dfleming's profile

Homepage URL: http://leftyoneoutguy.com
Member since: January 12, 2004
Last visit: March 30, 2015

dfleming has posted 19 links and 1716 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 Thursday Huddle

Yeah - it seems like a lose/lose for players and teams to have a rule that you can get around by sending a guy down for two weeks. Fixing it will be a battle, but once it's fixed it will be better for everyone.

The competitiveness of the big league game takes a hit for what could easily be a straight rule on whether or not a guy plays a particular year or not. Similar to the option rules, they often mean lesser players are in the bigs for roster management reasons.

Sure, there might be edge cases where a guy gets 10 at-bats, gets hurt, and then the team loses a year of eligibility, but in general simplifying these rules would make it more likely the right guys are the right levels for the right reasons.

posted by dfleming at 03:30 PM on March 26

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Bloomsburg baseball player booted for offensive Mo'ne Davis tweet

It takes a real special kind of douchebaggery to call a 13-year-old a slut.

posted by dfleming at 10:53 AM on March 23

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

I mentioned that as one of the two conditions where it creates economic impact in my first comment - people travelling from one market to another.

But you spending money in other cities in Florida doesn't do anything for the state budget (sales tax in Viera or Orlando or Jacksonville all go to the same state, minus any local surtaxes, but those don't go to the state either), which was the whole thing that I started with - the governor of the state claiming it would cost the state $10m is a patently ridiculous statement.

With teams bordering around them in Kansas City, Tennessee, Indianapolis, and Chicago all in close proximity, and the Rams having been so lousy for the last decade, it's pretty unlikely that they are drawing thousands of out-of-state fans to the state for Rams home games. They may be drawing folks from local counties in, but that does nothing for the state budget.

posted by dfleming at 09:35 PM on March 22

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Why do you find it hard to believe that a person who likes a specific form of entertainment will spend money on that when it is available, and keep the money when it isn't?

Because I've looked at the data on saving and spending habits. Those questions are vague because we're not talking about all the spending on one Sunday, but the spending of citizens over a year in their cities. Do they spend the same amount of money they make each year, regardless of what it's on? Yes - primarily they do.

I'm also not inventing this out of belief - I'm saying the majority of people don't do what it is that you're suggesting, no matter how irrational it is. People in towns spend almost all of their money every month regardless of whether or not it's on sports teams.

What you seem to be envisioning if the Jags leave is 50,000 people in Jacksonville who just sit at home quietly in a room on Sunday afternoons and don't consider anything else they might do with their time and money. They don't go to sports bars to watch games, or watch other sports live, or take their partners on dates, or take their families to the movies or to an amusement park, or do anything else.

And what I'm suggesting is, based on all economic data and trends I have seen to date, people have not one thing they wish to do with their money, but many things, and when one preference is unavailable, they find others that maximize the happiness of their lives in the present. People who used to go to LA Rams games do other things today than they did then.

posted by dfleming at 12:28 PM on March 20

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

When I attend sporting events, I don't usually think about whether I've refrained from other spending to make up for it.

You don't consider what your current Visa balance is at when deciding on future purchases? You've not once thought that a particular month's expenses were high, and you might rein it in for a little bit to compensate?

It's not a direct "this, therefore not that" thought process that most people use as their decision-making mechanism. It's either hitting their credit card limit (therefore I can't buy other things), a review of their bank balance, or a desire to not be perpetually in deficit that causes people to decide not to eat out that week, not to drop by the pub after work, not to grab Starbucks, etc.

The things we've bought absolutely help to dictate what it is we buy in the future.

Some people will hang onto it because none of the alternatives are enough to motivate them to part with the money they used to spend on a NFL team.

If you actually look at the data on what people do with their money, this is categorically untrue for all but a small percentage of the population.

Most people spend how much money they have, and very few look at the variety of other consumption options (including housing expenses and upgrades, electronics, food and beverage, cars, and servicing other debt) and think "well, there are literally no other options other than Jags tickets that will satisfy me. I guess I will bank that $500."

If they did, the savings rate would create significantly more stable retirement funds for all but the wealthy than exist now. Most people's net worth is the equity in their house - they aren't building it through monthly cash flow or savings theory, which is why we have to do things like incentivize 401k contributions and other things to get them to.

posted by dfleming at 09:15 AM on March 20

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Yeah, there's a certain segment of folks at any event who act as though the event exists exclusively for them and they're happy to elbow you out of the way and block your view and forget about common courtesy because it's their world.

I wonder, though, if mobs are representative of how many people really want to break stuff all the time or how many people would break stuff once a bunch of people already are and their own behaviour is now part of a collective. I suspect belief in the latter and it being about exponential growth is why I feel safer in smaller venues - more followers than leaders out there.

posted by dfleming at 01:41 PM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

I wish we were able to nail the "investing in long-term benefits is sexy" narrative bill, but sadly, the collective "we" really love shiny new things. If we were, maybe the water and sewer infrastructure throughout North America wouldn't be crumbling daily.

posted by dfleming at 01:39 PM on March 19

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Any time you bring tens of thousands of people to an event there are going to be increased business for grocery stores for tailgate supplies, gas stations, restaurants, bars, parking lots and stadium concessions, all of which help those businesses and their employees and generate sales taxes. Local newspapers, radio and TV stations also benefit because the team draws more eyeballs and they can sell them to advertisers.

This only works if you're enticing people to spend money they aren't spending already in the area - either by attracting people to the area, convincing them not to leave the area, or convincing them to cut their spending rate and to spend more money. The area, in the case of the Governor, is the state of Missouri.

It's the same argument that is used when a Wal-Mart opens up - that it creates jobs and tons of economic impact. Lots of economic analysis (this one is on a Lowe's where 115 jobs were created, and as many as 163 jobs were destroyed) suggests all it does is shave it from other businesses and centralize it in this one place, and very little (if any) new money is created, and often times, jobs are destroyed. In the case of big entertainment - it's money that might've been distributed at a variety of other places.

So - my point is that, while there is a centralized and clustered spending pattern that occurs in places in and around the stadium, if the Rams weren't playing that Sunday, it would be spread out at other retailers, restaurants, etc. throughout the week. The 5.5% saving number that yerfatma cites is not a normally-distributed dataset (I have a couple of local Canadian studies behind a university paywall that are similarly-focused) - it's a small number of people saving a lot, and a lot of people servicing debt like mortgages, student loans, and credit card debts, and spending the rest on survival and luxuries with nothing left over.

Similarly - if you're in a market where the governments spend all, if not more, than they earn - the capital spending on the project also is not new money. We typically shave from other budgets to accommodate a stadium build, which means that money was already cycling through the economy at status quo.

The majority people aren't spending new money at the stadium, but instead cutting back on other spending to compensate for their day out. I've made this argument to deaf ears at the local and provincial level as an economist in Canada.

posted by dfleming at 10:41 AM on March 19

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Great article - thanks for sharing.

You could sub a whole whack of stuff in there - politics, music, entertainment, ideology - and it holds that it is as though it exists for some people as an outlet to yell at others. Unfortunately, that shit is what enough people watch in droves and that means losing all the reasonable people in the process isn't bad for business.

I think it's always been this way on a micro scale, it just happens in today's day and age that the volume's gone from 2 to 11 and it's drowning everything else out. It used to be that your sporting experience might be marked by a couple of shows on TV, folks at the bar, the people in your stadium section, and your friends and family.

It wasn't that long ago (heck, it still happens in soccer) where yelling racial epithets, hurling batteries, talking about people's ugly wives, and chanting about people's dead mothers was part of the in-sport experience. Now it's done largely anonymously via the internet, and the volume of it is such that it dwarfs the reasonable folks out.

My last two stadium experiences - Foxboro and Yankee Stadium - left me feeling unsafe and largely disinterested in the in-game experience. We met a group of rough looking 49ers fans on the way to Foxboro who turned out to be really lovely people, but once we got in our section, my internal conflict turned out to be thinking about telling the Pats fan two rows down to stop yelling the N word at a bunch of 49er fans in the section below. He was ready for a fight, and quite honestly, it ruined the entire experience to think that I had to chose between being a coward or getting in a fight - both things I loathe. The game itself was awesome, but I had a lousy time.

The good news, at least, is the niche market for reasonable sports experience is out there. SpoFi, however small in the grand scheme of things, is a really great resources - in part because the moderation have been brilliant at discouraging the tribalism that begets hatred and anger here. Podcasts as a collective seem to do better than video, and there's a relatively robust analytical community in all sports that delights me to no end.

It's just a shame that we have not figured out how to keep the humanity in things as they scale in size. I now shy away from large music festivals, political rallies, and sports events, and find myself getting excited about obscure pro-ball games simply because there's a safety and human touch still left in the experience. It sucks to no longer be able to catch a live performance of a band or player because their audience has scaled, but I'd rather not have to deal with racism, sexism, tribalism, and violence just to enjoy something. It's not worth it.

posted by dfleming at 09:57 AM on March 19

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Jerry Jones: November 11th, 2014 - "There's no question in my mind, the emphasis we have on spousal abuse in the NFL and the lack of tolerance for it. It's intolerable and will be adjudicated accordingly."

Jerry Jones: March 18th, 2015 - 'Well, unless we get a bunch of sacks out of the deal.'

posted by dfleming at 04:30 PM on March 18

Obama Proposal Could End Taxpayer-Subsidized Pro Sports Stadiums

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon, a Democrat, has said losing the Rams would cost the state at least $10 million a year.

No - they gross $10m a year in revenue. They cost the state in terms of infrastructure (stadium capital costs; busses and roads/tax breaks on land that might net higher property tax/etc.) - costs that will likely escalate if it takes a new stadium to keep them.

Considering most people spend every cent of their pay cheque anyways, the argument it stimulates activity in the local economy is bogus. People eating out on Sunday instead of Tuesday doesn't generate any new money. People shopping at this Wal Mart near the stadium vs. that Target in a business park doesn't do anything for the economy. The exceptions are:

a) Keeping dollars that would otherwise be spent out of Missouri in Missouri; or
b) Attracting dollars from other states for gamedays/sales tax on merch.

To which, as far as I can tell, the Rams are unlikely to be massive movers in either category.

I don't know why guys with control over these massive public budgets can't fucking figure out that gross revenue =/= net revenue. If you spend $12m/year on a capital project for whom there are next to no other possible tenants (therefore meaning it's Rams rent or bust for this huge, expensive stadium), and it nets you $10m a year in direct revenue, it's a god damned cost to taxpayers.

posted by dfleming at 12:19 PM on March 18

49ers Linebacker Retires at 24, Says NFL Isn't 'Worth the Risk'

There's a thread down here.

posted by dfleming at 10:26 AM on March 18

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

I kind of wonder whether or not even base-level NFL salaries are now at such a point where the reward is enough over a couple of years to give up the long-term risk.

Borland only made a few hundred thousand last year, but he's got a free college degree and (presumably) a positive balance sheet at 24. There aren't very many people in the U.S. who weren't born rich who can say that, and he now can enter another career with a bit of a safety net under him.

These are all pieces of anecdata where guys are leaving money (MJD and Locker, a little; Worilds, Borland and Willis, a lot) on the table. It's certainly not a trend yet, but it's really inspiring to see even a few guys in their 20's analyzing research and listening to the older pros and choosing the long-term over the short-term. It's the only way the game will truly be reformed - if the star power dulls a little and the NFL can't ignore it anymore.

posted by dfleming at 12:09 PM on March 17

Tim Tebow Working Year-Round on Throwing Mechanics

Honestly, I'm not surprised that with that much dedication to his mechanics that Tebow got a look. Quarterbacking depth is so poor in the NFL and guys like Vince Young and Josh Freeman are still on the periphery because of it. It takes an hour to evaluate Tebow to determine whether or not the rest of his skill-set goes with a consistent left arm now. The prospect of that, coupled with all his "intangibles", is a lot more worthwhile than evaluating Tyler Thigpen for the umpteenth time.

These guys should pay a tithe to Kurt Warner for making GMs believe it's indeed possible for a late 20's quarterback to emerge from his previous mediocrity as Cinderella.

posted by dfleming at 10:48 AM on March 17

The NFL free-agency period begins with a slew of major moves

I think if Bradford's healthy and the offensive line gets filled out well, he'll be a pretty good compliment to a strong, multi-headed running game. Ertz and Sproles in a play-action, ball-control scheme will help limit how often he's dropping back deep in the pocket and getting killed, which has been his career to date.

If Bradford was the guy they've wanted for months, though, it makes zero sense to me to re-up with Sanchez and not to chase one of the more game-manager type veterans on the market. Sure, he knows the system (despite the fact 50% of the playmakers are gone), but he's not going to plug-and-play into an accuracy and tempo based system if Bradford goes down.

posted by dfleming at 12:04 PM on March 13