The latest episode of Malcolm Gladwell's podcast is about why so few basketball players shoot free throws underhanded. Pretty good.
Some great old school video with Red Auerbach with Rick Barry and Jamaal Wilkes showing the difference between their styles.
posted by jeremias at 12:00 PM on July 01
I mean, come on. That's some Konami code level craziness.
posted by jeremias at 07:41 AM on June 20
This is good to see, but the decision to use Medium as the publishing platform is bothering me. For example, the "highlight" feature is annoying. When I'm reading an article my eyes pickup the highlight before my brain has reached that sentence, it completely breaks my concentration. I also want to come to my own conclusions about the content, highlighted text forces me to think about why its highlighted, which I don't appreciate.
posted by jeremias at 07:19 AM on June 03
The worst Super Bowl for me was XLII (the 2008 Patriots loss against Giants) and not just for the very obvious reason that I was a Pats fan.
I live near Boston, but was working in Austin, TX that week. I made the mistake of going to a huge local sports bar, and found myself perhaps the only one rooting for the Patriots. That experience of being in hostile territory, unable to cheer when your team does something well, having to endure the celebrations when the other team succeeds, is truly unpleasant.
When halftime came I saw the writing on the wall: this was not going to end well. I paid my tab, went back to my hotel and finished watching the game. The term "slow-motion train wreck" comes to mind, I couldn't take my eyes away and when the game came to its infamous conclusion I turned off the TV and stared at the wall for an hour or so.
It was the gift that kept on giving, the next day I had to go into the Austin-based company where I was holding my training and all anyone wanted to talk about was the game. Especially when they learned I was from Boston.
Yep, good times.
posted by jeremias at 10:57 AM on February 05
What a shame for Aaron Rodgers, that hail mary redefined the word 'unbelievable'.
posted by jeremias at 08:20 AM on January 17
The NBA draft page states his #1 weakness as "lack of aggression". He's either been working on this or that scout needs a new job.
posted by jeremias at 03:39 PM on November 11
Miami beats Duke with an unreal kickoff return.
posted by jeremias at 08:54 AM on November 01
It's a real shame, I really enjoyed the different angle and unique reporting that was being done there. The attempt to broaden the scope of sports journalism will be sorely missed. Coming soon on ESPN: more breathless reports of Lamar Odom and Khloe Kardashian's relationship status as well as a five part series on how Stephen Curry's wax figurine was created at Madame Tussaud's.
posted by jeremias at 03:36 PM on October 30
As good as the story is, I feel like the Warriors are one great stretch from restoring order to the universe. They'll hang 20 in a row on the Cavaliers to make a game a laugher and Stella will get her groove back.
Despite my last comment, I also tend to agree with this. Stephen Curry had the look of a legendary assassin with a major grudge at the end of last night's game. It's hard to imagine him *not* having a monster game tomorrow.
The one day off between the next game also has to work in the Warrior's favor, the Cav's injury list continues to swell (pun intended).
posted by jeremias at 11:47 AM on June 10
I feel the collective cringe from all those folks still clinging to the "yeah, but he hasn't" elements of his resume. That list is getting smaller and more insignificant by the minute.
100% agreed. I listen to our local sports radio occasionally and after game 2 despite his triple-doubles and his 40+ ppgs, the loudmouths trying to stir controversy were focusing on his last quarter performances and tried to spin the stats to say that he still was a fader where it counts: in the last minutes of the game.
Well, not yesterday. He hit a killer three just when it looked like Stephen Curry was summoning his godlike powers for the win, and then Lebron hit (most) of the essential free throws he needed to to seal it. How you could see his performance in these last 3 games as anything but rare and epic is beyond me.
posted by jeremias at 11:40 AM on June 10
Houston stays alive for one more game after the Curry injury but this thing feels over.
I truly hope Stephen Curry had a "contusion" and not a "concussion" as Golden State claims. I want GSW to advance, but concussions can be delayed and not necessarily something you can "play through." Having seen my son receive a concussion playing basketball and dealing with the long recovery I had a hard time watching Curry return to the game. I hope they are being honest with themselves about the diagnosis.
posted by jeremias at 04:12 PM on May 26
I assumed letting Browner shop around was because they were resigning Revis . . .
I actually looked at it the opposite way: The Pats probably knew over the weekend that Revis was gone and so they let Browner shop around because they felt that *without* Revis, Browner suddenly has far less value.
In other words, without an elite cornerback on the other side to cover, Browner's faults (slow, prone to penalties) are magnified.
Given "the Patriot way" it's unlikely we'll ever know for sure. On that note, I also remain confused why they couldn't spend the additional $5 mil for Revis, especially with no backup plan. Right now their secondary is looking really shaky again.
posted by jeremias at 01:46 PM on March 11
Nice conspiracy! Never mind that the "unseen hand" is a rotating schedule in which the NFC East plays the AFC South next season (plus in-division NFC East and the divisional winners of the AFC North and AFC West from 2014) but given that restriction I'm sure you could come up with a tougher schedule for them at home?
posted by jeremias at 10:52 PM on February 02
Crazy/rare moments overshadow almost everything because they are easy-to-remember single moments, and unless a player has a transcendent game (Doug Williams, for example), consistency tends to be forgotten.
I dunno, the argument that "consistency tends to be forgotten" doesn't ring true for me. If you look at the Hall of Fame for any given sport, they are filled with players who were consistently excellent and by extension, memorable.
Crazy/rare moments are one of the reasons we watch sports, however I don't believe these individual moments erase achievements over the long run.
posted by jeremias at 11:23 AM on February 02
This is the only Super Bowl win in Brady's career where the margin of victory/winning play is because of him, and I'm pretty damn sure no one is going to remember that drive any time soon...
I'm not sure why you're so positive that drive will be forgotten. The ridiculous index of the last two minutes was off the charts for sure. Pete Carroll's play call (as well as Butler's interception) was ridiculous but so was the catch by Jermaine Kearse that led up to that. Two individual ridiculous plays. Do they overshadow Brady's achievements? I guess it might feel like that now, but over time Brady's performance will float to the top.
At the beginning of the fourth quarter Seattle had a 91% win probability which Brady methodically erased with 14 unanswered points. The last drive might be overshadowed by the later ridiculousness but it hardly will be forgotten.
Brady ends up winning MVP, made 37 completions (A Super Bowl record) and made his 13th Super Bowl touchdown pass (Super Bowl record) all pretty memorable stats. I guess time will tell if this Super Bowl goes down as one of the greats or if there's a "yeah, but" associated with Brady's performance. From where I sit though, this was one of the most amazing Super Bowls ever.
(Of course the 538 peeps disagree with me but there ya go.)
posted by jeremias at 09:17 AM on February 02
I dunno, i look at all this talk about Peyton vs. Manning, blah blah, and it's all kinda fun to talk about, but what I'm left with in the end is this: It's really frickin' hard to to win the Super Bowl. The margin of error between winning and losing is so incredibly thin, that it's amazing that we're still talking about two quarterbacks who have been in the league for 15 years (approx).
posted by jeremias at 07:47 PM on January 12
I haven't paid much attention to either SF or KC until now,but last night's game was anything but dramatic.
posted by jeremias at 07:05 AM on October 22
Yeah, seems like an obvious pressure move to get Miami to do something meaningful. In addition to the endorsements mentioned above, the sale of Beats to Apple apparently delivered $30 mil on his doorstep.
posted by jeremias at 01:31 PM on June 24
Not to mention France! Represented by Tony Parker and Boris Diaw.
posted by jeremias at 12:26 PM on June 16
Wow. We are entering nightmare territory.
posted by jeremias at 09:06 PM on February 02
Seattle by 3 +1
D.Thomas (Den) +1
posted by jeremias at 12:20 PM on February 02
Wow, this 4th quarter is a bit of a train wreck for all involved.
posted by jeremias at 09:31 PM on January 19
I always assumed it meant "Hike, for real!".
posted by jeremias at 07:22 PM on January 12
Game is starting to have the feel of the inevitable, SD would do well to get some points on the board before halftime.
posted by jeremias at 05:42 PM on January 12
Holy Christ is Andrew Luck good.
posted by jeremias at 10:24 PM on January 11
Interestingly enough, rain to be a factor also in the Pats/Colts game. Heavy rain in Foxborough forecast throughout the evening.
posted by jeremias at 03:38 PM on January 11
Ooh, ooh. Just one more scenario, I think this one would be pretty amazing, honestly.
Game ends on hidden ball trick.
Like this. Oh and with Matt Carpenter of St. Louis as the victim, no less.
posted by jeremias at 07:31 AM on October 29
Can I add my scenario to the strange ending pool?
I would have to say this falls into the "Would Suck" category, but we need an option for "Player forgets to touch home base after hitting a home run".
If we were being extra nasty, this could happen during extra innings on a walk-off homer.
posted by jeremias at 02:50 PM on October 28
I dunno, I think the first conspiracy was that Wainwright and Molina clearly have been paid off. How else to explain this:
posted by jeremias at 10:49 AM on October 24
You need to do a mashup between that Gif and the Mark Sanchez butt fumble.
posted by jeremias at 11:07 PM on October 19
I think the only sure fire "win" here is the Boston sports media. Assuming Rondo stays, his relationship with Stevens will take place in a spotlight tracking their every move. It's already being set up. The headline in the Globe today was "Rondo has 'open mind' on Stevens". This of course was from a "reliable source" not a direct quote. As noted above, the star player culture of the NBA is deep.
posted by jeremias at 07:51 AM on July 05
Yeah, I am completely rooting for the Spurs, but I have a hard time pinning this one on the officials. Even though SA didn't take advantage of it, if I was a Miami fan you could rightfully be upset that league rules essentially gave SA a free timeout after Ray Allen's 3 pointer by checking the tape.
posted by jeremias at 03:30 PM on June 19
Danny Green has been the X, Y and Z factor of this series. I'm almost positive Miami did not account for his output in their preparation. In the fourth quarter, those points gave them the padding they needed to withstand the athletic blitz of the Heat.
Really hard to stop someone who is shooting 68-70% from the 3 point line, but it's been 5 games and like Parker says, it's crazy he's being left open. Even late in the game when it was obvious that he was on fire, there were still a few times he was given an open 3. Failure on preparation and ability to adapt there from the Heat.
I thought Popovich's coaching was excellent last night, especially on the emphasis on being aggressive on offense after all baskets. I sure hope the Spurs can keep that pace up, if for no other reason then to shut up that commentator on ABC who before last night's game had already written off the Spurs: "After game 4 both teams now know who's on top and it's all a formality" or some shit like that . . .
posted by jeremias at 12:30 PM on June 17
I thought you would be humming this song.
Actually the original is the true earworm
posted by jeremias at 10:55 PM on June 10
This is perfect, the cause for the Super Bowl blackout seems to be a device designed to prevent a Super Bowl blackout.
posted by jeremias at 03:45 PM on February 08
1. San Francisco
5. McCourty (NE)
posted by jeremias at 07:34 AM on January 20
Why Jamaica doesn't have a world class men's beach Volleyball team is beyond me.
Just sayin . . . .
posted by jeremias at 12:47 PM on August 09
Kentucky is playing lights out, they weren't even playing their best against Louisville and the game never felt in doubt.
This is a total cliché, but the only way they lose is if they beat themselves.
posted by jeremias at 01:46 PM on April 01
grum, your jeremiad was lindefensible.
posted by jeremias at 08:04 PM on February 22
I watched most of this game and I'm no Knick fan, when Kobe got dialed in during the second half, I thought it was all over. As trite as it comes off in the media reports, it really did feel like a battle between Lin and Kobe in the fourth quarter. I kept thinking to myself "Kobe is not going to let Lin be the highest scorer". The fact that Lin could make those clutch plays and passes is remarkable. It was the most exciting pro basketball I've seen in quite a while.
Nate Silver from 538, ran a great statistical piece on Lin a few days ago. In the last 25 years only 41 players have scored at least 20 points, had at least six assists and shot 50 percent over a period of four consecutive N.B.A. regular season games. (I don't know what his shot % was in the Minnesota, but he scored 20 and had 8 assists).
About a dozen of those players were "All-time greats", and the rest are then broken down into "Franchise Players", "All Stars", "Above-Average Players", etc.
Only 3 of those 41 could be considered "Mediocre" players, meaning their stats were a fluke. Silver's conclusion is that Lin is highly unlikely to be in that category.
posted by jeremias at 03:28 PM on February 12
Yeah, and why? It makes no sense to me. Of course when they had the downs and the time on the clock, they went for the touchdown, but why were they (apparently) taken by surprise and flustered when they ended up in a field goal situation? Makes no sense.
This Slate article attempts to break it all down, blame the scoreboard!
posted by jeremias at 10:47 PM on January 23
"According to TMZ.com, two Ravens players said that Cundiff was being yelled at by coaches immediately prior to missing the 32-yard kick that essentially ended Baltimore's season."
Yes, Cundiff pooched the kick, but some of the blame should fall upon the Ravens coaching staff.Seems *they* were distracted after those last two plays fell apart and were not looking far enough ahead. Whatever the case may be, the kick was rushed and a time-out should have been called.
There have also been reports here on Boston sports radio that Belichick observed the confusion and the rush to get the kick off and let it happen rather than calling a time-out (in an attempt to "ice" the kicker). If so, then those coaching decisions count for something.
posted by jeremias at 09:09 PM on January 23
I know there's two very important games to go before I start thinking this way: but a Giants v. Patriots rematch of Superbowl 42 is NBC's wet dream.
posted by jeremias at 02:10 PM on January 16
This seems very appropriate at the moment.
posted by jeremias at 10:22 PM on January 14
End of 2nd quarter and SF is doing everything they can to let New Orleans back in.
posted by jeremias at 05:58 PM on January 14
Yeah, end of 2nd quarter and SF is doing everything they can to let New Orleans back in.
posted by jeremias at 05:57 PM on January 14
>>The Pats currently do not have enough veteran leadership in the locker room to allow them to keep taking on unwanted high baggage players and spinning them into valuable contributors.
>What did I miss? What is Ochocinco doing that makes him a high baggage player. Haynesworth is notorious, but I don't recall Ocho doing anything that should put him in that league (or even remotely close to that league).
>What did I miss? What is Ochocinco doing that makes him a high baggage player. Haynesworth is notorious, but I don't recall Ocho doing anything that should put him in that league (or even remotely close to that league).
Well, it's true Ochocinco isn't high baggage in terms of having a negative attitude or bringing down the team morale, but he's expensive baggage. He is way overpaid considering his lack of production. Tom Brady is throwing away valuable downs whenever Ochocinco is being targeted and misses a route or drops the ball. I think I saw that 4 or 5 times in the Giants game. It feels a bit like Randy Moss toward the end without all the sideline and locker room drama.
posted by jeremias at 08:45 PM on November 08
Well yes, sloppy on both sides though. Some of those errors in the middle of the game by the Cardinals were ridiculous and if they had lost we could be talking about them.
I have no dog in this fight, but I watched nearly every minute of that game and it will have to rank up there as one of the most exciting I've ever seen. I can't imagine would it would have felt like if I was either a Rangers or Cardinals fan.
posted by jeremias at 07:32 AM on October 28
Whether he is out or not, my guess is the main issues have to do with the questions of collaboration on the part of Tito and the management. Take, for example, John Lackey and Carl Crawford. The two most glaring examples of high paid and under performing players. It seems pretty clear that in Lackey's case that Francona never wanted him and/or thought that his effect on the clubhouse was not worth his pitching. In Crawford's case it's not even clear that *Theo* wanted him on the team, he never really fit in the lineup and the rumors are that the owners wanted a high profile name to help boost ratings or at least to show fans that they were doing something.
So it seems like Francona was not on board with these decisions yet was forced to manage the outcome. That's got to be a crappy situation and you could imagine that a.) If he leaves, it's because he doesn't want to deal with the long-term suck that these 2 players (and others) have brought in or b.) If he stays he will want a guarantee of greater decision-making power in the organization.
posted by jeremias at 12:55 PM on September 30
Randy Moss once made me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, but he spread the jelly on first.
posted by jeremias at 09:31 PM on August 02
LeChoke is living up to his reputation. Actually I am not sure he is this bad in the playoffs or if the NBA's credibility should be called into question. I mean obviously the Heat have the talent, and in some ways they remind me (I don't believe I am going to say this) of the Lakers, (clears throat). Many times during Laker playoff runs, when they were clearly the best team, they would have games that appeared to be lost on purpose, only to later turn it on and look unbeatable with stifling defense and the ability to score at will. It appeared it was all about stretching series, building up ratings, creating drama and promoting the league.
NBA officiating is incredibly suspect and I have no problem imagining scenarios that involve David Stern pulling strings behind the scenes by choosing specific referees. However do you really think there is corruption in the ranks of players and coaches? I have a hard time believing that scenario. The NBA isn't the WWF yet.
posted by jeremias at 02:00 PM on June 08
I think it's just another effect of the 24 hour news cycle. With Espn1, 2, 3 and who knows what else, at some point they need to fill all those hours of programming with something. What better way than pseudo-comparisons of skill that allow you to play old sports clips?
posted by jeremias at 07:42 AM on May 29
As a franchise the Celts will need all the help they can get in the next few years. Maybe Danny Ainge has something else up his sleeve, but to me with this core group they look like a team who will make it to the playoffs as a 7 or 8 seed the next few years and then get run over by a young team.
Prolonged good shooting declines rapidly as you get older and who emerges as the #1 shooter on this team? The "big three" are skating down the bell curve of decline. Rondo is a force but the Celts need to look long and hard at his future with the team. He is their main bargaining chip right now and they either have to deal him for someone else or hang on and bring in some other young talent.
How will they do that though? The only member of the big three who has any value is Ray Allen . . .
posted by jeremias at 07:30 PM on May 13
That's because Shaq isn't playing, but as soon as he comes back fro . . . aw, who am I fooling. They're hosed. The Kendrick Perkins trade is looking like one of the worst moves in recent history by the Celts as well . .
posted by jeremias at 08:18 PM on May 04
Why did he get a yellow card?
posted by jeremias at 07:21 AM on April 12
Tiny sample sizes for sure, but it is interesting to note that over that last 100 years no team that started 0-6 has ever won the World Series or even their division/pennant. Flipping it around though, of the teams that started 6-0, five of them were world series champs and five won their division/pennant. Food for thought is all.
(On preview, for some reason this hyperlink won't work, here it is in full:)
posted by jeremias at 12:07 PM on April 08
It's funny how perceptions shift, I'm trying to remember that period when I liked LeBron James. He was a hyper-talented kid who had a good head on his shoulders, didn't take things too seriously, etc.
By nature, I hate the "gang-up" mentality as it applies to anyone (even superstar millionaires who could care less about me) but everytime I forget where the new perception of a hyper-talented, narcissistic, entitled dickhead came from, someone just has to play me this again.
posted by jeremias at 02:17 PM on March 07
You know, I can see how this would happen, sadly enough. I play a goofy online game that has tournaments and I lost a best 2 out of 3 match last week. The losses stuck with me for almost a day: replayed it in my head, getting frustrated around unrelated issues, etc. All of these things totally disproportionate to the importance of the event.
So I see this as an amplification of this state of mind by 10,000%. I can imagine someone whose entire life is dedicated to becoming the best they can be, their waking hours dedicated to gaining an edge over opponents. This psychic energy has to go somewhere, and I think certain personalities are better adjusted to deal with the competitive stress and public failure than others.
posted by jeremias at 08:48 AM on February 14
The Celtics-Knicks game last night was great to watch. When I lived in NYC in the early 90's I was a big fan of the Ewing/Oakley/Starks/Rivers crew. Looks like the Knicks may be back.
posted by jeremias at 09:21 AM on December 16
Isn't that the smallest outfield area to cover in all of baseball, with the Green Monster taking away most deep fly balls?
I'm not sure that's really maximizing his value.
Well, it might not be "maximizing" his value but there is more to being an excellent left fielder than just how well you can run and catch. There is also the ability to throw from left field (Johnny Damon being a perfect example of how teams used to exploit the Sox because he couldn't throw). Left field helps those big hitters at Fenway park maintain a little more energy and be productive at the plate (not to mention less chance of injury).
It's not really "worth" anything, but it's enjoyable to list the former players who played left field at Fenway park: Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Carl Yastrzemski . . .
posted by jeremias at 12:25 PM on December 09
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