No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for the 'Sports' Category

November 15, 2017

The best race for the NASCAR Cup – 25 years later

by @ 21:26. Tags:
Filed under Sports.

Today marks the 25th anniversary of the greatest race that decided the NASCAR Cup championship, the 1992 Hooters 500. On November 15, 1992, not one, not two, not three, not even four, but six drivers rolled into Atlanta Motor Speedway with a chance to hoist the Winston Cup after the 29th and last race of the 1992 season. As they fired up the engines, the standings, and their starting positions, were:

Davey Allison – 3928 points, starting 17th
Alan Kulwicki – 3898 points, starting 14th
Bill Elliott – 3888 points, starting 11th
Harry Gant – 3831 points, starting 29th
Kyle Petty – 3830 points, starting 20th
Mark Martin – 3815 points, starting 4th

While it was true that Gant, Petty and Martin would need to essentially win and have some bad things happen to the top three, given that each position gained between 11th and 6th was worth 4 additional points, each position gained between 6th and 1st was worth 5 additional points, and 5 points were available for both leading a lap and leading the most laps, Kulwicki and Elliott were easily within striking distance of Allison.

If the wild battle for the Cup weren’t enough, it was also 7-time Cup champion and all-time wins leader Richard Petty’s final race, ending a season-long curtain call. Meanwhile, a highly-touted Californian who would go on to leave an outsized mark on NASCAR, Jeff Gordon, was making his debut.

I normally don’t link to Wikipedia, but their article on the race is about as good a summary as one can hope for from an event in the pre-internet era. I’ll give a Cliff’s Notes version:

– During the first half of the race, five of the six contenders were running out front, with Kyle Petty struggling to stay on the lead lap.
– Just before the halfway point on lap 160, Martin’s engine expired, taking him out of the race and the championship hunt. He would finish 32nd.
– Just after the halfway point, Gant began to fade badly, going multiple laps down by lap 200. He would eventually end the race in 13th, 4 laps down.
– At the same time, Allison picked up some damage, but managed to stay on the lead lap, while Petty went a lap down. The race lead would essentially flip-flop between Kulwicki and Elliott from this point, with the points lead flip-flopping between those two and Allison until….
– On lap 254, Ernie Irvan spun and collected Allison, effectively ending his day. Allison would return to the track 43 laps down and finish 27th. In the race back to the yellow flag, Petty would get his lap back from Kulwicki. In what would turn out to be the pit strategy move of the race, neither Kulwicki nor Elliott pitted during that caution, while Terry Labonte did.
– Kulwicki would maintain the lead until lap 310, at least a lap beyond what his crew chief thought he could do on fuel and 3 to 4 laps beyond what they had earlier been discussing. By that time, Kulwicki had led 103 laps. Partly because of the few number of laps left, partly because he had lost first gear, the team went for a fuel-only stop for the second consecutive time. The crew cut the timing on the pit stop very close, as it took 6 seconds to dump a full 11-gallon can into the car back in the day, they spent 3.4 seconds on the pit stop, and they figured he would need 6 gallons to finish the race.
– At the same time, Petty’s engine started to blow up. He would retire after making 320 laps, finishing 16th.
– On lap 314, Elliott came down for his final stop, also for just fuel. His crew performed an identical 3.4-second pit stop, but he got back up to speed ahead of Kulwicki as his car still had first gear. However, he gave up the lead to Labonte, who pitted just a lap later after leading his only lap of the race.
– Elliott comfortably resumed the lead after Labonte pitted and never relinquished it. Elliott won the race while leading 102 laps. Meanwhile, Kulwicki settled comfortably into 2nd, where he finished the race.

Had Kulwicki and Elliott finished tied in the points, Elliott would have won the championship because he won more races. Had Kulwicki led just 2 fewer laps, finished 4th instead of 2nd, or led 1 fewer lap and finished 3rd, the first tie for the championship in the modern era would not have been in 2011, but 1992. As it was, until the Chase artificially closed the points differential after the regular season, the 1992 season was the closest points finish in the modern era, and it was the third-closest until the “elimination” Chases began, behind only 2004 and 2011.

The final points standings were:

Alan Kulwicki – 4078
Bill Elliott – 4068
Davey Allison – 4015
Harry Gant – 3955
Kyle Petty – 3945
Mark Martin – 3887

It is a somber remembrance, as Kulwicki and Allison passed away the following year. Gant would retire after the 1994 season. Elliott would have some more success, but would never get as close to a second championship as he did in 1992. His car owner, Junior Johnson, would be out of NASCAR after the 1995 season. Petty would have one more good year, then fade. Only Martin would have sustained success, though the Cup would continue to elude him.

This incredible race would not have been nearly as compelling under any of the Chase formats. Under each of the first three (non-elimination) Chase formats, Kyle Petty would have had nearly a full race lead going into Atlanta on Mark Martin and Alan Kulwicki, with Ricky Rudd also almost a full race behind under the 2007-2010 version of the Chase, and Petty would have been Winston Cup champ under all 3 formats.

Under the two “elimination” Chase formats, both Kulwicki and Bill Elliott would have been out after the second round, with Petty, Martin, Davey Allison and Harry Gant dueling it out at Atlanta. The Cup champ under both formats would have been Gant, finishing 4 laps down in 13th. Kulwicki would have finished 5th in the points under both formats. Elliott would have finished in 10th under the 2014-2015 format and 9th by the tiebreaker under the 2016 format as Ron Hornaday Jr. would not have been starting the penultimate Pyroil 500k and finishing ahead of Elliott in that race.

As it is impossible to estimate how stage racing would have affected the results of past races, especially the second stage of any given race and the races that were held at North Carolina Motor Speedway or North Wilkesboro, it is impossible to tell how 1992 would have turned out under this year’s rules. However, I strongly suspect that, like the various Chase hypotheticals, the 1992 Playoffs would not have been as exciting as the real thing.

November 10, 2014

The mandatory Packers 55 Bears 14 post

by @ 12:13. Filed under Sports.

You know it, so sing along…

Duh Bears still suck.

April 16, 2014

The Bucks have been sold for $550 million

by @ 16:10. Filed under Business, Politics - Milwaukee, Sports.

Today, Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl announced the sale of the Milwaukee Bucks to hedge-fund managers Wesley Edens and Marc Lasry for $550 million pending NBA approval, with the proviso that the team stay in Milwaukee and not become, potentially, the next incarnation of the Seattle Sonics. The three also announced that they would kick in a total of $200 million toward a replacement for the BMO Harris Bradley Center; $100 million from the new owners and $100 million from the old owner.

On the sports end of the story, hopefully the new owners will put a competitve product out on the court more often than once every 6 years (which, not exactly coincidentally, was inevitably the year Kohl was up for re-election ot the Senate).

The word is that a new arena will cost somewhere north of $500 million. I know Wikipedia is less than fully-reliable, but I went through the entries for the 14 aremas built for existing franchises that opened since 1997, and only the newest arena, the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, came in at over $500 million when it was built. That $1 billion cost shattered the previous record of $480 million for Orlando’s Amway Center, which was built in 2010, and $420 million for Dallas’ American Airlines Center, which was built in 2001.

Even when adjusting for inflation, only 4 modern arenas came in at over $500 million – the Barclays Center ($1.03 billion in 2014 dollars), the American Airlines Center ($559 million in 2014 dollars), Los Angeles’ Staples Center (opened in 1999 for $375 million, or $531 million in 2014 dollars), and the Amway Center ($514 million in 2014 dollars). The average inflation-adjusted cost of the modern NBA arena, including the Barclays Center, was just under $400 million, with that dropping to $351 million if one ignores the New York Bloat.

I have to wonder whether Milwaukee is ready to shell out for the second-most-expensive arena in the NBA. Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele, just interviewed on the Mark Belling Show, said that he had not heard any solid plans for financing a new arena. Given the most-likely sites of the former Park East freeway just north of the Bradley Center and the lakefront (which are the parts of downtown without any buildings) are county-owned land, one would expect Abele to be in the loop.

Belling is spitballing the idea that it would be privately owned. There’s a world’s worth of difference between $200 million and $500 million, or even $351 million if the historical average holds. Naming rights wouldn’t cover it – not even the record-setting purchase by Barclays for the Brooklyn arena would cover the $300 million spread. Worse, while other sports venues have worked aignificant money out of naming rights, the Bradley Center board hasn’t been nearly as successful. The entire Bradley Center corporate sponsorship package was revealed to be a mere $18 million over 6 years when BMO Harris bought the naming rights 2 years ago.

The $550 million, plus another $100 million committment toward a new arena, is an amazing price, considering Forbes valued the franchise at $405 million just three months ago. Even though there was reportedly a 9-group bidding war, that does not explain that much of a premium given the no-move proviso. Given all three principals are big-time Democrats (Kohl a Democrat as a Senator, Edens and Lasry as massive, active donors to Democrats), someone might want to keep an eye on Kohl’s still-active Senate campaign committee.

Revisions/extensions (5:18 pm 4/16/2014) – The total $650 million (including the $100 million new arena committment) sale price shatters the previous record sale price of an NBA team – the $513 million sale of the Sacramento Kings and their equally-ancient arena, the Sleep Train Arena, last year.

December 15, 2013

Shut Rogers down and fire them all – or maybe not

by @ 16:51. Filed under Sports.

The Packers need a major miracle to make the playoffs as the tragic number is now 1, or at least it will be official in another half. 1 more loss or 1 Bears win (or, likely, 1 more Lions win after they win tomorrow night) means they’ll be watching the playoffs from the comfort of the couch. Why risk Aaron Rogers getting hurt the next 2 weeks when it’s impossible to either make the playoffs or (thanks to the tiebreaker) finish last in the NFC North.

If I were Mark Murphy, I would demand Wile E. Thompson’s, Mike McCan’thy’s, and Dumb Capers’ resignations at halftime today.

Revisions/extensions (6:44 pm 12/15/2013) – I’d like to take credit for that halftime speech. What a comeback! Thank you Cowgirls for piss-poor playcalling that led to a piss-poor performance in the 4th quarter.

October 31, 2013

Last call – How many wins will it take to win the NFC North this year

by @ 7:07. Filed under NRE Polls, Sports.

I quietly put this poll up at the beginning of the month, when the Packers were both stinking up the joint and having players carted off the field on a weekly basis. They fixed the latter immediately afterward, and finally stopped the physical bleeding to take sole possession (by a half-game and, at the moment, a tiebreaker) over Detroit.

As things stand now, the Packers are in first at 5-2 with one win each over the Vikings and Lions (a second game against each is upcoming), and the first of the two division games against Duh Bears coming up on Monday Night Football, the Lions are 5-3 with one win each over the Bears and Vikings and a loss against the Packers, the Bears are 4-3 with a win against the Vikings and a loss against the Lions, and the Vikings are 1-6 with a loss to each of the other NFC North teams (sorry, Shoe; maybe you could buy the team and really create a conflict of interest for the blog ;-)

I’m not asking how many wins the eventual winner of the NFC North will have, I’m asking how many wins it will take to take the division. You have about 11 hours from the posting of this to put your guesses in.

How many wins will it take to win the NFC North in 2013?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • 10 (50%, 4 Vote(s))
  • 9 (25%, 2 Vote(s))
  • 7 (13%, 1 Vote(s))
  • 11 (13%, 1 Vote(s))
  • 13 (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • 12 (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • 5 (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • 8 (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • 6 (0%, 0 Vote(s))
  • 14 (0%, 0 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 8

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October 24, 2013

Brett Favre is absolutely, positively not coming back*

by @ 9:44. Filed under Sports.

Deadspin reports that fan-favorite-turned-fan-favorite-target Brett Favre turned down a plea from the St. Louis Rams to return to the NFL after losing their starting quarterback, Sam Bradford, for the season to an ACL tear this past Sunday.

* I’ll believe he’s finally stuck with the proverbial fork when game tiem hits on 11/24 rolls around and he hasn’t signed with the Vikings to give us one more chance to boo his ass out of Lambeau.

Speaking of that, let’s give Christian Ponder a warm welcome back to the starting lineup. Sorry, Shoe, but the Vikes continue to be the Kansas City Royals Chicago White Sox of the NFL (and I like it).

October 8, 2013

New Pro Bowl uniforms – gaudy over patriotism

by @ 9:36. Filed under Sports.

>Nike unleashed the new Pro Bowl uniforms that match the new “pick-up game” mentality that shattered the old AFC vs NFC reality. Technologically, they have the latest and greatest cool features built in.

However, they’re missing one thing – the AFC red, the both-conferences white, and the NFC blue that’s been the standard as long as I can remember. Replacing it, puke orange and highlighter yellow (or as Nike calls it, vibrant orange and bolt). Guess they’re expecting a teamload of Broncos and Seahawks.

Excuse me while I hurl into this already-overflowing puke bucket, overflowing because Clay Matthews is going to be out a month.

April 26, 2012

Whither the Pro Bowl?

by @ 10:37. Filed under Sports.

The NFL has become so big that even Draft Day, er, Night has become an event, and not just for New York Jets fans. However, one tradition appears to have had its last trip out of the tunnel. From ESPN:

The next Pro Bowl is scheduled the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3, but a game site has not been listed because of its precarious status, sources added.

Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, sources say.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

One could argue what has caused the lack of fire in the players who show up (and indeed the decades-long tradition of some of the top players using the usual wear and tear from an NFL season as a reason to not play one more game). One could point to the end-of-the-season date (until recently, after even the Super Bowl), the week-long vacation in Hawaii, the basic fact that a week just isn’t long enough to put together more than a basic game plan, or the unique-to-the-Pro-Bowl anti-defense rules (a base 4-3 defense, no blitzing outside of short-yardage situations, and no bump-and-run coverage outside the shadow of the defense’s end zone), and one would probably be right. Then again, the NBA All-Star Game has been nothing more than a “Can you top this” offensive contest for years, and NBA Commissioner David Stern isn’t considering axing it.

The ratings don’t appear to be much an issue; even though the Pro Bowl typically draws fewer viewers than a “national” regular-season game, it outdraws other sports’ all-star games. Money, or at least the money paid out to the players, isn’t exactly a factor either – if memory serves, the winners get less than $60,000 and the losers half that. In fact, ESPN is reporting that the NFL would be directing teams to keep negotiating Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts as the NFL would be doing everything but travel to Hawaii.

September 1, 2011

New NRE Poll – What should NBC do with the NFL pregame and the Obama jobs speech

by @ 14:21. Filed under Media, NRE Polls, Politics - National, Sports.

In case you’ve been in a cave the last 24 hours, President Obama tried and failed to upstage a long-scheduled GOP Presidential debate by scheduling a speech before a joint session of Congress for 7 pm (all times Central as that’s where I am) September 7, which “just happened” to be the precise date and time said debate is to start over on MSNBC. After House Speaker John Boehner, citing logistical issues with House votes scheduled for 5:30 pm 9/7 and a claimed 3-hour requirement for a security sweep to “sanitize” the House chamber, suggested the following day, the White House jumped at that.

The new date of September 8, however, poses, at least potentially, a different conflict – one with the start of the NFL season, with the 13-time (and defending) World Champion Green Bay Packers hosting the New Orleans Saints. NBC, which is to carry the game starting at 7:30 pm, also has a 1-hour pregame scheduled for 6:30 pm. As of roughly a half-hour ago, CBS White House correspondent Mark Knoller reported that, while the start time of the speech had not been finalized, it would be done before the 7:30 pm kickoff. Earlier reports had widely speculated that the speech would begin at 6:30 pm.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported, before it became clear (or at least as clear as the White House gets) that the speech would be done before kickoff, that Steve Wexler, vice president of radio and TV operations for Journal Broadcast Group, had Milwaukee’s NBC affiliate, WTMJ-TV, request that, in the event there was a conflict between the game itself and the speech, NBC make both feeds available to the NBC affiliates and that they be allowed to choose which feed to air where, and that WTMJ, if given the choice, would air the game on the main channel and the debate on a digital subchannel.

There hasn’t been any discussion regarding a potential pre-game conflict, which opens up the door for an NRE Poll. Do note that I am NOT asking what you would rather watch, or even what feed you would like seen on what part of the broadcast spectrum controlled by your local NBC affiliate. With that in mind, have at it.

What should NBC do with the NFL opener pre-game and the Obama jobs speech?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Bin the speech, tell the White House that they're just one network of many and that their cable news channel MSNBC is covering it anyway. (63%, 38 Vote(s))
  • Offer both to the local affiliates, let all of them choose what to air on what channel. (33%, 20 Vote(s))
  • Bin the pre-game and tell the NFL that they're just not that important. (3%, 2 Vote(s))
  • Offer both to the local affiliates, let the affiliates in the Packers and Saints markets choose what to air on what channel, force the rest to air the speech on the main channel. (0%, 0 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 60

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April 21, 2011

In other news, water is wet…news/entertainment source edition

by @ 12:39. Filed under Miscellaneous, Politics, Press, Sports.

Craig Gilbert over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pretty much confirmed the stereotypes on the linkage between one’s news and TV watching patterns and one’s politics. According to data from National Media, we in the Milwaukee area are, for the most part, very divided in what occupies both our source of information and their entertainment options. I’ll make you go read Gilbert’s analysis for the full story, but I’ll give you a taste of the TV sports split:

– Packer fans, and football fans in general, tend to be somewhat Republican, though Badger football fans are split down the middle.
– While Brewer fans are pretty much split down the middle, those who care enough to watch the World Series are even more more Republican than football fans.
– Bucks fans, and basketball fans in general, tend to be Democratic. Two oddities on that front: Badger basketball fans were slightly Republican (and indeed more so than Badger football fans), and while NBA playoff viewers were quite Democratic, NBA finals viewers were only somewhat Democratic.

One more thing – the partisan skew between those who depend most on newspapers for news (the most-Democratic among 7 Midwest media markets reviewed by National Media) and those who depend most on radio for news (the 2nd-most-Republican among the same 7 Midwest media markets) is striking.

March 14, 2011

It’s the most wonderful time of the year, 2011 March Madness edition

by @ 15:34. Filed under Sports.

With the NFL and its players screwing over the 2011 season, thoughts turn to the NCAA Men’s Division I Basketball tournament. I’ve plunked down my bracket, and it isn’t kind to either Wisconsin or Marquette.

As always, I’m running a “Which #1 drops first” poll. The contenders for the dishonor are Ohio State, Kansas, Duke, and Pittsburgh. Since seconds count, do choose carefully. The poll will be, if I remember to do so, suspended while one of those teams are playing.

Which Number 1 NCAA Men's D1 Baskeball seed will lose first?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Kansas (29%, 6 Vote(s))
  • Ohio State (24%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Duke (24%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Pittsburgh (24%, 5 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 21

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February 6, 2011

Baker’s Dozen post-mortem

by @ 22:34. Filed under Sports.

First things first, congrats to the Mighty Green Bay Packers on their record-extending 13th NFL championship.

That was a microcosm of the season – lose key players (Charles Woodson and Donald Driver for the entire second half, Sam Shields for much of the second half, and Nick Collins to complete the defensive trifecta just before the end of the first half), not have a running game until very late, have dog-ass special (ed) teams, and still win, baby. That was sweet.

Now, I bet you’re wondering how this inveterate gambler did (or how I would have done had I been stupid enough to put money down). In a word, outside of the big play of Pack -3 and the minor Pack by 4-6, I would have blown chunks the size of Texas. The overs ruled the day, the Packers led at the half, and there wasn’t a score in the first 7:30.

Did I mention Baker’s Dozen?

Your (not-)official Championship Game That Cannot Be Named™ NRE betting sheet

by @ 8:54. Filed under Sports.

All the lines are courtesy Bodog, and were current as of this morning, so if your bookie doesn’t offer them, kneecap him (unless, of course, your bookie is an undercover cop or these picks don’t pan out, in which case I never offered these picks to you):

  • Full-game line: Packers -3 (EVEN) over the Steelers
  • Full-game over/under: Under 45.5 (-105)
  • Steelers total points: Under 21 (-105)
  • Packers total points: Under 24 (-115)
  • Score in the first 7:30 of the game: Yes (-170)
  • Alternate over/under cracktion part 1 (37.5): Under 37.5 (+195)
  • Alternate over/under craction part 2 (33.5): Under 33.5 (+300)
  • Margin of victory: Packers by 4-6 points (11/2) (which means the Packers will win by a score of 17-13)
  • Which team will be leading at halftime and which team will win the game: Tie/Packers (11/1)

That will leave a dent in your bookie’s pocket on the way to the Baker’s Dozen. One more thing…

February 3, 2011

Thursday Classic Read – Iowahawk’s “Black History Month: Quarter Mile Soul”

by @ 10:10. Filed under History, Sports.

The reason why it’s a Classic instead of a Hot read is because Iowahawk penned this back in 2006. I’ll give you the open, and leave you to read the history:

February, as we know, is Black History Month. February is also the official start of the drag racing season, beginning with the annual NHRA Winternationals at Pomona. Coincidence? Maybe. I can’t claim any expert knowledge about Nat Turner, Harriet Tubman, W.E.B. DuBois or other textbook notables, but I do know a bit about drag racing; and I know that African American gearheads have been trailblazing the quarter mile for some 50 years. They might not be Dr. King, but I think their stories deserve a retelling, too.

Some background: American car racing has three major branches — road racing, oval, and drag/lakes racing — and each has its own distinct socioeconomic history and heritage. Road racing first developed as the leisure pursuit of coastal bluebloods, who had the cash to afford pricey European sports cars and the winding country lanes on which to play with them. Oval track racing — including open wheel, sprints, and stock cars — has always been a more blue collar phenomenon, evolving out of the county fairground horse tracks of the Midwest and South. Nascar shares this heritage, along with an additional link to moonshine runners in the segregated South. For obvious economic and social reasons, neither of these racing forums were conducive to Black participation.

By contrast, drag racing evolved with fewer cultural barriers. Like oval track racing it was a blue collar phenomenon, a natural extension of straight-line street racing by young guys in cheap homebuilt hot rods. Unlike oval racing, it developed largely on the postwar West Coast, a society less encumbered by the legacy of segregation. As a result drag racing was more or less born ‘multicultural’ and egalitarian; the roll call of hod rodding greats — Xydias, Iskenderian, Hirohata, Pedregon, Karamesines — reads like a passenger list from Ellis Island. And African Americans were there from its inception.

January 24, 2011

Ready to say I was (almost) completely wrong about Thompson

by @ 11:27. Filed under Sports.

The only reason why the “almost” is there is because the Lombardi Trophy isn’t home yet, but as ESPN’s Kevin Seifert points out (H/T – Kevin), it was the guys, and especially the role players, Ted Thompson brought in that got the Pack this far. I think I lost track of how many times I “borrowed” Mr. Fastbucks’ “Shields UP!” Tweet because Sam Shields’ play allowed Charles Woodson to play the “roving safety” role much like he did before Al Harris got hurt a couple seasons back. All the “role players” Thompson stockpiled came in very handy, as I think this is the first MASH Unit to make The Championship Game That Cannot Be Named™.

I have but three words to say on the way to the Baker’s Dozen vs. Seventh Heaven game…


December 28, 2010

It is Bear Week

by @ 16:55. Filed under Sports.

Yes, Duh Bears still suck (video H/T – Jib)


Duh Bears may have backed into the NFC North title, but they will end the season with a two-game losing streak, starting on Sunday against the Packers.

Just as a reminder, come on over to Papa’s starting 45 minutes before kickoff (or 2:30 pm) and celebrate both Christmas and a trip to the playoffs for the Pack with the extended Drinking Right crew.

October 5, 2010

Twitter gets results, NFL edition

by @ 12:55. Filed under Politics - National, Sports.

The Weekly Standard’s Stephen Hayes posted on Twitter that the latest Russ Feingold ad (note; I have not seen the ad, mostly because I don’t watch a whole lot of television) used footage from a Green Bay Packers-Minnesota Vikings game, and brought it to the attention of NFL officials, including league spokesman Greg Aiello, specifically asking whether the footage in question was licensed by the campaign. Aiello, on his Twitter account, said, “No. We did not license the footage and have contacted the Senator’s campaign about removing it.”

The full Weekly Standard story describes the footage in question, and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel embedded a YouTube version of the ad (at least while YouTube still has it up; I suspect the NFL will issue a takedown notice momentarily).

September 7, 2010

IndyCar coming back to the Mile?

by @ 15:44. Filed under Sports.

USA Today’s Nate Ryan broke the following on his Twitter feed:

The 2011 #IndyCar schedule will be announced Friday at….The Milwaukee Mile. That would seem to be a rather large clue.

I guess the State Fair Park Board found the $400,000 IndyCar wanted to run a race weekend next year. There is a very-“convenient” break in the confirmed part of the 2011 schedule between the Indianapolis 500 and the twin race at Texas Motor Speedway, as the TMS date was pushed back from the week after Indy it was this year to two weeks after Indy. Between 1949 and this year, that weekend after Indy had traditionally seen an open-wheel series at the Milwaukee Mile, but TMS took the date when Wisconsin Motorsports, the last private promoter at the Mile, folded and stiffed IndyCar for $1 million and NASCAR for about $2 million.

September 3, 2010

The price of Nowledge, Big Ten edition

by @ 13:03. Filed under Sports.

With Nebraska (the butt of many academic jokes in its current conference, the Big 12) coming to the Big Ten (plus one) next year, Big Ten officials have decided upon how the football programs will be split into two yet-unnamed conferences so they can get a football championship game in. Nebraska was placed in one conference with Iowa, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota and Northwestern. While in the past, Iowa, Michigan and Michigan State have all been consistent contenders for the Big Ten title, their performances over the last decade haven’t exactly been good, with only one of those teams at a time being contenders for the conference championship.

Meanwhile, in the other conference, Ohio State (not-so-affectionately known as OverratedSU around these parts and back at the Bar when it was up and running for consistently choking against other national powerhouses), Penn State and Wisconsin, all consistent contenders for the Big Ten title the past decade, will be beating each other up to see who gets to play in the Cornhusker Invitatio…er, Big Ten Championship game, and which two get lesser bowl opportunities.

The inclusion of Wisconsin in the Power Division also threatened to break up two long-standing rivalries with associated trophies, one with Minnesota for Paul Bunyan’s Axe and one with Iowa for the Heartland Trophy. The Big Ten officials graciously decided to make one cross-division rivalry a guaranteed one for every team. Fortunately for Bucky, it’s the most-played rivalry in Division I-A sports that didn’t visit the proverbial chopping block.

August 14, 2010

Weekend Hot Read – Baseball Crank’s High Quality Starts series

by @ 20:03. Filed under Sports.

Baseball Crank took full advantage of putting every box score since 1920 and every play since 1950 into a database, and he found and sorted the 188 pitchers who gave their teams a real chance to win with no more than ordinary offensive/bullpen support at least 100 times since the end of the dead-ball era.

First, I should explain that the official “quality start” (6 or more innings pitched, 3 or less earned runs) isn’t a real measure. You’re depending on 3 innings of pen work night after night, and your defense could easily cost the team any chance of winning because runs scored as a result of an error aren’t “earned”. Crank upped it to a 7-inning minimum and a 2-run (earned or otherwise) maximum, and renamed it “High Quality Start” to get things to at most the setup/closer and keep things close enough for the offensive half of the Earl Weaver Maxim to win it.

Some of the names on the list shouldn’t surprise Milwaukee fans – Warren Spahn (who has the highest number of wins off of HQS), Lew Burdette, Don Sutton (who has the most HQS), Jim Slaton and CC Sabathia. What is somewhat surprising is that Slaton is the only player who spent significant time with the Brewers; in fact, Slaton got 80 of his 100 HQS in Brewer Blue to lead the team.

A couple more Brewers’ notes: How special was the half-season Sabathia spent here in 2008? 10 of his 112 HQS came in the last part of 2008. Meanwhile, Yovanni Gallardo has 20 HQS in his 74 games started. While that ratio will get him onto the 100 HQS list eventually, he won’t get onto the rarified 200 HQS list unless he picks it up.

July 14, 2010

NRE Poll – Should the NFL expand its regular season?

by @ 10:00. Filed under NRE Polls, Sports.

As someone once said, all politics and no fun makes Egg a very dull boy. Since I merely want to be known as a dull boy, it’s time for a spiral. The Packers open up training camp in 17 days, so it’s time to start focusing on the NFL.

Unless you’ve been in a cave the last 2 years, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell has been looking at expanding the NFL season. Originally, he wanted to get it done in time for 2011 and the scheduled start of the new collective bargaining agreement with the NFL Players’ Association, but the clock has slid both that plan and the odds of an on-time new CBA back.

Originally, the thought was to add a single game, possibly at neutral sites, and likely a few outside the US if they went to neutral sites. That has morphed into converting 2 of the 4-5 preseason games into 2 additional regular-season games.

In addition to the injury angle that the NFLPA and some others have noted, that would make a hash of the “perfect” schedule the NFL put together when they went to 32 teams. Right now, each team plays its 3 division rivals in a home-and-home series, the 4 teams from a different division of the same conference, the 4 teams from a division in the other conference, and the 2 teams they otherwise wouldn’t play that finished in the same place in their division the previous year (the “parity” conference games). In fact, those who know how to read the standings, break ties, and remember previous seasons’ schedules know who their team is playing, and for 14 of those games, where, the moment the final gun goes off in the last regular-season game, with only the dates to be filled in.

A single added game would throw the entirety of that picture out of balance. Adding 2 games would, if schedule harmony were to be preserved, necessitate the elimination of the “parity” conference games in favor of playing a third division in either conference. Adding 3 games, which could be accomplished either by adding a third division in a team’s conference or adding “parity” non-conference games, would certainly seem make for a too-long season.

Since most of you who read this place are football fans (or at least I hope you are), it’s time to toss it out to the readership. Unlike Chicago and locations with court-ordered one-man/many-vote situations, vote early and vote once, because the poll closes at noon July 31.

Should the NFL expand its regular-season schedule?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • No (53%, 10 Vote(s))
  • Yes, to 19 games (26%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Yes, to 18 games (21%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Yes, to 17 games (0%, 0 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 19

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May 17, 2010


by @ 13:01. Filed under Sports.

That is the Brewers’ home record percentage so far this year. How pathetic is 4-14? Let me count the ways:

  1. Only the New York Mets have as few road wins (4-12) as the Brewers have home wins, but they got their 4 road wins in two fewer games.
  2. The Baltimore Orioles, who have the worst road record at 5-15 as part of a MLB-worst 12-26, have a better road record than the Brewers’ home record.
  3. .222 is the batting average of Brandon Inge, the Detroit Tigers third baseman.
  4. Out of 178 players who are “qualified” to be on MLB’s leaderboards (i.e., those who have had 3.1 plate appearances, which includes Inge), only 25 have a lower batting average. Interestingly, while no current Brewers are on that list, two Brewer castoffs – Lyle Overbay and Carlos Lee – are.
  5. Out of those 178 “qualified” players, only one has a lower slugging percentage, St. Louis Cardinals shortstop Brendan Ryan (.219).
  6. Again out of those 178 “qualified” players, nobody has a lower on-base percentage. Chicago Cubs third baseman Aramis Ramirez (.234) is closest.
  7. Boo stale beer!

March 20, 2010

I knew I should have taken the Jayhawks as the first team out

by @ 19:08. Filed under Sports.

Congrats to the four of you who picked this one correctly – your first second-round final involving a Number 1 – Northern Iowa 69, Kansas 67.

Which #1 seed will be the first out of the NCAA tourney?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Syracuse (47%, 9 Vote(s))
  • Duke (26%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Kansas (21%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Kentucky (5%, 1 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 19

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Of course, I’m still sticking by my prediction that Syracuse will not make the Sweet 16. The problem was, I didn’t take a look at the timing before I made my selection.

March 16, 2010

It’s tourney time, baby!

by @ 15:46. Filed under Sports.

I still have to finish off my bracket, but there’s a couple of housekeeping items:

– First off, we got the play-in game tonight between Winthrop and Arkansas-Pine Bluff. The winner gets to be sacrificed on Friday by Duke. Take Arkansas-Pine Bluff to be the first team out.

– Second, it’s time to start the annual “Which #1 seed will be knocked out first?” poll. Since we’ve never had a #16 knock off a #1, you’ll most-likely have until Saturday to actually get your choice in. While I may or may not remember to pause the poll while a #1 is playing, I will throw out any guesses entered while a #1 team is playing.

Which #1 seed will be the first out of the NCAA tourney?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Syracuse (47%, 9 Vote(s))
  • Duke (26%, 5 Vote(s))
  • Kansas (21%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Kentucky (5%, 1 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 19

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I’ll be back with the Bouncing Mozzarella bracket Thursday morning – I don’t want you thieves to steal my bracket and go the other way.

February 14, 2010

Daytona 500 random thoughts

by @ 20:07. Filed under Sports.

– First things first, congratulations to Jamie McMurray for winning the longest Daytona “500” (or should it be Daytona 520?) in history. That was some serious driving to come back from bad-loose midrace. I wish Roush had been able to hang onto him (or get rid of David Ragan).

– We almost could call it the Roushketeer Invitational. In addition to McMurray winning it, we had Greg Biffle 3rd, Matt Kenseth 8th (more on him in a bit), Carl Edwards 9th, Jeff Burton 11th, Mark Martin 12th, Ragan 16th and Kurt Busch 22nd.

– While the 8th place finish for Kenseth was good considering up until the last restart he had been bascially mid-20s all day and half the night, it’s not exactly how I’d draw it up – “Let’s put the wrong shocks in the car, run wicked-loose all day, get a Darlington stripe, replace the shocks after the first red flag, chew up the splitter just before the second red flag, fix that after red flag #2, and then hang around in the back of the lead pack until the white flag, which won’t be until lap 207.”

– Speaking of all day and half the night, that was an epic pavement fail in turn 2. You just can’t have potholes appearing right where the right-side tires need to be on the bottom groove. I don’t care what Tony Stewart and Edwards say – it’s time to repave the track. Oh, and repaving just a portion just isn’t going to cut it. Trust me on this one.

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