Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Sunday, January 17, 2021

I’m not saying I’m psychic, but:

Take the Jets’ upset 17-14 win at San Diego today, and add the Colts’ easy-breezy 20-3 victory over Baltimore, and you’ve got the karmically-engineered rematch I predicted:

All I know is that the ultimate boomerang effect looms: A possible postseason rematch with the Jets — who wouldn’t have even gotten to the playoffs if not for Indy’s virtual forfeit — and an upset win by New York. That’ll teach future juggernauts to bypass a perfect season on the way to a Super Bowl shot.

And here it is. Had the Colts not let New York wriggle out of a sure loss back on December 27th, the Jets wouldn’t even be going to Indy next Sunday for a chance to beat their indirect playoff benefactors fair and square. There’s no reason to think another upset is in the works; but then, there’s no reason to think that this improbable scenario would even have occurred.

Extrapolating even further: If the Jets do win, and Minnesota wins the NFC title game over New Orleans (which I think they will), Gang Green will be positioned to take revenge on Brett Favre, who took them for a rather pointless ride last season at quarterback. In other words, the Colts allowed the Jets into the postseason in order to ruin everyone’s aspirations this year.

Really incredible. It’s stuff like this that makes me wonder if the entire National Football League isn’t a scripted effort…

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/17/2010 10:56 PM
Category: Football
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For lack of a more colorful dish — or, for that matter, ethnicity — The Bloggess goes back to culinary basics to represent her down-South heritage:

For Hailey’s Multi-Cultural Day party at her school all the other parents brought food for the party indicative of their culture. I showed up with a plate of crackers. No one got the reference. The kids were all “YAY! WE LOVE CRACKERS!”

I just hope those crackers were rich in Vitamin B. Otherwise, they’ll accentuate a similar crimson-hued stereotype.

(Via dustbury)

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/17/2010 08:20 PM
Category: Comedy, Food, Society
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In Mexico, it’s not the Mayan home-grown 2012 doomsday that’s the big calender-numerological worry. Rather, it’s this year, for historical-repeat reasons:

First there was 1810, when an insurgent priest named Miguel Hidalgo gave a nighttime battle cry that sent thousands of Mexicans into the streets to oust the Spaniards. Then came 1910, the year that was supposed to be the government’s crowning centennial. Parades were held, banquets given — and within a month, the Mexican Revolution began.

The numerology isn’t fringe thinking in Mexico. It’s regularly discussed in the nation’s biggest newspapers and by politicians. On a recent morning, leading newspaper El Universal awoke its readers with three foreboding opinion columns on the matter: “The Fear of 2010,” “The Impending Revolution” and “2010: Third Revolution?”

“In matters historical, sometimes numbers say more than words,” wrote one author in a piece titled “1810, 1910, 2010,” that appeared on New Year’s Day.

This kind of talk has become so common that the imagined revolution even has a name already: the estallido social, or the “social explosion.” Nearly every day, Mexican politicians can be heard warning darkly of its coming.

Disregarding the persuasiveness of a self-fulfilling prophecy, it’s hard to imagine an imminent full-scale regime change south of the border. But at least they’ve already got a name for the anticipated three-peat — branding first!

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/17/2010 04:54 PM
Category: History, Political, Society
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not loose
If it seemed like this past National Football League season featured a lot of highlight-reel catches by tight ends, it’s because there were a lot:

The Dallas Cowboys’ Jason Witten caught more passes than any of his teammates, with 94. The Minnesota Vikings’ Visanthe Shiancoe caught 56 passes, 11 for touchdowns. The Baltimore Ravens’ Todd Heap had 53 receptions, 10 for 20 yards or more. Even Dustin Keller, the Jets’ usually anonymous tight end, broke out last weekend in the wild-card victory over the Cincinnati Bengals with three receptions, two for more than 40 yards.

All this is because the position has evolved significantly over the past couple of decades:

“They are power forwards, guys that are 6-5 and 250 pounds and can run,” [Hall of Fame tight end Mike] Ditka said. “Our linemen were 6-4 and 245 pounds. The game has changed. Any coach that doesn’t take advantage of his tight end is leaving a major part of his offense on the field.”…

[T]he new-wave tight ends are so multidimensional that no matchup is a perfect fit… In the past, the tight end was meant as a safe outlet for a short dump pass from the quarterback or perhaps as a change-of-gear option on early downs. In 1995, the Cowboys’ Jay Novacek caught 62 passes for 705 yards, but just 5 passes for 20 or more yards. The former San Francisco quarterback Steve Young, now an ESPN analyst, cited Shannon Sharpe as the bridge to the current tight end prototype. In 1996, Sharpe caught 80 passes for 1,062 yards, 16 of them for at least 20 yards.

Actually, I would pick Eric Green as the true forerunner to the modern-day all-purpose tight end. Green was a sensation in the early ’90s as an unexpected offensive threat for the Steelers, and made a huge splash as one of the first true free-agent signings in the NFL when he jumped to the Dolphins in 1995. He was also an accomplished run-blocker, owing to the traditional demands of the TE.

The hybrid nature of the position is what makes it an effective x-factor. NFL defensive schemes will eventually adapt, probably with more two-linebacker sets that dedicate one man to tight end/slot receiver coverage. Until that’s cooked up, the former safety-valve catcher will continue to rack up the receiving yards.

by Costa Tsiokos, Sun 01/17/2010 01:42 PM
Category: Football
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