Tag football (4)

link friday: the NFL and head injuries, women in science, Antonin Scalia
Mood: nervous
Posted on 2013-10-11 14:18:00
Tags: football links
Words: 316

I was going to write something about how I don't want to talk about the government shutdown or impending debt ceiling disaster, and then I looked at my list of links and lo and behold, there were a few doing just that.

- This summary of some Republican focus groups is pretty interesting/slightly depressing.

- Atul Gawande has a good short column about Obamacare and Republican obstructionism.

- The 10 Stealth Economic Trends That Rule the World Today - I rolled my eyes at the title, but there was some interesting stuff in here.

- NFL deliberately campaigned against science regarding head injuries - I was going to write a full post about this at some point, but I've been too depressed about it all. Here's the thing: I don't regularly watch football, but I do follow it some. But all this news about head injuries, the pain that many players suffer while playing and after retiring, and (to a much smaller extent) the fact that the NFL receives huge subsidies (did you know the NFL is technically a non-profit?) really make me think that I shouldn't be supporting football for moral reasons. So...I don't know.

- The press-release conviction of a biotech CEO and its impact on scientific research - the CEO was convicted for subdividing his patient group after the fact and touting that the drug worked great on "mild to moderate" sufferers of a disease. Be careful out there, statisticians!

- Why Are There Still So Few Women in Science? - very interesting article by one of the first two women to get a bachelor's degree in physics from Yale.

- WATCH: Rice University placekicker uses a soccer "rabona" to execute an onside kick - nifty little kick. (see: ambivalent comments about football above)

- A long, kinda weird, interview with Antonin Scalia - apparently he has friends "that I know, or very much suspect, are homosexual" but none have come out to him. I wonder why...


most depressing football game ever?
Mood: okay
Posted on 2012-01-10 15:06:00
Tags: essay football
Words: 196

As someone who was rooting to LSU, last night's 21-0 loss to Alabama in the national championship game (ESPN, Wikipedia) was the most depressing football game I've ever seen. Alabama made 5 field goals (plus one missed one, and another one that was blocked) and while LSU's defense kept them out of the end zone until 5 minutes left in the fourth quarter, the fact that they were able to attempt 7 field goals is an indication that their offense was just good enough.

Of course, the real fault was the LSU offense - the defense kept them in the game much longer than they deserved. Time after time they'd throw short-to-negative-yard passes and the Alabama defense would jump all over them. But the fact that they were in the game until the middle of the fourth quarter, yet could never score or even get close, made it all the more painful and depressing.

(the most devastating game I've ever seen, of course, is The Comeback, when the Houston Oilers were leading 35-3 in the third quarter and managed to lose. I watched the whole game and went to my room and cried after it was over...)


interesting things
Mood: bouncy
Posted on 2008-09-17 15:06:00
Tags: video games football politics links
Words: 330

I have a list of tabs open in Firefox mentally filed under "to post about" but I'm only really interested in about half of them - this half!

- GM reveals Chevy Volt design
The Chevy Volt is a plug-in hybrid car that scheduled to be released in 2010/2011. This is a car I could see buying (hopefully I won't need a new car by then!) - it goes 40 miles solely on charge alone, and after that there is a gasoline motor but it's just used to charge the electric battery, not for propelling the wheels (like the Prius does). Downsides - it's going to be expensive ($40Kish?) and only hold four people. Apparently the battery pack takes up room where the middle back seat would be. I've been keeping my eye on this - it would be nice for an America car company to take the lead in green technology for once, and plug-in hybrids are cool!

- Familiar Ground May Be Election's Deciding Factor
Right now, it looks like Obama's easiest path to victory is Kerry states + Iowa, New Mexico, and Colorado, which is very doable. fivethirtyeight.com's numbers are favoring McCain now but I'm confident they'll swing back the other direction.

- Federal bank insurance fund dwindling
I don't claim to understand what the hell is going on, but our financial system seems to be going to hell and it's kinda scary. The subprime crisis has the classic hallmarks of a Black Swan in that apparently few thought it was possible, and the amount of money that's been lost is pretty staggering. If there's one thing I learned from "The Black Swan" by Nassim Nicholas Taleb, it's that things are more uncertain in Extremistan than we think...

In NCAA 09 news, the U of H Cougars lost to Florida in the Fiesta Bowl 14-6 (sooo close to tying it up at the end...) but finished the season #10 in the nation, and had a good recruiting season. We're about to start season #2!

1 comment

NCAA Football 09
Mood: listless
Music: old LOST podcasts
Posted on 2008-08-28 10:01:00
Tags: video games football
Words: 454

Last week destroyerj and I bought copies of NCAA Football 09 to play an online dynasty together. I haven't played video game football since college to my recollection, so it sounded like fun!

5 weeks into the season, it is indeed fun. The controls have gotten a lot more complicated since then but I'm starting to get the hang of it - trying to pick up one or two new moves every game.

Dynasty mode is pretty sweet too. The idea is that you're the coach of a team (I took U of Houston, destroyerj took Rice) and you play games while also recruiting for next season. If you do well you can go to bowl games/get invited to better conferences/etc. If you do poorly you can be fired!

The first few weeks we played on "Varsity" difficulty, but after I beat #13 Illinois and destroyerj beat #10 Texas we bumped it to "All-American". Last night I sat down to play a practice game against Rice to try out the new difficulty. It was definitely a step up - Rice was beating me 28-7ish before I gave up and went to play my real game against ECU (East Carolina University, apparently). Luckily I guess I had adapted to the harder difficulty while practicing so I thumped them 31-7ish.

So that's going well. The fun part is, oddly enough, recruiting! You have to pick a bunch of high-schoolers to set your sights on (that are at least a little interested in your school), and then start cajoling them to like you more. Your school has certain attributes (academic quality, conference quality, proximity to home, early playing time, etc.) and each recruit values these things more or less, so you can call them and try to figure out what's important to them (and sometimes you can sway them to think something is more important). After they like you a certain amount you can set up a campus visit, and you use the knowledge of what they like and what you're good at to pick activities for them to do.

My recruiting this season seems to be going quite well - I needed two MLB's and two G's which is a bit rough but I seem to have the inside track on a number of good ones. The recruits are rated from 1-5 stars and I have a good shot at some 4 stars, which is pretty good for my first year at a mediocre school. I have learned not to schedule visits during a bye week; thought I read somewhere that it didn't make a difference but it sure seems to.

Anyway, it's a good game and worth picking up, especially if you plan on playing an Online Dynasty!


This backup was done by LJBackup.