Posted on: August 14, 2012 2:55 pm

Tar Heels Tarred?

Well, the NCAA has another chance to play it's hypocritical games- this time though with one of the more "respected" public universities in the country- UNC Chapel Hill.

It appears that the school has been making up fake classes for a decade so that the hoops and fb athletes can get passing grades without the work.

Man, all sorts of humorous and/or sad ways to go with this.

1. Gee, did Vince Carter take any of these classes when he graduated in the early 2000's?!

2. How many wins will the NCAA take away from the Tar Heels? Gee, if this keeps up. nobody will have any wins. For example, Miami-UNC and UNC- Florida St. I guess those games weren't even played. It's like it was a scoreless tie!

3. What's worse? Having a convicted felon being your sole source of testimony that a player got a free house for his mom or there has been a decade long system of academic fraud going on in a university? We already know that paying players is worse in the NCAA's eyes than covering up pedophilia for a decade; so maybe I shouldn't go there.

4. The NCAA can once again re-affirm how great Duke by bashing the Heels. After all, Duke remains unrepentent and unpunished after the lacrosse scandal.

5. I'm hoping the NCAA will not strip UNC of anything. I'm sure they will though. Yea, like the fans aren't going to remember those wins b/c they are stricken from the record. NOTHING satisfies like the on-field triumph. That can't be undone. It's sort of like the Belarus woman who was stripped of her gold medal. The Chinese woman who got bronze and the NZ woman who won gold then never got the adulation of the crowd and hearing the anthem played. Get over these punishments. They're stupid and silly.

6. No, fine the #!0?&!! out of UNC. Make PSU $60-70 mil fine seems like chump change. That will get UNC's attention.

And then finally, we can have the schools properly rebel against the NCAA and leave their hypocritical dictatorship.

That would be great for everybody. 
Posted on: July 11, 2012 3:48 pm

The Created Oscar Pistorius Controversy

Matt Norlander is at it on this site, trying to stir up debate with his over the top take on double amputee Oscar Pistorius inclusion by RSA on the 400M event as part of RSA's T&F team in London. I personally like Gregg Doyel's take on this much better.

It far more embodies what I think. I was actually in the process of expressing Doyel's POV after reading Norlander's article, but then I ran across Doyel's piece of work.

With that being said, I'll drop that part of the opinion except to add one minor thing.

With all of the hub-bub about physically altered athletes getting an unfair advantage through PED's (or now even genetics perhaps); is this not merely a physical alteration via surgery or birth?

There's likely a reason that East Africans to well at distances and West Africans/Caribbean blacks do well at sprints- their genetic makeup gives them advantages versus others when they train.

Big deal you say. Except, I liken Pistorius to someone using the latest golf equipment. Pros are hitting the ball further in their 50's than they did in their 20's b/c of the equipment. It makes courses obsolete.

As Doyel implied, the technology will improve. That makes T&F obsolete unless your body ends up getting physically altered. Just sayin.

Now, back to why I was motivated to write.

The Norlander article is an incredible piece of slanted journalism written by someone who is not an expert in the track and field. I'm no expert either, but I wonder how much Norlander follows the sport. 

There are several things which were left out (either intentionally or unintentionally) that really, really, color this story and make it into something that it should not be.

1. Improving your time by a quarter of a second is a significant thing in this event. That's a little more than 2 meters. While I'm not able to easily access Olympic results with times, I can tell you that a quarter of a second difference is typically worth 2-3-4 places in the finals results. That's pretty significant. OP's time of 45.52 makes him the 63rd fastest in the world in this event. However, 23 of those are Americans. Only 3 go. That makes him 43rd.

Drop the time to the "A" standard, and now OP is 39th and 28th. Drop it to his PB of 45.07 and he is now 21st and 13th. Drop another quarter of a second, and OP is in the Olympic Final based upon the times this year so far.

2. This whole thing about Pistorius being "let in" to the Olympics is misleading. Blame RSA for their policies, not the IAAF. Anybody who has met the "A" standard since 5/1/11 (not 5/1/12) is automatically eligible to compete in the games, provided they qualify for their country's team.

RSA made their standards much stricter than the IAAF. Hence, the "controversy" about Pistorius being selected. OP met the "A" standard twice in the allotted period. If this had been the U.S. trials under similar circumstances, Pistorius would have been named to the team, having finished 2nd in his country's trials (not 1st as the article implies), and having met the "A" standard, even though he didn't do that at the meet. Look at the men's HJ in the U.S. trials, if you have a problem here.

OP was already named on the 4x400 team anyway. The naming of him to the RSA team did not cost another countryman a spot for the 400M anyway.

Of course RSA is going to defend OP- just like they did Castor Semenya. Medals and eyeballs, possibly. Medals and eyeballs.

3. The reason that other athletes aren't complaining is two-fold. First is the dreaded political correctness crap. Second is that OP does not pose medal threat right now. That could change, read on later. Think about it. How many athletes slam other athletes or insinuate cheating unless the target is actually winning?!

4. Let's assume the IAAF did send out a warning memo to RSA about Pistorius inclusion, even after it was deemed that he had no competitive advantage. Well, first of all remember, a court, not the IAAF made that determination. So, IAAF has to abide whether they like it or not. Why would the IAAF do this? Because they realize the integrity of the competition is at stake.

5.  Pistorius poses more of a medal threat than Norlander lets on. Go back to my point #1 above first of all. Next, RSA was named one of the top 16 teams in the world for the 4x400, so he's already in the semis there. (Somehow though, there are 19 other countries that have run faster times this year.)

Here's the real issue though. Look at OP's times since 5/25 of this year at international/qualifying meets

5/25- 47.66
5/27- 46.35
6/2- 46.86
6/9- 46.14
6/29- 45.52

Anybody notice a dramatic trend here? In a little more than a month, OP has taken over 2 seconds of his time in 35 days. I know that everybody is rounding into shape for the Olympics, but there are 24 faster times posted than his SB before 5/25. He is rapidly moving up the ladder regardless of how you look at it. No wonder RSA named him to the team.

6. Norlander makes the case that OP belongs on the track and it is compassionate to do. Doyel has already argued for my point, so read his article.


a. Don't blame the IAAF for this hoopla.
b. Blame the courts for allowing this and blame RSA for their qualifying policies which drew attention to this begin with.

This is a story......

but not for the reasons that Norlander leads with.

Doyel has articulated that already.
Posted on: May 31, 2012 4:35 am

Brodeur: All-time Great but Overrated Since 2003

One of the great things about this site is that you can find some good comedy on it from time to time. Of course this occurs when people post without thinking much beforehand about it and make fools out of themselves. We have all been guilty of this from time to time- including myself.

Today though, I will focus on the efforts of fellow member Beer is Good 77, who came up with an articulate, well thought out, rebuttal to a post I gave on the Stanley Cup Final Preview thread.

I was actually more complimentary of Martin Brodeur than the author of the blog was. You can see my comment here.

Cerveza I think took umbrage with my comment that I admitted that Brodeur hasn't accomplished squat since Nieds and Stevens left him. I'll let you decide for yourself, but look at his cogent well thought out rebuttal entitled "What Did You Say Toolbox?" here. It's always nice to know that you rate a special title from the writer! It's actually three entries after my aforementioned comment.

Now regarding my statement of accomplishing squat. I STAND BY IT.

Now, I will also say (I was silent in my original post), that Brodeur is clearly one of the ATG's, and is a first ballot HOFer. He's certainly one of the top 5 G's of the last 30 years (I have him at #4, but that is admittedly a matter of taste) and is even the second best G to come from Quebec during that era- which has produced some great G's to say the least.

For me accomplishment is defined by the post-season. You can have excellence in the regular season, but the post-season is where it's at. I think most of us, and most athletes in team sports, would think the same thing.

Cerveza brings up multiple 40 win seasons, shutouts, and two Vezina Trophies. I say "regular season". That's what all of these awards are for.

I can say that two Vezinas is noteworthy, b/c it's decided by the GM's and not the press. However, they typically have an East Coast bias b/c that award has only been given 4 times in the last 30 years to a G from the West even though the statistically decided Jennings has been won 11 times in the same period by the West (not counting STL winning this year).

Nieds and Stevens started with the Brodeur Devils in 1993-94. Nieds left after the 2004 playoffs and Stevens left before the 2004 playoffs started. I'm using 2003 as the pre-post cutoff, primarily b/c of the post-season impact (or lack thereof) by Stevens. The #'s below change a bit if the cutoff is a year later, but my conclusions (and I suspect those of others) don't change.

With the Big Two: 2.18 GAA, .912 Save Pct
(38777 minutes, 15950 shots, 1409 goals)
Post the Big Two: 2.27 GAA, .922 Save Pct
(27681 minutes, 12408 shots, 1048 goals)

Not too much of a dropoff here- if any at all. I pay attention to the post-season though for accomplishment (as opposed to excellence).

With the Big Two: 1.83 GAA, .922 Save Pct
(8670 minutes, 3376 shots, 264 goals)
Post the Big Two: 2.57 GAA, .912 Save Pct
(2546 minutes, 1238 shots, 109 goals)

Being with Nieds and Stevens is what has made Brodeur one of the true all-time greats. However, note the obvious dropoff in efficiency after they left.

Let's see if that translates into post-season failure.

With the Big Two: 18 Wins, 6 Losses, THREE Stanley Cups
Post the Big Two: 2 Wins, 6 Losses, ZERO Stanley Cups

They advanced to the second round twice. Period.

Furthermore, NJ seeds in the six "Post" years were #6, #3, #2, #4, #3, #2. They should have won SEVEN series if they played to their seed. Instead they won TWO including dropping home ice the last four times before this year.

This is hardly the stuff of legends I'm afraid. Evgeny Nabokov has won seven series over the same time period; Dwayne Roloson five. Antti Niemi and Cam Ward have won as many as Marty before this year.

Then there is the inconvenient truth of his ineffectiveness in the Olympics in 2006 and 2010. In 2002, he was lights out as he replaced Cujo and played a key role in bringing Canada the gold. 2006? Seventh place in Turin. 2010? Knocked out of the starting job after the US blitzed him in the round robin. Luongo took Brodeur's place (much like Brodeur took Cujo's place) and led Canada to the gold.

If you want to trumpet regular season laurels as a sign of greatness go ahead. I'm not buying. Two post season series wins in a seven season span is pretty average. A random draw should get any team 1.87 series wins over the same period.

Now, this year, Marty is looking better than he has since the Big Two left.

But I already acknowledged that before this blog.

In the meantime, I guess I'll just has to be satisfied with being a know nothing LA fan.

Category: NHL
Posted on: March 29, 2012 1:11 am

Every Goal Counts.........

As usual, the NHL playoff race is likely going to go down to the last weekend of the season, but in the West, it's particularly crazy- specifically in the Pacific Division.

4 teams have had the division lead in the last week. Of AVS, CAL, DAL, LA, PHX, and SJ, only 3 will see the post-season. Either DAL, LA, PHX, or SJ will be the 3 seed. Two other teams will most likely be 7 and 8.

To the title of the post. The first tiebreaker after total points is Regulation/Overtime Wins (ROW).

DAL will likely win the tiebreaker there with any of the other teams as they 3 up (35 v 32) their nearest competition.

The second tiebreaker is head to head points vs other teams. Too many permutations there, but LA does have head to head advantage against all of the other teams except AVS. They have completed play against all of these EXCEPT SJ.

That's where the third tiebreaker comes in- overall goal differential for the season. LA has 32 ROW and SJ has 31 ROW. LA has 5 points so far this year against SJ and SJ has 4 against LA. However, the two teams close out the season with a home and home (LA/SJ).

Last night the Kings got an empty net goal, putting them at +13. Last night, the Sharks were assessed a goal against when Dan Boyle was ruled to have intentionally knocked the net off the stanchions in the closing seconds of an empty net opportunity. That made the score 3-1 and not 2-1 and now SJ is +12, not +13. I think the call was pretty chintzy myself.

What if this was the difference between one of these two clubs making the post-season?

That doesn't even get to the Kings-Columbus game on Feb 1.
Posted on: March 23, 2012 11:43 am

Norris and Great Defensemen

Well, this should get everybody upset at me I reckon.

In terms of 11 years, Lidstrom is the man. If we are talking 9 yrs, Orr is the man. Consistency...... consistency. Orr was injured for the last two years.

Lidstrom really did not get the top pairing until Konstantinov went down after the 1997 Cup. He and Fetisov were the Men on the blue line in Hockeytown until then. Lidstrom took full advantage of the opportunity presented to him AFTER that tragedy.

I don't like comparing eras either, but you can make a great case the Bourque was a better d-man even for his era. He had a better 20 year career, but Lidstrom had a better prime. I say that b/c when you look at the D partners that Lidstrom had, it was FAR superior to anything Bourque had to work with. I've seen both play probably dozen times up close on the glass. I have a preference for Bourque b/c of what he did away from the puck- including communicating with his teammates while play was going on; but I totally realize that these decisions are personal choices. Tough to go wrong with either frankly.

In terms of scoring, the GPG during Orr's prime and Lidstrom's prime are virtually identical. So, I don't buy the scoring (dead puck) argument for Lidstrom.

To me, Orr is the best to ever play the game (including Gretzky, Lemieux, and Howe), even with his so-called defensive deficiencies. He literally changed the way the game was played and how it is played today. When Orr came into the league, forwards scored 90% of the goals, now they score 85%. How d-men even come close to the scoring title much less win them like Orr did?

In terms of Norris voting for this year, SensArmy, I see your point. Since the hockey writers only get to vote for (I believe) 5 people, I get what you're driving at. I still might put Yandle in the top 5, but I can be on board with you.

redwings1969: So, did Lidstrom deserve the Norris based on his work for 2010/11?   
Category: NHL
Posted on: November 23, 2011 4:44 pm
Edited on: December 5, 2011 12:47 pm

The FIERCEST Rivalry in CFB DI-A

Forget about those other rivalries you've heard about. The FIERCEST rivalry is here...........

Category: NCAAF
Posted on: November 17, 2011 4:14 pm

Thanks for nothing, Bud Lite....

So, the (dis)Astros will be moving to the AL in 2013 as Bud Lite blackmailed outgoing owner Drayton McLane to the tune of $30 mil for him to sell the franchise. The price was cut by $65 million to $615, but MLB will only make up $35 mil of the difference.

Having grown up in Houston and HAVING FOLLOWED THE FRANCHISE SINCE THEY CAME INTO THE LEAGUE and HAVING GONE TO GAMES AT COLT STADIUM, I have to express my feelings to Bud.

**** you

Now the Astros and their fans have even more travel than what they had before with 3 of the rivals in the Pacific Time Zone. Nothing like staying up late trying to watch the worst team in BB before you go to work the next day.

Oh, the Astros, who have the worst farm system in MLB, thanks to Ed Wade, now have to come up with another hitter for the DH.

Arizona or Colorado made more sense. They haven't been in NL as long and they are closer to their division rivals. At least then the Astros could have gone to the NLW, which is where they were from 1969-1993.

Nope, this is a straight extortion play by Bud. Oh, Bud, why not the Brewers moving over, back into the AL where they originally were? Nothing like eliminating a lot of divisional rivalries going back over 50 years for the sake of a buck.

I no longer live in Houston; but this is not the club I grew up with. I may no longer support them.

Bud, I will rejoice when your Reign of Terror ends over MLB.

Makes me wish it was 1994 again.
Posted on: October 1, 2011 1:28 am
Edited on: October 2, 2011 2:42 am

Aggieland, I'm calling you out!

Before TAMU fans go ballistic at the title; a couple of disclosures.

1. I grew up in Texas and the SWC. I have no dogs in any of these conference fights except that I want to see Texas HS football get its due. Virtually any school there or in Oklahoma will satsfy that.
2. I typically root for the "have not" in Horn-Aggie rivalry, unless there is a shot at a National Championship (1975, 2005, 2009).

My purpose here is to get some feedback from informed (not Strawberry Kool-Aid drinking) Aggies who "connect the dots" because the dots do not connect from my POV.

Here are my claims against TAMU.

A. They knew all along they wanted to bolt for the SEC in 2010. They had to wait a couple of years to do it though b/c they wanted to get the extra $3.3 mil of "extortion money" from the 5 have-nots of the remaining Big XII when CU and UN left the fold. At that time, they said "we're in" after flirting with the SEC.

B. TLN gave the Aggies the public cover to do this. They could claim the greed of the Longhorns at the expense of everybody else. BTW, I do agree that Horn AD DeLoss Dodds has acted like a pig at the TV dining table.

C. I don't want to hear anything about the Lone Star Shootout (yea, I'm calling it that) because you guys were the ones that put this game at risk by choosing to leave the conference.

D. You were approached by Dodds regarding co-building a network with them 3-4 years ago and you passed. UT went on and eventually developed the confidence and expertise to make a go of it. You were (and most of us also) were stunned at the amount of money that was thrown at them.

E. You voted for (as did BTW 9-10 other schools) at the formation of the Big XII conference for an unequal revenue sharing among the schools based upon performance and TV appearances. You (like the rest of the B-12 South) did not complain about this while the North was kicking the South's butt in the first 4 yrs of the league (unlike the CU and UN whining once they could not beat schools that had more than 20 Texas HS football players on their roster). So, I don't want to hear about revenue sharing as an excuse now either, especially in light of your blood squeezing actions in A.

F. You will regret this move to the SEC for a number of reasons (and I'm not spiteful here, but someone answer these things)
i. So much of your identity is wrapped in your hatred of UT. Don't think the wealthy alum don't notice this. Are you going to change the lyrics to your fight song now?! 117 yr old rivalries do not grow on trees you know. What is the band going to do on evening before the game when it was in Austin? Certainly not march down Congress Ave.
ii. You dishonor the fallen 12 and Bonfire (which still goes on as an unsanctioned event)?
iii. Like it or not, that game means more to you than it does to Texas. Texas has Oklahoma each year. You?
iv. Do you think you're going to be more competitive in the SEC than in the Big XII? When was the last time you beat an SEC school? Try 1995. Oh, you are 0-7 to five different schools since then including 5 since 2005. Nice. 
v. Have fun trying to tell parents in Texas that they are going to need an overnight trip (and maybe air travel) anytime they want to see their son play an away game. That should help recruiting.

G. The only I can see you guys doing this is the money. BTW, I'm not so sure the money will be that good. I show the current TV deals reaping LESS with the SEC (with a 14 team league) than what you'd get now under the Big XII deal. Furthermore, you're going to have to pay travel cost to those outposts like Columbia, Gainesville, and Lexington for SEVENTEEN other sports.

I have np if you say it is strictly for the money. But I don't see what you're getting in the SEC that you didn't already have (and/or didn't already know about already) in the Big XII.

I await some informed responses here b/c I can't get this to add up.
Category: NCAAF
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