Was browsing a link to Top 50 Soccer Goals and also found this link to Top 20 misses. Pretty funny stuff:
Thursday, April 10, 2008
Tuesday, April 8, 2008
One of the great things about watching the NCAA tournament is to see the future stars of the NBA in action. The readiness of players going from prep to pros has diminished over the years as more and more players went pro after their freshman year or jumped straight from high school.
Derrick Rose is the Memphis guard who's largely projected to go 1 or 2 in the NBA draft this year. Watching him play, I don't get the impression that he'll be a superstar. He gave up the ball far too many times and his first step wasn't all that impressive. Some analysts compared him with Dwayne Wade, but I don't think his first step nor dribbling skills were even close to comparable.
He seemed to miss that killer instinct that Memphis was missing big time in the closing moments of regulation. True superstars should want the ball in their hands and make the shots in the closing moments.
The one big benefit he seems to have is strength and athleticism for the PG position. Overall he'll be a solid player, but my guess is on a good team he'll be the 2nd best player and won't reach the level of the current franchise PGs Chris Paul and Deron Williams.
That was a great and fantastic finish at the end of regulation by Kansas. Memphis should have fouled, but still they gave up a 9 pt lead with about 2 minutes to go.
In the end, we got a memorable NCAA final game between Kansas and Memphis.
Wednesday, April 2, 2008
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Monday, February 25, 2008
I'm a fan of football and I value the intensity you find in the NFL compared to all other major sports leagues who play way too many games in the regular season. Young players come into the league after 3 or 4 year college careers and can play right away. This is great as kids have time to learn the game properly in college and don't mess up the quality of the game at the pro level. This problem has been an issue in the NBA for the past decade and only recently has it begun to be addressed.
Now I'm no expert in the NFL, but the Combine seems like one of the most made up things in pro sports. The basic premise is to test players coming into the draft on individual physical and mental tests.
It seems the media seems to love these combines as you'll see front page news on some amazing result like this McFadden guy. Here's some pros and cons that I can see to the Combine format:
1. Evaluating physical traits
Pro: Get to do some very precise measurements of things like 40 yard dash times, and bench press weight.
Con: Provides the opportunity to really fall in love with the athleticism of a guy. The problem is this often props a player's draft position by several rounds. If the guy wasn't on the radar throughout his entire college career, it raises red flags about the guy's knowledge of the game despite great talent.
2. Comparing players to each other
Pro: Since these tests all produce a measurable result, it allows scouts or GMs to positively say that one player is faster or has quicker lateral movement than another.
Con: Provides the incompetent scouts or GMs with ammunition to say that one player is faster or has quicker lateral movement than another.
I really don't understand how a guy moves up the draft by several rounds after an amazing combine. The only reason for this is if he was flying under the radar perhaps not playing on a big team and the combine result just shed light on a guy could really play while in college.
3. The stories we get out of the combine
Pro: It seems every year there's someone who amazes or disappoints. Either way it produces something interesting.
Con: No cons to this.
It seems that the combine is another way that we can sit back and over-analyze things to death. This however is good since it's entertaining. With this in mind I really think we should hold combines in our own lives for casual things.
For example, let's say we're going to play some football or street hockey or ultimate frisbee with some friends. Before the standard draft occurs to decide teams, we should hold a combine prior to the actual game. Following what we've learned from the NFL combine we'll toss aside all the other times we've played (like the college careers of the draftees) and use some somewhat arbitrary means to decide teams.
Let's say for myself, I'm on the below average side for street hockey, but I do run pretty fast. Based on my relative performance I might raise my draft choice by 1 or 2 picks (out of 8 or 10) based on the captains being wowed by the sprinting performance.
Another example is first person shooters (video games), if you were playing Halo and team based games, we can hold a combine. For the combine we'll forget about most things related to actually playing Halo and make up some new measurements that we believe correlate well.
Here are some tests I recommend for Halo team draft combines:
- Hand speed: The ultimate test on this that I found out while in junior high was to take a calculator and press 1+= and do this as many times as possible in 20 seconds.
- Hand-Eye Coordination/Depth Perception: You could try something like having the person lay down and holding a wrapped up sock above their face. You then drop it 10 times and measure how many they can catch it as you drop them. (fakes are allowed)
- Mental Fortitude: The captain should trash-talk the draftee as much as possible to simulate real-game experience. Measure the number of seconds before a negative reaction is made.