Saturday, November 23, 2013

UMass Minutemen about to be Top 25?

Senior point guard Chaz Williams
After opening the season 3-0 (with wins over BC, LSU, and Youngstown State) the Minutemen received two votes in last week's Top 25 Associated Press poll, which would put them at #43 if the rankings went that far.  Playing in the Charleston Classic this week, UMass (now 5-0) knocked off Nebraska 96-90 on Thursday, and #19 New Mexico yesterday, blowing out the Lobos 81-65.

If the Minuteman can beat Clemson (also 5-0) Sunday night in the tournament final, there's a very good chance they'll crack the AP Top 25 for the first time in 14 years.  Obviously it's still early in the season, but it's looking like UMass has a great shot at making the NCAA tournament, something they haven't done since 1998.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Making progress...

If you go to, then click on "sports," then "NBA," then "teams," then "Boston Celtics," then scroll down through the "Latest News" section, you'll come to this (as I'm writing it's 4th from the top, but it will probably get bumped down quickly):

Boston Celtics Likely to Embrace an Unorthodox Trade Philosophy

Listed right there below A. Sherrod Blakely's story for CSNNE is an article I wrote for Yahoo about what kind of trades the Celtics are likely to make.  Basically my point is that with the exception of the "core 5" of Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley, Jeff Green, Jared Sullinger, and Kelly Olynyk, I don't care who they get rid of or what players they get in return, as long as it brings in draft picks or creates future salary cap space.

Hopefully this is the first of many articles on the Yahoo Contributor Network that may actually get me paid.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Kid who survived two plane crashes and an eight week coma is going to play basketball for Michigan

Hatch with his uncle and legal guardian
Wow.  How about that for a headline?  I use the term "unbelievable" a lot in regards to sports, but this takes it to a whole other level.  In 2003 Austin Hatch lived through a plane crash that killed his mother, brother, and sister.  In June of 2011 Hatch verbally committed to play basketball at Michigan, but just 10 days later was involved in another plane crash.  This one killed his father, and left Austin in a coma with a traumatic brain injury, broken ribs, and a punctured lung.

He's been rehabbing for the last two years, and is almost ready to take the court again.  Hatch will play one more season in high school this winter, then head to Ann Arbor in the fall, where coach John Beilein and the Wolverines are making good on their promise; he signed a letter of intent last week.

Clearly if Hatch is going to play Division 1 basketball he still plans on setting foot on airplanes; that is one brave kid.  Here's more on the story from

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Twitter should tell you the "potential reach" of all your retweeted tweets

When I put something up on the LucidSportsFan facebook page, the website tells me how many people have seen each post.  While I realize this would be a very difficult thing for twitter to do (given all the various methods to view it, and how quickly it can be scrolled through), I don't think it would be that hard for the site to include a "potential reach" stat.  At the moment I have 732 followers, so when I send out a tweet the immediate "potential reach" is 732 people.  But each time one gets retweeted that amount increases by the number of people who are following the retweet-er (minus any overlap).

Earlier today I sent out this tweet:

The @NFLRT account has 72,707 followers, so when it retweeted my tweet the "potential reach" immediately jumped from 732 to 73,400 or so.  Since that time (and primarily because of that) 169 other people have also retweeted it.  Obviously I'm not going to go through and look at how many followers each of those 169 people have, but it'd be really cool if twitter automatically did it for me.  Hypothetically if they all averaged roughly 500, that would put my tweet's "potential reach" around 150,000, depending on the number of duplicates.  So memo to twitter: get on this, it'll be awesome.

And if this already exists (I bet there probably is a site somewhere that does it) but I'm just not technologically proficient enough to find it, please let me know.

I've got a great idea for twitter
I hate the ESPN Sports Science features
Why I'm not too pissed about the Patriots vs Panthers pathetic pass interference play

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Why I'm not too pissed about the Patriots vs Panthers pathetic pass interference play

First off, I think Rob Gronkowski had zero chance of actually catching that ball.  But I do think he was close enough that he might have been able to get involved in the play with Robert Lester, and then who knows what happens?  Maybe the ball would have popped up in the air and somebody else might have caught it?  However Gronk never got that chance, because Luke Kuechly had already interfered with him.  That's a penalty.


But I'm honestly not that upset about it, because I think last night's game will make no difference to the 7-3 Patriots in the long run.  In all likelihood, whoever wins the West (Denver or Kansas City, both 9-1) is getting the AFC's #1 seed.  After the Broncos next week, New England's schedule gets a lot easier (at Houston, Cleveland, at Miami, at Baltimore, and home vs Buffalo).  They should finish 12-4 or 11-5, and probably still end up with the 2nd seed in the conference.  Who might they be afraid of?  The 7-3 Colts?  Maybe.  The 7-4 Bengals?  Probably not.  Chances are the Pats will be #2 overall regardless of whether they won or lost last night (even if they have a worse record than the AFC West's second place team, by winning their division they'd still get the higher seed and home field advantage).  Plus, in recent history there has been no correlation between having a top seed and winning the Super Bowl.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Everybody's Free (To Wear Sunscreen)" by Baz Luhrmann (sort of)

Last week I saw the movie About Time, a combination of Love Actually and Groundhog Day which I highly recommend.  In the film the main character quotes a Baz Luhrmann song lyric (pictured) regarding worrying about the future.

The thing is, it's not really Baz Luhrmann's lyric.  His 1999 recording was actually the word for word essay entitled "Wear Sunscreen," written by Chicago Tribune columnist Mary Schmich in 1997, who referred to it as the commencement speech she would give if allowed the opportunity.  Luhrmann combined Schmich's words with some of the background music from Rozalla's "Eveybody's Free (To Feel Good)" (hence the title), a song used on the soundtrack of the 1996 movie he directed, William Shakespeare's Romeo + Juliet.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

The BC Eagles have a sneaky Heisman Trophy candidate?

Usually I go to one Boston College football game per year, and this season I chose October 5th, vs Army.  On that day I was somewhat stunned to watch Eagles running back Andre Williams rush for 263 yards and 5 touchdowns in the victory.  Late in the game Williams actually had 264 yards, tying the school's single game record, but he lost one on his final carry.

No matter, he shattered the mark last week with 295 yards on the ground in a win at New Mexico State.  Then on Saturday he blew his week old record out of the water by rushing for 339 yards (also an ACC single game record) while helping BC knock off NC State.

Williams has carried the ball for 1810 total yards so far this year (averaging 181 per game), already the most prolific rushing season in both school and conference history; with two more games left on the schedule.  That number is also good for best in the nation, a ridiculous 371 more than second place Kapri Bibbs of Colorado State, who has 1439.  In the last six weeks Williams has put up 3 of the top 10 rushing performances by any player in the country all season.  Heisman Trophy?

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