dfleming's profile

Member since: January 12, 2004
Last visit: January 30, 2015

dfleming has posted 19 links and 1649 comments to SportsFilter and 3 links and 159 comments to the Locker Room and 1 column.

Recent Links

Gary Bettman: Players locked out September 15th if no deal is reached: Would a second lockout in a decade be disastrous for hockey or for Bettman?

posted by dfleming to hockey at 03:23 PM on August 09 - 7 comments

According to Forbes' Fab 40: Tiger Woods still has the richest brand among athletes...and still by a very wide margin. The Yankees surpassed Man U as the richest team brand and the most valuable overall brand in sports is the Super Bowl. No word on whether the BAR (brand above replacement) advanced stats were used in this analysis.

posted by dfleming to golf at 06:38 AM on October 05 - 0 comments

'Thank God It Just Popped Back In': Boston Celtics guard Rajon Rondo gruesomely dislocated his elbow with 7 minutes left in the third quarter Saturday night against the Miami Heat and was taken to the locker room. He returned and one-armed the entire fourth quarter of the crucial 97-81 win, bringing the series to 2-1 Heat.

posted by dfleming to basketball at 01:44 PM on May 08 - 9 comments

Memphis come back from 16 down, win in OT: Zach Randolph's 21pt/21reb performance has the upstart Grizz up 2-1 over the Thunder.

posted by dfleming to basketball at 08:55 PM on May 07 - 3 comments

Mike Kelly: of the Winnipeg Blue Bombers was relieved of his duties as coach yesterday. It turns out, he's not very good on or off the field.

posted by dfleming to football at 08:54 AM on December 18 - 4 comments

Recent Comments

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

I love this question posted by a reporter to Goodell today: "And why aren't you available to the media every week, as Richard Sherman suggested?"

Not to mention his answer - I'm available nearly every day - is god damned laughable. Clearly the NFL just forgot to ask him to comment the last two weeks.

Plus the long line of tweets from reporters who don't get interviews is kind of awesome.

posted by dfleming at 03:33 PM on January 30

Josh Gordon: I Am Not an Addict

Right, but like many other people, his paycheck became contingent on his not drinking when he got arrested due to a problem with it. Lots of punishments in the judicial system are reduced contingent on stopping the problem behavior.

Again - it doesn't really matter if he's a volume alcoholic, or a guy with a really bad luck streak when it comes to booze and substances. If I was him, with that track record, I'd have probably put a lot more distance between a Las Vegas party trip and the last suspension by my team a few days earlier.

I hope the guy gets it - owning the mistakes is good, but changing the behavior is what is going to keep him on an NFL roster. He's probably got zero room for error now.

posted by dfleming at 02:44 PM on January 30

Josh Gordon: I Am Not an Addict

He says this:

As a strict condition to my reinstatement in Week 12, I had to agree not only to abstain from drinking for the rest of the season, but also to submit to an alcohol screen as part of my in-season drug testing under the league's substance-abuse protocol. Did I think that was excessive given I had never had any issue whatsoever with alcohol? Yes. Did I think it was hypocritical that a professional league making hundreds of millions of dollars off beer sponsorships was telling me not to drink? Yes. Did I so much as blink at the condition? No.

He thinks these conditions were hypocritical, and doesn't think he's ever had issues with drinking despite getting caught drinking and driving six months ago. I don't know how to take that - other than someone else has the problem (the NFL's hypocrisy), but not him.

You don't have to be a volume consumer to have a problem with the stuff - one of the telltale signs being, when you touch it, your life goes to shit.

I think it's an impassioned essay, and Josh Gordon deserves a ton of respect for utilizing his talents to get out of a world I don't at all know. That must've been a huge struggle.

But - Josh Gordon was suspended by his team a few days earlier, then decided it was appropriate to go to Vegas drinking on a private plane. He's free to do what he wants, but the consequence is that people are going to rightly question why it is you can't make the rational decision to keep your head down, kill it, and get a massive deal that makes you set for life.

Either that's a problem with your decision making skills, or a problem with substance, but regardless, it's not a problem with perception, and that's all this essay is trying to fix.

posted by dfleming at 12:35 PM on January 30

Josh Gordon: I Am Not an Addict

One of the tell-tale signs of addiction (vs. recreational use) is an inability to see the problems associated with your use as related to the use - but rather, a product of the environment around you. But that's also the case for people who are just generally unable to make good long-term value judgments on their own behaviour. In Gordon's case, it seems as though the latter is going to be what kills his career.

Yes - people are human, and make mistakes - but Josh Gordon's gone from being one of the elite WR in the NFL on his way to a huge payday to a guy who may get cut because he violated the terms that got his suspension reduced the first time around. All for the sake of a single beer? Doesn't it make that beer, for the duration of your "make-good" period, totally not worth it?

Fact is, I don't like the draconian NFL view on pot and alcohol. I think nature will take its course and guys who can't cut it because they're high too much will naturally get (sic) weeded out.

But Josh Gordon's found a way to violate even the things I don't like - drinking and driving, and not being committed enough to make a team walkthrough while trying to make it up to your team for getting suspended. Fact is - a lot of us avoid getting caught drinking and driving by never doing it. We show up to work every day, knowing that we don't have a right to get paid. Those are patterns of behaviour that people want to invest in, and do. Greatness is not about skill - it's about continued and predictable execution, and unfortunately Josh Gordon at 23 is not great.

I hope the guy can get out from under the spectre of the NFL's ire and make it right. But - focusing on whether or not you're an addict is again focusing on things other than what the actual problem is - that Josh Gordon needs to learn how to make decisions with a long-term view if he is going to deserve the investment of a team past high-risk, short-term contracts. Clock starts now on that.

posted by dfleming at 07:50 AM on January 30

New MLB Commissioner: We May Ban Defensive Shifts

This, and having to defend Fred Wilpon being appointed to the finance committee, is a pretty epic way to introduce yourself to the public. Heck of a low bar to start from.

posted by dfleming at 04:37 PM on January 27

Stats Guru: Patriots Hold Onto Ball Far Better Than Any Other Team

Jay Glazer is reporting the NFL is zeroing in on a locker room attendant who took balls somewhere between the officials room and the field and has video.

posted by dfleming at 04:43 PM on January 26

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

League statement - so far, they know the balls in the first half were under inflated despite a pre-game inspection, balls were re-inflated at halftime and remained inflated in the second half.

This statement on, say Monday night, would seem like an appropriate amount of detail, as all of the cursory measurements and referee actions would've been defined by then. But this is day five. If the Pats are co-operating as the league says, you could assume they would've had all video, plus interviews with all key staff, available at their disposal almost immediately. And yet - on Friday - they're talking about retaining a forensic investigative firm, as though that has just occurred to them?

This is absolutely bonkers bad management on the part of the NFL. At this rate, it is going to dominate into next week - the week that is supposed to be about hyping the biggest game of the year. Is Goodell going to hide from the media until the investigation is complete? Because it's the only thing they're going to want to talk to him about now - not just the facts, but also the bizarrely slow investigation that took at least 4 days to interview Tom Brady.

It'll be a distraction not only for the Pats players, but also for the Seahawks who have to prepare for the personnel they think will be on the field, as well as do a ton of media next week.

posted by dfleming at 02:25 PM on January 23

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Tom Brady claimed today he's never been interviewed by the league about the balls. Four days in, and the NFL hasn't talked to him?

That's baffling. I don't even know what else they could be doing the four days previous other than interviewing key people and watching video. Tom Brady is, arguably, the most key person involved. It is incredible that we're four days in with only Troy Vincent's "we're looking into it" statement as the only thing from the NFL.

I get that I'm beating a dead horse nobody really wants to ride (and I'm stopping after this post), but as I said upthread, for me - if this ends up being true, I'm fucking done as a Pats fan. Full stop. So I'd like to at least have one person on the record with access to some information who says that they believe the Pats intentionally cheated, and a sequence of events or confirmation of facts. It isn't Pagano. It's apparently not D'Qwell Jackson. It's not Tom Brady, or Bill Belichick.

So it is coming down to someone in the NFL head office waking from their collective nap to actually confirm exactly what happened, and ideally, by whom. I'm willing to wait for that before I pour a scotch and commiserate over fallen stars.

posted by dfleming at 08:30 PM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

It's unclear what position you are trying to carve out. Sorry if you already did. Would you have me believe that this was accidental? A coincidence?

No - I find it painfully ironic that someone calling for "the fucking truth" is so ingrained in a story that currently has anonymous league sources at the core of it and no actual, you know, report you can read.

11/12 balls has not been confirmed by anyone - it's one story's anonymous sources. 2 PSI has not been confirmed by anyone. Heck, the Mortensen story has a contradiction between two different reports - one that balls were refilled and put back in for the second half, another that different balls were put in for the second half because the first were irregular.

There are sources saying that the Colts noticed balls in a previous game - and others saying the Ravens tipped them off. So forgive me for not rushing to a conclusion on a story where nobody with access to actual information is on the record yet. Nobody on the Ravens, or the Colts, has confirmed anything they did. Wait, sorry - Pagano is on the record saying he didn't notice anything.

Tomorrow, maybe I wake up to a league source, on the record, confirming all of this. Or - maybe it's a story that a lot of the sources were incorrect and it has been blown out of proportion.

So that's my position - Brady's press conference confirmed his position that he knows nothing, to which I would expect some confirmed evidence to prove that isn't true before I indict him as disingenuous, a liar, and a cheat. If he got up and said "yeah, I did something", that would be a new fact, for which we have very, very few at this point. But that didn't happen.

I haven't played football in 10 years and I could easily tell the difference ... anyone on this forum could.

...except that the idea that the Pats have been doing this at least since November has not been noticed by refs who actually do handle the balls every week. How does that figure in to "anyone could" if they couldn't?

posted by dfleming at 07:24 PM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

That's not true, he later qualified that by saying "to his knowledge." Look, I'm not trying to crucify Brady in particular. The guy can play the, "I just throw the ball" card. But Patriots, come up with an organizational response.

The organizational response if they honestly don't know is "we don't know." It really doesn't sound like there's a statement on earth that is going to make you believe anything other than what you already do.

posted by dfleming at 06:10 PM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

You know - one thing has me confused here - one of the key "facts" so far is the 11/12 balls stat - but Tom said he selected 24 balls before this game. Sometimes it's 12, sometimes 16, this one was 24. So - where are the other 12 balls in that "fact"?

He's also saying he didn't alter the balls, but he's not coming out and saying nobody in his organization did.

He said specifically he was comfortable saying nobody in the organization did anything to the balls. About 2/3 of the way through the interview.

But yeah, there's also the one opinion that matters, the fucking truth.

Truth is not an opinion. It is fact.

posted by dfleming at 05:15 PM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

It's fucking nuts how disingenuous Tom Brady is in this interview.

If he doesn't know anything (hypothetically) - what would he say that would be genuine right now to satisfy you?

posted by dfleming at 04:43 PM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Fines keep me from driving twenty over and they'll keep the Patriots from tossing flaccid pigskins around. I don't care if people drive ten over and I don't care if Tom Brady wants his balls at 11 PSI.

The latter part of your argument negates the first - some things you think are illegal that shouldn't be (otherwise you'd care about them), therefore the fine isn't prevent you from acting however you want to act. So it's useless.

Plus - I am sure you're aware you're way more likely to get caught doing 20 over than 10, which isn't about the fine as it is the likelihood of getting prosecuted for the crime. So yet again, I think the speeding analogy isn't correct.

posted by dfleming at 12:12 PM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Harbaugh said they never touched the Patriots offensive balls* but Glazer says the Ravens did tip the Colts off which makes the whole "Colts noticed it earlier this year" thing weird.

It's also strange that the balls are seemingly undetectable by officials who are handling them and the Ravens say they never touched them (despite the fact Daryl Smith picked a Brady pass off, so in fact someone did), so either they had no basis to tip them off, or they did because they did in fact touch a game ball. Either way - something in that story is incorrect.

posted by dfleming at 11:55 AM on January 22

11 of 12 Patriots' Balls Deflated, ESPN Reports

Sure, but I think we disagree on the severity of the crime. I think it's speeding, punishable by fine if it gets out of hand.

But the point of penalties is to prevent - not to punish - otherwise, they're just revenue generators (which is most people's big problem with speeding fines and how they mysteriously happen at the end of the month.)

posted by dfleming at 11:47 AM on January 22