The abusive relationship that is sports

A lot of Philly sports, some rants about sports in general, hilarious pictures and videos, some music, and some other random stuff.
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A completely reasonable take on the Eagles releasing DeSean Jackson amid all the chaos of today. According to McLane, the real reason behind the release is that Chip Kelly didn’t want DeSean. This makes me feel both better and worse. The gang affiliation thing didn’t sit that well with me. Of course, part of me wonders if maybe Chip and DeSean could have worked past their apparently subpar relationship. 

I still don’t see how the move makes us better this year. And I don’t see why I have to give Chip Kelly and the Eagles the benefit of the doubt - I don’t know if they know what they are doing. I frankly don’t trust any of the management of the four major sports teams in Philly. 

We’ll just have to see…

Game 1: Thursday night (CBS or NFL Network)
Game 2: Sunday, 10 a.m. ET from London, England (Fox)
Game 3: 12:00 ET (CBS)
Game 4: 12:30 ET (Fox)
Game 5: 1:00 ET (CBS)
Game 6 : 1:30 ET (Fox)
Game 7: 2:00 ET (CBS)
Game 8: 2:30 ET (Fox)
Game 9: 3:00 ET (CBS)
Game 10: 3:30 ET (Fox)
Game 11: 4:00 ET (CBS)
Game 12: 4:30 ET (Fox)
Game 13: 5:00 ET (CBS)
Game 14: 5:30 ET (Fox)
Game 15: 8:30 ET (NBC)
Game 16: Monday, 8:30 ET (ESPN)

This is a great idea. 

Today the Eagles said they would consider cutting DeSean Jackson if they couldn’t trade him. 

My first thought is that there almost has to be something going on that they’re not telling us. The info we have as fans doesn’t suggest that the team absolutely has to get rid of him immediately. Jackson seems like he’s always been - sure he has his issues - takes plays off, seems to complain about his contract - but these have always been the case - so why are they suddenly too much for the team to handle? He’s coming off his best year ever, the team isn’t that messed up financially for him to be a cap casualty, the cap space they would get isn’t very useful for this upcoming season, and the team’s receivers without him are a big question mark. I sincerely hope there’s more to the situation than we know. If the team is willing to release him and pay him not to play for them, there almost has to be something else.

My second thought is that the Eagles have mishandled this situation so much that they basically have to get rid of DeSean Jackson - no way Jackson can play well when he knows what the team thinks of him now. Unless this whole thing is media created, but that seems increasingly unlikely. 

I basically no longer trust the management of any pro team in Philly.

Sportspickle is a sports humor site often with parody articles and the like. But this article is completely real. These quotes are real. Funny to some extent, but also just really sad. 

I would like to thank the Eagles and the entire city of Philadelphia. I was honored to be their quarterback and took the privilege to heart every day. I especially want to thank Jeffrey Lurie and Andy Reid, who gave me the opportunity. I want to thank my teammates, who were not just coworkers, but friends. I also want to thank the millions of fans who cheered and supported our team.

People say Philadelphia fans are tough. I say they are fair. A player is not judged solely by his past or promises of the future, but by his actions today, and the next day, and the next.

In my time volunteering, I have met Philadelphia’s heroes. I’ve met at-risk children with few resources, but with teachers tirelessly helping them make the most of a second chance. I’ve seen the work of volunteers at school fund-raisers, food drives, after-school programs, hurricane shelters, Toys for Tots campaigns, Boys and Girls Clubs, and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, and the meaningful work of the Humane Society of the United States. I’ve seen children choosing the mentorship of a football coach over peer pressure on a street corner. One of the best examples of a community deserving a second chance is the North Philadelphia Aztecs youth football team. As the players step onto Team Vick Field, they can hold their heads high and be proud that they are making Philly stronger.

The Eagles are an outstanding organization with a bright future, and I’m thankful for all the friendship, love, and support they gave me and my family. I look forward to seeing great things from them both on the field and in the community.

Michael Vick, Philadelphia

The Philadelphia Eagles apparently are trying to trade DeSean Jackson, and this is a very stupid idea. Early reports indicate they would get about a third round pick. This would not be a good trade at all.

To review, Jackson is coming off his most productive year ever in terms of receptions, yards, and touchdowns. He is a legitimate deep threat, that stretches defenses, and allows his teammates to get more open (see Riley Cooper’s year last year). He is just 27 years old, so age doesn’t seem like that big of a factor yet. Clearly he can fit in Chip Kelly’s system quite well. 

If the Eagles got rid of him, here’s the situation: You get like $10 million in cap space for the season, but all the good free agents are taken. None of the free agent receivers left are anywhere close to Jackson (none of the signed free agents were anywhere close either). This cap space is basically useless now. Your starting receivers are Jeremy Maclin, fresh of a missed season with an ACL, and Riley Cooper, who had one good season (and let’s be honest, Jackson probably helped with that a lot). That suddenly becomes a big time question mark. You could draft a wide receiver, but how likely is he to be talent and deep threat of Jackson? In addition, you really ought to be fixing up the “29th in yards” defense. 

To review, you get useless cap space and a worse offense, which the team may attempt to fix at the expense of not fixing their shaky defense.

Trading Jackson is basically a self-destructive move. 

Here’s an idea for postseason basketball: all Division I college basketball teams make the tournament. There are currently 351 teams in Division I, according to ESPN, so here’s what the tournament could look like. First 161 teams get a first round bye, and the other 190 teams participate in 95 play-in games. The next round has 256 teams, which being 2^8 power means you can continually eliminate half the teams in games and end up with 1 champion. The selection committee would be in charge of seeding - and they have options - they could maintain the whole 1-16 thing, but this time there would be 16 such groups - I’m not sure you want 8 groups of 1-32 seeds, or 4 groups of 1-64 seeds, but that’s up to them.

Pros

  • More madness! More upsets! Everybody has a chance now!
  • The tournament would have a lot more games - I estimate 350 games versus the 67 we have now. This sounds like a lot, however, it would only take 8 (or 9 if a play-in winner) wins to win the tournament versus the 6 (or 7) we have now. So you really just have two more rounds. Totally feasible. 
  • The extra games could be offset with the elimination of conference tournaments if necessary. 
  • This largely eliminates the issue of a mid-major team dominating the regular season, but falling in a conference tournament and missing the tournament. 

Cons

  • The regular season wouldn’t be as useful. Instead of determining bids largely by the regular season (and sometimes conference tournaments) as is now, but would really just be used for seeding. People could go as far to say the regular season would be entirely meaningless. But seeding is still important. 
  • No “bubble” teams, which may annoy some people I suppose. 

I call it Mega March Madness. 

Amaro fatigue

This happened exactly a decade ago…

The 76ers just went a whole month without winning a single game (0-11). 

All I can say is that Sam Hinkie better know what he’s doing, because if this plan of his doesn’t work, he’ll have wrecked our team for no reason. 

(via Gizmodo)

This may just be me that feels this way, but block/charge calls are stupid. Mainly charge calls. I’m sorry, but in what universe is standing there considered good defense? It’s stupid. You shouldn’t get rewarded for making absolutely no effort to do anything. All this nonsense about legal guarding position, having your feet set…it’s stupid. I say once the dude leaves his feet, no charging calls. Kudos to all the defenders who got posterized instead of standing there still (or moving out of the way). 

I found this thing called TrueHoop on ESPN - it’s like a network on blogs or something. Here’s a sample: http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/post/_/id/40381/fix-tanking-grade-on-a-curve (Notice the side section labeled “HoopIdea on tanking” and the bulleted list of links, which I’ve been reading all day). Also, http://espn.go.com/blog/truehoop/category/_/name/tanking has like any blog entry with tag “tanking”

Anyway, there are several suggestions I read
  • every lottery team gets the same number of ping pong balls
  • have teams submit applications for getting the top pick, in which each team tries to argue why it deserves to get the top pick, and then have a panel decide the draft order based on these arguments
  • look at the past 5 years - a team gets 2 ping pong balls for missing the playoffs and 1 for a first round exit (the number of balls can be adjusted as necessary)
  • don’t have a draft, everybody just becomes a free agent after college
  • Get ping pong balls according to win percentage - up until the trade deadline, by the reverse of winning percentage (aka worst teams get more ping pong balls) but after the trade deadline by winning percentage (teams that win more get more ping pong balls)
  • by wins accumulated after being eliminated from playoff contention
  • by dividing wins by preseason over/under win totals - then sort by quotient (biggest overachiever gets top pick)
Also, there were some other good ideas somewhat related to tanking
  • get rid of max contracts - you are sorta rigging the economics of things…e.g. let’s be real, if there were no max deals, LeBron would be getting bigger deals than basically everyone else now on max deals (unless he voluntarily took less to be on a better team). Basically, the max deal thing made LeBron, Wade, and Bosh on a team possible, whereas without max deals, it would only happen if all 3 signed for below market value. I think this goes hand and hand with a more stringent (“hard”) cap
  • get rid of protecting picks
  • This is Bill Simmons: top 7 teams in both conferences get automatic playoff bids, but the 8th team is decided by a single elimination tournament by the 8-15 seeds. The fact you always have a chance to make the playoffs ought to curtail some tanking, though it’s not exactly clear what he wants to do for draft.