Sunday, October 24, 2010

showing your support

While walking to and from the football game and inside, I noticed a vareity of Bears jerseys worn by fans and not just number. With alternate jersey colors and designs, there were many different versions of jerseys worn at the game of current and famous past players along with generic shirts and jackets so trying to create a chart of that along with watching the game and most importantly my daughter was not feasable.

I decided to break down clothing worn at the game by what they are so here is the chart:

People who know me could ask why I did not wear my Dan Marino jersey. First of all, it is 15 years old and has been in the wash numerous times and looks like it has. I also did not want my daughter to see drunk, obnoxious fans make rude comments towards me because of my clothing like what happened to me in 1998 at Wrigley field when I wore my Dolphins Jacket. Since the 1985 Bears team was honored at halftime and I wondered out loud why they showed highlights of all but one game, it was a good choice.

Also, I don't own any Bears clothing that would fit me and I figure wearing something different would make it easier for her to spot me in the thousands of people there in the case her and I get seperated.

Anyway, IT'S TILE!

There is no "s" at the end of Soldier Field

On Thursday, our company president gave away two sets of two tickets to the October 24th game between the Chicago Bears and Washington Redskins. My name was drawn so I took my ten year old daughter who expressed interest in going. Looking at the Bears site, I discovered cash parking at the game is $26 and 2 miles away so I drove to my parents house to take CTA as I used to do with my father when I went to games with him in the 80s. Now travelling rail as opposed to bus made that option better.

I remember simply walking straight there with my father from Roosevelt and State St. following the group. However, it is not the same. In order to avoid pedestrian traffic on the streets around Soldier Field, walkers were routed via police enforced barracades through the southern end of Grant Park and around the Field Museum to get to the stadium.

Having not seen a Bears home game in almost 16 years, I was curious to see how the stadium looked from the inside. Though the stairs were steep, it looks like a 21st century stadium with two large jumbotron screens and I was impressed.

Here is a picture showing the walk my daughter and I had.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

stumping the madman

Even in the real world, my knowledge of sports specifically football and Super Bowl history is considered obcessive. When I saw the symptoms of Asperger's listing an over abundance of knowledge of a specific subject, that is what came to mind.

When watching sports on tv, I will state things before the announcers and every once in a while my wife is still amazed like during this year's PGA Championship when I noticed when Dustin Johnson illegally touched a bunker with his club incurring a two stroke penalty and costing him a chance to win that title. The announcers mentioned it ten minutes later.

Anyway, I noticed at work we printed a job which contains cards each having 5 trivia questions about each of the previously played 44 super bowls. My first instinct was to grab the sheet and write the answers but I had just finished my break so I had to wait until I got home.

All the questions which referred to cities and not specific teams ranged from what happened to the team during that season, to their nickname, to the site, MVP, or specific stats from that game.

Out of the 220 questions, I correctly answered 135 of them or 61.3%. For numbers 5, 7, 20, 25 and 44 I got all 5 correct and was wrong on all 5 for number 37. (I did not use roman numerals since it would make things more tedius than it already is)

I broke down the questions by super bowl numbers:

1-9: 32/45 correct
10-19: 30/50 correct
20-29: 32/50 correct
30-39: 21/50 correct
40-44: 20/25 correct

The years where I was actively playing tournament Scrabble are the ones I had the fewest ones correct and the oldest ones where I read books about them as a kid and the most recent ones I did the best.

I also broke the questions by type:

Site (where the game was played or planned to be played) : 9/12

Game play (specific things that happened in the game) : 36/60

Before game (things that happened in previous seasons, during that season, or in that year's playoffs) : 13/20

Stat (specific number ranging from points scored to turnovers to yards by player or team or specific time within game) : 16/44

MVP (game MVP) : 13/15 (two missed were position of Desmond Howard where I put WR and answer was KR and Brady completing most passes in a game for #38)

Team (about team nickname) : 9/10 (did not remember Carolina in #38 were known as the cardiac cats)

Game history (about events that occured suring or after game) 39/60

Other than those asking for a specific number, I got about 2 out of 3 correct.

I was surprised by the number I did miss though a couple of them were misread by me.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

the real 03 NFL MVP

Today marks the 7th anniversary of an infamous event in Chicago sports history as a baseball team completely collapsed after a fan interfered with a foul ball during game 6 of the National League championship series.

What most people don't realize that that incident also changed events in the National Football League as well. Let me explain:

First of all, I must state that since December 25, 1971 (Larry Csonka's 25th birthday) I have been a fan of the Miami Dolphins. As I am writing this, I am sitting 10 feet from the plaque of the 1972 team which by finishing 17-0 is the only team to go a full season without losing or tying a game.

I could talk about the Miami Dolphins references in my life ranging from the keychain hanging from my car's rearview mirror to a button on my computer that plays their theme song created in 1972 (which the Houston Oilers parodied for themselves in 1977) to passwords based on a game played 25 years ago (a topic for a post 5 weeks from today) but I will use my first visit to Don Shula's restaurant/bar to define my fandom where I noticed two footballs designed to show scores of playoff games having the wrong score and needing three months of emails to get it fixed.

Unlike most playoff series, I did care who won when the Cubs played the Florida Marlins for the NL title in 2003. I wanted the Cubs to win not because I am a Cubs fan. I root for then 156 games per year but in playoffs I usually root for the better team and Florida won 90 games to the Cubs 89.

I wanted the Marlins to lose. Why? They played on the same field as the Miami Dolphins and once baseball season ends, the grounds crew can tear up the infield and replace it with grass. I did not want the football game played with dirt covering part of the field since it could create injuries and or bad footing.

Because Florida won, they could not place new sod over the infield and on October 19 the 4-2 New England Patriots faced the 4-1 Miami Dolphins. The Patriots were reeling having lost two straight games.

New England and Miami were tied at 13 late in the 4th quarter. Miami was driving and had a 35 yard field goal to win the game on the last play of regulation. The Dolphins' kicker, Orlindo Mare, at the time the second most accurate kicker in NFL history had the dirt in the infield give when his left foot planted and the kick ended up low and blocked.

In overtime, the Dolphins had the ball first and had another 35 yard field goal attempt to win the game. Having been a kicker I could tell Mare tried to compensate for the dirt on the attempt and the kick ended up wide right as the footing this time was solid. On the next play, New England caught the Dolphins flat footed and completed a 65 yard touchdown pass to win the game.

The Patriots won their next 22 games after that including Super Bown XXXVIII. In an off season interview, Patriots' linebacker Teddy Bruschi stated that had they lost that game, they probably would have not won the Super Bowl that year.

So it can be stated that Steve Bartman was the real 2003 NFL MVP.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Madman fixes the world of sports (part 3)

Subject: playoffs and league formats

Since the baseball post season started today, I need to create this if nothing else to get my thoughts out of my system

My ideas for MLB, NHL, and NBA are sililar so I will group them. All the leagues have too many playoff teams for the number of regular season games played. Reducing playoffs by one round would remedy this. Of course, money is the issue and I would be fighting the desire for more money for the owners and players. I would also want to reduce the regular seasons by one or two weeks but then again, money.

The one thing that bothers me the most is their playoff scheduling. Today a game was played in the dome in Tampa at noon central followed by one in Philadelphia and a night game outdoors in Minnesota. I know the 4PM local start definitely factored in Roy Halliday's no hitter. Why did they schedule this; more viewers for the Yankees game.

Baseball is not designed for 40 degrees and rain but much of playoff baseball has that. It turns the game into a joke. In the day, the October weather is playable but people in power would rather have ratings rather than better played baseball.

The worst part of playoff scheduling is the off days. I understand having a day off for travel but not when teams are playing consecutive games in the same city. There should never be a day off between consecutive baseball games in the same city and no more than one day off for basketball or hockey. It takes away from the game.

Also, why can't a series start early if the two teams finish their round in less than the required games? Then following series would have less chance for bad weather. I also include basketball and hockey which played indoors in late May and June can cause courts to develop condensation and ice to turn into mush.

Championships should be played in decent conditions. The last three title matches played by Chicago teams involved 40 degrees and rain, a torrential downpour, and 85% humidity which made the indoor ice very slow and inconsistent.