Analogue and analog — resurrecting the trashcan bard

Sharing this melodic gem from bg of resurrecting the trashcan bard so I can keep it close at hand:

Daddy bought me a black dog Sent the mongrel to me in the mail Should of shot him down on the farm Or let me know that dam black dog was chain mail Guess my heart let him of the chain Guess that dog wolfed down my heart Thought that black dog would bury […]

via Analogue and analog — resurrecting the trashcan bard

One Catch & Two Cents

My two cents, because everyone has an opinion about the trade of Odell Beckham Jr. to the Cleveland Browns. OBJ’s famous catch against the Dallas Cowboys is a microcosm of his career with the Giants. It might be the single greatest athletic, physics-defying, impossible catch ever made on a football field, but in the end it is merely a footnote. It’s not “The Catch” in the back of the end zone by Dwight Clark that propelled the 49’ers to their first Super Bowl, or Franco Harris’ “Immaculate Reception” off a deflection against the Raiders in the AFC Championship game, or the balletic tip and layout by Lynn Swan against the Cowboys in Super Bowl X. It is not even the most exciting or famous catch in Giants history.

Mark Bavaro was everything that Beckham isn’t, an unselfish team-first warrior, aptly nicknamed “Rambo,” his own signature moment coming during an improbable comeback win against the 49’ers on Monday Night Football. Bavaro carried the entire 49’ers team on his back and willed the Giants to victory during their first championship season.

Then, there are the two greatest passes from the arm of Eli Manning, the sideline gem to Mario Manningham in Super Bowl 46 surpassed only by the great escape and “Helmet Catch” in Super Bowl XVII. Add in David Tyree’s TD catch earlier in the game, and you can argue that he surpassed Beckham’s entire five year career in a single day.

Somewhere along the way, in this stat-obsessed world of fantasy league sports, the NFL, and especially the New York Giants, forgot that football is a team game, and in the process, sold their soul and lost their identity. Unlike baseball, where individual statistics directly translate into victories–show me the back of a players’ baseball card and I can visualize their team’s level of success or failure–football is full of misleading individual statistics. Such is the case with OBJ; his most telling statistic? He has had four losing seasons out of five and had a key drop in his lone playoff game. He also has missed good parts of three seasons due to injury.

This obsession with statistics, removed from the flow of the game, was on full display in a recent article by James Koh:

OBJ has averaged 92.8 receiving yards per game in his career, the second-highest five-year average to start a career going all the way back to the 1970 merger per Pro Football Reference. More than Randy Moss, who averaged 84.3 yards per game over his first five years, and more than Jerry Rice, who averaged 83.7 yards per over his first five campaigns.
And since his rookie year in 2014, Odell has outpaced most of his contemporaries as well. He’s averaged more yards per game than DeAndre Hopkins, Mike Evans and A.J. Green. In fact only Julio Jones (103.8) and Antonio Brown (100.6) have averaged more yards per game than Beckham (92.8).
The Giants are also losing a guy that is a master tactician and a player that can create for himself.
According to Next Gen Stats, when lined up as an out wide receiver (as opposed to an inside slot man), Odell has averaged 2.8 yards of separation from his nearest defender since 2016. Among qualified outside wide receivers, that’s the best in the league. Davante Adams is fifth on this list, Antonio Brown sixth and Michael Thomas ninth.

Odell’s success rate versus man or press coverage never fell below the 98th percentile and last year, a perceived down year, he still scorched opposing defensive backs downfield as he scored an outrageously high 71.7 percent success rate on the nine route. You know those routes where you tell the receiver, just run downfield and catch it? He beat coverage 71.7 percent of the time. League average is around 54 percent.

WOW! And yet, Eli Manning, the man who threw Beckham all of those passes, is washed up. I know, I can’t have it both ways; Eli’s own statistics from this year are proof of how misleading individual stats are. Eli had a career high 66% completion percentage, throwing for 4,300 yards with 21 touchdowns and only 11 interceptions, but no one would argue that Eli had a good year.

This is my take on the decision made by GM Dave Gettleman and Giants ownership:

When OBJ was working for the new contract, he gave the impression that he had matured; showing up early for workouts, saying all the right things to the press, and quietly going about his business. Once he got the contract, he reverted back to form, which, I’m sure, enraged Giants owner John Mara who probably felt like he got played. This is why he was so vocal during the year in response to Beckham’s interviews and actions with the team. Then, OBJ sat out the last four games due to nagging quad pain. Add to that the Antonio Brown fiasco, where the Steelers got basically nothing, and I think they did a good job getting in front of the situation. They got a tough safety in Jabrill Peppers, 1st round and 3rd round draft picks, and 5-Mil in cap space which could potentially go to a fourth player. Now the picks need to be right.

I heard rumors that one of the first things OBJ is talking about is getting a new contract in Cleveland. I feel like I did back when the Giants made concessions to Jeremy Shockey. When Shockey got injured, I told my son it was a blessing in disguise. The Giants did just fine with Kevin Boss at TE in the Super Bowl run that came after Shockey went down, and I can see several guys stepping out from Beckham’s shadow, especially Evan Engram.

As for the QB situation, we will know a lot more in a few days when the Giants need to make a decision on Manning; they have until Sunday night to commit to the last year of his contract. I hear they are looking at Josh Rosen who might be available for a 3rd round pick, since the Cards are so high on drafting Murray. The Giants seem to have cooled on Dwayne Haskins from Ohio State, but that could be posturing by Gettleman. The next few months should be interesting…


The Franchise

**** August 31st, 2020 is the day that will forever mark the end of my childhood, as it will for every other Mets fan of a certain age.

George Thomas Seaver, the greatest player in Mets history, passed away in his sleep Monday night after a long battle with the debilitating effects of Lyme’s Disease.

#41 will forever live in our hearts…

It’s April 8th, 1969 and Opening Day for perennial losers the New York Mets. An 11-year-old 6th-grader is playing sick, and is home from school on a Tuesday afternoon, when he stumbles upon the advertising for today’s baseball game on WOR-TV in New York. It will be the first full ballgame he will ever watch, and the home team features a hard throwing young ace named Tom Seaver. Seaver will pitch a rough 5 innings, giving up 4 runs on 6 hits, with 3 walks, and the Mets, following in the tradition established in their first year 1962, will go on to lose 11-10, giving up 4 runs in the top of the 8th, then falling just short with 4 runs of their own in the bottom of the ninth.


The ’69 Miracle Mets would chase the Chicago Cubs most of the season, then overtake them in spectacular fashion, closing a 9 game lead, and winning the division by the same margin. They were led by their 25-year-old emerging superstar righthander who quickly became my favorite player. Seaver would close out that season with 10 straight wins, along the way hurling his famous near-perfect game against the Cubs on July 9th, the win announcing to the world that the Mets were for real. I thought I was blessed…


And I was, even though Seaver and the Mets would never duplicate the magic of that season, I got to watch my boyhood hero excel, despite marginal run support. The greatest righthander in baseball history was brilliant in every way, displaying brains, power, and a tenacious will to win. Off the field I looked forward to his appearances on the post-game show, “Kiner’s Korner,” where you could count on his witty remarks, wise-cracks, and unique cackle. I emulated Seaver in every way possible, pitching complete games with a sponge ball against the courtyard wall of the neighborhood hospital.
I watched Tom Terrific strike out 10 Padres as the sun slowly set behind the 410 marker in centerfield of the old Shea Stadium, saw Leron Lee of the same Padres break up Seaver’s second bid at a no-hitter in the 9th inning, and proudly watched him collect three Cy Young awards on his way to a Hall Of Fame career. When he was traded to the Reds on June 15th, 1977, I was crushed, and did not watch my beloved team again until he was traded back to the Mets for the 1983 season.
That infamous trade to the Reds was nothing compared to the news today that George Thomas Seaver is suffering from dementia, slowly losing his decades long battle against the debilitating after effects of Lyme’s Disease.  This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the Miracle Mets championship, and I’m numbed by the realization that our shining hero, the greatest player to ever wear a Mets uniform, #41, will not be out on the field to share in the celebration.
Tom’s wife Nancy, and the rest of the Seaver family announced that he will withdraw from public life to battle his disease. I, along with other Mets fans, can only hope and pray, and root for our hero to somehow overcome the disease and find some peace and comfort tending to his second greatest endeavor, his vineyard.

Seaver Vineyards

Seaver Vineyards

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