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April 21, 2012

Lighthearted Saturday: Mr. Irrelevant

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Willis @ 10:00 am

In honor of the NFL Draft happening this week, this week’s Lighthearted Saturday Infographic is all about past NFL Mr. Irrelevants. Check out which final draft picks didn’t play in any NFL games and which have Superbowl rings!

Mr. Irrelevant

March 26, 2012

N. Y. C.-bow

Filed under: Football — Tags: , , , — Peiser @ 12:30 pm

“Let me be really clear about this, we work for the fans and the fans want us to win games, so all of the decisions we make regarding the team are just for football. It’s hard to predict other things. If you get confused in term of what your mission is, you’re not going to accomplish your mission. And our mission is to win games pure and simple. We think that Tim Tebow has been a winner all his life.”

-Woody Johnson

GOOD MORNING NEW YORK CITY NERDS ON SPORTS! IT’S TEBOW TIME! AFTER THE JUMP! (more…)

[Business Day One] Times That Are, In Fact, A’Changin’

Well well well. The internet’s still here. I swore this whole thing would’ve flamed out by now, but here it still is. Looks like the ol’ site is here too. Hello readers! I’m Serpico! And I write about sports, the business of sports, and fan reaction to sports. At least, I did, way back when. And I suppose I ought to do it again.

So let’s jump right in, shall we?

The big news this weekend is Tiger Woods-related, and I’m so happy to be able to write that. (more…)

March 23, 2012

Commissioner’s Corner: Competitive Balance

Filed under: Commish’s Corner — Tags: , , , , — Willis @ 10:10 am

In a recent decision, the NFL levied fines (by lowering their salary cap and distributing the difference to all other teams)  against the Redskins and Cowboys because they set up contracts to take advantage of the no-cap season. Here is what the NFL said:

The Management Council Executive Committee determined that the contract practices of a small number of clubs during the 2010 league year created an unacceptable risk to future competitive balance, particularly in light of the relatively modest salary cap growth projected for the new agreement’s early years. To remedy these effects and preserve competitive balance throughout the league, the parties to the CBA agreed to adjustments to team salary for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. These agreed-upon adjustments were structured in a manner that will not affect the salary cap or player spending on a league-wide basis.

Basically, what happened was that teams (most of them, just these 2 more than others) front loaded player contracts — Payed a lot of money in the uncapped year in exchange for paying less in the capped years. There are a couple of issues here that I’d like to point out:

1) This happened in 2010 and was obvious to anyone who even glanced at the numbers. So much so that, supposedly, the NFL even warned these teams (verbally) that they shouldn’t be doing this. This penalty is only happening now.

2) Does this really create a big enough competitive imbalance in the league that it needs to be corrected.

Roger Goodell on a pile of money

Look at the communist Roger Goodell redistributing the wealth

For the first point, there was a whole CBA negotiation that happened last year (remember the lockout?) and the cap was set up, but there was no talk about the redistribution against the Cowboys/Redskins. Didn’t want to bring it up that some teams were willing and able to spend money and the others were probably colluding to keep salaries down. And now in 2012 when the calculation for the cap is being done based on last years revenue, it looked like it was going to go down. Well how do you explain that to players… you can’t. So with a quick “fix,” the “problem” is “solved.”

As to the second point, let’s look at the teams numbers for 2009, 2010, and 2011. That’s what’s good about the delay/inaction by the NFL on this issue. In our baseline year of 2009, the Cowboys were pretty good, making the playoffs but losing in the NFC championship game. On the other hand the Redskins went 4-12. In 2010 even while spending millions more than other teams, both teams went 6-10 and were at the bottom of the division. Last year the Cowboys were slightly improved at 8-8, but the Redskins were slightly worse at 5-11.

So compared to our baseline, the Cowboys had, on average, 4 less wins, and the Redskins had 1.5 more wins. Or, when combined, 2 and a 1/2 less wins. Or just looking 2009 and 2011 since front loading contracts should give more advantage in a capped year, the are a combined 2 less wins. So much imbalance!

But the tough question is to whether this would actually create a real imbalance in future years, and that would be tough to compare. This future imbalance is what dynasty/keeper fantasy commissioners (and the real NFL commissioner) have to deal with all the time with trades that involve future draft picks and young players. If you really were going for a perfect balance, a baseball trade involving a minor league player or any deadline trade involving future draft picks would never be allowed. Of course, trades like this actually happen and are justified by saying that the opportunity was there for all teams. Which brings me back to the uncapped year — an opportunity that was available to all teams. This ruling stinks of collusion and half-assed player pacification.

I think Deadspin sums it up best:

[T]he NFL claims that “the parties to the CBA” agreed on this punishment. Not the CBA itself, mind you, because there’s nothing in there. But the NFLPA signed off on the penalties, not because they agreed with them, but because they had no other choice. The only other option the NFL presented the Players Association was for the salary cap to drop across the league, meaning less money for the players. This was a devil’s bargain: sign off on this capricious and probably illegal sanction of two teams, or we’ll punish all of you. The NFLPA was straight blackmailed, and they did the only conscionable thing they could: they caved, and threw two of the biggest-spending owners under the bus.

In the Book of Genesis, God inexplicably created the tree of knowledge, then told humans not to touch it. “Because I said so,” I believe was the rationale. He made the fruit tempting, and gave humans the faculties to obtain and enjoy it, and got pissed when they did. It took a couple thousand years for people say, whoa, that was pretty cruel and fucked up, God. Similarly, the NFL created an uncapped year, and fostered an atmosphere that gave Dan Snyder and Jerry Jones the motive, the means, and the opportunity to partake of its blessings. The NFL doesn’t have religion’s PR, so thankfully we don’t need iconoclasts, just normal, rational people to point out just how wrong this is. But football is a sort of religion, with a similar antitrust exemption, so fair doesn’t even come into play.

March 9, 2012

Let’s get it (kick) started in here!

I have a bit of a Kickstarter problem, to the tune of 14 backed projects in the last 7 months. But don’t worry — I can handle it. I can quit any time I want. Until that time comes though, let me tell you of a few interesting finds.

162pixels 2012 Baseball Statographic eBook – These guys are putting together a small ebook full of preseason baseball pretty statistical goodness. In less than a week, we’ll know if they made their tiny $1500 goal. And no, I didn’t go for the level that includes a link to my blog in the book.  🙂 And if you think that $5 for a silly baseball book isn’t worth it, give them the money for the fun Moneyball-style promotion video:

Gridiron Heroes – This one actually just finished funding. But don’t fret, you can still get in line to play some Gridiron heroes by checking out their Facebook page. What are you getting in line to play? A Tecmo Bowl style football simulation MMO game on the Facebook. If you are into MMOG then you should try playing destiny, if you want to level up your character faster then check out this awesome destiny 2 boosting. I’m tired of all the Facebook games being puzzlers or boring farming simulations, so I can’t wait for some footballs up in there. Here’s their gameplay trailer:

BALLCRAPS – Also recently successful in getting their project kickstarted, BALLCRAPS is a mix of craps and football. Basically it’s a felt craps-style board where the betting that happens is about predicting the future plays of the game. I’ve put myself on their mailing list to be the first to know about Baseballcraps when the get around to making that.

That’s kind of all I found for decent sports-related KickStarters, but instead of ending this post now, I’m going to point out a few interesting board gaming ones for the nerds who are into that.

Mobile Frame Zero: Rapid Attack – This is strategy and tactics LEGO-based miniatures game. The designers are Vincent Baker (of Dogs in the Vineyard, Apocalypse World, The Abductinators, etc.) and Joshua A.C. Newman (of Shock:Social Science Fiction, Shock:Human Contact, and Under the Bed). So it has some decent pedigrees and it’s about fighting LEGO robots — What more do you want?

Bazooka Bot

Bazooka Bot has bazooka that is as tall as himself

Dog Face Robot

Don’t You think this Robot has a Dog Face?

Leaf-bot

Watch out for this bot, it has 5 penises!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Velociraptor! Cannibalism! – “Velociraptor! Cannibalism! is a card game of survival, mutation, and the occasional volcano. Based on a crude understanding of natural selection,Velocipator! Cannibalism! puts you in the role of a young, eager and bright eyed Raptor as they must eat delicious, adorable prey, survive environmental disaster, mutate and steal the body parts of other Raptors.” And if that’s not enough to convince you, perhaps this fancy kitten-eating raptor can change your mind:

March 5, 2012

[Business Day One] Faux Serpico

Filed under: Business Day One — Tags: , , , , , , , — Willis @ 9:41 am

One random thing from the major sports:

1) Football – The NFL Combine was last week and QB mega-prospect Robert Griffin III (RG3) was in Indy tearing up the competition. He was the fastest QB in the pack (at 4.41 seconds) in the 40-yard dash. I was timed a few years ago running the 40. That year my time of 5.60 would have been the slowest at the combine, but this year there are three 325+ pound offensive linemen that had a slightly slower time. I’ll consider that a win in my book.

2) Boston College – I’d be remiss in discussing the combine and not bringing up the top tackler in the nation and only BC invitee, Luke Kuechly. He out-performed expectations and looks to be drafted somewhere in the middle of the first round — Probably to Arizona or Philadelphia, but there’s a chance he could end up in my home state on the New Jersey Jets.

3) Baseball – Mets first baseman, Ike Davis, is rumored to have Valley Fever.

Valley Fever is a fungal disease that affects the lungs and has similar symptoms as the flu or a cold. It can sometimes cause a rash. It can also sometimes be deadly to someone with a weak or compromised immune system, spreading from the lungs to other parts of the body. It is most common in “dry desert areas of the southwestern United States, central California, and Mexico.”

What Ike probably needs is just some rest and to eat his green vegetables. My I suggest a delicious green bean infused sandwich called the Chacarero: A Chacarero is a traditional Chilean sandwich. It begins with homemade bread. The main ingredient is either tender grilled steak or chicken (or both). Then with your main ingredient, add steamed green beans, which gives it that authentic Chilean touch, Muenster cheese and fresh tomatoes. After that, add an avocado spread, salt, pepper & a secret hot sauce recipe to complete the sandwich.

Chacarero Sandwich

The perfect cure to whatever ails you

4) Basketball – Linsplotation of the linsanity craze is still going strong. Check out this bar poster for Ginasanity:

Jeremy Collins Ginsanity Poster

5) Hockey – The Bruins are having some terrible luck at the moment with missed calls by the refs and what seems like half the team out with an injury. It’s mostly just sad watching these games, so make sure you have a nice pint of Ben & Jerry’s if you plan to watch any of their upcoming games.

6) Faux Serpico – If you hadn’t noticed, this post wasn’t by the world renown Serpico. It was done to show how nice it would be to have him sharing his Boston, Boston College, and sandwich love with the world again.

January 12, 2009

[Business Day One] Keep Your Money In The Bank

football on a pile of moneyI heard a phrase once that has become one of my favorites.

“Bookies don’t ever quit because they run out of money.”

The Ravens won, despite being a 3 point underdog. The Eagles won, despite being a 4 point underdog. The Cardinals won, despite being a 10 pointer. The Steelers won, as expected, only by 11 points instead of the 6 Vegas suggested.

Of all of those games, I only saw the Pittsburgh-San Diego tilt playing out as it did. Did anyone with a mind in their head see the Cardinals defense suddenly get stout? A healthy Brandon Jacobs not a dominant part of the game plan against Philly? The Ravens/Titans game, which played out like twin brothers getting into a fistfight, could’ve gone either way. But I didn’t think Joe Flacco would handle a somewhat loud Nashville crowd with an AFC Championship berth on the line.

I’m sure the money in Vegas agreed with me, which is why the house won a bundle and a lot of men will be explaining to their wives that the $200 a plate restaurant suddenly lost their Valentine’s Day reservations.

Gambling is an ugly business, and an even uglier one when you lose. I’m willing to bet (or maybe I’m not) that a lot of unhappy people are sitting bleary-eyed at their desks right now. I pity them but do not empathize. These are the playoffs of one of the weirdest years in recent NFL history, all the predictions were off, get the facts here at https://casinos-enligne.fr/. You all should’ve known better.

Cut your losses, get some nachos, and watch the rest of the games with no action on them. You’ll recoup some of the years you just lost this weekend.

January 5, 2009

[Business Day One] The Heights – A New Drama Series

Filed under: Business Day One,NCAA — Tags: , , , , — Serpico @ 12:37 pm

Did I expect Boston College to beat North Carolina in a game of basketball at the Dean Dome this weekend? No, I did not. Did I expect Boston College to prepare to fire its head football coach after he decided to interview for the New York Jets position? No. Yet oddly, both this happened.

College sport is a lot of things to a lot of people. To some, it’s everything. While I’m not as wrapped up in the exploits of my alma mater as some, I’m more involved than most. As such, this odd combination of events this weekend has affected my sleep last night and my appetite today. How can I be hungry when I need to keep checking my message boards for breaking news?

Whether you love schoolboy hoops or not, or have ever been to a college football tailgate, you’ve all be acquainted with the dizzying experience of being hit with both wonderful and horrible news at the same time. It throws you for a loop in a way that you can’t really explain. The bad news doesn’t seem as awful because the good news tempered it slightly. Yet, unfortunately, that good news isn’t as sweet as you could’ve expected. Both events are brought into their weird hazy middle ground, that you get lost in instead of gettinga good night’s sleep. I’ve always found the idea of willingly becomming a sports fan funny – you’re signing up for far more heartbreak than happiness. Whenever I forget about that fact, fate reminds me.

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