Recent Comments by bender

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I will be posting a Euro 2016 update tomorrow morning ahead of Thursday's first quarterfinal.

Points for winning picks were 30 in the round of 16. My original plan was to make them 60 in the quarterfinal, 120 in the semifinal and 240 in the final (60 in the third-place game). This would put 480 points available for picking winning teams in each round until the last, when 300 is available.

Is this OK, or would players prefer a lower multiple of 1.5 or 1.75? I wanted to design the game in a way that people weren't out of it in the last two rounds because so many fewer points were available.

I agree that we want it to still be interesting in the final rounds, and that the more important games should be worth more, but it should also not be such that exceptional early picking is completely undone by missing the final pick. How about this, which adds 20, then 30, then 40:

Rd. of 16: 30 Quarters: 50 Semis: 80 Final: 120 3rd Place: 60

posted by bender at 10:00 AM on June 29

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Two

Ottawa by 16
Toronto by 9
B.C. by 9
Winnipeg by 11

This new season of coin-flip CFL picks has started off with a statistically-improbable 8 straight away picks. The odds were in my favor last week, but I'm guessing that picking against the hosts is probably not a long-term success strategy.

posted by bender at 09:48 AM on June 29

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Does Iceland win Britain's place in the EU now?

posted by bender at 06:24 PM on June 27

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Watch out for snipers, Saint-Denis. Spanish and Italian players have been hitting the turf left and right. Stay safe out there!

posted by bender at 01:54 PM on June 27

Copa America Pick 'Em Champion: Rcade

I definitely agree that picking winners should be worth a good bit more than props, though doubling each round might be excessive **unless** we want to pick the entire knockout round right after group play ends, NCAA tournament style. That style adequately rewards you for correctly looking into the future through the rounds, but when we get to pick each round knowing who will be playing, doubling the scores each round favors the current round over the previous ones. I'm not saying that the points can't increase at all, but if we get to pick each round, one correct pick in the final should not get more points than 4 correct picks in the quarterfinals.

posted by bender at 01:01 PM on June 27

Lionel Messi retires from Argentina after Copa America final loss to Chile

I, for one, will be very surprised if he is not on the field for Argentina in Russia in 2018.

posted by bender at 10:09 AM on June 27

Copa America Pick 'Em: Finals

This has been a very entertaining match--particularly after halftime! It's too bad it's going to be decided on penalties.

posted by bender at 10:44 PM on June 26

Copa America Pick 'Em: Finals

Argentina 3-2 Chile, Messi
Vidal, Beausjour, Medel

USA 2-0 Colombia, Pulisic

posted by bender at 12:07 AM on June 25

Euro 2016 Pick 'Em: Round of 16

Switzerland 0-1 Poland, Lewandowski
Wales 2-0 Northern Ireland, Bale
Croatia 1-2 Portugal (A.E.T.), Ronaldo
France 2-1 Republic of Ireland, Payet
Germany 3-0 Slovakia, Muller
Hungary 0-2 Belgium, Hazard
Italy 1-1 Spain (Italy wins shootout), Giovinco
England 2-1 Iceland (A.E.T.), Vardy

posted by bender at 11:56 PM on June 24

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Will there be a Copa Finals/3rd Place round pick 'em?

posted by bender at 09:06 AM on June 24

Copa America Pick 'Em: Semifinals

Ever since they came back out of the locker room for the 2nd half of their opening match against Chile, Argentina has been head and shoulders better than everyone they have played. US might have been marginally better if we weren't missing the suspended players (maybe we would have gotten a couple of shots on goal or something), but we were facing a mountain. I'm hoping that the Chile team that crushed Mexico the other day can put up a fight in the final, but I'm not even sure about that--and I think Chile is a really good team.

posted by bender at 10:21 AM on June 22

The 12th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em

Hamilton Tiger-Cats by 4
Montreal Alouettes by 2
Ottawa Redblacks by 11
Calgary Stampeders by 7

posted by bender at 05:25 PM on June 21

Copa America Pick 'Em: Semifinals

Ah yes, thanks, Holden. I'll take Aranguiz, then.

posted by bender at 09:25 AM on June 21

Copa America Pick 'Em: Semifinals


posted by bender at 09:22 PM on June 20

Copa America Pick 'Em: Semifinals

Argentina 3-1 USA, Agero
Chile 2-0 Colombia, Vidal

posted by bender at 08:58 PM on June 20

LeBron Brings a Championship to Cleveland

This has to be the greatest block in basketball history, right?

I'm no expert, but it's go my vote. He is just gliding down the court behind the play and then BOOM!

posted by bender at 11:26 AM on June 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

USMNT protests of Jones' and Wood's suspensions are denied.

posted by bender at 09:05 AM on June 20

Copa America Pick 'Em: Quarterfinals

I may have whiffed on the result of last night's match, but at least I had Vargas. Only 8 points, though...

posted by bender at 03:58 PM on June 19

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Man, don't sleep on the last few minutes or stoppage time of the Euro group matches. So many game-changing goals at the death!

posted by bender at 02:09 PM on June 16

Copa America Pick 'Em: Quarterfinals

USA 2-1 Ecuador, Cameron
Peru 0-0 Columbia (Peru wins on penalties), James
Argentina 3-1 Venezuela, Messi
Mexico 2-1 Chile, Vargas

I haven't gone to the beer store yet, but I think I'll get something from Flying Dog. Their Raging Bitch Belgian IPA is a solid choice, but maybe they have something seasonal.

posted by bender at 10:31 AM on June 16

Brazil Knocked Out of Copa Centenario by Handball Goal

That was badly mismanaged by the referee. He should've come to the sideline, talked to his assistant referee and perhaps the fourth official, and had all of the players stand back while they discussed it. He kept letting the players barge in, and it just fell apart. As it happens, it is clear that they were not sure if there was a handball, and as such, they made the right call in allowing the goal.

posted by bender at 08:16 AM on June 13

Brazil Knocked Out of Copa Centenario by Handball Goal

Peru?! Sure, that goal should not have counted, but when Brazil scores 0 goals combined against Ecuador and Peru, I'm struggling to find sympathy for them.

posted by bender at 11:06 PM on June 12

SportsFilter Euro 2016 Pick 'Em

Nice choice. Ever had HopSlam?

I have, though only once. It seems you have to be in the know to know how to score some during its brief annual window. That is an excellent beer for sure, but I actually prefer the Two Hearted--I seem to recall the HopSlam being a little sweeter than my taste. As an Ohio State alum, saying nice things about Michigan doesn't come naturally, but if you offer me anything from Bell's, I'm not going to object.

Speaking of nice hoppy IPAs, I'm not sure how far they distribute outside of the DC area (I'd be surprised if it's further than Maryland and Virginia), but DC Brau's Corruption sits next to Two Hearted at the top of my list of favorite IPAs.

posted by bender at 10:01 PM on June 10

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

ESPN2 just showed a terrorism drill in the Euro 2016 pregame, complete with fans running in terror, fake blood and masked gunmen firing assault rifles.

Way to set the mood.

Did they remember to take the bomb out of the stadium this time?

posted by bender at 09:46 PM on June 10

SportsFilter Euro 2016 Pick 'Em

That is Ďuris from Slovakia.

On edit, the comment box doesn't seem to like the s with a caron over it. It shows up in the preview, but it disappears when I post.

posted by bender at 09:01 AM on June 10

SportsFilter Euro 2016 Pick 'Em

I'll just pick all of the groups in order (1st, 2nd, 3rd, 4th) and strike through those eliminated.

Group A: Switzerland, France, Romania, Albania; Giroud (France)
Group B: England, Slovakia, Russia, Wales; Ďuri (Slovakia)
Group C: Germany, Ukraine, Poland, Northern Ireand; Reus (Germany)
Group D: Croatia, Czech Republic, Spain, Turkey; Rakitić (Croatia)
Group E: Belgium, Italy, Sweden, Ireland; Ibrahimovic (Sweden)
Group F: Portugal, Iceland, Austria, Hungary; Ronaldo (Portugal)

Bell's Two Hearted IPA, though I'm sure I'll get some origin-suitable beer to celebrate the finalists when the time comes.

posted by bender at 10:11 PM on June 09

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Fair enough. I have appreciated the efforts of USSoccer and American Outlaws in recent years to take action on this sort of thing.

posted by bender at 10:46 PM on June 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I'll credit Uruguay with a spirited 2nd half, coming back out of the locker room with 10 men. Ultimately, I think they got lost in their anger with the refs, though.

Mexico fans yelling a homophobic slur

Seriously. When is Mexico going to grow up?

posted by bender at 10:09 PM on June 05

SportsFilter Copa America Centenario Pick 'Em

Group A: USA (Winner), Paraguay, James (Colombia)
Group B: Brazil (Winner), Peru, Valencia (Ecuador)
Group C: Uruguay (Winner), Mexico, Cavani (Uruguay)
Group D: Chile (Winner), Argentina, Messi (Argentina)
Starr Hill Northern Lights IPA

posted by bender at 09:41 PM on June 02

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

That sounds fine.

posted by bender at 07:00 PM on May 30

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em: Stanley Cup Round

1. San Jose
2. 6 games
3. 2 OT
4. Malkin
5. Couture
6. Couture
7. Couture
8. Couture
9. Malkin
10. Jones
Tiebreaker: 31

posted by bender at 06:57 PM on May 30

Premier League Fantasy 2015-16 final results

Right in the middle of the table, just like last year...

posted by bender at 10:09 AM on May 19

Manchester United Match Cancelled by Bomb Scare

Howard, I'm with you, and my objection isn't so much to the word ("kit," for example) itself, or to the British person using the only word he has known for it. It is to the American who--and I know a few and have heard others--has a closet full of football or baseball jerseys (or maybe even a hockey sweater) but feels that only the British term will do for describing his soccer apparel.

posted by bender at 11:00 PM on May 15

Manchester United Match Cancelled by Bomb Scare

Police say the device that was found at Manchester United's stadium before the match against Bournemouth in the Premier League was a training device that was left inside Old Trafford following an earlier security exercise.

I'm sure there are some very hard-working folks amongst stadium security and whoever else was involved, but if this account is accurate, that is hilarious (and sad -- Do the Germans have a word for that?).

posted by bender at 07:20 PM on May 15

Manchester United Match Cancelled by Bomb Scare

football, fixture, table, match and pitch or soccer, schedule, standings, game and field?

I'd leave pitch (though not with a particularly strong objection), which I would place as the equivalent of saying "lift" instead of "elevator" or "pissed" instead of "drunk", but I have no qualms with any of the others. Really, the only term that irks me is saying "kit" instead of "uniform".

posted by bender at 04:40 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Pittsburgh in 5
San Jose in 7

Goal scorer: Kucherov
Goalie: Jones
PP%: Pittsburgh
Penalties: Callahan
Team GPG: Pittsburgh

posted by bender at 04:36 PM on May 13

Joe Paterno (and Penn State) may have known about the sexual abuse of children by Jerry Sandusky as far back as 1976.

From grum's link:

He has lost friends. One of them, a former pro player who used to take him to Super Bowls, told him he didn't want him hanging around his football friends anymore, and humiliated him at a party. "He taped something to my ass and called it Sandusky's hole," he said. "It's absolutely horrible what he did to me. He's hurt me about as much as I've been hurt."

What the hell?!

posted by bender at 07:52 PM on May 07

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2

I would like to take Nashville in 7.

posted by bender at 09:56 AM on April 28

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Serie A goalkeeper does not dare to Zlatan.

posted by bender at 05:36 PM on April 27

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2

Dallas in 6
San Jose in 6

Tampa in 6
Washington in 5

PP: Washington
Goals/Game: Dallas

posted by bender at 12:18 PM on April 27

SportsFilter's NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Starts Now

Dallas in 5
St. Louis in 6
Anaheim in 7
San Jose in 6

Washington in 5
NY Rangers in 6
NY Islanders in 6
Detroit in 6

posted by bender at 10:30 AM on April 13

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Ernie Els had a rough first hole at Augusta today.

posted by bender at 05:12 PM on April 07

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Nice job, NCAA, in setting up the blowouts in the semis so that we could have a classic of a title game!

posted by bender at 11:45 PM on April 04

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

John Oliver rips elitist' New York Yankees over ticket policy NSFW

Here's a link for that John Oliver Yankees piece. I have no idea if John Oliver knows anything about baseball, but he certainly has a way with taking down asshattery.

posted by bender at 12:43 PM on April 04

Opening Day for the Greatest Numerical Sport

The Braves are doing their part to prove to the terrorists that America won't be defeated.

posted by bender at 09:14 AM on April 04

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Holy crap, A&M just came back from down 11 with a minuteish to play to force overtime! Largely without putting UNI on the line.

posted by bender at 10:28 PM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Have you ever gone to your local NFL stadium and thought, "This stadium is nice, but it could really use a moat?" Not anymore!

posted by bender at 04:36 PM on March 14

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

This summer's Copa Amrica Centenario draw is out.

posted by bender at 11:32 AM on February 22

Peyton Manning’s squeaky-clean image was built on lies

I was just coming here to post this, too. That is one hell of a story to be swept under the rug for 13 years.

posted by bender at 02:17 PM on February 13

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x32 Edition

I had both teams correct and locked plus three other correct answers, so I should have 29 instead of 19 for last week. I was also going to ask a similar question to Goyoucolts regarding the last question. Do those points get awarded after the winner has been determined (and just perhaps change the final order), or do they get awarded to the player with the most points after all other points have been awarded but before the winner has been determined?

LOCK Carolina by 16 LOCK
Carolina 34, Denver 17 (total 51)
First FG: Graham Gano
First TD: Ted Ginn, Jr.
Passing: Cam Newton
Rushing: Jonathan Stewart
Receiving: Demaryius Thomas
Sack: Luke Kuechly
Interception: Luke Kuechly
First Turnover: Peyton Manning
MVP: Cam Newton
Spofite: bender

posted by bender at 09:32 PM on February 06

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

In the same vein, here's an early list of prop bets.

I'll take:
- SB winning team scores more points than Trump % points in NH primary
- No appearances by Left Shark
- and way over on +/- 2 announcer mentions of dabbing

posted by bender at 09:57 AM on February 01

Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50

That's fair in as far as the clock is concerned (for some reason was under the mistaken impression that the clock ran from boot to whistle on a touchback) and in the field position (for some reason, I had remembered both of those possessions ending inside the ten), but I do think Denver's play-calling would not be so conservative if they did not have the 8-point lead. Seemed their strategy in the last several possessions was "don't do anything stupid."

I agree that simply adding up the field goals is a bit too simple, though I feel like if they were as conservative as they were with an 8-point lead, they would have been even more conservative with 5-point or 2-point leads.

All of that said, there's an argument for kicking the field goal on drive #1 with 6 minutes left. It's not the decision that I would have made, but you can certainly make the point that there is plenty of time to get the ball back and score a touchdown to win. Where this breaks down is that drive #2 had 4th & 6 at the 14 with 2:25 to play. Assuming that NE had kicked the first field goal and was down 5 at the time, kicking a field goal at that point is almost giving up. No coach should be making the decision to kick the field goal under those circumstances. If we take this to the extreme and say it's 4th & goal from the 14, maybe you consider kicking, but this is the AFC Championship Game, and you are playing the #1 defense in the league. When you need a touchdown and you are that close to the endzone, you go for the touchdown.

posted by bender at 11:07 AM on January 25

Carolina Demolishes Arizona to Roll Into Super Bowl 50

Man, if Palmer hadn't just given the ball right back after Peterson's interception. What could have been...

posted by bender at 08:58 PM on January 24

Carolina Demolishes Arizona to Roll Into Super Bowl 50

If it was your intention to get him to show up, it might have actually worked!

posted by bender at 07:56 PM on January 24

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Round

I would count the interception on the 2-point conversion as an individual stat (for Bradley Roby), but I would not count it as a turnover, since the Broncos did not take possession because of it.

posted by bender at 07:31 PM on January 24

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Round

LOCK Denver 7 LOCK
LOCK Carolina by 14 LOCK

Total Yards: Carolina
Turnovers: Arizona
Passing: Tom Brady
Rushing: Jonathan Stewart
Receiving: Larry Fitzgerald
Sack: Rob Ninkovich
Interception: Jamie Collins

posted by bender at 10:54 AM on January 24

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Week 2: Divisional Round

New England by 7
LOCK Arizona by 14 LOCK
LOCK Carolina by 17 LOCK

Denver by 10

Cam Newton
Jonathan Stewart
Larry Fitzgerald
Thomas Davis

posted by bender at 02:32 PM on January 16

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 21

I think they do, though I don't know the rules for it. A few weeks ago, I had two after I didn't use one the previous week.

posted by bender at 08:10 PM on January 12

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 21

Are you sure that you didn't perhaps have one transfer left from a previous week? I only had one this week.

posted by bender at 10:45 AM on January 12

Alabama Wins College Football Championship

Last night's game definitely rounded out the season on an entertaining note after the snooze-fest that was the rest of the New Year's 6.

posted by bender at 09:18 AM on January 12