Recent Comments by chmurray

Rasheed Wallace: Flopping is Watering Down the NBA

Personally I think five fouls is too many. I think you should foul out after three. I also think opposing teams should be awarded an additional free throw after a team racks up 15 fouls total in a game.

I don't think this will remove all attempts at defense. Right now too many players are entirely willing to just slap and flop if they get beat or challenged.

The game would be more entertaining if they just moved on to the next play instead of repeatedly sending people to the line, and sending in backups solely to foul elite post players, and all that "tough play" bullshit.

posted by chmurray at 02:19 PM on December 01

Michael Lewis and the NBA's No-Stats All-Star

I've been thinking about responding to this article for awhile now, not just to play devil's advocate but because I think Lewis' article is seriously deficient in some areas.

In 02-03 the Grizzilies went 23-59, and in 03-04 the Grizzilies went 28-54. Now in 04-05 they did go 50-32, but Battier only had one start that season and played the lowest amount of minutes per game in his career. If you look at their roster that season you'll see lots of good players - Pau Gasol, James Posey, Mike Miller, a still-relevant Jason Williams, Bonzi Wells, Earl Watson.

Thus it seems clear to me that his time with the Grizzilies is similar to his time with the Rockets, with one significant added benefit from a historical perspective - you get to see how his teams perform when the talent level around him is poor. And it's clear - their record is poor.

Now it's one thing to call someone the "ultimate glue guy" and it's another to call someone "the no-stats all star". The first description would describe the best second-round pick ever, the second asserts that he would deserve to play in the all-star game.

I think there is also a very real and legitimate reason to the seemingly incongrous lack of respect elite scores give him. For the elite scorer, there are some parallels to golf, with "take what the defense gives them" being somewhat analagous to golf's "competing against himself out there" - or at the very least if it's not it's important to the elite scorer's psyche to act as if it is. Granted this needs to be fleshed out more but the nub of something is there, I think.

To me, the bottom line is this: How valuable is he, exactly? It seems to be relative - he's worthless on very bad teams, and seemingly very valuable on very good teams. Well... ok, how much do you pay him then? He's clearly not a lottery pick (which he was), in fact you can probably argue that non-playoff teams shouldn't be bidding for his services at all. This puts him at mid-level exception pay for a playoff team - which is exactly where the NBA has him.

posted by chmurray at 09:51 AM on February 25

Steelers Win Sixth Super Bowl

There was a moment there where Pittsburgh went up by 13 and the dynamics of the game started to shift. The Steelers started playing both safeties just ridiculously deep, the Cardinals went no-huddle, and it turned the game into a streetfight that, to me, looked like it was going in the Cardinals' favor. The strategy didn't seem to work for the Steelers but it made for a damn entertaining game.

posted by chmurray at 01:34 AM on February 02

NFL Hall of Fame Admits Bob Hayes, Bruce Smith and Rod Woodson

You can keep the bullet and art monk, give me chris carter any day.

posted by chmurray at 01:21 AM on February 02

Covenant School seeks forfeit of 100-0 win over Dallas Academy

I can hardly believe they fired the coach. What a joke. If you go to the coach's website he notes that four years ago they lost a game by 76 points...

posted by chmurray at 10:40 AM on January 26

Covenant School seeks forfeit of 100-0 win over Dallas Academy

Inside the arena you're supposed to give 100% effort. Telling kids otherwise is bad advice for life, and (especially in contact sports) will increase the chances of someone getting hurt.

Once someone goes up 50 points I don't think the outcome of the game is in doubt any longer. Institute a mercy rule and keep the kids playing as hard as they can.

posted by chmurray at 10:24 AM on January 24

When is enough "enough"?

how is it a sport when you hit the absolute top of your game at 14?

posted by chmurray at 02:16 PM on August 23

Mavericks begin rebuilding from the top

It seems to me that the Mavericks offense is most effective when Dirk has the ball on the free throw line. You don't need much of a point guard in order to get him the ball. Their success without Nash should have made that clear. There was a window when Dirk's ability to stretch the floor seemed like it might be a natural counter to Duncan's dominance in the paint, but the Spurs now have Ginobli and Parker playing out of their minds, the Lakers have rebuilt, and Dallas and Phoenix are heading the wrong way. They correctly diagnosed a need for a true post presence, but they overpaid for Dampier, and just got rid of a developing Diop. From here, I think they need to let Dampier, Kidd, Howard, and George go. Which will take time. Dirk's game will last for some time still I think and I still think he's good enough to build around. Howard still has some trade value, so I'd look to either dump some contracts, or maybe make a play for someone like Marion/Artest/Tyson Chandler/Kenyon Martin.

posted by chmurray at 11:54 AM on May 03

Brett Favre Retires

Doesn't seem right. But there he is, up there telling us it's true. Still has more game than what, 3, maybe 4, other qb's in the league. Doesn't seem right. But there he is.

posted by chmurray at 05:03 PM on March 06

Fan Signs

Back when Iowa upset LSU in some bowl game in 2005, Drew Tate was their star quarterkback and I saw my favorite sign ever: "Can't lick our Tate"

posted by chmurray at 02:40 PM on January 10

Home sweet home: LSU tops OSU in BCS Championship

I was quite surprised that LSU put up 38. I still think Les Miles isn't a very good coach, but that was, by far, the best I've seen LSU look all year. I thought OSU would push them around but it didn't happen, so congratulations to them.

posted by chmurray at 02:55 PM on January 08

Seattle defeats Washington,

I thought a case could be made for the left guard committing a holding penalty on Garrard's run, which was the lane Garrard took. Overall, I feel that the officiating was fairly loose but it went both ways. The interference call against Jacksonville when replays showed Ward facemasking the defender being the worst call/non-call I can remember for the game. I felt during the regular season, and it's been repeating during these playoffs, that the rules for what constitutes made catch are getting a bit wonky in the defenses favor. It was a great game though, I hope the rest can matchup!

posted by chmurray at 03:15 PM on January 06

For all of you talking about coaching loyalty, an interesting development ...

I'm just not understanding the vitriol leveled against WVU here. He's not just a prick who abandoned his home school before a bowl game, he's trying to run off with $4m that isn't his. How about this for a title: "Local coaching hero abandons team before big game with $4m in tow, sneering at terms of contract."

posted by chmurray at 08:41 AM on December 28

Oklahoma crushes Missouri,

When nobody takes care of business, everyone left out gets to complain. Taking care of business includes not playing Northern Colorado or Charleston Southern. While I do think Ohio State-LSU is about as good as they could have done, I wouldn't have minded seeing Oklahoma or USC in there either. That said, I think all the voters have to take a real hard look at themselves after what they did to Georgia. If you're number #4 in the country, and #1 and #2 lose, how do you go from #4 to #5? Just letting Georgia slide on up the rankings when apparently voters don't think they're for real is a pretty mean trick. On a side note, games I wished we were getting: Hawaii vs. West Virginia, Virginia Tech vs. Georgia, Oklahoma vs. Florida, and Illinois vs. Missouri.

posted by chmurray at 03:52 AM on December 03

Another Walker era ends.

I really don't understand why minny gets a first round pick in exchange for dumping a bloated contract a year AHEAD of schedule - this is a great deal for minnesota. I really hope Ricky Davis is worth it.

posted by chmurray at 06:56 PM on October 24

Patriots Caught Taping Jets Defensive Signals, May Lose Draft Picks

While the argument that it should all be fair game does have merit, I think it's a good example of holding athletes to a higher standard than coaches. This isn't Spy Club. It really does seem, though, that it is the kind of thing that ought to be preventable. Stick a headset in a couple defensive captains' ears (because defenders sub more than quarterbacks) and call it a day.

posted by chmurray at 04:13 PM on September 12

BBCRMOL!

They should do a similiar article for teams, where they rank the ten most screwed franchises based on their salary decisions.

posted by chmurray at 03:44 PM on September 05

Offerman charges the mound

(I'm bowing out after saying this one last time I promise) So "striking a batter with a thrown ball" is an example of an activity that is protected when playing a game, but criminal in general. And "striking a pitcher with a bat" is an example of an activity that is never protected whether in game or not. However, in the real world if doing the first incites the second, the do-er of the first is (at least partially) liable. However, by stepping onto the field, this liability disappears. To me, that seems silly.

posted by chmurray at 03:51 PM on August 16

Offerman charges the mound

Out on the street, getting hit by a pitch would constitute assault. In the real world, I do get to beat up somebody if they attack me first. I don't think anyone wants to argue that intentionally hurting someone is supposed to be part of sports. What I've been saying (and I think BornIcon as well) is that it is absurd to hold athletes criminally liable for losing their temper, since the conditions under which it was lost could conceivably also be subject to criminal charges. Holden says it plainly just a few lines up. Getting intentionally hit by a pitch happens "not infrequently". However, it is not assault when playing baseball, because it is understood that such incidents happen and are part of the game. Yet if it is "part of the game", then why are pitchers often suspended precisely for hitting batters? There clearly is a notion that certain "normal" aspects of sports play need to be monitored and regulated by a governing body - the leagues! When you step onto an arena, you give up your traditional civilian rights because if they were enforced there would be no game. Its still a job, BI. It may be perceived as more luxurious or financially rewarding or fun or exciting than our jobs, but it's still a job. But the rules for these jobs are very, very different. Go to page 4 and check out Section 1C or 2D. This is a form for unpaid high school athletes. Tut tut tut it's just another job is too much of a simplification.

posted by chmurray at 10:53 AM on August 16

Offerman charges the mound

How do you define "course of play" here? Remember Ben Christensen? In the right context you're going after the pitcher instead. My point is simply that we have a long established history of letting leagues (and to a lesser extent leagues letting players/enforcers) decide this kind of stuff. To haul players in these situations into criminal trials is absurd to me, because I find nothing wrong with their attitude. I don't want domesticated boxers or NFL players, I don't want NBA floppers, and frankly I was happier when the leagues looked the other way to players meting our justice with their fists to stop dirty or cheap players that referees couldn't catch. I don't want a slippery slope. To my mind Offerman's crazy attack was mitigated by a pitcher intentionally striking him with a ball. Unless we have some kind of Billy Cole-type incident, I really don't see how criminal charges are a good thing for sports. Set the line at entrance to the arena. I'm not exactly staking out controversial territory here. It's not like this dudes ear was chewed off.

posted by chmurray at 01:00 PM on August 15

Offerman charges the mound

Holding someone criminally liable for their onfield actions is a really interesting issue. This article details a rugby player who got 6 months for assault for an on-field behavior, and here is an article about Tony Limon, a high school basketball player who is currently serving time for elbowing another player during a game and breaking his nose. This Court TV article provides a nice summary. While it's totally insane to tear off after a pitcher with a bat, Mike Tyson bit a dudes ear off, and he wasn't charged. Personally I think these are matters for the leagues to deal with not the courts. Let's preserve the arena mentality for our arenas, if athletes dun like it they can take up golf.

posted by chmurray at 10:28 AM on August 15

Does Bonds have a mechanical advantage?

From the article: At the moment, Bonds' apparatus enjoys "grandfathered" status. Similar devices are presently denied to average major leaguers, who must present evidence of injury before receiving an exemption. It doesn't sound entirely implausible to me, although HR totals and such are clearly pulled out of a hat. If we focus instead on the idea that he got hurt, he was approved to use something to protect his elbow, and now it's changed and may provide a slight hitting advantage, I think the author might be on to something, especially since his elbow guard isn't available to everyone who wants it.

posted by chmurray at 12:52 PM on August 07

Kevin Garnett Traded to Celtics

If I'm the Celtics I make this trade every time and don't think twice, so I can't fault it from their side. Minnesota... If you're going to give up KG for that do it 3 years ago and get more. Maybe I haven't seen Jefferson enough but I don't see myself pulling the trigger on this one if I'm Minnesota. I think the Celtics can win 46-48 games easy. Up by one with ten seconds left, on defense, no timeouts, I think I'd rather play against any team but this one in the East.

posted by chmurray at 12:01 AM on July 31

NBA 1st Round Mock Draft.

Alot of these scenarios don't make sense to me. As a Pacer fan I'd glady dump JO for Odom and Bynum. What I really don't understand is the whole "Conley at #3 is way too high". Atlanta needs a PG, and they have the #3 and the #11. I see no reason whatsoever not to just draft Conley and pick up whichever SF's stock fell the most at #11, you know SOMEBODY in the Brewer/NC Wright/Kansas Wright group will be there. In fact this is probably the thing I hate the most about "draft analysis" - experts sitting around making lists, and then giving out "draft grades" based upon how closely teams matchup the "perceived value of the prospect" with the slot they're drafting. Honestly, who gives a shit? Everyone's pretending that Randolph in Portland has trade value but the dude is as flat-footed as the 45 year olds at the local ymca. He's not a franchise player, he's a poor mans shareef abdur-rahim. I could care less about Boston's plan for the draft, because they have an idiot GM and an idiot coach. They could trade for Marion and there's a lot of good reasons to do so, they could slowly trade/get rid of their bad contracts, trade Pierce for 75c on the dollar, and be stubborn like Chicago and acquire young pieces until some of them stick, and that'd work to. But none of it matters because 3 weeks after the draft there will be a new plan with a new vision anyway. Pacers traded their way out of the draft, traded their 1st for a player they then traded, traded their 2nd for a player they then cut. I don't agree with getting rid of Carlisle, especially if they're gonna get of JO anyway, and if they're gonna get rid of Carlilse why bring in his twin in O'Brien? Dunleavy (paying to much), Orien Greene, David Harrison (never gonna work out), Rawle Marshall, Keith McLeod (terrible), Troy Murphy (terrible, paying too much), and Jamall Tinsley (never gonna stay healthy), and Jermaine O'Neal (unhappy, never gonna stay healthy, can't carry a team) all need to go. Pacers have gaping holes at PG, SG, C. It's frustrating because when he has the right offensive parts around him JO is a fantastic defender at the 4. He makes sense for Phoenix in a lot of ways. I'd do a JO + Granger for Marion + Diaw + Bell in a heartbeat, but I wonder if the Suns would bite. Maybe JO for Marion + Bell otherwise.

posted by chmurray at 11:03 AM on June 27

"Once a player hits a home run, that's a fact. It's on TV. Everybody sees it. (The NCAA) can't copyright that fact. The blog wasn't a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis."

Yes, I'm dense, and just now joining the rest of the thread.

posted by chmurray at 01:49 PM on June 13

"Once a player hits a home run, that's a fact. It's on TV. Everybody sees it. (The NCAA) can't copyright that fact. The blog wasn't a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis."

I just don't see the horrors of Live Blogging taking away from broadcast revenues. I think you're right, and I think it's a telling point that the journalist in question (and, later, U of L), were approached by the NCAA. Live Bloggging may not lower the revenue realized by the purchaser of the broadcast rights, but it just might drop the price tag for those rights if prospective buyers can realize some level of profit using non-traditional means for free.

posted by chmurray at 12:14 PM on June 13

"Once a player hits a home run, that's a fact. It's on TV. Everybody sees it. (The NCAA) can't copyright that fact. The blog wasn't a simulcast or a recreation of the game. It was an analysis."

When a game is playing the "matters of public record" are generally going to be broadcast live, not whenever they're "allow(ed) to be". It's not an issue of when, it's an issue of who paid for the right. Are you suggesting that "broadcast rights" in general should not be sold?

posted by chmurray at 10:24 AM on June 13

Asante to Pats: See you midseason

We don't need an overhaul, to be honest we can even keep the "franchise player" marker. In theory it's a benefit to fans, and helps owners build good teams. The Colts, for example, have lost a starting linebacker every year for a good four to five years in a row now. Being able to franchise someone like Freeney helps stop the talent drain, and keep popular players in "their" cities. However, the problem is that when you get right down to it franchise players aren't adequately compensted for their services. This is NOT the intent of the franchise marker. If I am a Pro-Bowl caliber football player coming up on free agency, I'm looking for that 5-6 year deal with the 15-20 million dollar signing bonus, because careers in the NFL are short. Getting stuck with a 1 year deal is potentially disasterous if I get hurt. So what can you do? Rather than pay a franchise player the average of the top 5 paid at that particular position, I suggest a 10-20% pay increase from the most-paid player from the year before, perhaps with an additional requirement to offer a minimum 3 year contract the next year. A one year contract is an insult, and it's time it was treated as such. Will it happen, probably not. But it is important to realize that in its current state "franchising" is more analagous to "renting" than "rewarding".

posted by chmurray at 03:22 PM on June 06

LeBron James is on another level now

I was following the score on ESPN, and tuned in at the 2nd overtime. LeBron's physical intensity can be absolutely jaw-dropping. I thought the best comparison in the past was to Magic or Oscar, but I agree with ESPN that now it's some kind of Magic/Bo Jackson hybrid. His double-OT dunk came by breaking down Billups (!) at the top of the key and then absorbing half-hearted contact from at least 3 other Pistons and getting the easy layup. He's just on a different plane. Series-wise I'm starting to really get annoyed with Flip Saunders. I think Mike Brown is getting a pretty bum rap when you look at what he has. Saunders' Timberwolve teams displayed much, much more offensive ability than this Pistons team. It makes no sense to me. Why isn't Prince on James? Why isn't James being doubled 24/7? Why isn't Hamilton doing his Reggie Miller impression?

posted by chmurray at 07:55 PM on June 01

Which NBA lottery team built up the most positive karma during the season,

Currently enjoying the Celtics misfortune.

posted by chmurray at 08:01 PM on May 22

Rigid rules devastating quality of NBA.

The Seattle SuperSonics Select Saer Sene of Senegal /most favorite draft moment ever

posted by chmurray at 09:38 AM on May 17

Bulls 1

Even if it is objective, I don't understand its implementation in this situation. (Definition A) I had thought the rule was - leave the bench and you're suspended. (Definition B) Apparently, the rule is - leave the bench during an altercation and you're suspended. Is this the case? If (A) then Duncan and Bowen both need to be suspended. If (B) then Duncan and Bowen should not have been suspended. However, if (B) is true, then TrueHoop is correct in point out the following absurdity - say some Phoenix scrub were to notice that Duncan and Bowen had left the bench and were hanging out on the court. If he were to then jump up and punch someone in the face, THEN Duncan and Bowen would be suspended. This whole thing stinks.

posted by chmurray at 09:08 AM on May 16

Bulls 0

I was kind of confused by some of the defensive matchups the Bulls were choosing. They seem to want to hide Ben Gordon and I'm not sure I get it. In alot of ways the Bulls matchup as younger mirror images of the Pistons. Leave Gordon on Hamilton with single coverage and make him play 40 minutes a game, I don't care if he gets tired. Gordon would do well to learn a few things about Hamilton's game. Leave Deng on Prince for the same reason. Billups will pretty much beast any PG 1v1 because he's so strong, but Hinrich just about the best defender at his position left in the playoffs. Put Big Ben on Rasheed and PJ Brown/Thomas on whoever else they play. Webber is cagey but he's so flatfooted Thomas ought to be able to handle him if he'd just pull his head out of his ass and realize that Webber's game is more YMCA than NBA right now. This series really kind of has the Raptors/Nets series written all over it, where one team is younger and maybe a bit better but they're kinda stupid and don't know what playoff basketball is. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think this is one of those matchups where, if you're Chicago, playing to win isn't as important as taking your lumps, sticking players where they're uncomfortable and need to improve, and playing for next year. Even though I hate to say it, Sports Guy might be right about the Ben Wallace trade.

posted by chmurray at 01:16 AM on May 08

Study shows racial bias by NBA referees

As far as I can tell from the paper, all black crews call more fouls than all white crews, on both races. Additionally, white players are "punished" by all black crews more than black players are by all white crews. It's right there in table 3. None of the numbers, with perhaps the exeception of all black crews foul rates on white players, seem significant, since in all cases but one they're within .1 fouls per 48 minutes. It is entirely plausible that i'm looking at the data wrong, but as far as I can tell when you base it on raw fouls per 48 minutes the assertions are not there - meaning that evidence of racism has to be introduced by all the "control variables" they're implementing, right? At any rate, the more I look at this the more it seems necessary to know which referees were working which games. It seems more likely that individual referee patterns are a better indicator of racism than group composition of the crew. While they probably want to assert that *all* referees are biased to a minute degree and therefore the aggregate effect results in just a wee bit o' racism, as an uneducated basketball fan I find it more likely that individual referees are more or less likely to display bias. The NBA probably already knows this and it's likely a factor in who sticks around for a long time as a ref. It's an interesting study but it's silly if they don't know who is calling the fouls.

posted by chmurray at 12:40 PM on May 03

Study shows racial bias by NBA referees

The argument that "blacks foul more" shouldn't hold much merit, because even if it is true racism would still bear out - in a hypothetical world where whites average 4 fouls a game and blacks average 3 a game, this article is suggesting that whites would be called for 5% more fouls if the referees were black. It doesn't matter if different races "naturally" commit more or less fouls when ascertaining our conclusion because it'd be taking into account "natural foul rates" (among a host of other things, as I'll get to shortly). It's not entirely implausible. I have to deal with it both ways in my job as a computer lab monitor. I'm a pudgy white male and I work with a skinny black female in a downtown and mostly black branch of a public library. It can be really interesting how different our experiences and actions in similar situations can be. All the time I find myself making assumptions about someone's level of computer knowledge, or politeness, or even general hygiene, after just a few seconds of sizing them up when they come in and ask for help. There are always exceptions to be sure, but I have to deal with bias (mine, and theres), every day. That said, Stern has access to better data, even if he doesn't play nice with it. I'm not going to say that Stern must be right since he's being so secretive about it, but Stern has the best data, so the best answer will eventually come from him or someone with access to his data. Really it all boiled down to this quote for me: The economists accounted for a wide range of factors: that centers, who tend to draw more fouls, were disproportionately white; that veteran players and All-Stars tended to draw foul calls at different rates than rookies and non-stars; whether the players were at home or on the road, as officials can be influenced by crowd noise; particular coaches on the sidelines; the players’ assertiveness on the court, as defined by their established rates of assists, steals, turnovers and other statistics; and more subtle factors like how some substitute players enter games specifically to commit fouls. I'd love to be smart enough to understand their methodology and get a look at their paper, because I'm dying to know how to predict how crowd noise and coaching on the sidelines translates to racist foul-calling. I'd likewise be interesting in getting a player's "assertiveness" rating based solely on stastical examination. I'm also interested in the assertion that some players are inserted solely to commit fouls.

posted by chmurray at 01:13 PM on May 02

Pacers Bounce Carlisle

The Pacers are falling apart much faster than I thought. I still think Rick Carlisle is a top tier coach, even if he seems noticably inept at developing young players. Dunleavy at SG can never and will never work out. He'd be a lovely 6th or 7th man, kind of a poor man's Jalen Rose back when we were developing him. Diogu didn't get enough PT for me to really make a decision but he seems to be a career backup. Ever since we fleeced Chicago and Portland (getting Brad Miller, Ron Artest, and Jermaine O'Neal for Dale Davis and Jalen Rose) we've drafted poorly and traded worse. We refused to resign Brad Miller cause he was too expensive, then paid 5-6 million a year for Scott Pollard. Now we're overpaying both Dunleavy and Marquis Daniels (who can't make it onto the court). Daniels, Diogu, Greene, Marshall, McLeod, and Shawne Williams don't really belong on a playoff team. Williams was our first round pick (continuing the trend of drafting developmental small forwards) so I don't mind if we keep him around for a couple of years. We had such a boner for Al Harrington (developmental small forwards much?) back when he was in Atlanta, meanwhile Jason Terry was also avaiable. Harrington is a text-book "stats guy" tweener who doesn't play well on the court at the same time as our best player. Granger's offensive game isn't very good but he was quite clearly trying to establish himself as an offensive option. In the games I watched he'd turned into a "ball-stopper" who jacked up jump shots more often than not. Carlisle is definitely partly to blame for this. Granger has the capability to be a very strong defender, and possibly a 2nd scoring option, but his offensive game is a question mark. Even though Stephen Jackson was totally crazy and I'm glad he's gone, he commanded the 2nd scorer role and the team was better for it. Jeff Foster is good enough to start and should have been starting all year long. We need a new point guard and a new shooting guard, we need to stop overpaying marginally talented white guys and we need to stop drafting developmental small forwards.

posted by chmurray at 09:29 AM on April 26

Sorry tubby, you're just too good.

Hockey Outaouais president Mario Lemery said that last fall he asked the Shawville and Fort Coulonge teams to play one level up at A, instead of B. ... He said Fort Coulonge agreed to move up. After the Shawville team wouldn't move up, he offered to let the rest of the team play in the B division as long as their star player didn't play. That's when the whole team decided to boycott. That's pulled from that article you linked (thanks). I dunno, to me it boils down to this Lemery guyl. I do agree with you that letting him play in B during the regular season ought to set a precedent. Even still, I can't say I agree with the decision by the town to not move up A, then boycott and cry foul, is appropriate either. The town has to do what it has to do in order to make sure their kids can play, even if it (apparently) means playing with the A group. Hell they could be proud of that. Problem is, as Weedy points out, the team only finished 3rd. Sure they have one stud player, but they didn't win their division, much less phsyically dominate it and "not be any fun to play against" - I'm sure the teams they lost to would beg to differ. Telling one kid he can't play is bullshit, unless the Lemery "asking" a team to move up is a nice way of him demanding that they do so. He's the president of the league so I'd assume he could just tell schools what level they're playing at, but this whole "asking" thing makes that seem unlikely.

posted by chmurray at 10:39 AM on April 20

Sorry tubby, you're just too good.

This is a frustrating article. It begins by citing two very clear, very bullshit reasons for the kid being banned. Then they say eight(!) other teams pulled out of some tournament in protest - if they're acting against their own best interests in order to support this team then clearly there has to be some prejudice here. However, the article concludes by asserting that this kid is dominating a scrub league and that the town refuses to move up to a higher tier. If there are tiers, I would assume they're based on town size, not player size. I have no idea because the article doesn't tell me so I'm comparing it to what we have here in the US in high schools, which probably isn't appropriate because this kid is only eight years old. If there is no obligation to move to a higher tier don't make him. If there is screw the kid for owning noobs. I do find it hard to believe that in an area where the official language is French this town is unable to round up a single French speaker - if this were in the United States and we were talking about some town where everyone spoke Spanish or German or Chinese or whatever nobody would care if they lost something because they refused to attend a metting that was conducted in English. Gah, I want more context and less "Jared don't know" bullshit.

posted by chmurray at 07:36 AM on April 20

Dale Jr. Finishes Race For Competition's Car

This strikes me as totally bizarre and stupid. It's late and I haven't quite thought it through, but I don't understand how points are given out. Why can someone already eliminated rejoin a race? Why does it matter what car he drives? It's not "Team Hendrick" in the point standings, its some racer. If a golfer picks up someone elses clubs and fires away it wouldn't be scored as if he was some magical other person. How could his team let him get points for another team? Surely his sponsor's will be pissed, right?

posted by chmurray at 12:26 AM on April 17

Goodell wants the NFL Banhammer

Bishop you sadden me. Apparently the NFL comissioner should not be allowed to issue lifetime bans because cops are dirty pigs and the comissioner is probably getting high with prostitutes as we speak. The only problem is, the NFLPA agrees with the Comissioner. Criminals aren't welcome in the NFL. Oh yeah, coincidentally owners don't have a say in the matter. I really don't understand what position you're arguing for. The Comissioner doesn't want criminals in the NFL. The players don't want criminals in the NFL. The Owner's obviously don't give a shit either way as long as they make their money. If anything, you're allying yourself with the (rich, white, old) owners. You seem to want to preserve the status quo because you're apparently unwilling to admit that there are criminals playing in the NFL. Or are you unaware that the NFLPA supports the comissioner on this issue? What do you think is going to happen under this new policy?

posted by chmurray at 09:23 AM on April 05

Goodell wants the NFL Banhammer

I agree, give the new commish some teeth and lets see who really is running the asylum

posted by chmurray at 02:57 PM on April 04

Florida 84, Ohio State 75

Brewer's probably the MVP of the team but he might be a bit of a tweener. I'd draft Horford first, but I think all 3 of them are top 20 maybe even top 15. Personally I don't think Ohio State's system is suited for Oden. It could be just because of how dominant Florida was at every position however. I hope he goes pro and I think he could average 16 12 3 as a rookie. Imo the worst possible thing that can happen is for Conley to get drafted by a terrible team and turn into a gunner, the rest of the players i'm not too worried about.

posted by chmurray at 02:20 AM on April 03

Scratchers for Everyone!

Hell why not just /random who you invite to the playoffs too! Then you can decide the games by alternating coin flips, and do a bake-sale to determine the MVP!

posted by chmurray at 10:37 AM on March 28

Blade Runner

Seems like it could go two ways doesn't it. Once it does become a competitive advantage, and it's no guarantee that it will, I doubt anyone will prevent an otherwise normal athlete from mutilating himself in order to acquire it if they are "dedicated" enough. The Pistorius' of the world will dominate, and the "normal" runners will adapt or perish. If you like your legs, you won't be a sprinter. Or, we decide it isn't "pure", and we ban the use of "performance-enhancing" medical advances. The line is already a bit blurry here, since quite a bit of money goes into clothes, shoes, "legal" drugs, hell even psychology, in order to enhance "natural" performance. I'm not putting a best case for this scenario forward I know, but I just think it's untenable.

posted by chmurray at 10:31 AM on March 28

Why we look the other way.

drugs are illegal mmkay

posted by chmurray at 07:25 AM on March 21

Rose admits to betting on Reds every night

Would you elect him if he admits to intentionally throwing one game, just one meaningless game, in order to satisfy a gambling debt?

posted by chmurray at 08:38 AM on March 15

One Good Turn Deserves Another!

That's amazing. Kudos to the Tennessee progams for being human.

posted by chmurray at 08:50 AM on February 28

Tim Hardaway, the yin to Jon Amaechi's yang:

I think we got re-directed to the shower scenario because people apparently are unwilling to admit that they're expressing a bigoted opinion when they are. I don't hate gays I love them! Just don't make me shower with them! As a general rule women get individual shower stalls. As a general rule men do not. I'm not sure how well known this distinction is, I talked about the gender differences in showering arrangments with my wife and she was pretty much amazed/terrified. Very early in life I learned to not care. You're not there to hang out with naked people, you're there to get clean. I could care less if you're straight, gay, or have a vagina, because I'm there to get clean. My wife just blanches at the idea because she isn't used to it, which in my opinion is the whole crux of the issue. Naked bodies are naked bodies are naked bodies. People generally look the same, and if you are just there to get clean and get into some fresh clothes who really cares what your virgin eyes see. I know I don't. This whole idea that the reason we separate by attraction is amusing as hell. Certain men will behave inappropriately around women if presented the opportunity. This is damn near guarantee-able. It is a safety issue, and nothing else. Once we become evolved enough we probably will just have one common area for changing and showering. All of you who won't share a shower with a gay man are expressing a bigoted opinion. You need to examine your thinking a little harder if you honestly think you're not homophobic but you won't shower with a gay man.

posted by chmurray at 12:22 PM on February 15

Tim Hardaway, the yin to Jon Amaechi's yang:

One issue I think might be a problem for some players is in the locker room. I think some guys might be uncomfortable sharing a locker room with an openly gay player. I suppose it's potentially troubling, and could possibly hurt a teams ability to come together (I think I remember a LeBron quote to this effect). Of course LeBron is a black man, and people would have been saying that about him just 30-40 years ago... If we were to seriously look at your hypothetical (a woman on the same team as men), I doubt that the men would be shying away from showering together :) If a gay man doesn't have a problem sharing a locker room with straight men (if your knee-jerk reaction is "of course he wouldn't, you might wanna think about why that is), then straight men can just man up and stop worrying if some guy is eyeballing their nuts.

posted by chmurray at 08:32 AM on February 15

Jackson, others shoot their way out of Indiana

It's an odd trade, but my initial reaction is a positive one. This gives the Pacers a stronger interior, and judging from the games I saw in person Harrington wasn't fitting in too well with the up-tempo style we're trying to implement. Pacers roster still has some serious problems at both guard spots. Dunleavy and Granger should work out fine at the 3, and with Murphy, Diogu, and Foster rotating for time it seems Harrison is next out the door.

posted by chmurray at 02:11 PM on January 17

What John Wooden Gets Wrong About Basketball

You sir, are a fool. I'm trying to spin the original article in a more interesting direction. While I do not personally would not characterize Wooden in that manner, I think that description is a pretty fair representation of what the author is trying to do. Apparently Wooden is bad for the game because "... —it is simply a boring and blinkered way of watching a basketball game." (!!!) The parallel being that Wooden's rules are a "boring and blinkered" way of living life, perhaps? It's not just aesthetic commentary, the author is deliberately inserting moral language into his characterization, apparently trying to play some "religion = bad, spontaneous creativity = good" duality where Wooden's rules for living don't jive with our cool modern relativity. 'Cause we're all like - englightened - up in here. Sigh, this is one of the reasons I hate Slate.

posted by chmurray at 08:22 PM on December 09

What John Wooden Gets Wrong About Basketball

Some of the off court information about Wooden during his coaching is new to me and interesting, but I feel like the author of this article is playing with a straw man here. I was watching highlights of Magic Johnson and Larry Bird on YouTube just yesterday, and they were no stranger to the bounce pass, if that was the best play to be made. You can hate on Wooden's symbolism all you want, but he won games, alot of them, and if you're not willing to address that then your article is flawed in a fundamental way. My personal view of a more interesting spin on the article: What does it mean that a sanctimonious control-freak who thinks basketball should be like church is one of the most successful coaches of all time?

posted by chmurray at 06:01 AM on December 09

Jim Brown speaks about some of the things wrong with the NFL today.

I like lots of this interview, but I really disagree with capping rookie contracts, and I was very surprised to see him advocate it. NFL players have it worse off, career-wise, than in baseball or basketball. The salary cap is so low and you need such so many players that teams are always on the lookout for the next cheap bargain. You really can't afford to pay for a prospect to see if they'll develop (unless they're a quarterback) like in basketball, or just pay everyone (like in baseball). Then once you do get a fatty contract, they're not even guaranteed! I can't fault a guy for wanting to get paid, and that extends to rookie contracts.

posted by chmurray at 08:25 AM on December 01

Dallas Cowboys Boot Vanderjagt

vanderjagt was always a little crazy even when he was making his kicks for the colts, I don't feel at all sorry for the crazy bastard. I just hope vinatieri helps us finally get to the super bowl

posted by chmurray at 10:57 AM on November 29

Quick, name a sulking NFL receiver looking bad on the sidelines: Marvin Harrison?

As someone who lives in Indiapolis, I'd just like to affirm that Kravitz is a bit of a blowhard. In typical Kravitz style, by the end of the article you realize this is how he congratulates the Colts for "playing their best game of the year", and now they just need to "perform in the playoffs". The article is disjointed, inflammatory, completely without evidence, and refuses to stay on topic to boot. "I'm your number one fan, BUT...." perfectly describes Kravitz's mindset as a fan, and as a sports writer. I'm guessing the editor put the title up.

posted by chmurray at 10:46 AM on November 29

Stern Rebuke Puts Mark Cuban in His Place -- the Stands

What is there to stop him from hiring himself as an assistant coach?

posted by chmurray at 03:31 PM on November 03

NBA Doesn't Monkey Around with Racial Heckler

Personally I'm rather pleased by the idea that we're prejudiced against those who espouse racial epithets. Obviously any sordid individual who lamentably offers these warped utterances lies outside our egalitarian new age celebration of cultural differences - Run to him and save him we must! To fail this man belies our failure to truly embody the tolerance we so aspire to. To punitively punish this perverse Persian is not patriotic, it is problematic! I suggest enrollement in a racial sensitivity course, with a public relations meeting/photo shoot with the Orlando Magic and Mutombo upon completion. Lets turn a ban into a better fan!

posted by chmurray at 10:51 AM on October 31

The only guns NBA players should have are these (kiss biceps now)

There's a little more detail on specifics of the Pacer fight here. The Indianapolis Star used to have a link up to the police report itself but it appears to be pay-content now. I think its particularly important that in several different versions of the events he fired the gun two times, one before and one after he was struck by the vehicle. This would seem to give the federal charge against him some teeth. Regarding gun ownership, the only direct quote I can detect from the first article is this one: "He added that walking the streets carrying guns was "dangerous for our players," but said there has been no further discussion with the union about strengthening the policy." Seems pretty clear to me Stern is just voicing his opinion - what's the big deal?

posted by chmurray at 12:26 PM on October 26

New NBA Rules

If the NBA really understood its customer base, it would let the players wear hip-hop clothing all the time. Maybe the NBA understands where real money comes from better than you do, my friend. Protesting every single call in a game isn't showing your individuality, it's being a punk. Artistry and emotion are *supposed* to be expressed inside boundaries created by the (completely arbitrary) rules - that's your essence of sport right there. You compete against one another under a specific, agreed-upon beforehand ruleset, in order to "win".

posted by chmurray at 10:55 AM on October 13

The Importance of Being Civil

I don't think Scoop is a very good sports writer. I think his racial and occasionally racist paranoia is detrimental to his ever becoming a good sports writer. I see flashes of interesting potential, usually not developed. For example, he'll raise an interesting question or set of questions, like "What would it be like to be the jordan of your sport? What would it like to play against the jordan of your sport?" But then he'll end without developing that idea at all - "Well, what would it be like?" He would dominate a list of worst sports articles I've ever read from espn.com, and sometimes I suspect he's a "black writer writing about black issues" more than a "sports journalist", which would be fine, except he's writing for ESPN, and I read ESPN for articles and opinons about sports.

posted by chmurray at 01:08 PM on October 08