Monday, February 14, 2005

Offensive Mr. Food

(Imported 8/24/09)
I've done significantly less Tennessee Titans-blogging than I expected to do, but I figure I should finally mention that (1) offensive coordinator Mike Heimerdinger made a sudden departure to the New York Jets for a significantly higher salary than he had been making. I made my share of criticisms of Mike over the years, but he also had a key role in the transformation of Steve McNair from a scatter-armed running quarterback to the co-MVP team engine he was the three seasons prior to this one (yeah, yeah, he was only the co-MVP the 2003 season). It's always a little disheartening to lose coaches in a lateral movement, but it's always tough to tell someone he needs to turn down a couple hundred thousand extra dollars.
(2) The Titans hired former USC offensive coordinator Norm Chow as their new offensive coordinator. Chow has been a legend in the college football community for years, though I'd only say he broke out when he left BYU after nearly a quarter-century and had hits first at N.C. State with Philip Rivers exploding onto the scene as a freshmen, then at USC with Heisman Trophy-winning seasons by Carson Palmer and then Matt Leinart. Given the fetishization of "the next offensive genius" in college football, it's difficult to see why someone with a track record of offensive excellence like Chow hasn't gotten more of a look at a head coach position. Passed over for the BYU job when LaVell Edwards retired, only one year at N.C. State, possibly forced out at USC, hardly a sniff at a head coaching position... I mean, he interviewed at Stanford, which ended up hiring Walt Harris, a coach who went to a BCS bowl and still might have gotten canned had he not left first. In any event, it's tough to tell why he hasn't had more success at getting a better job, but it's also clear that he's basically maxxed out at the college level as an offensive coach, and I can't wait to see what he does with the Titans next year. Only 68 days until the draft!

Monday, February 07, 2005

Does This Make Me a Communist?

[IMPORTED MARCH 20, 2010]

I thought I should post this email I sent out yesterday afternoon:

From: Tom
Subject: Does this mean I'm a Communist?
Date: Sun, 6 Feb 2005 15:11:38 (PST)

Unless I change my mind in the next forty minutes or so, I'm not going to watch the Super Bowl: not on TV, not the online radio feed, not even an automatically refreshing scoreboard.

Even more than that, I think this decision can be rationally justified.
(1) I don't have a TV, so watching the Super Bowl is not an almost costless decision. Had I a TV, I'd be popping my keister in front of it and I wouldn't be sending this email. Note, though, that this doesn't distinguish the Super Bowl from, say, the Duke-Wake Forest college basketball game this week.
(2) Alternative sources of television
(A) Friends with TVs. I know if I asked people I'm sure I could find one who would let me watch the Super Bowl with them. However, (i) I don't like to ask people for favors and (ii) most of those people who I'd be more willing to ask live a little away from me. This means an additional hour's opportunity cost, on top of (iii) the ability to properly undertake in other productive activities while watching the Super Bowl at someone else's TV.
(B) Public establishments with TVs. (A)(ii) applies, albeit with slightly lesser force (round trip to bar perhaps 30-40 minutes, rather than a full hour), and (iii) applies as well. There are also a couple of factors specific to this. (i) There will be a guaranteed monetary cost; while if I went to a friend's place, I could bring and consume what I would otherwise consume during the 4-odd hours of the Super Bowl. At a bar, I would be spending money (scarcer, more versatile, and thus more valuable than my time) and obtaining fewer resources than I would if I spent the money at another time and place. This is to compensate the proprietors for various things, like showing the game and the like, I know, but it's a cost to me. (ii) The watching experience will be subotimal. At a bar, there are likely to be several uncompensated for externalities, i.e. crowds, cigarette smoke, noise, and the like.
(3) Alternative sources of media
I've listened to the football games for several years over the Internet. It's certainly not the same. Indeed, perhaps the greatest added value part of the Super Bowl over, say, the AFC Divisional Playoff between New England and Indianapolis is the spectacle associated with it (read commercials), and this specatacle will be missed online. Also, neither New England nor Philly's radio crew is very good.
(4) But it's the Super Bowl!
(i) There's some level of cachet involved in being a bit of sports nut and not watching the Super Bowl. I mean, I'll watch Arena Football, and I'm going to miss the Super Bowl. (ii) In context: I've missed almost every other football game this year. Hell, I even missed TWO entire Titans games (ok, I saw the first 90 seconds of one game, but missed the rest of the game and it was even nationally televised, to go to some shitty luau on Christmas that made me wish I had the power drink enough so that I lost the power to think before the power to walk), so missing the Super Bowl isn't really that big a deal. (iii) I HATE both teams, and want very badly for both of them to lose. The guaranteed result of this game is that one of New England or Philadelphia will win, so a bad result is guaranteed. (Yes, a good result is also guaranteed, but the negative value of a win by one of these teams outweighs the positive value of a loss, so a net negative is assured.) (iv) Related to (iii), the game will be filled with a lot of chatter about both teams. I generally don't like to hear people talk about stuff I don't like and place a positive value on avoiding it.

There's more, but let's just do a balancing test
Plus side of watching the Super Bowl: good commercials
Plus side of not watching the Super Bowl: everything else