Recent Comments by holden

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Speaking of the Irish, I got my second Moderna dose today. I can now attend Celtics games with impunity! Wait...that's not me. THIS VACCINE TURNED ME INTO HOWARD! I AM NOW IN A CHURCH!!! NOW I AM UMPING A BASEBALL GAME!!!

On the upside, you now have the knowledge to fix a jammed torpedo port on a nuclear submarine.

posted by holden at 08:54 PM on April 21, 2021

Will a 'Super League' blow up global soccer? Here's what we know after bombshell announcement

Re the EPL teams "leaving" - I always felt the super league idea was largely for the benefit of Real Madrid and Barcelona, who thoroughly dominate (from a revenue perspective) La Liga and seem utterly contemptuous of the smaller clubs and having to share anything with them (and those two clubs already have separate deals around TV and certain other benefits that treat them preferentially vis-a-vis the rank-and-file Spanish clubs). Correspondingly, seemed to me the English teams had a lot less to complain about - yes, they still have to share revenues from league sources such as media rights (albeit also not equally) but they have the richest TV deals in the world and can attract many of the best players.

Other than FOMO, there's always been less of (but not the absence of) a rationale/business case for the English teams to join a super league (well except for Arsenal and Spurs and anyone else of the 6 on the outside looking in for ECL spots on the regular, who would be getting guaranteed money for the competition where they may be looking at Europa League at best based on domestic form).

posted by holden at 06:30 PM on April 20, 2021

Will a 'Super League' blow up global soccer? Here's what we know after bombshell announcement

Half of what makes the Champions League fun for me is these periodic match-ups between powerhouses that only come about every 3-5 years (or longer). I would assume in this super league that these teams are playing on a yearly basis, which takes some of the excitement of the draw out of the competition. Not to mention the joy of seeing the little club that could knock off one of the global elites.

It's obviously all about money, but soccer has been all about money for a while, and this seems a natural progression. Will be interesting to see if the country-level FAs and UEFA can bring any leverage to bear here via expulsion from domestic leagues, eligibility of players for international tournaments, etc.

Freezing the teams at this snapshot in time also ignores the cyclical nature of success of some of these clubs. Some have the long histories of dominance (Real Madrid, Liverpool, United, Barcelona, Juventus) that you could pluck them out of about any era and they would have been one of the teams. But if you were to go 20 years back, Man City were relegated in 2000-01, PSG (yes, I realize they have not elected yet to join this league) were mid-table mediocrity in Ligue 1, etc. And on current form, Spurs and Arsenal hardly look like European elite. Again, appreciate that it is all about the money, but it's basically taking a snapshot of the richest clubs at this point in time, herding them into a room, and padlocking the door.

posted by holden at 10:52 AM on April 19, 2021

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

For Champions League, is the TV broadcast adding the audio or is that being piped into the stadium itself? Not sure if it's like this at all baseball stadiums, but I was outside Wrigley the other day and they've definitely got the organ and walk-up music and cheering being piped through the PA system in the park.

posted by holden at 02:45 PM on August 21, 2020

Thom Brennaman Makes Anti-Gay Comment on Hot Mic During Reds Game

The apology with the homer was reminiscent of Chris Berman trying to get all serious talking about Ray Rice -- "Violence against women is a real scourge in this country and we should be taking this seriously. It's no time to minimize this grave ... AND THE PUNT IS BLOCKED!"

posted by holden at 11:01 AM on August 21, 2020

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Ryan Dempster barehands one hit out of Wrigley (during BP) on his bike. He's kind of an everyman fixture around here in Lakeview/Wrigleyville. He's been the parent volunteer linesman at couple of my sons' soccer games and I see him at kids basketball games at the Y and at the grocery from time to time. Canadians, they're just like us.

posted by holden at 03:13 PM on August 17, 2020

Enter SportsFilter's NBA Playoff Pick 'Em

My picks:

Nuggets in 6
Raptors in 5
Celtics in 6
Clippers in 6
Bucks in 4
Heat in 6
Rockets in 7
Lakers in 5
Top point scorer: Lillard
Top rebounder: Gobert
Top scoring team: Bucks
Team scoring 130: Bucks

posted by holden at 10:53 PM on August 16, 2020

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

When's the last time there were no undefeated baseball teams after 3 games played?

posted by holden at 11:18 AM on July 27, 2020

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Adding the extraneous S is also a Chicago thing. "Going over to the Jewels to do my shopping..."

posted by holden at 09:00 PM on June 23, 2020

Premier League Returns Today

I saw a tweet that Luis got a red card once every 160 EPL games with Chelsea and once every 13 EPL games with Arsenal. And gave away a penalty once every 53 games for Chelsea but once every 6.5 games for Arsenal. So whatever he was with Chelsea is like 10-15x worse with Arsenal.

posted by holden at 06:40 PM on June 19, 2020

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

As a one who is notorious for abandoning well-intentioned projects, this likely ends here, but I bring you installment two of From the Archives.

It was February 2006, and the Winter Olympics were in full swing. And on SportsFilter, we were about to be treated to a level of creative crassness rarely seen on the front page.

While rcade would like to pretend this did not happen and quickly excised the offending post (thus limiting it to four comments), a Google cache of it remains (for now).

Some fun talk in the locker room on this as well.

posted by holden at 06:03 PM on May 29, 2020

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Love that you remembered "paradigm shift," tahoe.

posted by holden at 05:55 PM on May 29, 2020

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

This probably goes in the bucket of navel-gazing, but I was thinking the other day "Was there some guy on SportsFilter who always used to go on about his proprietary training techniques that would surely revolutionize soccer or am I just imagining that?"

I present to you a very special edition of From the Archives (f/k/a Down the Rabbit Hole).

posted by holden at 02:56 PM on May 28, 2020

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

I would not be surprised to see MLB do a season behind closed doors, with the tri-state plan (FL, TX, and AZ hubs) most likely. Apparently MLB teams make only 20% of their revenues from gate receipts, and I would have to think that even with a shortened season, ad revenues from the eyeballs of a sports-starved nation (nations, including Canada " that's for you, grum and and DJE) that is otherwise shut in could generate returns that might bring the networks to honor much of their commitments.

posted by holden at 12:01 AM on April 28, 2020

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

How dare you sully the name of Mike Trout like that. Clearly Ben Affleck.

posted by holden at 11:50 PM on April 27, 2020

49ers Get Trent Williams, Lose Joe Staley to Retirement

On the kicker, I guess they must have really been into him because the consensus seemed to be that he would be available as an UDFA.

posted by holden at 10:05 PM on April 25, 2020

49ers Get Trent Williams, Lose Joe Staley to Retirement

This Pats draft is cracking me up " two TEs in a row in the third and then a kicker in the fifth. They're drafting like my 10 year-old in our father-son fantasy football draft. Fifty-fifty chance this turns out to be genius vs this is just Belichick looking to confound everyone just for the hell of it.

posted by holden at 02:55 PM on April 25, 2020

49ers Get Trent Williams, Lose Joe Staley to Retirement

This trade must have been done before the first round, because the Niners traded back one position to let the Bucs get Wirfs, who many believed was the top OL in the draft (although the fourth one taken).

posted by holden at 02:33 PM on April 25, 2020

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I do think that the Staples Center likely takes the cake, between two men's basketball teams, a woman's basketball team, hockey, plus a boatload of concerts and then the one-offs like memorial services for Nipsey Hussle and Kobe (probably no more than a couple a year, but still).

And be safe, SpoFites. Wish during this time we could watch a game together and get on the old Campfire site and have a nice running play-by-play/minute-by-minute with snarky commentary and astute social observations.

I love that all these people are all about "I'm binging XYZ on Netflix" or "I've taken up the piccolo" during this quarantime (that's a deliberate portmanteau, by the way). I've got four boys we're allegedly trying to "home school" here in Chicago (9 year-old to me the other day: "If you taught at my school you would have been fired a long time ago." Followed by 12 year-old: "That's harsh, but let's just say you're not winning any teacher-of-the-year awards") plus a job that mercifully is still keeping me busy, and I just fall into bed at midnight most nights exhausted. So hats off to those of you in different life situations for which this is a nice respite to learn/do something different, but keep in mind that there are those of us out there suffering through trying to figure out 8th grade math by watching YouTube videos on the sly so as to not admit to our children that we have basically a 7th grade (or more accurately, something south of 8th grade -- could be 5th or 6th for all I know) understanding of math.

posted by holden at 06:35 PM on March 25, 2020

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

This is great (and makes me sad).

posted by holden at 11:18 AM on July 21, 2019

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Between the cricket final and Wimbledon, must be something in the air in England today.

posted by holden at 02:51 PM on July 14, 2019

Marisnick Suspended 2 Games for Nose-Breaking Collision

Looks to me like he was going for a headfirst slide and ended up putting up his arm as an act of self-preservation. But because he throws himself headlong into Lucroy, also looks like he was trying to bowl him over. Tough one to call.

posted by holden at 12:16 AM on July 13, 2019

Project: Phenom

Thanks for this, Bill (although surprised you're enough over the Champions League celebrations to post). Great read.

posted by holden at 01:12 AM on June 05, 2019

Farewell to 20th Century Baseball

All of this is just a reminder of how old we all (or at least some of us) are. I'm at the stage of life where when I go into a gas station or C-store and see "You must have been born before this date to buy tobacco products" and think to myself "That can't be right, can it?" Basically my unknown love child from high school can now rent a car without paying the extra "under-25" fees.

posted by holden at 11:33 PM on March 30, 2019

Steph Curry Taunts Refs, Then Dodgy Call Gives Warriors a Loss

Not sure why you'd taunt the refs in that situation (or any situation, for that matter). They can screw you that game (maybe was the case here) or in future games.

posted by holden at 11:29 PM on March 30, 2019

How former ref Tim Donaghy conspired to fix NBA games

Great read.

Watching Lakers-Rockets last night made me wonder if the refs in that one were on the take.

posted by holden at 09:31 AM on February 22, 2019

The World According to Ray Ratto

Enjoyed this piece from Ratto, which was published at Deadspin yesterday.

posted by holden at 03:09 PM on January 30, 2019

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I think Rivera getting unanimous induction is more indicative of the changing nature of the electorate (i.e., the old dudes who would not vote for someone on the first ballot on which he was eligible as a matter of "principle" aging out of the electorate/dying - or maybe just happening to be Yankees fans) than any sort of statement about his place in the pantheon. Also does not hurt that he played for the most visible team in the sport, won multiple World Series, has never had a whiff of controversy around him, and exhibits humility, selflessness, philanthropy, etc. Kind of just a perfect storm of features.

The Matt Stairs comparison is kind of fun in the sense of two players that did a very good job in somewhat specific/limited role, but Rivera has a career bWAR higher than 17 starting pitchers who are in the Hall of Fame (including Koufax), whereas Stairs' overall value is lacking. (And I know (think?) grum was just using that comparison as a rhetorical device.)

And here's echoing the hope that Larry Walker gets a big bump in his last year on the ballot. Although if Tony La Russa (together with Jerry Reinsdorf, apparently) could get Harold Baines through via the Today's Game Era Committee (successor to the Veterans Committee), hopefully La Russa managing Walker for his last season plus in MLB provides enough juice in that room to put that Committee in a position to actually get one right.

posted by holden at 11:50 AM on January 23, 2019

Enter the SportsFilter NFL Playoff Pick 'Em

Indy by 3
Seahawks by 7
Chargers by 4
Bears by 8

Passer: Wilson
Rusher: Carson
Receiver: Hilton
INT: Fuller
Points: Indy

posted by holden at 03:58 PM on January 05, 2019

Plays of The Year?

The Henry run gets discounted in my estimation because of the lack of effort of some of the Jags players (I'm looking at you, Leon Jacobs and Myles Jack).

posted by holden at 02:15 AM on December 28, 2018

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

A belated Merry Christmas to this cast of degenerates.

posted by holden at 02:12 AM on December 28, 2018

"My Dad's Friendship with Charles Barkley"

I saw that a week or two ago. Great story.

posted by holden at 03:46 PM on December 27, 2018

The Great Heist: How Fox Paid for and Changed Football Forever

An interesting point made is that TV executives at rival networks hated the idea of the Fox Box the most and thought it was a horrible thing for the networks because it would drive viewers away if the game was a blowout. Basically better to keep channel flippers in the dark as to score than to have them move on (which ignored the fact that disinterested viewers would probably flip before getting to commercials in any event as the networks already showed the score as the game cut to commercial).

posted by holden at 02:53 PM on December 14, 2018

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Navy Man would prefer they wear blues.

posted by holden at 10:32 PM on November 04, 2018

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Two things tonight - one a SpoFi observation, and one a fun chance encounter:

The SpoFi observation - love that Howard_T is the elder statesman (no disrespect intended) of SpoFi. If you told me you were on the Enola Gay, I wouldn't bat an eye (and yes, I know you're not that old -- but I'm probably closer in age to your kids than you and I've got a 12 year-old son myself).

On the chance encounter, I got stuck in NY over a December weekend a couple of years ago (I live in Chicago) for an M&A transaction I was working on and got back late to my hotel in Midtown and ended up seated at the hotel bar grabbing a late dinner next to none other than John Lynch. Great player (obviously) but a great guy as well. He was in town to call a Giants game when he was the color guy for a Fox team (with Kevin Burkhardt as the PBP guy?). Got a lot of good inside-baseball (or inside-football) info from him just chatting away, and he introduced me to the whole production team. As a Louisiana native, I told him I thought that maybe Eli to Odell was the most prolific QB-WR combination of two players in the NFL that went to the same high school (Isidore Newman in New Orleans) and that they should look it up. Lo and behold, on the broadcast the next day he mentioned that, as the stats team had looked it up. God bless the information age.

posted by holden at 12:45 AM on November 03, 2018

Altuve Ruled Out on Fan Interference in ALCS Game 4

I'm not particularly interested in whether or not they got this call right or not. I find it frustrating that MLB has a fan interference rule that applies to anything other than someone jumping over the rail and running onto the field. Either (1) let fans sit close to the action, and get over the fact that occasionally fans and players are going to touch each other while reaching for the same ball, or (2) engineer it out of the ballparks.

At Wrigley, they have a "basket" all the way around the outfield wall, so there's no real chance of fan interference on home run balls. But of course, possibly the most famous fan interference incident of all time (with apologies to Jeffrey Maier, the only other fan known by name for interference) happened at Wrigley, on a foul ball, so there's probably no designing it out of the game 100%.

Apparently the baskets at Wrigley were installed in 1970 because of fan interference, but in this case drunk fans in the 1969 season regularly jumping from the bleachers onto the field.

OK, just now seeing this play for the first time and, boy, did Boston ever get a gift there. Had nobody been there, the ball would've bounced off the side of the mitt and it would've been a home run. Crazy call

If you look at one of the replays, seems his glove hit the fan's hand before the ball hit the glove, so I think he may have been impeded in getting his glove as far over to his left as he needed to in order to make the catch.

posted by holden at 10:20 AM on October 18, 2018

SportsFilter NFL Pick 'Em Week 5: First Down Browns Edition

Pats by 10

posted by holden at 07:49 PM on October 04, 2018

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Two bonus baseball games tomorrow. Great fun.

posted by holden at 07:49 PM on September 30, 2018

Frank Reich Hands OT Win to Houston Texans

I liked it. These teams are effectively playing for 3rd place in the AFC South and ties suck.

posted by holden at 06:09 PM on September 30, 2018

SportsFilter NFL Pick 'Em Week 3: FitzMagic Stay Humble Edition

rcade - please deduct 10 points from my score for last week. I posted my picks on Friday, which is why I picked Cincinnati by exactly 11 and then subsequently wrote "(kidding)." Sorry for screwing around there. (Although will note that you didn't double my picks for the lock.)

Cleveland by 3
New Orleans by 7
Kansas City by 14
Miami by 6
Minnesota by 20 LOCK
Philadelphia by 7
Green Bay by 4
Carolina by 7
Jacksonville by 14 LOCK
Baltimore by 10
Houston by 7
L.A. Rams by 6
Chicago by 7
Seattle by 10 LOCK
New England by 14 LOCK
Tampa Bay by 7

posted by holden at 03:34 PM on September 20, 2018

SportsFilter NFL Pick 'Em Week 2: Undefeated Browns Edition

Cincinnati by 11 LOCK (kidding)
Atlanta by 6
L.A. Chargers by 7
Green Bay by 3
Houston by 8
New Orleans by 13 LOCK
N.Y. Jets by 3
Pittsburgh by 6
Philadelphia by 7
Washington by 6
L.A. Rams by 20 LOCK
San Francisco by 10
Denver by 7
Jacksonville by 7
N.Y. Giants by 6
Chicago by 7

posted by holden at 10:52 AM on September 14, 2018

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I have no problem with what Bell is doing and would feel the same way were I a Steelers fan. The shelf life of NFL players is quite short, and running backs are on the low end of average career length. If NFL contracts were fully guaranteed, I might feel differently about the concept of "honoring your contract."

On the flip side, stoked to be learning some great tips about how to get backlinks. Although if rcade was still alive, this would never be happening.

posted by holden at 08:14 AM on September 09, 2018

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Also, please ban robinjack.

posted by holden at 06:46 PM on September 08, 2018

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Wait, there's a Beaverboard and a Bored Beaver?

I assume the Bored Beaver just is in need of some wood.

posted by holden at 06:45 PM on September 08, 2018

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Between this and the Losers Lunch thread, I hereby call upon the banhammer.

posted by holden at 06:42 PM on September 08, 2018

Play SportsFilter's NFL Pick 'Em Contest

Atlanta by 3
Cleveland by 6
Indianapolis by 7
Tennessee by 6
Minnesota by 10
New England by 13
New Orleans by 17
Jacksonville by 3
Baltimore by 13
L.A. Chargers by 7
Denver by 6
Arizona by 3
Carolina by 8
Green Bay by 13
Detroit by 6
L.A. Rams by 13

posted by holden at 09:26 PM on September 06, 2018

Loser's Lunch

Great read, yerfatma. Thanks.

posted by holden at 12:49 PM on September 05, 2018

Gilbert Arenas vs. Javaris Crittenton

I grew up playing this on trips as a kid to visit family in Louisiana and summer vacations with that extended family in northwest Florida. It is similar to euchre (and other trick-taking games, for that matter), although with full deck, more intuitive ranking of trump cards (2 through A, as opposed to trump suit Jack and same color other Jack as top two trumps), and the whole betting/pot aspect plus trade-ins of cards.

We played for pennies and I do remember my sister swiping all of her pennies off the table onto the floor in a fit of pique after a particularly involved series of hands - I guess the 10 year-old's version of threatening to shoot some one.

posted by holden at 03:58 PM on August 10, 2018

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

Someone want to renew the EPL fantasy league? First game starts in about 2 hours (3:00 p.m. ET).

posted by holden at 12:54 PM on August 10, 2018

How the Delmon Young Draft Pick Worked out for Tampa Bay

Article could have been written by grum. Fun read.

posted by holden at 07:26 PM on August 09, 2018

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

shoutout (damn autocorrect)

posted by holden at 06:30 PM on June 28, 2018

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

rcade getting the Twitter shootout in this article at The Ringer (scroll down to Group H).

posted by holden at 12:53 PM on June 28, 2018

World Cup Pick 'Em Contest: Win a World Cup Match Ball

1. Pick the two teams that will advance out of each group (5 points each).

Group A: Egypt, Uruguay

Group B: Portugal, Spain

Group C: France, Peru

Group D: Argentina, Croatia

Group E: Brazil, Switzerland

Group F: Germany, Mexico

Group G: Belgium, England

Group H: Poland, Colombia

2. Pick a player in each group and get 1 point for each goal he scores.

Group A player: Suarez

Group B player: Ronaldo

Group C player: Griezman

Group D player: Higuain

Group E player: Neymar

Group F player: Lozano

Group G player: Kane

Group H player: Lewandowski

3. Pick the team that will score the most goals in the group stage (5 points).


4. Pick the team that will allow the least goals in the group stage (5 points).


5. Pick the total number of red cards in the tournament (closest 3 get 5, 3 and


6. Pick the total number of 0-0 scores in regulation in the tournament (closest 3 get 5, 3 and 1 points, respectively).


7. Pick a team that will score a goal in every match they play (penalty kicks excluded) (5 points).


posted by holden at 11:41 PM on June 13, 2018

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Seek out Filip Forsberg's second goal from Game 1 of Preds-Avs (can't link a video because it just happened). Through his own legs and then the defender's legs and then beats the goalie. Amazing.

posted by holden at 12:00 AM on April 13, 2018

UMBC Beats Virginia in First 16-Over-1 Win Ever

Holy cow. Guess it was bound to happen sooner or later, but my goodness would have thought it would have been a buzzer beater or a 42-40 grind-it-out game or something.

posted by holden at 12:07 AM on March 17, 2018

LeBron James: NCAA is Corrupt

Dude needs to shut up and just dribble a basketball.

posted by holden at 11:54 PM on March 01, 2018

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

(how did you do that?)

I just put a closed bold tag < / b > (but without the spaces) at the beginning of my post, thus having the courtesy to do what grum apparently could not bring himself to do in his outrage.

Whoever had money on a curler being the first 2018 Olympian being stripped of a medal for doping made a lot of money on what surely had to be really long odds (although I assume the odds were flipped the other way for anyone betting on the first medalist stripped being Russian).

posted by holden at 04:08 PM on February 22, 2018

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I thought grum was upset about the U.S.-Czech Republic game.

And yes, you're welcome for me taking off the bolding.

posted by holden at 12:52 PM on February 22, 2018

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Poor Leonard Fournette must have been having a strong sense of deja vu from his LSU days with the Jags' play calling in the second half. Patriots obviously made some adjustments, but seems like the Jags were playing scared with the lead and went away from what got them ahead in the first place.

posted by holden at 10:01 PM on January 21, 2018

NFL Playoff Pick 'Em: Divisional Round

Atlanta by 7
New England by 14 [LOCK]
Pittsburgh by 10 [LOCK]
New Orleans by 5

Passer " Brady
Rusher " Fournette +5
Receiver " Cooks
Sack " Calais Campbell
Points " Patriots

posted by holden at 10:56 PM on January 12, 2018