In a world filled with inhumanity, chaos, economic peril and “Two Broke Girls,” there are enough crises to worry about besides ESPN’s constant harping of the worst statistic in the history of sports journalism. But since no one has asked me to solve all those other problems and since over the past year ESPN has pretty much been the ninth Circle of Hell for New Englanders, I figure, what the hell.
I mentioned the toweringly backward illogic of the World Wide Leader’s Quarterback Rating (QBR) stat after the Week 5 game this year when Tom Brady had one of the statically best games of his career but ESPN had him ranked the second-worst quarterback in the league. That alone was enough to discredit the metric for good, like a physics equation that proves gravity doesn’t exist or trigonometry function that shows triangles have more than three angles, the whiteboard should have been erased and the brainiacs in Bristol should have started over.
But they didn’t. They continue to push this thing like it’s real. Which is what makes Pro Football Talk’s latest take down of QBR that much more entertaining:
[A]ccording to QBR, the greatest game any quarterback has ever played: Charlie Batch’s 186-yard, two-interception performance against the Buccaneers in 2010.
Really. Under “All-Time Best Games” on ESPN.com’s QBR page, the top game on the list is an utterly forgettable game that Batch played in place of the suspended Ben Roethlisberger. … I’m sure Charlie Batch doesn’t think it was the greatest game in NFL history. I’m sure Charlie Batch’s mom doesn’t think it was the greatest game in NFL history. No sane person could possibly think it was the greatest game in NFL history. Only ESPN’s super-secret QBR formula could possibly arrive at the conclusion that it was the greatest game in NFL history.
Here’s where it gets really good. If you click the link to ESPN’s own rankings of greatest QB performances of all time, Charlie Batch’s game no longer appears on the list. They didn’t change his rating, mind you. You can still find it buried somewhere and it’s still the highest ever. They just removed it from the list the way the Soviets would erase an enemy of the state from the history books.
I used to think the worst things ESPN ever foisted on the world were “Jacked Up!”, Tim Tebow‘s birthday and Ray Lewis wearing a microphone. It turns out I wasn’t even close. Nice work, WWL. It couldn’t happen to a better organization.
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