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Posted at 8:00 AM ET, 12/16/2010

Minor problem with team: 'Lack of talent'

By Joel Achenbach

Like all people working on a tight book deadline and having absolutely zero spare time to do even the simplest human endeavors like bathe or speak to immediate family members, I listen to a lot of sports talk radio. There's one phrase that, just in recent weeks and months, keeps popping up, and I'm curious if others have noticed this as well. The talk-radio guys now tend to say that certain struggling teams, such as the Redskins, Wizards and Nationals, have a specific problem: "lack of talent."

They say it a lot. Why don't the Redskins win? Lots of reasons, but mainly "lack of talent." Why are the Wizards hopeless? "Lack of talent." And so on.

Now, this strikes me as something of a game-changer for the whole industry of sports-gabbing. Previously, you could blame the coach. You could blame the off-season conditioning program. You could blame the switch from the 4-3 defense to the 3-4 defense. You could blame the owner, for meddling, and having a nervous twitch in which he signs over-the-hill free agents to $100-million contracts. You could blame the referees, the schedulers, the concessioneers, the cheerleaders. You could blame the ball for being fundamentally misshapen. You could blame the long snapper or the kick holder. You could say we're one really good [offensive tackle, middle relief pitcher, point guard] away from being a playoff team.

The entire industry of sports analysis requires that the experts tell us things we didn't know, and can barely comprehend, that explain the things that transpire (or, in the case of the Washington teams, expire) on the playing field or the diamond or the rink or the pitch or whatnot. You expect the experts to say things like, "They put 8 in the box and somehow think they can go with a cover-two," or somesuch phrase that we don't understand but which we realize the experts and the Vegas bookies grasp intuitively.

But now they say: They lack talent.

Or: The thing they're missing is talent.

Or: This is the best they can do, given their talent.

In my social circle, "talent" is a sensitive issue, because you can say almost anything to anyone other than, "You actually don't deserve a trophy."

Or, "I'm clapping, and smiling, and praising you, but trust me, you played that piano like it owed you money."

The sports guys are undoubtedly right, and in some sports, "talent" is not only a strong predictor of success but an almost inviolable ensurer of it. But to blame a team's problems on a lack of talent is too close to saying, "Their problem is they suck." Moreover, it seems mean. It's like saying, "The reason the guy can't get dates is that he looks like someone beat his face with the flat side of a shovel." Where's the subtlety?

Maybe I'm too sensitive, and delicate. Because you know how it is, with people saying things like, "The problem with his blog is the writing."

Yeah, it's true, there's a talent deficit among Washington sports teams right now. It makes the federal budget deficit look like what I've lost in the sofa cushions.

But it may not last forever. We're all trying, we're practicing, we're praying. And I do question the wisdom of the 3-4 defense, just for the record.

By Joel Achenbach  | December 16, 2010; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Sports  | Tags:  sports talk radio; sports announcers; lack of talent; team lacks talent; Redskins talent; Nationals talent; Wizards talent;  
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Comments

Do not buy imported Chinese farm raised Shrimp.

Posted by: russianthistle | December 16, 2010 8:08 AM | Report abuse

We love it when sportscasters say things like, "He's out with a knee," or "He's got a bone in his foot."

(These are actual quotes.)

Posted by: -TBG- | December 16, 2010 8:21 AM | Report abuse

Why TBG, having only one bone in the foot would be a very serious medical condition indeed.

Me thinks that our fearless leader has said something along the line of "But it (the Gusher Book) will be done. And it will be done before the end of this year (decade)" to his publisher.

More sport: Septic Blather is outdoing himself. He's providing advice to gay people: please refrain from any sexual activities during WC2022 as it is illegal in Qatar. What he didn't say is that on the other hand the polygamists will be able to bring all their wives to the party, finally. http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/blatters-advice-to-gay-soccer-fans-draws-criticism/

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 16, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

Why TBG, having only one bone in the foot would be a very serious medical condition indeed.

Me thinks that our fearless leader has said something along the line of "But it (the Gusher Book) will be done. And it will be done before the end of this year (decade)" to his publisher.

More sport: Septic Blather is outdoing himself. He's providing advice to gay people: please refrain from any sexual activities during WC2022 as it is illegal in Qatar. What he didn't say is that on the other hand the polygamists will be able to bring all their wives to the party, finally. http://goal.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/12/14/blatters-advice-to-gay-soccer-fans-draws-criticism/

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 16, 2010 8:48 AM | Report abuse

The real insult would be: "The problem with this blog is the thinking behind it."

With this entry, that could well be true.

Posted by: Crmudgeon | December 16, 2010 8:52 AM | Report abuse

There is no bigger cliche than unrewarded talent.

We need to go all Malcolm Gladwell and distinguish between talent and skill. One can be improved and one can't. There are only so many Michael Jordans out there and even his 'talent' wasn't immediately apparent.

Where would Tiger Woods be without the metaphorical 10,000 hours?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 9:00 AM | Report abuse

Mudge has an impersonator and (s)he sounds nasty.

Posted by: gmbka | December 16, 2010 9:01 AM | Report abuse

I find that speaking too much with immediate family members just leads to grief. So, instead, we just leave sticky notes.

But as to the topic. I think that the "lack of talent" observation is an honest and accurate assessment. Alas, it is a doomed fad that will soon pass. For it facilitates neither meaningful analysis nor much in the way of productive strategy. It sucks the air out of the room, and where's the fun in that? It's the sports-talk equivalent of saying "He's just not that into you."

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 16, 2010 9:03 AM | Report abuse

YO!! FOUL!!!! THAT 8:52 AND "CRMUDGEON" [note spelling] isn't me!!!!

Somebody throw a flag on that [redacted]. He stuck his knee out when I was running down the field.

As I was *about* to say, when I was so rudely impersonated, was:

'Morning, Boodle.

The trouble with imported Chinese farm-raised shrimp is they lack talent.

That's what I was going to say. [Weed, don't forget the hyphen in "farm-raised."]

But now I'm steamed.

People, do NOT accept inferior, lame, faux Chinese farm-raised crotchety snark from Curmudgeon wannabes and identity thieves.

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 16, 2010 9:10 AM | Report abuse

I love playing with hyphens. Make it "Chinese-farm raised shrimp" and it sounds like Asian Prawn on a Pedestal.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 16, 2010 9:15 AM | Report abuse

I swear I pushed the button only once.

RD Padouk: SMS. We talk only to Witch no.1 because she has no shoe-phone and wants nothing to do with the technology.

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 16, 2010 9:16 AM | Report abuse

LiT, don't forget to get your tiara picks (or at least the first one) in by tonight.

--CurmudgeonTM

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

T. Ocho usually explains the problems pretty well, and includes some stuff you wouldn't know otherwise. Just this week Terrell is on the hot seat for talking about underachievers, including coaches. The Joe Theismanns of the world make it seems there hasn't been talent since they left the field.

Have a happy day all.


Posted by: LostInThought | December 16, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

shriek... we IM each other from different ends of the couch. We text from room to room.

My husband is so confused when he discovers the kids and I have been making plans and there he is, sitting between us, and hasn't heard a peep. He's so 1900s.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 16, 2010 9:20 AM | Report abuse

I tried to sext my wife from across the living room the other night but she refuses to leave a written trail anywhere and wouldn't play along. Besides, the whole "What are you wearing?" game doesn't work really well when you can look up and see that is really is just flannel pants and sweater and not a Catholic school girl outfit and a Santa hat.

TMI, I know.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 9:26 AM | Report abuse

That faux mudge post created a flurry of yellow flags.

Snuke-hugs. The limbo before arrangements can be made is the worst.

Tired of stupid sports talk? Listen to "Only a Game" from WBUR in Boston. Sat. mornings at 7:00 Eastern time. It's not a call-in show, which immediately elevates it above typical sports radio. Besides, outside of the games themselves isn't an hour a week enough? Add the annual anthology of the best sports writing and viewing televised games with the sound muted and you have avoided some metaphorical Chinese farm-raised shrimp.

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 16, 2010 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Laughing all all the entries this morning. Off by bike for the penultimate day of office hours. Perhaps, just perhaps, I can prevent one little lemming from flinging that little body over the cliff of (pick one or two or more)

no citation
poor prose
muddy thinking
pretension

I love my job: lemming interdiction and prevention....

Why yellow: today, me in cowboy boots and a plaid kilt (Craig dress plaid, I think). But, never a Santa hat....

Posted by: CollegeQuaParkian1 | December 16, 2010 9:31 AM | Report abuse

CqP,
I've been a very naughty boy this year and deserve a lump of coal in my stocking, if you know what I mean.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 9:38 AM | Report abuse

fb,
Only A Game airs on Saturday mornings in the DC area, I think. It's been a while since I've been in the car early enough on a weekend to catch it. It truly is sports for NPR junkies, if such a thing is possible.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Ahem. FWIW, I note that on this day in 1773, patriots/terrorists (take your pick) boarded a ship and threw overboard into Boston harbor 300 chests of tea, to protest taxes on that commodity.

Your point of view will determine whether you perceive this as a patriotic act, or wanton, illegal, and unethical destruction of property.

Posted by: slyness | December 16, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

B-e-w-a-r-e o-f C-h-i-n-e-s-e f-a-r-m r-a-i-s-e-d s-h-r-i-m-p.

Is that what you mean Mudge?

Posted by: russianthistle | December 16, 2010 9:48 AM | Report abuse

After going 0 for seven now, I guess we need to add the Caps to Joel's list. They used to have talent; in fact we were all kind of lulled into thinking that at least one home team would make it to the playoffs this season. Now, maybe not so much.

And, what did the ancient Roman say to the beggar? Got no talent.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 16, 2010 9:49 AM | Report abuse

Since I get all my sporting news from geek blogs, which is to say not at all, I have to pass on this article which dissects the talents and/or genius of Coach K at Duke in a couple of different ways:

http://www.theawl.com/2010/12/coaching-them-up

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 9:51 AM | Report abuse

That's a canny coincidence, our public radio Radio Canada has the best sport show/sport blog around; le sportnographe. Knowledgeable and very funny.
(the T of sport is mute in French, so it's said spornograf)
http://sportnographe.radio-canada.ca/

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 16, 2010 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:01 AM | Report abuse

yello-noticed that article mentions Sendek suffering from a "dearth of elite talent."

Posted by: frostbitten1 | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willint

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part of

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part of that. And several

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willint to

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part of that.

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part od

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part of that. And several other

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

Good morning, all.

Mudge, thanks for the reminder to LiT and to the rest of us to get our Tiara picks in (note: not only do you need to get tonight's game in, but the high and low scoring team tiebreakers, too.).

Back veering dangerously on-Kit, I don't really buy the "not enough talent" reasoning for team sports. My #1 example (as I've been saying for weeks) is Belichick's New England Patriots - he's got a bunch of players other teams cut or waived or drafted somethere in the hundreds blowing out the best teams in the NFL at this point in the season. He's doing it without offensive and defensive coordinators - just assistants. He throws completely new game plans at the opposing teams every week (have fun watching those game films, opposing coaches!), makes his guys practice outside in the cold weather (note how that helped against the Steelers, Jets and Bears), and rules with an iron hand (see Moss, Randy -- in Vikings and Titans uniforms since the Pats waived him several weeks back. How's that new contract thing going, Randy?). He's getting the most out out of every player, IMO. I don't see NE players standing around during plays away from the ball, they're playing all the time between snap and whistle looking to do something positive.

Ethically, well, there have been a lot of questions about Belichick and the Pats, and they are well known for their ruthless preparation and even more ruthless game execution, but I can't question their performance even with skill players other teams didn't want. And that's what they're being paid for, I think.

I *do* need to check out the TOCHO show on Versus one of these days.

I'm willing to accept a lack of talent on my part of that. And

bc

Posted by: -bc- | December 16, 2010 10:02 AM | Report abuse

I used to play piano like I owed IT money...

Curmudgeon, is it not true that you are (were) also, Curmudgeon and then Curmudgeons 1 through 5? Most of them, I am sure.

Adding a Y to racial category is an interesting idea, slyness. Heh heh. BTW, walking in the latest foul weather makes you braver than I.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 16, 2010 10:05 AM | Report abuse

Going for the record there bc?

Posted by: shrieking_denizen | December 16, 2010 10:09 AM | Report abuse

Yikes, bc, that's gotta be a record. Well done!!

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 16, 2010 10:10 AM | Report abuse

True, Jumper. But never Crmudgeon without the "u."

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 16, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

bc... Let's not forget what Joe Gibbs and Bobby Beathard did with our "Scab Team."

Oh also... try drinking a glass of water upside down. That should get rid of your hiccups.

Posted by: -TBG- | December 16, 2010 10:24 AM | Report abuse

Go, tiem!

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 16, 2010 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Whenever I drink a glass of water upside down all the water stays in the glass.

(Okay, ya gotta think about that one.)

Posted by: curmudgeon6 | December 16, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

When I try to drink a glass of water upside down, the water floods the table.

Posted by: gmbka | December 16, 2010 11:07 AM | Report abuse

Snow outside my window! Scramble! Emergency! Danger, Will Robinson!

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 11:13 AM | Report abuse

Yello, what is this "window" of which you speak? It has been so long. So very, very, long.

Posted by: RD_Padouk | December 16, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Well, not 'my' window personally. The window to my boss's conference table alcove two cubicles away from mine. Which I guess gives me a Window Bacon Number of 3.

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 11:30 AM | Report abuse

Fa fa flac sheet..
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G-lN8vWm3m0
on the McGurk effect. BBC.

Posted by: Jumper1 | December 16, 2010 12:00 PM | Report abuse

Hey, you all.

That's just great, jumper, my brain has been trying to make sense of all the unrelated noise coming out of my mouth for years....
Fa fa, ba ba, ma ma, ha ha. I'm glad he's at the warm beach, tho, we truly have snow here in Vienna, VA. It's been comin' down for about an hour.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 16, 2010 12:17 PM | Report abuse

ebnut get's the talent award for the day for his pun on talent.

But seriously, Joel I always thought that our "skins" lack of talent was because Jack Kent Cook(e) up and died. He probably sold the team first, I just don't remember all that well.

Posted by: VintageLady | December 16, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Good afternoon, just have a second to post this, which is of course completely off topic, great video of an ice covered lighthouse in Cleveland, sound not required.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/video/lighthouse-or-icehouse/article1840323/?view=picks

Posted by: dmd3 | December 16, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

VL: This is from fading memory, but the essential info is correct. When Jack Kent Cook died, the team passed to his sons. John Kent Cook wound up as team president. However, Jack's estate left most of the money to charity, and the
son(s) didn't have the resources to keep the team in the face of estate taxes due, so John sold the team to Dan Snyder about 5 years after Jack passed.

Posted by: ebtnut | December 16, 2010 1:07 PM | Report abuse

Joel's joined the multiple submission bandwagon too.

Posted by: DNA_Girl | December 16, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

That means New Kit, right?

Posted by: yellojkt | December 16, 2010 2:48 PM | Report abuse


Lack of talent is the most basic reason that sports teams fail and it is the least tractable of the problems as well. Once a team jumps over that hurdle all the other scapegoats can come into play.

With football, the greatest need for talent and the hardest to evaluate before the draft is quarterback. The Pats have Tom Brady.

Posted by: edbyronadams | December 17, 2010 1:01 PM | Report abuse

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