Unverified Voracity Wonders About The Bearded Lady?

Submitted by Brian on December 19th, 2017 at 12:16 PM

Last call for XMas tales. PEOPLE OF EARTH: FAILURE IS IMMINENT. No, this isn't about Dave Brandon. This is about YOU. If you order TODAY a copy of Hail To Old Blue will get to its proper location by Christmas.


Or you can pick up a copy at Underground Printing, Literati, or Nicola's. All of them are fine establishments containing our book. Literati also has unauthorized copies of Crag Ross's books. (To be clear: they are unauthorized by Literati, because Craig just signs them and drops them off.)

The inscrutable crocodile. As the kind of person who sits in his bunker and plots various ways to destroy my mortal enemy Instagram whilst almost entirely ignoring the NFL, this insane thing has eluded my attention for far longer than anything that could cause this picture to exist should:


Tom Brady's slow descent into madness is now manifesting itself as a series of bizarre webcomics that involve centaur, jockey, and Captain Planet versions of Brady himself, some sort of pudgy leprechaun who is about to touch his nipples, Walker Space Ranger, a crocodile dressed like Captain Picard during a holodeck episode, several anime animals engaging in some sort of... activity, and—most bizarrely—Gronk in a lab coat pouring what I can only assume is trademarked, patented GronkJuice(tm) onto a chicken wing. 

That paragraph was one sentence.

Anyway. This clearly needs a crack investigative team breaking down the ins, outs, what-have-yous, and thoughtcrimes being committed. Charlotte Wilder was born for this job.

  • Speaking of lasers, the plans inside the Dolphins’ briefcase appear to be for some sort of giant, inter-galactic laser.
  • Oh my god, do you think that because I’ve been imagining that the social media room underneath a TB12 workout facility looks like a lair, they drew a lair?
  • Sorry, I know this isn’t about me.
  • Is that guy wearing a lab coat by the picture of Ben Steeler Gronk?
  • Yes, because in the comic after the Houston win, Gronk showed up wearing that same lab coat. He’s also wearing glasses and says, “the computer data is telling me...”
  • Get it? It’s funny because Gronk is not generally seen as a rocket scientist. They were in space then. Now they’re underwater. Or possibly underground.

I think that's a compliment? I don't know. She did a really good job analyzing this nonsense Tom Brady webcomic? Hell, I've covered the last 14 years of Michigan football. I have no room to criticize.

Speaking of NFL things that don't make any sense. This isn't a catch, people! Why are you mad about this?

Any player that hasn't clearly established themselves as a runner has to maintain control through contact through the ground and this dude certainly did not do that. Even the current 65-page version of the catch rule the NFL deploys isn't at fault here. This particular incident was even explained with poetic beauty!

“The receiver, in the end zone, did not survive the ground,” was the explanation on the field by referee Tony Corrente.

Damn, Tony Corrente.

The problem is nobody knows what a damn catch is. Here's a four part catch rule that is as unambiguous as is possible (for the NFL) and solves many many problems:

  • A receiver has to secure the ball and get both feet down in bounds to start the catch process.
  • Once he takes a step after both feet come down he is a runner and has caught the ball.
  • Receivers who do not take a step between possessing the ball and either going to ground or touching out of bounds must maintain possession through contact with the ground.
  • Maintaining possession means the ball does not touch the ground. If the receiver is now out of bounds and he bobbles the ball, forcing the catch process to start over, it's incomplete.

The end. The above-linked SBN article has a controversial Dez Bryant non-catch that this version of the rule makes crystal clear:

Catch, step, runner, complete. No controversy. Steelers' play above: no step, ball touches ground, incomplete, no controversy.

There will of course be edge cases where the situation at the moment of possession makes it unclear whether a catch is a catch, but those four steps are the clearest and least controversial a catch rule can be. If you wanted to go even farther towards clarity you could let a catch stand if 1) the WR got his feet in bounds and 2) the ball never hit the turf even if there was a bobble after the WR went out. I think that's not a catch but if you said it was then it's pretty simple: did you keep the ball off the ground after establishing a foot (or two) in bounds? Yes? Catch.

The quintessential Bush blitz. Blitzology—hey!—breaks it down.

Really interesting and effective pressure concept from Michigan defensive coordinator Don Brown. The Wolverines are in a 3-3 nickel personnel package.

The Rush:
The front slides the 3 down linemen to the strong side and has all 3 LB's walked up to the weak side. The Mike is initially in a 3 point stance. 
The effect is a 4 man version of America's Blitz. The Will wraps around to the fill the role of the inside rusher in the America's blitz concept. Because the defense bluffs the weak side overload the protection doesn't identify the concept as America's blitz and pass it off. The RB is forced into a really difficult block, scanning all the way back across the formation to pick up the Will as he wraps around.

Frequently the "N" was actually Noah Furbush, but that wrap blitz was largely responsible for Bush's blazing start to the season. Teams did adapt, but then Michigan threw other stuff—largely Khaleke Hudson—at the opposition.

To be fair, this is correct about 20% of the time. Whoops, Tampa Bay Times:


Although... that appears to be an ad, which means the Outback Bowl itself doesn't know who's in this year's game. Which is fine. I mean. It's the Outback Bowl. No1curr. Except MSU fans.

Good lord, dude. ASU AD Ray Anderson is rapidly charging up the ranks of Most Incompetent AD Ever, and he's got the bravura of a Wall Street trader to go with it:

"The athletic department there is perceived there as a cluster," Sun Devils athletic director Ray Anderson said. "Their athletic director, now Phil Fulmer, in the athletic director's world is a pariah. It is not a good situation."

Their AD is a cluster? Bruh.

Do I hear a senior season? ESPN's latest draft rankings have Mo Wagner #68 despite his clearly improved rebounding and... possibly improved defense. We've seen guys (GRIII most prominently) leave one year after they put their name in but withdrew, and that's always a possibility. But if Wagner's leaving after the year it's probably not for the lottery.

Don't expect Rashan Gary to fall in the same boat, though.

Some bad grades. Since all we get these day from PFF are glimpses you don't get a lot of negatives unless the situation—cough cough, OL—absolutely demands it. South Carolina's 24/7 site is looking for weaknesses in the Michigan D, though, and they came up with:

Defensive end Carlo Kemp (49.9) - A sophomore who is listed as a backup, Kemp has played 367 snaps on defense. He has graded out at 48.2 against the run and 55.6 in pass rush.

Linebacker Noah Furbush (50.6) - Furbush is also listed as a backup and has played 138 snaps this season. He’s performed much better against the run grading out at 64.6 and has struggled in coverage at 45.9.

Two backups. (I think they might have flipped those snap counts, FWIW. Furbush got way more snaps than Kemp this year.)  The conceit of this post is "three at the top and three at the bottom," but...

The “Three at the top” needed to be expanded to five as each player listed graded out as “elite,” a designation given to players who achieve an 85.0 or higher. The “Three near the bottom” was cut to two given that no other player with 75 or more snaps played had a grade below 70.

...ain't nobody else at the bottom. The five elite guys are Hurst, Winovich, Hudson, Bush, and Hill, all of whom are at 87 or better.

Yes, this means that PFF is also grading Michigan's safeties well. Metellus's rough OSU game had a lot of internet people waving Brian Smith goodbye happily because they thought Metellus and Kinnel were bad. They were not. They were good. A B+ unit.

Etc.: Ann Arbor average home price went up 8% this year; went up 11% last year. Again, I apologize to Juggalos for comparing them to Michigan State fans. Good luck at the Supreme Court, Juggalos. Harbaugh visits the tiny town of Garber, is greeted like movie star. Pioneer parking makes bank.



December 19th, 2017 at 12:24 PM ^

When his knee hits the ground and he clearly pivots to stretch for the goalline, he establishes himself as a runner. If the momentum of his catch carried him across the goalline, I would agree with you. As it is, the stop of downward momentum and the change of direction shows me he has control of the catch.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:04 PM ^

If he had tried to change direction to go more upfield or pushed off when his knee hit, I would agree it's a seperate "football move".

To me it just looks like the stretching out is still part of the same "football move" of catching the ball. Pulling the ball into your chest isn't considered a seperate "football move", and to me this is the same, except he moved it to a more vulnerable position which is why it bobbled.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:16 PM ^

He does change direction, if only by 5 degrees or so. And there is two distinct motions. Ball hits his hands and he brings the ball into his body, then he reaches the ball away from his body and upfield towards the endzone.

Again, I think it should be incomplete because I believe completing the process is pivotable to the completion. 

Pepto Bismol

December 19th, 2017 at 1:37 PM ^

You say "Pulling the ball into your chest isn't considered a separate football move"

At :01 of the video, he catches the ball at head level

At :03 seconds, he has pulled the ball into his chest.  I agree not a football move.  That's just catching the ball.

But at :05 seconds, he has turned his body and extended the ball back away from his body toward the goal line.  That's a separate football move.  That it all happened in the same fluid motion while falling to the turf doesn't change the fact that he possessed the ball first and then tried to make the next move with possession.  This is my problem with the NFL.

Calvin Johnson didn't lose the ball going to the ground to make a catch.  He lost the ball when rolling over to jump up and celebrate.  Dez Bryant didn't lose the ball going to the ground to make the catch.  He lost the ball extending for the goal line with possession. The NFL errs way too far on the side of "in the process of making a catch".  

Back to Steelers guy:  "He extended the ball".  Everybody agrees with this.  He extended the ball toward the goal line.  The million dollar question for NFL officials is, How do you extend the ball without possessing it?  

Anyway, it doesn't matter.  I understand the rule. According to NFL case law, this is incomplete.  Oh well.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:46 PM ^

If while extending the ball it came out of his hands, would you think its a fumble?

That's always my go to eye test. If it wouldn't have been a fumble, then he doesn't have full possession yet and it wasn't a catch.

Calvin Johnson's I agree with you, and passes the fumble test. If he hadn't been touched and that's in the middle of the field, I think that's ruled a fumble as he tries to get up and run.

Goggles Paisano

December 19th, 2017 at 4:45 PM ^

I've been watching football for 40+ years and that is a touchdown all day.  TD's are like porn, you can't properly define it but you know it when you see it.  I understand what the poorly written says, but slow-motion replay breaks things down to a far too technical aspect that is not good for the game.  Steelers got hosed.  Time to re-address these ridiculous rules.    



December 19th, 2017 at 12:29 PM ^

Getting a few home prices that are hitting the low $500 sq ft range in Ann Arbor. That's bananas, especially when you can go buy something in the beautiful city of Ypsilanti for closer to $100 sq ft.


December 19th, 2017 at 12:38 PM ^

The High School is Garber in Essexville (which essentially Bay City). It would be akin to saying “...went to the small town of St. Mary’s...” to recruit someone from OLSM.


December 19th, 2017 at 12:38 PM ^

I agree that the Steelers play is not a catch. What I do not understand is how this is not a TD if he doesn't complete the catch until he survives contact with the ground. 

Yes the knee was down and he was contacted before the ball was over the line. But possession of the ball was not complete until after he was in the endzone. Both this play and the Steelers play above cannot exist in the same world as both calls not being a TD.

Either Tate is down before the line to gain because possession is instantaneous and that TE scored a TD because possession is instantaneous and he crossed the plain untouched. Or Tate scores because possession isn't granted until the survival of contact with the ground and that TE dropped the ball for not surviving it. 


December 19th, 2017 at 12:50 PM ^

Essentially you can be down before completely possessing the ball. Just like you only have to touch your feet down in bounds, but must maintain control as you hit the ground out of bounds. Otherwise not only would you have to get your feet down, but also make a football move before going out of bounds.

If he had bobbled the ball after being touched but kept if off the ground, it would've been a TD.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:19 PM ^

Becuase in both situations you can be down before completely possessing the ball. In the case where a WR goes OOBs he is down when the first body part touches OOBs, but he has to maintain control through the ground.

Same logic being applied, Tate was down when his knee hit (I don't think it indisputably did) but he had to maintain control through the ground or it would have been incomplete.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:33 PM ^

To me, inbounds, you cannot be down before possessing a ball and if the NFL rules state that then they need to change. OOBs differs because to spot the ball, you go to the last place you were in contact with the field of play. Inbounds when you complete possession, and go back to the last place were you were in contact with the field of play which is where you would have been when all the necessary catch perameters were met. 


December 19th, 2017 at 1:09 PM ^

I do think this play should've stayed a touchdown, but for a different reason. Becuase I don't think its indisputable that his knee touched the ground and that him pushing off with his foot didn't straighten out his leg. It was called a touchdown and the call should have stood.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:24 PM ^

I don't like the retroactiveness of possession in the field of play. And furthermore, saying he was touched after possession? How can the tackle be initiated before the catch? If you missed a PI in the last 2 minutes of the game and that PI is more obvious that the catch itself, then that needs to be called as an egregious error. Then you can't tell if he bobbled it and kept it off the ground in the endzone. All of that play seemed to be disputable, resulting in the call on the field to stand. 


December 19th, 2017 at 12:41 PM ^

Not sure why this is so hard for the writers of this blog to get right. Garber is not a town, it is a school. It is in Essexville, a suburb of Bay City. I guess the tiny town meme is too hard to resist.


December 19th, 2017 at 2:49 PM ^

Yeah I’ve never really heard this take either.

Has he even had the hint of a scandal outside of deflategate? Why would he be embarrassing?

All I’ve seen is class from him pretty much. I guess he eats really healthy, but I’m not sure that qualifies him as weird.


December 19th, 2017 at 3:13 PM ^

His TB12 method is all snake oil with the focus on water consumption and was spearheaded by Alex Guerrero, who promoted products he claimed could cure cancer, AIDs, and help recovery from concussions. He's not a bad guy, but to say that he is this pure aw shucks guy isn't correct either.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:00 PM ^

“There is no salesman in him. Everything is plain and simple. He said, ‘Iowa is a great school, you can’t go wrong there. Now here’s what we offer.’ He’s not into bad-mouthing other schools – all of them are good schools – he’s into Michigan.


love it.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:05 PM ^

Regarding the criticism of Metelus/Kinnel:  They were the weak point of a defense that was one of the 10 best in the country.  That still means they are pretty good.  And they were both first year starters, 1 was a true sophomore recruit outside of the top 700.  Smith deserves praise not criticism for his job as a position coach.


December 19th, 2017 at 1:44 PM ^

Metellus is a safety and not a lock down corner. I'm not sure what people are looking for out of our safeties. They are asked to be in man on man coverage a lot.

Because they are not All American lock down corner backs, sometime the QB will complete a pass to the WR they are asked to cover all by themselves.

Probably the only way to lessen these completions would be to eliminate the Safety position and only put CB's on the field.


December 19th, 2017 at 2:06 PM ^

This is sort of what Harbuagh is after - the big, tall, heavyweight corners he covets can double as viable safeties.  Metellus was a true safety that was available when safeties were needed.  He filled a valuable spot, and is doing a very credible job.  I don't think he's the model safety that Harbaugh desires, but he gets the job done nicely.


December 19th, 2017 at 3:14 PM ^

I like Metellus but he (and Kinnel to a degree) have to get better at tackling. Dropping a ball is excusable for a DB every once in while. Getting thundertrucked by a WR or taking horrible angles to the ball is not. 

Luckily those are coachable mistakes and Woods seems like a viable option. 


December 19th, 2017 at 1:23 PM ^

One knee = two feet, no? Looks to me like the receiver hauls the ball with one knee down and brings it towards is body, meaning he is an established runner, and THEN stretches out for the goal line in a separate move. It did not look like the stretch was part of the process of hauling the ball in, from my perspective. Especailly considering the call on the field was TD.