Saturday, November 18, 2006

And they say sports fans are strange

Hey, I'm some kind of fogey or something. I don't at all get the level of interest in the PS3 and the Wii.

About 600 people had lined up at the Toys R Us store in Times Square, waiting for a midnight launch event. No. 12 in line, Royce Reynolds from Baker, Fla., said he had been there since 4 p.m. the day before.

At the Nintendo World store in Rockefeller Center, 86 people were lined up for the morning opening. Anthony Eaton, dressed in green as the character Link from the "Zelda" series of games, looked chagrined when passing girls called him "Peter Pan."

Eaton, 18, didn't really need to be in line, since his friend had pre-ordered a Wii for him that would be available for pickup the next morning.

"It's all in the spirit of gaming. Wiis only get launched once, and we gotta do this right," said Eaton, who had traveled up from Washington to be at the only U.S. store bearing the Nintendo name.

He's gotta do it right.

Eldred in the groove

Raises average to .231, reports.


The PG's Gerry Dulac has a simile:

But, when the people entrusted with chasing the quarterback saw that Frye has been sacked 34 times -- a pace dubious enough to chase Tim Couch's franchise record of 54 -- it was almost as though they received a floral-embossed invitation to spend some time in the Browns' backfield.
Gerry also profiles our new 255 lb. return man.

In other news, my two favorite Steelers are both ready to play. For the Browns, CB Bodden is out, and Droughns, McGinest, Cribbs, Winslow, CB Perry, LB Williams are all questionable. Collectively, this should add up to another pistol-whipping of the Browns and set the stage for the unlikely playoff surge.

Speaking of which, over at HSS, Israel stipulates the Steelers into the playoffs. A link from the comments thread over there estimates the Steelers playoff odds at 4.3%.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Jovorskie Lane

Rumbling, bumbling, stumbling over on YouTube. He'll be lucky to graduate to the NFL and have one Jerome Bettis-like season. Still, he's a lot of fun to watch. It's not every day you see a 274-pound tailback. And it's easy to imagine him in the black and gold.

If the Steelers had a young back like this, they could run the ball on two out of three plays. The 50-50 run-pass ratio is not some law all teams must obey. How about 33 big guy runs, 33 Willie Parker runs, and 34 we let Ben Roethlisberger throw the ball.

Fade the Public

My against-the-spread record last week was 11-5. The strategy? Fade the public. All I did was choose the team with a minority of backers on our site, The upset mood of the Tuesday election encouraged the suspicion that the experts might also be "all wrong" in the following week of NFL action.

I've also been under the superstition suspicion that the book is way due. If I had the time, I would look through the past weeks. The "public" or majority of pickers have done unusually well this season, I think; that's the impression I've been under at least. I often make the "ugly" choice, all things being equal, and that has brought me to a Littlefieldesque .430 winning percentage on the season. So I will probably continue with the strategy.

White Flag gets red spot

Reflecting the fact that his entrance either indicated or soon precipitated imminent surrender, Ryan Vogelsong came to be known this year as "the Human White Flag" or later just "White Flag".

The Trib reports that RV is set to sign with the Hanshin Tigers. (If you don't believe the Trib, which you shouldn't, Charlie found a picture.) Earlier in the Trib article:

"We have interest in some players in the Japanese market," Littlefield said. "We've had some scouting groups over there. It's an area where we're going to do more business."
Technically, DL isn't lying here, although his main interest involves selling players, not acquiring them. DL and his scouts' hard work has finally paid off. Kaching! RV was a minor league free agent, so the Nuttings don't stand to make a nickel off this deal. Back to the drawing board, Dave.

Fly on, RV.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006


What's up? Bones and I are busting our asses in our day jobs. Strangely, this blog has yet to generate much in the way of advertising revenue.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Steelers win

Like I said, the problem with the Steelers is Willie Parker, who is not able to lead the team the way The Running Back must lead a Steeler team.

NFL Week 10: Saints at Steelers

Run Willie Run. Game's at four.

What's wrong with the Steelers

The 2006 Steelers lack the power running game of almost every other season in recent Steeler history. Willie Parker is a slashing Tiki Barber type. I'm sorry, but that's not Steeler football. He's a great back, but the team has not been designed to support such a runner.

More specifically, the offensive line has played much worse this year than in previous years. It used to be that Jerome Bettis would inspire those guys by showing them how to hit the would-be tacklers. Last year Bettis was not an every-down player, but he did some things at pivotal moments in that Super Bowl season.

There's a cascade effect here. Parker runs funny for a Steelers number-one back. The offensive line looks confused for this, and now it's all on them to punish the D-line. The other team puts eight men in the box to stop the run. The Steelers run ineffectively. Now the quarterback must attempt more passes. This causes the o-line, built for the power running game, to work more in pass defense, which was not necessarily their strongest point last year. The quarterback is only in his third year. The wide receivers have not been so good. Everything breaks down.

And for me, it all comes from a single problem. Steeler football is when the other team knows you are going to run the ball, and still you run the ball. This team can't do that. So they can't play Steeler football. The Steelers don't win when they deviate from that formula.

It all comes down to the loss of Bettis and getting away from the power running game. That's how I see it.