Tag: Football

Revising the Passer Rating


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I have a mission for you: revise the QB rating.

The QB rating (technically called the “passer rating,” as that’s all it’s meant to evaluate) is an arcane formula devised when the NFL and the AFL merged in order to standardize statistics. Rather than compare quarterbacks to each other – which provided no metric for season-to-season growth, statistician Don Smith devised a way to measure their progress objectively.

The problem is that (A) it’s not very objective and (B) it’s cryptic.

(A) The rating system is great, in theory. Take the four key areas of a passer’s performance: completion percentage, yards gained per pass, number of touchdowns and number of interceptions. Normalize them against some industry-standard benchmarks (50% pass completion, 55 interceptions per 1000 passes, etc). Total these numbers and voila.

Peyton Manning wishes he had the talent of Drew BreesThe problem is, those benchmarks were set in 1971 and have not been revised since. The “yards per pass” metric, which figures an average of 7, punishes QBs whose coaches use the fire-and-forget “West Coast Offense.” Is a 5.5% interception percentage still average? Look at the numbers yourself and tell me: as of the end of the 2006 season, Dallas’s Tony Romo and the Saints’ Drew Brees led the league in passer rating (89.6, 88.3, respectively), while those jackasses Tom brady and Peyton Manning couldn’t even crack the top 5.

(Cold Hard Football Facts agrees with me, and has some pictures of Pamela Anderson to boot. No, for serious)

(B) In order to normalize against those aforementioned benchmarks, you have to go through some weird hoops. Nothing terribly complicated – just lots of division.

({[(Comp / Att) x 100 – 30]/20 + [(Yards / Att) – 3 x 0.25] + [(TD / Att) x20] + [2.375 – (INT / Att) x 25]} / 6) x 100

Remember your order of operations and show all work.

There has to be a better way – and this wouldn’t be “Harebrained Schemes Tuesday” if I didn’t come up with one.
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I’m Going to Euro Disney

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“Now that you’ve won the Super Bowl, what are you going to do?”

“I’m going to Euro Disney”

Ok, I don’t think it would go down like that. Actually I don’t think anyone should ever say “I’m going to Euro Disney” and mean it. It’s Euro Disney (Well, renamed to Disneyland Resort Paris) for chrissake. A French journalist wrote:
George Bush With Mouse Ears

…a horror made of cardboard, plastic and appalling colors, a construction of hardened chewing gum and idiotic folklore taken straight out of comic books written for obese Americans.

Disney may not have a good name in Europe, but the people, the obese Americans, at the National Football League do. (Have you seen an offensive line recently? They have average weights above 300 lbs.) Or so the NFL would have us believe they have a good name. They are in some preliminary investigations with Europe… I picture this as a noir style investigation (also it’s Tagliabue not Goodell doing the investigation in my mind because I think “P.I. P. Tagliabue” would look better on the frosted glass window to a Private Investigator’s office.): Read More

On-Base Percentage / “The Bubble”

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Two crucial posts from elsewhere in Internovia:

1. From Fire Joe Morgan, the blog that wants ESPN to fire, well, inept baseball commentator Joe Morgan:

[sez Morgan] “but that’s how people compare statistics. My point is you can’t compare things with statistics.”

Think about that, people. “You can’t compare things with statistics.”

Exactly what, one might be tempted to ask, as one’s hands were shaking so badly one would think one had just survived an assassination attempt, might one use to compare things? Metaphor? How about the infallible human memory? Or perhaps poesy?

Much have I traveled, in realms of gold
And many goodly states and kingdoms seen
Round many Western Islands have I been,
And I have observed some stuff about some shortstops
Bill Hall did not have a monster year
Derek Jeter has a calmer set of eyes
David Eckstein is super clutch
Please don’t show me statistics that disprove my observations

2. Via Mahalanobis (which I typically don’t even read for sports), the following:

Watching the NFL (ie, real football for non-Americans) draft last weekend, they would often mention some prospect “has a good bubble”. I didn’t know exactly what they were talking about, but got confirmation on the radio today. It means they have a good–big–butt. As the gluteus maximus, or buttock muscle, is the largest muscle in the human body, it is useful signal of overall musculature.

Ravens Draft Day Roundup

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One of the virtues of being in the thirties when it comes to draft day is that hey, you’re there for a reason. You’ve got shit figured out. Take it easy. Now’s the time to start making long-term investments that’ll pay off in a year or two, rather than hurrying sandbags into a collapsing levee.

So I’m going to talk about my Ravens.

1st round: Ben Grubbs, right guard, Auburn. One of the most liked linemen coming into the draft. The combine is full of those non-specific but enthusiastic notes that, were this baseball, would make Billy Beane tip over a lat press machine. “Explodes off the line” … “non-stop motor” … “mauler with a mean streak.”

Go You TigersOn the other hand, it’s tough to quote impressive figures about a guard, so I understand the ambiguity. So here’s one impressive stat: Ben Grubbs never missed a game in college. This speaks of good health and, more importantly (on a team which still starts Jamal “Probation” Lewis and Ray “Obstruction of Justice” Lewis), good behavior.

3rd round: Yamon Figurs, wide receiver, Kansas State. The Ravens probably didn’t draft Figurs to catch passes, which is no doubt making the Texans pull their hair out. Say what you will about his hands – Figurs posted the fastest speed at the combine this year, and he ran back more than five fields’ worth of punts, twice for touchdowns. Pair him up with the like of B.J. Sams and the Ravens could once again have a punt return unit that puts points on the board. Read More

Randy Moss Will Make You Jump Jump


Moss Moons Green BayMy original idea for a post was to make another All-Name team for the NFL Draft, but it’s been done. So I was looking at other things that happened during the draft when I find out that the New England Patriots traded for Randy Moss. I don’t know much about Moss other than he’s a pain in the ass and a good wide receiver. So I’m doing some research when a song idea comes to mind. So I will share the results of my research with you — through song.

Randy Moss Will Make You Jump Jump

Jump Jump
You should know you should know that ahhh
Randy Moss is now having anything today
As he stands there totally Mossed out
He commences to may you

Jump Jump
The Moss Freak[1] will make you Jump Jump
The Freak Moss will make you Jump Jump
Randy Moss will make you Jump Jump Read More

Madden ’08 Cover and Who Not to Draft in Fantasy Football


Vince Young during his great Texas daysIt’s official, Vince Young, a sophomore Quarterback on the Tennessee Oilers Titans will be the Madden Football Roster Update v2.008 cover model this year. And according to ESPN, (Yes, the same ESPN that decided that the first week of baseball didn’t happen and erased all reference to it in it fantasy site.) he wasn’t even the front runner. What does this honor get Mr. Young? Well, he gets his face on every different size of box and every console ever known to exist. (They make Madden for cell phones; I wouldn’t be surprised if they still made Madden for the Commodore 64.) He also gets to be in some Madden commercials.

What he also gets is cursed. Read More

The Five Most Controversial Franchise Moves in U.S. Sports


My old man once told me that sports is the universal language among guys. Find out that your new neighbor just moved in from Ohio and ask, “How ’bout them Bengals, huh?” And you can strike up a conversation with any stranger on the T by talking about the Sox, the Patriots, the Bruins or (if you’ve lost that lovin’ feeling) the Celtics.

Given the ties between city and team, it’s always a heartbreaker when a storied franchise moves from one city to another. But in the continual struggle between a team’s business interests, a city’s tax needs and a fanbase’s fervor, someone has to lose out. And it’s a shame when your team moves on and you can’t move with them.

In that vein, I give you my Five Most Controversial Franchise Moves in U.S. Sports. These are the big ones, or the sad ones, or the ones worth talking about.
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Instant Replay Never Looked So Good

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Red flags are here to stay. No, not warning flags, the challenge flags thrown by NFL coaches. The NFL owners voted to make instant replay a permanent rule. But they still haven’t come up with a solution to the crappy “overtime decided by a coin flip” problem.

Now this isn’t the interesting part of the news because the NFL has been instantly replaying under these rules for 2 years and nothing is changing. The fun fact here is that the owners said that if we ratify the instant replay rules than we promise to have high definition cameras installed in all stadiums. That’s right, they weren’t going to do it if there was no replay. Hey, owners, some people like to watch the game with 720 delicious lines of bright colors refreshing 60 times per second.

And since I really don’t have much to say myself, I will force you to visit this random San Antonio Spurs blog and read about the NBA rookie debut of James White.

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