Friday, February 22, 2008


I said I was back, but being back continuously is a difficult state to achieve when one's computer display has a pleasant tendency to magically change to flickering gray.

The New York Times today had an article with a report from a former Patriots player claiming that Belichick had taped other teams dating back to his first game as Patriots coach. Uh, duh?

One thing I intentionally haven't blogged much about is the intersection of law and football. I see enough law in my day job, and I'm not really that interested in it, so there. Nevertheless, I find this recent news interesting. The NFL recently voted to lower the approved debt ceiling of teams, which may be a violation of the collective bargaining agreement.

A little bit of a related point comes from this W$J article speculating about a bubble in franchise values. This raises the interesting point, and what's probably the real economic concern behind the cutback in permitted debt ceilings, is the recent broader economic change (read cutback, primarily) in the types and variety of debt financing vehicles.

The invaluable college football blogger SMQ is running what he dubs CFB Explainer this offseason. The recent entry in the series covers the NCAA's rules governing fumbles. SMQ again this year is continuing his excellent Stats Relevance Watch into what statistics correlate with success in the various conferences. Given Football Outsiders' advanced stats, the use of conventional stats bugs me to no end, but I'm not ambitious enough to solve that little problem, not that I'm convinced there is a decent solution.

Another offseason college football perennial has reared its head again, as the NCAA has once again re-jiggered the clock rules. I'm all in favor of these efforts, and personally didn't mind the much-hated Rule 3-2-5-e, except for some of its more strategically-stupid aspects. Naturally, SMQ is aghast at the changes (see also here). EDSBS whined about it, then realized he was wrong. Naturally, as this post makes clear, the problem is a simple philosophical one: how long should college football games be? The NFL a while back decided they'd like to get each game done in about 3 hours, or a little more, and made rule changes to fix that. I'd like to see college move toward that direction. The people whining about the rules changes don't agree with me, and I doubt they ever will, and when people agree with me, rather than admit there's a real practical problem involved, blame commercialism. It reminds me I should read The Fifty-Year Seduction, but as an argument is more tiresome than interesting.

Finally, for now, something very interesting/fun/useful: P-F-R now has box scores of every NFL, AFL, and AAFC game since 1940. Join in the parlor game, and find the first game you attended (I chime in under my normal nom de commenting of NewsToTom).

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