Derek Carr would succeed if Raiders were better

Derek Carr would succeed if Raiders were better
May 28, 2014, 8:15 pm
Share This Post
Nobody has any idea whether playing Derek Carr now rather than later makes a jot of difference.
Ray Ratto

Hunter Pence’s scooter has been found. This life-affirming development proves to us all that . . . well, that he’s probably going to leave it somewhere else in about a month just to see if Giants fans will form another vehicular vigilante posse. After all, this wasn’t merely scooter theft, it was The Lindbergh Baby, Brought To You By Yamaha.

[RELATED: Pence has unique plans for found scooter]

X X X

Good news for Raider fans trying to work up a froth for rookie quarterback Derek Carr: The numbers say, well, nobody has any idea whether playing him now rather than later makes a jot of difference.

Robert Mays of Grantland did an exhaustive (by Internet standards) look at rookie quarterbacks and whether they did better playing immediately or by doing the Understudy Rag, and the results were spectacularly inconclusive. He did all the legwork, but concluded that Andrew Luck couldn’t be hurt by playing right away, and that Matt Leinart and Brady Quinn couldn’t be helped by playing, right away, later, or ever.

In sum, Hays said, “It isn’t the most exciting conclusion, but . . . it looks like a quarterback is going to succeed independent of whether he starts as a rookie. Situation seems to have more of an impact than time spent on the bench.”

So it’s better to be on a good team than . . . well, if that’s what the math says, that’s what the math says.

X X X

The quarter-stranglers at Forbes Magazine decided to measure fan loyalty in hockey, a dubious enough enterprise given that some very loyal fans get priced out of their arenas, or live too far away, or are really quite educated consumers and choose not to eat detritus flambé just because it’s called lobster bisque.

Indeed, Forbes measures loyalty the way it measures everything else – by the movement of disposable income from customer to entrepreneur, and wrap up the spending in a pretty bow.

So the top five teams – Chicago, the New York Rangers, Boston, Saint Louis and San Jose (Pittsburgh, Detroit and Philadelphia are tied for sixth) are somehow finer human beings than Tampa Bay (which was called the “Lightening”), Buffalo, Phoenix, Winnipeg, Columbus and the New York Islanders.

But this list is likely to change when people find out that Sharks fans finally have a reason not to be be “loyal,” and that it is the best reason of all – systematic and spectacuklar betrayal. Put a dollar sign on THAT, Forbes.

X X X

If there is any more plaintive cry in all of sports than Serena Williams at Roland Garros Stadium howling to the sky, “I CAN’T SERVE!” it would have to be Donald Sterling shrieking, “I CAN’T SUE!” Fortunately for both, Williams will find her serve again, and Sterling will never not be able to sue someone, even if the grave intervenes. That’s how good he is at that part of the game.

X X X

The Chicago Cubs, who are the fundamental mistake on the lake no matter what Cleveland says, just unveiled a $75 million renovation of Wrigley Field to bring in more signs, seats and lights. The brass also threatened to leave if it doesn’t get the right to “control our ballpark,” the sort of crass, tone-deaf awfulness that makes the franchise the grisly tire fire it is.

But they misplayed even this because they failed to understand the Atlanta Braves model, which is to refuse to say anything about its plans, and then when forced to go public, to rig the voting so that no opponents are ever allowed to speak. In short, the Braves went full North Korea, while the Cubs are still wasting time on, “Love us, because we’re us.” And that doesn’t work when you’re the worst team in baseball.

X X X

Stephen Hawking put down the fundamental understanding of the universe to help British gambling site Paddy Power help its clients better understand how to bet England at the World Cup.

Among his theories: England fares much better with European referees (68 percent win rate) than others (38 percent); the hotter the temperature, the worse the Three Lions do; and they play much, much worse above 500m above sea level, and after 3 p.m. local time.

Nothing new on M theory, though. He’ll be too busy getting stuck into Iran-Bosnia Herzegovina. His brain must be so proud.

X X X

To the Los Angeles Kings fan who filed a battery report against Chicago Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford alleging that Crawford squirted him with a water bottle Monday night is, and we want to be as polite as possible here, the sort of excessively litigious clod who thinks Donald Sterling is going too easy on the NBA. Clark Wong told TMZ he was sitting behind the Blackhawks bench heckling Crawford when the goalie was pulled, and Crawford responded by taking a water bottle and squirting him right in the beezer. Wong says he believes the bottle was filled with backwash which caused serious irritation to his eyes.

And based on what we know, who isn’t completely good with that result? I only wish the backwash had a splash of Windex .

X X X

And finally finally, there are now drought fears in Sao Paolo three weeks out from the start of the World Cup. So above and beyond the corruption, poverty, social unrest, rage, price gouging and general awfulness, everyone gets to be thirsty too? Mundial, baby! Mundial!

More Team Talk