Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Monday, November 14, 2021

A screen-filling piece of twitchy mini-animations, all involving a bouncy blue ball. It’s got its own jumpy music score, so adjust volume accordingly.

Found this at Jules Allen’s Site Seeing linkage. Jules compares the artistic detail to the works of Heath Robinson, but I wonder if he didn’t actually mean to cite Rube Goldberg’s crazy contraptions.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/14/2005 11:49:28 PM
Category: Internet, Comedy | Permalink | Feedback (2)

I figured the hard salary cap in today’s National Hockey League would be a stinker of a development. Now, that feeling is confirmed, as the Stanley Cup champion Lightning slumps while knowing that personnel moves are cap-constrained.

Basically, a team is stuck with its opening-night roster all season, with few options for correction during the year. Tampa Bay tied up so much money in holding together the Cup team (except for, significantly, their goalie, now playing in Chicago) that they have no flexibility to make adjustments. Other teams, notably the Blues, are in a similar pickle. It robs teams of winning options, and artificially freezes competition.

Why is this a big deal? After all, NFL teams operate under the same rules. Football fans have gotten accustomed to suffering through a season or two of cap-induced losing, knowing that an upturn will follow once cap space has been cleared and the roster can be restocked. The cycle takes care of everything (except in Arizona).

There’s a key difference, though. In the NFL, fans have to endure only 16 games of misery. In the NHL, it’s 82 games — five times the pain. Yes, the actual length of the seasons are more comparable. But for hockey fans, having to watch that many more actual sub-par performances is more trying, and makes it harder to keep the faith until next season.

Plus, it’s not like the available talent pool is going to be as overflowing in hockey as it is in football. The NHL still has guaranteed contracts, so it’s not as feasible to just buy out players wholesale every year. Chances of quick turnarounds aren’t as likely in a capped league; misfires in roster formation can cause suffering for years.

Worst of all, the limitation of a cap serves as a ready-made excuse for teams to deny accountability for lousy results. Team flailing through a mediocre season? Sorry, says the GM; cap keeps us from shipping anyone out or bringing anyone better in. We’ll just have to tough it out, because the rules don’t let us do anything else.

Oh well. It’ll only be a few more years before this cap gets popped. Until then, get used to hearing the cap invoked early and often.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/14/2005 10:51:45 PM
Category: Hockey | Permalink | Feedback (4)

in da club
Apparently, someone went out clubbing and a hockey game broke out. Fedor Fedorov, little brother of Sergei, got beat up rather badly early Friday morning in Tampa.

Fedorov, in town Thursday with the New York Rangers for their game against the Lightning, acquired a black eye and broken nose at Club Prana — something of an Ybor City sports celebrity chill spot (I’ve seen the likes of Gary Sheffield in there in years past).

Getting beat up off the ice doesn’t portend well for Fedorov’s NHL chances. He’s already bounced around the minors quite a bit, probably owing his continued employment to his bloodlines as much as any raw talent.

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/14/2005 09:47:32 PM
Category: Hockey, Florida Livin' | Permalink | Feedback (2)

Executive compensation comparisons are en vogue of late. Just as corporate CEO pay is being scrutinized, the Chronicle of Higher Education releases their annual college president pay survey.

Same principle applies in academia as in the business world: You’re bidding in a market. It’s not purely about the dollars for university heads (they could make tons more in the private sector, if that’s their aim), but it’s a factor. The payoff is a visioning strategy that boosts the school’s profile and spectrum of potential (including a role as economic engine).

Florida can proudly(?) claim the richest of the bunch: Lynn University’s Donald E. Ross, who’s pulling down 5 million bones between salary and other payments.

Lynn is understandably circumspect about the spotlight. On the face of it, it doesn’t help in recruitment. When the Prez is making that much money, you irrationally expect the educational experience to be double-extra-special. The subtleties of the pay package — $4.5 mil or so is a one-time deferred payment ahead of Ross’ retirement next year — are lost in such a survey.

I’ve actually heard of Lynn, and not just because of my work. Lynn is a member of the Sunshine State Conference, the best little NCAA Division II conference around — and I’m not saying that just because my alma mater is in it too. (Well, actually, yes I am.)

- Costa Tsiokos, Mon 11/14/2005 09:21:24 PM
Category: Florida Livin', Business | Permalink | Feedback