Recent Comments by bender

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Jameis Winston has been suspended for the first half of Saturday's game against Clemson. Am I the only one who sees a half game suspension (to anyone, for anything) as both a ridiculous and transparent non-punishment? I'm not sure that simply stating that the team would be handling disciplining him for this incident would not have sufficed, but a half suspension to me says, "They think we should suspend you, but we can't afford to play without you, so this is the minimum we're willing to punish you." That may well even be the case, but if so, then what difference does it make? I think I'd rather hear the coach say, "Winston did something completely inappropriate. The team is addressing this issue, and it won't happen again."

posted by bender at 01:10 PM on September 17

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 13

B.C. by 14
Hamilton by 2
Calgary by 11
Ottawa by 2

posted by bender at 10:15 AM on September 17

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I agree with rcade. Unless the university (or some university-sanctioned group) was responsible for the shirts' existence--I'm assuming this was not the case--the only thing the AD accomplished by apologizing was bringing more press to a story that didn't need it.

posted by bender at 12:36 PM on September 16

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

So the pitch to Johnson should have been called foul rather than strike 3, right?

posted by bender at 01:12 PM on September 13

NHL Bans the Spin-o-Rama Move from Shootouts

The link in the FPP is a Chris Davis suspension story. I assume you meant to post that too?

posted by bender at 02:57 PM on September 12

Video of Ray Rice Elevator Punch on Partner Released

"personal visits to local casinos, night clubs, etc. requesting the cooperation of the establishments' management in the event a player or team employee is perceived as a potential problem."

Can this be translated as "ensuring that evidence of players doing stupid and/or illegal things is not leaked to the public?"

posted by bender at 11:03 AM on September 12

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

In a bizarre moment of umpiring, a Brewers pitcher was awarded a strikeout...after hitting two different Marlins the same at-bat.

I have never heard of a strike being called on a pitch that hit the batter, though I suppose it is not unreasonable. Is this a common occurrence? Looking at the videos, I think the strike call against Stanton looks to be correct. The strike called on Johnson is less clear, in both how far he swings and in that he was trying to get out of the way--albeit late. Also, can a ball be called foul if it hits your hand?

posted by bender at 10:59 AM on September 12

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 12

Montreal by 12
Calgary by 13
Winnipeg by 10
Saskatchewan by 11

posted by bender at 06:42 PM on September 11

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 11

B.C. by 2
Edmonton by 12
Hamilton by 3
Saskatchewan by 3

posted by bender at 04:41 PM on September 04

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

JZ 1982 FC would like to join.

posted by bender at 12:30 PM on August 26

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 10

Montreal by 4
Winnipeg by 6
Hamilton by 14
Edmonton by 13

posted by bender at 10:34 AM on August 26

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

It's weird, when I click that link, I get a page with "You have been invited to join "League of Elite Gentleman"," that asks me to login. When I login, though, it just takes me to my team and doesn't join the league. When I search either of those numbers, I am told they are not valid league codes.

posted by bender at 08:31 PM on August 25

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Is there a league ID# or something? I couldn't figure out how to join (or find) the spofi league.

posted by bender at 10:17 PM on August 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

@rcade site search seems busted.

I thought that yesterday, but then it turned out that the sidebar ads were just pushing the search results past the bottom of the screen, and I could get them when I scrolled down. Not that I might not fix that, but the results were still there.

posted by bender at 10:16 PM on August 23

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Is it still possible to get into the Fantasy EPL? I have a team in a league with other people, but I'm not sure how to join the spofi league.

posted by bender at 12:48 PM on August 22

Mike Carey, longtime NFL referee, avoided Washington’s games because of the name

This brings to mind what I heard yesterday afternoon on the DC ESPN radio affiliate AM 980. Kevin Sheehan was discussing and taking calls regarding Phil Simms' recent comments regarding referring to the team as Washington in the season opener. In defending the team name, his viewpoint was that Simms was being self-promoting in opposing the name but not declining to work the game or refusing payment for it. That didn't make a whole lot of sense to me, but a number of callers chimed in to agree. I happen to think that Simms accomplishes more by making this statement and subsequently working the game, using only the name "Washington" than by working a different game.

Bringing it back around to Mike Carey, I certainly respect his personal stand, even if it was only for himself, and I think I understand why he felt that it needed to remain a secret. I kind of wish, though, that this had leaked out while he was still working, as he would have been able to say that he wasn't trying to go public with his view but that it was important to him. More importantly, it would have put the league in the position of having to either back him up or take some sort of action against one of their best referees, which actually could have spurred a change.

posted by bender at 02:55 PM on August 20

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 9

Winnipeg by 2
Edmonton by 3
Calgary by 10
B.C. by 3

posted by bender at 01:00 PM on August 20

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 8

Toronto by 17
Edmonton by 10
Calgary by 1
Montreal by 17
B.C. by 6

I would like to note that after going 0 for 12 through the first 3 weeks with tails=home/heads=away, I switched heads/tails in week 4 and have subsequently hit 13/16 correct picks and with this week's spread points (also determined "randomly" through a system of coin flipping and mashing buttons on a calculator) have scored 17 in that time.

posted by bender at 10:00 AM on August 11

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 7

Saskatchewan by 6
Edmonton by 8
Hamilton by 2
Calgary by 18

posted by bender at 11:55 AM on August 06

NFL Players Will Have Tracking Chips in Shoulder Pads

For the World Cup, I think they used SportVU to generate player distance run info.

Yes, it was a STATS system. I was surprised to learn that it was based on camera tracking rather than some sort of chip or sensor.

posted by bender at 10:55 PM on August 03

NFL Players Will Have Tracking Chips in Shoulder Pads

I'm looking forward to the on-screen graphics telling us the Michael Bradley covered more ground in 4 games in the World Cup than the entire NFL combined in week 1.

posted by bender at 08:22 PM on July 31

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 6

Winnipeg by 3
Toronto by 3
B.C. by 9
Saskatchewan by 3

posted by bender at 01:35 PM on July 31

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Sorry, in print sometimes it's difficult to tell if we're arguing or not.

As much as I love the World Cup and watch every US match, friendlies and all, I don't follow any club soccer nearly as closely. However, college football (which I follow much more closely) is heading down the same path as we have been discussing. Over the last few years, there has been a lot of conference realignment, and though it has died down for now, it seems like it could easily swing back around to consolidating into the fabled super-conferences or even getting rid of conferences altogether and consolidating the top teams into a smaller elite division, leaving the rest behind. The level of competition might increase, but the sport is richer for having a broader range of teams.

posted by bender at 12:25 PM on July 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Well, you kind of focused on the part of my comment that I considered to be less important and ignored my point, but I'll address your comment anyway:

Yes, someone has to be at the bottom of the league, and I'm certainly not saying that that team won't be Manchester United. The size of the super league matters. If it's 8 teams, then sure, MU could be the worst, but if this thing ever happened, it wouldn't be that small. If it's 20 teams, maybe they are down at the bottom sometimes, but I have a hard time imagining a lengthy stay as the worst team of the lot. The Yankees (of the last couple decades) spend more money than everyone else. They've had a couple of lousy seasons, but that doesn't last long.

As for this league drawing all of the talent, I would fully expect that the vast majority of the elite talent in the world would want to play for one of these teams, and that talent is enough to fill 20 teams. We were talking elsewhere about who moves aside to make room for James Rodriguez at RM, and that's today. All of the teams would be stacked. Some would be better than others, but all of them would be incredible, and the increased worldwide exposure would vastly increase all of their values.

And like I said above, I am not interested in seeing this happen. Though as I think about it and the money that could be made, it kind of seems like only a matter of time before this starts to happen.

posted by bender at 09:39 AM on July 23

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Does Man U really come out of that as valuable in 2024 as it was when this league began?

Setting aside for a moment that I don't really expect that a top flight team like Man U could spend a decade in the cellar of this hypothetical super league considering the vacuum that the league would have for all of the elite talent, yes, I do think that the worst team in this league would still enjoy a continental and global audience that is well beyond what they have now. This league is MLB, if baseball was the world's favorite game.

Don't get me wrong. I'm not saying I want it to happen, but if it did happen, no question I want my team in it, not out of it.

posted by bender at 10:51 PM on July 22

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I don't see why not. The Browns are still extremely valuable, and their fans know they suck going into every season. It's worth quite a bit just to be on the biggest stage, never mind being the headliner.

posted by bender at 07:51 PM on July 22

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 5

Calgary by 8
B.C. by 10
Hamilton by 15
Saskatchewan by 4

posted by bender at 09:16 AM on July 22

Pitcher Freaks Out Because of Bunt in 2-Run Game

I just... I've got nothing. Did Lewis also complain when the Blue Jays scored their first two runs?

posted by bender at 07:33 PM on July 20

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 4

Hmm, if a James (pronounced HA-mess) A. Garfield dollar coin wasn't enough to turn the tide, maybe I need to re-calibrate. I must have heads and tails backward, so now heads is home, tails is away.

Edmonton by 5
Ottawa by 9
Hamilton by 8
B.C. by 18

posted by bender at 04:20 PM on July 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Your ideas are intriguing to me, and I wish to subscribe to your newsletter.

posted by bender at 12:55 PM on July 14

Argentina Faces The Netherlands for Spot in World Cup Final

Did Vlaar almost score the first penalty anyway?

posted by bender at 11:37 AM on July 11

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 3

I'm pulling out all the stops to turn this train around. A James A. Garfield $1 coin is making the picks this week.

Montreal by 19
Ottawa by 7
Toronto by 11
Saskatchewan by 6

posted by bender at 09:38 AM on July 10

Nate Silver Had Brazil at 65% to Win Today

bender 1, Nate Silver 874

posted by bender at 12:16 AM on July 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Does anyone know where to get ball-in-play time statistics? This piece from zonalmarking has Friday's Brazil-Columbia match at 41:07 and seems to imply that Germany-France's 50-some minutes is a big (or at least average) number. I never realized that there was that much inactive time, and likewise, what are the guidelines for adding on stoppage time?

posted by bender at 12:25 PM on July 07

Germany Closes Down France in World Cup

Me neither! I think I'm cheering for France in the game, but I'd love to see Klose get another goal.

posted by bender at 12:55 PM on July 04

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

The World Cup of arm folding.

That was way more entertaining that it should have been!

posted by bender at 10:54 PM on July 03

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

While I have heard more than I care to from sports guys feeling obligated to say something about soccer even though they don't know or care about it, I do agree with Olbermann (at least somewhat) on the terminology. Soccer fans who insist on using "pitch" and "kit" do sound obnoxious, because we have words for those things, and we don't need their British translations to sound legit. Other words like "table" and "match" and "nil" aren't so unusual in American English, so I think there's no problem there. "Football" vs. "soccer" is a little trickier when on the one hand, we have a different game called football, but on the other, of the two, soccer is much more deserving of the name football.

posted by bender at 10:46 PM on July 03

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 2

Ottawa by 13
B.C. by 11
Hamilton by 11
Saskatchewan by 6

posted by bender at 02:09 PM on July 03

U.S. Falls to Belgium Despite Epic Tim Howard Performance

I agree on Bradley. He had some disappointing moments in this tournament in that he missed some touches that could have created goal-scoring opportunities that we were used to seeing him make, but he was still an extremely valuable member of the midfield and the defense throughout, and we're clearly a weaker team without him on the field.

posted by bender at 09:42 AM on July 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

What a wild finish in Argentina-Switzerland! The Swiss goalkeeper even got in a bicycle kick.

posted by bender at 02:37 PM on July 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

There is definitely offsides on free kicks, but I don't believe Muller ran past all of the Algerians.

posted by bender at 12:02 PM on July 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

We can at least speak of it one more time.

posted by bender at 10:40 AM on July 01

Mexico Faces The Netherlands in Round of 16

Robben certainly flourishes every contact made with him.

Robben was definitely doing some embellishing yesterday--I agree 100% with Mr Bismarck that the foul that resulted in the PK was a foul and a dive--but one thing that I like about him is that more than many other players, he will recognize when the foul is taking away a real chance and attempt to play through on an advantage. In my estimation (which is based only on watching him in World Cups), he has played himself out of more foul calls than he has acted his way into--sometimes when he ultimately ended up stumbling and falling down a few steps later--and that is at least moderately commendable.

posted by bender at 11:51 AM on June 30

Mexico Faces The Netherlands in Round of 16

I'm cool with the water breaks, but I do think this match was shorted a few minutes of playing time in both halves--especially the first half, with the additional injury stoppage in added time--that were not adequately added back in. I may be branded a heretic for suggesting it, but would it be so wrong to stop the game clock during the water breaks so that the 4th official doesn't have to hold up a 5 or 6 in the 90th minute?

posted by bender at 10:04 AM on June 30

Costa Rica Faces Greece in Unlikeliest World Cup Knockout

The Ticos really pulled together after the red card at 66'. Navas did a great job in goal, and they even did a nice job pulling together some counter attacks, though it was heartbreaking to see those fall apart because they were simply out of gas. Kudos to them on pulling it out in the end, though.

posted by bender at 10:49 PM on June 29

Brazil Faces Chile in World Cup's First Knockout Game

I am ready for something other than penalties to decide knockout matches.

posted by bender at 03:02 PM on June 28

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Looking at the knockout stage, it's an interesting quirk that of the 5 South American teams who advanced (out of 6 in the tournament), 4 of them ended up in the same quadrant.

posted by bender at 11:19 PM on June 26

The 10th Annual chicobangs Memorial SpoFi CFL Pick 'Em

I'm back for another season of coin flip CFL picks. In honor of today's US "victory" into the knockout round, I will be making these picks with a 2002 quarter, minted the same year as the US also advanced from the group stage despite losing the final match (to Poland). Fun fact: It's a Tennessee quarter--the state of my birth!

Toronto Argonauts by 9
Montreal Alouettes by 15
B.C. Lions by 8
Hamilton Tiger-Cats by 11

posted by bender at 05:45 PM on June 26

U.S. Escapes Group of Death, Advances Despite Loss

Considering that The US would have still advanced if Ronaldo hadn't scored the late goal, I'd say no, but you can remember it however you'd like. Speaking of that Ronaldo goal, though, he was not the least bit excited, and the look on his face could only be interpreted as, "Yeah, I should have scored my first goal in this World Cup a lot earlier than now."

posted by bender at 05:36 PM on June 26

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

It's nice of FIFA to have a commercial about fighting the fixing of things.

posted by bender at 04:58 PM on June 26

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Speaking (kind of) of San Zusi...

posted by bender at 11:34 PM on June 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Has that ever happened before in the World Cup?

posted by bender at 11:50 PM on June 21

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I don't understand how, with Italy's well established reputation for falling down at the slightest touch or breeze, (Note: I was pleased that they seemed to have moved past those antics in their first match with England, but they were back in fine form this afternoon.) that the referee awarded so many fouls to them. Conversely, the referee looked the other way on multiple occasions--including the should-have-been penalty kick in the first half--when the Ticos went down.

posted by bender at 03:07 PM on June 20

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Between Behrami realizing the opportunity and playing on and Rodriguez corralling that pass that was at eye level when it skipped to him, it was just magnificent.

posted by bender at 10:03 AM on June 19

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The finish may have been nearly a formality, but this effort from Switzerland gets my vote for best team goal so far.

posted by bender at 08:49 AM on June 19

MLB Hall-of-Famer Tony Gwynn has died at age 54.

Keith Olbermann had a nice tribute.

posted by bender at 10:13 PM on June 18

Keeper Guillermo Ochoa Saves Mexico's Tocino

Ochoa had an answer for everything. Very impressive performance!

posted by bender at 09:45 PM on June 17

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Thanks! I wonder if the increase (so far) this year can be attributed to anything or if it's just a coincidence.

posted by bender at 02:48 PM on June 17

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Anybody know where you can find the amount of goals scored on penalty kicks (excluding shootouts) per tournament or even an average? Six already through 14 1/2 games feels like a ton, but it would be nice to compare with actual data.

posted by bender at 01:08 PM on June 17

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

That's the second time ESPN's color man has labeled a player "just about onside" in a position that everyone else so far in the tournament has been called offside. I'm not calling shenanigans (One for each team; neither resulted in a goal.) but just amused at the terminology.

posted by bender at 01:16 PM on June 16