Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Whole 42 Letters: It's been a long GD time since we posted anything



Hey gals,

We've been under a lot of stress recently. Sorry the Most Thoughtful Sports Analysis on the Blogosphere has been agonizingly absent for like...over a week. We didn't even do a GD playoffs preview. Who do we think we are?!

Your letters:

Given that the first round seems to drag on forever and gives us lots of lopsided results should we move back to a best of 5 series?


The best-of-five was pretty fine. I'd go for that. The thing about the NBA playoffs, unlike other sports' playoffs, is that the better team almost always wins the series. The equivalent of the San Francisco Giants rarely wins the championship in the NBA. I think a 5-game series would do the trick in the first round. The first round does give us some great series, like Clippers-Grizz, but series like that are probably ultimately insignificant.

How useless is the bullpen running out to the field during a brawl. Are these guys really looking to start something or really just there for moral support and the fact that it might be the most action they see all night?

In terms of actually contributing to the fight, the bullpen does diddly squat. It's just for moral support. I think being a reliever in MLB is like being a soldier in the Civil War or something. A brawl is the most excitement they get. Most of the time you're just sitting there, waiting for some action. And then, all of a sudden, Grant comes over the hill and you're SLAYMURDERING THOSE GOLL DERN YANKS! Relief pitchers are always Confederates. That's the rules.

Rank the positions on the diamond of who you think would be the best fighters.

9. Second basemen. Being scrappy only gets you so far.
8. Shortstop. See above.
7. First base. They're big, sure, but they're so out of shape. Prince Fielder could sit on you, but even that would tire him out.
6. Left field.
5. Right field.
4. Pitcher. They're usually pretty big, but kinda sissy.
3. Third base.
2. Center field. Perhaps the most athletic position.
1. Catcher. You don't wanna fight a boulder.

What would the NBA be like if instead of shooting the free throw automatically after a technical foul, you could wait to use it at any point in the game? Same with penalties in football. Imagine that you didn't need to use the defensive holding call across the field because you got a first down and could instead use your automatic five yard first down at the opportune moment. More importantly, how bad would dipshit coaches screw this up?

This would clearly be a more giant change in football than in basketball. Technical fouls don't happen very often, and one point here or there wouldn't affect most basketball games. It would make even more excitement during close games. Like y'know when someone on your team gets a tech with like a minute left in a close game? Y'know how mad you get? That's how mad you'd get with every tech in every close game. Sounds fun!

In football, this would be a total game changer. Imagine getting a 32-yard pass interference call that you can just defer till the end. If you're down by 2 with a minute to go, all you'd have to do is get to the, like, 65-yard line to get in field goal range. If you're playing the Raiders or Cowboys, you could just bank all those false starts and holdings and not even have to run an offensive play in the second half. This would be kind of cool, but ultimately, it would make avoiding penalties TOO important.

And, obviously, no coach would ever do any of these right. We don't wanna give Jim Schwartz any more power than he already has. The more choices Andy Reid gets to fuck up in game management, the faster NFL fans get type 2 diabetes just from watching it.

What the fuck is up with all these playoff injuries?

I know, right?!

Do you think it is a thing that teams play better after a tragedy in their town?

I think it can be a thing. I think that thoughtful sports people like us often forget to take into account outside factors that help or hurt players' performance. We don't buy into players being clutch, for instance. But a lot of outside factors can have real impacts on player performance. To think that each player brings the same amount of effort to his play, year in and year out, month in and month out, game in and game out, is pretty mistaken, I think. Will a tragedy, like the Boston Marathon bombings, make players for Boston teams try harder, thereby making them more successful? Yeah, I think it's possible. In a long season in a long career, I think guys do take extra motivation from certain things, and some guys play better because of it. So to answer your question: yeah, maybe I guess.

Is there a ponit at which athletes with nicknames like Chipper or Doc or Magic should just go by their real names?

In those three examples (assuming you mean Doc Rivers), no, it's not necessary for guys like that to go by their real names. Chipper Jones and Magic Johnson and Tiger Woods have gone by those names so much, and have had so much success, that now, their real names might as well be Chipper or Magic or Tiger. But a guy like Smush Parker should probably be introducing himself as Bill the day he retires.

How much better does a good announcer make your viewing experience and how much worse does a bad one (think Doug Collins vs. Reggie Miller time).

I think it makes a fairly big difference. To me, a bad announcer can only take so much away. As a last resort, you can watch the game on mute. Y'know, like a sociopath. But a good announcer, one who is very very knowledgeable and can communicate subtle and complicated things very well, can really enhance the game watching experience. Doug Collins makes a game like 40% more enjoyable to watch than Reggie Miller.

Can we also talk about how disappointingly bad Reggie Miller is? Shaq too. These are some of my favorite players ever, and they're just balls terrible analysts. Meanwhile, Chris Webber is great. I don't give a shit about Chris Webber.

The story of the tortoise and the hare has a really fucking stupid moral, right? It's possible to be fast and not a dick.

Totally agree. The moral of that story is "slow and steady wins the race." What kind of shit is this? Hey, y'know what's better for racing than slow and steady? FAST AND STEADY. The punch line of that story should be "don't be a dick, like the hare." Don't be a hare-y dick. Noted.

What set of NBA teammates would do the best at beach volleyball?

LeBron would be the best beach volleyball player because...ugh, I'm so tired of talking about how great and amazing he is. Fuck that guy. But yeah, it'd be like him and...whoever else on the Heat. Like Bosh maybe. It really doesn't matter.

How should Steph Curry spell his name if he wants to pronounce it like that?

If you spell your name Stephen, your name is Stephen, not Stefan. He could go with Stefan or Stephan, like every other person who pronounces his name like that. If his name were Stephan, he could spell his nickname like Steph. His name personally offends me as a Stephen. Screw you, Del Curry.

Why do we drive on parkways and park on driveways?

WEEEEEEEEEEEE?!?!?!?!!?!?!??!?!?!


Ta ta for now.

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