Monday, November 27, 2006

Nuggets of Wonderment, week 12

Skol Vikings! My mood is mellow because the Vikes got their first W in a month. I was pretty close to ripping my clothes off and going out in the yard to scream at passing cars, but luckily the Vikes held on.

Chester Taylor's 4th quarter fumbles are quite frankly threatening me with heart disease.
The Vikings should have been up 38-13 with about 10 minutes left in Sunday's game; instead, they had to prevent a desperation pass with no time left to preserve victory (tell me, Viking fans, you weren't flashing back to the last regular season game the Vikes and Cards played). As far as I can remember, Taylor has only four fumbles this season. All came in the fourth quarter, and all were recovered by the opposing team. Three of those fumbles are responsible for two Viking losses; the fourth was almost responsible for another. Instead of being ecstatic about a blowout, I'm simply relieved and mellow about a narrow victory.

Brad Johnson
Brad Johnson played well on Sunday, but make no mistake about it: the #1 factor holding back the Viking offense is Johnson's inability to complete passes downfield.

4th Down
The Vikings lead the league in 4th down attempts; only New England has more fourth down conversions. On Sunday, the Vikings scored on a run on 4th and goal, and they scored shorty after a conversion on 4th and 7. For all the criticism, Brad Childress has been remarkably aggressive about going for it on 4th down. Certainly it's not all in his control; situation has dictated the decision in several cases. But it still shows us something.

No, the Viking run defense is that good

It's become fashionable for some commentators to note that maybe the Viking run defense isn't as good as the numbers suggest, that the team is so easy to pass on that a lot of teams aren't even bothering to try run the ball. Well, it's true that the Vikings are easy to pass on, and it's true that a lot of teams are barely bothering to try run the ball.

However, while the 2006 Vikings are #1 against the run giving up 623 yards in 11 games, they are also #1 against the run giving up 2.78 yards per carry. They have given up more pass completions and attempts than any defense in the league, but the numbers show that when teams do try to run against the Vikings, they fail to do so.

Marcus Robinson
Robinson's health was a big reason for the Vikes' 4 game losing streak; he's not a great WR, but he's tall and reasonably consistent, which makes him the Vikings' best WR BY FAR. They need him in order to have offensive success.

That was a mean thing to do to a good looking 28 year old millionaire.
On CBS's pregame show, Charley Casserly discussed the OUTRAGE because in Detroit, the P.A. system specifically called out Joey Ha Ha to be made fun of, naming him and playing "Piano Man." Outrage? Because a good looking 28 year old millionaire got made fun of? I mean, is he alright? Should we send some people over to his very nice home and see if he's OK? Is he crying in the shower biting a washcloth or something?

Update: Peter King is OUTRAGED too.

Have you noticed the Ravens?
The Ravens are 9-2, have a dominating, smothering, scary defense, and might be the most balanced team in the AFC. They could easily win the Super Bowl this year, and this has sort of snuck up on me. The Ravens haven't been the story this season; teams like the Colts, Chargers, and Bears have gotten more attention. But in this freaky season, a defensive team with a veteran QB is the type of team that could win a very boring Super Bowl.

Remember this, fantasy football participants
Reggie Wayne is now the Colts' #1 WR. He is the first person Manning looks to on most plays (though this could be because opponents still cover Harrison with their best CB). His numbers are with Harrison in receptions, ahead in yards and TDs. Harrison is still the consistent reliable WR, and maybe he should even go ahead of Wayne in next year's fantasy draft. But Wayne is now the focus.

Michael Richards
This is a sports blog, and I've got other places I could write about this, but why not here? I'll even link to a football column to make it relevant.

Last week, Jason Whitlock wrote this about Michael Richards:

"I’m sure Jerry Seinfeld had Kramer appear on the Letterman Show because Jerry doesn’t want to be damaged by Kramer’s bigotry.

But Jerry should’ve used his muscle to get Kramer on Oprah or Montel Williams or on the Tom Joyner radio show. Going on Letterman was a business decision. “Seinfeld” is popular with white people. And going on Letterman is a sign that Jerry and Kramer want white people to be comfortable with Kramer.

Kramer doesn’t care what black people think about him. If he did, he would’ve apologized on stage the night it happened."

Since then, Richards has appeared on Jesse Jackson's radio show. I would say that Whitlock was wrong about this: Richards does seem to legitimately care about what black people think of him.

I'm convinced that two things worked together in Richards' tirade: first, he was trying an "over-the-top-push-the-envelope-revel-in-the-taboo" schtick, and secondly, in his anger, he lashed out in a mean-spirited, personal, hurtful way.

Oddly, in his apologies and commentaries, Richards has said some unique, unexpected things. He's not throwing out a canned apology--he seems to be speaking from the heart about the nature of hatred and anger.


  1. Whitlock is wrong.

  2. Anonymous12:58 PM

    Yeah, Richard's did try to apoligize at the club after it happened. At least that's what he said on Letterman. I don't like people that refer to Michael Richard's as Kramer. It's annoying and stupid.

  3. Yeah, and obviously, Seinfeld was already booked for Letterman by the time Richards had his incident. It isn't like Seinfeld rushed in, to the rescue, and said, "You know who can fix this with our white fans? Letterman!" If Seinfeld had already had an appearance on Oprah booked, he probably would have attempted to do the same for Richards.