Wednesday, October 31, 2007
I find it pretty surprising that the Rockets and Celtics are in the rare air. I started this entry assuming there'd be a dropoff either after the Suns or Pistons, but Detroit shares the same line with Miami and Cleveland, and there's barely any dropoff after Phoenix. KG is still an elite player, but I don't see how his addition, when you traded half your roster, is enough to go from 24 wins to elite status. And I don't see how Ray Allen is that big of an improvement when he's the clear number three option on offense.
Here's the Cleveland Indians' reaction to the news:
And here's how the Cleveland Browns are taking it:
But that won't be the case a year from now as Darrell Green was named a semifinalist yesterday for the 2008 class of the Hall of Fame. Green and Cris Carter are the headliners, and Green is an even bigger lock that Carter to make it in on this first ballot, considering the difficulty receivers have had getting in. Now it's probable Carter will get in, and when his name is brought up you can bet his stats will be compared to those of Art Monk. Mostly, the stats are comparable, except Carter has almost twice as many touchdowns ("All he does is catch touchdowns"), but three fewer Super Bowl rings. Between two and five non-seniors candidates can be elected in a given year, so the difficulty varies from year to year. But the symmetry with longtime teammate Green and the Carter comparisons may be enough to finally get Monk the votes.
In other movie news, apparently Warner has tabbed a director for a live action version of the seminal anime Akira: Ruairi Robinson. It seems like a huge project to hand a unknown director, but he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Animated Short Film.
The Dark Knight kicked off a viral campaign today at WhySoSerious.com. The gist is people around the countries will take pictures of minor landmarks that are laid out by the Joker, and when all the requested pictures are uploaded to the website something will happen or be revealed. Probably an actual trailer, as opposed to voiceover teaser we've seen. Maybe it's just this leaked teaser.
Finally, I've finally seen the trailer for The Mist and it looks incredible. Frank Darabont directing Stephen King? Could be great.
Tuesday, October 30, 2007
1. New England Patriots (8-0) (Last week: 1) AFC East
2. Indianapolis Colts (7-0) (2) AFC South
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (5-2) (3) AFC North
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) (4) NFC East
5. San Diego Chargers (4-3) (5) AFC West
6. Tennessee Titans (5-2) (6) AFC South
7. Green Bay Packers (6-1) (7) NFC North
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (5-2) (8) AFC South
9. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) (9) AFC West
10. New York Giants (6-2) (10) NFC East
11. Cleveland Browns (4-3) (14) AFC North
12. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) (13) NFC West
13. Washington Redskins (4-3) (11) NFC East
14. Denver Broncos (3-4) (12) AFC West
15. Detroit Lions (5-2) (16) NFC North
16. Baltimore Ravens (4-3) (15) AFC North
17. Buffalo Bills (3-4) (20) AFC East
18. Carolina Panthers (4-3) (17) NFC South
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-3) (19) NFC South
20. Oakland Raiders (2-5) (21) AFC West
21. New Orleans Saints (3-4) (25) NFC South
22. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) (22) NFC West
23. Houston Texans (3-5) (18) AFC South
24. Philadelphia Eagles (3-4) (27) NFC East
25. Cincinnati Bengals (2-5) (23) AFC North
26. Chicago Bears (3-5) (24) NFC North
27. Minnesota Vikings (2-5) (26) NFC North
28. San Francisco 49ers (2-5) (28) NFC West
29. New York Jets (1-7) (29) AFC East
30. Atlanta Falcons (1-6) (30) NFC South
31. Miami Dolphins (0-8) (31) AFC East
32. St. Louis Rams (0-8) (32) NFC West
Division Power Rankings (by sum of team rankings)
AFC South - 39 (+5 from last week)
AFC West - 48 (+1)
NFC East - 51 (-1)
AFC North - 55 (no change)
NFC North - 75 (+2)
AFC East - 78 (-3)
NFC South - 88 (-3)
NFC West - 94 (-1)
1. Nosferatu the Vampire (1922). 8.1 on imdb, 98% on Rottentomatoes. Considered among the greatest silent movies, it's amazing that this 85 year old genre defining classic remains scary. Absolutely still worth a watch. Number 16 on RT's Top Horror Movies.
2. Dracula (1931). 7.7 on imdb, 92% on RT. Poor Bela Lugosi. You'd have to figure the accomplished Hungarian stage actor would have turned down this life defining title role if he had to do it over again. He died penniless; Frank Sinatra reportedly paid for his funeral. Still, great movie, among the most influential of all time. Number 25 on RT's Top Horror Movies.
3. Vampire Hunter D: Bloodlust (2000) 7.7 on imdb, 70% on RT. The director of the transcendent anime Ninja Scroll takes a swing at the sequel to the 1985 anime classic Vampire Hunter D. Among the best anime ever produced, with over the top action and some incredible villains.
4. Near Dark (1987). 7.0 on imdb, 91% on RT. Fantastic movie whose influence is seen in dozens of horror movies. Terrific cast with Bill Paxton in possibly his finest role. ("We keep odd hours," one of the best lines ever.) Made Kathryn Bigelow's career. Number 34 on RT's Top Horror Movies.
5. Dracula (1992). 7.2 on imdb, 82% on RT. So what if it's not as great as the sum of its considerable parts? It's still a cool movie with a great choice for the title role even if the rest of the casting falls flat.
6. Interview with the Vampire (1994). 7.3 on imdb, 69% on RT. A terrific translation of a terrific book with a terrific cast. The cast is completely stacked: Brad Pitt, Tom Cruise, Kirsten Dunst, Antonio Banderas, Stephen Rea, and Thandie Newton.
7. Shadow of the Vampire (2000). 6.8 on imdb, 82% on RT. More of a dark comedy than horror, Malkovich and Dafoe make for a great onscreen duo. Terrific concept based on the original Nosferatu. Number 38 on RT's Top Horror Movies.
8. The Lost Boys (1987). 6.8 on imdb, 74% on RT. A classic 80s Coreys movie. Kiefer Sutherland shines in an early role. I wanted to put it higher for nostalgia, but this is where it belongs.
9. Day Watch (2006). 7.0 on imdb, 65% on RT. An amped up follow up to the amped up Night Watch (2004), it loses a bit if you missed the first part of the trilogy. Available today on DVD.
10. Blade II (2002). 6.5 on imdb, 56% on RT. An entertaining sequel based on the comic book character directed by Guillermo del Toro (Pan's Labyrinth). Perhaps a bit loud and over the top, but it's never dull.
If you throw in Kobe Bryant's lack of effort this preseason, at least perceived by Charles Barkley and Phil Jackson, then you've got three of the five biggest names in American sports (along with Tiger Woods and Peyton Manning) engaging in some seriously me-first behavior. Kobe is of course trying to force his way onto Dallas or Chicago after forcing his way onto New York or L.A. when he was coming out of high school or like he forced Shaq out of L.A. Even with the most hyped regular season game ever on the horizon, this Prima donna stuff is truly casting a pall over sports.
Monday, October 29, 2007
How does he escape? You'll have to watch the video. From TV in Japan via With Leather.
And I can't remember a worst string of nationally televised games than the run we're on right now. Not since week 3's epic Green Bay/San Diego game have I been able to watch Sunday's day games from my couch without cursing Fox, CBS, and the NFL for subjecting me to mismatches between large market teams. Thank goodness for the flex scheduling - starting week 11 NBC will pick which games to televise Sunday Nights with some exemptions.
Profootballtalk pointed out that while the Redskins beat the 49ers two years ago 52-17, the Redskins didn't through a pass in the last 18:30 of the game. I would compare the Patriots behavior to stealing bases up 12 in the 9th inning, but it's worse. In baseball there's no clock - you could conceivably score 12 runs in the bottom of the ninth. It's easier to sit on a lead in the NFL. It's also easier to sustain an injury. So when Brady is in up 35 in the third quarter when the Pats are playing someone with a little less class than Joe Gibbs, I have a feeling you'll see a lineman try to take out his knees. Hell, I'm surprised I didn't see it yesterday.
Friday, October 26, 2007
What Morris produced instead was 56 minutes of surreal monologues from an idle police officer, an obsessive turkey hunter, a pastor fixated on the word "therefore," a couple convinced that the sand they keep in a jar is growing, and, among others, an old man who claims he can write with both hands at once... Roger Ebert called it an "unforgettable film."
The thought of seeing these Jerry Springer watchers limping around the streets to go to the corner store and drop blood money on beef jerky is scarier to me than any zombie flick. Maybe I've led a privileged life but never in my wildest dreams have I considered shooting off a part of my body for money. I remember seeing an episode of ER like this, where some strung out couple needed money to score a fix. Even for them, your left hand has to be worth something pretty significant.
Thursday, October 25, 2007
1. New England Patriots (7-0) (Last week: 1) AFC East
2. Indianapolis Colts (6-0) (2) AFC South
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-2) (3) AFC North
4. Dallas Cowboys (6-1) (4) NFC East
5. San Diego Chargers (3-3) (6) AFC West
6. Tennessee Titans (4-2) (9) AFC South
7. Green Bay Packers (5-1) (7) NFC North
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-2) (5) AFC South
9. Kansas City Chiefs (4-3) (10) AFC West
10. New York Giants (5-2) (12) NFC East
11. Washington Redskins (4-2) (15) NFC East
12. Denver Broncos (3-3) (18) AFC West
13. Seattle Seahawks (4-3) (16) NFC West
14. Cleveland Browns (3-3) (13) AFC North
15. Baltimore Ravens (4-3) (8) AFC North
16. Detroit Lions (4-2) (21) NFC North
17. Carolina Panthers (4-2) (17) NFC South
18. Houston Texans (3-4) (19) AFC South
19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) (11) NFC South
20. Buffalo Bills (2-4) (23) AFC East
21. Oakland Raiders (2-4) (14) AFC West
22. Arizona Cardinals (3-4) (26) NFC West
23. Cincinnati Bengals (2-4) (27) AFC North
24. Chicago Bears (3-4) (28) NFC North
25. New Orleans Saints (2-4) (25) NFC South
26. Minnesota Vikings (2-4) (22) NFC North
27. Philadelphia Eagles (2-4) (20) NFC East
28. San Francisco 49ers (2-4) (24) NFC West
29. New York Jets (1-6) (29) AFC East
30. Atlanta Falcons (1-6) (30) NFC South
31. Miami Dolphins (0-7) (31) AFC East
32. St. Louis Rams (0-7) (32) NFC West
Division Power Rankings (by sum of team rankings)
AFC South - 34 (-1 from last week)
AFC West - 47 (-1)
NFC East - 52 (+1)
AFC North - 55 (+4)
NFC North - 73 (-5)
AFC East - 81 (-3)
NFC South - 91 (+8)
NFC West - 95 (-3)
Wednesday, October 24, 2007
Jeanie Buss = Jan Levinson-Gould. The resemblance is uncanny. Jeanie is a woman in the male dominated world of sports management, Jan was a woman in the male dominated world of corporate management.
Jan: Michael, come over after work tonight. I miss your…body.
Michael: I dunno. I feel…I drive a lot. I’m spending a fortune on gas…
Jan: I’ll give you $200. If I get up before you I’ll leave it on the dresser.
Michael: I dunno…that makes me kind of uncomfortable…
Phil Jackson = Michael Scott. They're both the boss of their team and were/are dating their boss. Phil has written multiple bestsellers, Michael wrote Threat Level: Midnight. Phil's unusual motivational techniques have included comparing Rick Adelman to Hitler; Michael's unusual motivational techniques have included comparing slavery to the Holocaust.
Michael: Olympics of suffering right here! Slavery versus the Holocaust, come on!
Michael: Why don’t we just go as teams to demonstrate our teamsmanship.
Kobe Bryant = Jim Halpert. They're both Philadelphia natives. Kobe used to live in Italy, Jim used to date an Italian girl. Kobe helped orchestrate Shaq's trade to Miami, Jim's relationship with Pam led to Roy's firing. This of course makes Vanessa Pam and the girl from Colorado Karen.
Jim: I miss Dwight. Congratulations Universe, you win.
Shaquille O'Neal = Roy Anderson. Neither are part of the team anymore. Shaq drives a Superman Ford Expedition, Roy drove a Ford pickup in season one. Shaq hates training camp, Roy hates Dunder-Mifflin get-togethers.
Roy: I am going to kill Jim Halpert.
Kwame Brown = Meredith Palmer. Kwame is coming back from offseason shoulder and ankle surgery, Meredith is coming off of rabies and a cracked pelvis. Kwame was charged in connection with a DUI in the offseason and was investigated for sexual assault, Meredith is an alcoholic and sex addict.
Meredith: You know what? Don’t even worry about it. Everyone was so drunk I bet no one even remembers a word you said.
Meredith: The uterus is different from a vagina. I still have a vagina.
Lamar Odom = Kevin Malone. Both are bald and seem to have facial expressions limited to a smile and scowl. Odom has averaged 64 games played a season due to a series of injuries, Kevin suffers from anal fissures. Odom loves to sing, Kevin is in a band.
Kevin: I just want to lie on the beach and eat hot dogs. That’s all I’ve ever wanted.
Kurt Rambis = Dwight Schrute. Rambis preceded Jackson as coach of the Lakers, and Jackson kept him on as an assistant. Just like Dwight has the bogus title "Assistant to the Regional Manager," Rambis was recently named "Vice President of Business and Basketball Integration." Rambis's nickname is Rambo, Dwight has his own crossbow range.
Dwight: I have been Michael’s number two guy for about 5 years. And we make a great team. We’re like one of those classic famous teams. He’s like Mozart and I’m like…Mozart’s friend. No. I’m like Butch Cassidy and Michael is like…Mozart. You try and hurt Mozart? You’re gonna get a bullet in your head courtesy of Butch Cassidy.
Andrew Bynum = Ryan Howard. Bynum was the youngest player in the league the last two seasons, Ryan is the youngest guy in corporate. Bynum has seen a meteoric rise from high schooler to a valued Lakers asset they wouldn't trade for Jason Kidd, Ryan has seen a meteoric rise from intern to corporate.
Ryan: If I had to I could clean out my desk in 5 seconds and nobody would know I had ever been here. And I’d forget too…
Vladimir Radmanovic = Kelly Kapoor. Radmanovic is Serbian, Kelly is Indian. Radmanovic lied about a shoulder injury so the Lakers wouldn't void his contract, Kelly lied about being pregnant so Ryan would talk to her. Radmanovic averaged career lows across the board last season, Ryan dumped Kelly last season.
Kelly: If Ryan is laid off I will kill myself. Like Romeo and Juliet (the Claire Danes one).
Mitch Kupchak = Toby Flenderson. Just as Toby often stands in the way of Michael's schemes, Kupchak's horrible trades have stood in the way of Phil Jackson coaching a productive team. Of course, it made more sense for Toby to frown upon the Boy Scouts coming to Casino Night than for Kupchak to trade Caron Butler for Kwame Brown.
Toby: Actually, I didn't think it was appropriate to invite children since it's, uh, you know...there's gambling and alcohol...and it's in our dangerous warehouse...it's a school night, and you know, uh... Hooters is catering. You know, is that not—is that enough? Should I keep going?
Derek Fisher = Stanley Hudson. Fisher asked to be released from the Jazz and signed with the Lakers so he could be at a city with facilities to care for his daughter, and Stanley has a game "called work hard so your children can go to college.”
Stanley: This here is a “run-out-the-clock” situation. Just like upstairs.
Luke Walton = Creed Bratton. The combination of Walton's dad being a hippie and the rumor of Luke dating Britney Spears make him the only Laker potentially dirty enough to compare to Creed.
Creed: I’m not offended by homosexuality. In the 60s I made love to many, many women – often outdoors in the mud and the rain – and it’s possible that a man slipped in. There’d be no way of knowing...
Brian Grant = Oscar Martinez. Brian Grant was paid an ungodly sum by the Heat, much of which he earned from the bench, Oscar got a three month vacation so he wouldn't sue.
Kevin: Hello Oscar, how was your gay-cation?
Oscar: That’s very funny.
Kevin: Yeah? I thought of that, like, two seconds after you left.
Tuesday, October 23, 2007
By an even wider margin, Raging Bull is the greatest sports movie of all time. Robert De Niro at his absolute best, winning his only Oscar for Best Actor (the tenth Greatest Performance ever according to Premier Magazine). Scorsese's first of seven nominations for Best Director. The number one sports movie on imdb.com by a wide margin and an outstanding 98% on Rotten Tomatoes. And romantic comedy fans want to come with the tepid Bull Durham? Deluded baseball fans want to bring up the tedious Field of Dreams? Puhlease. Rocky and Million Dollar Baby both won Best Picture, and are both terrific movies, but Raging Bull is one of the greatest movies of all time.
There are those of you doing things you shouldn’t be in Halo 3. Some of you have gotten a little too famous for your own good. This ain’t a church and there is no redemption or salvation once you have been judged. Apologies are now officially too late to save you.
Monday, October 22, 2007
|Pts for||Pts against||Margin||Avg pts for||Avg pts agnst||Avg margin|
|'85 Chicago Bears||212||105||107||30.29||15.00||15.29|
|'91 Washington Redskins||231||82||149||33.00||11.71||21.29|
|'98 Denver Broncos||240||133||107||34.29||19.00||15.29|
|'07 New England Patriots||279||120||159||39.86||17.14||22.71|
These stats are through the first seven games for each team, all of which were 7-0. The '91 Redskins opened with Detroit and Dallas, arguably the two next best teams in the NFL that season, and played 10 win Philly in week 5 and 11 win Chicago week 6. This makes the Redskins start particularly impressive. The '85 Bears played the 10 win Redskins and 49ers along with the eventual AFC Champion Patriots during their start, but they also played the 2-14 Bucs twice. Denver only played two playoff teams in their first 7 games in '98, the Jaguars and the overachieving Quincy Carter-led Cowboys. The jury is still out on the Patriots schedule, but the Cowboys and Chargers seem to be among the NFL's best this year.
I'm inclined to call the '91 Redskins start slightly more dominant than that of this year's Patriots, but the Redskins won one game by 2 points and another by 7 during their start. The Patriots have won a staggering 8 straight regular season games by 3 or more scores, going back to last season. I have to imagine that's a record; the '94 49ers did so 4 times in a row at one point, the '85 Bears and '98 Broncos 3 games in a row, the '89 49ers and '91 Skins twice in a row, and the '03 Patriots twice all season, non-consecutively. The '85 Bears and '89 49ers both won the last game of the regular season and all three playoff game by three or more scores, peaking at the right time.
Inside the Actor's Studio host James Lipton admitted on Thursday's Conan O' Brien that he was he a pimp in Paris. Literally.
"This was when I was very very young, living in Paris, penniless, unable to get any kind of working permit... I had a friend who worked in what is called the Milieu, which is that world and she suggested to me one night, `Look, you'll be my meck... We would translate it perhaps... as pimp. We were earning our living together, this young woman and I, we made a rather good living, I must say."
In honor of this revelation, here are Pimp James Lipton's answers to the famous ten questions, compiled by Bernard Pivot.
What is your favorite word?
What is your least favorite word?
What turns you on?
Stacks of chedder.
What turns you off?
What is your favorite curse word?
Bitch, as in "bitch better have my money" or "bottom bitch."
What sound or noise do you love?
The sound of a car window rolling down.
What sound or noise do you hate?
The sound of the back of my hand across some trick's face.
What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?
To interview our greatest actors and directors to educate and entertain.
What profession would you not like to attempt?
If heaven exists, what would you like to hear God say when you arrive at the Pearly Gates?
How much for an hour with Jodie Foster?
"At the insistence of a close friend, I went and had my hormones checked . . . To my surprise, the doctor told me that I was producing very little growth hormone and prescribed a dosage to help me out. I didn't like sticking a needle in my inner thigh each night but I sure did enjoy the sleep that occurred afterwards. My life changed during that time and I was able to work out more, experience less fatigue and recover quicker from pitching."
I've known many people who have had trouble sleeping, and most of them were prescribed sleeping pills and not human growth hormone. Maybe he went to Dr. Nick Riviera asking for a way to sleep better and to pitch 200 innings every season. Byrd reportedly received HGH 2002-05 (I say reportedly because he may have received HGH prior to 2002 or after 2005). In 2002 he pitched a career high 228 1/3 innings, in July 2003 he had Tommy John surgery, he recovered quickly to pitch 114 1/3 innings in 2004, and again threw 200+ innings in 2005. I think Ricky Williams needs to see this doctor about his glaucoma.
Friday, October 19, 2007
thedailyshow.com just launched and it is outstanding. It seems like they've got the show's entire catalogue on demand.
"I met both Pacino and De Niro when they were really on the come. They were young and insecure. Now Pacino is very rich... De Niro was deeply inspired by (Coppola’s studio American) Zoetrope and created an empire and is wealthy and powerful... Nicholson was — when I met him and worked with him — he was always kind of a joker...
I don’t know what any of them want anymore. I don’t know that they want the same things... they all live off the fat of the land."
They live off the fat of the land? Coppola has one good movie (Bram Stoker's Dracula) in 20 years (since Peggy Sue Got Married, so I'm being charitable), and they live off the fat of the land? Robert De Niro has established himself as an accomplished comedic actor since 1999, has repeatedly gone outside his comfort zone with diverse roles such as a coma patient (Awakenings), the title role in Frankenstein, and a wannabe talk show host (The King of Comedy). I don't see Jack stepping outside the box as much but he should have gotten a 13th Oscar nod for The Departed, and will likely get one for The Bucket List, where he'll star opposite Morgan Freeman. Even Al Pacino, who Coppola seemingly criticizes for not doing more theater, recently played Shylock in Merchant of Venice and Roy Cohn in Angels in America.
Coppola's Youth Without Youth is set to open next week. The first review is positive (A-), but his last movies, The Rainmaker, was well reviewed but completely formulaic and uninspired. I have feeling this will be another derivative period piece. If anyone thinks I'm discounting Coppola's work, keep in mind The Godfather is the greatest movie of all time by a mile and I've seen it at least a dozen times. But Don Larsen was a journeyman pitcher who threw the only hitless game in postseason history, a perfect game on October 8, 1856. Kurt Warner had the greatest season ever in 1999, and has faded into a role as a nice backup. Sometimes it all comes together for somebody, and then they lose it.
Some of Paolantonio's poorly defended declarations include Barry Sanders and Brett Favre as overrated, and Dave Krieg and Bart Starr as underrated. His argument for Barry Sanders being overrated center around his 2.8 yard per carry in the post season, which jumps to 5.0 if you take away one game at Lambeau where he had -1 yard on 13 carries. So one bad game on the road against another of his most overrated players takes away from the legacy as the most exciting athlete anyone has ever seen. Paolantonio is underrating the importance of a supporting cast.
His argument for Bart Starr being underrated centers around his postseason quarterback rating, particularly his record low interception rate. Tom Brady, throwing to no receivers of note last year, dropped from first to second behind Starr all time in lowest postseason interception rate last year. Phil Simms is third; is he underrated or are all New York athletes overrated, as he says Tiki Barber and Michael Strahan are as part of the "New York Hype Machine?" Starr threw 3 TDs, no picks in the 1967 postseason after throwing 9 TDs, 17 picks in the regular season. Maybe Paolantonio is overrating the importance of the postseason?
Thursday, October 18, 2007
- Trading Shaquille O'Neal for two good players and a bad contract, failing to demand Dwyane Wade from Miami in return
- Trading the best player they got Shaq for Kwame Brown
- Passing in the draft on Josh Howard for Brian Cook
I agree with Chad Ford's latest column pretty much across the board. He lists Chicago as the favorites, potentially giving up Kirk Hinrich, Ben Gordon, Joakim Noah, and expiring contracts. This would be a pretty strong package that would revamp their starting lineup, but it lacks a superstar. That's where his number two contender comes in. The Wizards could potentially offer Gilbert Arenas, 1st round pick Nick Young, Darius Songalia, and a future 1st round pick. It's a lot to give up on both sides, but both teams are terrified of their superstars opting out - Arenas next summer, Bryant the following summer. The Wizards would suddenly be a favorite in the East, maybe the favorite, only losing one starter. DeShawn Stevenson might have a chance to meet Lindsey Lohan through new backcourt mate Kobe. And the Lakers could be confident that they could resign Arenas. It sounds like it could happen.
CBC Distribution and Marketing, Inc. runs CDM fantasy sports, a small online fantasy company, sued MLB Advanced Media seeking to use of players' names and statistics for free. Fantasy baseball is the only reason I have more than a cursory knowledge of the stats put up this past season. If I were associated with Major League Baseball I would consider that a good thing and would attempt to promote fantasy leagues, not attempt to shut them down.
What this ruling means for fantasy players is that small fantasy sites can compete with the big boys. So if I made a free fantasy site with state of the art stat tracking, you'd want to come to my site instead of Yahoo, who charges for stat tracking. So if Yahoo notices that they're losing users to me, maybe Yahoo adds free stat tracking, so I try to top them I have to add some innovation. Capitalism lives on!
USA Today points to the small markets of the teams as the reason for the atrocious ratings. I've got my own theory: no one cares about the senior circuit. The reasons:
- The AL is better. The American League dominates interleague play every year and have won 10 out of 15 World Series
- The best AL teams are in the biggest markets. The two biggest payrolls, most popular teams, and most consistent postseason teams (Red Sox and Yankees) are in the AL
- The best NL teams are in the smallest markets. The best NL teams in the last 20 years (Atlanta, Florida) are in small markets
- The NL is west coast-centric. The NLs best player (Bonds) and biggest market (L.A.) start games past 10 EST
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
A mildly popular topic of discussion on football shows is whether it's tougher to go winless or undefeated. The answer is easy: it's much more likely to go undefeated. There are mechanisms in place for bad teams to get better, but there are also mechanisms in place for good teams to get better. What I'm getting at is it's very hard for bad teams to get worse. Teams that pick in the bottom if the first round can still find good players, but the massive media pressure focused on the NFL draft has made it much harder to whiff on high picks.
Take, for example, maybe the worst team of the last 30 years: the 1991 Indianapolis Colts. They went 1-15, winning one game by one point, and started off 0-9. With the top two picks in the 1992 draft they took Steve Emtman (retired at 27) and Quentin Coryatt (retired at 29), ahead of Sean Gilbert, Terrell Buckley, and Troy Vincent. I can't imagine a team getting away with getting two injury question marks at the top of the draft with the working knowledge of NFL draft prospects possessed by every season ticket holder.
So how ironic would it be if the same year the '72 Dolphins were wiped off the record book, the '07 Dolphins went winless and took the '76 Buccaneers off the hook? Last years Raiders were maybe the worst coached team ever, and still managed to win not only one but two games. The Dolphins have the reigning Defensive MVP and a top five back, and play in a division with two one win teams. But they're 0-6, still have two games against New England, a home game against Baltimore, and a road date with Pittsburgh. Their most likely wins would be either a home matchup with the Jets, or one of their two remaining games with the Bills. It probably won't happen, but it would be some crazy symmetry if it did.
1. New England Patriots (6-0) (Last week: 1) AFC East
2. Indianapolis Colts (5-0) (2) AFC South
3. Pittsburgh Steelers (4-1) (3) AFC North
4. Dallas Cowboys (5-1) (5) NFC East
5. Jacksonville Jaguars (4-1) (6) AFC South
6. San Diego Chargers (3-3) (8) AFC West
7. Green Bay Packers (5-1) (7) NFC North
8. Baltimore Ravens (4-2) (10) AFC North
9. Tennessee Titans (3-2) (4) AFC South
10. Kansas City Chiefs (3-3) (16) AFC West
11. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (4-2) (18) NFC South
12. New York Giants (4-2) (15) NFC East
13. Cleveland Browns (3-3) (14) AFC North
14. Oakland Raiders (2-3) (9) AFC West
15. Washington Redskins (3-2) (11) NFC East
16. Seattle Seahawks (3-3) (13) NFC West
17. Carolina Panthers (4-2) (25) NFC South
18. Denver Broncos (2-3) (17) AFC West
19. Houston Texans (3-3) (12) AFC South
20. Philadelphia Eagles (2-3) (23) NFC East
21. Detroit Lions (3-2) (24) NFC North
22. Minnesota Vikings (2-3) (31) NFC North
23. Buffalo Bills (1-4) (22) AFC East
24. San Francisco 49ers (2-3) (27) NFC West
25. New Orleans Saints (1-4) (30) NFC South
26. Arizona Cardinals (3-3) (19) NFC West
27. Cincinnati Bengals (1-4) (21) AFC North
28. Chicago Bears (2-4) (20) NFC North
29. New York Jets (1-5) (26) AFC East
30. Atlanta Falcons (1-5) (28) NFC South
31. Miami Dolphins (0-6) (29) AFC East
32. St. Louis Rams (0-6) (32) NFC West
Division Power Rankings (by sum of team rankings)
AFC South - 35 (+11 from last week)
AFC West - 48 (-2)
NFC East - 51 (-3)
AFC North - 51 (+3)
NFC North - 78 (-4)
NFC South - 83 (-18)
AFC East - 84 (+6)
NFC West - 98 (+7)
Monday, October 15, 2007
So do the Bears have any regrets about not trading Lance Briggs to the Redskins along with their 31st pick for the sixth pick and Rocky McIntosh? I thought it looked like a great move for them at the time. With the sixth pick they could have drafted Peterson, as opposed to face him twice a year for the foreseeable future. Or maybe they could drafted defensive tackle Amobi Okoye, the rookie leader in sacks. He would have more than adequately plugged the hole created by Tank Johnson's release. Or LaRon Landry, who was drafted sixth. Landry would certainly be an upgrade over Adam Archuleta, who has been brutal at strong safety. I doubt they would miss Briggs as much as Briggs misses his car: McIntosh has three less tackles and one more sack than Briggs in a defense where McIntosh isn't prominently featured.
To be fair, I know for a fact that the Redskins were desperately trying to trade out of the six spot and there were no takers. So Green Bay could have put a package together, maybe with a little as their 1st and 2nd, to trade up for the electric Adrian Peterson. Houston picked 10th, an ideal spot for Washington to have picked, and probably could have traded up had they offered a 3rd. But we know for a fact what it would have taken the Bears to be riding the #28 car right now, and so do they. Not much.