TMQ Nation fires back
AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast
Charming, merry Labor Day shopping scene.
On the Preposterous Punt watch, Donovan Gilletti notes that Texas A&M, trailing Miami of Florida 24-0 in the third quarter, faced fourth-and-5 at midfield and punted. You don't even need to ask who won the game. (TMQ calls the Hurricane school "Miami of Florida" in a nod to the older Miami University in Ohio.)
AP Photo/Laura Rauch
But don't leave the water on while shaving, our hotel is environmentally conscious.
TMQ complained that in the sci-fi movie "Sunshine," there's a crew on the futuristic mission to place a bomb on the surface of the sun; owing to gravity it would be easy to get to the sun but very hard to come back, I supposed. Kevin Grazier, a planetary-probe scientist at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, writes, "Earth is moving fairly quickly, there is a lot of angular momentum to overcome. This is counter-intuitive, but it turns out that in terms of power though not of time, our sun is the single most difficult star to get to in the universe." Jeremy Hiatt of the physics department at Stanford explains further: "You said that getting to the sun would require much less energy than getting back to Earth. That would certainly be true if your spacecraft started at rest with respect to the sun. However, the Earth is flying through space at about 30 kilometers per second relative to the sun. The force of the sun's gravity is just right to hold us in our current (slightly elliptical) orbit. To get to the sun, a rocket launched from the Earth would need to slow itself down; that is, accelerate in the opposite direction of the Earth's trajectory through the solar system. If it slowed down to a standstill with respect to the sun, then it would fall directly into the sun. If it doesn't stop completely, it will travel on an elliptical orbit that will bring it extremely close to the sun, at which point it will be traveling so fast that it has enough kinetic energy to fly right back out to where it started."
Be sure your super-advanced starcruiser has some algae aboard.
The universe -- only Tuesday Morning Quarterback readers know its name.
TMQ proposed that the NFL should mandate that all players wear the Riddell Revolution or similar new helmets with anti-concussion features. NFL spokesman Greg Aiello told TMQ, "Many players do wear that helmet, which Riddell based on the research that our concussion committee funded. But describing it as an 'anti-concussion' helmet is probably overstating it. It is not a concussion-proof helmet. It is designed to better protect against concussions by providing more protection around the ears and jaw. The research showed that the closer a hard hit was to the ear, the more likely it would result in a concussion. Longstanding league policy is that players have the right to choose their helmets as long as they are NOCSAE approved." Yet as Roger Goodell is prone to say, playing in the NFL is a privilege, not a right. Players have no entitlement-like power to say what they want to wear. If the NFL can mandate no droopy socks, it can mandate safety. NFL, just mandate anti-concussion helmets. This would be setting a good example. And please, NOCSAE, hurry up and complete your helmet safety-standards update.
Meanwhile Mike of Rice Lake, Wis., writes, "Our high school varsity team started using Revos a few years ago, and had only a little improvement in concussion rates. Our coach was puzzled by this, so he did some research. We had previously used blue, plastic, upper-only mouthguards that form to your mouth. This year our team converted to thicker double-sided mouthguards developed for cushioning the jaw during hard hits. We have had three concussions total, and every concussion was suffered by a player using the [old] mouthguards. We have had no concussions among players using the double-sided mouthguards. That's a small sample, but still seems important. The Revo helmets are nice, and are definitely more comfortable than regular helmets, but getting better mouthguards may help too, and is much more cost-friendly for high school. To set an example, the NFL should require double-sided mouthguards for all players."
TMQ regularly complains about the lack of reality in action movies. Shridhar Padmanabhan of Naperville, Ill., writes, "In 'The Bourne Ultimatum,' the hero constantly rams his car into other cars, jumps off floors inside cars -- yet not one airbag ever pops up. Not for the lead character, not for the villains."
Jack Birnbaum of San Diego notes, "In the Patriots-Chargers game, the Chargers finally scored with 6:47 left in the third quarter, to make the score NE 24 SD 6. They are now behind by 18 points. An extra point cuts the deficit to 17, which would require three more scores to tie. A 2-point conversion would make it a potential two-score deficit. They kick the point after, thus indicating (a) they would rather be sure to lose by one less point than take a chance now on restoring some limited, but still somewhat realistic hope for a comeback. Isn't this just as bad as punting on fourth-and-short when behind?" TMQ's immutable law of the PAT holds: Kick Early, Go for It Late. Unless you're way behind! When you're way behind, every point matters and you should go for two.I visited L.L. Bean's Freeport, Maine, stronghold and reported the absurdity that although the Bean store complex is located in a rural area a tremendous distance from 99 percent of the American population, it's nonetheless crowded and hard to park there. Samuel Pfeifle of Yarmouth, Maine, writes, "I love it when people come to visit Freeport and complain there are too many shoppers and it's hard to park. Um, weren't you here to shop and didn't you bring your car? You know when Maine is idyllic? When all of you tourists go home. Tell all your friends: Maine is a cold, unforgiving place and horrible to visit. Like L.L. Bean? Shop online. Don't come here." I forgot to mention, another great thing about Maine is that the people are friendly.
A couple weeks ago I was asked on WDVE in Pittsburgh what kind of mail TMQ gets, and I was happy to be able to answer that reader animadversion is almost always clever and insightful. Well -- that was until I wrote about the Beli-Cheat scandal. TMQ has been dive-bombed by vulgar e-mail the past two weeks, and I don't know what that says about Patriots fans -- especially since I am not attacking the Patriots, I am attacking the notion of cheating. At any rate, I got so much vulgar e-mail that I am not going to dignify the whole pile of it by quoting from readers who objected to my Beli-Cheat points.
AP Photo/Tom Olmscheid
Did the NFL find hanging chads on the Patriots' Super Bowl game plans?
Finally, a reader writes, "Here in Poland, where secret taping scandals in politics are a weekly occurrence, we have a saying, which I will present in haiku:Lack of evidence
is evidence the evi-
dence has been destroyed."
-- Roman Picheta, Warsaw, Poland
In addition to writing Tuesday Morning Quarterback, Gregg Easterbrook is the author of "The Progress Paradox: How Life Gets Better While People Feel Worse" and other books. He is also a contributing editor for The New Republic, The Atlantic Monthly and The Washington Monthly and is a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution.