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Good coaches, bad picks, and "leadership"

First item up appreciates Curly R's plea for Dan Reeves to get a job:

Dan is one of my favorite football minds, I even coined a phrase after him, Dan Reeves Syndrome which is what happens when you coach a team at the highest level for a sustained length of time (110-73-1 with the Broncos from 1981 to 1992 with three Super Bowl appearances) but then get fired because you can't land the big one. That's how you wind up with (the pre 2007) Wade Phillips as coach. How did that work out for Denver? Why I can tell you, 16-16 with one playoff loss.
I'm sure that's true of many a great football mind, for instance one of my favorite coaches and Redskins-ex Walk it off, Marty!. I'll probably receive heaping big criticism as I've met a non-trivial amount of Redskins fans who aren't that crazy about the Schottenheimer. Admittedly, he is comparably charismatic to a galapagos turtle that spits whilst talking, but the man won 200 football games and bats .613 in the regular season. There are four coaches in NFL history who can say they've won more regular season games, and they are: George Halas, Don Shula, Tom Landry, and Curly Lambeau. Did you know that George Halas had more losing seasons than Marty Schottenheimer? Ditto on Curly Lambeau, who also won fewer postseason games than Marty? Ditto on Tom Landry, who also once went an entire season without a W, and who also won a smaller percentage of his games than Marty? And none of those guys did their thing in the age of parity, where Marty has faired just dandy.

Am I saying he's comparable to those guys? Nah, maybe, but I am not taking anything away from those great coaches. But mind the company, won't you? For reasons that escape me, the water cooler class -- of which I am a member -- looks at his 5-13 postseason record as measure of the man and not to his 200-126-1 record through four cities over the course of 3 decades managing only two losing years in 21 seasons and concludes, wrongly from where I'm sitting, that he's not that swell. Great coach. Somehow a 1-5 Redskins team gets turned into an 8-8 not-loser that gets worse by matters of degree as soon as Marty is asked to vacate the premises. We were stupid to send him off, in my opinion. Now let me have it.

Bad picks, lines complement Post Game Heroes (good picks are above):

Denver at Houston (+1.5)
I already successfully picked Houston.

Cincinnati at San Francisco (+8)
San Fransisco!

Baltimore at Miami (+3.5)

Buffalo at Cleveland (-5.5)
Cleveland, unless they blow it like we did.

Philadelphia at Dallas (-10.5)

Green Bay at St. Louis (+9.5)
Green Bay

Indianapolis at Oakland (+10.5)

NY Jets at New England (-23)
NYJ <-- $$$ bad pick

Arizona at New Orleans (-3.5)
Arizona straight up, wishful thinking

Washington at NY Giants (-4.5)

Jacksonville at Pittsburgh (-3.5)

Detroit at San Diego (-10)
Detroit. Relating to above, I've seen Norval Turner and have picked against San Diego in virtually every game this year as a result. I do not think he is a great coach.

Seattle at Carolina (+7.5)

Atlanta at Tampa Bay (-13.5)
Atlanta with the new coach. Did you guys see how the Falcons players were responding to their coach fleeing? Hilarious stuff. "Tend to get a little angry." Enjoy:

Scott Van Pelt disingenuously says "I hate to use battle analogies, because it is just football..." He must have practiced that in the mirror 100 times to nail it without breaking stoic. Give me a break, Scott; we both love football which means, by extension, that we both love to use battle analogies because it is just football, and that's how you pine important on games. Even chess players know that. Pawn takes knight, beeeeyoooootch!

Tennessee at Kansas City (+4)

Chicago at Minnesota (-10)
Minnesota, I need them to do great to boost our BCS standing.

Finally, here is an outstanding reason to watch Hockey, which I have been totally down on for some time and am seriously considering getting myself back into the sport only on this. Post Game Heroes found this video of Gary Roberts vs. Ben Eagers (who is an enforcer, I believe?) that requires some additional commentary. First, though, some background: I used to play NHL '93 and '94 like my eternal religious soul depended on it, and my team wayback were them Calgary Flames. Fleury was also on those teams. My goalie was Mike Vernon. A dishonest youth keeps me from remembering anything more, but suffice to say Gary Roberts has a special place in my nerd-history because of what he helped me win circa ~ 1994. Did you know he was averaging 10 minutes of penalties a game in 1994-1995? Effing outstanding. And here's what he this week:

They should just play the video and then flash the NHL logo at the end to advertise the league. We'd all be watching, or crazy not to, hockey games within seconds. The fight itself is only half-spectacular excepting the fact that Gary Roberts is a 41 year old -- a full year older than Oklahoma State CFB coach Mike Gundy, I might add, who demanded you attack him for that reason -- picking on some young pup who may or may not be a team's enforcer. But that this isn't that remarkable a fight is what makes it so special; the announcers aren't even that excitable even when two players are throwing down. This is a reason to watch hockey. My two favorite moments, 1) at the end of the video one of broadcasters determines a momentum shift is taking place BECAUSE Gary Roberts won this fight. 2) Awesome, awesome moment at 25 seconds in. The one mentions Gary Roberts is throwing lefts, is 41 years old. Pause. The other says, "That's leadership."

In this society gone soft that sure is leadership. I like my 41 year old athletes ornery as shit and ready to pugil. Hail to you, Gary Roberts, hail to leadership. Pittsburgh plays the Islanders at 7PM Eastern, just sayin'.