Archive for the 'Sports' Category

2017 NFL: Week 10

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2017 NFL Week 9

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2017 NFL Week 8

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2017 NFL: Week 7

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NFL 2017: Week 6


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NFL 2017: Week 5


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2017 NFL: Week 4


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The Football Death Spiral, a Way of Understanding Football Games

I can’t remember if I talked about this before, but my understanding of football games and also my analysis of football teams comes down to which team can avoid getting into a death spiral in a game. Before I go into an explanation, let me say a few things. First, I don’t think what I’m saying is all that revolutionary or new, not in terms of the concepts. I suspect what I’m about to say will sound obvious and banal to many of you. However, in all my years of watching and reading about football, I don’t think I’ve ever heard anyone articulate or organize some of the concepts into what I’m about to say, which is a little surprising if true. So what do I mean by the death spiral? Continue reading ‘The Football Death Spiral, a Way of Understanding Football Games’

Why Are NFL Ratings Down?

I heard someone mention this, and I was a bit surprised. (I understand Trump made some comments about this and other NFL topics, but I didn’t bother reading them.) I have no idea if this is true, but if this is, why do you guys think this is the case?

I actually feel my enthusiasm for the NFL diminishing a bit, but I have no idea if this is the same reason others aren’t watching the NFL as much. Indeed, if I had to guess, I’d say the reason(s) is probably different. For me, the first thing that comes to mind is the number of injuries, particularly season-ending injuries that seem to occur before the the first regular season! The frequency seems so high that I feel like any key player or players could go down at any time. By the end, many of the teams that make it will likely be missing several important players. To me, this is a big turn off, and I must confess it’s mostly for selfish and superficial reasons: namely, it ruins the quality of competition, and even legitimacy of some of the games, if that’s the right way to describe it. If a team is missing several starters, one or two of them really important players, if a team beats them is that a legitimate victory? Injuries are part of the game, but if there are two many injuries, to too many key players, it weakens the meaningfulness of the games. Or at least I start feeling that way.

And maybe I wouldn’t if the quality of the play seemed high. That leads to the other issue for me–the quality of the offensive line (OL) play and how that affects the quality of play overall. To me, terrible OL play makes the game almost unwatchable.

By the way, I don’t think the officiating is much of a problem (although the way I watch games in condensed version and sometimes I don’t pay much attention to the penalties). I actually think the officiating is a lot better than a few years ago, when they seemed to call every defensive hold or pass interference. It’s a lot better since them. But I wonder if scoring is down. I don’t notice as many defensive holding calls that bail out offenses, so maybe that has lead to less scoring. If so, that might explain why TV ratings are down.

Any thoughts? Is the NFL less appealing to watch for you? If so, why?

2017 NFL: Week 3

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NFL Hall of Fame: Class of 2018 Modern Nominees

The 2018 nominees of the modern era for the NFL are out. I thought it would be fun to go by position and discuss who we think is worthy, unworthy, the best of the group, etc. Let’s start with the QBs: Continue reading ‘NFL Hall of Fame: Class of 2018 Modern Nominees’

2017 NFL: Week 2


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2017 NFL: Week 1

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2017-2018 NFL Season

What are your thoughts and predictions on the upcoming NFL season, particularly with regard to who you think will be the best teams, specifically relating to who has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl. Here are some of my thoughts off the top of my head.

As always, I first think about the team’s that follow what I think is a winning blueprint for a Super Bowl team: a really good defense, strong running game, and a QB that can protect the football, play well under pressure, including making a handful of plays in critical moments, particularly when a play breaks down. Any team like that fit the bill this year? Which teams come the closest? Continue reading ‘2017-2018 NFL Season’

Top 5 Favorite Athletes of All Time

Not necessarily best. Just athletes you really love, for whatever reason. Here’s mine off the top of my head: Continue reading ‘Top 5 Favorite Athletes of All Time’

The All-Time NFL Draft

The has a fun game where twelve people draft players from the entire history of football. I didn’t read the whole thing yet, but I just had to start this because of Dan Fouts’s (who is one of the “GMs”) first round choice–which, I thought was surprising and hilarious. I’ll post more after I read it.

Offensive Coordinators Vs. Defensive Coordinators–QB Preferences

This discussion about Colin Kaepernick raised an interesting issue–namely, the different preferences that offensive coordinators (OC) and defensive coordinators (DC) have with regard to QBs. Benoit says he asked about a dozen well-known DCs, who they preferred to face: Peyton Manning or Colin Kaepernick (and I assume this was when both were doing well). He said a vast majority chose Manning, which seems shocking. On the other hand, my guess is that if you ask OCs which QB they’d want for their offense, the vast majority would choose Manning. What’s going on here? What does this say about OCs and DCs? I’ll share my thoughts on this in this post. Continue reading ‘Offensive Coordinators Vs. Defensive Coordinators–QB Preferences’

Is “Tanking” the Way to Build a Winning NFL Franchise?

Andrew Brandt, from theMMQB site argues that tanking play a vital for a winning NFL franchise. Do you agree?

Here’s a summary of Brandt’s views: Continue reading ‘Is “Tanking” the Way to Build a Winning NFL Franchise?’

NFL Draft: Tracking the Comments of Experts (2014- )

I’ve done other threads, by draft year (2014, 2015 and 2016). I don’t really like that format, as I now prefer having just one long thread, making it easier to find previous comments. The idea, as I explained in those other threads, is to create a repository of comments and ratings from draft experts and track them over time. (For what it’s worth, I’m far more interested in the accuracy of the comments than looking just looking at the grades.) Please post comments from analysts of players that you’d like to track.

For this year’s draft, I’m going to start off with a comment about Malik McDowell, a DT, that went to Seattle. Continue reading ‘NFL Draft: Tracking the Comments of Experts (2014- )’

Notes on Brian Kenny’s Ahead of the Curve

Brian Kenny’s Ahead of the Curve: Inside the Baseball Revolution was published last July, and I had it marked as a pre-order, but I had to put myself on a little restriction from new books in the second half of last year, so I didn’t get to read it then. I’m finally getting to it now, and it’s a fun read. Fun mostly because Kenny is coming out with his dukes up, and he knows what he’s talking about. I thought I’d put a few notes here, and maybe they’ll spark some discussion or maybe they won’t. My notes are mostly so I can keep track of some of the arguments presented in the book, since the book I’m really looking forward to is Keith Law’s Smart Baseball, which comes out in three weeks.

There’s a chance I’ll change the title of this post later, depending on how things move.

From the publisher’s website:

Most people who resist logical thought in baseball preach “tradition” and “respecting the game.” But many of baseball’s traditions go back to the nineteenth century, when the pitcher’s job was to provide the batter with a ball he could hit and fielders played without gloves. Instead of fearing change, Brian Kenny wants fans to think critically, reject outmoded groupthink, and embrace the changes that have come with the sabermetric era.

Rejecting outmoded groupthink is what I’m all about, so here we go.