Saturday, May 17, 2014

The Bruins' playoff loss brought to light my issue with hockey

As I watched the Bruins trail by one goal for most of their Game 7 defeat last week, I came to a conclusion about hockey.  The same thing that makes it so dramatic and intense also makes it hard to watch: There's no way to anticipate a comeback.

In baseball if your team is losing by a run late in the game, the excitement grows as runners get on base.  In football if they're behind with time running down the likelihood of scoring increases as the offense drives down the field.  And in basketball a once big lead getting trimmed to just a few points gives fans hope of victory.

But hockey isn't like that.  Having several near misses at a potential game-tying goal doesn't increase the chances of it eventually happening.  Scoring opportunities develop in a matter of seconds (or less) and are impossible to predict.  And while this keeps you on the edge of your seat, it can also leave you with a nauseous feeling in your stomach and no reason for optimism.  It'd be nice if "almost goals" were uplifting in the same manner that base-runners, long drives and made baskets can be.

Friday, May 16, 2014

There's palm trees floating on water in Boston harbor

Two summers ago I wrote about the out of place palm trees in Boston Common, and how they must be confusing to tourists.  Well now there's more, and this time the palm trees are floating in Boston harbor.

The trees are somebody's art project that's supposed to make you realize what could happen if global warming continues at the same rate.  Not that palm trees will start growing in Boston (which would be awesome, right?), but that sea levels will rise and trees will be under water.

I'm not sure the message is very clear, but it's pretty cool anyway.  Also, notice the LucidSportsFan offices in the background.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

ACC football has no need to worry about scheduling 'nonconference' games vs itself

Earlier this week the ACC decided to stick with an 8-game conference football schedule, even though the league has 14 teams (Louisville replaces Maryland next season).  From

"Because of the eight-game league schedule, non-primary crossover rivals in the Atlantic and Coastal divisions may wind up playing each other only once in an 11-year span. This prompted discussion at the spring meetings about scheduling fellow ACC teams as nonconference opponents in future seasons."

The possibility of nonconference games between teams in the same conference just goes to show how stupid and out-of-whack the whole conference system has become.

I've got news for you ACC teams, you don't have to worry about playing somebody only once every 11 years because there is a 0% chance the conference will still be the same in 11 years.  The way things are now when a conference remains unchanged for even one year I'm surprised.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

How long before a healthy pitcher opts for Tommy John surgery as an attempt to get even better?

Today the news broke that Miami Marlins ace and defending National League Rookie of the Year Jose Fernandez is headed for Tommy John surgery.  This ESPN story lists 14 other pitchers who have also decided to have the procedure since the start of spring training.  Everybody wants to know why these elbow injuries are suddenly happening at such an alarming rate.

Lackey has been much better post-Tommy John surgery.
I'd like to put forth the premise that maybe the number of injuries isn't actually increasing, but instead the technology in both diagnosing and fixing them is rapidly advancing, making the surgery a much more common option than it once was.

When Red Sox pitchers Daisuke Matsuzaka and John Lackey elected to have it done in 2011, I joked that it was becoming so trivial I might decide to get Tommy John surgery to fix my bartending.

In Lackey's case, the surgery not only repaired his arm, it may have helped improve his pitching as well.  From 2010 through 2011 Lackey posted a combined ERA of 5.26, and a WHIP of 1.50.  He sat out 2012 while recovering, and since returning in 2013 his ERA is only 3.53, while his WHIP is just 1.17.

How long before a struggling pitcher decides to have the surgery just because he thinks it could make him better?  Is it possible that's already happened?  At some point in the future allegedly "healthy" athletes undergoing procedures that can enhance their abilities is going to become a major issue; and it's probably not that far off...

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Get ready for Kevin Garnett's final NBA game

Last night was Brooklyn's last stand.  Old man Paul Pierce summoned the ghosts of playoffs past, and almost overcame LeBron James' 49-point game.

But it wasn't quite enough, the Nets couldn't hit their shots down the stretch, and the Heat now head back home with a 3-1 series lead.  At this point I think most basketball observers would be shocked if Miami didn't close things out on Wednesday.

As much as I don't want to admit it, Kevin Garnett is just a shell of his former self at this point.  Garnett will turn 38 years old next week.  This postseason he's averaged 7.4 points and 6.2 rebounds in only 20.5 minutes per game.

KG is one of the most competitive professional athletes I've ever watched, and it has to be killing him to realize he can't get it done anymore.  I can't imagine he'll really want to come back and grind through another season next year.  There's a very good chance tomorrow night is the end of the line.

While Garnett has one year remaining on his contact (at $12 million, making him practically untradeable), Pierce will be a free agent.  "The Truth" seems to have a little bit left in the tank, and could well sign somewhere else.  A return to Boston wouldn't surprise me...

Monday, May 12, 2014

It's annoying that you can't send text messages through WiFi

This won't be a problem for much longer, because it's getting harder and harder to differentiate between cell phones and computers.  If I can send/receive email on my phone, and set it up to give the same notifications that I do with a text, how is it actually any different?  But that's not the norm yet, so for the time being this really bugs me:

Probably 90% of what I use my phone for is internet related, and it all functions through either my cell signal or WiFi.  Most places I go have a cell signal, so everything works fine.  When I'm at home I have WiFi, and that works fine too.  But I don't get a very good cell signal in my apartment, and sometimes I miss calls and can't send texts because that part of the phone doesn't work through WiFi.  It seems ridiculous that I can video chat through google, but am unable to send a text or make a regular phone call.  Why can't cell signals just broadcast through WiFi also?

Eventually the internet will be everywhere, and cell phone service will become obsolete.

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Very loosely related to Mother's Day Awesome Old Song of the Week: "Mama Said Knock You Out" by L.L. Cool J

Other than having the word "mama" in the title, this song really has no connection to Mother's Day whatsoever.  But, it was one of the first rap hits I ever remember hearing on mainstream pop radio.  When L.L. Cool J made "Mama Said Knock You Out" back in 1990, do you think he expected to be hanging out on a network cop show with Chris O'Donnell two decades later?

My lasting image of L.L. will probably always be the chef with a parrot on his should from that ridiculous movie about a super intelligent shark, Deep Blue Sea.  A quick google search revealed Mr. Cool J also made a music video to go with the 1999 film, something I'm guessing he's not too proud of:

Also, his real name is James Smith.

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