TMQ Watch: October 31, 2017.

TMQ doesn’t have anything really spooky going on this week. If we had thought of it a little more in advance, we might have tried to dig up something new and amusing to use as a header.

So before we jump in, we’ll toss out a couple of kind of spooky things we casually ran across in our morning browsing:

Carl Tanzler. We’re aware this was the subject of a recent episode of “The Dollup”, but we’ve tried listening to that podcast and can’t. The Wikipedia entry should be spooky enough for you, and most of us read faster than we can listen to a podcast anyway.

Lawrence’s annual link to the FARK Scary Stories threads.

Wikipedia “Deaths by poisoning”. The “Victims of radiological poisoning” is kind of interesting: Harry Daghlian and Louis Slotin are probably well known to Los Alamos buffs, but we’d never heard of the Cecil Kelley incident.

Okay, enough spooky. After the jump, this week’s pretty much non-spooky TMQ

Who’s going to make the post-season?

Tuesday Morning Quarterback proposes a new way to make this assessment, by dividing the winning clubs into three categories: who has no chance, who might be able to win it all, and who’s willing to pay the price.

Is this a replacement for “Authentic Games”?

Summarizing:

Arizona, Baltimore, Chicago, Cincinnati, Tampa Bay, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis, Chargers, Jets, Giants, Miami, Oakland, 49ers, Tennessee, Redskins: no chance.

Buffalo, Carolina, Dallas, Denver, Green Bay, Rams, Jacksonville: “teams that are able to win but unlikely to trot out for the Super Bowl”.

Atlanta, Kansas City, Minnesota, New England, New Orleans, Pittsburgh, Seattle, Houston, Philadelphia: “teams that can hoist the Lombardi, if they are willing to pay the price”.

(“Sure they have a wealthy idiot for an owner. But Deshaun Watson is already is a star.” TMQ’s evidence that Bob McNair is an idiot is…a link to a HouChron article about players protesting his “inmates” statement. Yes, it wasn’t a good choice of words. You might even say it was a stupid thing to say. But everybody misspeaks once in a while: Bob McNair, Whipped Cream Difficulties, Gregg Easterbrook…)

During the preseason this column singled out for praise two gents behind center: Deshaun Watson and Carson Wentz. I shall now double down and predict they will meet in the Super Bowl.

Thanks for dooming the Texans, Gregg.

Stats. Sweet: Atlanta, Chicago, Buffalo, Houston, and Seattle blocking. Sour: Chargers (chicken-salad kicking). Mixed: Houston-Seattle.

There are no secrets. Dumping Marcell Dareus (“for a cold beer and a bag of peanuts”) was a great deal for Buffalo.

How Can the Browns Be So Bad? (New Running Item.)

For once, a running item we can applaud. The answer: poor sports analytics and bad drafting.

(“Maybe sports analytics would help the Browns. Taekwondo did not. Maybe some Irish step dancing.” We have no joke here, we just wanted to reference this.)

Don’t run backwards. (We actually saw a highlight of that play. Don’t run backwards.) Wine tasting is silly. (Ding!) Wonder Woman is silly.

Reader Scott Kahn of Jewish Coffee House notes, “Nicholas Hytner’s The Madness of George III was renamed The Madness of King George, because U.S. audiences would assume it was a sequel.”

You know, we were tempted to make that joke ourselves last week. But we didn’t. Do you know why? Because. It. Isn’t. Farking. True.

Chicken-(salad) kicking: Penn State, Minnesota and Cleveland (when was the last time Easterbrook wrote “Game over” in his notebook?).

Note to future historians: Johnny Carson’s 1970s-vintage Art Fern routines, which seem hopelessly cheesy today, were at the time viewed as hysterical. Comedy has taken a long road to Master of None.

A long road backwards. And Art Fern is still funny 33 years later.

Many readers including Amelia Zell of Springfield, Oregon, noted Pruitt is demanding even more bodyguards to satisfy his self-importance.

And many people who aren’t TMQ readers have noted that EPA administrator Scott Pruitt is receiving record numbers of death threats. It’d be nice to see TMQ mention this, even in passing.

TMQ is still creepily obsessed with cold cheerleaders, even if they are men. (Ding!)

More chicken-(salad) kicking: Detroit.

“Hell’s Sports Bar opened a branch in our nation’s capital…” Did they finish renovations in the original location?

Much of the nation was not shown Texans at Seahawks. But absolutely everyone in America beheld the Cleveland Browns, in their entirety.

Because the Browns game was the 9:30 AM London game, Gregg, and was the only game being played.

“Adventures in Officiating”: the Flacco hit was legal (“Quarterbacks can’t have it both ways: You’re not allowed to hit me, but I don’t have to slide till contact starts.”) except for the forearm to the helmet, but the refs in that game still stunk.

When Blandino was running NFL officiating, the number-one problem was inconsistency on catch-no-catch. Blandino still can’t make his mind up on this fundamental officiating issue, so it’s good that he is no longer in the NFL. Still, the fact that the league’s former top zebra acts undecided on the rules is hardly reassuring on officiating quality.

The 500 Club. The 600 Club. The 800 Club. Franklin 66, Mount Saint Joseph 39. You’re welcome.

“Single Worst Play of the Season—So Far”: Why didn’t Jack Del Rio either accept the penalty on the point-after and go for two, or go for an onside kick from the 50? Don’t worry, there will probably be a worse play next week. (Do poor tactical decisions by coaches count as “plays”?)

Tune in next week. In the meantime, we’ll leave you with a little thematically fitting musical interlude as a thanks for wading through this.

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