A Substitute for War

Basketball philosophy

Posts Tagged ‘Colin Cowherd

8 Thoughts from Super Bowl XLV

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1. Obviously, as I wrote before, I love what the Packers represent, so I’m quite happy with how this turned out.

2. This game clearly was a good of a case that you’ll ever see that turnovers are really, really important in football. And yet, the 3-0 advantage of the Packers here is clearly mostly luck. The Steelers and Packers had two of the top 4 turnover differentials in the league this year, and the larger of those two numbers was the Steelers’ +17, which puts them just slightly above +1 per game. The Packers, 4th in the league with a +0.625 TO edge per game, about quintupled their normal edge in this game, despite going up against an elite defensive team.

Bottom line, take the turnovers out of the game, the Steelers almost certainly win. And if you play this game in a series, I see no reason to assume that the Packers would generally have the turnover edge. Very, very lucky Packers indeed.

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Oden’s Day was full of woe

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So, Greg Oden.  Out for the year.  Again.

A million pundits have chimed in about this, giving their own eulogy for Oden.  Zach Harper called it a “Basketball Tragedy”, distinguishing it from it from “real life tragedies” because no one died, and I think that’s a good description, but it does it get at the crux of what I feel for Oden.

It’s one thing to have one big, bad thing happen, and then have to deal with your dream just not being a real possibility any more.  Personally, I think what Oden’s gone through is far tougher.  He’s essentially the modern Charlie Brown, having the football yanked away from him just before he’s about to kick it, again and again.  I think about how it would be for me in that situation.  Surgery is not fun.  Months of rehab is not fun.  And the added negative vibes that comes down on Oden each time there’s a setback for  him despite him doing nothing wrong…man.  This is a recipe for some serious depression issues.

Sports fans tend not to see it from that angle, and tend not to take the idea of millionaire athletes getting depressed seriously, but they should.  We saw in September Denver Bronco Kenny McKinley take his life after incurring a career-threatening injury.  Often times, doing well in their respective sport is the primary source of identity for an athlete, and when that gets taken away, look out.  With that said, people seem to be on their best behavior right about now.  While Oden’s often been butt of jokes these past few years, he’s mostly getting sympathy now.

What’s bugging me right now, is the idea that there’s a lesson to be learned here.  To be fair, the people I’ve heard debating this in the recent aftermath haven’t been that bad, and I doubt I’d feel the need to rant on this if it weren’t for what came before.  Because the 2007 draft had 2 superstar prospects in it, Oden and Kevin Durant, and because Oden has struggled while Durant’s become a superstar, it’s presented a natural opportunity for hacks to say “I told you so”.

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Written by Matt Johnson

November 19, 2010 at 2:28 am