Written Passages That You Like

This thread is a repository of your favorite passages and quotes from novels and non-fiction work, including magazine or newspaper articles. Include favorite sections of song lyrics or even poems (or even entire short poems themselves) . The emphasis is on good writing–the skillful composition and organization of ideas through the written word, exemplifying good technique, mastery of language, including le mot juste, and the ability to make a passage sound appealing to one’s ear, especially when read out loud*. The content is secondary, although I suspect the best writing often marries the masterful use of language and high quality ideas. (Are there any passages that contain masterful use of language that is largely empty or even devoid of ideas? First answer that comes to mind: the chorus or even lyrics of a good pop tune; a specific example of this: a Jim Morrison song, like “Break on Through to the Other Side.”) Continue reading “Written Passages That You Like”

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?