Monthly Archives: January 2012

I’ve still never watched the Pro Bowl

I kept up my streak of 28 straight years without watching the Pro Bowl (since my birth). It’s generally a laughable affair; the players don’t care who wins, and everyone just wants to get out of there healthy. This year, Aaron Rodgers started throwing stones at his buddies, criticizing the lack of effort.

The game would certainly be more fun to watch if the players tried harder. However, I disagree with one thing Rodgers said:

I’ve always found that when you’re going that tempo, that’s when the injuries are going to happen, not if you’re going full speed. You’re more likely to get an injury standing around a pile or just going through it half-speed.

Coaches often say things like this to get players to be more physical in practice. However, Aaron Rodgers is wrong. The only serious injury I could find in Pro Bowl history was Drew Brees’s dislocated elbow in 2007. I don’t need to tell you how many serious injuries occur in “full speed” football games.

The NFL has shown an incredible lack of creativity with the Pro Bowl. It’s a crappy event that generates negative publicity for the league. There’s no shortage of ideas to fix it. Let’s hope they ignore Aaron Rodgers and develop a totally different event.

The Curse of the M’s

Sports (especially baseball) has a number of well known curses. The Red Sox (Curse of the Bambino) and White Sox (Curse of the Black Sox) broke theirs last decade, but the Cubs (Curse of the Billy Goat) struggle on with no championship since 1908. My new favorite is the Curse of the Colonel: apparently Colonel Sanders cursed the Hanshin Tigers of Japan after they threw his KFC statue in a river during a championship celebration.

I don’t believe in curses, of course, but the Curse of Bobby Layne is one that came true. My Lions traded quarterback Bobby Layne to the Steelers in 1958 after he won the NFL championship the previous year because he was getting long in the tooth. Incensed, Layne told anyone who would listen Continue reading

LOS LIIIIIINNNNNNKKKKSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I’m starting a new feature today that I’ll run around once a week, or whenever my stash of links hits critical mass (submissions welcome). Here are LOS LIIIINNNKKKKSSS to help get you through Monday afternoon:

Why try your luck on Luck?

The Colts are going to take Andrew Luck first overall in the draft. No one will blame them if he doesn’t work out because every team without a star quarterback would draft him, given the chance. However, is this the right choice? Here are the career numbers for all first pick QBs since 1990 (from Pro Football Reference):

I listed each quarterback’s draft year, games played, winning percentage, completion percentage, TDs and INTs as a percentage Continue reading

The Prince Heavy Side Function

Here’s one potential career “arc” for Prince Fielder:

I call it “the Prince Heavy Side Function,” after the famous Heaviside step function. The graph above certainly has a “heavy side,” though Oliver Heaviside himself was not heavy at all.

Oliver "Not So Heavy" Heaviside

Thanks Brother Evan for suggesting the graph above!

Predicting the Super Bowl winner

With the Super Bowl ten days away, I thought it would be fun to look at some statistics for the winners in the last 25 Super Bowls (excluding the strike year in 1987). For each winner and loser, I list their regular season True Wins, regular season actual wins, regular season wins the previous season, and the Super Bowl line for the winner (lines from Vegas Insider). In the previous season column — “Last Wins” — I also list each team’s playoff performance from the year before in parentheses: a number indicates the round that they exited, “n” indicates that they didn’t make the playoffs, and “!” indicates that they won the Super Bowl. Here are the data:

Continue reading

Analyzing the Fielder signing further

David Schoenfield put up a fairly useless blog post about the Tigers signing Prince Fielder yesterday. It just became even more useless, as ESPN confirmed that Cabrera will shift to third base to accommodate Fielder (Schoenfield said this would never happen). I knew about this way before ESPN, thanks to Brother Evan passing along a local news link.

The real issue with Schoenfield’s post Continue reading