2017 NFL: Super Bowl

I can’t believe I’m at the point where I don’t want to watch the Super Bowl. I just don’t want to sit there and watch the Patriots win, not to say that it’s going to happen, but it could. The other thing is that I totally wrote off the Eagles once Wentz got hurt, and after seeing Foles play a few games afterward. He looked really bad. The way he’s been playing recently, causes me believe that, like Alex Smith, the head coach has found certain schemes/plays to put the QB in the right play and cover his weaknesses. In other words, Foles’s success is scheme/coach-driven. If that’s true, I tend to think it could get ugly in this game, because you don’t beat Belichick by out-scheming him. You beat Belichick by talent (and solid coaching)–something that clever schemes have a limited effect upon.

The other scenario where the Eagles end up winning is if the DL can get to Brady, especially the interior. In my opinion, the Patriot OL has been really good, maybe a top five OL this year. Their interior pass protection has looked especially great. They looked like an impenetrable wall against the Jaguars, and if they play like this against the Eagles, I don’t see how the Eagles can win. (Eagles do have some good interior D-linemen, so there’s hope.) If they can pressure Brady up the middle, they could not only disrupt the offense, but they could get some turnovers.

I tend to think the game will be a blow out, though.

Is This a Sound Way of Using Statistics to Evaluate Play Calling?

I’ve recently seen some fans use statistics to evaluate a play calling in a way that seems inappropriate to me. Here are three different ways I’ve seen statistics used to evaluate play calling:

1. Counting the number of times a playcaller ran or passed the ball on at certain downs and distances (e.g., on 3rd and 4, the play caller called a run play 68% of the time, etc.).

2. Examine the sequence of runs and passes to evaluate predictability. For example, one person criticized a play caller for utilizing the run-run-pass sequence way too often.

3. Identifying conversion 3rd down conversion rates for both passing and running at different distances–e.g., 45% success running and 55% success passing from 3rd and 4–and using this to make play calling decisions.

Do you guys think this is sound and appropriate way to evaluate a play caller–e.g., determining if they’re too predictable? What are sound and unsound ways of using these type of statistics to evaluate play calling?

Why Has the Internet Been So Disappointing for Discussing Individual Movies, Books, Etc.?

When I’m asked about things I like to do, reading was one of the things that I’d mention. In reality, that’s not really accurate, especially if we mean deriving pleasure simply from the act of reading. That’s not me (unfortunately). What would be more accurate is to say I like learning; and I like talking about what I learn and read. This also applies to movies as well (although watching movies is enjoyable and more effortless than reading). Generally speaking, talking about books and movies might be more enjoyable to me than experiencing either. Because of this, the internet has been a place that has, until recently, held a lot of promise for me. When I read a book or watch a film, especially more obscure ones, I assumed that the internet would be the solution to this, especially now with millions (billions) of people online. Given those numbers, finding others who have read or seen the same books and movies I have shouldn’t be hard, right? Now, not all of these people have an interest in discussion. Still, I thought the ones that would be would constitute a big enough number to have a discussion. I’ve now concluded this is not the case (but I would love to be wrong about this!). To be clear, I’m not really referring to the currently most popular books and films. I think you can find conversations on those, but if I want to find a conversation, right now, on Francis Ford Coppola’s One From the Heart, forget about it. Why is that? Off the top of my head, here’s my short explanation: Continue reading “Why Has the Internet Been So Disappointing for Discussing Individual Movies, Books, Etc.?”

Notes on The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss by David Bentley Hart

Hart is an Eastern Orthodox scholar of religion, philosopher and cultural commentator, and he has written a response to atheism, which seems in vogue now. He claims that his objective isn’t to prove God’s existence, but to clarify a false premise in the debate. Here’s how he puts it:

If one imagines that God is some discrete object visible to physics or some finite aspect of nature, rather than the transcendent actuality of all things and all knowing, the logical inevitable Absolute upon which the contingent depends, then one has simply misunderstood what the content of the concept of God truly is, and has nothing to contribute to the debate (p. 327)

Using this as a starting point, Hart discusses the way this conception of God relates to problems with a strictly materialistic view of the world (which he generalizes, rightly in my opinion, as the main world view of the New Atheists.), going into three aspects of the concept of God–being, consciousness, and bliss–that highlight this problem.

As in other “notes” threads, I’m going use this to jot random thoughts and notes as a way to help me process the book.