Monday, December 10, 2012

Top Three Ludicrous Comments from Week 14

Each week in the NFL provides a treasure trove of ludicrous comments--some from fans, some from announcers, some from broadcasters, and many, many more from sports scribes.  Following are three of the more ludicrous comments of the week.

(3)  Daryl Johnston Excuses Referees' Incompetence.  Following yet another push off by one of the Chicago Bears' burly wide-receiver twosome of Brandon Marshall and Alshon Jeffery, FOX color analyst Daryl Johnston noted the offensive interference and the fact that the officials missed the call.  Johnston added, however, that "as long as the call is consistent" overlooking it is excusable.  Johnston's analysis would make sense, but for the fact that, by definition, there is no such thing as being consistent on such calls when only one team has burly wide-receivers that are pushing off--or when the other team doesn't even pass the ball.  Johnston's initial instinct was correct--the officials blew the call and had blown it consistently all day.  He should have stopped there.  Ludicrous Scale:  9.

(2)  Leslie Frazier Refers to Vikings' "Brand" of Football.  Vikings' head coach Leslie Frazier rears his head at the number two spot this week, after suggesting that the Vikings' have a "brand" of football.  Without a functioning quarterback, the Vikings mostly run the ball--32 times on 53 plays on Sunday.  When they pass, the pass is nothing more than an extended, often backward, handoff and expectations for success are more greatly diminished than if the quarterback were asked to simply down the ball on the snap. That's not representative of a brand of ball, that's dysfunction resulting from a stubborn approach to analyzing the performance of a player who should not be on an NFL roster.  Ludicrous Scale:  10.

(1)  Frazier Applauds Play of Quarterback.  Frazier also takes the number one spot in this week's rankings, after arguing that quarterback Christian Ponder, who finished the game 11 of 17 for 91 yards and a quarterback rating of 25--the lowest of all NFL quarterbacks in week 14--did his job.  If Ponder did his job against the Bears, the Vikings can save a boatload of money going forward hiring someone off the street to do what he did.  How bad was Ponder?  He had zero completions in which the ball traveled more than nine yards in the air and continued a downward trend over the past five games in which he has completed just one of twenty-one passes over 15 yards.  After the game, Brad Biggs of the Chicago Tribune referred to Ponder as the worst quarterback in the NFL.  FOX analyst Jimmy Johnson concurred.  Arizona fans might protest, but even their quarterback in yesterday's 58-0 loss finished with a higher quarterback rating.  Frazier seems schizophrenic regarding Ponder, alternately parsing his language to hide his frustration and praising his quarterback for his "efficiency."  The Vikings' three scores yesterday included exactly one pass from Ponder for an eleven-yard gain.  Ponder did have two completions that mattered late in the fourth quarter,  but they mattered more in that they gave Adrian Peterson a breather than they mattered in showing Ponder's value.  Ludicrous Scale:  11.

Up Next:  About That Bill.  Plus, what's the point of treating Ponder as nothing more than a placeholder?

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