Saturday, March 8, 2014

The NFL should just eliminate kickers altogether

There has been a lot of discussion in the news lately about changing the extra point in the NFL.  I have a better idea: Get rid of it completely.  Field goals too.  And while you're at it you can dump kickoffs (which the NFL is worried are too dangerous anyway) and punts as well.  This sounds like sarcasm, but I'm dead serious.

A century ago in the early days of football kicks were performed by players who were otherwise involved in the game.  It's silly to have the one guy now who does only that.  The sport has evolved, It's a totally different thing than it was back then.  Kicking is basically it's own mini-sport that just happens to have kept it's role in this other bigger game.

Consider this -- if you knew literally nothing about football and were watching it for the very first time, wouldn't you think the extra point after a touchdown was a very weird thing?  Kicking the ball through uprights as a bonus for getting into the end zone makes about as much sense as rolling a basketball the length of the court across the opposite baseline instead of shooting free throws; in both cases they have nothing to do with everything else that happens during the course of the game.

In basketball you throw the ball through the hoop. In Baseball you cross home plate.  In hockey you shoot the puck into the net.  It's pretty standard in sports to have just one way to score, so why does football need two?  Off the top of my head the only game I can think of with multiple unrelated methods for scoring points is that made up Quidditch thing from Harry Potter.

Here's my plan: Instead of a kickoff teams would start at the 25 yard line.  Punts could be throws.  If you want the extra point you can just have it, but you still have the option after touchdowns to go for two.  And here's my favorite part, the 30-yard line as a second end zone replacing field goals.  Once you've crossed it you can take 3 points any time you like.

It's just too bad the word "foot" is in the sport's name.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Celtics Tankometer slips; Rajon Rondo keeps shooting threes and the Nets miss a lot of them

It was an up and down week for the Celtics.  After falling just short in a hard fought effort against the NBA best Indiana Pacers on Saturday, the C's didn't even bother to show up on Wednesday vs the Warriors; despite having had three straight days off and not even travelling.  Boston bounced back on Friday however, knocking off the Nets who'd won five of their last six. The Celtics out-rebounded Brooklyn 51-28, clearly a sign of effort.  The sum total off all this is enough to move the needle down 3% from last week.

Unrelated to the Tankometer but noteworthy from Friday night's contest, after setting a career high with 3 three-pointers in a game (and then upping it to 4 two nights later) less than month ago, Rajon Rondo drilled three of them in the first quarter alone vs the Nets.

Meanwhile Brooklyn went just 4-30 (13.3%) from downtown for the night.  According to the Nets were the first team to ever shoot 30 or more threes in a game while making 4 or fewer.

Thursday, March 6, 2014 advertises to "build" your business a free facebook page. Yippee.

I've seen this commercial a bunch lately, and it irks me:

"I use facebook for myself, but I had no idea how to use it for my plumbing business." - Plumber guy

"They built me a facebook page, for free.  I couldn't believe it." - Glasses guy (pictured)

Who are these people?  And who does think they are fooling?  It's comical that they use the word "build" in reference to making a facebook page.  Facebook has already done all the building, setting up a page through it takes about 2 minutes.  So glasses guy can calm down about how amazing it is that will do that for free before charging you each month to maintain it, which is 99.9% work.  This is like if Dunkin' Donuts advertised giving you a free coffee cup, but then it costs you $1.99 every morning to drink out of it.

And how about plumber guy who uses facebook for himself, but has no idea how to use it for his business?  Really?  Did you try?  Because it's pretty much exactly the same thing.

There's also the fact that is at least five years too late on this idea.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Philadelphia 76ers are murdering Las Vegas

Henry Sims (#35) is the Sixers
starting center.  Who?
Last week I wrote about the Sixers putting together one of the worst months in NBA history.  Since then their epic level of tanking has just gotten worse.  Philly's losing streak now sits at 15 games; but it is the manner in which they are losing that is so "impressive."  In 12 of the 15 defeats they've been beaten by double digits, including 7 times by more than 20 (and twice by over 40; the average margin is 20.47 points).

During that span the 76ers are 3-11-1 against the Las Vegas spread.  There's an absurd amount of money that changes hands in Vegas, and the goal of the odds makers is to create equal action on both sides -- the result being that teams usually cover about 50% of the time.  For example, as bad as the Celtics are (20-41), for the season they're still 29-31-1 vs the spread.  Most of the league is within a few games of being even in this category (here is every club's record).

Vegas has been around for a long time, and it tends to know what it's doing.  But in the case of these pathetic 76ers, it can't set a line high enough.

On February 24th the Sixers were an unprecedented 3-point underdog at home against Milwaukee, the team with the worst record in the league.  Philly responded by losing by 20.  Two nights later the 76ers were 4.5-point underdogs at home vs Orlando, the next worst team in the NBA besides themselves.  This time the Sixers got blown out by 21.  On Tuesday in Oklahoma City the Thunder were listed as 21.5-point favorites against Philly, the largest point spread in the league since March 30, 2008 (when the Celtics we favored by 22.5 vs Miami).  Undeterred, the 76ers fell by a 33-point margin.

This is only going to get worse as the Sixers roll along on their quest to pass the Bucks for the top spot in the draft lottery.  When they visit Indiana (currently 46-15) in two weeks we could witness an all-time high point spread for an NBA game.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Could the Red Sox Daniel Nava be an All-Star this year?

Two under-the-radar stats from Daniel Nava's 2013 season: He batted .303, and his on-base percentage was .385; solid numbers, but they don't exactly jump off the table.  Until you consider the fact that his average was 8th best in the American League, and his OBP was 5th.  Miguel Cabrera (.442), Mike Trout (.432), Joe Mauer (.404), and David Ortiz (.395) were the only AL players to reach base at a better clip than Nava.  That is some pretty impressive company.

However, Nava only managed 458 at-bats over 134 games in the crowded Red Sox outfield.  If Nava A) plays everyday (which seems more likely after Jacoby Ellsbury's defection to New York), and B) produces at the same level as last year (although he was just a .243 hitter in his previous two MLB seasons), there's no reason to think he can't be an All-Star.

I'll be the first to admit those are some pretty big "ifs."  Nava's 2013 stats could easily be a fluke, and with Shane Victorino, Jonny Gomes, Grady Sizemore, and Jackie Bradley Jr. all around he might well still be a part-time player.  But I've recently started writing for Bleacher Report, and my first assignment was "Boston Red Sox: 5 Bold Predictions for the 2014 Season."  Nava the All-Star is one, click the link to see the other four.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "You're the Best" by Joe Esposito

From maybe the greatest sports movie montage of all-time, this song needs no introduction.  One thing I've just discovered is that "You're the Best" was originally intended for Rocky III, but got turned down in favor of "Eye of the Tiger."  It was then subsequently rejected by Flashdance as well, which opted for "Maniac" instead.  It's a good thing those other two films passed, because Daniel Larusso never would have been able to get to the finals of the All-Valley Tournament without it.

I think I went as the Karate Kid for every single Halloween from 1984-1987.

Sunday, March 2, 2014 turns 3 years old today

By my calculations this is consecutive day number 1,097 with a blog post.  I'm now 41.7% of the way towards catching Cal Ripken's streak of 2,632 straight games.  Just a little more than four years to go... So that's all for today, I'm taking a quasi-day off.

One year ago.

Two years ago.

The very first post (and I know the date on it says March 3rd, but trust me, it's the 2nd.  Somehow the times got logged incorrectly in the beginning.  The Celtics game I wrote about in the second ever post was played on Wednesday, March 2, 2011).

Next year when it's a bigger deal they'll know not to schedule the Oscars on the same night.

Back to homepage