Tuesday, September 25, 2018

Dante Hall X-Factor

Over ten years ago, somebody uploaded a video about Dante Hall, The X-Factor, with the song, X Gonna Give It To Ya. In 2009, I posted it as the video that pumps me up the most. Of course, it's been taken down since then. So I tried to recreate it.

I synced the video to the lyrics at :38, :45, :57, 1:13, 1:41. Of course the best one is at :57.

Mrs. Hoagie Central and I were in the crowd for the one at 2:00.

password: sucks

Also, here's a backup link in case vimeo takes this down.

Chiefs Streaks

I had a hunch that when Chiefs get a winning streak, it's usually at the beginning of the season. So I went back to 2000 and looked for any winning streaks of at least four games.


9 win streak - started week 1
finished 13-3

4 win streak - started week 13
finished 7-9

4 win streak - started week 4
finished 7-9

9 win streak - started week 1
finished 11-5

5 win streak - started week 7
finished 9-7

10 win streak - started week 7
finished 11-5

5 win streak - started week 6
finished 12-4

5 win streak - started week 1
4 win streak - started week 14
finished 10-6

Okay, that's interesting. I'm going to filter out the 4-game winning streaks. While good, they didn't ensure winning seasons. In my gut, the benchmark was 5. I asked Mark and he said 4 was notable, a month without losing.


9 win streak - started week 1
finished 13-3

9 win streak - started week 1
finished 11-5

5 win streak - started week 7
finished 9-7

10 win streak - started week 7
finished 11-5

5 win streak - started week 6
finished 12-4

5 win streak - started week 1
finished 10-6

There you go. 6 times this millennium the Chiefs have been on fire. 3 of them have been to start the season: 2003, 2013, 2017. But they've also gotten in rolling in weeks 6-7. (Obviously, it's not possible to start a 5-game winning streak in weeks 14-17.)

If you look at streaks of 6 or more, it's to open the season in 2003 and 2013 and to close the season in 2015.

As for my hunch, it's not completely borne out, but yes the Chiefs hot streaks do tend to start at the beginning of the season.

2018 NFL Gambling: Method C

A quick recap: before the season started I created 2 methods of betting on NFL Futures.

Method C is ongoing wagers throughout the season.

Here's what I have so far:

1000 on Chiefs to win division +140
1000 on Rams to win division -290
2000 on Chiefs to win division +130

That leaves me with 6000 more to spend this season. With Jimmy G out for the year, the Rams odds have jumped up to -1600 to win their division. Seems like a lock, but putting 1000 on those odds is kind of pointless. T

At the moment, Pats are -300 and Dolphins are +260. Coming into the season, I thought the Dolphins would finish between 6-10 and 8-8 and I think that's still true. They haven't played anyone good. I still believe in the Patriots long term. The Dolphins play the Pats this week and I'm guessing the Pats win and go back to being a -800 favorite...so -300 is tempting. In fact, Patriots are still the AFC favorites for making the SB at +325 with Chiefs at +350. 

(At the moment I'm convinced Chiefs win the division but incredibly nervous that they fall short in the playoffs.)

I'm going to go ahead and put 

1000 on Patriots to win division at -300
500 on Rams to win NFC at +250

Still leaves me 4500 for the rest of the year. 

Jaguars at -175 to win division is tempting. I don't believe in the Titans, Colts or Texans so I expect those odds to get much worse. But I'll wait and see. 

Monday, September 24, 2018

Spreading the Ball

Chiefs with TD Receptions

That's 9. The record in a season is 13 (Falcons.)

Chiefs that have Receptions but not TD Receptions

Chiefs that have Rushes but not TD Receptions

At this rate, decent odds that Ware gets a TD pass, Williams could get one too eventually. Kemp is unlikely. Mahomes to Mahomes requires a fluke batted ball, but Kelce to Mahomes is in play.

Chiefs used to use Dontari Poe on the offense, so you never know, but it's going to be hard to find 13 players to catch balls.

Wednesday, September 12, 2018

The Difference One Week Makes

On August 30, the AFC West odds were:

LA +150
KC +265
OAK +325
DEN +400

The Chiefs are now the favorite all the way up to +140 while the raiders went from 3rd to an incredible +1000.

Chiefs going to the Super Bowl went from +1400 to +1200. For the moment, Oakland still has better odds of going to the playoffs than the Chiefs have of making the Super Bowl.

The Lions odds of winning their division dropped from +650 to +850.

Knowing what we know now and going off of current odds, the best values seem to be

Chiefs +140
Washington +600
Panthers +240
Rams -290
Jaguars Even

I mean, the Pats are -1300. So there's just not any value there. Meanwhile the Rams seems to almost be as good of a lock and they're only -290. The Chiefs are in the driver's seat and still at +140. The Eagles are -200 but why couldn't Washington be just as good?

I already have done two fake gambling methods, so I'm going to introduce a third. Method C will go on throughout the season, dispersing 10,000 fake dollars. From previous years, I already know that the first couple games don't determine the whole season, but perhaps I can find value in jumping on division winners before they get the kind of odds the Patriots already have.

To start Method C, let's go 1000 on Chiefs +140 and Rams -290. Not as good as the odds before the season, but likely to get less valuable throughout the season.

Edit: After Jaguars beat Pats in week 2, their division odds jumped from even to -160. But you can still get Chiefs +130. Rams -300. I know I'm biased but those are the three playoff teams I can pencil in after two games: Jaguars, Chiefs, Rams. So based on the odds, I'm loving Chiefs +130. I'm going another 2000 on Chiefs +130.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

current mission impossible rankings

3, 5, 6 in some order
1, 4 in some order

Sunday, September 09, 2018

The Pat Mahomes Era Starts With A Big Win

I typically don't try to make too much of one game, particularly the opening week when wonky stuff happens. But this was a big win for the Chiefs. Let's break it down.

In my head divisional games are worth 4 times as much as a single Chiefs result outside of the division. A win over say the Texans can be canceled out if the AFC West leaders win their game too. But beating the Chargers means giving them a loss, while a loss hurts the Chiefs and helps the Chargers.

The Chargers were the preseason favorite to win the division.

This was a Chiefs road game. Always good to start with a road win and still have 8 home games left. In fact, one of the Chiefs road games is actually a neutral site in Mexico City. Season just started and only 6 road games left.

This continues the streak of 9 straight wins for Chiefs over Chargers. It's nice to start the season by reminding the Chargers they can't stay on the same field as the Chiefs.

Mahomes is the real deal. He wasn't perfect and not every throw goes on the highlight reel. But for his first meaningful start, he played tough, smart and make enough plays to lead an offense to 31 points (the first TD was a punt return).

It helps that neither the 49ers nor the Steelers looked like world-beaters today. The path to opening 3-1 or even 4-0 seems more realistic now than it did 8 hours ago.

Oh yeah, and Eric Berry didn't play this game. Any time you can be down a great player and still get the W is a huge help.

In fact, the Chiefs were up 31-12. I think they let up off the gas on purpose, knowing they didn't need to pull out any more tricks.

Thursday, September 06, 2018

NFL Predictions Roundup


Yahoo likes Vikings, Packers, Steelers and Jaguars.

The Ringer's Super Bowl Picks

Mays: Rams over Vikings
Clark: Patriots over Vikings
Kelly: Saints over Patriots
McAtee: Rams over Patriots
Sherman: Rams over Patriots
Heifetz: Saints over Chargers

So the Ringers likes Rams, Patriots, Vikings and Saints.

NFL.com has 21 experts making picks which makes it hard to summarize, but their top teams to win the Super Bowl are Rams, Saints, Falcons.

Compositing all three sites, and here are the consensus top 8 teams.


Here are our Calcutta owners by number of these top 8 teams:

Kirat: 3
Niraj: 1
Dave: 1
Matt: 1
Savan: 1
Mark: 1

As a bonus, here is the Ringer's NFL Wins Pool draft, a vastly inferior version of our Calcutta auction. (The biggest flaw is doing a snake draft instead of an auction which robs the whole thing of validity. The other flaw is only doing wins not including the postseason.)

The consensus 8 is born out except for the inclusion of the Eagles.

I think the top 3 squads are easily Kevin, Riley and Bill. The key is the last pick. I think the Cowboys, Washington and Dolphins could all win 6 or 7, possibly more. I think it comes down to Kevin and Riley and the difference should be Watson's Texans vs Garoppolo 49ers (as I think Pats/Steelers and Dolphins/Cowboys are washes.) The people predicting Mal to win are insane. Seahawks and Broncos will be bad.

Edit: And I happened to see a Chiefs SB pick, so I'm including it.

Thursday, August 30, 2018

2018 NFL Sportsbook

Futures are a sucker bet. On the other hand, a sucker is born every minute. Let's do this!

I thought it would be interesting to approach things in 2 ways. The first is applying my predictions that I made without looking at the odds. The second is looking at the odds for efficiencies. I'll give myself an imaginary $10,000 for both and see what happens.

Before I can do either, I'll post the odds for future reference:

Method A: 

To make this as simple as possible, I'm going to put $1000 on each of the division winners I picked:
Texans +185
Chiefs +265
Steelers -230
Patriots -800
Saints +155
Rams -160
Cowboys +375
Packers +140

With the remaining $2000, I'll put $1000 each on 
Saints +900 to make Super Bowl
Steelers +450 to make Super Bowl 

I could have put additional money on Steelers at +1000 to win the Super Bowl, but I'm out of money and I've already put enough on the Steelers. 

Method B: 

Now I'll be looking for teams that provide value to win their division:

$500 on 49ers +300
$500 on Cowboys +375
$500 on Chiefs +265

Then load up on heavy favorites:

$3000 on Patriots -800
$4000 on Steelers -230

Then some fliers on making the Super Bowl:

$200 on Chiefs +1400
$300 on 49ers +1100
$500 on Saints +900
$500 on Falcons +1000

Who ya got? Method A or Method B? Feel free to play along in the comments. 

EDIT: The Ringer just came out with their list of surprise teams: Broncos, Bengals, Washington. 
If you trust the Ringer more than Hoagie Central, you'd be betting money on Broncos +400, Bengals +750 and Washington +750. Of the three, the Broncos winning their division would surprise me the most. Washington makes sense. Smith played great last year, Eagles hangover, Giants were terrible, Cowboys could be mediocre. We'll see.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

2018 NFL Preview

Two years ago, I identified storylines for all 32 teams. Pretty interesting to go back and read them--many still apply, many seem laughably outdated. This post was actually inspired by, of all things, the AFC South. So I'll start there.

AFC South

Andrew Luck is back! Or at least Andrew Luck is back. Andrew Luck is back? We'll see. After an off-season of reports that had him not permitted to throw a regulation size ball, all eyes are on him. He seemed destined to be the new Manning or Rodgers at one point, but now it's unclear who he is. If he is that type of ELITE QB, then we should be seeing it on the field. Likewise for the Texans, Deshaun Watson is back. Last year he was the most electrifying player and story and it seemed like the Texans were headed for playoff success. An injury derailed that and now we're waiting to see if he can recapture that glory. The Titans ended up winning a playoff game (can't remember how that happened) and then immediately fired their Head Coach. Teams don't usually fire their head coach after winning their first playoff game in 14 years. But hey, their new coach Vrabel is running wind sprints so they should be in good hands. Mariota has a little bit of the Luck thing too...if he's great, shouldn't we be seeing it by now? And then there's the Jaguars. They were a play or two away from the Super Bowl. Last year they had the defense, Fournette and Bortles came through in the clutch. Was it a fluke? (I think so.) I bet the defense regresses, Bortles struggles, and Fournette is still awesome—he can carry the ball but can't carry a team.

Division Winner Prediction: Texans

AFC West

The Patrick Mahomes era is upon us. On paper, it's the best offense since the 2011 Eagles Dream Team. The potential for the offense is seriously high and this is assuming that Mahomes is the savior we think he is. There will be struggles and the question is will the highs overcome the lows? Also, the defense will be likely bad, possibly terrible. I'm saying take the over every Chiefs game. The Chargers are getting hyped up like they are every year but they lose more players to injury than any other. Something in the ocean? They could win the division at 9-7 but I wouldn't bet on it. Denver seems lost. Case Keenum will need a whole lot of Mile High Miracles to save this team. And the Raiders? Their Vegas stadium is set to open in 2020, so this probably isn't their last Oakland season, but you never know. Maybe they'll play 2019 in Reno. They got Gruden coaching who will likely be out of touch. None of these teams figure to be that great, so I'll stick with the winner the last two years.

Division Winner Prediction: Chiefs

AFC North

The Browns have been grabbing players and they've entrusted Baker Mayfield to be the quarterback of the future. They'll be bad again this year, but one day, they might possibly eke out a winning record in our lifetimes...maybe. The Bengals and Ravens are both boring. They occasionally put a good year together but otherwise just kinda lay there. I trust the Ravens to surprise more than the Bengals. But this division still belongs to the Steelers. This is their last year with Bell and it shouldn't be too hard to win this division again.

Division Winner Prediction: Steelers

AFC East

As long as the Pats have Brady, they're a lock to win the division. How much more does he have in the tank? The Jets have their QBotF in Sam Darnold, the Bills have Josh Allen and the Dolphins are returning Tannehill. If the Pats were in a better division this would be interesting...but it's not. 

Division Winner Prediction: Patriots

NFC South

On the receiving end of the Minnesota Miracle is the Saints. Brees is still great, Kamara is great, they still have a top coach. The Saints were as close as you can get to the NFC Championship and still have a few more years of Brees. Time to make the most of it. The Falcons are solid and trying to return to their 2016 highs. A lot of the same players could make this interesting. Neither the Bucs nor Winston are good. In a weaker division they might have a chance, but this is a tough hill to climb. Did you remember that the Panthers won 11 games last year? I didn't. Seems like this will be a dogfight between the Saints and the Falcons and we now know the Falcons stance on dogfighting.

Division Winner Prediction: Saints

NFC West

Goff, Gurley, Cooks, Donald, Suh, Peters, Talib, McVay. If you can build teams on paper, the Rams have already won the Super Bowl. Should be the most interesting team to watch and see if the talent coalesces or blows up. Also in the division: Jimmy G. The biggest investment questionmark ever. Is he the next Tom Brady? This is our first chance to see for real. The Seahawks used to be good, but now they don't have a Legion of Boom. Can Pete Carrol form a new identity. And the Cardinals will valiantly claim fourth place with Bradford and Rosen. Desert football! Fitzgerald is still playing, that's something. Really should have won that Super Bowl with Warner, would have been nice. As for who wins this, do you trust a dream team or a the dreamy QB? I'll go with the team in the division, not necessarily in the playoffs.

Division Winner Prediction: Rams

NFC East

Philly Philly won the Super Bowl with Foles and Wentz is better so when they get Wentz back they'll win 2 Super Bowls. Right? Isn't that how this works? The Eagles were special and should be good again, but it's hard to repeat. The Giants are putting all their money on Odell, their top pick on Barkley, and trusting Manning for one last ride. Seems like they could maybe get to 9 or 10 but will likely be mediocre. (Barkley is awesome though.) Washington went from Cousins to Smith in the most lateral move possible. And the Cowboys have moved on from Dez Bryant who used to be a top 10 receiver and is now in street clothes. It wouldn't surprise me if any of these teams come in 1st or 4th in the division. Because of the hangover effect, I'm giving a slight nod to Dallas over Philly.

Division Winner Prediction: Cowboys

NFC North

During the entire Rodgers-Brady era, I thought the safest preseason Super Bowl pick was always Packers-Patriots. The Packers have gone to exactly 1 Super Bowl since drafting Aaron Rodgers in 2005. If your team had Rodgers, I think you'd expect more. Trubisky & Nagy sound like Chicago cops. I wasn't super impressed with their strategy of not letting Trubisky throw the ball last year but what do I know. The Lions have brought in Matt Patricia from the Belichick coaching tree. Unfortunately, it seems like that coaching tree doesn't bear fruit. And then there's the Vikings who had 3 quarterbacks which really meant they had 0, so they went all in on Cousins for a fully guaranteed contract. The good news for them is career-ending injuries on their practice turf are virtually unheard of. Bears last. Lions third. Vikings and Packers down to the wire. Because I'm an idiot who never learns I will stick with Green Bay.

Division Winner Prediction: Packers

- - -

AFC Playoff Predictions

1 Steelers
2 Patriots
3 Texans
4 Chiefs
5 Jaguars
6 Raiders

NFC Playoff Predictions

1 Packers
2 Rams
3 Saints
4 Cowboys
5 Falcons
6 Vikings

- - -

Super Bowl LIII

Steelers over Saints

Tuesday, August 28, 2018

I'm going to do a little NFL preview. Stay tuned.

Wednesday, August 15, 2018

cell phone timeline

LG VX6000
July 2004 - May 2006

I got my first cell phone in the summer of 2004. It was a decent phone. It had two plastic hinges and eventually one side broke off, but I was eligible for my New Every Two at that point.

LG VX8300
May 2006 - February 2008

This was my favorite phone. This had one strong hinge in the center and nice speakers on the side of the phone so you could always hear it ringing. This phone was still working when I upgraded as part of my New Every Two.

LG VX8350
February 2008 - May 2009

This phone was quite plain. They finally made a phone without a visible antenna. And yet it was ugly. It was broken during the Autopilot release party and I had to do an early upgrade.

Samsung Trance
May 2009 - July 2010

My first phone that wasn't an LG clamshell. I didn't mind the sliding aspect, but it wasn't a big deal. It seemed fine until I lost service while camping and never got it back. I took it into a Verizon store and they said it was dead. In a coincidence, I lost the charger the day before it died.

LG Accolade
July 2010 - April 2013

My fifth phone. Of the previous four, the 8300 was the only that was still working when I upgraded. But this one lasted forever.

LG Revere 2
April 2013 - April 2015
My last flip phone. Pretty forgettable.

April 2015 - April 2017

My first smartphone. I loved how the curved back fit in the palm of my hand. And how the power and volume buttons were all on the back so there were no buttons on the side. Just clean lines.

April 2017 - Present

I loved the G3 so much that I stuck with LG. Volume buttons on the side...but they did add the wide angle camera which I use a lot. Love the screen and camera still. I did see Niraj's Pixel so I will have to consider that in the future. But the Samsung S8 Galaxy is too narrow and I don't like the curved screen.

Monday, August 13, 2018

Rocket League Throwback

In 2009 and 2010, I played Supersonic Acrobatic Rocket-Powered Battle Cars a lot. Specifically the "Stadium" arena. I uploaded a ton of videos like this:

The graphics were actually really good, but they couldn't upload to youtube in higher quality than this.

9 years after they introduced the stadium level, we now have the Throwback Arena in Rocket League. Good to have you back.

Sunday, August 05, 2018