Moses Malone died over the weekend. A couple of weeks ago, Darryl Dawkins died. The last couple of weeks have not been kind to former centers for the Philadelphia 76ers. If I were Harvey Catchings, I would schedule an appointment for a check-up.
Rest in peace Moses Malone and Darryl Dawkins.
When Serena Williams lost in the semi-finals of the US Open to Roberta Vinci, it was a huge upset. I did some checking and the money line for Serena that day was minus- 2450. Let me remind some of you what that means:
If you were to bet on Serena to have won that match, you would need to wager $2450 in order to win $100.
Since she lost, you would have been “out” $2450.
My mind started thinking of comparable longshots in various sports and came up with this list:
Arcangue winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic at 133 to 1.
Dark Star beating Native Dancer in the Kentucky Derby in 1953.
Buster Douglas knocking Mike Tyson out.
NC State beating “Phi Slamma Jamma” in the NCAA Finals.
Villanova beating Georgetown in the NCAA Finals
I am sure that other sporting events will come to your mind now that I have you thinking of things like that.
The NBA announced that it will seed teams in the playoffs from now on based on the team’s season long record. No longer will Division Winners get the top three seedings in the playoffs; in fact, the Division Winners are not guaranteed any place in the playoffs should it be the case that one of the division winners had the ninth best record in its conference. That is hardly a likely outcome but it is surely a mathematical possibility and one must heed the old adage:
Low probability events happen every day.
Some argue that this renders the NBA Divisions meaningless other than the fact that a few teams will be float banners in their arenas pronouncing division championships that no longer mean anything. Point taken… So, if I were to “tweak” the new NBA system slightly I would populate the playoffs in this way:
All Division Champions in each Conference will be in the playoffs provided that the Division Champions have a record of more than .500. If a Division winner has a record of 41-41 or worse and if there are 8 teams in that conference with superior records, that Division winner will not be in the playoffs.
Seeding of teams in the playoffs will be done on the basis of regular season records and nothing else.
Please note that if the NFL would adopt either the new NBA system or my “tweak” on the new NBA system, there would not have been a team in the playoffs last year with a record of 7-8-1. Bob Molinaro of the Hampton Roads Virginian-Pilot is clearly in the camp that wants the NFL to change its playoff seedings:
“Streamlined: By seeding its conference playoff teams solely by record, the NBA has reduced – possibly obliterated – the relevancy of divisions. Is the NFL next? It should be.”
Last Thursday night, the coaches’ headsets malfunctioned in Foxboro and Steelers’ coach Mike Tomlin was none too pleased. He stopped short of accusing specific Patriots’ employees of causing the malfunction but he did not stop far short of that mark. Well, the NFL took the Pats off the hook for the moment pointing out that it is the league and not the home team that manages the coaches’ communications at the games. That would seem to put this to rest – except:
The NFL will investigate the problem and their equipment to find the cause and to remedy the situation.
Sounds like a good idea until you think for a moment about the efficiency and effectiveness of NFL investigations.
Think about the Ray Rice investigation when the NFL could not figure a way to get hold of the elevator video tape.
Think about The Wells Report which cost between $3M and $5M depending on the report you read and would have gotten a D+ in Criminology 101.
The conclusion you might draw here is that this investigation will discover that the technology in use is inadequate and needs to be upgraded beyond the level of two tin cans and a taut string. Then it will assess why the current situations obtains and will find that there is a dark hand involved here – perhaps the Elders of Zion or the Trilateral Commission?
Yesterday, Dwight Perry wrote the 3500th iteration of Sideline Chatter in the Seattle Times. That is a whole lot of puns and plays on words. He began writing these columns in December 1999 – 189 months ago. That averages out to about 18 columns a month; that kind of output is prodigious by itself. When you add the quality of the humor and snark to the sheer number of columns, this is a noteworthy milestone indeed. Onward to 4000 columns, good sir…
Finally, to commemorate Dwight Perry’s milestone, here are two items from yesterday’s column and one from “a while ago”…
“Chin up, football widows and widowers: The next Sunday without NFL football falls on Valentine’s Day.”
“If Mariners ace pitcher Felix Hernandez is The King, what does that make their best outfielder — Lord of the Flies?”
“A former corrections officer was arrested after throwing two footballs stuffed with drugs and contraband into the prison yard at the Richland (Ohio) Correctional Institution, the Bucyrus Telegraph-Forum reported.
Prosecutors can’t decide whether to charge her with drug trafficking or detentional grounding.”
But don’t get me wrong, I love sports………