrible sportswriting.

Fox News set the bar pretty for journalistic idiocy pretty low (high?) this weekend, running this op/ed about the War on Men (the last five paragraphs are so over the top, they read as subversive satire), but Allen Barra at the Atlantic definitely gave it a run for its money. "Sunday May Be the Beginning of the End for Eli Manning or Aaron Rodgers" called the headline of his Sunday Night Football game preview, in what I thought must be link-bait, but startlingly was not. That really is the article's thesis. 

From that sentence alone, I would be happy to tell you why this article is stupid (they've won the last two Super Bowls, just off the bat), but luckily, Barra supplies all of the reasons himself. Let's go through this, FJM-style.

Legacies are on the line for the Giants' and Packers' almost-legendary (and aging) QBs.

This is the article's sub-heading. We're already off to a terrible start. Now, I know Barra wants to sell this game's significance, but I highly doubt anyone's legacy is on the line in a Week 12 game between 7-3 and 6-4 teams. Also, Aaron Rodgers is 28 (for another week) and didn't play his first three years in the league, and Eli is 31. Considering Tom Brady and Peyton Manning are still two of the four best QBs in the league at 35 and 36 respectively, I'd hardly call Rodgers and Eli aging.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 12

Welcome to the Week 12 suicide pool picks! Now with more suicide.

Speaking of things that bring to mind suicide...

Our Records:
Sean: 14-6
Steve: 13-7
Jon: 11-9

Can we talk for just a moment about how much Tim Tebow must suck to not have even a chance at the starting job right now? There's no question in my mind that he made the right decision not going to Jacksonville and getting the starting job there, because in this situation on the Jets he's managed to maintain some of his aura as a winner. He would have lost 14 games in Jacksonville and that would have been that; in New York he's still a story, even though he's a terrible player. Even in garbage time against the Pats this week Tebow couldn't get off the bench (I'm told he was injured, but there's a chance this a John Lackey Tommy John situation, where he was pretty much told to have an injury).

Jon: This week I'm taking the Bengals over the Raiders because I believe the Bengals suck slightly less and the Titans over the Jaguars. I can't believe I'm saying this but Chad Henne for the Jaguars does scare me, if only because he's such a significant step up from Yo Gabba Gabbert. The Bengals go deep better than most of the league and the Raiders can't cover anybody, as evidenced be their points allowed the last three games: 42 to Tampa Bay, 55 to Baltimore, and 38 to New Orleans.

Steve: I might as well take this opportunity to take the Rams over the Cardinals. Neither John Skelton nor Kevin Kolb will be starting for them. That's right: the Cardinals' starting QB is going to be those guys' BACKUP. They're starting some rookie bitch and they've lost five in a row. WIN, RAMS!

The Eagles and Panthers are playing. This is a matchup of two WORTHLESS AFRICAN AMERICAN GLORY BOY QUARTERBACKS! Every sports writer is racist. I'm taking the Panthers because the Eagles look about ready to roll over and drink hemlock.

Sean: The Bengals are one of those teams that isn't very good but at the end of the season Dalton will have thrown for 4000 yards and AJ Green will have 14 TDs. The Raiders defense is god awful and even though Carson Palmer throws for over 300 yards a week (it's true look it up) their offense is still bad. Basically, NFL stats are ridiculous now. John Elway, Joe Montana, Brett Favre, and Dan Marino have career QB ratings of 79.9, 92.3, 86.0, and 86.4. Today that's Sam Bradford and Christian Ponderville. I got nothing else there, it's just nuts to me.

The Rams are going to beat the Cardinals because the Cardinals are going to be 4-12. Watching the Cardinals suck, the 49ers change QBs because Alex Smith is horrible, and the Rams get blown out by the Jets, reminds me of when everyone was slobbering all over the NFC West. Derp a derp Russell Wilson is a leader. Fuck you Golden Tate. I'm never going to forgive you and your entire crappy division.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: Thanksgiving Edition

Gobble gobble everyone. Before jumping into your questions, let me get to a few things I am and am not thankful for. I'm an not thankful for having to watch the Cowboys and Lions. Somehow these two terrible teams always play at home on Thanksgiving. Whyyy?????? They've won one playoff game since 1997 (yay Andy Reid). This is the only time that people actually watch Thursday NFL games and you subject us to Matt Stafford and Tony Romo. Come on.

I am thankful for the fact that my family doesn't have some lame ass Thanksgiving tradition. We don't all go out and play touch football like we're in a Wranglers commercial. No, we are real Americans. We sit around and half watch football all day, eat a disgusting amount of food and then sit and feel fat until we slip into a tryptophan coma. Maybe, maybe maybe we will sit inside a movie theater for two hours but even that is pushing it. If you have to button your pants it probably isn't worth it.

Thanksgiving in my opinion is the most American holiday and for that I'm thankful. It combines all of our best (and probably worst) qualities. Gluttony, that whole committing genocide and rewriting history thing, rampant commercialism, being angry at traffic, drinking while watching football, and we couch the whole thing in some stupid moral lesson that everybody ignores.

This is what I'm most thankful for
Now to your questions:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Am I Crazy For Thinking that Gronk Shouldn't Be In on PATs?

So Rob Gronkowski broke his arm when he was in to block for a PAT. He'll be out 4-6 weeks. This means that he's decently likely to be 100% for the playoffs, which is totally fine. But it does beg the question: WHY THE FUCK IS HE NORMALLY IN ON PATs?!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Monday Night Football In The Concussion Era

Both teams in tonight's Monday Night Football game between the Bears and 49ers, a matchup between two of the NFC's best teams, will be starting backup quarterbacks. Last week, Alex Smith and Jay Cutler each suffered concussions and had to leave the game, and neither has been cleared to return yet, so Jason Campbell versus Colin Kaepernick it is. Are you ready for some (bad) football?

Players in the trenches get concussed all the time, but the NFL is particularly sensitive to players in the limelight, especially quarterbacks, suffering concussions. It's probably truly only applied to skill position players, but the concussion/independent doctor protocol that got Alex Smith out of the game (a little too late) and has him still sitting out is a good thing. Guys may not hit like they once did back when "football was football," but our knowledge of the lifelong impact of concussions has made football feel more gladiatorial than ever, in the sense of sacrificing oneself for the entertainment of others. NFL players choose to take on that risk and are well compensated for it, but it doesn't necessarily make that transaction moral.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 11: Steve Sucks Edition

No we aren't done. Yes, this is really hard. Shut up we don't put this out seconds before kickoff every week.

Remember who Jon picked last week? 

Sean: 12-6
Steve: 12-6
Jon: 9-9

Friday, November 16, 2012

A Terminal Whole 42 Letters

Sorry this is posting so late. I'm writing this at 7 a.m. in Logan airport as I kill time before my flight to Milwaukee (of course, routed through Atlanta, because that's not out of the way at all). I'm running on about 3 hours of sleep, half a cup of coffee and a ton of adrenaline, so sorry if my answers are a little loopy. Drunk Nate Silver says there's a 57.3% chance this goes poorly.

Nate Silver is a wizard!

Before we get to the letters, I have something I want to address: some idiot baseball writer gave Fernando Rodney a first place Cy Young vote. Rodney inexplicably set the record for lowest ERA this year (anyone want to take odds that his ERA more than doubles next year?), but that doesn't excuse giving him a first place vote. It's practically impossible for a closer to be better than the top starters in the one-inning save era, and this vote is a joke. Since I assume this was from a Tampa Bay writer, what if this had cost David Price the Cy Young, since this was the closest vote in like 50 years? That's impossibly stupid.

This is not an original angle, but I want to join the call to PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE MAKE THESE VOTES PUBLIC. Maybe if enough small blogs join it'll become a movement. All we are saying is give us a chance shame the idiot who gave Rodney a vote and the idiots who voted for Cabrera for MVP (more on this below). 

Your questions:

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Jeffrey Loria and the Ownership of the Commons

TODAY IN WHOLLY UNSURPRISING NEWS: The Miami Marlins have just undergone their third fire sale in their brief expansion-era history, trading Josh Johnson, Mark Buerhle, Jose Reyes, John Buck and Emilio Bonifacio to the Blue Jays for Yunel Escobar, highly rated prospects Jake Marisnick and Adeiny Hechavarria and possibly more.

It's a fire sale!!!!

Just a year ago, the Marlins moved into their massive, taxpayer-funded stadium, and now they are crying poor and building for the future. Teams build new stadiums to attract fans, thereby increasing revenue streams and enabling the team to have a higher payroll. Ideally, this added payroll leads to added wins, which in turn keeps the fans coming to the ballpark. Let's just say this has all been a massive failure.

The Whole 42 Minutes Podcast: The Mike D'Antoni Hire

A coach getting fired five games into the season, the Lakers in turmoil? Yes, you're god damn right we did a podcast on the Mike D'Antoni hire. Jon Muchin and I kick it off with Lakers talk, early NBA surprises, and lots more that is lost forever since his Internet cut out and we aren't good at technology.

25 minutes in, Matt Fowler, friend of the blog, comes in to talk his Knicks, his love of D'Antoni, and ranks Jeremy Lin against other NBA guards.


Monday, November 12, 2012

Defense Matters: Why D'Antoni is Wrong for the Lakers

Mike D'Antoni is a lot of things. Self-appointed offensive genius, finely-mustachioed man, media savvy, and most of all, someone who doesn't grasp the importance of defense. His defensive strategy is simply scoring more points than the other team can possibly score. This works fine in the regular season, but as any Suns fan (they exist right?) will tell you, his strategy hasn't been successful in the postseason.
I hate defense also, Mike

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 10

Great, fine, great. Here are our records:

Sean: 10-6
Jon: 8-8
Steve: 11-5

It's great because these are real football records. I'd be a shoo-in for the playoffs, unless I was the Patriots in the Cassel year. Boom.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Firing Mike Brown Might Actually Solve The Lakers' Problems

Mediocre shepherd of otherworldly talent, Mike Brown, has been fired by the Lakers after starting the season 1-4, with the sole win coming over the lowly Pistons. Taking over for the legendary Phil Jackson was never going to be easy, but Brown has failed pretty spectacularly given the talent on this team. The Lakers have looked terrible on both ends of the floor, with no signs of getting better, and so the coach, as usual, was the fall guy. Much as it pains me, and despite seeming comically early in the season, I think the Lakers made the right decision.

Mike Brown needs an aspirin.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

The Whole 42 Letters: My President is Black, My Lambo's Blue


Ron Paul and Mitch McConnell can commence nard-sucking at their earliest convenience.

Your letters:

If Alabama were to play an NFL team 100 times, how many would they win?

I understand that this question is still a thing, but I think everyone knows the answer. Alabama, if they were playing the worst NFL team (let's say the Chiefs), would get destroyed. Just killcrushed*. Slaymurdered*. First of all, sure, Alabama's a great college football team. They're undefeated. But let's not forget: they just eked out a 4-point victory against LSU, which is another college football team, which is also not even close to as good as an NFL team.

I know the old argument is kind of tired, but it's true: the Chiefs, on their 52-man roster, have at LEAST like 45 legitimate NFL players. Alabama, on their roster, have AT MOST 8 guys who are good enough to be NFL players right now, and maybe another 4-5 who will be once they finish college. The difference is staggering. And sure, maybe Alabama's 8 NFL players are better than many of Kansas City's 45. But that left tackle out of Klanville is gonna get EATEN UP by a real NFL defensive lineman. The weaknesses of the non-NFL quality players would get exploited to the Nth degree by real Kansas City Chiefs. Kansas City would win at least 98 matchups between the two teams (hey, the Chiefs are still human).

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day From ESPN

A couple weeks ago, I wrote a post that touched on why I am obsessed with the ESPN Sportsnation poll question. Well, they have maybe the greatest example and worst question I have ever seen on the site right now.

(Ed note - there was a picture here of the poll, which asks "Which professional athlete would you vote for as President of American pro sports?" but the photo was corrupted. The choices, as you'll see below are Tom Brady, Kobe Bryant, LeBron James, Derek Jeter and Peyton Manning.)

Let me count the ways I hate this...

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Survivor Pool Week 9

Our records:
Sean: 9-5
Jon: 7-7
Steve: 9-5

Maybe this is just a little bit harder than we thought. Good news is that none of us are below .500. Basically, if we were in the AFC, we could  be the #4 seed. So there's that. And there's also our picks.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Whole 42 Minutes Podcast: Western Conference Over-Unders

Below you can listen to the inaugural The Whole 42 Minutes Podcast, in which these three bloggers discuss our predictions about the over-under win totals for the Western Conference this coming NBA season. Unfortunately, the Eastern Conference half did not survive, but we're still pretty excited about this. Hopefully it will become a frequent feature.


Click here to download the file in MP3 format. Listen to us on in your cars, at your computers, at the gym, wherever. Just listen to us.

The Whole 42 Letters becomes Legal

We finally turned 18, so it's time to discuss porns, swears, voting, and tobackies, plus all your other questions. This week we tackle the important issues this election week like dick euphemisms, the third trilogy, and friends of NFL athletes.

This is the only appropriate image on the Internet on this subject

Slammin' Jammin' NBA Preview

This has the potential to be one of the best NBA seasons of our lifetimes. Jon and I could barely come up with five teams we wouldn't want to watch. The NBA regular season might mean nothing at all, like actually nothing at all, but I know we here at the TW42Minutes are super excited. We didn't name our blog after a Z-Bo quote for nothing (also, Sexing Mutombo was taken). So without further adunk, let's get into this year's basketball preview.

We'll start at the top with serious awards and get sillier as we go down. So if you don't like the best basketball analysis on the planet but want to laugh your ass off, scroll down now.