Monthly Archives: January 2012

Adrian the Canadian compares the NFL and NHL

Fresh off his wildly popular analysis of the Lee Evans non-catch on Sunday, Adrian the Canadian gives us an interesting comparison of the NFL’s and NHL’s approaches to violence:

It’s no secret that the NFL is the most popular sports league in North America. It’s also no secret that for those of you south of the 49th parallel the NHL sits somewhere between UFC and NASCAR on the sports hierarchy. This strikes many people up north as somewhat of a mystery – professional hockey is a fast, physical, skilled and unpredictable game Continue reading

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Football is just a game

For those of you who might have forgotten, football is just a game. Both Sunday tilts had their goat (Billy Cundiff for the Ravens and Kyle Williams for the 49ers), but there’s no excuse for behavior like this from fans. Kyle and Billy, it’s not your fault.

The Celtics take on Howard and win

It was a renaissance in Boston last night. Garnett was draining 20 footers, Paul Pierce was driving and kicking and hitting shots, and Jermaine O’Neal was putting the clamps on Dwight Howard. Everybody hustled. The defensive intensity never lapsed all game. To steal a line from NBA TV studio man Brent Barry, the Celtics’ “Jurassic Five” went prehistoric on the Magic and held them to a franchise-low 56 points. It was their first win over a team with a winning record, by 31 points no less.

Recently, I’ve discussed the efficacy of the hack-a-Howard strategy (or as Celtics TV mainstay Tommy Heinsohn puts it, the old “hack the Shaq”). The short answer is that Howard shoots too well from the line (59% almost every year, though lower so far this year) for a pure hack-a-Howard to be effective for most teams. However, hacking Howard only when he has the ball in good position Continue reading

Part 2: did Lee Evans make the catch?

One post was not enough to sort through the deepest, darkest corners of the NFL rule book on the Lee Evans catch/no catch at the end of the Ravens – Patriots game. I posted a general commentary on the games earlier, but for those of you that love these details, Adrian the Canadian breaks the play down from a few more angles:

So I was hoping to delve into some nasty, ugly, complicated issues with the NFL’s instant replay system today, but, before doing so, I think we have to spin out the Lee Evans non-catch and the NFL’s awkward touchdown catch rule. First, Mike Pereira’s brief take at Football ZebrasContinue reading

Rematch!

There were no True Wins handed out yesterday. The Ravens, Patriots, Giants, and 49ers treated us to two extremely close football games. Close games generally come down to luck to determine the winner; indeed, I thought both games would be close but was fortunate to pick both winners last week. Regular season True Wins and actual wins both predicted the Patriots victory but failed on the Giants, who are underrated by wins measures due to their ridiculous strength of schedule. For the first time since 2007 (and only the fourth time since 2002), actual wins is going to beat out True Wins in predicting playoff games. Both measures suggest the Patriots will win the Super Bowl, since they have far more wins and True Wins than the Giants, and actual wins are a half game up going into the final (5.5 games correct to 5 games correct):

The two championship games had some common themes, actually. The “offensive” teams (Patriots, Giants), playing against good defenses, did not have their usual panache. However, they both stacked the box Continue reading

Part 1: did Lee Evans make the catch?

“Upon further review,” Lee Evans catch/non-catch at the end of the Ravens – Patriots game has become a hot topic today. No one thought it was a catch yesterday, but the discussion is heating up. Should the Ravens be in the Super Bowl? It comes down to Evans’s second foot. Or, should I say, it’s all about whether Evans’s second foot came down. Here’s my take on Sunday’s games, but I rely on the lawyerly Adrian the Canadian to sort this call out. Here’s his quick take (check out his second post for even more gory details):

THE LEE EVANS “CATCH”

One of the many hot topics in the wake of yesterday’s conference championship games is Lee Evans non-catch at the end of regulation in the Pats-Ravens game. Over on Slate, Josh Levin has a good analysis of the catch. Levin seems to think that a strict application of the NFL rule Continue reading