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

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.