Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Super Bowl XLII - Day 3

Wednesday, and clearly people are running out of ways to preview the big game. So, instead of great stuff, we have this:

Plaxico guaranteed victory! …or whatever you call this New York Nonsense:

The Post's Lenn Robbins was staked out at the bottom of the ramp that leads to the tunnel that leads to the Big Blue locker room when Plaxico Burress , who does not believe in bulletin board motivation, pulled up in his SUV.

"Ready to make history?" Robbins asked.

"You better believe it," Burress said.

Harmless enough. Because, as the late Tug McGraw taught us once with the 1973 Mets , Ya Gotta Believe. And, to a man, these Giants believe.

But as Burress walked with his pullalong luggage to the locker room, he now found The Post's Brian Lewis waiting with a question of his own.

"Do you have a prediction for the game?"

"23-17," Burress said.

It caught Lewis by surprise. And they were loading trucks, so it was noisy where he was standing with his tape recorder.

"23-17?" Lewis said.

I called Lewis to ask him why he repeated the score.

"I wanted to make sure I heard him right," Lewis said. "I wanted to make sure there was no misunderstanding. I wanted to make sure there was no vagary."

"23-17," Burress said.

Then he disappeared into the locker room.

"I did not ask him which team; I just assumed he meant the Giants," Lewis said.
Of course he meant the Giants.

And Media Day!

interesting note on signing bonuses from last spring

Free-agent frenzies

A look at how much money the eight remaining playoff teams committed in guaranteed bonuses during the first month of unrestricted free agency in 2007:

1. Seattle - - - $27.45 million* (+1 RS victory, no additional playoff victories)

Signed: DE Patrick Kerney, S Deon Grant, S Brian Russell, OL Floyd Womack, FB Josh Parry, TE Will Heller, TE Marcus Pollard

2. Dallas - - - $22.7 million (+4 RS victories, no additional playoff victories)

Signed: OL Leonard Davis, OL Marc Colombo, QB Brad Johnson, K Martin Gramatica

3. New England - - - $22.68 million** (+4 RS victories, advanced 1 game further in playoffs)

Signed: LB Adalius Thomas, WR Wes Welker (restricted free agent, acquired via trade), TE Kyle Brady, WR Donte Stallworth, WR Kelley Washington, RB Sammy Morris, LB Larry Izzo, FB Heath Evans, S Rashad Baker

4. San Diego - - - $13.6 million (-3 RS victories, 2 additional PS victories)

Signed: OL Kris Dielman, OL Cory Withrow, LB Carlos Polk

5. Jacksonville - - - $9.25 million (+3 RS victories, 1 additional PS victory)

Signed: OL Tony Pashos, WR Dennis Northcutt, K Josh Scobee

6. NY Giants - - - $7.5 million (+2 RS victories, at least 3 additional PS victories)

Signed: OL Shaun O'Hara, RB Reuben Droughns

7. Indianapolis - - - $640,000 (-1 RS victory, minus-3 PS victories)

Signed: LB Rob Morris, QB John Navarre, DE Bo Schobel

8. Green Bay - - - $215,000 (+5 RS victories, +1 PS victories)

Signed: CB Frank Walker, OL Tyson Walter, LB Tracy White

* Seattle's total includes $8 million in guaranteed roster bonuses for DE Patrick Kerney

** New England's total includes $5.5 million in guaranteed bonuses for WR Wes Welker, a restricted free agent acquired from Miami

Gil does the obligatory story on what the computer thinks

He studied the tendencies, he calculated the numbers, he tweaked the game plans, and then David Holt sat back and watched Tom Brady throw 99,997 interceptions.

But it wasn't such a bad day for New England, seeing as the Patriots still scored more than 14 million points in the 500,000 computer simulations that Holt ran.

Holt, the ex-coach, ex-Cowboys hopeful and football brains behind, calculated that the Patriots will prevail over the New York Giants in Super Bowl XLII by a score of 34-24.

Holt has been running his computer simulation of the Super Bowl for 21 years. He's correctly predicted the winner 15 of the previous 20 times.

This is not Madden 2008, fueled by eye-candy graphics and joystick legerdemain. In the engine room of is a sophisticated software program designed by someone who knows football and who has an appreciation for how the game's numbers fit together.

Holt's first venture into the cyber side of football was at Micro Sports, Inc., where he developed a computer game that used real NFL teams from seasons past.

Instead of jiggling joysticks, Micro Sports coaches perused scouting reports and scripted game plans. By exchanging a simple file, both coaches could sit at their computers and watch the game unfold.

Twenty years after it hit the market, the game remains a computer classic for its accuracy and simplicity.

"This is a revision of that first product that we used," Holt explained by phone this week from his home in Tennessee. "Things have changed so much in the NFL. This new product just smokes. The ability to go in and do what-ifs just adds to the accuracy of everything."

Computer power allowed to run the Super Bowl XLII simulation 500,000 times. The Patriots won 394,153 of those, a 78.8 winning percentage that Holt says is the highest he's seen in the 21 years of doing the Super Bowl simulation.

And, our Quarterback is amazing

To basketball, where Jason Kidd to Dallas talk is out in the national press:
From Kidd’s home scribes

The Nets are discussing a complicated three-team scenario with the Mavericks and Blazers in which Kidd would go to Dallas, league sources said.

In return, the Nets would get back young players (Jarrett Jack and Travis Outlaw), expiring contracts (Devean George, DeSagana Diop), Jerry Stackhouse, draft picks and cash. More players, including other Nets, would be involved.

There are other willing trade partners and possibilities as the Lakers, Cavaliers, Nuggets, Spurs and Suns also would like to be in the Kidd sweepstakes.

Sports Illustrated

Suitor #1: Mavericks

The principals: Jason Terry ($8.9 million), Devean George ($2.1 million) and DeSagana Diop ($2.1 million)

The skinny: The Mavericks are always going to be on a potential list to acquire Kidd because a) they have the appropriate assets and b) Kidd wants to play there. But while Dallas may have been willing to put together an attractive package for Kidd last season (read: Devin Harris), it is less than appealing now. Harris, one of the premier defensive point guards in the Western Conference, is off-limits in any deal for Kidd. His replacement on the bargaining table is Terry, who is older (30 compared to the 24-year-old Harris) and more expensive, making him significantly less appealing.

Odds of a deal: 10-1

In the meantime, expect a heaping helping of Barea …prepare for NBDL point play…

Starting Thursday, the stakes for Barea and the Dallas Mavericks rise significantly. They play the Eastern Conference's three divisional leaders in a row on the road, starting with Boston, which owns the NBA's best record.

It also will be a homecoming of sorts for Barea, the Puerto Rican who went to college at Northeastern in Boston.

These are intriguing times for the backup point guard, who is generously listed at 6-foot. With Devin Harris on the shelf, Jason Terry is the starter at the point. Barea is the backup, and the Mavericks are eager to give him a chance to keep the job, which is why at this point they don't expect to be players in the Jason Kidd sweepstakes, in spite of rumors sweeping across the NBA.

Unless New Jersey plans on a fire sale of Kidd – unlikely given Nets president Rod Thorn's reputation as one of the league's saltiest personnel bosses – the price for Kidd will be prohibitive.

Plus, the thought of paying Kidd's $21 million salary next season, in addition to another $21 million in luxury tax to the league, is not palatable, even for an aggressive owner like Mark Cuban.

The Stars with a tip top way to start the 2nd half …which is actually the final 30 games…

Turco had 29 saves Tuesday and was a huge key to a 4-3 Dallas victory over the Vancouver Canucks.

Turco is a significant leader in the Stars' locker room - arranging the prank to repaint Matt Niskanen's car, organizing parties and serving as an important liaison to the NHL Players Association and to the NHL competition committees. He also took it upon himself to criticize the team publicly when it went through a recent stretch of bad play.

But Turco ruminated over the impact of that criticism and had a discussion with Stars coach Dave Tippett about where that fit in the Stars' locker room.
"Without going too deep, it was just letting him know that I know that what I say in here and what I've said to you guys, especially most recently, I'm smart enough to know that anything that isn't about stopping the puck can take away from your focus a little bit," Turco said.

Tippett said he felt Turco was very focused against the Canucks and basically handed the Stars two points in the standings they might not have otherwise deserved.

"I thought he was our best player," Tippett said. "It's not about how many saves, it's about winning. I could tell when he came in this morning he was really focused on winning."

Turco said he thought long and hard about the past few weeks, and decided he simply needs to concentrate on stopping the puck. He said he doesn't regret the criticism of his teammates and said he might still have a few things to say down the road, but he just wanted to acknowledge the fact that worrying too much about the team game was not helping him be the best goalie he can be.

"We were at a position where I thought it was a necessity for me to say some things," Turco said. "I don't think anyone was happy, and I think it was a case of I felt I needed to say some things. But while I think you would like to think you can do everything, there's a knowledge that you can't do everything, and that things are better served for my game if most of my preparation goes into what I need to do in goal."

On Tuesday, Turco was outstanding early when the Canucks had two first-period power plays. Turco had a series of saves on Taylor Pyatt and stacked the pads when Mattias Ohlud seemingly had an open net.

How can you make yourself famous? By being goofy. See Ian Coulter, who might be a fine golfer, but I can’t recall him ever a player in a major, so I only know him for 2 things – both are goofy:

#1 – He is the golfer that wears an Arsenal Jersey and gets people mad doing it (he also is portrayed as such in Tiger Woods 2007).

#2 - He claimed he is the guy to take down Tiger

The outspoken Ian Poulter caused a stir on the eve of the Dubai Desert Classic by saying he was the only player capable of challenging the supremacy of world No. 1 Tiger Woods.

"The trouble is I don't rate anyone else," the 32-year-old Briton was quoted as saying in the March issue of the United Kingdom version of Golf World magazine.

"Don't get me wrong, I really respect every professional golfer, but I know I haven't played to my full potential and when that happens, it will be just me and Tiger."

Poulter is ranked 22nd in the world and has seven European Tour wins to his credit, but failed to qualify for the 12-man team that beat United States in the 2006 Ryder Cup at the K Club in Ireland.

The Englishman, asked by the magazine to predict the winner of the first major of the season at the Masters in April, replied: "Put Tiger down for that one."

For the year's second major at the U.S. Open, he said: "You can put me down for that one."

Poulter, pictured nude in the magazine with only a carefully-placed golf bag guarding his modesty, heaped praise on Woods, who makes a rare foray to the European Tour for this week's Dubai event.

"Tiger is one in a million," he said. "Actually Tiger is one in 10 million.

"He is extraordinary. If you look at the rankings he is almost two and a half times better than the guy in second place [Phil Mickelson]."

Poulter, a member of Europe's victorious 2004 Ryder Cup team at Oakland Hills, is known for his colourful dress sense and his strident opinions.

"I do speak my mind," he told the magazine. "I am pretty honest with what I say."

Oh, and Johan got traded – and Alonzo Spellman is still nuts…

Goalie Mic is cool, until someone says a naughty:



Jake said...

I"Ann" Coulter is a dewsh.

Can the Mavs sign Kidd with a no-spousal abuse clause? The Jet may be leaving the runway for good.

Go Stars?

Popsicle Stick Chick said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Popsicle Stick Chick said...

Following Bob and Dan on the Ticket webcam? Join us at BaD Forum 2.0.

BACM said...

Sign Kidd but you also have to bring back Mashburn and Jackson. That way the annoying commerical can be brought out of the vault. You know your singing to yourself right now.

Look out Dan Charleston, South Carolina.

Jay Beerley said...

What about Dick Motta? How do we not bring back Motta?
We got 'em!