Sports from the point view from the guy that holds the clipboard for the guy that holds the clipboard.

Saturday, December 12, 2009

BCS Defender: The Magical AP Poll!

We have our first victim.  The first person to think magically taking X number of teams in a tournament is better than what we have now.  In order to show you that this is not the case, I will treat his draw with the same fairness and attention to detail that haters treat the BCS.


From the Chronicles of Scott:

I took the liberty to whip up a quick and very basic eight-team bracket:
1 Alabama vs.

8 Ohio State
3 TCU vs.

6 Boise State
2 Texas vs.

7 Oregon
4 Cincinnati vs.

5 Florida

And his methodology:

It features the top 8 teams according to the last AP Poll. Apologies to Georgia Tech and Iowa, but you lose out. My plan only has room for eight teams. Better luck next year.

First Flaw:  The AP is Magically good and right, and never ever gets things wrong.  This fallacy exists solely because the AP withdrew the use of it's college football poll from the BCS equation.  This leads those who hate to think that someday the AP will ride in like a knight in shinning armor and save college football by choosing a different team #1 after the bowls.  Guys, this won't ever happen.  And not because of some media bias toward the BCS, but because the BCS sets it up to be impossible.  This year it won't happen because of the Cincy - Florida Sugar Bowl.  If Cincy wins that game there will be 3 undefeated teams, and the AP voters who dislike the BCS won;t be able to focus on the winner of the Boise St - TCU Fiesta Bowl.   If Florida wins, some Tim Tebow worshiping idiot will give them a first place vote.  And in any year the BCS game is the toughest match-up so the winner of that game cannot be ignored, even in spite.  No one would have beaten a tougher opponent than the winner of the BCS Championship Game.

Second Flaw:  Half of all people that hate the BCS, complain about the Polls, either computer or human depending upon what they think is wrong at that moment.  But somehow, the AP is Magically Delicious and is never ever wrong!  Guess what?  The difference between the AP top 8 and the BCS top 8 is that the rankings of TCU and Cincy are flipped.  If we expand to an 16 team field, there is only a 1 team difference and only 3 other schools are flipped around.  So between the BCS top 16 and the AP top 16 they each have one team in that the other does not.  IT'S MAGIC!  Never mind the other issue of complaining about polls then basing everything on a poll.  Winning a conference is irrelevant in this model and finishing in the Top 8 of the AP is the only goal.  This is worse than the BCS because their are seasons where their would be exactly ZERO teams in from non-BCS conferences AND years were there are BCS conferences left out.  Let's take a look back and see how this would have played out over the last 3 seasons.

2008: No Boise St.  Sure they missed out on the BCS too, but this is suppoosed to be more fair than the BCS, not just as unfair.  Oh and the BCS Top 8 had the same exact teams in it.  With 1 and 2 being the same 2 teams!

2007:  No Hawaii.  Wow, Hawaii at least got into the BCS.  In an 8 team AP only tournament they would not get a chance.  Wow, this is even less fair than the BCS!  Again same top 2 teams!  And agian, same exact field of 8.

2006:  Wow, the story of the 2006 College Football Season, Boise St, would be left out.  Again, less fair.  Again the same top 2, and only one glaring difference in the Top 8.  And who gets that one spot according to the All-Powerful, All-Knowing, Infaliible AP Poll?  Oklahoma.  Spot the Irony!  Proving my point that any playoff format will only serve to give more chances to the elite schools / conferences.

Third Flaw: Cincinatti.  How is this fair in any way you look at it?  They lost their Coach.  Playing them is an unfair advantage, one that would go to Florida.  Again, this is fair?  This is better?  You cannot stop the Coaching Carousel.  Unless you want the NCAA to have tampering rules, and keep teams from hiring coaches until the last game has been played?  Rules like NFL has.  Because without these rules, a playoff would lead to disaster.  This is a problem that has nothing to do with the BCS.   But one that will blow up in our face if we just blindly jump into a playoff without first looking at things rationally.


Fourth Flaw: Less teams.  I will stress the genius of the BCS again with respect to the 10 team field.  Any Fair Police argument for a tournament that includes a field smaller than 10 teams can be pounced upon by people like me, as less fair.  I know, more teams get a chance at winning it all, but the money is spread around less evenly, which means the proposed system is more difficult to get implemented.   And then there is the argument from the other direction, that no way should Oregon or Ohio St get a chance at a title.  They've already lost twice and the regular season needs to count for something.


I understand the desire for something simple and straightforward, but college football will never fit into that box.  I understand this and actually like it.    My goal for these articles is not get people to like the BCS, but to get people to think rationally about things, and to make them understand there are other issues with college football that a playoff would not fix.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

BCS Defender: Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

Do you hear that?!?!?  That is the sound of millions of BCS haters desperately trying to justify their positions.  But this year they cannot.  The two best schools are playing, and both being undefeated means no one can complain about that game.  So the first tears were shed over the TCU  v Boise St Fiesta Bowl.  And this is a vile conspiracy to keep TCU or Boise St from embarrassing a BCS conference team.  Or it's a corrupt decision to make sure the season ends with as few undefeated teams as possible!  Or the reality is that it is a compelling game.  Every year at this time we hear about how none of the other games are compelling, this year you get one and it's a criminal decision that should be looked at by congress!

And shortly we'll get bombarded with idiots who think they can make brackets that magically make everything look perfect.  But it cannot happen this year.

In a 4 team playoff, who do you leave out, because it's not FAIR to leave a team out that has not lost a game.

In a 6 team playoff, who gets the bye?

In an 8 team playoff, you really think that GaTech, Oregon, or Ohio St, all with 2 losses, deserve a chance at a title?  when they've already chocked in big games?  TWICE!  And who gets stuck playing another undefeated?  Who gets the easy game against a 2 loss team?  And who decides?

10 teams...in the name of FAIRNESS you want to give either Penn St or Iowa yet another chance.  Nothing says fair, or giving the little guy a chance than giving the Big 10 an extra team in the tournament!  Think about that.  Every extra team in a tournament will be a BCS conference school.  If you go to 16 teams, maybe BYU gets added.  So which system is elitist?

The first problem with a playoff is, and always will be, is that it is inflexible.  There is no way  it's going to fit every year.  It will fail as much as the you think the BCS has, and it will fail in ways you have yet to imagine.  Each year yields a different number of teams with 0 or 1 loss.  But Playoff proponents don't care.  They just want their cookie cutter.  Every thing has to be the same size, it's only fair.  

The other problem, which is something that always get complained about with the BCS, is rankings.  This problem does not magically go away with a playoff.  Tournaments need to be drawn some how.  And there is no way a college football tournament would go unseeded.  


There is no good answer to the question: How do we decide who the best team in college football is?  Nothing will work, nothing will be fair.  And the best method is something we will never get to until playoff proponents can accept this fact.  No amount of anger or indignation will make a playoff system better.  I promise you, a playoff will be worse.

I am a Plus One fan myself.  I say go back to the old school bowl alignments, add in the Cotton Bowl, take your 10 BCS teams and have them play, making sure #1 and #2 cannot play.  Then take the top 2, from the 5 winners and play a national championship game a week later.    Even that would not work this season.  No matter how you cut things we'll get 3 deserving teams after the bowls.  

We can't resolve this and come to a reasonable agreement until we really talk about the issues.  Playoff proponents are the Tea Baggers of the sports world, clueless and unwilling to reason.  And probably have the same deep-seated hatred for College Football that the TeaBaggers have for America.

There will be more...stay tuned!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Stop Thursday Night Football: Toronto Edition

Thanksgiving Day football is always allowed.  2-3 games once a year is acceptable.  But man the only interesting thing about this game is the speculation about what the Bills will change their name to when they move to Toronto.  And that, sadly, is the most interesting this about Thursday Night Football so far!  

Let's review:
Matt Millen should be allowed near a football game at any level
I have to make crucial Fantasy Football decisions before the injury reports come out
The match-up sucks!  (loser is officially eliminated from the playoffs!)
Who would watch this game when they could watch Oregon v Oregon St for the Pac-10 title?

Go support the petition, and join my Facebook group.  We have the power NFL fans, and if we don't exercise it now we won't be heard when it really matters (overtime, lockout, etc).

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Doug Flutie's Hail Mary: 25 years later

Twenty Five years ago, after following the entire game and making it home to catch most of the 2nd half, the 9 year old me, missed one of the greatest plays in college football history.

In 1984 Boston had 2 things going for it sports wise Larry Bird and Doug Flutie.  It was the last time Boston truly cared about College Football.  Flutie was a local hero, Natick High, and a legit Heisman candidate.  And no one knew that he'd win that trophy on this day when BC lined up against rival Miami, and Flutie would play meet a fellow Heisman hopeful Bernie Kosar.  (really dumb people, like me, just realized that voting for the trophy was already closed before the game, so doug just made the voters look good.  Also did you know Flutie was the first QB to win the award since 1971?  Now it's given by default to the best QB.)

It was November, so my Dad and I had errands to run that day.  We wanted to watch the game, but we had a list to kill first.  So off we went, we get to Lechmere and the score was 7-7, we get to Filene's and the score was 14-14, by the time we made it to Sears it was 21-21 at the half.  Home we went.

The back and forth continued after we got home and Miami went up 45-41 with a minute left to play.  BC moves the ball down around mid field and due to the first down the clock stopped with those now magica 6 seconds left.  I told my dad that is was over and they would never be able to win.  He told me that they could and I should stick around and give them a chance.

I left the room.

He let me leave the room.

My Dad watched me walk out of that room, and off to another TV to watch cartoons or some dumb afternoon movie or some other dumb thing on TV that was not one of the greatest plays in college football history.

Not a minute later my Dad starts screaming and yelling and jumping up and down.  I thought he was faking it to get to me.  He screamed, "I'm not kidding!  We'll being seeing replays of this for the rest of our lives!"  I grudgingly came back into the room, to catch the replay, a replay I will see for the rest of my life.

He did it.  Doug Flutie threw the impossible Hail Mary that is now the cliche Hail Mary replay.

And I missed it.  Because my Dad let me leave the room.  He should have said, "Boy sit your butt down until the clock reads :00 and the ref says the game is over!"  But he did not.  My Dad is an asshole.

But like all good Dad's he was not an a-hole for fun, or randomly, his a-holery fell clearly in the bounds of tough love.

Flash forward to 2001, and the Snow Bowl . (That's the name, sorry Oakland fans, winners get to nickname games, not the losing teams.  Especially losing teams that play excellent Defense for the first 55 minutes of a game, but stop playing D for the last 5 minutes and OT.)   The infamous Raiders-Patriots playoff game, the last game at Foxborough Stadium.  So when the tuck play happened, it looked bad.   I got up, went to the bathroom and then sat my back back down because the game was not over.  And the game really was not over.  I watched Oakland's D just flat out give up.  Forget that play, Oakland gave up 3 points in 3 quarters and then gave up 13 points in 10 minutes.  That is why they lost

Flash Forward again to 2004, this time it's Game 4 of the ALCS, Yankees-Red Sox.  Now I had to work that night and was listening to the game in the car.  I got home just as the A-Rod slapping the ball play happened.  On the Radio the play was not as obvious as it was on TV and I thought he was safe and it was nearly game over.  So I got out of my car and ran upstairs to get in front of the TV.  Where I saw another, albeit minor, miracle happen.

So thanks Dad for being an A-hole that day 25 years ago, no I won't ever forgive or forget and he would not want me to.  But thank you for teaching a valuable lesson, The Game is not over until the refs say it's over!  I continually annoy my wife with this, and she actually likes sports.

To this day the words "Flutie flushed" reverberate through my mind.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Stop Thrsday Night Football: Part 2

Go sign the petition!



I'll say it again, there are not enough quality teams or quality games to have a 3rd feature game each week.  Matt Millen should not be employed.  Our fantasy football teams should not have be set by Thursday evening/afternoon.  And not enough people have access to the NFL Network.

The NFL is watering down it's product and it is starting to turn people off.  Why would you watch this game over your local NHL team or NBA team, or the College Basketball game on ESPN?  If you think about it, you wouldn't unless one of your teams was playing.

A crappy game like tonights epic playoff preview between the 4-5 Miami Dolphins and the 4-5 Carolina Panthers should be buried on Sunday at 1pm.  that way if anything interesting happens we'll get the break in from the studio in NYC/Hollywood and see the play.  The spotlight should not be on this game.

I won't go on my Matt Millan rant, but do you really want to this prick on TV?  In HD!  Knowing he has a job and either you or someone you care about doesn't?

There has to be a better way for the NFL Network to promote itself....Maybe by making the RedZone a regular past of it's Sunday programming!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Stop Thursday Night Football!

Yes it's that time of year again where the NFL pisses on everyone that plays fantasy football by forcing us to update our rosters before most injury reports are out!  I've ranted elsewhere and will link to it once that site updates the post.  But for now, just sign my petition if you want Thursday Night Football to end!




Be sure to update your fantasy team and be sure to play fair every Wednesday night for the rest of the season!  This is a plague caused by the NFL, do not take it out on your fellow Fantasy Team Owners.  Solidarity my brothers, solidarity!

Saturday, November 7, 2009

BCS Defender: 4 quick points

It's the first Saturday in November, last month of the season, and I just wanted to point out four quick things about the BCS, and how things would be if we had a playoff.  People don't want to think about how a playoff would change things.  They only think about the last game of the season, they disregard the rest of the season, and that is the real tragedy of those who hate the BCS.  It is not perfect, but it does have a value, the regular season.  And that value would be thrown away the moment we have a playoff.

1) With a win over LSU, Alabama clinches the their division title, insuring a spot in the SEC title game.  In a playoff system their season would be done if they beat LSU today.  They would get their SEC title game shot and if they won that they would be in the playoff.  It would render meaningless an entire month of their season.

2) If Duke wins out they will play in the ACC title game, yes the FOOTBALL ACC Title game.  If they win that, in a playoff world, they would be in the playoffs.  DUKE!!!!

3) Right now looking at every game played, what was the biggest this season?  Oregon-Boise St.  That non-conference, first week of the season game stands as the most important game so far this season.  We did not know it then, because the regular season got to play itself, we can look back and say wow!  Boise St, if they win out will get their national championship chance because of that game.  Yes, I said will.  As crappy as the Big 12 is this year, the odds are very very good that there will not be both an undefeated Big 12 and an undefeated SEC champion.  The BCS has allowed us to enjoy the regular season and placed real value on regular season games in deciding how the season will end.  In a playoff the Oregon-Boise St game would not matter.  Both teams would win their conference and that would be it.

4) It's 1:05 and Northwestern is up on Iowa.  This is BCS busting right here!  Northwestern's entire season is made if they win this game and ruin Iowa's season.  In a Playoff world, Iowa still holds the tie breakers int he conference and losing this game would not cost them a playoff spot.  If Northwestern wins, think about the reaction of that team and it's fans and tell me you want to rob them of that.  Tell them how much you hate the BCS, and that you would rob them the joy of their upset and the joy of ruining Iowa's season because you'd rather see a playoff.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Respect the Enemy: Jerry Jones

There is too much hatred in fandom and on blogs these days.  So I am going to do my own part to keep my hatred and anger in check.  Each week I will take out the time to give credit and respect to people in sports I hate.

Jerry Jones

This fat arrogant Texan scumbag has done something very smart.  Smarter than I thought he could be.  His refusal to fire Wade Phillips is the best thing he could have done for his young quarterback.

Every year we hear the debate in the NFL about whether or not to start the rookie QB.  The argument misses the point. The most important thing a team can do for a young QB is keep him in the same system.  That is why the Patriots refused to change things after Weiss left, they wanted Brady to stay in the same system, even after doing all that he had done.   Too many QB's careers have been ruined by coaches getting fired.  Fortunately for fans the NFL has learned this lesson even if the talking have yet to admit it.

So kudos to Jerry Jones for being smart with Romo and letting him develop under one system.  The Coaching carousel has many victims, and QB's are usually the biggest ones.  So even if Romo never wins a playoff game, he will be a worthwhile starter in the NFL for years to come, because Jerry Jones did it right.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

BCS Defender: Nextel Cup

We follow Golf's fiasco with the place they got their idea from NASCAR.  I have already expressed my views on NASCAR without resorting to the use of stereotypes, even though the stereotypes are very strong case on their own.

Let's give NASCAR credit for realizing they had a problem, half their season was rendered meaningless, and that is not good for any competition based business.  So they at least had a real need for something, despite the history.  Just Like College Football, and like college football it's not perfect.

Most Championship format go through numerous revisions in the early years.  NASCAR made a small miscalculation by minimizing the importance of Winning races!  I am so glad they fixed that with the Matt Kenseth Rule.  That fixed the winning races problem decisively!  Until there was another issue with Matt, this time putting Kasey Kahne in 10th place despite winning the most races in 2006.  So the fixed for sure this time, that is until this year when the guy who won the most races finished 13 and out of the chase.  They'll fix it again, next year.  The third time is a charm!

Quick aside about winning because someone is going to yell about the number of games won, but in college football not all wins are equal but in NASCAR they are.  You race a similar 43 car field each week, and the top 20 guys are always there.  This is not Golf or Tennis where the top players pick and choose their tournaments and take half the season off.  In NASCAR you race every week.    In College football there are major scheduling discrepancies and it sucks that the big teams from the small conferences don't get the tough games they'd like too, but that has nothing to do with the BCS.  A Playoff won't fix this issue, it will make it worse.  More schools will want fluff schedules to increase their chances of going undefeated.  Compare that to right now when a school like Ohio St benefits each and every year because they schedule a bit time opponent early in the season.  They care about their strength of schedule, and win or lose that game they get respect at the end because they had the guts to schedule it.  In NASCAR a win is a win, in college football this not the case.

So beyond punishing the winners of races, the Sprint Cup is a corporate whore.  But to be fair, NASCAR's trophy has always been for sale.  But with all the history and tradition of NASCAR, you'd think they could come up with a better name for their trophy.  Maybe the Rum Runner cup?  Or the Duke Boy's Cup?

The other issue that makes the Sprint Cup worse than the BCS is the complexity.  Cry about polls, cry about computers, but explain to me the Point System and then explain to me the different point system they use for the Chase. And then explain why they use different point systems.  and then tell me why they don't just work off a money list like Golf used to?  He who has the most amount of money in giant checks wins!  Hate the BCS all you want, it can be explained to someone that knows nothing about football.  No I cannot explain each and every computer model, but I explain their purpose and how they balance out the emotional reactions of the human polls.

Finally was arrive at the lawsuit issue.  A fan sued NASCAR to get a playoff race at his local track.  It messed everything up, including the guys life.    This is what will happen to college football if the courts or congress get involved.  Let the sport sort itself out or disaster will befall all involved.

So the BCS is better than NASCAR because it can be explained easier, has a trophy that is not solely about corporate sponsorship, actually rewards teams for winning, and respects and rewards regular season performance.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

BCS Defender: FedEx Cup

New series here from the HQ of the BCS Defender.  This series will compare other methods of determining a champion to the BCS, and you will quickly realize that maybe the BCS is not as outrageous and obscene as you think it is.

Our first victim:  The FedEx Cup.

What sport is this the championship awarded in?  No Googling!



Golf, yes the PGA Tour pisses away nearly a century of tradition by not even naming it's trophy after Ben Hogan.  Which brings us to the issue of Money.  The PGA Tour wanted to sell the naming rights so bad they did not even think of their history or the Legacy of such an championship.  The trophy given out to the winner of the BCS Title Game is not a commodity to be bought and sold.  In fact the trophy itself pre-dates the BCS and has been awarded since 1986.  Worse is that the PGA Tour already gives away an award for the Player of the Year, and it is the Jack Nicklaus Trophy.

Second issue right there folks!  They made up the FedExCup!  Wished it into existence right out of thin air.  You could also refer to it as Imaginary, or Fantasy, or Make Believe, or Faux, or you can insert the adjective that you stick in front of the BCS Title.  The BCS filled a need.  Before there was no system, and what little there was worked to make sure the best teams would never meet when it mattered most.

Here is where things get really confusing so follow along closely.  The Player of the Year award is actually 2 different awards.  The PGA Player of the Year and the PGA Tour Player of the Year, they have been won by the same player since 1992.  But get this, the PGA Tour Player of the Year is chosen by a poll of the players.  A POLL!  Also there is a yet another annual best player award, the guy that won the most money!  Does your brain hurt?  Because we have not even discussed the Majors.

So there are 3 (potentially 4) different end of year Champions in Golf.  Not even College Football before the BCS (and it's two predecessors) was as messed up as that.  The BCS got that part right.  There still can be a split national champion thanks to the AP Poll.  But the match-up in the National Championship game is such that you cannot punish the winner of the game.    You can only argue that another team should have played.  By denying that team a game a hard as the title game, you ensure they can't leap frog the winner of the BCS Championship Game in any poll.  All you are left with is what-if with nothing to back it up.

One thing I have not brought up is how ridiculous of a format this playoff is.  The average tournament starts with somewhere between 132 and 156 golfers.  How many people make the playoff?  125  Basically if you have a tour card and are keeping it next year, you get to make the playoffs.  That is how I want a Champion selected, not just from the best but from anyone.  And if you think the BCS is complex, just try to understand the FedEx Cup.  If you accomplish that feat could you please explain it to me?

Here is a case where a Playoff is just dumb!  There is already a money list and an end of year Poll, isn't that enough?  Apparently not from the PGA Tour's point of view.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

A moderate view of Vick, please read!!

The discussions over Vick have been heated and passionate.  I believe he deserves a second chance, but not a third.  I want him to succeed both on and off the field, but am not willing to overlook any off the field transgressions.  Guns, drugs, DUI, none of the things we expect of our star athletes will be acceptable.  He needs to live a squeaky clean life for the rest of his career.      So first things first, a reasonable and rationale letter to the Eagles Sponsors, asking them to participate in helping the victims of dog-fighting.  They own some of this and should act responsibly.

We Love Pitbulls

So let's take a real look at Michael Vick, both on and off the field.

Football:
I like this move for him.  If he is going to be a starting quarterback again, then he needs to learn the same lesson Donovan McNabb learned.  that lesson is that there is no room in the NFL for a run-first Quarterback, but that there will always be a place for a Scrambling Quarterback.  Use your legs to buy you time to pass, and to pick up a 3rd down as a last resort.  Always be looking down field.   (OT: Tim Tebow will face the same challenge.)

The Eagles made a good move because over the course of two years we will know a lot more than we do now.  If Vick isn't worth the option year then his career as a QB is over, and probably his football career.  The Eagles are a team perpetually in need of a good back-up Quarterback.  McNabb seemingly goes down for a month each season.  Having a QB with similar skills will make those injuries less severe and gives the offense a level of continuity they have not had in the past.  If he works out well, pick up the option, if he works out really well, pick up the option and trade him.

Off the Field:
I have lived in North Philadelphia and there will be plenty of temptation for Vick, for dog fighting or anything that will ruin his second chance.  North Philly is the real thing, an inner city with all the inner city problems.   But, if the head of the Humane Society is correct, then it is also a perfect target audience for Vick's anti-dog fighting message.   He's got street cred, and the kids will believe him, I am sure some adults will believe him too.

I sincerely hope this works out for the best of everyone.  The kids, Vick, the Eagles and the Pit Bulls.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Steroid Hall of Fame: David Ortiz

Papi, why?  And I'm not asking about why you did the steroids.  I'm asking why lie about it?  Why be just like all the others and not come clean.  Andy Pettitte came as close as we'll ever get.  That's what hurts.  A Yankee had more class than you.  Roger I expected, Manny was understandable, but you were supposed to be different.  You were the one that broke all the Steroid stereotypes.  You weren't arrogant, you weren't hated.  You loved the game and did not think you were bigger than it.





But with two statements you flushed it all down and became just like all the rest.

State's Evidence A:

Based on the way I have lived my life, I am surprised to learn I tested positive. Two, I will find out what I tested positive for. And, three, based on whatever I learn, I will share this information with my club and the public. You know me - I will not hide and I will not make excuses.
State's Evidence B:

 

I will restate my opinion on his press conference.  I believe he was not told he was on the list until this story broke.  I do not believe he only took supplements.

SUPPLEMENTS?!?!?!?   I know those things are shady but come on.  It's 2009, not 2001.  Barry, Mark, and Sammy already used that one to death.  No subtlety, no creativity, just the lamest cop-out you could come up with.  It was like your agent said, "Keep it simple!"  and you did.

I would love to wash my hands and be done with it all.  I want to walk away from baseball and the Red Sox I want to hate you.  But guess what, I suffer from Battered Fan Syndrome now.   Everyone is guilty, everyone is dirty.  Let them all in, don't punish the Pioneers.  The MLB is guilty, Selig is guilty, the MLBPA probably dealt the shit themselves.  And the Red Sox were no angles prior to this year.  They traded for Gagne after the Mitchell report came out.

I knew this was coming.  I assumed it once Manny got busted.  So the 'roids don't hurt, the lies do.

Albert Pujols, you're next.  It's only a matter of time, whether it's new testing or the 2003 list.  


Oh, and chalk up another one that we will never find out what he took.  The truth will never come out.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Steroid Hall of Fame: Floyd Landis

This guy is a Grade A Slimeball.  One glance at his wikipeida shows that someone he paid has made sure he looked as good as possible.

  In 2006, Landis won the first edition of the Tour of California, before going on to finish first in the 2006 Tour de France. He was stripped of his Tour de France victory and fired from the Phonak team after a drug-control test demonstrated the presence of a skewed testosterone/epitestosterone ratio during Stage 17.[1]

Landis maintained his innocence, and he mounted a vigorous defense. Although Landis' legal team documented inconsistencies in the handling and evaluation of his urine samples, the disqualification was upheld.

Thank goodness that his Doping Case has it's very own page.



Let's be a little fair to the man, after all he competes in the dirtiest sport on earth.   People have been cheating at bike races since basically the invention of the Bicycle.  And hardcore drug cheating, not the Rosie Ruiz type of cheating.  The first cases listed at the end of the 19th century involved people dieing.  Even Bonds was not that stupid as to risk imminent death.

But he cheated, and he was really dumb about it.  When you stage the greatest one stage comeback at the biggest event in your sport, a sport know for cheating, you are screaming from the top of the Pyrenees that you are cheating.   An eight minute overall deficit at the Tour de France is a lifetime.  And to overcome that in one stage would take a "suprehuman" effort.  Let's get into it.

Excuse:
He went from the Whiskey Defense to the Mishandled Samples Defense.  Both are lame, but at least one is somewhat amusing.  Imagine competing on one leg of the Tour de France and then getting drunk enough to affect your testosterone levels?  Then competing the next day!  Riiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiight.  He blamed his lawyers for the Whiskey Defense.

Claim to Fame:
Despite America's antipathy to the Tour de France it seems we've always had someone from our country who is in contention to win it.  This race is a big deal, and as a sports fan it is easy to see why.  Run a marathon x3 while keeping your balance on  a bike and then do it nearly everyday for a month.  So he cheated at a very big international event, got caught and then spent 2 years denying it.  He still denies it, and probably always will.

Drug of Choice:
Whiskey?  Honestly we will never know.

Legacy of Doubt:
What can an athlete do when accused?  Deny it.  Which brings us to Lance.  He has been accused many times, and has always denied it.  Lance and Floyd did spend many years as teammates.  So the doubt is there.  I won't fully tackle the issue until I see more, but for now the shadow is as over him as it Big Papi.

Again we come upon the recurring theme of Arrogance.  And holy crap did this guy have it!  He makes the denial by all baseball players combined look sane, rational, and minute.  He took his two year ban and is cycling again.   Crazy arrogant.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Test

I read some award winning advice about Blogging:  Never start a second blog.  I understand exactly what they are saying and why.  But screw that.  I'll be back in action and running this thing the way I want.  Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Steroids Hall of Fame: Manny Ramirez

This is why I started doing this series.  I knew one day someone I truly loved watching would end up enshrined here.  I knew it.  It was not destiny or fate, or some magical premonition of mine.  No, it is the reality that we live in.   I can here my buddy Rich now, "What's the big deal?  It'll all be legal in five years because you can't ever get rid of it."   I am neither that cynical, nor that pessimistic.  I am here, writing about steroids because I understand that we will never get rid of them.  They are part of sports today.  They suck and I hate them, the drugs and their users, but I cannot stand upon a soap box and say I've been 100% professional in my life and have never cut a single corner.  Especially the corners I see everyone else cutting.  No, I am not better Manny, or Lyle, or Jose.  They are just men, and suffer the same weaknesses of ego, greed, and jealousy that I do.  They are experiencing those emotions on a level I can never truly understand.  I am also not apologizing for them, nor giving them an excuse, nor a free pass.  Pay your fine, serve your suspension and stay the fuck out of Cooperstown.



So Manny got busted, for what we don't know yet.  I hate rushing into things like this without knowing what was taken.  I love the names these drugs have, sorry but it is half the fun of doing this.  But I needed an excuse to get this project going again anyway, and I'm tried hard to make sure that I am fair and take on one of my guys when they fall.  The good enws is we can officially add a new feature:

Punishment Served
50 games, which is less than a third of a season.  It is however a big number and considering the start the Dodgers were having, will hurt the team significantly.   It is, in both time and percentage of games, longer than the penalty Rodney Harrison got.  Then add in the $8M hit he's taking as well, plus potential loss of sponsors. It's not the penalty that Runners or Bikers get, but it is a significant punishment and for baseball that is a good thing.  They are willing to publicly do this to one of the game's biggest stars.  Give credit to MLB, Selig, and the MLBPA for getting us this far.

Excuse
LAME!  Manny, you are the most quotable athlete since Yogi Berra, and you give us "My doctor gave me a script and it accidentally had something bad in it."  I am ashamed of you!  Of all the crazy things you have said, you can't even give us a creative excuse that makes no sense to anyone but yourself?  Do you not care about your legacy?   *sigh*  This almost hurts more than the bust.    File this under Deny, and that means it's complete BS.  Heck thanks to Gay-Roid, even the admissions are complete BS.

Claim to Fame
Manny being Roidy just does not have the same ring to it.  Manny being Manny.  And when Manny was himself he was an RBI machine.   He could field the Green Monster as good as any who've played left field in Fenway.  He was fun, full of energy and was loved mostly because he looked like a kid out there.  Of course he rubbed some people the wrong way.  I was not one of them.  People who actually have fun playing professional sports will always have me as a fan.

Drug of Choice
TBD  -  The least it will be is amphetamines, but I think it i steroids or HGH.


Let me get personal for moment and share my tale of Manny and how I experienced him.  I first heard his name from a college roomate in 1996.  My roommate was a good friend of mine who unfortunately was from Cleveland.  I'm from Boston and the Indians swept the crap out of the Red Sox in the playoffs that year.  I could not feel bad after the decades of terrible teams Indians fans had suffered through.  He was born and raised a diehard fan of a team he'd never seen win anything.   His girlfriend at the time was also from Cleveland and she had a huge crush on a then very young Manny.  My roommate would tell me about how good Manny was and how much fun it was to watch him play the game.  So I was introduced by two huge fans of his and go to see him play well in his first post season.

Fast Forward to 2001 when the Red Sox signed him to a very hefty free agent contract, by the infamous Dan Duquette.   Manny was fun to watch and I don't care what his rep is, he is a good fielder.  Before 2004 the players union shot down one of the craziest trades ever thought up:  A-rod for Manny.  As far steroids go it was a lose-lose.  But as far as World Series rings go it was a huge win.   I loved the guy, until the very end.  I was that rare Red Sox fan who hated Schilling but loved Manny.  Right now Red Sox Nation is giving Manny the Buckner treatment.  But it is undeserved from those ungrateful bastards.  Without Manny's bat the 1918 chant would still be relevant.   The question I must ask myself is: Would I trade that for a clean team?

That is the heart of all this debate.   Would we go back?  Could we live in a world where 61, 755, and 1918 all still mattered?  It was magic, but it was dirty.  Unfortunately we cannot go back, we cannot undo the damage as much as many of would like to, and part me wants to go back as well.  All we can do is accept the world we live in:

Every athlete is innocent until proven guilty in the court of public opinion.  For me, once you test positive all prior activities are in question and doubt.  But until we get that rude awakening, you are clean.  Rumors are king, especially when the role of Cybil is played by Jose Canseco.     The drugs aren't going anywhere, but neither are we.  All we can do is make sure that when caught the cheaters are punished.   And this cheater was punished.   The next question becomes:  Since Manny actually served a suspension and did not "get away with it" does that mean he gets into Cooperstown?  I'm biased, I say yes.  I'm still a kid who loves sports and Manny is my guy.  I am as human as he is.


The worst thing about this is: Who was Manny's best friend while in Boston?  We have to assume I'll be writing about him at some point in the future.

Monday, April 6, 2009

MM09: Troublesome Tetrad (Final Four Fatality of Hate!)

Alright due to illness and laziness we are doing the final four in one match.  There will be a runoff if there is no clear winner.

Drew Rosenhaus




Barry Bonds




(2)Terrell Owens






Michael Vick




There they are.  Worst of the worst.   One cheater, two assholes, and a puppy killer.   VOTE!




Bonus:
What should I do for next year's tournament?

Baseball vs Mother Nature

Baseball you have a problem.  You have extended your season beyond it’s physical limits and Mother Nature will continue to ruin your plans unless you make some changes.  You need to chop a month off the schedule, but we all know that is not going to happen.  So can we agree that cutting 2 weeks from the schedule along with making some scheduling tweaks is possible?

Here’s the plan:
1)      Cut the regular season back to 154 games.  It’s a historic number and gives us a little over a week. 
2)      Schedule each team one double header a month in the months of May, June, July, and August.  This will give us the rest of that second week.
3)      Schedule only divisional games during the first 2 weeks of the season for “weather troubled teams”, those northern non-dome teams whose early season games are at risk on a yearly basis.
4)      Every day make sure there is one day game scheduled.  This gives you a greater chance of getting the game in if weather becomes a factor.  I'll admit up front that I do just want to see more day games.

That’s it.  Clean, simple, and not too controversial.  Lets go through and look at each point a little more in depth.
154 Games:  I know this went away before my father was born.  But something needs to be done.  Baseball really needs to be squeezed in during a 6 month period and we are playing it during seven months.  Things need to reigned in at both ends and what better way than to cut 8 games from the season.  This won’t cost any team that much money.  Baseball won’t have to sell the ridiculous idea of playing a seven game series at a neutral site.  And we can’t build domes in every city.  This change is less impactful than the wild card, interleague play, or the DH.  So records may not be broken as much, big deal.  With a shorter season we will see less stars out with injury.  Eight games may not seem like much,, and two week even less so, but it will have a impact.  Baseball is a marathon and cutting 1 mile from a marathon means more people finish, without drastically altering the endurance aspect of the race. 

Double headers:  Look, this is how things used to be done.  1 ticket, two games, for 4 games a season will bring some excitement back to the game.  Yes, I live in Boston and this means that it will be more difficult for me to get to see a game, because I am cutting 6 games worth of tickets off the block.  (Math: each team will host 2 double headers total, and each team will lose 4 home games as a result of the 154 game schedule.)  But the benefits are great.  Managers have gotten fat and lazy they need something more to worry about it.  Players have also gotten fat and lazy and they need to man up and play both ends of a double header.    

Divisional Games:  This one is easy.  Most divisions have enough of a spread between stadiums affected by cold weather and those not affected.   As a result we can schedule Boston to play Toronto at Fenway on April 15th and if it snows and the whole series needs to get moved it’s no problem.  We play the series in Toronto than move a later series from Toronto to Boston.  It’s more fair than this “neutral site” site nonsense, right Houston?  We also cannot just schedule the entire month of April in warm cities or in domes, it would load the schedule up at the end to favor the northern teams.  So we act in a manner that allows us the greatest flexibility and fairness.  That is why we keep the games in the division.

Day games.  Why does this matter?  Again it goes back to flexibility; a day game that needs to be played can be played as many as 8 hours after the scheduled first pitch.  Yes that is ridiculous, but compared to a suspended World Series game?  Compared to playing a World Series game entirely in the rain?  Compared to losing an off day during a pennant race to play a game halfway across the country?  Compared to making up a game after the season is over just to find out if we need a one game playoff?  No it is better to start at a game at 9pm that was scheduled to start at 1pm than it is to do any of those other things.

MLB needs to deal with this issue and there is no easy single solution to the problem.  By taking this four step approach we can avoid the fiascoes that we dealt with last season.  A blend of schedule tweaks and traditional solutions to a long standing problem will be the easiest to sell and the best thing to do for the game, the players, and the fans.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

MM09: Eight of Hate

The Editor (wife) suggested that I use the Evil Eight after I decided to use Suck 16. I liked it, but instantly thought of Ego Eight and realized that it sucked.  So sitting here this Sunday morning my brain came up with the genius that I went with:

Mock Madness 2009: The Eight of Hate.

One really big upset that was a sole function of my getting a plug from the nice folks over at Bleeding Green.  A Philadelphia Eagles blog.  Can you guess the upset?  I was too sick this week to try and find a baseball blog to balance things out.  I'll say what I did after Coach K was upset:  If you don't like the results, vote, and get your friends to vote.  Results.

(1)Bill Belichick vs Drew Rosenhaus
Yes, Boras went down.  This was the upset I was speaking of.  What can I say?  People in Philly hold grudges, and I can't blame them in this case.  No such bias will sway Drew over Bill though.  No way at all.
bill sf  and I could not find a place to steal from for Drew so I remade one from memory.  I know it's out there I just could not find it.




VERSUS




Barry Bonds vs Pacman
A clash of titans.  Titanic assholes.  Big giant head up the ass off.   Regardless of their egos, their arrogance and their stupidity is the fact that both men still think people want to see them play.  That is something else altogether.  I cannot think of a word to describe that level of disconnect from reality.  Honestly, the words we have for that just are not strong enough.
Pacman sf





VERSUS
Michael Vick vs Clay Bennett
Looks like the puppy killer is on an unstoppable roll.  I doubt the breaker of an entire city's heart can stand in his way.  But I do encourage Seattle's Latte filled rage to be aimed this way.  Clay beat Kobe out by one single vote.  
Vick sf
Versus
Roger Clemens vs (2)Terrell Owens
Four battles and two real toss-ups.  Rocket Roger against the lover of quarterbacks.  The tale of the tape on these two is enough for 3 Bill Simmons columns, and I'm no Bill Simmons.  (I'm shooting for a poor man's Charlie Pierce actually)  I am not that wordy, that full of pop culture refences, nor do I have the readership with which to draw upon their emails.  I do have demotivational posters though! 
Clemens sf 
TO sf
Versus


*whew*  We'll be down to the final four after Saturday!  And what a foursome it will be.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Mock Madness '09: Most Hated's Suck 16

First off, a big thank you to With Leather for the link!  All I can do is say thanks and send over the three people, not including my wife, who read my blog that haven't been sent here by them.

Wow, did we get some upsets and some close calls.  I'll admit that maybe me seeding was a bit off.  Alright, way off.  I really thought some of these people were irrelevant and I nearly left them off my field altogether.   And I did get one of my dream Suck 16 match-ups.  Results posted on that lame site I've been using, because I can be lazy.  Let's get on with it.


(1)Bill Belichick vs Al Davis
Some may call this a passing of the torch, from one generation of Evil to the next.  Each has won three superbowls, each is mad in their own way.  One is past his prime, which makes him crazier and thus more hateable.  The other is listed as a cheater and will wear a hoodie of shame for the rest of his career.   This one has all the great dynamics in play: Young vs Old,  East Coast vs West Coast, Plain old dirty vs High Tech cheating.   I think the outcome is a foregone conclusion, but it's nice that BB has to crush Davis on his path to the title.





Drew Rosenhaus vs (2)Scott Boras
Battle of the sport destroying super agents!  One of my dream suck 16 matchups.  The only one that came to pass.  Again this may seem like a done deal, but let's look Drew's case for a moment.  He talked a young up and coming buffalo team into signing one of the most polarizing and chemistry destructive players in the history of the NFL.    And Scott has gotten his comeuppance this offseason.  He cost Jason Varitek at least $5M by turning down salary arbitration with the Red Sox, and the whole Manny debacle was actually funny.  Watching Drew's "bid against yourself" magic trick backfire was great.  He's obviously lost his touch.  But really, who am I kidding here?





Barry Bonds vs Stephon Marbury
Two men who's ego's define their entire lives.  Both hurt their careers and their legacies with their actions.  Both men were actually great players.  One cheated and the other is just a damn fool for not wanting to play under D'antoni's offense.   Starbury at least occasionally thinks of the children, while thinking of himself in the process.  The other blew his trip to cooperstown and STILL just can't admit that he took steroids.  Learning lessons from the mistakes of Pete Rose, you're doing it wrong!





Pacman vs (2)Matt Millen
What's the difference between Pacman and Matt Millen?  1.   What?  You aren't here for the lame puns?  My bad.  Anyway this is an interesting battle.  Both men are obviously over-rated, yet both were employed at the start of last season anyway.   Good news is that both are done hurting teams.  Bad news is that one is not done with strip clubs, and the other is not done annoying us on TV.





Michael Vick vs Isiah Thomas
I may be completely wrong about Vick.  Until I started talking to people about it recently I was convinced that someone would pick him up.  I figured decent QB's were too valuable and rare, and I also figured that I've seen every manner of criminal get a second chance in sports, see above.   Isiah however is still a juggernaut of both incompetence and arrogance.





Clay Bennett vs (2)Kobe Bryant
Kobe very nearly went down to Schilling, and Clay destroyed J-Roll, so could we have another big upset?  Truly, we should  Clay is a pure villain.  And Kobe actually does have things that make him tolerable.  He can play very well and his arrogance does not detract from his game.  He may be a Me First Ballhog, but he does love the game.  Still he's Kobe.  This is harder choice than I originally thought it would be.







Jason Giambi vs Roger Clemens
Throw in Pettit and Gay-roid, and we could have a final four of Yankee Steroid users!  Way to live up to the legacy of Joe Dimaggio and Lou Gehrig!   I'm putting my money on cinderella porn stache here.  I mean if only he were younger (say 15...) Clemens would be all over him.  Who looks better in pinstripes?  Who's roid rage is stronger?   Let me just toss in one very biasing reminder, Clemens injected his wife with steroids.





Bud Selig vs (2)Terrell Owens
We close out the Suck 16 with a clash of Titans.  Two giants of screwing things up.  Two men who get forgiven and forgiven despite all their misdeeds.  How either of these men is still employed is beyond all manner of comprehension.  There has to be someone the Dollar Store wouldn't even hire that could do either of their jobs either more effectively or with less controversy.  Did I mention that while I was unemployed last year I got rejected by the Dollar Store?  I'm just saying.





*Whew* that was difficult. We have definitely reach Major Asshole territory.  I have fixed the polls.  To see results go back to the round 2 page.


Edited due to horrible image placement.

BCS Defender: BCS vs March Madness

Tonight pre-season college basketball ends and on Thursday the real season begins!  I know that is a completely cynical statement, but judging by America's reaction that is exactly what has happened.  Maybe some fans realize college basketball starts when the conference tournaments do, and others are really good and see it starting right after the Bowl Games end.  But for most of America, college basketball does not start until Thursday.  It may suck, but it is also very true.  Tonight we will have people arguing about seeding without even watching half the teams they are arguing about play.  Compare that to the hated BCS.  How many games have people seen that are involved in the arguments they are having over who belongs?   Admit it, people actually care about and watch the College football regular season, but do not for College basketball.  When they argue about who's in and who's out they are arguing only about the best teams and they are talking about games they actually saw.  That is a better situation.


The BCS is better than March Madness.  The BCS does not reward mediocrity.  It has maintains a meaningful regular season.  It's selection methods are transparent and open to public scrutiny.  It is more honest and fair than March Madness.  And lastly it does not encourage gambling.

Before you start flaming me, please remember that I still mean everything I said, when I wrote this other piece last year.  I love the tourney as much as anyone and have since I was 12.  The points I made there still hold.  It's just that no one wants to ever look at the other side of the coin.  I have that courage, do you?  If not, stop reading.

Mediocrity: I name thee Boston College.  They lost to Harvard.  But because they beat Duke and UNC they are in the tournament.  Tell me why they deserve a title shot.  Tell me they are going to win even one game.  Tell me rewarding mediocrity like BC is better than trying to figure out who is actually the best team.  Why are they in?  Cannon fodder.  To make sure that the "pure" 6 game winning streak you need to win the title remains intact.  What did they do to deserve an equal chance at winning a title as Pitt,  Uconn, UNC, Oklahoma, or the other top teams this year?  In college football beating two top ranked teams in one season means you ruined two seasons.  Major upsets that stop title dreams in their tracts.  In a bizarro world where Duke and UNC are football powers and BC sucks, those two wins would be the story in college football.  It would be like Mississippi State taking out Florida and LSU.  It would blow away the Appalachian St victory over Michigan.  It would be something those players would never forget.  Something fans would never forget.  Let's go back to Appalachian St. and ask this question five years from now "Which story was better in '07/'08  App St beating Michigan, or Davidson's run in the Tournament?"  I bet more people will remember the regular season upset.  What is better a system that rewards only the best of the best, or one that rewards mediocrity?    Do you know what we call a system the rewards mediocrity instead of performance?  Communism.


Transparency:  How is the BCS chosen?  Their website tells you.  Everyone can look at it figure out on their own how each team qualifies.  Yes even the computer polls publish their formula and the pollsters finals votes are made public. And then the Bowls slot the teams amongst themselves based upon those teams that qualify.  How does the Tournament decide who plays?  A ten man selection committee that gets to do almost whatever they want.  And guess who they end up giving the vast majority of open bids to?  They give them to the big conferences.  But the issue is transparency.  BCS has it, while March Madness locks people up behind closed doors, in a back room secret ceremony.  Which is better?  When people were upset about Utah this year I was able to tell them that in their dream 8 seed tournament Utah would have been left out.  How did I know this?  By looking at the BCS selection page and applying their rules, I saw that Utah was the 9th team placed into a BCS game.   Meanwhile if you have a question about the seeding of March Madness, tough luck.  You will get no answers.  Sure there will be a press conference, but it will look very Bush-esque as far as real answers to hard questions go.  Which system is more open? Which has something to hide?

Further the BCS allows itself to be open to criticism.  They could do the closed door thing and point to Basketball.  But they don't.  They are open and people rip apart the system because the information is on their website for anyone to read.   This is a better way of doing things.  This is American.  Not hiding but allowing people to criticize.

Honesty:  The Cinderella is the biggest lie in all of sports.  Stop right now.  Go search the web, and see which Cinderellas have won the tournament.  Then look at what conferences they come from.  Oh, NONE of them have come from outside the big 6.  Next, if we list ALL champions going back to 1966, you get three teams from non-major conferences winning it all.  UNLV, Lousiville and Marquette.  Two of those are now in a major conference.  Let's look at final fours then.  Two #11 seeds.  Elite eight?  Eight teams seeded between 10-12, including the two Final Four teams.  Wow, what a fair system that gives real chances to win a title to small conferences.  The thing no one mentions is that the size of the tournament and the stacked deck  toward the big 6 make it impossible for any but a large conference school to win.  The truth is that a playoff is an excuse to give more chances to the elite.  They recently expanded the field from 64 to 65.  Who plays in that game?   Do they take 2 bubble teams?  No, they take two teams that won their conference and make them play an extra game to see who will lose on Thursday to the best team in the nation.  That is more fair than the BCS?  Cinderella is a lie.  She never leaves with the Prince, but believe me, she does get screwed by him.

Gambling:  There is more money to be made gambling on an easily understood fixed seed single elimination tournament than there is any other way to settle a championship.  That is probably the worst thing about March Madness, is how much it thrives on gambling.  How much money to you gamble on that office pool? $1, $5, or $10?  All innocent enough amounts.  How much do you gamble on the BCS?   Nothing.  This is not cynicism, this is reality.  Don't believe me, then don't fill out a bracket this year.  I dare you.  Watch the tourney, but don't fill out a bracket.  You cannot do it.  And if people tried, March Madness would suffer as a result.

Slippery Slope:  Every single tournament set up by the NCAA has expanded it's field.  If we set up that perfect 8-team field for college football, do you know what will happen?  Within 10 years we'll be at 16, and within 20 we'll be at 24.  This is based upon the fact that every single tournament set up by the NCAA has expanded it's field.  Yes the slippery slope is an assumption based argument that should be avoided.  But here it fits. This is not spin, this is not stretching the truth, this is again, reality.  You might not like it, just like you did not like the gambling issue, but it is just as true.

Life isn't fair.  Yet the most heard argument against the BCS is "But Mommy, that's not fair!"   Sadly it is the most fair system we can come up with.  Everyone takes their turn getting screwed.  Utah has a gripe?  Talk to Auburn.  Big and small suffer alike.  And in fact more big conference schools have gotten screwed with perfect regular seasons ending with no title.  Life isn't fair, and it is cruel, but with the BCS, everyone has the same chance to get shafted.  Can we at least give credit to that definition of fair.  It is ugly, and imperfect, but it has value.


So there you have it.  The most beloved annual sporting event on America's calendar has lessons to learn from the most criticized.  Have I gotten you at least that far with my arguments?  Because if we can agree there. then there is hope that we can make both things better.  But I still sit here before you with the claim The BCS is better than March Madness.  I love them both, and can see the upside and downside in both.  However, if forced to choose I'll take the method that is open, honest, fair, preserves the regular season, rewards only the best teams, and does not openly encourage gambling.  I'll take the BCS.

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