Archive for Football

Football Legends: Steven Gerrard

Posted in Football Legends, Soccer with tags , , , on December 26, 2007 by Patrick

While I staunchly disagree, I understand Americans resistance to soccer. All the domestic teams are rubbish and the game itself is seldom mentioned on our media outlets. Without exposure to quality footballers there will be no interest. Thus, I present Football Legends, a weekly series introducing you to phenomenal international footballers.

As a Man U supporter, it is difficult to enjoy the performances of Liverpool players. But one would have to be blind to miss the quality of Liverpool captain and savior Steven Gerrard.

Advertisements

The Pitch: Soccer Knowledge

Posted in Soccer, The Pitch with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 26, 2007 by Patrick
  • It has not been a holly, jolly holiday for Newcastle United. (NUFC Blog)
  • Manchester United eased past Sunderland 4-0. Footballocks has the highlights.
  • Chelsea loses Carvalho and A. Cole to suspension; Lampard to injury. Draw 4-4 to Aston Villa at home. I love every second of it. (Premiership Latest)
  • Everton is looking very good this year, winning 2-0 against Bolton. (The Bolton News)
  • Steven Gerrard managed to spare Liverpool the embarrassment of losing to Derby. Too bad. (This is Anfield)
  • Tottenham Spurs may be a solid side now. They destroyed Fulham 5-1. (Caught Offside)
  • David Hirshey anoints Manchester United the early winners of the “Hedonism Cup.”  (Deadspin)

Season’s Greetings: A Holiday Linkdump

Posted in Sports with tags , , , , on December 24, 2007 by Patrick

Here are some interesting articles to read when you no longer care to talk to your family:

  • Over at Exploratorium: The Museum of Science, Art and Human Perception they have some pretty interesting articles about the science of baseball. Topics include:
    • What determines the length of a home run.
    • The proper mechanics of pitching
    • How to find the exact sweet-spot of a bat
    • How to throw a variety of pitches
    • Baseball in Japan
    • Exhibits including, “Can you hit a 90-mph fastball” and “What makes a home run”
  • Smart Football gives the history of the “Shotgun” in football.
  • The Wall Street Journal has an article about how ESPN is being forced to change with the times by, among other things, hiring journalists.
  • Ever wonder what happened to those Chicago Bears: Super Bowl Champions T-shirts after the Colts won? The New York Times has your answer.

    Weekend Primer

    Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on December 22, 2007 by Patrick

    Saturday

    College Football

    • Papajohns.com Bowl: Southern Mississippi vs. Cincinnati, ESPN2, 1 p.m.
    • New Mexico Bowl, Nevada at New Mexico, ESPN, 4:30 p.m.
    • Pioneer Las Vegas Bowl, UCLA vs. Brigham Young, ESPN, 8 p.m.

    College Basketball

    • Georgetown at Memphis, ESPN, noon;
    • UCLA at Michigan, CBS, 2 p.m.;
    • Tennessee at Xavier, ESPN, 2 p.m.;
    • Florida at Ohio State, CBS, 4 p.m.;
    • Stanford vs. Texas Tech, at Dallas, ESPN2, 4:30 p.m.;
    • Texas vs. Michigan State, at Auburn Hills, Mich., ESPN2, 6:30 p.m.;
    • Illinois vs. Missouri, at St. Louis, ESPN2, 8:30 p.m.

    NFL

    • Dallas Cowboys at Carolina Panthers, NFL Network, 8 p.m.

    Sunday

    College Football

    • Sheraton Hawaii Bowl, Boise State vs. East Carolina, ESPN, 8 p.m.

    College basketball

    • Virginia Tech at Wake Forest, FSN, 5:30 p.m.
    • Cincinnati at North Carolina State, FSN, 7:30 p.m.

    NFL

    • Washington at Minnesota, NBC, 8:15 p.m.
    • Whatever games your geographically forced to watch.

    Liverpool’s Season Just Got Worse

    Posted in Soccer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on December 21, 2007 by Patrick

    The draw for the UEFA Champions League Playoff was conducted today. In a draw full of compelling match-ups, TIP will be anxiously awaiting:

    • Arsenal v. AC Milan
    • Manchester United v. Lyon
    • Liverpool v. Inter Milan
    • AS Roma v. Real Madrid

    The good folks at SoccerLens were good enough to liveblog it.

    Football Legends: Lionel Messi

    Posted in Football Legends, Soccer with tags , , , , on December 18, 2007 by Patrick

    While I staunchly disagree, I understand Americans resistance to soccer. All the domestic teams are rubbish and the game itself is seldom mentioned on our media outlets. Without exposure to quality footballers there will be no interest. Thus, I present Football Legends, a weekly series introducing you to phenomenal international footballers.

    20-year old wonder, Argentinian International Lionel Messi plays for FC Barcelona and was named to the FIFPro World XI. Proclaimed the predecessor to Maradona by Maradona himself, Messi is an unmeasurable talent.

    The Patriots Really Are Good. San Francisco…Not So Much.

    Posted in Football with tags , , , , on December 18, 2007 by Patrick

    Patriots haven’t convinced you yet? If 14-0 is a fluke in your mind, consider these stats Football Outsiders:

    • The Patriots are 56% better than the average team in the NFL.
    • They are 20.6% better than the second best team.
    • I don’t even know how this is possible, but they are 95.9% better than the San Francisco 49ers

    I know you’re saying, “what the hell does that mean?” These numbers are based on a team’s Defense-adjusted Value Over Average or DVOA. This is the brain child of Football Outsiders, a group of sports statisticians and fans alike who have the admirably nerdy goal of bringing new depths to statistical football analysis. DVOA is:

    “a method of evaluating teams, units, or players. It takes every single play during the NFL season and compares each one to a league-average baseline based on situation. DVOA measures not just yardage, but yardage towards a first down: five yards on 3rd-and-4 are worth more than five yards on 1st-and-10 and much more than five yards on 3rd-and-12. Red zone plays are worth more than other plays. Performance is also adjusted for the quality of the opponent. DVOA is a percentage, so a team with a DVOA of 10.0% is 10 percent better than the average team, and a quarterback with a DVOA of -20.0% is 20 percent worse than the average quarterback. Because DVOA measures scoring, defenses are better when they are negative.”

    Their website has an in-depth explanation for those of you who are still hazy. The Patriots DVOA is 56%, the highest rating in NFL history. In fact, their DVOA is 9.4% higher than the next best team historically, the 1999 St. Louis Rams.

    As a brief aside, the San Francisco 49ers of 2004-2007 are, apparently, the worst franchise ever. While they may never be able to match their record setting pace of 2005, in which they had an all-time low DVOA of -61.5% through week 14, three of their past four seasons rank among the 10 worst historical seasons through week 15.