Thursday, June 26, 2008

Settling the 'Greatest QB of All-Time' Debate?

I envy the guys over at Pro Football Reference. They run this amazing site that all football nerds and statisticians crave. All the data is available free. And they also write great pieces analyzing the data and determining things like who is the best kick returner of all-time or what is the best single season ever for a running back.

One of those questions that comes up almost daily around the internet and on sports shows is "who is the greatest QB ever?". It is a valid question. If I picked out 10 random people and asked that question I may get 10 different answers. Tarkenton. Elway. Favre. Young. Montana. Manning. Brady. Bradshaw. Staubach. Namath. Kelly. There's 11 right there and I could list another 3 or 4 that should be considered as well.

Luckily Pro Football Reference did this analysis for us. Twice. The first time was prior to the 2006 season. The analysis stated that the single best season by a QB since 1970 was Peyton Manning's 2004 season. It pegged Steve Young as the greatest QB since 1970. Much debate followed. Fast forward 2 years to 2008. Tom Brady's historic 2007 season is in the books and used in the analysis. Where does it stand? Who has the best single season in the history of professional football (this 2nd time around the PFR guys went beyond 1970)? And finally, who is the greatest QB ever? Here are the results.

Steve Young earned 'Best QB of All-Time' honors from PFR in 2006. Not so much in 2008. He placed 3rd.

That's right people. It's Dan Marino times two. Using different statistical methods in 2008 than in 2006, the PFR guys determined the Dan Marino had the greatest season ever by a QB (1984) and is the best QB of All-Time. It's actually not even close yet. He leads #2 Peyton Manning by almost 650 points. In my mind Peyton Manning will be the greatest QB ever in the next 2-3 years. But Marino is the man for now based on this analysis.

For those of you that don't want to head on over to Pro Football Reference, here are the Top 10 in each category:

Greatest Single Season by a QB
  1. Dan Marino (1984)
  2. Peyton Manning (2004)
  3. Tom Brady (2007)
  4. Otto Graham (1953)
  5. Steve Young (1992)
  6. Bert Jones (1976)
  7. Sid Luckman (1943)
  8. Kurt Warner (1999)
  9. Steve Young (1994)
  10. Dan Fouts (1981)

Greatest QB of All-Time
  1. Dan Marino
  2. Peyton Manning
  3. Steve Young
  4. Fran Tarkenton
  5. Joe Montana
  6. Dan Fouts
  7. Johnny Unitas
  8. Ken Anderson
  9. Roger Staubach
  10. Len Dawson
Here are the ranks of others of note: Brett Favre (11); John Elway (15); Bart Starr (16); Tom Brady (19); Joe Namath (30); Jim Kelly (34); Troy Aikman (37); Terry Bradshaw (39); Bob Griese (40). It is important to note that these ratings do not take into account postseason statistics or any awards; it is solely based on regular season statistics. For a detailed look at how PFR did all of this, read this.

All hail Marino, the GREATEST QB OF ALL-TIME!!! Well, for at least another 2 or 3 years. Damn you, Peyton!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

ESPNs Schlabach Predicts 2008-2009 Bowl Matchups

Football fever is sweeping the country as enthusiasts wait for NFL, college, and high school training camps. At an attempt to feed the mass of deprived pigskin fans, ESPNs Mark Schlabach has put out his first attempt at predicting the 2008-2009 college football season (FBS level, of course). Many of you have seen this on ESPN I'm sure, but by putting it here we can come back and criticize it when it inevitably is 89% incorrect. Check it out below. Don't expect the Sports Fountainhead Preseason Top 25 until early August.

Click to enlarge.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

500th Post

Today is Sports Fountainhead's 321st day on Blogger. Through the collaborative posting of Eric, Jonathan, Tom, Justin, Arvind, and me, we have reached 500 posts. That works out to approximately 1.5 posts a day. I know it has been slow recently but most of our passion lies with football. I assure you readers that once August roles around there will be plenty more posts and updates about the NFL and college football. I won't be recapping the last 250 posts, as I did here.

Instead I would just like to extend a simple "thank you" to the bloggers and how ever many readers we may have out there. I know there aren't a lot but I know there are a few out here that enjoy our stuff. Thanks for coming back.

I'd like to take this time to bribe anyone that reads this to continue coming back by listing a few things I'd like to feature on Sports Fountainhead in the coming months:

  • MLB 2nd half predictions
  • NCAA Football 2009 simulation (for 2008-2009 season) - unedited rosters; results and statistics will be listed here
  • NCAA Football 2009 simulation (for 2008-2009 season over the course of 10 simulations) - unedited rosters; average wins/losses and bowl appearances for major teams and surprise teams, results and statistics will be listed here
  • Madden 2009 simulation (for 2008-2009 season) - unedited rosters; results and statistics will be listed here
  • Madden 2009 simulation (for 2008-2009 season over the course of 10 simulations) - unedited rosters; average wins/losses and playoff appearances for all teams, results and statistics will be listed here
  • College Football preview and predictions
  • More NFL predictions (view version 1 here and version 2 here)
  • The return of the Sports Fountainhead Top 25 poll and NFL Hot 12
  • Fantasy football insight
  • And much, much more! Honestly, when August comes around we will most likely average 3 posts per day.
If any of the other contributors would like to announce something they plan on working on the rest of the summer let me know and I'll add it to the list.

Monday, June 23, 2008

The Sad Story of Don Imus

When somebody screws up, you hope that he or she learns from the mistake(s) made. When somebody screws up and upsets a lot of people, you really hope that knowledge is gained from the mistake(s) made. Too bad radio host Don Imus is not one of those people.

Earlier today, his racist language reared its ugly head again when the subject of Adam (aka Pacman) Jones came up. When Imus' sports guy, Warner Wolf was talking about his past troubles, the following exchange took place:

Imus: "What color is he?"
Wolf: "...he's African American."
Imus: "Well there you go. Now we know."

Are you serious? After he called the Rutgers' women's basketball (a team that I root for and enjoy following) "nappy-headed hos," you would think that he would stray as far away from racist insinuations like they were the plague. I guess it's once a racist, always a racist in Imus' case. The disturbing thing was he wasn't even saying it like it was funny or supposed to be a joke. To hear for yourself, click here. I'm gonna be real here, people joke around about this stuff all the time. Is it right? Absolutely not. However, the inflection of his voice was quite telling. The initial hesitant reaction and then desperate attempt to try and pretend he didn't hear the comment by Warner Wolf was quite telling as well.

It's just terribly sad because you know he's not entirely a terrible guy. Every year, he invites children affected by pediatric cancer to his ranch and raises money for them. That's something that myself and the other bloggers can certainly relate too through our involvement with the Penn State Dance Marathon (THON). You hate to see somebody that obviously has a soft spot for such things go down like this but it's the way it has gotta be. He must be fired, and he must stay off the air for good. I don't know many radio stations that would want to take a chance somebody like him and for good reason. He's a racist. Plain and simple. And he doesn't deserve to be on the air, period.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

FAIL

Found this on CNN.com. I guess Mr. Jones isn't seeing the immediate results he was hoping for.


But if you really want to talk about failing, you can talk about my goose egg in picking the Euro quarterfinal games. At least I picked Spain and Italy going to PKs but that's about the only thing right I picked for the entire round.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Next Stop: Team Currently with the Best Record

I've spent a lot of time preaching and writing about my strong dislike of bandwagon and fake fans. Today on ESPN.com DJ Gallo posts a piece on Page 2 about 10 rules a bandwagon fan must follow. It is a great satirical piece. Read it here. Also on Page 2, Patrick Hruby lists 8 types of bandwagon fans. Check that out here.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

I'm glad I was wrong

Not very often that I say that but I'm a fan of the German national football team and I'm glad they disposed of the Portuguese earlier today by a score of 3-2. Yes, my championship pick is gone in the first game of the knockout round but it came at the expense of an incredibly entertaining match. If I'm noticing anything too, it's that I still have a lot to learn about the game. I'm beginning to realize how much I understand when watching a game of American football or baseball but don't know all in ins and outs of football. Anyways, that's beside the point. The point is that Die deutsche Fußballnationalmannschaft is awesome. Many people though that the Germans were going to struggle against Portugal but that did not happen at all as the jumped out to an early 2-0 lead. Before the game, many made light of the Germans superior size, and that's what did it for them. Two of their goals were a combination of bad Portuguese marking and great size as they came on headers. Personally, I thought Portugal would zip around them, and they did at times, but it wasn't enough. Christiano Ronaldo had a decent game, but he didn't do enough and Portugal no goes home empty handed, short of expectations.

Best. Jersey. Ever.


No words needed.

2008 NFL Predictions, Version 2: Before Training Camp

OK so here is my second attempt at predicting what will happen during the 2008-2009 NFL season. I have revisited my previous predictions from prior to the NFL Draft and have revised them to reflect the strength of each team, in my opinion. I will put out another set of predictions in early August and then again in early September. The "Δ Win-Loss" column indicates the teams change from my last predictions. Also, I have included my playoff predictions. Take a look at both below...

AFC

North

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

Cleveland Browns

10-6

±0

Pittsburgh Steelers

10-6

±0

Wild Card

Baltimore Ravens

6-10

+1

Cincinnati Bengals

5-11

±0

South

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

Jacksonville Jaguars

11-5

-1

Indianapolis Colts

11-5

±0

Wild Card

Tennessee Titans

8-8

-1

Houston Texans

6-10

±0

East

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

New England Patriots

12-4

-1

New York Jets

9-7

±0

Buffalo Bills

7-9

+1

Miami Dolphins

6-10

±0

West

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

San Diego Chargers

13-3

±0

Denver Broncos

7-9

±0

Oakland Raiders

5-11

±0

Kansas City Chiefs

3-13

+1

NFC

North

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

Minnesota Vikings

10-6

±0

Green Bay Packers

10-6

±0

Wild Card; #5 seed in NFC playoffs over Eagles due to common opponent tiebreaker

Detroit Lions

6-10

±0

Chicago Bears

4-12

-2

South

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

New Orleans Saints

10-6

±0

#2 seed in NFC playoffs due to victory over Vikings on Monday, October 6th

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9-7

±0

Carolina Panthers

9-7

+2

Atlanta Falcons

3-13

-1

East

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

Dallas Cowboys

11-5

±0

Philadelphia Eagles

10-6

±0

Wild Card

Washington Redskins

9-7

+1

New York Giants

7-9

-2

West

Team

Win-Loss

Δ Win-Loss

Notes

Seattle Seahawks

9-7

±0

Arizona Cardinals

8-8

+1

St. Louis Rams

7-9

+1

San Francisco 49ers

5-11

±0



2008-2009 NFL Playoffs

Wild Card Round

AFC

(6) Pittsburgh Steelers

(3) Jacksonville Jaguars

(3) Jaguars, 23-14

(5) Indianapolis Colts

(4) Cleveland Browns

(5) Colts, 35-24

NFC

(6) Philadelphia Eagles

(3) Minnesota Vikings

(6) Eagles, 20-17

(5) Green Bay Packers

(4) Seattle Seahawks

(4) Seahawks, 24-13

Divisional Round

AFC

(5) Indianapolis Colts

(1) San Diego Chargers

(1) Chargers, 27-21

(3) Jacksonville Jaguars

(2) New England Patriots

(3) Jaguars, 21-20

NFC

(6) Philadelphia Eagles

(1) Dallas Cowboys

(1) Cowboys, 31-17

(4) Seattle Seahawks

(2) New Orleans Saints

(2) Saints, 28-13

Conference Championships

AFC

(3) Jacksonville Jaguars

(1) San Diego Chargers

(1) Chargers, 17-13

NFC

(2) New Orleans Saints

(1) Dallas Cowboys

(1) Cowboys, 38-35

Super Bowl XLIII

Dallas Cowboys

San Diego Chargers

Chargers, 28-23

It's Always Sunny in Indianapolis

Working as a Data Specialist for the Indiana State Climate Office on the Purdue University campus doesn't usually relate to the wide world of sports. Until today. Front office and stadium crew/staff called the office today to inquire about varying degrees of sun data. While not the type of climatology most people relate to weather (the normal being precipitation and temperature), limited sun data (rise/set times, radiation, etc.) is available. See the Colts are opening a new stadium this fall, Lucas Oil Stadium (or "The Luke"), and it has a retractable roof. Weather elements had no impact on Peyton Manning and Co. at the RCA Dome. However, the Colts staff anticipates leaving the roof open whenever the weather allows. But that brings in an element of wind and sun. The Colts would like my office to provide them with data to determine if they should leave the roof open even if there is no rain in the forecast. Sports and weather: they go hand-in-hand.

P.S. - The Colts also let us know that they love our hourly database and use it all the time. I may have disable that so they call the office more often...

Tiger Should Be Praised, but from the Right Perspective

Tiger Woods is one of the greatest athletes and golfers of all time. No doubt about it. He has ruled the golfing world for 10+ years. He is absolutely amazing. But some of the ridiculous things I'm reading in story comments and message boards is utter crap. Take this for example:



That comment is from some idiot after reading this article previewing the San Diego Chargers before training camp opens in July. Bill Williamson's big point was how Philip Rivers isn't the Chargers greatest player but he is their leader, as demonstrated by his guts in playing through a torn ACL during San Diego's AFC Championship Game loss to New England. And yet this fool of a sports fan believes Tiger Woods showed more guts by playing through his injury than Philip Rivers? What?

Tiger absolutely was in pain; you could see it. Playing with a torn ligament and a double stress fracture isn't going to be easy. But he was swinging a golf club people, not running away from a blitzing linebacker, being sacked, or being sandwich by 300 pound lineman. You have to look at this from the right perspective. You absolutely use your legs and knees for swinging a golf club but that swinging motion is nothing compared to rolling out in the pocket or taking a hit. Tiger is absolutely a beast and should receive praise. But saying he showed more guts than another athlete with a severe injury is ridiculous. Use some common sense people. Why can't they each be lauded for their toughness and refusal to quit???

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Knockout Time

The riveting group stage of Euro 2008 is over, and now it's time for the do or die knockout round. I butchered my picks pretty bad, only getting 3 of 6 right, despite a 6 day delay in my picks. What can I say, there were some surprises. Now, to some readjusted picks.

The Czech's were all but a lock to advance as they had a 2-0 lead over Turkey with about 15 minutes to go. But, as I'm sure some of you know, the Turks had a comeback for the ages as they stormed back with 3 goals to stun the Czechs. With that, their confidence is surely sky high, but I don't know if they have much of a chance on Friday against Croatia. They will be without starting goalie Volkan Demirel who drew a boneheaded red card against Czech striker Jan Koller, after the Turks went up 3-2. For shoving him to the ground, he will be out for Friday's matchup (and the semifinal game if the Turks manage to advance). Because of that, they'll either have to go with the older veteran in Rüştü Reçber or the unproven kid, Tolga Zengin. I don't think it matters. The Croats, led by Ivica Olic and Luka Modric (who my Tottenham Hotspur recently signed) will carry Croatia to a 3-1 victory.

Croatia will continue to give their fans something to cheer about (Getty)

Tomorrow, the Portuguese and Germans will square off in what should be a great game. While I do think the Germans certainly have a chance, I won't back off on my pick that Portugal will take the crown. The Germans will be without head coach Joachim Löw for this game after getting sent off for "constant bickering" (that was actually the literal, official reason). While I don't think that will matter too much, the injuries to Lukas Podolski and Torsten Frings will. The Germans can win this game if Michael Ballack plays like he did against Austria and Mario Gomez plays a lot better than he did against Austria. Will they? I hope so, but probably not. The Portuguese are well rested after benching their regulars in their group stage final against the Swiss. Christiano Ronaldo will net one as Portugal wins 2-1.

Over the weekend, the Spaniards square off against the rebounding Italians. Italy got pounded by the Dutch in their opener but have since tied the Romanians and defeated the French. For some reason, I think the Italians have turned it around...to a degree. Goalie Gianluigi Buffon has been stellar in the past couple of games and I think he will keep that form against Spain. I did pick Spain to be Romania, but I don't know if they can take out the Italians. The Spanish are notorious for choking and this seems like an ideal situation for it. Not only that, but it has become pretty obvious that they emerged from what was easily (in my mind) the weakest group of the tournament. I think that it will be an incredibly close game, but Italy emerges victorious in the end. Italy wins on PKs after a 1-1 draw.

Netherlands against Russia? No commentary necessary... The Dutch roll 3-0.

The Dutch have managed to easily trip up everyone in their path so far (Empics)

I will continue to stand by my semifinal and final picks from my previous post but I hope to comment on them beforehand and predict scores. For those of you who whine that football (or soccer as you call it), just give it a chance and flip on ESPN one of the next few afternoons and watch. Happy viewing, all.

Hate the Ravens? Then Vote for T.D.

If you hate the Ravens, here's a chance for you to kick them where it hurts: a mascot competition! I'm only plugging this because me and the readers at The Phinsider have carried the Dolphins mascot (T.D.) into the Elite Eight. We were able to defeat Fireman Ed (sorry again, E). Now it's time to take on Poe, the Ravens mascot. I know many of the handful of readers we have most likely are Steelers fans. So strike down your rival! Crush Poe and send T.D. to the Final Four!!!

P.S. - Poe defeated Steely McBeam and T.D. defeated TD of the Browns in round two. So there is more reason for you anti-Ravens fans to vote for the REAL T.D.

Phils Have Plenty of Work to Do

Despite the Phillies still sitting at 10 games over .500 (42-32), there is plenty of things to work on. Such as being more consistent and not sucking in day games. After a stretch in which the Phillies went 14-4, they have no gone 3-6 to three of the better teams in baseball at the moment. They need to start winning series again. The road doesn't get much easier up to the All Star break. They finish their home stand with 3 versus the Angels then go on a 9 game road trip (3 games at Oakland, Texas, and Atlanta). After that trip they return home for 10 games prior to the break (4 vs the Mets and 3 versus the Cardinals and Diamondbacks). The Phillies have 22 games until the midsummer classic. A record anything less than 14-8 is unacceptable for a team with World Series aspirations. If you can't take a series from the defending champs when they're without David Ortiz, Kevin Youkilis, Daisuke Matsuzaka, and Curt Schilling (plus Manny Ramirez for today's game), how do you ever expect to knock them off the mountain? There is plenty of work to do. Luckily this team is up to the task. Hopefully they'll pull it together again. They are a 2nd half team anyway.

Celtics Win 17th NBA Championship

So the Celtics capped a worst-to-first turnaround this year when they crushed the Lakers Tuesday night in Boston to earn their 17th NBA Championship. Yeah, that's a lot. Congratulations to Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Ray Allen et al.

The one thing that bothers me about this championship season is, once again, bandwagon and fake fans. How many Celtics hats and jerseys will I see in Indiana the rest of the summer? Or when I return home to PA? It's gotten out of hand. People think I pick on Boston fans but even some of them agree (ya know, the ones that actually have liked the Boston teams for the last 15+ years) that these new "die hard" fans create an image problem. And at any time you start comparing Boston to New York, Massholes cringe. Hate to tell you but Boston fans are worse than most Yankee fans now (not you, E).

Back to the Celtics. There was a quote on the front page of ESPN today that I think I can manipulate to echo the sentiment of Boston fans (when their team is good):

Now just replace "two" with "one", make "words" singular, and change Paul Pierce to "bandwagon". That should do it.