Recent Comments by Etrigan

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

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

They were not.

posted by Etrigan at 11:10 AM on January 11

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Once a Dolphin, always a dolphin.

posted by Etrigan at 08:11 PM on January 09

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Curt Schilling thinks he's not in the HoF because he's a Republican.

posted by Etrigan at 03:51 PM on January 07

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Is there a word for when you're simultaneously annoyed and amused at the same thing? I hate that someone "wasted" a vote on Erstad, but at the same time, I feel like, eh, what the hell, it's nice to see him get recognized for what was a really good couple of years.

posted by Etrigan at 08:46 AM on January 07

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

I'll point out that Cy Young received less than 50% of the vote on his first ballot.

But everyone knew that he'd get another chance, right? I genuinely don't know, but either way, that was then, and this is now.

I'm not wedded to 90 percent, but if you're going to take away the vote limit, I feel like you'd need to raise the percent somehow to keep the numbers from exploding. Three or four a year sounds about right to me.

posted by Etrigan at 09:13 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

(I know practically nothing about the history of HoF voting, so if things like that were done in earlier years and had their own set of problems, my bad.)

posted by Etrigan at 08:20 PM on January 06

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

I have to wonder whether things would be better if each player only got one shot, but voters could pick as many as they wanted. Maybe with a higher percentage of votes needed. Like, say, 90 percent of votes are needed, but then no one is playing games about "Well, he's not first ballot worthy..." or "I'm gonna use one of my finite votes for this other guy because he's on his last year of eligibility..."

posted by Etrigan at 08:19 PM on January 06

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Can anyone think of an incident that prompted most college football coaches to get permanent sideline security?

Given the number of assaults by coaches, I'd say that the trooper is more likely there to protect everyone else.

But basically, it's a double perk. The coach gets to feel important, and some trooper gets to go to games. I'm not sure who pays for actual statie types (a friend of a friend was Hoke's sideline guy, but he was UM police), but I sure as hell hope it's the school.

posted by Etrigan at 08:09 PM on January 06

Cowboys Defeat Lions After Controversial Penalty Non-Call

If two refs disagree, why should the one who threw the flag matter more if someone else was closer?

If the back judge saw interference enough to throw a flag, then how can the head linesman come in and say that it wasn't interference? The head linesman said that Hitchens was only blocking Pettigrew's view, which is clearly not the case and doesn't address the fact that Hitchens wasn't playing the ball and interfered with Pettigrew's arms. Mike Pereira agrees: "It's clearly pass interference. I strongly believe that was not a good pick-up of a flag."

If Morelli didn't announce the call and the refs huddled before he picked up the flag, I don't think it would be as huge an uproar.

That's part of it, but the lack of explanation and suchlike is just icing on the cake.

And in regards to the facemask, that would have been offsetting penalties, which makes it 3rd and 1 instead of 4th and 1.

I'm not saying it was a conspiracy in favor of the Cowboys or against the Lions. It was just a bad, bad call.

posted by Etrigan at 10:47 AM on January 05

Cowboys Defeat Lions After Controversial Penalty Non-Call

I genuinely don't get how two officials can disagree and the referee ends up going with the non-call. Did the back judge not actually see any interference? Did he throw the flag thinking, That might be interference. I hope someone else had a better angle and can fill in the gaps in my vision?

posted by Etrigan at 09:18 AM on January 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Underestimated how big the check Jerry wrote was, you mean.

posted by Etrigan at 08:44 PM on January 04

Ducks v. Bucks in Arlington

The BCS matchup for this season would have almost certainly been Florida State (undefeated, defending national champions) vs. Alabama (one-loss SEC champion), with Oregon and Ohio State battling it out in the Rose Bowl as a consolation prize.

The 'Noles lost so badly that sportswriters nearly ran out of verbs to describe the 59-20 shellacking: "blows past", "dominates", "crushes".... And then some of the Ducks went full-on troll and chanted "No means no" while doing the tomahawk chop, a reference to sexual-assault allegations against FSU QB Jameis Winston. Fortunately, the meme of 2014 explains Winston's inexplicable collapse (and that of a referee).

The late-night playoff game between Urban Meyer and Nick Saban (oh, and some players) provided rather more excitement, with the 42-35 Sugar Bowl being hailed as an "epic" "instant classic". SI calls it a key power shift (while walking it back some in the story itself).

posted by Etrigan at 08:24 AM on January 02

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I could watch this all. damn. day.

posted by Etrigan at 04:42 PM on January 01

Sources: Jim Harbaugh Expected to Take Michigan Job

The money quote is "His shtick works better with young guys who are gone after three or four years."

His first order of business will be wooing a good quarterback. I think that might work out well.

posted by Etrigan at 08:06 AM on December 28

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I agree with grum. The Chips might have lost the Bahamas Bowl, but they won football.

posted by Etrigan at 11:24 PM on December 24

The Boston Celtics have traded Rajon Rondo to Dallas

Olbermann tweets:

From #Colbert Farewell: @MarkCuban finalized Rondo deal in green room, sitting w/Waterston, Daniels, me + dismaying UN Amb. Samantha Power
I can't stop chuckling at the idea of the United States Ambassador to the United Nations getting upset with Cuban backstage at a comedy news show with DA Jack McCoy and Lloyd from Dumb and Dumber in the background.

posted by Etrigan at 09:33 AM on December 19

Can True Sports Fans Switch to a New Favorite Team?

I haven't been back to Reno in nearly a decade -- parents moved to Phoenix as soon as I went to college. I've heard good things about the Aces from old classmates, but I barely recognize downtown anymore on Google Street View.

posted by Etrigan at 02:57 PM on December 18

Can True Sports Fans Switch to a New Favorite Team?

I'm the Cincy kids in that commercial (sort of) -- I was an Army brat who ended up (as a kid) in Reno, Nevada, but my father is a lifelong Bears/Cubs fan. In Reno in the '80s, we got San Francisco teams as the "locals," with a little bit of Padres fandom because the local minor-league team was affiliated with them back then. But after my adult years in the Army again, I ended up in suburban Detroit, so I'm a Lions/Tigers fan now.

My father and I agree that the White Sox and the Packers suck, and not much else.

posted by Etrigan at 07:09 AM on December 18

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Speaking at the Club World Cup in Marrakech, Morocco, Blatter told The Associated Press he was stunned by Garcia's decision to resign.

"I'm just surprised," Blatter said. "It's all what I can say. Just that."

"I mean, we're paying him, right? He didn't even ask for more. I just can't figure out his problem."

posted by Etrigan at 02:15 PM on December 17

The FSU Problem

I share some of the disdain for FSU's relative priorities, but it is a pretty good university for all that.

The irony is that its highest-ranked program on the U.S. News & World Report lists is criminology.

posted by Etrigan at 10:45 PM on December 16

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

TCU also beat Minnesota, remember. So that's two wins over ranked teams for TCU, two for Baylor, and three for Ohio State. That's an achievement from this season.

Just one thing to add, which I hadn't realized -- all four of TCU/Baylor's wins over ranked teams were home games, while all three of Ohio State's were on the road.

posted by Etrigan at 08:24 PM on December 10

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

Minnesota only lost to the two B1G division champions (including a 1-TD loss to Ohio State in November, when the Buckeyes were rolling), a Big 12 co-champion, and Illinois. That seems like a decent enough reason to put them at the bottom of the rankings.

posted by Etrigan at 09:18 AM on December 09

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

But everyone around here knows that I'm an Ohio State apologist, so granis of salt are not unwarranted.

I, on the other hand, am a Michigan and USC alum who would cheer for a meteor strike on an Ohio/Oregon title game, and I still think that the Buckeyes were a perfectly supportable choice for the #4 slot (aside from the fact that they suck).

posted by Etrigan at 06:10 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

TCU also beat Minnesota, remember. So that's two wins over ranked teams for TCU, two for Baylor, and three for Ohio State. That's an achievement from this season.

I think the committee went into vapor lock over TCU-or-Baylor because of the head-to-head issue, not because they're TCU and Baylor. If it had been Texas-Oklahoma, I think we'd be seeing the same result.

posted by Etrigan at 05:37 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

I find it hard to believe that f TCU or Baylor were Oklahoma or Texas they still would have been on the outside looking in.

If Texas had gone 11-1 this year, they would have non-conference wins over North Texas, BYU, and UCLA. That's one quality win (though UCLA looks worse now than they did all year).

If Oklahoma had gone 11-1 this year, they would have non-conference wins over Louisiana Tech, Tulsa, and Tennessee. That's zero quality wins.

Assume that one lost to the other and the other lost to West Virginia. Do you still put either of them over an undefeated Florida State, a one-loss SEC champion, a one-loss Pac-12 champion that avenged its only loss in a conference championship rematch, or a one-loss B1G champion that has been clearly improving since its early season loss and ran a pretty good Wisconsin team like an FCS game in September?

It's going to be difficult to make the case that any 11-1 Big 12 team is more deserving than any 12-1 power conference team.

posted by Etrigan at 01:52 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

TCU will be defending the College Football Belt against Ole Miss in the Peach Bowl.

posted by Etrigan at 06:40 PM on December 07

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

grum would have voted for Robbie Bosco.

posted by Etrigan at 05:11 PM on December 07

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

Yeah, the B1G championship game definitely helped Ohio -- if they'd been sitting at home this weekend with two injured QBs, the committee would have slud Baylor up there instead.

Best part of the bracket announcement is the Big 12 commissioner claiming that they were always going to have co-champions, except that they would pick one as their representative for the big-money bowls, except that they wouldn't use any formal pre-determined criteria for it, except that they totally would, except except except...

posted by Etrigan at 01:50 PM on December 07

538: 7 Other Schools That May Follow UAB Out of Football

Way less money coming in, pretty much the same amount of money going out, I guess. You'd be spending less on coaches, but I can't imagine it's much less at the Div II levels than at upstart schools like these.

posted by Etrigan at 01:46 PM on December 07

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Great moments in NBA telestrator history: the newest entry.

Every time a boother takes the light pen to a graphic, I can only hear the sobs of the guy who tried to put together a concise and useful representation of data only to have some knob scrawl over it.

posted by Etrigan at 01:36 PM on December 04

Texans' Andre Johnson Takes At-Risk Kids on Toys 'R Us Shopping Spree

His uncle knows kids.

He was like, Give em 80 seconds to run through the store and let em just get what they want.' And I was like, That's not enough time.' And he was like, They can grab a lot.'

posted by Etrigan at 06:18 PM on December 03

Bye-bye Blazers:

From rcade's second link:

And the second time, Little Bear's Board stopped UAB from hiring the coach it wanted because, presumably, the coach UAB wanted -- Jimbo Fisher -- might also be wanted by Alabama.
Oh, how different the world might be...

And that was in 2006, when Alabama was, at best, only slightly relevant.

On the sportstalk yesterday, they were saying that Alabama has never played UAB, specifically because Lii'l Bear wouldn't allow it. He had a mad on for that program for years.

posted by Etrigan at 08:57 PM on December 02

MLB umpire Dale Scott comes out as gay in quietest way possible.

The real takeaway from this is that there is a Referee magazine.

posted by Etrigan at 04:11 PM on December 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

If he'd knocked it out of her hands before she sat down, it wouldn't be a fumble recovery, either. Gresham was clearly giving it to her, not attempting a pass into coverage.

posted by Etrigan at 01:54 PM on November 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Wait... So people complain to the government about something, the government says "You're right to complain, that thing violates regulations," and the violator gets to sue the people who complained?

posted by Etrigan at 06:02 AM on November 03

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I continue to be baffled that the Shane Morris debacle is consistently one of the most harped on points against Brandon. It seems to me that decisions concerning on field injuries are a coach's responsibility.

From my 'gander perspective, I feel like it was more "It's Dave Brandon's fault that the football team in general is in disarray, and Shane Morris is only one very visible symptom of that disarray." That concussion was just a hook to hang a grievance on.

posted by Etrigan at 08:26 PM on October 31