Pigskin Detention: Vic Carucci, take your seat
Posted on 10/3/2007 7:00:00 AM
Vic Carucci, please take your seat. Yes, right there, in the
back row. Do you know why you're being sent to Pigskin Detention today?
Well, first off, you are the national editor and a featured writer for NFL.com,
which means that more people read your stories every day than have read "War
and Peace" in a lifetime. It's no small gig, and the standards should be quite
Must be a pretty good piece, right?
Mr. Carucci, you committed an offense we hope you'll learn
from: you used your national platform to make
one of the most ridiculous claims of the season
in an NFL ether already thick with pointless punditry.
You chose Giants' defensive end Osi Umenyiora as the
Defensive MVP of the NFL through four games.
Worse even than the selection (we'll get to that) was the reasoning.
Quoting Carucci: "This is not based solely on
Umenyiora's amazing six-sack performance against Philadelphia in Week 4, although that
certainly was a factor. The more important reason, though, is that he overcame
a knee injury to register his first six sacks of the season and take the NFL
lead in that category. I know, I know. Winston Justice, who was a woeful replacement for injured Eagles left tackle
William Thomas, deserved a great deal of credit for Umenyiora's accomplishment.
Still, that doesn't take away from the fact that Umenyiora is one of the top
ends in the league and that the Giants' defense has made significant progress
in the past two weeks."
To quote one of the cavemen from the Geico commercials: What?
So, Umenyiora isn't the MVP because he had one good game
(against a backup tackle on the other side), he's the MVP because he overcame
injury and because the Giants' defense is improved from terrible to pretty good.
Wow. That makes as much sense as the Director's Cut of an M. Night Shyamalan movie.
And equally as flawed is the actual selection of Umenyiora.
Explain, Mr. Carucci, how a man who plays for the No.
23-ranked scoring defense in the NFL can be Defensive MVP of the league.
And while you're at it, please explain how a man who had six
tackles and no sacks in the first three games of the season is Defensive MVP of
Mr. Carucci, had you taken more than, say, 1.4 seconds to
just pick the guy who had the best game two days before you wrote the piece,
you would have unearthed these staggeringly more qualified candidates:
- LB Barrett Ruud, Tampa
Bay: Leads NFL in solo
tackles (32) for the league's top scoring defense (11.0 per game allowed), and has
two fumble recoveries and an INT.
- LB Julian Peterson, Seattle:
Perennial Pro Bowler has five sacks, three forced fumbles and 22 solo tackles
for 5th-ranked scoring defense.
- CB Anthony Henry, Dallas: Leads NFL in interceptions (4) and
pass breakups for a 4-0 Dallas
team with the No. 2 defensive passer rating (62.9).
- DT Darnell Dockett,
Arizona. Has 19 total tackles and
5.5 sacks on a D-line allowing 3.7 yards a carry despite facing Willie Parker,
Shaun Alexander, Willis McGahee and Frank Gore.
So, Mr. Carucci, no talking in the back while you mull over
your role as a leading NFL expert for the league's official web site. Please
write "I Will Be More Thoughtful Next Time" 100 times on the lined paper we've
provided you, and penmanship does count.
We're sure you'll see the error of your ways once you get
out of Pigskin Detention.
Here's hoping we don't see you again unless you're giving us a job.
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