Saturday, November 28, 2015

Why do football players ever make fair catches on punts inside the 10-yard line?

(not the play I saw, a slightly exaggerated representation)
The other day I was watching a game where a kick returner made a fair catch at the seven-yard line.  Here's my best guess breakdown of what would've happened if he'd let the ball land instead:

85% - ball goes into the endzone, then comes out to the 20-yard line.
5% - ball bounces forwards or sideways and is downed at roughly the same spot or further up the field.
10% - ball rolls backwards a few yards and the defense downs it closer to the goal line.

My numbers are obviously subjective and inexact, but the premise is not:  By letting the ball bounce around the 10-yard line, there is a good chance the offense will gain 10 yards to the 20, and a small chance they'll lose a few yards closer to end zone.

The first outcome has both a higher probability of happening, and a greater upside than the possible downside of the second outcome--so why do guys catch the ball so often?

Friday, November 27, 2015

Does any woman actually want to be proposed to on the jumbotron at a sporting event?

Is there any upside here?
At a Celtics game a few weeks ago, a guy proposed to his girlfriend on the jumbotron (sadly I didn't think quickly enough to record/photograph it).

To put it lightly, her reaction was not great--it was more one of shock and horror than excitement or happiness.  It was also unclear whether or not she even said yes.  After several somewhat painful seconds of the entire arena viewing the situation, the camera finally cut away.

I don't understand why anyone would want to do this.  It just feels like a no-win situation all around.  The best-case scenario is mild embarrassment for everyone involved, and the worst-case scenario is an epic disaster on display to thousands of people.

So my question is, would any girl actually want this?  And if so, why?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Happy Thanksgiving, brought to you by the worst football plays I've ever seen

It was Thanksgiving day three years ago that we witnessed one of the worst plays in NFL history:

I was 100 percent certain the butt fumble was the single worst play I'd ever seen in a Patriots game.  However, that may have changed when the Colts did this last month:

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

76ers can once again tie record for longest losing streak in NBA history

History is on the line at the TD Garden this evening!  The horrendous 2013-14 Philadelphia 76ers lost 26 straight games at one point, tying the all-time NBA record set by the post-LeBron 2010-11 Cleveland Cavaliers.  Last season's pathetic Philly squad dropped its final 10 contests of 2014-15.  This year, the perpetually tanking franchise is off to an 0-15 start.  Tonight the Sixers visit Boston with a chance to tie the worst losing streak in NBA history for the second time in three seasons.

Hopefully they'll get the opportunity to set a new mark for futility on Friday in Houston.  The 76ers are also closing in on the worst start in league history, held by the 2009-10 Nets who opened 0-18.

On the flip side of the coin, the Warriors set a league record last night by beginning the year 16-0.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

I think Brad Marchand's insane goal was as much lacrosse as it was baseball

One thing I'll say about hockey, its best goals are some of the greatest highlights in sports.

Last night Brad Marchand smacked the puck out of mid-air for a shorthanded score.  Everybody is equating it to baseball, but if you watch his stick motion it really looks a lot more like a lacrosse player shooting a ball than a baseball player swinging a bat:

This also gives me an opportunity to post my all-time favorite hockey goal:

It's weird to me that some hockey people thought the header goal might actually count

Monday, November 23, 2015

The Walking Dead: Did you know last night's "dramatic non-spoiler revelation X" was coming?

I was duped by The Walking Dead this week, and it's the fault of this stupid spoiler tweet from FanSided a month ago:

Sidebar: What percentage of people view TV shows live these days?  It has to be really, really low.  It's pretty annoying to have my Walking Dead experience tarnished by a tweet (from an account I expect to be sports related) right after the original airing of an episode I watch a few hours later.

When Glenn fell off that dumpster I just assumed he was dead, and didn't bother to watch closely to see that maybe he wasn't.  I wonder what I would've thought if I hadn't seen that obnoxious tweet?

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Awesome Old Song of the Week: "You Can Call Me Al" by Paul Simon

When I was a little kid, my parents played Simon & Garfunkel records from time to time.  Later on when cassettes took over the market, I believe my mom gave my dad a Paul Simon Graceland tape for his birthday in 1986 (I don't actually know for sure that in was '86, but that's the year the album came out).

We didn't have cable TV until after I went to college, so it was probably over a decade later that I watched the You Can Call Me Al video for the first time--I remember be shocked and impressed to see Chevy Chase.

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