Recent Comments by bender

NBA Pick 'Em Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Chicago by 4
SLAM Cleveland by 11 SLAM
SLAM Houston by 13 SLAM

posted by bender at 12:55 AM on February 25

NBA Pick 'Em Week 18: Trade Deadline Edition

Cleveland by 4
SLAM Golden State by 14 SLAM

posted by bender at 02:54 PM on February 23

NBA Pick 'Em Week 17: Charles Oakley Will Smash Edition

Cleveland by 3
Oklahoma City by 3
SLAM Boston by 11 SLAM

posted by bender at 01:28 PM on February 15

NBA Pick 'Em Week 16: Go Mavericks Edition

Chicago by 3
Golden State by 8
SLAM San Antonio by 12 SLAM
Indiana by 3
Portland by 3

posted by bender at 09:39 PM on February 10

NBA Pick 'Em Week 16: Go Mavericks Edition

Portland by 2

posted by bender at 07:21 PM on February 09

NBA Pick 'Em Week 16: Go Mavericks Edition

Los Angeles Clippers by 2
SLAM Golden State by 17 SLAM
Cleveland by 4

posted by bender at 05:34 PM on February 08

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x33 Edition

Atlanta 34, New England 27

LOCK Atlanta by 7 LOCK
LOCK First FG: Stephen Gostkowski LOCK
First TD: Tevin Coleman
LOCK Most Passing: Matt Ryan LOCK
Most Rushing: Tevin Coleman
LOCK Most Receiving: Julio Jones LOCK
Sack: Dont'a Hightower
Interception: Jalen Collins
Turnover: Tom Brady
MVP: Julio Jones
Winner: bender
Total Points: 61

posted by bender at 02:43 PM on February 05

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x33 Edition

Your tally correctly shows me picking two correct props (Ryan and Jones), but the table did not award me any points for them.

posted by bender at 05:00 PM on February 03

NBA Pick 'Em Week 15: Proud Refugee Luol Deng Edition

SLAM Cleveland by 8 SLAM
Oklahoma City by 6
SLAM Houston by 11 SLAM
Golden State by 9
SLAM Boston by 14 SLAM
Dallas by 4
Cleveland by 5
Boston by 7
Washington by 3
Memphis by 6

posted by bender at 04:27 PM on January 31

NBA Pick 'Em Week 14: Ads on the Jersey Edition

Cleveland by 7
Boston by 7
Memphis by 7

posted by bender at 11:55 PM on January 28

NBA Pick 'Em Week 14: Ads on the Jersey Edition

SLAM Oklahoma City by 9 SLAM
SLAM Utah by 13 SLAM

posted by bender at 09:37 AM on January 26

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Edition

Atlanta by 4
LOCK New England by 10 LOCK
Matt Ryan
Ty Montgomery
Julio Jones
Malcolm Butler

posted by bender at 11:35 AM on January 22

The Worst Time to Lose a Scholarship Offer

Just four words:

Ee! Es! Pee! En!

Per wikipedia, it appears that National Signing Day predates ESPN, though the Worldwide Leader has certainly made a cottage industry out of it in recent years. prof's explanation sounds plausible. It could also be tied to the recruiting schedule that allows and restricts contact between schools and recruits during certain periods.

posted by bender at 11:25 AM on January 18

NBA Pick 'Em Week 13: No Rivals Edition

SLAM Houston by 12 SLAM
Golden State by 7
New York by 6
SLAM Los Angeles Clippers by 17 SLAM
Golden State by 3
Los Angeles Lakers by 5
Cleveland by 7
SLAM Indiana by 8 SLAM

posted by bender at 10:54 PM on January 17

The Worst Time to Lose a Scholarship Offer

I also assume that this incident will cost Edsall more in the long run. Recruiting is competitive, and if I was a coach and one of my prospective recruits was also considering playing for him, I would certainly be sure that the kid was aware of this story. [Unless, of course, this sort of thing happens everywhere and I just haven't heard these stories. That would be all the more reason to protect the players from this.]

posted by bender at 03:01 PM on January 17

The Worst Time to Lose a Scholarship Offer

Offers should be iron clad as soon as the kid agrees.

I think the counter-argument would be that that's what Signing Day is for. Agreements before Signing Day can be (and are) broken by either side. That is, after all, why UConn called him several times to make sure he was still coming. Now, I would make an argument that you should just be able to sign acceptance before Signing Day--I suspect there is some reason why Signing Day exists, though I don't know what it is.

All of that said, repeatedly checking that the kid is accepting the offer and then snatching it back is low. We'v only got one side of this story, but Edsall's [alleged] actions certainly are hard to justify.

Also, I do think that it would be fair to slant these procedures far more in favor of the players. There's a relevant side of that that comes from the fact that players cannot go straight from HS to the NFL and paying college players, but ignore that (for now) and focus on this kid, who as mentioned above, likely doesn't have a future career on Sundays. Coaches are all looking for the same thing: the best players they can land who fit with what they want to do. There's obviously nuances and exceptions, but coaches will all take the best players they can get. Players, conversely, have a lot of different reasons to choose where they go. It could be the name brand of the school, it could be the coach, it could be academic ranking, a particular academic program, scholarship details, proximity to home, ... Why did Ryan choose UConn? I have no idea. Business schools aren't rare, so it's probably not because they were the only school in the region with his program, but the fact that something like that could happen is all the more reason to protect the student.

posted by bender at 02:57 PM on January 17

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

It's easy to get bogged down by all of the idiotic stuff that is shared on Twitter, so it's nice to hear when technology is used for good!

posted by bender at 01:31 PM on January 17

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

I would like to lock my pick of Dallas tomorrow. Full updated picks:

Atlanta by 5
LOCK New England by 13 LOCK
Kansas City by 3
LOCK Dallas by 10 LOCK

Matt Ryan
Zeke Elliott
Antonio Brown
Whitney Mercilus

posted by bender at 07:45 PM on January 14

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round Edition

Atlanta by 5
LOCK New England by 13 LOCK
Kansas City by 3
Dallas by 10

Matt Ryan
Zeke Elliott
Antonio Brown
Whitney Mercilus

posted by bender at 03:27 PM on January 13

NBA Pick 'Em Week 12: Unexcused Absence Edition

Boston by 7
Cleveland by 5
Chicago by 4
LOCK Golden State by 17 LOCK
LOCK Atlanta by 7 LOCK
Utah by 6
Memphis by 7
Golden State by 4
Oklahoma City by 5

posted by bender at 01:24 PM on January 11

NFL Pick 'Em Champion Crowned

Thanks, rcade! Team bender is waiting with baited breath to find out if our stunning week 17 performance has indeed moved us out of the cellar or if we have a dented new Costanza to add to the trophy case.

some text

posted by bender at 10:53 AM on January 11

It's the end of the World Cup as we know it

It already is. Three and a half places for CONCACAF. You should make it every time.

I agree that we should make it every time, but at least the margin for error is small enough that it remains interesting. With 6 teams getting through, there is effectively no chance that the US doesn't qualify. Even Canada is going to qualify for the World Cup someday.

posted by bender at 09:05 PM on January 10

It's the end of the World Cup as we know it

I suppose it is worth noting that the tournament field has only been 32 since 1998. The current format just seems so good, though, and I agree that 3-team groups sound a lot less compelling.

I do not like the fact that this makes qualification a slam dunk for the US. Currently, WCQ matches are exciting and interesting and accessible here at home. I don't want to lose that, and the downgrade in importance may also hurt team development.

I also am concerned for my marriage. I watch a lot of the World Cup already, to the detriment of all else.

I'm with you, though it's a bit surprising that adding 16 teams would only add 16 matches and keep the same amount of time on the calendar. Think of it this way, there's probably 16 snoozers in group play that you can forego so that you can add in the round of 32 without watching more games!

posted by bender at 05:39 PM on January 10

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

There was a slow buildup in the game, but what a finish! I think it was a steady progression of Clemson figuring out Alabama's defense so that they could lay it to them in the 4th quarter.

posted by bender at 04:02 PM on January 10

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Wild-Card Edition

Didn't think about locks for the playoff pick 'em. If they are in effect, my picks are updated as follows:

Houston by 3
Seattle by 7
LOCK Pittsburgh by 13 LOCK
Green Bay by 4
Matthew Stafford
Le'Veon Bell
Doug Baldwin
Quintin Demps

posted by bender at 12:00 PM on January 07

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Wild-Card Edition

Houston by 3
Seattle by 7
Pittsburgh by 13
Green Bay by 4
Matthew Stafford
Le'Veon Bell
Doug Baldwin
Quintin Demps

posted by bender at 02:42 PM on January 06

NBA Pick 'Em Week 11: Nick Young Dance Party Edition

SLAM Houston by 9 SLAM
San Antonio by 7
Milwaukee by 5
SLAM Golden State by 17 SLAM
Utah by 4
Los Angeles Lakers by 3

posted by bender at 09:29 AM on January 05

NFL Pick 'Em Week 17: One-Legged Quarterback Edition

Cincinnati by 3
Buffalo by 2
Tampa Bay by 5
Minnesota by 4
LOCK Pittsburgh by 17 LOCK
Dallas by 5
Detroit by 3
Houston by 7
Indianapolis by 4
LOCK New England by 15 LOCK
Atlanta by 4
Washington by 3
Arizona by 3
LOCK Kansas City by 21 LOCK
Oakland by 3
Seattle by 3

posted by bender at 05:50 AM on December 30

NBA Pick 'Em Week 10: George Karl's Distracting Posse Edition

Boston by 3
LA Lakers by 3

posted by bender at 05:16 AM on December 28

NFL Pick 'Em Week 16: Farewell Gus Bradley Edition

New York Giants by 7
Atlanta by 5
Buffalo by 4
LOCK Green Bay by 7 LOCK
LOCK New England by 13 LOCK
Cleveland by 3
LOCK Tampa Bay by 10 LOCK
Tennessee by 10
Washington by 4
LOCK Oakland by 10 LOCK
LOCK Seattle by 10 LOCK
San Francisco by 3
Houston by 3
Pittsburgh by 4
Kansas City by 4
LOCK Dallas by 10 LOCK

posted by bender at 11:04 AM on December 23

NBA Pick 'Em Week 9: Craig Sager Memorial Edition

Boston by 1
Los Angeles Clippers by 1
New York by 4
Cleveland by 4
SLAM San Antonio by 13 SLAM
SLAM Oklahoma City by 15 SLAM
Los Angeles Clippers by 6

posted by bender at 01:00 PM on December 22

NFL Pick 'Em Week 16: Farewell Gus Bradley Edition

NY Giants by 7

posted by bender at 06:39 AM on December 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Also, my captaincy of Salomon Rondon's hat trick and the resultant 34 points were equal to or better than 5 full weeks' performances for my Fantasy EPL squad. Watch out, guy in 13th place!

posted by bender at 11:52 AM on December 15

NFL Pick 'Em Week 15: Farewell Jeff Fisher Edition

NFL Picks for this week:

LOCK Seattle by 18 LOCK
Miami by 5
Green Bay by 8
Houston by 7
LOCK Buffalo by 13 LOCK
Philadelphia by 3
Kansas City by 3
New York by 7
Minnesota by 3
Pittsburgh by 3
Arizona by 9
LOCK Atlanta by 12 LOCK
Denver by 3
LOCK Oakland by 14 LOCK
Dallas by 3
Washington by 10

posted by bender at 11:41 AM on December 15

NBA Pick 'Em Week 8: Last-Place Dallas Mavericks Edition

SLAM Chicago by 7 SLAM
Oklahoma City by 3
Indiana by 7
SLAM San Antonio by 12 SLAM
Milwaukee by 3
Golden State by 6
Philadelphia by 5
SLAM Utah by 8 SLAM

posted by bender at 09:52 AM on December 13

NFL Pick 'Em Week 14: Just Endure The Suffering Edition

KC by 7
Miami by 13 LOCK
Detroit by 13 LOCK
Cleveland by 3
Tennessee by 7
Houston by 2
Jacksonville by 4
Tampa Bay by 10 LOCK
Buffalo by 5
San Diego by 3
Washington by 6
San Francisco by 4
LA by 2
NY Giants by 5
New England by 11 LOCK

posted by bender at 01:03 PM on December 11

NFL Pick 'Em Week 14: Just Endure The Suffering Edition

Kansas City by 7

posted by bender at 08:20 AM on December 08

NBA Pick 'Em Week 7: 60 Points in 29 Minutes Edition

For this week:

Cleveland by 5
Golden State by 3
SLAM Toronto by 17 SLAM
Chicago by 3
Houston by 4
SLAM Los Angeles Lakers by 8 SLAM

posted by bender at 07:47 PM on December 06

NBA Pick 'Em Week 7: 60 Points in 29 Minutes Edition

I had picks posted for last week:

SLAM Cleveland by 9 SLAM
SLAM Golden State by 10 SLAM
Cleveland by 5
Denver by 4

Ouch! Not that they do anything but shore up my last place standing...

posted by bender at 04:45 PM on December 06

NFL Pick 'Em Week 13: No Tie for Gary Kubiak Edition

Minnesota by 3
Denver by 3
Detroit by 5
Green Bay by 3
Kansas City by 7
LOCK New England by 14 LOCK
Miami by 4
Philadelphia by 5
Chicago by 2
LOCK Oakland by 17 LOCK
LOCK New York Giants by 10 LOCK
San Diego by 7
Washington by 6
LOCK Seattle by 13
Indianapolis by 7

posted by bender at 09:59 PM on December 02

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Final Standings

Can I propose that we establish the double of winning the regular season Costanza and the playoff championship as a "bender"? The coin taketh away, and the coin giveth!

posted by bender at 08:30 PM on December 01

All-Star Game No Longer Decides World Series Home Field

(I also think the Super Bowl should be played in the previous year's winner's home stadium. Imagine a Lambeau Field Super Bowl.)

I wouldn't go so far as to give it to last year's winner, but I don't see why it isn't acceptable to simply rotate the Super Bowl through all of the league's stadia.

To the topic of this post, quite simply, it's long overdue. There's really no explanation why it took so long to get here, but good news. I'm also amused by the part of this piece that references the other tweaks to the All Star Game to help prevent ties, as if it really should matter if the ASG ends in a tie.

posted by bender at 02:04 PM on December 01

NFL Pick 'Em Week 13: No Tie for Gary Kubiak Edition

Minnesota by 3

posted by bender at 10:03 AM on December 01

NBA Pick 'Em Week 6: Doc Rivers Will Smash Edition

SLAM Cleveland by 9 SLAM
SLAM Golden State by 10 SLAM
Cleveland by 5
Denver by 4

posted by bender at 01:09 PM on November 30

Brazilian Soccer Team Lost in Plane Crash

.

posted by bender at 10:53 PM on November 29

NFL Pick 'Em Week 12: Friggin' Lasers Edition

Detroit by 8
LOCK Dallas by 12 LOCK
Indianapolis by 3
Tennessee by 3
Buffalo by 3
LOCK Atlanta by 14 LOCK
New York Giants by 6
New Orleans by 4
Miami by 5
LOCK Houston by 6 LOCK
Tampa Bay by 3
Oakland by 7
New England by 7
Denver by 3
Philadelphia by 5

posted by bender at 04:27 PM on November 23

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Grey Cup Edition

Ottawa by 8
Henry Burris
Over
410

posted by bender at 04:22 PM on November 23

NBA Pick 'Em Week 5: Michael Jordan of Greatness Edition

San Antonio by 8
New Orleans by 8

posted by bender at 09:43 PM on November 22

Jurgen Klinsmann Out as U.S. Men's Soccer Coach

That was fast.

I don't know enough about soccer coaches to have a strong opinion of one versus another. The Klinsmann USMNT expanded on the Bradley era with more goals overall and some great results that went along with some head-scratching results. The thing that stands out to me about the Arena era is a very defensive style and a lot of 0-0 and 1-0 matches. Was that his style or just the players that were available at the time? I guess we'll see...

posted by bender at 02:17 PM on November 22

NFL Pick 'Em Week 11: Blocked PAT for 2 Points Edition

Yikes, what a miserable week that was.

Carolina by 3
Minnesota by 7
LOCK Dallas by 14 LOCK
Cincinnati by 5
LOCK New York Giants by 10 LOCK
Detroit by 8
Pittsburgh by 5
Kansas City by 3
Tennessee by 3
Miami by 3
New England by 6
Seattle by 5
Green Bay by 3
Houston by 3

posted by bender at 03:14 PM on November 17

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Division Finals Edition

Ottawa by 15
Calgary by 11
Reilly
Calgary

posted by bender at 03:09 PM on November 17

NBA Pick 'Em Week 4: All Hail the Clippers Edition

Toronto by 3
SLAM Los Angeles Clippers by 8 SLAM
Minnesota by 5
Chicago by 2
Golden State by 7
Los Angeles Clippers by 9

posted by bender at 02:04 PM on November 15

Shohei Ohtani hits a ball out of a domed stadium.

Does Japan have designated hitters? How much playing time does this guy get now?

posted by bender at 11:30 PM on November 14

NFL Pick 'Em Week 10: I Blame Bill Belichick Edition

Screwed yourself out of a lovely Costanza there, NoMich.

LOCK bender *wins* Costanza LOCK

Cleveland by 3
Atlanta by 5
Tampa Bay by 6
New Orleans by 2
Green Bay by 9
Jacksonville by 2
Carolina by 3
LOCK New York Jets by 8 LOCK
Washington by 3
San Diego by 3
LOCK Dallas by 11 LOCK
Arizona by 5
LOCK New England by 10 LOCK
New York Giants by 6

posted by bender at 12:23 PM on November 13

CFL Playoff Pick 'Em, Division Semi-Finals Edition

Edmonton by 3
Winnipeg by 12
Sean Whyte
Over

posted by bender at 01:03 PM on November 11

NFL Pick 'Em Week 10: I Blame Bill Belichick Edition

Cleveland by 3

posted by bender at 10:05 AM on November 09

NBA Pick 'Em Week 3: Enes Kanter Edition

Brooklyn by 6
Houston by 6
Chicago by 5
LA Lakers by 10

posted by bender at 10:04 AM on November 09

CFL Pick 'Em, Final Standings

And I have the dubious distinction of reigning continental football Costanza! I assume I am the first person to hold both "titles" at the same time.

posted by bender at 09:35 AM on November 08

NFL Pick 'Em Week 9: Concussion Protocol Edition

Atlanta by 7
LOCK Dallas by 10 LOCK
Minnesota by 7
Kansas City by 3
New York Jets by 5
Philadelphia by 6
Pittsburgh by 9
Los Angeles by 3
San Francisco by 3
LOCK Green Bay by 14 LOCK
San Diego by 8
Denver by 4
LOCK Seattle by 12

posted by bender at 01:44 PM on November 03

CFL Pick 'Em, Week Twenty

Ottawa by 2
Hamilton by 10
Edmonton by 18
B.C. by 15

posted by bender at 01:37 PM on November 03