During halftime of NBC’s weekly Sunday Night Football broadcasts, Bob Costas has a few moments to make an editorial comment about issues in the game and even issues that affect the wider, non-sports world. In the past, maybe his highest profile comments have concerned gun violence:
If you’ve been keeping up with the first blush of the 2013-2014 NBA season, perhaps you’ve noticed a new emphasis on statistics in the media’s and your friends’ discussions about the game. This is no small change from the Jordan/Kobe shouting matches of, um, three weeks ago? From the “Goldsberry’s Graphics” showcased on Bill and Jalen’s 2013 NBA Preview on Grantland to the amazing analysis highlighted on Deadspin’s new (as of early October 2013) Regressing blog, basketball is having a statistical moment this year and it has made the game even more fascinating. Although you really owe it to yourself to dig in and get acquainted with the real gears and wheels of the NBA, start with the shooting charts for LeBron James and Steph Curry, courtesy of Kirk Goldsberry and Grantland. Geographical shooting percentages were always something we’ve talked about, but seeing them laid out like this really is a revelation. So you know what you’re looking at: red is good and green is bad.
We made it through a subdued Thursday night Halloween in the ALTTAB Dome and by far the best thing to come of the 2013 night of a thousand terrors was this near-perfect Ron Burgundy impression by Boise sportscaster Paul Gerke (University of Michigan – Flint Class of 2010; feel old everyone). He crushes it so hard I actually felt a little bad for the other newscasters at the end. I’d imagine Gerke won’t be long for Boise-area news.
So, Internet, I recently started getting into gymnastics. There. I said it. It’s out. Make fun of me later. You really need to watch this first:
The NBA is back! The Miami Heat got their rings on opening night and went on to pretty much dominate the Chicago Bulls, though the final score of 107-95 makes it seem a little bit closer than it actually was. Derrick Rose looked, um, pretty good? On the TNT broadcast, we were treated to 30 airings of the same three LeBron James commercials which led to the following burning question: “Why was LeBron struggling so much to do push ups with his little son on his back?” In game two of the double header, the Lake Show, or whatever group of castoffs is standing in for this year’s Lake Show, took on their roommates the Clippers. Kobe was in a black-on-black-on-black mamba suit at the end of the bench and for whatever reason (fear? ennui? nickyoungus iwanttostabiate?) it reminded us of last year’s fantastic Kobe System ads for Nike. The Lakers look like they’re in for a long season as I write this (halftime, down 63-55, Nick Young looking like we all feared he’d be) so here’s to Kobe– and the rest of the NBA, WELCOME BACK!– hoping he gets better and eventually makes Nick Young apologize to Kanye West for wasting two million dollars of his time.
Despite the fact that Game 5 of the World Series was going on at the same time in the same city, the NFL and Monday Night Football soldiered on regardless, and served up a dog fart of a game between the Seahawks and Rams, which the Seahawks won, 14-9. Though maybe nothing could be quite as jaw-clenchingly pedestrian as the Giants’ five field goal “win” over the Eagles on Sunday, these two teams made an honest go of it, putting together some of the best strings of consecutive penalties that we’re liable to see all year. Although the last minute or so was pretty exciting– as the Rams suddenly discovered a run game and made it to a fourth and goal with four seconds left to score the winning touchdown, before calling a final (and unsuccessful) no-back set pass play seeming designed to take advantage of backup quarterback Kellen Clemens’ (at the time of the play call) 15-30 /158 yard / 2 INT performance that night– the most notable part of the game the morning after was the same thing that led the late edition of Sports Center: Golden Tate tauting Rodney McLeod as Tate was on his way to scoring his second touchdown of the night. As taunting goes, it was incisive and effective. Have a look:
Kyrie Irving has another Uncle Drew ad for Pepsi out today.
As I assume most readers of ALTTAB are aware, the St. Louis Cardinals beat the Pittsburgh Pirates on Wednesday to advance to the National League Championship Series. This is nothing new for the Cardinals, as they have advanced as least this far in eight of the past 13 seasons. That’s some serious, and consistent, success. In response to the Cardinals advancing, Deadspin’s Drew Magary penned a very Magary-ian open letter to Cardinals fans. In precisely the same trolling vein as his Why Your Team Sucks NFL editions, Drew ripped the Cardinals a new one in a very rare baseball edition of Why Your Team Sucks. Behold, some choice gems:
The Cardinals are fucking awful. They are Tim Tebow in baseball organization form. They are a church casserole made out of cream of mushroom soup and Minute Rice. They are a horrible family staring at a Norman Rockwell painting of itself. It’s no coincidence that sabermetric punching bag David Eckstein spent a few years playing for the Cardinals, because no team in any sport puffs up its grittiness credentials quite like this one.
The NHL is back, this time in the much preferred “82-game season” version. “Who cares?” you might say, “I have 11 games left in the NFL regular season to try and make a comeback in my fantasy football league. I can’t be bothered with other sports!”
Well sir, A 19-year old rookie for the San Jose Sharks might change your mind after you watch the fourth goal (yes fourth – that’s a “hat trick” plus one) he scored on the New York Rangers last night.