San Diego Chargers Playoff Picks
Sure, football is stupid, only a game, and something certain so-called manly men do to squeeze precious nectar of testosterone out of their nutsacks like an orange on a juicer.
In other words, you have come to the right place for inciteful NFL postseason analysis.
It’s the playoffs.
Those of you who caught my microblog on Twitter of the San Diego Chargers vs. The Denver Broncos already know what to expect. I’m going to hit it and I’m going to hit it hard.
The San Diego Chargers could have beaten Peyton Manning and The Denver Broncos in Mile High Stadium if they had followed my carefully developed strategy. Since Peyton’s offense was too powerful, my advice was to not field a defense and allow the Broncos to score at will. (This is essentially what happened.) Then, when on offense, the Chargers could break out their secret weapon and run the fake punt on first down. Every first down of the game.
–Tom B. Taker
Alas, the Chargers failed to heed my advice, so I’m forced to offer my predictions for the rest of the playoffs.
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San Diego super-Chunkers
From now on the Abyss is going to be a sports blog, because, yeah, I love sports. A lot. At least I used to. Okay, never mind. I’ll talk about sports just this once…
These are the facts as I remember them. I’m doing this by memory so don’t bench me if I fumble a bit.
The San Diego Chargers made it to the Super Bowl once where they were promptly crushed by Steve Young and the San Francisco 49ers.
The San Diego Padres made it to the World Series. Twice. And in those two trips they won a grand total of one game. One. That’s a World Series win-loss record of 1 out of 8. The only win came in 1984 against the Detroit Tigers in Game Two, when Kurt Bevacqua got the go-ahead RBI with a 5th inning home run. This was enough to give pitcher Andy Hawkins the win.
These days, when I think about the San Diego Chargers, I mostly think about Drew Brees and how he was traded to the New Orleans Saints who now have a Super Bowl win under their belts. Unlike San Diego.
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Don’t know much about history
Negativity Theory states, as we all know, that historical figures aren’t as good as they appear. I know this topic will be remedial for some advanced students, but I think it is still fun to explore from time to time.
As we know, most people are surrounded by friends and loved ones. Among their many functions they effectively become “Keepers of the Lore.” It is their job to conceal and/or minimize the unsavory stuff while injecting exaggeration and hyperbole into anything that might be good, not necessarily limiting themselves to things that actually happened.
The theory states that the ability to discover unflattering information about a person is directly proportional to the amount of time that has passed. It also states that just about everyone has some kind of freakish penchant or skeleton in their closet. In many cases, information about these quirks never sees the light of day.
Let’s take someone like George Washington. He famously chopped down a cherry tree and, when confronted about it, said, “I can’t tell a lie, Pa.” Or did he? The story came from a book written about George Washington after his death, which was written by a guy who plagiarized other stories for the man’s life from published fiction of the time. No credible source for the story was ever found, so the cherry tree incident is considered apocryphal and its credibility is questioned.
There is also the matter of Washington crossing the Delaware as portrayed in the famous painting. In the picture Washington maintains a heroic stance at the bow of the boat. The painting has been analyzed, though, and many “historical inaccuracies” have been found. They include:
- It was raining during the crossing.
- Some reason that it would have been difficult for Washington to stand in choppy waters. Another theory states, however, that perhaps the occupants of the boat were standing to avoid icy water.
- The flag in the painting didn’t yet exist at the time of the crossing.
- The boat is the wrong model and appears too small to carry the occupants. The actual boats used had higher sides.
- The crossing took place at night, not in the day.
- The river shown is far narrower than where the crossing took place.
- Horses were not ferried across the river in boats.
- The painting shows Washington’s boat going geographically in the wrong direction.
I think this one example shows how history can tend to get a few facts wrong. So it is also easy to imagine the volume of information that may be omitted altogether.
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Bloggy Block and Feeling Super
Hello blankity-blank blank “add new post” function. You sure look blank.
How are you?
Me? Oh, I’m fine. Thanks for asking.
So yeah, here I am, about 22 hours behind on posting, and I got nothing. Nothing! Argh.
Oh, I got me some words. I always have lots of those. I just pumped out 1,000 of them into what might as well have been a bit bucket. They are words but they are not useable words.
It has been a rough week. I feel like death warmed over. Can’t sleep and can’t breathe. Try it, you’ll like it. I think you will find it to be an effective combination.
Hopefully my posts of late have made it clear how I feel. Bad. Dark. Grim. Negative.
Maybe tomorrow I’ll feel better. Oops. A hopeful thought.
In case you missed it, there was a wee bit o’ the snafu at this year’s Super Bowl. Yeah, something to cheer about!
First, how does a city get selected to host a Super Bowl?
Officially, there is a bidding process. Cities place bids and are evaluated on factors like “stadium renovation” and “the ability to host.” Traditionally cities must also currently be home to an NFL franchise. NFL owners then meet and make their selection.
Unofficially? Well, there is a lot of scrilla on the line. So there is probably a lot of “lobbying” involved. And by “lobbying” I mean, of course, bribes and prostitutes. (Coincidentally the name of my upcoming album.)
A prime consideration is no doubt seating capacity. The NFL wants lots of seats and lots of asses in those seats. Jerry Jones, the owner of the Dallas Cowboys, was especially excited by this:
I think we’ve got a good chance to break the record without counting anything outside. The stadium is certified for 111,700. When we built this stadium, I had in mind being able to reach those kinds of numbers.
–Jerry Jones, prior to Super Bowl XLV
Any crowd that consists of 11.2% of a million people is one I want to avoid. But suffice it to say that the ability to have seats is a prime factor of being selected as a host city.
The Cowboys did lead the NFL in the 2011 season with average attendance of 87,047 per game. But that’s a far cry from 111,700. How in the world would they get there?
Oooh, goodie! A ticket to the Super Bowl and it is in one of Jerry Jones’ temporary seats. What an exciting win-win!
As I live-blogged on Twitter prior to kick off on game day:
“Breaking news: Super Bowl overbooked. Not enough plastic lawn chairs for all fans. Some will be bumped to the next flight. #nfl #fail”
The Cowboys – and not the NFL as is traditional – hired contractors to install the temporary seats. The City of Arlington was faced with the responsibility of enforcing building codes to ensure public safety. And not just going along with what crybaby Jerry Jones wanted.
By game time the proper decision was made. Not all fans with tickets would be allowed into the game because the seating wasn’t ready.
The Super Bowl had been overbooked.
It has been reported that the NFL knew of the problem as early as December 2010 but didn’t take action. Tickets were still allowed to be sold based on the inflated seat count. Fans were kept uninformed. Fans who made travel plans and arrangements. Fans that spent money to be part of the “NFL experience.” Presumably, in order to get the full “NFL experience,” many of those fans must have resorted to beating their women, shooting up bars, and destroying hotel rooms. That’s probably the best way for average folks to the full NFL “experience.” That and a jail stay.
I listened carefully but I never heard one hint of the fiasco from FOX Sports, the broadcaster of Super Bowl XLV. Apparently they didn’t want to make waves with the NFL. Other news media didn’t hold back, though.
The NFL offered displaced fans a refund equal to three times the printed ticket price and the opportunity to watch the game on television with a seven-second broadcasting delay. Compensation offered to fans did not, however, include travel expenses.
The NFL claimed that 850 of 1,250 displaced fans were seated in comparable or better seats. But some in that group of 850 have disputed that claim.
Some angry fans have responded by launching web sites like www.displacedfans45.com and SuperBowlSuit.com.
I love the smell of negativity in the morning! Invigorating! Perhaps I’ll be feeling better soon after all!
How about you? Had you heard about the Super Bowl Seating Crisis or no?
You call that mileage?
While watching the Super Bowl the other day, I caught a couple of car commercials bragging about fuel economy in the 40 mpg range. One of them was the 2011 Hyundai Elantra that claims to get 40 miles per gallon.
40 mpg? That’s it? This supposed to be what is considered good?
That got me thinking. I decided to build a graph.
First, where we were. The initial point on the graph. I picked the Ford Model T. Says Wikipedia: “According to Ford Motor Company, the Model T had fuel economy on the order of 13 to 21 mpg.”
To keep the graph fair, I used the lower value of 13 mpg. This will make the improvement over time that much more dramatic.
I then made a linear line showing the increase in MPG over time between those two points. The 13 mpg of 1908 and the approx. 40 mpg of 2008.
In other words, in about 90 years we’ve gone from 13 mpg to about 40 mpg. Think about that. With all of the advances in technology in the 20th century, that’s all we could do? Wow!
Of course, using only two data points leaves out a lot of interesting activity in between. Here’s a graph that shows detail activity from the 70’s to present day:
Source: PewFuelEfficiency.org (PDF)
This graph shows a nice increase across the board between 1975 and 1987 or so. Of course, you have to notice that in 1975 the average fuel economy was only about 15 mpg. What the hell?
So yeah, the pricing crisis in the early 1970’s prompted that increase in fuel economy. But then look what happens. We get complacent. We have a short memory. For over 20 years fuel economy has remained as flat as a pancake. And that’s just pathetic.
Oil is a finite resource. Put simply, if we could double fuel economy we’d use half as much. (In theory. Of course, if that happened demand would go up, so it wouldn’t be quite that simple.) Even so, fuel economy is probably the single most important lever we could move at this moment in time – if we had the collective will to care.
I’m amazed that car commercials can tout 40 mpg as some sort of achievement when really it is nothing more than a pathetic reminder of how little we’ve done.
Live blogging the Super Bowl
Motivated by Blurt, I decided to do some “live blogging” on Super Bowl Sunday.
8:25am – Happy Super Bowl Day everyone. I hear spousal abuse spikes on this day so I’m a bit fearful for my safety.
2:49pm – I think they should just call it The Bowl. The word “Super” can be added after, but only if deserved. #premature
3:05pm – The Super Bowl gave away my seat and all I got was this lousy tshirt. Hike! #nfl #superbowl #snafu
3:07pm – Breaking news: Super Bowl overbooked. Not enough plastic lawn chairs for all fans. Some will be bumped to the next flight. #nfl #fail
3:31pm – Good Super Bowl so far. I cried eight times before the coin toss and even saw Obama once. It’s a Super Bowl miracle! God bless us every one!
3:32pm – Every live tweet during the Super Bowl I burn three calories getting up from the sofa and walking to my computer and back. #exercise
5:19pm – Aliens picked up Super Bowl half-time video and rightly concluded that our civilization has reached an IQ low enough to justify invasion.
At this point I was too encumbered with an eight-pound plate of nachos and I never made it to the computer again.
This was the first NFL game I watched all year, and I didn’t know most of the players. I have heard of Ben Roethlisberger, however, and thus rooted for the Green Bay Packers. This is the same guy who, back on June 12, 2006, while riding his motorcycle and not wearing a helmet, crashed into a car and drove his head into a windshield. An accident for which he underwent seven hours of surgery to repair a broken jaw and bones in his face. He was ticketed for riding without a helmet and riding without a motorcycle license.