Saturday, September 26, 2009

Non championship sports part 2

Though the Chicago Cubs are doing better now that their overpriced corner outfielders are no longer active, they are all but mathematically eliminated from the playoffs at this time. Therefore, unless the Cubs either overcome an 8 1/2 game division deficit with 9 games to play or overcome 4 other teams to win the wild card berth, this chart will reflect their failure:

One hundred times in a row a team other than the Cubs will win the title. (Note: There was no title awarded in 1994 and even though the Cubs were 16 games out of a playoff spot when the 1994 season was ended by a strike in early August, that year does not count)

Through 1961, the odds of the Cubs winning a World Series was the same as four tossed coins landing on heads. With more teams added since then and with creating three divisions and including a wild card (which for all the NL Central teams increases the odds), the mathematical odds of winning the NL pennant is currently equal to drawing a non suicide king from a full deck of playing cards and of the World Series that plus a coin flip.

To determine the odds of a team not winning a title for 100 seasons I had to multiply (15/16) 53 times, (19/20) 7 times, etc. That comes out to 199-1.

For not winning the NL pennant since 1945, I did the similar thing of multiplying (7/8) 16 times, (9/10) 7 times, etc. Those odds came out to 392-1.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


From the same mind that brought you the epilogue to Ghost where a few years later a lonely Molly Jensen takes a lethal dose of sleeping pills in an effort to meet Sam since she did not want to wait 40 more years but by killing herself ends up joining those who killed him in eternal damnation comes the sequel to the 47th animated feature from Walt Disney.

Meet Mr. Robinson's Destiny

The story of a young orphan named Goob who after making a title winning catch develops the confidence to become the most successful businessman in the world by executing a hostile takeover of the corporation formed by his childhood friend. However, while going through the lab, he discovered plans for an idea that was never produced and decides he wants to leave his mark on the world by developing the DOR-15 device.

However, there are flaws and unlike his childhood friend who has the humility to consider it a failure, Goob continues development of the project until it takes over the corporation and the world.

Exiled and in hiding, Cornelius Robinson with his son Wilbur decide that to save the world they must use their time machine to go back to the point where he as a kid named Lewis, he helped Goob make the winning play and prevent that from happening.

After that is done, Cornelius advises Lewis to try to help Goob overcome the despair of his failure but when that did not work, it was agreed that Goob needed to go into a mental hospital where he spent the rest of his life sedated and often restrained.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Inspired by death

On my internet radio show ( Thursday evenings starting at 7PM CDT) I sometimes have problems figuring out what songs to play. I then realized by paying attention to news, I could come up with something to play and go from there.

Of course deaths are commonplace this week and because of Henry Gibson I played something based on Laugh in and the Blues Brothers since he was in both of them. I would have played the song "Lybian in a Jet Plane" for recently deceased Mary from Peter Paul and Mary but realized I did not have it. For Patrick Swayze, I played "Mr Ghost is coming to Town" since the song "Have a Patrick Swayze Christmas" does not work as well in September.

Anyway, the movie Ghost has an ending that I really do not like. NOTE: Spoiler alert for the rest of the post

Ok, after the Swayze character ascends into heaven, there is a young attractive woman who knows for sure the man she loves but saw wastefully murdered still exists but she knows she can not see him until she dies which on average is at least 40 more years. Also looking at a scene from earlier in the movie, if she dies in her 70s she will ascend as an old woman while her dead husband will be the same way he perished.

Personally I believe the character decides after a few years to try to join her dead husband but by killing herself condemns her to the hell and joins the people responsible for killing her husband in the first place.

Being a sports fan, I have watched many sports movies. Some of them have endings that ruin it for me. I am only talking about movies that I liked and not Major League II, or Caddyshack II where I found myself rooting against the hero or movies whose endings might not be sports accurate but still work like Happy Gilmore. Here are my top 5 likable sports movies with bad endings:

5: Wildcats. I liked the idea of a suburban divorced mother becoming a coach of a inner city high school football team and thought the story went well as she first had to gain the respect of the team and then get them better.

In the big game, it came down to a defensive stand and a field goal attempt by their high class school opponent to win the championship game. Somehow, the big, fat player from the inner city school who had to join the team to avoid getting into trouble made it to the other sideline and got insulted by the coach. He then made it back to his team's sideline and demanded to get back into the game and was put in the game as they were lining up for the field goal . I figured he was going to plow over the line and cause a shadow to fall over the holder as he blocked the kick. That would make sense. He actually jumped 5 feet into the air to block the kick and his teammate recovered the ball and returned it for a winning touchdown.

4: Taking Care of Business. A long time suffering Cubs fan (what Cubs fan isn't?) is in jail but not scheduled to be released two days after the Cubs World Series game in which he won tickets. So he gets his fellow inmates to "hold him hostage" as he sneaks out. He not only attends the game but makes a spectacular catch of a Mark Grace tape measure home run and then returns to prison in disguise as nothing happened.

First off, Mark Grace tape measure home run? Anyway, wanted people have been arrested at ballparks for appearing on a kiss cam in the ball park during a regular season game. Now we are supposed to believe that someone who is already in the news from being held hostage in a prison and makes a spectacular catch of a home run in a World Series game does not get identified by anyone other than his fellow inmates?

3: Mighty Ducks D3. I liked it more than D2 which also could have made the list. The Ducks as a group get a scholarship to a private high school for hockey but have trouble adjusting to a new coach and the varsity team. In the annual varsity vs. jv match up, both teams decide to let the game decide the school's nickname and with a last second goal, the Ducks win.

First of all, I liked the fact that the Ducks decided to listen to their new coach and adapt their style to give themselves a chance vs the varsity team and the game was scoreless until almost the end where two Ducks players were penalized giving the varsity team a 5 on 3 advantage which in hockey is huge. Normally, teams shorthanded by two players just try to keep the puck out of their net. The Ducks' captain steals a pass and goes the other way to try to win the game but gets caught by two varsity players. So he passes the puck behind him where a defense man joins the play and scores the winning goal.

What is wrong with that? The defense man who scored the goal was the goalie in the previous two movies and is fat. For him to score the winning goal, he would have needed to beat three varsity players down the ice after skating around frantically for 30 seconds in the penalty kill. No way.

2: Rookie of the Year. A ten year old Cubs fan injures his shoulder then discovers he can throw a ball over 100 MPH so the Cubs sign him to be their relief pitcher. In the game to clinch the division title after their starting pitcher blows his arm out, the kid falls and his arm returns to normal but he still retires the side with trickery to win the game.

In that inning, the kid used the hidden ball trick for the first out and a softball pitch for the final out after the batter realized the kid lost his fastball. The second out turned into a child's game that made me think why couldn't the writers make the kid's arm return to normal after one out.

Also, the scene after the division game shows that the team won the title. Though possible, it is very unlikely that a team after losing a starting pitcher and the closer would win two playoff series especially since the team was going nowhere before signing the kid.

1: Necessary Roughness. A top college football team was severely penalized for violations and forced to recruit walk on players and a former high school star quarterback who never got the chance to play in college to play the schedule. Due to academic problems and an administrator who wanted the team disbanded, the team was forced to have their players play both offense and defense and they got beaten badly until the end where the upset the number one team in the nation.

I enjoyed the movie especially Rob Schneider announcing. It was a fun movie. However, defeating the number one team in the nation with a squad of scrubs playing both ways? For some reason, no one on the team got hurt during the grueling season played on a hard AstroTurf field until the next to last play where they faked an extra point and completed the pass to get the two point conversion on a play where someone blocked below the waist which should have drawn a penalty anyway. It left me shaking my head in disgust.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Non championship sports part 1

Since this is the first Sunday of the 2009 NFL, this is as good as time as any to do some math work about the one franchise which has gone the longest without winning a title or getting to the title game, the Detroit Lions.

Their last championship game was in 1957 which they won. Since then, they have only won one playoff game though they won consolation games played in the 60s. Their record of futility peaked in 2008 by becoming the first team to go through an NFL season with a 0-16 record.

The list is the mathematical of the odds of the Lions of winning a title in each of the seasons since 1957:

From 1958-1965, odds reflect winning NFL title. 1966-2008 Super Bowl. Since the NFC had divisions of unequal number of teams from 1970-94 except for the strike year of 1982, those odds do not reflect the number of teams in the league.

Doing the math, I was surprised to discover the odds of the Lions going 51 seasons without a title is only 8.45-1 and the odds of the team not making it to the title game is 67.5-1. Of course going 0-16 in a season is 2 to the 16th power to one or 65,536-1.

P.S. For those who might sarcastically ask about a certain other football team, I will create a chart about it when the Lions and the other 11 franchises (MIN, PHI, NO, ATL, AZ, NYJ, BUF, CIN, TEN, SD, KC) who have won a title since 1973 do.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Happy fluff day

As I have the three day Labor Day weekend, I figure this is a good as time as any for this post. It seems like school starts for most kids earlier in August every year and I realized it happens because there are so many holidays during the year, school needs to start in August and end in June to allow for them.

I started thinking about this and this chart reflects my opinion of this:

For me the only days I consider a holiday are Jan 1, Memorial Day, July 4 and election day. As far as I am concerned every other day should be considered normal as far as the US is concerned. Yes, I am talking about December 25 (religious day for those who choose that belief) too and any day named after one person or 44.

On the calendar I use at work, I actually cut out all of what I call the fluff holidays so it appears to my satisfaction.

I also try my best to make sure I am not at work on my birthday after what happened one year where I got stuck for there 11 hours without even having a chance to take a break or last year where I got a two inch long paper cut on my face. However having it late in the year has on multiple occasions, including this year, forced me to work on it since my vacation is used up by then.