Geeze, I think the Royals fans were excited about winning the World Series.
The Making of a Rivalry
Hey, alright! The NBA is back! I love to play basketball, but in the last couple of years I’ve entered a phase of life where I need a reason to watch the NBA. Watching a random game on a Wednesday just to see John Wall is not enough for me. But a rivalry? A real rivalry? Where the players legit dislike each other? That is something I can get into. Enter: Warriors/Clippers, which has turned into an extremely heated rivalry over the last three years. In this article, one of my favorite NBA writers, former Kings beat writer Sam Amick, details the origins and key moments that gave rise to this rivalry. He peppers the article with videos, gifs, and quotes. Highly entertaining. If you missed it, Steph Curry did Steph Curry things and the Warriors beat the Clippers Wednesday, as they do. -TOB
Source: “Warriors vs. Clippers, Three Years of a Heated Rivalry“, Sam Amick, USA Today (11/04/2015)
NFL Referees Are Not Unbiased. Shocking.
I have often thought about how ridiculous the football ritual of measuring for a first down is. Consider this: At the end of each play, a referee who is approximately 30 yards from the play attempts to determine where the ball was located when a player is touched down. It is a rough estimate, at best. But when the ball is too close to the first down marker to eyeball, from the same distance, whether the first down has been achieved, we march out the first down sticks and measure it to the centimeter. Isn’t that odd? You’re empirically measuring something that was subjectively marked. This article tackles a different but related subject: How accurate is a referee’s ball placement? The stats show: not very. Take a look at this graph, which shows the frequency of a ball being placed at each yard line:
The 20-yard line is an anomaly because of touchbacks after punts/kickoffs. But notice the other, smaller peaks – those all occur on each 5-yard line marker. Why are referees more likely to place a ball at each 5-yard marker? Because that is where the line is painted across the field. It’s pretty fascinating, and the entire article is worth reading. Shoutout to 1-2-3 reader/my brother Pat for passing this article along. -TOB
Source: “Are NFL Officials Biased With Their Ball Placement“, Joey Faulkner, gutterstats (11/03/2015)
Mamas, Don’t Let Your Kids Grow Up to Play Football
Below is a sad interview with former NFL player Kyle Turley, where he talks about years of contemplating suicide as a result of the long-term use of medications he needed in order to play football.
I of course could not help think of my son. On Saturday, we were in Berkeley at a new taqueria (seriously, go to Sinaloa) before the Cal/USC game and we talked to two middle-aged guys who were there. One of them mentioned his son plays football for a local high school and that his son wants to join the Marines, but they are concerned the Marines won’t take him because of shoulder injuries he’s suffered playing football. In the next breath, he looked at my son, who is a thick little dude, and said, “He’s gonna be a linebacker.” I laughed and agreed, because I didn’t want to offend the guy. But I could not believe that he had just told me his son might not be able to do what he wants to do because of football, and it doesn’t even appear to give him pause that maybe his son shouldn’t have played. I don’t know where the future of football will go, but I just cannot stand the thought of anyone I love playing this violent game. -TOB
Source: “Kyle Turley Speaks About the Benefits of Medical Cannabis“, Highly Questionable (11/05/2015)
Video of the Week
The 1985 Buffalo Sabres made an anti-drug music video and it is everything you hope it would be. There’s a lot of great flow, bad moustaches, and some of the worst dancing you’ve ever seen. Be fair to yourself and watch.
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