Sunday, June 07, 2009


Football stuff is still being published on the interwebs, and I'm still reading about it.

Jack Bechta wrote about what makes up his life as an agent after the draft hullabaloo dies down.

Something that's perhaps of greater personal interest than football interest is conference expansion/realignment. The personal interest comes from my status as an alumnus of Georgetown University and its Big East Conference affiliation. The current Big East is an unstable creation-8 schools for football, short of the even dozen needed for a conference championship game, but 16 for basketball, and the 8 non-football members aren't ready to join the football conference (7 because their football team isn't good enough, and Notre Dame). The conference was hit by the Miami, VaTech, and Boston College football defections earlier this decade, but the next domino to fall may be as a result of Big Ten expansion. Joe Paterno hit out at these fears when he spoke of expanding the Big Ten eastward-to Pitt, Rutgers, or Syracuse, but B10 Commissioner Jim Delaney struck that idea down. Oddly enough, this whole process was set in motion by Arkansas's poaching by the SEC. The SWC died, other conferences responded to get to 12 teams, and life has been interesting since. This'll make a great book one day-Ivan Maisel, are you listening?

Matt Bowen wrote about some of the reasons he sees rookie wideouts struggling in the NFL, and also identifies some 2nd year WRs who need to "step up" in 2009. Gadolinium, I hate that phrase. Still, one of the ways I would know I'm actually not grossly incompetent as a talent evaluator is if I could say intelligent things with any degree of reliability about young wideouts.

Dr. Saturday continued his breakdowns of the serious national championship contenders with a particularly fine look at Texas.

It's a couple months old, and not strictly football-related, but this long article from Sports Illustrated on the causes of athletes' financial difficulties is worth your time, especially if you're a star athlete who could be pulling down big bucks.

Matt Bowen wrote about who the #1 wideouts are. The Hockey News, I believe, in their preseason preview magazine about ten years ago, wrote that the way people talked about a "#1 center" or "#1 defenseman" was silly-that there were 30 teams, and each team had a #1 center, and what people were thinking about when they said "#1 center" or "#1 wideout" was really "elite #1 wideout".

Robert Boland had a useful precis based on his students' final projects of the issues facing the NFL as a business over the next couple years. I'm pretty sure he's wrong, though, to disagree with his students' belief that the NFL is the best-positions of the major sports leagues going forward. The media deals announced since Boland's piece was posted seem to indicate continuing strength, and it's not like the other major sports leagues are problem-free.

Speaking of, Roger Rex gave an interview to Vinnie Iyer of the Sporting News. Nothing particularly interesting, but don't miss the box about Goodell talking about his childhood heroes. He mentioned Redskins RB Larry Brown, which Iyer described as an inspiring choice by an inspiring league leader. Oh, gag me with a spork.

On a less infuriating (at least to me) note, JKL is continuing his ongoing series into the AFL and how good it was compared to the NFL. See this post looking at the 1960-63 drafts, and this one on various trends during the same time period.

Texas Teach head coach Mike Leach gave an interview to a publication more or less after my own heart, Bitter Lawyer*. I liked his comparison of a contract to a leprechaun. I'd also second his advice to potential law school students-you should only go to law school if you really want to practice law.

*-Note to any co-workers, clients, or prospective clients: the foregoing was intended to be amusing. Almost all lawyers hate their jobs, and this is actually a requirement. It's a well-kept secret that only a very small number of lawyers are even permitted to admit to non-lawyers that they like their job. This is actually part out of well-thought out scheme to [SENSITIVE SUPER-SECRET LAWYER CONSPIRACY MATERIAL DELETED]. This blog and its contents do not constitute legal advice.

Ray Gustini wrote a column comparing some of the summer movies to NFL teams. I don't necessarily agree with any of his predictions, but any piece with a passage like
The importance of counterprogramming during the summer frequently leads to the media overhyping hipster love stories. As for Houston, take that last sentence and replace “hipster love stories’ with “the Houston Texans” — that should just about cover it

is worth reading.

Finally, for now, I point to something non-football: this post by one of my favorite bloggers, economist Tyler Cowen at Marginal Revolution, on "a theory of assorted links", and the comments thereto. My aspiration is to get to a point where I post assorted links, probably with a paragraph or so of commentary on each link, once or twice a week during the regular season and once every week to ten days during the offseason. The problem with daily link-posting, I find, is that many of the links aren't worth reading two days later, and unless that news has some notable impact on something important to you within the next 2 days, it's not worth reading. Another way I think about my links posts is that they act as an online repository of my bookmarks-I do have a great many bookmarks in my Bookmarks Folder, a number of which first appeared here, but sorting and cataloging all of those in an intelligent and useful way is probably at least as hard as blogging about them. Thus, this site.

Book review and a post or two on Total Titans coming up in the next couple days. I also have enough links for a couple link posts, one of which is the draft one, but who knows when I'll bother to write that.


Jon said...

Tom, I dig the links. You showed me stuff out there other than FO that tickles my fancy; Smart Football and Advanced NFL Stats in particular.

Do you like baseball? You ever read any baseball sites?

Tom said...

I was a baseball fan up until the time I was about 13 and now find it utterly unwatchable. I was a big Houston Astros fan (grew up in Houston, went to a lot of games), still root for them in a passive way, but I needed a book to make it through watching a World Series game when they were in it.

I do still enjoy reading about it, especially from a statistically-intelligent perspective. I've read a couple of Rob Neyer's books, and really enjoyed Alan Schwarz's Numbers Game, but don't really keep up with it. I don't subscribe to BP, don't regularly read it or Hardball Times or anything else. The only baseball site I do read regularly is Lisa Gray's Astros Dugout blog.

Chase said...

The Birth of the New NFL is very good -- I just bought it this week and I'm about halfway through it; I recommend it.

And feel free to keep up the lawyer jokes ;)