Bottom Line on New OT Rules: Win Game in Regulation.

But What About the Gamblers!

NFL Owners have solved the overtime problem.  Not really, of course.  They’ve just tweaked the rules to make everything more fair for both teams.  Actually, that might not be true either.  The team winning the toss still gets the chance to score first and end the game, but they’ll have to score a touchdown to do it.  I don’t really want to detail the entirety of the new rule.  Score a TD and win.  If not, the other team gets the ball. After a possession each, if it is still tied, it becomes sudden death.  So, if that doesn’t give you the general idea, look it up somewhere else.  Oh, and the rules will only go into effect for the post-season.

That’s the first problem I have with the new rule.  They’re going to trot it out in the post-season.  We all know the problems that NFL coaches have with the clock, with basic strategy like two-points, etc.  At least Philly fans know about these problems.  I think the coaches could use the chance at a practice run through this thing.  Obviously, you can’t guarantee overtime, but even if only one game occurred it would give the guys something to look at.  I assume every team will continue to take the ball if they win the toss, but long field goal strategies, things like that could be different.  Should NFL coaches be able to figure this out themselves?  Sure, but that’s giving them a lot of credit.  I’d just hate to see some team fall victim to coaching idiocy in the first use of the new rule, and have their season end.

The other interesting impact could oddly enough be on bettors.  Not that the NFL owners care about such things, (wink, wink) but I think the new rule could exponentially increase the number of awful beats.  Over/Under could be the best example.  There’s nothing like the feeling of having a seven point cushion for the under and watching a game go into overtime.  Now, you’d have to bump that to 10 points.  And, you usually could count on a team only losing by a field goal in overtime.  If you had 3 1/2 points and a game went to overtime you felt good, but now six point wins may be more prevalent.  It also gives you the chance to cover that spread.  My point being, isn’t gambling hard enough?

Anyway, like I said, I don’t have an answer.  It’s just another example of baseball being great.  No clock, nothing to worry about, just tack an extra inning on there.  Football you’re worrying about injuries, ties, fairness, just a complicated mess.  Feel free to share thoughts on the Favre rule.

Is the NBA Off-Season More Interesting than the Regular Season?

Maybe if You Have to Watch this Slop.

This is a serious question.  For the most part.  I know the Sports Guy, who did a running diary on the Bucks/Hawks game, would disagree, but in a city where encountering a Sixers fan seems about as likely as glimpsing Nessie, I have to wonder.  What is the storyline of the Sixers season at this point?  Has there been a Sixers storyline this regular season?  There’s nothing.  The few Sixer fans left have to be waiting for the season to end.  The most important issues facing the Sixers are all off-season issues.   Who is going to be the new coach?  Is the GM also going to be fired.  Is there any way the Sixers could land one of the top players in the Draft?  All these are off-season questions, and are far more interesting than the 82-game regular season horror show.

And, I imagine this is the case in many cities.  I know the Nets race to finish 10-72 will be captivating for us all down the stretch, but aside from that, I don’t know what grabs a casual fan’s attention.  Should I be excited about the final playoff spot in the East?  The Durant vs. LeBron scoring race?  I know this year is an exception to the rule with the free agent class, but a lot of the basketball articles I come across are about the off-season.  Where are these guys going to end up?  Sports Illustrated features an article today that talks about a scenario that could land Kobe with the Knicks.  An interesting prospect, and obviously a bigger story than anything that is happening with Kobe right now with the Lakers.

I’m not making the case against playoff basketball.  Even as a non-fan I can understand that it brings more to the table than off-season intrigue, but what about right now?  What are basketball fans thinking about?  I imagine it’s one of the following…

1.  I can’t wait for the playoffs to start.  I understand this fully.  This is my NHL stance.  I want the playoffs to start, have the Flyers lose, and get it over with.  Now, you could ask the same question I asked above about the NHL, but nothing ever really happens in the NHL off-season, and so the regular season would win by default.  Plus, there’s fights.

2. Who are we going to draft?  There are some impact names in the draft this year.  If I were a Sixers fan,  I’d be hoping for losses and a lottery miracle.  You can’t tell me that if the Sixers get a top-3 pick in the NBA Draft that the speculation and interest leading up to that won’t completely decimate any story we’ve seen from the Sixers regular season. Again, I would challenge you to come up with a Sixers storyline this year, aside from the week long blip when A.I. came back.

3.  Where are the free-agents going?  If you happen to be in New York, Chicago, LA or one of the cities that has cleared cap space for this year’s free-agent crop, well then this has probably been the main story in your mind for at least a year.  But, just speaking from my perspective, I will have an interest in this as well.  I don’t care if LeBron wins the scoring title this season, but I’ll certainly pay attention to where he goes this off-season, especially if it’s not back to Cleveland.

I don’t know.  I could be way off, and I know all leagues except the NFL suffer a lull from the season being too long, but I just find it odd how many stories now (and throughout the year) have been pointed to the off-season in the NBA.

Low Budget Love.

Do. Not. Feed the Zebra.

This post is the perfect union of two commercials and me seeing this picture.  My favorite commercial during the NCAA Tournament has been the one for KFC’s giant chicken nugget.  Have you seen this?  Giant nugget, bun-less sandwich, whatever you want to call it, KFC is selling it.  It’s intriguing.  The picture?  Well, you have to use a picture like this.  No choice.  So, I’m thinking food, I’m thinking about the kinds of food this character would like to crush, and I come upon a commercial for Toaster Strudel.  Personally, I don’t like these ads.  I don’t like anyone taking a shot at Pop Tarts.  Pop Tarts are delicious.  And, that’s when the idea for the post came together.  What are the best budget foods?  What do you crave when you don’t want quality?

1.  Pop Tarts.  Pop Tarts are a great example.  They totally cornered the breakfast pastry market, and then along came these smug bastards at Toaster Strudel.  Oh, we have an icing packet.  We have real fruit.  That’s great.  I’m not interested.  When you eat a Toaster Strudel it tastes like you are eating a really inferior pastry product.  When you eat a Pop Tart, you aren’t comparing it to anything.  It’s just an awesome Pop Tart.  Love it.

2. Velveeta Cheese.  Is this actually cheese?  I don’t know.  It does have some important properties of cheese.  Most notably, it melts beautifully.  How about the role it plays in Mac & Cheese?  Sure you can try to get fancy with some “real” cheeses, but when you want it quick and dirty, there’s Velveeta.  Also, you can combine it with some salsa in the microwave for some instant salsa con gordo.  Try doing that with a block of cheddar.

3.  Tastykakes.  You can fill in any type of ding-dong, ho-ho type product in here.  Personally, I’m a Tastykake person.  Take the chocolate cupcakes for example.  Are these anywhere remotely close to being as good as a homemade dessert?  Absolutely not, but homemade dessert doesn’t come around every bend.  And, I think this is where the ghetto packaging comes into play.  The flimsy cardboard it’s sitting on, trying to keep the icing from sticking to the wrapper.  It’s all good.

4.  Canister Rolls.  I’m thinking almost any Pillsbury product here.  You know, the Grands family, Crescent Rolls, that kind of thing.  First of all, any fake croissant that is called a Crescent roll?  I’m on board.  But again, bakery fresh rolls would be amazing, but if you get down to business and all that is on the table is a basket full of Pillsbury?  I’m going in for a handful.

5.  Ellio’s Pizza.  Now, I’ve mentioned Ellio’s before, and it’s actually been a long time since I’ve had any Ellio’s, but it’s the godfather of this category.  Ellio’s, of course, is not pizza.  It’s Ellio’s.  I was always fascinated that it came in frozen perforated sheets.  Breaking off a slice of frozen Ellio’s was always dicey.  The “crust” had a distinct gummy texture, the toppings were suspect, but I’m serious about this…when I was a kid I would get pretty excited for some Ellio’s.  So, I’m keeping it on the list.

Feel free to chime in.  I feel like Cool Whip (or Cool Hwhip as Stewie says) might be a good one, but I don’t really eat that.  There’s probably some beverages too.  In my Ellio’s days I used to run through a scary amount of Tang, but that’s a whole other story.