Monday, February 19, 2024

Bill Barnwell you missed one major point about the NFL Playoff overtime rules. If you kickoff you can't lose.

 Bill Barnwell ran a column over at ESPN.com about last Weeks Super Bowl - and Kyle Shanahan decision to take the ball first.  Which was a bad idea. Bill Barnwell article mentioned percentages and analytics of taking the ball first or kicking off.

However, he missed one big point. If you kick off you can't lose the game. 

The offense can punt, kick a field goal or score a touchdown  on that first possession - but the team that kicks off does not lose. However, the team that kicks off can actually win the game on the first drive. They could get a safety (unlikely), a fumble return for a touchdown or even an interception return for a touchdown. (Or even if the fumble return or interception does not give you a score it can give you great field position.

If you kick off and the other team scores a TD with an extra point - then you know you have to score a touchdown (and you will always be playing four downs). If you score that touchdown and you almost always wants to go for the 2 points. Because it is better to have the ball at the 2 yard line to win as opposed to tying the score - having to kick off and stopping the other team from scoring and then you having to march down the field again to score 

If you lose the coin toss and the other team elects to kick off - the team that gets the ball first can turn the tables by scoring a TD and getting the 2 pt, and they then know that when they kick off  THEY CAN'T LOSE THE GAME. 




Saturday, February 17, 2024

Chet Holmgren vs. Victor Wembanyama


He have won of the best rookie of the year races of all time.


If Chet Holmgren can average 17 points a game - He will become the only the 4th rookie in the last 30 years to do that on a team with a winning record.

If Chet Holmgren can average 16 points a game and Oklahoma City wins 50 - He will become only the 6  player to do that in the last 55 years (Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Alvin Adams, Larry Bird, Magic Johnson, David Robinson, Tim Duncan)

All won the rookie of the year except Magic (Bird won)

I am assuming Holmgren career sways toward Adams than the other players.

Victor Wembanyama is a highlight reel, looks unreal on the court and probably will have a better career than Chet but I don't know if he will win the ROY.









Monday, February 5, 2024

The NBA is cheating again and again for the Los Angeles Lakers and Lebron James

 In the 2022-23 Season - The Los Angeles Lakers averaged 26.6 free throws a game - The Most in the NBA.

Their opponents by contrast averaged 20.8 free throw attempts per games - The least amount in the NBA.

The difference in free throw attempts was +5.8 easily the highest in the league

By contrast the Denver Nuggets  free throw differential was -.3 (22.4 vs. 22.7)


This year the Lakers opponents are only shooting 19.3 just below the Boston Celtics at 18.9


While not number one the Lakers are shooting a whopping 24.7 free throws per game for a differential of an unbelievable +5.3 - easily thar biggest in the league.

By contrast Boston shoots 22.0 FTPG for a differential  of +3.0.

In a recent games against Boston the Lakers shot 26 free throws while Boston shot 7. Against the Knicks Saturday night the Lakers shot 10 more free throw.

What the NBA does to cheat is help that Lakers against teams to give them a better chance to win. However when they play the Bad teams the referees don't give them a free throw advantage because they don't need it as much and it will bring their Free Throw Attempt differential number down so it does not look obvious.


Tonight they play Charlotte - On 12/28/23 They Beat Charlotte 133-112 however Charlotte shot 28 Free Throws and the Lakers shot 14.

Thus you can be 100% sure that Charlotte will shoot more free throws than the Lakers tonight

 



Friday, January 12, 2024

The 2024 Topps Design - The Good, The Bad, The Ugly

 

It is a great photo of Elly.  


The Good - the Fonts - The team name, that font it is cool maybe super cool. Also the player name font -  reminds me of 1995 Collectors Choice

The Bad -The faded diamond on the logo and faded baseball on the player position (though like that font).

The Ugly - The faded boarder - Not as ugly as 2015 (Sorry Nigh Owl) but this card would have looked so much better with an all white border








Sunday, January 7, 2024

2024 Topps - Keeping the design under Wraps. Is this a good thing?

 For the first time in a long time. Topps (Fanatics?) has gone this far intime without releasing the next years design.

Usually the have released  the design before the prior baseball season ended.

Growing up in the 1970s, collecting Baseball, Football, Basketball, Hockey card, usually the first time you saw the new card designs was when you bought your first pack and opened it up. For me, that was the case until the early 1980s.

Once I reached my late teens in the early 1980s, I realized it was just easier to send away for a complete set as opposed to trying to complete a set through packs. 2 of the companies I remember using (from ads in the Sporting News)  Renata Galasso and Larry Fritsch card to get my sets. I think it was 1984 in an advertisement I saw the Topps design (I think it was Strawberry) before I got the cards / at the time they were released. The think Baseball Card Magazine previewed the cards before they were released beginning in the mid 1980s.

However, I can still take myself back to my childhood days and remember holding those unopened packs in my hand and just wondering what awaited  me inside. For some reason those first 1972-73 Topps Hockey packs generates that greatest feeling for me. 

 I know that it is an impossibility today to not see the cards until you open the pack - but we can only wish. 

 


Sunday, December 31, 2023

Ranking the NFL by decades - 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000, and 2010s

 Which decade has been the best for the NFL for the last 50 years. There are a variety of factors that go into play - Great Games, Great Entertainment, Great Players, Great Feats, Charismatic events and individuals.


5. The 1990s

It is hard to call the NFL boring but this decade compare to the others. 

* The biggest factor was a decrease in offense in 1983 and 1984  there were 19.35 first downs a game by 1991 and 1992 there were 17.55  first downs a game.

* While there was a couple of good Super Bowls - 1990 season (Giants and Bills) and 1999 season (Rams and Titans), this era seems to lack the big interesting games. 

*The Buffalo Bills going to 4 straight Super Bowls did not help.

*While Dallas and San Francisco meet 3 years in a row for the NFC Championship games there was only 1 lead change in all the games.

*The Dallas Cowboys were the team of the decade but the were not as dominating as the 60s Packers, 70s Steelers or 80s 49ers.

*Barry Sanders did provide much excitement did provide much excitement but he did start in the 1980s and John Elway finally did get his Super Bowls and helicopter Touchdown.

4. 2000s

*First downs were up - 2006 and 2007 (18.5) but lower than the 1980s.

*The emergence of Tom Brady who made the game more interesting but  New England Patriots were like the San Antonio Spurs of the NBA.

*Emmett Smith breaks Walter Payton's rushing record but it does not seem to have the effect of Payton breaking Jim Browns record in the 1980s.

*The emergence of a great run of  quarterbacks Peyton Manning, Brady, Drew Brees, Philip River, Eli Manning, Big Ben, Aaron Rodgers,

*The Super Bowls did get better (Every Super Bowl involving the Patriots was good) but there were still some clunkers 2000, 2002, 2006 seasons.

3. 1970s

*Moving in the hashmarks created dominant running games with OJ Simpson, Larry Csonka, Franco Harris, Tony Dorsett, Walter Payton, John Riggins was the pinnacle of the running back dominance.

*Implementation of overtime 1974

*1978 - rule changes opening up the passing game and the 16 game schedule

* Monday Night Football, the Perfect Season of the 1972 Dolphins, The Super Steelers. Super Bowl 10 and 13 - The Steelers vs. Cowboys. The greatest matchup, The Oakland Raiders dominance.

*The immaculate reception (voted greatest single play in NFL history.

2. 2010s

*2016 and 2017 - 1st down average 19.80 - 1st downs per team highest ever.

*For the first 20-30 years in the NFL playoffs teams falling behind by 10 points would only come back 5 percent of the time but this decade was 20 percent of the time. Perfect example was New England and Baltimore in the 2014 playoff game. New England was down 14-0 and 28-14 but would win 35-31. 

*Tom Brady getting 3 more rings and producing great Super Bowl games.

*Instant reply cemented into society - making office cooler talk. 

*Through 2019 - 8 of the 10 all time TD pass leader played during this decade except (Marino and Tarkenton,

1. 1980s

*1981 - probably the single most important year in NFL history. The game you see today spurred from that year. It was the emergence of the modern offense (Bill Walsh), Joe Montana (Joe Cool, the Joe DiMaggio of QBs). The cementing of the Dominance of African American players in the game. The rookie years of Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary and Ronnie Lott brought incredible speed and Athleticism to the game. African Americans would begin the dominance of all defensive positions plus running back and wide receiver.

*1984, Dan Marino's 48 TD passes, Eric Dickerson 2105 rushing yards, Art Monk 106 receptions, All NFL marks at the time.

*While the Super Bowls were terrible, there were Super Teams The San Francisco 49ers, 1985 Bears (Super Bowl Shuffle), 1983 Raiders

*The Kellen Winslow playoff game

*Payton passing Jim Brown, Steve Largent passing Charley Taylor for Receptions, Jerry Rice emergence and 22 TDs in 12 games in 1987. 

*The use of the Networks to break into games and give scoring updates.

*There was no doubt by the 1980s that Football surpassed baseball as the national pastime. 


Saturday, December 23, 2023

NBAs greatest players No 1 - Michael Jordan

 


Jordan is the only player with at Least 5 in each category. That separates him from everyone else.


One Caveat - George Mikan won 5 championships, 5 conference titles and was first team All-NBA   6 times.


He was probably the finals MVP in each  of his championships (5). He would have easily won the league MVP in 1949,1950, 1951.


For MVP, In 1952 it was him (23.8/13.5) against Paul Arizin (25.4/11.3), Mikan team had a better record


In 1953 it was him (20.6/14.4) against Neil Johnson (22.3/13.9), Mikan team had  the best record in the league and Johnston team had the worst. So I think we would have won it here.


 

Finals Record

Conference Finals Record

League MVP

Finals MVP

1st team All-NBA

Michael Jordan

6-0

6-2

5

6

10

Bill Russell

11-1

12-1

4

6*

3

Abdul Jabbar

6-4

10-3

6

2

10

Lebron James

4-6

10-2

4

4

13

Magic Johnson

5-4

9-1

3

3

9

Larry Bird

3-2

5-3

3

2

9

Wilt Chamberlain

2-4

6-6

4

2

7

Tim Duncan

5-1

5-3

2

3

10

Shaq O'Neal

4-2

6-3

1

3

8

Kobe Bryant

5-2

7-1

1

2

11

Karl Malone

0-3

3-3

2

0

11

Kevin Durant

2-2

4-3

1

2

6

Oscar Robertson

1-1

2-3

1

0

9

John Havlicek

8-0

8-4

0

3*

4

Stephen Curry

4-2

6-0

2

1

4

Hakeem Olajuwon

2-1

3-1

1

2

6

Jerry West

1-8

9-1

0

1

10

Bob Pettit

1-3

4-4

2

1*

10

Julius Erving*

3-3

6-3

4

2

9

Rick Barry*

2-2

4-2

0

1

9

Dirk Nowitzki

1-1

2-1

1

1

4

Kevin Garnett

1-1

2-2

1

0

4

Elgin Baylor

0-7

7-2

0

0

10

Charles Barkley

0-1

1-2

1

0

5

Bob Cousy

6-1

7-3

1

0

10

Moses Malone

1-1

2-2

3

1

4

James Harden

0-1

1-3

1

0

6

Giannis

1-0

1-1

2

1

5

Nikola Jokic

1-0

1-1

2

1

3

John Stockton

0-2

2-3

0

0

2

Allen Iverson

0-1

1-0

1

0

3

Isiah Thomas

2-1

3-2

0

1

3

Steve Nash

0-0

0-4

2

0

3