Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Bruce Smith's Redskins "Tale of the Tape"

Chuck Sapienza, who produces the John Thompson Show for ESPN 980 here in Washington, D.C. is great at researching stats and stuff for all things Redskins related. Chuck was a bit miffed that my colleague Andy Pollin said that Bruce Smith was NOT a true “Redskin”. Okay, I’ll admit, he’s much more of a Buffalo Bill than anything else. But he did produce sacks, easy running lanes, and a gold “Sack King” coin while here for four years. Here’s Chuck’s numbers…

Bruce Smith started 54 games for the Redskins
Doug Williams started 14
Timmy Smith started 8
Rick “Doc” Walker started 53

Bruce Smith had 29 sacks in 4 years
Lavar Arrington had 23 sacks for his Redskins career

Bruce had the best 4 year total for sacks for a defensive end since Charles Mann had 31.5 from 1989-92. Ken Harvey had 39 sacks at LB from 1994-97.

So there. For what it’s worth.


My radio buddy Scott Linn was all excited when he bought “Wii Fit” for his home. He really exuded an excitement that it would actually help him get in shape. Um, not so much.

Now this: “Despite optimistic predictions that Nintendo had unleashed a new era of videogames, experts call Wii Fit little more than an exercise fad that's bound to come and go like any other. "I don't know a single person who has bought the game who uses it routinely after a month," one claims, stressing that getting results from the game requires dedication and real physical exertion. "What Nintendo did is they tapped into that desire people have to be healthier... Everyone wants to work out, but nobody really wants to put the effort into it."

REACT: No, shit.


Bud Selig made $17 million last year. Why? I have no idea. Sure, he’s done a good job, but could a guy making say $7 million a year have done about the same? Plus, given Bud’s noted frugality ($10 haircuts, hot dog lunches) that $17 million is going to last longer than your average Wisconsin snowpack.


Another reason why Peter King is a complete stooge. “Bullet” Bob Hayes finally gained induction to the Pro Football HOF on Saturday. The shorthand on Hayes, is that he changed the game at WR because of his sprinter speed and deep ball capability. King, however remained unconvinced. He told Dallas Morning News reporter Jean-Jacques Taylor that “No one has ever able to tell me why Bob Hayes changed the game.” Well, Taylor then links to this excellent piece by one Paul Zimmerman of SI which explains it in great detail. Peter King claims he respects his co-worker Dr. Z. As Michael Scott would say: “Boom… roasted.”


Speaking of roasted, nobody cuts as sharply on sports media shenanigans as Phil Mushnick in the NY Post.

Ahh, ESPN. Wednesday, ESPN boss George Bodenheimer announced a hiring freeze while warning that 200 jobs will soon eliminated.

The next day, ESPN announced it had hired Herm Edwards.

All of us have long known that ESPN could have saved many millions of dollars simply by eliminating three-person booths during football, baseball, basketball and tennis telecasts, especially because two-in-the-booth is often more than enough.

And it wouldn't hurt to learn, before hiring big-ticket/big-name folks, whether they even belong in the business. Or was Emmitt Smith hired to improve the running game?

Late Saturday morning, ESPN's college-basketball pregame show was conducted from the University of Tennessee, where five commentators (Reece Davis, Digger Phelps, Bobby Knight, Hubert Davis, Jay Bilas) sat on a set erected at half court, each getting a few seconds per issue.

The Notre Dame-Pitt game that followed employed only two commentators, Dave Pasch and Len Elmore. At halftime, ESPN threw it to the college studio show from Bristol, where Dari Noka and Tom Brennan were seen and heard.

Before the second half had started, that one game telecast was served by nine commentators from three different places!

REACT: I too have wondered how on earth, TV budgets are justified. Even in good times, the excess seemed insane. But hey, looks like hard times are finally coming to ESPN. Not that I’m happy about it, but if it kills a few live remotes from a women’s game to countdown a mere round number milestone for a coach who has already been properly glorified, I’m okay with that.


Second good point from Phil’s Monday column: “Readers have lately asked how and why sports writers are allowed to become business partners with those they cover - write books with/for Joe Torre, for example - then continue to cover those people for their news agencies. Answer: I don't know.”

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