Recent Comments by rcade

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Live video of the FIFA meeting. It would be cool to see the room gradually empty out as officials are arrested.

posted by rcade at 12:36 PM on May 29

Golden State Reaches First NBA Finals in 40 Years

Jeez. Thompson was woozy and threw up multiple times after the game, according to his dad, but the NBA still isn't using concussion protocol for him.

posted by rcade at 03:47 PM on May 28

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I've been updating the NHL Pick 'Em as some outcomes become impossible.

Here's the current leaders for the player categories, before both game 7s:

Top goal scorer: 4, Tyler Johnson, Steven Stamkos and Derick Brassard

Top power play goal scorer: 2, Patrick Maroon, Rick Nash, Steven Stamkos, Ondrej Palat

Most penalized player (in minutes): 24, Tanner Glass

Goalie with the best save percentage (starters only): .913, Frederik Andersen

Bender has Stamkos for goals and PP goals and Andersen as goalie, so his round's looking pretty good.

posted by rcade at 10:21 AM on May 28

Henchmen arrested, but the Joker is still at large

Also, keep an eye on the officiating when the US Women's team plays at the upcoming tournament. There could be some really interesting calls.

Somewhere a fan of Canada's women's team is enjoying that possibility.

posted by rcade at 04:09 PM on May 27

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Colin Kaepernick thought a photo of catastrophic, deadly flooding in Texas was a great opportunity to promote his plan to suck less this coming season. "I warned you the #7StormsComing," he wrote in an Instagram caption.

posted by rcade at 10:10 AM on May 27

Is Manuel Neuer the template for future goalkeepers

I love FourFourTwo. How many sports writers would quote a book from 1906 in a story on the modern style of play at a position?

Reading the first link makes me want to watch a bunch of Bayern and get a stronger feel for Neuer's technique. I have a FoxSoccer2Go account I almost never use and it has 23 full matches from that squad in the Champions League.

I think sweeper-keeper is likely to become more common. There will be enough athleticism to make it less of a risk.

posted by rcade at 05:29 PM on May 26

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

On the redesigned ESPN home page, is Soccer always the first sport link alongside the main site logo? It seems like the sport is getting considerably more play on the new ESPN site.

posted by rcade at 01:27 PM on May 26

Rockets Avoid Sweep Behind Harden Heroics, Curry Tumble

The head scare was bad, but so was the chance Curry would break his wrist or arm trying to slow his fall. I was amazed he came back. As Warriors coach I would've been tempted to let him rest just to help him be better recuperated for game 5.

posted by rcade at 12:57 PM on May 26

Blackhawks' Last-Minute Miracle Comeback Foiled in OT

That second Toews goal was unbelievable. Andersen was caught completely off-guard by his decision to take that shot.

posted by rcade at 12:42 PM on May 26

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Weird play: Khris Davis almost lost a homer when it appeared he didn't touch home plate.

Poetically, Davis hit another one in the next at bat, adding some drama to his crossing of home.

posted by rcade at 09:26 PM on May 25

Golden State Routs Houston, Takes Commanding 3-0 Lead

Curry also was fun to watch in the press conference taken over by his daughter Riley.

posted by rcade at 11:48 AM on May 25

LeBron's Epic Night Puts Cavaliers Up 3-0 on Hawks

I'm still in line for my Hawks in 7 prediction.

posted by rcade at 11:33 AM on May 25

Lightning Beat Rangers 2-0, Now Lead 3-2 in Series

Boy, that crowd just went nuts to hear John Amirante do the anthem again.

posted by rcade at 08:15 PM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

That's an embarrassing way to end a season, but the game was almost entirely meaningless. It shouldn't count for much against Rogers.

posted by rcade at 08:02 PM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Almost 10 million fans attended English Championship games this season. That puts the league fourth behind the Premiership, Bundesliga and La Liga.

posted by rcade at 03:44 PM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

I'm fairly sure McShane is bleeding from the "inner thigh."

Those injuries are scary. Slash an artery up there and it's a major medical emergency.

Hull made a game effort. There was a spell where they scored two or three goals in a couple minutes only to lose them to offsides.

posted by rcade at 02:41 PM on May 24

Another Multiple-OT Goal Helps Blackhawks Tie Series with Ducks

Fixed. In my defense I stayed up too late watching hockey.

posted by rcade at 02:40 PM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

For two days in a row, fans have jumped onto the court and interacted with Roger Federer at the French Open. The latest was a selfie-seeking moron.

posted by rcade at 10:56 AM on May 24

Another Multiple-OT Goal Helps Blackhawks Tie Series with Ducks

There will be at least six games in both playoff series this round. Looking at our contest, only one player had any series going 5.

posted by rcade at 09:53 AM on May 24

Hall of Fame Harlem Globetrotter Marques Haynes Dies

Haynes and Goose Tatum are the Globetrotters I remember best from my youth. I wasn't aware of the Mikan games. That would be a great movie.

posted by rcade at 09:27 AM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Xavi Hernandez, 35, is leaving Barca after 24 years to play in Qatar.

posted by rcade at 02:34 PM on May 23

Cavaliers Beat Hawks by 12, Lead Eastern Finals 2-0

I thought the Hawks would make a much better showing. Dropping the first two at home is a killer.

posted by rcade at 10:49 AM on May 23

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

France's Ligue 1 has reduced relegation from three teams to two because "investors need a little more security," per the league president.

I love the phrasing of this critical response from Pascal Dupraz, coach of Evian Thonon Gaillard: "This measure reduces the glorious incertitude of sport."

I fear that the Premiership will find ways to chip away at relegation.

posted by rcade at 08:09 AM on May 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

I saw that Bryce Harper ejection. I hate it when an ump thinks he's important enough to show up a player like that. Hudson demanding Harper get back in the box while his own mask is still off is ridiculous. The delay was all on Hudson because he took his mask off and yelled at Matt Williams in the dugout.

posted by rcade at 02:37 PM on May 21

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

From the Finn column: "I've wished for a while that they'd embrace the hate, never more so than today. Go full-heel, us-versus-them. Unfortunately, the owner is still too concerned with what 'them' think."

I don't believe that can happen any more in the top levels of pro sports, at least not in the U.S. There's so much money in the franchises now that the management of teams is corporate and risk-averse.

Let's say Kraft decides to play the heel and become Goodell's No. 1 public antagonist.

Then he wants special revenue concessions from the NFL for a stadium upgrade, like he got in 2013, or something bigger.

How's his rebellion looking then, when it directly translates to lost revenue opportunities?

posted by rcade at 10:21 AM on May 20

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

No waters have been calmed by Kraft's reversal.

I think Kraft's move may calm things for those of us who neither hate the Patriots nor love them. The only thing I like about a prolonged battle is the possibility it ends up with Roger Goodell unemployed. But what are the odds?

posted by rcade at 10:12 AM on May 20

SpoFi NBA Pick 'Em

Hawks in 7

Warriors in 7

East points: LeBron James

West points: Stephen Curry

East blocks: Timofey Mozgov

West steals: Draymond Green

Foul outer: Dwight Howard

Offensive rebounds: Dwight Howard

Rebounds and assists: LeBron James

Largest margin: 20

Costanza, here I come.

posted by rcade at 07:45 PM on May 19

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

I've been critical of Brady, but I think he had to appeal. If he didn't, he'd be letting down his teammates and the team. Four games is a long time to lose your starting quarterback. If there's a chance he can get that reduced, he has to try even if his defense is as weak as the Jaguars running game.

But ...

Doesn't the same logic apply to Kraft? A first-round pick is a lot to lose too, and he's accepting that penalty along with a fourth-rounder after a little commissioner/owner canoodling. (The money seems irrelevant, given what Kraft doesn't have to pay Brady during a suspension.)

posted by rcade at 07:40 PM on May 19

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

Adam Schefter is reporting that the NFL asked the Patriots to suspend McNally and Jastremski, per an unnamed league source. That's the opposite of what the NFL stated publicly in a statement I linked yesterday, so I don't know what to believe.

If Kraft was open to taking punishment and moving on without a public fight, Goodell should have pursued that option before the Wells report and the Patriots rebuttal came out.

I'm wondering if Kraft feared another shoe was about to drop. His about-face is a big surprise given his public defiance lately.

posted by rcade at 01:45 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The NFL said on May 11 that McNally and Jastremski were suspended by the Patriots: "Patriots owner Robert Kraft advised Commissioner Roger Goodell last week that Patriots employees John Jastremski and James McNally have been indefinitely suspended without pay by the club, effective on May 6."

posted by rcade at 03:23 PM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Interesting DeflateGate development:

Asked why he suspended club employees John Jastremski and Jim McNally despite fiercely proclaiming his organization's innocence, Kraft refused comment -- for what he claimed were a variety of reasons.
Even with a hand-picked interviewer, Kraft can't handle that question.

posted by rcade at 12:26 PM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

That's a fantastic slo-mo shot. What a titanic struggle to get to the ball!

posted by rcade at 12:24 PM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Australian soccer chairman falls off stage during championship ceremony.

posted by rcade at 02:17 PM on May 17

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Looks like all but one player got entries in. Good luck and go Lightning.

posted by rcade at 01:06 PM on May 16

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

posted by rcade at 12:23 PM on May 16

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I think I can settle that.

McNally was not interviewed four times by the investigative team for the Wells report. He was interviewed once as part of that investigation. The other interviews were presumably all from before the investigation commenced.

So when the Wells report states this ...

"Although we requested a follow-up interview of Jim McNally after our initial interview, counsel for the Patriots refused our request."

... they're talking solely about their own interviews.

I think the Patriots had an obligation under NFL rules to make their staffers and Brady available for as many interviews as Wells wanted, within reason. An initial interview and a follow-up seems perfectly reasonable to me.

What if nothing untoward actually happened to the Patriots' footballs and the league tried to invent it to save face 3 months later?

From the Wells report:

Following the game, before he left the stadium, McNally was interviewed by members of NFL Security. During that interview, McNally did not mention that he had taken the game balls into the bathroom. Instead, he stated that he walked directly to the field and that nothing unusual occurred during the walk from the locker room to the field.
If nothing untoward happened, why did McNally lie about taking the balls into the bathroom before video evidence emerged that caught him doing this?

posted by rcade at 10:46 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

So a 4-game suspension, million dollar fine, and a 1st and 3rd round pick because of an inviolable law of physics?

My comment was narrow in scope, covering only one issue: Was a rule broken?

You said there's no scientific proof a rule was broken. To me, game officials measuring the pressure of 11 footballs at halftime and finding all 11 under 12.5 is scientific proof.

I've argued since the scandal unfolded that the NFL should have just punished for the obvious infraction without getting into intent. Intent is where the issue becomes a huge scandal and grows tentacles. Intent is where Tom Brady looks evasive and possibly dishonest.

The NFL has the authority to decide if a rule is broken -- to whatever standard of proof it desires, even just "more probable than not" -- and punish accordingly. It doesn't have to consider the Ideal Gas Law or any other nuance the Patriots are using to win in the court of public opinion.

We trust the zebras to decide playoff games. The Cowboys lost one because Dez Bryant's catch was considered a single football move instead of two. Why can't we trust the zebras to measure 11 footballs and determine a rule was broken? Why does this have to be so complicated that scientists are being asked about the Ideal Gas Law? Wouldn't it be special treatment for the Patriots to have the league declare "we know the rule was broken for all 11 Patriots footballs, we know Patriots officials talked about ball deflation, we know the balls were taken to a bathroom for enough time to deflate them, but scientists say that the deflation could in theory be accidental -- even though the accident didn't happen to four Colts footballs -- so we won't punish the team"?

That doesn't seem unreasonable to you?

The punishment is for more than the balls being under 12.5, per the league's announcement. It's for that offense, for Brady's non-cooperation, for the team's non-cooperation about McNally and for a repeat offense after Spygate [1].

Even with all that, it was more harsh than I expected. I thought it would be around $250,000 and two second rounders. But I didn't know Brady would refuse to cooperate fully with the investigation's request for relevant texts and messages, and I didn't know the team would refuse to make McNally available for a second interview expected by the league.

Those are pretty serious violations of the league's authority to investigate potential rules infractions.

If the Patriots had self-reported the offense and/or the people involved admitted what they did right away, I think the punishment could have been as low as $25,000 and one fourth or fifth-round draft pick.

You want to believe the Patriots are completely innocent. Sorry, but I'm having trouble believing it. I'm open to hearing evidence of ill will coming from Goodell, because I have a low opinion of how he runs things. But absent that, I found enough in the Wells report to be credible and persuasive.

1. Before anyone makes a big deal out of the last part, I think it was unfair for the NFL to factor Spygate into the punishment.

posted by rcade at 09:34 PM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

... there still wasn't any clear scientific evidence of a rule definitely being broken ...

The rule requires balls to be from 12.5 to 13.5 psi. Members of the officiating crew and a senior officiating supervisor tested all 11 of the Patriots balls, per the Wells report, and found all 11 below 12.5.

That's clear evidence of a rule being broken, isn't it? The NFL rulebook doesn't say it's OK for balls to go below 12.5 because of the Ideal Gas Law.

posted by rcade at 05:20 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

If you know anybody who hasn't posted picks yet, send them a reminder. Tomorrow's deadline is early.

posted by rcade at 04:34 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Chicago in 7

Tampa Bay in 6

Goals: Tyler Johnson

PP goals: Patrick Kane

PIM: Andrej Sustr

Saves: Ben Bishop

posted by rcade at 01:50 PM on May 15

NHL Playoff Pick 'Em, Round 3

Round 1Round 2Total
Ufez Jones6410

Please doublecheck your Round 2 scores.

Cixelsyd wins the round and climbs into a tie for first with Tommytrump. Ic23b makes early move for the coveted Costanza.

Note that the extra point categories are for the entire playoff round, not each series. If anyone has categories they'd like to see for the Stanley Cup, suggest them here.

Chicago/Minnesota top point scorer: Patrick Kane, 6

Anaheim/Calgary top point scorer: Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, 8

Tampa/Montreal top point scorer: Nikita Kucherov and Steven Stamkos, 7

New York/Washington top point scorer: Derek Stepan and Joel Ward, 5

Best GAA: Henrik Lundqvist, N.Y., 1.65

posted by rcade at 10:22 AM on May 15

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

If you have Fox Deportes, you can watch the aftermath of River Plate players being pepper sprayed as the returned to the field to play Boca Juniors after the half in the Copa Libertadores.

posted by rcade at 09:19 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

PFT asks a good question: If the Patriots believe McNally and Jastremski did nothing wrong, why did the team suspend them indefinitely without pay?

posted by rcade at 03:56 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

After reading quite a bit of the Wells report and skipping most of the media coverage, I regard the idea the Patriots did nothing at all to be exceedingly small.

McNally took the balls to the bathroom, which he was unauthorized to do and caused anger among the NFL officials at the time. McNally spent enough time in there to deflate them and the halftime check showed 11 of 12 of the team's balls were below allowed pressure at halftime. Texts show McNally talking about how much Brady cared about the inflation level of footballs, to the point Brady was pissing him off.

That's enough for me. The idea no one at the Patriots had anything they could have self-reported is not credible.

posted by rcade at 12:46 PM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Florio: "Before January 18, 2015, football air pressure had never been a big deal for the NFL."

Any alleged cheating was going to be a big deal when it took place in a conference championship game and broke as a news story a day later.

But I think this scandal could have been of reasonable size, instead of becoming a monster, if Goodell had simply punished the infraction without looking into intent. The Patriots could have helped achieve that outcome by self-reporting what they did, just like the Falcons self-reported the fake crowd noise.

The NFL could have quickly fined the Patriots $25,000 and a fifth-round pick (what the Falcons lost). The punishment would have helped foster the idea that it was a minor infraction instead of a major one.

posted by rcade at 08:32 AM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I've deleted a comment because of excessive personal abuse. I also deleted two comments it received, solely because they make no sense without it. I emailed a copy of the comment to the member in case he'd like to try again.

posted by rcade at 08:19 AM on May 14

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I'd like to see stats on how many teams begin 2-2 or worse and get the No. 1 seed in their conference.

posted by rcade at 06:30 PM on May 13

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Bismarck: You should at least worry that a 1-3 or 2-2 start may put home-field advantage in jeopardy. Don't rob me of some early-season drama.

posted by rcade at 03:41 PM on May 13

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I tend to agree with you here, but is it possible they just got sick of it all?

If staffers intentionally deflated the balls in a bathroom after the officials inspected them before the game, I don't think being weary explains the decision by involved parties not to admit this. I think they were afraid of the consequences of their actions.

posted by rcade at 03:37 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

If you see this as a minor offense the whole thing looks like a giant fiasco and a witch hunt ...

If it's such a minor offense, why didn't Brady and the Patriots staffers just admit doing it? Owners have self-reported possible tampering and the Falcons self-reported the faked crowd noise. If Brady and/or the staffers did that right away, it probably deflates the scandal and they get a lesser punishment.

Instead, they're evasive and Belichick gives a press conference where he plays Bill Nye the Science Coach.

posted by rcade at 03:19 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Well, when the league ignores, lightly punishes, or gives warnings for similar infractions it shows the league treating it as minor.

You should provide context for this statement. What similar infractions were punished lightly?

What exactly is that reason?

The rationale for uniformity in the inflation of footballs is obvious. Two teams are on the field trying to catch the ball any time it is thrown, pick it up when it's fumbled, and so on. The rules required inflation within 12.5 to 13.5 pounds. Players practice with balls in that range. It's not an equal playing field if one team is breaking that rule and has players more accustomed to using a ball outside that range than an opponent.

But even without a rationale, it's still Rule 2, Section 1 of the NFL Rulebook. Remember what Tom Brady said to the complaining Baltimore Ravens after the Pats' sneaky formation trick in the divisional playoff? "Maybe those guys gotta study the rulebook."

If the Pats don't like being punished over this rule, maybe they gotta study the rulebook.

posted by rcade at 01:01 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

Though I'm in love with the idea of the team going full Al Davis Raiders (the '70s/ '80s edition, not the last couple of decades) and going Full Villain. Embrace it.

I don't think that an owner going "full villain" is possible in today's sports world. The teams are too valuable and the owners too corporate. The outcome if Robert Kraft went hard after the NFL would likely be the same as Donald Sterling's fate in the NBA.

Kraft will wave the bloody jersey for a little while but it will remain business as usual for his team and the league.

posted by rcade at 12:12 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

As is the punishment for violating it, which doesn't include suspensions or draft picks.

The NFL punished for the violation, for the Patriots non-cooperation in the investigation and for it being an institutional repeat offense after Spygate. All three were cited by the league when it dropped the hammer.

I'm not sure why, after they have been tested and approved by the NFL, the balls are then taken out of control of the NFL officials at any time.

It's great you want to fix the process, but how does that mitigate what the Patriots staffers and Brady (probably) did? "If you didn't want your balls deflated, you should look after them better."

posted by rcade at 12:07 PM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I was just trying to be fair to Brady and not assume he had texts/messages that were incriminating to him.

When a commissioner can tee off arbitrarily with his banhammer on any team when he doesn't like their reaction to being accused of a minor offense ...

I don't regard intentionally deflating the balls below the amount allowed by the rules as a minor offense. What the Patriots did affected competition. The rule on the proper inflation of the balls was there for a reason.

If the NFL actually cared about how inflated the footballs were, there is no principled reason why you would allow a team to play a half of the AFC championship game with balls they expected were deflated.

League officials tested the balls before the game and they were properly inflated. It's not the NFL's fault that a Patriots staff member deflated them in transit from the inspection site to the field. When the Colts tested the intercepted ball and reported the suspicious finding, the league got involved. It tested as many balls as it could during halftime, but then its focus was back on the game being played.

Let's keep the blame where it belongs -- on the people who cheated.

posted by rcade at 11:18 AM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

It's interesting to look at the Patriots' first-round picks to ponder the kind of player the team has lost under this punishment.

I still think Goodell could have, on the Monday or Tuesday after the AFC Championship Game, used the deflated balls as evidence of a violation and punished the team $25,000 and possibly a mid- or late-round draft pick without ever getting into intent.

posted by rcade at 08:41 AM on May 12

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

How could he claim there were no texts/records?

I don't understand your question. Brady either (a) had messages/texts related to deflated balls and ball preparation or (b) had no such messages/texts. His cooperation for (a) is handing them over, for (b) is letting the league know none exist. He did neither.

Brady's non-cooperation is a separate justification for punishment from the "more probable than not" accusation he was aware of the cheating, and it makes him look guilty. (Before anyone cites the Fifth Amendment, remember this is just an NFL in-house disciplinary process.)

posted by rcade at 08:33 AM on May 12

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Blatt isn't helping matters with this grandiose comparison to excuse his timeout mistake: "A basketball coach makes 150 to 200 critical decisions during the course of a game, something that I think is paralleled only by a fighter pilot."

posted by rcade at 08:31 PM on May 11

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

It all comes down to the judge you get, but there's a less-than-zero chance this is the hill Goodell dies on.

I'd be willing to see the Patriots go unpunished if it meant the end of Goodell.

But I don't think the Pats make a big production out of fighting this. They'll go through the NFL's official appeal process but won't take it to court, because that will just prolong the PR damage.

Which would be worth it just to point out how many games Ray Rice was suspended for.

I don't see how Rice's suspension has any relevance to this. His offense is individual and has nothing to do with the NFL's competitive rules.

posted by rcade at 07:32 PM on May 11

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

And Belichick can weather four games of Brady-less ball against a fairly easy schedule (Steelers, @Bills, Jags, @Cowboys) and the Patriots will still contend.

I could see them going 1-3 or 0-4 if the backup stinks. As for the draft picks not fazing them, losing a first rounder is huge.

posted by rcade at 07:04 PM on May 11

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

I anticipated a $500,000 fine and two second-round picks. This is quite a punishment. Brady should have passed along texts and messages within the narrow scope of the NFL's request or claimed there were no such texts and messages. His non-compliance was a mistake.

I wonder if this penalty will close the window on the Patriots' great run under Belichick and Brady. Brady is 37. This suspension could help keep the Pats out of home-field advantage next season.

posted by rcade at 05:53 PM on May 11