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Inspired by Grand Poohbah Berube, this week’s best choices:

  • Has there ever been a more overrated quarterback than Peyton Manning?
  • The new Google Reader — a great idea brilliantly executed.
  • Bill Belichick has never coached a better pass defense than the 2011 Patriots.
  • If you had to bet your life on the South Carolina Republican primary, you’d obviously go with Jon Huntsman.
  • If you’re going to see one movie the rest of your life, make it Mickey Blue Eyes Jack and Jill.
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  • calling all toasters

    > How “Going Rogue” is replacing “The Power Broker” on the bookshelves of America’s intellectuals.
    > The real Real Estate Bubble is right now.
    > Could Nancy Grace be our next Vice President? And for which party?
    > Why liver is the other other white meat.

  • “Why Monkey Man is obviously not that good of a Stones song”

    That would be soooooooo Slate.

    • Scott Lemieux

      The Poohbah will never live that down. For good reason!

      • Pinko, please. When you’re talking about a band that’s capable of “Torn and Frayed” and “Dead Flowers” and “Tumbling Dice” and “All Down the Line,” “Monkey Man” is definitely B-list. Not B-list for most bands, mind you, B-list in relation to the Stones’ A-list.

        • Take it to Slate, my friend, where you will be among friends, apparently.


          Unrelated, I was thinking about Steve Fuller in outer space the other day, and it reminded me of the old Chez Bérubé,

          • And Steve Fuller is in outer space? Good to hear. Keep him away from my state.

        • Scott Lemieux

          If you had only replaced the overrated “Tumbling Dice” with “Sway” or “Gimmie Shelter” or “Moonlight Mile” or even “Rip This Joint,” I think I would find this convincing.

          • I’m not sure I’d go so far as to call “Tumbling Dice” overrated, though of course I understand that you mean only within the Stones amazing catalog, but I’d certainly argue that it’s not on the level of a song like “Sway.” Also, Alejandro Escovedo’s cover of “Sway” is my favorite Stones cover, to start another topic.

            • Matt T.

              Alvin Youngblood Hart does a pretty good version of “Sway” on the Stones tribute album Paint It Blue, a compilation of Stones covers by blues artists new and old. That’s actually a pretty decent disc, as far as tribute albums go. It’s got a killer rendition of “It’s All Over Now” by Bobby Womack, who wrote it (and is hilarious in the liner notes), and a superior version of “Tumbling Dice” by the late Johnny Copeland. In fact, it was Clyde’s last recording before he passed. Luther Allison and my main man Junior Wells also cut their last recordings for that disc, which is sort of weird now that I think about it.

          • I’m sorry, but every time I play side one of Exile “Tumbling Dice” just jumps off the turntable — and it’s not like it’s preceded by four pieces of chopped liver, either.

            But yes to “Sway” and “Gimme Shelter.” Now to write my Slate piece on how the Stones’ career really starts with Some Girls.

            • Scott Lemieux

              I mean, Some Girls is OK, but things really get good with Emotional Rescue.

              (As a Slate piece, this would pair well with (the non-bassist) Bill Wyman, who seems convinced that his argument that the Stones declined after Exile is highly original rather than universally shared.)

  • Bill Murray

    THE movie for the rest of your life is Taking Lives

  • “Why Joe Morgan should be in the Hall of Fame for announcing

  • Fighting Words

    – “Why Herman Cain’s Sexual Assault Allegations are Bad News for President Obama,” by David Weigel

    – “Democrats Should Embrace the Flat Tax and Lower Taxes for the Top 1%,” by Eliot Spitzer

    – “How the Democrats Can Win the Abortion Debate by Taking an Anti-Abortion Stance,” by William Saletan

    – “Why the Denver Broncos Should Re-sign Me as a Placekicker,” by Stefan Fatsis

    – “Yoga Mats Show How Mean Liberals Are,” by Rachel Larimore

    – DoubleX: “How Miller Lite Commercials During Football Games Prove How Immature Men Are”

    • Warren Terra

      The last one is not counterintuitive. Nor interesting.

      Disclaimer: haven’t watched commercial TV in quite a while, I suppose it’s possible that the current Miller Light campaign consists entirely of feminist lectures.

      • Fighting Words

        I’m not trying to offend with the last one.

        You’re right, it’s not contrarian in a typical “Slate-y” manner. Although I don’t think of Slate articles as “contradictory,” but more as “contrarian” – making arguments which nobody in their right mind would argue. I guess my best example was when one of their music writers wrote that Creed was one of the best bands ever (I could be mis-remembering, but I do remember a vigorous defense of Creed).

        However, with the last one, I was trying to kill two birds with one stone:

        1. To show my absolute hatred of the Miller Lite “Man Up” ads that infect every single NFL game that I watch. Even by beer commercial standards, these ads are inane, sexist, and unfunny. And since I’m pretty much the girliest guy I know, these Miller Lite ads hit really close to home for me.

        2. Every so often, I read a Double X article where they read a little too much into certain trends and try to make a larger point. For example, I think that there have been a few new shows that deal with “loss of manliness” (see “Last Man Standing,” “How to Be a Gentlemen,” etc.). There have been a few articles that are along the lines of, “What do these shows mean about masculinity today?” kind of thing. I feel that these articles are “bogus trend” articles.

        Anyway, swing and a miss on my part.

        • Fighting Words

          Please disregard Paragraph 2. It’s really late here, and I misread your initial post.

  • wengler

    Social Security is the brokest program in the history of the United States. It’s broker than broke can be.

    Oh nevermind, they were already beat to it.

  • R Johnston

    The nation is itching for John McCain to jump into the 2016 Presidential race.

    How Democrats can beat Republicans by throwing women and minorities under the bus.

    Why the Angels’ trade for Vernon Well will, in the end, be regarded as the fleecing of the Jays.

    When did Americans stop eating chocolate?

    How Bruce Tinsley took up the mantle of Charles Schultz.

    Why a head of broccoli in every pot wouldn’t just be unconstitutional but bad for American health as well.

  • Rob

    How eating red meat will save your life

    Democrats can only hold on to the Latino vote by coming down hard on illegal immigration

    Democrats’ Electoral success in 2012 depends on them reinstating DADT

    In order to support a free and honest press the US must resist prosecuting the Murdoch phone hacking

    Putin is the world’s best hope for continued democratization

  • TT

    “Why Peyton Manning Coming Back Next Year Will Destroy the Colts” -by Skip Bayless

    “Why I Would Have Kept Matt Cassell Over Tom Brady” -by Jacob Weisberg

  • Bob

    Peyton Manning is overrated. He’s one of the all-time great regular season QB’s, no question. But post season? Compare his numbers and see what happens when the pressure is on:

    • Rob

      He puts up a 88.3 rating against good pass defenses? Which is just below his regular season rating of 97.4?

      • Bob

        Compare TD/Int. Post season total he’s at 28/19. Of the 11 post seasons he’s been in he had two very good years – 2003 and 2009. Subtract those two years and you have him throwing 14 TDs/13 Ints in 9 post seasons. That isn’t great by any standard. It’s rather pedestrian.

        • Pacifist Viking

          Now there is great parody of a Slatey argument: if you don’t include the postseasons when Manning played excellent football, Manning is actually a pedestrian postseason QB!

          • Bob

            Gosh, I feel so stupid now. You are so right; 9 mediocre post seasons out of 11 in no way supports my argument that is he an average post season quarterback. No, the 2 good post seasons carry so much more weight and beyond any question erase the other 9 from the record books. Thank you for that brilliant insight that I had so egregiously overlooked.

            • Guest

              How are 5 seasons above his regular season average and an additional 2 above 90 evidence of only 2 good seasons?

            • Guest

              Also, let’s take your method and throw out his 2 worst seasons: we’re left with 25 TDs and 9 INTs. Sounds pretty terrible to me!

            • Pacifist Viking

              My point is that you cherry picked away the high quality in order to emphasize the lower quality: that’s not a sound argument. As Guest shows below, you can do the opposite and cherry pick away the lowest quality in order to emphasize the higher quality. Certainly Manning has had some team playoff disappointments (I would compare him to Steve Young: excellent QB with excellent team success who often suffered disappointment in the playoffs but won one Super Bowl), but he also has some individual games that are transcendent.

              I might highlight that playoff legend Tom Brady’s career playoff rating is 85.7, compared to Manning’s 88.4. Certainly that’s not a perfect measurement, but it certainly suggests that the common perception of Manning as a bad playoff QB is more myth than reality.



              • Pacifist Viking

                A more detailed comparison of numbers suggests that if Peyton Manning counts as a mediocre playoff QB, so does Tom Brady (I think the ypa are particularly tellling).

                Manning: 19 games
                63.1%, 5,389 yards, 29 TDs, 19 INTs, 7.51 ypa, 88.4 rating

                Brady: 19 games
                62.2%, 4,407 yards, 30 TDs, 16 INTs, 6.46 ypa, 85.7 rating

                • The only way anyone could thing Peyton Manning overrated is if they have never actually watched him play.

                  He is probably the greatest quarterback ever to play the damned game.

                  Stop wanking yourselves with statistics and go watch a football game. It’s a cool game if you actually look up from stats.com once in a while.

            • TT

              I haven’t looked at the stats in-depth, but are there any consistently great post-season QBs?

              • Scott Lemieux

                Bart Starr? Different game, of course, but I think he qualifies.

        • Guest

          2004 and 2005 were also good years for him, at least the first game in 2004 and you can’t blame him for the missed FG in 2005. Then in 2006, they won the Super Bowl, so I don’t think you can count that as a bad year. 2007 he had a rating of almost 100. 2008 one TD and no interceptions, which seems like a good ratio to me.

          So basically, after some initial struggles, he’s been great in the postseason as an individual, except for one year when they won the Super Bowl. I’m not seeing how any of the stats are supporting your argument. Seems like you’re doing well by Slate standards.

          • Scott Lemieux

            Well, nobody could deny that he has a great team around him, and the Colts could plug in his backup and be fine. He’s not really clutch.

            • Guest

              His swagger is on the low side.

            • Scott, you win the thread =)

          • Seems like you’re doing well by Slate standards.

            Indeed, the whole line of argument is totally Slaterrific! I think we have a winner.

            As I recall, the pro-Manning position was not that he is the best QB ever to play the game; it was that he is far more critical to the Colts’ fortunes than his contrarian detractors are wont to claim. You would think that a Colts team winless at midseason would be kinda dispositive of this question, but then you would underestimate the awesome power of Predictable Contrarianism.

            • mpowell

              Exactly. I think Bob went a step farther and actually started writing the article.

              That being said, I think there is something to be said about the Colt’s and Manning’s post season approach. Manning’s excellence relies on executing very precisely a specific number of highly practiced plays. This works well against most teams and during the regular season because it is not predictable enough to really cost them. But in the playoffs, I believe this has been a problem. Bilichick has a habit of saving plays for playoff games and I think this partly explains the Patriots superior post season performance. With Manning doubling as quasi-OC I don’t think this strategy is feasible (not to mention the Colts have spend the last 5 years insuring that his teammates all suck). So I think there is something to the argument that the Colts and Manning are better regular season than post season.

              But with the Colts performance this year I think it solidifies the case that Manning’s regular season value is so ridiculously high, even if his post season value isn’t as high, it’s still ridiculously high.

    • silly

      Only 4.5% of Brady’s passes in SuperBowls have resulted in a TD. Almost 11% of Bradshaw’s passes in SuperBowls resulted in a TD.

      Therefore Bradshaw is twice the SuperBowl QB that Brady is.

  • The Herman Cain story in Politico shows how terrified liberal elites are of the Cain campaign.

  • c u n d gulag

    For Digby commenters:
    -Since he can’t win – primary Obama.
    -Or, he needs to just step down and let Hillary run.
    -Democrats suck, so vote for Republicans – it’ll hasten the coming era of Liberalism.

    Too bad George Steinbrenner’s dead, or else the Yankees would have already signed Tebow to a Minor League deal for millions of dollars.
    Oh, wait – that one’s probably true!

  • Ron E.

    “The only way for Obama to win independents is to embrace the Ryan budget.”

    “Libya proves we need to keep troops in Iraq and Afghanistan (for 100 years).”

    “Obama should leave the Democratic Party and run as an independent with Bloomberg/Bayh/Simpson/Lieberman as his VP.”

  • rm

    Chocolate chip cookies: terrible with milk (they dissolve and get gross) and the twentieth century’s worst culinary invention.

    (I still can’t believe the linked article is real. Surely they were going meta.)

    • Halloween Jack

      The article was worth it, only for this comment:

      If websites were people, I would punch Slate in the dick.

  • rm

    Along the same lines: Kittens, not at all adorable.

  • rm

    Slate magazine: not actually contrarian!

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