Recent Comments by LionIndex

National Review Takes on NFL Relocation Shakedowns

So you are one of the lucky few who has been to beautiful Goldfield, Nevada (pop. 268)

Aw, darn, I turned off at Lida Junction to head over to Mammoth. Even that much of the drive from Vegas, and then on to US 395, was pretty mindblowing, in large part because of how empty it was. I might have seen 10 other cars between Beatty and Big Pine. So I just saw the BFE part.

While San Diego has tried to upgrade its stadium over the years, nothing had been done for 20 years or so, and at least they hadn't gone and built an entirely new one. The Charger's old home has been around for 50 years now.

posted by LionIndex at 07:53 PM on April 05

NFL team owners approve Raiders' move to Vegas

But you repeat yourself.

posted by LionIndex at 09:48 PM on March 27

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

How in the world would Illinois grab Bennett when Wisconsin couldn't? I mean, aside from a giant pile of cash. Are there hot take artists even throwing that out as a possibility?

posted by LionIndex at 02:35 PM on March 16

Surprising almost no one, the Chargers decide to move to LA.

This article almost perfectly encapsulates how I, and possibly quite a few other San Diegans, feel about the Chargers ownership. Every sentence feels ridiculously true.

posted by LionIndex at 11:09 AM on January 13

Surprising almost no one, the Chargers decide to move to LA.

Chargers fans could tell themselves their team is still close and might flop in L.A. and come back.

I think that's the most likely scenario for San Diego to ever have an NFL team again, however unlikely it may actually be, but I think the Spanos family would have to sell the team first. I can't see the NFL expanding again unless they can add 4 teams, which would dilute the talent level a lot. (You add 4 teams to get a total of 36, realign to have 6 teams in 3 divisions in each conference; playoff format remains basically the same but with 3 wild cards instead of 2)

It might be changing, but one hallmark of sports fandom in San Diego is that the city has been largely made up of transplants who bring along their own sports allegiances for a long time - people come out for military stuff and stick around afterwards or whatever. They may follow the Chargers or Padres on radio or TV but never fully transition their allegiance to the degree that they plunk down for season tickets, and with the track record of those teams, who can really blame them? Fans of visiting teams have always been a sizeable presence at any San Diego sporting event.

posted by LionIndex at 01:42 PM on January 12

Surprising almost no one, the Chargers decide to move to LA.

That'll depend pretty heavily on how much of the fan base feels alienated now, and whether that feeling sticks. I don't know that the Chargers are going to have any more success in creating a fan base in LA than the Rams have, even though the Rams had a remnant of one from when they were there previously (the Chargers' previous tenure in LA was too brief and long ago to have any impact now). Alienating fans has seemed to me like it's been the Spanos family's primary goal for over a decade now, so maybe they've already hit rock bottom, but I feel like a lot of the reasons for their desire to move to LA in the first place are just fantasies that have very little chance of actually happening. They've traded a market of 3 million where there's only one other major team in town for one that splits fan attention between 12 or so franchises and major college teams, many of which play during the football season. They've basically sacrificed a home game every year whenever the Raiders come to town. I have a really hard time seeing any benefit to the move, aside from that they're now in LA and can therefore sell the team for more money.

posted by LionIndex at 12:20 PM on January 12

It's the end of the World Cup as we know it

I'm guessing penalty kicks.

posted by LionIndex at 08:39 PM on January 10

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I was actually a bit surprised that he actually missed a game at all, since there were ten days between the tripping incident and the next game and I'm beyond cynical about K's self-righteous bullshit.

posted by LionIndex at 07:42 PM on January 06

Haslams apologize for 'disappointing year'

Still better owners than Spanos.

posted by LionIndex at 09:30 AM on January 06

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I don't know if you can really call it a "play" but, "The Rain Delay" should probably be on a list of sports events somewhere because of its possible impact.

posted by LionIndex at 07:58 PM on January 01

Tampa Bay Rowdies Launch Campaign to Enter MLS

They also officially changed their name to North Carolina FC, which is kind of difficult to say

What if I pronounce it "cackalackyfuck"?

posted by LionIndex at 03:00 PM on December 07

Strong Out, Herman In (probably)

The score is too high for basketball even. /Virginia fan

posted by LionIndex at 05:07 PM on November 26

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Doubtful. The whole thing with moving to LA was to "protect their market", since the owners said 25% of their ticket sales go to people in LA and they didn't want to lose that and any potential market growth to a new team coming in. It was all about money, and they're not going to make more money in Mexico than they do in San Diego.

posted by LionIndex at 08:17 AM on November 10

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

In a rare bout of sanity, voters in San Diego rejected the tax which would've paid for the Charger's new stadium.

If the Spanos family hadn't spent the last 15 years vigorously fucking San Diego in the ear, the election might have gone their way. One year of making nice doesn't make up for all that. I don't know if they'll even go to LA now - what for? To be the 2nd banana team in a town that's never cared about you? That's a Donald Sterling move.

posted by LionIndex at 09:49 PM on November 09

NCAA pulls championship events from North Carolina over HB2

For the next two years anyway.

posted by LionIndex at 07:37 AM on September 13

NCAA pulls championship events from North Carolina over HB2

Isn't the ACC tournament moving to Brooklyn or something regardless?

posted by LionIndex at 07:35 AM on September 13

Teddy Bridgewater Tears ACL, Will Miss Season

Sure, but Belichick usually has a team without too many gaping holes and scads of draft picks, so he can take a flyer on a 3rd or 4th round QB once in a while.

posted by LionIndex at 11:04 AM on August 31

Tim Tebow Wants to Play Baseball

MLB teams were willing to draft Tom Brady, Colin Kaepernick, Russell Wilson, Daunte Culpepper, John Elway, and Dan Marino...but not Tim Tebow.

... and Johnny Manziel

posted by LionIndex at 05:16 PM on August 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

On the one hand, I wish the Padres would keep good players around and try to build a decent team with them instead of trading them away. On the other, they bought pretty low on Kemp and Melvin Upton and seemingly got pretty good value in their trades with them when they turned out not to be has-beens, and the Padres seem to be able to crank out decent pitching like it's nothing. On the gripping hand, I wish they didn't trade our own valuable prospects for has-beens in the first place, but that may just be their fate.

posted by LionIndex at 12:20 AM on August 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Are the all-star teams going to be forced to wear old skool Padres uniforms, or was that just a home run derby thing? I got more joy out of that than I should have.

posted by LionIndex at 12:34 PM on July 12

The Ringer

I'm happy to see a few familiar names from Grantland in there. Hopefully they get Mark Titus back once college basketball starts up again.

posted by LionIndex at 08:31 PM on June 02

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

I'm a native San Diegan, and I'm really proud that they were able to pull something like PetCo off. San Diego is normally not an innovator for aesthetics, but during the high water mark for retro-styled ballparks, they went and built an actual modernist one. I don't think it's the best one out there, but it's way better than playing at Qualcomm.

posted by LionIndex at 10:50 AM on May 08

Opening Day for the Greatest Numerical Sport

For major league baseball, you're looking at Yankee Stadium, Citi Field (or whatever, the Mets play there), or Fenway (Red Sox). I myself have only been to Yankee Stadium pre-remodel, so I can't compare with the others, but Fenway has a reputation. It's slightly further from New Haven than the New York stadiums would be.

posted by LionIndex at 07:08 AM on April 04

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

So, Maryland does count then?

posted by LionIndex at 11:48 AM on March 21

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Oh, no one's going to get that one.

But us Virginia fans are peeing our pants right now.

posted by LionIndex at 05:33 PM on March 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I would have put MSU in as a 1 seed over Oregon, and I'd probably have them as the 3rd 1 seed and Virginia the 4th, but I think Virginia's resume is good enough for a 1 this year. They beat West Virginia and Miami on neutral courts, beat Cal, Villanova, Miami and UNC at home, and dubbed Louisville both times they played in their home-and-home series. They lost the conference season and tournament titles to basically the 2nd highest seed, missing the season title by only one game, while MSU lost the season to a 5 seed. So, they own 9 victories over teams in the tournament field, including at least one team at every seed level 6 and better, and would have 2 more if Louisville was eligible and came in as a 4-6.

posted by LionIndex at 01:40 PM on March 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Ah, I'm a mid-90s grad, so my tournament experience begins with knocking off 1 seed Kansas to make the 8 in 1995.

posted by LionIndex at 11:58 AM on March 14

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Well, to be fair, UVA has historically underperformed as a high seed (your sample size here is really just the last two years) because they keep running into a horribly underseeded MSU team. It's not so egregious this year, but I'd bet the vast majority of people give MSU a better chance at the title this year than Oregon.

posted by LionIndex at 08:24 AM on March 14

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I think they're totally demoralized from the Virginia game.

posted by LionIndex at 08:34 PM on February 05

Steelers Coach Should've Been Flagged for Being on Field

Any reason they wouldn't trade McCarron to another team? If his stock is overinflated, it seems like a good thing to do, maybe pick up athe least a 3rd round draft pick, possibly 2nd if a team is desperate enough.

posted by LionIndex at 05:48 PM on January 11

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I'm an hour or so east of the Cities, and I'm about to take my dog out. It's -4.5 out right now. -12 with wind chill.

posted by LionIndex at 12:53 PM on January 10

Tennis Player Throws Racquet, Hits Ball Boy

so justice is served.

*sad trombone*

posted by LionIndex at 08:39 PM on January 08

North Texas Hires North Carolina OC Seth Littrell as Head Coach

Tangentially related, there's a school in my wife's home town (Thousand Oaks, CA) called California Lutheran University. Their team name is the "Kingsmen" or something similarly bland and innocuous. I've desperately wanted their mascot to be a train, but no luck.

posted by LionIndex at 09:40 PM on December 05

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

The Padres don't have to worry about this at all.

posted by LionIndex at 08:18 PM on December 04

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Las serpientes de espaldas diamantes?

posted by LionIndex at 07:19 PM on December 04

Titans Fire Ken Whisenhunt, Make Mike Mularkey Interim Coach

I'd guess that Whiz will end being another Norv - totally inept at being a head coach, but highly regarded as an offensive coordinator. He'll get another job at the end of the season, if not sooner.

posted by LionIndex at 02:13 PM on November 04

Chargers Will Apply to Move to L.A.

That's the crazy thing, that they're planning on splitting a stadium with the Raiders in an area where I'd guess the Raiders still have a far larger presence than the Chargers have managed to build up during recent years and the Norv era. Yesterday will look like a picnic compared to future "home" games against the Raiders, even if the Raiders don't end up moving into the same stadium.

posted by LionIndex at 01:24 PM on October 26

Chargers Will Apply to Move to L.A.

Local take on the subject.

posted by LionIndex at 10:10 AM on October 25

Chargers Will Apply to Move to L.A.

I've lived in Wisconsin for a little over a year, but I'm a San Diego native (surprisingly rare!) and still have hometown stuff in my Google News feed, so this isn't really surprising at all with how the discussions were going. SD was trying to hammer out a really quick stadium deal and get all the approvals in place, but the Chargers' owners basically announced their potential joint deal with the Raiders in Carson so late that there hasn't been enough time to clear all the legal hurdles, and that's been the main source of contention between the team and the city lately. The city announced that they were going to hammer through an environmental approval and all that stuff, while the Chargers have been saying the whole time "there's no way that'll hold up in court", which is essentially true. Even if a new stadium had the majority of San Diego behind it (and I don't think it does), there would be lawsuits picking apart every possible thing to keep it from being built, just like there were with PetCo Park.

I feel like if the owners weren't such utter, utter douchelords, they could have easily had a stadium built years ago, but they've poisoned the well to such a degree that I don't think a stadium would pass public vote in San Diego without them selling the team. Getting PetCo built and approved was a pain in the ass, and it was right around the time it finished that the Spanoses started saying that they also deserved a new stadium downtown. Around the same time, there was a huge scandal with the Chargers' lease at Qualcomm, where the city bought any unsold tickets, so that for the owners, every game was technically a sellout. However, every game being a "sellout" did nothing for home game blackouts, which happened fairly frequently since the Chargers were awful at the time. Since then, the owners have basically held a gun to the city's head every year demanding a new stadium, but they lack the political good will for any city government to take it seriously, so all that ever happened was special commissions doing studies on building a new stadium, but nothing more. It was actually kind of funny earlier this year when the Chargers announced their Carson deal, and the most milquetoast mayor San Diego's ever had's solution was to appoint another commission to study the issue, rightfully offending the Chargers, and the commission's recommendation was to put a new stadium right where the current one is, which has not ever been what the Chargers wanted.

Anyway, the Packers have a new fan.

posted by LionIndex at 03:58 PM on October 24

New York Mets Back in the World Series

I guess it's the last year of his contract, but the Mets are in a decent market and generally have some cash to spend, compared to a lot of other teams. Why wouldn't they make a concerted effort to keep him?

posted by LionIndex at 11:19 AM on October 22

How close are we to a London Jaguars NFL franchise?

That then burns in a disastrous fire?

posted by LionIndex at 01:12 PM on August 05

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I was hoping my Padres would finally have something that they're exceptionally good at compared to the rest of the league, so I went back and checked where their streak of winning such games stands within baseball history, and unfortunately it turns out they're only ahead of Seattle, Toronto, Tampa, Colorado, Arizona and Miami; and pretty close to tied with Milwaukee, Kansas City, and Washington/Montreal. Stupid Padres.

posted by LionIndex at 01:11 PM on May 19

Bill Simmons Out at ESPN

I have a bunch of non-Simmons things at Grantland that I read pretty regularly, and they're not just other things I click on after I'm done reading a Simmons article. The only Simmons pieces I even look forward to are his weekly NFL articles and picks. Since I don't care at all about NBA basketball, I pretty much have zero interest in anything else he does.

Otherwise, I like reading Bill Barnwell's NFL wrap-ups early in the week, Jonah Keri's baseball articles, recaps or articles about TV by Andy Greenwald, and I religiously follow Mark Titus' columns during college basketball season. I even enjoy some of Steve Hyden's music writing. I don't really do much with movies, but I've enjoyed Wesley Morris' articles when I've read them.

Even though I like Barnwell, when he took over Simmons' NFL picks columns while Simmons was on suspension last year, I did miss Simmons. Barnwell does a really good job with egghead statistical analysis, but I only need one column worth of that stuff a week. Simmons is kind of a self-aware doofus average Joe fan in his columns, which I usually get a kick out of.

posted by LionIndex at 07:33 PM on May 08

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Now, if only they could get Mike Fetters as their pitching coach...

posted by LionIndex at 08:21 PM on May 04

Fan Hit in Head by Foul Ball Through Home-Plate Netting

I've sat in the very front row before, and the usher for our section came down and specifically told us to be careful. The nets are going to have some give no matter what, but they could probably be located a little more towards the field.

posted by LionIndex at 01:20 PM on April 21

Who are the "Franchise Four"?

The Padres are kind of bizarre - Hoffman and Gwynn are obvious, but after that the "franchise-y-ness" and/or talent level drops off considerably. We've got great guys we got rid of for whatever reason (Peavy, Winfield, Gonzalez are on the list; you could also add Joe Carter, Fred McGriff, Roberto Alomar, Kevin McReynolds, etc., etc); guys we got later in their careers while they still had a few good years left (Garvey's on the list; but you could also have Garry Templeton, Craig Nettles, Kevin Brown, Steve Finley, Ken Caminiti, and any number of guys who had about as much influence as Garv); then you've got guys who were "San Diego good", like Jones and Colbert. The Padres have only retired 5 non-Robinson numbers - Garvey, Gwynn, Winfield, Jones and Hoffman; so you other than the two obvious ones you have two guys who played 2/3 of their career elsewhere and gained more fame doing so, or a pitcher with a losing record. Yay.

posted by LionIndex at 02:17 PM on April 11

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I kind of hate it, but since I don't live somewhere covered by the city sites, I don't really care about that aspect. Given the timing of the rollout, I was hoping it was an April Fools joke, but it's still around. The mobile site is completely worthless now. It's almost (well, not really "almost", more like "completely") like they just want you to be confused and click all over the place instead of being able to get to exactly what you want or know immediately that a certain story is not something you're terribly interested in, because they've removed any notion of associativity between items that are grouped together. Right now, the big story on the front page is an updated draft board, with a big picture and the draft stories under the picture on the left. Under the picture on the right are a bunch of headlines that have absolutely nothing to do with anything else in that box - these all used to be conveniently located in the upper right corner. It's just a big mish mash of gobbledygook all over the place and I barely feel like sorting through it all. I think they're trying to get me to click on things I wouldn't normally be interested in looking at, but it's going to have the totally opposite effect just because of the lack of any hierarchy.

posted by LionIndex at 07:38 PM on April 02

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

ACC has a pretty good chance to be 9-0 after today. Virginia and Louisville might have a bit of trouble getting through tomorrow, but the conference is looking really good.

posted by LionIndex at 11:23 PM on March 21

SF 49er rookie Chris Borland retires at age 24 due to worries about his future health from concussions.

First, wow, a lot of retirees this year, and I don't imagine the trend will slow.

Second, wow, 49ers are toast.

posted by LionIndex at 11:40 PM on March 16

Your 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.

Harvard is an incredibly hard team to play against and well coached.

I agree about being well-coached, but I don't think they're as much of a threat this year as last year. They came awful close to not even winning the Ivy League, and does anyone really have any opinions on how good Yale is for comparison? They're also one of three teams UVa held to under 30 - the others are Georgia Tech and Rutgers. Last year, Harvard was a legitimate first round upset pick.

I think you're right though that UNC has an extreme variance between their best and worst selves, so if Harvard catches them at the right time...

posted by LionIndex at 02:05 PM on March 16

Your 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.

Well, Harvard can certainly commiserate.

posted by LionIndex at 06:59 AM on March 16

Your 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.

538 has their interactive bracket up. I enjoy that Duke has the most cupcake-y region, and yet they're picked behind UVa and Arizona to win the Championship.

posted by LionIndex at 12:07 AM on March 16

Your 2015 NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament bracket.

I went to Virginia, so I'll have them going pretty far, depending on how much rust I feel Anderson will be able to shake off in what time frame. I'd kind of like to see a UNI vs. UVa game in the 8, just to make pundit's heads explode. I hope the desire for revenge comes into play to get to the 16, but I'm strangely not worried about Oklahoma or Providence.

Kind of surprised that UCLA and Texas made it in. I feel like Davidson is pretty heavily under-seeded and could cause some trouble, not to mention UNI or Wichita. South region has some teams that are all offense (Duke, Gonzaga, Davidson, Iowa State), but has SDSU to round it out.

I've seen AZ fans complaining about not getting a 1 seed, but they're not even the first 2 seed. I mostly feel like the top 8 slots in the bracket are pretty solidly done.

posted by LionIndex at 08:42 PM on March 15

Chargers, Raiders Pursue Shared Stadium in Los Angeles

Pro teams are so good at these stadium extortion schemes I'll be surprised if L.A. gets any of these teams.

I actually wouldn't be surprised if they got the Chargers, who have been threatening to leave for LA for a looooooooong time (around ten years) and San Diego's done basically nothing about it. At this point, after poisoning the well with their moving threats and their prior lease contract with the city (where all their games were basically sellouts, with the city picking up the tab for any unsold tickets while the team went 1-15) the owners don't really have the backing of the public. San Diego's most recent response was to put together a committee to try to find a site for a new stadium, which in SD terms means they're not doing anything, just punting the issue down the road for the next administration to handle. There's just not any kind of political will for a stadium and SD politicians are too cowardly to really make a move one way or the other, so unless there's a way to get one built with public money without having it go to an election referendum it's not going to happen.

posted by LionIndex at 07:16 PM on February 20

James Shields Signs with San Diego Padres

I don't know that "playoff-caliber" would necessarily be in the cards for the Pads anyway, but I'd think they're starting with "hey let's not be the historically worst hitting team ever" and "hey let's try to actually sell some tickets" first. Given the Padre's recent history with free agent signings, I'm really giving them the side-eye myself and not expecting things to go well, but I can't remember a time since the turn of the millennium where there's ever been a national new story about "Padres sign _______" and here we're talking about third one this offseason.

It would be nice if all this was accompanied by actually trying to draft good players and then actually sign those good players, but that may still be too much to hope for.

posted by LionIndex at 01:09 PM on February 09

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

everyone in the room in the Seattle home I was in

I'm in Wisconsin, and when Seattle went up near the end of regulation, there were screams from surrounding houses as if someone was being violently murdered.

posted by LionIndex at 07:28 PM on January 19

High school coach suspended after basketball team wins by 159 points.

I think there's a point where standing around on the court doing nothing is as disrespectful as running up the score. They were ahead by so much at halftime I'd almost bet the losing team wouldn't be able to catch up even if the winning team just handed them the ball every time they got it and didn't defend at all. If you were on that losing team, is that how you'd want the game to be played, being treated like a bunch of preschoolers? Or would you actually want to play basketball? I don't even know how you're supposed to display sportsmanship when your winning basket is your first one.

posted by LionIndex at 06:41 PM on January 18

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Conference Championship Round

Seattle by 4
New England by 16
Most Points: New England
Most Passing: Brady
Most Rushing: Russel Wilson
Most Receiving: Randall Cobb

posted by LionIndex at 09:18 AM on January 17

Free Climbers Finish 19-Day Scamper Up El Capitan

So it doesn't diminish the achievement in the least, particularly since a free solo of this particular climb is widely regarded as impossible.

I haven't seen anything confirming it for sure, but I think the route is probably bolted. If there was some way to clear the ropes from behind yourself or if you had a 2000 foot rope you could do it by yourself.

posted by LionIndex at 08:44 PM on January 15

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em Contest, Divisional Round

New England by 12

Seattle by 16

Dallas by 7

Denver by 7

Most points: New England

Rushing: CJ Anderson

Sack: Von Miller

GB Temp: 18 (a warming trend!)

posted by LionIndex at 11:43 AM on January 10