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May 12, 2014

Personalized NFL Gear for the Just Drafted

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

Have you ever wondered how they already have a personalized jersey waiting for the first round picks as they come to the stage only moments after being selected. Is there a speed stitcher on site? Does they NFL have jerseys made for each player for each team just in case? Well, the New York Times has the answers in a story last week.

Jerseys on a rack

A whole rack of blank jerseys just waiting for picks to be made.

Workers from Stahls’, a company that specializes in personalizing sports gearthat is hired by Nike, then jump into action. In advance, they made nameplates for each of the 30 prospects at Radio City in the color scheme that matches each of the 32 teams’ jerseys, or 960 nameplates in all.

When the Chicago Bears make their pick, for example, a bag with nameplates for each player is retrieved. The draft pick’s nameplate is taken out of a clear bag and given to another person who has put a Bears jersey on a thermal transfer press. The cover on the press is lowered tight on the jersey and held for five seconds at 350 degrees Fahrenheit to remove any moisture or wrinkles.

The cover is then lifted and a nameplate made of polyester Perma-Twill is positioned above the number on the back and is covered with a Teflon sheet to protect the rest of the jersey. The cover is held closed for another 20 seconds so the adhesive on the back of the nameplate can stick to the jersey. After the cover is lifted, a plastic strip is peeled off the nameplate.

In all, it takes about two minutes to personalize each jersey, which is then folded and handed to a selected fan of that team, who carries it on stage to the commissioner.

Eddie Lacy Card with Jersey

Is this really necessary? It’s like adding terrible wallpaper to a trading card.

If you read the whole article, you’ll notice a couple of things:

Later, Stahls’ will personalize a second jersey that is given to a trading card company that will cut it into little pieces and include them in a set of commemorative cards.

and

When a player is chosen, they check a list to find his cap size, and then pull that cap out the boxes of hats set aside for his new team.

Once the player returns from meeting the commissioner, his cap is taken away and later chopped into small pieces by the collectible card company.

Are there people out there that really want a tiny chopped up piece of a hat or shirt? How do they feel about socks, because I have a few that I’m tossing soon.

May 8, 2014

NFL Draft Day

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

Happy NFL Draft Day! Will this be your first pick?

In other NFL news, Wes Welker was someone who didn’t take my Kentucky Derby advice and was able to come out a big winner. Not only was he dressed like a pimp, but he won and walked out with a stack of hundreds and handed a few out to random fans on the way to the exit.

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 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.

September 28, 2009

[Business Day One] Prepare for Idle Chatter

Team, here’s a quick update of the points that may be discussed in your office today. So read these and enjoy your new state of well-informedness.

-Jets QB Mark Sanchez is now sporting a creepy pencil-thin mustache.

-49ers RB Frank Gore hurt himself on his first play of the game, enraging fantasy owners everywhere.

-Brett Favre continues to just go out there and have fun… as he likes to remind us at every opportunity.

-The Titans are now 0-3, which was unexpected.

-There’s a radio commercial that has a chorus singing about Coors Light over the Monday Night Football theme. It’s hilarious.

-The Yankees have clinched the AL East and homefield advantage through the playoffs. Helpful.

-Tom Brady and the Patriots had a good outing against the well-educated Matt Ryan and the Falcons, calming the fans of New England.

-Tiger Woods just won ten million dollars.

September 21, 2009

[Business Day One] The Dawning Of The Age of Sanch-quarius

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , , , — Serpico @ 1:35 pm

Times are changing in Boston.  We’ve now gotten new train maps (finally), and we’ve finally taken care of that holier-than-thou football attitude.

The Patriots are mortal once more, for the first time since Drew Bledsoe lumbered around in the pocket.  I’m not going to waste my time talking about why (since you all know why – major surgeries, hole in the middle of the defense, slot receiver injuries), but I will take a moment to note something that some fans forget about.

Fans grow weary of champions.  They’d rather watch a team rise (the Jets) or a team fall (the Patriots) than a dynasty.  Dynasties are boring, and only entertain 1/30th of the fans.

Whether or not the Pats continue to stay down, I am certain that talk of their presumed decline will be far richer than the thin broth that the media woould give them after a victory.

September 14, 2009

[Business Day One] 808s and Heartbreak

Oh Kanye.  You’ve gotten so good at embarrassing white folks on stage.  And I’m so glad you did it again this week, to ceremonially kick off the football season – a season where embarrassment is sure to be one of the most important topics.  And boy did the season start off strong for that.

1.  Bad News – Long snappers are like third base coaches.  You don’t ever want them in the news.  Bears LSer Patrick Mannelly decided to overstep his responsibilities in humiliating fashion by calling a direct snap to the fullback on 4th-and-long in Bears territory.  Perhaps he saw a hole in the Packers front (there wasn’t one) or that a twelfth man was on the field (there was almost one… but there wasn’t one).  Either way, everyone knows your name now, Patrick.  And from what I hear, Chicago isn’t a friendly town.

2.  See You In My Nightmares – The Richard Seymour trade fiasco was profoundly embarrassing, to be sure.  But not in the way one would initially think.  Richard Seymour has nothing to be embarrassed about; he was smart and avoided the media completely until everything came to rest.  The Patriots have nothing to be embarrassed about, since they weren’t going to sign him next year anyway, and they were able to get a first rounder in 2011 for him.  No, the shame here falls like an unforgiving spotlight on the Oakland Raiders.  In the wake of reports that Oakland Coach Tom Cable put a great form tackle on an assistant, we now had a story about someone refusing to show up to work in the Black Hole even though he had to.  There was rampant speculation that Seymour didn’t want to head to the Raiders because the place was a toxic environment.  Media pundits took their obligatory shots at owner (and ageless horror) Al Davis for paying out the nose for a past-his-prime defensive end for a team with no playoff hopes.  I’ve listened to at least three different radio sports duos talk about how wretched it must be to be a fan of the Raiders.  That right there is embarrassment.

3.  Coldest Winter– My boss is beating me by a solid 100 points in Fantasy Football this week, thanks to Drew Brees (his QB) throwing for six touchdowns, the Philly Defense (his D) destroying Carolina, and Donovan McNabb (my QB) cracking a rib.  I’ve never seen a pounding like this in fantasy.  This is savage.  My co-workers offered me condolences, and they were serious.  There’s nothing worse in fantasy sports than to be pitied.  And this week, I am pitied.

4.  Welcome to Heartbreak– Who Dey?  The Denver Broncos.  The Cincinnati Bengals were humbled this week by the last minute and totally unexpected heroics of Brandon “He’s Still On A Roster” Stokley.  The Denver wideout caught a tip and then had the brains to run out the clock a bit before stepping into the end zone.  Hateful, Brandon.  Hateful.  Since America got such a hearty (and heartfelt) dose of the Bengals during Hard Knocks, I think the last minute loss was felt a bit more personally.  The viewing public knows (as much as you can know someone on reality TV) these guys, and they’re got to feel that thick, chunky kind of embarrassment you feel for a friend.

5.  Paranoid – Despite winning a SuperBowl, no one in New York trusts Eli Manning.  Not to helm a football team, not to mow a lawn, not to drive to Newark Airport from the Meadowlands.  Every diehard Giants fan I know tends to think he could Delhomme with very little warning.  That’s got to be a scary and unfortunate way to live.  And even though he had a decent stat line in Week 1, I do not believe Eli is ever capable of fully securing the trust of the ancient and noble Giants Season Ticket Holders.  How embarrassing for him.

May 4, 2009

[Business Day One] Now We’re That Couple

Filed under: Business Day One,Football — Tags: , , , — Serpico @ 9:25 am

Boston College’s own Ron Brace was drafted by the New England Patriots this past week. In other words, a player from my favorite team has been drafted by my girlfriend’s favorite team. We’re getting matching jerseys. So if you see us, don’t make fun. Yes, we’re that couple now, but we have a very good reason.

Thank you, and Let’s Go Eagles.

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