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Friday, February 15, 2019

I just finished watching the 6-part series on the assassination of JFK that aired on the History Channel.  https://www.history.com/shows/jfk-declassified-tracking-oswald

I thought it was quite well done.  A fresh perspective on the assassination that followed a number of leads and challenged what we know, and what we think. 

For those of who grew up in and around Miami in the late 60s/early 70s, (minor spoiler alert) the notion of Alpha 66 being engaged in various activities related to Cuba was well known - the connection to Oswald is .... I'd go with unsurprising.  But I suspect there is a lot more to that connection.

I'd encourage everyone to watch the show.

JFK declassified

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

So awesome...and so apropos with the Bezos story...

http://www.espn.com/video/clip?id=14336332

Burt Reynolds once dropped manure on National Enquirer HQ - ESPN Video

Sunday, February 10, 2019

The alliance of American football debuted last night. We were shown the Orlando team, with spurrier as the coach. What did I think? I didn't love it, but I enjoyed it.

He ran a wide open offense and had some trick plays...they scored a lot of points. But the other team didn't. And in the other contest that was on, it was also low scoring. So I'm not sure how exciting it will be over time.

I'm intrigued by the rules: no kickoffs, and no onside kicks - and you must always go for 2, and a 5 man rush is the max.

The players were somewhat recognizable which was also a plus.

Now let's get to the thing that interested me the most: the app.

In theory, you get real time stats, can play little games (like predicting the next play), and can wager on certain things - for real money if you live in a state that allows for it - or just for fun.

So I opened the app and it seemed cool. Players were shown on the field, moving so it was a nice addition to the game - you could find a guy who wasn't in the camera view.

But that's where the fun stopped. I would say that not a single feature worked. Couldn't see stats. Couldn't predict plays. Couldn't wager.

And at some point the screen went blank and there were no players.

When we did see them, it was hard to figure out what was happening.

In the times that it worked, the game clock was between 20-30 seconds ahead of what was broadcast on my tv, using an antenna - so it should have been much closer to correct.

And every once in a while the time remaining in the game in the app said "32:54"

Yeah, it wasn't ready for prime time.

Assuming it was that they didn't plan for usage, shame on them...and they might get one week to correct it before viewers just give up and don't care.

The AAF and it’s app

Good piece about the falcons and their concession pricing.

On a personal note, I can’t remember the last time I went to a sporting event and spent money on concessions (well, when I was at home anyway; sometimes on the road you have to, but it is always a tough choice because it’s expensive)....

On a related note, consider this: is it better to sell 100 seats at $10 or 200 seats at $5?  Hint: it’s the same, but the $5 might encourage people to spend on concessions, and want to come back.

“Listen to your fans”

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Now that’s funny.

Monday, February 4, 2019


The game was awful.

About as boring as talking to my aunt Jeanie about her last trip in the RV.

There was no offense, and its not like either defense was playing terrific.  It was just a pathetic performance by both teams.  16 total points scored?  And 10 of them after the midway point of the 4th quarter?  No thanks.

The officiating was its usual suspect version of itself.  A call that can go either way? Advantage Patriots.  Every time. 

I was honestly hoping at some point the Rams punter would win the MVP.  And come to think of it, I have no idea who did, and don't really care after that snoozer....

And so, I started doing other things sometime after halftime and didn't watch much football-like-substance after that.

The commercials were pretty bad.  Most had already been released.  A few were cute, but not memorable.  It was not great from that standpoint, either.

And that halftime show?  At some point, I turned down the volume and turned on "Up With People" and wondered aloud if this was any better or worse than the LIII version of a halftime show?


Hint: they were both pretty bad, but at least "UP" had some production quality.

And we also watched some frisbee dog halftime shows we found online since the halftime went on for hours.  And those dogs were MUCH better than whatever was on my tv...

This morning, I was reminded of the movie from the same timeframe as "UP" - "Heaven Can Wait" which was about a QB for the Rams who dies and then is put into a new body and takes the team to the Superbowl.  Yeah, that movie for all its 70s campiness would have been a better use of several hours.


Thanks for the hype for a bad game, NFL.  You proved again why football is just a waste of time.

That was dreadful (Superbowl edition)

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

This weekends NFL games summed up my opinion about the league: it can be fun to watch for pure entertainment. But don't live and die by the outcomes and don't actively root for a team - you will always be disappointed.

Unless you're a fan of the patriots, of course. Nearly 2 decades of winning; honestly its embarrassing - for the rest of the league. New players, new coaches year after year and yet having Bellicheat and Brady is enough.

Some day, we may learn how they continue to win. Maybe there's a system of cheating or bending the rules. But maybe not. In the meantime, the one thing we know is that Bellicheat understands the rules better than anyone. He plays just to them, and gets his players to take advantage of the little things that are quirks or not well defined. And, he gets in the officials ears and as a result, they are less likely to call things on him. And rather, favor him.

Back in the 80s, the dolphins had a string of seasons where they were the least-penalized team. Shula had everything to do with that: he stayed in officials ears, kept his team disciplined, and used rules to his advantage. I think it's fair to say that they did actually commit infractions, but they were just this side of legal, and not called on plays. I see Bellicheat as Shula 2.0 in that way.

And then there's the rules themselves. On Sunday, we saw on full display how confusing it is to call almost anything. Pass interference. Roughing the passer. Holding anywhere on the field. Whether a ball was touched. Helmet to helmet hits. First downs. And what's a catch, anyway?

And there's some older guy making a determination at game speed on a call. It's silly. You have technology. It would be easy to implement some solutions to solve for some of this. Tennis can decide if a ball is in our out. Soccer can decide if it's a goal. First downs touchdowns should be simple matters.

For catches, it would seem they could come up with a simpler rule and augment the ball to decide if it's being gripped and/or hits the ground. Done and done. No decisions to be made by observation.

Helmet collisions could be monitored by devices in the helmets themselves. If there's a collision, and two helmets show a sudden impact it's contact. Penalty, and the guy making contact is ejected. No judgement calls.

You could also use it to see if a guy makes contact with players head using a hand, eliminating questions about whether he hit the helmet.

The notion that they want to make a passer interference penalty reviewable is laughable. Allowing plays to be reviewed which are or aren't penalties is going to create more chaos and not help the game.

Instead, they need to come up with a simpler rule for what constitutes interference or holding, and have a referee in a booth who can radio down if the ones on the field missed something. And they can confer with him/her much like they do on the field. And use replay in those conferences. Get it right rather than leaving it to simple judgement.

And then there's overtime. In one game the system mostly worked. Both teams touched the ball. In the other, it most certainly did not.

The rules are more-or-less the same in the regular season.

And you saw coaches opt to go for two at end game in the regular season, because the odds of getting the two are something like 60% success rate. While the coin flip is 50% that you'll get the ball and then you have to drive the field or stop the other team. Overall, there's a 55% chance if you win the coin toss you win the game.

You are better off going for the win in regulation.

In our situation, New England wins the toss and Kansas City never saw the ball.

Why not implement either a full quarter of overtime to play it out and give an opportunity to both teams. Or allow for the college rule to come to the nfl. Both teams get a possession and have an opportunity to win.

It's not perfect but it's better than what we saw, and certainly would help generate interest.

And in the 48 hours since the game, people cite an obscure rule that allows the commissioner to replay the game, the quarter, the situation, or simply change the outcome. It's silly that this would come up - and just when would a rematch happen?

It was wrong. And silly. The fact that the nfl got it wrong just sums up the absurdity of the sport.

So as I've said before, the nfl can keep its product. I'll watch a little and enjoy the entertainment. But I am not getting too worked up about it. They love that the ratings were through the roof. They love that now there's a storyline.

And so in their own way they keep winning.

The NFL is dumb and can’t get out of its own way.

All about "the witch hunt"

The lame list

Stupidity is something I can not tolerate. Here is my current list of dopey attitudes that chafe me. Don’t be stupid. Don’t be one of these:

  • Anti-science
  • Flat earther
  • Faux patriot
  • Blind supporter of anything, or anyone
  • conspiracy theorist
  • Doubt the Moon landing, or call it a hoax
  • Anti-vaxxer
  • Believe in a deep state
  • Pretending to understand something that is enormously complicated, and just oversimplifying it