Friday, October 17, 2014

Well, Guess I am Rooting for Notre Dame

Did you click that link? If not here it is again. Click it and read the story.

Finished reading? If not here is the link again.

In case you didn't click the link and read the story yet and you didnt read the title to this post, you might be confused why I keep posting the link. Just click the link and read the story.

Now that you have read the story I beat it makes more sense. Turns out the whole town of Tallahassee is a steaming pile of human shit. It wasn't Jamies Winston being one bad apple. FSU has instantly become a villain to me. For one of the few times n my life I will be rooting for Notre Dame to win a football game.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Franz Kafka's Metamorphosis

As Gregor Samsa awoke one morning from uneasy dreams he found himself transformed in his bed into a gigantic Nick Young.  He was lying on his tattoo-less, "strictly for buckets" arm and when he lifted his afro-ed head he could see Iggy Azalea, who was absorbing African-American music to allow white people to feel comfortable with it.  His numerous (ok, two) legs, which were pitifully thin compared to the rest of the professional athlete world, waved helplessly before his eyes.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The NHL: Players to Watch this Year

The NHL season is almost upon us, bringing visions of sugarplum fairies dancing in our heads.  Or maybe that's Tyler Ennis, it can be hard to tell the difference sometimes.  Even so, hockey's here!  It's time for everyone to don their favorite Nordiques jersey, pour a warm cup of Molson's, and laugh at the Maple Leafs all season.

Of course, some of us out there don't have quite the grasp on hockey that we should.  The offseason is a tumultuous time and some of us (I'm looking at you, entire Calgary Flames roster) have had a few too many blows to the head to remember everything that went on.  Fear not, that's why I'm here!

Nobody wants to hear about everything that happened in the offseason though.  That's just too much information and besides, I don't think anyone will much care if I skim over the Tanner Glasses of the world.  Hell, Tanner Glass probably didn't notice when he signed a contract.  There were, however, a few very interesting developments giving us a handful of players that should be imminently entertaining to watch this season.  Don't care to come up with your own opinion on who is "watchable?"  Well perfect, that's what I'm here for.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Who to Root for?

Next Saturday the 18th, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish take on the Florida State Seminoles in a college football prime time show down. This game pits the storied tradition that is Fighting Irish football against the defending Division 1 National Champions. Coming into the game, both teams are undefeated and 6-0. In this matchup, there are serious playoff implications on the line. Fans are going to struggle not to be interested in this one. Heck, I might even watch the game and I almost never watch college football. However, the dilemma that I and many other fans will be faced with is who do you root for in a game like this? Can you root against both teams, but still find a way to enjoy the game?

Normally I have a rule against ever rooting for Notre Dame. You would think I would like the Fighting Irish. They have a history of success and they place a strong emphasis on truly being a student athlete. They actually hold their players accountable. The problem is the team comes across as high and mighty and with a better then you attitude. As an organization they appear pompous. The media just feeds the beast that they created by continuously overrating and over reporting everything about Notre Dame.  The team is guaranteed to get multiple number one votes in the AP poll just because of their name. You have to read about their results in nearly every paper. There is no escaping their omnipresence. It is just plain annoying.

ND's opponent, Florida State, is also a team I might have liked. They are a traditional power, but not from the SEC. They don't play the spread offense or the option. They score points using both their passing and rushing attack. On defense they are hard hitting and dominate. They have just one problem keeping me from rooting for them, their starting quarterback, Jameis Winston. The Seminoles signal caller is a complete at total knucklehead. From shop lifting to alleged rape he just can't stay out of trouble. I will choose to look the other way for players on teams I already support, but I can't bring myself to voluntarily align with a team lead by such a nincompoop. If the Seminoles could just bring back E.J. Manuel I would gladly jump on their band wagon. Instead they are playing Famous Jameis, who seems dead set on out doing Johnny Manziel any way he can.

So, the Fighting Irish are out for their history of arrogance and general over exposure and the Seminoles are out because of their idiotic quarterback. I am left wanting to watch the game, but not wanting to root for either team. If I do turn it on, I will be forced to pick between the lesser of two evils. I just don't know who I will end up rooting for. I think I will just have to let the game speak to me and see where I fall.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sounders vs Whitecaps Recap

I attended my third Sounders game of the year on Friday night. In it they lost 0-1 to the Vancouver Whitecaps and with it their lead in the supporter shield standings. Now they have to hope Dallas beats LA on Sunday to set up an epic showdown over the last two regular season games. This could turn into one of the most dramatic finishes to a sports regular season in Seattle history. But, before we get ahead of ourselves thinking about the upcoming LA games, let's talk about three takeaways from Friday's game.

First thing I notice is Stefan Frei is still a liability. The defense played well in this game. They kept the Whitecaps away from the goal for most of the game. However, right before the half, during the 45th minute, Frei let an injured Kekuta Manneh poke a shot right between his legs for what would turn out to be the only score. This shot was vintage Frei, despite a mistake by Chad Marshall the shot should have been stopped. It wasn't that great or difficult of an attempt. It was a shot that a good goal keeper would have stopped. Instead Frei let it right through his legs.

The second thing that I noticed during the game was Michael Azira isn't good. He certainly isn't terrible, but he shouldn't have been starting. His best skill appeared to be kicking the ball out of bounds. That does have value at times, but it isn't really a skill that should be listed in anyone's top five. When it comes to offensive skills he was lacking. He had one clear chance for a score that he botched. He tripped over himself without even directing the ball towards the goal. On defense Azira was adequate. He didn't hurt the team, but he surely wasn't helping. When Head Coach Schmidt took Azira out for Gonzalo Pineda it highlighted how much worse Azira is.

The final thing hat stood out was Referee Jair Marrufo in ability to control the game at the end. His refuse to issue a yellow card for flopping just led to more and more Whitecap player hitting the deck. From the 80th minute forward, there must have been four or five Whitecaps that spent time on the ground. It was ridiculous. They would roll around delaying the game and wasting time only to pop up and keep playing minutes later. Referee's are allowed give yellow cards to prevent exactly this kind of thing from happening. It probably didn't cost the Sounders the game, their inability to put together any kind of competent offensive attack cost them the game, but the constant delays and time wasting sure didn't help.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Pete Carroll Reviews the Season Thus Far

Hey guys!!! I hope you're loving your bye week as much as I am!  I spent all of Thursday doing hot yoga with Percy and the rest of the weekend chewing gum and high-fiving everyone I saw on the way home from yoga.  FYI, Percy broke both legs at yoga and is out for the year.  I'm just kidding!  We like to have fun here!

"There may be people who have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you." -Derek Jeter

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

A Proposal for the NFL

The NFL insists on acting extrajudicially and punishing players for off field incidents. Their current method has commissioner Roger Goodell play the role of judge, jury and executioner. Goodell's punishments often seem arbitrary and ill-fitting of the crime. This current system is failing and it needs reformed. Even the NFL admits this. There are two straight forward things they can do to fix the system and quickly. The first thing to do create a clear detailed player misconduct code. Second up is creating an independent  committee to review incidents and administer punishments.

Since Hammurabi had some subjects chisel his code into stone, the rule of law has worked to stabilize society.  If done correctly a criminal code provides citizens with a clear and defined set of rules and subsequent punishments for breaking them. The Ray Rice scandal exposed the current state the NFL personal misconduct policy for failing to do exactly that.

Despite having detailed and strictly enforced policy related to marijuana, the NFL didn't have a policy for the much more egregious offense of domestic violence. The league's policy for domestic violence relied on Commissioner Goodell reviewing each case and deciding individual punishment. This is ridiculous. It opens up the system for inconsistency and accusations of bias. A detailed set of rules would protect the NFL and the players. It would provide fans with a sense of understanding and lessons the pull of punishment by populist sentiment.

The NFL should work with the NFL Players Association to develop a clear set of rules that players must abide by. Once this list is finished the two groups will need to decide on an appropriate range of punishment for breaking each rule. A range is important to allow the severity of the offense to be considered. An outside group should be brought in the review and approve the conduct code. Bring in a non-advocate to review the proposed code would help to eliminate situations where the crime doesn't match the punishment.

Once you have the law written you need someone to enforce it, which brings us to the second easy fix. In his current role, Goodell has mixed priorities that cloud his judgment. He is focused on making the NFL heaping piles of cash, which is fine. That is what he was hired to do. However, it creates a conflict of interest when he is asked to pass judgment on players. Instead an independent board  should be created that answers no one else. This boards RAA should be to sentence players for breaking a clearly defined personal conduct policy and hearing  and reviewing appeals. This board must remain independent from the commissioner's office to avoid coercive influence. The commissioners only role with this board should be nominating new members. Those members should have to be approved by the NFL Players Association.

As the NFL continues with their self-examination after the recent spate of scandals there are two ideas that should be implemented. The first is a clear conduct code with detailed punishment ranges and the second is an independent administer of those punishments. Each would work to protect the players and the NFL from future scandals and work to regain trust with the media and fans.