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Tuesday, August 1, 2006
Updated: August 2, 3:52 PM ET
Chat with Gregg Easterbrook

SportsNation

Welcome to The Show! On Tuesday, Page 2 columnist Gregg Easterbrook will stop by to chat about the return of "Tuesday Morning Quarterback" to ESPN.com.

Easterbrook is an award-winning writer, author and columnist best known for "TMQ" - a regular discourse examining football via everything from physics to Japanese haiku to cheerleaders. Easterbrook's 2006 season of the column premieres Tuesday, and "TMQ" will appear weekly throughout the 2006 football season.

Send in your questions for Gregg right now. Then, check back at 2 p.m. ET on Tuesday to see his answers.

Gregg Easterbrook: Hi, am here and trying to think of clever answers. Gregg

Laurie (Tulsa, OK): Hate to break it to you Gregg, but not all women in Oklahoma look like they're from Arkansas....Come out and visit sometime, you'll be pleasantly surprised....BTW, Tulsa Talons won their 5th Division Championship on Saturday night

Gregg Easterbrook: I am greatly relieved by this news, and please, women of Arkansas, don't write in to ESPN management.

Edward Grulich (Taipei): In your post-draft column you note that the Patriots are the first team to have a website in Chinese. However, you err when you say "Here, in Mandarin, are the vitals on Patriots' cheer-babe Jie Ralls, born in Shanghai." This because Mandarin is technically a dialect of spoken Chinese, specifically the dominant dialect used in northeastern China that became the official dialect due to the location of the capital in Beijing. Because that was what the courtiers, officials, and royals spoke it became the defacto national language. However, there is only one standard written form of the language (not counting the traditional vs. simplified split) that was first promulgated at the time of China's initial unification thousands of years ago and is used and understood everywhere in the country. That written form has no dialectical association and is simply called "Chinese." Thanks.

Gregg Easterbrook: I've heard a lot about the Mandarin issue. also, it turns out the Raiders have a Chinese language website too.

Tom Vrotsos (Plano, TX): Howdy Gregg, In 1986 I read "This Magic Moment." Really enjoyed it!! And it changed my life... I sent a copy to a woman who had been ignoring all of my attempts to get her attention... (This was before they called it stalking.) A year later we were married and are still oddly happy 20 years and 2 kids later... We have our 2 copies of your book prominently displayed in our book shelf... Thank you! BTW, great article on the NFL draft... It really is a waste of brain cells... Thanks again, Tom Vrotsos

Gregg Easterbrook: Tom, you are a man of taste and distinction. You and your wife are members of a small, exclusive elite if you own that book.

Philip: I love your Tuesday Morning Quarterback column and was upset when you left ESPN.COM but it looks like you've resurfaced. One small request, your columns are great but they are just too long. I know that sounds weird, but I do my ESPN.COM reading at work and just don't have the time and I end up skimming the whole thing instead of taking my time and enjoying the column.

Gregg Easterbrook: You might assume this a common complaint, but actually I rarely get email objecting to the length of TMQ. To the jokes -- that's a different story.

Eric Hecht (Seattle, WA): On flowing water existing on Mars 3.5 billion years ago... Perhaps it was due to the fact that the lack of an atmosphere as dense as that on Earth did not protect Mars from the heat of the sun. Today, Mars only heats up to approximately 22 degrees Celsius, but as long as the temperature got above 0, the ice would be melting.

Gregg Easterbrook: Ok, this refers to a past column. I just want to point out to anyone new to TMQ, atmospheric pressure on other planets is as likely to be discussed as Reggie Bush.

Matt Cotnoir: Re: The BK Triple Stacker. As a twelve-year BK worker (now just a part-time job to supplement my main source of income, however), I'd me remiss if I didn't point out to you that the "six strips of bacon" you get on a Triple Stacker sandwich are actually six half-strips of bacon, making only three total. According to this information I found at Calorie-Count.com (http://www.calorie-count.com/calories/item.php?item_id=10124&size=2), three medium strip of bacon is a shade over 100 calories. Three pieces of American cheese (about 1.5 oz.), again using info on Calorie-Count.com, would be about 150 calories. That leaves about 550 calories spread out over 6 oz. of hamburger, one bun, and a 1/2 oz. of sauce. Once you realize how it all breaks down, the 800 calorie total isn't as far-fetched as you think it is. Is it outrageous? Of course. But a bold-faced lie, as you claim? Hardly.

Gregg Easterbrook: Half a strip equals a strip? Sounds like when I was dating.

Nate Drew (Malta, NY): How could you mention singular football team names and leave out the ever-popular Providence Steam Roller? (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Providence_Steam_Roller)

Gregg Easterbrook: The Steam Roller is my all-tiem favorite team name, I hope some future NFL expansion franchise will consider it. Unless the next expansion is into China, where the team name will have to be the Bejing Gang of 11.

David (Seattle via Boston): Welcome back! Whether it's Sportsline or ESPN, we're just glad you are writing again...our Missing Piece on Tuesday's is now solved! Just wanted to comment on Flutie - there was a year, 1988 I believe, when he started 7 games and won 6 of them for the Pats and was inexplicably let go at the end of the season. Many of us fans back in those Dark Age days of Pats history felt he should have stayed on as the No. 1 - he was a thrill to watch. I believe the alternative at that time was still the Calvin Shiraldi-sih Tony Eason who never quite recovered from his Super Bowl beating...

Gregg Easterbrook: Right. I don't think anyone understands why the Pats showed Flutie the door that year, and this could be the reason he believes the conspiracy theory.

Mark Schnaufer: I agree with you saying the high school coaches that run up 90 points in a game are not showing these young players what sportsmanship is all about, but I disagree with your suggestion that a dominate team kneel on the ball for an entire half. Unfortunately, especially in high school football, there's always going to be egomanic coaches who are still ticked that they didn't get drafted in the NFL and are going to take it out on the weaker schools. The only way to resolve the issue is to implement a mercy rule similar to NCAA softball. If a team is ever up by 49 points or more at or after halftime, the game is over. It sucks that the kids would lose out on a half of football, but maybe this would encourage the coach to put in the 3rd and 4th strings. Punting on 2nd down, running between the tackles for 24 minutes, or kneeling on 1st down does nothing for the integurity of the game and little for sportsmanship.

Gregg Easterbrook: Ok, what do people think on this -- if a high school football team leads by more than 50 points in the second half should the game simply end?

J R Stevenson (King George, VA): You said "How I wish there was a Charles Goodell in American politics today." Try Ron Paul, the Congressman from Texas.

Gregg Easterbrook: Ok, I will check him out.

Michael - Long Valley NJ: Gregg, I love your stuff and just got the Progress Paradox. BUt I think you should note that 70k a year in New Jersey is really not a life of luxury. When compared to Somalia perhaps, but here in the East with 3 kids it barely covers the bills.

Gregg Easterbrook: But, that annual salary would pay for one night at Phil Mickelson's Old Course condo, plus greens fees.

Joaquin (San Antonio): I found it ammusing that Phil Mickelson paid $3.4 million to stay in what was, as of last year, a college dormitory.

Gregg Easterbrook: Presumably they moved out the cinder blocks and pizza boxes.

Dan (Chicago): How could you possibly say Matt Leinart is the most Favre-like prospect in a decade? Considering that one of Brett's biggest strengths was his cannon arm, and Leinarts biggest weakness is a lack of one, I'd say there almost opposites.

Gregg Easterbrook: Favre has The Gift, and I think Leinart does too. Time will tell.

Abel (Donna, Texas): Howdy, Mr. Easterbrook! Is thier any plans for another TMQ book? The chronicles of TMQ: The football god, the cheer-babe, and the K-2 Parka pehaps?

Gregg Easterbrook: Actually I did a book titled "Tuesday Morning Quarterback." Its misfortune was a publication date of September 10, 2001. Still available on Amazon, I think.

Chris Walker (Port Orange, FL): Hi Gregg, I would like to point out the new commercial Peyton Manning did for NFL Sunday Ticket. It shows him passing with less than 3 minutes remaining in a game where the Colts are up 28-3. I think the football gods will be punishing him once again. Chris

Gregg Easterbrook: I think that replay is from the first half of a game. But you can imagine how the commercial makes my blood boil -- an NFL approval ad rubbing it in that millions of people, including me, can't buy Sunday Ticket even if they want to. Grrrrrrr........

JB (MD): Wow, that's um.....some new logo! What are we going to nickname this one? Looks like John Hall wearing Gary Anderson's single-bar helmet.

Gregg Easterbrook: I'll do a column soon on the evolution of TMQ logos.

Felipe, São Paulo/São Paulo/Brazil: First, YES YOU'RE BACK THANK GOD!!!! Now, where did you get the idea to write the best column ever and talk about other things not related to football?

Gregg Easterbrook: Obviously, I got the idea from the football gods.

David (Durham): Gregg, would you favor allowing high school football teams to allow their last-string players to play hard? Isn't there something to be said for getting the kids on the end of the bench some time to really try?

Gregg Easterbrook: I realize in some high school blowouts, it's the third team scoring in the fourth quarter. But as a matter of sportsmanship, when you're ahead 50+ in the fourth quarter, you kneel on every down. also if you score off a turnover, you kneel on the PAT.

Joe (Hooksett, NH): Any thoughts of running for job of NFL Commish? My Tuesdays would be much more productive.

Gregg Easterbrook: There's already a guy named Gregg, Gregg Levy, in the race. If he becomes commissioner, maybe he and I could trade places for a day.

Jon, Chicago IL: In your column, do you think that you could reference Farscape once or twice this season? My wife and I are really getting into the syndicated reruns and it might get her to read your column as well. Plus, your only other alternative now is Stargate and who really watches that anyway?

Gregg Easterbrook: I watched Farscape a couple times and could not figure out what was going on. Not that this is necessarily a barrier to enjoying science fiction.

Jason (Georgia): Do you think Vick will become a true NFL type QB this year or at least make major strides so that would be a vision of what the Falcons can expect in the coming seasons....or will it be time to hand the offense over to someone else?

Gregg Easterbrook: Michael Vick could be a great, great NFL running back. He's an average QB at very best. But he's an NFL QB, and there are an awful lot of college star QBs who never were able to say that. At this point I think you need to accept that Vick is simply an average QB, as most QBs are average.

Keith (Jersey): There is a four-pattie-high version of The Stacker.

Gregg Easterbrook: Good god. Doesn't Burger King want repeat customers?

Jeff (Oklahoma): How long will it take TO to create tension in Dallas?

Gregg Easterbrook: My guess is he already has, and the question is, how long till it goes public?

Bill (Milford, CT): Gregg, I love the column! Your brother should realize the publicist he has in you. Our first case to read for law school (I'm entering Penn Law at the end of this month) was a decision he authored, and I recognized him immediately from the times you mention him in your column. Judge Frank Easterbrook - Judicial System Celebrity!

Gregg Easterbrook: Some publicist -- I've never been able to get him on Entertainment Tonight.

Curtis (HHI, SC): Will the Lions make the playoffs this season?

Gregg Easterbrook: Curtis, I believe you meant to say, "this century?"

Anthony (Fairfield): do you think eli manning iwll have a breakout season this year

Gregg Easterbrook: I thought he was pretty good in 2005. He improved visibly over 2004.

johnson (bristol,ct): any special reason to run a piece on charles goodell today?

Gregg Easterbrook: I'm assuming Roger Goodell will be the next commissioner. then everyone will run a retrospective on his father, and you saw it here first.

Ashwin (Boston): Dallas was only 3 regular season field goals away from a 12-4 record(versus Wash, Seattle, Denver). Vanderjagt should solve that problem, even without TO this team should perform better than last year. Is there any doubt they are the division favorites ??

Gregg Easterbrook: Relying on Vanderjagt? History says otherwise. By the way, I still think his name sounds like a brand of flavored schnapps.

Tammy (NJ): Gregg- any thoughts on culpepper going to the dolphins? I'm leaning towards disaster myself - but how bout a second opinion?

Gregg Easterbrook: when he's healthy he's terrific -- though he's best throwing down the field, and mike mularkey calls only three-yard outs. But a #2 for a Pro Bowl QB with years left is a good trade for Miami, a #2 choice might just end up a nickel back anyway.

The Anvil (Stamford, CT): Legs or Chest?

Gregg Easterbrook: Legs, but I'm open minded.

Eric (High Point, NC): There are a lot of teams that are a 3 FG's away from 12-4.

Gregg Easterbrook: Good point. Most NFL games are close. Often a few field goals in the right games is the difference between making or not making the playoffs. this is one reason fans should not view field goals as wimpy plays, they are important.

Brad (Kingsford, MI): Should I feel guilty that I am taking time to read this instead of being productive at work?

Gregg Easterbrook: No.

Dave (Smithfield, RI): Bigger season in 06...Ernest Wilford or David Givens?

Gregg Easterbrook: KC Joyner says Wilford had the most drops in 2005, which sort of rattled my faith in his mystical powers.

Jim (CT): You mentioned that you lived in Buffalo as youth. Am I right to assume that you, in passing at least, were a fan of the Bills? Also, do you find it acceptable that I blame my adult-onset alcoholism on the quality of their play?

Gregg Easterbrook: I am a carrier of Bills addiction genetic defect. I don't have any illusions about this season, however. Best result would be that Losman has his learning year and does not get killed behind a woeful OL.

Fred (ATL): Alba or Simpson?

Gregg Easterbrook: Alba. Plus, which Simpson? There appear to be dozens.

Brandon (Niagara Falls, NY): Do you believe in the Madden curse?

Gregg Easterbrook: It happens too often to be chance.

Daniel (NYC): Bills addiction genetic defect - is that dominant or recessive? I'm asking out of personal concern.

Gregg Easterbrook: Recent studies suggest the gene was present in "DNA EVe" 200,000 years ago in Africa. This is strong proof of alien origin of humanity.

Chuck (Greenville, SC): How come so many people from CT are asking questions? I'm calling shenanigans

Gregg Easterbrook: Hmm. I didn't notice. No more CT.

Mike (Buffalo): duffs wings or anchor bar?

Gregg Easterbrook: I think Anchor Bar is overrated, but then, they probably think the same of me.

Matt (Atlanta, GA): Given the informative perspective you have on a lot of scientific issues and your position as publically religious man, I am curious on your views on the stem cell research controversy. From what I can tell, the same number of babies are born whether federal funding of research is allowed or not and it is a real wasted opportunity to destroy embryos from fertility clinics, abortions, etc. rather than pursue what seems to be a very promising area of research.

Gregg Easterbrook: Embryionic stem cell research should proceed with great caution, as the status of the embryo is unresolved either scientifially and morally. But clearly the human embryo is the most special cell in all biology -- and there I'm quoting James Thomson of U Wisconsin, whose discovery started this all.

I see no reason federal funds should be used to support such morally ambiguous research, when private dollars are available. But I would like to see stem cell research out of unknown labs and into the research-center universities, where utilization review and ethics boards are very strict, and where the best brains are.

Harvard and Johns Hopkins are among research center schools looking into stem cells with private funds.

Also, so far there is no practical embryonic therapy on the horizon. so there seems nothing lost in proceeding slowly and cautiously.

Andrew (Forest, VA): Any thoughts on Castro's ilness and (seemingly) temporary ceding of power?

Gregg Easterbrook: I think if MLB simply offered Havana a franchise, the Cuban people would overthrow Castro in a heartbeat.

RJ (Milwaukee): Give me an Easterbrook Man Law

Gregg Easterbrook: Beer or Desert -- it's one or the other, but not both on the same night.

Dennis (Santa Clarita): The thing with Reggie Bush and "Number 5" to me points out two of the dumber NFL rules: (1) who cares what number players wear regardless of position;' and (2) why should a team have to report injuries and who might or might not play?

Gregg Easterbrook: No. 5 is fine with me. This rule is a relic of the 1950s. Officials need the OLs to be 50-79 to enforce the eligibility rule. Otherwise who cares who wears what number?

DS (Philadelphia): This is pathetic. TALK SPORTS!

Gregg Easterbrook: This is TMQ.

Jeremy (Pittsburgh): I am taking my girlfriend to the movies enxt weekend...Talladega Nights of Clerks 2?

Gregg Easterbrook: See "An Inconvenient Truth." She'll cuddle up to you in the scary parts.

Citizen (World): So, if we challanged the staff of The New Republic to write an issue entirely devoted to sports would it be better or worse than the contents of the average sports website? I mean, are good writers just good writers regardless of subject?

Gregg Easterbrook: The trouble is that such an issue would be dominated by articles about how the Democrats could retake the White House by finding a third way on sports.

Dave (NM): ESPN2K5 or Madden 2007?

Gregg Easterbrook: After my 11 year beat me by more than 50 points, running up the score, I swore off. I am interested in the new coaches' tactics version.

Shaun (Madison WI): The NFL injury reporting is simply for gamblers and bookies.

Gregg Easterbrook: Just who the injury report is for has always been a puzzle. the really injured guys go on the inactive list, which opponents know the night before. what's with the "doubtful" versus "probable" distinction? The NFL is EXTREMELY sensitive to any hint of wagering, so why this list is the source of league penalties I don't get.

Dick: Around the Horn or PTI

Gregg Easterbrook: PTI. I have high hopes for Kornheiser on MNF, assuming he's not too tired after walking to every game.

Walid (Saudi Arabia): Do you think soccer will gain immense popularity in the US in the near future?

Gregg Easterbrook: No, I don't. It's not violent enough for Americans. Soccer is really popular in U.S. high schools now, though.

Jason (Cincy): Is Global Warming real?

Gregg Easterbrook: I think real. Check Brookings.edu for my recent paper on same.

BTW, my oldest son has interned for the last two years at Bethesda Naval Hospital, where he works with injured vets returning from OIF. and where, he just reports, he met George W. Bush today.

Randy Moss (Oakland): Who is the best WR in the NFL?

Gregg Easterbrook: Steve Smith. Sorry, Randy. Love your smoothies.

Eric (NC): Are you a firm beiever, as is the rest of ESPN, that the Yankees and Red Sox are the only teams in baseball.

Gregg Easterbrook: Actually I just asked ESPN for Yankees-at-Sox tickets. Otherwise I have no opinion.

Ron (Mexico): Can you rally for a show where ESPN straight spoofs players, coaches, WRITERS, and predictions? You could be the host.

Gregg Easterbrook: actually there may be something in the works -- more TK

Ryan (Rhode Island): Do you believe in intelligent life somewhere out there

Gregg Easterbrook: I believe intelligent life will prove common in the universe, but will exist for such a comparatively short time at the technological stage -- either destroying itself or evolving to something higher -- that it will prove rare for there to be two technological species in the galaxy at the same time.

Diane (Brooklyn): Hey Gregg! Have any preseason haiku for your devoted fans?

Gregg Easterbrook: Gotta go now. Here's a preseason haiku:

Turnover city.
Who-dat rookies. Yet they charge
for preseason games.