In part because I have no mental inclination to write anything creative today, I'm instead providing links to articles I think you'll find interesting. However, don't take this as laziness. It seems to take me longer to find and link stories around the web than to write my own ideas. Furthermore, I am devoted to finding good writing and interesting takes. So if I'm linking to something, it's because I think it really is worth reading (with the exception of the Tom Powers link--that's there for you to lambast if you so choose). I think a lot of bloggers are really high-quality writers with unique takes, so I want to send you off in some of their directions. But there are some good mainstream writers linked here, too.
"Quick Reads: Peyton a winner all along" by Aaron Schatz
I've stressed my skepticism of relying too much on statistical systems in the past, but I absolutely love the Football Outsiders for the way they debunk conventional wisdom (though I think they've developed their own version of conventional wisdom which occasionally needs debunking, too--but at least their version of conventional wisdom is based on numbers).
"A career-making moment" Jonathan Comey
A "Cold, Hard Football Facts" article that gives some historical perspective on Rex Grossman and Super Bowl quarterbacks.
"Feeling defenseless Vikings lost best coach in Tomlin" Tom Powers
(I found this article via Kansas Viking).
If we get bored of critiquing Patrick Reusse, we'll go after Tom Powers next. As you can see in this column, he loves criticizing the Vikes and seems as intent as Reusse on annoying and antagonizing fans into reaction. That makes for a "good" columnist, I guess, but it doesn't make for real analysis.
There's one thing I would like the local media types to realize: It's not Brad Childress's job to keep you all appeased with quotes and access; it's his job to win football games (which he hasn't done well at yet, admittedly). He's not trying to entertain you. He's not a bad coach just because he doesn't give you the appeasement that Mike Tice does. He is as worthy of criticism as any 6-10 NFL coach, but some local hacks really seem to despise the man (too early, in my opinion).
By the way, I think the Viking defense will be fine without Tomlin. Though Tomlin is a special coach and I wish him the best, he installed a system and that system should remain in place. It's the talent on the field that wins games. If the Vikings can add a pass-rusher or three, they could even improve in '07.
"They're trying to whitewash those days" Bethlehem Shoals
This is an older post, but one I've found relevant in the last few weeks. With New Orleans not making the Super Bowl, we'll be saved a great deal of hyperbole and illusion.
"This Just in: Most Overrated Coach's 'Retirement' Being Covered in Overrated Fashion" Boiled Sports
(I found this article via The Big Lead).
I was in a hospital with ESPN, and I have two comments.
1. ESPN can still be great: after missing key parts of the games, it was delightful to hear Chris Berman and Tom Jackson recap what happened.
2. Does ESPN love former employee Parcells like FOX protects former employee Matt Millen? The "Bottom Line," supposed to be reserved for scores, news, and mild promotions, featured Parcells' record with each team he coached, followed by that team's coach and record the following year. What? Did they need to do this? Is this news? Do they have to remind everybody why this matters? Parcells isn't exactly Michael Jordan here: is this hype really necessary?
"Super Bowl Shuffled" Insomniac's Lounge
This post has so many good and amusing takes it will be well worth your time.
"This playoff win was Rod-diculous" Yelling Louder
This satire gives us some real insight into how game stories really can't be objective, and that everything that happens in a game is filtered and viewed from a slanted perspective (hello, Mr. Kant).
"Based on Sunday, Super Bowl looks easy to pick" Dr. Z
Looking back to Sunday and forward to the Super Bowl.
"My most confident contrarian opinion: the Bears will suck" Pacifist Viking
I'm not going to make crazy confident predictions, then go away and pretend it never happened when I'm wrong. So, here's a post I wrote in September. Ah, such a sweet kid.