The Education Of Everyone Else

Dec 28, 2011 by

Saints LogoJust when I think class is out and the day is done, the bell rings and reminds me that for some, school never ends! While working on yesterday’s lesson for Mike Freeman nearly half the sports world was feverishly toiling to fill their little corners of the interwebz with the most important story of the day: How the classless Saints –led by the greedy Drew Brees– ran the score up on the poor old Atlanta Falcons just so Drew could break Dan Marino’s single-season passing yardage record on Monday Night Football.

I’m not even going to use examples here –because there are far too many and I refuse to advertise their stupidity– but I will touch on the key myths that most of them attempt to use as justification for their inane babble.

Myth 1: The Saints Intentionally Ran Up The Score.
Football is a contest between two teams played in order to see which team can score the most points! Intentionally scoring points is the fundamental basis of the game! It is the job of the defense to stop the opposing offense from scoring those points and if they can’t do that, then it’s the job of their offense to come right back and score enough points to keep the game close! If you can’t grasp this one simple concept, you need to stop writing about sports for a living.

Myth 2: Drew Brees Is Greedy
Huh? Clearly you know nothing about Drew Brees. Seriously, I don’t get this accusation at all. Drew threw for 307 yards monday night. Just two yards past the record but 45 yards under his season average! At 352.5 yards/game, it was his fourth-lowest total all year. Are you suggesting that after getting the Saints to within 9 yards of the goal line and 7 yards of the record he should have gone against his life-long training and just said “Aww, shucks, I’ll do it tomorrow.”? For the factual record, Drew wasn’t even paying attention to the yards he needed for the NFL record. He was simply playing football the way it’s supposed to be played. To win.

Myth 3: He Didn’t Need To Score To Get The Record
No, he didn’t. And if you watch the play you’ll see that Drew threw the ball seven yards which was just enough for the record. The score was simply icing on the cake. Blame Darren Sproles for doing his job. You know, the job he has been taught to do since he first put pads on as a wee tot. Or blame the overpaid, under-coached Falcons for failing to stop the Saints. Something they’re becoming very adept at in recent years. In fact, failing to stop the Saints has become something of a hobby for the rest of the NFL. Get used to it.

Myth 4: He Shouldn’t Have Done It On National TV
Oh, I see, it would have been fine to do it next week when only the New Orleans and Carolina markets could see NFL history being made. Doing it in front of the entire world on Monday Night Football is the problem, right? Say, didn’t Dan Marino break Fouts’ record on Monday Night Football? Oh, and guess what? Dan’s record throw was a touchdown, too! I noticed that a lot of Brees-haters hail from the Miami area. Could it be sour grapes that the greatest Miami quarterback to never win his single championship appearance in 17 years just got bumped from his last major NFL record? Or is it simply misplaced petulance since the brain-trust running the Dolphins condescendingly pushed Brees out of their offices with a pat on the fanny and a “Yeah buddy, good luck with that shoulder…”? By the way, how’s Daunte Culpepper working out for you guys?

Myth 5: The Unwritten Gentleman’s Agreement
Show me where it’s written that teams are supposed to take it easy on their opponents. This is an archaic collegiate bullshit concept designed to pad the stats of crappy players so that they would have a decent chance of landing a professional $10/week football job after graduation and help keep mediocre college coaches working during the Great Depression! It was easy to do back in the stone-age because bloggers and media-hype were fairly non-existent. Let me guess, the frustrated mommies crying foul over Drew Brees are the same gals who think Tim Tebow is a good quarterback. Mm-hm… thought so.

Let me ask you this… How many points are too many? In the NFL, the correct answer is that you can never have too many points! Just two weeks earlier the Falcons were down 23-7 versus the Carolina Panthers with 3:00 remaining in the third quarter. Matt Ryan led four second-half drives resulting in a field goal and three touchdowns, two of which came in the last 4:30 of the fourth quarter. The Falcons won that game 31-23. And you’re suggesting the Saints should have backed off and coasted? Why, did you bet the under? Did you take the Falcons and twelve points and lose your wife’s car payment for the month? Grow up.

Folks, the average point difference through 240 games this year is 12.14 points. (The Saints average split, win or lose, stands at exactly 12 points.) This season 148 games (62%) have been decided by 12 points or less. That means there are another 92 games out there where teams are doing better than average. 44 games (18%) were decided by 13-20 points, 38 games (16%) by 21-30 points, 7 games (3%) by 31-40 points and 3 games (1%) by 41 points or more. Added together, the games decided above the average point difference add up to just a little more than 37.5%

You want to know what else equals 37.5%? The 12 teams in the NFL that are going to the playoffs comprise 37.5% of the leagues 32 teams. And of course, those 12 teams account for 37.5% of the games played this season. And guess what? They pretty much account for that 37.5% of games which have scoring differences above the average! Cream rising to the top isn’t rocket science kids.

The Saints beat the Falcons by 29 points which gives them a three-way tie for thirteenth place on this year’s Damn-We-Thumped-Your-Ass List. Want to see the top of the list? Okey-dokey!

w07 55 pts, NO over IND
w02 45 pts, DET over KC
w05 45 pts, SF over TB
w10 38 pts, GB over MIN
w10 37 pts, DAL over BUF
w08 35 pts, DET over DEN
w07 34 pts, HOU over TEN
w01 34 pts, BUF over KC
w16 32 pts, CAR over TB
w11 31 pts, NE over KC
w14 30 pts, GB over OAK
w03 30 pts, BAL over SL
w02 29 pts, NYJ over JAC
w06 29 pts, CHI over MIN
w16 29 pts, NO over ATL

That makes 12 games that were decided by more points than the Saints/Falcons game. Where was the outcry for those games? Oh, right… there was none. There are an additional 20 games decided by 28, 27 and 26 points for a grand total of 35 thumpings greater than 25 points this year and the Saints/Falcons game falls right in the middle of the pack. And take a good look at those winning teams. Of the 12 victors on that list, seven have guaranteed post-seasons and the Jets and Dallas each have a separate shot at the playoffs. On the other side only Atlanta has a guaranteed playoff berth while Oakland, Denver and Tennessee are fighting against two other teams for the last two AFC spots.

Could it be that a large margin of victory is only acceptable when playing a crappy team, like Indy or Minnesota? Last week the Saints beat Minnesota by 22 points and there was nary a peep from the bloggerati. In the week 12 contest between the Saints and Giants, our 25 point, 49-25 win didn’t cause a stir and that was a Monday-nighter too! And our 55 point week 7 Sunday night romp over the hapless Colts was described by many as being lenient!! Hell, the day before the Saints/Falcons game Carolina steamrolled the Bucs by 32 points and nobody even blinked!

You people seriously need to get a grip. Or a life. At least get out of the house once in a while and rent a woman for a few hours to take the edge off! Let me explain this to you once and for all: Running up the score in the NFL is a childish whine! You want a close game every time? Go watch hockey. I’m a football fan and sometimes I want to see scorched-earth devastation, especially against division rivals! Go back to boycotting high school dodgeball ya ninnies!

And let me clarify that while the bitching about the Saints set me off, my views on scoring stand for every NFL team. Would I like it if someone beat the Saints or the Steelers by 29 points? No, but that’s something I’d have to live with if it happened, and it has happened. Many, many times, my friends! And it was due to them playing downright crappy football, just like the Falcons did Monday night. Pick yourself up with what little dignity you have left and change the outcome next week, just like half of the league does every week.

I suppose when Drew Brees eventually breaks Johnny Unitas’ record of consecutive games with a touchdown you’ll all cry that he should have waited until the following week to do so…


–M Styborski

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