Tim Tebow And Other Football Topics Open Thread


Jaybird is Birdmojo on Xbox Live and Jaybirdmojo on Playstation's network. He's been playing consoles since the Atari 2600 and it was Zork that taught him how to touch-type. If you've got a song for Wednesday, a commercial for Saturday, a recommendation for Tuesday, an essay for Monday, or, heck, just a handful a questions, fire off an email to AskJaybird-at-gmail.com

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99 Responses

  1. Jaybird says:

    In the office football grid that happens every year, I tell my bookie that “I want the corners!”

    This year, it finally paid off. The corners were 7 and 0 and 0 and 7… except, of course, someone else got to him before me and took, dangit, *ONE* of the corners.

    So I have 7-0, 0-7, and either 0-0 or 7-7. (I can’t remember.) And I’ve got 5-3 (or 3-5).

    He tells me that 0-7 (and vice-versa) is a great first (and sometimes even second quarter) score.

    Fingers crossed.Report

  2. mark boggs says:

    I hate the 49ers because of Dwight Clark’s catch and I hate the Ravens because of Ray Lewis and because, well…they’re the Ravens.

    I suppose I’ll watch and let the ebb and flow tug at me until I decide that I really want the 49ers because of Ray Lewis.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to mark boggs says:

      The Catch was sweet, sweet revenge for the 70s, when the Cowboys knocked the 49ers out of the playoffs THREE FREAKING YEARS IN A ROW!!!!! And then Emmit and the the ‘Boys won the NFC championship pounded the 9ers into submission in 92 and 93 until they finally broke through in 94, so I’d say honors are about even.Report

  3. Stillwater says:

    I’d be happy to see either team win, but I gotta go with the Niners as the favorite. Since they don’t have Champ Bailey on their team I don’t see Flacco piling up massive passing numbers.Report

  4. Miss Mary says:

    I won’t be watching the game, but I will put a smidge of effort into hoping the 49ers win for no good reason at all, which I have learned a a fine reason for backing a team.Report

  5. Stillwater says:

    Does anyone else find it ironic that Tebow is responsible for the new cool thing in the NFL (the read-option) and he might not have a job next year?Report

    • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

      Is he responsible for it? That seems fairly generous.Report

      • Stillwater in reply to Kazzy says:

        Arguably, yes. He is. When the Broncos went to a read-option game plan every single paid expert with an opinion said it’d never work in the NFL. Because defenses are too fast. ANd coordinators are too smart. And etc. Now it’s a standard part of at least three (very successful!) teams playbook.Report

        • greginak in reply to Stillwater says:

          Come on, like any human being could be responsible for something as wondrous as the read option. I’m sure Tebow knows who is truly the creator.Report

        • Kazzy in reply to Stillwater says:

          But the read-option has been around for a while and has become increasingly popular in college. I highly doubt that Harbaugh or Carroll (two highly successful college coaches) looked at Denver last year and acted based on what they saw. I think it is more likely that they evaluated the strengths of the talent they had on hand. Tebow might have been the first to do it in the NFL in recent memory, but I don’t know that we should consider him responsible for what’s going on in SF, Seattle, or DC.Report

          • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

            A read-option offense works best with a smart, fast-thinking, and fast-running QB. (IIRC, when Michael Vick was young and starting in Atlanta, their offense looked a lot like a read-option offense, and for the same reasons.)

            The price you pay is that young QB makes poor decisions precisely because he’s expecting an NCAA-speed defense to come at him rather than an NFL-speed defense — and you can’t sustain that kind of a program for more than a couple of years without churning through a lot of relatively rare QB’s capable of performing at the levels demanded.

            But it sure is fun while it’s going on.Report

            • greginak in reply to Burt Likko says:

              Even going back to Kordell “Slash” Stewart for the Steelers there were plays where he could run (or be a threat to run) and/or pass. None of this is really new, its just been developed more formally and efficiently with a few qb’s who seem to be able to be successful with it. RG3 is great at it and after next season he will likely almost back to how good he was at it this season.Report

            • Stillwater in reply to Burt Likko says:

              Michael Vick’s old offense in Atlanta wasn’t a read option, if I’m remembering it correctly. There were a lot of quarterback draws and scrambles and stuff like that. Steve Young was a great runner, too. But I don’t think either of those offenses were based on the QB reading and then opting.

              Kaepernick and Wilson seem to have taken it to a really high level. Wilson especially. He’s a lot smarter about when to end the play than RG3, it seems to me.Report

        • A part, but those QBs running it are also able to make the throws into NFL coverage. Last year’s divisional game against the Patriots demonstrated what happens if you can’t make those throws — the reports, at least here in Denver, were that Tebow was so beat up by that game that even if Denver had won, he wouldn’t have been able to play the next week. RGIII didn’t get through the wildcard round this year. I’ll wait until any one of RGIII, Kaepernick, or Wilson survive four years of it while keeping their teams at a high level before I’ll say the paid experts are wrong.Report

          • greginak in reply to Michael Cain says:

            Well Kaepernick or Wilson at least.Report

          • Stillwater in reply to Michael Cain says:

            I dunno. Wilson didn’t take the beating RG3 did. Or that Tebow took, for that matter. Kaepernick also does a pretty good job of getting out of bounds/going down before he gets hit. I could see those guys doing it for quite a while, actually.Report

            • Mike Schilling in reply to Stillwater says:

              The old cliche is that a running QB won’t become a start until he also learns hos to stay in the pocket and throw, Steve Young being an example. Wilson and Kaepernick are way ahead on that.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Mike Schilling says:

                There’s also a difference in philosophy between how you use a running QB. For Vick, and Young for the first half of his career, the idea was to let them be a running back who can also throw the ball. The new breed of QB coming into the league is that they are throwers who have wheels. That makes the RO incredibly useful as a standard play in the game plan. It also makes play action that much more effective. But the real trick isn’t to have them use the RB as a decoy and keep the ball. It’s to have them keep the ball enough times to dismantle the defenses schemes. How many times is that? Well, everyone knows that each of the three guys we’re talking about can hurt you if you don’t respect his option to run. So, it probably doesn’t have to be all that many times to open up running/passing lanes for RBs and receivers.Report

              • Stillwater in reply to Stillwater says:

                But the real trick isn’t to have them use the RB as a decoy and keep the ball.

                If you’re reading this Coach Shanahan, I’m talkin to you.Report

              • Kolohe in reply to Stillwater says:

                Though it was a heck of trick, and the reason why RG3 and AM1 were able to each rack up franchise record yardage this year. (and make the playoffs)Report

            • Kaepernick also does a pretty good job of getting out of bounds/going down before he gets hit.

              I admit to ambiguous feelings about the fact that the QB can execute a designed running play and slide to avoid getting hit. Running backs and receivers would probably have longer careers on average if they were given the same opportunity.Report

    • Jaybird in reply to Stillwater says:

      I do find it irritating. In all seriousness, I know that Tebow is not even close to being all that. However, when he started, he did have a winning season, he did play in the playoffs and he did win a playoff game before he was eliminated from them.

      He moves mechandise and he is more than capable of enassing seats.

      I don’t know why a team that sucks (of which there are more than a handful) wouldn’t want to spend a year with him.Report

      • greginak in reply to Jaybird says:

        Teams want to build a franchise around a qb who will carry them for years. As the announcers say a zillion times, “its a qb driven league.” Renting a guy for a year doesn’t get you a franchise qb to build around nor does it get somebody you have hope for game experience. They don’t think he is a franchise qb.Report

        • Jaybird in reply to greginak says:

          This attitude makes sense for a team in the top, oh, 75% of teams. It makes less sense for the other ones.Report

          • Tod Kelly in reply to Jaybird says:

            I still love the idea of taking Tebow and making him a rotating role player – tight end, blocking back, extra LB, back up QB and return man. Like an athletic, versatile Refrigerator Perry.Report

          • James Hanley in reply to Jaybird says:

            That bottom 25% of the teams probably don’t have the personnel that would enable Tebow to have any success. The likely result would be a merciless pounding in just about every single game. If the O-line can’t create the proper spacing, you need a throwing quarterback, someone who can deliver a pass with reasonable accuracy in 4 seconds or less.

            Not that you might not be able to sell plenty of tickets on the premise that people will happily pay to see Tebow get smashed repeatedly.Report

  6. BlaiseP says:

    Thanks to the miracle of technology, I’ll be watching the Super Bowl on espn.com (always preferable to listening to a pair of hee-haw jackasses telling me what I don’t want to hear about things nobody needs to know ) and Animal Planet’s Puppy Bowl on cable. I’m hooked on the ESPN summary of football, with just enough text to make sense of what’s going on.Report

  7. Kazzy says:

    This year will likely be the first time I watched the Super Bowl in my own domicile since graduating college.
    It will be the first time in a number of years that I would genuinely be happy for either team winning.
    It is the first time since Bucs/Raiders that I don’t feel like I have a good read on an ATS bet (I haven’t always been right, mind you, but I have felt I had a good read each year since then).

    I’m currently leaning towards the 49ers if they stay at -3.5. I think it will be a highly competitive game. I think we’ll see a good dose of offense. I think we’ll see some real outside-the-box thinking from both coaches, which would be great.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

      I agree with this — it should be a good back-and-forth flow of the game, with the outcome in doubt until relatively late. A little less intense for me because “my” team isn’t playing, but I’ve picked San Francisco as my horse today and I’m looking forward to a fun afternoon of football with our friends.Report

  8. Tod Kelly says:

    “Tim Tebow, as far as I know, isn’t going to be playing.”

    Oh, ye of little faith.

    Be thee not Thomas, so full of doubt. Nor be thee Peter and deny thrice the presence of Tebow on this most Holy Sunday.

    Put your finger here, and see his hands; and put out your hand, and place it in that hand warmer thingy the QB wears upon his waist. Do not disbelieve, but believe.Report

  9. You gonna watch it anyway?

    That implies I would have otherwise.Report

  10. James Hanley says:

    I’ve disliked the Niners since their ’89 Super Bowl win, and I have a mild liking for Baltimore because a) they never deserved to lose their first team, and b) they went with a literary reference for their new team name, instead of something stupidly predictable (one of the early options was the Bulldogs, one of the most common nicknames in sports). But Colin Kapernick’s such a good story, and seems to be having so much joyful fun, that I could almost root for the Niners. If they lost a very close game but he played so well they couldn’t deny him the MVP, it would be a perfect outcome.Report

    • James Hanley in reply to James Hanley says:

      On second thought, I hope the Niners get smoked. I’m still bitter at Schilling about the World Series, and, dammit, that guy just doesn’t deserve that much happiness. I want him to taste bitter bitter tears, and look thoughtfully at the cold dark waters of San Francisco Bay on his Monday morning ferry ride.


    • Mike Schilling in reply to James Hanley says:

      89 Super Bowl (comeback against the Bengals) or 89 season/90 Super Bowl (blowout against the Broncos), and what about it led you to dislike them?Report

  11. Michelle says:

    We’ll definitely watch some of it. It’s the one football game a year The Russian will actually watch.

    The Montana-Rice 49ers were one of my all-time favorite teams, so I’ll be pulling for them (although I wouldn’t be heartbroken if the Ravens won).Report

  12. greginak says:

    Lining up wrong on the first play of the game is completely lametastic.Report

  13. greginak says:

    Kaepernik is not looking good at all.Report

  14. david says:


    Short version: Canadian wins contest to go to Super Bowl, but is denied entry to US because he was busted for 2 grams of weed… back in 1981. God bless the USA.Report

  15. greginak says:

    WOW this power outage is just the wildest promo for Star Trek Into Darkness. I wonder how it will go over?Report

  16. Burt Likko says:

    Well judging from the power surge New Orleans could not handle the massive voltage of the Destiny’s Child reunion.Report

  17. Jaybird says:

    Did the power ever go out when Tebow was playing?Report

  18. Jaybird says:

    More info: Apparently the guy in charge of the lights was stabbed by Ray Lewis.Report

  19. Jaybird says:

    So this will officially be known as the “Blackout Bowl” or something. “Power Outage Bowl”.

    And if San Francisco wins (something not impossible), that will be blamed on the power outage and the additional time to get their head together.


  20. James Hanley says:

    Receivers named Rice really come through for San Francisco in the Super Bowl, don’t they?Report

  21. greginak says:

    Akers = D’oh…running into Akers = Double D’ohReport

  22. Jaybird says:

    Davis, you are killing me.Report

  23. greginak says:

    I feel a bit sorry for the Harbaugh parents.Report

  24. Jaybird says:

    And that’s the game. The Ravens aren’t going to do anything but run for the next two minutes. No interceptions, no fumbles are likely…


  25. Michael Drew says:

    Don’t get the playcalling by the Niners on the series at/inside the five at the end. Were they trying to save the chance to get the ball again? I honestly think three runs and a pass is the best strategy for getting in there. They weren’t giving Kaep time to find an open receiver.Report

  26. Kazzy says:

    Quick thoughts…

    The 49ers playcalling was poor all game, especially when in striking distance of the end zone. I did not like it one bit. Was pretty surprised Harbaugh The Younger didn’t have a better game plan given the time to prepare.

    Flacco over Jones for MVP? Don’t love that call. I get that Flacco is the QB and played really well, but Jones had the two biggest plays of the game, saving Flacco from a poorly underthrown pass. It’s not a horrible choice and maybe even the right choice, but I’m tired of QBs getting all the love.

    Regarding the non-call in the end zone there at the end, I probably would have thrown a flag, but I don’t think it was an egregious blown call. Now, if the ref WOULD have called that play earlier in the game but “swallowed his whistle” at the end… that’s crap. Call the plays as they happen, plain and simple.

    I thought Baltimore got away with some pretty blatant holding while taking the safety. Had it been called, there is probably 4 or 5 more seconds on the clock, perhaps allowing SF one more play at the end. Not sure what the refs were watching there.

    Baltimore made the plays and deserved to win. That has been the name of the game for them all postseason, so a deserving champ are they. Kudos to them.Report

    • Mike Schilling in reply to Kazzy says:

      There were a lot of blown calls; Crabtree was getting mugged all game, and there was a blatant uncalled facemask by a Raven receiver against the guy who was covering him.

      Still, the 9ers didn’t play well enough to win, so no sour grapes from me. Congrats to the elder Harbaugh and his Ravens.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Kazzy says:

      No opinion on Flacco/Jones, but other than that, +1.

      The earlier no-calls support your view of that late hold, or tend to innoculate the ref for swallowing his whistle at the end. And it’s a legit way to call the game, if not my preferred way. Legit, that is, if it had gone both ways. I think B’more got calls on D all game because their defense’s reputation preceded them. (Can’t prove that, of course, but I do think that’s frequently what determines crews’ approaches – great offensive teams like the Patriots often get the benefit of the doubt on offense; famous defenses likewise get leeway). That’s not legit, but also not unusual. I also agree that the hold at the end *was a hold*, but not egregious enough to be an outrage.

      But your worry about the refs swallowing the whistle at the end is not off-base despite the earlier no-calls: that call is never going to be made in that situation at that point in the Super Bowl. It’s just not, which is all the more reason for the Niners to have run the ball on at least three plays that series. You’ve gotta understand that Baltimore is going to be able to do whatever it wants on a pass in that situation, especially after they’ve gotten to pretty much do whatever they want all game (jump the snap on the conversion, etc.). On a run they just have to stop you straight-up. So whatever should have been called on that 4th down, I blame Jim Harbaugh for not understanding better the situation he was really in on that series.Report

      • Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew says:

        I *HATE* throwing a fade on 4th down. A one-read play? For the game? Bah. Too many things can go wrong and leave the play dead before it starts. You’ve got to give the QB options there, which they didn’t do.

        Your theory on refs seems sound. I hadn’t thought about it that way but it seems to make sense.Report

        • Michael Drew in reply to Kazzy says:

          With a QB whose strength are neither reads nor soft touches. And two other passes, all with too much time on the clock. I can only think they were actually playing for another possession in case it didn’t work, which actually did almost happen. But it wasn’t really enough time for that to work; it was a terrible approach to that series, which, by the way, was for all the marbles. (And btw Jim H. was clearly if not playing for the penalty on the play, at least expecting to get it if it was there. And that was just not going to happen – barring true, true egregiousness, which he apparently thought there was on the play, and there was not. Oh well, get ’em next time Jim…)Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

            …I guess the single-read does fit CK’s current game then (duh), but as Mike says, not the touch pass for all the marbles. Not yet, anyway. Keeping it on the ground is what fits the team’s offensive strengths there, however… not to mention the time management requirements of that situation.Report

        • greginak in reply to Kazzy says:

          agree on the fade. also the fade is a touch pass, which isn’t really Kap’s speciality. It also requires a lot of practice between qb and receiver which Kap hasn’t had with his receivers. not a good choice in that spot. read option plays to the wide side of the field would be a better option ( pun intended)

          When the 9r’s got to first down inside the ten with 230 or so left they looked stuck. They ran Gore into the line which looked like they wanted to run a play to take the clock down to the two minute warning. so they used up a down trying to use up time so they didn’t give it right back to the R’s with plenty of time if they got a td. but then they had one less shot at a td. they were caught betwixt and between; a bit to much time, not enough downs.Report

          • Michael Drew in reply to greginak says:

            They’ve got so many options (natch) on the ground, though. I don’t know why they didn’t use them there. Do you think they were indeed thinking of trying to preserve the possibility of getting the ball back?Report

            • greginak in reply to Michael Drew says:

              I think they didn’t want to score a td before the two minute warning and leave the Raven’s with that much time to score. Harb was aiming to use as much time as possible while scoring.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to greginak says:

                You don’t do that by throwing passes any of which might score, or else stop the clock, though. You do that by making them stop you from gaining six yards on the ground over three running plays. And that’s not what they did.Report

              • greginak in reply to Michael Drew says:

                They used their first down to run straight into the line. Yeah that might be a decent play but not a play to get a td. Then they let the clock run to the two minute warning. he was trying to use up some clock, then go for the td.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to greginak says:

                Right, I just think even after the warning, there’s *still* too much time if you score on the next play. And from that distance, it’s tough (though certainly possible) to complete a pass that’s not a TD. But there’s a much higher likelihood of it it either scoring or stopping the clock than any given running play. And the SF offense is built around all sorts of running plays other than just running up the gut, so they didn’t have to keep doing that. They have felt their ground options were limited by the short field. I still think the passes after the 2-min break were really, really bad calls.

                …Unless he decided during the break that, you know what, no matter how we score a TD here, there’ll STILL too much time left, so now I gotta switch to a time-conservation strategy, even though I’ve already sunk 30 seconds into a time-*killing* strategy. Which, to be fair, would show nimbleness, but would also constitute an overall imperfect approach to the situation following the long Gore run. And hey: I’m the last guy to criticize these guys for coming in short of optimality. I just find watching these tactical calls play out under this time pressure fascinating. It’s what makes fball & bball such great games to watch on TV. (You can’t get nearly as good a feel for what exactly the situations are when you’re actually there). Especially football, because the combinations of the field position, and “down and distance,” clock and the different ways that different play outcomes determine what happens to the clock, and the weird scoring intervals (1, 2, 3, 6 pts) elements make each situation almost unique. It’s actually a really weird and wonderful game.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I’m sorry, but score the TD first and worry about the time later.Report

              • Michael Drew in reply to Michael Drew says:

                No, I agree. Like I said, I think more ground than air is your best bet for scoring there. Maybe pass on fourth down only. Or at least, it’s not much worse than just passing. And it would take more time off the clock, which does increase your chance of winning.Report

              • Kazzy in reply to Michael Drew says:

                I think you make the playcall that you think gives you the best chances of scoring. If that means running, run. If that means passing, pass.

                It probably doesn’t mean running directly into the line on 1st down, throwing an out short of the end zone on 3rd down, and tossing a fade on 4th down.Report

    • Michael Drew in reply to Kazzy says:

      …And yeah, certainly the Ravens played really well and deserved to win. They don;t decide how the game is going to be called, and this game is all about playing tough and letting the refs decide what’s in-bounds.Report

  27. Kazzy says:

    Also, I thought Beyonce was fantastic, save for the ‘wild-eyed look’ she was going for.Report

    • Michelle in reply to Kazzy says:

      Beyond–meh. I guess I’m an old ruddy-daddy but I found her act a bit too masturbatory for my tastes. I kept waiting for them to bring out a stripper pole.Report

    • Chris in reply to Kazzy says:

      I really have no idea how to judge the quality of a performance like that. I mean, it’s not really a musical performance, but a performance with a musical accompaniment, and I don’t really like her music, so… But even as a light and dance show, most of that stuff has been done a million times: the smoke, the wind, the sparks coming from the guitar, etc. (the only thing I don’t think I’d seen before was the multiple Beyonce bit), so what’s there to say about that? Plus, that sort of dancing is so formulaic and simple (as dancing — I couldn’t do it, but I can’t dance period) that I have a hard time saying that part of the performance was good. But everyone I’ve heard say anything about it has said that she kicked ass, so I guess she must have.Report

    • Burt Likko in reply to Kazzy says:

      I findMs. Knowles pleasant to look at. Never really cared for her music.

      She was prettier when she smiled and seemed to be enjoying herself. Not nearly so pretty when she was going for the “angry Beyonce” look.

      Didn’t seem to actually enjoy sharing the stage with Destiny’s Child, did she?Report

  28. Michelle says:

    And fuddy-duddy, not ruddy-daddy. WTF Apple?Report

    • Glyph in reply to Michelle says:

      The iPad spellchecker is the worst. You have to watch it like a hawk.

      What’s really funny to me is that (I’m not going to look it up) “ruddy-daddy” sounds like the exact OPPOSITE of “fuddy-duddy” – I would NOT trust a “ruddy-daddy”, whatever one is, alone with a sweet young thing.Report