Thursday, March 25, 2010
The NFL adopted the new overtime system three decades ago to cut down on the number of ties without extending game time. Its important to note that NFL games are the most physically demanding individual competitions in sport. The games are so demanding that despite the fact players get a full week of rest in between games NFL carriers rarely last longer than 10-13 years, with only the best athletes lasting longer than that. NFL games usally involve about 150 plays each of which end with most or all of the participants getting knocked down and physically assaulted and shoved. To grant a comparison go outside or to a local park and ask a friend to push you hard enough to knock you onto the ground. Now imagine getting knocked down about 50 times over a three hour period by the strongest athletes in the world. Teams of 50 players often end the year with up to 10 players suffering serious enough injuries to be placed in injured reserve. Its not uncommon for 10% of the stars in the league to receive serious injuries over the course of a season. Out of respect for the physical reality of the game, the league has fought off efforts to extend games or to extend the season more than it already has. The overtime system being replaced was created to insure tied games could be resolved as quickly as possible.
For years now the sports media, which overwhelmingly includes people who haven't done anything athletic since high school, has complained about the "fairness" of the overtime system. As I recall fair usally means everyone get the same opportunity. The Coin flip isn't predetermined, the rules aren't changed, and most importantly of all we are not going to be getting the best football out of the players in the overtime period. Players who have just finished a full NFL game are going to be sloppier than earlier in the game. Is it"fair" that they are forced to play longer than the required time because you want to give the other team a "fair" shot at winning the game. The team who wins the opening coin flip wins on the first possession about 33% of the time, hardly an outrage. If the same team doesn't score on there first possession, they are huge underdogs winning only 30% of the time. Is that fair to the poor team who win the coin toss? They have a PI go uncalled and now they have only a 30% chance to win.
The overtime rule fits the pure definition of fair. From the time the overtime possession begins anyone can win. If your getting the ball all you have to do is get an ok return and put together 5-8 plays to get a reasonable shot at a winning score. If your on defence all you have to do is force a fourth down and prevent big plays. Is that so hard? Even if they get a return to the 40 yard line they still need to to allow 30 yards for a field goal. They could allow a big play, allow a big return, or even allow a methodical drive down the field into field goal range. Do you want me to feel bad for them? Their season was on the line and they let a team dink and dunk into soft coverage into field goal range. The only teams with a real reason to hate sudden death are teams with bad defences. I guarantee you that the 2000 ravens didn't stand on the sidelines sweating over the overtime coin flip. The Steal Curtain wasn't preparing their post game complaints about the coin flip. The players union and many coaches hate this rule. They should hate having to put more demand on their bodies in an already tough NFL season.
Espn has reduced itself from being a legitimate journalistic source to being a first class joke. I stopped tuning into ESPN and the NFL network after the NFL championship game. I have never seen an Espn pundit cry over a saint's lost. I do not expect them too, I expect them to be objective, to carefully analyze the sort they talk about, and to admit when they were wrong and too LEARN from their mistakes. Take for example Peyton Manning, who after a win against the Jets was on his way to his second Superbowl, he became the golden boy of Espn as soon as the time ticked on the end of the AFC championship game. Espn and the sport betters of the world layed everything on the Colts in the Superbowl. In their view the colt had "earned" their ticket to the superbowl, while the Saints had been "dominated" by the Vikings and only made it into
the last 11 super bowls have been won by the team with the SMALLEST margin of victory in the championship game EVERYTIME except once(when the panther lost to the patriots in the last play of the game). Perhaps this is because every time that a team wins big in a championship game the National Media (cough* ESPN) goes bonkers for them and creates the ever valuable "us against the world" atmosphere that teams fine so valuable. Perhaps its because NFl are decided by more than total yardage and the team that played the best rarely has alot i common with the team that puts up the most offencive yards. Perhaps Defences play a big part in turnovers and offences aren't just "giving away" a game. Perhaps Espn should stop acting so surprised every time the team they crown world champion loses.
Brett Favre is a good player, but he's not your boyfriend and he's not a fan of you.
As soon as the National Media's blood lust went unquenched in the Superbowl, momentum to change overtime rules quickly picked up steam. They spent the next few week advocating more and more that the rules be changed since they now felt that Farve had been denied more than just a trip to the Superbowl. After 30 years of basically no controversy and ZERO complaints about the NFL overtime rules from players, coaches, and most owners (note: the viking voted against this stupid new rule) the NFL passed the new rule to try and shut up the media. IT will not work. Hopefully after the far to quick gut decision to chage a fundamental way the game is changed proves to Be a failure they can revise there decision. But Espn will undoubtedly throw a caniption and demand their toys back. Seriously we need competition in sports media.
Friday, November 6, 2009
Alot of things should have happened in a heavily armed base with roughly twenty thousand soldiers on it that didn't. Many people have asked the question about what is better, keeping weapons in the house with the chance of that weapon being used against me and my family or taking the chance that we could be attacked while we are defenceless. Well I don't think a better point could be made than to mention that you can't really stock more weapons than Fort Hood.
America doesn't need more or fewer small scale gun control laws. It needs an actual system to regulate gun producton and ownership in the country. I have always made the argument that --
"if you think that a person should be allowed to keep guns in their house as long as they are willing to accept the possibility that it will be used on them instead of a criminal, then you should also be willing to allow a person to use any narcotic he wants to as long as he doesn't hurt anyone else while he is intoxicated."
-- and i stand by that. People should be allowed to protect their homes, but every weapon in the country should be registered and resale would be prohibited except through properly documented transfers of ownership. Every gun crime should be traceable to the owner of the weapon and we should take the risks involved in gun ownership seriously. Remember, if you think that more guns can protect you from gun crime, ask yourself if you can out-gun the army.
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Recently AL Franken introduced an amendment to the defence appropriations bill for 2010 that would essentially prevent companies who want to suck on the sweet tit of government defence pork from preventing employees from suing their employers if they are the victim of rape, assault, or false imprisonment. 30 Republicans voted against it. This effort to stop such an easy to support amendment is pathetic. Not only because its almost indefensible, but also because there excuses are complete humbug.
Republicans have claimed this would prevent arbitration from resolving labor disputes in businesses large and small and in matters involving much more that just defence contracts. Oh really? Well its a good thing your stopping it. I mean if all we have to do to preserve the long tradition of arbitration is allow a few women to be gang raped and locked in a container while the company takes absolutely no action to prevent/punish the behavior then I don't see a problem. If this bill did prevent allowing disputed parties from trying to settle tort disputes out of court, which is all that arbitration really is, you would think it would be longer than a freaking paragraph! The whole "let's claim a bill is something it really isn't because no one is going to check our bullshit" plan isn't going to work when smucks like me can post the entire actual amendment on their lame ass blog.
section 8014. (a) None of the funds appropriated or otherwise made available by this Act may be used for any existing or Federal contract if the contractor or a subcontractor at any tier requires that an employee or independent contractor, as a condition of employment, sign a contract that mandates that the employee or independent contractor preforming work under the contract or subcontract resolve through arbitration any claim under title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 or any tort related to or arising out of sexual assault or harassment, including assault and battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment, or negligent hiring, supervision, or retention.
I guess Thomas.gov forgot to add the part about how they are eliminating a 3000 year old legal practice that can't really be effectively prevented anyway. Well I'm assuming the 30 republicans who voted against it actually read the bill and being senators actually have a good idea what this light legalese means. SOOOO what the "flip" guys? Do you not have a problem with rape or a company's refusal to enforce a sense of discipline on their employees? Do you refuse to consider the feeling of VIOLATION a woman must feel when raped?(note: im a male) Or do you draw your legislative line at any government regulation of contracts at all, even when a company so willingly neglects its employee's welfare? Thanks for reassuring my faith that conservatives have never had the interest of the people living in America involved in their voting habits.
here is the goverment website which posted the ammendment
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
For decades, democrats have wondered why they have to compromise so much on big issues. The civil rights act took decades to pass even after large majorities supported it. And today a majority of Americans support most of the liberal platform. Every democratic president since FDR has been elected with promises to reform health care. But in every encounter, with the exception of LBJ'S medicare victory in the wake of the 1964 election, they have walked away with little or nothing for their efforts. The Senate has successfully obstructed every effort to stabilize the health care market in the Untied States.
This has little to do with democracy and everything to do with how the territories were organized a long time ago by the same legislators who decided slavery was ok as long as it was only done where it was really profitable. The western United States was divided up into a series of mid sized territories which became rural states with a nominal population. As the country became more industrialized, states were divided sharply into densely populated modern industrial societies and rural conservative societies. This creates a political problem that has stymied every progressive effort since the industrial revolution. Conservative rural states, which I'm defining as states which have voted for the republican presidential candidate in every election since 2000, can brag about having 22 states with 44 senators even though they have only an estimated 30% of the population. In these "red states" there are 9 of the senators that make up the democratic majority in the senate. This is a list of them-
Mark Begich- Alaska
Blanche Lincoln- Arkansas
Mark Prior- Alaska
Mark Udall- Colorado
Michael Bennet- Colorado
May Landrieu- Louisiana
Clair McCaskill- Missouri
Ben Nelson- Nebraska
Tim Johnson- South Dakota
Robert Byrd- West Virginia
Jay Rockefeller- West Virginia
Now lets consider that these 11 senators are in states that would go bananas if they voted for a public option, the center piece of the democratic health care plan, that means on the issue of health care we have only 49 senators. but we are assuming that these 49 senators are all in democratically friendly states. In the last election, a large number of independents who normally vote conservative voted for Obama and a lot of conservative voters stayed home. Recent troubles with the economy may work against the democrats rather than work for them in the 2010 elections. So there are states that may intimidate other democratic senators from making on more liberal reforms. senators like -
-Bill Nelson - Florida
-Tom Harkin- Iowa
-Harry Reid- Nevada (hes the majority leader so I'm sure he will not block anything but his state has been conservative traditionally)
-Kay Hagen- North Carolina
so that knocks down the 49 votes to 46 (screw it I'm counting Reid as a vote). But I'm afraid we are not done routed out all the liberals quite yet. Just being in a state that could elect liberal democrats doesn't give a senator the ability too support big liberal reforms like the taxes on the rich, ecological preservation, climate change and/or anything having to do with health care. Some senators are in swing states that could go liberal or conservative at any given time on any given election. As a result these senators have too portray the image of a moderate and non Parisian or at least be pretty good at being liberal. these senators are-
Evan Bayh- Indiana
Barbara Mikulski- Maryland
Ben Cardin- Maryland
Jeff Bingaman- New Mexico
Tom Udall- New Mexico
Sherrod Brown- Ohio
Jim Webb- Virginia
so we started with 60 senators and now we are at 38 senators who are in states that vote democratic constantly for president and who also elected democrats to the actual senate. The reason i find that information important is that we end up with roughly 1/3 of the senate who could vote for a quality overhaul of the health care system "safely" 1/3 who would have a hard time voting for a health care reform that damage their moderate image. The longer it takes to bring a bill to the floor on congress the harder and harder they make it for the 22 senators who are in a tough spot.
Not only do democrats from rural and swing states have to worry about potential opponents criticizing any big time reforms they help pass, but the smaller their state the smaller the pool of voters too draw campaign contributions from and the more they rely on special interest and business donations to survive their reelection campaign.
Liberals and progressives are seriously underrepresented in the senate. This fact has slowed some of America's most important reforms for almost a century now. The states which have always voted for the democratic presidential candidate in the last three elections have 36 senators and represent 47.2% of the population. As a result of this fact, Americans will almost always have to wait for public problems to be overwhelming and extreme for anything to get done. Maybe god just wants the sick to suffer and the earth to die.
sources- U.S. census population projections and common sense.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
If something is different than here in America, then it must suck by comparison. Just look at me. I live here and I'm satisfied with my life enough to spend an hour of my free time trying to disparage the well organize well designed institutions of my nation's closet ally.
Well even if there is a large amount of evidence claiming that Canadians are happy with their government and their communist health-care system, I want people to give me credit for providing a logical paradigm for explaining away any evidence that refutes the "deathers" claims about socialism's plots to kill people for no rational reason. Just for good measure lets have a look at the facts I considered reasonably accurate in the conservative American paradigm.
-Canadians have to request permission to have children up to ten years in advance. In many cases, requests are made by children hoping they will receive a licence before they retire decades later.
-Canadians often sneak into America and get health-care here. Then they return home and tell their friends they got excellent service from the Canadian system. Socialize education has trained them to do this without even realizing it.
-Canadians regularly launch their elderly off into ice floats in order to avoid end of life costs. Even though they have more advanced form of euthanasia they kill people this way because they are dicks who like too see people suffer.
-Canadians hate America. They are filled with livid jealousy toward our awesomeness and the knowledge that if it wasn't for the US they would be speaking Russian instead of . . . umm whatever language they speak now.
-No Canadians are funny and when they visit America they are so overwhelmed with your freedom the immigrate here at a rate of negative 850 persons a year.
-And finally Canada has never done anything important to world history EVER! they didn't have troops at Normandy, they didn't have any impact on the war of 1812 and they certainly don't beat our economy in any exercise, like lumber production for example.
Just deal with it Canada, you suck and we rock.
Saturday, May 23, 2009
Conservative political ideology, in the post goldwater era at least, is centered on the belief that smaller government and lower taxes will always help society. In an indirect way, that is the case. The more state level governments cut back on our most basic societal needs the more the public is going to look to the federal government for help.
Once upon a time people looked at the rates of poverty in seniors and found that it just wasn't right for people who were productive their whole lives to have to live in poverty, as a result social security was passed. as a result the rates of poverty among seniors plummeted and now a day even archetypal libertarian conservatives (hello Joe the Plumber) will not touch social security. Social welfare programs started under Johnson's Great society in the 60's have proven just as long lasting and successful. Medicare and Welfare have provided societal needs that conservatives fought hard to ignore.
Fighting social programs is a lot like digging your way out of quicksand. Our country was founded with a small federal presence and over the past two centuries people have had to fight over just about every service the federal government now provides. The more successful conservatives have been at defeating social programs the deeper in the hole we get and the bigger the need becomes.
For those reasons i just wanted to thank conservatives for all they do on a day to day basis to help their country! I certainly recognize the need to have a political faction that tries to cut the port and excess out of federal programs, but ill never understand why that faction can't make its arguments with respect for an honest political debate. I would have a lot more respect for conservatives if their arguments against obamacare demanded action on medicare fraud, the underfunded and mistreated VA, or thousands of people who have health insurance coverage but go bankrupt anyway due to the inability of private insurance providers to have a soul.