Recent Comments by holden

NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Howard_T -- as long as you are calling for Yannick Noah to get ejected, why not Tito Horford, Dell Curry, or Mychal Thompson?

posted by holden at 10:25 AM on April 17

NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

Hawks in 5
Cleveland in 4
Bulls in 5
Wizards in 7

Warriors in 5
Houston in 7
Spurs in 7
Grizzlies in 6

Blake Griffin
28.5 points

posted by holden at 07:36 PM on April 16

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em Starts Now

Habs in 6
Wings in 7
Rangers in 6
Caps in 7
Blues in 6
Canucks in 6
Predators in 7
Ducks in 5


posted by holden at 07:49 PM on April 15

Famous Texas Sportswriter Jim Dent Convicted of 10th DWI

I think after getting ten and filling your punch card, you should at minimum get a free entree of your choice.

posted by holden at 12:25 AM on April 12

Who are the "Franchise Four"?

Cardinals vote will be interesting. Assuming voting for a team will primarily be done by fans of that team, my guess would be that the list is Musial, Hornsby, Gibson, and Ozzie, but should probably include Pujols (at the expense of Ozzie).

posted by holden at 01:04 PM on April 09

Losing Wisconsin Coach Laments 'Rent-a-Player' Trend

Job qualifications are unfair when their intent and effect are basically protectionist. Doctors have job qualifications because a certain level of skill and training is necessary before someone practices medicine, particularly considering the stakes. Basketball is different -- we have seen that some of these players can actually compete at age 18, so there is not much of a rational basis for the "job qualification," other than protecting the current players and protecting owners and GMS from the risk of failure and the consequences of bad decisions.

posted by holden at 06:57 PM on April 07

The best 3-point shooter you never saw

Good read; thanks for passing along. I was in the same fellowship program as the author, Doc Searls, a couple of years back. Too bad I didn't know back then that he was an amateur basketball historian.

posted by holden at 02:36 PM on April 06

LA Dodgers set MLB payroll record.

That is a lot of money. Here is a complete list of opening day payrolls.

Relative to how they are expected to perform, looks like the Pirates are especially good bang-for-the-buck. Cards, Cubs, and Seattle (assuming you buy into the Cubs and Mariners hype) as well.

posted by holden at 11:34 AM on April 06

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Happy (belated) birthday, Howard_T. Waiting for you to reach the doddering stage so you can post state secrets on SpoFi from your time in the Navy, including what happened to the nuclear sub you went joyriding in with then-Senator Joe Biden and his merry band of revelers in the summer of '73.

And good luck with the umpiring -- probably less about keeping up with the kids and more about keeping up with (or on top of) the obnoxious parents. At least in today's era we will have cellphone video of any fracas you are involved in.

posted by holden at 10:56 AM on April 02

Ronnie O'Sullivan clears the table in the 2012 world snooker championships.

The article that this video presumably was posted to accompany is worth a read as well.

posted by holden at 10:44 AM on April 02

NFL Drops Blackout Rule for 2015 Season

Good to see this rule, a product of a bygone era, go. If anything, only seemed to hurt the teams it was supposedly trying to help.

posted by holden at 10:35 PM on March 23

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Great read, thanks yerfatma. Really like Philippe's analysis in the Football Weekly podcast and his written work. Another guy, like Rafael Honigstein, whose elegance and facility in spoken English belies his non-native speaker status (including his use of the British English phrasing "identity parade" to refer to a police line-up the other day).

posted by holden at 01:05 PM on March 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Helped my 4 year-old fill out a bracket this a.m. -- told him mascots, but that's really it. Sometimes what seems more badass to a 4 year-old boy helps lead you to the head of your family picks pool after the first 6 or so games.

"Dragons or tornadoes?" Kid looked at me like I was high.

posted by holden at 06:35 PM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Yeah, am always amazed at Rafa's grasp of English, and in particular idiomatic English, in the Football Weekly podcast. And just does not seem fair (to us native English speakers) for a non-native speaker to have written this:

Regular "comments section" frequenters will recognise the phenomenon: newcomers to the faith, especially those who live too far away to physically congregate with their gods and prophets, seem to feel the need to compensate for those defects by adopting a fundamentalist, 100% humour-free stance in defence of their side, while those born into the religion through parental lineage or proximity can often afford a more relaxed, ambivalent and honest relationship with the powers that be, as well as more tolerance towards non-believers

posted by holden at 02:51 PM on March 19

Your 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.

Did you know Bruce Hornsby's son plays for LSU? Seems reason enough to expect they will knock off the Wolfpack in Round 1. Sorry, NoMich, but that's just the way it is.

posted by holden at 09:43 PM on March 15

The NFL free-agency period begins with a slew of major moves

I don't understand the Murray signing in light of the Mathews signing -- seems like a lot of money to be tied up in a position that probably does not warrant it and this coming on the heels of everyone assuming that Kelly understood the fungible nature of running backs when he traded McCoy.

posted by holden at 06:03 PM on March 12

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Nice that they've lined up U.S. TV coverage (although I suspect FS1 or NBC Sports will pick up at least the later rounds).

May try to get to the doubleheader here in Chicago. Mexico v. Cuba promises great atmosphere, seeing as how there are roughly a million people of Mexican birth or heritage in Chicago.

posted by holden at 06:00 PM on March 12

Mark Teixeira: Sharing Yankee Stadium with NYCFC Will Suck

It's a legitimate complaint both ways (playing on a baseball field will likely suck for the soccer players as well), and spectators could probably grouse as well. What's the latest on a soccer-specific stadium? I recall there were plans (or competing plans) to build something in one of the five boroughs, but seems to have stalled out at present.

posted by holden at 05:54 PM on March 12

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

yerfatma is correct, with the additional nuance that there are also some local (city) laws that address this. There are also industry-specific tax laws in some cities and states addressing other performers, such as musicians. Here's a good run-down of an Ohio lawsuit challenging Cleveland's jock tax with some good background on the phenomenon.

posted by holden at 04:50 PM on March 10

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I think it is assumed McCourty will sign elsewhere after the Patriots opted not to franchise him (franchising the kicker instead), but the Patriots could obviously re-sign him.

posted by holden at 02:46 PM on March 05

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

"Getting the best seats for University of Texas sporting events will be based on a new loyalty points system tied to how much a fan donates or spends on tickets."

Isn't this effectively how it is already done at most large universities (maybe without the formal/transparent points calculations)?

posted by holden at 12:47 PM on March 04

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The quote "I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual" is oddly worded, and out of context I thought Murphy was effectively saying "As a factual matter, I do not believe that Billy is gay."

posted by holden at 12:45 PM on March 04

Igor Larionov reflects on playing for Red Army, and what is wrong with North American hockey

Love The Professor.

posted by holden at 09:54 PM on February 23

Chargers, Raiders Pursue Shared Stadium in Los Angeles

Hot day in the city
Running out to grab a beer
My baby don't mind, cause I got the time
Been outta work a year
Roll on up to my favorite joint
Head on in, gonna open that spout
Bartender smiles, cause together we been miles
Then I hear that familiar shout

posted by holden at 09:06 PM on February 22

Chargers, Raiders Pursue Shared Stadium in Los Angeles

Yeah, but what about the giant cigarette boat playing just the "WHO LET THE DOGS OUT?!" part of "Who Let the Dogs Out?" on an endless loop while idling near the docks looking for tourists?

Are there verses (other parts) to that song?

posted by holden at 02:45 PM on February 22

Chargers, Raiders Pursue Shared Stadium in Los Angeles

What is a "true urban ballpark"? One that is in the city as opposed to suburbs? Has to be baseball-only as opposed to dual-use? Has to be retro in styling? Has to not be surrounded by parking lots?

posted by holden at 12:47 AM on February 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I think self-linking is acceptable in the Huddle (or in a comments thread, to the extent linking to something germane to the discussion at hand), but not as an FPP. Look forward to reading some of your stuff.

posted by holden at 10:53 AM on February 12

Coming of Age

"the," not "th"

[rcade -- on iPhone (mine at least), ads partially cover the edit window and will not allow me to get a cursor and make changes.]

posted by holden at 12:19 AM on February 02

Coming of Age

Good stuff and congrats to th Socceroos on their first major international trophy. I think moving to the Asian confederation has served them well, and look forward to future World Cups in which the mentality (and results) go beyond "happy-to-be-here/don't-embarrass-yourself."

posted by holden at 12:12 AM on February 02

Ernie Banks, legendary 'Mr. Cub,' dead at 83

Infectious joy, or infectiously joyous, methinks.

posted by holden at 10:41 AM on January 25

Ernie Banks, legendary 'Mr. Cub,' dead at 83

"Infectiously joy"' is one of those overused tropes, but damn if Mr. Cub didn't embody that.

posted by holden at 11:57 PM on January 24

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

I know the retort of "just don't let them score a touchdown," but NFL overtime rules suck. (Not a fan of either team in the game today, for what it's worth.)

posted by holden at 06:40 PM on January 18

Free Climbers Finish 19-Day Scamper Up El Capitan

No Jolt (my parents were somewhat fanatical about sugar).

I also once beat my mom in pool using a bridge.

posted by holden at 05:06 PM on January 15

Moving Toward a Unified Theory of the As Offseason

Love this on both fronts (Lindbergh and FG). The abundance of quality analysis out there is mind-boggling.

posted by holden at 04:53 PM on January 15

Boy Asks All 32 NFL Teams: Why Should I Be Your Fan?

Also, love that the kid said he would definitely become a Panthers fan assuming no one else got back to him (in which case, implicitly, all bets are off).

posted by holden at 04:51 PM on January 15

Free Climbers Finish 19-Day Scamper Up El Capitan

I once beat Contra after up-up-down-down-left-right-left-right-B-A-start.

posted by holden at 04:48 PM on January 15

Free Climbers Finish 19-Day Scamper Up El Capitan

And everyone who ever tried the rhythm method is a parent. What's your point?

posted by holden at 04:15 PM on January 15

Boy Asks All 32 NFL Teams: Why Should I Be Your Fan?

I heard Dairy Queen has rebranded simply as "DQ" because there is no dairy in their "ice cream". Kinda like KFC changing their name on account of their namesake product being grown in a lab.

posted by holden at 04:09 PM on January 15

Free Climbers Finish 19-Day Scamper Up El Capitan

Safety ropes? Doesn't count.

posted by holden at 04:06 PM on January 15

Four players voted into the baseball Hall of Fame

Glad to see things trending up for Raines (second-largest bump behind Schilling, it appears).

posted by holden at 03:30 PM on January 06

The Boston Celtics have traded Rajon Rondo to Dallas

I don't really like the trade for the Mavs as it tinkers with the league's best offense and I don't think Rondo will do much to help their defense. Ultimately, I trust Carlisle to make it work but it's not a trade I would have made.

Zach Lowe over at Grantland (who is doing some of the best basketball analysis (not-stats-heavy division) out there, to my mind) seems to agree with respect to the offense:

The Mavs offense lives on ball movement and spacing; Monta Ellis has thrived as the lead ball handler, but he's also a killer passer, and the Mavs are at their best when they're pinging the ball to shooters dotting the perimeter. Rondo is a non-shooter, and as a result, he has almost always had the ball in Boston.

The Mavs were quietly comfortable parting with Shawn Marion in the offseason because they were sick of watching the Matrix's man clog the paint while he lurked in no-man's-land along the baseline. That's exactly where Rondo likes to hide when he doesn't have the ball. And when he's had it, at least in Boston, he has liked to dribble it around one screen, then another, then under the hoop and around the other end. That would not jibe well with the Mavs' sharing.

He also seems to agree with respect to the defense, for that matter.

posted by holden at 12:38 PM on December 19

Wage Lawsuit by Bills Cheerleaders Details Appalling Treatment

A little unfair to impugn the current owner, seeing as how the lawsuit was filed several months before he bought the team, and it sounds like the squad was disbanded before he took over.

posted by holden at 01:36 AM on December 12

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

According to Jeff Sagarin's rating system, OSU had the 52nd-toughest schedule, while Baylor's was 56th and TCU's was 42nd. Bama came by their ranking honestly, with the 4th toughest schedule overall (teams in the SEC West had the 6 toughest schedules according to these rankings).

posted by holden at 11:31 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

TCU is in North Texas, but it ends right before Waco. So this outraged North and Central Texas.

Funny -- I almost looked it up when I posted this to make sure I was geo-characterizing the applicable parts of Texas correctly, but thought to myself "No one is going to call you on that." Forgot that we have an unrepentant North Texan as overlord.

posted by holden at 12:09 PM on December 08

Tide-Buckeyes, Ducks-Noles

I would be inclined to say that the Big XII not having a title game hurt them, but Baylor had a competitive game against a ranked opponent, so it's not like they did not have a chance to make their case on the last weekend of the season. Considering the Big XII generally has been stronger than the Big Ten this year, I would have given the nod to one of the two Big XII teams, but OSU dominated in a conference title game, so it's not entirely indefensible. Either way, I doubt anyone is Madison is getting a fruit basket from anyone in NorthTexas this holiday season.

posted by holden at 04:08 PM on December 07

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Nails were driven in the Giants' (collective) coffin weeks ago. Question is whether this is the final nail in the Coughlin coffin.

posted by holden at 08:46 PM on November 30

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

There is some text missing in the Scott Stevens lineage above, namely that he left the Caps for St. Louis as a free agent in 1990, which should have been noted in the second bullet.

posted by holden at 06:28 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Here's one that I got just dicking around with Wikipedia for the Washington Caps (started by looking at Shanahan and the Devils, as he was involved in some notable transactions, but ended up with Scott Stevens as an earlier entry point):

Washington Capitals: 1982 (Scott Stevens) to 2014 (Michael Latta)

Transaction History:

  • Caps selected Scott Stevens 5th in 1982 draft --->
  • for whom they received draft-pick compensation from St. Louis due to his restricted FA status, one of which (Sergei Gonchar was one of the others) they used on Brendan Witt --->
  • who was traded in 2006 to Nashville for Kris Beech and a 2006 first-round pick, which they used on Semyon Varlamov --->
  • who was traded in 2011 to the Avs for, among other picks, a 2012 first-round pick, which they used on Filip Forsberg --->
  • who they traded to the Predators in 2013 for Michael Latta (has played in 14 games for the Caps this year) and Martin Erat (who they subsequently traded to the Coyotes for Chris Brown, who has played 5 games for the Caps this year, plus Rotislav Klesla (currently playing in the Czech League) plus a 2015 fourth-round pick)

You can get some better ones in the NHL than MLB I think because of the trading of draft picks. Sure there are longer ones than this.

posted by holden at 04:25 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

MLB Roster Lineage -- surprised grum did not get to this first.

posted by holden at 02:59 PM on November 20

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Do you have Air Force 1 in leopard print? Thanks.

posted by holden at 12:38 PM on November 17

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

NoMich -- did you see the image in yerfatma's post under the text that links to the wiki page? It's a photo of a page of what I assume is Tendulkar's autobiography.

posted by holden at 08:55 AM on November 08

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Five or six inches? That's it?

Young Tendulkar's got nothing on the Chinese.

posted by holden at 09:50 AM on November 07

Giants Win World Series

Great performance by Bumgarner, but agree with the bunting thing in the 5th. It's not that you necessarily play for the big inning, it's that you make Bumgarner work for it.

posted by holden at 03:58 PM on October 30

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

As relates to baseball on TV, I was traveling last week and in Philadelphia, and my hotel did not have Fox Sports 1 as an in-room channel (although they did end up having it in the hotel bar), meaning I could not watch the Cardinals-Giants games (4 and 5) in my room -- maybe a good thing, seeing as how I could not then damage the hotel room after Matheny's mismanagement in Game 5. Maybe the idea here is that making Fox Sports 1 more "indispensable" means it gets picked up more -- from an anecdotal perspective, it seems to me that more domestic hotels now have NBC Sports Network than did 2 years ago, so maybe once the market gets big enough or public clamor reaches a fever pitch, these networks will become more ubiquitous in terms of being included in basic cable packages and picked up by hotels and the like -- but overall seems pretty non-user-friendly to park these games on Fox Sports 1 to grow that channel's brand and prestige at the expense of viewership numbers instead of having it over on Fox where it can be viewed by basically anyone with a TV (over-the-air or cable/satellite). If I was MLB, I would be kind of pissed off. (With respect to advertisers, hope their ad buys factored in the network's coverage and likely viewership numbers.)

posted by holden at 05:05 PM on October 20

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Mattingly carried 12 pitchers for a short series in which he likely knew he would only go with three starters. If you're not going to use Puig as a starter, surely he has to get an at bat. Might have been helpful to have a few more position players on the bench, even if just to use as pinch runners. Hell, seems like the Royals have multiple guys who serve no purpose but to come in as pinch runners and steal bases.

posted by holden at 10:52 PM on October 07

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Yes, that Maddux piece was excellent.

Makes me not want to want crack wise about the last thing you see with Maddux is the inside of your scrotum as he sews your detached eyeballs into it.

posted by holden at 03:34 PM on October 03

Why no one wants to host the 2022 Olympics

Some part of me still believes we're not far from a time when the IOC and FIFA get torn apart and rebuilt, but then I remember money talks. It's going to require multiple, major Western nations to skip an event or two though and I'm not sure there's enough of a common bond to make it happen for any one country, let alone many.

I keep thinking these institutions (particularly FIFA) only go away or get reformed if the sponsors start pulling out. Of course, if Nike (or Coke) says "we're out," then I'm sure Adidas (or Pepsi) would simply replace them. But considering the increasing focus on corporate social responsibility, anti-bribery/anti-corruption, etc., seems even if the companies themselves were not motivated to cease doing business with, or push for reform of, FIFA, IOC, etc., then pressure at some point might be brought to bear by their shareholders or regulators.

Here in Chicago, the hometown Olympic bid committee (and autocratic -- surprise! -- Mayor Daley) was bummed to have lost to Rio for the 2016 summer games, but I think folks now realize that the city (which is not in exactly great fiscal shape, in case you didn't know) really dodged a bullet with that one. I'm sure whatever money we could have made renting out our house out for those weeks (we live within walking distance of/easy public transport to a couple of the proposed venues) -- because we surely would have looked to get out of dodge -- would be lost through the increased taxes to pay for the cost of the games.

posted by holden at 12:18 PM on October 03

Watch the Senators beat the Giants in the 1924 World Series.

Great stuff. Interesting thing I noticed -- after Walter Johnson induces a pop up to the third baseman (around 2:40 mark of the video), the third baseman, after catching the ball, takes off his glove and starts working the ball with his hands (presumably before returning it to Johnson). Kind of similar to what you see with cricketers in polishing the ball, although obviously this is not done in baseball any longer by fielders (and not sure if it was done frequently back then) -- though pitchers obviously themselves engage in some of the same action with the ball on and around the mound.

posted by holden at 04:25 PM on October 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

A couple of years back, Lance Moore of the Saints was penalized for doing a soccer-style slide after catching a touchdown in a London game at Wembley. I thought it was a clever nod to his surroundings, but seems the officials did not want to make allowance for the setting.

posted by holden at 12:10 PM on September 30

CFL Pick 'Em, Week 13

Howard -- please don't undo the image I have of you on a nuclear sub under the polar ice cap for the past 30 years, getting periodic updates on Boston sports glories and devastations through Morse code. I know that throws the parentage of your PSU-alum son into doubt, but please allow me the latitude to construct my own little fantasies of those I know only through the other side of a computer, without being encumbered by the facts.

As for owlhouse, I am sure he is in the jungles of Cambodia training rebels as we speak, hoping to snatch some time away for a rickshaw ride to the nearest village with an internet cafe so he can post gifs of Australian cricketers taking one in the nuts for our viewing pleasure.

posted by holden at 06:12 PM on September 18