Tabletop Tuesday: Monopoly

No Comments

I’d like to start a weekly feature for boardgames up in this nerdy and sporty place. It’s not like anyone is reading this blog, so I can pretty much shout into the dark voids of the internet whatever I want. Let’s start this new feature this week with a game that almost everyone has played: Monopoly.

monopoly-manMonopoly is a weird game, since almost everyone has played it, we all have differing memories and opinions on the game. Now, before you go about giving me your opinion of the game, you should read the rules and realize that you played the game wrong (Was there money on free parking, or no auctions, or maybe you traded for future rent immunity – All wrong). How would you like someone judging your favorite game if they didn’t play by the rules — Football is stupid & boring, we just passed the ball back and forth until we got to the endzone untouched.

What I’m saying is that perhaps you need to look at the good parts of Monopoly. The wheeling and dealing of properties and cash between players. The game is almost completely about making the right trades and having the dice luck pay out for those trades. Hell, there’s math and statistics on the optimal strategies of the game. The thing with that being the good part of the game is that it’s also what makes the game terrible. If you’re lucky with dice, your trading skill can kill the game for you and vice versa.

In conclusion, Monopoly sucks.

[Business Day One] A Friend of Fate


Allow me to set the stage for you.  I was 4-0 in my one and only Fantasy Football league, hoping to make it five straight against a team with Tom Brady at quarterback.  We can start one quarterback, one running back, two wide receivers, one tight end, one flex player (RB, WR, or TE), one kicker and one defense.  I’ve started more or less the same line-up in these spots for all of my games this year: Phil Rivers at QB, Joseph Addai at RB, T. J. Houshmandzadeh and Santonio Holmes at WR, Antonio “Third Round was not too soon to draft him” Gates at TE, Larry Maroney (I call him Larry) at Flex, Josh Brown at Kicker and Minnesota’s Defense as, of course, my defense.  Great team, built around consistent points.

But not for Week Five.  Maroney and Addai were both out.  They were, it is important to note, my Shame I didn't have him...first two draft picks.  Losing one of your first two selections is often the kiss of death.  Losing both is what’s known in fantasy sports as the “Getting Shot in the Head, and then the Chest” of death.  My RB back-up, Chester Taylor, was on a bye week, along with his team’s (Minnesota’s) defense.  Santonio Holmes, I learned halfway through his game, was out with a sudden hamstring injury.  Favored WR back-up Santana Moss was also out.  Phil Rivers was still Phil Rivers, and was playing a Denver team that is exceedingly tough to pass against.  Oh, and I’ll save you the suspense now – Josh Brown didn’t record a single point.

 So, my starting line-up was as follows:

QB– Phil Rivers
WR– T.J. Houzy Whatzit
WR– Donte’ “Oh right, that other guy” Stallworth
TE– Antonio Gates
Flex– Antwaan “Oh right, that other guy” Randel El (waiver wire acquisition)
K– Josh Brown… so, NONE
Defense– Cardinals (waiver wire acquisition)

To call this team “patchwork” would be an insult to the fine quilt craftswomen of America.  Read More

Nerds on Sports University: LUCK

No Comments

In the last Nerds on Sports University, I gave you a very technical and involved statistic. This time, I’m going for something a little more light hearted. Today, I will tell you about the pitching stat LUCK. LUCK isn’t an acronym for anything it’s just luck.

Before I get into LUCK itself, let’s look at pitchers Expected Win-Loss [E(W) & E(L)]. We all know that Wins and Losses are very dependent on how the rest of the pitchers team and your bullpen, especially if you’ve been watching Bronson Arroyo this year (Luck -6.31). To calculate E(W) and E(L) we look at the pitchers innings pitched and runs allowed for each game and compare that to the same pitching line’s wins and losses historically. So if a pitcher went 6 innings and gave up 5 runs you would expect them to get a win 30% of the time. So the E(W) is .3 and the E(L) is .7.

To get LUCK we compare the expected numbers to the actual numbers. Taking the difference between the expected numbers and the actual numbers and adding that together (W-E(W)) + (E(L)-L) is LUCK. So a pitcher with a high LUCK is lucky and their team is helping them out. I hope you enjoy LUCK, and I will end this class with some current LUCK stats. Read More