Carson Palmer, NFL record books in context

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At thirty-six years old, Carson Palmer is the second-oldest quarterback to throw a pass in the 2016 NFL season. In last week’s game against Tampa Bay, the Cardinals signal-caller threw thirty-one passes, completing eighteen of them for 308 yards, bringing his career total to 40,615.

Schrags is right: here’s Palmer right up there on the all-time list, ahead of both Unitas and Montana.

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It’s tough to write successful biographies while the subject still is alive, and it’s tough to evaluate the legacies of athletes while they still are playing, but you can be forgiven if you think Palmer might not quite belong in the company of Montana and Unitas.

The NFL has changed a lot since Montana was leaving his championship mark on the sport, and it’s changed even more since Unitas made waves simply by wearing hightops in a game. In short, the 40,000 passing yards threshold isn’t what it used to be, and the modern game is so different from prior eras that comments like Schrager’s, above, say more about those broad, sport-wide changes than they do about any individual achievements. Any longer, it simply isn’t helpful to our understanding of professional football and its players’ achievements to compare, for example, quarterback career passing yard totals.

A better way to understand how Palmer’s career achievement stacks up against those of Montana and Unitas is to contextualize it so we can better appreciate what it means for Palmer to have thrown for more than 40,000 yards in his NFL environment as compared to what it meant for Montana and Unitas to throw for over 40,000 yards in their NFL environments. Continue reading

Final Super Bowl XLVII Notes: The Baltimore Ravens will win

How do I know the Ravens will win? Read on…

Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, after losing Super Bowl I

Len Dawson, Kansas City Chiefs quarterback, after losing Super Bowl I

First, the important details: Kickoff is at 6:30 pm, according to the NFL. CBS has the television and online broadcast rights, and Dial Global will have the radio broadcast. In reality, I have no idea if 6:30 represents kickoff, or just “kickoff,” and the real thing won’t happen until 7:00. I guess we’ll all find out together.

Second, before you read further, remember that if enough of you sign this petition, you don’t have to go to work tomorrow.

Third, I think our Super Bowl preview coverage over the last two weeks has been pretty good. Some highlights while you wait for “kickoff”:

Fourth, assuming you’ve covered that ground already, the best of the rest of the web:

  • When the final score doesn’t matter: How prop bets changed the way we gamble on the Super Bowl – You’ve done well to hang in this far into the post, degenerates. The prop bets themselves aren’t shocking or even chuckle-inducing anymore, but this history of how they came to be is an interesting read. (Hint: the house wins.)
  • The Best Super Bowl Documentary You’ve Never Seen – Ok, I get it. You’re ready to stop reading and watch TV. Instead of another hour of CBS’s refried game preview, this documentary is what you need. In 1976, the Bicentennial, a group of kids– including Bill Murray, Christopher Guest (aka Nigel Tufnel), and Harold Ramis (aka The Comic Genius Who Defined A Generation) took some of the first portable video cameras and had unprecedented (then or now) access to the players, fans, and everything else surrounding Super Bowl X. Lynn Swann, Johnny Unitas, and Bob Irsay all are there, among many others. It’s available at that link in four brief Youtube videos, and it’s one of the best sports things I’ve seen in recent memory.
  • Beyond Legend: Stories paint picture of real Randy Moss – A couple gems in here. Bill Murray-esque in some respects. (HT: Laura)

Fifth, as promised, your guaranteed winner tonight is the Baltimore Ravens. I admitted I’ll be cheering for San Francisco, but I have it on the best authority that the streets of Baltimore will be the ones to host a Super Bowl victory parade this year. You can read the full explanation here, but the short story is this logical truth: Norm Macdonald has a lifelong sports gambling problem; when he bets, he rarely wins; when he isn’t gambling, however, he can’t miss; he is gambling on these NFL playoffs, including the Super Bowl; a friend uncovered Norm’s early season, pre-return-to-gambling pick; by its untainted nature, that pick will be correct; that pick was Baltimore to win the Super Bowl. Unassailable. If you take it to the bank, be sure to break off part of your winnings for Norm (and me).

Enjoy the Super Bowl, everybody! Thanks for spending some of your pregame time with ALDLAND. Follow us @ALDLANDia for withering insight during the game.