Wednesday, December 30, 2015

5 win teams prove NCAA is wrong about bowls - again!

I posted before about the NCAA crying about how there were too many bowls, it wasn't fair that 5 win teams got to go, blah blah blah.  Well guess what?  Did anyone notice that all three of those 5 win teams WON their games?  That's right, so who's laughing now?  One has to ask how deserving were the 6, 7, and 8-win teams they played (and beat).

Monday, December 28, 2015

On Why Bowl Results Don't Matter (Again)

This is your annual reminder that, with the possible exception of the games in the "playoff", bowl games absolutely do not matter. You cannot tell a damn thing about how good a team is, how good a conference is , what a team's prospects are for next year, or really anything at all. This is because:

A Declaration of Sixers-Hood


The plan known as "The Process" by which the Philadelphia 76ers basketball club is attempting to rebuild itself is contingent on acquiring and developing as much cheap young talent as possible while not worrying about wins in the short term


Due to the vagaries of injuries, draft position, the greed and short-sightedness of various NBA General Managers, the 76ers have focused on drafting "the best available player" in order to stockpile as much raw talent as possible.

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Beckham/Norman, With No Armchair Psychoanalysis

Here is what we know:

Giants receiver Odell Beckham Jr., after mixing it up with Panthers cornerback Josh Norman all day, took a running start at him and planted his helmet squarely on Norman's earhole.
This is not allowed.

Sunday, December 20, 2015

Various Rushes That Are Better Than NFL Color Rush

Yes, even during the mustache-and-sweater phase

In Order:
  1. Canadian prog-rock gods Rush

Color Rush Is A Crime Against Nature

Worst. Minions. Cosplay. Ever. 
Listen carefully.

There is a word for the new "color rush" uniforms the NFL made the Rams and Bucs wear Thursday night.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Things Broadcasters Are Forced to Say

The real proof that football season lasts too long is in listening to commentators desperately trying to fill air time as things stretch on and on.

Take, for example, respected and generally with-it reporter Will Brinson, who, when discussing the coke-fueled bouncy house party that the ECU coaching carousel became, sternly suggested that East Carolina could not possibly succeed in a conference with teams like Houston if they kept scheduling powerhouses like Virginia Tech. Houston, the AAC champion, instead scheduled Louisville, and there's no comparison between scheduling VT and scheduling Louisville.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

115 stadiums and counting - the year in review

About a week and a half ago I drove from North Carolina to Mobile, AL to see App State take on the South Alabama Jaguars.  This was my 115th FBS stadium, not counting bowl games or other special events.  The game started at 6:30 local time, so I had plenty of time to drive the whole way on Saturday, and then come home Sunday.

Some people say I'm crazy (very few have incontrovertible proof though).  But, as I tell my friends, obsession is what lazy people call commitment, and when you are committed to seeing all 130 FBS stadiums, you just don't balk at a 20-hour road trip!

Friday, December 11, 2015

2 semester sport? What are you talking about? Aka why the NCAA is crazy for not allowing a bigger play-off

So here we are again, friends, talking about bowl games.  I meant to write about something else today, but the powers that be keep making stupid comments, so here I go again (on my own).

Earlier this week I read an article on, saying there is no way the play-off will get any bigger, because the university presidents don't want to add more games, and push the season further into January.  That would make football a 2 semester sport, and that would mess up the academics too much.  Because the academics are the most important thing, right?

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Top 10 Questions Coming Out Of The Baseball Winter Meetings

Now that the annual baseball winter meetings have wrapped up and all the job seekers, stringers, and agents for backup catchers have caught their flights home, it's time for folks to declare "winners" and "losers" of the deals that went down.

Which is ridiculous. Because nobody's playing a game for another three and a half months and moves don't get made in a vacuum, and besides, nobody's signed Yoenis Cespedes yet.

Wednesday, December 09, 2015

Would anyone really care if more teams went to bowl games? Aka 6 reasons to have even more bowl games

So in my last post, which I know you all read, right?  RIGHT?  I criticized the NCAA for whining about there not being enough 6 win teams to fill all the bowl slots, which is ironic because it is the NCAA's fault in the first place for permitting too many of them.

Then I got to thinking, so what if more 5 win teams went to bowl games, or even 4 win teams?  Would anybody really care?

Monday, December 07, 2015

NCAA reps please read - 2 brilliant ideas on how to solve the bowl game problem

In my last post I called the NCAA a bunch of boneheads b/c they were whining about teams with less than 6 wins going to bowl games (3 of which are, thanks in part to South Alabama failing to qualify on Saturday in a game they could have won).  Totally the NCAA's fault, because they let it happen.  So here's how you fix it:

Saturday, December 05, 2015

Logic and Playoff Spots

Here's a thing.

If your argument is that two teams contending for one spot in the college football playoffs have essentially the same record, except that one team played better opponents because they were in a better conference, then you have invalidated your initial argument.

If your argument is that it's not your team's fault that they played in a weak football conference and they could only play the teams they were scheduled, then you are automatically disqualified from dismissing that argument when it is used to support the candidacy of mid-major schools for NCAA basketball tournament spots. It is called intellectual consistency, people. Learn it, live it, love it.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

I was right about the bowl games - but why does that surprise you?

A few weeks ago I posted about there probably being too many bowl games - I totally scooped ESPN on this with my mad analysis.  I figured out that (at that time) there were not enough teams within enough wins to fill the bowls (based on current # of wins and projecting forward over time using kick-ass modeling skills).  No I won't give you my secret sauce.

Now the pundits have finally figured this all out, and the boys in charge are making a big stink about it, saying they will let some bowl games "go dark" to slow down growth in games.  Well, what the hell did you expect to happen?

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

114 stadiums and counting (aka Joe Paterno & bad signs)

Continuing this week's theme of bagging on Michigan State for not being undefeated, and also because they thoroughly humiliated my beloved Penn State Nittany Lions a few days ago, Spartan Stadium was #114 in my ongoing quest to visit all 129 (soon to be 130) FBS stadiums.  Fun fact - "Nittany" was added to "Lions" in Penn State's mascot years ago to create a more powerful version of the Big Cat (Nittany Lions are WAY better than just plain old Panthera leos).

Whose Lede Is It Anyway?

The Philadelphia 76ers won a game Tuesday night.

It was the first game they'd won this year.

Monday, November 30, 2015

College Football Playoff Possibilities

Now that the college football regular season has mercifully wrapped up, the playoff picture is finally coming into focus. If the playoff were held today, we'd be looking at Clemson vs Iowa and Oklahoma vs. Alabama, and lots of insane ranting from Ohio State fans (because somehow OSU's loss to Michigan State shouldn't count) and Pac-12 fans (because East Coast bias) and Michigan State fans (because they haven't yet figured out that 1 loss is more than 0 losses) and SEC fans (because it's not a real playoff unless there's multiple SEC teams in it, and damn both Les Miles and the torpedoes).

But we still have that one week of conference championship games, and here's how things stand heading into them:

113 stadiums and counting (aka Ga Tech's football team once beat Cumberland 222-0)

Do I love football more than my family?  Maybe.  Probably.  I don't know.  Well, really I do know but I am (kind of) afraid to admit it!  Good thing my mom is not rich otherwise I would have to worry about her writing me out of her will...

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why The Eagles Stink And Why ESPN Is Wrong About It

Not in any way, shape or form responsible for the Eagles' collapse
Thursday night, ESPN radio personality Robin Lundberg attempted to defend beleaguered Eagles coach Chip Kelly. "Point to one move," Lundberg sputtered, "That was that bad". The logic being, of course, that since there's no "disaster" move the definitively turned the playoff-bound Eagles into Tulane, there's nothing to see here and the Eagles' collapse can most likely be blamed on pixie dust, too much sushi, or the sudden difficulty in finding certain pieces of the Hooters' back catalog.

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving at Duke

This Thanksgiving, on national television, we will get to watch the latest chapter in the Greg Hardy saga play out. A man who committed unrepentant acts of domestic violence, scooped up by a narcissistic vulture of an owner for the greater glory of his investment, shielded by the weakest of claims of concern and vetting. But hey, Cowboys games on Thanksgiving are a tradition, and the show must go on.

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

112 stadiums and counting

So I was sick for most of last week, but since I can't help myself, on Friday afternoon I left my house in North Carolina at 6 pm, and drove all the way to the Alabama state line, where I stopped for the night.  The next morning I continued on to Hattiesburg, MS to see Old Dominion take on Southern Miss.  The game was back and forth well into the 3rd quarter, until So Miss recovered a fumble (which led to a TD) and then on the next series batted a pass at the line (around Old Dominion's own 3 yard line no less) which become a pick 6 - So Miss ended up winning 56-31, much to the delight of the home fans.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

111 stadiums & counting (aka, 3 games in 3 days across 3 states, part 3)

So after watching UTEP beat Rice by 3 on November 6th, I spent the night in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and then took a long, lonely drive up to Albuquerque to see New Mexico take on Utah State (also a close game).  The weird thing about driving in New Mexico is they have these border checkpoints really far north, a lot father north than you might expect, perhaps America's second line of defense against illegal immigration?

Monday, November 23, 2015

110 stadiums & counting (aka, 3 games in 3 days across 3 states, part 2)

For the second game in my (not quite) road trip, I flew to El Paso to finally see the Sun Bowl, which was #110 on the list.  The Sun Bowl is a stadium I have been looking forward to seeing for a long time, since I have been told numerous times it is unique as it was literally carved out of the mountain.  While this is a little bit of an overstatement, it is a decent stadium.  Very small crowd though, so I even said in my review this stadium may be best seen for the bowl game in December.  I didn't realize this until I went there, but the Sun Bowl was actually BUILT for the express purpose of having the bowl game, b/c their old stadium just wouldn't suffice.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Bad Year For Philly

This is how it was supposed to go this year for Philadelphia sports fans.

The Phillies were going to be terrible, but we knew that, and at least they'd finally embraced the notion of the rebuild. Sure, old favorites were going to get shipped off, but we'd see fresh talent brought in, and there would be some glimmerings of hope for the future.

Friday, November 20, 2015

On Terrible Football

If there has been one recurring theme this NFL season, it is this: terrible football.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Politics and Sports Redux


A suicide bomber attempts to make his way inside a stadium where the French and German national teams are playing a "friendly", with the President of France in attendance. He is turned away and detonates himself on the street, the explosion audible inside the stadium. The choice of targets was not accidental.

Friday, November 13, 2015

The Dustypocalypse

Now that everyone in DC is done freaking out, eight thoughts on the reality of Dusty Baker as manager

Thursday, November 12, 2015

109 stadiums & counting (aka, 3 games in 3 days across 3 states, part 1)

For those following along at home, I am on a mission to see all 129 FBS stadiums - eventually this will be all current stadiums, by the by, but for now I am satisfied to say I have seen 111 of them play at home, plus some stadiums only used for bowl games & other special match-ups, like the Red River Rivalry (including all the NFL stadiums along the way, b/c every NFL team has a college team nearby, so you can see both in the same weekend).

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

NFL Stadium Boondoggle Reaches A New Low

Not Actually NFL Spokesman Eric Grubman, though the confusion is understandable

As part of the ongoing St. Louis/Los Angeles/Oakland/San Diego stadium mess, it's the NFL's job to shake down municipalities for as much money as is possible. It's what the NFL does, in much the same way that parasitic fungi bore into ant brains, make the ants behave in ways contrary to their own survival, and develop useless structures that benefit no one but the parasitic fungi themselves.

108 stadiums & counting

On a mission to see all 129 FBS stadiums/see all 129 FBS teams play at home.  Currently I have been to 111 of them, but I am still a little behind so this post is all about 108.

So we are over 2 months into the college football season.  As of the end of last year, I had been to 100 of the 129 stadiums, and here are the numbers so far for this season:

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

This Year's College Football Highlights So Far

Things I am thankful for thus far this college football season:

  1. No game has been described as "the game of the decade/century". Seeing as we've gotten an average of about six a year of those so far this millennium, that's a marked improvement.

Sunday, November 08, 2015

Very Simple Math

If you are in fact horrified by the pictures of what Greg Hardy inflicted on his then-girlfriend, if you are tired of the NFL ham-fistedly covering this stuff and teams doing the absolute minimum due diligence to allow them employ the Greg Hardys of the world in good conscience, if you do not want to reward those who reward Greg Hardy, then the math is simple.

Wednesday, November 04, 2015

107 stadiums and counting

On a mission to see all 129 (soon to be 130) FBS teams play at home.  For #107 I traveled to Phoenix (technically Tempe) to see the Sun Devils lose abysmally to Oregon.  Didn't these guys watch the Superbowl last year?  When you have 1st and goal from the 3, run the damn ball!  Don't throw an interception, especially not on 2nd down when the previous pass was almost intercepted.  What an anti-climactic way to end the game.  The euphoria of overtime, only to lose on a bonehead play.

And this is why I get mad at most of the coaches for being sissies.  At the end of the 2nd half, they had 10 seconds left, and just knelt down.  Why not try a long bomb and maybe kick a field goal for the win?  What is it about coaches that makes them think they have a better chance in OT?  Never will understand it.  My buddy says it's all about momentum, but I am not so sure.

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

On the Miami Miracle

Let us leave aside for a moment the sheer blissful irony of Duke fans up in arms about an undeserved call going another team's way and costing them a game. (True story: I once watched a Duke basketball game with a Duke alum who literally did not know what a foul was.) This, my friends, is called "karma", and it looks fabulous on you.

Would you rather your team go to a crappy bowl and win, or a good bowl and lose?

This isn't so much a post as a question.  Which would you prefer?  I am curious what people will say.  Better bowl equals more money, but losing sucks.

Too many bowl games?

So I recently noticed that there are 41 bowl games this season, up from 37 or so last season - a couple new ones have been added in obscure cities, some of them being played at baseball parks.  I actually went to one of those last year (BYU lost the inaugural Miami Beach Bowl which is played in Marlins Park).

On some level I don't mind "new" venues, b/c I am all about visiting stadiums, so any chance I get to visit a stadium I have never been to and watch a college football game I will take.  But now I think they are overdoing it.

106 stadiums and counting

For those of you following along, I am on a mission to see all 129 (soon to be 130) FBS teams play at home.  To date I have seen 108 of them, so if you paid attention to the title you will notice I am a couple posts behind.  Sorry.

So for 106, a week and a half ago, I drove to Muncie, IN to see Central Michigan take on Ball State.  I am having the worst luck with weather this season, BTW.  I have already been to two games this season that were delayed by lightning (one until the next day), and multiple games where it has rained.  But these are all over the country, so no idea what the common denominator is - unless it is just me of course.

Monday, November 02, 2015

More World Series Math

In a previous post, I (teasingly) criticized my brother-in-law about taking his kids to Game 3 of the World Series.  At a $1000 per ticket, and 0 chance of seeing them win even if they won, I argued for the statistically most probable 7th game, if he couldn't see all of them.  Turns out I was wrong - he managed to pick the one game the Mets won, and he is a die-hard Mets fan so I am sure he enjoyed it.  Kudos to him for picking right.

Eleven Takeaways From The World Series

With a hearty congratulation to the Kansas City Royals, a "that was a hell of a season" to the New York Mets, and a "oh crap, 108 days until pitchers and catchers report" for the rest of us:

  1. It doesn't matter how good your pitching staff is, it really, really helps if your fielders remember how to catch the ball.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

We Missed One

A while back, we speculated on the contrived "New York - Kansas City" angle the media would go for during this World Series.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

Fearless Predictions: The Doom of Temple


If Temple remains good at football for, say, the next two or three years (or if they stomp Notre Dame), it will get an invite to join either the Big Ten or the ACC.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

105 stadiums and counting

For those following along at home, I am currently on a mission to see a game at all 129 FBS stadiums.  Some might say I am obsessed - to them I say obsession is what lazy people call commitment.

I started out doing this for fun (or our of boredom, you decide).  But since I have started writing stadium reviews on a website called, so you can check out my reviews there:

World Series Math

In case there are any other nerds out there who like sports out there, this article is for you.  In a recent post I mentioned that my brother-in-law got tickets to game 3, so even if his team (the Mets) win he won't be able to see it.

That got me thinking about probabilities, so I crunched some number for you (you can thank me by reading this):

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Mets - Royals Storylines

Behold the Patron Saint Of This World Series!
With a Royals - Mets World Series staring us in the face, the time has come to ponder which ridiculous narratives the media is going to try to pin on this thing. Sure, the Cubs would have made it easy for those guys - billy goats, curses, etc. - but Royals-Mets? Where do you go from there? Well, it may be one of the following:

Friday, October 23, 2015

104 stadiums and counting

Continuing my quest to see all 129 FBS stadiums - for #104 I flew to Lubbock, which is a great idea if I do say so myself, b/c flying to Dallas or Houston or El Paso and driving all the way across the great state of Texas would be painful.  I got to see Texas Tech take on the #3 ranked TCU Horned Frogs.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Why football will always be better than basketball, hockey, and baseball

So my brother-in-law is taking his kids to Game 3 of the World Series next week - he is a huge Mets fan, grew up in New York, life long dream to see the Mets in the series, etc.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

103 stadiums and counting

For those of you following along, I am trying to visit all 129 FBS football stadiums (I include UAB b/c it is coming back, I don't yet include Coastal Carolina since they are not yet FBS).  And on that note, what I am technically trying to do is see every FBS play at home; I don't count bowl games or conference championship games that happen to be played at the same stadium, I only count it when I see the home team play there.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

ESPN Headline - English Translation Guide

Because sometimes the headline writers at the World Wide Leader don't quite communicate what they're after, here's a handy-dandy ESPN-English translation guide from today's ESPN.COM front page (with bonus content from the CFB page, ya nitpicking bastids)

Friday, October 16, 2015

Love/Hate Guide To the Championship Series

With the MLB playoffs down to 4 teams, it's time to take a long, hard look at who's left to figure out who's worth rooting for - and who's worth rooting against:

102 FBS stadiums and counting

Going to try to make this post a little jazzier (and shorter) than my previous ones.  For those who have been reading my posts, thanks so much.  And for any new readers, welcome aboard - let me fill you in briefly on what's going down here.

I am on a mission to see all 129 FBS stadiums, or in other words, a home game for every FBS team.  So far I have been to 105 of them, but I am behind, so this post will be about my 102nd stadium visit.  I do write stadium reviews of some of the ones I visits on, so please check out my reviews there (

Thursday, October 15, 2015

101 Stadiums & Counting, Part 2

So I have not written for a while, if anyone is keeping track.  Had a lot of things going on outside of football (wait, what?  You have other interests besides football?  For shame!).

Yeah, I know.  But the boss hasn't fussed at me yet so here goes.

In my last post (9/13) I mentioned I am trying to visit all 129 FBS stadiums (I still count UAB as one b/c they are bringing football back).  That whole thing was ridiculous, by the way.  They shut down UAB football to keep UAB from getting any of 'Bama's good recruits.  Really?  How many of 'Bama's good recruits was UAB GETTING, anyway?  And who could blame them anyway for wanting to play instead of riding the pine for the almost National Champions every year?

ACC Weekly Roundup: Week 6 - The Clemsoning

Dear Dabo Swinney:

Originally this was going to be the weekly writeup of all things ACC football, but two things happened. One, when I sat down to write that the only words that would appear onscreen were "SOUTH FLORIDA ARE YOU KIDDING ME?" And two, during your press conference, you said something that overshadowed the rest of the weekend's fairly pedestrian slate of games.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Takeout Slide Down the Slippery Slope

The Law of Unexpected Consequences broke Ruben Tejada's leg.

I mean, sure, Chase Utley did the actual deed, no doubt finally releasing all that pent-up anger from when John Lannan broke his hand and knocked him out of the playoffs in 2007, but that's not the point. Or at least not this point.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Randy Edsall Fired

And we can't say we're sad about it.

The Line Between Terp and Derp

In college sports, "It's about the kids" is the last refuge of the scoundrel.

Friday, October 09, 2015

Morning Link - Jeb Lund on Daily Fantasy

If you play daily fantasy sports, you are an aphid. 

Jeb Lund nails it here

Your Weekly ACC Roundup - Week 5

Random thoughts as we prepare for Friday night's clash of...mmm, "Titans" isn't really the word for a NC State - Virginia Tech clash, is it.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Wild Card Notes

Things we know after the Astros quietly garroted the Yankees in the AL Wild Card game:

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Good on C.C.

There's a famous story, possibly apocryphal, about hard-drinking former Yankees pitcher Ryne Duren. Supposedly, on a road trip, Duren staggered back to the team hotel well after curfew and well and truly pickled. He got on the elevator with a Yankees exec who, used to Duren's drinking but not a fan of it, sniffed, "Drunk again." Duran just smiled and said, "Me, too!"

Some versions of the story have the Yankees exec as GM George Weiss. Others say it's Casey Stengel. Honestly, it doesn't matter.

Sunday, October 04, 2015

Last Day

It is the last day of baseball's regular season.

Roughly 40% of the games being played have some sort of meaningful implication for the playoffs - who gets in, who doesn't, will there be tiebreakers, who gets home field advantage. 

Thursday, October 01, 2015

Your ACC Weekly Roundup: 4 on the Floor

Week 4 was a relatively short one for the ACC, with only 9 games involving league teams on the schedule. Then again, considering how the higher-profile games turned out, 9 might have been too many.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Friday, September 25, 2015

Your Weekly ACC Roundup: Third Time's Not Terribly Charming

It could have been a lot worse.

Mind you, it could have been a lot better. The ACC was favored in 9 of 10 games with non-conference opponents in week 3; they won 7, including 3 out of 5 from the soft white underbelly of the B1G.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

RIP Yogi Berra

All right thinking people hate the Yankees.

All right thinking people especially hate the unbeatable Yankees of the 1940s and 1950s, the Casey Stengel era of effortless dominance.

And all right thinking people resent the endless mythologizing of those Yankees over some of the worthier players from that era. See also: Phil Rizzuto, Hall of Famer. 


There was always an exception for Yogi.

Godspeed, Yogi. When you get to the fork in the road upstairs, take it.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Your Weekly ACC Football Roundup: Week 2

(a.k.a. "We have a problem and it's Houston)

These are the scores by which ACC teams beat up on their regularly scheduled tomato cans last Saturday.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

10 Key Questions For This NFL Season

As kickoff for the first full slate of games approaches, we must ask ourselves:

1-What will Bill Belichick have to do on the field to get Patriots fans to admit he doesn't always play entirely by the rules:

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Your Weekly ACC Football Roundup, Week 1

There is a very simple rule for early-season ACC football. It goes something like this:
If an ACC team plays a school from a non-power conference (usually Elon), they win big. If they play a school from a power conference, they lose.

Wednesday, September 09, 2015

101 FBS Stadiums and Counting, Part 1

So to start off, I have to say that my title is slightly misleading.  I have actually been to a lot more stadiums than 101, including pro, college, and even high school.  But it takes more words to be precise, so I usually opt out.

Thanks For the Great Summer NBA TV!

Here we are.  The day before the NFL returns – which is my personal mark for the end of summer.  This is when the sports world gets interesting again (for me) as we have multiple sports with meaningful contests on a daily/weekly basis.  Normally in July/August, I spend way too much time following training camps, free agency, and reports from practice.  Watching the NFL Network in the summer can leave with that guilty feeling of wasting hours of your life and getting dumber, similar to the feeling to realizing that Nick at Nite has been on in the background for hours.

Tuesday, September 08, 2015

Top 10 Benefits of MLB.TV

Dr. Mrs. the Sportsthodoxy and I just cut the cord on cable, choosing instead to go with a combination of Hulu, Netflix, Amazon Prime, Crackle, YouTube and about a million other options, none of which let us actually watch this week's Rick and Morty. But along with that, we got the MLB.TV package, which has become something of an obsession. Here, then, are the ten best things about watching games on MLB.TV:

Friday, September 04, 2015

A Few Thoughts On the Deflategate Verdict

No. Just no.

  1. Roger Goodell will almost certainly be fired. He had one job - keep things good for the owners - and he failed. He alienated his biggest supporter, embarassed the league, and hurt the brand. Someone more pliable and less addicted to the limelight will be filling his chair shortly.

Thursday, September 03, 2015

On the Ascent of Kirk Cousins

So Kirk Cousins, a Bobby Hoying for the new generation, is the starting quarterback for the Washington [insert less racist term here]s, not only for week 1 but for the entire season.

Tuesday, September 01, 2015

Bottom of the Ninth

Not seeing Carl Furillo Anywhere On That Field
Went to the last home game of the season for the Carolina Mudcats on Sunday, taking my father, my nephew and my brother-in-law for a bit of a family outing. Baseball games - Durham Bulls or Carolina Mudcats - have become much more of a thing for us since my parents moved down here. When I was growing up in Philadelphia, we were lucky to make one game a season. Too expensive, too much of a hassle, too crazy a schedule - my father's professional travel made mine look positively sedate - you name it. But once my folks got down here (by way of Atlanta - don't ask), it turned into a thing. A place to go where we, sometimes joined by nephew and/or brother-in-law and sometimes not - could just go, and sit, and not have to do anything but be in each other's company for a couple of hours while guys in long pajamas ran around the bases and won or lost as the circumstances dictated. 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Jordy Nelson and God’s Plan

Roger Goodell has taken a lot of flak for having too much power in the NFL.  He is the judge, jury, and executioner of discipline. He is ruling on moral issues more than any commissioner before him.  He is on a personal witch hunt against the Patriots and Tom Brady, when he’s not hugging Robert Kraft. He has too much influence on the game!  Who cares if that’s what everyone voted for and agreed to, we don’t like it anymore!

Friday, August 28, 2015

A Tale of Three Coaches

Right now there are two stories involving college football coaches getting airplay.

One comes to us from that hotbed of ethical footballing (paging Pete Carroll, err, Lane Kiffin, err, Reggie Bush, err, never mind) USC. At their annual "Salute to Troy", which, presumably does not involve a bunch of Mycenaeans sacking the campus from inside a big wooden horse, football coach Steve Sarkisian got liquored up and said a bunch of things that USC fans say all the time. Caught on audio, Sarkisian talks about, among other things, how various conference rivals of the Trojans, and I quote here, "suck".

Who Let The Dogs Out?

The Pittsburgh Steelers have signed convicted animal abuser Michael Vick to a one year contract as backup to Ben Roethlisberger. There are a wide variety of reactions to this from "OH MY GOD I'M GOING TO GO ROOT FOR THE PATRIOTS NOW!" to "Whatever" to "Who?" to "Where are we going and what's with this handbasket?"

Thursday, August 27, 2015

There's a Topical Cream For This, You Know

Spotted on an ESPN chyron today:

"Is Ohio State Already Crumbling Under Pressure To Repeat" (roughly).

I don't know. Let's see them play an actual game first and maybe, just maybe we can find out. 

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

On Tiger Being "Back"

Dear Golf Writers And Commentators:

Tiger Woods is not "back". Tiger Woods will never be "back", at least not as you describe it. He will not come back to make golf more interesting. He will not come back to chase Jack Nicklaus' record number of majors. He will not ever be the Tiger Woods of 2000-2010 you are so desperate for.

Which means you can stop doing the following things:

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

16Ks and What Do You Get?

There are a lot of reasons to go to a ballgame. Spending time with friends and/or family. Satisfying a craving for ballpark hot dogs. Watching the actual game. You know, all sorts of things.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Stick a Fork In Him (But Save The Crab Legs)

Overheard the other night while driving home from the office: Two ESPN radio chuckleheads debating whether it was too soon to call #1 overall pick Jameis Winston a bust.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Self-Evident Truths

These ten things we at Sportsthodoxy hold to be self-evident:

  1. There is no such thing as an "elite" quarterback, and any argument over who is or is not elite is purest bullshit. This is why video games are better than football; in video games, you know when you level.

Saturday, August 08, 2015

Worth the Money

There may be nothing stupider on sports talk radio than the "Does Player X deserve his contract?" discussion1. It stems from a place of envy and ignorance, namely, that athletes are overpaid and thus we as fans should be the arbiter of their worthiness. (the "We pay your salary!" cri de cornhole is the worst manifestation of this nonsense. No, sir no matter how many $12 Bud Lights you've purchased at the ballpark, you're not paying A-Rod's salary. Not even a little bit of it.) The unspoken answer is always "No", and the real debate is "can said player do enough to get us to forgive him for making that much money?"

Monday, August 03, 2015

Trade Deadline's Winners And Losers

Every major event on the sporting calendar is accompanied by a flurry of "Winners/Losers" articles. Drafts, trade deadlines, free agency periods, you name it, and the MBL non-waiver deadline is no exception. And if you look around, you'll see a ton of pieces mostly spitting up the same points over and over: The Blue Jays, Royals and Astros won, the Phillies got decent value for Hamels, and we're stunned San Diego didn't do anything. (Not entirely true: they added Mark Rzepczynski). But we here at Sportsthodoxy like to dig deeper, and to expose the unorthodox winners and losers. And maybe, just maybe, to frame the debate in terms of obscure late-period Muppets. So without further ado:

Saturday, August 01, 2015

Here's Some Heresy For You

As long as Alex Rodriguez has been in New York, he's been a mess. He's been awkward with the media, he's been an occasional jerkface, he's had issues in the clubhouse, and he's been about as media-savvy as a sasquatch confronted with a smartphone. Never has a Yankee been so widely hated, even when he was producing well; once the production dried up and the allegations started, the NewYork papers piled on him like he was one of David Dinkins' last remaining political appointees.

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Kraft-to-English Translation

Roughly speaking, this is what Patriots owner Robert Kraft said in his epic meltdown over the NFL's decision to uphold Tom Brady's suspension:

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Sunday, July 26, 2015

And That Might Be A Wrap, Cole Hamels Edition

Also, the winner of the Phillies "Sam Winchester Cosplay Contest" six years running
Congratulations to Cole Hamels for throwing a no-hitter against his possible future employer, the Chicago Cubs, yesterday. Almost certainly the best pitcher the Phillies have developed since Robin Roberts (who else? Bruce Ruffin? Marty Bystrom? Tyler Green?), Hamels is wasted on a Phillies team that's going nowhere and won't be ready to contend for about another 3 years. He's also cost-controlled, with 3 more years left on his contract, and he's pretty durable, all of which make him an obvious candidate to be moved.  

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Confession: I Am Fascinated By The 76ers

I swear, I don't know how I got on this court with professional basketball players!
The Philadelphia 76ers are awful. As they currently stand, they are a horribly constructed basketball team with an overabundance of tall men who will not play basketball for them this season, a veritable armada of D-League guys soaking up second half minutes, and nobody on the roster who can distribute the ball without tripping over it. They won 18 games last year. This year, with former top pick and potential franchise player Joel Embiid getting knocked out for another year by a broken foot and the very real possibility of JaKarr Sampson making the roster, they may be worse. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

File This One Under Irony

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is throwing tantrums all over the internet over DeAndre Jordan's decision to back out of an oral deal and re-sign with the Los Angeles Clippers for roughly equal money. (NBA salary money is not real money, and then you get into state income taxes and the sorts of insane clawbacks that numbskulls like Scott Walker are trying to implement and, well, forget it. Suffice to say that the Jordan family will probably be doing just fine for a long time regardless.)

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is, in essence, mad at Jordan for being selfish and not honoring his oral agreement.

Mavericks owner Mark Cuban is a huge fan of libertarian doorstop manufacturer and author Ayn Rand.

One of Rand's best-known works (besides "I will bang your much younger boyfriend because Philosophy") is entitled "The Virtue of Selfishness".

Suck it, Mark Cuban.

Friday, July 10, 2015

4 Views of DeAndre Jordan

Paul Pierce Instagrammed a what?
The sports world has lost its collective mind over the recent pas de deux performed by DeAndre Jordan with the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers. There were hijinks, there was low comedy, there are people coming out of the woodwork to offer their hot takes on the ethical ramifications (It's NBA free agency. Ethics need not apply) and there's a whole lot of money. But the things, most people mistakenly view this as a basketball story about a guy who agreed to a deal with one team but regretted it and was talked into going back to his old one, albeit for a giant pile of smackeroonies. 

Tuesday, July 07, 2015

On Pre-All Star Game Coverage

Dear People Who Are Being Paid To Write About The MLB All-Star Game Roster Selections:

Saturday, July 04, 2015

Should A-Rod be an All Star?

The guy you love to hate is back...and this time with legacy on his mind.

Alex Rodriguez served his time for his PED usage...again, but has turned out to be a very pleasant surprise for the Yankees this season. Does that make him an All Star?

Friday, July 03, 2015

The Last Ryno

These two statements are both true:

Ryne Sandberg could never have succeeded as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.
Ryne Sandberg could not have failed more miserably as manager of the Philadelphia Phillies.

Saturday, June 27, 2015


Once a year, the nice folks over at Off Tackle Empire at SB Nation ask me to write something that is tangentially about Rutgers University football. As Rutgers is to football as Olive Garden is to fine Italian cuisine (but with fewer breadsticks), this is what you'd call a target-rich environment.

Here's this year's rendition, which asks the question: who is the Rutgers of every other major football conference. And remember - if you look around the ACC and don't see the Rutgers, you are the Rutgers.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

Rose to the Occasion

A rose by any other name would still put fifty bucks on the Padres at home
Here are the things you need to understand about the latest Pete Rose gambling "revelation":

Friday, June 19, 2015


"Now batting for the St. Louis Cardinals, Number One..."
Players aren't the only ones that cheat. Organizations cheat all the time. The Patriots - dear God, let's not talk about the Patriots. The New York Giants stole signs all the way to Bobby Thompson's home run off Ralph Branca. George Toma was a master of turning the Kansas City baselines into either racetrack or swamp, depending on whom the Royals were playing. Branch Rickey spun off forty-zillion farm clubs so he could sign all the talent and have it rot away in the minors rather than let anyone else have it.

So in one sense, what the Cardinals allegedly did by hacking the Astros is nothing new. In another sense, it's very new, because this sort of interstate computer skullduggery is exactly the sort of thing the Feds take very seriously, largely because if they nail the Cardinals' hide to the wall here, it sets up a lovely precedent for when they go after Goldman Sachs should they be so inclined. And has been pointed out elsewhere, the Feds are not inclined to play nice when it comes to baseball, largely because nailing baseball's hide to the wall is the sort of high-PR low-risk move they're hungry for. See also: Barry Bonds, trial of.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

In the Wake of the Triple Crown

Not actually American Pharoah. Either of them.
It has now been one week since American Pharoah won horse racing's triple crown, the first horse to do so in an exceedingly long time. This singular event, like the long-awaited Mayweather-Pacquiao bout, was supposed to breathe life into a sport that has slipped steadily away from the limelight over the past couple of decades, and indeed, it did briefly wash up against the shores of the national sports conversation.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Bold NBA Finals Prediction.

I don't care what happens tonight. The Warriors are going to win the NBA Finals.

Saturday, June 06, 2015

Things We Think About What Happened At FIFA

In light of the arrests that have rocked FIFA and the even more shocking resignation of newly re-elected FIFA President Sepp "Baron Harkonnen" Blatter, it's time to take a measured look at what it all really means. To wit:

  1. BWAHAHHAHAHHAHAHAHHAHHAAH. I mean, somewhere, John Oliver just wet himself laughing. 

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Your NBA Playoff Narratives

There are two possible outcomes of the NBA playoffs:

1-The Cleveland Cavaliers win the championship.

2-The Cleveland Cavaliers do not with the championship.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Regime Change In Miami

What, me, manage?
Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria has fired his manager, well-regarded former catcher Mike Redmond, and replaced him with team GM Dan Jennings.

This is, in a word, insane. Jennings hasn't managed since he was wrangling high school kids in the 80s, and while I'm not a huge fan of the "you had to play the game to know how to coach it" school of thought, there are limits. This has the potential to get very ugly, very fast, especially if the clubhouse tunes out the suit who's sitting where Redmond used to  be. (Then again, he's the GM and he negotiates contracts. Maybe we'll see massive sucking up instead.)

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Touchy About Feeley

You can pretty much anticipate the reaction of sports fans to any piece of news to come down the pike. At this point, the data set is large enough and the behaviors visible enough that you can generally skip the story and already know what the comments sections are going to be like.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Sounds of Deflategate's Aftermath

The following are the sounds of the Tom Brady suspension:

(Brady, for those of you living on Mars, has been suspended for four games next season for his role in "Deflategate". In addition, the New England Patriots have been fined a million dollars and stripped of two draft picks, a #1 in 2016 and a #4 in 2017. And the two Patriots employees who carried out the nefarious plan have been suspended indefinitely without pay, but they don't actually play football so nobody appears to care about them. But I digress.)

"IT'S NOT FAIR THE LEAGUE HAS IT OUT FOR US BECAUSE WE'RE SO AWESOME" - The sound of the New England Patriots fan, who is constitutionally incapable of admitting that Tom Terrific or indeed any of his heroes could ever possibly conceive of ever possibly doing any possible thing ever wrong - unlike those mooks who play for the Jets, who are just the scum of the Earth. Until they come play for the Patriots, at which point they're awesome. Until they leave to go back to play for the Jets again.

Wednesday, May 06, 2015

About the Bout

The Mayweather-Pacquiao fight was proof that boxing's time is over. The American sporting landscape is no longer interested in watching two men brutalize each other in largely uninteresting shoving matches artificially constrained by an esoteric set of rules. These days, the preference is for MMA, which offers watching two men (or women) brutalize each other in largely uninteresting shoving matches artificially constrained by an esoteric set of rules that reinforces the Gracie family dynasty, but which gives the impression of being wild and unconstrained.

Friday, May 01, 2015

NFL Draft Round 1 Thoughts

You remember how absolutely everyone was convinced that the Eagles were absolutely certain to trade Sam Bradford and a bunch of other cool toys to Cleveland to get Johnny Manziel and a bunch of #1 picks that they could then trade to Tennessee for the #2 overall pick except that Tennessee would also be getting Bradford and possibly free pony rides?

Yeah, me neither.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Top 10 Most Likely Philadelphia Eagles Draft Picks

Two possible Eagles picks working out at the team's complex
It has been an eventful offseason for the Eagles and their coach/GM/resident supervillain Chip Kelly. He has traded quarterbacks, signed quarterbacks, traded for quarterbacks that nobody thought he had any interest in, ditched running backs, signed running backs, and generally treated the whole offseason like one long day at That being said, it all comes down to this week's draft, and while various pundits have offered up their (almost inevitably wrong) predictions as to what the Chipster will do, we at Sportsthodoxy think we've got a handle on the ten most likely possibilities:

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Calm, Rational Reaction To the Tebow Signing

So the Eagles have signed Tim Tebow.

Speculation as to the likely reaction from the Philadelphia sports talk radio crowd below the fold:

Monday, April 20, 2015

On Baseball's Long Season

One of the things I love most about baseball is the fact that the season is so long. There's plenty of time for narratives to play out, for players to rise and fall and then redeem themselves. Developments have time to mature and manifest fully, with clearly traceable arcs that reward the patient viewer.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

An Important Note On Fantasy Baseball

No, not that kind of baseball nerd

Nobody actually wants to listen to you talk about your fantasy team.

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Important Pre-NFL Draft Reminders

Never Forget John Rutsey

As the lumbering behemoth that is the NFL draft bars down on us like an inevitable bad character decision in The Walking Dead, it's time to take a few minutes and go over the most important things for you, the fan, to remember going into the three day festival of all things Mel Kiper Jr.'s hair. Most notably:

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Buck You

Still a Deer
Dear Owners of the Milwaukee Bucks:

I realize that the Rebranding and New Logo are necessary steps in the ritual dance of Get The Public To Pay For A New Arena. I appreciate that you did not suddenly decide to change the franchise's name to the Cheesemongers or the Zombie Unicorns or the Brett Favres. 

Sunday, April 05, 2015

Badger Badger

In the wake of last night's upset of undefeated #1 seed Kentucky, and the subsequent crumpling in disgust of brackets everywhere except the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill region of North Carolina, I give you, without comment, this:

Saturday, April 04, 2015

On Hamilton

On a police procedural television show, they usually establish the suspect's guilt by laying down motive and opportunity.

In the case of the ongoing leaks - which, incidentally, are in direct violation of the MLB labor agreement - about Josh Hamilton's apparent relapse this winter, the Angels have motive. They have opportunity. And if they were any more cartoonish about this, Fred and Daphne would be pulling a rubber head off Arte Moreno and shouting "Old Man Smithers!"

Friday, April 03, 2015

True Confession: Why I'm Rooting For Duke

Confession time: my bracket got blown up in the first game of the NCAA tournament (No, I'm not counting the nonsense in Dayton). I'd picked Iowa State as a dark horse for a Final Four run, based on their remarkable, unflappable drive to the Big 12 championship and their ability to rally from double-digit deficits. So naturally they got ambushed by the University that Ate Birmingham and went out 40 minutes into the whole shebang.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Ten Things I Think I Think About Sports This Week

"Also, Bill Buckner in '86? Totally caused by aliens."

  1. The Philadelphia 76ers, a team that is actively trying to be bad, does not have the worst record in the NBA this season. They don't even have the second-worst, and at least one of the teams they're ahead of was supposed to be a contender this year. Which means either the Sixers can't even screw up right, or, man, do certain people in New York and Minnesota need to feel ashamed.

Friday, March 20, 2015

On Yard Goats And Crappy Cabernets

Now this is a badass mascot-worthy goat. That's a goddamn mountain he's jumping off.

So there's now a minor league team called, and I quote, "The Hartford Yard Goats". Leaving aside any opinions one might or might not have about Hartford and why it's a travesty they didn't name the team "The Whalers", it is, to be blunt, ridiculous. As mascots go, a "yard goat" - literally, a goat that someone keeps in their backyard - is about as inspiring as calling your team "The Shrubs" or "The Goddamn Opossums That Keep Getting Into My Garbage Cans" or "The Crabgrass". It's not the sort of mascot you rally around, it's not exciting, and it's not traditional, and even as we speak a zillion baseball bluehairs are frothing over how the Yard Goats (who had the perfectly good name of Rock Cats until earlier this week) are a disgrace to our proud baseball history of Lugnuts and Sand Gnats and Isotopes

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Twelve Things We Learned From the NCAA Tournament Bracket

There are certain things we learn every year on Selection Sunday: who made the cut, who didn't. What teams got screwed by their seeding and which ones got an easy path to the Sweet 16. And then there's the deeper learning, the true lessons imparted by the deeper subtext of the bracket itself. To wit:

Sunday, March 15, 2015

5 Reasons Philadelphia Doesn't Hate The Sixers

The national basketball media remains fascinated with the Philadelphia Experiment being carried out by GM Sam Hinkie. Largely, they're against it - in their minds, it is nobler to strive endlessly for mediocrity (with the implied "and then get out of the way for the glamour teams" that goes with it) than attempt radical reconstruction in an attempt to improve themselves. But interestingly enough, the fans in Philadelphia have largely ignored the doom-and-gloom narrative around the team, which may in fact be some kind of first. Here's five reasons that's the case:

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Battle Of The Spring Training Sites

There are those who claim that spring training baseball is best in Arizona, and those who think it is best in Florida. Fans of Arizona point to the extensive list of local restaurants provided by Keith Law during his ESPN chats and the fact that all of the teams train close together, while fans of Florida like to point to the tradition of spring training there, the resorts, and the fact that it isn’t Arizona. However, in this age of statistical analysis of everything, it seems obvious that the only way we will ever get to the bottom of this debate is with a head to head comparison, to enable us - the fans - to determine which spring training state is truly the best of all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Twenty Stories We Can Expect To See Out Of Spring Training This Year

  1. Rangers suffer blow to their rotation with injury
  2. Rangers suffer second blow to rotation with injury
  3. Rangers petition AL to allow opposing teams to hit off a tee this year

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Consider the Source

One of Buster Olney's confidential sources
Consider the source.

Heading into what will almost certainly be a lost season for them, the Phillies have themselves a very valuable asset in the form of Cole Hamels. Hamels is a very good pitcher who is rather expensive but not outrageously so, and a great many teams would be improved by having Hamels in their rotation. [Assume I've just done a lengthy bit on marginal wins here, and trust me that it's not worth it for a team like the Phillies to keep him around instead of flipping him for young talent; 70 wins + some prospects who could help you win next year > 75 wins.) 

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Tinfoil Angels Cap Alert

So your new baseball conspiracy theory, hot off the presses...

Saturday, February 28, 2015

Cleveland Redux

You remember when the Cleveland Cavaliers were, like, the worst team ever? When they were under .500 and the coach was about to get fired and the stars couldn't play together and LeBron was supposedly secretly tweeting that he wanted to go back to Miami and Kevin Love was being benched and ZOMG WORST TEAM EVER?

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top 10 Least Likely A-Rod Related Headlines This Spring Training

10-A-Rod Admits He Actually Is A Centaur
9-Yankees Exec Admits To Not Really Caring What A-Rod Is Doing Every Minute Of Every Day
8-NY Post Writer Joel Sherman Hospitalized With A-Rod Related Dementia
7-Lupica: "We Should All Just Forgive And Forget A-Rod's Actually Minor Transgressions"
6-Trump: "I Have Absolutely No Opinion On A-Rod"
5-Rodriguez goes 0-3 in Spring Training Game; World Fails To End
4-A-Rod Responds To Critics With "Well, How Many of YOU Have Dated Cameron Diaz?"
3-Jeter Says Nice Thing About Rodriguez
2-Yankees Official Agrees to Attach Name To "Anonymous" Report of Management Displeasure With Rodriguez' Showing Up Early And Working Hard
1-New York Media Collectively Admits Rodriguez Coverage Is Overblown; Decides to Hound Chase Headley Instead

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Spring Training Is Here

Pitchers and catchers have reported to spring training.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

On The Weapons-Grade Stupid In Wisconsin

The proposal from legally dubious Gov. Walker of Wisconsin to pay for a new stadium for the Milwaukee Bucks is in, and in any just or sane world it would provoke hysterical laughter. In so many words, it calls for the "athlete tax" - income taxes from pro athletes plying their trade in Wisconsin - to back $220M in bond revenues that can then be handed to the Wall Street vampires who bought the team. In return, the vampires in question, who have been drumming up support for this nonsense by bestowing tiny ownership slivers in the Bucks around town, will agree to take that money and not move the team. In other words, they will take $220M in arena bonds to continue to make money by largely doing nothing.

Sunday, February 08, 2015

On Rooting For An Awful Team

Your Phillies Marketing Department, Folks.
There is something to be said for being a fan of a terrible team.
I mean, sure, rooting for a winner is nice. Watching the team you back actually win it all is a great feeling, regardless of whether you then decide to move your couch onto the lawn so you can set it on fire to "celebrate" the victory. But even rooting for a team that doesn't go all the way - that just wins more than it loses - is nice. You get more good days than bad ones. More times when you got the desired result than the other guy, the guy who roots for the crappy team, did. More times when your choice of team to support seems like the right one.

And yet....

RIP Dean Smith

The only man on the planet who could keep Michael Jordan under 20 points per game.

Godspeed, Coach Smith

Wednesday, February 04, 2015

Your Pete Carroll Conspiracy Theory Is Dumb

Normally in the wake of a close Super Bowl loss, the losing team's fans start indulging in conspiracy theories as to why their hometown heroes lost and they were deprived of the opportunity to set their favorite couches on fire in the street. The usual suspects include the refs, the NFL, organized crime and, presumably aliens, not necessarily in that order. A bad throw on 3rd and 9 becomes proof that the losing team's QB was being held in a basement somewhere by burly men from either Palermo or Murmansk (take your pick) who had wagered millions in Vegas; a blown call becomes evidence the refs have been ordered not to mess with one team's chances of winning.

Tuesday, February 03, 2015

The Ten People You Meet After Every Super Bowl

There are some who say that sports bring out the best in us. I disagree. Sports brings out the us in us, for good or for ill. And a big sporting event, like the Super Bowl, brings out really primal archetypes, ones that must be allowed to run free until at least mid-February. They include:

  1. The one who is convinced that by all rights and logic, their team actually won the game, and that it's just that pesky score thingie that came out inaccurate. Has endless reams of supporting evidence as to why this theory is correct, most of which boils down to "Well, we beat Jacksonville in Week 6"

Sunday, February 01, 2015

The Official Sportsthodoxy Super Bowl Drinking Game

Take one drink if...

  • Every time someone goes "Aww, come on!" over a non-existent holding or pass interference call.
  • Every time someone goes "Aww, come on!" over a holding or pass-interference non-call.
  • Someone says "I'm just here to watch the commercials."

Friday, January 30, 2015

Super Bowl 49 Coaching Breakdown

With Super Bowl Sunday fast approaching, it's important to get your scouting down right so you can know who's who at the big game.

Not the players, of course - we've long since passed the point where players were anything but the mechanistic imposers of their godlike coaches' will and schemes. Or so, at least, said coaches' agents will tell you, especially at contract renegotiation time. 

But with that in mind, here's your handy-dandy comparison/contrast of the two Super Bowl coaches:

Thursday, January 29, 2015

The Super Bowl Grift And Its Wider Applications

The dirty secret is out.

The mayor of Glendale, AZ - home to a football game you may have heard about this weekend - has gone on record as saying that hosting the Super Bowl is going to cost his city money.

This is, of course, anathema to the NFL and its mindless boosters. Look at all the money that will be spent, they howl. Look at all the exposure. They've already started pillorying the poor guy for daring to question the NFL's narrative. 

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

On Why My Dad Hates Pete Rose

Note: Not his actual signature
So here's the part of the story I didn't tell the other day. I'd shied away from it because it makes someone look bad, and the point of yesterday's piece was to try to maybe make folks feel a little better, but once Dad pulled the string on this one, it was full steam ahead.

To wit: Pete Rose was a jerk back in 1981, too.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

On Handwriting Worse Than Mine: Monte Irvin and the Uses of Nostalgia

So I'm looking at an old American Cancer Society event program that my folks got for me, back when they were officers in the New York chapter. The program is from an old banquet where they celebrated various sports figures, and my dad got various of the attendees to autograph it for me. There's five or so signatures in there, along with a couple of inspirational messages from figures that eleven year old me probably wasn't in any position to appreciate. But that didn't matter; my folks got it for me, and I've kept it and treasured it for thirty-plus years.

Friday, January 23, 2015

10 Things Social Pressure Is Forcing Me To Think About That Patriots Ball Thingie

Because if you're going to opine on something sportsish this week, it has to be the shriveled balls of New England.

  1. The compulsive need to "name" the "scandal" with something cute like Deflategate or Ballghazi is a stunning indictment of the mainstream sports media's inability to produce anything above lowest common denominator hurr-hurr-hurr material. That being said, I look forward to the day when Bill Belichick is caught rigging the turnstiles at Gillette Stadium and the resultant furor is labeled "Gategate".

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why All Your Complaining About The Max Scherzer Contract Is Wrong

Former Detroit Tiger and possible Best Pitcher On The Planet Not Named Kershaw Max Scherzer signed a 7 year deal with the Nationals over the weekend with a reported dollar value of $210M. This has produced the usual freaking out from all quarters, all of which is conspicuously absent when an NFL player signs a big deal and all of which is complete hooey. To wit:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cheatery and 3 Minute Drills

Thoughts on Division Championship Sunday
  1. In New England, "taking the air out of the ball" is no longer just a metaphor. If it is confirmed that the Patriots deliberately deflated game balls, that puts the league in an interesting position vis-a-vis who actually should be playing in the Super Bowl. (Word is the Pats will be penalized draft picks. Clearly, the penalty here is insufficient deterrent.) Alternately, it also puts certain members of the Patriots' support staff in imminent danger from individuals with the middle name "the" who wagered large amounts of money on Indy's ability to cover the spread.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Pitch Clock Is A Terrible Idea, Because The Hell With Subtlety

Meet MLB's New Pitch Clock. Yes, They're Starting It In The Minors. 
Why Do You Ask?
I will keep this simple.

Baseball does not need a pitch clock to speed up play.

This is not because baseball does not need to speed up its pace a bit.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Denver Kremlinology

There are two narratives for what's going on in Bronco-land right now. 

One is that the 39 year old quarterback who was blowing the doors off the league early in the season got hurt but didn't come off the field. He spent the last 5 weeks of the season and the playoff round playing on a quad with less structural integrity than Paul Broun's understanding of The Origin of the Species, and for a precision passer like Manning that's death.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

11 Deep Thoughts From the National Championship Game

A few thoughts and revelations from last night's first-ever "national championship" college football game:
  1. If Ohio State can win a national championship behind its third string QB, no coach in America will ever be allowed to use injuries as an excuse for a rough season ever again.

Friday, January 09, 2015

The Fix Is Enh

One of the most interesting memes in sports fandom is "the game is fixed". It also manifests as "the refs decide who wins", "the team with the most money always wins", and "Roger Goodell wanted the Cowboys to win". You saw it popping up ten seconds after the weirdly reversed pass interference call in the Cowboys-Lions game, just as you saw it popping up back in that Super Bowl a few years ago when some truly horripilating refereeing cost the Seahawks the game.
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