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Sprint Car Driver Wins Darwin Award

I have seen a lot of dumbass commentary going on today about the accident and death in the sprint car race last night involving Tony Stewart and Kevin Ward. The following though seems to be the best intelligent and informed commentary that I have seen anywhere so far. So, sharing (via Ace of Spades HQ)…

Update 08-11-2014 18:17 EDT:  John Ekdahl has a great roundup of his Twitter commentary along with important pictures of context of the sprint cars, helmets and line of sight from the driver’s seat of the cars.  Must read:  My Take on the Stewart/Ward Incident

Update 19:33 EDT:  Another good comment here:

I was going to give this a pass, since there is a lot of misinformation and supposition here, most of it from people who don’t know shit about racing but have decided they do.

I do know a little bit about it. I have been a fan for almost 60 years — including attending more than a few night races on dirt tracks — and, through my day job, have driven at high speed on race tracks (though I never drove in actual races), driven race cars, and spent time with race drivers from all forms of the sport. I even met Tony Stewart once.

What all y’all need to know are a couple of basic things:

1) Race cars are not like street cars. Especially sprint cars. They don’t have transmissions like your Honda Civic does, and instead of differentials for the driving wheels they have what are called “locked” rear ends. Makes a big difference on dirt, and affects even the basics of steering (or going straight, for that matter) at any speed;

2) Racing isn’t like driving on the street. Things happen very fast, and all too often the driver in a bad situation is a passenger. No matter how skilled, he is sitting there watching things unfold;

3) The field of vision in a race car is very narrow (you’re not there to watch the scenery). In a sprinter, it is even narrower. At night, on a poorly lit track (this is not like Daytona, where big-ass lights keep things fairly bright), vision is worse still. A driver in a black firesuit will not be easy to see;

4) Stewart is a hothead, and may even be a nasty prick. I don’t know, didn’t see it. But he is not a killer. The media, who hate anything dangerous like racing, eat that “blood feud” crap up like flies on shit. They have no idea what goes through a race driver’s head, what happens during a race, or even the physics involved with controlling a race car.

I suppose Stewart will become the Man You Love to Hate in racing, and the genius Prius-driving fuckwads at the NY Slimes will howl for Justice to be Done. I have much more reason to pass an informed judgment than they do, and a hell of a lot more knowledge to back it up. That won’t stop them howling to their faithful readers, who will parrot the nonsense. In my case, I can’t say for certain what happened. So I won’t.

Would be nice if those of us who always talk about “sense,” “getting all the facts” and not jumping to knee-jerk conclusions would react in that way here. I don’t expect it; howling mobs are everywhere.

Posted by: MrScribbler at August 10, 2014 04:02 PM

Also see John Ekdahl’s Twitter feed for some good information:  John Ekdahl

“At this point Stewart’s car runs down and kills Ward.”

Really don’t think that’s an accurate description.

Stewart’s rear right tire made contact with Ward. The big question is why that is.

Stewart’s car only turned to the right after making contact with Ward, that’s because Ward’s body got caught up with the wheel.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 02:56 PM

Drivers on foot confronting other drivers who’ve wreck them on the racing surface … is actually somewhat common. Dumb, but something that happens with some regularity.

Nascar actually advertises with a famous highlight of Stewart doing it at Bristol when he gets out of his car and throws his helmet at the guy who wrecked him, bouncing the helmet off the windshield. The crowd loved it.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 02:59 PM

The headline “runs down” is misleading, Ace. That’s not what happens.

It’s not clear that Stewart even saw Ward before the last second. It’s dark. The track is poorly lit. Guy is wearing a black firesuit. The car in front of Stewart swerved to avoid Ward. They are coming off turn 2.

The phrase “runs down” implies Stewart saw and aimed at Ward. There is not evidence to support that.

Ward made contact with Stewart’s right rear tire and was dragged/thrown/entangled. Kinda unclear.

As I said in an earlier thread, Ward took purposeful action to get dangerously close to Stewart. That’s clear. Did Stewart then take purposeful action that resulted in his tire striking and killing Ward? Impossible to tell at this point.

I do think the phrase “runs down” is irresponsible and not supported by the facts or the video.

The bad action that Stewart may or may not have taken was likely revving the throttle as he passed Ward, possibly to intimidate him or spray him with dirt. In that scenario the backend might have kicked out and struck Ward.

It’s not clear at all that that happened. Ward might have slipped. Also, you have to accelerate to steer these cars. the cars slip and slide, that’s the attraction. If Stewart saw him at the last moment then he would have accelerated to get traction to swerve — which would look nearly identical to a purposeful revving to intimidate/spray Ward.

It’s really quite difficult to tell what happened from that video. But I think that video does rule out the claim that Stewart “ran down” Ward.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:10 PM

The best evidence we have that Stewart took purposeful action and gunned it, which threw the back-end out and struck Ward, is the eyewitness account in the initial news report. But that driver is a personal friend of Ward and it’s not clear how he could have seen it since it was on the backstretch. Maybe he had the perfect eyeline, but there’s no indication of that at this point.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:13 PM

he did run him down

No, he didn’t. That’s not the common use of the term “runs down”.

Runs down implies hitting someone with the front of your car. Also implies intent.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:14 PM

Yeah, clearly his back tire struck and, I think, ran him over.

I actually can’t really tell what happened with that video. I think his arm or leg got by the wheel and he got dragged. Not really sure. He was horribly twisted by a powerful force, though.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:17 PM

I think it’s possible that Stewart intended to scare/spray the kid as he drove past. I’m just not seeing any clear evidence that that’s what happened.

Saw this elsewhere on the interwebz. The “because sprint car” line refers to the fact these cars race in a state of a constant controlled slide and you have to accelerate to get traction to turn. It also assumes the “gunned the engine” reports in the media are accurate. I think you hear it in the video, but I’m not positive.
—-
I don’t think Stewart intended to hit him but I see two possibilities:

1 – Stewart gunned the engine as he went past to try to intimidate Ward, the back end kicked out (“because sprint car”) and accidentally hit Ward.

2 – Stewart gunned the engine as he went past because sprint cars are like jet skis or boats and don’t turn real good unless they have throttle (“because sprint car”), trying to miss Ward and accidentally hit Ward.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:24 PM

There are reports that Stewart destroyed his helmet cam and changed the tire that hit Ward after he got back to the pit.

Only “report” I’ve seen claiming that was some random poster on Deadspin who screamed it in ALL CAPS a few moments after the Deadspin report went up and could not have possibly known that.

I haven’t seen a single legit media source claim that. An anonymous Deadspin commenter doesn’t count as a “report”.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:26 PM

Big question for me is whether Stewart really did gun the engine and, if so, why?

There are perfectly innocent explanations, from Stewart’s perspective, for what happened. There’s also a damning explanation that would seem to raise the possibility of manslaughter. Both explanations fit the available evidence.

Hopefully they have another camera angle from the back or side. But even that might not be able to clarify things.

A lot of this comes down to what Stewart saw and when he saw it and what his intent was.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:33 PM

If they were under a caution nobody should have been speeding

Not sure what the caution speed is on that track. On a Nascar track caution means they are still going 50+ mph. So that’s still running out in front of cars going highway speed.

Caution speed is still pretty fast compared to humans on foot.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:35 PM

The point of the sport is that its slipprier than shit. If control were such a science there would be no crashes at all.

Right, especially dirt track sprint car racing. The whole point and the reason the drivers and fans like it, is it’s so hard to control and cars are sliding all over. This isn’t asphalt. It’s a dirt track which gets watered down on purpose so it’s extra slick and slippery so the cars slide around and put on a good show.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:38 PM

How can you tell he gunned the engine?

We can’t really, but eyewitness reports said he did and the audio on the video sounds like he did, kinda mostly.

Honestly I wonder if that sound could be caused by having a human being sucked into your wheel well like that. I don’t know. I’m guessing no.

As mentioned before, if Stewart saw him at the last second and tried to swerve, he also likely would rev the engine to get traction to swerve.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:42 PM

On the video, filmed from the other side of the oval, you can hear that particular car rev the engine. Interesting.

Good point.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:45 PM

A key element that, to me, points to a non-deliberate action is the fact that car ahead of Stewart had to swerve to avoid Ward. This increases the likelihood that Stewart didn’t see Wart at all until the last moment with is vision blocked by other cars.

In racing cars often hit stalled/stopped cars in broad daylight seeming with plenty of time to see them. How? They just … don’t see them. And you often see that where the lead car swerves in time and then the car behind just plows into it.

If drivers can simply not see a stopped car in broad daylight, as happens with some regularity, then not seeing a man on foot, dressed in black, at night is totally plausible.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 03:57 PM

They both should have known better

It’s not clear at this point that Stewart did anything wrong. Ward clearly took an irresponsible action. Stewart may or may not have. He may have just been reacting to all of a sudden seeing Ward on the track in front of him with only a split second to react.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:00 PM

In a press conference shortly after 3 p.m. ET Sunday, Ontario County (N.Y.) Sheriff Phillip C. Povero said, “At this moment there are no facts or evidence that would support a criminal charge or criminal intent.”

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:08 PM

I think the non-winged sprint cars are the deadliest form of racing in America currently. Seems a couple guys die in those races every single year.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:17 PM

Some stuff I saw on the reddit thread:

Chirp08 10 points 6 hours ago
800hp+, Direct drive (no clutch, no transmission), the throttle is used to steer. It was literally the worst car in the world you could have put yourself in any proximity of unsafely.

LasciviousSycophant 59 points 6 hours ago
Is there any way to prove it was Tony that gunned it?
Not by observations from us armchair sleuths who have viewed that video. We hear an engine being revved. If one pays attention to the video, one will notice that it’s zoomed in to show cars across the infield. There are cars much closer to the camera that we can’t see. It is far more likely that it is one of those cars that we hear.
It’s also telling that when the actual crash happens, we can’t hear it on the video. The audio one can hear at the time of the crash is engine sounds from the cars closest to the videographer, and not the crash sounds from the track all the way across the infield.

TheCatfromOuterSpace 73 points 12 hours ago
I have 15+ years of crew experience mostly with stock cars on short tracks.
From what I know about Tony personally and after seeing the footage, all I can think of is he was either (1) trying to avoid Ward at the last second and gunned it to try and clear him, (2) thought he was clear of Ward already and was just accelerating off the turn, or (3) he was trying to throw some clay in Ward’s face.
Regardless, Ward should have stayed in his car until at least the wreckers and corner workers were there. The field was still cooling down, and to be honest, Sprint car yellow laps are highly dangerous because of everyone trying to keep their tire and oil temps up.
Also add it being a night race on a tiny bullring and nearly 1000hp short wheelbase cars with limited vis due to aero… yeah, stay in your car unless it is on fire, man.
I feel terrible for everyone involved. Best wishes to them.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:39 PM

BTW, all-time Nascar legend Richard Petty actually killed a kid in the crowd when he wrecked once. It was a drag race. Lost control. Drove into the crowd. Terrible.

Posted by: Costanza Defense at August 10, 2014 04:48 PM

August 10, 2014 , 5:36PM Posted by | NASCAR, Sports | , , , , , | Comments Off on Sprint Car Driver Wins Darwin Award

What Makes a Franchise Quarterback?

The more I think about the “fans” ripping on the Jay Cutler deal and ripping on Cutler in general, the more it annoys me. What has every good QB in the history of the game had in common? Consistency of (1) good coaching (2) good offensive system and (3) good offensive line (O-line).

Tom Brady? Has had one coach (Bill Belichick) his entire career and great offensive coordinators. He also had great O-lines who allowed him time to pass.

Peyton Manning? Had one coach (Tony Dungy) the majority of his career in Indy and good offensive coordinators. Also was one of the least sacked QBs in history. Oh and for as good a QB is Manning, he’s only gotten to the Super Bowl twice. And was known as a “choker” and predicted to be the next Dan Marino (great stats, no Super Bowl) until he finally pulled off a win vs the Patriots in 2006 to get to the Super Bowl. But he has more 1st Round “chokes” than he does long playoff runs.

Joe Montana? Had Bill Walsh and George Seifert as well as an amazing offensive system with the West Coast Offense and a great O-line.

Steve Young? Same situation as Joe Montana.

Dan Marino? Had Don Shula the majority of his career.

Bret Favre? Had Mike Holmgrem and the same offensive system the majority of his career.

Aaron Rodgers? He got to sit behind Bret Favre for 3 years to master the offense, then has had Mike McCarthy — a good head coach and great offensive mind — his entire career as head coach.

John Elway? Had Dan Reeves for years and then Mike Shanahan for years, including the 2 Super Bowl seasons.

That consistency of system and leadership makes a HUGE difference in a player’s and a team’s success.

Now let’s take a look at Jay Cutler.

2006-2008, he worked with Mike Shanahan. He had his best year in his 3rd year, which makes sense, since that is the typical amount of time it takes to master an offensive system, especially coming out of college.

In 2009, he’s traded to the Bears. New coaches (Lovie Smith, Ron Turner), new offensive system to learn (conservative, run-first offense), new players with whom to develop chemistry (went from #1 WR of Brandon Marshall in Denver to now having to throw to Earl Bennett and Johnny Knox).

In 2010, Bears fired their entire offensive coaching staff. Cutler now has to learn a new system and work with new coaches (Mike Martz as OC). Martz’s system of deep routes and 7-step drops got Cutler killed with hits and sacks for 2 years in 2010 and 2011.

In 2012, Mike Martz left as OC and Mike Tice became OC. Yet another coach and another offensive system to learn. Bears went from Martz’s wide open offense to Mike Tice’s ridiculously conservative offense.

And then this past year in 2013, he has yet ANOTHER change in head coach and offensive coaching staff and system to learn. This time, he finally has someone who knows how to create on offense, has weapons around him and has a good OL and he has the best season of his career.

Yet, despite that, Bears “fans” want to dump him.

I’d like to know how other people would do, through an 8 year career, having to go through 2 teams, 3 head coaches, 5 different offensive coordinators and systems — not to mention an offensive line that has gotten him KILLED each of his years in Chicago, including getting sacked EIGHT times in part of a game against the Giants that led to him having a concussion. That is a complete lack of stability and security there. New systems almost every 2 years. And yet people are complaining that he is not an elite QB like the ones I mentioned above.

Well gee freaking whiz, I wonder why other QBs are able to develop and improve when they are in stable, consistent systems with the same head coach and same offensive systems, but Cutler isn’t when he has to deal with new coaches and new systems every other damn year, and being planted on his ass 2-3 times per game and running for his life almost every drop back, because his offensive line sucks. Let’s see all you jackasses adapt to that and perform well each year and improve.

The Bears have FINALLY put it all together on offense, have the 2nd ranked scoring offense in the league, have a head coach who has developed a great relationship with Cutler and helped him to his best season of his career and… “fans” want to dump him.

What an absolute joke.

And for those complaining Cutler was “overpaid”, read this: Jay Cutler: Analyzing the Terms of His New Contract

Why the Bears Did It

The contract, essentially a three-year deal with a team option to make it a four-, five-, six- or seven-year deal, gives Phil Emery and the Bears coaching staff some flexibility. If they want to stick it out with Cutler, they can. If they want to go down a younger route after three years, they don’t have to put all their stock into one draft—they can assess each year’s crop of quarterbacks, and, with Cutler in their back pocket, proceed accordingly.

With so many issues to address on defense, the Bears’ General Manager may have figured, when it comes to the quarterback position, “if it aint broke, don’t fix it.” Cutler ranked eighth in the NFL in ESPN’s Total QBR and put up his best statistical season since arriving in Chicago.

Why Cutler Did It

Cutler gets a big payday, signing bonus or not. And with the huge payouts in the first three years of the deal, it’s likely that he’ll remain the starter over those years. Chicago’s supporting cast on offense is as strong as any in the NFL; after putting up the best quarterback rating of his career in Marc Trestman’s system, staying in Chicago is a prudent career decision.

Because the fourth and fifth years of the contract are the least expensive, $12.5 and $13.5 million plus bonuses, Cutler remains an attractive option over those years. So the deal, while it looks like it guarantees three more years of Cutler, could very well be five years of Cutler as long as he plays at a passing level.

Also see: Jay Cutler’s Contract Extension Is Best Move for Present and Future of the Bears

Regardless of money, the agreement makes sense on several levels for Cutler and the Bears.

Not only will one of the league’s most productive offenses stay intact, but the rock-solid relationship between head coach and quarterback will get an opportunity to live on past the 11 games Cutler started this season.

Instead of starting over at the position, the Bears will keep Cutler, a fringe top-15 quarterback, and bank on more of the kind of improvement seen in his one season under Trestman.

And there’s no discounting the fact that locking up Cutler now gives the Bears maximum draft capital to fix a defense that was mostly to blame for Chicago’s 8-8 season.

Critics of the deal will point to Cutler’s injury history, or his propensity to throw interceptions, or the fact that the Bears have been to the playoffs once in his five years in Chicago. But this was a good decision for the future of the Bears.

In just one season, Trestman took a middling, inconsistent offense and turned it into one of the NFL’s best. And Cutler was right at the center of the improvement.

The Bears finished the 2013 season ranked second in points (27.8), behind only the record-setting Denver Broncos. The offense was also third in yards per play (6.0), eighth in total yards (381.8 per game) and total first downs (344), fifth in passing yards (267.6 per game), passing touchdowns (32) and net yards per attempt (7.0) and seventh in yards per rush (4.5).

The offense set new team records for total yards, passing yards, passing touchdowns, first downs and passer rating (96.9). The 445 points were second most in franchise history.

January 4, 2014 , 3:16PM Posted by | NFL, Sports | , , , , | Comments Off on What Makes a Franchise Quarterback?

There Has Never Been a College Football National Champion

Not sure how many of you all are into college football, but there was talk this morning on Mike & Mike in the Morning on ESPN about the BcS Title Game. Some were whining “it’s ridiculous that we crown a national champion which did not even win its Conference”. And then the usual defense of the BcS system that “if you have a playoff, it diminishes the regular season”.

I call BS on both.

(1) Cannot be a true national champion without winning one’s conference – This is ridiculous. So I guess the Packers from last season are an illegitimate Super Bowl Champion, because they did not win the NFC North Division?  The Steelers of 2007 were not a true Super Bowl champion, because they did not win the AFC North Division?  Or any NBA or MLB team which wins their Championships are illegitimate if they did not win their Divisions?  What about any at-large entries into the NCAA Basketball Tournament… if they won the National Title, would their title be illegitimate, because they got into the Tournament as an at-large team?

(2) Playoffs diminish the regular season – Again, ridiculous.  I am psyched to watch NFL football each week, because I enjoy the game of football.  And they have playoffs in the NFL and all football fans are always psyched to watch football each week.  The regular season is not diminished.  And neither would the college game be diminished.

Personally, I don’t consider there to have ever been a national champion in NCAA football.  Unless you earn the title through a playoff, you are not a champion. All those years they ‘voted’ on a ‘national champ’ were ridiculous. And then the first BcS system where they added computer calculation rankings to opinion rankings was even more ridiculous. And now the second edition of the BcS system where they assign 2 teams to a ‘national championship’ game based on those same computer calculation rankings and opinion rankings.

It’s ridiculous. In every sport, there are always playoffs which determine champions. NCAA football for some reason never setup playoffs and went with a Bowl system. Then, some reporter decades ago decided to come up with his own rankings for fun for a column he had to write. And then NCAA football just decided to take that fun rankings column and determine their champions by it? What a joke.

Plain and simple, the college football system of determining a national champion is a joke. You don’t determine a champion by the opinions of sportswriters and coaches combined with a computer calculation.

They also talked about a 4-team playoff this morning as well. Which is still bogus. Because it’s still based on rankings, which are based on computer calculations and the opinions of sports writers and coaches.

Whether you assign 2 teams or 4 teams to play, it’s bogus.

We don’t do that in any other sport. And there’s a reason for that: it’s utterly stupid.

I think we just have to face the fact that the college football system screwed itself from the start with the bowl system. There’s really no way to setup a true playoff system, because there’s too much money involved in the bowls.

What they should do is something like they have in college basketball with the NCAA Tournament and the NIT. They could keep the Bowl System as it is, but have 15 Bowl games which are setup for the playoffs. The other small Bowl games would still happen (basically like the NIT for teams which did not get into the NCAA Tournament), but there would be 15 Bowl games set aside for the playoffs each year (NCAA Tournament). They could even rotate them each year so each Bowl would take turns hosting the national championship game as they do now (and similar to how they have the Super Bowl in different spots each year).

So you’d take the 8 MegaConferences and have 8 Conference Championship games. Those 8 Conference Champs would then play in 4 Bowl games the next week. Then New Year’s Day, the last 4 teams play in 2 Bowl games to determine who goes to the National Championship game to be held the following week.

Ironically, this system would have been to the liking of those complaining “can’t have a national champ without winning one’s conference”. Alabama lost to LSU in the SEC Conference Championship. And thus would not have been playing in the national championship game.

So even with my system, you’ll still have people complaining, because you’ll have great teams knocked out of the playoffs early, instead of having top teams earn top seeds and not play one another until later rounds.

I guess another way to do it is not have conference championship games and just have the top 2 teams from each of the 8 Mega Conferences and then seed them 1-16. Then have 1 vs 16, 2 vs 15, etc.

In that system, Wisconsin (2nd in Big Ten reg season standings) and Michigan State (1st in Big Ten) make the playoffs and Michigan does not. As opposed to what happened in the BcS system where MSU didn’t get into a BcS Bowl game and UM did, solely based on money considerations, not players’ play on the field.

January 11, 2012 , 2:44AM Posted by | Sports | , , | Comments Off on There Has Never Been a College Football National Champion

Due to their Hyperbolic Whining and Complaining, NFL Players Losing Support of Fans

When I saw the headline for this ESPN article regarding the current situation with the NFL labor dispute, I just rolled my eyes: Ted Bruschi: Rookies have responsibility to skip draft

I then went to the comments section to see the reaction this was getting. Due to past experiences reading the comment sections on ESPN — where the demographics of the commenters seem to be young (teen-to-20s), liberal and ignorant — I was expecting agreement with Mr. Bruschi. I was pleasantly surprised to read the vast majority of comments strongly disagreeing with his stance, as well as with that of the NFL players ‘union’ overall.

Here is a sampling from the first page:

bfwoop (3/18/2011 at 7:18 PM)
Bruschi shows how arrogant the NFLPA is, to ask these kids to not show up at the draft is a joke. In the first place, we are only talking about a handfull of players, 15 to 20 at the most. Second, the biggest barganing chip that the NFLPA has used to this point is the rookie wage scale. So they are agreeing to pay these players a fraction of what the rookies before them have made and also they are supposed to stay at home and watch the draft on TV. This is a joke, shame on the NFLPA and any vet or former player that tries to talk these players into staying away from the draft. One last point, the draft and the NFL will not be hurt AT ALL by these players not showing up. It is only punishing the players that are invited.

Antipholus76 (3/18/2011 at 9:44 PM)
“How can I respect you to be the next leader of our team?” , Tedy asks — as if dutifully and compliantly deferring to the wishes of the herd is the mark of leadership. As if letting Others decide — and define — for you what is right and wrong is a sign of strong character. Gimme a break — leadership is made of sterner stuff.

If there was one iota of substantive leverage or actual strategic value in boycotting the draft, he might have some kind of point, but as others have already noted, there isn’t. Because he’s NOT advocating boycotting “the draft”, he’s advocating boycotting the draft CEREMONY. That’s all it is, a ceremony. For DeMaurice’s Smith to come up with this idea is so lame and so petty. It accomplishes exactly nothing of actual substance, while depriving these kids of an honor they’ve earned. I’ve heard Smith referred to as a shark and as a snake, but after this, it’s clear he’s just a weasel.

And btw, Tedy, what’s this about: “They might think all that is required of them is to sign a piece of paper saying they will pay their dues…” Dues? Huh? What dues? It’s not a union anymore, remember? They de-certified — by CHOICE. Seems the NFLPA want things both ways — all the benefits of a union with none of the legal obligations. They have declared themselves a voluntary trade association — while ignoring the “voluntary” part. I’m sure such double-standard-driven hypocricy will be an inspiration to these young men. Welcome to “Solidarity” !

Thunder69_2005 (3/19/2011 at 3:45 AM)
The unions are in trouble in the country… BOUT TIME. Hey teddy instead of joining the players already in the unions how about they not join your stupid union. What protection do they need from a union? If you got talent your gonna get a contract. If you don’t pan out you get fired. Im sick and tired of these crybabies. If you had been responsible with your money like most of your fans are then you would have good coverage for your health when you get out, you should be able to afford it as it is the way you get paid. You guys play a minimum 16 games a year to make your money. Most make more money in one game than a hard working man or woman makes in a year! and most players make more in one contract than some people do in a lifetime. to top it off the union went out and hired Demaurice Smith… anyone know who he worked for? hmmm give ya a hint he worked for that guy doing a bracket and that #### Rahm Emmanuel. Good choice players!!! way to pick one of your own!

Saintfan45 (3/19/2011 at 8:10 AM)
The players are really starting to p$%# me off with some of their comments. Comments like, we’re just slaves, we just want a fair deal, etc. etc.. Yes the owners are greedy, and are trying for a big money grab. But alot of us fans who are lucky enough to still be employed, have either taken a pay cut, or have not had a raise in years. The players salaries have been going up between 5 and 10% every year the way I understand it. Every time one of them gets in front of a camera and whines about how bad their being treated, it makes me want to puke. I have decided not to renew my season tickets, and the union, the owners, and the players can all go straight to hell as far as I’m concerned

voodoochef1 (3/19/2011 at 8:10 AM)
I wonder if any of the players have ever had a “real” union job. The kind where you are on a scissor lift 35 ft of the ground with a safety harness on that you prey that you don’t need. Or responding to a utlility emergency in the wee hours of the morning on a freeeway, setting up an emercency detour, or responding to a fire at someone’s home only to find it burning out of control.

I was union for years and even though the players are no longer a “union”, they should be ashamed of themselves.

GiantPitts (3/19/2011 at 8:17 AM)
Very easy for Tedy Bruschi to be down for rookies to skip the draft 15 years after he got drafted. Forget the players – “Oh we only want whats fair” YOU WANT WHATS FAIR?! Try getting paid $9 an hour and having to work 40 hours a day answering phones. Don’t complain to me about whats fair because if we had things fair, you guys would be getting paid FAIR WAGES – so just shut up and enjoy the fact that we pay you the absurd amount we do while more deserving people get the shaft

nathanoverbey (3/19/2011 at 8:34 AM)
Until the players are drafted and sign their contracts on the dotted line, they’re not part of anything. What this new players coming in should do is start their own union. The NFL has gotten way to high on it’s own horse and better realize that very soon. The fans won’t stand for it. The public doesn’t want to hear these guys fuss over millions of dollars when we the people are struggling to pay bills in this economy!! I for one will never come back to the NFL, it’s turning in to the NBA to much anyways all show and no action.

drewokc (3/19/2011 at 8:42 AM)
This article is irresponsible. The players don’t have a unted front. Cromartie may be the most vocal in his dissent, but there are many others we don’t get to hear.

It’s hard to blame anything on the owners right now when the NFLPA has chosen to litigate and brow-beat.

spanky1762 (3/19/2011 at 8:50 AM)
Dear NFL players,

STF U!!! Stop comparing the situation you are in to slavery and being 2nd class citizens!!! You get paid at minimum hundreds of thousands of dollars to PLAY A GAME. Unless you donate substantial amounts of your paycheck to charities (which i know SOME of you do), you directly contribute absolutely nothing to society other than entertainment. You didn’t set up the rules and infrastructure, nor do you own any part of the NFL. They are talking about NOT PAYING military members and other federal employees, yet there is no talk of strike from any of them, merely jokes and sarcastic comments. In this time of economic hardship, it makes me lose any will to support a professional football team that has players supporting a lock out. Feel free to repost my rant.

Gibba192471 (3/19/2011 at 9:20 AM)
Hey just one more tid bit .. Wasn’t it Brees who lambasted the owners for, pretty much, calling them all stupid? He was angry because the owners said that they would be able to interpret the financial info they would get if they open the book to them? Well here you have Bruschi saying the the rookies are to stupid to understand how important the “UNION” is to them and that they should just take their word for it and do as they are told. I guess whats good for the goose isn’t good for the gander huh?

March 19, 2011 , 1:02PM Posted by | NFL, Unions | Comments Off on Due to their Hyperbolic Whining and Complaining, NFL Players Losing Support of Fans

My Suggestion for a True NCAA Football National Championship Playoff

So I was discussing this on Facebook tonight…

Way to go, TCU! I’m a Big Ten guy, but was rooting for TCU to win, because I hate the BS BCS & Bowl systems. There is no “national champ” without a playoff. And for the “Big Conferences” to be so condescendingly arrogant & asinine to reject a playoff, screw them. Until they setup a playoff, they have no “national champ”. Hopefully seeing a “little school” beat a “big school” will get us closer to ending this BS BCS.

I then got some feedback and went on to discuss a possible setup for a playoff system using the current Bowl system:

Thank you. But to add to that, along with a playoff system, you’ve got to have home field advantage, which I’ve been calling for for years. It truly is bs that all the northern colleges, to play in big bowl games, have to go down to the south to play southern schools. You know I think that weather is a huge factor, and attribute NFL teams like the Bears, Packers, Patriots, Giants, Jets, and Bills playoff success partially to teams from the south playing them up north in the snow and cold during winter. On top of that, all of the southern cities get huge boosts of monetary influx from coverage and people coming in and spending money. Why can the basketball and hockey programs figure out a huge playoff month with tons of tv viewership but the football program can’t?

———-

I was thinking about this while watching some of the games. I need to go look at how many Bowl games they play.

If we had 32 teams in a tournament, that would require 16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 31 Bowl games. If we had 64 teams in a tournament, that would require 32 + 16 + 8 + 4 + 2 + 1 = 63 Bowl games.

I just checked and I believe they currently have a setup for 35 Bowl games. So things are already setup for 32-team tournament.

Now, I don’t know how many “power” conferences there are, but they could fill up the tournament the same way the NCAA Basketball does it: automatic bids by winning your conference and then at-large bids. If they wanted to, they could use the BSC standings to determine at-large bids.

The tournament would perfectly setup for 5 weekends. This year it would have been DEC 4, DEC 11, DEC 18, DEC 25 and JAN 1 for the Championship game.

I guess the only problem there is that teams would end up playing 5 extra games in addition to their regular season and Conference Championship games. Right now I think teams play 12 games + Conference Championship = 13. So 13 + 5 = 18 games total. But, that wouldn’t be much different from the NFL, which currently has 16 + 4 max (for any wild card that makes it to Super Bowl) = 20 games total.

I’m not too concerned about home field advantage, especially since the NCAA would never go for that setup, since that would completely change the Bowl System and $$$ going to those venues.

While it would be ideal to do that, I say just keep the current bowls how they are, but set them up for a tournament, instead of these matchups that no one cares about.

I’m gonna go see what my tournament would be based on Conference Champs and BCS standings…

———-

Yeah, I was going to say, 32 teams would be pretty much ideal, because most of those games would happen during the winter break, maybe with a week off for finals and recovery, so it ends on Jan 8-ish, which is still during the break. And again, I am concerned about home field advantage. If you’re going to do it tourney style, you can’t have poor teams with practically home field vs. good teams, throws out the whole point of being a better team during the regular season. Basketball can kind of get away with that being as they can play multiple games at one venue in a single day, really infeasible with football. Even then, their “neutral sites” rotate all the time, so MSU may end up playing at home every so often, instead of always being hosted at the Rose Bowl. I’m not so sure that the ncaa wouldn’t go for that. If they’re going to scrap the bowls and $$$ to those revenues anyway with a tourney, I see no reason to not go through all logical steps and make it a true tourney instead of a mock tourney. Do what’s right for the sport, reward good teams by pitting them against worse teams, and reward them with home field. I mean it’s not like those stadiums are suddenly not fit for a football game because of the weather.

I then came up with the following Playoff system. I used the Conference Champions to determine the top Seeds, Seeded them based on their BCS ranking, then took the next 21 teams based on their BCS ranking. If they did not have a BCS ranking, then I used the AP rankings. In the future, in order to account for this, we’ll simply have BCS rankings for 32 teams.

Okay, here is what I came up with based on Conference Champions, BCS standings and using AP standings for the final at-large bids I needed to fill 32 teams:

ACC — Va Tech (6)
Big 12 — Oklahoma (5)
Big East — UConn (9)
Big 10 — Ohio State (4)
Conference USA — UCF (8)
MAC — Miami (OH) (10)
Mountain West — TCU (3)
PAC 10 — Oregon (2)
SEC — Auburn (1)
Sun Belt — FIU (11)
WAC — Nevada (7)

SEEDINGS:

(1) Auburn
(2) Oregon
(3) TCU
(4) Ohio State
(5) Oklahoma
(6) VA Tech
(7) Nevada
(8) UCF
(9) UConn
(10) Miami (OH)
(11) FIU

(12) Stanford
(13) Wisconsin
(14) Arkansas
(15) Mich State
(16) Boise State
(17) LSU
(18) Missouri
(19) OK State
(20) Alabama
(21) Texas A&M
(22) Nebraska
(23) Utah
(24) South Carolina
(25) Miss State
(26) West VA
(27) Florida State
(28) Hawaii
(29) Northern Illinois
(30) Maryland
(31) Tulsa
(32) Navy

ROUND 1:

(1) Auburn vs (32) Navy
(2) Oregon vs (31) Tulsa
(3) TCU vs (30) Maryland
(4) Ohio State vs (29) Northern Illinois
(5) Oklahoma vs (28) Hawaii
(6) VA Tech vs (27) Florida State
(7) Nevada vs (26) West VA
(8) UCF vs (25) Miss State
(9) UConn vs (24) South Carolina
(10) Miami (OH) vs (23) Utah
(11) FIU vs (22) Nebraska
(12) Stanford vs (21) Texas A&M
(13) Wisconsin vs (20) Alabama
(14) Arkansas vs (19) OK State
(15) Michigan ST vs (18) Missouri
(16) Boise State vs (17) LSU

ROUND 2:

(1) Auburn vs (16) Boise ST
(2) Oregon vs (15) Michigan ST
(3) TCU vs (14) Arkansas
(4) Ohio ST vs (13) Wisconsin
(5) Oklahoma vs (12) Stanford
(6) VA Tech vs (11) FIU
(7) Nevada vs (10) Miami (OH)
(8) UCF vs (9) UConn

ROUND 3:

(1) Auburn vs (8) UCF
(2) Oregon vs (7) Nevada
(3) TCU vs (6) VA Tech
(4) Ohio ST vs (5) Oklahoma

SEMIFINALS:

(1) Auburn vs (4) Ohio ST
(2) Oregon vs (3) TCU

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME:

(1) Auburn vs (2) Oregon

January 2, 2011 , 1:08AM Posted by | NCAA, Sports | Comments Off on My Suggestion for a True NCAA Football National Championship Playoff