TMQ Watch: December 5, 2017.

The headline tells you all you need to know, in this week’s TMQ

Tuesday Morning Quarterback: Eli Manning Is a First-Ballot Hall of Famer

And you can now skip the first 1,000 words of this week’s column. But we’ll engage a little on this, because why not? Before we begin, though, let us make our biases clear: we don’t like Eli Manning as a player. We never liked Peyton Manning as a player, either, though he does seem to have a sense of humor about himself that redeems him some in our eyes (and which Eli seems to lack). We don’t know either gentleman personally, so we don’t have an axe to grind about that: they may very well be kind people who help puppies and old women across the street.


“Sure you won two Super Bowls, but what have you done for us lately?”

— New Jersey Giants to Eli Manning, benchwarmer.

The answer is: led your team to a 2-10 start.

Eli got himself off on the wrong foot with football aficionados by seeming miserable on the day he was chosen first overall in the 2004 NFL draft. At the time, he did not know he was about to be traded from the Chargers, then an undesirable destination, to the hype-a-rama Giants. It seemed graceless of Eli to be unhappy at the moment of a distinction that eluded nearly all football stars, and that millions of Americans have Walter Mitty daydreams about.

It wasn’t just that he “seemed miserable”, Gregg: Eli and his father loudly and publicly declared he would not play for the Chargers if they drafted him. This happened within your lifetime. Heck, even we remember it (and that’s part of why we don’t like Eli as a player).

Regardless, Eli will go into Canton on the first ballot. He’s a great player and a fine person, as well—in fact, a mensch.

We’re genuinely curious how Easterbrook knows Eli is “a fine person, as well—in fact, a mensch”. Does TMQ spend a lot of time hanging out with Eli Manning? Also, is Easterbrook saying that Eli deserves to be in the Hall of Fame because he is “a fine person, as well—in fact, a mensch”? Is this part of TMQ’s ongoing anti-OJ in the Hall of Fame crusade?

Or should Eli follow his brother to the Denver Broncos and win another Super Bowl there?

Denver is the 17th largest TV market. Would this appeal to Eli? Or is it more of a John Elway thing?

John Elway, who runs the team, has an obvious fondness for quarterbacks whose busts someday will join his in Canton.

Yes, as opposed to all those other general managers. You know, the ones who say, “Don’t give me a future Hall Of Fame quarterback! Give me JaMarcus Russell! Or Johnny Manziel!”

We’ll finish off our commentary about Eli with this: in the interest of fairness, if someone wants to mount a defense of Eli (we’re looking at you, Infidel) we promise that we will give it equal play. We’ll make it a guest post, not just a comment, put the “TMQ Watch” label on it, and add a note here.

In other news, there’s too much football.

What state or federal legislator, or college trustee or state high school athletic governing board, will show some courage and impose limits on the number of games?

Why is this something that needs to be solved legislatively? Indeed, why is this something that needs to be “solved” at all? We’re pretty sure, at least at the college level, that schedules allow some flex for this sort of thing. And if parents really feel their children’s education is in danger by having to play in playoff games on the weekends, they always have the option of pulling their kids out of football.

Indeed, isn’t this really more of a problem for the “elite” schools which have a better chance of producing players who have a shot at a pro career? Baylor’s not going anywhere this year. Texas high schools that go 0-10 aren’t going anywhere. And aren’t these “elite” schools also prepared for their teams to play in bowl games and playoff games?


Sweet: New Orleans. Sour: Kansas City (“The Jets ran 10 snaps in goal-to-goal on their possession, earning eight points, while the Chiefs committed four major penalties.”) Also sour: nobody seems to know Jacksonville likes the fake punt. Mixed: Philadelphia-Seattle.

TMQ doesn’t like empires. Or emperors.

Empires are shameful things, based on murder, expropriation, and exploitation. Every aspect of imperial Japan’s empire was shameful—Burma still has not recovered.

Every aspect?

The Order of the British Empire still exists, apparently to ensure the world does not forget that much of England’s wealth is based on murder, theft, and exploitation.

One wonders if there is a society whose wealth wasn’t based on “murder, theft, and exploitation”. From what we know of pre-Columbus American history, relationships between the various indigenous peoples were not some sort of Woodstock like idyll, but more like Altamont.

Each year TMQ notes absurd Christmas gifts. How about a nice modern-architecture cat plaything, at $353?

No, thanks, but we will take a Frank Gehry designed doghouse.

If you’ve seen a nutty gift suggestion, tweet it, with specifics and your hometown, to me @EasterbrookG.

You know what to do, people.

Give a goat! The noble developing-world organization World Vision will buy a goat or a chicken in Africa or Asia and send a certificate that can be wrapped. I “gave a goat” to my kids last Christmas and was glad I did.

This is a fine and noble suggestion. We’d like to add that we’re also big fans of Heifer International, which does the same thing. (A full goat is $120: a full water buffalo is $250. You can also buy shares.)

“Authentic Games Standings”: who cares? And this is yet another reason why we say that:

As noted last week, I’ve got a problem with my super-sophisticated metric rating Kansas City the most Authentic team in the AFC. The Chiefs opened 5-0 and since are 1-6, having dropped three straight to the Giants, Bills, and Jets. These three teams have in common that all claim to represent the Empire State though only one does, and also, all of them are crummy squads. By next week at the latest I will have devised some flimsy excuse why the Chiefs must drop out of Authentic Games leadership despite my own metric favoring them.

Mustela watch:

Arkansas waved money to entice Bret Bielema to break his word at Wisconsin, then was astonished to discover Bielema is a weasel;

Well, no. He may have been a weasel when he walked out on Wisconsin, but he was canned in Arkansas: he didn’t walk out on them, which is TMQ’s definition of a weasel.

The University of Tennessee suddenly owes a $5.5-million severance to athletic director John Currie, fired after less than a year on the job. Currie’s transgression was failing to get a brand-name head coach to agree to become a weasel, breaking his word at his current job, and assume the helm in Knoxville.

Well, no. There are two schools of thought here, neither of which supports TMQ:

1. Currie’s firing was fallout for the failed attempt to hire Greg Schiano, who even TMQ thinks is scum.

2. Currie’s firing was part of an orchestrated effort by beloved former coach Phillip Fulmer to get Currie booted and take the job himself.

Throwing a huge amount of cash at a head coach will make the alums and boosters happy, at least for the moment.

This is actually something we’d like to see TMQ write more about. It seems to us that there’s too much money chasing coaches, and fans (especially boosters) are expecting more conference championships (if not full blown national championships) than exist. At some point, all this money and all these expectations, we believe, are going to lead to a crash.

Chicken-(salad) kicking: Miami, Wisconsin.

But White House lawyers scrubbing the wording of presidential tweets takes events to a new low.

This is our dubious face. Or does TMQ not believe that the Obama White House had lawyers reviewing his tweets?

Hell’s sports bar was closed over the weekend for an employee holiday party

Thank God.

Paaaaark the caaaar in Haaaaavrd Yaaaard. (Yeah, our Boston accent isn’t very good.)

The Football Gods Pulled Up a Chair.

And we pulled it away before they could sit down, because we really want to see the football gods fall on their collective asses.

Give Some High School Kids Explosives and Get Everyone Out of the Way.

Yes! For a record tying second time in a column, we agree with TMQ!

(Our understanding is that this was a “wiring problem”, and it appears to have been fixed yesterday. But we actually didn’t think, based on having watched every episode of “The Detonators”, that they used wiring as much as they did det cord and shock tubes. Then again, we don’t blow up buildings for a living, and maybe it’s easier to stagger charges electrically.)

Darnold, Darnold, Darnold. “Adventures in Officiating”: Carolina-New Orleans. Nothing about the Pittsburgh-Cincinnati game, Gregg? Seems like this would be right up your alley.

“The Football Gods Chortled”. “The Football Gods Frowned”. The football gods need to make up their damn minds already.

“There Are Reasons Bad Teams Are Bad”. Surprisingly. this item has nothing to do with the Cleveland Browns. The bad team in this case is the Buffalo Bills: we were under the impression TMQ was a big Bills fan. (We, on the other hand, hate the Bills almost as we do the Chargers, and think both franchises should be disbanded and liquidated.)

The 500 Club. The 600 Club. The 700 Club. Wisconsin-Oshkosh 41, Wartburg 27.

Located in Waverly, Iowa, Wartburg College offers menus—here is today’s—that sound a lot better than anything the parents who pay the bills are likely to be eating.

We admit we’re currently looking at Wednesday’s menu, not Tuesday’s, but: no. (We’re kind of hungry at the moment, too: we have to go see the doctor later today and are fasting in anticipation of that. (Nothing serious, just a 3,000 mile oil and filter change.) Even with us fasting, nothing on that menu sounds good, except maybe “design your own omelet”.)

And that’s a wrap for this week, folks. Next week, we hope to be more on time: no doctor’s appointments, no Tuesday night commitments for the next month or so. Just the impending approach of the Christmas season like a runaway train.

(Speaking of runaway trains, and tying back to an earlier post of ours, if you know someone who likes blues or history or both, this might be kind of a neat gift. We don’t recommend purchasing from Amazon, though: it is available through Apple Music at a much lower price. Also, please don’t purchase this for us, if you were planning on getting us a gift. Not that you have to: your continued attention and interaction is the best gift we could ask for.)

3 Responses to “TMQ Watch: December 5, 2017.”

  1. Was he as good as Peyton? No but that’s not really a fair comparison. But Eli still belongs in the HOF.

  2. From whence comes the Buffalo Bills hatred?

  3. stainles says:

    They are another consistently mediocre (at best) trending towards bad team, and every year there’s always one or more pundits who claim “this is going to be the Bills year!”

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