Recent Comments by holden

Sport and the Olympics: A Lament

Great read, thanks owlie.

posted by holden at 10:14 PM on July 20

Euro 2016 Pick 'Em Champion: Bender

billsaythis had an inauspicious total.

posted by holden at 08:55 PM on July 12

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Howard - just got back to Chicago from a week in a part of coastal Rhode Island for which the nearest "big" city is Fall River, MA. Enjoyed some of the vestiges of the Portuguese influence there, although New Anglicized. I salute Portugal but still wanted France to win.

posted by holden at 11:46 PM on July 10

Euro 2016 Pick 'Em: Final

France 2-1 Portugal

Goal(s): Giroud
Cards: Evra, W. Carvalho, Pepe

posted by holden at 05:29 PM on July 08

Euro 2016 Pick 'Em: Semifinals

Looks like I missed the first game.

France 3-2 (Giroud)

posted by holden at 08:15 AM on July 07

Euro 2016 Pick 'Em: Quarterfinals

Poland 2-1 Portugal (Lewandowski - has to happen sometime)
Wales 1-2 Belgium (De Bruyne - kind of looks like Friday Night Lights-era Jesse Plemons, no?)
Germany 2-1 Italy (Muller time)
France 2-0 Iceland (Ollie G.)

posted by holden at 11:31 PM on June 29

Copa America Pick 'Em: Finals

Argentina 2-1 Chile

Goals: Higuain

Cards: Medel, Rojo, Vidal

U.S 1-2 Colombia

Goals: Wood

First goal at 27:34

posted by holden at 12:12 PM on June 24

Euro 2016 Pick 'Em: Round of 16

Switzerland 0-2 Poland (Lewandowski finally breaks his duck. Incidentally, how does a duck get broken? Is it a broken beak or a broken leg or wing?)

Wales 2-0 N. Ireland (Ramsey. Apparently a peroxide job does wonders for the chance to transfer to Man U, if you believe the Guardian's rumor mill.)

Croatia 3-1 Portugal (Mandzukic finally comes good. As an aside, Peresic. Dude looks like he's 50, but he's only 27.)

France 2-0 Ireland (Payet again. Thanks god for colonialism, say the former colonizers of the isle of Reunion.)

Germany 3-1 Slovakia (Muller looks like he's due for one, despite the fact that his Euro record is a stark contrast to his WC exploits.)

Hungary 1-2 Belgium (Lukakakakakuuuuu.....)

Italy 1-2 Spain (David Silva with that silky-smooth-let-me-seduce-your-wife-while-I-make-this-defense-splitting-pass-insouciance.)

Engerland 3-1 Iceland (Vardy Party in Your Mama's Pants.)

posted by holden at 12:44 AM on June 24

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em Results

I picked Cleveland in 6 as well, on the theory that if it went back to Oakland tied, there was no way the Warriors would lose.

posted by holden at 10:19 PM on June 22

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Champion: NoMich

Man -- not sure how I missed the finals. Guess I only avoided the Costanza by flaking out and not picking.

I like the aggregate standings idea, but sometimes miss these things or elect not to participate because I know nothing (CFL).

posted by holden at 06:05 PM on June 22

Copa America Pick 'Em: Semifinals

U.S. 1-3 Argentina (Higuain)
Colombia 2-1 Chile (James)

posted by holden at 11:07 PM on June 20

Copa America Pick 'Em: Semifinals

bender - Vidal is suspended for the next game.

posted by holden at 11:05 PM on June 20

LeBron Brings a Championship to Cleveland

I used that block as a teaching moment and told my two oldest boys (10 and 8 years old) last night that the block was an example of how you never give up on a play. What I neglected to tell them is that they will never have half of the size, speed, or general athleticism to pull it off.

posted by holden at 11:40 AM on June 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I know there is the negligible contact exception, but seems hand to face is a pretty bright-line rule - almost like a strict liability standard.

posted by holden at 11:38 AM on June 20

LeBron Brings a Championship to Cleveland

Loving a Fraze appearance.

On the NBA Finals front, quite a game (fairly sloppy, but plenty exciting) and quite a comeback. The cynical part of me would be inclined to say that LeBron was just playing it up for the cameras with the collapse and the crying, but really seems like he put his heart and soul into this. Just a pretty cool thing to see.

posted by holden at 11:31 PM on June 19

Copa America Pick 'Em: Quarterfinals

rcade -- thankfully Brooks, who I think has been the best US defender in this tournament, was not one of the players who will miss the next game. Bedoya and Wood are off due to yellow accumulation, while Jones is out for a straight red.

posted by holden at 10:44 PM on June 17

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Agree. He arguably should have been MVP in a losing effort last year as well, but much more likely to happen if the series goes the distance.

posted by holden at 12:10 PM on June 17

Copa America Pick 'Em: Quarterfinals

I hate the two yellows/yellow card accumulation rule in international tournaments. It's just too small of a sample size that allows for fluky bookings to sideline a player. I would prefer to see three yellows with no reset or maybe after two yellows the player has to sit out the first half of the next match.

posted by holden at 10:03 AM on June 17

Copa America Pick 'Em: Quarterfinals

U.S. 2-1 Ecuador (Dempsey)
Peru 0-2 Colombia (James)
Argentina 3-0 Venezuela (Messi)
Mexico 1-1 Chile [Mexico advances on penalties 4-3] (Chicharito]

Three Floyds Zombie Dust

posted by holden at 11:32 PM on June 15

Penguins claim fourth Stanley Cup with 3-1 win over Sharks

ESPN's punitive (non-)coverage of the NHL is one among several factors that have led me to effectively phase it out as a source of content. Basically am down to live sporting events I cannot get elsewhere and frankly have phased out a lot of that as well (more or less down to the international soccer tournaments, and I will take those on Spanish-language channels when I can).

Good on the Penguins.

posted by holden at 10:27 PM on June 13

Brazil Knocked Out of Copa Centenario by Handball Goal

I think Fox has generally done a pretty poor job with this tournament (the contrast to the Euros on ESPN is pretty stark, to my mind), but one thing that has kind of grown on me (even though its genesis is clearly in American football) is having the officiating commentator jump in to explain calls. Some of it is obviously super basic and just trying to find something for the guy to speak about, but in some cases there are some interesting insights/explanations. During the handball debacle last night, I thought he did a good job explaining what the ref should have done -- not on the call itself (although he opined on that as well) -- but in regards to controlling the players (basically said he should have gone to the sideline to confer with his assistant and told the players that anyone who crosses the line to get in his face is getting a card and then enforced that).

posted by holden at 09:03 AM on June 13

Euro 2016 Begins with 3 Days of Violence in France

Is it too late to pull the World Cup from Russia?

posted by holden at 08:58 AM on June 13

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Thank you Ticos.

posted by holden at 12:24 AM on June 12

SportsFilter Euro 2016 Pick 'Em

Group A: France (winner), Switzerland (second), Giroud
Group B: England (winner), Russia (second), Vardy
Group C: Germany (winner), Poland (second), Lewandowski
Group D: Spain (winner), Croatia (second), Mandukić
Group E: Belgium (winner), Italy (second), Lukaku
Group F: Austria (winner), Portugal (second), Ronaldo

Four third-place advancing teams: Wales (Group B), Czech Republic (Group D), Sweden (Group E), Iceland (Group F)

Beer - Westmalle Tripel

posted by holden at 12:00 PM on June 09

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Finals Edition

Winner: Cleveland in 6
MVP: LeBron
MOV: 18
Combined Points: 230
No. of 3s: 140

posted by holden at 01:32 PM on June 02

SportsFilter Copa America Centenario Pick 'Em

Thanks for the heads up on Suarez, bill. Lots to keep track of between this and the Euros between who's injured/not, who's likely to start, etc. I initially had Neymar tabbed as my top scorer for Group B before realizing he was not playing in the tournament due to his participation in the Olympics.

With that additional info, I am going to change my Group C scorer to Edinson Cavani.

posted by holden at 01:17 PM on June 02

SportsFilter Copa America Centenario Pick 'Em

Group A: Colombia (winner), U.S., Carlos Bacca (goalscorer)
Group B: Brazil (winner), Ecuador, Hulk (goalscorer)
Group C: Uruguay (winner), Mexico, Suarez (goalscorer)
Group D: Chile (winner), Argentina, Aguero (goalscorer)

posted by holden at 11:57 AM on June 02

SportsFilter Copa America Centenario Pick 'Em

rcade - you have Brazil (Groups B and C) and Paraguay (Groups A and C) up there twice. Mexico should be in place of Brazil in Group C and Uruguay should be in place of Paraguay in Group C.

posted by holden at 10:51 AM on June 02

Vin Scully recites the speech about baseball from "Field of Dreams".

Damn.

posted by holden at 11:44 PM on May 26

Did the Starting Gate Injury Break Barbaro's Leg?

Interesting read, although some of the comments in the Deadspin article (from seemingly informed/qualified commenters) have me leaning towards the "probably not" camp.

posted by holden at 10:43 AM on May 24

Premier League Fantasy 2015-16 final results

I think that's maybe my third or fourth year running of finishing second. Kind of like Arsenal I guess.

I'm thinking we should get a Euro 2016 fantasy league going (maybe a little closer to the tournament, once rosters are finalized).

posted by holden at 02:13 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I kind of like irrational (probably more like less rational) homer grum as a change-of-pace from analytical grum.

I don't know whether Odor was throwing at Bautista's head (seems plausible), but I'm not sure the three examples above are particularly instructive. In each of those other DPs, he catches the ball at waist level or above. In the play from yesterday, Beltre seems to have short-armed the throw and Odor receives it down around his shin, and if you're trying for a quick exchange and throw in that position, a side-arm throw seems about as good an approach as any.

posted by holden at 11:54 AM on May 16

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

posted by holden at 11:21 PM on May 15

NBA Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Finals

OKC in 7
Cavs in 5

PTs + REB + AST - Westbrook
BLOCKS - Green
STEALS - Lebron
PF - Green
FT - Harden ... er ... Durant

posted by holden at 11:07 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

TB in 7
STL in 7
Kucherov
Bishop
SJ
Callahan
SJ

posted by holden at 10:36 PM on May 13

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

How is a four pitch walk unintentional? Is the pitcher that bad?

It was issued by reigning Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta. If MLB's Gameday strike zone is accurate, Arrieta seems to have been a little hard done by the ump's strike zone.

Image and video hosting by TinyPic

It's also notable that two of the intentional walks of Harper ended up loading the bases. In extra innings.

posted by holden at 12:12 PM on May 09

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Goodness, baseball will be the worse for it when Bartolo retires.

posted by holden at 11:42 PM on May 07

Nyquist Favorite to Win Today's Kentucky Derby

I figured Majetor was a Mexican horse who was not a big fan of Mothers Day (or other things mother-related, for that matter).

posted by holden at 11:36 PM on May 07

SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em Round 2.

Cleveland 5
Toronto 7
Spurs 5
GSW 5

JR Smith
Klay Thompson

posted by holden at 01:58 PM on May 02

Leicester City One Step Closer to Immortality

Watch the Tom Hanks video. Pretty sure he was joking about putting money on Leicester.

posted by holden at 09:23 AM on May 02

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 2

Blues in 7
Islanders in 6
Capitals in 6
Sharks in 6

Scorer: Tarasenko
Goalie: Bishop
PP: Sharks
GPG: Caps

posted by holden at 12:43 PM on April 27

SpoFi NBA Playoff Pick 'Em 2016 is a go!

Cleveland 5
Toronto 5
Miami 4
Boston 6

Golden State 4
San Antonio 5
OKC 5
Portland 7

Highest points (team): 113
Highest points (player): 39

posted by holden at 01:01 AM on April 15

LA Rams Trade to Acquire 1st Pick in NFL Draft

I agree with Video Game Parlor. Seems like a steep price to pay, particularly in a year in which there is no sure-fire QB prospect. Rams do not seem to be just a QB away from contending (and thus could use all of those picks), although perhaps this is also motivated by having a marketable, franchise player for the return to LA (although I would think Gurley is pretty damn marketable).

posted by holden at 12:58 AM on April 15

SportsFilter's NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Starts Now

Panthers 6
Wings 6
Caps 5
Pens 7
Ovechkin

Stars 6
Hawks 6
Ducks 6
Kings 7
Kane

posted by holden at 11:00 AM on April 13

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

He was taking off his shoes in Jeff Kent's truck.

posted by holden at 04:10 PM on March 27

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

For the record, holden, I wasn't offended, just surprised.

You'd be surprised too if you walked into your kitchen and saw Bernie Sanders doing that to your mom. (I know, I know -- too soon.)

posted by holden at 12:34 PM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

In an attempt to avoid the banhammer, just want to apologize for my role in what happened in the Huddle yesterday. Definitely got way out of hand, and I unfortunately fanned the flames. The Maddux thing was obviously riffing on a long-standing joke, but had no idea there were that many Trump fans on this board.

posted by holden at 10:02 AM on March 24

Tennis Tourney Exec: Women Ride Men's Coattails, But They're Attractive

Welcome to the Hootie Johnson Club.

posted by holden at 09:09 PM on March 21

Michael Powell follows the sad, dirty trail of big time high school and college ball

Good read. Larry Brown does not come off particularly well in this reckoning.

posted by holden at 08:48 PM on March 06

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Super Bowl 0x32 Edition

Broncos 7 Lock
McManus
Stewart
Newton
Stewart
Miller
Harris
Manning
GYC

posted by holden at 06:48 PM on February 07

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I still see a number of two-handed set shots in my son's Chicago Catholic Youth League 4th-grade basketball games.

posted by holden at 09:19 PM on January 30

Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50

That's fair in as far as the clock is concerned (for some reason was under the mistaken impression that the clock ran from boot to whistle on a touchback) and in the field position (for some reason, I had remembered both of those possessions ending inside the ten), but I do think Denver's play-calling would not be so conservative if they did not have the 8-point lead. Seemed their strategy in the last several possessions was "don't do anything stupid."

posted by holden at 10:40 AM on January 25

Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50

If New England had kicked a field goal on the last three possessions instead of going for touchdowns, they would have won the game.

While that is obviously true, it's hard to say how the game would have played out had the Patriots kicked field goals -- would have made a difference in field position (Denver's starting field position and Patriots field position after Broncos punts) and amount of clock available for the Patriots (at a minimum, due to kickoffs), and might have influenced Bronco's offensive strategy.

posted by holden at 10:00 AM on January 25

Denver Beats New England to Reach Super Bowl 50

Exhibit C that a tenacious pass rush is kryptonite to the Brady-era Patriots offense. Fun game from the neutral's perspective. And yes, that game was close enough that it goes the other way at Foxborough.

posted by holden at 08:05 PM on January 24

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Conference Championship Round

I think my picks from last week were not tallied.

Denver by 3 LOCK
Carolina by 7 LOCK


Most total yards - NE
Most turnovers - ARI
Most passing yards - Brady
Most rushing yards - Stewart
Most receiving yards - Fitzgerald
Sack - Von Miller
Interception - Peterson

posted by holden at 06:13 PM on January 22

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Week 2: Divisional Round

New England 6
Arizona 10 LOCK
Carolina 7
Denver 10 LOCK

Brady
Johnson
Gronkowski
Talib

posted by holden at 04:33 PM on January 16

Golfer linked to multi-million dollar coke deal.

Raise your hand if you thought this was going to link to an article about Dustin Johnson.

posted by holden at 12:08 AM on January 15

NFL Approves Rams Move to Los Angeles, Chargers Invited to Join

St. Louis really has gotten the stiff arm from major league sports over the years. The NFL made sure that Cleveland was taken care of after Modell left. The NBA made sure that Charlotte was taken care of after Shinn left. The NHL took care of Minnesota after the North Stars left. Baltimore would have been taken care of if Modell hadn't gone there. And so on and so forth.

Add to that the Spirits of St. Louis being one of two then-active teams not to survive the ABA-NBA merger. Mitigated by the fact that (a) they had only been in St. Louis for two seasons before the merger, and (b) the owners made out like bandits.

posted by holden at 02:20 PM on January 13

Fantasy Premier League, Gameweek 21

I only had one transfer. If you don't use one in a given week, it carries over until you use 2 in one week.

posted by holden at 12:03 PM on January 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Andy Reid doesn't have that problem. He knows how to endure when things get messed up.

If by endure, you mean standing around looking confused and throwing challenge flags on calls that have no chance of being overturned, I agree.

posted by holden at 02:01 PM on January 11