Thursday, October 9, 2008

Life, the Universe and Everything

To be honest, I've barely watched football the last 2 weeks. Work has been crazy. I saw the Pit@Jacksonville game. Here are some quick, half-assed observations:
-Jack Del Rio goes for it on 4th down! I love Jacksonville!
-Ben Roethlisberger is really good. For some reason, I had the impression that he wasn't-I probably just assumed he was stupid because of the motorcycle thing. He has a great presence on the field, he moves very well, and has a strong and accurate arm.
-Ben's first half interception was horribly misinterpreted by Al Michaels and Madden. I was ready to throw a brick at the TV just to get them to shut up. It wasn't a bad throw. The timing appeared to be right. The decision appeared sound-receiver Santonio Holmes was open. What happened was Holmes slipped, so instead of being in front of Rashean Mathis and catching the ball, he was stumbling and the ball went straight to Mathis.
-I agreed with Jack's punt on 4th and 1 from his own 40 with 7 minutes left. Up 21-20, kicking the opponent out of field goal range is much more important than it usually is.
-Jack Del Rio fucked up the endgame! Jack, you may be up 21-20, but as soon as Pit has first down on your 14 with 2:47 left, you must treat the situation as if you are losing, because by all measures except the actual score, you are. Call time-out to preserve the clock for your comeback, jerk.
-Jack called time-out with 2:02 left. The reason Al and John disagreed with this is absolutely wrong. They said that you only save 2 seconds instead of 40. That is wrong because this time-out causes the clock to stop after next play also, with 2 minutes left, instead of having to use the time-out to stop the clock next play at ~1:50. This leads to the actual reason Jack was wrong to call the time-out. Standard endgame offense-while-ahead demands that you run the ball to kill the clock. It's much less likely than usual to gain yardage because everyone in the stadium knows that you will be running, but it's still mostly worth doing. I'd change it up more than they do, but I'm craaaazy. Anyways, by calling time-out 2 seconds before an official time-out, you create a situation where the clock stops next play regardless, so the offense is not bound to the usual predictability. On the ensuing play, Ben did play-action and attempted a pass to the end zone. I wish it had worked so Jack would be punished for his mistake. The tradeoff of a few seconds of game clock in exchange for knowing what the offense is going to do is a no-brainer.

I actually watched a presidential debate! Notes:
-John McCain is so bald!
-John McCain has a silly combover.
-John McCain's makeup accentuated the weirdness of his cheeks.
-Barack Obama is much taller than John McCain.
-John McCain wants our broke-ass government to somehow subsidize the lost value of real estate. It is wrong when people say that his coming up with an idea, any idea, particulary *this* idea, is "better than nothing".
-John McCain spoke of his idol Teddy Roosevelt and his line "Talk(speak) softly but carry a big stick." He's your idol-get the quote right, jerkface. McCain then proceeded to say that he, John McCain, has a big stick, and that Barack Obama is very loud and has a small stick. Challenge the black guy on the size of his stick-good job, John.
-John McCain's use of inflections seems forced.
-Barack Obama dodged the Medicare issue and John McCain said he'd have bipartisan talks about it, which is obviously the only way anything gets done. Point McCain.
-Somebody asked-is healthcare a right, a privilege or a responsibility? What the hell does the third thing mean? If I said "healthcare is a responsibility" what would that mean? The relevant and interesting question is between the first two. The third option just allows John McCain to bullshit his way out of answering the question. I expected Barack to do the same, but he answered forcefully-healthcare is a right. I disagree, but whatever.
-Quick plug for Colbert's guest that night, Nate Silver of He's a baseball handicapper who's applying those skills to the election. Translation-a lot of stat analysis designed to sift through noise and identify which trends are relevant. The site's really good.
-As of today, 538 has Obama winning the election with 90.7% probability. The Intrade contract is trading at 76.
-Read Matt Taibbi at I'm adding him to my influences.

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