Recent Comments by Etrigan

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Holy shit, Bob Costas

posted by Etrigan at 07:59 AM on June 27

Pete Rose bet on MLB games while an active player in those games.

I didn't realize that US Postal Inspectors had such dynamic crime fighting capability and initiative.

It was a long time ago, but in the Wild West days, the postal inspectors were the only federal police force. People would rob general stores that had postal annexes in them, draw a line in chalk around the postal annex, and write "DEAR POSTAL INSPECTORS -- WE NEVER CROSSED THIS LINE.", because that way it would only be the local sheriff looking for them instead of the Feds.

posted by Etrigan at 09:03 AM on June 23

Golden State Warriors Win NBA Title

You have to come up with some weird rational not to give it to the obvious most valuable player in the Finals (James).

Iguodala (like Kawhi Leonard last year) kept the best player in the game from winning the championship. The Warriors were down 1-2 (2 straight, remember, after Kyrie Irving's injury) when Kerr started him. They won the next three games by 42 combined points.

International counterexample: Diego Forlan winning the Golden Ball at the 2010 World Cup. Uruguay came in third in that tournament.

The Golden Ball is for the entire tournament -- the NBA Finals MVP is expressly for the best player in the 4-7 games played between the winners of the Western and Eastern Conferences.

Ditto the regular-season MVP award -- it can absolutely be said that a player on even a non-playoff team was still the most valuable to his team (or the league as a whole), elevating them from a 10-72 crapstack to a .500 team.

But giving the MVP of the championship series to a player from the losing team doesn't make a lot of sense -- if Lebron had injured himself in the first minute of Game 1 and sat out the rest of the Finals, the result is still a Warriors championship.

posted by Etrigan at 02:48 PM on June 17

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The Giants get their fourth no-hitter in four seasons off an 11-strikeout, 0-walk, 3-plonk performance by Chris "You Damn Dirty Mets" Heston. It's the first time a no-hitter has featured three HBPs.

posted by Etrigan at 07:09 AM on June 10

A bit of history

Before the race, I did my usual thing of watching this video about Secretariat at Belmont, just to remind me that there still hasn't been another horse like him since.

Jeremy was right: greatest athlete of the 20th Century.

posted by Etrigan at 07:41 AM on June 08

Warriors Win Game 1 of Finals Despite LeBron's 44 Points

Concession stand prices at the NBA Finals.

posted by Etrigan at 08:32 AM on June 05

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

UAB "taking steps" to reinstate football seven months after killing it.

posted by Etrigan at 06:28 PM on June 01

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I spent about a year in Huntsville one summer back in the '90s, and it amazes me that anything around it could ever be considered a heat sink.

posted by Etrigan at 02:26 PM on May 26

NFL Moves PAT Kicks Back to 15-Yard Line

Yes, but everything needs a Flutie dropkick.

posted by Etrigan at 08:09 PM on May 20

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

I think that Kraft knows that either A) they did it, or B) there's no way in hell it can be proven that they didn't do it.* So if he appeals, the best result for him is that it gets overturned on some form of technicality, which weakens Goodell (delenda est), and Kraft genuinely believes that a strong Goodell (delenda est) in the Commissioner's Office is better for the league in the long run, which is better for the Patriots in the long run than a presumably low-first-round pick would be.

* -- Not to any standard that would make the average NFL fan say, "Oh, okay, that makes sense. They didn't do it."

posted by Etrigan at 09:21 PM on May 19

NFL Moves PAT Kicks Back to 15-Yard Line

Washington and Oakland voted against this. Sebastian Janikowski hasn't missed a PAT since Dubya was President; Kai Forbath, Graham Gano, and Shaun Suisham combined to miss five in time.

posted by Etrigan at 09:13 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

RIP Garo Yepremian.

posted by Etrigan at 08:56 AM on May 17

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

It doesn't count! You changed the outcome by observing it!

posted by Etrigan at 09:09 PM on May 15

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I dislike the NCAA's rules generally on transfers, but three schools in three years seems a little excessive.

posted by Etrigan at 03:41 PM on May 13

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

If you find yourself thinking What has the FBI done for me lately?, you at least have this to thank them for: Sepp Blatter won't come to the U.S. for fear of being arrested.

posted by Etrigan at 08:06 AM on May 13

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Yeah, I could think of Akron and Pottsville, but I wasn't sure whether it was Pittsville, and I needed a good third anyway.

posted by Etrigan at 05:27 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

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?

Even simpler for the league to say "We will provide balls from now on. They will be inflated to X psi on the sidelines one hour before kickoff. We will rotate them on each offensive series and reinflate each one to X psi on the sidelines when it comes out of circulation, and then again at halftime."

Hell, if you want to make it interactive, tell the teams that if they can agree on X, that'll be it; otherwise, the league standard will be 13 or whatever.

I can see why teams need to provide equipment when it's a scrappy bunch of part-timers out of Akron and Duluth and Pottsville. I can't see it when it's a multibillion-dollar corporation.

posted by Etrigan at 03:46 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

The rule on the proper inflation of the balls was there for a reason.

As is the punishment for violating it, which doesn't include suspensions or draft picks.

posted by Etrigan at 11:58 AM on May 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

"We're going to have the greatest player of his generation not involved in the play! They'll never expect it!"

"Yeah... there's probably a reason they won't, Dave."

posted by Etrigan at 11:56 AM on May 11

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

It is now illegal to get a college athlete suspended in Georgia.

posted by Etrigan at 08:11 PM on May 10

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Does anyone else feel the NFL is trying to base the upcoming punishment on public sentiment? Doesn't that feel weird?

Not since the Rice thing.

posted by Etrigan at 06:22 PM on May 10

NFL Took Millions from U.S. Government to Salute the Troops

By the way, has anyone else read "Billy Lynn's Long Half-time Walk"? A great novel.

Agreed. And soon to be an Ang Lee joint, screenplay by the guy who did Slumdog Millionaire.

posted by Etrigan at 12:13 PM on May 10

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

First ever 4-5-4 triple play. That can't be right, can it (or, for that matter, that 4-4-5 has only ever been done once)?

posted by Etrigan at 10:15 PM on May 09

NFL Took Millions from U.S. Government to Salute the Troops

Fuckin' Guard, I swear...

posted by Etrigan at 10:13 PM on May 09

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Various people are reporting that he doesn't have a signed contract but did sign an injury protection waiver that more or less forces Jacksonville to negotiate in good faith, but there's one tweet that confuses me a bit:

15 years ago Jags would have to consider letting Fowler re-enter draft next year due to recovery time & cost. Won't impact him now.
Is that because of the injury protection waiver, which is newer than 15 years old?

posted by Etrigan at 07:03 PM on May 08

Bill Simmons Out at ESPN

ESPN (or at least its President) believes that Simmons isn't the main draw for Grantland anymore. From the lead NYT story:

"It long ago went from being a Bill Simmons site to one that can stand on its own," Skipper said.

posted by Etrigan at 06:30 PM on May 08

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Heck, the Pats are pikers on the Your Team Cheats scoreboard.


TEAM: The Detroit Lions

SEVERITY: 1.5 cameras

SUMMARY: Alex Karras, an All-Pro defensive tackle for the Lions, was forced to sit out the 1963 season, suspended by NFL commissioner Pete Rozelle for betting on NFL games and associating with gamblers. Karras had placed at least a half-dozen $50 to $100 bets.

Far as I'm concerned, Karras redeemed this one in full on his first game back. He was, of course, still a team captain, and came out for the coin toss. The ref asked him to call it, and he said, "I'm sorry, sir, I'm not permitted to gamble."

posted by Etrigan at 08:17 PM on May 06

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Bartolo Colon becomes first pitcher to beat one team while pitching for seven different teams, winning over the Orioles with the Indians, White Sox, Angels, Red Sox, Yankees, Athletics, and (yesterday) Mets. Colon turns 42 in three weeks.

posted by Etrigan at 03:54 PM on May 06

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The Army PR guys had a fucking thrombo over not letting Caleb Campbell play right out of West Point (I know a guy who got thrown out of the Army's chief personnel officer's (a three-star general) office suite during one of the "discussions"), and that was while we were still actively in two wars.

I wouldn't be surprised if Cardona is allowed to report to Patriots training camp and, if he makes the 53-man roster, the Navy cuts him loose and either lets him repay the value of his education or keeps him in the Reserves as a recruiting asset.

posted by Etrigan at 11:10 PM on May 04

What would happen if you played a baseball game and nobody came out to watch?

Of course, as the Barenaked Ladies have sung, "It's all been done before."

And before.

posted by Etrigan at 05:44 PM on April 28

Fan Injured by Airborne Baseball Bat at Wrigley Field

He said he hopes to give the fan an autographed bat.

Giving him an autographed helmet might be a better idea.

posted by Etrigan at 11:56 AM on April 28

Famous Texas Sportswriter Jim Dent Convicted of 10th DWI

I'm sure that one of the thousands of free entrees he's going to get will be his favorite.

posted by Etrigan at 08:18 AM on April 13

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

AP kills "dingers."

posted by Etrigan at 04:18 PM on March 27

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

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

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Will Ferrell is playing on a few teams for an HBO special.

"Manimal" is on Baseball Reference. Looks like the Angels got the best value from him overall.

posted by Etrigan at 10:25 PM on March 13

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I was very confused as to why he had left the car in a hotel parking lot until ESPN finally managed to allude to it being in a trailer in the fifth paragraph.

posted by Etrigan at 02:02 PM on February 27

McCutchen: Baseball No Longer a Sport Where Poor Kids Get Discovered

If the kid has the talent, he will be discovered.

...playing some other sport.

posted by Etrigan at 10:35 AM on February 15

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

Julio Franco's debut as a pro baseball player is closer to Pearl Harbor than it is today.

Julio Franco has been alive during most of the World Series. He is only four months younger than Major League Baseball being played in California. He is exactly as old as the FAA, older than the integrated circuit and the John Birch Society.

posted by Etrigan at 04:24 PM on February 09

DeflateGate Accusations Mean It's Time For Coach and Owner To Be Banned From NFL

That level of insanity is actually kind of impressive.

posted by Etrigan at 07:17 PM on February 05

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

What grum said. "Greatest" has varying proportions of "skills" and "success."* Brady vs. Manning is the perfect litmus for which way you lean.

* -- With, of course, also some amount of "intangibles," "reputation," "I like this person for some random reason," etc.

posted by Etrigan at 03:23 PM on February 04

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

But he just has never invoked the "don't let him have the ball or we're done" fear that opponents had when facing Montana.

Brady has more 4th quarter comebacks than Montana.

posted by Etrigan at 01:54 PM on February 03

Hey, NFL, Let Anyone Commentate the Next Super Bowl

I've said it before, I'll say it again -- I will pay cash money to watch a game with a broadcast team consisting of one decent play-by-play guy and one avowed superfan of each team. Just let them go at it, using every crappy joke about the players, the hometowns, the rivalries...

posted by Etrigan at 01:45 PM on February 03

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

But he is not the best ever.

Let's hold off for a year to pick up the discussion. Brady can pass his childhood idol for good with that fifth Super Bowl ring. Maybe it will come with that moment.
Spoiler alert: It won't. Montana's supporters have been saying for a decade now, "Well, he hasn't won four, so he's not even in the conversation." Now that he's won four, it's "Well, he lost two, so Montana's still better." He'll never be able to un-lose those, so they're set. 4-0 beats ∞-2.

posted by Etrigan at 10:33 AM on February 03

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

Being the best in the biggest games is what defines greatness.

You realize that you're putting Eli Manning and Jim Plunkett in the top five of quarterbacks of all time, right?

posted by Etrigan at 02:55 PM on February 02

New MLB Commissioner: We May Ban Defensive Shifts

I can just imagine what a rewrite of 4.02 and 4.03 might involve.

"(c) Except the pitcher and the catcher, any fielder may station himself anywhere in fair territory except if it's goofy."

posted by Etrigan at 07:45 PM on January 27

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Nope, that ball is now somewhere in Jackson's trophy case, or at least on the way there.

Jackson has said he has no idea where the ball is at this point.

posted by Etrigan at 05:10 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

This is absolutely bonkers bad management on the part of the NFL.

I know it's foolish of me to get my hopes up, but surely this...

Goodell delenda est.

posted by Etrigan at 03:28 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

The refs either did or didn't simply swap in the Colts balls for use by the Pats in the second half. Or they pumped up the Pats' balls and went with those. There are conflicting reports on that. If they used the Indy balls, they did it almost informally on the fly, apparently without informing the Pats. No Patriot has said that the refs advised them that their game balls were illegal and that they'd have to use the Indy balls for the rest of the game.

D'Qwell Jackson has also said that someone took the Patriots' balls out of play during the first half:

Jackson does, however, recall one interesting moment during the first half that has something to do with the latest controversy. He recalls, during a television timeout, there was an especially long delay that prompted him to approach an official.

The game official mentioned something about their efforts to locate a usable football. Shortly after, Jackson noticed that the Patriots were using the Colts' footballs late in the first half. Jackson said it was odd to him that New England couldn't find a football to use, especially in the AFC Championship Game.

posted by Etrigan at 01:35 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Rob Gronkowski is not afraid of making a buck off the situation.

posted by Etrigan at 06:54 AM on January 22

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

As for the "beat the clock" option, if the defense scores points on the opposition's possession (safety, interception, fumble recovery), the game should be over. In this case, the Broncos scored -2 points, so Seattle's offense would only need to score -1 points or more to win, and that's an automatic win in my books.

That re-introduces the true sudden-death aspect that seems to be distasteful to people, though.

posted by Etrigan at 09:40 PM on January 19

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

Forgot what I came in here to say this time:

MMQB has a good piece on exactly how Seattle determined they'd try the fake field goal:

Now for the bigger and bolder decision, the play that ignited Seattle's comeback, punter Jon Ryan's 19-yard touchdown pass to Garry Gilliam on a fake field goal. Ryan had been lobbying for the call during the week of practice, after special teams coach Brian Schneider's staff identified the weak link in the Packers field goal block team.

Reserve linebacker Brad Jones was recklessly aggressive coming off the edge on film. He consistently darted hard to the inside in an effort to get the block, and often went to unnecessary lengths to do so. Against Dallas in their divisional game, he lined up on the left side three times and on the right once, and on one attempt he tried to leap over a blocker only to get stonewalled.

So with five minutes left in the third quarter and Seattle still trailing 16-0, Carroll gave Ryan the go-ahead to execute a fake specifically designed for this game. Ryan had two options: 1. Take the snap and roll out to Jones' side with either Garry Gilliam (left side) or Luke Willson (right) as a receiving option. If the linebacker covers the receiver, Ryan should run. If not, throw it.

2. If Jones isn't on the field, take a delay of game penalty and then kick the field goal.

"Kickers are head-jobs anyway," Ryan said within earshot of Hauschka, "so you don't want to screw them around."

posted by Etrigan at 08:02 PM on January 19

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

So here's a possibility that just popped into my head:

Beat the clock sudden-death: Determine who goes first (flip a coin, home team, whoever had the last possession, whatever), and that team plays until someone scores. But the clock runs up -- that is, it starts at 0:00 -- and when someone scores, the clock starts counting down on the ensuing kickoff.

That is, Seattle goes first in OT. They run the same plays and wind up scoring a TD after 3:19. So the clock starts at 3:19 as they kick off to Green Bay. When the clock hits 0:00, if the game isn't tied, we have a winner; otherwise, you do another similar beat-the-clock period, switching who gets the ball first.

Or, if Green Bay gets an interception on that first possession, then runs a few plays and kicks a field goal after, say, 5:00, then they have to kick off to Seattle, who now has 5:00 to score as well. If Green Bay gets another turnover and scores another field goal with 1:30 left, well, Seattle gets another try for a TD.

posted by Etrigan at 07:59 PM on January 19

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

Tebow had a better game.

Look it up.

So you're saying that Russell Wilson "just knows how to win" even better than Tim Tebow does.

posted by Etrigan at 09:05 PM on January 18

Seahawks Advance to Super Bowl 0x31 with 16-Point Comeback

I guess that'll keep the "Wilson just knows how to win" bullshit alive for another game.

When that ball hit the top of its arc, I couldn't help but remember Tebow's one-play OT win from a few years back. For those exact reasons.

posted by Etrigan at 06:44 PM on January 18

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Fox to lead Bears, says Jay Glazer.

posted by Etrigan at 03:27 PM on January 16

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Oh for fuck's sake.

(NCAA caves, offers settlement that would restore Paterno's wins.)

posted by Etrigan at 01:26 PM on January 16

The Gaming Obsession of the Green Bay Packers

The whole 'nerds' thing doesn't really apply to Settlers any more, as it has pretty much become a mainstream board game at this point.

Yeah, I was heartened to see that they patronize a local gaming store for it, given that you can get Settlers at Target these days.

posted by Etrigan at 11:25 AM on January 16

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Grantland presents a small but interesting idea on how to make football even more viewer-friendly -- have different-colored flags for offensive and defensive penalties, thereby reducing the "flag lag" on big plays that might get called back.

posted by Etrigan at 01:34 PM on January 15

Buckeyes Win College Football Playoff

Who starts for Ohio State next season, assuming all three QBs are healthy?

And assuming all three stick around.

posted by Etrigan at 05:26 PM on January 13