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Bill Belichik SUPERGENIUS? and other football thoughts

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manning/newton

(1) I haven’t tried to do the math, but I’m wondering about Belichik’s decision to go for it on fourth and a long one with five and half minutes to go, down by eight. Speaking of which, I think it’s a mistake to think of an eight-point lead as a one-score game, since you have to score a TD and make the two-point conversion attempt, with the average success rate for the latter being 45% — which is probably the average success rate for 56-yard FGs these days.

The point is that no matter how you slice it, NE was going to have to score at least twice to win the game, so why not take the points from the FG (probably a 95% bet), especially since Denver’s offense did almost nothing after the first quarter, and NE had all its timeouts?

(2) Peyton Manning has always annoyed me a little, starting back in the days of the piteous whining of Tennessee fans regarding Charles Woodson “robbing” him of the Heisman (admittedly this was not Manning’s fault, but whatever), and exacerbated over the years by his relentless commercial whoring. But I’ve got to give it up for the old guy. He’s like an middle-aged pitcher with no fastball any more, who seems to put a couple of guys on in every inning, and who is never going to throw another 13-K two-hit shutout, but who somehow manages to win a lot of 5-4 games one way or the other. As for SUPER BOWL 50 (why not SUPER BOWL L? Too funny-looking?), I doubt the noodle-armed gunslinger has another bullet left in the chamber, but I didn’t think he had one left before yesterday’s game either.

(3) Von Miller is probably the best defensive player in the NFL right now.

(4) Was listening to the sports talk radio on the way to work, and one guy was going on — yes I realize this is nut-picking, but think of this as qualitative sociology — about how Cam Newton “represents everything that’s wrong with sports today.” I didn’t listen long enough to figure out why, but I assume it has something to do with his overly demonstrative on-field enthusiasm aka he seems uppity, and the likely fact he or somebody close to him got paid to attend Auburn. If so, the latter act violated the most sacred principle of American amateur athletics, which is that the profits of a multi-billion dollar industry should be distributed almost exclusively to old white men, while the (mostly) young black men who actually generate the profit should be happy to be paid via company scrip the benefits of exposure to higher education in its noblest form, which have been calculated to be priceless.

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