My Fantasy Football Season

For the second year in a row I won our regular season and get eliminated in the first round of the playoffs. This is, to put it mildly, very annoying.

I started the season with high hopes. My core of four players was incredible. I had to trade away Wes Welker and Donald Driver, but I got second round picks for them. My draft was unremarkable, but solid.

Or so I thought. It soon came out that dumping Welker was about the dumbest possible move. Terrel Owens sucks. Roy Williams sucks. Greg Jennings is okay. Outisde of my big four, my only good players were Tony Gonzales and Vince Young. And I couldn’t even play Vince Young, we have a 1 quarterback 1 flex league, and both those spots were filled with Drew Brees and Philip Rivers each week.

It was an achievement to win the regular season. I actually finished 8th out of 12 in points scored.

Damnit. I want to at least get to the second round next year.

Links o’ Interest

Danny DeVito will do another season, if…

I’m getting some pussy one way or another

Steve Nash does Derek Zoolander

Yeah, so what?

Notice

The Golden Gate bridge, from a plane

The science of willpower. Very relevant to New Years resolutions.

Parents do not belong on Facebook. But Star Wars does!

A personal all-time sport achievement

Generations comparison

If you don’t want to use the real word, don’t call it the 4 Fs.

Strange sublet response

The Rock is horrified

Good advice

The dumbest product ever, bar none.

Coming up: The future

‘Sup dog.

Morality

This is very long, but worth it. The story of the best winless high school football team.

Homeopathy explained

That’s really nice.

What English sounds like to non-speakers

Anti-whaling group split off from Greenpeace in 1977 or so. They built one of the fastest boats in the world. Then they confronted a whaling boat. See what happened next.

14 Terrorists blow themselves up by accident. Nice.

Which states permit…

A brutally honest first-person account of ALS.

100 years
of consumer spending

After three years living in China, James Fallows shares his thoughts on whether America is in decline. Long, but worth it.

Poker Update

Next week is the neighborhood tournament of champions. I am starting with 25% of the chips (based on my “regular season” performance). To keep my skills up I went to the local bar to play tonight.

Not just to keep my skills up. Here’s where I sit right now. I am one of the best players in our neighborhood game. The best? Eh, who knows, but I’m up there. If I want to get better at poker I need to play other people. So I’m trying to get out more with different groups. But so far, I have not been successful.

Why? It could be any of these:

  • My usual gang isn’t very good. I’m good enough to beat them, but not other good players.
  • I’ve been unlucky in other settings. I’ve only played out four times or so.
  • I have my neighborhood game figured out, but it took me four months to get a read on people. I don’t have that luxury with strangers.

I showed up late to tonight’s game, so I started as short stack (1,000 in chips) already. I committed 30% of my stack on A-5, and then folded to an all-in (it was the right play!). A few minutes later I was down to 300. The blinds were already at 50-100. When I was dealt A-2 I went all in. I was called by A-9, but hit my 2 on the river. Yes!

A few hands later I went all-in with a pair of 9s. Someone called for fun with 8-5, I doubled up. Next hand I had K-A and took another 1,000 of someone. Hey, I got some money!

10 minutes later I was dealt A-Q. The blinds were at 100-200 and two people had limped. I’m all in for 1,700! Again, someone calls me for laughs – this time with J-10. Sadly, his 10 pairs up and I am knocked out.

I left in a good mood. I played well, got lucky, then got unlucky, hey, that’s poker. I was next to Acuman (one of my neighborhood buddies) the whole time, a Patriots rerun was on the telly, what more could you ask for?

Tonight: $0 (it’s free!)

P.S. Acuman pointed out that I’ve held my own in Vegas against much tougher competition. True! Good point!

Muttroxia Awards Five Points to Fergie

I hate the Black Eyed Peas. Have hated them ever since the first note they played. Wasn’t really a note, was some kind of sampled noise. They are horrible. Fergie, on the other hand, is fantastic. And not just to look at.

Look at her taking Merry Clayton’s part in Gimme Shelter. Despite the lackluster white-boy music of U2, she nails it.

For no reason, the Stones performing Gimme Shelter at the height of their powers. Mick Taylor rocks the house.

Why You Should Leave Statistics to the Statisticians

This post is over a month late. It’s been bugging me all that time. I still can’t figure out how to write it. Over the last year I have come to agree more and more with this guy; The Sports Guy sucks. This whole column was about the dumbest thing I’ve ever read in my life. From top to bottom it’s an exercise in deliberate ignorance.

This part was a whole new level of stupid though. My jaw dropped that any one would ever expose their idiocy in a public forum like this.

Put it this way: The Colts weren’t exactly on fire. Admittedly, I am terrified of Manning and have written as much. But Indy had already started and completed two long touchdown drives in the fourth quarter against a good defense. Had the Patriots punted, Indy would have had to pull off a third long touchdown drive to win the game. I asked Peter Newmann to research the number of times a team started and completed three touchdown drives in the fourth quarter to erase a double-digit deficit and win an NFL game since 2005. Here’s how the list looked before that fourth-and-2 call.

2005: 1
2006: 2
2007: 0
2008: 1
2009: 0

In 78 weeks of football dating back to 2005, it happened a whopping four times. Four! If you’re playing the statistics card, why not play that one? By punting, the Patriots would have been asking Peyton Manning to pull off something THAT DOESN’T HAPPEN EVEN ONCE EVERY EFFING SEASON. You’re damned right I just went all caps. Hold on, I have to repeatedly bang my head against my desk again.

(Ow.)

(Damn!)

This is so fundamentally stupid it’s hard to even know what to say. I’ll start with an analogy.

The Sports Gal is playing roulette and red has come up the last nine times in a row. She’s deciding what to do for the 10th roll. She decides to bet on red. In busts The Sports Guy. Are you crazy!? I had my stats people look this up – do you know how often there are 10 reds in a row? It’s less than one-tenth of one percent – what are you doing? Bet on black!!

Needless to say, this is stupid logic. It’s strongly related to The Gamblers Fallacy, but it’s basically confusing probability of an event with probability of an event given that most of that event has already happened. In the above example, the probability of red coming up is the same as always. It doesn’t matter what has come before. And that stupid forced statistic is completely different when you look at it after most of it has already happened then if you had asked the odds of The Colts doing it before the game started.

Maybe you don’t follow what I’m saying. I’m too annoyed to explain it well. But that’s okay. You don’t have to get it. All you have to do is not be the most popular sport columnist in America using your column to trumpet the exact opposite of the actual truth.

I can’t even write this. It’s one thing to be ignorant of statistics. It’s another to be willfully ignorant. To ignore statistical arguments from people who know what they are talking about and try to make up your own. To misuse numbers so badly that all you do is demonstrate your own stupidity.