Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

TMQ Watch: September 19, 2017.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

TMQ Watch has our tropes, too. One of those is referring to the team by their full legal name, “The New York Football Giants”.

What are some of our other tropes? The only other two we can think of are:

  1. “autonomous 1911 and heroin-vending robots”, which in turn is derived from TJIC (though the original was “autonomous Glock and heroin-vending robots”, but only heathens use Glocks.)
  2. Pointing out that Easterbrook is wrong, wrong, wrongity wrong about the 1972 Dolphins.

Are we forgetting any recurring tropes, all of you huddled wretched masses yearning to breathe free? Please let us know in comments.

After the jump, this week’s TMQ…


Obit watch: September 20th, 2017.

Wednesday, September 20th, 2017

Jake “Raging Bull” LaMotta.

Short shameful confession: I have never actually seen the movie. Need to fix that.

Robert Grays, a cornerback for Midwestern State (Division II) died yesterday from injuries he received in Saturday’s game against Texas A&M-Kingsville.

Your loser update: week 2, 2017.

Tuesday, September 19th, 2017

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:

New York Football Giants
New Orleans
San Francisco

…until morale improves.

Friday, September 15th, 2017

Two games into the season, the Cincinnati Bengals (currently 0-2) have fired Ken Zampese, their offensive coordinator.

Smells like desperation, doesn’t it?

TMQ Watch: September 12, 2017.

Wednesday, September 13th, 2017

Ah, September. The air is turning crisp. Soon leaves will show colors; the holidays are in prospect; everyone looks better in sweaters.

And once again, we ask the musical question: everyone, Gregg?

After the jump, this week’s TMQ


Your loser update: week 1, 2017.

Tuesday, September 12th, 2017

Welcome back my friends to the show that never ends.

NFL teams that still have a chance to go 0-16:

Miami (*)
New England
New York Football Giants
Tampa Bay (*)
New Orleans
San Francisco

(* Miami and Tampa Bay were originally scheduled to play last Sunday. However, due to the hurricane, that game has been postponed until week 11 (November 19th). Which means that Miami and Tampa Bay are going to play 16 straight games without a break. But that’s okay…)

Obit watch: September 11, 2017.

Monday, September 11th, 2017

Don Ohlmeyer, legendary “Monday Night Football” producer, and later NBC executive.

In 1998, Mr. Ohlmeyer feuded with Norm Macdonald, the sardonic comedian and anchor of the “Weekend Update” news segment on NBC’s “Saturday Night Live.” Mr. Ohlmeyer called Mr. Macdonald increasingly unfunny and ordered Lorne Michaels, the executive producer of the series, to remove him from the segment immediately.

“The Last Tycoon”, Amazon’s series based on the unfinished novel by F. Scott Fitzgerald. Interestingly, a few days ago Amazon also cancelled “Z: The Beginning of Everything”, a series based on the life of Zelda Fitzgerald. “Z” had actually already been renewed and was apparently in pre-production for the second season when Amazon pulled the plug.

Is there just not a great demand for Scott Fitzgerald any longer? Or were these just not very good series?

Random jumbled notes: August 6, 2017.

Wednesday, September 6th, 2017

I had no idea Tillman Fertitta could command that kind of money. (Also: the Rockets are worth more than the Clippers? And $85 million to $2.2 billion over 24 years? That’s an APR of about 14.5%, if I ran the numbers right. Anyone want to check me? ETA: Actually, I think I left a “0” off when I was doing the calculation the first time: it looks more like a 26% APR. ETA again: No, I was right the first time. I haven’t had enough coffee this morning.)

Speaking of return on investment, here’s a stock tip from WCD: sell this one short.

Over the past decade, the DNA laboratory in the office of […] chief medical examiner emerged as a pioneer in analyzing the most complicated evidence from crime scenes. It developed two techniques, which went beyond standard practice at the F.B.I. and other public labs, for making identifications from DNA samples that were tiny or that contained a mix of more than one person’s genetic material.

Now these DNA analysis methods are under the microscope, with scientists questioning their validity. In court testimony, a former lab official said she was fired for criticizing one method, and a former member of the […] Commission on Forensic Science said he had been wrong when he approved their use. The first expert witness allowed by a judge to examine the software source code behind one technique recently concluded that its accuracy “should be seriously questioned.”

A coalition of defense lawyers is asking the […] inspector general’s office — the designated watchdog for the state’s crime labs — to launch an inquiry into the use of the disputed analysis methods in thousands of criminal cases. While the inspector general has no jurisdiction over the court system, any finding of flaws with the DNA analysis could prompt an avalanche of litigation. Previous convictions could be revisited if the flawed evidence can be shown to have made a difference in the outcome.

“Oh, man, you’re not writing about the APD crime lab again, are you?” Actually, I’m not: this time, it’s the New York City DNA lab.

I still really would like to read an “explain like I’m five” piece from someone who really knows DNA and DNA testing. On the one hand, nobody (myself included) wants innocent people to go to jail. On the other hand, it increasingly seems to me like a lot of these issues resolve around subtle and sometimes disputed interpretations of statistics and statistical data.

This also points up something that I keep thinking about, and deserves a longer essay: how do we, and how should we, validate scientific investigative techniques used in criminal prosecution? It isn’t just DNA: how did comparative bullet-lead analysis ever become accepted? Or bite-mark analysis?

And what do we currently think we know, that ain’t necessarily so? Is there statistical evidence that supports the use of drug dogs, or is it possible that this is a “Clever Hans” phenomena? Has anybody ever done a controlled study?

The great Cardinals scandal of 2015 was only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to high-tech sports cheating. (I know there’s a lot of biology and chemistry involved, but for some reason I don’t think of doping as “high-tech”.)

I’ve got a vague idea for a book series about a white hat computer security expert who specializes in investigating technological sports cheating: hacking other teams databases, abusing smart watches, maybe drone surveillance of practices, tapping into sideline radio communications…sort of a Myron Bolitar meets hacker riff. If anybody wants to take this idea, feel free.

TMQ Watch: September 5, 2017.

Tuesday, September 5th, 2017

With all the dinging going on in this week’s column, you’d think this was the Christmas season and TMQ was the non-stop 24 hours a day “Carol of the Bells” channel.

Let’s get into it. After the jump, this week’s TMQ


TMQ Watch: August 29, 2017.

Wednesday, August 30th, 2017

Week two. Gesundheit.

Our count is roughly 9,400 words. Will TMQ join the 10,000 Club this season? We would not be surprised.

(And this is why we’re running behind: we do plan to try to get these up on Tuesday, but if the Weekly Standard is going to let Easterbrook run on as long as he wants, without apparent editing or restrictions, we can’t promise that.)

After the jump, this week’s column…


Loser update.

Friday, August 25th, 2017

The loser update will return again this year. The Entertainment and Sports Programming Network is saying that the Jets are going to be exceptionally awful this year. We’ll see.

Speaking of ESPN, I thought some of my readers might enjoy this: the worst NFL teams of the past 30 years.

Obviously, the 2008 Detroit Lions were the worst of the worst, right? Well, not so fast: ESPN’s ranking is based on their “DVOA (Defense-adjusted Value Over Average) metric”. So the 2008 Lions aren’t the worst NFL team of the past 30 years: they’re not even the worst Lions team of the past 30 years.

Who was the worst? And are the Houston Texans represented? You’ll have to give ESPN a page view for the answer to the first question. For the second one, yes, indeed, the Texans do show up on both the worst teams and worst offenses list.

TMQ update.

Tuesday, August 15th, 2017

The big announcement just dropped.

Where is Gregg Easterbrook’s “Tuesday Morning Quarterback” this year?

Would you believe…the Weekly Standard?

Yeah, that seems a little odd to me, too. Wikipedia characterizes it (fairly, I think) as “an American conservative opinion magazine”, and “conservative” is not a word I would use to describe Easterbrook. But, you know, whatever gets you through the night.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out. Will TMQ go back to the pre-NYT days, with 2,000 word digressions on how unrealistic a television show is? Or will this be the leaner, tighter, more disciplined TMQ we saw on the website for the paper of record?

And will there be cheerleader photos?

The Weekly Standard isn’t on our list of publications and websites we don’t read. (Heck, Lawrence even subscribes to it. Or did at one time: I’m not sure if he still does.) So yes, there will be a TMQ Watch when Easterbrook’s column resumes next week. Watch this space.