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January 2, 2008

[Business Day One] Resolutions

Happy 2008, team.  We here at Nerds On Sports hope your New Year’s Eve parties were exciting, your college football bowl season was fruitful and your hangover has finally crept out from behind your eyes.

I was at my gym this morning and, as expected, saw a couple of new faces (and the attached bodies) on the treadmills.  “Oh New Years,” I thought to myself as I hopped up on my usual elliptical machine, “you make fitness fun again.”  I stole a couple of glances at a pair of the Resolution Runners (feel free to use the term) and did some quick figuring in my head.  The folks that were slogging along at the gym at 7:45 a.m. on this cool Boston morning likely already had memberships and were simply renewing their vows to their cardio routines.  The real My Plan Is To Join A Gym And Lose Thirty Pounds crowd shows up in the first full week of the year.  Generally, that crowd spends a couple of days gorging and then takes a weekend tour of the facility, picks up some new running shorts and gets gung ho on that following Monday.

This bout of early morning thinking made me realize that I don’t really have any New Year’s Resolutions to make.  I go to my gym as much as I need to, eat three square a day and write for a sports blog.  That’s about as perfect as my life is going to get.  So since I have some time on my hands that would’ve been otherwise earmarked for my own resolutions, I’m going to do the Sports World a solid and contract myself out to make some 2008 Resolutions for others.  You all can thank me later:

Bill Belichick – Continue to find ways to feed Humble Pie to an undefeated team.

Rich Rodriguez – Bring West Virginia’s style of furniture burning football enthusiasm to Michigan’s Big House. (more…)

December 2, 2007

Success Isn’t Blessed In The BCS Mess

Filed under: Football,NCAA — Tags: , , , , — Sean @ 2:00 am

Crystal Footballtrain wreck

First SoCal and Geaux Tigers had their toes in the door
Then Stanford shocked SoCal, the doormats no more!
So Just Cal moved to 2nd in all football land
(Thanks a ton, Cardinal, and again for the band!)

But Just Cal stumbled when Kevin Riley slipped
On a junior high brainfart when his legs took a trip
Now Just Cal is gone and what the hell? LSU?
Kentucky in three OTs leaves them feeling blue (more…)

November 26, 2007

No Time Like Overtime

Filed under: NCAA — Tags: , , , , , — Perich @ 11:57 pm

Serpico introduced a point that I’d like to elaborate on: the difference between college football and NFL overtime.

The rules for NFL overtime are simple: the ref holds another coin toss for possession. Fifteen minutes of “sudden death” football are played; the first team to score wins. If no one scores after fifteen minutes, it ends in a genuine tie.

The rules for NCAA football overtime are not as simple, but they’re not complex. One team starts with the ball on the 25-yard line. If they can score on their possession, without giving up on downs or turning the ball over, then the opposing team gets a chance to do the same. If the opposing team scores as well, then they advance to another overtime period. However, if one team scores and the other doesn’t – or doesn’t score as much – that’s it; game over.

We saw an NFL OT game this weekend: Bears over Broncos. Chicago won the coin toss and then went on to sink a long bomb to Desmond Clark and get in field goal range. This shouldn’t surprise the Nerds in the audience: the team that wins the toss wins the OT period, and thus the game, fifty-two percent of the time.

However, we saw two NCAA OT games this weekend, and they were nailbiters both: Arkansas upsetting #1 LSU in triple overtime and Tennessee upsetting Oregon Kentucky in quadruple overtime. The diehard fans that stuck around to watch them to the end – and could you call yourself a serious fan and leave early? – saw some thrilling athletics, let me tell you.

Many pundits insist the NFL’s OT system is “broken.” There have been a number of suggested fixes – some outlandish and exciting (auction off the “kickoff” line on which the OT starts), some relatively straightforward (just adopt the college rules). Here at Nerds on Sports, though, we’re interested in the more fundamental questions.

For instance: why does the NFL have the OT system it does?
(more…)

[Business Day One] Stuffing and Potatoes

Thanksgiving has, over the years, evolved into the perfect storm of sloth and gluttony.  The trip home is usually exhausting enough that you want to spend Thanksgiving Eve half asleep on an old high school buddy’s couch.  The gut-busting feast on Thanksgiving Proper is filling enough to make you remain sedentary for all of that night, most of Black Friday, and at least half of that Saturday.  The World of Sports has developed a symbiotic relationship with the World of Holiday Over-Indulgence, so as America digests, they can also watch early season NBA games, the final regular season college football games and the Packers take on the Lions.  Not a bad way to spent time otherwise spent reconnecting with family.  Anyway, all of this eating and sports watching put me in a position to make some pretty interesting observations:

– Jon Kitna has quietly evolved from a perfectly average, oft-overlooked quarterback into an insufferable douchebag over the past year.  (more…)

November 13, 2007

Bowling for Championships

It’s that time of year, folks – time to bitch about the Bowl Championship Series.

The BCS is a Frankenstein’s-monster of ad hoc rulings, institutional biases, popularity contests that would make cheerleaders wince and statistical oddities. In an era of franchise tags and million-dollar sponsorship deals, college football remains one of the last examples of sport for the sake of sport. Given all the love and attention it attracts, you’d think it’d merit some serious attempt at ranking.

Oklahoma over USC?  Whatever you say, Com-Pu-Tor!However, in the nine years since its inception, barely a year has gone by without some form of controversy. The BCS megacomputer picked Florida (8th) over Kansas State (3rd) in 1999, Florida State over Miami in 2000 and Nebraska over Colorado (the team that actually won the Big 12) in 2001. Not strictly the fault of the computer, but also deplorable: Oklahoma getting shoehorned into the Rose Bowl in 2002, the OK/LSU/USC voting fiasco in 2003, the Auburn Tigers being shut out in 2004, the shameful pandering to Notre Dame in 2005, and the tangle between Michigan, Ohio State and USC in 2006.

Then again, what do you expect? Six grossly disparate conferences (the Big East vs. the ACC?) playing seasons of varying lengths with a revenue sharing system that guarantees Notre Dame a slice of the pie no matter how bad they are. Seriously! Does this year’s 1-9 Notre Dame deserve the same share of revenue as 9-1 LSU? Or even as 3-7 Mississippi? Who can pretend this is fair?

Given all this, is it possible to fix the BCS? Or scrap it in lieu of a new and exciting method of determining the true champion of college football? Don’t just sit there, Nerds on Sports fans – you tell us!

October 11, 2007

Friendly, Good-Natured Taunting

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Peiser @ 4:15 pm

Real Men of Genius

That’s right. Better Christians. L-O-J-F-C-L. (Also, 93% Athlete Graduation Rate.)

(Thanks to… well, I got this from 15 different people so far. And of course, the maker of this, who can be forgiven for joining Asinine.)

October 1, 2007

[Business Day One] The Royal Sampler

I went into Boston’s Chinatown Sunday afternoon and feasted upon Dim Sum.  If you’re not familiar with this magnificent tradition, you’re missing out.  It’s a buffet that comes to you, delighting your senses and satisfying your hunger with a savory variety of dumplings, rolls, and buns.  Like football, it is best enjoyed on the weekend and in a pair of stretchy sweatpants.  Inspired by this glorious meal, I am presenting to you Business Day One Dim Sum – a sampling of news from across the entirety of the sports world.  And like Dim Sum, it should satisfy everybody.

Shrimp Dumpling: The New York Mets are not going to the playoffs.  Their season ended with Tom Glavine allowing seven runs in a third of an inning, while one state over the Phillies put the finishing touches on a playoff clinching win.  Mets Manager Willie Randolph is not going to get fired, nor should he.  He’s a quality manager with a lot of experience that can handle the scathing New York media.  There are going to be some off-seasons changes, to be sure, and the team taking the field next year will be markedly different.  There’s a lot of great young talent on that team, but I think this year was their big shot and they slowly bled it out. (more…)

September 20, 2007

TVlog: 5 Minutes of ESPN Firsttake

Filed under: NCAA — Tags: , , , , , , , — Peiser @ 12:01 pm

Since Jonathan Lee Riches decided to give me a day off by suing Martha Stewart for the benefit of Rachael Ray, I had to come up with a new subject. So, in a first for NerdsOnSports, I’m going to write running commentary on what I’m watching on TV. At 11 AM. I don’t have a job to go to until Monday. So I watch things like “Firsttake” (f/k/a “Cold Pizza”) on TV. It really is this bad.

All times EDT.

11:00: OK, They’re talking about Steve Spurrier’s history vis-a-vis LSU. Interesting, perhaps, but I tuned in right in the middle, so I’m really not sure what the operative thesis is here. I think it’s something about how Spurrier’s had a great coaching career and has performed well against LSU, or hasn’t, either way he’s a football coach. (more…)

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