Sunday, September 30, 2012

The Chiefs are currently losing 27-13, and they look terrible, so I know it won't matter.

But when they got a touchdown to cut it to 6-20, they apparently tried a fake.

This makes no sense.

They were down 14. The sure PAT cuts it to 13. A risky fake would cut it to 12.

Is 12 better than 13? Of course smaller is better, but not significantly better.

Is 13 better than 14? YES. Given that we're down that much, we'll need touchdowns to get back in this game. I would much rather be down 13 than 14 going into the second half.


Edit: I finally was able to find video and it was a botched snap. Sorry for the rant.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Hilton SuperContest Picks

I tried this a couple years ago and was TERRIBLE.

Let's try again.

Saints +7.5 over Packers
Titans +12 over Texans
Dolphins +6.5 over Cardinals
Raiders +6.5 over Broncos
Chargers +1 over Chiefs


I want to do everything. But I don't have the time. People usually say that they don't have time for certain things, or that they wish they had more time. I'm going to breakdown my current situation.

Here's a list of everything that I want to do, broken into tiers:

Things That Come First
trying to be a good father and husband
trying to be a good copywriter

Things That Fight For My Free Time
designing book covers
watching TV/playing video games
writing personal projects

Things That Get Left Out Completely
eating healthy/getting in shape

Here's a basic workday:
Work + commute = 9.5 hours
Father time = 4.5 hours
Sleep (in chunks) = ideally 7 hours

That leaves 3 hours.
In that time I'd like to do book covers, watch tv and play games, and do personal writing. But there's also some basic cleaning, cooking, whatever.
Sometimes it's bedtime and I have to choose between playing a video game or going to sleep. Sometimes I have plans to work on something at home and Brit wants to watch a movie. So I don't usually get to do everything I want in that middle tier.

Which leaves the bottom tier in the cold. It's not that eating healthy takes up more time. It's just that I'm sort of burning the candle at both ends and not in the mood to be hungry or settle for healthy food. And I would feel better if I made the time to play sports/work out, but I just don't do it. That's an inspiring slogan.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Red and Gold Comeback Special

After watching the Chiefs and Saints play for 3 hours and 20 minutes, after seeing the Chiefs come back from down 24-6 to cut it to a 3-point deficit on their final drive, after seeing them convert a 4th and 5 and get into field goal range...

the CBS feed in Denver switched to the kickoff of the Broncos-Texans game.

I understand. There's not really a good solution. I would be ticked if I was in Kansas City and I couldn't watch the first quarter because some other AFC game was in overtime. And with a game going into overtime, there's not really anything CBS could have done. But it's a shame that the reason the game was dragging was because the officials took forever and had five challenges overturned. And it's defeating to invest your entire Sunday afternoon into a game that is now tied in overtime and you can't watch it.

So I kept an eye on my fantasy window. I saw the Chiefs punt to the Saints 3. And force a 3 and out. I saw they had the ball at their 47. And then I saw Saints touchdown. Fumble. 57 yard return. Game over. 30-24.

So I went to the basement. I played with H. I thought about how the comeback was such a waste. I blamed the Chiefs for all the times they kicked field goals instead of getting touchdowns. I blamed them for not even trying to score on their last possession, settling for a long field goal attempt to go to overtime.

And I thought about how the Chiefs were 0-3.
My fantasy team would be 0-3.
My college team is 1-2 against Division I, and their only win was against a MAC team. And their two losses were blowouts.

I told myself: You need to get a new hobby. Football just isn't for you.

After a good 15 minutes I came upstairs. I checked my latest fantasy loss in progress. And I saw that the Chiefs had won, 27-24.

- - -

And suddenly, the Chiefs are tied with the Lions in the burger standings. They're tied with the Broncos, who just two weeks ago had the local news thinking Super Bowl plans. And they have a home game this Sunday for first place in the division.

Peyton seems human. The Raiders haven't impressed. And the Chargers started strong but showed up flat on Sunday. Beat them and all of a sudden things are different.

So two questions.

1. How did the Chiefs struggle to score touchdowns?
2. How did they come back to win?

- - -

Let's look at the Chief's possessions.

#1. Advanced to 1st and 10 at NO 11. Run. Pass. Incomplete. Field goal.
#2. Three and out. Punt.
#3. Advanced to midfield. Penalty. Punt.
#4. Advanced to 1st and 10 at NO 30. Run. Incomplete. Incomplete. Field goal.
#5. Advanced to 1st and 10 at NO 45. Cassel sacked and "fumbled" with two seconds left in the half. (I was convinced that it should have been an incomplete and the Chiefs should have gotten another chance at a hail mary. But the refs ran to the locker room and that was that.)

#6. Fumble.
#7. Advanced to midfield. Punt.
#8. Interception.
#9. 91-yard touchdown run on 1st down.
#10. Advanced to 1st and 10 at NO 13. Run. Pass. Sack. Field goal.
#11. Advanced to 1st and 10 at NO 15. Penalty. Run. Incomplete. Penalty. Incomplete. Field goal.
#12. Three and out. Punt.
#13. 2nd and 4 at NO 33 at the two-minute warning with one timeout. Run. Def penalty. Sneak. Run. Run. Field goal on 3rd down from NO 25.

Scoring summary:
1 touchdown from own 9
3 field goals from red zone
2 field goals from outside red zone

I can't sit here and argue against the playcalling in the red zone, that a pass would have been better. But just generally when you get the red zone three times and score 0 tds, that's not a recipe for success in the NFL. (Aside: The networks always show red zone scoring percentage and I HATE that stat. That stat is worthless. Red zone TD percentage is 100x better. I would rather my team get two td's and turn the ball over on downs once, then get three field goals.)

But the other thing that irks that shit out of me, is the playcalling after the two minute warning. 4 run plays. No sense of urgency. Not trying to get the touchdown at all. You have a chance to win the game. Try for it. At least get your kicker closer. In two minutes you picked up 8 yards. 5 of those yards was an offsides penalty. It's almost as if the Chiefs forgot why you play the game.

- - -

How did the Chiefs win?

Play #1: The Saints are up 10-6 in the 2nd. This play happens. It was called a touchdown on the field. You tell me if there's indisputable visual evidence that it wasn't a touchdown. Because I don't see it. Anyways it was overturned. The Chiefs sack Brees for an 11-yard loss and Hartley pushes a 38-yarder wide.

The Saints were jobbed out of another touchdown in the 2nd half, but got it back five plays later, so no big deal.

Play #2: The Chiefs are down 24-6 in the 3rd. Then #25 goes untouched 91 yards. The only touchdown on the day for KC. Good thing they didn't get into the red zone.

Play #3: On the ensuing drive, new CB Routt picks off Brees at the goal line.

Play #4: The fourth quarter defense. Here are the Saints posessions in the 4th and OT:
3 and out.
3 and out.
In overtime: 3 and out.

When the Chiefs couldn't afford any mistakes, the defense stepped up and SHUT THEM DOWN.

Play #5: The Chiefs are down 24-21 with only 2:26 to go in the game. They have a 4th down and 5 at the New Orleans 46. They line up to punt.

Are you serious? They have two timeouts and a two-minute warning, but you're in New Orleans territory. The time is now. Crennel calls timeout. And sends the offense on the field. Don't convert this play and the game is over.

Cassel to Bowe for 7 yards.

The drive stays alive and Succop hits the 43-yarder to go to OT.

- - -

1st win of the season? Let's hand out some game balls.

#3: Ryan Succop

Their kicker: 1 of 2.
Our kicker: 6 of 6.

43-yarder to tie. 31-yarder for the win.

#2 Justin Houston and the 4th quarter defense

I already elaborated on the 4th quarter D. Houston, in his 2nd season, had 3 sacks on the day. The first to push the Saints back that led to a missed field goal. The second was on 3rd down on the drive before the safety. And the third was the safety. We should keep this guy around.

#1: Jamaal Charles

Here are the all-time Kansas City Chiefs single-game rushing records:

3. 211 yards - Larry Johnson
2. 233 yards - Jamaal Charles (Sunday)
1. 255 yards - Jamaal Charles (2010 vs Broncos)

His 91-yard touchdown run was the longest in franchise history and sparked the comeback.

He scored 37 fantasy points.

All the people that won this game for the Chiefs, RAISE YOUR HANDS.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

holy shit, is it 5773 already?

Looking for hot shofar-on-shofar action?

Monday, September 17, 2012

illini basketball 12-13 preview

Basketball recruiting is still foreign to me. It's not that hard of a concept, but it's strange to me that in September we get all excited about recruiting news...and then they don't play for another year. It would be like holding the NFL Draft a week before the college football season starts, but for the following year.

Further complicating things is that sometimes you get junior commitments. Case in point, a year ago SG Malcolm Hill committed to Illinois. And I missed the fact that he was a junior in high school. I wrote a full year ago that he would be playing for Illinois come fall 2012. Of course he's still in high school and won't be donning the orange and blue until fall 2013. So this article was getting excited about a player that was two years away from being an Illini.

Anyways, let's take a look at our 2012-2013 Illinois Basketball Team:
(with their Rivals national scouting rank)

Seniors: Richardson (38), Paul (42), Griffey (120)
Juniors: Bertrand (128), Rice (NR), Berardini (NR)
Sophomores: Henry (39), Abrams (58), Shaw (59), Egwu (97), Djimbe (NR)
Freshmen: Langford (NR), LaTulip (NR walk-on)

After Weber was fired, Jalen James (89) and Michael Orris (NR) decommitted from Illinois. They would have been freshmen on the 2012-2013 squad.

2013 Recruits: Kendrick Nunn (42), Malcolm Hill (64), Maverick Morgan (148)
Still in the hunt for Xavier Rathan-Mayes (25) (Edit: XRM chose FSU over Illinois) and Demetrius Jackson (27) (Edit: Jackson chose Notre Dame over Illinois)

- - -

And I know that rivals recruiting rankings are not the be all end all determination of a player, but it's about all I can go on.

Here's a forecast, even though it never happens like this:

2012-2013: Groce's first year, with two seniors who combined for 25 points a game last year, should fare pretty well.
2013-2014: A weak senior class opens to the door to lots of playing time for our deep junior class and our super awesome freshmen recruits. Perhaps a bit of a step down in performance.
2014-2015: Time for a deep tournament run. Led by a strong group of seniors and super awesome sophomores, Groce's third year puts it all together. Start booking your Indianapolis hotel rooms now.

What do the futures look like to win the 2013 National Title?

Indiana 8/1
Ohio State 18/1
Michigan 20/1
Michigan State 25/1
Wisconsin 50/1
Minnesota 65/1
Illinois 100/1
Purdue 100/1
Iowa 150/1

For completeness here were the 2012 Futures with conference finish and tournament status:

Ohio State 17/2 (1st, Final Four)
Michigan State 25/1 (2nd, Sweet Sixteen)
Indiana 30/1 (5th, Sweet Sixteen)
Michigan 35/1 (3rd, 1st round*)
Wisconsin 55/1 (4th, Sweet Sixteen)
Illinois 75/1 (10th, did not qualify the motherfucking NIT)
Minnesota 75/1 (9th, Title Game in NIT)
Purdue 75/1 (6th, 2nd round)

*lost to Groce's Ohio team which reached the Sweet Sixteen

Looking at this, I would say the pre-season futures were a better indicator than I would have guessed. Pretty darn close on the finishing of the top 5 schools and accurate on bracket finishes as well.

/looks back at 2013 Futures.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

numbers don't lie

Chiefs outgain Bills 422-379.
Bills were up 35-3 entering the 4th.

Friday, September 07, 2012

Revamped NFL Logos

I saw a site that redesigned NFL logos. And then I saw another one. And then some designers that did some for some teams. So I saved them and am here to go team-by-team, rank my favorites and give some commentary. I've listed my favorites at the top, per team.

New England Patriots

Not a strong start. Don't love any of these three. The second one is better designed, but just doesn't work for a football logo.

New York Jets

Now we're talking. This first one is snazzy. And then you see that it has a N Y in the logo. The second one is sharp, perhaps a little too futuristic.

Buffalo Bills

I feel like the retro look fits Buffalo. The second one is cartoony and the third one is a god-awful rendition of the shitty Sabres logo that everyone hated.

Miami Dolphins

The Dolphins was a popular choice. All of these are pretty good, but I like how the first one has a great looking dolphin and it works as a D in the script.

Pittsburgh Steelers

This is probably the best set of three in the post. It's hard to even pick a favorite.

Baltimore Ravens

The bottom one isn't bad, but the top one takes a cool element they already have and improves upon it. Not easy.

Cincinnati Bengals

These are both super shitty. But the bottom one isn't even a logo.

Cleveland Browns

I actually like all three logos for the Browns. My favorite would be to take the top logo and lose the words.

Indianapolis Colts

Again I would keep the horseshoe and lose the words.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Some teams are just hard to design I guess. I hate all of these. The last one is nothing. The second one looks like a snake. The top one wins by default.

Tennessee Titans

These are all sort of interesting and I want to like #2 with the face, but it's not quite right.

Houston Texans

All of these are okay, but the first one is boss.

Denver Broncos

Don't like either of these. I prefer the throwback D logo.

Oakland Raiders

The bottom one is a cartoon joke. The top one is badass.

San Diego Chargers

So I sort of like all three...except none of them are quite right. For San Diego, I like powder blue and lightning. No other team has lightning, so I think it's a mistake to lose that and insert a horse. The middle one has powder blue and lightning, but has a jumble of letters. And I like that the last one tried to use lightning and combine it with a Chargers' C...except that it looks like a 5 and there's no powder blue.

Kansas City Chiefs

None of these are very good, I might like the first one if the arrowhead pointed to the right.

Dallas Cowboys

Fucking terrible. They should have done what they did for the Bears and Saints below. When you have  a perfect, classic logo, all you can try to do is keep and add some flavor. Not ruin it with a bandito.

New York Giants

I'm a sucker for skylines. 


This might be the biggest disparity. The top one is elegant. The bottom one is ghastly.

Philadelphia Eagles

Again, I think the retro look works. The bottom eagle is cheesy.

Chicago Bears

I'm impressed. The top one took a virtually perfect logo and gave it a nice revamp.

Green Bay Packers

Ugh. Fucking awful again. The bottom one might be the worst on this page.

Detroit Lions

So bad. Why are they doing this to me?

Minnesota Vikings

I like the top one. The bottom one isn't the worst.

Atlanta Falcons

These are both pretty bad.

New Orleans Saints

The bottom one is a joke, right? I could do with a little less grunge on the top one, but at least it retained the important parts.

Carolina Panthers

CP are not letters to build a logo around.

Tampa Bay Bucs

Three logos this time and I like them. Love how the sword is in the 2nd one, but the first one just has a nice feel.

St. Louis Rams

More shit. The second one isn't even a logo.

Seattle Seahawks

Credit for making the top one clearly a sea hawk.

Arizona Cardinals

The top one is pretty good. Combines a desert scape with the bird and the key letter. The bottom one is SHITE.

San Francisco 49ers

We finish strong with four choices. The top one is pretty killer.