TMQ watch: September 14, 2010.

I figured there were two ways Easterbrook could have started off this week’s TMQ: Stewart Bradley’s concussion, or the Texans beating the Colts. Easterbrook went with the Texans, predicting the end of the world if they beat Indy on November 1st. This kind of shocks me; TMQ spent much of last season hammering the NFL for not doing enough to prevent head injuries. And justly so, in my opinion. But is TMQ abandoning that crusade this year? If so, why?

In another recurring trope, Easterbrook predicts that one of the teams not appearing on “Monday Night Football” this year – Bills, Browns, Bucs, Panthers, Raiders, Rams and Seahawks – will win the Super Bowl. Easterbrook has been right about this three times in 11 years, or about 27% of the time.

Recurring trope #2: the “preposterous punt”, in this case the Vikings punting on 4th and 3 from midfield against the Saints, “a mere half-hour into the 2010 NFL season”.

The cheerleader of the week returns! Excellent! Photo too small, but links make up for it.

Also returning: the sweet and sour plays of the week. (Ravens/jets, Oakland/Titans, James Madison/Virginia Tech, Cleveland/Tampa, New England/Bengals.)

Easterbrook has, for some inexplicable reason, been hammering on the idea that gamma ray bursts are actually the signature of cosmic doomsday weapons belonging to advanced civilizations. TMQ cites a Discover article that “presents slight support for the TMQ conjecture, or at least, fails to falsify the idea”. From the article (actually, a blog entry): “This is a fun notion to mull over, but unlikely nevertheless. It’s inconceivable that any civilization could generate artificially the colossal energies associated with GRBs.

Easterbrook also thinks that this year’s biggest literary fraud may not be The Last Train from Hiroshima, but…Tony Blair’s biography? As usual, publishers don’t bother to do any verification, they don’t care about the truth of the non-fiction books they publish, etc. etc.

Michael Crabtree has been a curse for the 49ers.

TMQ argues that the suspension of A.J. Green for selling one of his own jerseys, while Georgia makes money hand over fist selling replica jerseys, is just the latest example of the hypocrisy of college sports. WCD agrees that the NCAA’s focus on minor misdemeanors is excessive, and would argue that eliminating college sports is one of the best things that could happen to education. But WCD questions whether this is an example of an athlete like Green getting caught by an obscure and stupid NCAA rule, or deliberately and knowingly breaking an established rule. In a similar vein, TMQ argues that Princeton should be allowed to slide (a tennis player had part of their tuition paid by an “adult friend”) on the basis that the person who paid was a longtime friend of the student”. So how long term a friend do you have to be before TMQ thinks it is okay? One year? Four years?

TMQ’s obsession with excessive blitzing, and excessive calling of normal plays “blitzing”, returns this week as well. Welcome back, “Stop Me Before I Blitz Again!” We missed you.

Easterbrook objects to Tiffany, Gucci, Brooks Brothers, Chanel, and other high end retailers taking out 9/11 memorial ads.

More cheerleaders! More links to photos!

More chicken-<salad> punts and field goal attempts.

Bonus Slauson Cutoff reference!

TMQ continues its obsession with building planetary asteroid defense mechanisms. While WCD agrees that an asteroid strike would be devastating, we question the actual odds of such a thing, and whether the cost justifies the risk.

Christmas creep.

Football Outsiders is now football insiders, having signed deals with the WP, ESPN, and NYT.

“Helen Mirren trades her fake crown for a fake assault rifle in the upcoming action flick ‘Red.’” Actually, Gregg, I believe I’d call that a submachine gun, not an assault rifle.

TMQ is testing a new prediction method, called The Davis Postulate: “Existing Trends Continue; If Trends Same, Home Team Wins.” This replaces the previous “Transformed Isaacson-Tarbell Postulate”, in which week 1 and 17 games are picked by thinking; the rest of the time, the rule “Best Record Wins Unless Records Equal, Then Home Team Wins” is used.

More creep.

“Adventures in Officiating”, but nothing to say about Detroit. Lots to say about the stupid celebration penalty, though.

Towson 47, Coastal Carolina 45. RPI 6, Endicott 3. Fear the wrath of the cupcakes.

Why do college football teams need police escorts? This is sort of a recap of a TMQ trope that got hammered into the ground last year; excessive usage of police escorts and bodyguards for elected officials. Not that we disagree with TMQ’s point, but it got a little old last season.

That’s a wrap for the first week of the season. No trailer; I suspect either TMQ or ESPN dropped that idea.

Tune in next week when we’ll hear Gregg Easterbrook say, “TMQ wrote the words ‘game over’ in his notebook.”

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