Home / General / NFL Open Thread: Now With More Trolling of Self-Important Soccer Fans

NFL Open Thread: Now With More Trolling of Self-Important Soccer Fans

Comments
/
/
/
886 Views

Magary is approaching this as a Packers hater rather than a Seahawks fan, but our tribes share a common interest, and certainly I will never get tired of watching the highlights from this game:

Never gets old. In 2016, the memory of [the muffed onside] kick is basically all I have going for me. And Mike McCarthy is still employed! Isn’t that amazing? Imagine being in charge of the Packers and watching that game and not immediately firing McCarthy into the sun. I imagine Green Bay as a cursed hamlet where the evil fairy Maleficient has put everyone into an eternal death sleep.

Mike McCarthy has never been a good in-game coach, but that game was a bad coaching masterpiece. It was the Beethoven’s Seventh of bad coaching. The ridiculous PUTTING THE POINTS ON THE BOARD IN THE NATIONAL. FOOTBALL. LEAGUE. when he had a chance to bury Seattle early. Having his team completely unprepared for one of the most obvious setups for a fake field goal you’ll ever see. The arbitrary second half rush target. The three-man-with-a-spy-on-Russell pass rushes on 3rd-and-long. It’s not easy to lose a game when you have Aaron Rodgers — OK, not a fully healthy Rodgers, but 85% of Aaron Rodgers is still a Hall of Famer — and the other team’s QB has barely more completions than picks for the first 55 minutes, but he did it. (We should also mention Jermaine Kearse here. He caught the winning TD in overtime and yet still might have had the largest negative value of any wide receiver in a single game I’ve ever seen. He was directly responsible for at least 3 of the 4 picks.) But he did it.

I suppose it’s unfair to compare McCarthy to Jeff Fisher. Not because of the Super Bowl ring — I actually don’t think winning one with Rodgers is any more impressive than being less from a yard from OT with Steve McNair as your QB, and Fisher’s team was 13-3 while McCarthy’s was 10-6 — but because of how bad Fisher’s teams have been for so long. But I really don’t understand why McCarthy still has his job. A team with that caliber of QB in today’s NFL should be better. And, yes, I realize that writing this will ensure that Rodgers puts up 450 yards against the Thomas-less Seahawks.

I also agree with Barnwell that while he’s played very well, given the line he’s running behind Elliott has not been the best running back in the league this year. But in terms of the MVP discussion it should be moot anyway. If you think even the best running back in the league is more valuable than 12 games of Tom Brady or 16 games of Derek Carr or Matt Ryan or Von Miller or Kahlil Mack, I’d send your cv to Stan Kroenke’s toupee immediately — after all, any position in the organization but owner and head coach might be up for grabs soon, and he’ll like the cut of your jib.

Lest I be accused of being too parochial, I should note that the Seattle Sounders are your MLS champions. I did almost flip over from the epochal Flames/Jets tilt I was watching (Laine and Tkachuk — hell of a rookie class this year!) to see the end, but saw it was already in fucking penalty kicks so I didn’t bother. Anyway (spoiler alert!) the Sounders won the league title despite having zero shots on goal because the league awards its league championship essentially with a coin-flipping contest. So, sorry, but my longstanding conviction that THE BEAUTIFUL GAME is by far the least interesting of the five major North American professional sports stands.

FacebookTwitterGoogle+Share
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Linkedin
  • Pinterest
  • Domino

    As a Chiefs fan this season so far has been great, though more in terms of how fascinating it is to watch this team appear to be ready to lose multiple games, on to find a way to win in the end.

    The Chargers game week 1, down 17-0 at Carolina, down by multiple score to Atlanta, the comeback win at Denver, nearly blowing the lead against Oakland a few days ago.

    It’s not that the Chiefs are a bad team – but damn, it’s like they are consistently flukey, and that the end result more often than not (I was convinced they would somehow find a way to comeback against Tampa Bay) is a win.

    The loss of Derrick Johnson for the season hurts, but isn’t crippling in the same way the loss of Earl Thomas (could be) to the Seahawks.

    • Scott Lemieux

      They’ve definitely had some of the karma the Broncos had last year. But they are 8th in DVOA, so they’re a legitimately a good team.

  • Ronan

    Because 7 hours of 25 stone muscle bound goons banging into each other to make 5 yards per 20 mins all the while a pack of hyenas analyse the game through a combination of overwrought battle metaphors and statistical illiteracy is the peak of sporting excellence ?

    • wjts

      I believe Scott’s position is that an interminable ice skating exhibition periodically interrupted by bouts of fisticuffsmanship in which it is physically impossible to actually observe the event that counts as scoring is the peak of sporting excellence.

      • Ronan

        There really is no limit to the mans depravity.

      • Philip

        It isn’t hard to beat the other major North American sports. Basketball games could be cut to their last 2 minutes without losing anything. Baseball is best appreciated via spreadsheet. Football is as described above. Hockey stands above.

        And it goes without saying that the MLS is a sad excuse for a soccer league.

      • rewenzo

        Whoah whoah whoah. The NHL puts on the most consistently watchable product of the big 4 and soccer. Basektball is pointless until the last two minutes of a close game, during which it becomes an interminable slog. Baseball is boring and pointless unless it is late in an important game. Football is pretty good, but is only on once a week. I admit that the NHL needs more goal scoring, but NHL games are usually close and usually moving.

    • XTPD

      I take offense to that remark! Spotted hyenas are amazing.

      • efgoldman

        I take offense to that remark! Spotted hyenas are amazing.

        *Especially* on ice, with skates and sticks.

  • XTPD

    (Possibly an) Extremely Stupid Question: Why do we have Olympic soccer if the World Cup already exists?

    • Domino

      Nothing for the men’s side – every country agrees to treat it as a U-23 (or is it U-21?) game, though teams are allowed to bring 1 player over the limit if they want to (Neymar was on Brazil’s olympic team in Brazil).

      For the women’s side, it’s treated as the 2nd biggest event besides the World Cup.

      • EliHawk

        U-23, because they use existing U-21 tournaments as qualifiers and it’s not fair for kids to qualify for the Olympics and then turn into a pumpkin before the tournament starts. And it’s 3 overage players, not 1.

        As to why it exists? Soccer at the Olympics actually predates the World Cup, and nobody wants to get rid of it even though FIFA doesn’t like it diluting their World Cup brand (hence the age limit). It’s actually kind of neat because you have teams often win that wouldn’t sniff a World Cup title, like Mexico or Nigeria or Cameroon, can win the Gold.

        Plus it’s usually not that hard to stage (most countries have soccer stadiums already) and can be spread around the country in order to let other places get Olympics love. For example, for LA ’84, even with 10 games and the final at the Rose Bowl, half the Groups only played in Boston and Annapolis at Harvard and Navy’s stadiums, the rest of the games, including half the quarters and one semi, were played at Stanford. Atlanta ’96 did one better: No soccer was actually played in Atlanta itself. Everything before the semis, men and women, was played in Miami (Orange Bowl) Orlando (Citrus Bowl) Birmingham (Legion Field) or DC (RFK). The semis, gold and bronze medal games were all played in Athens at Georgia’s Sanford Stadium, where they famously/infamously had to remove the ‘hedges’ in order to fit the pitch. I was actually at those games, in part because it was easier to be out of town in Athens the second week of the games than deal with the traffic, but it was an amazing, fun time.

    • wjts

      Speaking as a soccer fan, I have no idea.

    • keta

      Money. Lots and lots of money.

      • wengler

        The right answer. The only question is why FIFA has only been able to neuter it instead of totally destroying it.

        • Philip

          Bribes to the right FIFA officials by the only organization more corrupt than FIFA itself, the IOC?

    • Captain Oblivious

      Why do we have the Olympics at all?

      • LosGatosCA

        To display/honor world class corruption?

  • mattius3939

    I watched 110 minutes of that shitty, gawdawful MLS championship game last night. In the first 45 minutes there were more throw-ins than passes(!) As someone who reads more about sports than watches, I understood why everyone in the international soccer community looks down on the MLS. It looked very much like a couple of mediocre teams trying to find their rhythm at the beginning of the season – not the two best teams MLS has to offer by the end. Ugh.

    On a lighter note, Simmons is high on the Cowboys, which means tomorrow’s podcast with the cuz is going to feature a lot of time on missed signs and why didn’t we see that “why didn’t we see this coming?” and how the Ponzi Giants just got “it.”

    • wjts

      I attended pretty much every Chicago Fire home game from 1998 to 2002. The quality of play has never been great – up around the level of major soccer countries’ second division at its best – but
      it was still a fun time.

      • mattius3939

        Yeah, I can understand that. There were frequent shots of a particular group of Toronto fans last night – every man had a beard – and they looked like they were having a blast. They lived and died with Altidore’s and Giovinco’s shots. TBH, they were more entertaining than the game!

        I’m sure they had Seattle’s fan primed to show, but as Scott said – Seattle didn’t have a single shot-on-goal.

        Seattle’s offensive prowess aside, I bet MLS officials were very happy with last night’s showing. The crowd was lively and full. MLS reminds me a lot of the UFC about 10 years ago – they’re clearly building something special.

        That said, MLS is not special yet.

    • Colin Day

      Which 10 minutes did you miss?

      • mattius3939

        I gave up on the game half-way through overtime.

        • Colin Day

          You’re stronger than I am. I shut it off at the start of overtime.

          • mattius3939

            That was tempting. The game was clearly heading towards PK’s. But Giovinco’s supposed to be running circles around everyone in MLS, and I’ll watch Altidore run all day. I held out hope as long as I could, despite all evidence to the contrary.

            I don’t feel this way about all sports – but soccer overtime sucks. Everyone’s winded, too many starters get pulled, the game gets really conservative, yuck. And PK’s are anticlimactic. The goalie has no time to react! The only bit of tension is whether the goalie guesses which way to jump before the ball’s even kicked.

          • Ahenobarbus

            So you missed the one truly great moment of the match: Frei’s save on Altidore.

    • trollhattan

      NWSL seems like a better spectator experience. Was lucky to see the Thorns and Red Stars in Portland in front of something like 17k fans and the level of play was top-notch. Didn’t hurt that several World Cup and Olympics players were on the field, probably indicating the league hasn’t spread the talent pool too thin. Funny enough, living in California the Thorns are effectively my home team.

      • apogean

        8The overall quality of players is much higher. Every team in the league has two or three nationals from one country or another and they work hard in comparison to the primadonnas in the men’s league. Attendance is trending upwards for everyone, even the already robust Thorns (sold out three games last season!) But tickets are way cheaper than MLS. I can go to a game and buy two hugely overpriced microbrews and still save money compared to the Timbers.

    • wengler

      It didn’t help that they played it outside in December in Toronto.

  • Fighting Words

    I hate Thursday Night Football.

    Yes, I know that ship has already set sail and the NFL gets a good 3.0 Nielsen rating and so forth. But, from a competition standpoint it is just unfair to have a West Coast team play a team two time zones away on a short week. Especially a division rival with division and playoff implications.

    Also, the players seem to hate Thursday games and according to a recent Sports Illustrated piece, players aren’t even ready to fully practice until Wednesday (especially late in the season).

    • I had a serious LOL a couple of weeks ago when Al Michaels kept promoting the Dallas-Minnesota Thursday game as two teams with a full week of rest since they had both played on Thanksgiving, a good reminder that literally everyone hates Thursday Night Football except the owners and networks.

      • pianomover

        Thursday football might be better in Seattle if this law passes. Yahoo

        • Colin Day

          Trumpism? Were fans ever allowed to bring guns to New Jersey Generals games?

  • keta

    …(Laine and Tkachuk — hell of a rookie class this year!)…

    Three of the top five rookie scoring spots are currently held by Toronto Maple Leafs. Can competency in the front office finally turn around the fortunes of the Leafs?

    • kped

      They’ll need to shore up their defense first. Reilly is very good and young, but they’ll need more of that. Don’t want to be Oilers East, where you build up a great group of forwards but lose 70 games a year because you forgot to build up the back end.

      • Scott Lemieux

        The Leafs are already better in year 2 of their rebuild than the Oilers are in year whatever. Hiring Mike Babcock helps. I don’t see Lamoriello trading one of the best forwards in the NHL for a second-pairing defenseman, either.

        • kped

          Yeah, the Babcock hire was huge. Really, getting Shannahan was the biggest step. He’s built a strong front office, with old school and new school guys. Lou has some young analytics guys (30 year old Kyle Dubas is big on analytics, he’s the assistant GM). It’s the first time I’ve had “hope” as a Leafs fan in a decade.

          also, what a great rookie crop. THe past two seasons will deliver the leagues next wave of superstars. McDavid, Laine, Eichel, Matthews. Those 4 could be all time greats.

        • Jackov

          Year two of the second rebuild in a decade.
          23 24 29 22 26 10 23 27 30

          The Matthews version certainly looks like it will end better than the Kessel version did.

  • econoclast

    Soccer is the McDonald’s of sports — a bland homogenized product the same world over.

    • mattius3939

      This is a bad take.

    • Camilla Highwater

      How odd, then, that it is by far the most popular and passion-arousing sport in the world.

      • Scott Lemieux

        that it is by far the most popular and passion-arousing sport in the world.

        This does not actually rebut econoclast’s point — McDonald’s is very popular.

        • mattius3939

          Imagine taking away McDonald’s from some European country. Now imagine taking away soccer. This argument is akin to those who argue Hitler is a leftist because he was vegan or some shit. You have to ignore a whoooooooole lot of important differences to make that comparison.

        • EliHawk

          The whole McDonalds v. Soccer comparison is probably apt vis a vis globalization but not in describing the game. One thing that used to be neat about the World Cup was that it featured a real contrasting of styles: Each national team was made up of players who mostly played in the team’s national league, which usually had a unique style of play. So the Italians would be super defensive, the Dutch playing at Total Football, the English playing ‘hit and hope,’ the Argentines played one way and the Brazilians another, and so on.

          Except, as globalization comes in, you end up with the McChampions League: Your best players don’t play at home, they all go to Europe, to play on the best teams there, who end up playing similar, efficient styles, that are then beamed back on the satellite to show the kids how to really play. So you don’t just get McDonalds as a product, you’re teaching the kids how to cook it. (Not that this is unique to soccer, mind you. The NBA/NFL used to feature more diffuse playing styles between teams; college, with its premiums on coaches over players, is the rare place where the ‘systems’ still rule.)

          • CrunchyFrog

            Argentines played one way

            I’m not that familiar, so maybe you can help me here. My limited observation is that it was “run hard and fast, try to draw a foul, act like your leg was amputated, repeat”.

            • mattius3939

              I’m not that familiar, so maybe you can help me here. My limited observation is that it was “run hard and fast, try to draw a foul, act like your leg was amputated, repeat”.

              Said playing style was neither unique to Argentina, nor out of style today. Last night’s championship game was a collection of toddlers determined to get their tantrums acknowledged.

              It was a bad display.

        • Domino

          Mcdonald’s does not elicit any passion, let alone from over a billion people.

          This is a take that deserved to be put in the bin and set on fire the second it was thought. That fact you want to try to entertain it doesn’t look good for you.

      • efgoldman

        How odd, then, that it is by far the most popular and passion-arousing sport in the world

        Validates the comparison. McDonald’s is by far the most popular food franchise in the world. Also, tasteless and possibly makes you vomit.

        • howard

          It may be that my taste buds are off, but I personally find watching Lionel Messi much more satisfying than a big Mac.

          YMMV.

      • Captain Oblivious

        Cricket is the second-most popular and is even more snooze-inducing than soccer. Especially the endless test matches.

        People just got no taste.

        • Camilla Highwater

          Are there any sports that you do like?

    • wengler

      I expect more red-baiting in an American anti-soccer Hot Take(TM).

      • econoclast

        What bugs me about soccer fandom is the treacly “it’s the same the world over”. (FIFA has a whole museum devoted to this theme.) If you like soccer, you like soccer. I like American football, even though this fact makes me feel bad about myself at least once a week, so I’m not one to judge. But Jesus Christ, the paeans to how cosmopolitan it is… People who would be horrified at the idea of one language, or one cuisine are just enthralled at the idea of one sport. Sports should be an expression of local peculiarity. Sports should be like curling, or cricket, where it make sense to fans, but the reaction of everyone else is “What is this shit!”

        • keta

          Sports should be like curling, or cricket, where it make sense to fans, but the reaction of everyone else is “What is this shit!”

          Uh, why?

          • Domino

            Going to second this – apparently econoclast is only happy to watch byzantine sports with rule books that are over 400 pages long. I guess there is no beauty in something so simple that children can (for the most part) pick up the game and know how to play.

            • econoclast

              That is correct. Children can pick up hopscotch quickly too. Shall we televise hopscotch matches?

              Children also love McDonald’s. Clearly the world’s chefs should cater to them as well.

              • Domino

                I’m glad you totally ignored my point, good for you!

                When you feel like it, if you could, oh I don’t know, defend your position as to why having incredibly complex rules makes a game superior?

                Do you only eat frog legs? I take it you can’t bear the thought of consuming food a child might also enjoy. I guess it makes you a difficult dinner host to plan for.

                • econoclast

                  I fucking love McDonald’s. I’ve eaten in McDonald’s in like 15 countries. I just don’t take it as a sign of my taste and discernment when I’m in Paris and I eat at McDonald’s rather than having magret de canard.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  defend your position as to why having incredibly complex rules makes a game superior?

                  None of the major North American pro sports have complex fundamental rules. Any halfway bright elementary school student can — and many do — figure out how to plan and watch these sports easily. Obviously, the major sports leagues (particularly the NFL) have complicated rules at the margin, but it’s not actually important to understand, say, what a catch is in the NFL or a balk in baseball or the rule for when a marginal potential goal is legal in the NHL to enjoy watching the sports.

        • EliHawk

          What bugs me about soccer fandom is the treacly “it’s the same the world over”.

          The rules are the same the world over. The way it’s played, from style to tactics, frequently isn’t. Which can be the fun part. The same way it’s more fun to, say, watch a spread option underdog face an SEC powerhouse than it is to watch two cautious, pro-style teams go back and forth in the trenches.

  • cffionn
    • econoclast

      I just blocked him on Facebook. It felt good.

    • Scott Lemieux

      From soup to nuts that is amazingly stupid even by Freddie’s standards.

      • kped

        Several people have compared the post-election lunacy of the Democrats to the birther movement within the GOP.

        Should i read on? that first sentence is just nuts. First, what lunacy? Second, similar to the birther movement????????

        Seriously, Freddie is a guy who pleads with liberals to get out of their bubbles. “Stop watching Daily Show/John Oliver, it makes you lose”. But if this is what he is seeing, clearly this fucker is so far ensconced in his own twitter leftie bubble that he is beyond saving.

        But I find the comparison very apt when it comes to the general tenor of current Democratic messaging: conspiratorial, self-pitying, defensive, and totally resistant to any calls for self-reflection or self-criticism.

        I mean, seriously, does he know what the birther movement is? That’s still the first fucking paragraph.

        • Scott Lemieux

          You also have to like how he just completely excludes the possibility that it’s really bad that the FBI threw the election and the media coverage was awful and the Clinton didn’t run an especially good campaign and the Democrats need self-reflection and self-criticism. But I made the mistake of not being able to resist pointing this out on Twitter and I’ve been having to mute idiots in my mentions for two days.

          Bonus points for 1)the assertion that different messaging could have gotten the press to stop talking about EMAILS! I didn’t know that the most important left-wing thinker in America was Mark Halperin and 2)the assertion that any discussion of what led to Trump winning is “messaging.” Projection, as always, is a hell or a drug.

          • XTPD

            He also popped up on your Russia thread, if anyone wants to take a whack at him.

            • kped

              Fun times!

              Scott, since Freddie came on his own…can’t you fisk his latest blog post for fun on the front page? Or is that just too easy?

              • Scott Lemieux

                I dunno, Rob or Erik can have it if they want. The only thing that tempts me is that it would produce another amusing round of WHY DOES THIS BLOG WRITE ABOUT NOTHING BUT FREDDIE DEBOER commentary.

                • Ahuitzotl

                  WHY DOES THIS BLOG WRITE ABOUT NOTHING BUT NOT WRITING ABOUT FREDDIE DEBOER????

          • kped

            I’m just trying to figure out what the goal of the internet leftists is. I mean, it’s clearly not to persuade. It seems like they think if they are giant assholes online to other liberals loud enough and long enough, we’ll all just disappear and…socialist utopia? I’m not sure how that works…

            Anyway, if there are any who read this, I’d recommend instead of the endless “you stupid fucking liberals better listen to us”, you learn some lessons of your own, and maybe have some candidates you like build the relationships that can help them win a primary in 4 years.

            (also, can’t his whole fucking screed be re-purposed for Bernie bros online and their reaction to the primary? Freddie, if you think Liberals are the ones resorting to conspiracy theories, may I introduce you to Debbie Wasserman Schultz? Christ, some people have absolutely no self awareness).

            • Scott Lemieux

              Really, let’s not play along with the idea that these guys represent “leftists” in any respect. Not only is “only the campaign tactics of Democratic candidates determines elections” not a “left” position, it’s a position beloved by generations of Beltway hacks.

              • Yes.

              • Captain Oblivious

                “Professional contrarian clickbait troll” is the only truly accurate label for D-Boner and his ilk.

        • cffionn

          my favorite part is by far where he dismisses the truth value of beliefs as being material to how we evaluate them. the ‘so what if its true’ argument

          • Scott Lemieux

            Exactly. It’s amazing that anyone takes the guy seriously, but even on the left masculinist posturing can make up for not knowing anything about the subjects you like to discuss.

          • Col Bat Guano

            I thought this

            Claiming that the leaked Clinton emails were uniquely damaging to her campaign after months of insisting that there was nothing meaningful or important in said emails

            was his finest moment.

  • Allow me to offer a concurring opinion with Justice Lemieux. 105 minutes of no scoring ended with a coin flip is fine I guess if you want to design a really boring game. That this gets portrayed as the Greatest Game in Human History is ridiculous. I grant that I enjoy watching it when I am around others who care. And I like international matches because I have to think of random historical reasons why to cheer for one country over the other.

    Except for the U.S., which I always root against for two reasons. First, because fuck the U.S., especially when playing against any Latin American nation. Does Colombia beating the U.S. make up for a century of violence caused in no small part by the U.S. or the theft of Panama to build the canal? No, but I’m cheering for Colombia anyway. Second, the relationship between soccer and nationalism is far from the world’s healthiest thing (thanks Limeys!). And the left usually eschews nationalistic displays. So watching lefties who don’t like other sports get into soccer and root for the U.S. against poorer nations from the Global South is rich.

    • keta

      Boy, your attitude sounds much more healthy, Erik! (cute little smiley face emoticon thingee here.)

    • mattius3939

      This is a bad take too. Something about soccer in the US just brings out the trolls in people.

      Does Colombia beating the U.S. make up for a century of violence caused in no small part by the U.S. or the theft of Panama to build the canal?

      Jesus.

      Second, the relationship between soccer and nationalism is far from the world’s healthiest thing (thanks Limeys!)

      Double Jesus.

      So watching lefties who don’t like other sports get into soccer and root for the U.S. against poorer nations from the Global South is rich.

      Goddamn, Erik.

      • It’s pretty much my favorite hot take.

        • XTPD

          Also: Didn’t you (correctly!) call [BONERS] a piece of shit for hoping the US lost in the Olympics?

          • That does not seem like something I would do, but who knows. I wasn’t rooting for the US in the Olympics though, largely because I just didn’t care, outside of Oregon track athletes.

            • XTPD

              You did so back in August.

              • I was saying that Freddie’s take that rooting for US athletes over doping Russians was equivalent to wanting a Cold War was particularly stupid. I don’t think that rooting for the US to beat Nicaragua in soccer is equivalent to rooting for the Contras. I just amuse myself by rooting for Nicaragua because of Sandino.

    • trollhattan

      The Olympics men’s final going to PKs was sports suckage of the highest order. Three hours I’ll never have back.

      • Nearly a half-night of sleep there!

      • Camilla Highwater

        So don’t watch next time. Perhaps dressage or synchronized swimming might be more to your taste.

        • efgoldman

          Perhaps dressage or synchronized swimming might be more to your taste.

          Reading one of those paper things… ah! a book!!

        • trollhattan

          Ooh, snap. Yanks love Rafalca.

    • CrunchyFrog

      If the 0-0 tie were a rare occurrence in championship soccer I could almost see it being worth it as one of those special games everyone remembers decades later. But it’s not. Brazil-Italy 1994. US-China 1999. Just to start. Add in Germany-Argentina 1990 – yes, 1-0 based on a very late penalty kick to Germany. Wheeee! My adrenalin is really going now!

      So, if you can’t do a full replay – and I appreciate the logistics issues – and the guys are too tired to play sudden death (personally I’d be in favor of infinite substitutions in overtime, but the soccer world considers that a taboo worse than incest) – then decide the game through standard set pieces. Each team gets a corner kick, alternating sides. Then free kicks from 50 meters out, alternating sides. And so on. The set piece ends when the other team gains possession. If the guys are too tired cut the 30 minute overtime to 15. Or dump it altogether.

      And if you do keep overtime for FSM’s sake go back to sudden death – aka the “golden goal”. Why, after one team has taken the lead at, say, 105 minutes do you feel the glandular need to prolong the game for another 15 minutes and risk having a random shootout to decide it?

      • mattius3939

        Football has several ways to score, whereas soccer has only one. I wonder, were football to do away with FG’s, would we see more ties? If the Eagles, for example, don’t have a pair of field goals, would Washington be as motivated to score a td? Especially if a tie resulted in 1 point apiece.

      • wengler

        If you like penalty kicks, you must love golden goal. The reason it was scrapped was because it encouraged both teams to take absolutely no chances in extra time.

        • Ronan

          Deleted. Wrong place eta (actually, was correct place but couldn’t be bothered retyping it.

      • Bill Murray

        well 3 in 26 years is a huge amount … it’s more than one every nine years

        • CrunchyFrog

          How often are there world cup finals? Then go figure the ratio. You remember from pre-Algebra – something about numerator and denominator.

          • Ronan

            Well you only have two, why the fuck is China vs USA thrown in there ?

            • CrunchyFrog

              Not a sexist.

              • Ronan

                I think it takes more than that

          • Bill Murray

            There are many more major championships than the World Cup, even if you just consider the International men’s and women’s game — there have been 12 World Cup finals and around 30 Men’s Continental Championships.

            You probably don’t remember about not being a dick about stuff you are clueless about, you sound very Republican

    • econoclast

      I find it hilarious when the US wins CONCACAF because for every other country soccer success is the MOST IMPORTANT THING EVER, while for the US it’s barely news.

      Plus, dude, you’re supposed to cheer for your country. The actual inhabitants of the Global South aren’t waiting with bated breath for you to cheer for their teams.

    • koolhand21

      That this gets portrayed as the Greatest Game in Human History is ridiculous
      Who portrayed the fucking MLS cup as what your fevered imagination called it? That’s a frankly stupid comment but I suppose you can have that opinion. more than a billion people disagree but, hey, what do they know, right?
      MLS, especially that game last night, is maybe Non Conference quality in the U.K. But hardly representative of the game. Also, too, shots on goal is a stat but not definitive. Hitting the frame, e.g., does not count as a shot on target but it is pretty damn close. Etc etc.

      • Scott Lemieux

        IIRC Seattle had like three attempted shots.

      • Domino

        MLS, especially that game last night, is maybe Non Conference quality in the U.K.

        MLS teams (except for the bottom few) are on a skill level around the upper Championship (tier 2) to the bottom of the Premier league (Boro, Sunderland) in quality.

        Why so many people want to belittle the talent on display in the country is beyond me.

        • koolhand21

          Well, it was in Canada, but I take your point. I don’t want to belittle it but so much of it is crap and while we’ll never know for sure, the MLS has comparatively huge payroll for the actual quality on the pitch. Big spends on a few good players but, okay, Jozy played in the Premier League for Sunderland a team at the bottom and has escaped relegation for the last few years.

          While there, he scored ONE goal in the league playing 42 games. He also played for Hull City, relegation fodder, scoring ONE goal in 28 games. He did score at a 1in 2 rate in the Dutch league for AZ Alkmaar but the Dutch like goals and he’s not alone in scoring at a high rate but coming to the U.K. And doing poorly?
          The Italian national team coach wouldn’t select Giovinco for his team why? B/c he played MLS.
          Everyone slates Jürgen Klinsmann but he was right about US players needing to play abroad (generally) etc etc. the league may be better than conference level but that crap last night *shudder *

    • nkh

      Jeez. That’s unfair Erik. I got into soccer primarily to watch former European imperial powers continue to exert dominance overt their former colonial possessions. Oh yeah, and because I grew up playing it, kind of liked watching it and didn’t really give a shit when people said it just wouldn’t allow me to really get in touch with the white working class.

      • Colin Day

        I got into soccer primarily to watch former European imperial powers continue to exert dominance overt their former colonial possessions.

        Yeah, the way that Portugal dominates Brazil.

        • nkh

          I seem to recall that Portugal had a number of African possessions that don’t have great international soccer records against them. I’m fairly certain that France and oh, England, Belgium what have you, have rather good results against their former colonies. I rather suspect the Netherlands don’t lose much to whatever they’re calling the Dutch east indies nowadays. But yes. Brasil are sometimes good at soccer. Showed me.

          • XTPD

            One of the True/Slant writers argued that Portugal was easily the worst empire when it came to former colonies’ current statuses. (Of course the obvious rebuttal is that Belgium would be #1, but then again owning two colonies isn’t an “empire” so much as it is a “trophy”).

            • wjts

              Belgium’s two colonies covered more of Africa than did Portugal’s four.

              • XTPD

                You neglect Brazil and East Timor.

                • wjts

                  Yeah, I somehow thought the discussion was confined to African colonies. But Brazil does pretty well for itself, so I think that may take Portugal out of the running for worst current status of former colonial possessions (at least in aggregate).

                • XTPD

                  IIRC Portugal was amazingly kleptocratic even by imperial standards – completely shunning even rudimentary development in Africa – and if Jotto is correct that, along with its forced labor regime, is what prevents Salazar from being considered a rightwing analogue to Castro. (Though the fact that this niche is almost always held by fucking Pinochet has always been baffling).

    • wengler

      The most diverse US sports team by far really appreciates your Hot Take on how them losing will cure all the ills of American imperialism.

      • XTPD

        By the powers of naughtiness, I command Erik’s particular HOT TAKE to be really, really HOT!

      • YRUasking

        You know ‘diverse’ in this context basically means ‘not too many black people’ right?

        • wengler

          HA! You’re so right. I wasn’t talking about how the USMNT is made up of players that have grown up all around the world and are of radically different cultural and racial backgrounds. Nope. I was saying at least there are a couple whiteys on the team!

    • wjts

      First, because fuck the U.S., especially when playing against any Latin American nation.

      There is literally nothing on earth that will get me to root for a Latin American soccer team over any possible opponent. I’ll root for England – England! – before I root for Mexico. Maybe even Spain.

      • Philip

        And that’s not even mentioning the South American teams that play like they’re trying to take people’s legs off.

    • XTPD

      I actually recall that back when he was True/Slant’s resident concern troll, Ethan Epstein wrote an article that blamed South Korea’s soccer riots on the games being really boring. (Of course, that theory’s also what kicks off the plot to “The Cartridge Family,” which should give you an idea of his post’s originality).

      • ASV

        I was in Seoul last summer and went to a FC Seoul/Jeju United game, the only pro soccer match I’ve ever attended. After 75 minutes Seoul had a 3-1 lead and started subbing to strength their defense, at which point they promptly gave up three goals and lost 4-3. Quite exciting as soccer goes! Only about 17K people in the 62K-capacity World Cup stadium, so I guess not the critical mass needed for a riot.

        • XTPD

          Glad you enjoyed the game, although the joke wasn’t especially funny in the first place. From what I’ve read, Ethan Epstein (who’s now a Weekly Standard associate editor, and who spent the whole campaign as a Trump weed-carrier) is aggressively worthless when he’s not talking about Northeast Asia, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he was especially poor there too.

    • Captain Oblivious

      Soccer could be massivly improved by (a) playing on a smaller pitch, and (b) using a fixed line (a la hockey) for the offside rule instead of the position of the defender.

      Won’t happen, of course.

      • Colin Day

        The midfield stripe acts that way, but it’s far from the goal line.

  • CrunchyFrog

    Imagine being in charge of the Packers and watching that game and not immediately firing McCarthy into the sun.

    I know, but it’s hard. Consider that Elway fired John Fox and it was considered “shocking” and a lot of pundits jumped on him for doing so. Yet, he didn’t fire Fox after his brain dead decision to kneel with two timeouts, tie game, and the best offense in football on the field. Nor did he fire him after his decision not to practice the silent count for the six weeks before a Super Bowl in which 70% of the in-person fans would be from Seattle. Nor did he fire him after years of Thank You for Not Coaching awards, including the dumbest challenge flag in all human history. Nope, he had to completely fuck up yet another game against the Colts – this time in the playoffs at home – due to poor preparations and overly conservative defensive play calling before the cumulative effect of 3 years of playoff disaster finally persuaded Elway to fire him.

    A lot of GMs just seem content with lots of playoff appearances.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Yet, he didn’t fire Fox after his brain dead decision to kneel with two timeouts, tie game, and the best offense in football on the field.

      The number of commenters here who defended that was just astounding to me. But, then, there were numerous commenters defending McCarthy in the midst of one of the worst big-game fuckups you’ll ever see. Which goes to your broader point!

      • Scott Lemieux

        Since Erik has Andrew Luck starting in the last game of our fantasy regular season, I assume he would like to add Chuck Pagano to this discussion. (Seriously, are the fucking Texans going to win this division?)

        • ……………………………..

        • CrunchyFrog

          It’ll be the Titans. Or it would be if they could play Denver every week.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Thank God for Jeff Fisher so that the Seahawks didn’t issue the most embarrassing performance from an NFC West team today.

          [No idea why this came up here, but to make it relevant let me know that Erik is going to kick my ass anyway. I think putting Forte in at the last minute makes me the frontrunner to replace Bowles.]

          • Jesus

          • Col Bat Guano

            The Seahawks not blitzing Rodgers silly when it was obvious he couldn’t move was inexplicable. Of course with Wilson flinging interceptions and the receivers letting balls fly off their hands like they were a hot potato didn’t help things.

            • Scott Lemieux

              I didn’t have a good feeling about today’s game, and I’m not really worried about Wilson. The fact that the Seahawks had no pass rush again, though, is a serious concern. It’s pretty obvious that Avril and Bennett aren’t close to 100%, and without Thomas or a pass rush they’ll be an easy out in the playoffs.

              Also, the Seahawks need to move on from Kearse.

  • brewmn

    It is a tragedy that Aaron Rodgers is almost certain to retire with only one Super Bowl appearance in his career (well, certainly a tragedy to this Packer fan). And, given the fact that the Packers have been a top five team for almost that entire time, who else can you blame other than McCarthy, really?

    • CrunchyFrog

      Ted Thompson deserves a lot of the blame. (ducks)

      • Scott Lemieux

        I think Thompson is better at his job than McCarthy is at his, and he’s done an excellent job overall, but it’s fair to say that in recent years he’s tended to carry sound principles to the point of parody.

        • CrunchyFrog

          I think he was better in the early years than he is now. His early successes went to his head. See also: AJ Smith, Mike Ditka.

      • Lord Jesus Perm

        This. Hasn’t surrounded Rodgers with legit playmakers on offense, and the defense doesn’t have many either. That, plus McCarthy’s inability to scheme guys open= disaster.

        • Scott Lemieux

          Right. Although this also makes retaining McCarthy all the more inexplicable — if he’s a bad tactician and shows no ability to coach up marginal talent, what exactly is he supposed to do well?

          • endaround

            Not complain when your GM gives you James Jones as your #1 receiver all season? Not complain when your GM has you go into a game with a converted WR (converted mid season mind you) as your only healthy running back? Not complain when you haven’t had a good receiving tight end in years?

        • ASV

          It’s amazing how many teams have transformed “You have to have a great quarterback” into “You only have to have a great quarterback.” The Packers have been bad on this score and have been hit hard by injuries in recent years. But the Colts, Panthers, Saints, and Chargers are all among the teams that seem even less interested in building around their QBs.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Well, one thing you can say about “exotic smashmouth” is that it would be a good game plan if you were playing the Broncos every week.

    That cheap shot on Harris is “smashmouth” even worse than the band of the same name, though.

    • Denverite

      The Broncos really miss Malik Jackson and Vance Walker. Plus Wade’s man scheme is a real bad match-up against running QBs.

      • Scott Lemieux

        And while I don’t endorse Tennessee’s team building approach it works OK against Denver, who have by far the best pass defense in the league but a shitty defense against the run (presumably for the cap-related reasons you cite.)

        • Denverite

          Malik was cap-related. Walker blew an ACL before the season.

      • CrunchyFrog

        This is where Elway’s poor negotiating strategy is really hurting the team. By now every agent on the planet knows you don’t get his final offer until the last few hours before the deadline. Until then it’s maybe 80% of the final offer. So they know to hold out.

        Thus, instead of closing on one or two of the big three last year early he had to let two go and use the franchise tag on Miller. Yes, he got Wolfe, but you know Wolfe and his agent are kicking themselves now and the agent won’t make that mistake again.

        • Denverite

          Yes, he got Wolfe, but you know Wolfe and his agent are kicking themselves now and the agent won’t make that mistake again.

          Wolfe is a special deal. He came from a real hardscrabble part of Ohio, and had a real tough upbringing. The Broncos organization has treated him really well (they easily could have cut him after 2013 when he had neurological issues the whole season), and I think he was willing to take $0.60 on the dollar to stay where he was comfortable, especially when that’s more money than multiple generations of his family saw in their lifetimes.

          • CrunchyFrog

            DIdn’t know that – and that’s a great story.

            Makes Elway’s moronic hardball negotiating for the other free agents even more inexplicable.

  • efgoldman

    Well, Denverite’s up yonder in the :::yawn::: soccer subthreads; meanwhile his Broncos are behind the mighty Titans, 10-0 approaching the half.
    They’ve proved they can win with almost no offense, run by a crippled all-time great QB, and a great defense. No offense at all, and a defense that’s “just” very, very good? Maybe not so much.
    We’ve got Steelers/Bills in the snow. always fun. Pittsburgh started out like Secretariat, but Rexy calmed the Bills down, and it’s a ball game at the half.

    • Denverite

      I’m not in the soccer threads!

      The only saving grace with that first half “performance” is that I’m stuck at work listening on a static-filled radio and I didn’t have to see that atrocity.

      The defense hasn’t even been good the past four games. They nearly gave up a game-winning drive against the Saints, they completely blew the game against the Chiefs, they were good against the Jags but what I just wrote should be sufficient caveat, and they’ve been miserable against the Titans. Not really sure why it’s only 13-0.

      • CrunchyFrog

        The Broncos are definitely making it easier for me to not watch much football this year.

        The D stunk against the Jags too. Without context the numbers looked good. But this was a 2-10 team in which the offense is the weak link. They were the better team, but not by as much as the scoreboard suggested.

        • Denverite

          I hate to jinx it during the game, but I think they’ve found their QB of the future. They’re always going to need a good backup because he’s injury prone and doesn’t play well hurt, but Siemian’s convinced me that he can play in the NFL.

          • This seems…optimistic.

            • Denverite

              Maybe? In 2/3 of a season, he’s been a (bottom of the) middle third NFL QB — in his first season as a starter, and really with only one full season of full-time starting in the NFL peonage. And the eye test says that he’s a smart kid with an above-average arm.

              • CrunchyFrog

                A young Kyle Orton. Oh boy.

                • Denverite

                  In Orton’s first year starting, he had a 59 NFL rating and a TD-INT ratio of 9-13.

                  So far, in Siemian’s first year of starting so far, he has an 89 NFL rating and a TD ratio of 15-7.

                • CrunchyFrog

                  Orton, in his rookie year, started for a team that had a weak OL (ok, ditto Siemian) and no skill players. Muhsin Muhammad was the “star” WR, free agent from Carolina. The Bears wasted the first round draft choice on Cedric Benson.

                  But worse, Orton’s OC was Ron Turner. Or Ron FUCKING Turner to fans of the Bears and the Illini.

                  Orton became serviceable in his 4th year, which was his first opportunity to start regularly after his rookie year. I think that’s probably Siemian’s upside. Not bad – you need backups like that. And if your team is having an off year you can get good trade value for them before the deadline.

                • CrunchyFrog

                  Speaking of first year starting QB stats, here’s a couple for you.

                  54 NFL rating, 7-14 TD-INT ratio
                  102 NFL rating, 20-5 TD-INT ratio

                  The first listed was an automatic first ballot HOFer. The second listed is considered a draft bust. (Hint: both were 1st pick in their respective drafts.) (Hint #2: they had the same offensive coach during their best seasons.)

              • Scott Lemieux

                In 2/3 of a season, he’s been a (bottom of the) middle third NFL QB

                Just like…Brock Osweiler.

                • Denverite

                  A couple of ticks better. And Siemian’s been much better at avoiding sacks (he says without checking the numbers so I could be wrong).

                • Scott Lemieux

                  Osweiler was sacked 23 times in 375 attempts last year, Siemian 24 in 325. So….no.

                • Denverite

                  That’s why I put in the caveat!

          • CrunchyFrog

            Well, my first preference is that they comeback. Even when I know they are going to lose I still like watching them play in the playoffs.

            But my second preference is a shutout. Something needs to whack Denver’s brass upside the head that for two years their offensive guru has been way below average in terms of results. Starting to remind me of Brian Billick being hired by Baltimore because of his great offensive season in Minnesota with rookie Moss, Cunningham, Carter, Reed et al and for his entire tenure his offense stunk and his job was preserved only by the defense.

            • CrunchyFrog

              A shutout it will be, baring a garbage time score. Fake punt got them in red zone, couldn’t score despite 1st and goal from 4.

              Vs. Tennessee.

              The Pats have an outstanding chance of breaking their Mile High losing streak this year.

              • efgoldman

                They’ve scored now. Don’t know how, just have the score on the crawl, but I imagine it was on D or special teams

                • Denverite

                  I mean, Siemian’s 30-45 for 296 yards, and the Broncos have outgained the Titans 310-225. I think they’ll probably still lose because I’m guessing Tennessee can run out the clock with 4:28 to go, but still…

                • Denverite

                  Right about them losing, but it was the two turnovers that did it, not the offense.

                  Siemian was 34-50 for 323 yards, 1 TD and no picks, and they outgained Tennessee 348-256 (minus a couple of yards on the ensuing kneeldowns).

                • Scott Lemieux

                  The Broncos got 10 points against the league’s 24th best pass defense. I don’t see how this is a notch in Siemian’s favor.

                • Denverite

                  Correction 35-51 for 334 yards.

                  The Broncos got 10 points against the league’s 24th best pass defense. I don’t see how this is a notch in Siemian’s favor.

                  That’s not fair. They had a couple of non-Siemian fumbles, plus they walked away from three points by going for it. They averaged 5.4 yards per play, which isn’t great, but it isn’t horrible either. Ditto his net 6.0 per dropback (and 6.6 YPA). And all of this with no running game. This wasn’t a spectacular game for Siemian, but it was definitely an acceptable one.

                • Scott Lemieux

                  For a QB in 2016, 6.5 Y/A is awful. It would put you ahead of Wentz (barely), Bortles and Osweiler, and that’s it. And that’s against a shitty pass defense.

            • Scott Lemieux

              Starting to remind me of Brian Billick being hired by Baltimore because of his great offensive season in Minnesota with rookie Moss, Cunningham, Carter, Reed et al and for his entire tenure his offense stunk and his job was preserved only by the defense.

              I’ve said it before and I’ll probably say it again, but Marvin Lewis was by far the most important coach on that Super Bowl team.

      • efgoldman

        Not really sure why it’s only 13-0.

        Because… Titans?

  • swiftfox2

    Not a great follower of soccer, but what if they brought the goalposts closer by 10-20 m/yds?

    • mattius3939

      You mean play on a 60 meter field? (I assume you mean -20 meters on each side) Pros are too quick. Shortening the field would just clog it. It’d probably be better to go the other way – after each segment of time in overtime of a tie game, each team loses a player. Creates more space. And teams gotta be tactical about reductions. It’d be interesting to see which coaches sub out forwards, midfielders, defenders, etc. (I’d imagine everyone would sub forwards first, until some bilicheckian manager comes along and exploits everyone’s routine.)

      • Captain Oblivious

        Smaller pitch, smaller teams would produce faster action and more scorng. I’m okay with the “pros are too quick”.

      • Ahuitzotl

        alternatively, start issuing edged weapons once you’re in OT, say one per team per 5 minutes.

    • wengler

      Indoor soccer?

    • Jameson Quinn

      If you want a faster, higher-scoring version of soccer, that already exists; it’s called futsal (or “indoor soccer” if you’re into American exceptionalism.)

      If I were Trump’s Minister of Sport, I’d decide to make the US the dominant indoor soccer power by 2020; I’d put a tax on bald soccer balls, subsidize fuzzy ones, and exempt kids from deportation if their futsal teams were local champions.

      (I’d also exempt all the other kids, of course. But in smaller print.)

    • LosGatosCA

      Here’s the way to make soccer more entertaining:

      Move in the goals 15 yards at each end.
      Put an area behind the goal ala lacrosse
      Put up a plexiglass wall at the end line, behind the net
      – any ball off the wall is a free ball, no off sides
      – no goal kicks, no corner quicks they’re just time wasters
      Fix a blue line 25 yards out

      The strategy becomes pump the ball off the wall and pass the ball over the net for headers and one timers before the goalie can get set. Higher level of offensive execution to leverage the skills of the players rather than just their endurance.

      Screw the rest of the world if they don’t want to have any fun playing it.

  • Lord Jesus Perm

    Brock Osweiler is horrible. Pretty sure his only positive QB traits are that he’s tall and white.

    • Scott Lemieux

      Today has not exactly abated my skepticism about Trebor Siemian, but he’s still a better option than Osweiler with anything like that contract. Far be it from me to question QUARTERBACK GURU Bill O’Obrien, but..

  • swiftfox2

    Addendum – move the posts/nets in only for overtime.

  • ASV

    I’ll be at Lambeau on Christmas Eve, and I hope it’s McCarthy’s last home game. But also I hope the Packers win and win out, and if that happens it’ll probably save his job. In conclusion, football is a land of contrasts.

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      Honestly don’t know how they justify keeping McCarthy unless they make the Super Bowl, tbh.

  • Scott Lemieux

    RG III TD THE BROWNS ARE BACK BABY!

    • efgoldman

      Sexy Rexy’s defense looks like they’re thinking about tee times. Steelers/Bell running at will – 149 yards with five minutes left in the third.
      Are the Steelers that good, or is Rexy’s D that bad – and unwilling?

      • efgoldman

        Sexy Rexy: “My guys won’t tackle if your guys don’t”
        Tomlin: “Deal.”

    • Lord Jesus Perm

      Man I’ve been holding out hope for Griffin ever since he got to Cleveland, but Jesus he’s cooked.

      • LosGatosCA

        I’m so old that I remember when the Kapernick, Griffin, and Wilson style of running w/passing was the future of the league.

        Today was not the future that was delusionally forseen at that time.

        • Downpuppy

          RG3 padding his stats in garbage time to get his QB rating over 30 pretty much defines the 2016 Brownies

  • Blah blah blah football, oh you mean handegg, oh ho ho, how droll blah blah blah.

  • njorl

    It looks like Doug Pederson has figured out that his 3rd string tight end is a better receiver than his 2nd starting wide-out.

    • econoclast

      The Comey letter really torpedoed the Eagles’ season. They haven’t been the same since.

  • Scott Lemieux

    It’s good the Vikings traded 1st and 4th picks for Sam Bradford, or they might have had an offense so shitty they struggle to beat Jacksonville despite an outstanding defense.

  • Bootsie

    Soccer provides a valuable service in giving me yet another thing that I like seeing England fail in.

    • Ahuitzotl

      I feel their economy will fulfill all your needs in this area, for the forseeable future

  • Thlayli

    Never seen someone shank an onside kick before.

  • Bikecrasher

    Go, Rams?

    *weeps quietly*

    • Bikecrasher

      They should be playing calliope music during every Rams possession.

  • Scott Lemieux

    Rams down 7-0 10 seconds into the game. And the Jets are letting Chip Kelly relive his college years.

    • LosGatosCA

      The Jets dream of a 6 win season is slipping away, along with the 49ers shot at the first overall draft pick.

      It’s a lose-lose-lose.

      With a win today the 49ers have an outside chance to finish tied with the Rams inside the division. But with 2 wins against the Rams they would draft behind them.

      • LosGatosCA

        Both teams rescued their seasonal goals today:

        The Jets continue their hot of 6 wins

        The 49ers stay just 1 game behind the Browns

        Kaepernick almost ruined the game/season in the first half but his crisp 15 yards of passing or so in the second half preserved their chances for the first overall pick.

        It also virtually eliminated any chance of catching the Rams who also took extreme measures in reacting to the unjustified criticisms leveled at them by ED.

        • mikeSchilling

          You could argue that they 49ers were tanking. Or that no, they’re just that bad. Or that there’s no way to tell the difference.

    • Joe_JP

      did those years end with a loss in the end?

  • CrunchyFrog

    Denver ends up 8-8? Ok, 9-7 is more probable since they’ll probably win one of the remaining 3, but they won’t be favored in any of their remaining games (vs NE, at KC, vs Oak). Given that they started 4-0 they are not looking very impressive right now.

    It was a good run – can’t complain. Maybe some of the young talent will develop into something special, as happened the last few years with so many of the defensive players and Julian Thomas on offense.

    It may also be that for all of Manning’s extensive weaknesses last year there still was some benefit to having a wiley vet out there calling plays and adjusting game strategies on the fly instead of a raw 2nd year player just trying to execute the play call under pressure.

    • Denverite

      I’m betting 10-6. I bet they surprise hosting NE next week because why not? And then Oakland in Week 17 because there won’t be anything to play for. But I bet they still miss the playoffs.

      • efgoldman

        I bet they surprise hosting NE next week

        Why a surprise. It’s NEVER a ficking surprise!

  • Philip

    If anyone’s looking to watch 0-0 games in two sports this weekend, the Flyers still can’t seem to score against whoever has been masquerading as the Detroit Red Wings the last few seasons.

  • Lord Jesus Perm

    Jared Goff out here doing his best Brock Osweiler impression.

  • Bitter Scribe

    Say what you will about soccer, but at least it’s not a vehicle for endless car commercials.

  • ASV

    God damn it, McCarthy’s doing it again.

    • ASV

      Unlike the last time McCarthy tried to run out half a quarter against Seattle, this time Wilson is playing along.

      • ploeg

        Buck: “If McCarthy ever needed a job, I know of a lot of teams that would be lined up to hire him.”
        Aikman: “He just knows how to win games, Joe.”

        • Scott Lemieux

          No, Bryce Petty just knows how to win football games.

          • mikeSchilling

            Play against the 49ers?

  • Joe_JP

    two teams with a combined four wins between them in OT … seems fitting … Jets/SF

    • LosGatosCA

      Luckily they didn’t emulate a soccer game by playing 15 more futile minutes, ending it in a crucial win for the now streaking Jets!!

      • Scott Lemieux

        If it were really a great sport it would have concluded with the QBs going to Dave & Buster’s and settling this with the football toss game.

        • econoclast

          You know how the NFL has a long list of tie-breakers for seeding, which ends with a coin toss? Tell that list wouldn’t be improved if they added the football toss game at Dave and Busters.

  • BREAKING NEWS:

    Seattle Sounders win the MLS Cup championship in a penalty shootout over Toronto FC

    • LosGatosCA

      It’s not just the MLS:

      At that point you’re just so happy,” said Epstein, who had four saves in regulation and two more in the shootout. ”

      6 saves in the NCAA title win by Stanford over Wake Forest.

      Soccer is a great participation sport but it rivals golf for boredom. It’s like watching Mitch McConnell ‘s obstruction strategy as performance art.

      We’ll put all our guys up so they’re never onside and we’ll have this one useless guy stand in the back so he can pass the ball back to us when we play keep away and interfere with about a half dozen weak attempts to put the ball somewhere in the vicinity of the goal. We’ll stop the game almost continuously over every touch foul, offside, etc. let’s not keep a clock so that at the end we can have varying amounts of mystery time where nothing happens there either.

  • jeer9

    Giants break rules by measuring PSI of balls used by the Steelers while also charging them with deflation. What will the league do? Will Giants be punished for harming the integrity of the game? Will Roethlisberger be suspended and the Steelers lose draft picks? These are very pressing issues. Why isn’t ESPN covering this scandal more fully? Is the league not leaking them any information? We need a thorough scientific investigation. When will Big Ben turn over his cell phone?

  • nkh

    So, this is late to the whole let’s attack a straw soccer fan the way Ann Coulter attacks a straw liberal part of the thread, but, and this is an honest question, can someone explain just what LGM really has against soccer? Did the college soccer team make fun of them or something?

    I get it if they just don’t have a particular fondness for the sport. Baseball seems fairly popular on this site. I have many opinions on baseball, most having to do with not finding it very interesting, but I really don’t care if others like it. Likewise basketball, hockey, tennis. I find the NFL kind of interesting. I prefer college football because I like the feeling I get from watching exploited labor and also the overall uneven quality of the players leads to some occasionally epic entertainment.

    Now maybe they’re just trolling, but it always seems a bit more than that. Why the need to make broad judgments about it when they clearly don’t actually watch it. They don’t seem to know much about its history and development, the actual cultures built up around it.

    Erik seems to think it’s just a bunch of nationalism and hooligans. I would at least think he’d find the labor history of the game interesting.

    And there’s all this complaining about these self important fans. I guess I don’t know what kind of people they know who watch the game. I mean are a lot of their friends those young people who won’t watch anything but the EPL on NBCSports and wear arsenal jerseys to national team games? Well no one likes those people. But most American fans and certainly MLS fans aren’t like that.

    And no, MLS isn’t exactly big 5. But it isn’t actually second division either. Anyone who claims there hasn’t been massive improvement in the past 21 years probably didn’t know that the league has been around for 21 years. I don’t claim it’s champagne soccer but I love the game and I want a quality local product and MLS gave me the chance to support a home team, so I’m happy to help out with my money. Support local etc etc. Seems like an LGM kind of thing.

    I find their need to downplay the legitimate grow of the game in this country a little weird, too. We have a 21 year old top division with highly respectable and increasing attendance and viewership. It’s produced some legitimately good players. All of the teams have no cost academies. There’s a vibrant lower division ecosystem. Some of clubs have produced some great fan cultures. Things are pretty good. We don’t really care about displacing the NFL as long as we can have our fun. Why do you have to get shouty about it?

    Stop talking about the women’s program being better than the men’s without going into an examination of whether that might just have something to do with a relatively deeper pool of athletic ability on the women’s side compared to the men’s and the fact that the women’s program didn’t have to overcome an 80 year deficit in system development relative to their opponents. If their coaches had the secret sauce for player development, the men’s teams would be hiring them given the financial incentives. And then look at the poor performance of our women’s youth teams recently. We’ve fallen behind the top Europeans and japan. If you want to criticise American soccer, fine, there are a lot of problems. But it’s an American problem, not a gendered problem.

    So this got to be a long and rambling way to say “what’s your deal”? But seriously, what is your deal?

    • efgoldman

      So this got to be a long and rambling way to say “what’s your deal”? But seriously, what is your deal?

      People can watch and like soccer or tiddlywinks or sumo jello wrestling, we don’t care.
      It’s the constant EVANGELIZING for soccer that’s so damned irritating.
      I’m 71. I have literally been hearing “just you wait! The breakthrough is coming! Millions of kids are playing!! It’s huge in the rest of the world! Eventually it will take over!!!” for FIFTY FUCKING YEARS!
      Go watch. Go play. Leave the rest of us the hell alone.

      • LosGatosCA

        But the team pictures are so cute!

        • LosGatosCA

          Also, too, who doesn’t love a soccer mom? I married one – she actually coached our daughter’s team.

      • Brian

        This.

        And the suspicion that I have that the roughly 90% Soccer evangelists would ‘hate’ soccer the way they hate football, basketball, baseball, and hockey if it actually were as popular in the U.S. as in Europe.

        • LosGatosCA

          This is correct. It’s a boutique, cutesy, country club sport (especially for women) like tennis, swimming, golf. Also not like evil little league or pee wee football.

          No nasty weight rooms, tobacco chewing, PED stuff going on. At least that the supporters are aware of.

        • wengler

          No sport in the US is as popular as soccer is in most of Europe.

    • Scott Lemieux

      explain just what LGM really has against soccer?

      I (not speaking for LGM, which has soccer fans among its front pagers) don’t find it particularly interesting. If you do, bully for you.

      And there’s all this complaining about these self important fans

      I mean people who suggest that you’re somehow an unsophisticated, parochial rube if you don’t much care for THE BEAUTIFUL GAME. #notallsoccerfans, of course.

      • nkh

        Scott, you’re kind of making my point here, though. If you don’t like it, why bring it up? And in particular why bother bringing it up in a way that emphasizes that you don’t actually know anything about it?

        And I still want to know who all these people are? Seriously. Either you’re talking about all those marketing people and people who have a financial interest in the game here or you spend too much time around “hipsters” and insufferable leftists.

        Basically, I really like your blog but this is the one point where you start to sound like some of people you make fun of. The conversation just ends up being another, maybe more educated and snarkier version of the conversations that annoy the normal soccer fans that you deny exist.

        “Soccer will never make it in American. Hah!”

        “Well, I don’t know. We’ve had a pro league for over 20 years now. Good organic growth. It’s adding teams, they all have their stadiums. It’s even one the best attended leagues in the world. Needs to build the television audience obviously, but there’s a growing base of fans. I really think it’s going to a permanent part of the American sports…”

        “IT’LL NEVER BE AS BIG AS THE NFL! IT’S A COUNTRY CLUB SPORT! SHUT UP YOU’RE STUPID AND YOU’LL NEVER FORCE ME TO WATCH YOUR GAME ARGLE BARGLE SOMETHING SOMETHING WHY YES MY CAPS LOCK KEY IS STUCK WHY DO YOU ASK”

        • econoclast

          You’re surprised that Scott brings up an argument he finds irritating in order to mock it. Are you… new?

          • nkh

            No, but usually I feel like there’s at least a semi-objective basis. The arguments are reasonable and based in reality. But who knows? Maybe we’re all trapped in our echo chamber here and we think all of our arguments are reasonable. Or something.

            This is just “my favorite ball-related game with largely arbitrary rules contested by people with far more athletic ability than me is better than yours because reasons”. This is all just silly. And again, wouldn’t be as annoying if first he had any idea what he was taking about and second if it just didn’t seem so personal on his part for reasons I don’t get. But then, soccer seems to bring out some sort of negative visceral reaction in a lot of people and I just don’t get it. Thought maybe someone could provide clarity but that doesn’t seem to be happening.

            Also he’s largely taking on a fake argument.

            • econoclast

              Dude, it’s not a fake argument. Just because you don’t patronize people about preferring football to soccer doesn’t mean we’re not being patronized for it.

      • N__B

        THE BEAUTIFUL GAME

        I love baseball.

  • LosGatosCA

    Looks like Jeff Fisher is the likely victim of a running backs conspiracy:

    Gurley complains

    Maybe this is a problem:

    The Rams committed five turnovers Sunday and have been outscored 89-24 over their past 10 quarters. The loss to the Falcons was plagued by six first-half penalties, three straight three-and-outs, a pick-six and zero points until the team was down 42-0. The Rams now rank dead last in the NFL in yards, first downs and points per game.

    • LosGatosCA

      The side line pass situation is under complete control, however.

    • Scott Lemieux

      If the Seahawks can’t beat the Rams this week…

    • MilitantlyAardvark

      The Rams now rank dead last in the NFL in yards, first downs and points per game.

      Clearly the Fisher King is somewhat of an overachiever.

  • mikeSchilling

    It was the Beethoven’s Seventh of bad coaching.

    The apotheosis of the dunce.

  • galanx

    Hey guys- I assume few women are dumb enough to be involved in this- arguing about which sport is “better” makes as much sense as arguing which cuisine is “better”: Mexican is better than Thai; Chinese is better than French; Japanese is better than Indian.

    It’s as stupid as arguing which language is “better”. As with religion, most people stick to what they grow up with; a few change.

    Do Americans like football becau7se it is “better”, and everyone else in the world is too dumb to see that? Is baseball popular in the Spanish Caribbean and Central America, while cricket is popular in the British Commonwealth- Canada excepted, I wonder why that is?- because one is “better”?

    If there was something intrinsic to the game then people who liked one would like the one that is closest as their next favorite: baseball’s fans second favorite would be cricket; American football fans would switch to rugby when the season was over; basketball fans would love hockey (the “Back-and-forth ” games.

    Anybody just joking around, okay- anyone who takes it seriously is an idiot (about this; you could be smart about other things).

  • Jordan

    What this blog REALLY needs is a deadspin-style rankings post of various overtime formats. I assume, of course, that everyone agrees that it would go like this:

    1) college football
    2) canadian football
    3) nhl (regular season)
    4) basketball
    5) nhl (postseason)
    6) baseball
    7) nfl
    8) getting hit by a truck
    9) soccer

    • nkh

      I assume that list is intended to be in order of which is most likely to die.

      • Jordan

        hehehe, not bad!

  • Pingback: North American Pro Sports Overtimes, Ranked - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money()

  • Pingback: NFL Wildcard Open Thread - Lawyers, Guns & Money : Lawyers, Guns & Money()

It is main inner container footer text