Hard to imagine how it could be 5 times worse ...
Punching a woman in the face while not talking to the press.
posted by grum@work at 11:45 AM on February 26
More rumours about athletes getting in trouble, Josh Hamilton has flown to NY to have a disciplinary hearing with MLB.
The top speculative reason is that he used cocaine a few months back, voluntarily admitted it to MLB, and is expecting to be punished for it (as he's a multiple-time offender when he was in the minors). However, because he voluntarily came forward, the belief is that he'll be treated as a first-time offender by MLB (minimal suspension, if any). It does seem that MLB can bring down an 80-game suspension on him, or even longer (as there was speculation that he was under some previous special agreement with MLB because of his earlier drug history, and there might not be any wiggle room).
In summary, Hamilton probably did cocaine, admitted it, and will either get a small suspension or miss most of the season.
(All we do know is that it definitely isn't PEDs.)
posted by grum@work at 09:16 PM on February 25
Hard to imagine how it could be 5 times worse that the Ray Rice hit without someone ending up in a full length file drawer at the morgue.
Punching 5 women in a row?
Punching a small girl in the face?
posted by grum@work at 09:09 PM on February 25
I think people need to give it some time still.
If you watch the game being played now compared to the 80s (which was incredibly high scoring), you'll see that the individual skill on display now is greater (on average) than back then. And it's greater than it was in the 90s, and probably greater still than the 00s.
You see plays now that were considered "amazing" back then (reverse passes when going behind the net, or between-the-leg passes/shots), becoming commonplace.
The age of Youtube is going to bring out even more creativity from young players.
I mean, watch these kids play!
posted by grum@work at 09:36 PM on February 23
Love to know where they think the State of RI is going to come up with money to build a new stadium for them.
Whatever they do, they shouldn't ask a certain Red Sox alumni to be the pitch man for some public Rhode Island funds...
posted by grum@work at 01:18 PM on February 23
"[Pawsox owner] Ben [Mondor] was a giant among men who saved baseball for the State of Rhode Island," Red Sox president/CEO Larry Lucchino 2010
Obviously their love of Ben Franklin overrides their love of Ben Mondor.
posted by grum@work at 12:24 PM on February 23
From zero teams to three teams in the blink of an eye?
posted by grum@work at 10:51 AM on February 20
How much of a degenerate gambler do you have to be to bet on a friendly match between Belarussian squads?
posted by grum@work at 11:32 AM on February 19
Cartoonist's take on the EPL's new five billion pound TV deal.
posted by grum@work at 11:30 AM on February 19
Yup, they fired a ref right after the game to cover up a scandal that didn't yet exist.
Technically, the inklings of a scandal were already there before the game (since I think it was Baltimore that complained about it before, and that's why the league was looking into it during the AFC championship game).
posted by grum@work at 08:46 PM on February 18
Didn't you think he was lying?
My initial thought was "Germany is outshooting Brazil 5 to 1?!", but then his buddy yelled back "GTFO!" and the first guy said "No, seriously. It's 5 to 1 for Germany!", and so I realized it was the score.
posted by grum@work at 09:33 AM on February 18
I tried to do something similar with the Brazil/Germany World Cup game (so I could watch it after work), but on my drive home I had to get gas and I overheard one guy yell the half-time score to another. Granted, that's not the official final score, but you can be pretty damn sure you knew who won that game at that point...
posted by grum@work at 08:44 AM on February 18
Cross your fingers Julio Franco lights it up in Japan!
Regardless of your age, I hope EVERYONE does this. The world of sports is a better place with guys like Julio Franco still wanting to keep playing the game he loves.
posted by grum@work at 10:30 AM on February 17
With Jason Giambi's announced retirement, there are now ZERO players in any of the four major sports (NHL/MLB/NBA/NFL) that are older than me.
Hand me my cane.
posted by grum@work at 09:00 AM on February 17
The problem is even more evident up here in Canada with regards to hockey.
The sport is probably the most expensive one in North America to participate in as a child (equipment costs and ice rentals), so there is almost zero chance poor kids will even get into the game. Then, when you throw in traveling all-star teams and the cost required there, it even eliminates even the lower end of the "middle" class kids.
I know of a former co-worker who was secretly happy that both his sons were only "average" at hockey, because he really didn't want to have to tell them that they couldn't participate in the traveling team leagues because of the prohibitive costs.
And in Canada, if you aren't in the upper echelon of your age group before you get to peewee (13 years old), then you definitely won't land on a competitive midget team, and if you aren't on a competitive midget team (where you'll get scouted), then you definitely won't be drafted by a junior league team (major, A, B, or C).
posted by grum@work at 01:28 AM on February 15
Bleak few days for great NCAA basketball coaches as Jerry Tarkanian passes away too.
Bobby Knight has reportedly gone into hiding with medical team, a priest, and the collected works of Monty Python, until this all blows over.
posted by grum@work at 01:10 PM on February 11
When he started his professional baseball career, actor James Franco wasn't born yet.
posted by grum@work at 04:33 PM on February 10
In one of those "who would have guessed", two titans of baseball longevity, Julio Franco & Nolan Ryan, never faced each other in a real MLB game.
posted by grum@work at 06:37 PM on February 09
Julio Franco played with Mike Hargrove. Hargrove retired, became a manager, and then retired as a manager, and Franco was still playing in the majors.
posted by grum@work at 06:35 PM on February 09
From Baseball Think Factory:
Julio Franco's debut as a pro baseball player is closer to Pearl Harbor than it is today.
posted by grum@work at 03:45 PM on February 09
Of all the info I've learned about Coach Smith, for some reason I like that he is getting credit for the "point at the passer" thing after a basket. That acknowledgement of your teammate assisting you is a real good "team" thing, and reflects on Smith's coaching strategy.
posted by grum@work at 08:45 AM on February 09
There are dividing lines in time of hockey viewership that are defined by who you believe the greatest player of all time is:
Cyclone Taylor, Joe Malone, Howie Morenz, Maurice Richard, Gordie Howe, Bobby Orr, Wayne Gretzky
Most hockey people understand that Wayne Gretzky's dominance is what defines him as the greatest of all time, but everyone also understands there is a reason only one player has ever been known as "Mr. Hockey".
Keith Olbermann has run a bunch of updates/tributes to him over the past couple of months.
The account of his health taking a bad turn.
Howe getting better and photos with fans.
Just a couple of days ago.
posted by grum@work at 03:16 PM on February 08
Fans are collectively, "the 12th man" or "the twelve," and individually they are "a twelve" or "twelves." I want no part of that silly shit.
In the CFL, the Saskatchewan Rough Riders' fans call themselves the "13th man" (as there are 12 men on the field for each team in the CFL). This phrase came back to haunt them quite horribly a few years ago.
posted by grum@work at 01:32 PM on February 05
If you have a 5.1 or more sound system, you can probably simulate the "no announcers" feel by unplugging the center speaker. That's usually where the announcer voices come from in the audio mix.
I had a buggy connection for my center speaker a while ago, and when I was watching a hockey game, it dropped out after a commercial break. I then heard all the sounds of the skates, ice, sticks, body checks, the crowd...but no announcers. It was great.
I wasn't in a hurry to fix that problem until we needed to watch something other than sports.
posted by grum@work at 03:36 PM on February 04
I would say that Manning is the better quarterback (skills), but Brady is the most successful (results).
I leave it to your imagination to determine how things would have turned out if Manning had Belichick as a coach, or Brady didn't.
posted by grum@work at 11:31 AM on February 04
The only sport I really enjoy the play-by-play in is Hockey.
And Vin Scully doing baseball, all by himself.
posted by grum@work at 11:28 AM on February 04
This discussion reminds me of one of my favourite videos.
posted by grum@work at 01:01 PM on February 03
Well, he lost two, so Montana's still better
This is the basis of the argument for Montana. Never failed to win the big game, was never outplayed in the big game.
This is the basis of the argument for Montana. Never failed to win the big game, was never outplayed in the big game.
Actually, Montana lost 7 big games.
Every game in the playoffs, from the wild card to the Super Bowl, is by default "the big game". It is the last game of the season for you if you lose. It stops being "the big game" after you've won, because there is another "big game" to be played, until there aren't any more games to be played. You can't win that last "big game" unless you win the previous "big game".
Based on that logic used for Montana (never failed to win the big game), if QB loses in the first round of the playoffs 9 out of 10 years, but wins one Super Bowl, he would be considered "better" than Jim Kelly.
That's plain old nuts.
posted by grum@work at 12:16 PM on February 03
Nutbar conspiracy theory time - the "play" was about making Russell Wilson, the more brandable guy, a hero.
The reason that theory falls apart is that if they really wanted Wilson to be the hero, they simply run an option-sweep play, giving Wilson the opportunity to pass it (small hero) or keep it and run it in (big hero). His scrambling ability was on display throughout the game, so it's not like they would be asking for something unusual (like making Peyton Manning do it).
posted by grum@work at 09:29 AM on February 03
This should be called the Levy Principle.
posted by grum@work at 01:17 PM on February 02
"Browns QB Johnny Manziel has entered treatment Wednesday . . . "
posted by grum@work at 11:12 AM on February 02
Any time the NFL tells me that concussions are down, I just have to remind myself that it's reported concussions.
Edelman seemed to be concussed after a helmet-to-helmet hit, when he put his forearm down (and his knee, on review) and then stumbled down the field.(I say "stumbled" because of two noticeable jerky head motions he makes when he's running. That looks like someone trying to compensate for his bell being rung.) Then, he was tackled on another play, and seemed to have a hard time getting up again (which the announcer said was because of his hip). Finally, he tried to catch a ball over his head by leaping backward, and he landed in such a way that his head bounced off the turf.
According to this article, at no point was Edelman ever taken off the field, or examined by a doctor in the "quiet room", despite independent medical doctors on the sideline requesting that he be examined.
posted by grum@work at 11:09 AM on February 02
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.
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.
Remember the 100-yd interception/touchdown by Pittsburgh at the end of the 1st half against Arizona? Remember the great catch by Holmes for the winning touchdown in the back of the endzone (with the two-tippy-toe-touch to stay in bounds)?
Now, do you remember which quarterback had the better game (statistically)?
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.
Of course, NE had a 79% win probability with less than 2 minutes in the game, and Seattle had a 88% win probability with a minute left in the game (and the score hadn't changed in between). That's a 67% change while Brady just looked at the jumbotron. That's how ridiculous that final drive is, and overshadows everything else in the game.
posted by grum@work at 10:13 AM on February 02
Oh, and in case anyone was wondering why Jeremy Lane didn't come back into the game yesterday after that interception:
posted by grum@work at 08:00 AM on February 02
I think that's what bothers me about this Super Bowl.
If Seattle doesn't score on that final drive because they rushed Lynch twice (thrice) and couldn't get in, or Wilson's attempt to loft one into the endzone goes incomplete after a couple of rush attempts, or even if Kearse doesn't make the circus catch and the Seattle drive dies quietly out near mid-field, I think this Super Bowl would have been labeled as one of the greats, and Brady would have had a crowning moment.
Instead, "the play call" happens, and the rest of the game is completely overshadowed, and Brady's victory is tainted with a "well, yeah but...".
posted by grum@work at 07:56 AM on February 02
Tweets from Harvard Sports:
The Pats allowed opponents to score 81% of the time in power situations (runs on 3rd/4th & <2, or w/i 2 yds of goalline). Dead last in NFL.
SEA was second in the league in power situations, getting stuffed just 17% of the time. Lynch converted 17 of 20 3rd/4ths & short this year.
In summary, Tom Brady won this Super Bowl by sitting on the sidelines and watching Pete Carroll (and his OC) make probably the biggest single boneheaded coaching decision in sports over the last 50 years. The only ones I can think of that might be close are Grady Little not pulling Pedro Martinez in 2003, and John McNamara leaving Bill Buckner at 1st base in game 6 of the 1986 World Series.
Huh. Boston seems to play a prominent role in these stories.
I know it's from the what-if department, but it's stunning to consider that a total of maybe 4-5 inches of combined difference in the location of only two passes- one the improbable, heartbreaking "helmet catch" in 2007, and one the in-and-out of his hands incompletion to Wes Welker in 2011- and we would be talking about 6-time winner Tom Brady, owner of the only 19-0 season in history.
Of course, we could just as well be talking about 6-time Super Bowl loser Tom Brady, as today was the biggest Super Bowl margin of victory in his career (4 points).
For his 3 other wins, the margin of victory has been:
2005 - Vinatieri field goal with 0:04 left in the fourth quarter
2004 - Vinatieri field goal with 0:00 left in the fourth quarter
2002 - Vinatieri field goal with 8:40 left in the 4th quarter
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...
posted by grum@work at 07:44 AM on February 02
My wife (who was in another room) asked what happened.
My description was:
"Seattle just shit their pants, pulled the pants over their head, and then fell off a cliff with the shitty pants on their head."
"You could just say they choked...."
posted by grum@work at 10:09 PM on February 01
Wow. Seattle chokes hard core.
posted by grum@work at 10:01 PM on February 01
That was an entertaining half time show.
It had some songs I liked, it had some very striking visuals, it had a surprise (for me, as I didn't know that Missy Elliot was taking part), and it had dancing palm trees and sharks.
Can't ask for much more than that...
posted by grum@work at 08:28 PM on February 01
Actually, that sounds like a pretty exciting game. At no point is any team more than 7 points ahead at the beginning/end of a quarter.
posted by grum@work at 02:10 PM on February 01
Seattle by 3
Most passing yards: Brady
Most rushing yards: Lynch
Most receiving yards: Gronkowski
First touchdown: Lynch
Player with a sack: Avril
Player with an interception: Sherman
Total score: 43
First quarter: 10
Second quarter: 30
Third quarter: 37
posted by grum@work at 01:48 AM on January 31
Ouch. I flinched when I saw the wound.
posted by grum@work at 01:25 PM on January 29
Well, it's still weird to me and none of your fancy pants ivy league facts and stats won't change that.
He was in my comparison list (because I like doing things in threes like that) and I pulled him when I realized that fact.
(Leetch also would have been in there, but he played 1/3 of a season in Toronto before playing his last season in Boston. I completely forgot about his time in Toronto.)
posted by grum@work at 10:56 AM on January 28
Orr played two seasons as a 'Hawk.
posted by grum@work at 10:11 AM on January 28
I think the spot for #1 in terms of overall career is between Roy and Brodeur.
I think the spot for #1 in terms of raw skill is between Hasek and Sawchuck.
I think the spot for #1 in terms of bravery is between Plante, Sawchuk, and Hall.
I think the spot for #1 in terms of class is between Plante and Dryden.
To pick between Roy and Brodeur, you have to decide if Roy's performance for the Canadiens/Avalanche is more impressive because they weren't known as "defense first" teams, or if Brodeur's performance for the Devils is the reason they seemed to be "defense first".
It's a shame that Brodeur's career ends the same way as other NHL HOFers like Salming and Modano, clinging to one more season of play wearing an unfamiliar jersey.
posted by grum@work at 12:04 AM on January 28
Dale Jr. sez: yer snowblower oal may be OK for the time being, but check them belts and shear bolts.
In the first week of December in 2010, London Ontario had 2 meters (79in) fall in 3 days. While plowing the driveway for the first of 5 times in that period, my plow hit SOMETHING under the snow (a kid's toy? a kid?) and broke a shear bolt. It took me 50 minutes (without gloves) to clear off the snow from the blade, push out the remnant of the bolt from the hole, and then try to push the new bolt through the quickly-icing-over hole.
Since then, any time I use the snowblower I am beyond fearful of having that happen again.
posted by grum@work at 03:15 PM on January 27
Yay! A stupid solution for a non-problem!
I can't believe they'd want to legislate against defensive innovation.
Nobody had a problem when they did the "Williams shift".
Nobody had a problem when they bring in an outfielder to play infield with a tie game in the bottom of the 9th.
posted by grum@work at 01:40 PM on January 27
Yeah, it's a commercial for GoPro, but my GOODNESS there is some serious skill on display.
posted by grum@work at 04:32 PM on January 23
For the 13-year-old me, Tom Brady does nothing but talk about his balls.
posted by grum@work at 03:10 PM on January 23
It won't stop until the parties involved come clean.
The problem with this (as is the case most of the time) is that if they have "come clean", no one will know the difference between that and "covering up/lying". If someone says "I had nothing to do with it!", how do you prove you had nothing to do with it, unless someone else comes forward and says "I did it"?
posted by grum@work at 12:35 PM on January 23
The only problem I have with hincandenza's essay is one number: 11.
Why did only 11 (of the 12) balls "naturally deflate"?
Shouldn't all 12 of them be "deflated", if it was a natural occurrence?
posted by grum@work at 01:56 AM on January 23
Sure, but it should be speeding ticket punishment, not murder punishment.
What if someone was caught drunk driving, was punished, and then later on were caught sitting in their car with the keys in the ignition, with 6 empty beers beside them?
Sure, they didn't actually do anything that caused a problem (like the deflated balls probably had no affect on the outcome of the game as they were only used during the first half, and the Patriots trounced the Colts harder in the second half), but it should does look like they were caught TRYING to do something, and that should be severely punished.
posted by grum@work at 11:04 AM on January 22
The Christian Science Monitor actually ran this headline yesterday: "Will Patriots be banned from the Super Bowl?"
You know the rule about headlines. If it asks a crazy question, the answer is always "no".
posted by grum@work at 11:01 AM on January 22
If it happened, which seems likely but I'm not sure yet, it is somebody sticking a needle in a ball for 3 seconds because that's how how Brady likes them
You can hand wave any rule breaking like that, if you are so inclined.
"The players used only half an ounce of stick-um on their gloves, and no one would have noticed it was there if they hadn't shook hands after the game."
"The team is only over the cap by $150,000, which is just over 1/10th of 1% of the salary cap. That's barely even noticeable, except for some number geeks."
and no one has ever once given a fuck about ball pressure
Obviously someone once gave a fuck about ball pressure because there was a rule about it.
posted by grum@work at 10:57 AM on January 22
So the balls aren't deflated enough for a normal person to tell the difference but enough to warrant talking about losing draft picks or suspending a coach for a Super Bowl?
Like I said, it's not the balls, it's the conspiracy (and seeming recidivism) that should be harshly punished.
posted by grum@work at 10:27 AM on January 22
I am amused at the juxtaposed view of Bill Bellichek being a Keyser Soze-esque genius mastermind who is so much smarter than everyone else in the NFL and who must be constantly getting away with things, but also the same schmuck who's gotten caught cheating twice as much as virtually everyone else in the NFL. How patently absurd.
You can be a brilliant cheat, but still get caught because of the number of times you've tried to cheat is simply too many to avoid detection...
I'm not saying the crime (soft balls) is what should draw the big penalty. Since that can happen accidentally, and the penalty is to make sure that teams don't let it happen accidentally, that's okay by me.
The big penalty is the for the possible conspiracy to deliberately tamper with the balls, and for the fact that they'd already gotten caught once before in a conspiracy.
Obviously, if they can't prove that they were deliberately tampered with (and given the NFL's incredibly weak investigative skills during the Ray Rice incident, I wouldn't be surprised if they find nothing) then I don't think some draconian punishment should be invoked.
But if they find someone willing to squeal and say that he was told to do that by Keyser Belichick, then drop the Super Bowl ban hammer on him (or other extreme punishment).
posted by grum@work at 10:21 AM on January 22
Only if there are rules that stipulate it. Lacking that, the punishment should fit the specific violation.
I'm sure the commish can invoke the "best interests of the game" rule and throw down whatever punishment he wants. In fact, that's what he did with SpyGate, so why couldn't he do it again with P.S.I.Gate?
posted by grum@work at 09:33 AM on January 22
Taking away a single high draft pick would be a significant penalty.
But that was the penalty for getting caught cheating the FIRST time they did it.
Shouldn't repeat offenders be punished more harshly?
SpyGate was eight years ago.
It's the same people in the same positions.
If a person commits fraud once, and gets punished for it, I assume that if they get caught committing fraud eight years later that the judge isn't going to say "Well, it's eight years since the last one so I'm going to give you the same penalty as last time."
The Patriots haven't been caught cheating since then. Either they didn't cut as many corners or they got better at cheating.
"I swear these are the only two times we've ever broken the rules. It's purely coincidental that you've also caught us the only two times we cheated. I guarantee that we've never attempted to circumvent the rules in ANY other case."
posted by grum@work at 09:01 AM on January 22
Jesus, grum, why not just kill them by firing squad and be done with it?
Well, the first punishment for cheating doesn't seem to have made a difference, the only option is to provide a strong deterrent. It also sends a message to the rest of the league that they better toe the line with regards to the rules in play.
As for losing all their draft picks in a draft, it's happened before in other sports and hasn't killed a franchise.
posted by grum@work at 11:24 PM on January 21
Don't you think suspending Belichick would have a much greater impact on the Super Bowl than 11 underinflated balls had on the AFC Championship Game?
Assuming he finds evidence of cheating, I think Goodell should take a draft pick from the Patriots and hit them with a big fine as soon as possible.
Isn't the point of the punishment that it is supposed to deter anyone from doing it again?
When the Patriots were caught during Spygate the punishment was:
$500,000 fine to Belichick (the maximum allowed)
$250,000 fine to the Patriots and the loss of a 1st round draft pick
Just repeating that would imply that the Patriots didn't learn any lessons from Spygate.
I think suspending Belichick for the Super Bowl would be a pretty strong statement.
If you just want to punish the team and not the coach, take away ALL of the Patriots draft picks for the upcoming draft (unless the pick has already been traded away), and make them draft dead last in every round for the next three drafts after that.
posted by grum@work at 09:47 PM on January 21
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