Mike Tanier

Mike Tanier


My name is Mike and I write Greg Schiano jokes for food. Long ago, I taught mathematics in suburban South Jersey. During standardized test sessions, I wrote articles for Football Outsiders and the New York Times. Eventually, schools began giving so many standardized tests that I was a full-time writer who proctored tests as a side job. So I quit proctoring tests. I covered the NFL for Sports on Earth for two years. Now I am at Bleacher Report, sharing statistical nuggets and offbeat observations while waiting for Congress to appoint a Poet Laureate in the category of Johnny Manziel Tweets. 'Cuz I like my odds.

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  • David Lang posted 1213 days ago

    David Lang

    Is it time to apologize to Blake Bortles?

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  • David Hoag posted 1259 days ago

    David Hoag

    Mike, can we put to rest the idea that Colin Kaepernick "came within a few goal-line plays of winning a Super Bowl" myth?

    It has become a common characterization about Kaepernick...and also incorrect. Kaepernick came withing one pass of taking the lead in that Super Bowl.

    Here is the play-by-play of the crucial series, starting with 1st and Goal from the Baltimore 7 yard line:
    1-7-BAL 7 (2:39) (Shotgun) L.James right guard to BAL 5 for 2 yards (D.Ellerbe; D.Tyson).
    Two minute warning.
    2-5-BAL 5 (2:00) (Shotgun) C.Kaepernick pass incomplete short right to M.Crabtree (C.Graham).
    Timeout San Francisco (second) 1:55.
    3-5-BAL 5 (1:55) C.Kaepernick pass incomplete short right to M.Crabtree (J.Smith).
    4-5-BAL 5 (1:50) (Shotgun) C.Kaepernick pass incomplete short right to M.Crabtree.

    Let's play "what if" for a moment. Assume that everything is the same except that the 49ers score on 4th down. Trailing 34-29, a touchdown would give them a 35-34 lead, pending a two point conversion that they certainly would have attempted. A successful 2 pointer would give them a 37-34 lead; an unsuccessful attempt would have left it a 1 point game.

    Given that the touchdown would have occurred inside the 1:50 mark of the 4th quarter, Baltimore would have had ample time to move into position for a potential game tying or winning field goal by Justin Tucker (who is still playing for the Ravens). Would it have happened? Well, that is no more or less speculative than the 49ers taking the lead with less than a minute fifty left in the 4th quarter. But, if you are going to speculate on the 49ers scoring a touchdown, you should also speculate a possible Baltimore field goal.

    It is disingenuous to suggest anything else.

    David A. Hoag
    San Francisco, California

  • Robert Howard posted 1259 days ago

    Robert Howard

    Hi Mike. I read your article about "point of no return". It's interesting how I agree & disagree at the same time, but you made the point for the distraction-phobes when you said, "We're supposed to be rooting for football games, teams, and players." You also referred to the "relationship with its audience." My point is this, when I pay to go to a game or choose to watch from home, I'm inclined to root for a team and players with whom I have a relationship, and our relationship is defined by the players and teams playing football, not using it as a platform for their personal grievances. We won't be having dinner with each other after the game because my role in the relationship is defined by my appreciation shown to the teams from the stands. If a fan chooses to take a knee during the anthem, it's none of my business. If you went to a Tom Cruise movie and there was a segment before the movie in which he takes the opportunity to preach the merits of Scientology, would you agree that he violated the spirit of the relationship? I would, and I would leave the theater. He has the right to his beliefs, but I have the right not to have them forced upon me. Kap violated his relationship with me, and I have not watched a pro football game since. Not because I was "distracted", but because I was offended. I served in the Navy twice and in the Air Force, as did my father and two brothers. I happen to agree with Kap's beliefs, but if he wants to fix this, he needs to publicly apologize to anyone he may have offended. He doesn't need to explain, just apologize. If he does, watch how many contract offers he gets.

  • Dave Petersen posted 1259 days ago

    Dave Petersen

    I have been watching NFL football for 50 years. If the NFL does not sort out the politics from the football this is my last year. F Kaepernick and all the @-holes like you who continue to write and support him. We watch football for the football-not the politics. We get enough of that every place else.

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