Friday, July 27, 2012

Fan photo of the week!

"This takes me back. This is part of the REAL Dream Team." - AuntBT

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

It's all statistics and money . . . . MoneyBall.

You've probably seen the movie, "Moneyball", or maybe you've read the book (Moneyball by Michael Lewis), so you know the basis. Basically, playing sports can be broken down into statistics, as to if a certain player has a strength in one area, another player (who isn't the best) ends up having one other strength that the first player uses and the team wins. It's a game of numbers, and it's also a way to get a team to play better together, without having the top players and doing it at the best price.

It's complicated, I don't understand all of it, but I get the concept. It's fascinating, but I'm not smart enough to understand how it works together. But, if I did, then I would probably have done better in my statistics class in grad school. I'll let the professional statisticians handle that one.

Recently, Freakonomics' article about this subject discussed how the different stars in the NBA move to bigger markets because it's where the bigger paychecks are. Which, of course, is common sense . . . the bigger stars will always move to the high amounts.  It also touches on how the bigger markets, in general, have a better chance of winning a championship. Again, common sense. But, based on the actual MoneyBall theory, it doesn't have to be this way. You can actually take the players you have, bring in "non-stars" and make a championship team. So why doesn't this happen more? It's really difficult. I know for the fact the Dallas Mavericks have a statistician on the bench every game. It's not a full proof science, I'm sure in more than half the instances it doesn't work. Why? Because we're human and not robots, aka we aren't always consistent. Just because there is an average of how well someone can do something, doesn't mean they are going to hit that average. And teams have off nights of team cohesiveness. So, the exact science part goes away.

So, since it's not exact and it's not guaranteed, the big players go to the big markets. It's easier and higher likelihood of winning. Just look at the Miami Heat. I look at the Oklahoma City Thunder and they only have one, maybe two, really big paychecks, and it's nothing compared to Miami. OKC has figured out a system, and it's just taking time. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. Miami? They just paid for it, and could because they're a huge market, and they won. But, OKC was right there with them until the end, which goes to show, it can work. That and Kevin Durant is one awesome dude.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Making Peace With Tebow.

I know most people will be shocked to read this. She's making peace with Tebow? I for one have never been much of a Tebow supporter. I don't think he's God's gift to football. I don't think he's amazingly talented. I do however think in my heart of hearts that he IS a good kid. There, I said it. I didn't die either. Wow!

My distaste for Tebow started when I became a Crimson Tide fan. Most Crimson Tide fans are notorious for not liking the Florida Gators. SEC be damned, I won't root for that team, even if you paid me. I know it's smart to root for your division and for the most part I do, but when it comes to the Gators I just... I can't.

The year that the Gators beat the Tide in the 2008 SEC Championship, and went on to win the BCS National Championship is of course a sore subject with Tide fans. It but all was dealt with when the Tide beat the Gators during the SEC Championship "rematch" and made Tebow cry in 2009. I won't lie, I replayed that YouTube clip and chuckled,  a lot. Rude, yes, but it felt good. I get that he was upset it was his last game as a Senior and he wanted to go out on top but seriously dude, pull yourself together. It's a game. Yes, I just said that. Yes I'm the same girl who will be the most grumpy person you ever met when her team loses. And yes, I'm being a total hypocrite right now.

This whole post is a bit hypocritical and I hate that, but, I wanted to say it. Tebow isn't a bad kid. He's actually a really great guy. If I had a son, or a daughter for that matter that idolized him, I might grumble under my breathe but I'd much rather have him or her look up to Tebow over say Ocho Cinco (man I hate that guy!). I'd rather them look at a decent hearted human being and idolize him or her over one that is facing drug, or worse yet, criminal charges.

When Tebow made it as a first round draft pick to an NFL team I complained. I for one felt there were plenty of Crimson Tide boys with way more talent that should have gone before him. Yes, I know, bias all the way. That being said, I know money talks and BS walks. Tebow was a money ticket. He was the golden ticket that the Broncos needed to fill seats. Jerseys would be sold, children would cheer for him, families would enjoy watching him play AND women want to fall at his feet (still don't get that one, but I digress).

When Tebow was moved from the Broncos to the Jets I was, to put it lightly, pissed. Not because he was leaving the Broncos, I wish him luck wherever he goes, but did they really have to move him over to where my beloved Greg McElroy of the Crimson Tide had been drafted the year before? McElroy was following in another Crimson Tide man's footsteps. A man by the name of Joe Namath and I really felt like it was destiny that Greg be there carrying on the Crimson Tide quarterback legacy. Then Tebow has to show up and ruin that. Truth be told, it's not ruined, but now Greg has to compete more for 2nd seed QB and that bothers me. That being said maybe this will be a good, friendly competition for the guys. Two SEC QB's together. Not just for competition but for support. Most people claimed that NYC would eat Tebow alive, but honestly I feel like the same could be said for Greg. He's also a small town, Southern Boy. Both are friendly guys, and I'm sure they are happy to have another SEC alumni to hang with in the big, bad city.

Today I want to write my truce to Tebow. Not that he had any idea we were in a battle, but to be fair he's not much of a fighter. I'm over being totally hateful to him. I just choose to ignore his press conferences, I don't watch his commercials and I just would rather not pay attention to him. But I will say this, from my heart - You're a good guy Tebow, and I hope you don't lose that. I know I've joked at your expense, and I probably still will, but I don't want to see the NFL change who you are. A lot of kids, men and women look up to you and I think that's great. Keep being you. Just know that you will have a lot of men vying to knock you out on the field. Keep alert because I can't change that and frankly I don't want to. Football is tough, so buckle up dude.

So there you have it... My peace offering for Tebow.  I guess it's the lesser of two evils if I had to pick between him and Cam Newton. Let's just say I would totally root for the Gator over that former Auburn Tiger any day.


P.S. Less than one month until NFL pre-season starts. I'm so excited!!!!

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Minor Leagues

With so many Major League teams, you would think the Minor Leagues wouldn't be important, or that anyone would even care about them. However, the suburbs? They LOVE them.

In the past month I've seen two different minor league teams play, however both baseball. Now, I know that I didn't get the full effect of either place because I showed up late to all the games, and spend more time chowing down on nachos than actually watching the game (when I'm hangry, I so don't care about sports). Or maybe I was staring at baseball pants. I'm gonna go with nachos. Yeah, the nachos.

So why are these games so popular? They're cheap, fun for kids, and most importantly they are CLOSE.  In the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex most of the major league sports are far away from the down town areas. In other words, it's a pain to try and get to the stadium.  When I lived in Houston, I used to go straight from my office and walk to the baseball park or to the basketball arena. It was so simple and much more fun, than sitting in rush hour traffic, and then trying to find parking.  I've seen plenty of other cities where there is a stadium down town. I've also never heard of their Minor league teams being very popular.

Now, I could be completely wrong on this aspect, and maybe I'm just skewed because of the area I'm in.  But, I don't understand why these Major league teams don't capitalize on the economic impact of these down town areas.  I know why the Cowboys are where they are (and it's sad), and the Rangers have always been in Arlington.  The Mavericks are just outside of down town and they have the a train station right in front of them.  Rarely do people complain about going to those games, other than it's pricey to go to.

So, have these Minor league groups capitalized? Absolutely!  They've made the stadiums kid friendly, they keep the ticket prices cheaper so parents are able to bring the kids.  And you know those pricey concession stands?  Kids love those, and parents will keep buying to shut the kids up.  It's a cash cow.  So many Major league teams have priced themselves out of the markets, and so corporate America and people who don't mind dropping large amounts of money on games are all they can cater to now.  These Minor league teams? Cater to those that are want to see sports, but can't put down the $$$. 

And it works. Best part is it gives more kids/players a chance to keep playing the games they love. And more baseball pants . . . . I mean nachos.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Who Needs the Road?

When the first email came through from my trail running training group, I wondered what I had signed up for.  No headphones?! What kind of running is this?  I need music to keep me going, to help me zone out from the world/cars/other runners, and decompress.  Who runs without music?  Not long after, my question was answered. 

People who run in places like this:

Peaceful, right? Other than a couple weekend evening runs where the temps top out in the high 90's, low 100's, I haven't missed my music.  I don't look forward to the non-group training days where my neighborhood streets are the most accessible option.  Who needs the road when there's views like this within 30-45 minutes?
The climb up is totally worth it!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Achieving the Impossible

Congrats to Spain, as they've achieved what no other team before them could...

Euro 2008


World Cup 2010


Euro 2012


Three consecutive major tournament victories.  I'm not even sure what to equate the wins to in American sports..  The Yankees and A's are two teams who come to mind for winning back-to-back-to-back World Series. The Pats and the Cowboys won 3 Super Bowl titles over 4 years (beginning to sense a pattern with my least favorite teams here). However,those leagues only take place in the U.S..  The Olympics are worldwide, but rarely do they showcase more than individual dominance. Therefore, based on my little research, due to having just arrived home from a wedding in gorgeous Idaho (no sarcasm, the place was breathtaking), Spain has achieved what used to be considered the impossible!  Now there's only one question left to ask.  Will they do it again in Brazil?  I can't wait to watch them try!

P.S. Iker should be in every post-game photograph. Forever. And ever. Amen.

P.P.S. Can't leave out the awww factor, since we're lacking in shirtless soccer players...

Torres with his daughter after the game.
Is that a ticking I hear? Must look away...