Saturday, August 28, 2010

The secret to his success

I will start by stating this: I have hated Tiger Woods for over 30 years. When I saw a two year old golfer on the Mike Douglass show with his golf pro father while I was hitting plastic golf balls with a wooden cane even in winter except for the two times in the year I would play golf with my father on the course, I got jealous. (Note: Since I was hitting the plastic balls in a empty lot with rocks, I was not allowed to use real clubs)

My jealousy got worse as I became able to hit cheap golf balls up to and over 300 yards in the 1980s with clubs that were made before I was born. Once I started working full itme, I took lessons, got low end equipment and got decent at the game (scoring in the low 80s breaking 80 a couple of times) but never got as good as I had hoped. Today, I am forced to swing left handed due to the problem I have in my left hip.

Eventually the two year old I saw on tv in 1978 grew up and started to play on tour and started to win. In 2000, he dominated like no other golfer I have ever seen before did and hearing people on Golf Network tall about it inspired this post. Obviously his upbringing allowed him to have the knowledge to go with the strength a 24 year old would have but there was more and though I heard about it then, no one talks about it now.

Nike after signing Tiger Woods developed their golf portion of the company and with Tiger, developed equipment including a golf ball that was superior to the Titleist ball 90% of the tour used. People stated the ball was able to go farther, spin more consistently and stay in shape better giving the player who uses that ball a 1-2 shot per round advantage.

Due to contracts, most tour golfers could not switch from Titleist. Paul Azinger did and was voted comeback player of the year. Bob May, a previously unknown golfer who lost the 2000 PGA to Tiger by one shot, also was playing the Nike ball. The new Titleist ball introduced in 2001 negated that advantage and that is why Tiger does not win tournaments by over 10 shots anymore.

Anyway, I have had this thought in my head for a month now and by writing this, I was able to get it out.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

more rocking

Earlier this year, Harmonix started releasing info about Rock Band 3 due out late October. First they stated it will have 3 part harmonies and keyboard. Then they said a pro mode is being developed where a player will actually play the individual keys on the keyboard and on the guitars they are creating for the game hold the fret buttons the same way a real guitar would be held to play the note. The pro drums mode will involve more cymbal action and more options to hit.

About half the songs in the game were announced over the past couple of months with the balance announced last weekend. After looking at the list, I started to wonder if Harmonix decided instead of creating a full game with a disc and just improved the game with a system download and then put the 83 songs for download on a pay per song basis over the next six months, what would I do?

This chart shows the answer:

The others are a live version I would have to hear before getting, one I only know from a Weird Al polka, one a reverse parody where I do not know the original.

The game will cost $60. Thirty one downloads at $2 equal $62 so the game is worth getting. I expect that within some of the 40 songs I don't know by title there will be some that I end up recognizing.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Madman fixes the world of sports (part 2)

Subject: Fantasy sports; mostly fantasy football

As I made this post under the fantasy sport championship banners and trophies that hang from the ceiling in my basement, I see so much wrong with how it is played when I hear about other leagues. Even in the one league that I am annually the one to beat over the past 10+ years, there are things that I do not like but it is the least bad one I see so I tolerate it.

First of all, lineup. Any league with less than 8 or more than 12 is not feasable. Unless the league is 8 players, having more than one active QB is wrong. Active running backs should be one or two per team. Some leagues wrongly allow a third running back to be active as a flex player. Wide receivers should be two or three and one tight end and kicker. Having a flex position only works in leagues that have one RB and two WR. Any more than those in any position is not feasable with a 32 team league since it would remove the ability to choose which players to make active in each week or force players to drop players in bye weeks. Also, defense should be a unit and not individual players unless you have a league with people who are able to dedicate the time necessary.

Generally, there should be 6-7 extra spots in each roster to allow for byes and injuries and to force players to decide what players to keep active. My best concept is to allow teams an extra roster spot during bye weeks but I have yet to see a league incorporate that.

The scoring systems used is what I find most wrong with all fantasy leagues. My philosphy is simple. Every yard counts, every turnover counts, every point scored in the game counts. No more, no less. What I mean by every yard is that fractional and negative points need to exist so every yard gained or lost will count be it passing, rushing, receiving or return no matter who gains it. I have seen a league without return yards.

One other scoring thing that is needed. NO FLUFF! What does that mean? No points for receptions, no points for a long field goal and definintely no points for reaching a yardage goal. I know a league that without feactional points where the difference between 299 and 300 passing years is the equivilent of one and a half passing touchdowns since there is a 5 pt bonus. When I heard that, I wanted to run away screaming.

One last thing that irritates me is people who fail to manage their team. One year there was a team who had 5 opponent player spots inactive in a three week span and I established the fact that I am asshole of my league calling them out. I can understand if a questionable player turns inactive and a person gets stuck. I have lost two games with that happening to me and lost a game that cost me a playoff berth and potential title not wanting to get burned and the questionable player did play.

I would love to penalize a team for having a bye player or a known injured player in their lineup by penalizing points in all future games within that season or the following one if applicable. The people in my league vetoed that idea when I brought it up.

For the past three years, my opponents have scored more points per game vs me than their theoretical average for the rest of the year. I believe playing against me causes people to actually think what they are doing since they want so badly to beat me.

Last year, I was able to overcome the one touchdown per week increase by my opponent over their statistical average to win my 7th title in 10 team leagues since 2002. (Note: That number involves 24 total leagues in football, baseball, basketball, and NASCAR.) 2004 was my last baseball league and 2007 was the last time I played more than one football league.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Family Circus style driving part 8

Gencon Indy last weekend was one of the most enjoyable cons I have attended. From playing games to watching music to just hanging out and meeting cool people, it was the con I really needed to have.

After the con was over, I helped Luke pack the items from his merch table and he asked me to join him and his fiancee for dinner before we head home. Though I am not a chili person, I still decided to go to the Skyline Chili place figuring that like Lindy's Chili near my parents' house, they would have non chili items.

We were in the same parking lot but on different levels and since I did not have anything to pack, I figured I would exit and wait to follow them. Because of a car behind me, I had to circle the block but found a spot to wait.

After five minutes the phone rang. In the time I circled the block they left the lot and were on their way. With the sporatic signal from being downtown, I heard a street name and went on it. Turns out it was the wrong street.

Since it was late afternoon and the sun was out my phone was not much use especially since I did not feel comfortable stopping anywhere being unfamiliar with what areas are not safe and not wanting to find out the hard way which ones aren't.

Eventually through Sara's (Luke's fiancee) phone, they were able to guide me to the place. I also discovered that streets in Indy are designed to either go to or away from downtown. Here is the map:

As expected, there was something I could eat and I also found out that not all chili uses ketchup so maybe I might try chili in the future.