Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Defense And Bad Commercials

Here's what TigerBlog doesn't understand about the Super Bowl commercials: Do the companies that produce them look at the final product and realize how awful they are?

If anything is trying too hard, it's Super Bowl commercials. TB couldn't help but laugh at the stories yesterday about the top five commercials from Sunday's game, because there weren't five good ones.

Look, adorable puppies + Clydesdales horses will always = big winner. So the one with the puppy who keeps coming back to his horse friend was a good one.

And the one with the returning veteran was very well done. 

Interestingly, both of those ads were by Anheuser-Busch.

The rest were all awful. They weren't just average or okay. They were awful. Some made no sense. Others were just silly.

Oh, and "Seinfeld" - the most overrated show in TV history, with four great seasons and five terrible ones - proved TB's point again, that it lost it after Season 4 and never got it back.

TB just doesn't get why these commercials miss the mark by so much. Is being creative and clever that hard these days? Apparently it is.

The Radio Shack commercial with the 80s throwback people was on the right path but could have been much better. The Bruce Willis one could have been great, had it not hedged its bet with a stupid attempt at being funny that flopped.

TigerBlog's prediction on the game itself was Denver 31, Seattle 21. He shortchanged Seattle by three touchdowns and gave Denver 23 points too many. In other words, it ranks among the worst predictions he's ever made.
He's left wondering why it is that people are so down on Peyton Manning, as if what happened the other day had anything to do with whether or not he's a great quarterback. Clearly, he's an all-time great, up there with anyone who has ever played the game, even if he only has one Super Bowl win, compared to his brother's two.

The knock on Dan Marino's career has always been that he never won a Super Bowl and in fact only played in one. This has clearly hurt his legacy, since anyone who ever saw him play realizes that nobody has ever thrown the ball better than he has. John Elway won two Super Bowls, though none until he had a good defense and Terrell Davis to run the ball, and so his legacy is as one of the great clutch quarterbacks ever.

And Peyton Manning? He might very well be the best quarterback ever. Certainly he's won five MVPs, something nobody else has. And he has won a Super Bowl; it's not like he's never won one.

And honestly, how many times has he had the best supporting cast? Rarely.

Certainly the better team won the other day. The Broncos got behind on the first snap and never got into their rhythm. It had nothing to do with Manning.

TigerBlog heard a stat yesterday that the top defense (measured by scoring defense) has been to the Super Bowl 16 times and is 13-3 in those games. TB heard last week that this was the sixth time that the No. 1 scoring offense played the No. 1 scoring defense in a Super Bowl, and defense is now 5-1.

Defense, they say, wins championships.

Is that how it works in Ivy League football?

This past year, the No. 1 offense belonged to Princeton, who won the league championship. Well, shared it with Harvard, who had the No. 2 offense.

Oh, and TB is using scoring offense and scoring defense in league games only for his purposes, since adding non-league games would mean having to factor in strength of schedule. League games only evens the playing field.

Of course, on the other hand, the No. 1 defense in 2013 belonged to Dartmouth, who handed Princeton its only loss.

In the last 20 years, the No. 1 scoring offense in the league won the Ivy title 12 times. The No. 1 scoring defense did so nine times.

There have been five times in those 20 years that the No. 1 scoring offense and No. 1 scoring defense came from the same place, and in all five of those years, that team won the championship.

The team with the No. 1 scoring offense has won 12 championships and finished second five times and third three times in the last 20 years. During that same time frame, the top scoring defense has won nine championships and finished second four times, third three times and fourth and fifth twice each.

The numbers suggest that the Ivy League values offense slightly more than defense. In other words, having the best scoring offense gives you a 60% chance of winning the championship, compared to 45% if you have the top scoring defense.

And only four times in 20 years has the top scoring defense won the league championship without also have the top scoring offense (though TB concedes that that sentence can also read that only seven times has the top scoring offense won without the top scoring defense).

Still, it seems like the league favors offense a bit.

Is that because there's a conscious effort to emphasize offense? Do coaches put their best athletes on the offensive side of the ball?

Is TB reading too much into this?

The trend in the NFL is for wide-open offenses that throw the ball all over the place and put up huge passing yardage totals. The Seahawks are the one team that seemed to go against that, and the result was a convincing Super Bowl title. 

Princeton, on the other hand, had the league's best statistical offense of all time and won a league title last fall. The key to this offense was a commitment to playing multiple people at all skill positions.

Then again, the top defense was the only one to slow Princeton down. Then again, it did snow that day.

TB isn't really sure what to conclude here.

He's positive the Super Bowl commercials were awful.

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