There is $100K Out There With Your Name On It

Just in the event that you are – like me – someone who could use a cold $100K deposit in your bank account, the NFL’s St. Louis Rams have a challenge for you. To get that $100K, all you have to do is to predict the Rams; 2014 schedule exactly – before it is released sometime next week. You have to predict the opponent and the date of the game exactly to win the prize.

Now just in case you think that you are going to enter “every possibility” and guarantee yourself a piece of the prize, I believe that there are about 1 quadrillion possible ways to arrange the Rams’ 16 opponents for next season. And then, on top of that, you have to pick the week that they have their Bye Week plus you have to pick if the games will be on Thursday, Sunday or Monday. Oh, by the way, there is only one-entry allowed per individual and that makes it a whole lot more difficult. Nevertheless, it is definitely worth a guess – but do not start to plan just how you are going to spend that hundred-grand…

Here is a link to the contest entry

The Buffalo Bills have contest going on that has the same challenge but with a far less valuable prize for success. If you predict the Bills’ 2014 schedule exactly, you can win free Bills’ season tickets for life. The good news is that you can sell off some if not all of those tix for life; the bad news is that those are tix for Bills’ games and are not going to draw top-shelf prices for the foreseeable future. The Bills also have a wrinkle in their contest; someone is going to win…

    If no one predicts the Bills’ 2014 schedule perfectly in the next week or so, someone will still win the prize because they will give season tix to the 2014 games to the person who picks the most games correctly.

Here is the link to the Bills’ contest site.

The NFL schedule will be released sometime around 22 April and clearly all entries will need to be in before that event. Since the entry fee is zero, why not take a shot at this?

Here is a college football note that had me shaking my head. In its latest way to try to dip into the wallets of its fans, the University of Texas has come up with two new fan items for sale. For $40, you can purchase men’s and/or women’s fragrances designed for Texas fans. Here is part of the description of the product intended for women fans:

“A spirited new fragrance created to pay tribute to the University of Texas women opens with a sparkling top note of Bergamot, and Ruby Redcurrant. The heart of the fragrance is an addictive floral blend of Orange Blossom, Mimosa and Jasmine. Aromatic Patchouli, Creamy Vanilla and Musks round out the background ensuring a long lasting fragrant appeal.”

A couple of questions for everyone here:

    Do you really know what Patchouli is?

    Moreover, might you know the difference between “Aromatic Patchouli” and “Stinky Patchouli”?

    C’mon, I thought Patchouli was a girl I dated in high school…

Seriously, if you wanted to create a perfume/cologne that captured the essence of the Texas Longhorns, you would have to include cow-farts as one of the essential elements. Absent that evocation as part of the mix, this is nothing but a money-grab by the UT folks…

I said before The Masters that the TV execs and the PGA’s PR folks had to be scrambling to figure out what to do with the iconic major tournament of the golf tour from which Tiger Woods would be absent. The PGA and the networks have pounded Tiger Woods down everyone’s throat on EVERY tournament where he is present despite his being in contention or not. Even if he missed a tournament, the networks found ways to insert his name or his spirit into the telecast. In The Masters this year, he was gone and everyone knew he was not going to put in even a cameo appearance. Oh, by the way, he will miss at least one more of the “majors” this year. So, now what does the PGA do to get ratings and what to the TV networks do to get casual fans interested in anyone other than someone named “Tiger Woods”?

Let me say that whatever they did along those lines was ineffective. Please do not cloud the issue with any arguments about how exciting the tournament was or how lovely the grounds looked or any of the other feelgood stories that CBS tried to germinate. Here are some stark numbers that say none of the efforts amounted to a droplet of dingo dung:

    Ratings on ESPN for the telecast of the first round of The Masters were down 30% from last year.

    The rating for the final round – all those beautiful shots of the azaleas and all that stuff – on CBS was 7.8. That may sound good; but according to sports business guru, Darren Rovell, that is the lowest rating for a final round of The Masters since 2004.

Here is a stat I ran across and it is worth tracking for now:

    In his first 52 at-bats for 2014, Freddie Freeman of the Braves had 4 home runs and 4 strikeouts. A ratio of 1-to-1 for home runs-to-strikeouts is unusual. Fifty-two at bats is hardly a season, but it might be interesting to see if this unusual happenstance continues deep into the season.

Just as a yardstick:

    Henry Aaron never did this for an entire season.
    Barry Bonds had one season (2004) with 45 HRs and only 41 SOs.
    Frank Robinson never did this for an entire season.
    Willie Mays never did this for an entire season.
    Stan Musial did it once over an entire season (1948).
    Joe DiMaggio often had more HRs than SOs
    Ted Williams in 1941 hit 37 HRs and struck out 27 times
    Lou Gehrig did this twice over a full season in his career.
    Jimmie Foxx never did this for an entire season.
    Babe Ruth never did this for an entire season.

I present that list not because it is an exhaustive statistical check – or because I am confident that Freddie Freeman will hit a home run as frequently as he strikes out this season. Rather, I present it to show that some GREAT hitters have had difficulty achieving this batting efficiency level in the past.

Finally, Brad Dickson of the Omaha World Herald Mentioned this minor-league baseball event from last week:

“On Friday, the Syracuse Chiefs, a AAA baseball team, is hosting ‘Deport Justin Bieber Night.’ It’s just nice to see one minor league team stop with the dumb promotions and delve into important social commentary.”

But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………

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  • Doug  On April 16, 2014 at 1:26 pm

    As I watched the final round of the Masters this weekend, I was thinking about how the absence of Tiger was no longer an issue. Five good golfers were playing great golf on a beautiful course.

    It also occurred to me that Tiger has now been a pro for 20 years and has won 14 majors. Jack Nicholas has 18 majors. At age 38 Tiger will need to play a lot better in the next five years than her has in the past five to get enough wins to surpass Jack.

  • Ed  On April 16, 2014 at 6:46 pm

    Actually, you left out maybe the top 2 examples of HRs/Ks…

    Joe D one year hit 30/13, 361/369 lifetime (if he retired a year earlier…

    Ted Klu hit 40/34, 49/35, 47/40 in consecutive years

    Woods isn’t catching Jack. Period. I think his last major was 2008. He’s suddenly going to win 5? He may win one or two, but I’d bet money he’s more likely to win zero than 5. He’s hurting, and he wasn’t winning majors before THAT.

    • Ed  On April 16, 2014 at 6:52 pm

      …and looking back, you had Joe D….. mea culpa…

      Banjo hitters special.. Joe Sewell once hit 11 HRs. 3 Ks. And all the modern guys with their golden sombreros…

    • The Sports Curmudgeon  On April 16, 2014 at 6:53 pm


      Thanx for the expansion on stats. I simply went and looked at “great home run hitters whose names came to mind” and checked to see what they had done. Kluzewski’s 3-year stretch and of course DiMaggio’s career HR/SO ratios are monstrously impressive.

  • Rich  On April 16, 2014 at 7:51 pm

    DiMaggio had 349 homers and 333 strikeouts at the start of the 1951 season, which means that at some time that year he probably had exactly the same number do home runs as strikeouts in his thirteen years. Bill James once commented about Joe D having the best HR/K ratio of all power hitters. Had he not missed three years by serving in the military during the war he may have finished with more than 400 HR’s and less than 400 K’s.

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