Apples and Oranges



I assume you are all familiar with the idiom “that’s like comparing apples and oranges?” Apparently His Majesty has never heard of this old saying or has decided to wage a blind war against it. In this week’s Monday Morning Quarterback, The King attempts to make not one, not two, but three comparisons that defy any sense of correlation and/or logic.

First off all, let’s consider his one sentence analysis of the New York Giants, the top seed in the NFC:

3. New York Giants (12-4). I think if the Yankees fired Joe Girardi tomorrow, the Steinbrenners would want to interview Steve Spagnuolo.

His Majesty’s ill-fated attempt at singing the praises of the Giants’ defense (and their defensive coordinator) falls flat because the notion that a defensive football coach can coach defense in baseball is both distracting and absurd. I get The King’s juvenile joke—the Yankees were terrible at defense last season and the Giants are really good—but what could Spagnuolo possibly do to change the situation for the men in pinstripes? Teach them how to “tackle” fly balls more effectively? Come up with a sneakier way for players to “blitz” the pitcher’s mound if someone gets beaned? More importantly, however, what does this single sentence, consisting solely of an incongruous comparative statement, tell us about His Majesty’s feeling about the Giants (again, one of the top teams in the league) and their chances of advancing in the playoffs?

Secondly, let’s flip the page and take a look at his pick for “Special Teams Player of the Week:”

Mike Scifres, P, San Diego. Plaxico Burress had one of the best playoff games ever by a wide receiver with his 11-catch masterpiece in last season’s NFC Championship Game. Scifres had the same kind of performance Saturday night against the Colts. The numbers are great enough — six punts, 52.7-yard average, 51.7-yard net. Now, do you understand how monumental a 51.7-yard net average is? It means the Colts had six return yards. SIX! And here’s where Scifres’ punts pinned the Colts: Indy 10, Indy 15, Indy 3, Indy 5, Indy 9, Indy 1. I cannot stress this enough: Mike Scifres just had one of the best punting games in NFL history.

The King’s choice for the award, Mike Scifres, seems logical. His attempt at putting Scifres’ statistics in context, however, is entirely illogical. What does Plaxico Burress’ performance in last year’s NFC title game as a wide receiver have to do with Scifres’ excellent game this year as a punter? If one wants to make the argument (as King seems to be doing here) that Scifres performed at a historic level, would it not make more sense to compare his game last Saturday to that of one by another successful punter or kicker in the playoffs? To use another example, would it make more sense to compare New England quarterback Tom Brady’s record-setting 2007 season (50 touchdown passes) to Indianapolis quarterback Peyton Manning’s 2004 season (49 touchdown passes) or Giants defensive end Michael Strahan’s 2001 season (when he set an NFL record with 22.5 sacks). My guess is that King would choose the latter…

Finally, let’s turn to the last page and my favorite section in King’s column, “Ten Things I Think I Think:”

d. Andy Reid: Ernest Hemingway with wire-rims.

On one end, we have an American literary legend who has become a symbol of masculinity and general badassness; on the other, we have an aging, overweight football coach with questionable decision-making skills. I think we’re done here…

P.S. I get it. They both have beards…


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