Recent Comments by bender

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I can't tell if he was pulling his hand up anyway, but it may have been his right knee that knocked his hand up into his face. In any event, it was an outstanding effort, and grum, the ball went harmlessly out of play for a goal kick.

posted by bender at 05:04 PM on May 18

SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em

Cleveland in 6
Golden State in 5
East points leader: LeBron
West points leader: Steph Curry
Blocks: LeBron
Steals: Steph Curry
Fouls out: Timofey Mozgov
Most Offensive Rebounds: Tristan Thompson
Highest Avg REB + AST: LeBron
Largest Margin of Victory: 23

posted by bender at 12:23 PM on May 18

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Anaheim in 6
Tampa in 7
Goals: Stamkos
PP Goals: also Stamkos
Penalties: Hamonic
Goalie: Andersen

posted by bender at 11:21 AM on May 15

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Wow! that is an incredible throw! And those two plays were in the 10th and 11th innings.

posted by bender at 04:28 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I mean, if it didn't matter at all, QBs wouldn't have a preference or have pushed for ball prep control would they?

I'm neither saying that it doesn't make a difference nor that it doesn't matter. I'm simply suggesting that the league goes to the teams and says, "On gameday, it is your responsibility to give us X footballs for kicking and X footballs for your offensive plays. You may do whatever you want to them short of adding anything to them that is not air, but once you turn them over to us before the game, they are in our custody, and we will put them in play at the appropriate time." How simple is that?

If a team wants highly inflated balls or lowly inflated balls, that is their prerogative, and all teams would have the same opportunity to prepare them to their liking. As I understand it, that is fairly close to the rule as it is now except that there is a pressure range that the balls must be within. I just don't see why there needs to be one. If Tom Brady likes to throw a softer ball than one other qb, I haven't yet heard a good reason why he shouldn't be able to.

As for the punishment, I don't think that anyone is suggesting that they should not be punished; they did, after all, break a rule that was in the rule book. I do however believe that (1) the punishment handed down was excessive--even if the fact that it was a playoff game is reason enough to go beyond the prescribed $25k fine, and (2) the rule itself does not serve sufficient purpose that it shouldn't be stricken from the book.

posted by bender at 02:38 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I still think Goodell could have, on the Monday or Tuesday after the AFC Championship Game, used the deflated balls as evidence of a violation and punished the team $25,000 and possibly a mid- or late-round draft pick without ever getting into intent.

I would have been satisfied with that punishment, though I suspect the cries of the league being soft on the Patriots would have been loud and unrelenting. Also, after the Ray Rice incident, I suspect Goodell was reluctant to penalize early, lest another shoe drop (even if it didn't matter if there were any more shoes).

It would have been great if the result of all of this was that in addition to letting the qbs prepare the balls prior to the game, the rule was changed so that they could inflate the balls to whatever level they like; it's not like they were going to knock they down to 5 psi and try to throw them half-flat. Unfortunately, this penalty leaves no chance of that.

What exactly is that reason? What is this a slippery slope to? Quarterbacks inflating the football to their liking leads to what, exactly?

Play one - a run. Team A subs a half-filled ball in which can be gripped with one hand and is next to impossible to strip from a runner.

Play two - a pass. Team A subs in a fully-filled ball that flies through the air better.

Play three - the kicking team inflates a ball to just below its explosion point before punting to encourage fumbles.

I'm not sure if you're being serious or facetious here, but I'll assume the former. With the exception of the separate balls for kicking, the team provides the referees with their balls, and they (the referees) throw them in for each play. The team doesn't get to pick a running ball or a throwing ball for each play.*

*Someone correct me if I'm wrong on that, but if I am, that would seem to be a very easy thing to fix.

posted by bender at 01:24 PM on May 12

The Cleveland Cavaliers catch heat for in-game promotional video.


posted by bender at 03:18 PM on May 07

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Hmm, guess I have been outed as not watching the NBA playoffs. That guy looks like he's good for at least 3 boards a game, though.

posted by bender at 12:31 PM on May 04

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Wow, that's a really quick turnaround from the first round to the second round. Sorry I didn't see this earlier.

Cleveland in 5
Washington in 7
Los Angeles Clippers in 6
Golden State in 5

Kevin Love on the glass
DeAndre Jordan on the other glass
Stephen Curry from downtown
7.8 assists

posted by bender at 11:11 AM on May 04

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2

Chicago in 6 +1 (Toews)
Anaheim in 4 +1 (Silfverberg)
Montreal in 6 (Subban)
New York in 7 +2 (Brassard)
Lundqvist +1

posted by bender at 12:58 PM on April 30

Fan Hit in Head by Foul Ball Through Home-Plate Netting

Gotta disagree with this. Other than the debatable rudeness of squeezing in front of the other fans during an at bat (you can't wait a minute to block their view?) she's tight up against a mesh net with her back turned while someone throws fastballs at it.

I will grant that walking in front of other people during a pitch is a rude move on her part, but someone walking during a pitch (in front of someone or otherwise) is something that will definitely happen, and this should be taken into account in the design of the safety net.

posted by bender at 10:26 AM on April 22

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Did anybody catch the premiere of MLB Statcast for last night's Cards-Nats game? I watched the later innings of the game, but I don't have MLB Network, so I only saw the regular local feed.

posted by bender at 10:21 AM on April 22

Fan Hit in Head by Foul Ball Through Home-Plate Netting

I agree completely with grum (and, on edit, tahoe). The netting is there to perform precisely the function that it failed to do, because (as rcade implies) most people cannot react that quickly. The fact that she was hit while doing something completely reasonable for a ballgame attendee (as opposed to, say, putting her face right up in the net) shows that the net was either designed poorly or improperly installed or maintained.

posted by bender at 01:13 PM on April 21

U.S. Men Win 2-0 Over Mexico in San Antonio

It was his 3rd cap but his first start and first goal.

posted by bender at 08:39 PM on April 16

NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Atlanta in 5
Cleveland in 5
Chicago in 6
Washington in 6
Golden State in 4
Dallas in 7
LA Clippers in 7
Portland in 6

Steph Curry
Blake Griffin

posted by bender at 08:38 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Starts Now

Montreal in 5 +1
Washington in 6 +1
Nashville in 7
Calgary in 6 +2
NY Rangers in 4 +1
Detroit in 6
St. Louis in 5
Winnipeg in 7

posted by bender at 05:25 PM on April 15

Losing Wisconsin Coach Laments 'Rent-a-Player' Trend

Can you imagine a journalism or doctor draft?

Mel Kiper needs something to do over the summer.

posted by bender at 12:25 PM on April 08

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Very fun game to watch last night. Maybe it was Duke's defense clamping down, but after a very solid performance, Wisconsin seemed gassed for the final few minutes. I had hope after Kaminsky hit the gotta-have-it 3 to cut the lead to 5 followed by the bucket after the timeout to get it down to 3, but from that point on they just looked spent.

posted by bender at 01:51 PM on April 07

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Ha! That reminds me of this amusing slate piece.

posted by bender at 10:39 AM on April 06

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Do the '72 Dolphins still do that, or is that just a convenient myth that gets perpetuated every year?

posted by bender at 09:36 AM on March 30

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

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I concur; excellent movie.

posted by bender at 12:45 PM on February 22

Semi-regular update: Julio Franco is still playing baseball.

Julio Franco played with Mike Hargrove. Hargrove retired, became a manager, and then retired as a manager, and Franco was still playing in the majors.

And also played for Mike Hargrove!

posted by bender at 08:55 PM on February 09

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

Same answer until anything changes ...

Joe Montana. Not even close. Never lost a Superbowl. 4-3 (sic) is admirable, 4-0 is excellence.

So 5-0 in Super Bowls is the only criterion by which you would define another quarterback as better than Joe Montana? Is Jim Kelly's 0-4 record evidence of his complete incompetence? Surely Trent Dilfer should occupy his seat in the Hall of Fame.

posted by bender at 10:48 AM on February 02

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Super Bowl 0x31 Round

Seattle by 5 points

Most passing yards: Tom Brady

Most rushing yards: Marshawn Lynch

Most receiving yards: Brandon LaFell

First touchdown: Rob Gronkowski

Player with a sack: Michael Bennett

Player with an interception: Darrelle Revis

Total score: 47

First quarter: 10

Second quarter: 23

Third quarter: 30

posted by bender at 10:35 PM on January 30

College Football Playoff Pressured to Change Dates

It's bizarre to me that the countdown shows would be the conflict as opposed to the fact that it is New Year's Eve. People (myself included) are used to doing things on New Year's Eve. I, for one, would appreciate not having to talk my wife into having football on next NYE when Ohio State is in the playoff again.

posted by bender at 06:19 PM on January 29

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Rcade, are you in on this lawsuit?

posted by bender at 10:47 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

It stands to reason that the league has handed over the responsibility of providing the balls to the teams for a reason. When the balls are inflated to the quarterbacks' liking, then they will perform better, making for better play. As mentioned earlier, different QBs like more or less air pressure, but the refs have an opportunity to check the balls before the game. If that happened, then it is the refs' responsibility to determine that the balls are legal or not, and the Patriots should not be on the hook, even if the balls they submitted were under-inflated. HOWEVER, if the balls were inspected and the Patriots subsequently somehow switched in new illegal balls (not that I know of any evidence of that happening), then that would be a big deal, and they deserve a hefty punishment.

If there was no pre-game inspection (which I also don't believe to be the case), then there would be some amount of shared blame between the Patriots and the league, and some sort of modest punishment should be handed down.

posted by bender at 01:40 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

That certainly seems plausible to me, though more importantly, if it is the refs' job to inspect the balls before the game, then they dropped the ball here.

posted by bender at 11:32 AM on January 23

High school coach suspended after basketball team wins by 159 points.

Clearly, the coach could have had his team playing in a less aggressive manner, but at least one of these teams should have been in a different division. There is no value to either team for this game taking place.

posted by bender at 04:38 PM on January 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I have no objection to changing the rule, and I agree the Dez Bryant made a great play and it sucks that he was not awarded a catch for it. He may have been attempting to advance the ball, but his attempt to catch the pass was the reason that he ultimately hit the ground. His lunge toward the goal line does not change the fact that he was going to hit the ground anyway. *Perhaps* there's an argument to be made if he was being tackled, but he was not.

He went up to catch the ball, and that action resulted in him on the ground with the ball, at which time it was jostled loose when it hit the ground. Per the language I quoted above, that is not a catch.

posted by bender at 03:03 PM on January 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Rule 8, Section 1, Article 3, Item 1: Player Going to the Ground:

If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete.

I don't see where it matters whether or not he made a football move, as he was going to the ground while catching the ball.

posted by bender at 10:14 PM on January 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I would say that the difference between those two plays is that Bryant is being tackled by Amukamara in the older play (and could have otherwise continued running) while in last week's play, Bryant was going down to the ground while making the catch (and not in any way being tackled). If you go to the ground while making a catch, you have to come up with the ball.

posted by bender at 03:32 PM on January 18

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Conference Championship Round

Seattle by 9
Indianapolis by 4
Andrew Luck
Marshawn Lynch
Jordy Nelson

posted by bender at 02:45 PM on January 16

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

A mere 26 months and 3 career starts since his first unfortunate public remarks on the subject, Cardale Jones has come full circle on the value of education. His teammates also had some twitter fun at his expense.

posted by bender at 02:28 PM on January 16

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

JT Barrett says that he expects all 3 quarterbacks to be Buckeyes next season. Of course, he's the only one who doesn't really have any options. I suppose if Cardale Jones is leaving, we'll know tomorrow (unless Urban Meyer's calls to delay the deadline are heard).

posted by bender at 01:41 PM on January 14

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

double post deleted

posted by bender at 05:06 PM on January 13

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

I think bookies could care less who wins any sporting event. Bets are usually hedged and they win regardless. Probably not always, but in most cases.

I think this is generally true, but I was reading something yesterday that suggested that the sports books stood to lose quite a bit if Ohio State won because the Braxton Miller injury raised the Buckeyes' championship futures payout from 12-1 to as much as 50-1 and there were still a lot of takers on that bet.

posted by bender at 05:05 PM on January 13

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Divisional Round

Yeah, I didn't figure that was the case. I don't know what happened, though. It definitely went to the next screen--maybe I hit preview instead of post.

posted by bender at 11:33 AM on January 11

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Divisional Round

Did I have a post that was deleted, or did I just not enter it properly? I definitely came here yesterday to make picks, but they are not here. I believe they were:

Baltimore by 3
Seattle by 13
Green Bay by 4
Denver by 17
Marshawn Lynch
DeMarcus Ware

posted by bender at 10:53 AM on January 11

ESPN Anchor Stuart Scott Dies


posted by bender at 01:49 PM on January 04

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Wild Card Round

Andrew Luck of Dallas with the most yards thrown

I didn't know there were two Andrew Lucks in the NFL.

posted by bender at 10:41 AM on January 04

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Wild Card Round

I didn't know there were two Chris Clemons in the NFL.

I would clarify that it was the Cardinals' Chris Clemons, but I guess both of they saw the same amount of action this postseason, so it doesn't much matter.

posted by bender at 09:51 PM on January 03

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Wild Card Round

Arizona by 8
Pittsburgh by 3
Detroit by 4
Indianapolis by 12
Andrew Luck
Chris Clemons

posted by bender at 11:28 AM on January 03

Sources: Jim Harbaugh Expected to Take Michigan Job

Remember when Jim Harbaugh played Screech's cousin on Saved by the Bell'?

posted by bender at 10:30 AM on December 30

Sources: Jim Harbaugh Expected to Take Michigan Job

Harbaugh will do well at Michigan. Then, after his contract nears its completion, the NFL will come calling once again. I suspect he will go the same route as Bill O'Brien, Pete Carroll, or Dennis Erickson and depart the Maize and Blue in favor of the green and greener dollars of the NFL.

I'm not saying that Harbaugh won't be drawn back to the NFL, but if the reported value of his upcoming contract is accurate, it is every bit as green as the pastures of even the most well-compensated NFL coaches.

posted by bender at 07:05 PM on December 29

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Does someone out there know how to add a sniper to this Chris Jones flop vine like those soccer dive gifs from some while back?

posted by bender at 02:15 PM on December 29

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Are you implying that the CFL has better quarterbacks than the NFL?

posted by bender at 09:57 AM on December 15

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Final Standings

I would like to note that I was a perfect 7-for-7 picking losers on the road to the Grey Cup! You can't teach those skills.

posted by bender at 01:00 AM on December 05

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Grey Cup Edition

Perfect score so far!...

Hamilton by 7

posted by bender at 12:47 AM on November 30

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle


posted by bender at 08:55 PM on November 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Also, Wake 6, VT 3 in 2 OT. What the hell?!

posted by bender at 05:02 PM on November 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Well, that escalated quickly. Now that Oklahoma's Samaje Perine has bested Melvin Gordon's still-warm single-game rushing mark with 427 yards and 5 TDs versus Kansas (he also lead the team in receiving with 1 catch for 19 yards), who will break the record next week? I bet Gordon wishes he had played the 4th quarter last week...

posted by bender at 04:54 PM on November 22

Blind-sided: Blue Jacketsí Jack Johnson is bankrupt; who led him there is biggest shocker

Millions of future dollars!

posted by bender at 04:08 PM on November 21

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The Blue Jackets' Jack Johnson is bankrupt.

posted by bender at 06:08 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

**golf clap**

posted by bender at 11:46 AM on November 20

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Finals Edition

Judging by my playoff week 1 performance, no one wants to borrow the coin this week.

Montreal by 15
Edmonton by 17

posted by bender at 05:13 PM on November 19

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Don't look now, but Wisconsin's Melvin Gordon III just broke LaDainian Tomlinson's single game rushing record with 408 yards (and 4 TDs) through THREE QUARTERS vs. Nebraska.

posted by bender at 06:37 PM on November 15

FIFA Goal of the Year nominees


Joe Hart is the gift that keeps on giving!

posted by bender at 05:37 PM on November 14

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Semi-Finals Edition

BC by 11
Saskatchewan by 6

posted by bender at 02:38 PM on November 13