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9.29.2007

Hardcore 

Here are a bunch of pictures of the Boston Red Sox celebrating the division championship. Highlights include Dustin Pedroia sneaking in with a fake ID and Mike Lowell holding several shot glasses in his hand.

9.21.2007

LA drivers are the most incompetent drivers in the known universe 

Two weeks ago, while driving on Pico Blvd., I got rear-ended by a minivan going about 20-25 mph whose driver didn't seem to even hit her brakes before hitting me.

Yesterday, I saw a car on Pico attempt to zoom through a yellow light at about 10 mph, then stop after crossing the crosswalk. The FedEx truck behind it slammed on its brakes. The car behind the FedEx truck plowed right into it, again seemingly without braking.

About fifteen minutes ago, my brother got rear-ended on I-10.

Until now, I've never been in a city where every vehicle on the road is a safety hazard, but LA definitely qualifies. Boston drivers get a bad rap, but at least there's a method to their madness -- they're usually trying to get somewhere without getting tied up in some crazy five-way intersection. LA drivers' incompetence is the most dangerous of all -- it's the sort of incompetence that arises when drivers are completely oblivious to their surroundings.

All Tech men carry batteries 

Sadly, the excuse above is apparently not valid for Tech women. Also, airport security, post-9/11, blah blah blah.

9.19.2007

Small sample size 

Over on ESPN's Page 2, there's a great suite of articles on how people can jump to ridiculous conclusions about their NFL teams after only two games -- Chargers are mere pretenders after getting waxed by New England, Shaun Alexander is a chump, etc. It certainly seems more prevalent nowadays than it did about ten years ago.

However, I think the authors should have mentioned the extent to which ESPN and other sports media outlets have contributed to this phenomenon. It seems to me that all this overforecasting took off when the networks started alloting much more time to NFL coverage. There simply isn't very much to talk about when the season is only a couple weeks old, but these television heads on sticks need something to say, so they naturally project the first two weeks' action onto the rest of the season.

9.14.2007

On fourth down, E(incomplete pass) > E(interception) 


Espionage 

Wow, this whole Patriots espionage deal is really getting out of hand. The Jets, Lions, Eagles and Steelers are all bitching (with varying degrees of seriousness and snark) about having their signals stolen. (It is worth noting that the Indianapolis Colts, who got destroyed by the Pats three seasons in a row, have not complained about such shenanigans so far.)

Of course, this sort of thing probably goes on all the time; it's just that the Patriots were dumb enough to get caught doing it.

I have to wonder, though, why exactly videotaping the signals that are being sent in from the enemy sideline is illegal. The Patriots could have accomplished the same task by having a third-string QB and a few practice squad scrubs watching the other teams' coaches and take notes, and there's no general expectation of privacy anywhere on the football field except in the huddle. Furthermore, signal-stealing is easily foiled by having a couple guys give off decoy signals; high school and college teams do this all the time.

Perhaps most importantly, if your team's plays can be foiled by having the other team dial up exactly the right counterplay, your team simply isn't all that great. If your defense needs to completely sell out on a blitz in order to get pressure on the quarterback, you should expect to be exploited by draws, screens and quick outlet passes ad infinitum. Great teams can change up their plays after the ball is snapped. If you're a QB and the other team blitzes, hit the hot receiver. If you're on defense, you blitz, and the offensive linemen let you into the pocket and slide off to the side, follow them and don't send everyone after the QB. And so forth.

EDIT: According to this article,


NFL rules state "no video recording devices of any kind are permitted to be in use in the coaches' booth, on the field, or in the locker room during the game'' and that all video or coaching purposes must be shot from locations "enclosed on all sides with a roof overhead."

That was re-emphasized in a memo sent Sept. 6 to NFL head coaches and general managers. In it, Ray Anderson, the league's executive vice president of football operations wrote: "Videotaping of any type, including but not limited to taping of an opponent's offensive or defensive signals, is prohibited on the sidelines, in the coaches' booth, in the locker room, or at any other locations accessible to club staff members during the game."


I'm not sure if the phrase "locations accesible to club staff members during the game" means locations exclusive to staff; I would tend to think so based on its association with the sidelines, booth, and locker room. Either way it doesn't seem to be mentioned in the actual rule, just in the memo. If that's the case, you could just put some schlub in the stands with a video camera, four pieces of cardboard and a professional lip reader and achieve the same thing legally. That's what you get for implementing a law that has shaky philosophical and practical foundations. Fortunately, the whole issue should be out the window by next season, as the NFL will surely decide to allow wireless communications devices for defenses.

9.13.2007

Fine, we won't call it a comeback 

Since there's no way in hell I could ever be bothered to watch the VMAs, I had to read this article in the Daily Mail about Britney Spears's performance.

On the one hand, her body is in perfectly fine shape for someone who has had two children, and all the brutal criticism of her performance is bad news for millions of young women who already have really confused notions about their physical health and body image.

On the other hand, it's always gratifying to see someone who has built his or her career as a celebrity entirely on one asset realize that it's gone.

9.11.2007

Mystery solved 

While surfing the web for articles about the recent USA-Brazil soccer match, I finally found an answer to a burning question: how did Brazil forward Vagner Loooooove get his name? Sadly, the answer wasn't nearly as hilarious as I had hoped -- he got caught going out with a lady after team curfew, and that was about it.

As for the match itself, well, perhaps all that can be said about it is that the USA didn't completely suck. (The foul call that led to Ronaldinho's free kick goal was total crap though.)

9.08.2007

Please, let the beating stop already 

You know, I was all set with a "1-0 against Division I-A Michigan rox0rz!!!!!!!!!!!eleven" post for today.

Unfortunately, it turns out their most recent opponent also has a quarterback who can run and throw.

Next up, of course, is Notre Dame, possibly the only team in college football that has sucked more ass than Michigan so far. Can't wait to see that game be declared a draw after 21 consecutive scoreless overtimes.

9.06.2007

NFL kickoff weekend 

Just won a couple grossly mispriced prop bets (Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne to score TDs) on tonight's Colts-Saints game.

With that unpleasantness out of the way, Colts suck. Go Patriots.




9.02.2007

Way better than Curt Schilling 


9.01.2007

It's like David and Goliath, only this time David won 

Well, at least I now have an excuse to not watch college football this year and instead focus on baseball and the NFL.

For some reason I seem to think that Michigan getting destroyed by a QB who can run and pass has happened in the past, but I can't quite seem to remember when.

Crackpot 

Commerce Casino Game #14285714: Table 29 - $3/$5 - No Limit Hold'em - 03:17:24 ET - 2007/09/01

Seat 1: blufftastic! ($182)
Seat 2: stoppushinmearound ($140)
Seat 3: ChunLi ($324)
Seat 4: GogglesDoNothing ($153)
Seat 5: FixinMyPalmPilot ($118)
Seat 6: jackdeuce777 ($308)
Seat 7: speedracer ($156)
Seat 8: SanchoPanza ($102)
Seat 9: KoreaTeamFighting ($96)
blufftastic! posts the small blind of $3
stoppushinmearound posts the big blind of $5
The button is in seat #9
*** HOLE CARDS ***
Dealt to speedracer [Jd 4h]
ChunLi folds
GogglesDoNothing folds
FixinMyPalmPilot folds
jackdeuce777 raises to $25
speedracer folds
SanchoPanza folds
KoreaTeamFighting folds
blufftastic! folds
stoppushinmearound raises to $50
jackdeuce777 calls $25
*** FLOP *** [8s 2c Tc]
stoppushinmearound bets $90, and is all-in
jackdeuce777 calls $90
jackdeuce777: i think i have you beat man
stoppushinmearound shows [As Ad]
jackdeuce777 shows [Td Ts]
*** TURN *** [8s 2c Tc][Ac]
speedracer: you got jacked, bitch
*** RIVER *** [8s 2c Tc][Ac][Th]
speedracer: noooooooooooooooooooo
stoppushinmearound shows a full house, Aces full of Tens
jackdeuce777 shows four of a kind, Tens
*** SUMMARY ***
Total pot $277 | Rake $6
Board: [8s 2c Tc][Ac][Th]
Seat 1: blufftastic! (small blind) folded before the Flop
Seat 2: stoppushinmearound (big blind) showed [As Ad] and lost with a full house, Aces full of Tens
Seat 3: ChunLi folded before the Flop
Seat 4: GogglesDoNothing folded before the Flop
Seat 5: FixinMyPalmPilot folded before the Flop
Seat 6: jackdeuce777 showed [Td Ts] and won ($277) with four of a kind, Tens
Seat 7: speedracer folded before the Flop
Seat 8: SanchoPanza folded before the Flop
Seat 9: KoreaTeamFighting folded before the Flop
Congratulations! This table has just hit the Commerce Casino Bad Beat Jackpot!



(EDIT: minor typo in hand history fixed)

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