Fractured Friday

Poutine is always good, routine not so much.

 

That (bad) joke notwithstanding, I am struggling to fill the void left by the completion of my computer football season. I don’t think I would want a season so long that it took 9-10 months to complete, but for five months looking forward to a game or two gave me some focus. I really want to show league leaders from the recently completed season. What the hell, it’s my blog.

 

RUSHING

Jonathan Taylor, Toronto: 401 Carries, 2000 Yards, 20 TD

Lamar Jackson, New York Atlantics: 212 Carries, 1233 Yards, 9 TD

Nick Chubb, Detroit: 247 Carries, 1212 Yards, 10 TD

PASSING

Joe Burrow, Texas: 573 Attempts, 74.3 Comp Pct, 13.1 TD Pct (yes, Burrow threw 75 TD passes), 1.9 Int Pct, 11.68 Avg Gain/Att, 144.3 Passer Rating

Justin Herbert, Phoenix: 486 Att, 68.9 Comp Pct, 7.8 TD Pct, 1.2 Int Pct, 8.56 Avg Gain/Att, 116.1 Passer Rating

Aaron Rodgers, Seattle: 562 Att, 66.5 Comp Pct, 7.5 TD Pct, 1.4 Int Pct, 8.15 Avg Gain/Att, 110.5 Passer Rating

The four statistics that comprise the NFL passer rating system are completion percentage, touchdown percentage, interception percentage and average yards per pass attempt. The last of those four is actually the most “important” in terms of correlating with scoring points and winning games.

RECEIVING

Tyreek Hill, Boston: 115 Receptions, 1235 Yards, 10 TD

Justin Jefferson, Houston: 110 Rec, 1708 Yards, 13 TD

Cooper Kupp, Texas: 105 Rec, 2049 Yards, 22 TD

SACKS

Nick Bosa, Baltimore: 19

Trey Hendrickson, Las Vegas: 14

Five Players Tied With 12

INTERCEPTIONS

J.C. Jackson, Phoenix: 10

Casey Hayward, Houston: 8

Jordan Poyer, Toronto: 8

 

Not surprisingly, Texas kicker Justin Tucker led the league in scoring with 178 points. The Tornadoes scored 97 touchdowns in 18 regular season games; Tucker was 97-for-97 on extra points and 27-for-28 on field goal attempts. Jonathan Taylor was the leading scorer among non-kickers with 134 points: 22 touchdowns (20 rushing, 2 receiving) and one two-point conversion.

I feel better and I’ll stop here.

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A couple of links to posts from Why Evolution Is True:

 

An Academic Freedom Declaration

I don’t think this is a harbinger of a return to common sense, but one can hope.

Debate the way it should be

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My wonderful wife sent me these:

 

A Jewish grandmother is giving directions to her grown grandson who is coming to visit with his wife. “You come to the front door of the apartment. I am in apartment 301 . There is a big panel at the front door. With your elbow, push button 301. I will buzz you in. Come inside, the elevator is on the right. Get in, and with your elbow, push 3. When you get out, I’m on the left. With your elbow, hit my doorbell.”

“Grandma, that sounds easy, but, why am I hitting all these buttons with my elbow?

“What…You’re coming empty handed?”

 

 

“Football is NOT a contact sport, it is a collision sport. Dancing IS
a contact sport.”
– Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State

Ohio State’s Urban Meyer on one of his players:
“He doesn’t know the meaning of the word fear. In fact, I just saw his
grades and he doesn’t know the meaning of a lot of words.”

“Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble the
football”…
– John Heisman, first football coach at Rice

“We didn’t tackle well today, but we made up for it by not blocking.”
– John McKay / USC

 

McKay was also the first coach of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. They lost their first 26 regular season games (0-14 in 1976, lost the first 12 in 1977). Once when asked what he thought of his team’s execution, McKay replied, “I’m all for it.” I think today’s head coaches, especially in the NFL, are utterly devoid of humor.

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In light of my entry into the world of Mustangs, I thought it appropriate to share this link and this picture.

 

 

This recent Autopolis piece is titled, “2024 Ford Mustang – The American Muscle Car Survives For Now.” Here are a couple of excerpts:

 

“The Mustang could carry on in its gasoline powered form indefinitely. If only as a low volume halo heritage car in some electric/hydrogen future. Its sales for now continue to be high as it is an aspirational car not just for America, but all over the world. It’s rare that any American car is wanted on almost every continent.”

“For now the Mustang continues to be an attractive sports car that has changed and adapted to make itself desirable across borders and cultures. No wonder it will be the last traditional American muscle car standing.”

 

FoMoCo is the only one of the American Big Three automakers who is still allowing choice for dealers and customers, at least for now. The other two are telling us that in the near future if we want to buy a new vehicle from them it will have to be electric. Where can I get off the carousel of nonsense?

 

#FracturedFriday

#ComputerFootballSeason

#2024FordMustang

#CarouselOfNonsense

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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A Minute Can Make A Difference

For August, September and October I averaged a shade over 4 miles an hour on my treadmill workouts. That is, of course, a mile about every 15 minutes. (I also averaged a bit more than 60 minutes per workout.)

It seemed as though at that pace I was pushing myself to the limits of my durability. As the calendar turned to November, I decided to change the pace to a mile about every 16 minutes. I don’t like to extrapolate from a sample size of one, but yesterday’s workout was a relative “piece of cake” by comparison.

Of course, if I hadn’t pushed myself the previous three months then yesterday’s exercise would almost certainly not have been as easy. I may still have to mix in a few workouts averaging a mile every 15 minutes. Still, as I am not training for any competitive event, just trying to stay in shape, I think 4.1 miles in 64 minutes (all uphill), as I did yesterday, will do the trick if I stay on my (almost) every other day schedule.

There is NO substitute for regular exercise. No pill, no diet, no surgery can provide the same benefits. Among all “wealthy” nations, US citizens exercise the least, by far. All US citizens pay the price.

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Even though the game was tied 14-all at halftime, yesterday’s computer football league championship game was, indeed, an anti-climax after the incredible “NFC” championship.

After committing five turnovers in the conference championship, Texas began the game by driving 50 yards and then losing a fumble at the Las Vegas 25-yard line. The teams traded touchdowns to reach the aforementioned 14-14 halftime score.

On Texas’ first possession of the second half, Joe Burrow threw an interception. Despite starting the ensuing possession in the red zone, Las Vegas could only get a field goal.

The game turned from there. On 1st-and-10 from its own 25-yard line, I called the favored play: a bomb to Cooper Kupp. The computer put Las Vegas’ defense into keying a run, not a pass, and played zone coverage. 75 yards later Texas had regained the lead and would never look back.

Las Vegas turned the ball over on its next two possessions, which Texas turned into 10 points and a 31-17 lead. In the fourth quarter, the Tornadoes kept the ball for almost nine minutes on a drive and added a field goal to finish the scoring and win the championship game 34-17. (This was the same margin by which “NFC” championship loser Phoenix had defeated Las Vegas during the regular season, although that score was 27-10.)

The Lightning committed four turnovers, three in the second half. The one thing the Texas defense did well, rushing the passer, manifested itself in five sacks of Josh Allen. Just like he was in the real Super Bowl in February, 2022, the computer named Cooper Kupp MVP of this championship game. He was targeted 10 times, catching 8 passes for 202 yards, 3 touchdowns and, just as important, 7 first downs.

Just like that, five months of computer football games are over. I am a little down over the end of the season.

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A week from today, the US mid-term elections will be a thing of the past. For that, I will be grateful. The vile, vitriolic political ads turn my stomach, even though I almost always mute the sound.

Arizona is a most polarized place with the candidates for both parties sounding like they’re from different planets. I have been criticized for not voting. My answer is always that I have no one to vote for. Neither party speaks to me; neither party speaks for me. I am not going to offer my views on any particular issues, certainly not in this blog post. I will only write once again, the only solution is dissolution.

 

#AMinuteCanMakeADifference

#ComputerFootballSeason

#TheOnlySolutionIsDissolution

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Slow Sunday

We have endured some “sub-optimal” events over the past few days, details unnecessary, but those events are why I haven’t posted in two of the last three days.

Not one of those events, but the practitioners at the Mayo Clinic who supervise some of my medical care have informed me that, despite my history in a certain system, all of my testing is good. That’s good news, I guess, but part of me thinks that if I exhale and think I’m OK that I will be struck down.

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I have been a Capital One customer for at least 15 years. Soon, I will no longer be. They have been cheating me out of interest as my savings accounts are in “old” products earning next to nothing even though they have accounts that pay the current market rates.

Yes, I deserve some of the blame for not monitoring my accounts more closely, but you’d think that for a long-time customer they might show me the courtesy of telling me about the newer products, especially since both joint savings accounts are the newer type. I once had an IRA with a bank that was paying 9% per year. Of course, when interest rates dropped they tried to get me into other “investments.” Obviously, I did not, but I did transfer that money out of that bank as soon as the term was completed.

A problem with totally disengaging from Capital One is that my credit file has been frozen for more than five years, my primary credit card is a Capital One product and to open a credit card account with another bank means I have to un-freeze my credit file, even if just temporarily. We froze our credit files after the Equifax data breach in September, 2017.

In addition, much of my banking and purchasing activity is “linked” to Capital One. I will go through the slog of changing these links, but it’s not an easy process. Banks talk about deposits being “sticky” meaning that once a customer has been with a bank for awhile, they are very unlikely to make a change. I will do it, though, as the only real choice a consumer has is to change vendors if dissatisfied. A customer can complain incessantly, but the majority of companies no longer feel that good customer service is necessary.

Shame On Capital One!

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OK, time for recaps of my computer football season playoffs. In the last game of the first round, Phoenix overcame a slow start (trailing 14-7 at the end of the first quarter) and pulled away from New York 34-24. The Atlantics–this New York team’s nickname, the other team was called the Dragons–scored a garbage time TD with less than a minute left to make the final score closer than the game really was. The Gilas–Phoenix’s team name–intercepted FIVE New York passes, which is consistent with their excellent pass defense. During the regular season, they allowed the fewest passing yards, the lowest opponents passer rating and intercepted the most passes.

In the championship game for the conference I called the AFC, the Las Vegas Lightning–with a regular season record of 9-9–played at the Toronto Argonauts, who were 15-3, the only team in the conference with a winning record. Toronto won the regular season meeting 27-20.

The Argos’ defense completely shut down the Las Vegas running game, which had finished sixth in rushing yards and second in average yards per carry during the regular season–but Argonauts’ quarterback Davis Mills turned back into a pumpkin and Las Vegas throttled star Toronto running back Jonathan Taylor. A 9-9 team is going to the league championship as Las Vegas upset Toronto 12-9.

During the regular season, Mills had a passer rating of 110.4 in 442 attempts with just four interceptions. In two playoff games, he threw four interceptions in 72 attempts on his way to a 69.0 passer rating. With Micah Parsons, Trey Hendrickson and Emmanuel Ogbah, Las Vegas can rush the passer. Toronto’s offensive line is much better at run blocking than pass blocking and the result was Mills being sacked seven times.

Only two games remain: the NFC Championship between 14-4 Phoenix and 17-1 Texas and that winner plays Las Vegas for the championship. Phoenix and Texas played during the regular season, but the game was meaningless as both teams’ playoff seeds were set. I rested many regulars for both teams; Texas won 16-13 in overtime.

Phoenix-Texas is a great matchup as the former has the league’s best pass defense (already noted) and the latter has the league’s best passing attack. Behind Joe Burrow and “The Big Three” receivers (Cooper Kupp, JaMarr Chase and Mark Andrews) the Tornadoes averaged 374 passing yards per game and Burrow compiled a ridiculous 144.3 passer rating. Phoenix allowed a 57.3 passer rating.

I know the purpose of any athletic season is to crown a champion, but I will be a bit sad when the season ends. It gave me something interesting to do for five months.

Thanks for indulging my interest in computer football. You won’t have to read about it much longer.

 

#SlowSunday

#ShameOnCapitalOne

#ComputerFootballSeason

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Wandering Wednesday

This is not a recent comment, but seems relevant in light of recent events. The remark was made by Alecia Beth Moore, better known to the world as Pink or P!nk. She tweeted more than a decade ago, “Kanye West is the biggest piece of shit on earth. Quote me.” I’m just doing what she asked…

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My daily computer football league playoff game was really a tale of two games. The Los Angeles Cobras scored 23 second-quarter points to take a 23-21 halftime lead over the Texas Tornadoes. LA was the only team to defeat Texas during the regular season and the score was 46-44; the first half of the playoff game seemed like a repeat of the regular season game would occur.

However, LA did not move the ball well in the second half. Matthew Stafford, the Cobras’ quarterback, had very little success after halftime and threw two interceptions to boot. Texas QB Joe Burrow did not have a great game, either, also throwing two interceptions, but both were in the first half. After an otherworldly 144.3 passer rating in 573 regular season attempts, Burrow’s rating for the playoff game was just 90.9. (The real NFL record for single-season passer rating is 122.5 by Aaron Rodgers in 2011. Of course, adjusted for league averages I don’t know what the best performance is.)

The Tornadoes just kept grinding out yardage in the running game (Damien Harris had 129 yards rushing on 20 carries) and made enough completions in the passing game to keep moving the ball and adding points, mainly Justin Tucker field goals. Texas’ defensive lineman Dean Lowry had two huge fourth-quarter sacks of Stafford and Texas advanced, winning 40-26.

Just five playoff games remain and it is exceedingly likely I will write about all of them. In many ways, this most recent season was the most enjoyable of any computer or table-top season I have ever played. Unlike most of my seasons, where–for some reason–the majority of games were decided by 10 points or more, nearly half of the games were decided by one score (8 or fewer points). Of course, in the real NFL more than half of the games are one-score games.

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My long-time friend Vin, we met in graduate school and have known each other for 40 years (wow, we’re getting old), graciously sent some photos he recently took at a local car show (local for him, not for me). Here are two of them:

 

 

Can’t go wrong with any Hawk from Studebaker and a C6 Corvette, in Red no less. Part of me still wants to buy a Studebaker Gran Turismo Hawk (shown below), but I worry about maintenance and safety.

 

 

If anyone wants to offer an opinion on a potential purchase of a Gran Turismo Hawk, as opposed to a Pontiac Solstice GXP, I would like to read it. Thanks. Oh, “buy both” is not an option, at least not at any time in the near future.

 

#WanderingWednesday

#FuckKanyeWest

#ComputerFootballSeason

#StudebakerGranTurismoHawk

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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It’s Not Important Unless It Is

I think it unwise to define everything that one doesn’t care about or doesn’t understand as being unimportant AND still think that they understand everything that is important. To me, that is the definition of ignorant.

Anyway…I’m sure this is not important in the grand scheme of things (whatever that means), but it’s important to me. I began the playoffs for my computer football league yesterday. AFC Wild Card Buffalo, 8-9-1 after starting the season 0-5, played at the only team in the conference with a winning record, 15-3 Toronto.

After three quarters the score was Buffalo-16, Toronto-7. Toronto quarterback Davis Mills, after throwing just four interceptions the entire regular season, threw three in the first three quarters. Add that to Buffalo blocking a Toronto punt and it was only the stellar Toronto defense that kept the game close.

Buffalo continued to struggle to move the ball; half of their offensive output for the game came on two long catch-and-run plays. Toronto kicked a field goal with about 8 minutes left to cut the lead to 16-10.

The Argonauts (what else could I call a Toronto football team?!) intercepted Jacoby Brissett with a little over 5 minutes left on their own 24-yard line. Of course, a Buffalo score of any kind at that point would almost certainly have doomed Toronto. The Argos methodically drove down the field and Mills threw a 6-yard touchdown pass to Amon-Ra St. Brown with 28 seconds left. Ka’imi Fairbairn made the extra point, not a given with him, and Toronto escaped with a 17-16 win.

Being in the same division the two teams had played twice in the regular season. Toronto won both, but by the same relatively small margin both times: 16-10 and 26-20.

The game, which took only about an hour (I don’t have to pause for commercials and halftime), was very exciting to me. Yes, I know it was not a real game, but watching the game unfold in such a manner is the reason I enjoy these simulations.

Only six playoff games remain before the season comes to an end. I will not play more than one playoff game in a day. As I have written more than once, I have lived most of my life in my head and not in the real world, per se.

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As 2022 comes down to its last 60+ days I decided to submit a question to WordPress help about whether or not the Classic Editor would still be available in 2023. Granted, this answer came from a “Help Engineer” and not someone making the decision, but the reply I received was, “There are no current plans to retire the Classic Editor.” You guys may be stuck with me a little longer.

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More football…as of yesterday the Over/Under for the Iowa-Northwestern college football game was 31.5 points. A person can bet on the combined point total of the two teams. If I bet the “Under” on this game then I think the total score will have 31 or fewer points.

Why am I mentioning this? As far as anyone can tell, it is the lowest Over/Under line for any college football game ever. In its first 7 games, Iowa has scored 98 points or 14 per game. Northwestern, after its “upset” win over Nebraska in the season opener with the Huskers defense coached by–at the time–the worst defensive coordinator in major college football, has lost 6 consecutive games scoring a total of just 99 points. I don’t think I will watch this game.

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Although I think the Saturn Sky is a slightly better looking car than the Pontiac Solstice (and they are the same car under the skin), I am now leaning towards buying a Solstice if/when the conditions are right. Why? I have a long history with Pontiac and none with Saturn.

Remember that my first car was a 1967 Pontiac GTO (pictures unnecessary as they have been shown often) and the car I have owned the longest, nine years, was a 1995 Pontiac Grand Prix. Just as the pull of the first family car I remember, a 1956 Buick Century, as well as the fact that the car was built in the country where my parents were born led me to buy a Buick Cascada, at this point in my life personal connections matter at least as much to me in buying a car as the car’s specs. Different strokes for different folks, DSFDF.

 

2008 Pontiac Solstice GXP Convertible | T20 | Kissimmee Summer Special 2020

 

By the way, specs still matter, which is why I would only buy a Solstice GXP, the turbocharged version.

 

#It’sNotImportantUnlessItIs

#ComputerFootballSeason

#SaveTheClassicEditor!

#SkyvsSolstice

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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You Wouldn’t Believe…

How much Hewlett-Packard (HP) charges for a set of cartridges for a simple inkjet printer! My OfficeJet Pro 8710 needed new color cartridges so I installed a set of non-factory replacements I bought awhile ago. Guess what? They didn’t work; the printer detected they were not factory HP parts and wouldn’t operate.

The lowest amount I could find online for four factory HP 952XL cartridges (three color plus black) was $170! I decided to roll the dice and buy another set of non-factory cartridges that are “guaranteed” to work for a third of that price.

Of course, I can buy a new printer for $100. If the non-factory cartridges don’t work, I will probably buy a new printer and you can be damn sure it won’t be an HP.

Would you believe that HP makes you create an account and download their “app” before you can do something simple like scan a document?! Yes, I know they want your data and they want to sell you a de facto subscription for ink and other parts. However, I hardly use my printer and could probably do without one. My office desk would sure look better without a printer on it.

I have owned Hewlett-Packard printers for almost 30 years. The company’s short-sightedness may cost them a long-time customer.

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The season is over. Well, by that I mean the regular season of the computer football league I have been playing since late May. Here are the final standings:

 

 

In the last regular-season game, the Los Angeles Lasers (Los Angeles A) lost to Tennessee 33-28 so the 8-9-1 Buffalo Bisons (who started the season 0-5) are the wild card in the conference I named the AFC. The Lasers were playing without starting quarterback Russell Wilson who was sidelined with an injury, but seemed to be in the drivers seat when Tennessee was down to two healthy defensive linemen in the second half. LA ran the ball at will and took a 28-27 lead late in the game. Kyler Murray led the Tigers on a touchdown drive during which LA had to use all of its timeouts. When the Lasers got the ball back they couldn’t use their running game and failed to score.

Of course, the game wasn’t real, but it was exciting to me. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion, I have been playing these statistical-based sports games since I was 12. I switched to games in computer format–as opposed to dice, cards and charts–in the late 1980s.

You’ll note that Texas (nicknamed the Tornadoes) finished with just one loss. Their opponent in the first round of the playoffs will be the team that defeated them, the Los Angeles Cobras (Los Angeles N). LA won the regular season game 46-44. The Cobras’ division finished a collective 40-8 against teams outside the division. You might also notice that the “AFC” had only one team with a winning record, meaning that three of the playoff teams were .500 or below.

I will not be in a hurry to play the seven playoff games. I may play just one a day for seven days. I can think of many worse hobbies than computer football.

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Mickey Mantle was born on this day in 1931. I have no idea if baseball fans under the age of 60 appreciate how great he was. Of course, baseball’s rapidly dwindling following among younger people is a very big problem for the sport.

In an edition (published in 1988) of his legendary book, The Bill James Historical Baseball Abstract, Bill ranked Mantle as the third greatest player of all time in terms of peak value, behind only Babe Ruth and Honus Wagner. In a later edition, however, Mantle was rated as “only” the third greatest centerfielder of all time behind Willie Mays and Ty Cobb.

I don’t want to show statistic after statistic about Mantle. I have little doubt that if Mantle had played in an era when stolen bases were valued, he would have been the first 40-40 player. (40-40 refers to 40+ homeruns and 40+ stolen bases in the same season.) From his first MVP season, the Triple Crown season of 1956, through the last season in which he played more than 150 games, 1961 (Mantle suffered from many injuries), he stole 91 bases and was caught stealing only 14 times, an excellent ratio.

A few years ago I asked Bill James who was the best historical comparison for the Angels’ star centerfielder, Mike Trout. When Bill answered “Mantle” my impression of Trout grew.

 

Mantle family hopes Mickey's 1960 contract hits a home run for Hurricane Sandy victims - New ...

 

#YouWouldn’tBelieve

#ShameOnYouHP

#ComputerFootballSeason

#MickeyMantle

#somanyCARSjustonelife

#disaffectedmusings

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Pontiac Solstice GXP: The Underdog Sports Car | Corvetteforum