Super Bowl Predictions: No Logic Allowed

Odds are you have been watching a ton of Super Bowl coverage the last two weeks; watching talking heads deliver information about what they think are the keys to the game. By now you’ve probably got your bets, if you’re the type, in, but if you’re stuck on some decisions, have no fear for I am here. Without further ado and wasted words here are my musings on some of the available bets. 

Disclaimer: I am in no way an expert and I am going to use no logic to make these decisions, so listen to me and I guarantee you’ll win.**

**Not a real guarantee. 

Will the national anthem be over/under 2:10? We live in a country that bets absurd amounts of money on our National Anthem. Seriously, we’re all degenerates. We bet $94,000,000 on last years game and that only includes legal sports books. Three countries had lower GDP’s in 2011. Just wanted to point that out. Take the under. 

Will the coin flip be heads or tails? I couldn’t figure out what I could do to make a prediction here, so I flipped a coin. It was heads.

Which team will win the coin flip? Joe Flacco will be standing in the vicinity of the flip, so even if Baltimore wins, they really lose. 

Which team will score first? The team who scores first wins a certain percentage of the time, so you can see how important scoring first is. Colin Kaepernick has a pet turtle, and if there’s one thing turtles are known for it’s starting fast. Sounds like money in the bank to me. Go with San Francisco here.

Which player will score the first touchdown? Uhhh somehow the dummies over at Bovada have Ray Lewis listed at 50-1, and don’t even act like there is a chance somebody else is scoring that first TD.

Which player will record the first reception of the game? Not sure how this happened, but Ray Lewis got left of this list. They must mean besides him. If that is the case then you would be dumb to not take the greatest receiver to ever to play the 49ers. Delanie Walker. That guy has to kick so much ass when he is bored.

How many yards will Joe Flacco throw for? The number on this one is 250 yards. It doesn’t really say whether or not this number includes yards thrown for by his eyebrow, so I’m going to assume it does. Definitely going to be over.

How many touchdowns will Colin Kaepernick throw? The number is 1.5 touchdowns, but you have to remember this guy has a huge pet turtle AND half sleeve tattoos. Total badass. Over.

How many total tackles and assists will Ray Lewis have? I wasn’t sure which way to go on this one and then I realized the number was 11.5 and not 111.5. We’re going to win so much money, you guys.

How long will Frank Gore’s longest rush be? Well the number is 17.5 and I’m pretty sure Frank Gore can’t run that far without getting really tired, so I’d definitely take the under.

Will Randy Moss score a touchdown? Yes, Randy Moss will score a touchdown. Randy Moss will score a hundred touchdowns. Yup, a hundred.

How long will the post game handshake last between the Harbaugh brothers? It didn’t say anything about the bare knuckle boxing match those two are going to have after the game, but I think they are using the common knowledge that Harbaughs shake hands by fighting each other. I’ve got John in a slugfest that lasts way longer then the six seconds Bovada thinks it will last. 

Will Jay-Z be shown on television during the game? My inside sources are telling me that Jay-Z is going to kick the first PAT of the game for Baltimore, so yeah I’d say he’s going to get shown on TV.

Will any player get an excessive celebration penalty? Help us all if Ray Lewis actually gets his hands on the football during this game. There aren’t enough flags in the world to stop that man from dancing his deer antler infused heart out. But yeah, this will happen.

What color Gatorade will be dumped on the winning team’s coach? Yeah, like the Harbaughs let their players drink anything but water. C’mon Vegas, give me a challenge here.

How many times will Ray Lewis say God/Lord during his post game interview? The number here is 3. lol.

How many total points will be scored? I don’t even need to look up the number for this one. Under.

Who will win the game? Here were are. The most important prediction of the evening! Who is it gonna be? San Francisco is currently favored by four right now and what this game is really going to come down to is which team scores more points. That’s how you win and that’s football. Take the Ravens to win and Ray Lewis to win the MVP, because that’s just how these things work.

Enjoy all of your winnings!

 

 

 

Titus Young: I Can’t Believe I Just Wrote This.

Welp, my re-arrival to the 1-3-1 Sports team has come a day early. Lucky you.

I was just working on some Super Bowl musings (Was my original plan of re-arriving) when I stumbled across the quote, “Titus Young can’t be traded,” or something like that. Don’t quote me. It was a tweet from Dave Birkett, go look it up for yourself if you need all of the facts. (@davebirkett) Man, I am a journalistic integrity machine.

Anyways, I read that and thought, “Hm. I’ve been hearing this a lot lately, and I don’t think I agree with it.” So, I decided to sort of analyze this statement from a statistical standpoint. (I get it, it’s the off field stuff. I’ll get there.)

The theory was simple enough, a 7th round draft pick is presumably the least valuable player (or soon to be player) that Titus Young could be traded for. An average 7th round pick is worth about nine points according to the NFL Draft Point Value Chart. (Pictured below) I realize no-name practice players could be considered less valuable than 7th round picks, and there could be an argument there, but it would be arguing over semantics at that point.

Image

(neat point chart!)

So, the common thought about Titus Young is that he is untradeable and any value he had was squashed to bits when he went on his Twitter and dared the Lions to cut him. (I wish I could link to this, but I can’t figure it out on this fancy new system we’re using.) By saying this (Young is untradeable) people are saying they would rather draft a player in the 7th round than have Titus Young on their team. It is a fair statement to make, and most people probably agree with it because nobody wants a diva receiver who seems to make more trouble than plays. I, (again) lucky for you, am here to argue that point.

To start I went back and looked at the 7th round (including all compensatory picks) of the last two drafts and I picked out all of the receivers that were taken and what their career stats were.  Next, I looked up Titus Young’s career stats and I compared them. The results for this were as follows.

2012 NFL Draft – Five receivers taken in the 7th round. 15 catches for 195 yards.

2011 NFL Draft – Four receivers taken in the 7th round. 19 catches for 215 yards and one touchdown.

7th round receivers total – 34 catches for 410 yards and one touchdown.

Titus Young Sr. (lol…sr.) – 81 catches for 990 yards and ten touchdowns.

Obviously, the numbers aren’t even close, and I didn’t expect them to be. I also don’t think this a totally fair data set either. Young was a 2nd round pick so a pretty high level of production is expected. To counter this I added another draft.

2010 NFL draft – Three receivers taken in the 7th round. 20 catches for 208 yards. I must also note that Marc Mariani was taken in the 7th round of this draft and has three career return touchdowns for Tennessee.

New 7th rounders total – 54 catches 618 yards and four total touchdowns, three of which came from one guy on punt/kick returns.

Young’s unchanged totals – 81 catches for 990 yards and ten touchdowns

Still. Not. Close.

I then decided I would do this until the 7th round players actually passed Young’s numbers. It didn’t take long, because next up was the 2009 NFL draft, which I am now declaring the greatest 7th round for receivers ever. Eight receivers were taken in the round, highlighted by Julian Edelman and Sammie Stroughter (Don’t google him, he’s on Tampa Bay). Edelman’s career numbers (four seasons) are 69 catches for 714 yards and four touchdowns. He also does a good bit of returning and has three career return touchdowns. Stroughter came in with a 60-639-1 line, which, you know, isn’t really awful. The other six receivers combined for 39 catches for about 500 yards and two touchdowns. This has all been done over four seasons, mind you.

So, it’s pretty safe to say that Edelman is the best 7th round receiver in this group and in four seasons he isn’t really close to the numbers Young put up in a season and a half. Outside of Edelman only Stroughter and Mariani have provided much of anything to their teams. Three total players out of the twenty that were picked. 15%.

We’re almost there.

“Okay, so Young has better numbers than a bumbling group of 7th rounders, what about the off the field stuff? That is the root of all of this.”

Yes, he is a diva and a child, there’s no denying that. But he can (and for his sake, hopefully will) grow up. An organization with a “good locker room” and strong veteran presence could be really great for Young (Think of what Ray Lewis and Anquan Boldin would have done to him this season). Obviously this would be an ideal situation for Young to land in.

Let’s say he doesn’t go to a good place and he continues on the same path he has for his first two seasons. Even with all of his off field issues, Young played in 26 of his first 32 games, or 81%. So he was unavailable and useless 19% of the time. Remember that group of 7th round guys? Well seven of those 20 had/have zero career offensive statistics. 35%. Titus got you nothing 19% of the time, 7th round receivers got you nothing 35% of the time and that’s not including the large chunk of players with super minimal production (one career catch, three career catches, etc.) Even with all of his off the field issues, he is way more reliable than your average 7th round receiver.

So, what’s the point of all this? Titus Young smashes the 7th rounders in stats, and while I expected their to be a very sizable gap between the two, I didn’t realize quite how big it would be. Three full rounds of receivers didn’t come close to Young’s numbers, so from that standpoint it would make sense to give up three seventh round picks for Titus Young. Hardly “untradeable”.

His off the field issues make him a tough sell, but the numbers (they never lie right?) show that he is almost two times more reliable to be on the field producing than a 7th round receiver is. If you would have a problem paying 2nd round money for a risk, then I totally understand, but he could be worth the risk for a bold GM out there.

Well I was going to wrap everything up and make a final point, but I just realized I researched and wrote a way too long piece for the sole purpose of arguing that Titus Young has no value as trade bait, because I got annoyed by a few quotes by irresponsible commenters. I let the words of others get to me and I’m truly disappointed in myself. I don’t even like Titus Young. What the hell?

Here’s my new final point. Titus Young + change of scenery = good. 7th round draft pick = bad. I would give up a 7th round pick for him and I would have done it yesterday.

Bye.

___________________________________________________________________

Author: Burt Reynolds, or something

Who in the Hell Decided on the Paul Bunyan Trophy?

Tomorrow, two football teams will take the field in Ann Arbor, MI and wage a battle for one of the most abominable-looking trophies in all of sports. Those two teams are the University of Michigan Wolverines and the Michigan State Spartans, and that trophy is the Paul Bunyan Trophy (not to be confused with Paul Bunyan’s Axe, the ill-conceived replacement reward for the winner of the Minnesota/Wisconsin game, which replaced the apparently outmoded, but nonetheless fantastic, Slab of Bacon they used to play for).

Make no mistake about it – this is a rivalry game for both teams, regardless of what some Michigan fans may say otherwise. Yes, Ohio State is a more loathed (and respected) rival, but that doesn’t take away from the ferocity and barbarity on display between fans and players when these two in-state adversaries meet on the gridiron.

Through my experiences in the rivalry, I can say that the fan bases from each respective school love nothing more than to make sweeping generalizations about each other. Michigan fans seem to believe Michigan State fans and the school itself both have an inferiority complex, and wish so desperately that they could be as cool as the University of Michigan and their fans. In perfect contrast, Michigan State fans tend to believe that Michigan fans and the school itself could not be more pompous and full of egocentrism, like the over-confident popular kid in high school. I’m of the belief that both of these widely-held viewpoints hold some validity; however, to say that they are representative of even a majority of the fan base of either side would be a gross hyperbole. The whole “Little Brother” fiasco is a perfect example of this.

I’m not going to beat around the bush or try to hide my affiliation; I am a University of Michigan alumnus. Thus, I do get a kick out of referring to Michigan State University as little brother, but only because of how bent out of shape Spartans get when I do this. It’s just like what they teach you in elementary school as a kid – when someone teases you, if you react strongly, they’re going to keep doing it to get on your nerves. When you learn how to ignore it and show them that it no longer bothers you, then odds are they will stop doing it. Another potentially effective method is to win four consecutive games in the rivalry.

In any of the most recent football-related tete-a-tetes between fans from these schools, the Spartan representative is almost certainly going to bring up the last four years. A young, naive Wolverine will inevitably resort to one of two responses – (A) Highlighting the prestigious history of the University of Michigan football program, or (B) Belittling Michigan State academics and the students who attend the university. It’s identical to the “Little Brother” theory, but is achieved simply as a result of a different mechanism. Michigan fans are unnecessarily embarrassed about losing to Michigan State in football 4 years running now, so they get defensive and resort to desperation; it’s just silly. Michigan State had a better football team than Michigan in 2008, 2009, and 2010, and they outplayed an evenly matched Michigan team in 2011 – it’s really that simple. The best thing to do as a Michigan fan right now is to stop rubbing salt in your own wound and focus on forward-thinking, i.e. what’s going to happen this year?

Brady Hoke is undefeated at home as Michigan’s head football coach. Unlike the past 4 years, Michigan is back to having a better, more athletic football team this year than Michigan State. Michigan is coming off two blowout victories and Michigan State just suffered a heartbreaking overtime loss to Iowa on their homecoming weekend. The majority of sportsbooks in Vegas are giving the Spartans 10 points. All signs point to Michigan finally ending the streak.

Nevertheless, signs have been wrong before in sports. All you have to do is take one look at the Cleveland Indians from back in the day – who would have thought in mid-July of that fateful year that Ricky Vaughn, Willie Mayes Hayes, and Pedro Cerrano would lead the Tribe to the postseason? But, I digress. I’m going to be cheering on the Wolverines as vigorously as possible come 3:30 PM on Saturday, and I hope for my own personal sanity that they are able to finally put this thing to bed, so I can stop hearing the conveniently arbitrary number of days since Michigan last won a game in the series.