All That and a Bag of Mail

Rejoice, it’s Friday!

I’m headed down to Miami tomorrow for eight days in South Florida. We will be live Monday to Friday with Outkick from 6-9 am eastern on radio row and then “Lock It In” will air from 4:30 to 5:30 pm eastern live from Lummus Park on the ocean in South Beach.

If you want free tickets to come watch the TV show you can get them as well. Check out my Twitter feed this weekend and I’ll send out the link for that.

So things will be super busy down in Miami.

But it should be an awesome time.

Now let’s dive into the Friday mailbag.

“Lots of you asked me whether Eli was a hall of a famer this week. So is he?”

Yes, he’s 100% a hall of famer.

I don’t even see it as a close call. Eli is number seven all time in total yards and number seven all time in touchdown passes, plus he won two Super Bowls and two Super Bowl MVPs. (Those Super Bowl wins came against Tom Brady and the Patriots, by the way, including the 18-0 Patriots).

He’s a first ballot guy to me.

But if you doubt that, here’s an easy comparison, how does Eli compare to John Elway, a quarterback that no one would dispute is a hall of famer?

Well, Eli’s better.

Eli has more passing yards — 57,073 to Elway’s 51,475, more touchdowns 366 to 300, a higher career completion percentage 60.3% to 56.9%, and one more Super Bowl MVP. (Their passing attempts per game aren’t very different either –34 for Eli, 31 for Elway.)

Yes, Elway went to three more Super Bowls, which he all lost, and threw 226 interceptions to Eli’s 244, but otherwise if you believe Elway is a hall of a famer, and I doubt anyone reading this right now doubts that, how in the world can you leave Eli out?

Here’s an additional way of thinking about this, if Joe Burrow or Tua were to get drafted by the Bengals and the Dolphins, respectively, and one of these guys started sixteen straight years for their team, finished top ten all time in touchdowns and yards passing, and won two Super Bowls, during which they would win two Super Bowl MVPs, is there any doubt that those fan bases would be ecstatic over this result and put up statues to the players outside their stadiums? Is there any doubt that those fan bases would believe Burrow or Tua had fulfilled every expectation, if not more?

If anything, I think Eli playing in New York for a team that already had won multiple Super Bowls led to him being somewhat taken for granted. Imagine if Eli had won two Super Bowls for the Vikings, Titans, Chargers, Texans, Panthers, Jaguars, Cardinals, Lions, Dolphins, Bills, Jets, Browns or Bengals. I mean, he’d probably be considered the greatest player in those team’s histories.

That’s why I actually believe Eli ended up being hurt by being a Manning. Think about this, since 1990 do you know how many overall number one NFL draft picks at the quarterback position have won Super Bowls as starting quarterbacks? Two — Peyton Manning and Eli Manning. If you go all the way back to 1972, nearly fifty years worth of NFL number one draft picks, do you know how many quarterbacks have won Super Bowls? Four: Peyton, Eli, John Elway and Troy Aikman.

That’s incredible.

We tend to think of quarterbacks taken first overall as guys who could, and maybe should, win their new franchise a Super Bowl title. But that almost never happens. Those picks come in with incredible pressure the draftees almost never satisfy. Yet both Peyton and Eli did it, uniquely, as the only players in the past thirty years to accomplish that feat. (At least so far). And they both did it not once, but twice.

My point here? Eli was in Peyton’s shadow for much of his career as the other Manning brother. Yet, if he’d had any other last name I think he would have been even more appreciated for what he accomplished on the field. Yes, Peyton was better, but Eli was pretty phenomenal.

He’s a first ballot hall of famer in my opinion.

And I don’t see this debate as being remotely close.

Final thought about the Manning brother’s durability: this coming football season will be the first one without either Peyton or Eli starting at quarterback in college or in the NFL since 1993.

1993!

Patrick Mahomes wasn’t even born until 1995. That means this will be the first year of Patrick Mahomes’s life that a Manning brother hasn’t been starting at quarterback in college or the NFL.

Todd writes:

“I’ve been a lawyer for 16 years and tried over 100 cases to a jury.  As someone who has actually tried cases to a jury, is it weird that I find the entire impeachment “trial” to be a load of bullshit and that it spits in the face of the very protections the founders wrote? 

For instance, you would never have jurors with a bias on your jury and if you had a prosecutor who had been incredibly outspoken against a defendant, they would get removed from the case. Now, I get the impeachment “rules” are set in the Constitution but the USA has a criminal justice system where the accused has rights; and it seems like this impeachment trial is procedurally a giant shit show. And I don’t want to really debate whether what Trump did was right or wrong, but we also let the House of Representatives bring forward a “charge” that isn’t actually a crime?  Am I the only one shaking my head at this?”

I agree with you, I think this is one the founders whiffed on.

I think when they conceived of the idea of impeachment they weren’t contemplating the degree to which partisan politics would become all encompassing. That is, they believed the House and Senate would be made up of free thinkers who would thereby comprise the greatest possible juries.

Especially the Senate, which they believed would become the greatest deliberative body in the world.

What better group of people to consider evidence in a case and determine the fate of a president.

Unfortunately they didn’t foresee how partisan our politics would become.

Yes, you’re right that virtually everyone involved in the trial would be excluded if this were a typical criminal trial, but can you imagine if impeachment was really just a regular trial and you had to sit 12 random jurors? Can you imagine the attention that voir dire would get if the 12 people chosen to hear this case determined the fate of the president?

Good lord.

The end result of this impeachment process, I believe, is it’s going to become incredibly common for the House of Representatives to impeach unpopular presidents from the other party. I mean, think about it, half of the presidents from the last 27 years have now been impeached. (Bill Clinton and Donald Trump have both been impeached. And, honestly, a decent number of politicians wanted to impeach Barack Obama and George W. Bush as well.) I think it will become more common than not that presidents will be impeached in the years ahead.

That is, I would bet on at least half of our presidents being impeached over the next twenty years.

But I also think removal from office won’t happen either. Because the hyper partisanship will remain and no one will vote to kick their guy (or girl) out of office.

Which means impeachment will become just another thing we all become used to.

The one great thing the framers did when it came to impeachment, however, was at least require 2/3rds of the Senate to vote to remove in order for a president to be removed from office. Can you imagine if it was a simple majority? The only thing I wish they’d done is require 2/3rds of the house and 2/3rds of the senate to vote to remove a president from office.

Then impeachment would essentially have vanished as a politically viable model absent truly egregious conduct.

As is, I think it’s here to stay.

But, as I’ve said from the get go, we’re now nine months from a presidential election. Why in the world would any politician think it doesn’t make the most sense to simply allow the American public to render their own verdict on Donald Trump’s presidency in 2020?

Why should 100 senators cancel out the votes of 100 million+.

I didn’t support removing Bill Clinton from office and I don’t support removing Donald Trump from office either.

This entire process just feels like a charade.

Which is why I said back in November, as it became clear that impeachment was going to happen, that the entire impeachment drama was like a sporting event that you already knew the final score for.

Yet all the media and talking heads and politicians have to play out their roles despite the fact that they already knew exactly how it was going to end too. It would be like if I went on my radio and TV show and talked about what might happen in the the Chiefs-49ers Super Bowl except we already knew what the final score of the game was going to be.

No one would watch or listen to those TV or radio shows about the Super Bowl if the game’s result was already a predetermined outcome. Which is exactly what we have here, the Democratic led House of Representatives was going to narrowly vote to impeach and then the Republican led Senate was going to refuse to vote to remove Trump. The only real drama, to the extent it counts as drama at all, is how many Democrats and Republicans will spurn their party and support the other side.

But the end result is almost no one is going to do this too.

So, again, there’s no drama here at all.

It’s like a game you already know the outcome for or a play you’re watching in a theater that you’ve already read the script for.

Ultimately, it’s a lot of sound of fury signifying nothing.

Fred writes:

“The NBA comes with a giant check and says, “fix our viewership problem!” What’s the first thing you do?”

Require all players who sit out of NBA games for load management to sign free autographs on the main concourse of the arena for the entire three hour basketball game.

I think players would stop sitting out of games as a result.

I’m not even kidding, I think they’d rather play a basketball game than sign autographs for three hours.

But if you’re going to sit out and fans are paying their hard-earned dollars to see you play and you aren’t playing then I think you need to provide something of value for them and for the organization. I think this would go a long way towards combatting the diva image that has afflicted the NBA of late.

Players have lost touch with the fact that they are entertainers and need to be providing something of value to fans. The league’s massively overvalued television deal — replete with tanking ratings — has divorced players from the people who pay their salaries.

So sign autographs on the main concourse. (Create, by the way, a line for kids and a line for adults and make kids have to wait almost no time for autographs and adults have to wait in the long line.)

Having players sign autographs for games they sit out for load management is an easier fix than shortening the season by 25 games, which is what really should happen. There’s no point in playing 82 NBA games. The players know it, the coaches know it, the commissioner knows it, the teams know it. The only reason an 82 game schedule exists is to drive revenue as high as possible.

But here’s the problem, at some point the overabundance of games leads to a decrease in league quality, which diminishes the overall product, thereby diminishing the value of the NBA.

And I think that’s where we are right now.

An 82 game regular season made sense when there was a relative paucity of entertainment options out there. But today we are all inundated by great entertainment options. That means quality matters more now than ever before.

The league is at a crisis point. It’s clear that the Kawhi Leonard load management plan actually makes competitive sense. Every top player should probably only play sixty or so games and sit out the other 20+. That’s the best way to ensure you’re fully healthy for the post-season, when the title is actually won.

It turns out that if you have a top team seeding doesn’t really matter that much.

Which defeats the entire point of the regular season.

All you need to do is make the playoffs and you’re fine.

But, as I said above, canceling out 25 or so games from the league season — and starting the season on Christmas instead of in October — is too much of a battle and would require remaking the entire CBA.

So I’d simply mandate that all players sitting out individual games sign autographs for the entirety of the game.

Nick writes:

“Should the Titans sign Brady over Tannehill if they have the chance?”

Ryan Tannehill is 11 years younger than Tom Brady and coming off the best season of his NFL career. But it wasn’t just a good season for him — Tannehill’s 2019 passer rating was the fourth highest rated of all time.

So the question the Titans have to answer is this: was Tannehill’s 2019 a statistical anomaly or can he replicate it in the years ahead?

If he can replicate it in the years ahead then he should be the guy for the next four or five years for the Titans, that would be an easy call. But can he replicate it? That’s the challenge.

Because if he can’t replicate it then it’s possible the Titans are going to overpay for the equivalent of fool’s gold. They would be drastically overrating Tannehill based on a statistical aberration of a season, which would put them in the same position as the Jacksonville Jaguars are with Nick Foles.

So the question you have to ask is this, was 2019 an outlier for Tannehill or is it his new normal in this Titan offense with this Titan talent?

But you also have to ask and answer questions about Tom Brady too.

In particular, how much has Tom Brady declined and how much of his performance this year was the Patriots simply having a bad offense? Brady’s numbers were awful, especially for him, in 2019. Is that evidence of a substantial decline that will continue in 2020 or will he bounce back for a couple of years to a more Brady-like performance?

Essentially you’re trying to analyze both men this year and simultaneously project the future.

And you’re also trying to determine how Brady would do with the Titan offensive weapons, particularly Derek Henry and A.J. Brown, both of whom appear to be better weapons in 2020 than anyone the Patriots have.

I think the Titans have to seriously consider both options here, but ultimately I’d like to get Ryan Tannehill signed to a two year contract with a team option for a third year. Could you get Tannehill signed to a Nick Foles like deal, around $45 million guaranteed over two years with a third year team option at $25 million+? If so, that would be great for the Titans.

And that seems fair to Tannehill too.

Particularly because of this — does Tannehill really see a better option out there? If you’re Tannehill and you’ve been through the Miami Dolphin mess do you really want to leave a good situation with the Titans just because another team might offer you a bit more money? First, I’m not sure anyone else offers Tannehill more than the Titans will, second, how many of those situations are better for him? After struggling in Miami are you really sure you’d go to a third team and play as well as you did for the Titans?

Having said that, if I’m the Titans and Tannehill plays hardball with us, I’d definitely negotiate with Brady too, offering him a somewhat similar contract. I suspect Brady’s negotiations with the Patriots will ultimately come down to whether or not the Pats will offer him a two year guarantee. (I think the Patriots will want to do a one year deal). If I’m Brady I would only leave the Patriots for a team offering me a two year deal where I could win a Super Bowl. Could the Titans win the Super Bowl in 2020? I don’t expect it. But are they better positioned to win a Super Bowl than most of the other teams that could pursue Brady?

I think so.

So while I’d plan on resigning Tannehill, if his demands are too high, I’d also consider signing Brady to the same deal.

Darren writes:

“Impeachment? Boring. China trade? Yawn. Brexit? Confusing.

The serious issue that needs to be addressed in America: Scheduling the Super Bowl so the following day is a national holiday. Thoughts?”

I’ve been arguing for years that the Super Bowl should end on President’s Day weekend. The Monday after Super Bowl Sunday would be a national holiday for President’s Day, but it would also be a national Super Bowl hangover celebration as well.

With the talk being the NFL could be going to 17 regular season games as a part of the new CBA, I think it’s a no brainer to bump the NFL season a couple of weeks longer and end with a Sunday game followed by a national holiday.

That’s especially the case if we add a couple of more playoff teams as well.

I think almost everyone supports this idea.

It needs to happen.

Drew writes:

“My girlfriend’s long time friend is having her baby shower on Super Bowl Sunday! Please tell me I can take a stand and not go to this in protest. Who has a baby shower on Super Bowl Sunday?!?”

I think men across the country need to take a stand against men attending baby showers in the first place.

Yes, it’s ridiculous that anyone would have a baby shower on Super Bowl Sunday, but it’s even more ridiculous that women have started to draft men into the baby shower phenomenon in the first place.

Men should show up at the end of baby showers and load the gifts into the car. That’s it. That should be our only baby shower role.

This couples baby shower trend is a complete disaster.

I blame weak men for not holding our defenses here and refusing to attend. This is a slippery slope because pretty soon it leads to co-ed bachelor and bachelorette parties and before long there’s not supposed to be any difference between men and women.

Look, men and women can be treated equally without behaving the same in all facets. I don’t want to shave my legs or wear heels and I bet women don’t want to mow the grass or take out the garbage.

Just because everyone is equal doesn’t mean we should all have to do the same exact things. It’s fine for men and women to have our own spheres of influence — we don’t have to all do the same things all the time.

Men shouldn’t do baby showers, period.*

*(I guess if you’re a man and you want to go to a baby shower you can, but I think women should shame men who want to go to baby showers. This should be your thing, ladies. And these single women who are bringing their boyfriends to a baby shower? Good lord. You might as well saw your penis off with a butter knife if you’re going to baby showers with your girlfriend. I mean, you aren’t even married and you’re already afraid to stand up for yourself with your girlfriend? Your life is over already.)

Hope y’all have great weekends.

Thanks for reading Outkick.

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