Saturday, December 31, 2011

I'm leaving for Macon tomorrow

In case you, like nobody else, was wondering, I have been posting year in review posts because I wanted to post a "hey, I'm skipping town for a while" post today. The plan is to leave as soon as I wake up tomorrow morning, which could be 8, could be 10. Then I will get to southern Illinois or western Kentucky by nightfall. I will make the rest of the drive to Macon on Monday. There shouldn't be traffic in Nashville or Atlanta, right?
I have a ticket waiting for me at Will Call at Mercer (three dollars!) and will spend a couple days in Macon before heading to Fort Myers for a few days. Then it's three days on the way back, and plow, back to regular posting.
I will try to throw up a few posts while I'm gone, but Steve has a couple in the can for New Years Day and the 2nd, so I will be gone from your eyes until the third. The game looks better and better with every result that comes through for those teams. Florida Gulf Coast is on a two game winning streak, with games against Toledo and Maine, while Mercer continues to look strong against big time opponents, like Georgia Tech and Seton Hall. I can honestly say, I don't know who will win this game, but I bet it will be a pretty good contest.
There will be a few tweets, so stay tuned while I'm on the road! Happy New Year, everyone!


Links of the Day 12/31/11

Happy New Year's Eve! I am in the car most of the day tomorrow, so it may be late tomorrow when we speak again. Behave yourselves.

It was an awful year for hockey, but in their first run, ESPN totally ignored that.

The top 25 sportscasting moments of the year.

Who are the worst 5 fielders since 2002?  

Mercer 65, Navy 58 - Mercer beat the ENTIRE US NAVY. This is going to be a good game on Monday.
North Dakota State 84, IPFW 68 - The Mastadons. That's an awesome nickname.
Blackburn 3, Manchester United 2 - Whaaaaaaaaat?! What an amazing win to finish off the calendar year.


The top stories of 2011

We had a good year at the Victoria Times. Here's the top 5 stories from the Victoria Times published in 2011 by traffic to the pages.

#5  - This brief post on the end of winter sports season somehow came in at number 5.

#4 - Steve and I each run the college football sim every year. Steve's was much more popular than mine.

#3 - I rehashed a trip to Churchill Downs, much to Steve's annoyance, and it came in at number three.

#2 - People were intrigued by the thought of Kyle Orton coming to the Vikings.

#1 - The top story this year was my preparation for a trip to New York. So.... good times, right?


Friday, December 30, 2011

Links of the Day 12/30/11

Only one more links post left in 2011. Crazy, right?

Several people have asked me to comment on Oregon's bowl uniforms. It is very clar to me that Oregon has already won, and stupid uniforms are here to stay. Instead, here is Oregon running back LaMichael James completely terrified on a roller coaster.

Oh man. This is an awesome story, made all the better by the perfect headline "this anaconda want buns, hun"

This video did not take place in Minnesota. You can tell because the driver was attentive. Also, he was speaking Russian.

Minnesota 4, Edmonton 3 - The Wild win! The streak is over!
Kansas 89, Howard 34 - In my Google Calendar, it just lists teams by their nickname. Howard is the Bison. I thought NDSU had a rough night.Well, they did because they are in Fargo, but at least they didn't get destroyed on the court.


Thursday, December 29, 2011

A post from every month of 2011

Here is a list of my favorite 12 posts from the past year.

I was treated unkindly at a local drinking establishment in January.

In which I call Jim Souhan a dickbag, back in February.

I completely revamped the NCAA tournament and nobody listened in March.

Not a favorite post, but I lost my uncle and Godfather in April. RIP Ron.

Denard Span thought this was some Bull Junk back in May.

Law enforcement and I had some issues in June.

Ooooh I made some people angry in July.

The entire summer was a miserable one baseball wise. The Delmon Young trade in August made me especially salty.

Steve had a baby in September!

Back in October, I took a trip to Wyoming.

I ran into Juan Berenguer in November. I did not do business with him.

I managed to get myself blocked by Jim Bowden on Twitter just this month.

I'll be back tomorrow with the top 5 posts of the year. Thanks for reading!


Links of the Day 12/29/11

Mere days left in 2011. Too bad the world ends in less than a year, right?

I got freezer burn on some ground beef once.

Larry Brown with a couple of links. The second one introducing us to a tiny Oklahoma school saved by football.

It blows my mind that the chimp as even still alive.

Nashville 2, Minnesota 1 (SO) - The Wild lose a game in the shootout, and their 8th in a row. And to a team that wore yellow jerseys.
North Dakota State 96, Oakland 69 - The Bison dominate all they see.
Tulsa 68, Mercer 62 - Now Mercer goes home to begin their Atlantic Sun schedule in earnest. Against Florida Gulf Coast. Perhaps I mentioned it.
Purdue 79, Iowa 76 - A bit tighter than I would have liked for a game against Iowa. 


Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Indianapolis' answer at quarterback

Yes, I am proposing that the Colts add Colt. Hear me out.
The problem with Indianpolis this season wasn't so much that Peyton Manning was injured, but that Curtis Painter was an absolute embarrassment. I can't see the Colts moving Peyton Manning, or keeping Manning and assumed first pick Andrew Luck, but it's very clear that the team needs an additional QB on the roster. It just so happens that the Browns are likely in the market for an upgrade at quarterback, own two first round picks (including one in the top 5) and have a player on the roster that would be an obvious upgrade for the current Indianapolis QB depth.
The Colts have been respectable with Dan Orlovsky at the helm, which is mind blowing, and goes to show just how terrible Painter is and was. Orlovsky probably played himself into a job elsewhere. The Colts likely realized that a having a quarterback on the roster that wasn't an utter disaster is key. Some people have said the Brown could move their top two picks for the third pick and take Robert Griffin. What if they through in Colt McCoy and nabbed the number 1 overall selection? I think the Browns would jump at the chance, and I, personally, would love the move.
McCoy seems like a smart kid, and has been a starting QB for 6 years when you include his time at Texas. He would be more than capable of stepping in and leading the team to a .500 record (or so) if Manning were injured for a few games again. Then, the Colts would also have two first rounders. Looking at available players at those spots according to Walter Football, the team would be much better if they had, say, corner back Dre Kirkpatrick and defensive tackle Brandon Thompson? Or a better running back? Or a younger wide out? The defense has been a problem for years. The quarterback has been an issue for one. Hear's hoping the Colts (and Colt) can take steps to solve both.

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Links of the Day 12/28/11

The time, she is winding down on 2011. I say... that's good.

As it turns out, there are some kids hat are into the White Sox. Aside from Steve's of course, but he doesn't know any better.

Cam Ward scored a goal. Notable because he is a goalie.


Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl
Purdue 37, Western Michigan - Hey, all right! The Boilers ended up with a winning record on the season. This is when it pays to be a pessimist, because I am quite happy with the record.
Illinois 81, Minnesota 72 (2OT) - This is a huge moral victory for the Gophers, on the road against a good team, taking it to double OT. I continue to like their chances.


Tuesday, December 27, 2011


(Of the Little Caesars Pizza Bowl)

Still, cool game, with a kick return and a couple of onside kicks recovered.


Links of the Day 12/27/11

Hello! Caught up from the Holidays. Of course, I'm going on vacation on the first. Be advised.

The NHL standings, if they were done correctly.

The Oregon Ducks continue to insist that feathers are the most ferocious part of a the Duck. I guess I can't disagree.

Purdue extended head coach Danny Hope. They were 6-6 and are playing a bowl game in Detroit, so obviously, he did a great job.



NFL Computerized Power Ranks: Week 16

It's hard to believe there is only 1 week to go in the regular season. It should be an interesting Week 17 as well. The 49ers are looking to lock up a bye in the NFC while the Falcons and the Lions fight for playoff positioning, and the Giants and Cowboys have an NFC East showdown game (even if the Eagles are probably currently the best team in the division). In the AFC, there is a lot that can still happen. You have the AFC North and West titles on the line and the super confusing Raiders/Bengals/Jets/Titans wild card scenario.

The 49ers jumped back into the top 5 for cooling down the red hot Seahawks. They moved into #3, and pushed back the Saints to #4. The Texans, who all of the sudden seem to have injuries catching up to them, fell back to #8. The Packers, Patriots, and Ravens remained as #1, #2, and #5.

The Colts are out of #32!! Their 2nd win in a row moved them up to #30. Who needs Peyton Manning or Andrew Luck when you have Dan Orlovsky. Replacing the Colts at #32 is the worst team in the NFL. Not the Rams, not the Vikings. The Buccaneers. They've lost 9 in a row. In their 11 losses, they lose by an average score of 34-15. Yet somehow, they beat the Saints and Falcons this year. It's weird that they aren't on the absolute garbage list in the media this year, mostly because they've had their 4 wins for most of the season so haven't been in the talk about the #1 overall pick. Also, the media seems to love Raheem Morris and Josh Freeman, so I think that helps. The Bills big win over Denver moved them out of the bottom 5. Replacing them are the Redskins, who moved down to #29.

We had a shocking amount of movement in the ranks this week despite it being so late in the season. There are a lot of teams surging but are going to fall short of the playoffs and a lot of teams stumbling into the playoffs. The Eagles jumped an amazing 9 spots for beating the Cowboys all the way to #13, but they are mathematically eliminated with the Giants win, who moved up to #14 after jumping 7 spots. The Panthers have also been hot at the end of the season and moved up 6 spots. The biggest losers were the Jets, who dropped 6 spots and probably out of the playoffs, and the Broncos, who have a legit chance to now blow the AFC West.

As far as playoff projections go, all this surging and stumbling have really screwed them up, and we have a bunch of scenarios that are impossible. This is because recent success factors in heavily, and like any good power ranking, they are meant to show who is best now weighing recent success against the entire body of work. So below are the playoffs if the teams that are playing the best right now made it rather than what the scenarios are for this weekend:
1st Round Byes: #2 Patriots, #5 Ravens
#11 Bengals @ #8 Texans
#7 Steelers @ #15 Chargers
Top 5 Out: #17 Jets, #18 Titans, #20 Dolphins, #21 Broncos, #23 Bills

1st Round Byes: #1 Packers, #3 49ers
#9 Seahawks @ #4 Saints
#6 Lions @ #13 Eagles
Top 5 Out: #10 Falcons, #12 Panthers, #14 Giants, #16 Cowboys, #19 Cardinals

Here are Playoffs if you use the power ranks to pick the winners of Week 17 games:
1st Round Byes: Patriots, Ravens
Jets @ Texans
Steelers @ Broncos
Based on: Patriots over Bills, Ravens over Bengals, Steelers over Browns, Texans over Titans, Broncos over Chiefs, Chargers over Raiders, Jets over Dolphins

1st Round Byes: Packers, 49ers
Lions @ Saints
Falcons @ Giants
Based on: Packers over Lions, 49ers over Rams, Saints over Panthers, Giants over Cowboys, Falcons over Buccaneers

Full Ranks:

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Monday, December 26, 2011

Links of the Day 12/26/11

Good evening. I still have some holiday catching up to do to get back to a normal schedule.

Jerome Simpson had the best highlight of the weekend, bar none.

Drew Brees just nabbed the single season passing record. Like, seconds ago.

Not sports, unless you can claim that after Christmas shopping is a sport. Also, holy crap.

Colorado 4, Minnesota 2 - All right. The Wild should probably get a few wingers back or something. Right?


The Victoria Times NBA Preview

Hey, the NBA started on Christmas. I would be a bad sports blogger if I didn't provide some sort of guide to the season. Well, here is the only link you need:
Here are your TV Guide listings so perhaps you can find what else is on.

(Miami Heat in 4 interminable games)


Links of the Christmas Day

Hi, I hope you all enjoyed your holiday. I told you all that, in the spirit of people like me, I am going to keep on posting through the holiday. So here you go.

Matt Barkley going back to school improves the Colts' trade value with the top pick.

GOP candidates and their baseball affiliations.

Hey kid that got Jordans for Christmas. Your mom probably killed someone for those kicks.

Carolina 48, Tampa 10 - The Panthers are looking strong heading into the playoffs.
Minnesota 33, Washington 26 - Rough game for Minnesota. At least they will have a good pick next year too.
San Francsico 19, Seattle 17 - How they can look this unimpressive every other week boggles my mind.


Saturday, December 24, 2011


As much as I disparage the Vikings and what not, I do feel horrible for Adrian Peterson and Vikings fans. With word that he has torn an ACL and MCL AND meniscus, the prospects of NFL fans ever seeing the same player ever again are very low. That is too bad. For everyone.Seeing a player cut down in the prime of their career is awful.
And now, Minnesota fans are in the interesting position of looking forward to a black quarterback with a white running back. The Vikings see your stereotypes and spit on them. And then go 3-13

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Links oh the Christmas Eve

Most others are taking the day (weekend) off with Christmas and all, but if you, like me, have to work, it's nice to have a little something to read at the office, isn't it?

Joe Buck is on Twitter, and is apparently pretty good.

If you are trying to figure out which Sedin is which, Daniel is the one with the head injury.

Notgraphs linked to players who died on Christmas, but I am in a better mood, so here are the players throughout history who were born on Christmas, and thus have a terrible holiday.



Friday, December 23, 2011

Sorry, I am enjoying the Colts' winning streak

Two thoughts on the Indianapolis Colts and the winning streak that, should they defeat the Jaguars next week, will cost them Andrew Luck.
First is this: Curtis Painter is absolutely atrocious. The Big Lead's Jason Lisk did the research earlier that insisted a Hall of Fame quarterback was worth only a hand full of wins. A replacement level quarterback is pretty much the definition of Dan Orlovsky, and he won games for the Colts. Painter was a disaster. He is worth negative wins when compared to an average quarterback. I have claimed he is a bad quarterback, and has been ever since college. The evidence is getting more and more tangible.
Second, I have noticed that nobody is saying that the Colts should go after Robert Griffin or Landry Jones with their pick if they don't get Luck. Both are top 5 picks. This simply suggests what I have been saying all season... The Colts don't need a quarterback. If the Colts win next week, the team will fill a position of need in the draft, such as any other position but quarterback. That's a good thing.


Links of the Day 12/23/11

Two more days until Christmas! Too bad the NBA is back to ruin it.

St. John's is home to a roster's worth of awesome name.

I can't think of anything sadder than shopping at a Wal Mart in Idaho. Perhaps stealing sweat pants from one.

Edina only wants the best and brightest athletes. And richest. That too.

Mercer 65, Georgia Tech 59 - Mercer coming through with a big victory over the ACC
Minnesota 63, North Dakota State 59 - It may not look good for the Gophers, but I still think this is a good win for them. And not a bad loss for NDSU either.
Kansas 63, USC 47 - The Trojans are under some serious sanctions and awful. But way to go Kansas (and Minnesota a couple weeks ago)
Indianapolis 19, Houston 16 - !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Edmonton 4, Minnesota 1 - Well, this sucks. The one team playing well right now is the one with two wins on the season. Come on, Wild! Stop using the Twins' trainers!


Thursday, December 22, 2011

Reasons for optimism?

People have continued to lament the Twins and their seeming propulsion to more ineptitude, but I have to say... I'm growing optimistic about the team's chances. To wit:
The primary concern last year was almost certainly injuries. Just like you couldn't assume last year that essentially every player of value would be hurt, you can't assume that this year either. A healthy Mauer, Morneau, Casilla, Span and even Nishioka will do nothing but help. That's more than half of a lineup. That, and they added two players that can hit for power from the right side, an issue for the Twins since they moved to Target Field. The offense is going to be so, so much better. It has to be.
And the pitching, is, well, not as good. The bullpen, additionally, has nowhere to go but up. Matt Capps is an up and down player, which means this year has to be an "up" (terrible logic, but it gives me hope) which may help the bullpen. The rotation, too, could stand to be healthier. Francisco Liriano is now going to be a couple years removed from major injury, and Scott Baker will take advantage of the spacious outfield and the speedy outfielders behind him. Even potential new Twin Jason Marquis has ramped up his ground ball rate and improved his control over the past couple of seasons. He won't be an ace, but, if used properly, will certainly be an asset.
And now, because there will be an injury or two, the team has experienced minor leaguers to step in. At the very least, the step down won't feel quite as dramatic, given that we will all have seen it before.
So, you know what? Go Twins. I don't think it will be so bad.


Links of the Day 12/22/11

Three more days until Christmas! Ahhhhhhhhh!!!!!!

Rap feuds, obviously, are different than basketball feuds, and are subsequently different from rap-basketball feuds.

Purdue's football team is using the layoff before the Bowl Game to find some legal trouble, which is just fantastic.

Here's one from the archives.... a video of the 87 Twins returning to Minnesota after claiming the AL pennant.

Eh... .check back again tomorrow.


Cooking with Ryan: Mediterranean Potato Salad

I have to say, this isn't like the potato salad that I'm used to. There was no mayonnaise, there were no eggs and there were a lot of vegetables. The potatoes were cooked to be crispy, and broccoli, cauliflower and zucchini were warmed enough to absorb the spices and olive oil and red wine vinegar. Then, there were tomatoes, onions and artichoke hearts added. It was fine, good source of vegetables and some salami (I forgot to mention the salami). The biggest lesson with this particular dish? They don't know what potato salad is in the Mediterranean. That and I don't like artichoke hearts.


Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Links of the Day 12/21/11

It's the Winter Solstice! Days are now getting warmer! Finally!

While Michael Cuddyer's departure was absolutely a sound business decision, it's hard to argue that Cuddy was anything but a class act.

Speaking of free agency, the Twins have added a pitcher. Not a marquee signing, but definitely a Marquis signing.

They sort of act like jerks in Quebec sometimes.



Tuesday, December 20, 2011

NFL Computerized Power Ranks: Week 15

15 weeks down, and 2 weeks to go. This week so some top teams tumble, and it caused a shakeup in our top 5. The Packers finally got their first loss, but they remained as the #1 team (as they should have) but the #2 Texans and #3 Ravens both lost, dropping them to #4 and #5, while the Patriots and Saints moved up to #2 and #3. The #7 49ers Monday night win over the #6 Steelers moved the Niners up to #6 while the Steelers dropped back to #8. Thanks to losses by the Texans, Ravens, and Steelers, the Patriots are now in the driver seat for home field throughout the playoffs (great....)

The Colts got their first win of the year, but remained dead last in the rankings. The Redskins win over the Giants not only probably ruined the Giants season but also moved them out of the bottom 5. Replacing them are the Bills, who just 10 weeks ago were a top 5 team. They have fallen very, very hard.

The biggest gainers this week were the Panthers, who moved up 6 spots for knocking off the Texans, and the Cardinals, who are 7-7 all of the sudden. This week's biggest losers were the Broncos, Bears, and Raiders who all dropped 5 spots. The Broncos are still leading the AFC West despite losing, but now have the Chargers lurking behind them. The Raiders blew a golden opportunity to move up in the standings. The Bears are just done. It doesn't really matter if Cutler or Forte come back at this point.

Playoff Projections:
1st Round Byes: #2 Patriots, #4 Texans
#11 Jets @ #5 Ravens
#8 Steelers @#13 Chargers
Top 5 Out: #14 Bengals, #16 Broncos, #17 Titans, #19 Dolphins, #23 Chiefs

1st Round Byes: #1 Packers, #3 Saints
#9 Lions @ #6 49ers
#7 Falcons @ #12 Cowboys
Top 5 Out: #10 Seahawks, #15 Cardinals, #18 Panthers, #20 Bears, #21 Giants

Full Ranks:

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Links of the Day 12/20/11

I have broken an OCD habit. No more compulsory reading of my Google Reader. I need my life back more than I need to read posts from 5 days ago that I haven't gotten around to. Fresher links for you!

Montreal doesn't care for their English speaking head coach.

Some pictures with words on them from the NFL week,

Random, not timely whatsoever, but I like Christmas here netter than, say, Austria.

San Francisco 20, Pittsburgh 3 - Don't worry, Ben Roethlisberger was accounted for during the extensive power outages.
Davidson 80, Kansas 74 - This is your classic "bad loss", played in Kansas City.
Purdue 81, IPFW 57 - The Mastadons! Large, hairy pachyderms aren't good at basketball. Who knew?
Georgia 72, Mercer 58 - Here, and I was just talking you up, Mercer. Don't make me look bad!
Vancouver 4, Minnesota 0 and Calgary 2, Minnesota 1 - That's not.... good.
Bolton 2, Blackburn 1 - Bolton was in last place. Now Blackburn is. Get ready for some white hot English Championship action next year.


Monday, December 19, 2011

All set for Macon

As you may have remembered, I am planning a trip to Macon, Georgia to catch the Mercer Bears in action against the Florida Gulf Coast Eagles. There has been less time to prepare for this trip than there was for the trip to Wyoming back in October, so I haven't mentioned it quite as much, but yes, I will head out on New Years Day, with central Georgia as my destination. (I will also visit a friend in Tennessee and my parents in Florida... My first multi-tasking trip yet.)
Mercer has been having a pretty good year. They've defeated the teams they should have and lost to some pretty good teams, like Missouri, Belmont and Seton Hall. The only real blemish is a loss to South Dakota State, but even the Jackrabbits look strong this year. The Bears are lead by sophomore guard Langston Hall and forwards Justin Cecil and Jakob Gollun, who is somehow from Stevens Point, Wisconsin, playing for the Bears. Did I mention that Mercer has a medical school? Even if it is in central Georgia, they attract some good minds down there.
Florida Gulf Coast hasn't been quite as successful, but have been in a lot of games this season. In 4 of their 6 losses, they were within 3 points, and within 1 in three of those games. In fact, the largest deficit was a game at Miami, when they lost by 10. The Eagles definitely play a more defensive game, as Sherwood Brown (who sports some wicked dreads, by the way), the top scorer on the team, only averages about 12 a game. Distribution might be part of it, but I think it has more to do with low scoring games. Also, I would be remiss if I didn't point out that they have a player named Filip Cvjeticanin.
I bring up the game so far out because I secured my tickets and reservations in Macon the other night. Any guesses on the cost of the tickets? Three dollars. Three stinkin' bucks. I have it waiting for me at will call. I think, given the Eagles propensity to stay in games, this will be three dollars well spent.

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Links of the Day 12/19/11

I am thoroughly impressed that we are 2 days from the solstice, and there is barely a chunk of snow on the ground. Good show, Minnesota.

Jason Kubel has signed with the Diamondbacks, aiding in the complete revamp of the Twins for 2012.

The worst in the year in college football commentary.

Remember Greg Oden?

Seton Hall 80, Mercer 77 (OT) - Losing an OT game against a Big East team on the road? I think that's pretty impressive for a school like Mercer.
Carolina 28, Houston 13 - I think, and this is just my opinion, that Cam Newton is a better rookie QB than TJ Yates.
Indianapolis 27, Tennessee 13 - !!!!!!!
New Orleans 42, Minnesota 20 - The Saints are unstoppable at this point. Just incredible.


What do the Twins 2011 calendar and the Twins lineup card have in common?

The Twins release a calendar every year and give it away, and then my parents wrap it and give it to me as a present. Again, my parents wrap a free giveaway and give it to me as a gift.
Anyways, I finally reached December, and there seems to be something awry. Just like the Twins daily lineup card so many times this season, the calendar appears to be missing a "7".

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Sunday, December 18, 2011

Links of the Day 12/18/11

Seriously, how can you have Vikings-Saints as your only game on and NOT think, just for a moment, it would be nice if the Vikings weren't around.

How much more money do the Twins have to spend?

James Harrison takes concussions and his responsibility very seriously.

Kim Clijsters had a bad idea this week.

New Mexico Bowl
Temple 37, Wyoming 15 - Games like this make you wonder if the Mountain West may not be as good as thought. Still, the Cowboys should be proud of the season, especially after a rough year last year.
Butler 67, Purdue 65 - This game hurts. Butler is not very good this year.
North Dakota State 93, Mayville State 50 - I wonder why Mayville State is always playing these D-1 games and getting absolutely destroyed every time.
North Dakota State 35, Georgia Southern 7 - The Bison absolutely trucked the Eagles on their way to the Championship, versus Sam Houston State.
New York Islanders 2, Minnesota 1 (SO) - The Wild are without about 20 players, so the fact that they only lost in a shootout is pretty good.


Saturday, December 17, 2011

The Bowl Season is underway

I just want to direct you to this piece by Ivan Maisel, as the Bowl Season gets underway with the Wyoming Cowboys playing the Temple Owls. No, these bowls don't REALLY mean anything in the hunt for a National Champion, but they were never meant to. They are really advertisements for the hosts and rewards for the players. When you get that through your head, that the games aren't really for YOU, I think maybe the enjoyment can go up. Watch a football game for the sake of watching a football game, and perhaps find out a little bit about New Mexico.
After all, it wasn't really meant to be all that important.

Links of the Day 12/17/11

Hi! Happy weekend. It's the last one to yourself until mid January.

Josh Willingham... engineered to play at Target Field?

Oh, no, Kobe, these are some awesome shoes. Sure.

Um, who you calling there, Jerry Sandusky's attorney?

West Bromwich Albion 2, Blackburn 1 - West Brom eked out a win at the end, the second heartbreaker in a row for the Rovers, but I'm sort of optimistic that they seem to be playing a bit better.


NFL Computerized Power Ranks: Week 14

Only 3 weeks to go in the regular season, and after the Packers, we have a logjam at the top of the rankings. I'll put my TJ Yates picture up again in honor of the Texans clinching their first ever playoff spot this week. They are still ranked at #2. The Ravens got their 4th win in a row and jumped 2 spots to #3, leapfrogging the Patriots, who moved up to #4. The Saints moved up to #5, replacing the 49ers in the top 5, who dropped down to #7 after losing to the Cardinals.

Speaking of that, I happened to attend that game this week and I realized something. Going to NFL games in person is not as much fun as watching on TV. I like going to MLB, NBA, and NHL games more than watching on TV, but NFL just doesn't do it for me. I get Sunday Ticket at my house, so for about $350 a year I can watch any game I want in my living room, which has comfortable seats, cheap beer, and good company. To go to the Cardinals game, which is about 40 miles from my house thanks to the geniuses who decided to build sports arenas way out in Glendale (its really worked well for the Coyotes, obviously), I had to leave my house around 11:30 AM and didn't get home until around 8 PM thanks to the drive, parking, and traffic, so I didn't see any other game that day other than the 2nd half of the Sunday Night game. At the game itself, I realized how many stupid people there really are in the world. Unlike a lot of other sports, I feel like the crowds at an NFL game are drunker, rowdier, and more hostile (NHL is close, but your average NHL game has less at stake so its a little more tame). I don't think I'd want to take my son around a crowd like that anytime soon. For example, in the 3rd quarter, there were a group of 6 huge 49ers fans that all looked like they just were released from prison trying to pick fights with any Cardinals fan that looked in their direction. It was kind of scary. Oh, and there is nothing more embarrassing to watch than a hardcore Cardinals fan. After almost 25 years of play in Arizona most still don't understand the rules and you have to realize that they are getting overly excited about easily one of the worst 5 franchises in professional sports history (I'd say the worst, but the Clippers exist, for example). Also, the price of NFL tickets is insane. NFL Sunday Ticket is basically the same price as going to just 2 of these lovely experiences each year.

Back to the ranks. The bottom 5 are unchanged. They all suck. Bad.

The biggest gainers this week were the Falcons and Chargers. The Falcons increased their chances of making the playoffs and the Chargers are hanging in the AFC West race. The biggest losers were the Bears and Raiders, who are both 7-6 but just seem like they are absolutely done.

Playoff Projections
1st Round Byes: #2 Texans, #3 Ravens
#8 Jets @ #4 Patriots
#6 Steelers @ #11 Broncos
Top 5 Out: #14 Titans, #16 Bengals, #17 Chargers, #19 Raiders, #21 Dolphins

1st Round Byes: #1 Packers, #5 Saints
#10 Lions @ #7 49ers
#9 Falcons @ #12 Cowboys
Top 5 Out: #13 Seahawks, #15 Bears, #18 Giants, #20 Cardinals, #23 Eagles

Full Ranks:

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Friday, December 16, 2011

Links of the Day 12/16/11

For breakfast, I am having oatmeal and Pepsi. I don't know if I get points for this being healthy or not.

Michael Cuddyer is off to Colorado. Soon, Denard Span will be traded to the Nationals for garbage, if Jim Bowden is to be believed. (He's not)

How awesome would it be if the Mountain West was a BCS conference next year? Wyoming to the Orange Bowl!

Linking to this post on the posting process for this paragraph: 
When [Nishioka] finally did come back — come back from his major injury, that is — he only got 240 PAs. If 240 PAs showed true talent levels, then we would have very little need for projection systems, BABIP, or Tom “Regress that S***” Tango.



Thursday, December 15, 2011

I think Colton Gillies is my favorite Wild player

I went to the Wild game last night, a night in which the team must have been completely gassed after a barn burner in Winnipeg the previous night. Still, The Wild got their legs late in the game, even sending it to overtime. The best player on the ice was Patrick Kane, who was filthy. The puck wouldn't leave his stick, like there was glue on it. It stood out especially in a sloppy game where the Wild *cough*Dany Heatley*cough* couldn't compose a pass or stick handle or anything.
The guy who stood out in the green sweater, though, was Colton Gillies. He was always high energy on a high energy line (with Kyle Brodziak and Nick Johnson), despite the team having such a brutal 48 hour stretch. Every face off, he tried to jump in, he actually chased down pucks. I was impressed with his hustle, even if he didn't get any points, and only has 2 assists on the season.
Also, he looks a little like Brent Burns, and I feel bad I never warmed up to him.

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Links fo the Day 12/15/11

Ten days til Christmas! What'd you get me?

Ron Artest is good for a sound byte. Too bad he doesn't play any sports or anything.

Of all things, the 49ers owner compared his team to the one in... 1981?

Surprise interview guest!

Chicago 4, Minnesota 3 (SO) - Given the circumstances, it's pretty good that the Wild were even in this game, let alone got a point. Still, I mean, I want them to win if I am going to be there.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

A look at the combat sports

I am going to the Wild game tonight, so I invite you to enjoy this, a gripping Tae Kwon Do battle.

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Links of the Day 12/14/11

11 days until Christmas! In bad news, 11 days until the NBA season begins.

The Twins have added Josh Willingham. Hooray! Also, this rumor is floating around.

Nick Punto is a Red Sock. They love white people and hustle.

John Buck of the Marlins is a known Twins killer and now a hero.

Winnipeg 2, Minnesota 1 - One of the most high energy games I have seen in a while. Excellent to see the Jets back, and in the Wild's conference next year.
Minnesota 76, Central Michigan 56 - The Gophers seem to have a predilection with playing teams who also wear maroon and gold.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

I have good news, and I have bad news

The Twins bullpen was excoriated last season. Nobody liked it, they had no friends, and most people wanted massive changes. Well, you all go your wish. Jim Hoey was placed on waivers and picked up by the Blue Jays. Then, the Twins non tendered Jose Mijares, making him a free agent. So that's good news, right? The Alan Cumming look alike and the fat, petulant lefty are gone!
Well, I suppose that's the good news. The bad news, of course, is that the Twins don't have anyone better to replace them. Perhaps were both cause of consternation because Hoey was acquired in a bad trade and Mijares has had a few years to sort himself out but never did, but going forward, if the Twins were using those guys, it's because there was nothing better in the system. Barring some massive changes in the next couple of weeks, the Twins bullpen will still be very, very bad.

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Links of the Day 12/13/11

Good morning, everyone. I hope you had a good breakfast.

With the Big East reaching the west coast, the Pac-12 has decided to push even further west.

What if Obama owned the White Sox? That would be weird, right?

As a man who has peed on cars several times in the past, I am glad to say I have never been caught. Amateur.

Um... nothing.


Monday, December 12, 2011

What do the Twins care less about, winning or you?

The Twins had three free agents going into the winter meetings, and if I were to rank them in order of fan popularity, it would look like this:
Those same three in order of how much they would help the Twins next year:
And lastly, the value in those three signing with another team (because of the draft pick to value ratio):

So basically, there was, in my opinion, no good reason for the Twins to re-sign Matt Capps. He was not popular with fans, and the draft picks he would have garnered would likely have been more important than having a closer. Michael Cuddyer is extraordinarily popular, and has a few tools in his toolbox. I can't understand why, if the Twins were dead set on sacrificing draft compensation, they did it for Capps to little advantage instead of Cuddyer. Of course, Cuddyer hasn't made his decision yet, but the Twins actually have a back up plan and a lowball offer, so the Twins have made it clear he isn't a priority.
I have no comment yet on Kubel, because I can't get a feel for the market for him, or the Twins intentions. But so far, the Twins are confusing me.

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Links of the Day 12/12/11

A year ago today, the Metrodome collapsed. Hard to believe it's actually gotten worse for the Vikings since then.

SHOTS FIRED! On net, at a hockey game. And then Artem Anisimov went a little nuts.

Dude is dedicated to his team. Good for him. The biggest surprise is that there are tattoo parlors in Utah.

Oh, the Saints moved. Or something.

Everything was posted yesterday, y'all


Sorry ladies

You have no fall back plan if you don't get to marry me. Joe Mauer is now engaged. Funny, he never seemed like the type to have women fawning over him.
Also, I intend to refrain from "leg weakness" jokes, which, depending on your attitude could be cute and wedding related, or extremely crass and honeymoon related.


Links of the Day 12/11/11

No pithy intro today. Just not in the mood.

Ryan Braun was busted with elevated levels of testosterone. Oops.

The Xavier/Cincinnati game got a little heated on Saturday.

Tim Tebow and the miracle of the fortunate schedule continues.

Minnesota 69, St. Peter's 47 - Purdue beat the Peacocks in the tournament last year. So good on you, Gophers.
Kansas 78, Ohio State 67 - Finally, a very good win for Kansas, but OSU was without Jared Sullinger... so how good was it?
Arizona State 60, North Dakota State 57 - NDSU was in the lead for much of the game in Tempe, and were hard luck losers in Pac 12 country.
Purdue 61, Eastern Michigan 36 - Eastern Michigan is not impressive.
Mercer 67, Chattanooga 56 - Mercer continues to roll, but got a bit of a test from the Mocs.
North Dakota State 24, Lehigh 0 - The Bison advance in the playoffs, and will face Georgia Southern in the semifinals.
Minnesota 4, Phoenix 1 - My mind remains blown. A Minnesota team playing exceptionally well. I love it.
Sunderland 2, Blackburn 1 - The Rovers blew this game late, allowing both goals in the last 10 minutes.
Atlanta 31, Carolina 23 - Tough loss at home. Carolina surprises me every week by having about 4 fewer wins than it seems like they should.
Baltimore 24, Indianapolis - Something about the Colts under Dan Orlovsky. Just magical.
Detroit 34, Minnesota 28 - The Vikings started the last play of the game at the Lions goal line, and the ball ended up near midfield. That was hilarious.
Arizona 21, San Francisco 19 - Just a bad day for the Victoria Times football teams.


Saturday, December 10, 2011

I also enjoy Twitter for the breaking news

Image via Yahoo!

Yesterday, The A's traded pitcher Trevor Cahill and former Twin's reliever Craig Breslow to the Diamondbacks, for what can only be described as a bounty of prospects.Clearly, Breslow heard the news from someone outside of the A's organization. To be fair, I learned he was traded via Twitter as well.

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Links of the Day 12/10/11

Happy weekend. The fact that there is no college football today means that the coldest, darkest days of winter are upon us.

Sure, a lot of teams made bowl games... but Western Kentucky and Ball State were eligible and didn't get invited.

Nice work, web developer.

Hockey fight in Turkey. I don't think I need to say any more.

Nothing today.


Friday, December 09, 2011

The problem with an 8 team playoff

The fundamental issues with the BCS is that it provides an unfair advantage to several conferences, and that individuals can skew who is involved in the championship. Ultimately, the game wouldn't be decided on the field, as it allegedly is in other sports.
With the onslaught against the BCS rightfully underway once again, many people are proposing their self described perfect solution of an 8 team playoff. Most of these solutions involve selecting the top 8 BCS teams, or the BCS conference champions, and the top two at larges. In those cases, the tournament would include either a set of LSU, Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford, Oregon, Arkansas, Boise State, and Kansas State, or LSU, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Wisconsin, Clemson, West Virginia, Alabama and Stanford.
So I ask you, what exactly have we solved with EITHER solution? Via the first method, the SEC gets three teams, a Boise State team that couldn't even win the MWC gets in, the Big Ten gets left out and it's overly reliant on early season perception that tends to favor certain teams regardless of their quality. The second solution, again, gives unfair advantages to certain conferences. West Virginia, because they won a terrible Big East would get in ahead of TCU and Southern Miss, who were possibly better teams in what may have been better conferences.
So, no, you can't just stop at 8 teams. If you want to create a tournament with the purpose of fairness across college football, an 8 team tournament is a failure. If you create a tournament, the only way to go is to include all 11 conference champions as a starting point. The advantage of a bye week will subsequently be transferred to the best teams, but at least teams that have done what was asked of them, by winning their conference, will have a shot.
I'm generally opposed to at-large additions to a tournament, because it introduces the possibility of objectivity in helping to decide a national champion, but if the desire is there for a 16 team tournament, then I would be on board with this far more than I am with the oft proposed 8 team ideas.
And YES, this is an introductory post to the Victoria Times football simulation, which will be underway within the next week or so (as soon as Whatifsports has their 2011 rosters online). As a very brief reminder, it is a simulation of an idealized NCAA where conferences are geographic, and consist of 10 teams each (12 conferences total) with every conference champion entering into a post season tournament, ensuring that everything is decided based on what happened on the field. Look forward to that over the next month or so.


Links of the Day 12/9/11

The NBA is coming back, which makes Sportscenter unbearable this morning

The Twins selected someone named Terry Doyle in yesterday's rule 5 draft. All I know is that guy better have a mustache.

Dear Minnesota... The Vikings probably couldn't move, so don't give in yet.

Ron Gardenhire was a little more old school than average, however I think bullpen management and starting sh*ty middle infielders needed to be variables.

Minnesota 4, Los Angeles 2 - The Wild were undefeated in California for the first time ever. Nice.


Thursday, December 08, 2011

The Big East plays us like chumps

What was the message about conference realignment? It was mostly about money, with the key being an expanded "footprint". Essentially, TV contracts are based on all the markets your conference reaches. The Pac 12 sought Denver and added Colorado, the Big 10 added Nebraska and their historic national draw, while the ACC reached north into Pennsylvania and western New York. The SEC, for their part, added Missouri and a team from Texas.
But alas, these conferences weren't forward thinking enough. The Big East has made their move and added 5 teams, including Boise State and San Diego State as football only members.So the Big Ten covers Pennsylvania to Nebraska? Well the Big East ranges from Connecticut to San Diego. Suck on THAT, bitches.


Links of the Day 12/8/11

Good morning! Back to a normalish posting schedule. So that's nice.

The Angels signed a pitcher, first baseman today.

Is Tim Tebow a miracle worker? Harvard is on the case.

Rolando McLain is completely off his nut.

Purdue 65, Western Carolina 60 - Historically, Purdue has had issues with Western Carolina. No, really.
Mercer 83, Samford 75 - The more I see results like this out of Mercer, the more I'm excited to see them play next month. No, really.


The Twins offseason makes as much sense as this video

- Say they are out on Johnathan Broxton because of the money, then pay Matt Capps more.... CHECK

- Say they saw greater problems with the team than Bill Smith seemed to, fire Bill Smith, slash payroll and use any available funds to sign the exact same players .... CHECK

- In the mean time, giving up draft picks by re-signing players like Matt Capps, or inevitably Michael Cuddyer while lamenting the lack of depth in the system... CHECK

- Jamey Carroll..... CHECK

- Trading Kevin Slowey because he was right about the way they used him, and the Twins didn't like that ... CHECK

Yeah, the Twins make as much sense as Stanley singing an R&B pop song.

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Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Links of the Day 12/7/11

Today is the 70h anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor. It shaped America into what it is today.

Hey, I got another new gig. Here's me.

By Mark Buehrle signing with the Marlins, it's nothing but good news for Minnesota.

They are apparently hiring a new editor in Greenville, SC.

Minnesota 70, Appalachian State 56 - The Gophers pulled away late, and are 3-0 post Mbakwe.
Kansas 88, Long Beach State - I am beginning to wonder if Kansas is even that good this year. But Long Beach isn't too bad.
Minnesota 2, San Jose 1 - The Wild and Sharks were nice enough to wrap up the scoring in the first period, since I had to get up early this morning.


Tuesday, December 06, 2011

NFL Computerized Power Ranks: Week 13

It seems like the NFL season just started in some ways, but we are actually already through week 13. The lurking Patriots aren't lurking so much anymore. They jumped 2 spots up to #3 for their scarily close win over the Colts (they got a "recent success" bump, winning their 4th in a row). The Packers remained at #1 *yawn*. The TJ Yates led Texans remained as #2 after surprisingly beating the 7-4 Falcons. The 49ers clinched the NFC West, but dropped to #4 as the Patriots leapfrogged them. The Ravens fell to #5 based on the Patriots move despite winning.

In the bottom 5, the Chiefs and Chargers moved out of the bottom 5 and right back into the awful AFC West division race. Replacing them are the Vikings and Redskins, who seem long overdue for being in the bottom 5. The Buccaneers, Rams, and Colts remained in the bottom 5, taking the last 3 spots. Speaking of the Colts, are we actually going to have a 16-0 and 0-16 team in the same season?

The biggest gainers this week are the Panthers, who jumped 7 spots and seem to be the "bad team that rallied at the end and will get a lot of hype next year" team from 2011. The Chargers jumped 6 spots for their blowout win over Jacksonville, while the Chiefs and Titans also jumped 5 spots. The biggest losers were the Bengals, who are getting a tough schedule reality check finally and throwing the AFC Wild Card race wide open. The Lions also dropped 5 spots, but stayed alive in the NFC playoff race as seemingly every single 7-4 team in the NFL lost this week. Actually I just did, in fact, they all did (6 for 6).

Playoff Projections:
1st Round Byes: #2 Texans, #3 Patriots
#10 Titans @ #5 Ravens
#7 Steelers @ #11 Broncos
Top 5 Out: #12 Jets, #13 Raiders, #17 Dolphins, #18 Bengals, #21 Browns

1st Round Byes: #1 Packers, #4 49ers
#14 Lions @ #6 Saints
#8 Bears @ #9 Cowboys
Top 5 Out: #15 Falcons, #16 Seahawks, #19 Cardinals, #20 Panthers, #22 Giants

Full Ranks:

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Links of the Day 12/6/11

Hi, everyone. I hope life is treating you well.

The NHL has, in fact, been realigned.

Kevin Slowey was traded to the Rockies for nothing in particular.

On that same token, the Twins have a deal on the table for Michael Cuddyer, that's actually slightly worse than the 2 year deal they offered during the season.

Hmm, not a thing.


Monday, December 05, 2011


We have a very large percussion instrument that we will take to Detroit with us.

I am legitimately excited that the team is playing a bowl game, even if it is against a MAC team, even if it is against a directional Michigan team. I know it's just an exhibition, but what is sports, aside from an exhibition anyways? College football is more about an us vs. them mentality than any other sport, where "winning the championship" is the goal, perhaps because the path is more tangible.
Anyways, one of the things the Bowl system is good for is providing an end point for one's expectations. Only 1 team can win the championships, and only a handful have a shot even at the beginning of the year. What bowl game a team reaches at the end of the season is a good benchmark to hold your team to. Did they go to a game that was better or worse than you expected at the beginning of the year.
In my opinion, Purdue's trip to the Little Caesar's Pizza Bowl is better than I expected. I will watch the Boilermakers not with a sense of disappointment, but with pride for a group that definitely overachieved this season. Western Michigan, are you ready for a Big Ten team that's not feeling sorry for themselves? We'll see

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Links of the Day 12/5/11

Hi. Are you ready for some late posts? Good.

Matt Capps, Twins closer. He'll be better. Has to be.

Matthew Barnaby tried to drive a car with three wheels.

Sounds like NHL realignment is finally happening. A decision is expected tonight.

Carolina 38, Tampa Bay 19 - Oh wow, the Buccaneers have completely become unhinged.
New England 31, Indianapolis 24 - Dan Orlovsky made the Colts respectable. DAN ORLOVSKY.
Denver 35, Minnesota 32 - This is funny, because Christian Ponder was brutal, but Tim Tebow will still get credit.
San Francisco 26, St. Louis 0 - I really have no idea how good the 49ers are. They keep winning, but the team plays in such an awful division. Who knows.
Minnesota 5, Anaheim 3 - Hey, the Wild are even scoring goals now. I am really glad that I have a winner to cheer for.


Sunday, December 04, 2011

Cooking with Ryan: Picante Crostinis

I love Chopped, the competitive cooking show on the Food Network. I love the on the spot creativity that is required of competitors creating recipes and dishes with a few mystery ingredients. One of the things that I note about the show is how every single episode has someone make a crostini. What is a crostini? It's basically an open faced sandwich.
Well, Chopped, I made a damned crostini. It was chicken, tomatoes and onions cooked in Picante sauce on top of spinach, cheese and of course, the bread. If there was one issue with it, its that my bread didn't get enough of a crunch on it, and eventually got really soggy. And the topping had too much dill. It was pretty decent, otherwise though.
If I were on Chopped, I would still need to work on my plating:


Links of the Day 12/4/11

Hello everyone. It's time for pro football, Oregon Ducks notwithstanding.

Wisconsin held on to win the Big Ten Championship. Not quite the 2 touchdowns I predicted.

Mike Tyson.... SINGS

How do I know that the Turkish basketball history isn't so good? This is how.

Wyoming 22, Colorado 19 - The Cowboys finish off the regular season at 8-4, and will almost certainly be Bowling this month.
North Dakota State 26, James Madison 14 - NDSU moves on to the quarterfinals, which features Montana, Montana State and, of course, the Bison. Something in the water in the high Plains. Well water, of course.
Minnesota 55, USC 40 - Seriously, don't write off the Gophers yet. 2-0 without Mbakwe against major conference teams.
Xavier 66, Purdue 63 - Maybe the worst game ever. The Musketeers ended the game on a 30-8 run. Just awful.
Kansas 70, South Florida 42- Big win against a Big East team. Yeah, that's right, South Florida is Big East. Remember that when people talk about how deep the conference is.
Belmont 82, Mercer 78 - To lose by 4 on the road at what is clearly the class of the A-Sun is almost a victory for Mercer. This is a strong team.
North Dakota State 84, IUPUI 79 - These small schools get to the conference schedule quick. I wonder if the NDSU team went to the Big Ten Championship after the game in Indianapolis.


Saturday, December 03, 2011

The Big Ten joins the modern era

Today is the Big Ten football championship. It took the conference a while to come up with a basketball tournament, and the benefit of that has been, well, increased revenue and excitement. It doesn't really tell you who the best team is or anything like that. Tournaments are just exciting. Simple as that.
But now with the football Championship Game, not only is there a shot at more money from TV rights and ticket sales, but tonight's game between Michigan State and Wisconsin will keep the conference in the public consciousness, something that hasn't been the case as the season ended in late November in previous years.
This is not the case this year, but in future years, it could also provide the opportunity for the best teams to actually play. With a 12 team conference, as it was with an 11 team conference, not everyone plays each other in a given regular season. It gave to talk that teams were only winning the conference because they played a weaker schedule. Now, teams are able to play the best team in the conference in order to win the conference. For football, it's the best solution.
For what it's worth, I'm picking Wisconsin by two touchdowns.

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Links of the Day 12/3/11

Good morning and a happy Saturday to you all. I'm excited for the Big Ten Championship today, are you?

Should the Twins think about making some trades from their starting rotation? I'm on record as saying "yes".

It IS allowed to pee at NFL games.

This is Indianapolis' new starting quarterback. It's bad.

Minnesota 4, New Jersey 2 - The Wild keep winning and winning. I'm finding it hard to be snarky.
Blackburn 4, Swansea 2 - Blackburns result against THIS Welsh team was much, much better than their game against Cardiff earlier in the week.


Friday, December 02, 2011

What to make of Tim Tebow

Let me start by saying that much of the criticism of Tim Tebow makes me extremely uncomfortable. The defense of Tebow generally brings about a response that is akin to evangelical atheism. Bashing Tebow for his forthright religious nature is, to me anyways, the same as a missionary bringing Christianity to the pagans. The methodology and message are very different, but the subtext is the same -- You and the way you live your life are stupid and wrong. It makes me squirm when anyone even discusses his faith and the way he practices it. So that said, I will focus instead on what I like to focus on: The game and the statistics therein.
First, I disagree with the idea that quarterbacks should be given credit for wins. I say this even as a fan of the Colts, who are winless without Peyton Manning. Football is the ultimate team sport, and it's a discredit to the rest of the team to focus the attention all on one player. I feel like the quarterback win is akin to the pitching win. Sure, the pitcher and quarterback have a lot to do with the team's ultimate success, and are likely to touch the ball almost every play, but to win, other people need to come through on offense, and the defense needs to play well.
Statistics in football and baseball are fundamentally different. Statistics in baseball generally go to show individual success, and can demonstrate how much luck has to do with that success. In football, statistics are primarily cause and effect. Stats are much more easily contorted based on the way a team runs an offense, for example. The truest way to evaluate players is the eye test, almost entirely the opposite of baseball. The eye test says Tim Tebow just isn't a good traditional quarterback.
The defense the Broncos have put forth has been very good since he came on board. A lot of this has to do with the fact that the Broncos slow the game down with their running game, but a lot of it also has to do with their two rookies on defense (Von Miller and Quinton Carter) coming of age. It's a GOOD defense, plain and simple. The offense isn't turning the ball over any more, and you can certainly give some of the credit for that to Tebow. But it's not like he's an accurate quarterback, completing less than 50% of his passes. Donovan McNabb completed 60% in his haggard time with the Vikings. The Broncos coaches, who also deserve credit for the way they are running their offense, have built their offense around the run. He has had 2 games with over 21 attempted passes, the first was an overtime game, the second was a 45-10 loss to Detroit. He doesn't throw interceptions because he doesn't THROW.
Tim Tebow is certainly a positive influence in a clubhouse that has had it's share of tumult over the past 5 years or so, from the murder of Darrent Williams, to Brandon Marshall's antics and Brandon Lloyd's grousing this year. The Broncos have also established an offense that doesn't screw things up for the defense, based around Tebow's skill set. If the Broncos didn't have a good defense, or a good offensive line, where would Tebow be?
I'll give credit to Tebow for being a hard worker, a positive influence and a talented player, but I won't go so far as to say he is the reason the Broncos have turned their season around.

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Links of the Day 12/2/11

Good morning. The cable was out this morning. I panicked.

This is a golf course there is no way I could ever keep my sanity.

Mike Gundy is actually campaigning for Alabama. That's classy. He's a man. 

The Twins, perhaps interested in -- get this -- a soft tosser with some elbow issues.

Western Illinois 55, North Dakota State 51 - Western Illinois is known as the "Leathernecks". That is all.
Mercer 79, Lipscomb 72 - Lipscomb is known as the Bisons. Bad day for bison playing basketball.


Thursday, December 01, 2011

My enemy list grows by one

My enemy list has been expanded. It started with Oregon. Then it was fans of Eric Devendorf. Then, there was the whole Ben Repinski affair. Ooh, and then the hate Tweets. Well, I did it again. I have irked someone. And I once again did it with the Twitter.
Let's go back to the MLB trade deadline. The most disquieting rumor was one that the Twins might be interested in moving Denard Span to Washington for Drew Storen and a week of free laundry. Everyone believed this rumor because of a lack of faith in the Twins front office, but nobody actually traced it's origins to the source. That source was Jim Bowden. I may have had some unkind words.
I may have mentioned a time or two since then, on the ol' Twitter that Jim Bowden has completely lost me as a reliable source. He was a bad GM and a worse analyst. He is Steve Phillips without the homely production assistant. But I didn't really harp on the subject.
Anyways, A while back I decided to follow Bowden on Twitter, because even the crappiest writers and analysts have a delightful turd every now and then (see: Jim Souhan). Yesterday, I saw someone mention that Bowden had mentioned something about something, and I realized it didn't show up in my feed. Odd. It turns out, Bowden is blocking me. This is funny.
I mean, I'm not a notoriously aggressive or hateful person on Twitter (I hope. I just make jokes, and it's about sports, usually), and I don't really go out of my way to personally attack anyone here, I don't think. Well, nobody that doesn't deserve it. But I'm not trying to sound broken hearted about Jim Bowden blocking me, because I'm not. No, the funny part is how hard he would have had to work to find out I am worthy of blocking.
Consider: I never tweeted directly at Bowden. I have never had communication specifically with Bowden. In order for him to be able to block me, he would have had to A) parsed my profile when I first followed him for all Jim Bowden references, or B) and much more likely (because he has 16000 followers, and I can't believe he does thorough background checks on all of them), he searched his own name on Twitter, and blocked anyone who spoke ill of him.
Jim Bowden searches his own name on Twitter. That is your nightly dose of knowledge.

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Links of the Day 12/1/11

Happy December, everyone. Of course, now we have a little bit of snow on the ground. Wake me up in May.

The most important note of this piece is that the Twins plan to move Brian Duensing to the bullpen. This is a good strategy, because it'll be much easier to find cheap starters to fill out the rotation than it would be to find cheap relievers.

Bomani Jones, one of my favorite ESPN personalities (because he is actually thorough and logical) is moving to SBNation. His first post is here.


Kansas 77, Florida Atlantic 54 - the struggled against Duke, but at least Kansas is still better than FAU
Minnesota 58, Virginia Tech 55 - A huge win for the Gophers, coming off of Mbakwe's injury. They might not be dead yet.
Minnesota 3, Edmonton 2 - The Wild win the skills competition at the end of the game to keep their hold atop the leaderboard.