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[ 52 ] December 30, 2007 |

Admittedly, despite the lack of overarching historical significance yesterday where exciting comebacks are concerned I was more emotionally invested in the Flames’ later one against what in terms of its current personnel and management has to be far and away the most loathsome team in professional sports. But the game on every network in the country yesterday turned out to be an excellent one. And while I would in general have been rooting for the underdog, I’m actually happy the Patriots did it. The underdog thing is less compelling because the teams that could stop the Patriots from winning a championship are as bad or worse — any decent person has to hope they’ll pummel the Cowboys senseless if it comes to that. And I’m especially glad they went undefeated and hope they’ll now win because I’ve never seen any players less gracious about having a record broken than the ’72 Dolphins (who are also the Dolphins, and are based in Florida, so they’re already hateful before their specific odious actions.) In some way it’s understandable because had they not exploited an extremely weak schedule to go undefeated they wouldn’t even be in the discussion of the greatest team ever, but that’s all the more reason to be happy that the regular season record is now shared by a genuinely great team.

Plus, it makes Gregg Easterbrook cry.

…to be clear, I’m using the Csonka quote merely as an illustrative example; cf. also here and here.

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  1. Mike Schilling says:

    Not only did van Slyke’s OPS+ go down in ’93, he became a part-time player, lowering his value even further:
    G/AB
    1993: 83/323
    1994: 105/374
    Was that because of injuries or because of his offense slipping? I’m guessing the former, but I really don’t know.

  2. Matt Weiner says:

    His lack of time in ’93 must have been due to injury, because it’s not like the Pirates would’ve had anyone better to play CF. (I just confirmed this, but don’t remember what kind of injury it was.) But he wasn’t a part-timer in ’94: There weren’t much more than 105 games played in ’94, because of the strike. (It took a few games out of ’95 too.) Of course given his stats he might’ve added more value not playing.

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