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SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

my daily baseball trivia calendar wants "four players who would be eligible for a Solar-System Team"

Not sure if there are four specific players who are more correct than any others, but you could maybe knock out a complete answer with one response - Cassiopeia.

posted by beaverboard at 04:34 PM on March 26

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Yeah - it seems like a lose/lose for players and teams to have a rule that you can get around by sending a guy down for two weeks. Fixing it will be a battle, but once it's fixed it will be better for everyone.

The competitiveness of the big league game takes a hit for what could easily be a straight rule on whether or not a guy plays a particular year or not. Similar to the option rules, they often mean lesser players are in the bigs for roster management reasons.

Sure, there might be edge cases where a guy gets 10 at-bats, gets hurt, and then the team loses a year of eligibility, but in general simplifying these rules would make it more likely the right guys are the right levels for the right reasons.

posted by dfleming at 03:30 PM on March 26

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Would really like the next MLB collective bargaining agreement to get rid of the option to postpone the clock on a player's career by keeping him down for a month. Seems like every year the Spring Training buzz is about a Next Big Thing who we won't get to see. Maybe it gives people something to talk about.

Speaking of which, my daily baseball trivia calendar wants "four players who would be eligible for a Solar-System Team". I can ignore the weird hyphenation but disappointed them didn't buy my idea for Melky Way Cabrera.

posted by yerfatma at 01:33 PM on March 26

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Kris Bryant on pace for the best spring in nearly a decade

posted by BornIcon at 09:42 AM on March 26

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

It's the fancy new sticks for this World Cup - ...

They were used during last year's Twenty20 World Cup as well.

posted by NoMich at 03:32 PM on March 25

The Hidden Value of a Knuckleballer

I have heard this idea before, and there seems to be merit in it. The reverse might be true as well. When Boston used Tim Wakefield as a closer, coming in behind a pitcher with a "conventional" fast ball, batters seemed to have a great deal of difficulty slowing themselves down to the knuckleball. The same phenomenon applies to a driver who, after 2 hours of 70 mph interstate driving, slows to 50 on an off ramp. It seems like you are crawling.

posted by Howard_T at 03:20 PM on March 25

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

We were at dinner (in Brisbane) last night and I was having a tough time not constantly updating my phone to see the score. Very happy to see the Kiwis pull it out, hope that the Aussies can do the business tomorrow to set a real local final.

posted by billsaysthis at 05:36 AM on March 25

The Hidden Value of a Knuckleballer

I remember when knuckleball pitchers were not an occasional oddity, but more or less standard fare. In the late 60's and 1970's there were pitchers that were farther removed from the ordinary than a knuckleballer. There were submariners like Kent Tekulve -- and Steve Hamilton and Lindy McDaniel were still throwing the folly floater/blooper/eephus pitch (and throwing it for strikes and outs). More guys doctoring the ball too, so it seemed.

posted by beaverboard at 08:34 PM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

grum's brief review of his visit to the NCAA Round 2/Round 3 games in Columbus, Ohio:

  1. Columbus, Ohio is a really nice city. They have a lot of nice touristy things to look at, some nice old buildings in the downtown core, and crazy-good shopping choices on the outskirts. My dad (who I went with) is probably going to plan a visit with my mom and sister as part of a shopping trip.

  2. The Nationwide Arena is great. It's a nice "new" building, with wide concourses, LOTS of food concession options with reasonable prices (including Tim Hortons, which my dad loved), and the sightlines for the upper areas are still great for basketball. The area around the arena has lots of "hip" eateries to enjoy if you come down for a game and make a night of it.

  3. The first half of the Dayton (11)/Providence (6) game was probably the worst half of basketball I've seen from two Division I teams in my life. At the 10 minute mark, the score was 9-5 (for Dayton). Both teams were just jacking up bricks from everywhere, or simply grabbing the ball and taking three big steps towards the basket and hoping for a foul call. After the first couple of times, the defenders simply let them pass. This created the ugly situation of a player who was completely out of control trying to make an off-balance layup/shot, leading to more bricks. This might have been the result of an insane start time for the game (10:53pm) and tired players taking the floor.

  4. Speaking of which, those "timeout on the floor" TV breaks (every four minutes of game time) are just awful and can really drag out a game. In the Dayton/Providence game (already starting late because of the previous evening game taking so long) there was a TV timeout 17 seconds after a full timeout. The worst sequence was late in the second half: in 51 seconds of game time, there were 4 team timeouts (two of which were "full" timeouts), a TV timeout, and a video review.

  5. Video reviews! Please, for the people that shelled out some big bucks to watch the games live, throw us a bone and tell us WHAT YOU ARE FUCKING REVIEWING! We sat there a few times over the two days in complete bewilderment as to the reason for the video review. Whether the review overturned something or not, they NEVER told the crowd what was happening. Just put something up on the board saying why the review is happening.

  6. Oklahoma had the best cheerleaders (both routine and looks), but the Dayton band was by far the most entertaining.

  7. Dayton may as well have been playing home games (like their First Four game against Boise St.) because 75% of the crowd was from Ohio for their games. When they had the lead (by 7) late against Oklahoma, the place was just rocking. Alas, they choked it away and lost (thus ruining my bracket a little more as I had them upsetting their way to the Sweet 16 like last year).

  8. Maryland player Melo Trimble suffered a head injury in the second half. He got kneed in the head by his own teammate after stumbling to the ground. He was on the ground for a long time, and was obviously in a lot of discomfort. The training staff did NOT come out to look at him until a couple of team mates called them over. Then, they simply stood him up and walked him back to the bench. He sat there for the rest of the game, alternating between holding his head in his hands, and leaning forward with a towel over his head. The training staff made NO effort to take him into the back for any sort of concussion exam, and instead kept talking to him...which must have been difficult since he was seated RIGHT NEXT TO THE UNIVERSITY BAND!. I can't think of many things worse for a head injury than having someone pound on a base drum only 10 feet away. It was appalling that there wasn't any attempt to get him some relief (or medical attention) until after the game was over.

posted by grum@work at 02:47 PM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

It's the fancy new sticks for this World Cup - the bails light up when they come off the stumps, (it looks cool in night games), and the stumps light up if they're hit by the ball.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:53 AM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I'm guessing the bails, although I've never seen lit ones either.

posted by Ufez Jones at 11:48 AM on March 24

The Hidden Value of a Knuckleballer

I hope there's always a knuckleballer in the major leagues. R.A. Dickey gave the knucklers and their fans a lot of hope as Tim Wakefield aged. Fingers crossed Wright makes the team.

posted by werty at 11:42 AM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

What are the two lights in the lower left?

posted by yerfatma at 11:27 AM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The first Cricket World Cup semi-final was played last night between New Zealand and South Africa and made for an exciting few hours.

A rain break in the middle of the South African innings meant the Duckworth-Lewis Method was invoked - something understood only by theoretical physicists and some members of Duckworth-Lewis.

New Zealand ended up chasing 298 to beat South Africa's 281 and the match went to the wire.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:08 AM on March 24

NFL Drops Blackout Rule for 2015 Season

Good to see this rule, a product of a bygone era, go. If anything, only seemed to hurt the teams it was supposedly trying to help.

posted by holden at 10:35 PM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

It's an interesting sport I still find a bit baffling

Wish I understood it better but it was a fun watch either way

Rugby referees' post-match interviews are becoming refreshingly honest.

posted by owlhouse at 09:07 PM on March 23

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

The Rams draw from southwest Illinois and eastern Missouri on the fan map. I don't think there's any doubt they're drawing thousands of fans from Illinois.

When I lived in Peoria for a year, it felt like the border between Bears fandom and Rams fandom. There was a lot more support for St. Louis teams in that area than I expected.

posted by rcade at 07:32 PM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Ex-NFL player Darren Sharper pleads guilty to sex assault in Arizona, gets 9 years in prison

posted by BornIcon at 01:09 PM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

He'll still be booted off his college baseball team in five minutes. I can't blame him for his reaction to being cut over a tasteless joke on Twitter. I love that Mo'ne Davis asked that he be reinstated.

posted by rcade at 01:04 PM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

He seems to have a good handle on perspective: "An example that one stupid tweet can ruin someone's life". Dude, no one will remember you in 5 minutes.

posted by yerfatma at 11:37 AM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

And then claim he's a "huge fan" of her and not sexist.

Yup. Just say "sorry, I fucked up." And then stop.

posted by tahoemoj at 11:14 AM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

And then claim he's a "huge fan" of her and not sexist.

What an ass.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:57 AM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Bloomsburg baseball player booted for offensive Mo'ne Davis tweet

It takes a real special kind of douchebaggery to call a 13-year-old a slut.

posted by dfleming at 10:53 AM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Stevie G's long goodbye is getting painful. And not just for opponents.

posted by yerfatma at 09:56 AM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Caught some of the England/ France match on beIN Sport after El Classico. Wish I understood it better but it was a fun watch either way.

posted by yerfatma at 08:19 AM on March 23

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Feels related: Does Sport Make Us Happy?

posted by yerfatma at 08:17 AM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Bloomsburg baseball player booted for offensive Mo'ne Davis tweet

posted by BornIcon at 08:16 AM on March 23

The gym on the Titanic, and other early 19th century ocean liners.

Some of the passengers in the pics got horizontal - had some ability.

Eerie seeing those vacant rowing machines in the Titanic gym. No pics of people in the swimming pool doing the breast stroke in evening attire, thankfully.

posted by beaverboard at 10:54 PM on March 22

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

I mentioned that as one of the two conditions where it creates economic impact in my first comment - people travelling from one market to another.

But you spending money in other cities in Florida doesn't do anything for the state budget (sales tax in Viera or Orlando or Jacksonville all go to the same state, minus any local surtaxes, but those don't go to the state either), which was the whole thing that I started with - the governor of the state claiming it would cost the state $10m is a patently ridiculous statement.

With teams bordering around them in Kansas City, Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Chicago all in close proximity, and the Rams having been so lousy for the last decade, it's pretty unlikely that they are drawing thousands of out-of-state fans to the state for Rams home games. They may be drawing folks from local counties in, but that does nothing for the state budget.

posted by dfleming at 09:35 PM on March 22

The gym on the Titanic, and other early 19th century ocean liners.

Fun! Thanks for the link.

posted by DrJohnEvans at 07:32 PM on March 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I started with this tournament also, but had to miss the final day. It's an interesting sport I still find a bit baffling.

posted by rcade at 10:13 AM on March 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Thanks for posting these Mr. B. I just started watching rugby for the first time shortly after the tournament started.

posted by Ying Yang Mafia at 01:53 AM on March 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

As a result, if England can get to +63 they will win the title because they have score more tries than the Irish. To do that, they have to beat France by 26 points.

England ended up winning 55-35 - thereby falling six points, (one converted try), short of the margin needed for the title.

As a result, the Irish defended their 2014 victory, while England finish second for the fourth Six Nations tournament in a row.

The full England-France match can be seen here, (starts at the anthems). Kick off is here.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:10 AM on March 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

ACC has a pretty good chance to be 9-0 after today. Virginia and Louisville might have a bit of trouble getting through tomorrow, but the conference is looking really good.

posted by LionIndex at 11:23 PM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

NoMich, we need to acknowledge your supernatural powers. Can you do anything about Roy Williams' wardrobe? Wanda's letting him shop the 70's rack at the general store.

Wish we could snag Williams' suits and put him in one of those classic Bob Huggins Saturday afternoon "I changed my oil, then I went bowling" ensembles.

posted by beaverboard at 11:23 PM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Ooo-wee-ooo

posted by NoMich at 10:15 PM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I don't want to jinx anything by saying that this NC State business that NoMich come up with last Sunday is starting to get a bit freaky, so I'll refrain from comment.

He might have to change his name to NostradaMich.

(Looks like I was tapping keys while NoMich was posting).

posted by beaverboard at 09:54 PM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

State beat Villanova tonight. I live just a few miles away from State's campus and did my local CBS station show that game? Nope. They had Utah v Georgetown. Fuckers didn't even cut away for the last few seconds of the game. Stupid capitalism.

posted by NoMich at 09:49 PM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The last round of the Six Nations is today, with three teams- Wales, Ireland and England - all tied at the top, meaning the destination of the title will be decided by points differential.

Before kick off, France could have won the title with a victory over England by at least eight points, combined with losses for Wales and Ireland, but both of those teams won.

Wales did their part early, by beating Italy 61-20, to end up with a +53 differential. Ireland then beat Scotland 40-10 to complete a Scottish whitewash, (they finish 0-5) and to move to the top of the table with a +63 differential.

As a result, if England can get to +63 they will win the title because they have score more tries than the Irish. To do that, they have to beat France by 26 points.

The score at halftime is England 27-15 France.

Heaven knows the French don't enjoy spoiling England's day...

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:08 PM on March 21

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Even if you believe that locals will spend the same amount of money in their community if a sports franchise leaves, pro sports bring in people from the surrounding region who go to games and spend money in that community.

I spend money in Viera each year for one reason only: I go to Washington Nationals spring training games, make a pilgrimage to the World of Beer, eat at a local restaurant and go to a few stores I like.

The same is true in Orlando now that Orlando City SC is playing.

As for Jacksonville, it is rare in pro sports as a one-team town. So there are some of us who spend money on the Jaguars because we like pro sports and others who come in from other cities in Florida and Georgia. Their money might not be making the trip to Jacksonville without the team.

posted by rcade at 11:40 AM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Thanks for posting that. I had been wondering about Bednarik's condition. I always thought he was too tough and ornery to die.

I had a dream once that he walked onto the team sideline during an Eagles home game at the Vet and administered a schoolboy whupping to Buddy Ryan. I hated waking up from that one. It was gratifying.

posted by beaverboard at 11:17 AM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

HOF Linebacker/Center for the Eagles, the legendary Chuck Bednarik, has passed away at the age of 89.

I never saw him play, but he is the subject of my all-time favorite picture of an athlete.

posted by Ufez Jones at 10:49 AM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

So interesting that the NCAAM Midwest Region is now down to four games that are all highly territorial.

And there's not another third round matchup in the tourney that's even remotely close.

posted by beaverboard at 10:00 AM on March 21

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

For what it's worth in relation to the arguments over public funding of sports venues, I offer the following. The emotional attachment to a team in your city can be quite strong, even if you never go to one of their games. Walk around anywhere in New England and look at the number of Patriots, Bruins, Red Sox, and Celtics hats, shirts, and jackets. I would bet that fewer than 25% of those who sport the gear have been to a game of that team in the past season, or perhaps even the past 5 seasons.

I have just renewed my Boston Celtics season tickets. It's something of a luxury, although the cost for the 2 seats is not a budget buster for me. I have tried to make it to at least one Patriots game per season, but did not this year. I don't think I will try for the coming season, either. The seats are expensive, getting to and from the games from southern NH is a real pain, and the seats that are usually available are located "somewhere in the Town of Foxborough". While I am a baseball and hockey fan, I will not go to Fenway Park, and I probably won't go to TD Garden for a Bruins game. I can get my baseball fix with a collegiate level wooden bat game at the local park. College hockey is readily available, with 3 teams within less than an hour's drive and 4 more in Boston.

So why did I choose the Celtics for season tickets rather than one of the other teams? First of all, I go back to the 1952-53 season with the team. I lived in the town of Winthrop, MA, which by public transportation was less than 30 minutes away (if connections were good). The cost for a game was affordable for a kid of 11 or 12 who was in the process of getting filthy rich by delivering newspapers. The best bet was to get my dad interested in the team and talk him into going to a game. The Celtics became the only championship winning team in Boston, and continued a winning tradition throughout the 1960s and well into the 1970s. I was absent from the area for most of those years, but I still followed the team.

I know I will not attend all 43 of the games in the coming season (ticket plan includes 2 exhibition games), so why renew? I will use a number of the tickets as prizes for fund raisers at my church or for the PTO at the school where my wife works. I will sell a few to a couple of people I know who want to go to the occasional game but don't want the hassle of buying tickets through the team and having to figure out whether the seats are any good. Still, I'll eat a few, but I really don't worry about it. In short, while the money I spend could be used for something else, it isn't that I'm taking food out of my wife's mouth. I'm not wealthy, but I am certainly comfortable. Thus, I can afford a few luxuries, and the Celtics are one of them.

posted by Howard_T at 11:47 PM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

CapGeek founder Matthew Wuest made unforgettable impact on hockey

posted by tommytrump at 06:44 PM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

If American citizens want to send bribes for World Cup 2026 bid, do we make checks directly out to you or to FIFA?
That's bribes for someone else to have to take it, right?

posted by Etrigan at 05:35 PM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Same thing happens when people get a raise. It would make sense to take all of the money from that raise and put it in a retirement account, or college savings account, since it is money you've never seen before. However, most people just absorb that "new" money into their annual expenses. Not really seeing much difference in the long run.

posted by opel70 at 02:57 PM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

World Cup Qatar 2022 is officially on the schedule for November/December and has also been compressed to 28 days. Related.

posted by bender at 01:16 PM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

if all the good burger joints close I'll spend the same amount of money at McDonald's.

No, what price elasticity says is if all the good burger joins close you'll seek out a decent steak place. Or if you're really inelastic and only want a burger, maybe you buy a new grill and cooking classes.

There are only four sporting events reasonably close by I'll shell out money to attend

Sure, but if those aren't available and you're stuck for something to do for the weekend, maybe you go to the movies or a concert or buy a DVD or whatever. Treating this cash as "Money a Person Spends on Sports" is putting too tight a fence around it. It's entertainment dollars or disposable income or whatever you like to call it.

posted by yerfatma at 01:15 PM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Great read, thanks yerfatma. Really like Philippe's analysis in the Football Weekly podcast and his written work. Another guy, like Rafael Honigstein, whose elegance and facility in spoken English belies his non-native speaker status (including his use of the British English phrasing "identity parade" to refer to a police line-up the other day).

posted by holden at 01:05 PM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

rcade, I think he's saying you're more the exception than the rule. Not a bad thing in this case.

posted by Mothball at 12:53 PM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Why do you find it hard to believe that a person who likes a specific form of entertainment will spend money on that when it is available, and keep the money when it isn't?

Because I've looked at the data on saving and spending habits. Those questions are vague because we're not talking about all the spending on one Sunday, but the spending of citizens over a year in their cities. Do they spend the same amount of money they make each year, regardless of what it's on? Yes - primarily they do.

I'm also not inventing this out of belief - I'm saying the majority of people don't do what it is that you're suggesting, no matter how irrational it is. People in towns spend almost all of their money every month regardless of whether or not it's on sports teams.

What you seem to be envisioning if the Jags leave is 50,000 people in Jacksonville who just sit at home quietly in a room on Sunday afternoons and don't consider anything else they might do with their time and money. They don't go to sports bars to watch games, or watch other sports live, or take their partners on dates, or take their families to the movies or to an amusement park, or do anything else.

And what I'm suggesting is, based on all economic data and trends I have seen to date, people have not one thing they wish to do with their money, but many things, and when one preference is unavailable, they find others that maximize the happiness of their lives in the present. People who used to go to LA Rams games do other things today than they did then.

posted by dfleming at 12:28 PM on March 20

Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool

It was the only bracket I filled out this year and I can't find my picks anywhere. Oh well, I don't follow college ball much anymore so I was basically just guessing.

posted by tron7 at 11:15 AM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

I have relatives who live in Arlington, can't afford to attend Cowboys games but are funding the city's JerryWorld loans even as the facility is already turning a profit for him.

There should be a per-ticket tax imposed on fans who attend events at that facility that goes completely towards erasing the public debt incurred on it. The idea that local residents are shouldering any of the costs now is obscene.

posted by rcade at 11:04 AM on March 20

Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool

I have a Yahoo bracket in another pool, entered before games began. Is it possible to copy it into this pool?

posted by rcade at 10:39 AM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

college & high school football would replace it for all but the most hard-core fan and other entertainment options (movies, clubs, etc) would replace it for others.

There's no college football to attend here, aside from the Florida/Georgia game, and I'm not an alumnus of any local schools so my interest is extremely casual. As for high school football, it held zero interest for me in high school and has less today. But even if I cared, I'd find it impossible to spend $30 to $300 a ticket, $10 to $30 for parking and $10 to $100 on concessions to see St. Augustine play Nease.

As for movies and clubs, my interest in being entertained is limited to -- wait for it -- things that entertain me. If pro sports go away there will be less things that cross my "is it worth the money?" threshold.

What you're saying sounds to me like the idea that if all the good burger joints close I'll spend the same amount of money at McDonald's.

I might buy a better TV, though, but that's a one-time expense that likely would put bupkiss into the local economy.

posted by rcade at 10:25 AM on March 20

Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool

I ahhh... apparently didn't save my bracket. Do I win the Costanza or have I failed too hard even for George Costanza?

posted by tron7 at 10:11 AM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

You don't consider what your current Visa balance is at when deciding on future purchases? You've not once thought that a particular month's expenses were high, and you might rein it in for a little bit to compensate?

Those questions are about vague spending decisions. The premise put forward in this discussion is more specific: that a person who would have spent $200 attending a Rams game would have spent $200 anyway in that same time period without the Rams around, so there's zero impact to the local economy in having the team.

"well, there are literally no other options other than Jags tickets that will satisfy me. I guess I will bank that $500."

Why do you find it hard to believe that a person who likes a specific form of entertainment will spend money on that when it is available, and keep the money when it isn't?

There are only four sporting events reasonably close by I'll shell out money to attend: Jaguars games, the Player's Championship and the occasional Orlando City SC game and spring training game in Viera, If any of those go away -- the Nats are leaving Viera after 2016 -- I'm not going to reflexively put the money into comparable entertainment.

It seems irrational to me to conclude that a person who spends $2,000 a year attending local pro sporting events will always spend $2,000 even if the teams he likes move away. I don't see sports as an interchangeable form of entertainment. They're better at separating me from my money than other forms of entertainment have proven to be. I've lived in this area 18 years while almost never attending any other live events that would put money into the local economy.

posted by rcade at 10:11 AM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

If the Jaguars ever leave Jacksonville, there will be zero places for the pro sports fan to spend any dollars in this town.

If you actually look at the data on what people do with their money, this is categorically untrue for all but a small percentage of the population.

There's a question comes down to: does attending an NFL game have 0 price elasticity and I'd say it does not: college & high school football would replace it for all but the most hard-core fan and other entertainment options (movies, clubs, etc) would replace it for others. It's unlikely even the most hard-core NFL-only football fan is going to sit home and swim in their saved dollars Scrooge McDuck-style. Maybe they'll play Madden instead. Or splurge on a new TV and DirectTV.

posted by yerfatma at 10:02 AM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

For Football Weekly fans: Philippe Auclair's long road to writing about football.

posted by yerfatma at 09:52 AM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Hilarious . . . "Dragons or tornadoes?" Kid looked at me like I was high.

I would say Dragons, but I honestly do not know. :)

I have done the mascot thing with my wife a few times. One year, I had her pick based on school colors. Recently, she picks based on mascots as if she was our cat, which usually breaks down to felines always beat dogs and birds otherwise the contest is not meaningful and she picks the favorite.

posted by prof at 09:32 AM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

When I attend sporting events, I don't usually think about whether I've refrained from other spending to make up for it.

You don't consider what your current Visa balance is at when deciding on future purchases? You've not once thought that a particular month's expenses were high, and you might rein it in for a little bit to compensate?

It's not a direct "this, therefore not that" thought process that most people use as their decision-making mechanism. It's either hitting their credit card limit (therefore I can't buy other things), a review of their bank balance, or a desire to not be perpetually in deficit that causes people to decide not to eat out that week, not to drop by the pub after work, not to grab Starbucks, etc.

The things we've bought absolutely help to dictate what it is we buy in the future.

Some people will hang onto it because none of the alternatives are enough to motivate them to part with the money they used to spend on a NFL team.

If you actually look at the data on what people do with their money, this is categorically untrue for all but a small percentage of the population.

Most people spend how much money they have, and very few look at the variety of other consumption options (including housing expenses and upgrades, electronics, food and beverage, cars, and servicing other debt) and think "well, there are literally no other options other than Jags tickets that will satisfy me. I guess I will bank that $500."

If they did, the savings rate would create significantly more stable retirement funds for all but the wealthy than exist now. Most people's net worth is the equity in their house - they aren't building it through monthly cash flow or savings theory, which is why we have to do things like incentivize 401k contributions and other things to get them to.

posted by dfleming at 09:15 AM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

When I attend sporting events, I don't usually think about whether I've refrained from other spending to make up for it. I question the premise that the average NFL fan who attends a game -- paying $30 to $300 a ticket, $10 to $30 for parking and $10 to $100 on concessions -- is living paycheck to paycheck. At current costs the working class fan is mostly priced out of the sport. It seems like a lot of fans have discretionary income, so having a team could put money into the local economy that might be saved instead.

If the Jaguars ever leave Jacksonville, there will be zero places for the pro sports fan to spend any dollars in this town. I don't think all that money will still be spent on the same businesses I mentioned earlier for other attractions. Some people will hang onto it because none of the alternatives are enough to motivate them to part with the money they used to spend on a NFL team.

So I definitely see an adverse negative impact to a team leaving, though I won't go as far as to conclude that this makes publicly funded stadiums justifiable. I think they're a racket that makes rich people richer and politicians more powerful at the expense of the taxpayer.

posted by rcade at 09:03 AM on March 20

Can popularity ruin a sport?

I occasionally check the comments section on sport articles and like Rafa and most of you guys, get disillusioned with humanity. However, on The Guardian I am always cheerier when checking reports from matches in the Championship. In the second tier, fans tend to be far more polite and frequently praise the opposition on the day, even after a sound defeat. It may have something to do with being a fan for longer, and understanding that in the long run, today's rooster is tomorrow's feather duster.

/Yes, I've even seen Derby fans praise F****t, and vice-versa. It's a parallel universe.

posted by owlhouse at 11:09 PM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Outcome regardless, voting Amaker into the greater Boston area open collar, necktie hating HOF behind the Splinter.

posted by beaverboard at 09:30 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Just happened to be watching footage of the young Christopher Hitchens on Firing Line with Wm. F'Buckley recently. Properly schooled debate club boyz with game. In front of a live studio audience that paid to sit there and hang in whilst those guys streamed it.

Mostly pre-Quayle era of American discourse. We don't venture that high up the marble mountain any longer. Not anywhere close.

posted by beaverboard at 08:09 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Found it.

"He spent two years asking folk in and around Yellowstone why they are so cross. Beneath debates about science and economics he found arguments about morality and the proper relations between humans and nature though those involved often do not, or will not acknowledge this. In short, all sides purport to be weighing what is true and false, while really arguing about right and wrong."

"Lots of other countries debate such issues as the death penalty, abortion, gun control or global warming in parliament, allowing partisans to admit when they are advancing emotional or religious arguments. From its earliest days American law courts and congressional hearings have rung to the noise of impassioned partisans, hurling facts (and, all too often, confected para-facts) at one another in a bid to prove the other side wrong."

posted by yerfatma at 07:45 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Rafa is one of those Germans who apologise that their English isn't so good.

As holden suggests, Rafa is full of crap. He reminds me of that Boston joke, "What's the difference between Pedro and Clemens? Pedro's English is better." Every time Rafa makes a funny play on words in English I feel a little stupider. Football Weekly does a nice job of collecting really smart people who happen to write about football. Then again, much like baseball, football seems to draw those people by nature.

needing something like sports/politics/religion/music to be right about to validate their reality.

Wish I could find it (and I may have already linked it here) but there was a fantastic article in The Economist earlier this year from one of their name columnists about some Western state where liberals and conservatives were fighting about issues without any real evidence on either side.

posted by yerfatma at 07:36 PM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Helped my 4 year-old fill out a bracket this a.m. -- told him mascots, but that's really it. Sometimes what seems more badass to a 4 year-old boy helps lead you to the head of your family picks pool after the first 6 or so games.

"Dragons or tornadoes?" Kid looked at me like I was high.

posted by holden at 06:35 PM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I just wrote a chorus of blues lyrics and sent them to my ex-girlfriend.

I begged her to stop treating me like a #3 seed.

I had SMU going deep into the tourney (they wuz robbed). I also liked Iowa State.

The whole thuckin fing is busted on Day 1.

posted by beaverboard at 05:26 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Wow, thanks for that great post, both yerfatma and Guardian. Those 6 or 7 paragraphs were more thought provoking than half a years' worth of ESPN talking heads yelling at each other. As others have noted, the point of the piece transcends soccer, particularly, of course, in America. Personally, I think it is indicative of the general trend (for whatever reason) of people feeling less and less attached to their actual existence, and needing something like sports/politics/religion/music to be right about to validate their reality.

As a case in point, during the 2012 election cycle, I tired of all of the political sniping on facebook. For diversion, I started posting musical questions along the likes of "what bands/artists were the most ahead of their time?" and "best rock n' roll voice". The amount of virtriol spewed among my cyber-friends, all of whom have at least one common reason to be polite, was breathtaking.

posted by tahoemoj at 03:34 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Yeah, am always amazed at Rafa's grasp of English, and in particular idiomatic English, in the Football Weekly podcast. And just does not seem fair (to us native English speakers) for a non-native speaker to have written this:

Regular "comments section" frequenters will recognise the phenomenon: newcomers to the faith, especially those who live too far away to physically congregate with their gods and prophets, seem to feel the need to compensate for those defects by adopting a fundamentalist, 100% humour-free stance in defence of their side, while those born into the religion through parental lineage or proximity can often afford a more relaxed, ambivalent and honest relationship with the powers that be, as well as more tolerance towards non-believers

posted by holden at 02:51 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Really good article.

Rafa is one of those Germans who apologise that their English isn't so good.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:53 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Yeah, there's a certain segment of folks at any event who act as though the event exists exclusively for them and they're happy to elbow you out of the way and block your view and forget about common courtesy because it's their world.

I wonder, though, if mobs are representative of how many people really want to break stuff all the time or how many people would break stuff once a bunch of people already are and their own behaviour is now part of a collective. I suspect belief in the latter and it being about exponential growth is why I feel safer in smaller venues - more followers than leaders out there.

posted by dfleming at 01:41 PM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

I wish we were able to nail the "investing in long-term benefits is sexy" narrative bill, but sadly, the collective "we" really love shiny new things. If we were, maybe the water and sewer infrastructure throughout North America wouldn't be crumbling daily.

posted by dfleming at 01:39 PM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Heart rules the head, dfleming, as an economist I'm sure you understand that better than me. Add in the politicos' fundraising requirements and there's just no contest, sadly.

The real way to contest government spending on sports facilities is to find a way to make a similar emotional/pocketbook connection for that same money. Viral videos of cute babies who seamlessly transition to little kids sitting in, say, messed up classrooms, or the like. Who knows, I'm an engineer.

posted by billsaysthis at 11:31 AM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

how to keep the humanity in things as they scale in size

Yeah, there's a certain segment of folks at any event who act as though the event exists exclusively for them and they're happy to elbow you out of the way and block your view and forget about common courtesy because it's their world.

posted by yerfatma at 11:28 AM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

shave it from other businesses and centralize it in this one place

And consider those businesses tend to be publicly-held so the money flows right out of town. Think Stan Kroenke really cares about money staying in the city he happened to buy a team in?

posted by yerfatma at 11:25 AM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

posted by yerfatma at 11:13 AM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Any time you bring tens of thousands of people to an event there are going to be increased business for grocery stores for tailgate supplies, gas stations, restaurants, bars, parking lots and stadium concessions, all of which help those businesses and their employees and generate sales taxes. Local newspapers, radio and TV stations also benefit because the team draws more eyeballs and they can sell them to advertisers.

This only works if you're enticing people to spend money they aren't spending already in the area - either by attracting people to the area, convincing them not to leave the area, or convincing them to cut their spending rate and to spend more money. The area, in the case of the Governor, is the state of Missouri.

It's the same argument that is used when a Wal-Mart opens up - that it creates jobs and tons of economic impact. Lots of economic analysis (this one is on a Lowe's where 115 jobs were created, and as many as 163 jobs were destroyed) suggests all it does is shave it from other businesses and centralize it in this one place, and very little (if any) new money is created, and often times, jobs are destroyed. In the case of big entertainment - it's money that might've been distributed at a variety of other places.

So - my point is that, while there is a centralized and clustered spending pattern that occurs in places in and around the stadium, if the Rams weren't playing that Sunday, it would be spread out at other retailers, restaurants, etc. throughout the week. The 5.5% saving number that yerfatma cites is not a normally-distributed dataset (I have a couple of local Canadian studies behind a university paywall that are similarly-focused) - it's a small number of people saving a lot, and a lot of people servicing debt like mortgages, student loans, and credit card debts, and spending the rest on survival and luxuries with nothing left over.

Similarly - if you're in a market where the governments spend all, if not more, than they earn - the capital spending on the project also is not new money. We typically shave from other budgets to accommodate a stadium build, which means that money was already cycling through the economy at status quo.

The majority people aren't spending new money at the stadium, but instead cutting back on other spending to compensate for their day out. I've made this argument to deaf ears at the local and provincial level as an economist in Canada.

posted by dfleming at 10:41 AM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Great article - thanks for sharing.

You could sub a whole whack of stuff in there - politics, music, entertainment, ideology - and it holds that it is as though it exists for some people as an outlet to yell at others. Unfortunately, that shit is what enough people watch in droves and that means losing all the reasonable people in the process isn't bad for business.

I think it's always been this way on a micro scale, it just happens in today's day and age that the volume's gone from 2 to 11 and it's drowning everything else out. It used to be that your sporting experience might be marked by a couple of shows on TV, folks at the bar, the people in your stadium section, and your friends and family.

It wasn't that long ago (heck, it still happens in soccer) where yelling racial epithets, hurling batteries, talking about people's ugly wives, and chanting about people's dead mothers was part of the in-sport experience. Now it's done largely anonymously via the internet, and the volume of it is such that it dwarfs the reasonable folks out.

My last two stadium experiences - Foxboro and Yankee Stadium - left me feeling unsafe and largely disinterested in the in-game experience. We met a group of rough looking 49ers fans on the way to Foxboro who turned out to be really lovely people, but once we got in our section, my internal conflict turned out to be thinking about telling the Pats fan two rows down to stop yelling the N word at a bunch of 49er fans in the section below. He was ready for a fight, and quite honestly, it ruined the entire experience to think that I had to chose between being a coward or getting in a fight - both things I loathe. The game itself was awesome, but I had a lousy time.

The good news, at least, is the niche market for reasonable sports experience is out there. SpoFi, however small in the grand scheme of things, is a really great resources - in part because the moderation have been brilliant at discouraging the tribalism that begets hatred and anger here. Podcasts as a collective seem to do better than video, and there's a relatively robust analytical community in all sports that delights me to no end.

It's just a shame that we have not figured out how to keep the humanity in things as they scale in size. I now shy away from large music festivals, political rallies, and sports events, and find myself getting excited about obscure pro-ball games simply because there's a safety and human touch still left in the experience. It sucks to no longer be able to catch a live performance of a band or player because their audience has scaled, but I'd rather not have to deal with racism, sexism, tribalism, and violence just to enjoy something. It's not worth it.

posted by dfleming at 09:57 AM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

But I don't see how you can claim there's no increased economic activity on the 10 days a year when the Rams are hosting a game.

He's claiming it moves the activity to those days instead of creating new spending. It depends on whether you buy the assertion that "most people spend every cent of their pay cheque anyways". You can see US Personal Savings Rate data here. If we grant that a bunch of that savings happens among the extremely wealthy then dfleming's assertion becomes really interesting: what if instead of generating new spending they're just taking it away from other entertainment options? Do sports complexes create a black hole in the outlying areas? It would be interesting to see how Patriots Place has fared compared to retailers right around Foxboro.

posted by yerfatma at 09:16 AM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Regardless of your interest in football/ soccer, I found this piece really interesting because I've drifted away from sport a fair bit in the last decade or so and I can't tell how much is natural from aging and how much is the relentless focus, the constant yammering of talking heads who don't know anything and what roto sports have done to how we appreciate games.

And then there's the tribalism. I doubt it affects US sports much, but soccer pages on ESPN are full of Facebook comments much like he describes:

Due to its lower profile internationally and Germans' relatively small appetite for public debate, we have, mercifully, not yet reached the point where recently-converted VfL Wolfsburg supporters in sub-saharan Africa scour the internet for perceived slights of their club and vow to hound the offending pro-Whatever FC journalists out of their jobs. (Regular "comments section" frequenters will recognise the phenomenon: newcomers to the faith, especially those who live too far away to physically congregate with their gods and prophets, seem to feel the need to compensate for those defects by adopting a fundamentalist, 100% humour-free stance in defence of their side, while those born into the religion through parental lineage or proximity can often afford a more relaxed, ambivalent and honest relationship with the powers that be, as well as more tolerance towards non-believers).
It's as though sports exist for some people just as an outlet to yell at others.

posted by yerfatma at 09:10 AM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Yes there's a lot of funny math used by government officials to justify these boondoggles.

But I don't see how you can claim there's no increased economic activity on the 10 days a year when the Rams are hosting a game. Any time you bring tens of thousands of people to an event there are going to be increased business for grocery stores for tailgate supplies, gas stations, restaurants, bars, parking lots and stadium concessions, all of which help those businesses and their employees and generate sales taxes. Local newspapers, radio and TV stations also benefit because the team draws more eyeballs and they can sell them to advertisers.

Though some fans will go without on other days to afford game day expenditures, others will increase their spending.

If the Rams leave St. Louis and no NFL team takes their place, there will be negative effects on the local economy. It might not be anywhere near what the officials claim, but it'll be something a lot of businesses in that city miss.

posted by rcade at 08:32 AM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Jerry Jones: November 11th, 2014 - "There's no question in my mind, the emphasis we have on spousal abuse in the NFL and the lack of tolerance for it. It's intolerable and will be adjudicated accordingly."

Jerry Jones: March 18th, 2015 - 'Well, unless we get a bunch of sacks out of the deal.'

posted by dfleming at 04:30 PM on March 18

Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool

joined .... automatically grabbed my entries from Yahoo Best Bracket pool and duplicated them in Spofi. No worries.

thanks grum!

posted by cixelsyd at 03:51 PM on March 18

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

They understand that it is a cost, they just don't say it. Keep in mind that campaigns are very expensive and the people who make them possible also tend to be the ones with lots of money for things like, oh sports teams. I agree, it's incredibly frustrating when politicians say stuff like that, I just don't believe that they are that dumb for the most part, just that corrupt.

posted by Mothball at 03:50 PM on March 18

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Laila Ali, Christian Laettner, and Hope Solo help kick off this year's NCAA Tournament.

posted by beaverboard at 01:52 PM on March 18

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has said losing the Rams would cost the state at least $10 million a year.

No - they gross $10m a year in revenue. They cost the state in terms of infrastructure (stadium capital costs; busses and roads/tax breaks on land that might net higher property tax/etc.) - costs that will likely escalate if it takes a new stadium to keep them.

Considering most people spend every cent of their pay cheque anyways, the argument it stimulates activity in the local economy is bogus. People eating out on Sunday instead of Tuesday doesn't generate any new money. People shopping at this Wal Mart near the stadium vs. that Target in a business park doesn't do anything for the economy. The exceptions are:

a) Keeping dollars that would otherwise be spent out of Missouri in Missouri; or
b) Attracting dollars from other states for gamedays/sales tax on merch.

To which, as far as I can tell, the Rams are unlikely to be massive movers in either category.

I don't know why guys with control over these massive public budgets can't fucking figure out that gross revenue =/= net revenue. If you spend $12m/year on a capital project for whom there are next to no other possible tenants (therefore meaning it's Rams rent or bust for this huge, expensive stadium), and it nets you $10m a year in direct revenue, it's a god damned cost to taxpayers.

posted by dfleming at 12:19 PM on March 18

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Love the Niners model. Get a new stadium, then force restart.

Closing programs still running may cause loss of unsaved work in progress.

Force Restart? Cancel?

Start Windows normally?

Disable C:/program files/tomsula.exe?

After the growing mob of torchbearers finishes restructuring the NCAA against its will, pro stadium financing needs to be the next jihad.

posted by beaverboard at 11:41 AM on March 18

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Fearing it could lose the Rams or its designation as an NFL city, St. Louis is looking for a new facility that would meet the requirements the National Football League expects of stadiums its teams play in.

Dave Peacock, a former Anheuser Busch executive who is spearheading the drive to keep St. Louis an NFL city, regardless of whether the Rams stay, told a Missouri House committee earlier this month that building a new stadium is the key....

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has said losing the Rams would cost the state at least $10 million a year.

The Edward Jones Dome is not quite 20 years old and cost $280 million at the time to build. Sounds like the state could let the Rams go and save $4M a year.

posted by Etrigan at 10:30 AM on March 18

The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage

Well, there's the advantage of viewing the game in much higher resolutions than what watchcric can offer. Also, replay. I'm waiting for the SL/SA match to be over then I'm going to fire it up and watch it while at work today.

posted by NoMich at 07:38 AM on March 18

The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage

Only 7 games left, so less than 6 bucks per game, I suppose.

posted by owlhouse at 11:12 PM on March 17

The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage

And now I see that ESPN has dropped the price for their live streaming to $40. Probably, maybe, for USA residents only?

posted by NoMich at 09:41 PM on March 17

The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage

Thanks owly.

posted by NoMich at 09:39 PM on March 17

The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage

I'm not advocating dodgy internet sites or anything, but...

http://watchcric.net/channel/live-cricket-1

Note that this site seems to chop and change sources from time to time to be ahead of the ICC.

posted by owlhouse at 09:15 PM on March 17

Tim Tebow Working Year-Round on Throwing Mechanics

The way House describes Tebow's physical strength makes me wonder if a QB can be too strong to throw effectively.

If you compare Brady's build and mechanics as a rookie to where he is now, he hasn't bulked up much, but he has been transformed into an optimized QB. Every aspect of his positional ability set has been broken down and rebuilt. He used to put his whole shoulder into intermediate sideline throws and looked like he had a permanent case of banjo arm. The ball release took forever and the forward throwing motion began from a point about a mile and a half behind his helmet.

Now, he stands taller and is a model of efficiency. Without being blessed with a natural Marino release, he still gets the ball out much quicker than he used to, and with power and accuracy. His mechanics are equal to his observational and processing powers and decision making speed. He has become noticeably more mechanically efficient than Peyton.

(Which is why, when Brady makes a poor decision or throws a dumb pick as he's falling back on his butt, people start screaming and tearing their hair out like Larry Fine).

posted by beaverboard at 02:06 PM on March 17

Yahoo Tourney Pick'em Pool

The Annual Travesty begins. Gracias, senor grum.

posted by tahoemoj at 12:23 PM on March 17

SF 49er rookie Chris Borland retires at age 24 due to worries about his future health from concussions.

I kind of wonder whether or not even base-level NFL salaries are now at such a point where the reward is enough over a couple of years to give up the long-term risk.

Borland only made a few hundred thousand last year, but he's got a free college degree and (presumably) a positive balance sheet at 24. There aren't very many people in the U.S. who weren't born rich who can say that, and he now can enter another career with a bit of a safety net under him.

These are all pieces of anecdata where guys are leaving money (MJD and Locker, a little; Worilds, Borland and Willis, a lot) on the table. It's certainly not a trend yet, but it's really inspiring to see even a few guys in their 20's analyzing research and listening to the older pros and choosing the long-term over the short-term. It's the only way the game will truly be reformed - if the star power dulls a little and the NFL can't ignore it anymore.

posted by dfleming at 12:09 PM on March 17

The 2015 Cricket World Cup moves on to the knock-out stage

There is a 30-minute "highlights" show that pops up in the late hours on the Sportsnet channels (Canadian). The actual games are PPV/subscription to watch, so that's not an option for me, but I've been enjoying some of the highlights.

posted by grum@work at 11:13 AM on March 17