Monday, July 30, 2012

I Gotta Believe LeBron James Would Medal In Like 70% of Olympic Sports
Olympic sports exist so rich people with a decent amount of athletic ability can compete in niche sports because they weren't good enough to play real sports. This is true at least of Americans, who are obviously the only athletes that matter in the Olympics. Any sport that mostly requires "raw athletic ability" to be refined in some way would probably be dominated by LeBron James. Let's say you give him a year to focus on each Olympic sport. How could he not medal in some of these sports? Let's run down all the sports here.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Something About Letters Numero 4

Well we've made it around the horn with our bloggers answering your letters, and we still don't have a real name for the segment. Will we ever? Maybe a suggestion for the name could come in the letters. Would that be meta? Debatable. I'm not really sure what that even means. Okay great fine.

How good is Ichiro historically? Does he make sense as a replacement for Gardner this year?

Monday, July 23, 2012

I Watched UFC And It Bored The Stuffing Out Of Me

Last night, I sat down and watched four UFC fights right in a row. This was the first time I had ever devoted any real attention to professional MMA. Jesus it was boring.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Ask Zbo--Take Three

It's week three of your favorite bloggers answering the very questions that you asked! Let's have a read and see what answers I came up with to your zany questions this week fellas.

Who is your go-to celebrity crush? Like if you have to pick 1 celebrity you're in love with just offhand, who would it be? And why?

Don't fret Shosh, we'll meet soon

Monday, July 16, 2012

Unpopular Opinion: It's Okay for the Knicks to get rid of Jeremy Lin

After stating last week that they would pay Jeremy Lin a billion dollars because of his marketability, it seems likely now that the Knicks won't match his offer sheet and Lin will become a Houston Rocket. This 180 has upset Knicks fans who see it as more evidence of the Knicks' mismanagement. Lin was the most popular Knick with the fans and he rescued their season when Carmelo Anthony and Amar'e Stoudemire were hurt and failing to gel with each other under Coach Mike D'Antoni. However, Lin leaving and Raymond Felton and Kurt Thomas returning to the Knicks from Portland might just be the better basketball move.

Jeremy Lin will sign a three-year contract worth $25 million with either the Rockets or the Knicks. The contract will pay him a little more than $5 million in the first two years before jumping up to over $14 million in its final year. The Rockets, in a ridiculous loophole, will have Lin's contract count $8 million against their cap each season, whereas the Knicks will have Lin's contract cost them over $14 million in year three. This poison pill contract is essentially forcing the Knicks, with their huge financial commitments to Tyson Chandler, Stoudemire, and Anthony, to pay a steep luxury tax to keep Lin. That's the basic situation that James Dolan, the Knicks' owner, and Glen Grunwald, the Knicks' General Manager, found themselves in when they traded for Ray Felton.

Here's why that decision is the right one.

Everybody Needs to Shut The Fuck Up About Bacon

I know I'm not the first person to be confused and annoyed by this bacon phenomenon that's been going on over the past few years on the Internet and in many sectors of polite society. But I just came across this story from April about Jeff Francoeur giving fans money to buy pizza after they gave him some bacon. The fans were celebrating a "Bacon Tuesday," which apparently just meant eating a shit ton of bacon. So this bacon thing is officially a sports story, meaning I can go HAM on it (pun intended) on this blog.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Penn State, Sports, and the Truth

While digesting the coverage of the Louis Freeh Report, which pretty damningly faults Joe Paterno, PSU President Graham Spanier, AD Tim Curley, and VP Gary Schultz for their role in covering up the heinous crimes of Jerry Sandusky, a thought occurred to me: is the Penn State scandal/coverup a "sports" story anymore?

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Keep Firm, Magic

Incredible as it may seem, LeBron James has been replaced as the biggest villain in the NBA. He's not even the biggest sports villain in the state of Florida, anymore. (I almost didn't put that sports caveat in the last sentence, but then I remembered George Zimmerman and actual bad things that people do outside the fundamentally harmless realm of sports. How quickly we forget.) It took an almost unparalleled lack of business sense and self-awareness, but Dwight Howard has firmly taken over the role of NBA Public Enemy #1.

Dwight Howard has an image problem, and also looks like he just caught a whiff of Hedo Turkgolu.

Shut Up, Jayson Stark: All-Star Game Edition

People at ESPN are really stupid and their analyses make absolutely no sense.

Jayson Stark put out this piece of stool today, claiming that because members of the Giants who didn't deserve to be in the All-Star game played well, we were all somehow stupid to criticize their selections. Let's take a moment to discuss how crazily idiotic that statement is.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Funmail/Ask Z-Bo/Whatever Take 2

Hi, fans and readers of The Whole 42 Minutes! We still haven't decided what to call this mailbag, but hopefully it will continue to be a weekly feature. Sean is on duty next week (heh, duty). Send your questions to us on Facebook, in the comments, through email or by carrier pigeon. 

On to your questions:

Monday, July 9, 2012

FIDRAH!: Dominant Dominance

Roger Federer won Wimbledon and is now the #1 player in the world again for the first time since 2010. Roger Federer is amazing. I hate how much that word is overused, but I think it applies to this situation. We took for granted for about a decade, and we still take him for granted. We still expect him to contend for every major at age 30, and he most certainly does. He is probably the most consistently great player in tennis history. He never disappoints, and every champion must first pass through him. He has no apparent weaknesses. He has established himself as one of the absolute greatest athletes of a generation.

Friday, July 6, 2012

It's A Celebration!

Sean's last post about Steve Nash was the hundredth post on The Whole 42 Minutes. Normally I'd offer up some of the Most Thoughtful Sports Analysis On The Blogosphere, but instead I'll use this opportunity to post the following clip, which I watch about once a week.

It's a celebration, bitches!

Steve Nash on the Lakers isn't enough to beat the Thunder

Steve Nash going to the Lakers was a coup for Mitch Kupchak. He traded two meaningless first round picks and $3 million to the Suns for a future Hall of Famer. A year after gifting the Mavericks Lamar Odom, the Lakers used the trade exception created in that deal to fix their point guard situation. Point guard was certainly one of the weakest spots for the Lakers last year, but I don't think this move changes much in the Western Conference.

Steve Nash: Dammit
As we all know by now, Steve Nash is going to the Lakers in a sign-and-trade that sends two first-rounders, two second-rounders, and $3 million in cash to the Suns. The top news story is not that the Suns are getting the next two 28th picks in the draft for the best or second-best player in their franchise history. The top news story is that I'M DEVASTATED.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

How Good are we at Predicting MLB Win Totals? Not very.

Before the season, the three of us predicted if all 30 MLB teams would go over or under their Vegas line. It's an easy way to predict what we think will happen to each team. Now that each team has reached 81 games, we wanted to let our readers hold us accountable for our failures and triumphs. Blogging, after all, is all about accountability, alright?

The results weren't pretty. Considering that we had a 50% chance of getting each one right, you'd think that experts like us would be 80-90% right? Right? Turns out a coin would do a better job than Jon and I. Steve is barely above .500, sort of like his tied for last place Red Sox. The chart below shows our predictions, the pace of each team, and the results thus far. One point for each correct pick.

Player A vs. Player B--The Power of Context in Determining an NBA Player's Narrative

Player A: 25.4 Ppg, 45.3 fg%, 33.7% 3pt, 83.8% ft., 5.3 reb., 4.7 ast., 3.0 TO
TS% 55.4%, Usage 31.8, PER 23.4

Player B: 24.7 Ppg, 45.6 fg%, 32.2% 3pt, 80.5% ft., 6.3 reb., 3.1 ast., 3.0 TO
TS% 54.4%, Usage 31.2, PER 20.4

Above are two nearly identical stat lines. Player A is slightly better in PER and assists whereas Player B grabs one more rebound a game. The overall nod goes to Player A, but only slightly. However, one of these players is seen as a ballhog; a hero ball-playing scorer who will never lead his team to a championship. The other is a top ten player of all time. Why is this the case? It's simple. Basketball players' success depends on their surroundings. This is a simple concept, but it too often gets overlooked. Teams win championships, individual players don't. Every all-time great -- Jordan, Bird, Magic, Wilt, Kareem, Hakeem, Shaq, Duncan, and LeBron -- has needed another Hall of Famer to win a ring.

It's a convenient and weak argument to make a case based on a player's DNA rather than his team, his coach, and his system. Dirk Nowitzki led the Mavericks to 67 wins in 2006-2007 and won the MVP. He had an amazing season despite the fact that his team got upset in the playoffs. Dirk Nowitzki was not better in 2010 than he was in 2007. The circumstances changed. He had Shawn Marion, a perfect player to defend LeBron; Tyson Chandler, a center quick enough to wreak havoc against the slower Heat bigs; and Jason Terry, a streaky player who got hot enough to carry the team when Dirk was having an off night. Dirk had a great team around him and he won a ring because of it. Dirk's attitude or desire wasn't the reason he won. It was his supporting cast, luck, and the right matchup. Going back to the players above, it is clear that statistically they are nearly the same player, and that context has unfairly determined the narrative of their careers.

Monday, July 2, 2012

What I'm Mad About Today

Today I come to you a broken man. I'm crushed. Actually, it's worse than that. I'm despondent, and the great sport of track is to blame. 

I only even pretend to care about track and field events come Olympics time, and even for the Olympics track is pretty low down on my list of sports to follow (diving and gymnastics are my favorites). The sport caught my interest last week though with the insane drama of the women's 100-meter dash, where two women finished in a dead heat for the last qualifying spot on the Olympic team. The whole thing was beyond awesome - Jeneba Tarmoh thought she had come in third (only the top three finishers go to the Olympics) and was even given a medal before the judge who awarded her the victory CHALLENGED HIS OWN RULING. Ultimately the ruling body decided that it was inconclusive, and that she had tied Allyson Felix for third place. Which meant either a coin-flip would decide who goes to the Games or...

Funmail/Ask Z-Bo/whatever we decide on
This, ladies and gentlemen, is the first installment of our weekly mail-answering segment. Thank you for your letters. As a reminder, send letters here or leave them in the comments, and we will respond to them as best we can. Steve is up this week, and next week it'll be Jon. Sean will answer them the week after that. And we'll rotate from there on out. TERRIFIC! Onward:

Say you could go to the NBA but you wouldn't actually play. You'd get a jersey, you'd get to high five the starters when they came off the court, you'd be basically Brian Scalabrine. How many years of your life would you give up? You would only make the money you would have in your normal career, but you'd get recognized by die hard fans and probably get all the ass that comes with being a pro athlete.

What a good-looking question! Two big things about this question: How long do I get to do this? I'll assume that I can have a normal NBA career (let's say 8-10 years). And secondly, I would only make my normal career money? I can't imagine that I'll ever make THAT much money in my career (unless this blogging thing really takes off!), so that's one huge part of the NBA player equation that's missing. The NBA season is sort of grueling if you're only making, say, a first-year teacher's salary, but in other ways, it's a baller-ass lifestyle. I'd also get to put myself in when I play an NBA video game. So that would be sweet.
Let's say that I would live to the average life expectancy of 78 (let's be honest, I'm crapping out way before that). So, to be able to hang out with awesome NBA players, not do a real job, and have a kick-ass NBA All-Star weekend every year (with Scalabrine-level ass to boot!), I'd give like 8 years. Seems fair, one for one. Basically it's 8 years of fun rather than sitting behind a desk and dicking around on the Internet. Now if I actually got to make millions, that's a whole other story.

The Whole 42 Minutes Funmail! (name still in progress)


We've decided to rip off Bill Simmons and Drew Magary and do a frequent (perhaps weekly) segment in which we respond to letters from our faithful readers. The letters can be about sports (Who is the best starter in the American League?), or they can be about other things (Did Elvis's farts smell better or worse than average?). Any question, story, or proposition will be addressed in this Funamil segment. I think we'll all enjoy it.

I, as the Editor-In-Chief, will be answering the first batch of letters this week. After that, the three of us will rotate answering the letters in the Funmail segment. Terrific. Terrific.

Email your letters here or just put them in the comments or whatever. Just put them somewhere where we'll see them.

Sincerely yours,

Brown Bear
The Whole 42 Minutes

P.S. If you have suggestions for the name of this segment, they would also be greatly appreciated (Ask Z-Bo has been suggested in honor of the person whose quote inspired the name of this blog. That's not bad).