Peyton Manning dry raped me – an analysis of why the Broncos threw the Jaguars game

*** update 1.18.2014  far bottom

To the untrained, cynical eye – the Broncos won tonight.  Everything went ok.

You are wrong.  We threw the game, violently. nay… HE threw the game.  Peyton Manning made a full and overt effort to not succeed today.  Season to date, Peyton and the Broncos have been the most successful team in the history of football.  That isn’t hyperbole, that is statistical data.  We had a formula, and we used it every time to great success.  Even if you knew what we were going to do, we would do it anyway… and succeed greatly.

So why would the Broncos decide to stop that plan?  Why did Peyton Manning refuse to score touchdowns after the first quarter today?  Why would he not throw the ball.  Why would he not do the thing that made him the greatest single season 5 – 0 quarterback in history?  We would he let the worst team in the NFL, and possibly one of the worst teams in history, come close enough to beat us… repeatedly?

Why indeed.  Either, he was badly hurt after the first quarter and could not throw the ball… OR this:  Peyton threw this game for a bigger cause.  The Broncos have a system for wild and offensive amounts of success.  It does not involve running the ball.  We have absolutely no interest in running the ball at all.  Ever.  There is almost no use for it in our offense, except to kill the clock in the fourth quarter to protect our obscene lead. There are ways to get across the Pacific ocean.  You can take a Cessna and stop every 200 miles to fuel up.  If you are using the Cessna, you also have a very predictable flight path.  Our running game is the Cessna.  Or, you can take the Concorde – a wide receiver.  We have a LOT of Concorde super jets.  What I struggled deeply with during the game is this;  we are heading to London tonight.  It’s urgent.  We are at the airport, and we just drove past 4 private concords.  With stewardesses.  We are getting in the Cessna.   Not only is it ugly and uncomfortable, but it only goes about 4 yards at a time… best case scenario.

To cover the Broncos defensively, you didn’t have to protect the run, until now.  There is another aspect of this.  All year, when Manning was in the shotgun (85% of all plays) he was going to pass it.  Every time he took the ball under center, he handed it off for a run play.  every time.  Now, if I figured this out, so does everyone else.  Tonight, Peyton handed off the ball in every way possible, and on every play possible.  The game plan today was contrary to everything we have ever done.  What’s weirder is it was contrary to everything that has made us this great.

So, that is why we did it. Peyton gambled that we were SO good, and they were SO bad, that we could beat them with a running game alone.  He wagered that they would be SO worried about covering our receivers that they wouldn’t even bother watching the running back.  It worked.  Barely.

If you are a casual football fan, it looks like the Jaguars put up a good fight and almost won.  If you look closely, the game was an insult.  We are so good that Payton basically played with his eyes closed and his left arm and his shoelaces tied together… just to see if he could do it and still win.  It worked.  Barely.

So, in closing, we ‘threw’ the game.  how is that possible if we won?   Well, we could have won the way we usually do – destroy them with our receivers and run up 60 points.  We didn’t, though.  We didn’t even only a little.  We went with the run game, even though it sucks.  Why?  To throw off todays opponent, and (most importantly) all future opponents.  it gives them one more thing to worry about.  it also caused me to violently lose both of my fantasy leagues today – hence the title above.

*** update 1.18.2014

It takes a big man to admit when he is wrong.  At least, that is what they say.  I wouldn’t know, because I am rarely wrong (hence the title.  See, I only mostly generally write things I know about).  Anyhow, I was wrong.  With the value of hindsight, here is what I think happened.  While everything above was true, I now understand the why behind it.  Manning knew he had the greatest receiver corps in the history of football.  He also knew for us to be truly great, and to properly confuse the defenses we play – we had to establish a running game.  Even though we didn’t need one, we had to at least be able to pretend we had one to force their defense to also stay at the line and prepare for a run.  So, he needed to either tap into our running talent, or create one.  This is what he did on this day.  He got up a couple of touchdowns and then worked exclusively on the running game.

So, what’s left?  The timing of it.  Why wait until this game, this team, this week?  Well, because we were playing the worst team in the NFL.  Perhaps one of the worst teams in the history of the NFL – certainly they were at that point.  Since we didn’t have a running game of any kind to speak of, this is the time to risk it.  Plus, this wasn’t a division game, or even a conference game.  So, if we lost, it would have absolutely no real life consequences.  The only games that really and truly matter are the intra-division games.  Those count for everything.  You could lose every game of the year, except the intra-division teams, and go to the playoffs.  In the NFL, you do not even need a winning record to get to the playoffs.  You only need to be the best in your division – which is four teams.  3, and then you.  You could have a team who is 11-5 not make it to the playoffs in one division, and another team is 7-8 (7 wins, 8 losses) go straight to the playoffs.  It really makes no difference at all how many games you win.  It only matters what games you win against those 3 other teams.

So – to Peyton Manning – you were right and I was wrong.


Friday Fives – cheeky movie edition

Hi.  Listen, I know it’s not Friday.  Its not even Thursday.  Allow to explain. My editor sent these to me.  Apparently, he thinks it’s Thursday.  He’s a great guy, so I don’t have the heart to tell him he is a day off.  It’s like the thing about never waking a sleepwalker.  So, maybe it isn’t a Friday – what are you a cop all the sudden?

1.  What is the Best-Worst Movie Ever?

this is a very important two-way tie.  I am very passionate about these movies, as you will see.  The movies in question here are Gotcha, and Summer School.  They both have big Hollywood casts.  However, I am guessing they made about $6 box office, total.  These movies did so badly that when DVDs first came out… these didn’t make the cut.  It took a good 10 to 15 years for them to press these to DVD.  Think of it, they had the film done.  It probably cost a couple grand to remaster the movie for digital distribution.  They did not bother to do that for these movies.

The cast, though, in both, is huge.  Collectively, we have Mark Harmon, Anthony Edwards, Kirstie Alley, Courtney Thorne Smith, and Rob Reiner!  These are funny, funny movies.  They are also both infinitely quotable.  In fact, I quote them a lot.  Here is what’s fun.  Most people quote well-known movies – like Princess Bride.  Princess Bride is perhaps the most quotable movie ever.  When someone comes to you with a Princess Bride quote, you come back to them with your Princess Bride quote.  When I quote Summer School (written and made by Carl Reiner… the father of the guy who made Princess Pride) no one knows what I am talking about, and I sound like an idiot.  Like this line.  This line is goddamn cinematic gold.  Scene – Mark Harmon is sitting on the porched with this golden retriever, Wondermutt.  They are sharing peanut butter right out of the jar, using his fingers.  He is sad because his girlfriend left.  He says “you know what we need, Wondermutt?  I mean, besides bread.  A woman who appreciates us.”

I wish I could embed this clip, but no one has bothered to edit it out.  Here is a bunch of stuff they did edit and post.  Skip that, though.  Rent it.  No.  Wait.  Buy it.  Seriously.  Spend the $4 and buy it.  If you don’t like it send it to me.  I am still waiting for the four disc criterion collection and directors cut to come out.  That will not happen.  I wanted to pick it up on blu ray, but it doesn’t exist.  wtf?  This Blu Ray omission exactly makes my point that these movies are disregarded.

Sorry, I never even got to Gotcha.  It deserves its own 1200 words on a movie absolutely no one gives a shit about besides me.  We’ll get to that later, one day.  Today, brevity is not my strong suit.  I accidentally knocked out two pages on Summer School and Johnny Depp below.  If I went into Gotcha, we would be here until Sunday.  Rent it, though, it’s brilliant!

2.  What movie have you seen in which you can tell the director knew he was a making a pos so he made it even more campy on purpose?

I can’t think of anything that terrible.  well, I can actually.  However, this movie was so terrible I don’t want to give it any ink.  Lemme cop to something I was wrong about.  I am not wrong often, but I celebrate it.  I had written a review of the movie Drive.  I never write movie reviews.  Never once.  But, I saw Drive and I was very upset and disappointed.  I expected action, and chases, and maybe even dialogue.  It had none of these things, and I was pissed.  Then, a came back 6 months later and watched it again.  Without any expectations, I really really enjoyed it.  The issue was the movie was marketed poorly, and wrongly.  It’s a think piece, and a slow burner.  Can we also just address that Ryan Gosling is hot?  Like, I would change teams for that guy hot.  Like maybe a 5 or 6 on the Eggers scale hot.

I was wrong about Drive, and I apologize to you.

3.  What are some films that should have been absolutely amazing, but ended up being absolutely horrible?

everything Johnny Depp has done in the last 20 years.  I keep rooting for him, but all he does is shit out soulless blockbusters.  Don’t give me that jive about him doing the blockbusters so he can do his art projects.  He doesn’t do art projects.  He was offered a super cool and interesting role doing a Whitey Bulger pic.  This would be amazing, and likely Oscar material.  Problem is, they didn’t have 30 million to give Depp.  Even though Depp likely has about 250 million in the bank from the 13 Pirates movies.

Now that he is insanely rich and successful… why not make some art? Because, if he took that role for 2 million, that then becomes his market value.  It’s like the ‘comps’ in your neighborhood when you are selling your house.  Your house may be worth $500,000.  But, if your neighbor has the same house and just sold it for $300K… then that is all your house is worth.  Johnny, I guess, doesn’t want his neighborhood value to crumble.  I did some more research, and I have actual figures.  Depp makes 20 million a film.  For the Bulger biopic, they offered him 10 million.  10 million dollars to do some art and get an oscar.  He turned it down.  Why?  So he can get paid 30 million to do a Lone Ranger sequel?  Depp is a hack a sell out.  That hurts me to say.  He bona fides are impressive.  He was a close personal friend of Hunter Thompson, and spent millions paying for Thompson’s insane funeral.  I love him for that.  He hangs out with Tom Petty and Pearl Jam, and plays guitar.  I love him for that.  He chooses only terrible super high profile films, and seems only to play a caricature of an actor.

Jesus, this thing went WAY off the rails.  Not sure where all the Depp anger came from, but it’s warranted.  But since we are here, let’s hit another issue about Depp and my favorite book of all time.  Depp did Alice in Wonderland.  I love this book more than life itself.  Well, your life, anyway.  🙂 This is the greatest and most important book ever.  So, how did I feel about the Depp movie?  Aren’t I supposed to say “the book was better?”  No.  here is why – the Depp movie was an imagine sequel.  What happens if Alice comes back 20 years later?  I love the premise, and I can guarantee Lewis Carroll would have loved it, too.  I am not in love with the movie, but I don’t hate it.  I admire the spirit of such a bold move.  There are trillions of Alice in Wonderland remakes, but no one has tried to tell a whole new story.

Can I tell you one incredibly factoid on the book, of which there are hundreds?  Alice in Wonderland is actually two separate books.  The second book, “Through the Looking Glass” is a chess game.  It is an actionable, executable chess game.  Each movement of a character in the book relates to a specific chess move.  This guy was a master published mathematician.

Can you comprehend the moral dilemma put on us by the story of the Walrus and Carpenter?  You see two weird fat guys eating oysters.  I did a ten page essay arguing that the Walrus is the true tragic figure.  Thought he ate the most oysters, he felt bad about it the whole time.  Did you know that all the stories in those books are related to fish?  Do you even know what a caucus race is?  Jesus, its like talking to my cat with you people.

4.  Along the same lines, what is a book/story that you just know would be ruined if it were made into a film.

Lamb – a book that rocked my world.  I love that book so much that I fear it could get tampered with.  It would make an amazing independent movie.  However, once suits and money get involved they would suck the life out of it.  I truly can not say enough good things about that book.  I will put my name on it.  As a recovering Catholic, it spoke to me on some serious and heavy beautiful levels.  Also, dig this; I wound up listening to the book on tape on Christmas day.  I was driving by myself, a long drive  4 hours.

think of it.  You could almost put it in the book – due to major insomnia, I was in a very strange place physically and emotionally and spiritually when I happened to have a long solitary beautiful snowy drive all by myself all day long listening to this story on audiobook.  I mean to say this without hyperbole as an atheist with a gift for hyperbole > the book that day was a religious experience

5.  Sharknado?  Yes or No?

It’s a little too soon, bro.  My father was killed by a sharknado.  Is everything a joke to you people?  Meet me at Cafe Friedrichstraussen