Nerds on Sports Where nerds are talking about sports!

March 16, 2009

[Business Day One] Unexpected Generosity

Filed under: Business Day One,NCAA — Tags: , , , , — Serpico @ 10:34 am

After a week of conference championship games, Selection Sunday swept into our lives and delivered the NCAA Tournament field to us.  Like kids on Christmas Eve, we waited to see what came down the chimney.  We speculated, audited in our heads how our years have gone.  Were we naughty or nice?  What’s Santa’s track record been in the past?  Does Daddy not having a job affect my odds of getting that pimp Lego Castle?  You talk yourself into believing in the most beautiful possibilities.  You think and hope and pray so hard that they become real.  Such is human nature.

Accordingly, life is filled with disappointments.  There are always more stories about vacations falling apart or an expensive restaurant being overrated or, say, your team getting ignored for the Big Dance than stories of unexpectedly perfect situations.  We as sports fans accept this.  We know, deep down, that our sunny predictions born of baseball’s spring training or football’s draft won’t be fulfilled.  But despite this, every so often the Gods of Sport give your team a gift.  Perhaps an entirely unexpected gift, a wholly undeserved gift.  But a gift.  And a beautiful one.

The Arizona Cardinals got one this past year – making it to the SuperBowl with a one dimensional offense and a terrible defense.  The Kansas City Chiefs got one in the form of a discount Matt Cassel.  And my beloved Boston College Eagles just picked one up in the form of a 7 seed in the tournament.  Granted, I think BC’s unexpectedly generous seeding isn’t on the same level of “holy flying God are you lucky” as the Buzzsaw’s run into the playoffs or The Last Cassel’s new home in KC, but it hit me close to home.  So I’m going to talk about it.

BC beat Duke at home and UNC on the road.  We won the first game of the ACC tourney and played the Blue Devils to the final seconds in the next one.  We had the resume for a 9 or 10 seed, considering we dropped ugly games to St. Louis (road) and Harvard (home, in front of me).  The season proved that Boston College has the legs to either run into the Final Four or drop in the first round – in other words, they’re the perfect 9 or 10.  Just high enough not to be a Cinderalla, but just low enough to fly under the radar until the Sweet Sixteen.

Then the 7 seed happened.  I learned about it on a basement computer in the green room of my comedy theatre.  “Wow,” I said aloud.  “I think that’s a little generous.”  That right there is a rarity in sports.  We’re so used to disappointment, so used to our teams being disrespected, that when something so fun and unexpected happens, we have no idea what to think.  How often in the history of your own sports fandom have you had a “we don’t deserve such good news” moment?  You’ll probably think about thirty different “we got hosed” moments trying to come up with one.

So between now and Friday’s game against USC, I’m going to do my best to appreciate the sports equivalent of finding a $20 bill on the street.  Go Eagles, YOUR tournament 7 seed!

February 23, 2009

[Business Day One] Marching Towards March

Filed under: Business Day One,NCAA — Tags: , , , , — Serpico @ 10:46 am

“BC didn’t look too good this weekend,” said a BU-alum co-worker.

“Yeah,” I replied, “but we’ll make the Dance.”

Boston College beat Duke at home and UNC on the road this season.  A couple of thrilling games against top competition.  As part of any NCAA Tournament portfolio, they’d be those “well, now we have to let you in” type games that guarantee an 8 seed.  But in this baffling season in which the ACC beats up on each other more than usual, nothing is certain.  After beating UNC, my beloved Eagles returned home and got clobbered by Harvard, a team with slightly more athletic talent than my high school’s.  I was there at Conte Forum when it went down.  If you dig up the ESPN highlights (I won’t, since it hurts), you’ll be able to see me in the background with my head in my hands and my girlfriend being a good soldier and trying to make me feel better.

The road to March Madness reminds me a lot of the road to the Oscars.  Way too many people using way too much specious reasoning to determine the future.  “Mickey Rourke won some support when he thanked his dogs during the Golden Globes, so that puts him in a great position.”  “Texas Tech is only at .500, but with their strength of schedule being what it is, maybe it’s enough to get some looks.”  Pundits of all types are weigh in, using the same information in different ways.  Interesting things happen when “news”casters need to fill two hours on one subject.

Like the Oscars, when the Tournament actually happens it is cause for a massive party, drinking games and friendly wagers.  But darn if the trip there is agony.  I’m not here to say that going to daily RPI trackers or Perez Hilton for gossip is wrong, but I am here to say that anticipation, when too bloated, invariably leads to letdown.  People love setting themselves up for disappointment.  I’m sure that some of you who braved the seven hours worth of the Academy Awards spent a lot of it wondering why your Lead Pipe Locks didn’t win their respective awards after you spent days in advance researching their roles and figuring out who actually is in the Academy.  I just trust you don’t make the same mistake with the NCAAs.

April 24, 2008

Nerds on Sports March Madness – Addendum

Filed under: Nerd Tournaments — Tags: , , — Peiser @ 5:49 pm

As will happen on the internet from time to time (see, e.g., Rule 34), things have a way of just… being out there, simply waiting to be found. Seems our title match has in fact been posted on YouTube!

Now, I know what you’re thinking: we obviously rigged the tournament just to show you this “stellar” piece of “film-making” that was “crafted” by “talented” people. But you would be wrong! Everything’s on the up-and-up here at NoS. This simply serves to prove three important points.

  1. We are made of awesome magic, especially Perich.
  2. All this has happened before, and will happen again.
  3. And, of course, everybody knows that Batman totally rules, and Luke’s a sissy.

April 15, 2008

The Nerds On Sports March Madness Grand Champion

Filed under: Nerd Tournaments — Tags: , , — Perich @ 1:07 pm

You’ve helped us slug through thirty-two impressive contenders, the best warriors that nerds have to offer. Now it’s down to the final two: BATMAN vs. LUKE SKYWALKER.

First Period

Luke SkywalkerBatman flung a handful of boomerangs, flash grenades and other sharp, distracting implements at Skywalker’s head. Skywalker parried them with his lightsaber and leapt across the court. He swung wildly, but Batman tumbled over his swings and rolled up behind him to kick him in the back.

Skywalker flung Batman against a stanchion with a Force push, then charged him with his saber flurrying. Pinned against the far wall, Batman narrowly avoided decapitation, but the tip of the laser sword shredded his armor from hip to shoulder.

The Dark Knight flipped his cape around to distract the Jedi and vanish. But Skywalker’s attunement with the Force meant that Batman’s stealth wouldn’t avail him. He pretended not to notice Batman hiding in the rafters – until he lashed out suddenly, severing a support pillar with his lightsaber, and knocking Batman off his perch.

Second Period

The Caped Crusader and the Jedi Knight circled each other warily.

This is what the arena looks like right before the home team starting 5 are announced“This is senseless,” Skywalker told him in calm tones. “You can’t possibly defeat me. Surrender now and save yourself the trouble.”

Batman’s response: flinging a bolo with one hand and a tear gas pellet with the other. Skywalker shredded the bolo, but the gas cloud enveloped him in thick white smoke. Batman lingered cautiously outside the cloud, his cape held over his face.

When Skywalker vaulted out of the cloud feet first, kicking Batman in the head, the Dark Knight was caught completely off guard. He sprawled backwards in a heap, fighting to clear his head. Skywalker watched him struggle, standing in the same spot Batman had stood seconds ago.

“Your thoughts betray you,” Skywalker said. “I feel the good in you, the conflict. I know that underneath that mask you’re a decent man.”

Palming the remote in his hand, Batman rolled onto his side. “No, I’m not.”

The micro-mine, lying in the spot where Batman had just been kicked from, beeped between Skywalker’s feet.

“Oh, sh–”

Winner and Grand Champion: BATMAN

BatmanThanks to the over 300 people who cast votes in this year’s tournament. We saw quite a few surprises and some epic matches thanks to your participation. Be sure to tune in for next year’s March Madness tournament, where a whole new roster of nerd icons will duke it out for that prestigious title – the Nerds on Sports March Madness Grand Champion.

April 8, 2008

Nerds on Sports March Madness – The Championship Game

Filed under: Nerd Tournaments — Tags: — Perich @ 8:22 am

Over two hundred and fifty votes cast. A month of matches. Upsets, blowouts and victories by the slimmest of margins. All of it’s been leading to this moment: the Nerds on Sports March Madness Championship Game.

But first – the Final Four recap.

Hyrule Conference Championship

BatmanBatman and Morpheus traded blows in a rainswept alley. Batman did his best to elude the vastly stronger and faster terrorist, tossing gadgets and distractions to keep Morpheus at bay.

Morpheus tapped his Bluetooth earpiece to dial up Tank in the real world. “Tank,” he said. “I need a Mantis style Kung Fu download.”

“Tank?” he repeated. “Tank, come in.”

Batman tapped a blinking device on his belt. “Cellular shielding,” he growled.

“Oh, shi-” Morpheus said.

Your Hyrule Conference Champion: BATMAN

Paragon City Conference Championship

Luke SkywalkerApparently, adamantium can parry lightsabers. Who knew? Wolverine and Luke Skywalker went toe to toe for several rounds. The mutant berserker almost forced a Dark Side relapse on Luke with the ferocity of his attacks.

Luke had the edge on defense, but Wolverine wasn’t tiring. And Skywalker hadn’t been able to sever a single limb of the Canuck’s in all this time, thanks to his adamantium bones. Finally, in a sudden burst of inspiration, Luke used the Force to push Wolverine off the narrow platform on which they fought.

“RING OUT,” boomed a loud voice.

“What?” Wolverine yelled. “Are you frickin’ kidding me? Son of a …”

Your Paragon City Conference Champion: LUKE SKYWALKER

The Final Match

Your votes have been counted and your champions have been tested. But now it’s time to see who truly is the Nerds on Sports Champion – Batman or Luke Skywalker.

Cast your vote before midnight on April 14th. Results will be announced one week from today.

April 1, 2008

Nerds on Sports March Madness – Final Four!

You think UNC’s got ups? You think UCLA’s got the defense? Just wait until you see the Nerds on Sports March Madness tournament!

T-1000 vs. Batman

BatmanWhat the T-1000 boasted in strength and adaptability, it lost in speed. The Caped Crusader leapt from rooftop to rooftop to avoid his pursuer. Analyzing a sample of liquid metal with his Batcave computer, he figured out the T-1000’s weakness quicker than Linda Hamilton did, and disabled it with a liquid nitrogen spray.

Winner: BATMAN.

Morpheus vs. Captain James T. Kirk

Captain KirkThe two captains faced off in a garbage-strewn subway. Morpheus’ kung fu was strong, but Kirk kept luring him into situations where he couldn’t unleash his full power (narrow hallways, subway turnstiles, etc). Kirk lost some headway in the early rounds, however, by mistaking the superhumanly strong Morpheus for a robot. “What is love?” he bellowed, trying to trick his opponent’s programming. “What … is the meaning … of life?”

MorpheusBattered and bloodied, Kirk finally tricked Morpheus into severing a phone junction box with a vicious roundhouse kick, cutting off his means of escape. He then wrapped Morpheus up in a headlock and threw him into the path of a train. But Morpheus shocked the crowd by backflipping off the opposite wall just before the train arrived and landing on Kirk’s head with a double knee strike. This was one for the record books – the closest match the Tournament has seen so far.

Winner: MORPHEUS.

Wolverine vs. Optimus Prime

Optimus PrimeThis one went into triple overtime with no clear leader. Optimus Prime kept stepping on Wolverine, but the feisty Canuck couldn’t be kept down. Meanwhile, Wolverine had the cutting power but not the muscle mass to take down a robot ten times his height – despite having no problem with Sentinel robots of similar size.

WolverineFinally, a stroke of good fortune exposed the Autobot Matrix of Leadership to Wolverine’s claws. Optimus fought the remainder of the third overtime period with one hand protecting his chest cavity, giving Wolverine an advantage. As Optimus fell, the Matrix bounced out of his chest and landed in the hands of Judd Nelson.

Winner: WOLVERINE

Luke Skywalker vs. Legolas

Luke SkywalkerA lot of commentators expected this one to go longer than it did. Legolas had some clear advantages in agility and precision, and a thousand years of experience over his young and headstrong Jedi opponent. However, lightsabers can still deflect arrows, whereas the reverse is never true.

Winner: LUKE SKYWALKER

Final Four

This week brings us to the conference championship games, which will determine who faces off in the finals next week. We’ve seen some upsets and some blowouts, but I think we can all agree that these competitors deserve to be here.

Hyrule Conference Championship: Batman vs. Morpheus

Paragon City Conference Championship: Wolverine vs. Luke Skywalker

Log on to our survey to vote for your favorite. We had several matches in this last round come down to just a few votes. Don’t let your favorite get knocked out because you didn’t vote for him!

Voting ends midnight on Sunday, April 6th. Good luck, and see you in the finals!

March 25, 2008

March Madness – Nerds on Sports – Elite Eight

Filed under: Nerd Tournaments — Tags: , , , — Perich @ 8:39 am

The NCAA bracket has excited exactly no one, with top seeds like UNC, Tennessee and Kansas cruising on through. But the Elite Eight at Nerds on Sports continues to surprise!

Blowouts

BatmanGiven past success in defeating Superman, it shocked no one that Batman wiped the floor with Superman’s low-rent Jersey cousin, Mr. Incredible. A complicated series of super-gadgets and martial arts nerve strikes brought the invulnerable bruiser low, though the two superheroes parted as friends. The Operative looked awfully bad-ass, quoting obscure philosophers and wielding a totally cool katana, until Optimus Prime ran him over. Nine or ten times.

Meanwhile, fans were treated to the longest first half of the tournament so far, as Rick Deckard insisted on putting Luke Skywalker through the tedious process of the Voight-Kampff test. Determining with six minutes left in the game that Skywalker was not, in fact, a robot, Deckard seemed at a loss and quickly fell to Skywalker’s lightsaber. “Don’t get cocky, kid,” he warned after the game.

Squeakers

Legolas and Harry Potter traded the lead several times before Legolas slammed one home before the buzzer. Mark Schlabach at ESPN.com had said that Potter’s “keys to the game” included not brooding for hours over consequential choices, advice the boy wizard apparently failed to take. Morpheus and Buffy Summers had an epic kung-fu duel on rain-swept rooftops that went into quintuple-overtime. The terrorist mastermind finally capitalized on the fact that it wasn’t actually air he was breathing and pulled out a win in the end. Indiana Jones lasted far longer against Wolverine than any of the pundits anticipated, but eventually succumbed.

Upsets

I have extensive files.Fan favorite Jack Bauer broke a lot of hearts – and a lot of brackets – over the weekend, losing to the T-1000. Under the mistaken belief that the shapeshifting robot could turn itself into a bomb, Bauer wasted valuable clock time asking where the bomb was and then trying to defuse it. The T-1000 took on the appearance of Chloe, a trusted coworker of agent Bauer, to close in for the final blow.

And all the magical scimitars and panther miniatures in the world couldn’t give Drizz’t Do’urden a win over Captain James T. Kirk. Kirk somehow ended up shirtless and glazed with oil, and he seemed by far the less graceful of the two, but he avoided the dark elf’s whirling blades and beat him with trickery and secular humanist know-how.

The Elite Eight

The final match approaches! Be sure to cast your vote in each of these match-ups!

Hyrule Conference

T-1000 vs. Batman
Morpheus vs. Captain James T. Kirk

Paragon City Conference

Wolverine vs. Optimus Prime
Luke Skywalker vs. Legolas

Voting ends Sunday at Midnight, as usual. Your votes make the difference!

(Remember, you vote by taking this survey, not by leaving comments)

March 18, 2008

March Madness – Nerds on Sports – The Sweet Sixteen

VTech coach Seth Greenberg may be griping about this year’s NCAA men’s basketball bracket – but nobody could complain about the Nerds on Sports Tournament! It’s had its share of triumphs and surprises already, and it’s only a week old!

Blowouts
Luke SkywalkerIn the Paragon City Conference, Wolverine absolutely demolished Bowser, controlling the clock from the start of play and refusing to let up until the buzzer sounded. Coach Koopa suggested Bowser’s all-mushroom regimen in the month before the tournament may not have been a good move. Earlier that day, Jedi Knight Luke Skywalker wiped the floor with commando Solid Snake. Colonel Roy Campbell complained to reporters that Snake should have been higher seeded, to avoid such a disastrous first-round washout. He ended his press conference by shouting, “SNAAAAKE” into the microphone. Also, Curt Schilling injured his shoulder in his 32-6 loss to Harry Potter, a first-year rookie out of Hogwarts Academy.

The Hyrule Conference was more closely matched, the only blowout coming when Batman outwitted legendary swordsman Li Mu Bai. The Caped Crusader’s proficiency with dozens of martial styles overwhelmed Li Mu Bai’s mastery of only one. Neither of the two combatants had any words for the press following the game.

Squeakers
Jack BauerThe Hyrule Conference, however, went down to the wire on far more showings. The T-1000 nearly suffered a humiliating upset against Inigo Montoya, only winning in the 4th quarter when the quixotic Spaniard began to tire. Paul Atredies and Captain James T. Kirk went blow for blow in a truly memorable game. Captain Kirk’s experience in unseating alien gods proved handy in defeating the God Emperor, however, and Muad’Dib fell in the end. And in a match that we refuse to call the “Ultimate Jack-Off,” Jack Bauer narrowly beat Captain Jack Sparrow. Bauer credited his victory to the fact that his sidearm, a Sig Sauer P220, carries more than one cartridge in its magazine and does not take 30 seconds to reload.

Upsets
Rick DeckardOnce again we return to the Paragon City conference, and man is your office pool in trouble! Dr. Indiana Jones turned over the Alien Queen, luring her into a complex network of traps that hinged on obscure Aramaic texts. The Alien Queen, not knowing Aramaic, fell to its death. Many pundits expected Warmech to wipe the floor with harried cop Rick Deckard, given Warmech’s titanium armor and nuclear payload. But these experts forgot that Rick Deckard only has one item on his resume for the last fifteen years and that’s murdering robots.

Back in Hyrule: bulletproof plating didn’t help Master Chief either – he got staked in the chest and kicked in the head by Buffy Summers. After blowing the Marine up with one of his own plasma grenades, Buffy said something that was probably meant to be clever but just came off wordy and weird.

Round Two – The Sweet Sixteen

Hyrule Conference

Jack Bauer vs. T-1000

Batman vs. Mr. Incredible

Buffy Summers vs. Morpheus

Captain James T. Kirk vs. Drizz’t Do’urden

Paragon City Conference

Indiana Jones vs. Wolverine

Optimus Prime vs. The Operative

Rick Deckard vs. Luke Skywalker

Legolas vs. Harry Potter

Your Vote Counts!

Voting ends on midnight Sunday, March 23rd. Choose your side and stay tuned for the results!

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