October 19, 2007

Instant Replay Blows Another Game

While enduring another mediocre Big East game, I watched one of the bigger officiating debacles of the year. With the score 7-0 L'ville, the UConn returner clearly signalled for a fair catch with a single distinct wave of his arm over his head. After catching the ball, he paused and the closest coverage guy stopped completely, fearing the 15 yard penalty if he touches the returner. When the whistle doesn't blow, the returner starts running and returns it 74 yards for a TD since the whole coverage team stopped. Apparently, the refs couldn't review the call, and UConn went on to win 21-17 behind that bad call. The L'ville coach was irate, as he should have been. He might lose his job over that call (now 4-4, 1-2 conf).

[The 1:45 mark includes the fair catch controversy.]

What's the point of replay if you can't review very clear plays? What was the back judge watching anyway, the cheerleader under a poncho? This is yet another case of replay failing. Either the play isn't reviewable or the officials consistently come out with the wrong decision. I can't count how many times the ref has come out with a call that I thought was impossible watching the replay myself. Replay is a great idea, but there needs to be more accountability and more of an effort to get the call actually RIGHT instead of hiding behind the hazy definition of indisputable evidence. And what takes so long anyway, the announcers and all the viewers at home know what the call should be 2 minutes before the refs do (if they get it right). This applies to NFL replay too.

Quick Hitters

1) Manny says it wouldn't be the end of the world if the Red Sox lost. According to ESPN and CNNSI, we're supposed to be upset by this. Why? It isn't the end of the world if the Red Sox lose. Didn't they win by being loose, taking pre-game Jim Beam shots and just going out and having fun? It isn't like he said they were just happy to be there.

2) If you take fantasy football advice from Peter King, you probably take investment advice from MC Hammer and would let Dr. Z be your offensive coordinator.

3) There is no way in hell USC covers against ND this week. Not because ND is any good, not because their replacement QB sucks, and not because it's a rivalry game, but because they had such a harrowing airplane experience that starting players admitted to screaming like little bitches.

Let me say THANK GOD THE PLANE DIDN'T CRASH. I could never handle a month of USC tragedy coverage. These guys lay down with tens every night and get drafted too high by GMs who spend too much time on ESPN.com. Between Virginia Tech (how is football related to a psycho Korean kid again?) and a hypothetical USC plane crash, I would not be a pleasant person to be around.

4) Get ready for the NBA season with this Sam Cassell interview. Quite possibly the worst interview of all time.

A Worthy Adversary

It appears Joe Torre is prepared to move on from the New York Tankees.

In the AL East, where two teams try and the other three think .500 is lofty, you always make the playoffs if you are NYY or BOS. Is it the manager's fault when the $100+M lineup fails? Probably not.

My biggest concern with the Yankees is that they fucked old Joe over (and spent three straight days meeting to figure out the best way to do it).

"We'll offer you the same money as last year, except you have to win the ALCS to see it. Fuck you!"

Just fire me. Don't offer me an "incentives-based" contract when I'm not even on the damn field. Don't tell me Carl Pavano needs to win Game 4, or else I make $1M less. Fuck you. Eat shit. Fuck yourself and eat shit and die.

That's what I imagine Joe Torre said to management. "Fuck yourself and eat shit and die." It's amazing to me that this is being reported as Joe Torre turning down an extension. He got fired, only they designed a deal they knew he wouldn't take so it wouldn't look like he was being fired. I imagine Joe Girardi is already shopping for a house.

UPDATE (2:30p)

Now ESPN reports that Joe Torre has spoken out. I think this quote indicates that he very likely told Cashman and Steinbrenner to go fuck themselves, eat shit and die.

"I just felt the contract offer, the terms of the contract, were probably
the thing I had the toughest time with -- the one year for one thing, the
incentives for another thing," Torre said of his reasons for declining the
offer. "I've been there 12 years and I didn't think motivation was needed.

"We knew exactly what was expected here," he said, "So, I just didn't think
was the right thing for me, I just didn't think was the right thing for my

Boston - Cleveland

The only thing keeping Manny's "single" from joining Jeffrey Maier lore is that the Sox are about to win Game 5.

Is it just me, or is it hard to give a shit about baseball right now? Let's say the Sox win the next two in Fenway (which won't happen). Then it's a sexy Boston-Colorado World Series. I can't wait. Is Sam McGuffie on ESPN 2 again next week?

October 18, 2007

Rutgers 30, South Florida 27

Can we get back to whining about how the BCS sucks and Big East football is overrated? Check back with me after USF loses two more.

Buy This Product

Former MLB pitcher Mark Littell (1973-1982, KC then STL) has a new invention that he's very confident using. He's improved the traditional athletic supporter/protective cup combination with a design that allow for more comfort and more mobility. It comes in four sizes, ranging from Mongo down through, The Hog, The Boss and The Hammer.

Really, shouldn't The Boss be the smallest? Something about being power-hungry and overcompensating?

The funny thing is not that someone invented a better cup (though he should make the Hall of Fame just for that). It's called The Nutty Buddy. Not only that, Littell is so confident that the cup works that he takes a pitching machine fastball right to the nuts from point blank. That's also funny. Funnier still, he has a cute high school blonde assisting him, and you totally know he's banging her. Funnier still, former Cincinnati Red Chris Sabo gives his own testimonial, which ends with the word "test-eh-clees".

Check out the website and video here, and don't forget to send your favorite nephew The Hammer this Christmas season.

ACC Fight Songs

So I've been called a geek for many things in my life. It's gotten to the point where it pretty much rolls right off. But one of the things that I loved most about the ACC Tournament in 2001 was not just seeing the cheerleaders from each school and seeing four days of ACC basketball, but hearing all the pep bands play their schools' respective fight songs. I now actually look forward to when a visiting band comes into Byrd so I can hear their fight song, because I think the ACC has some pretty good fight songs. I tried linking these songs directly from fightmusic.com, but it wouldn't let me, so click on this link and check out the fight songs of the ACC, albeit with three new additions since I was at that ACC tourney:


Boston College ("On Boston")
Clemson ("Tiger Rag")
Duke ("Fight Blue Devils Fight")
FSU ("FSU Fight Song")
GA Tech ("Ramblin' Wreck of Georgia Tech")
Maryland ("Victory Song")
Miami ("Miami Fight Song")
NC State ("Pregame Fight Song")
UNC ("I'm a Tar Heel Born and Raised")
UVA ("Good Old Song")
VA Tech ("VPI Victory March")
Wake Forest ("Here's to Wake Forest")

So this begs the question of which are my favorites? And for these purposes, I use the songs that may not be designated as a school's "fight song" but what they play after a touchdown (see UNC, Maryland). I would go with Clemson and was going to go with them until I found out that "The Tiger Rag" is a generic song used by a number of schools whose mascots are the Tigers (LSU, Auburn). It's still a fun song.

I'd have to conclude that my top three, in order, are Wake Forest, UNC, and Georgia Tech. I like Maryland's, and would probably put it at #5 (Clemson being #4).

And even if this wasn't "UVA Hate Week," I would rank their "fight song" 14th out of 12 teams. The holding hands and swaying to your school's own words to Auld Lang Syne is about the gayest thing that is done in college football. As if the ties and popped collar Oxford shirts weren't already enough.

Your thoughts/comments/rankings on fight songs?

Week 7 NFL Against the Spread Picks

With only one human over .500 for the season, oddsmaker Mike Seba of Las Vegas Sports Consultants has been prodding us to pick the entire slate for the remainder of the season. We politely declined.

Brien (14-15-1, .483)

Well, I took quite a beating last week, but hopefully this week will turn out better.

Week 7 looks like the week of the WTF line. A first glance at the lines had me scratching my head. Baltimore only giving 3 at Buffalo? Tampa Bay getting points at Detroit? This has been a crazy season for gamblers, and this week's lines look like a gift from Vegas. I'm probably wrong, but regardless, I'm tempting fate and betting all the WTF lines this week (and taking only road teams). It can't be worse than last week, right?

Baltimore (-3) over BUFFALO - The Ravens defense against Trent Edwards? I learned my lesson betting on Gus Frerotte last Sunday. Fair warning, the Bills are coming off their bye week, and the Ravens are heading into theirs, followed by 3 straight divisional games. If Baltimore is going to have a letdown game, this is it. I'm still going with the Ravens, though. They're the better team, no question.

Tampa Bay (+2) over DETROIT - The Bucs still aren't getting credit for how good they are. They're a dangerous team for anyone, and should handle the Lions easily.

Kansas City (+3) over OAKLAND - The Raiders are really bad, and lately the Chiefs have been showing signs that they don't suck as much as we thought they did.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over DENVER - The Steelers are rested, healthier, and shouldn't have any problems handing the Broncos their 4th loss in a row.

Indianapolis (-3) over JACKSONVILLE - I know the Jags are pretty good this year, but they're not going to beat Peyton Manning on Monday Night Football.

There you have it, 5 road teams and 5 WTF lines. And yes, I realize I'm going with 90% of gamblers on most of those games. I think by Tuesday morning, there are going to be a lot of happy sports bettors saying "Just when I thought I was out, they pulled me back in."

Jeremy (14-11-5, .550) and Magic 8 Ball (17-8-5, .650)

Jeremy's Picks:

Well as the only human picker with an above .500 record, I feel the added pressure of being the person who I know all 6 of our readers are banking their money on (if they're not smart enough to use the Magic 8 Ball by now). On to the picks...

WASHINGTON (-8.5) over Arizona - I think I've gotten hosed by the 'Skins everytime I've picked them this season, but I see the 'Skins D-line feasting on Tim Rattay, and I don't see Edge having much luck with the run (which will screw me over in fantasy). Cards lucky to put up 10.

Atlanta (+9) over NEW ORLEANS - This week's WTF line... how the hell is a team with one win getting nine points over another team with one win? Vegas hates Leftwich it seems.

Baltimore (-3) over BUFFALO - Rookie QB and Marshawn Lynch against the Ravens D... yeah, the Ravens better enjoy this part of their schedule.

Indianapolis (-3) over JACKSONVILLE - The Jags pass defense is good, but not this good.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over DENVER - Another game where I don't see a team with enough weapons to counteract the other team's stingy D... if the Seahawks couldn't score a point against the Steelers, why would Denver?

Magic 8 Ball Picks: Am I kicking everyone's ass with my picks? My sources say yes.

Arizona (+8.5) over WASHINGTON - "My answer is no." [Redskins don't beat spread]

NEW ORLEANS (-9) over Atlanta - "Signs point to yes." [Saints beat spread]

Baltimore (-3) over BUFFALO - "My answer is no." [Bills don't beat spread]

JACKSONVILLE (+3) over Indianapolis - "My sources say yes." [Jaguars beat spread]

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over DENVER - "No." [Broncos don't beat spread]

J-Red (12-16-2, .433)

Time for a get-well week. No particular theme this week, just trying to pick out five winners.

DETROIT (-2) over Tampa Bay - I'm going to be that idiot that keeps betting against Tampa Bay.

New England (-16.5) over MIAMI - New England is going to throw in a clunker eventually. It's too hard to stay that good each and every week. Maybe next week.

Baltimore (-3) over BUFFALO - What would the Bills' offense look like if Marshawn Lynch were held under 40 yards? Let's find out Sunday. Either way, start Lee Evans.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over DENVER - I haven't seen anything to like about Denver. Pittsburgh is above-average and well-coached, just like they are every single year.

DALLAS (-9.5) over Minnesota - Ok, I'm not taking the Redskins to beat anybody by 8.5 with Gibbs as the head coach (though Tim Rattay on the road against a pretty good defense is REALLY tempting). I'm not taking Indy because they really struggle with Jax, and especially MJD. I'm not taking any of the mediocre home favorites, and I'm not touching Tennessee-Houston. That only leaves this game.

Russell (11-18-1, .383)

Since I was the only human to improve my percentage last week, the "bet against Russell" strategy might be faltering. My picks this week should put an end to such discussions.

NEW ORLEANS (-9) over Atlanta - The Falcons are imploding (6 offensive TDs in 6 games), while the Saints might have finally figured things out.

NY GIANTS (-9.5) over San Francisco - The Giants look really good right now, and the Niners don't.

CINCINNATI (-6) over Ny Jets - The Bengals will cover at some point, and I'm still picking them, waiting... The Jets are certainly crushable.

Chicago (+5.5) over PHILADELPHIA - Bears D Line vs. Winston Justice and Co., plus Urlacher can run down Westbrook.

Pittsburgh (-3.5) over DENVER - Pittsburgh is similar to San Diego but better. Expect the boo birds to come out again, and then leave to put their Rockies gear on.


Brien - BAL, IND, KC, PIT, TB
Jeremy - ATL, BAL, IND, PIT, WAS
Russell - CHI, CIN, NO, NYG, PIT
Magic 8 - ARI, BAL, JAX, NO, PIT

Magic 8 (17-8-5) - .650
Jeremy (14-11-5) - .550
Brien (14-15-1) - .483
J-Red (12-16-2) - .433
Russell (11-18-1) - .383

October 17, 2007

I would give anything to see this on Saturday...

Normally I hate this Miami-type swagger, but anybody who was at the game back in '03 had no doubt that the Terps were going to DESTROY UVA after seeing this pregame. Seriously, it's worth the 15. If you kickoff, you kick it out of bounds. If you receive the kickoff, UVA likely kicks the ball out of the end zone. The best thing about this moment was seeing the entire UVA team back down like pussies. And J-Red, check out Al Groh jawing at the Terp assistant coach. Maybe he was reminding him, just like he reminded you, that he was formerly an NFL coach.

NFL Careers of Maryland QBs

So I was watching the NFL's Greatest Games on ESPN, and seeing Frank Reich's moment of fame inspired this homage to great Maryland quarterbacks of the recent past (my lifetime). This has nothing to do with the agony of some of the recent years, discussed relative to the past by the Baltimore Sun here.

The greatest and best known MD QB of recent memory is of course Boomer Esiason, who led the Bengals to the Super Bowl and threw for 37,920 yds and 247 TD's over 14 seasons as a pro. More recently known as a commentator for CBS, Boomer set 17 school records and led the Terps to a conference title. He was also Honorable Mention All-American twice.

The greatest comeback QB ever, Frank Reich followed Boomer at Maryland, and then proceeded with his own 14 season NFL career. While he only started 15 games over that period, he is well remembered for the most incredible comeback of all time, leading the Bills over the Warren Moon Oilers in the first round of the playoffs. Reich's career at Maryland was also highlighted by a comeback, leading a 42-9 second half comeback against Miami which was the greatest in college football history at the time.

Stan Gelbaugh was the real starter after Boomer, and he enjoyed his own 9 seasons in the pros. He rode the bench behind Frank Reich (and Jim Kelly) in Buffalo before getting his shot and starting 8 games in Seattle in 1992. He led Maryland to ACC Championships in 1984 and 1985.

Neil O'Donnell, longtime journeyman of the NFL, led the Steelers to the Super Bowl in 1995. He threw for over 20,000 yds and was the Steelers starting QB for 5 years.

After only one year as a starter at Maryland, Scott Zolak went on to a 9 year career in the NFL, 8 years as the backup of the Patriots.

Scott Milanovich was the star of the Mark Duffner offense in the mid 1990's setting almost all of the passing records at MD, and was a backup for 4 years with the Bucs. The proudest moment of his short pro career was certainly as the #1 draft pick of the first XFL Draft.

More recently, Shaun Hill and Sam Hollenbach are still holding clipboards in the NFL.

While Maryland is not known as a football school, we have quite an impressive quarterback tradition. 5 quarterbacks that started at Maryland between 1981 and 1990 went on to NFL careers of at least 9 years, and two of them were the starting QB in a Super Bowl. A third started and won multiple playoff games. How many other schools can claim such a tradition over that short a time period? Even the great football powerhouses would have trouble matching such a history.

It is also worth noting that during that period, Maryland's basketball program was terrible. Len Bias' death and the departure of Lefty in the mid 80's started a downward spiral, which took Gary into the mid 90's to reverse. Every year, I hope for the return of Maryland as a football power, when fans will think of football before basketball.

October 16, 2007

Week 8 CFB Picks

I won't pull any punches, I was embarassed last week. From the record setting 69-67 basketball score in the WAC to LSU's loss to Cal's brain cramp, I just don't have a good explanation. Some broadcasters have said no one will go undefeated this year. I'm starting to think 2 losses might be good enough for the national championship. But it looks like the BCS isn't broken yet, and the SEC is well-positioned. This is a big "Put up or Shut up" week, with some more marquis games to establish who might be legit.

RUTGERS (+2.5) over South Florida - Rutgers is better than people think, and this spread is fishy after USF opened up a can on UCF. This game will expose USF, or establish their spot in the top 5 as legit.

MISSISSIPPI (+5) over Arkansas - Passing? What's that? Arkansas can't throw the ball, and Ole Miss has enough run D to make them pay. Ole Miss wins.

Kansas (-4) over COLORADO - Best undefeated team no one knows anything about is Kansas. The OU loss will keep them alert and focused on the road.

Tennessee (pk) over ALABAMA - Bama gets caught looking ahead by a surging Vols team.

MISSOURI (-3.5) over Texas Tech - Battle of the spread offenses in the Big 12 goes to Daniel and the Big 12 North champions to be.

Miami (+6) over FSU - Wide right! Take Miami to win.

Florida (-6.5) over KENTUCKY - The Wildcats can't take that kind of beating two weeks in a row. Florida has a much better passing offense than LSU and will take advantage of a feeble UK secondary (see UK-SC game).

Michigan (-2.5) over ILLINOIS - The experience of Henne and Hart wins a close slugfest.

Auburn (+11) over LSU - Everyone still says LSU is the best team in the nation. If they don't throw the ball well on Saturday, Auburn will stuff them like they stuffed Florida and Arkansas. Neither LSU QB has impressed in the air recently.

And of course,
MARYLAND (-5) over Virginia - The home team seems to consistently win by a blowout in this series, except for our ridiculous comeback last year. UVA = Paper Tiger.

Last week: 0-7-1
Season: 19-26-1

Bad TMQ Advice: Punt to the Sidelines

I've had a bit of blogger's block lately, and the lack of sleep (thanks to my 4 month old son) hasn't helped matters. I figured the best way to find something to blog about would be to read Gregg Easterbrook's Tuesday Morning Quarterback column. I used to read it religiously, but he pissed me off so frequently that I stopped reading.

Right on cue, his first item proposes a ridiculous theory basically saying "punters should practice kicking out of bounds to prevent returns for touchdowns." Like most of TMQ's oft-repeated strategies (don't blitz, go for it on 4th down more often, run on 4th and short, etc.) it sounds pretty good at first. If your punter could drop the ball right on the sideline, you wouldn't give up any return yards. Since punting that accurately obviously isn't possible, Easterbrook proposes that you would be willing to give up a few yards of distance to ensure that the ball went out of bounds. Alright, that still sounds pretty reasonable, but as you'll see shortly, it's a typical half-baked TMQ scheme supported by selective use of statistics. I'm not sure if he just doesn't think these things through all the way, or if he thinks it's funny to have legions of smug NFL fans blindly parroting his arguments to their friends.

The most obvious reason that punters kick to the middle of the field rather than to the sidelines is distance. The punter gets the ball in the center of the field (somewhere between the hash marks), so the best way to kick it as far down field as he can is just to boom it straight ahead. Just how much distance is lost by kicking to the sideline instead of straight ahead? You'll have to trust me on the geometry, but assuming a 40 yd. punt from the center of the field, you lose 10 yds. of down field distance by kicking to the sideline instead of straight ahead. Are you really willing to give up that much distance to prevent touchdowns? Easterbrook argues that the distance lost by kicking to the sideline is almost the same as the average punt return. The punt return statistics are skewed by the very long returns, and even so, the 3-4 yds per punt he admits are lost due to his strategy aren't as meaningless as he would have you believe.

The calculations above assume that your punter can drop the ball on a dime on the sideline. Since that's not going to happen, let's think about how your punter's inaccuracy will affect TMQ's strategy. If the punt goes farther than expected, you end up with more wasted distance, because the ball just travels farther out of bounds but still crosses the sideline at the same point. If the punt is short or angled too far towards the center of the field, you end up with a punt that didn't go as far down field as a straight ahead punt, and the receiving team still has an opportunity for a return. Worst of all, if the punt is angled too sharply towards the sideline, you end up with an even shorter punt than you intended. Easterbrook's argument here is that punters should practice this sort of kick more. Really? You don't think punters practice accurate kicking to down punts inside the 20? Look how well that works out. Most NFL punters can't control the distance their punts go with any kind of precision. So basically you're giving up around 10 yds a punt, but there's still a chance that the punt could end up in bounds with an opportunity for a touchdown return. Your punter could angle the kick more towards the sideline to guarantee that the ball goes out of bounds, but then you're sacrificing even more distance.

At this point, some people may still argue that dramatically shorter punts are worth it to prevent touchdown returns. TMQ offers some statistics to support this point, saying that there were 15 punts returned for touchdowns last year. Like all TMQ statistics, this only tells part of the story. There were also 53 fumbles on punt returns last year. Even assuming that only half of those were recovered by the kicking team, that still means that you are almost twice as likely to regain possession on a punt to the middle of the field as you are to give up a touchdown. Punting out of bounds takes away the possibility of a receiving team fumble.

NFL teams are often stupid, risk-averse, and change resistant. There are plenty of examples of scenarios where teams consistently use a boneheaded strategy (such as going for 2 when down by 8 early in the game), but TMQ overreaches trying to sound like a genius. The strategy of having a punter practice super-accurate kicks out of bounds is just one example. I'd say a better "strategy" on punts is for your special teams players to practice staying in their lanes and not getting blocked.

[J-Red's note: Congrats to Brien on beating me to Post 500. I was trolling the web trying to find a way to swipe it for myself]

From the Desperate Marketing Department...

So somehow because I ordered Michigan football tickets five years ago when I visited Ben, I ended up on the Michigan Athletic Department mailing list. Normally I just delete the message. However, I had to open up this one which announced an Exclusive Video from Michigan Men's Basketball.

Here is the video. We'd love to embed it, but it's difficult to disable AutoPlay in a video created by Flash.

Now this isn't quite on par with the Applachian State "hot hot hot" video, but wow... Michigan talks about their "history." You mean the Chris Webber years that didn't happen. They talk about their "rivalries." You mean getting your ass kicked consistently by Michigan State, Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio State? They're super excited for Beilein to take over. Beilein is a huge step up from Tommy (I look like the coach on "Hang Time") Amaker. But still... when you look at the prices they are quoting for season tickets, you gotta think that somebody is going to think twice about it.

Week 6 NFL Picks Recap

Attention wives: look at our results over six weeks. When your husband tells you he makes money every week betting against the spread, he's likely lying to you. Make him show proof.

Brien - ATL, DAL, GB, HOU, STL (0-4-1)
Jeremy - ARI, NE, NYG, OAK, WAS (2-2-1)
J-Red - ARI, CLE, HOU, SEA, WAS (1-3-1)
Magic 8 - ATL, CAR, GB, NE, SD (3-1-1)
Russell - CHI, CIN, CLE, NE, STL (2-3-0)

Magic 8 (17-8-5) - .650
Jeremy (14-11-5) - .550
Brien (14-15-1) - .483
J-Red (12-16-2) - .433
Russell (11-18-1) - .383

ECB Inks First Marketing Deal

This is sports-related because Gatorade is an important part of the athlete's hydration routine.

J-Red is proud to announce, on behalf of all of us at ECB, that we have inked our first cross-promotional sponsorship deal with Gatorade. Gatorade will be releasing an entire line of flavors based on the personalities of the contributors, beginning with me in November 2007.

The first flavor, Reddish Blast, will be a fruit punchy concoction. In early testing, female customers age 18 to 27 most enjoyed the sweet and tangy taste. The bottle, shown below, is in shadow because Gatorade did not want to reveal it's new, innovative, labeling and branding for the exciting product.

The other three flavors should roll out early in 2008. Gatorade is using ECB as an opportunity to try out their new, palm-sized bottles with those new tastes.

I'd like to also expressly dispel the rumors that Gatorade's failed Arctic Blast bottle, characterized by a more restrictive and narrow mouth, was inspired by the three wives of ECB contributors.

This Post Brought to You by Cialis

In the Saints-Seahawks game Sunday night, NBC's wire suspended camera drooped twice, nearly striking Matt Hasselbeck. Clearly, this would be a good time for a rant about the negative impact of technology on sports.

I'm not going to do that though. While some innovations have failed horribly, like the puck tracker, the fire puck, Questec, the 360-degree Matrix-style replay cam, and glow-in-the-dark baseballs, most have had a positive impact on sports.

hbhblah SkyCam covering an interesting game, yet it missed McNabb vomiting?

The past two decades have given us the glorious first down line, the strike zone tracker, the electronic eye for tennis, the instant replay hood (which is good if only for comedy value), on-field electronic communication between coaches and players, the Whizzinator, the Reggie Push goal line cattle prod, and all kinds of surgical innovations. Most of these things do not alter the game however. They are either for the people viewing at home, or to ensure accurate enforcement of the rules of the sport.

The wire camera can have an effect on the game. As Jeff Triplette announced once the camera was put back in place, any live ball striking the camera results in a replay of the down, which is a nice way of saying "do-over". He started to make another comment about how awesome it was to really nail Orlando Brown right in the eye with a flag, but his mike mysteriously cut out. "Totally a once-in-a-lifetime shot though", he was heard telling some Asian Seattle chicks after the game.

But it would be more than a little disingenious for me to pretend to be angry about the suspended wire camera. For one thing, it's the best way to see holes open up on running plays. For another thing, I'd have to complain about the two-minute warning, and that's not going to happen.

bqhbql This commercial worked. I registered a law firm's domain name because of it.

kjadlkakjkj(For the record, J-Red is the official connosseur of big tittes for ECB. )

How does the two-minute warning play into this discussion? What is its purpose? It's an artificial clock stoppage at an exciting point of the game. It provides a key advertising opportunity when people are most likely to be glued to the television. Think about the Super Bowl. The biggest and best commercials are late in the first quarter and into the second quarter. The third quarter mostly re-runs first half commercials. Then, towards the very end of the game, top-dollar commercials return. Madison Avenue knows that a) people who don't care about football are late to Super Bowl parties, b) Super Bowls have a tendency to be lopsided and c) if a Super Bowl isn't lopsided, people will return from the kitchen (or whereever the booze is) if the game is close late.

So technology already artificially alters the game, and we're okay with that. We like our big comebacks and close games and heightened drama, so long as the games always finish regulation in under 3:15.

A Song about the Red Sox (and Me)

Safe for work, but contains music. They won't let me embed the video.


October 14, 2007

It's UVA Week...

... and ladies and gentlemen, I give you J-Red's archnemesis, the most overrated coach in the ACC, the coach who has recruited the most talent yielding the least results unless you count his back-to-back-to-back Continental Tire Bowl victories in 2002 and 2003, and whose sideline fashion sense is actually bested by Bill Belichick.

Yes, it is none other than...

Al Groh, the man who as he so aptly explained to J-Red, has coached at the dog pound, and who evidently didn't find sweatpants with loops for a belt.
Fuck UVA
In the words of Al Pacino, "Brotha, you are going down." 8 pm, primetime, Homecoming, Saturday night... it's going to be ugly. I don't care what the spread is, I take the Terps. UVA is the ultimate paper tiger, and I dare anybody to prove me wrong on that.

Bad picks

I didn't get to watch any football the past two weekends, because I was out of the country. I tried to catch up on what I missed in order to make my picks for this week, and I thought I was caught up.

For example, I knew that the Rams still suck, and that Bulger was out. I missed (or forgot) a key piece of information, though. There was a point early in the Rams-Ravens game today when I realized that I had picked Gus Ferotte against the Ravens defense. Oops.