TMQ Watch: September 5, 2017.

With all the dinging going on in this week’s column, you’d think this was the Christmas season and TMQ was the non-stop 24 hours a day “Carol of the Bells” channel.

Let’s get into it. After the jump, this week’s TMQ

…which comes in at a surprisingly tight (for recent TMQ, anyway) 6,400 words by our count.

Of those, the first 1,800 (which you can now skip over) are TMQ flogging the recurring trope of suspiciously precise predictions: for example, “the Pittsburgh Steelers will win 10.1 games” and Hillary Clinton having a “71.4 percent” chance of winning the election. (That figure was from Five Thirty Eight the morning of the election.)

Seriouly, while Five Thirty Eight and other media outlets probably deserve a thrashing, this isn’t Easterbrook beating a dead horse: there is no horse left to beat. Only a greasy spot on the pavement where a horse used to be, atomized molecules of horse waifting softly in the air, and Easterbrook still pounding away with that club. (Also: Ding!)

Stats. Saving the best for last. Speaking of stats,

In 2016, 53 percent of NFL contests were decided by a touchdown or less; 24 percent by a field goal or less.

That one’s actually kind of interesting.

TMQ readers know my compromise with my Baptist upbringing is to be pro-topless but anti-gambling. There will be more on the latter, at least, as the season progresses.

Ding! (Longtime TMQ Watch readers know our compromise with our religious upbringing is to be pro-gambling, pro-full frontal nudity, pro-autonomous 1911 and heroin vending robots, and generally in favor of anything that increases human freedom.)

Anyway, take Seattle over Atlanta November 20th.

What if fast radio bursts are a form of communication? If gamma bursts are the muzzle flashes of interstellar combat?

Ding! (No, really, for those of you coming in new, “muzzle flashes of cosmic weapons” or similar has been a recurring TMQ trope for almost as long as Marley had been dead.)

Lowered expectations.

Lower-division Howard University, a 45-point underdog, on Saturday defeated UNLV on its own field—Howard had been paid $600,000 to fly out and get clobbered before the home boosters. The D.C. school’s victory became newsworthy because cupcake wins are so rare.

Noted because a) we admit it, we got a kick out of Howard beating UNLV, too. (Supposedly, some sports books were offering 600-1 odds.) b) That’s a Ding! for Easterbrook’s ongoing gripe about cupcake schools.

Rules changes for 2017. Continuity is overrated. Or not. TMQ can’t make up his mind. Sacks are overrated: TMQ seems pretty clear about this one.

“Sports Authority Field”. Heh.

At 59.5 percent (Hoyer) and 59.7 percent (Fitzpatrick), both oft-waived quarterbacks have better career completion percentages than Terry Bradshaw, Otto Graham, Joe Namath, Bart Starr, Johnny Unitas, and Warren Moon, all Hall of Fame signal-callers.

Noted: according to ESPN, Colin Kapernick’s career completion percentage is 59.8.

The Four Freshmen. And TMQ spends another 537 words (which you can now skip) on another of his tropes: college coaching is different from NFL coaching. (Ding!)

The season begins with Chip Kelly unemployed—in football coaching, at least. Maybe he’s making sundaes at a Dairy Queen somewhere.

Actually, Gregg, he’s an analyst for ESPN. But please don’t let that get in the way of your hatred for Mr. Kelly. (Ding!)

A court ruling in California last week made it easier for professional sports leagues to reach into the pockets of Golden State taxpayers to build new football, basketball, and baseball facilities: places where the public provides the capital and bears the risk, while all profit is private.

Of course, there’s no link to the decision or news coverage of it.

“The Football Gods Winced.” Not at the thought of TMQ invoking them, though one of these days…(Ding!)

State lotteries are bad, m’mkay? The Browns and Bills are still tanking.

Easterbrook’s Super Bowl prediction: no Patriots, no Falcons, but “Houston versus Dallas” (!) or “Packers versus Raiders”.

And that’s a wrap for this week, folks. Next week, the first week of the regular season, and the return of the loser update. On a side note, we will be keeping our fingers crossed for everyone in the path of Irma.

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