Tag Archives: Gregg Easterbrook

Oh. Oh no. Oh no no no no. Oh dear God no.

Last week I thought long and hard about writing a post on our former arch-nemesis Gregg Easterbrook — whom we have lambasted in this space for everything from self-righteous moralizing to being bad at science. I’ve continued to read Easterbrook’s Tuesday Morning Quarterback column throughout all of these episodes, because despite his flaws, he does offer a unique approach to sports and is quite often correct about things like the mendacity of Brett Favre and the fraidy-cat play calling of NFL coaches.

That was what I was going to say. Now I’m going to say something different.

gregg_easterbrookNow I’m going to say that Gregg Easterbrook has hatched, from deep inside the inky recesses of his brain pan, the single most stupidest idea for saving the newspaper industry in the history of the entire universe. If there were a contest in which everybody in America were asked to come up with the dumbest, most intellectually baffling, immediately recognizably moronic idea they could, and then those ideas were cast into a great heap so that they could be weighed as one unit, it is indisputable scientific fact that it would represent only a small fraction of Gregg Easterbrook’s proposition.

If you opened the door to a room with this idea inside of it, the smell alone would erase your entire brain.

Consider yourselves warned:

Can technology save newsprint? Here is the advance TMQ is hoping for: a print-cost breakthrough that allows you to print the newspaper yourself at home, eliminating delivery. Xerox recently rolled out a new generation of printers that use something called “solid ink” to cut the cost of color. Xerox’s product is intended for the office market, where most printing occurs, but perhaps is an indicator there will be a cost breakthrough in home printing.

“Huhhhh-GUH. Huuuhhhhhhhhhh-guh. HUUUUUHHHHHHHHHH-GUHHH.”

That’s the sound of my disbelief falling off its suspension.

There’s more:

Already home printers are themselves cheap, though the ink is expensive. If “solid ink” or some other improvement cuts the price, here’s what a future newspaper economy might look like: You subscribe, and each morning at whatever time you select, the newspaper transmits itself to your advanced printer, including, of course, the very latest news to that moment. Even with you paying for the ink and paper, that might cost less than $63 a month, since the newspaper subscription price — now basically a licensing fee — would go way down. You could set your printer to produce only the parts of the paper you actually read, reducing resource waste. A category of entry-level employment, newspaper delivery — once done by teens on bicycles, now often done by adults using cars — would be eliminated. But that’s a lot better than all newspaper-related jobs being eliminated!

If there were only some platform that would deliver me the news I need without forcing me to subscribe to a printed, delivered newspaper. Perhaps some way to make use of these computers and their blazing fast rates of information transfer. Oooooh, I’ve got it. Someone should establish a digital network of some sort in which news stories can be hosted and transmitted. Then we can feed that information directly into the brains of cockatoos — either through USB or ethernet ports. The cockatoos can then read us the news as we prepare to walk to work the wrong way around the entire Earth.

For all our grousing about what appears in the paper, right now American newspapers as a group are the very best they have ever been. Subscribe, or patronize the local newsbox. You will be sorry if the newspaper industry fades away. And don’t say, “I’ll just use the Internet for news.” The vast majority of the news presented on the Internet originates as a newspaper story.

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I’m sorry. My brain just flipped inside out for a second there. What were we talking about? The Internet?

Yep, Favre proved he can still play [TMQ]


Filed under journalism

Gregg Easterbrook also sucks at science


Pax Arcana

We’ve done our fair share of bashing Gregg Easterbrook on this site (he was even named our 2007 Douchebag of the Year), but we’ve gone easy on him lately. I’ve always given him a partial pass since he’s really just a science and governmental policy expert with an interest in football.

You can’t really expect a guy billed as a “space policy expert” and employed by a hoity-toity Washington think tank to radiate brilliance when discussing the NFL.

You would think, however, that he would know stuff about science. Turns out he sucks at that too.

A secret admirer sent us a link to something called the Wonk Room, which does the dirty work of lambasting our buddy Greg for failing to spot what is apparently a glaring error in something that was sent to him — and then exacerbating the problem by continuing to speculate from the perspective of the biggest GD sci-fi geek you’ve ever met.

Here’s what Easterbrook wrote:

Anyway, John Duezabou of Helena, Mont., adds this creepy postscript: “A bellicose or paranoid extra-solar civilization that could accelerate an object to 99 percent of light speed wouldn’t need to launch bombs at us. They could shoot anything with devastating results, because the kinetic energy of a moving object is half its mass multiplied by the square of its velocity, or KE = 1/2 mv2. Thus, one pound of anything — a pint of vanilla ice cream, for instance — accelerated to 99 percent of light speed has an energy of about 4.8 megatons, roughly the blast yield of the largest hydrogen bombs.” A moderate-sized object, say a small asteroid, if accelerated to 99 percent of light speed, could conceivably shatter the Earth.

And here is Wonk Room’s riposte:

Ignoring many of the obvious problems with Easterbrook’s thought experiment, the science here is simply wrong. The kinetic energy of a moving object is actually m0c2(1/(1-v2/c2)1/2 – 1) (where m0 is the rest mass, v the velocity, and c the speed of light) which the Newtonian formulation closely approximates only for non-relativistic speeds. A one-pound mass accelerated to 99 percent of light speed actually has a kinetic energy of about 68 58 megatons of TNT, greater than the largest thermonuclear device ever detonated.

This isn’t grad-school level physics — this element of relativistic mechanics is taught in high schools across the nation and is of course readily available online.

So yeah! Take that!

Brookings Science Expert Doesn’t Understand Basic Science [Wonk Room]

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Filed under science

Oh dear god, here we go again

Pax Arcana

Ah, autumn. The leaves crunching underfoot. The blazing kaleidescope of color. The annual Pax Arcana Apple and Fondue Festival.

Honestly, is there a better time of year than…

Oh no. Not again.

Hi guys. Gregg Easterbrook here. Just, you know, wanted to say hello, and wish you all a happy football season. I’ll be holding down my corner of the Internet again at TMQ, but this year I promise not to bait you with ludicrous arguments about why Bill Belichick is worse than Nixon or purple is really blue or some other such nonsense

OK. Thanks for that, but I find that kind of hard to believe since you were such a royal pecksniff last season. You remember when your own ombudsperson called you out for being such a douche?

I do. That was worse than when science fiction movies include scenes of laser beams in space. You can’t see laser beams in space! There’s no dust particles for the light to bounce off !

Jesus Christ.

Wait. Don’t go yet. At least read my AFC preview article, in which I slam Brett Favre for pretending to be a team player while all the time ensuring that he is at the center of attention. Look, it’s right here…

Last season the Packers were 13-4, and they came within an overtime of going to the Super Bowl. How many Green Bay players from that team can you name, other than Favre? His constant media antics had the effect of denying recognition to his teammates. In June, Tom Pelissero of the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported, “There is a substantial faction of younger players who are eager to play with Aaron Rodgers. Favre is at least a decade older than all but six guys on the roster. He dressed in his own locker room. He had minimal social interaction with teammates. Rodgers is one of the guys, and plenty of them are pulling for him.” He dressed in his own locker room? In the past few seasons, Favre has been all about Favre, as if his teammates didn’t exist. A man who wanted to maximize his own celebrity and income, at the expense of his teammates, would behave in that manner. That’s what the Jets now have, and that’s why his trade value was lower than Taylor’s.

Hmmmm. Not bad. We could have used that perspective during ESPN’s ceaseless rush to chronicle every bowel movement and jock scratch Favre participated in during that month or so.

Maybe we were a bit hard on you last year, Gregg.

Wait. What’s this?

What’s what?

This. This right here. What’s this?

Oh, that’s nothing. You wouldn’t really be interested in that. Why don’t you close your browser now and…

Here’s a question: Would the Patriots’ players and coaches exchange their 2007 season with the 2007 season of the Giants? Of course, in public, to a man, they’d say, “Forget the records we set, we’d rather have won the Super Bowl.” But my guess is that they’d rather have their 2007 season, oh-so-incomplete as it was, than the Giants’ trophy. Twenty years from now, football purists will be hard-pressed to remember much about the 2007 Giants. The 2007 Patriots, on the other hand, will never be forgotten. The first 16-0 regular season; the highest-scoring team in football history; more touchdown passes than Buffalo, Miami, Minnesota and San Francisco combined; 39 seconds shy of perfection. In terms of memory power, New England’s accomplishments exceeded what the Giants did, even if Jersey/A got to stand in the confetti shower on the sliding tray in Arizona. All New England needed to do was stop a third-and-11 snap with 45 seconds showing, and the word “perfect” would have shimmered into view. The snap was not stopped, because nobody’s ever been 19-0 and most likely nobody ever will be. But to come so close — that will not be forgotten.

Are you fucking serious with this?

I’m so ashamed…

Have defenses begun to solve the shotgun spread? [TMQ]


Filed under sports

Back to our regularly scheduled Easterbrook bashing

Pax Arcana

I have been more successful than others at avoiding Gregg Easterbrook’s nonsensical logorrhea of late, but this one’s too bad to pass up.

In his most recent swirling, factless attack on the NFL’s perfectly appropriate decision to destroy the tapes confiscated from the Patriots back in September, Easterbrook offers up this little gem:

Also Saturday, Mike Fish reported on ESPN that St. Louis’ walk-through was devoted to red zone plays — all new plays and new formations the Rams had not shown during the season. Going into that Super Bowl, the Rams’ “Greatest Show on Turf” was the league’s highest-scoring team. In that game, St. Louis was held to a field goal in the first half. The Rams kept getting bogged down, as if New England knew what plays were coming. If the Patriots secretly taped the Rams’ walk-through, then stopped the red zone plays the Rams showed in that walk-through, then won that Super Bowl by three points, then logic says New England materially benefited from cheating in the Super Bowl. If true, this would be the worst sports scandal since the Black Sox.

Our friends at the J.D. Drew Relief Fund have kindly offered to be the sand in Easterbrook’s Lubriderm. Here’s an email I got from Colin a few minutes ago:

I just looked it up, and the Rams only had one red-zone possession all game, and they scored a touchdown on it. I hate him.

I have nothing to add except the following: Gregg Easterbrook is so ugly he could make an onion cry.

NFL can blame itself for scandal’s timing [TMQ]


Filed under journalism

Bill Belichick is the coach of the year

And not just the Pax Arcana coach of the year. He’s also the AP Coach of the Year for the 2007 regular season — an award sure to drive Gregg Easterbrook deeper into paranoid delusiontown.

We crap on the guy a lot, but we thought we’d handle this latest triumph with dignity and discretion. Then we thought we might write stupid stuff on a picture of him and post it on this blog. We did the second thing.


Belichick is named AP Coach of the Year [AP]

1 Comment

Filed under sports

Apology on my Internet by 9 am, Gregg

dungyquietstrength.jpgNow we’re getting somewhere.

In case you haven’t heard it already, here’s the audio of Jim Nantz and Phil Simms talking over what is clearly a stalled CD of crowd noise in the Colts sound system.

So what happens when the team of goodness and light is caught cheating in its epic showdown against the team of evil and villainy?

Mr. Easterbrook, the ball is in your court.

Added: The Pats were also unable to get their radio headsets working during the game.

Added: CBS has said the sound issue was due to feedback in its own sound system and not something from the stadium. Using Easterbrook’s own logic, that means the Colts are surely hiding even more malicious transgressions, and we must assume the worst until we are proven wrong.



Filed under Uncategorized

Evil wins!

We hope Gregg Easterbrook enjoys the feeling of rooting for the team that got every possible break from a terrible officiating crew, and whose pious, pompous coach took every opportunity to pile on Belichick during the media-generated scandal of the past few weeks, and still got beat on their home turf.

24-20 Patriots.


Satan says dance, bitches.

Manning’s late fumble seals deal for undefeated Patriots [ESPN]


Filed under Uncategorized