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Domestic violence is more than a political issue

Posted by Chance on September 15, 2014

There was a piece in Grantland discussing the media in response to the Ray Rice incident.

1. During the Donald Sterling fiasco, I argued that the sportswriting class had gone from holding a range of political opinions to fusing into a single, united liberal bloc. You can see that in the coverage of Goodell, too. Reading sports this week is like being on a Nation magazine cruise.

I take issue with the author categorizing this as a “liberal” issue.  Now, I don’t think the author generally thinks that conservatives are “okay” with domestic violence, and it’s not like I’m offended as someone who is typically culturally conservative, it’s just that I think the author thinks this issue falls in line with more black coaches in the NFL or more women with front office jobs (it’s not that those latter issues aren’t important, it’s just people disagree on the importance of diversity or even the ways to achieve those).

In a similar vein

and

Whether Jane McManus sees this as a “woman’s issue” or is making the point that most people see this as a “woman’s issue” I’m not sure.  But either way I disagree.  Calling something a “woman’s issue” has political/social connotations, of which there is often disagreement.  I think the domestic violence issue transcends that.  Yes, it affects women more than men (at least on the victim end), but people see men beating the crap out of women as more than a “woman’s issue”.  

Likewise, many people don’t see,in my mind, the domestic violence issue as some “social cause”.  This isn’t like the Michael Sam storyline (where most people don’t have an issue with a gay NFL player, just the constant coverage of it).  In one sense, he is right, people want to hear about football and not about Rice, but I think it’s in the sense of getting tired of all the bad news in the world.  

In short, I think the domestic violence issue is less politicized than people think it is.  People are painting it in the same vein as the Michael Sam issue or any other intersection of politics and sports, and I think this is inaccurate.  It’s also not an issue where people are just coming around to in the sense of domestic violence being immoral, although people often aren’t aware how commonplace it is.  But obviously there is a problem with how domestic violence is handled. I don’t think the NFL’s lack of response is one of political values, I think it is one of money and image.  

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Does God control sports?

Posted by Chance on November 14, 2011

So, for most of my life I’ve grown up with the idea of a God who follows the deistic model when it comes to sports.  That is, a God who does not interfere whatsoever in sporting events.  I was talking with my wife about this, maybe a year ago, or so and she disagreed with me.  That is, she didn’t necessarily believe that was the case.  I forget her exact reasoning, but it made sense.  It was something along the lines of “how do we know God doesn’t?”

The more I think about it, the more it makes sense.  As I’ve grown older, I’ve become more and more accustom to a God who controls everything.  I’m not saying we don’t have free will, but I believe the decisions we make and what we are going to make all fit within his framework.  I look at where I work and where I live, and they all fall within his master plan.  Whose to say sports don’t do the same?  Why would God be involved in every aspect of people’s lives but then decide to back off on this one thing?

My inner dialog goes like this:

“Well, that’s not fair if God favors one team over another and is involved in competition, that doesn’t seem fair.”

“Well, I believe I got this job because of God’s providence and direction for my life, and that means someone else didn’t.  Does it seem fair that God picked me in this job over someone else?”

“You’re right.  You’re so smart.”

Look, I know this is a weird idea, but here’s the thing.  I believe God is involved in every area of our life.  And the people who play sports, and even those who follow sports to a much lesser degree, have sports occupying a major part of their life.  Are you going to tell me that God completely butts out of that area?  People learn valuable lessons from sports, including games won or lost.

That being said, I don’t believe we can infer anything from the win-loss column of our team.  We can’t say our team won all of their games because of their mission trip to Africa or they lost all their games because they partied too much.  The Bible is clear that we cannot know why things happen, see the book of Job or the story about the blind man.  Bad and good things happen in every arena of life, and we don’t always know why, so I believe this is true for sports.

Posted in Christianity, Sports | 1 Comment »

Why a playoff system is the most fair

Posted by Chance on March 28, 2010

One of my cousins and facebook friends posed a question that was essentially “For those favoring a college football playoff system, do you believe that the best team wins the NCAA basketball tournament.”

My answer was “No, not necessarily.  But it gives every team a chance to win.”

His response was that it would diminish the value of the regular season.

Now, to some degree, he may be correct.  The great thing about college football is that every game does matter.

For most teams.  But not Boise State, Auburn, Utah, or Penn State (if you count before the BCS).  For some teams, winning every single game doesn’t matter when it comes to the national championship.

The one objection I think I will always have to the current college football system is that you can do all the right things and not get your shot.  There have been seasons with multiple undefeated teams, and there have been seasons with an undefeated team who gets left out.  The determination of who plays is based on a lot of subjectivity.

However, the importance of regular season games for most teams is still a concern.  While I believe the primary goal of a sports league should be to determine a champion in a fair way – and not necessarily having the most significant regular season games – it is still a worthy issue to raise.

I don’t see having a playoff system and a significant regular season as mutually exclusive, although it is a balance.  The easier it is for a team to get into the playoffs, the less significant the regular season.   Major League Baseball has about 160 games, but only 8 teams get in.  I hate the idea of expanding the NCAA basketball tournament to 96 teams, because right now the 7th and 8th best teams out of 12 conference teams get in with 65.  What does that say of the talent with a 96 team pool?

So, to keep the regular season games as significant as possible, a college football system should have the conference champions of all 11 college football conferences.  No wild card teams.  By having only the conference champions, there is no debate about wild card teams.  Berry Tramel of the Oklahoman had this idea of 11 teams (among others I’m sure), and I blogged about it before.

Will every regular season game be as significant with this new system?  Honestly, the answer is no.  Late season games for teams who already have their division or conference wrapped up will have less meaning.  Texas would have not had their national title hopes dependent on playing A&M last season.  However, that is a change I’m okay with, because it means other teams will have national title hopes to begin with.

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19 is a terrible number

Posted by Chance on June 22, 2009

For the NBA minimum draft age that is.  When it was 18, people would go to the NBA directly from high school. This includes Kobe Bryant, Lebron James, Dwight Howard, to name the most significant.

I think the number should be lower or higher.  If you are going to raise the age, make it like the NFL, where the player must be three years removed from high school.  That way, an accomplished player has somewhat equal options, since they only have one more year of college.

So what’s the problem with age 19?  Many players go to college one year then go to the draft.  Now, the players are happy, they can play their one year and if they are good enough, go to the draft.  The college is happy, who cares if the player graduates, they put their year in and help out the team.  So what’s the problem?  Maybe I’m a purist, but it seems to make a mockery of what college really is.  College should not be a developmental league.  At the same time, I’m not naive, I know many athletes in the major sports could care less about graduating, but by having a requirement of only one year, it exaggerates that significantly, in my view.

I’m inclined to have the minimum age at 18.  The only problem is if a player goes out for the draft and does not get drafted, they cannot then go play for the NCAA.  Maybe this should be relaxed.  That way, a player doesn’t have to bank everything on whether they get drafted or not.

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Todd McShay: Early 2010 mock draft

Posted by Chance on May 2, 2009

Todd McShay: Early 2010 mock draft

Posted using ShareThis

Non-insiders such as myself will only be able to see the top 16.

Of note:  (keep in mind the 2009 season hasn’t even started).  Sam Bradford is pegged as the top pick.   A crazy number of predicted draft picks in this list are from OU and Texas.  The top 7 picks are from the Big 12.  OSU is projected to have a number 3 pick, tackle Russel Okung.  I think the last time they had a number 3 pick was Barry Sanders in 1988.

The 2010 draft will absolutely be loaded with quarterbacks.

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Thought on the draft

Posted by Chance on April 27, 2009

It’s scary to think that Josh Freeman of Kansas State was drafted 17th overall as a quarterback, and he wasn’t even the fourth best quarterback in the Big 12. It will be interesting to see how next years draft turns out with McCoy of Texas, Bradford of OU (should he decide to leave school), and Robinson of Oklahoma State.

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Congrats to my wife, bracket champion

Posted by Chance on April 7, 2009

My wife won the CBS NCAA bracket, so congrats to her.  She got a score of 302, getting 46 out of 64 games correct, which is pretty impressive, and she picked North Carolina as the champion.  She beat a bracket full of guys.  Way to represent the women!bracket1

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Should Michael Vick be reinstated?

Posted by Chance on March 26, 2009

Posted in Sports | 2 Comments »

My picks for the Final Four

Posted by Chance on March 19, 2009

ESPN bracket Final Four:

Pitt,  UNC, Wake Forest, Memphis

I have UNC beating Wake Forest

Upsets:

Mississippi State (13) beating Washington (4) in the first round.

Arizona (12) beating Utah (5) in the first round.

Western Kentucky (12 – see mascot below) beating Illinois (5).

What is this thing?

I wish I had educated reasons for picking who I did, but I don’t.  In general, however, picking a #1 seed or #2 seed to win it all is usually a safe bet.  A #3 seed is a safe bet if they have Carmelo Anthony playing for them.  My strategy for the past 3 years has been to pick the Final Four first, then precede from there.  This will work only if the scoring doubles each round (1 pt per game first round, 2 pt second round, 4 pt third round, 8, 16).

As far as picking upsets, usually at least 1 12-seed will beat a 5-seed (for those not familiar with brackets, the seed is the number by each team in the bracket, 1 is the best, 16 is the worst), the only question is which one.  Don’t bother picking a 16-seed or 15-seed winning in the first round, a 16-seed has never won, 15-seeds only 4 times in the history of the 64-team tournament; sure it could happen, but it is very rare, and unless your bracket gives special points for upsets, first round games are not worth that much.

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Cutler: Being a baby or a businessman?

Posted by Chance on March 18, 2009

For those who follow the NFL and/or the Broncos, the quarterback Cutler got his feelings hurt because his coach looked at trading him.  Store Here.

The life of being an NFL player is a world I will never understand.  But I wonder, is Cutler just being a baby, or did the coach blow it by thinking of trading their star quarterback?  On one hand, I could understand not feeling wanted by your team; at the same time I can understand a coach looking at all options in order to determine what is best for your team.

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