Chris' Original Blogbeque

A fresh, vinegar-based examination of life

Archive for the ‘sports’ Category

Fantasy football draft

Posted by Chris on August 31, 2008

My main league, in which this is my 6th year participating, had its offline draft today.  Most of the guys gathered in Chapel Hill but I was here in Illinois.  We have a 10-team league, mostly standard scoring (30 yds passing/pt and 6 pts/TD pass are two differences) with no flex starter.  I had the 10th pick, so back-to-back in a snake draft.  We are starting a keeper league this year so that affected my drafting a little bit (taking fliers on some young guys near the end of the draft, and in who I would pick first and who second on my back to backs).

I did things a bit unconventionally but the draft went about as well as I could have hoped.  I got 2 RBs with potential to be solid starters in Rounds 3 and 4, and one of my top defenses and Tight Ends even though I waited till many had already been picked.  Here’s my team:

Starters

QB: Tony Romo
RB: Willie Parker
RB: Darren McFadden
WR: Terrell Owens
WR: Roddy White
WR: Joey Galloway
TE: Tony Scheffler
K: none [will pick up before week 1, or possibly after week 1]
DEF: New England (even though I rout against them about as much as any team)

Bench
Josh Morgan, WR, 49ers
Philip Rivers
Chester Taylor, RB, Vikings
Michael Turner, RB, Falcons
Matt Forte, RB, Bears
Ted Ginn, JR
Tim Hightower, RB, Cardinals
Dustin Keller, TE, Jets

The season starts on Thursday!!!

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Nasty Crossover

Posted by Chris on July 21, 2008

Go to the 3:50 mark.  In Kevin Durant’s defense, even though he’s guarding a non-NBA player, the guy is much smaller than him.  And Durant hit two ridiculous 3s before that and two right after it.

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No more Ginobiling

Posted by Chris on May 29, 2008

And by Ginobiling, I mean flopping in the NBA and Manu Ginobili. Mr. Manu has become the face of the frustrating increase of blatant flopping, confusing refs and drawing cheap offensive fouls.

Ginobili has drawn the ire of many fans and even inspired the following t-shirt design.
No diving, just play D
HT: Detroit Bad Boys blog

Today, the NBA announced a flopping ban. Well, sort of. Floppers can be fined. Fining is okay. Contrary to popular belief, I think fines are a good way to regulate player conduct. Fans scoff at $10,000 fans because players make a lot of money– but, would you be fined for violating the dress code at work? Ten grand is a lot of jack, it doesn’t matter how much you make.

However, there should be in-game consequences for actions that affect gameplay. In the NFL, helmet-to-helmet hits on a quarterback result in a fine– but it should also receive a 15 yard penalty. Similarly, flopping needs an in-game penalty. Refs should be encourage to call personal fouls on floppers. They need to the following 3 things:
1. Not be afraid of making a mistake and calling a true charge a flop. Mistakes happen a lot more now by rewarding flopping, and, once the flopping is eliminated, the calls will be more clear.
2. Not reward floppers with foul calls on the opposing player. On-ball defenders who receive a weak extended arm and fly into the stands should watch their man drive to the basket for a layup. 15 year vets who can’t jump but fall backwards five feet when a post player turns into the basket should get dunked on and perhaps stepped on.
3. Finally, call a foul on the flopper, especially if a no-call would result in a dangerous situation for the opposing player. For example, a defender falls down and might trip the ball-handler. But at other times, when a guy flops egregiously and play continues, assess a personal foul. If he complains, re-affirm the 2007-2008 early-season commitment to T-ing up guys who backtalk the refs.

If the NBA does those three things, flopping should cease fairly quickly and more importantly the quality of the game will go up and fans will one less criticism of the NBA.

Since I’ve started this post, the Lakers have taken the lead in the 3rd quarter of Game 5 v. the Spurs. If this isn’t an indictment on being floptastic, I don’t know what is.

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I’ve been writing, I promise!

Posted by Chris on May 13, 2008

Unfortunately, I’ve been writing a lot of cover letters.  And editing resumes.  I’ve also done some more fun writing, putting together a report and emails/messages for people on various networks for an organization I am part of that is promoting business creation in the US’ 20 poorest rural counties.  Perhaps I will talk about that more later.

I’ve received some good advice, challenging, abrasive advice in the last month about my job search.  It has been very helpful.  I appreciate people who are bold enough to, as I say, “tell me the business.”  It really is the most loving thing.  As a result of that and circumstances, I’m now spending most of my energy applying for jobs outside of Champaign-Urbana.

I am primarily applying to consulting firms right now, although not limited to that.  Over the next couple weeks I’ll be getting feedback, either denials or interviews, because unlike all these employers around here, most of these places will review your resume and give you an answer fairly quickly.  That should be helpful in knowing if I need to change something, set my sights lower, or that I am making progress!  In the meantime, I just got a job that will be through the end of September as a leasing agent for a property management company that deals with the college student market.

The NBA playoffs have been a bit disappointing, although this week is looking good- 3 of the 4 second round series are tied 2-2.  The Chris Paul vs. Tony Parker matchup has been fun to watch, at least the small parts I’ve seen.  I wish I knew where I would be living next NBA season– it would mentally help me focus on how I want the NBA draft to play out.  If I’m going to a city with a lottery team (Charlotte, staying in Champaign/Chicago area, Portland) then I would do praying for Derrick Rose.  Actually, now that I think about it, almost all the places I’d prefer going that have NBA teams were in the playoffs.  Philly, DC, ATL, Dallas, New Orleans, Phoenix… most of the lottery teams are in  places I definitely don’t want to be (NYC, Milwaukee, the Sonics when they move to Oklahoma City, LA…)

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Fantasy and real NBA

Posted by Chris on April 17, 2008

First off, today I was officially crowned, by myself and Yahoo!, as a fantasy basketball champion for the second consecutive year. I’d like to take a moment to thank some important people:
-Marcus Camby, for blocking shots and virtually single-handedly elevating me to 2nd in blocks
-Hedo Turkoglu, for becoming one of the clutch 4th quarter scorers and holding down my SF spot all year in the midst of a lot of underperformers (cough, Luol Deng, cough).
-Jose Calderon, for your ridiculous assist-to-turnover ratio and efficient shooting. I had to bench you at the end because you gave up your starting spot on the Raptors for the good of the team, but I still love you man.

Most importantly, one Monta Ellis. As many experts point out, defensive specialist you are not; but boy are you prodigious at producing fantasy stats! I loved the points and your extraordinary FG% from the SG position. Your last game was a perfect example. 24 points, 6 rebounds, 6 assists, .647 shooting. Meanwhile, the opposing SG, Kevin Durant, scored 42 points on .720 shooting. But hey, that isn’t counted in Roto scoring!

Moving on, the NBA playoffs start this weekend. Honestly, I’m scared. The amount of temptation coming my way will be immeasurable. Seriously, every night, if I picked the one thing to do that I really wanted to do, it would probably be to sit in my apartment and watch basketball. I already have plans for part of this weekend but at some point, it’s on.

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“And when it comes to playin’ basketball…”

Posted by Chris on March 25, 2008

so goes a lyric from arguably the best rap song of all-time, “I Wish”, by Skee-Lo.

(I wish I was a little bit taller, I wish I was a baller, I wish I had a girl who looked good I would call her… does that ring a bell? This is from about 1996).

I am seriously making some sick passes lately. The other day, in one game, we’re talking two or three left handed passes to guys for layups in one game. I’m not improving at basketball, because it has come at the expense of my jump shot and finishing at the basket. But it’s pretty cool. I get more of a rush now for setting a guy up for a perfect layup than anything else on offense (it’s hard to top “ripping” a guy’s dribble on defense).

I am telling myself that I am going to make another run at trying to dunk over the summer. Several years ago, a combination of more leg-lifting, running stairs, using platform shoes, swimming, and running got me very close until the infamous broken/dislocated/fractured finger that required surgery. I have found that my willpower is so weak though, and not just in basketball. I come home and say I won’t eat more food, and I eat popcorn. I want to have more godly thoughts at my job so I set out to pray briefly before I work with each client, but then forget about this before even starting.

Paul writes:

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do. I know that nothing good lives in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For what I do is not the good I want to do; no, the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing.

Romans 7:15,18-19

I am beginning to recognize more and more my frailty, my lack of willpower. I used to consider myself someone with more than average willpower. My willpower has not decreased. Rather, I have had my eyes opened to areas of little self-control that have always been present. Thus, I have a double motivation. First, I do not want to compartmentalize my life- higher standards for “spiritual life” and lower standards for “regular life.” So I am convicted of my lack of self-control once again and should turn to the Lord for grace.

But, in a cool way, I believe God allows an opportunity to use worldly things to my advantage. Learning better self-control would be wonderful in and of itself. But another goal ::DUNKING THE BASKETBALL:: can also spur me to pursue self-control.

Rather than setting my basketball aspirations and spiritual convictions at odds, it is permissible to pursue them simultaneously. May it be beneficial as well.

As a fun ending to this post, I will display pictures of where I am now, and where I want to be, as demonstrated by one Mr. Manu Ginobli.

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/IGCelYVAQdQ" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
This is what I do now. It’s “nice.”

[kml_flashembed movie="http://www.youtube.com/v/eVICUds1X4k" width="425" height="350" wmode="transparent" /]
This is what i want to do. It’s super.

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3/14/2008 Links of the Day (NBA-themed)

Posted by Chris on March 14, 2008

March Madness is heating up… but to be honest I’m more concerned about and excited for the NBA. The Western Conference is as competitive as any league could hope for. Only 3.5 games separate the 7th seed from the 1st seed. Nine teams could win 50 games– yet there are only 8 playoff bids up for grabs.

J.A. Adande writes a compelling argument for watching the NBA over NCAA during this time: This March, the NBA has the madness

Earlier this week, ESPN’s NBA analysts ranked the Top 10 Shooting Guards of All-time. You can probably guess #1, but 2-10 are a mix of old and new. http://sports.espn.go.com/nba/dailydime?page=dime-GreatestSGs

David Berri at the Wages of Wins Blog argues that the Spurs really have slipped this year by looking at its lower efficiency differential and the fall-off in Tony Parker’s performance. Eva Longoria and the Declining Spurs

John Hollinger comes up with a statistical method to predict the likelihood of career NBA records falling and which players have the best chance at each record.

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