TMQ Watch: January 30, 2018.

Ah, the week between the end of the playoffs and the Superb Owl: or, as we like to call it, “the most boring week in sports”.

What does TMQ cover this week? Would you believe there’s almost nothing about television shows?

After the jump, this week’s TMQ

The NFL’s overtime system is broken.

If the score is tied at the end of regulation, just let a coin flip determine the league champion. After all, that’s what the NFL did last year.

Easterbrook may have a point about the “new, totally incomprehensible overtime standard”, but is guaranteeing each team at least one possession (which is mostly what the rules are now, with what Easterbrook describes as “weird quirks”) any better a way of doing overtime? Everytime Easterbrook brings this up, we bring up our own counter-proposal: play another 15 minute period. If the teams are still tied, play 15 minutes more. Wash, rinse, repeat. This favors a deep bench and good physical conditioning, both of which TMQ should be in favor of.

If tied games are intolerable, TMQ’s regular-season solution is a kicking contest similar to a soccer shootout.

What you have just said…oh, wait, we used that one already.


The gymnastics-Michigan State sex abuse scandal keeps getting worse, leading to what might be called the Weinstein Paradox: When mistreatment of women finally comes into the open, many powerful people who weren’t victims themselves—including powerful women—admit, or are forced to admit, they’d known all along. Did they remain silent because they are terrible people? Or because they were aware that the first whistle-blower suffers retribution, while those who join in after the coast is clear get a career boost? That’s the Weinstein Paradox.

The Weinstein Paradox. We like that. Also on the list of terrible people: Mark Emmert and the NCAA, and former MSU president Lou Anna Simon. Also, the Clery Act is ineffective.

The accreditation agency with jurisdiction over Michigan State, the Higher Learning Commission, is charged, in theory, with monitoring quality at that institution. Like other accreditation agencies, the Higher Learning Commission gets its revenue as fees paid by the colleges supervised—fees that are contingent on generous use of the rubber stamp. Accreditation agencies are the Arthur Andersens of higher education, almost always coming to the conclusion that everything is just totally swell, and now give us our check, please. The accreditation agency charged with looking into the Penn State scandal not only took no critical action, it rapidly provided Penn State with praise—in return for a fee. There is a likelihood that the Higher Learning Commission will never do anything about Michigan State, beyond sending invoices.

We don’t hold any brief for Larry Nassar. But we think there are some questions here that aren’t being asked. What is the role of a judge during sentencing: to be an advocate for victims, or to see that justice is done? And what is the role of an accreditation agency: to establish that a university is teaching up to set standards, or to punish crimes?

Things to watch for in the Superb Owl:

Non-disclosure agreements.

After being super-hostile to Clinton regarding emails as the 2016 campaign approached the finish line, now that it no longer matters, headline writers are super-supportive of her. HILLARY CLINTON CHOSE TO SHIELD A TOP ADVISOR ACCUSED OF HARASSMENT, the Times headline read, rather than reading, say, HILLARY CLINTON ORCHESTRATED SHADY COVER-UP FOR SEX HARASSER. “Shielding” someone sounds noble.

Does TMQ’s case for having a franchise quarterback (“the Whiteboard Analysis”) hold? After all, Brady is the only franchise quarterback in the final four this year.

…our columnist thinks the Whiteboard Analytic holds

Of course he does.

Of monkeys and tailpipes:

The monkeys were “watching cartoons for entertainment.” Presumably they howled and put their hands on their heads whenever an anvil fell on Wile E. Coyote.

Why does TMQ assume monkeys would sympathize with the RoadRunner instead of the coyote? And we suspect the monkeys were actually watching “Bob’s Burgers”, since only a monkey or some creature of even lower IQ could find that pile of crap amusing.

…19 of the last 21 Super Bowl winners hailed from states that voted for Barack Obama in 2008.

Thanks to Gregg Easterbrook for the reminder that we should add the Spurious Correlations book to our Amazon wishlist.

Fletcher Cox, defensive tackle for the Philadelphia Eagles, is the 2017 Tuesday Morning Quarterback Non-Quarterback/Non-Running Back NFL MVP.

TMQ adds a bonus award, Mensch of the Year, and presents it to Colin Kaepernick.

Other prominent Americans who in 2017 placed conscience above money include … include … include …

How about McKayla Maroney, who was threatened with a $100,000 fine for testifying against Larry Nassar? We’re pretty sure we could come up with some more.

Correction: A previous version of this story said that no linebacker had ever won NFL league MVP—Lawrence Taylor won the award for the 1986 season.

Next week: the ultimate TMQ for this season? Maybe?

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