Wednesday, October 22, 2014

BISCUTBALL PREVIEW #20: BOSTON CELTICS

(I coudn’t think of anything to write about the Celtics, so I am just reprinting something their PR People sent me. Sorry guys, this content churn is A KILLER.)

The Boston Celtics are a basketball team that plays in Boston, Massachusetts. There are players on the team. Here is a list of them:

A lot of these players were stars in NCAA Division One Basketball. Some played basketball for money in dark corners of the European continent. Many of them have already played in the NBA for a while. Two of them were one designated NBA All-Stars!

(Former designated All-Stars playing for the Boston Celtics)

Will one of the Boston Celtics become a designated All-Star player this year? You will have to watch the team and read articles about the team to find out!

The atmosphere at Boston Celtics games is going to be great. Before high leverage possessions, we play “Paradise City” by Guns and Roses. It’s an old song, but it’s a lot of fun, people really like it. If you take your kid to a game, you can introduce him to Guns and Roses, you favorite band.

You guys like, uhh, Jeff Green? Avery Bradley? Marcus Thorton? Wing players, guys who run on the wings? THe wings are the left and right parts of the floor, and the team is a bird, and the wings are like the wings of the bird. Here is a diagram:


Basketball positions are like the feathers and hollow bones of professional basketball: it is what makes the team fly.

Some people say this roster is a hodgepodge of mediocre players put together as a stalling tactic until the Celtics can sign or draft or trade for a layer to build a good team around. Normally, we, the PR Department, would say, “Hey! That’s not true!” But this we we are more into letting the audience make up their minds, sort of like the Metropolitan Opera’s and their recent production of “Death of Klinghoffer.” SEE IT. THEN DECIDE.

Anyway. We will be playing basketball this year, maybe watch it, or don’t. It’s cool, either way. You probably like watching Rondo, right? Oh, who am I kidding, he’s gonna get traded.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

BISCUTBALL PREVIEW #19: PHILADELPHIA 76ERS

Philadelphia 76ers superstar Sam Hinke wasn’t always the very successful GM of a beloved NBA franchise. Once, he was one of USA Today’s top 60 Undergraduates in America, then an MBA student who consulted for professional sports teams looking to get into the analytics business. But his next life step was the one that would be the die in which his philosophical outlook would be cast forever.




Bain Capital! Before he went to work full time with Daaaaaaaaryl Morey and the Rockets, Sam Hinke was an analyst at the private equity company founded by former Republican Presidential Nominee and current blogger Mitt Romney! Ideally, private equity’s broader purpose is to purchase struggling firms, strip out their excess, non-profitable assets (and employee salaries) and resell the company (at a profit that is taxed at the capital gains rate), now reborn as a money making operation. (They often don’t really do this.)


Hinke and his employers have brought the private equity management mindset to the Sixers. And it might pay off one day! But right now the team is in the “Stripped out assets” phase of their plan and things are gettin’ ugly on the floor! The team’s highest paid player is Jason Richardson. Their SECOND highest paid player is Joel Embiid, who is on a rookie scale deal and will not play this year on account of a foot injury. Their only proven NBA Caliber players are the aforementioned J-Rich, Michael Carter-Williams and Luc Richard Mbah Moute. They traded their best player from last year’s very, very bad squad, Thad Young.


Elliott Williams, a 25 year old former Trailblazer, is on the roster in the second year of a four year, five millionish dollar contract where every year is a team option year. In other words, if he performs poorly he will be cut but if he performs well he will not make significantly more money as a reward for his efforts for another three years. This contract is the sort that should inspire the union to intervene on his behalf, a vision of the NBA with NFL contracts. The roster is littered with borderline type players on contracts like this. If they break out, they will probably get traded. Strip any asset that isn’t necessary and replace it with something cheap you can control! It’s how the future works!


But a critical eye reveals that the Sixers are still being sentimental. There is so much more you could strip out to make this team better in the future and more profitable in the present!


ONE: Brett Brown. Who is this guy, anyway? Why should HE be able to afford granite countertops for coaching this team? I was reading this article about Erik Spoelstra; you know the Heat paid him pennies to look at video once? Let’s ditch the Brown fella, find a particularly tall video guy, the kind who won’t be intimidated, and I’ll say there like a 56% chance he is going to be a perfectly capable coach and a 15% chance the we promoted the new Erik Spolestra: if he’s good enough, we can get a second round pick for his rights, trade that in for a player you can pay like six bucks, and if he’s good enough, we can trade the right to sign him for EVEN MORE second round picks!


TWO: You know how much we spend on trying to get people to come to these games? A lot. Here’s what we do: cut the sales staff in half, OR IF WE CAN, trade them to, like, the Knicks or something. They’ll be glad to go wherever their passion for sales takes them! Then we just stop selling tickets to games no one cares about. Magic, Bucks, Jazz, Lakers, who wants to see them play THE SIXERS play those shitty teams?`We just empty arena that bad boy. Think about all the game day operations and event staff we won’t have to pay! Hell, we can probably trade 20 or so of them for a second round pick or something. If our concessions people complain, we can just open the concourse while keeping the bowl closed, so they can sell food for the three hours during the game. People love stadium food, they’ll flock to the arena AND avoid the Sixers game at the same damn time!


THREE: Malik Rose is one of the league's best color guys. Offload him for a 2nd round pick to San Antonio, they need an upgrade and he's not doing anything for us right now! Commentators are a product of the bygone era of radio (Shut that down altogether, by the way), we have the glorious vision of television now! And as long as no one is watching, let’s scaaaaaale back out investment in crap like cameras. You know, an iPhone camera can do 1080p video, and you could probably buy an iPhone > HDMI cable and make a coherent enough broadcast out of it. I know we can get a trade exception from OKC for some new cameras, I have Presti on the phone RIGHT NOW.


FOUR: When the Washington Professional Football Team had their trademark revoked by the FTC, a lot of people saw the end of a horrible and dumb era in Washington. But you know what I saw? Opp. Ro. Tune. Itty. Aren’t we tired of spending all this money on lawyers who protect our copyrights? Let’s just renounce that shit. Then, we make the bootleggers to work FOR US. With MULTIPLE bootleggers working against each other to make the cheapest product, the bulk prices for t-shirts is going to outright collapse. Then, we swoop n, but those things for, like, pennies, and mark it up in our stadium when the Cavs or the circus, one of those popular events, are in town! We’re all believers in capitalism here. If we stop sucking at the teat of the Government’s Copyright Fairy, we could start RAKING IN DOUGH RIGHT NOW.


FIVE: Uniforms. Gauche. Trade em’.


SIX: I was looking at the court:




Do we really need ALL OF THESE PANELS!? Let’s take some of this unnecessary crap out.




The Players hardly run on the baselines.




These players and refs have been in this for a long time. I think they know where the keys are by now.




We know what team we’re watching. Also, the way these bootlegs are flooding the streets, the 76ers logo hardly means anything to people any more.




The long two is dead. Why even tempt the players?




We don’t have any shooters anyway. Who needs those dumb three point lines?



You know, I thought it looked a little unbalanced like that, so I just took out everything that looked like white noise. We can trade the panels to a high school in exchange for a tall teacher we can run out in practice. If he’s good, we can trade him for picks. It’ll be great. We're going to be so good!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

BISCUTBALL PREVIEW #18: THE BROOKLYN NETS

THE BISCUTBALL WORLD SERIES PREVIEW, BROUGHT TO YOU BY THE BROOKLYN NETS! “BROOKLYN NETS: EVERYBODY WANTS TO WATCH OUR VERY COOL BASKETBALL TEAM!”*
*sponsored content


The leaves are falling, the air is crisp, we have accepted the death of summer and that can only mean one thing:




The Iliad. The Dialogues Of Plato. The Four Great Novels of China. They did their best to tell us about the condition of man. But there were merely books, written on paper. BASEBALL is a real life game, played on grass planted into 10 or so feet of dirt that has is sitting on concrete. People read books, which are on a page, in two dimensions, then they have to take the rods and try to build them into something in their brains. But the time this process is over, the experience of all these things is all broke-ass and 10 steps removed from reality.


-The events that inspired something.
-The author’s probable non-presence at these events.
-The author’s inherent gaps in knowledge of these things.
-The author’s inability to express what he is trying to express.
-The inherent limits of language.
-Things drawing the reader’s attention away from the page.
-Things the reader doesn’t understand.
-Things the reader only half understands.
-The syrupy muddle of the reader’s mind, submerging the work and making it into merely a part of their own life.


People EXPERIENCE baseball, in three dimensions. You’re THERE, something is HAPPENING, it’s a LIFE EXPERIENCE. If reading a book is ten steps removed, watching the Old Ballgame is, at most, one step away. And if you watch it on TV, it’s only four steps away. (Events, Cameras, Editing, the added context of Announcers mudding the experience.)

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This year’s PRIME BASEBALL EXPERIENCE is among the primest of all prime baseball experiences. The San Francisco Giants, a team of destiny twice in recency and the Kansas City Royals, walking into the promised land after 29 years in the desert, a thirsty man looking for one drink at the wellspring of victory, with only one person standing in their way who they seek to murder with a broken bottle, both teams rising up from the ashes of the play in Wild Card game, knifing opponents who reasonable men, driven by logic and math, said were “Better baseball teams” and dropping their bodies into crocodile filled swamps as a sacrifice to their Heathen Lizard Gods. They now stare only at each other, eyes fixed at the neck, their clubs and speeding projectiles and nerve and will to succeed the only things at their disposal to lift the 30 Flagg-ed trophy above their heads in triumph.


They are led by their aces, the ACE OF SHIELDS, JAMES “THE WILD MAN OF THE KANSAS PLAINS” SHIELDS


WARNING: NASTY STUFF AHEAD

NASTY NASTY NASTY


And the ACE OF BUM GARDENS, MADISON “SINGLE DROP OF DEW ON A BLADE OF GRASS” BUMGARNER


WARNING: SERENE STUFF, IN TOUCH WITH THE UNIVERSE AHEAD




GENTLE GENTLE GENTLE LIKE A VOLCANO IN THE OCEAN

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The great thing about baseball is that you never know what is going to happen. Here is a picture of the end of a bat...




...and here is a picture of a baseball…


...as you can see, they are both round objects. And when one round object, with infinite points of contact hits another round objects with infinite points of contact, flying in crazy curves because spin and air resistance makes it float in all kinds of kooky directions, there are infinity squared possible results of its flight direction. Nobody is in control of anything that happens in a baseball game. It’s like a thundercloud brought to earth, with molecules smashing into each other and occasionally making thunder and blowing up a grain silo. This is what makes it the best game.


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SO ENJOY THE WORLD SERIES! Anything can happen and it’s better than books!

Friday, October 17, 2014

BISCUTBALL PREVIEW #17: NEW YORK KNICKS


HOW ARE THE KNICKS GOING TO DO THIS YEAR? A VARIETY OF HOMEMADE PROJECTION SYSTEMS TELL THE TALE:

Big men sitting behind their ivory computers would have you think that math is hard, and that you aren’t equipped to use it to predict the future like they are, the big math men with their magic computers:


Look at Herr Siler’s judgemental eyes: “I invented PECOTA and you don’t even know the names of any baseball teams. I can predict how elections are going to turn out because the Wizard taught me SQL while passing you over, because he knew you were too stupid to wave his magic wand. I used an equation to pick this flower and it smells fantastic, better than any flower you would have picked.”

I say ENOUGH. I took math classes. YOU took math classes! Math lives in the bones of every human being, waiting for a person of considerable will to reach inside themselves and scoop it out! Anyone can make a basketball projection system! And to prove it, I will use a systems of my OWN INVENTION to predict the results of the upcoming NEW YORK KNICKS BASKETBALL SEASON. Take it away, numbers!

METHOD ONE: THE STUCKEY (Super Truthful Ultra Cool Exploration, Yes!) PROJECTION SYSTEM


What we have here is a chart that tracks the Knicks winning percentage “over time” or every year they have played professional basketball. That line is a “trend line” and it indicates that the Knicks have, over their 69 Years of existence, been getting slightly worse. Now, it’s not a SUREFIRE thing, but if the trend continues, it stands to reason that the Knicks will win 48.5% of their games this year, or, 40 games. BUT:

If we use the “polynomial” line, we get a curved line. As you know, the earth is curved, so using curves in your graphs while on Earth makes them more accurate. Straight trend lines on a chart only REALLY make sense when you’re standing on a straight planet, like Cubeator. (Astronauts in Zero-Gravity on the Space Shuttle use Space Shuttle shaped trend lines, that look like this:


You can plainly see that if the Knicks were playing in space this year, they would be very bad.) If we look at the polynomial line, the Knicks will win 37 games (or, at the very least, have the point differential of a 37 win team).

METHOD TWO: THE FREDETTE (Free Reader, Explaining Draining Expectations, Time Telling Explorations)

Then again, the Knicks haven’t had the same players for their entire 69 year existence. Walt Frazier was on the team in the 70s, for instance, and he doesn’t play professional basketball anymore. In the recent past, Carmelo Anthony has been the team’s leading scorer and possession user. In his full seasons with the Knicks, they have won:

36 54 37
GAMES
There are a lot of ways to cook this pancake. For instance, we can run a simple “Average Regression”:

(36+54+37)/3=42 ⅓ (Round Down) = 42

Now, some people will say, “But Corbin, the season where the Knicks won 36 games was a shortened season.” But for these types of calculations, you need to use win totals. Look at what happens when you try to use win percentage in this equation:

(.54+54+37)/3 = 30.5133333333 (Round Up) = 31
Now does it really make ANY sense to say the Knicks are going to win 31 games? They’re A LOT better than that, like 7 games better at least. Whenever you do math to try and figure out sports, you need to trust your eyes at least a little and filter out unreasonable results.

Another way to deal with win totals is with a logarithmic regression:

log(36)*log(54)*log(37)*10=42.2 (Round Down)=42

As you can see, the result of a logarithmic regression reveals a result consistent with traditional average regression within a tenth of a game. Math really is the King of analytic tools!

METHOD THREE: THE RIVERS (Relativity Instructs Viewer, Explains Ring Suppliance)

The real question on everyone’s minds: Will the Knicks Win the Title this Year? For this question, we consult Einstein’s Theory of Energy-Mass Equivalence.

Last season, the Knicks won 37 games and didn’t go to the playoffs at all.

37*0=0% (Chance of winning the title)

Not good, at all! But this year, things are going to be different. Carmelo lost some weight, and there were other trades and maneuvers and such (new coach, Felton for Calderon) that were designed to add energy to the team’s style of play. But how much energy?

(5.4KG, the weight Melo lost*the speed of light ^2) + 12*10^18 (that’s felton’s -10 energy rating replaced by Calderon’s 2) -1*10^17 (Chandler’s + 6 energy rating replaced with Dalembert’s -1) * 3 (triangle offense) = 47.7 * 10 ^ 17

Then you pick out the relevant numbers from the answer and get:

48 Wins * 0 (The 10th seed does not qualify for the playoffs) = 0% chance of winning the title

This projection foretells a STRANGE season for the Knicks: 48 wins but not even in the playoff conversation! I have a hard time believing that the East is going to be that good. I suspect this result indicates a problem with Einstein’s math. I will submit these results to CalTech and they can get to reconsidering some things about relativity.

METHOD FOUR: THE ALCINDOR (A Lively Creator in New Destinies of Reality)

In THIS method, we put down the calculator and consult the mathematics of the spirit world:


The four fires represent the elements of the four Watchtowers of basketball: Scoring, Rebounding, Passing, and Screening. The five point star, upside down, is the traditional key to the world of the spirits and the dead. I used pastels instead of the traditional blood and ash, because I was just looking for some answers about the NBA, not trying to kill someone or something. Pump the breaks, hahaha! Then, I spoke a brief chant, the one transcribed by Wilt Chamberlain in the book where he talked about having sex with 20,000 women. After a minute, a pillar of fire emerged from the altar and a form appeared to me:


It was the form of Frank Williams, a guard who averaged a career high 3.9 points per game with the Knicks in the 2003-04 season. Whether it was the actual spirit of Frank, or a different presence in the form of Frank, I cannot say for sure. He spoke through spiritual channels:

“Cooooooorrrbiiinnn: the Kniiiiicks are gooooooing to win thiiiiirrrttyyy seveeen gameeesss this yeeaaarrrr.”

“Wait. Win 37, or have the point differential of a 37 Win team?”

Before he could answer, a chill ran down my spine. Frank had entered my body. I took on all of his memories: his career at Illinois, where he was the Big Ten Player of the Year, an NBA career marked by frustration, every shot he took in Argentina, his 2009 arrest for marijuana possession. It flooded my mind, another person’s life and memories merged with my own. Then I started to lose control: Frank was trying to expel me from my own body! Thankfully, I was prepared: I ran to the kitchen and drank a glass of Emergen-C. The extreme Vitamin C flooded my body and flushed out Frank’s spirit immediately. When I went number one a few hours later, I heard his ghostly moans leaving my body. I listened close to hear if Frank had any more answer about the Knicks season: he did not.

Even with that little hitch, I still feel that the ALCINDOR method is the most reliable way to predict season totals.  

(Caitlin Obom edited this piece. She is is the sketch comedy group Drop the Root Beet and Run. They are performing at The Pocket Theater in Seattle, WA on Halloween.)

Thursday, October 16, 2014

BISCUTBALL PREVIEW #16: THE ORLANDO MAGIC

ORLANDO, FL. Magic Franchisee Rich DeVos announced that his team would be making an exciting change today. “For more than 25 years, the Orlando Magic have been a pillar in the community. But we have decided that “The Magic is Over.’ It is time for a name that represents something more tangible and athletic than “Magic” which is the product of Wizards, who are lazy, unathletic guys who chill in robes all day and worship Satan. It is time for THE ORLANDO DRAGIC.




Mr. DeVos, this is certainly a bold new step for the franchise. Is the team trying to woo Goran Dragic to the franchise?


“No, no, no, we are committed to Elfrid Payton’s development. We think he has a bright future with the club. But do we want him, and EVERYONE on the team, to emulate his hard edged, cerebral style of play? Absolutely. We hold Goran AND Zoran in very high esteem here at the Amway Center.”


I am just having trouble grasping… I could MAYBE understand naming the team the “Jordans” or the “Shaqs,” because they are retired players who are both surefire Hall-of-Famers. But Goran Dragic is a. NOT retired and b. uhh, a very good player, but not a Hall-of-Fame type guy…


“Well we all have opinions about who belongs in the hall. All I will say is that I think Goran has been deprived a Hall-Of-Fame type situation in the NBA thus far, but his strong season last year proved that he certainly has the talent and drive to be enshrined in Springfield’s hallowed halls.”




Are you SURE you don’t want Dragic to be on the team, because it sounds…


“You guys are over focusing on Goran here. There are  Lot of notable Dragics. Zoran, You guys know about, he is… he is a special player. But you probably DON’T know about famous soccer player Dalibor Dragic, because unlike me, you are not a follower of the Malaysian Premier League, one of the best soccer leagues in the world by some measurements. Not to MENTION the recently deceased Serbian writer and Poet Predrag Dragic, the author of seminal works like ‘A Poem About the Goat,’ ‘The Battle of Kosovo,’ and ‘The Little Legacy.’”


Didn't you say this was about, athleticism or something? What does a writer have to do with the spirit of sport?


“I’ll have you know that Predrag was a FIERCE pickup basketball player. Maybe do a little research…”


Mr. DeVos, do you speak or read Serbian?


“No, why?”


It’s just… I can’t seem to find any, uh, English translations of Predrag Dragic’s work? How did you find out about him exactly?


“Yeah, the literary world is, uh. Grave injustice about Predrag’s work. We were friends, good enough friends that I call him Predrag like that. My wife, she speaks Serbian, and she read his books to me and I liked them so much that I went to Serbia in my jet and met him personally. It’s the kind of thing rich people do all the time, and I am VERY rich.”


So, what about his discourses on Dostoevsky, what are your feelings on those?


“I’m not answering ‘Gotcha’ questions, okay? Who’s next? Rick?”




Hey, Rich. Level with me, this can be off the record if you want. Was there a printing error, and you guys are just overcompensating?


“WHAT? No, we wouldn’t… make a printing error! We’re a professional basketball team!”


And if you did, you are probably well capitalized enough that you could just buy new uniforms and stuff.


“Yeah… absolutely. We have all kinds of money just sitting around, for sure.”

Wait, wait. Why “The Dragic?” Wouldn’t “The Dragics” make a lot more sense?

“Uh…. (Leans into PR guy) ...the name is not supposed to be, like “He is a Dragic.” It’s more like, the SPIRIT of Dragic, the unifying condition of being Dragic. Like “The Heat” or “The Thunder” or “The Magic,” one of those NBA teams. Alright, no more questions. I have to go, uh, to Pregrag Dragic’s grave, to pay my respects.  Donnie (Points at PR Guy) will fill you in on our new mascot, Growon the Dragic, who one guy said looks like an anthropomorphized, big headed cartoon Goron Dragic, but I don’t see it at ALL.”

BISCUTBALL PREVIEW #15: THE ATLANTA HAWKS

THE BISCUTBAL ATLANTA HAWKS TRIVIA PREVIEW, 2014-15!




WELCOME AND GOOD DAY, I’M AL HORFORD


AND I’M MIKE BUDENHOLZER


And this, is the ATLANTA HAWKS TRIVIA CHALLENGE!




Tell the people what they could win, Mike:


Well Al, our winner today will be the PROUD RECIPIENT of A BOX OF JOSH SMITH HAWKS JERSEYS we found in a STORAGE LOCKER MERIWETHER, GA!


The best prize yet, Coach Bud!


Haha, yes, absolutely!


QUESTION ONE:
WHAT WAS THE HAWKS WINNINGEST SEASON IN ATLANTA?

  1. 1993-94
  2. 1979-80
  3. 1968-69
  4. 1986-87


ANSWER:


It was A. and D. If you thought it was just one, you were wrong. I didn’t say it was just one answer. Life isn’t a game, sometimes there is more than one solution to a problem. If you didnt answer this right, you already don’t get the box of jerseys. No one said this would be easy.


QUESTION TWO:


WHO IS THE HAWKS ALL TIME LEADER IN BLOCKED SHOTS?


  1. Josh Smith
  2. Tree Rollins
  3. Dikembe Mutombo
  4. Theo Ratliff


ANSWER:


Tree Rollins. You thought it was Mutombo, didn’t you? You would. Going for the name player, you always pick the name player. He didn’t even have as many blocks as an Atlanta Hawks as Josh Smith. Every player from the nineties was overrated. THe talent pool was diluted by expansion and not restocked by European migration yet. I mean, seriously. You just KNEW it was Mutumbo, I’ll bet, without even thinking, “Oh, shit, this guy’s name was TREE, I’ll bet it was him.” They didn’t call him “Tree” because he COULDN’T block shots! Imagine if you played basketball against an actual tree: You would basically live to get stuffed. That was what Tree Rollins was like. Stuff happened before 1992. But you didn’t know that, and it cost you a boxfull of Josh Smith jerseys.


QUESTION THREE:


WHO IS THE HAWKS ALL TIME LEADER IN THREE POINT PERCENTAGE?

  1. Kyle Korver


ANSWER


I’m not even coming up with more options on this one. Too easy. Second is Willie Green.


QUESTION FOUR


WHO WAS THE HAWKS SCORING LEADER LAST YEAR?

  1. Paul Milsap
  2. Jeff Teague
  3. Al Horford
  4. DeMare Caroll


The answer is B. It was Jeff Teague. What? Oh, “Horford scored more points per…” yeah well I don’t care. You don’t win a race if you start out fast and then tear your tricep. You win a race if you are fast all season, then end the race with the most points. And if you said Milsap, God Have Mercy on Your Soul is a book I recommend, because you have committed a sin against Jeff Teague. Beg for Jeff’s forgiveness. Here, do it:




You know what that body language says to me? “Nahh. No forgiveness. You’re in Jeff Teague’s doghouse now. I NEED something from you for forgiveness. I NEED 20 Josh Smith jerseys, in my hands, right now, THEN I’ll forgive you. Oh, there was a way to get those jerseys and still have ten left over, but you fucked it up? Wow, that’s a real shame. Better go post up in the doghouse, because you live there now, you filthy, stinking, dog.”


(Send your answers and your address to AtlantaHawksGameShow@gmail.com . I’ll know if you’re lying, I can smell it over the internet, that’s how developed my nose for the truth is, I can smell lies in copper 300 miles away.)