Thursday, November 30, 2006

A Little Love for Zac; A Little Hate for Me

A lot of honors have been pouring in this week for Zac Taylor, being named offensive player of the year from the coaches and the writers. The Omaha fishwrap's Tom Shatel wrote a great column yesterday on the kid who was born and bred Sooner red who wasn't good enough in high school to warrant interest from his favorite team, then bounced from Oklahoma State to Wake Forest to Butler County Community College before ending up in Lincoln, of all places. Early on in his junior year, Taylor struggled. But as the season wore on, he proved his toughness, taking hit after hit after hit and getting up, getting a little better each week. This season, he continued to improve, generally making fewer and fewer mistakes and making more and more plays, becoming the MVP of the team.

Is Zac Taylor the most physically talented quarterback around? Nope. But in the West Coast Offense, you don't have to be the most physically talented quarterback. In fact, physical talent usually works against you. The West Coast Offense requires the smartest quarterback, the one who trusts his mind instead of his arm. That's why the West Coast Offense features quarterbacks like Joe Montana, Brad Johnson, Jeff Garcia, and Rich Gannon. That's why Brett Favre struggled at first in Green Bay until he learned to throw the ball away (using his head) rather than force the ball to receivers.

Will Taylor go onto the NFL? This season will give him an opportunity, but chances are he won't be an initial success. But if he finds a good organization and situation, he can sit back and learn and develop. If both he and the NFL are patient, you just never know. I wouldn't count him out. He's got all the intangibles...and sometimes that means more than raw physical talent. (Can you say Ryan Leaf or Todd Marinovich?)

Late Tuesday night, I recieved an e-mail from Big Sports 590's Matt Perrault in response to my entry from last week where I took issue with Perrault calling the Nebraska-Creighton basketball game an "autowin" for the Jays:
If you are going to say I haven't done my research...please do yours. My ratings are basically equal to 1620's in the key demo (you might know what that is) and I've done it in only 6 ratings periods with no promotion what so ever. Disagree with me all you want - but don't ever say that I don't get people to listen to my show and pay attention....

Glass house my friend.....
First of all, thanks for writing in, Matt! Perrault doesn't disagree with my assessment that he didn't do his research on recent Husker/Jays games. In 2004, the game in Lincoln would have gone to overtime if Kellen Miliner doesn't score the game winner with a second left. In 2003-04, the teams split at the Qwest Center with the first game going down to the wire before Creighton won and the Huskers winning in the NIT on a layup by Jake Muhlheisen. Autowin? Hardly. It didn't take much research to find this out, either.

Instead, Perrault is more upset with my comments about the ratings for his show. Now, I don't have access to the official Arbitron books and breakdowns, but folks who do have access to them seem to agree that the ratings for KXSP and Perrault are poor. Now, one thing that weren't available were the ratings for the local NPR stations, so I guess it's true that I can't really compare the two. But judging from the 0.8 rating that "Big Sports 590" (19th out of 20 Omaha area stations) pulled in this spring, it's quite possible that my quip probably was more of a slam on NPR.

As for the "glass houses" comment? Not sure what he's referring to, but if he's referring to the low hit rates for my blog, that's perfectly fine with me. I'm not exactly after huge ratings, and since I do this for fun, I'm more than pleased with the traffic I get. I do this in my spare time, and if a few folks find it interesting to read occasionally, all the better.


Patrick said...

No worries Mike. While he may be trying to point out that his individual show does well (personally I doubt that, but I have no numbers one way or the other while he probably does), your points are just as valid. Besides, if he really said the Husker-Bluejay game was an "auto win" for either team, it shows he really hasn't covered sports for that long (regardless of resume). Sure, there are many games where one team is highly favored, and usually those teams win. But *no* game is ever an automatic win.

Frankly, I don't listen to him that much, because when I do, I get tired of hearing about the Red Sox, Alabama, and Auburn.

Jon Johnston said...

Weird. How come if his ratings are bad, he's the one guy I hear more about from Omaha radio (Omaha, right?) than anyone else?

When I went home a couple weeks ago, I heard other guys talking about his comments and that was about it for radio commentary.

Husker Mike said...

I think Perrault likes to talk smack (ala Jim Rome), so he does spur his listeners to call in and respond. Sometimes his takes are good, sometimes they're stupid. But they get a response. And that's what he's after.

Also, 590 has a pretty strong signal, so it reaches far away from Omaha. It reaches most of Nebraska and even reaches southern Minnesota. So 590 might be the only sports talk folks outstate get other than Pinnacle. The ratings in question are just for the Omaha area, I believe.

AJ said...

You are my idol. Bravo my friend.

As for me personally...I'd listen to Perralut ANY DAY over 1620, but his topics are usually more slanted toward Creighton or Iowa State...two programs I really don't care about. Although 1620 babbles on about the least it's college football...which does hold my intrest.

It's just a matter of Perrault beliving the Jay basketball hype..which is what about 99.9% of idiots in this town do. No reason to crucify the guy.

Props to him for calling you out though. That's awesome.