Friday, September 28, 2012

NBA Will Fine Floppers

The NBA's decision to punish floppers after the fact -- by issuing penalties from the league office after the game has been decided -- is the best response to a difficult problem.

The ugly trend of faking physical contact began in soccer, a sport in which gamesmanship has given way to players writhing in false agony around the world. Soccer has been unable to fix its problem, but now the NBA will have an opportunity to deter players from trying to simulate violent contact in ways made famous by Vlade Divac, Manu Ginobili and Anderson Varejao.

Commissioner David Stern's original idea had been to punish floppers on the spot. But that was never going to work. The NBA game is already the most difficult to officiate in pro sports, and the block/charge call is among the toughest for NBA referees to gauge. It would have been asking too much of refs for them to deal with a block/charge play and at the same time judge the intent of the defender.

The NBA instead will outsource these calls to New York, where league officials can review all of the evidence before making what will often be viewed as the wrong decision. Of course this is going to be an imperfect solution: Think of all of the second-guessing that goes on whenever the New York office decides to fine or suspend players and coaches for altercations.

This new day-after system of flopper punishment is absolutely going to be controversial because there is as of yet no public agreement on what constitutes a flop. When Ginobili stands in front of a hard-driving power forward, is he showing bravery or cynicism? We will find out what the NBA thinks soon enough, and the league's rulings will create a definition that has never existed before.

How harsh will the penalties be, and will they be tied to the circumstances of the game? If a fourth-quarter flop is seen to have turned a win into a loss, will the punishment for the flopper be more severe? It is going to be difficult to divorce the infraction from the context of the game. And so, in a strange way, this new approach is going to make the game more interesting.

Written by: Ian Thomsen

Friday, September 21, 2012

TEXAS-bred QBs: 25% of NFL current starters

Super Bowl XLIV MVP Drew Brees is from Austin, TX

Football and Texas go together like birthday cake and ice cream.
In almost in equal supply, Texas produces cattle, cowboys and quarterbacks. If it seems as though most teams start a quarterback from Texas, it's because they do.
Twenty-five percent of NFL teams now start a quarterback who either played high school or college football in Texas -- sometimes both. Another 10 quarterbacks who played in Texas are NFL backups, one snap away from starting. And that doesn't include Carolina's Cam Newton, who spent one year of junior college at Blinn in Texas.
Texas used to be the main exporter of running backs. But somewhere along the way it shifted its emphasis, and now it exports quarterbacks.
Of players selected in the 2012 NFL Draft by state, Texas placed first with 32 players selected..
Texas' domination was helped by six players going in the top 20 of the draft, and three in the top 10. All three of those players — No. 1 pick Andrew Luck, No. 2 pick Robert Griffin III, and No. 8 pick Ryan Tannehill — were quarterbacks
In Week 2, Houston Stratford High School's Andrew Luck squared off against Colleyville Heritage High School's Christian Ponder. This weekend, Copperas Cove High School and Baylor's Robert Griffin III squares off against Katy High School and TCU's Andy Dalton. Almost every weekend brings a meeting of Texas quarterbacks.
If it's not Luck versus Ponder or Griffin versus Dalton, then it can be Westlake High School's Drew Brees, Big Spring High School and Texas A&M's Ryan Tannehill, Highland Park High School's Matthew Stafford, Burges High School's John Skelton or Stephenville High School and University of Houston's Kevin Kolb. On it goes.
The list of Texas-bred backups also is compelling: Texas (Texarkana, Texas) High School's Ryan Mallett, Jim Ned High School's and Texas Longhorn Colt McCoy, Forney High School's Caleb Hanie, Westlake High School's Nick Foles, Ennis High School and Texas Tech's Graham Harrell, Jacksonville High School's Luke McCown, Southlake Carroll High School's Chase Daniel, Robert E. Lee High School's Matt Flynn and Southlake Carroll's Greg McElroy.
Texas always has placed so much emphasis on football. But in recent years, it began emphasizing throwing the football even more. Not unlike young pitchers in California, Texas quarterbacks can and often do throw year round. They are tutored to throw more than ever. They leave high school more prepared than ever, play in college faster and enter the NFL more pro-ready than ever.
It's the reason we're seeing more and more young quarterbacks start -- and make their mark -- more quickly. Much of it can be traced back to the second most populous state in this country...the great STATE OF TEXAS!
Credit:  Adam Schefter  

Friday, September 14, 2012

10 Types of People In Your Fantasy Football League

10. The Complainer: This person starts their complaints even before the season begins. They complain about how the draft order is chosen. They complain about the draft process (if it’s snake, It shouldn’t be. If it isn’t snake it should be). They complain about how the order for the waiver wire is decided. They complain about the scoring system….they just COMPLAIN!
9. No Life: This owner is always posting topics, polls, and questions on the league home page. They comment on every post as soon as someone post a topic and they send trades at least once a week. Depending on the waiver wire process in your league, they are usually the ones who pick up the “handcuff player” because they were the only one awake when the news came that a stud was injured.
8. The Homer: This owner will go out of his way to get players from his home team or personal favorite team. They will pass on a better player just to pick up a player from their favorite team. They can justify every pick in their own mind, but when they tell you they picked up Sam Bradford in the 3rd round because he is going to finish the year ranked #1, it’s best to just let them waste their pick.   
7. The No-Show: Doesn’t matter how much trash talking they did before the draft or how many times they tell you how excited they are, this owner isn’t coming to the draft. Have fun watching some stud running back get auto-drafted right before it’s your turn to pick.
6. "Everyone’s A Sleeper" Guy: Every year there are players that have break out seasons that were low on the radar (if on the radar at all). Part of the fun in drafting in FFL is to be the person who snatches up the next big star in the late rounds. But to the “Everyone’s A Sleeper Guy” every player could be a sleeper so he spends his time scouring the depth charts of teams while everyone else sticks to players not on the practice squad.
5. The GirlJ: The lone female in the league is a tricky situation for most in the league. You’re not sure if she actually knows what she’s doing or if she just took the spot of her boyfriend because he was going to be too busy to participate. Chances are that if there is only one girl in your league….she knows what she’s doing and should NOT be taken lightly.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Pre-game Poem For The 'Boys

T'was the nite before the Cowboys game and all across the land everyone was excited even the opposing fans. The Giants were shivering and afraid to stare for they wanted to avoid the wrath of Demarcus Ware. Eli was nervous and for good reason of course, because Rob Ryan has shored up the defense using every resource. So we get ready to show up with cheer and gleem, because tomorrow guess who takes the field, America's Team. #CowboysNation!!!

My Fantasy Football Team

Today was the day that my Fantasy Football season officially began! I had the #1 overall pick and I was indecisive up until it was time to actual make my pick. I have participated in several mock drafts, prepared my cheat sheets, ranked my positional players… and then ranked them again. It has been a grueling few weeks but I must say…I am happy with the fantasy team I drafted.  
After telling myself to focus on the league with the money prize, I ended up in 4 fantasy leagues (2 prize leagues, 2 for fun but with a purpose). I am in a league with fellow female sports bloggers and then we have a league at the job that is pretty serious as well. Not to down play my other the leagues, but Necessary Roughness is the only league I pay to play in where the bragging rights mean more than the prize, therefore, I’m all in! From this point forward I am speaking only of Necessary Roughness (NR).