Monday, March 19, 2012

Link of the Forever

Once again, thank you for reading us at the Victoria Times over the years. You can now find Ryan Henning and Steve Pallotto writing at their new and improved site, The Rhino and Compass. Go there now!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

This is the end of the blog

After 5 years working here at the Victoria Times, I have made the decision to shut it down. While I have enjoyed writing here every day for the past 5 years or so, it was time to move on to greener pastures. Oh, you thought I would be done writing? Oh, no no no.
I made the decision at the beginning of the month, and I sent the following e-mail to Steve. You have the same right to know the background to this decision, so the email is copied in full below:

Hi, I was hoping I would get a chance to talk to you on IM or something, but I figured I would let you know via e-mail since we haven't had a chance to chat. I am shuttering Victoria Times, likely at the end of the month. That said, I am going to launch a new site, name to be decided, but tentatively dubbed "The Rhino and the Compass". This decision has come up due to several goals that I didn't feel could be met with the old name and the Blogger platform.- Join a network. I was going to apply for being included in the Yardbarker network, however with blogger, and the lack my own domain, I didn't feel the site had a professional appeal
- A cleaner layout: I have worked with Wordpress at a few other sites, and I know it's easier to work with while coming up with a better end result.
- A name change: The Victoria Times Colonist is also the name of a newspaper in British Columbia. I wanted a new name to go with the new site so we could get
- The biggest plan with the change is the addition of a radio/podcast... thing. A half hour, once a weekish, where, if you want, you can jump on if you want, and if you don't that's fine too. Eric (Panthers24) might be a regular on the show. It will be through BlogTalkRadio.
The content will be the same, and I would love to have you continue to make the odd contribution. The transfer of content from Victoria Times should be pretty easy, I believe, and if it isn't, the Times won't go away. Like I said, I just wanted ot give you a heads up, before everything changes and you are left confused.
Talk to you soon - Ryan

And I will talk to you soon. I will give you the new site tomorrow. Thanks for reading.


Links of the Day 3/18/12

Big day today. Bigger day tomorrow

Baylor fans call Colorado Big 12 rejects, proving they don't really get it.

North Dakota is for winners.

An update on Fabrice Muamba

Carolina 5, Minnesota 3- Minnesota gave up 4 unanswered to lose this one. Frustrating.
Mercer 64, Georgia State 59 - Mercer rolls on to the quarters, where they are scheduled to face the winner of Old Dominion and USC Upstate.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

The scariest possible sports moment

I have been gripped by something that has nothing to do with the NCAAs at all. It does have with a tournament, the FA Cup in England. Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba collapsed in the 41st minute, needing to be resuscitated as he was stretchered off the field.  Muamba is thought to have suffered a massive heart attack, and he is "critically ill" and at a place called the London Chest Hospital.
This isn't the first time that there has been a cardiac incident on the pitch in a European soccer match. The history with such incidents isn't very good either. It's a terrifying incident that nobody ever wants to experience, and we can only hope Fabrice can recover, so he can raise his young son, soccer be damned.


Links of the Day 3/17/12

The bet part of this St. Patrick's Day is that the Fighting Irish are out of the tournament.

Oh, good, this is still the Twins. Scott Baker may start the season on the DL.

Youppi! St. Patrick's Day, celebrated in Montreal.

Well, this happened.

NCAA Tournament
Purdue 72, St. Mary's 69 - Purdue nearly blew the game late, but held on thanks to a really bad travel by St. Mary's.
Kansas 65, Detroit 50 - The Jayhawks are the only two seed to win yesterday. Amazing. And now the Jayhawks play Purdue on Sunday.


Friday, March 16, 2012

Well, if that wasn't interesting

After a great deal of hullabaloo, after quite the hubbub, it was revealed to us exactly why Missouri was the 8th over all seed. Many thought that the Tigers should have been a 1 seed, based on their strong conference record, and their work outside the conference. Well, so much for that. Lowly Norfolk State out of the MEAC outlasted the Tigers.
In another region, the South Region, the highly esteemed, greatly ballyhooed Duke Blue Devils were the two seed. They had some issues as well, and haven't been as strong as they're historically known to be. The suddenly invigorated Lehigh Mountain Hawks decided to take this tournament up a notch, unseated Duke.
That's right, two 15 seeds won today There have only been 4 to make that mark through the entire history of the tournament.
Yesterday, Thursday, was very boring. Only two upsets, with VCU and Colorado winning their games. Today was insane. In addition to Lehigh and Norfolk State, Ohio beat Michigan, North Carolina State beat San Diego State and South Florida will likely beat Temple.
Oh, and Purdue beat St. Mary's. March Madness, baby!


Links of the Day 3/16/12

What an incredibly.... dull day of basketball yesterday. How weird what the games were just so boring?

The Columbus Blue Jackets are... out of the tournament.

Andy Pettite is... making a comeback?

The Timberwolves, if they played in a real sport, and their luck would really depress me.



Thursday, March 15, 2012

The winner of the Victoria Times NCAA Tournament

As you may remember, because I touched on the topic a couple of days ago, I was planning on running the Victoria Times European Style NCAA basketball tournaments. Well, I did that, and I finished it off last night before I went to bed. I wanted it to be finished before the real thing started today, to see if anything interesting happened. Yes, some interesting stuff happened.
First, the secondary tournament, where I will touch on teams that made surprisingly deep runs. The greatest surprise were the Big Sky teams, Montana and Weber State. After busting out of the Champions tournament to  Saint Mary's in the first round, Montana defeated Indiana and Missouri before falling to Louisville. Weber State, in the Secondary tournament from the outset, defeated Creighton, Colorado State and Marquette, before falling to Georgetown. Of the last 6 teams in the Secondary tournament, only one of them, Louisville, was from a power conference. The other 5 were St. Mary's (who busted out of the primary to Valparaiso), Harvard (lost in the primary to Long Beach State), New Mexico (lost in the primary to Long Island), and Long Beach State, who lost in the Primary championship game to Kentucky. Louisville was the last surviving non regular season champion by a full 4 rounds, just because of the way it all played out.
The Primary, champions tournament was a mess. The final four of that dance was Middle Tennessee State (wins over Akron, Syracuse and Temple), Long Beach State (Davidson, Kansas, Harvard), Kentucky (Savannah State, Belmont, Valparaiso) and Drexel, (New Mexico, Wichita State, North Carolina). Additionally, Valpo beat Memphis and Texas-Arlington topped Ohio State. Just weird stuff, top to bottom in this contest. Kentucky eventually nipped Long Beach State in the championship game, a game that surely everyone plans on seeing in the final four this year.
The champion of the Secondary Tournament was... Long Beach State. They defeated Louisville rather handily (65-55) which meant to get an overall champion, LBSU had to rematch against Kentucky. Kentucky won that game as well, by two points more. Kentucky won by 14 in the first game, and 16 in the second. Too bad this post was so late, otherwise you could have used this post to help you pick Kentucky to win it all.

Labels: ,

Links of the Day 3/15/12

Hey, it's basketball day. Were you aware?

Norm McDonald savaged Rick Reilly on the Twitter.

I'm getting ready for a big season.

This was not really a great basketball game.

Minnesota 70, La Salle 61 - Big Ten domination, amirite? The Gophers will play Miami (FL) next.
Wyoming 78, North Dakota State 75 - Didn't think we would be seeing Wyoming in here again.


Oh.... Oh boy.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Links of the Day 3/14/12

It's pie day. If you don't get that, consider yourself lucky.

AJ Smith is still whining about the whole Eli Manning thing.

Benilde's scoring machine, Grant Besse was highlighted by Jim Souhan. To his credit, it wasn't a hatchet job by Souhan.

Top 100 prospects for the upcoming season. I can't wait, even if the Twins are bad. Also, the Rays are going to be good forever.

Mercer 68, Tennessee State 60 - The Bears advance in their tournament that not many people know about! They play Georgia State next.
Dallas 1, Minnesota 0 - The Wild are hilariously incompetent on offense.


Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Cooking with Ryan: Tangy Stir Fry

This was tremendously successful, this stirfry. I only wish that I had photographed it. That said, what made it work wasn't really that photogenic. The best part was the sauce, which decided not to be terribly thick or voluminous.
What was in that sauce, you ask? It's was an amalgam of chicken broth, red wine vinegar, sugar, cayenne pepper and... ketchup? Never has simple catsup been so dadgummed fancy! The key to the whole thing, though, was that I cut down on the alotted corn starch, so it wouldn't get gummy and gross. Helpfucl tip for all of you. Never use as much corn starch as they tell you.

(If you were wondering, it was chicken with broccoli, carrots and onions, on a bed of white rice)


Links of the Day 3/13/12

Are you prepared for some white hot NCAA Tournament action? Mississippi Valley State, yo!

Here is the NIT tournament field, if you are still an unapologetic Gophers fan.

Joe Lunardi did... pretty good with his bracket projections.

OK, one more look at the tournament. Here are the announcers you will get for every game.

Still nothing.


And now for another simulation.

Last year, I asked what it would be like if the NCAA set tournaments up like the European soccer. You can read about it here. Whereas the NCAA football simulation was established because the entire college football season stinks, I just did this because there is something endemically unfair about a conference champion not making a tournament. I want the regular season to matter, is all, and for there to be less "selection" involved in the selection process. Anyways, go read those posts from a while back. 
I set up the 2012 Victoria Times NCAA basketball tournaments. I forgot to keep everything organized, and I have everything all paired off and ready to go. The Champions tournament is, as a reminder, seeded like a normal tournament. The champions pairings are: Syracuse vs Utah Valley State, Kentucky vs Savannah State, North Carolina vs Mississippi Valley State, Kansas vs Stony Brook, Ohio State vs Texas-Arlington, Wichita State vs UNC-Asheville, Memphis vs Valparaiso, Temple vs Bucknell, Murray State vs Long Island, Saint Mary's vs Montana, New Mexico vs Drexel, Harvard vs Washington, Long Beach State vs Davidson, Iona vs Nevada, Oral Roberts vs Belmont, and Akron vs Middle Tennessee State. Sorry for not laying that out like a bracket, but the first team listed in each matchup was the higher seed, with the top seed being Syracuse.
The Secondary tournament consists of all the at large teams and conference tournament champions. Additionally, teams that won both the regular and conference tournament will be moved to the secondary tournament in later rounds. Get it? No? Go read the old posts on the subject. The pairings for the first round of the secondary tournament are as follows: Indiana vs Arkansas-Little Rock, Wisconsin vs Lamar, South Dakota State vs Saint Bonaventure, Kansas State vs Colorado, Louisville vs New Mexico State, Creighton vs Weber State, Marquette vs South Carolina-Upstate, Florida State vs Mercer, Baylor vs Tennessee State, Virginia vs Tennessee, North Carolina State vs Norfolk State, Vanderbilt vs Cal St. Fullerton, San Diego State vs Wagner, Georgetown vs Manhattan, Ohio vs Vermont, Saint Louis vs Pennsylvania, Florida vs George Mason, Duke vs TCU, Notre Dame vs Tulsa, Michigan vs Southern, Missouri vs Coastal Carolina, Michigan State vs Wofford, Alabama vs Oakland, UNLV vs Cleveland State, BYU vs Western Kentucky, Colorado State vs Northern Iowa, Xavier vs Buffalo, Gonzaga vs Lehigh, Iowa State vs Illinois State, VCU vs Princeton, California vs Idaho, Southern Mississippi vs Loyola (Maryland), Oregon vs North Dakota and UCF vs Detroit.
Again, the Secondary tournament is redrawn every round, so highest seeds play against the lowest seeds, and losers from the Champions tournament can get worked into the Secondary tournament. Winners of the tournaments play each other in the title game. I'll keep you posted when I have an official Victoria Times Champion.


Monday, March 12, 2012

Links of the Day 3/12/12

Oh man, my brackets already busted!

Gus Johnson at the Big Ten Tournament.

Tim Tebow is an all right dude.

Here is another, different look at the NCAA Tournament, from someone who is not me.

Calgary 4, Minnesota 3 - The ol' scoreboard is goint to get a little sparse here for a couple of weeks...


Talk about the bracket

First off, congratulations, Minnesota, on your bid to the NIT! Good luck against La Salle.

Now, the important thing is... The NCAA Brackets. This year was odd. The NCAA selection committee was much more transparent win their selection process, and the various pundits seemed to have similar teams in the tournament across the board. And then, the brackets came out, and, well... wtf. Iona was the big surprise, making the dance, of course, but then there were others, like Texas, BYU, Memphis as an 8, Harvard as a 12. Colorado as an 11. I mean, you pit Harvard and Colorado against each other, Harvard wins 7/10.  Now, the individual brackets.

Favorite: Kentucky. Obviously as the 1 seed, I like the Wildcats. I think that this is the bracket that smart people will out think themselves and pick a lot of upsets early (South Dakota State vs Baylor, most notably) but the first round, at least, will by and large be chalk. That being said, A lot of the concern with this bracket is that higher seeds AREN'T as strong as their reputation suggests, and could be bumped early. Thus, Kentucky, the only legitimately very strong team in the South will move on, somewhat easily.

Sleeper: UNLV. Baylor and Duke have scuffled a bit lately. UNLV will be a feisty opponent for these teams. I could see them reaching the Elite 8.

Biggest first round upset: Honestly, the biggest upset I see after a quick look at the bracket is Xavier over Notre Dame.

Favorite: Memphis? This is a nutso bracket. Poorly seeded, strong upset possibilities, and a team that has been blowing away conference opponents in a multi-bid conference by double digits as an 8 seed. So, yes. If there is a shot for an 8 seed to make a deep run, it's certainly Memphis. I can't really get behind anyone else.

Sleeper: Florida. I like Florida, because they have star players. I could see the Gators making a deep run like Memphis, but they simply aren't as good as the Tigers. Another team I could see reaching the Elite 8 by upsetting a 2 seed.

Biggest first round upset: Regardless of what happens, look for big things from Long Beach State. I have them in the Sweet 16, though the first round should behave fairly well.

Favorite: Ohio State. Playing like a team on a mission right now. I really like OSU if they can have a weekend to get healthy against inferior opponents, I really like their chances next week.

Sleeper: Um... Wisconsin? Honestly, they are the lowest seeded team I have in the Sweet 16 this year from the east. Strong seeding here.

Biggest first round upset: Harvard over Vanderbilt. Harvard was seeded very low. Vanderbilt NEVER wins in the first round. Upset made in heaven.

Favorite: North Carolina. Just an FYI, the Heels lost today because they weren't playing at full strength. They are really good. My pick for the winner of the whole thing.

Sleeper: Temple. By default. I don't think they are that good, but I have them playing Ohio in round 2.The right side of the bracket is much easier to figure for me.

Biggest first round upset: Michigan really struggles against size and away from Crisler Arena. This game will feature both things, big dudes and an arena in not Michigan. First round upsets will abound, but it will sort itself out in the second round, unlike certain other brackets I know.

Enjoy the Dance, everyone!

Labels: ,

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Links of the Day 3/11/12


Benilde St. Margaret's wins the State 2A title!

All you ever needed to know about the Iditarod. 

A last minute review of all the bracket thoughts and leanings.

There is nothing, because my teams are all losers.


Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Timberwolves take a page from the Vikings

The Timberwolves would like some upgrades to the Target Center, but are meeting some resistance. The Vikings wanted a new stadium, and met resistance. The Vikings eventually got their stadium. The Timberwolves, ever vigilant, looked to what the Vikings did over the last year to get the stadium. First step, get a star player injured.
At least, that's the theory I have. The Twins and Wild already have their new stadiums and are experiencing their widespread injuries after the fact. The point I am trying to make is, if you want a new stadium in Minnesota, there will be blood.

Labels: ,

Links of the Day 3/10/12

Selection Sunday... TOMORROW

Peyton Manning is expecting to pick his new team very quickly, it seems. The anti-Favre.

Jose Canseco... is the maniac? (Probably)

We now know the top two picks in the draft in April. Good luck in Washington, Robert Griffin.

Michigan 73, Minnesota 69 (OT) - The Gophers blew another game late, a perfect summary of the season.
Baylor 81, Kansas 73 - This will surely affect the Jayhawks chances of making the tournament.
Ohio State 88, Purdue 71 - Wow, utterly dismantled. And here I thought the Boilers were getting hot at the right time.
Blackburn 2, Wolverhampton - Canadian striker David Hoilett gets the double, and the Rovers are 3 points clear of the relegation zone!


Friday, March 09, 2012

The cupboard is bare

After Peyton Manning was let go, the Colts have decided to make a few more changes. Dwight Freeney is on the block. Indy cut Melvin Bullitt, Joseph Addai, Gary Brackett and Dallas Clark. Oh, and Curtis Painter. Let me touch on each of thse players individually.

Dwight Freeney - My favorite Colts player, maybe ever. A monster at Syracuse, he wasn't highly regarded coming out of school because of his size. Nevertheless, the Colts drafted him, and he became a star. Now, he is perhaps the only viable trade chip on the team. Hey, they have to get something this offseason, right?

Melvin Bullitt - I find it difficult to get attached to anyone who ever played for the Colts secondary. Because they are very bad, you see.

Joseph Addai - There are a lot of things Addai might be good at. Needlepoint. Baking apple turnovers. One of them is not "professional NFL running back". The only reason he ever looked competent is because he was propped up by a hall of fame QB. With Manning out of the picture, so is Addai. Mercifully.

Gary Brackett - Have you ever noticed in highlight clips of Brackett, it's always in games against the Texans? Do you know why that is? It's because in all the other games he is garbage. Watch him against the Chargers. Just awful.

Dallas Clark - When you no longer have any wide receivers (Reggie Wayne and Pierre Garcon are free agents) it's really hard to run a spread offense. Dallas Clark isn't really a component that fits anymore. Sorry Dallas. Hell, no I'm not. You don't have to play for the Colts anymore.

Curtis Painter - It's Painter's fault. Everything is Curtis Painter's fault. If Dan Orlovsky can come in and make the team look competent, you have to wonder about the guy he replaced. I do wonder. Well, no I don't. Painter is the worst QB to ever play in the league. Ever. And he played for most of a season. Worst. Ever.He should never have been drafted. If he was remotely competent, the Colts are drafting top ten, but not first overall. Manning sticks around, and they just reload for another run. But no. Curtis Painter was so incredibly, aggressively terrible that he changed the course of Colts history by being so bad. In fact, the only thing he could have done is go to his coaches and say "Listen, guys, you know that I'm awful, right? Shouldn't be in the league? Why are you starting me?" Go away Curtis Painter. Go away and never come back. I never want to hear your name again.

(All in all, positive developments form the Colts, even if it hurts a little Good to see the team moving on)


Links of the Day 3/9/12

It's my mom's birthday! I wish she read this blog...

A reminder of what, exactly, happened with conference realignment.

Glen Perkins was extended. The Twins are going to the World Series!

The Cubs and White Sox are still rivals. Rivals that are bad at baseball.

Kansas 83, Texas A&M 66 - "It's been fun, now get our of our conference:"
Minnesota 75, Northwestern 68 - As much as I love the Gophers, I feel so bad for Northwestern. Can't you ever be good?
Purdue 79, Nebraska 61 - New conference, same crappy Cornhuskers.
Minnesota 3, Phoenix 2 (SO) - Well now they're just losing their draft pick


Thursday, March 08, 2012

Here is a crazy-ass Peyton Manning scenario

Like I said, this is crazy-ass, and there is 0% chance of it happening. That said, what do you think of this scenario?
Let's operate first under the premise that the Peyton Manning is driven mostly to play where he is most comfortable, because he already has a ring, and is fabulously wealthy. That said, what about this?
What if the Saints used a cheap Drew Brees (because he is franchised) as trade bait for someone like the Redskins with high picks and a penchant for big name players, and then signed Manning for a lower price tag, brought back Colston, while grabbing, say, Justin Blackmon with the ‘Skins pick?
The Saints would then have a defense and a well established offense, even better with Marques Colston and Justin Blackmon as the downfield threats. They get only slightly weaker at QB while getting stronger elsewhere, The Redskins would end up with the elite QB they so desperately crave. And Peyton Manning would be playing at his father's team, in a division with two domes (the other being in Atlanta) so he can show off his arm, like he did in Indianapolis. 
Win-win for everyone, right? Well, except for Drew Brees. But he is used to getting hosed on stuff like this.


Links of the Day 3/8/12

Hey, are you watching basketball today? Good.

Peyton Manning is popular.

Fascinating story about soccer in Juarez, one of the most dangerous cities in the world.

The best season for several major TV networks ever.



Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Thank you, Peyton Manning

I think things have been handled poorly over the past month or so with the Colts and Peyton Manning, but I am glad Manning is leaving without ill will towards the Colts. Best of luck, Peyton.

Labels: ,

Links of the Day 3/7/12

Remember yesterday, how it was all warm and stuff? That was great.

A look at the tournament projections to this point.

Butt dials are the new thing in recruiting violations.

Let's talk about hope for the Twins season

Colorado 7, Minnesota 1 - This game was on national television, so that's pretty cool.


Tuesday, March 06, 2012

I had a twitch of excitement over this

I've certainly admitted that I am a soccer fan, and am a little disappointed that there isn't an MLS franchise here in the Twin Cities. Granted, the Major League Soccer experience is significantly less than that of their counterparts overseas. The talent level is lower in the States, the international competition is non-existent and the entire nation doesn't get involved because there is no relegation, and no opportunity for smaller markets to get involved (never mind that soccer just isn't that popular in America, though it is getting there).
Still, the announcement that the new Vikings stadium in Minneapolis may lead to an MLS franchise here in the Twin Cities is one of the better side effects of the deal. Consider the positives for the region. There is no cost to the state or city for the team, as they would play at the new Vikings stadium. It would add another crowd to Minneapolis, and perhaps an additional source of tourism.
Yes, when talking about the positive impact of tourism a new stadium provides, any football based argument is BS. There is no value added, because it would not attract any new tourists. There would be a one time bump after the city gets the Super Bowl one time, but after that? Nothing. Soccer, on the other hand, actually has a chance to provide a bump to tourism. Nothing significant enough to build a new stadium over, mind you, but again, there wouldn't be anything invested in a soccer team by the state, as this stadium is being built with or without them.
With an MLS team, there would be exhibition matches, typically with foreign opponents. While Americans likely have their own opinions of the Twin Cities and Minnesota that a new stadium wouldn't change, there are a lot of Europeans that have never heard of Minneapolis. This is where a positive first impression could be made. Consider the inverse. Residents of England know Manchester to be a dirty industrial town, not much worth visiting. Soccer fans know it as a destination, thanks to their strong soccer clubs of United and City. Getting random foreign eyes on the Twin Cities would help raise the international profile of the city. Finally, a catch-free benefit to the new stadium.

Labels: ,

Links of the Day 3/6/12

Holy crap, I went outside without a parka today!

Follow the logic: The Twins spent a lot of money ergo, they will be bad.


An interesting, fun fact about college basketball. The home team gets to pick the brand of basketball used.



Monday, March 05, 2012

Joe Mauer hit into a double play!

Today in the Twins spring training game (or yesterday or whatever)Joe Mauer grounded into a double play. It triggered a lot of jokes about Mauer being back to his form, grounding into double plays and eerything, and I remembered a period a couple years ago, where Mauer actually bunted because he was flustered by the amount of double plays he was initiating.
Let's think about this a bit more rationally, though. There are reasons why Mauer hits into double plays. He makes contact. He makes solid contact. He drives the ball up the middle. These aren't bad things. Also adding to his double play conundrum: the batters ahead of him get on base.
So I guess the question I have is... what would you have him do? He's the best hitter on the team. Do you want to waste that by bunting? Would you rather he strike out? He grounds into double plays because he's unlucky. It's not a mental thing, and it's not a physical thing. So give it up. I would rather he keep trying to drive the ball. I can't believe this would even be a debate.


Links of the Day 3/5/12

It's only 10 days until the NCAA tournament. Joy!

This is... not going to be a channel.

All right, well this happened. A lion could do much worse things though, honestly.

Comparing the new Vikings stadium to Lucas Oil Stadium? There are holes in the logic.



Cooking with Ryan: Creamy ham and potatoes

This is the second week in a row with some creamy potato action. This was cooked to make for a creamier, thicker sauce, and seemed more like a potato salad. The sauce had cream of celery and mustard, as well as some binders, and it was cooked on the stovetop, which allowed the potatoes to get soft and mushy, which is actually pretty good. I topped it with cheese, chives and cherry tomatoes to give it a little color. Of course, the best part, as with any meal in which they make an appearance, were the crescent rolls, which I can't wrap to save my life; They are always just big wads of dough. I just don't have that delicate touch. You know, the one to make pastry in a can.


Sunday, March 04, 2012

Links of the Day 3/4/12

Busy day today. Sorry for the delay in posting.

Sick of your teams losing? Here's good news! The Purdue women won the Big Ten tournament!

Florida Gulf Coast (the other team involved in that game from January) couldn't take down Belmont in the A-Sun tournament.

Oh, by the way, speaking of Purdue and brackets, here is the Big Ten mens bracket.

Kansas 73, Texas 63- Always fun to see Texas lose.
Indiana 85, Purdue 74 - Purdue can't beat the Hoosiers to finish off the season for the seniors, including Robbie Hummel.
Western Illinois 58, North Dakota State 53 - Oops. The Bison's season is now over after busting out to Western Illinois early in the tournament.
Colorado 2, Minnesota 0 - Maybe the worst year in Minnesota sports of my life.


Saturday, March 03, 2012

Denard Span is way too excited by baseball

I mean, I love baseball too, and I know that I haven't had to sit out because of a concussion for any amount of time but... lordy, Denard, rein it in a bit, all right?


Links of the Day 3/3/12

Thank you for checking in today. I know it's Saturday and you have better things to do.

The New Orleans Saints were paying bounties. Nobody is surprised.

Not bad goalkeeping from the Arsenal-Liverpool game.

Maybe Temple isn't going to the Big East. Whatever.

Detroit 6, Minnesota 0 - It was like the Wild weren't even a professional team.
Florida Gulf Coast 62, Mercer 58 - Sadly, the Bears have been eliminated, probably from the postseason as well. The Eagles are in the championship game, so there is a chance that one of the teams I saw this year still goes dancing.
Minnesota 81, Nebraska 69 - Nebraska is... not good.
Blackburn 1, Aston Villa 1 - Vital point for Blackburn, but they need a win next week against Wolves to stay in the EPL next year.


Friday, March 02, 2012

The Vikings get their stadium

After about 28 years of clamoring for a new stadium, the Minnesota Vikings have finally got their wish, it seems. I have to say, of all the possible scenarios that have been bandied about, this is not the worst result. It isn't even in the bottom half.
First and foremost, the team needed a stadium to remain viable in the NFL. Their revenues were near the bottom of all teams in the NFL If you are one that believes hat an NFL team is an enormous boon to a city, then building a stadium for the Vikings is and has always been essential.
No matter what side of the debate you were on though, rational people likely saw the Vikings proposals for what they were A fleecing of the Minnesota taxpayers for Zygi Wilf's personal profit, without regard for the Vikings at all. He, Wilf, wanted a stadium by itself to encourage people to drive there, rather than taking mass transit, and to develop his own little Zygiville. This would be fine, but cleaning the superfund site and redeveloping all the necessary infrastructure would add so much burden to the state without any tangible benefits, that it should never have been a viable option.
So the idea of building the stadium downtown, in my opinion, is the best result. The structure itself is less expensive, and there is less infrastructure that needs to be updated. The train runs right by the stadium, the team stays in the same neighborhood and any benefit is strictly for the Vikings and their fans, not for the sleazy owner who has held the town hostage for several years. There is no massive parking extortion, and the there won't bee an entire tract of terrible, Wilf run stores.
So congratulations, Vikings, fans. You look like you will be getting your new stadium, and it is less painful for people like me.

Labels: ,

Links of the Day 3/2/12

There is a tornado outbreak in the Ohio Valley and Southeast today. Please be careful if you are reading from there.

Sports Illustrated is self effacing.

Look how different downtown Minneapolis is since the Metrodome has been around.

Montreal 5, Minnesota 4 (SO) The Wild lost in a shoot out, thanks in part to this.


Thursday, March 01, 2012

Baseball playoff expansion: I am.... torn

People have a clarity of conviction when it comes to the additional two teams in the major league post season, and I wish I could join them in that stance, but I'm just not sure. Originally, I was uncomfortable with the expansion of the post season, because it watered down the post season. If more teams make the postseason, it get's watered down. The long regular season for a few cherished spots in the playoffs is one of the things that make the game unique.
But then, I reconsidered. One of the things about the wild card chase is that it allows some teams to coast in to the post season, assured their spot in a 5 game series. Wild Card teams have been met with a great deal of success since they were introduced in 1993, so there really isn't a stigma for ending up in that spot Now, if you are the best team not to win your division, you can't just skate to the playoffs. There is an impetus to win your division. The best teams have something to play for even as the season winds down, trying to avoid the ignominy of losing the 1 game playoff. The team they would face would have the advantage of aligning their starting pitchers, where as the wild card winner likely would have used their ace the game before. Of course, they would also have an extra day off.
But again, there is the whole idea of watering down the post season. That said, remember that baseball started with 16 teams and 2 teams in the post season. Then, when the Twins won, it was 26 teams with 4 teams in the postseason. It was expanded to 8 teams in the playoffs with the addition of the Rockies and Marlins, meaning 28 teams, 8 spots. If you want to do the math, that is 14, 22 and 20 teams left out of the post season. With 30 teams and 10 teams in the playoffs, we are still leaving 20 teams out, which is pretty much in line with the way it has always been.
I wish there was a better way to do this than a 1 game playoff, but for the life of me, I can't think of one. If anything, I just hope the season starts sooner going forward to accommodate the extra game Right now, that's my biggest sticking point. That and the inevitability of the Twins losing 5 1 game series in a row.

Labels: ,

Links of the Day 3/1/12

Good afternoon, everyone! Happy March! I have a big announcement that will be coming up.... sometime this month.

I'm not entirely sure what a podcast is, but Bill Simmons had a pretty good get for Grantland.

This does seem.... a little fishy.

What can the Twins get from Trevor Plouffe?

Purdue 80, Penn State 56 - The Boilers avenged their worst loss of the season, taking the Nittany Lions behind the woodshed.
Mercer 61, Lipscomb 53 - The Atlantic Sun tournament appears to have made the Bears a little stiff Hopefully they can loosen up and win the conference.