Before we get going, though, I'd like to make a couple points.
1) For the second straight year, the CC Sabathia Cy Young Campaign has fallen short. It was announced yesterday that Seattle's Felix Hernandez won the award, with CC finishing a distant third. Needless to say, we at the Campaign disagree with Major League Baseball, who have clearly relied on obscure metrics that the common man can't understand. Wins and losses, we argue, tell a clear and unbiased story. Instead, the voters seemed to rely on statistics invented by eggheads just to show how smart they are. "Oh look at me," they seem to say, pushing their glasses up their nose. "I use decimals."
Well, we think that's horrible. Horrible for baseball, and horrible for America. Starting next season, the Campaign's tactics must necessarily shift toward the extreme. We've tried talking sense. We've tried using facts (21 wins, GUYS!). But just like last season when Zack Greinke won, a west coast bias has infiltrated the voting majority. They've legislated from the writer's box. They've betrayed us. And in a final outrageous punch to the kidneys, it turns out Felix's son is cloned from Hitler. Or perhaps Kaiser Wilhelm. Definitely someone German.
(Thanks to Spike for photo and comparisons. I stole both.)
2) Tonight, Duke plays the 35-and-under team from the Colgate Toothpaste Factory.
AM I RIGHT?
(hilarious toothpaste rant forthcoming...)
Gee, I hope they don't get bowled over by the "Crest" of the Blue Devil wave. They might need an extra "Arm & Hammer" to make sure they stay "Aquafresh." Otherwise, their legs might get heavy and they might make a "Pepsodent" in the floor. If that happens, Coach K court will loose its "Gleem." Then again, maybe it won't be accidental; maybe we'll learn that the team "Mentadent." Maybe they don't like that it's "Ultra Brite." I just hope Colgate forward Brandon James doesn't get quiet in the hostile atmosphere. Then he might not live up to his nickname: "Oral-B." And at the end of the day, I hope everyone stays safe and alive. After all, there's no "Sensodyne." (deep breath, pull myself together, finish strong...) *ahem* I know I'm wandering, but I think you get my TOM'S OF MAINE point.
Man, I wish there were some people here to high-five.
I won't be able to watch the game tonight (heading to Durham to watch Vad Lee make some Pembroke mothas look silly), but hopefully this is the last one I miss this season.
3) If you want to participate in Pick Six, now's the time to get in touch. We may or may not have a slot available for next time (I think we're booked, not exactly sure), but if you want to get on board for the time after, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org. Pick Six in the subject, if you please.
That'all being said, let's get to it:
VOLUME TWO, WEEK FOUR
The Friday Pick Six is an original SCSD! game where six people make six predictions for six weeks. Along with their picks, they're allowed and encouraged to submit a 'sound-off' on any topic, sports or otherwise. When it's all done, the winner earns great honor among the people, while the two losers are exiled in shame and the three middle finishers go to purgatory, with the chance rescue their good name up to three times. To learn more about the rules, and about the current contestants, read below:
-The inaugural champ and intros to the New Class
THE HALL OF ANGELS: OLD CHAMPIONS
Here's how Volume Two looks:
Creatures in Purgatory: Jill, Carrie, Spike
Newcomers: Swetha & Sabreena, Nick E., Mike L.
Standings after Week Three
1. Spike: 12
2. Mike: 10.5
3. S&S: 10.5
4. Jill: 9.5
5. Nick: 7.5
6. Carrie: 6.5
Spike and Jill made up some serious ground last week, scoring 4 points each. For Spike, it means his first week ever as the OVERALL LEADER. Swetha and Sabreena dropped from that spot with a 2-point week. Mike scored 3 to move into a tie for second, while the tough season for Nick and Carrie continued with 2 points apiece.
Let us not forget:
Scores at the halfway point:
Here's how it looks after two weeks:
The Y-chromosomes extended their lead ever so slightly, but it's still any gender's game.
And now, without further ado, the docket that made everyone want to kill me (seriously, so many complaints). It's a variety pack, with opportunity for SERIOUS points:
1. Bucks vs. Thunder, NBA, Friday: How many points will Durant and Jennings combine for? 5 points for an exact guess, 3 points for within 5, 2 points for within 10, 1 point for within 20.
2. Duke vs. Marquette, MONDAY: How many threes will be made by Young Threezy (Andre Dawkins) and Transfusion (Seth Curry) combined? 5 points for hitting the mark, 3 points within 1, 2 points for within 3, 1 point within 5.
3. Hillside vs. Purnell Swett, high school football, Friday. Senior quarterback Vad Lee, bound for Georgia Tech, is Hillside's biggest star. This is the round of 16 in the 4-A state playoffs. How many yard will he RUSH for? 7 points for an exact guess, 5 points for within 5, 3 points for within 10, 2 points within 20, 1 point within 30. (Vad Lee's statistics can be researched on reesenews.org.)
4. Nebraks vs. Texas A&M, CFB, Saturday. How long will the longest field goal of the game be (by either team)? 5 points for an exact guess, 3 points for within 5 yards, 2 points within 10, 1 point within 20.
5. Carolina Hurricanes vs. Pittsburgh Penguins, NHL, Friday. Take the total points scored by Sidney Crosby and subtract the number of points scored by Eric Staal. Keep in mind, the final number could be negative. 5 points for exact, 3 points for within 1, 1 point for within 2.
6. Boston College vs Holy Cross (Monday, basketball): Total rebounds in the game for both teams. 5 points for within 4, 3 points for within 8, 2 points within 12, 1 point within 16, .5 points within 25 (because I want to give everyone a chance to at least feel a little good about their pick).
We begin with King Felix's court jester:
51, 5, 78, 41, 1, 86
In honor of Felix Hernandez's Cy Young victory--a victory for sabermetrics!--and this super crazy number pick-em, we're going with a math theme today: only prime numbers. Also, our previous methods were clearly not working the past two weeks, so we're trying to shake things up. Let's go.
1. Durant averages 28 and Jennings gets 17.1. (By the way, favorite videos with Kevin Durant (1:00 mark) and Brandon Jennings.) That makes 45, but that doesn't fit the theme and both these teams play good defense. FORTY-THREE.
2. Seth has made six threes this season and Young Threezy (great nickname, by the way) has hit 5. The numbers say 5.5. But Duke does really well in these preseason tournaments, so up it one to SEVEN.
3. We know that Vad Lee likes to run, he's going to Georgia Tech where he'll presumably be running the triple option, and he's capable of exploding for big plays. One of us likes fives, so FIFTY-NINE.
4. Only makes sense that Nebraska's Alex Henery would kick this one because Texas A&M's kicker season-long is 40 yards. Seriously, Texas A&M? In keeping with this nuts-o math theme, we're going with the most plausible prime number. FORTY-SEVEN.
5. The numbers tell us 0.32. That's essentially nothing, which is really equivalent to our interest in hockey, unless we're talking about the Mighty Ducks or America. And even then, one of us missed watching the gold-medal game because the Lakers were playing the Nuggets. ZERO. (Asshole Editor's Note: not a prime number)
6. Boston College=38 and Holy Cross=29. That gives us, whaddya know, another prime number! SIXTY-SEVEN.
Slammed at work and no time to be funny. So I will leave you with this.........
Two drums and a cymbal roll downhill
1. 48 combined points
2. 5 from downtown for Baby Dawk and the Namesake
3. Great, the liberal media (aka, this blog) promoting the liberal media (aka, Shane's internet paper). Shane, please note that the photo of you on there makes me think you are going to rape my children and not even have the decency to enjoy it. It's all about the work with you. 83 yards for Vad.
4. 34 yards for an unsung soccer star.
5. Assuming Friday game. Also assuming that points = goals + assists. This is based on my experience with Sega NHL 93. I don't want to hear any bullshit after the fact that points = goals alone. Answer: +1 differential.
6. 65 boards
48. Over the past 5 games, KD has averaged 30.4 points (Jennings averaged 20.0). It gives me warm fuzzies that he has replaced Lebron in the court of public opinion: an unbelievable talent, seemingly humble, respected by all, makes an irrelevant franchise important. Here’s hoping he never takes his talents anywhere near a nationally televised special. Or anyone with herpes. I’m just saying.
6. Duke’s back-up dynamic duo of awesomeness is so entertaining to watch. Every time that Seth Curry is mentioned in an article or on TV, I have an irrational moment of pride for this blog. As if our little community here inspired him to cavalierly come to Duke, return our team to the height of national prominence, and bring home a championship.
83. Don’t be fooled. “Vad” is merely a nickname and seems way too similar to a “Vlad” typo to be a good one. Lavaedeay Lee, ridiculous name and all, is still pretty great. As a junior, he rushed for 600 yards and had 12 rushing TDs. [Side note: Shane shared a link to “help” us research this pick, which just happened to lead to his own two-part article. Not only did we have to decipher this week’s slat of picks, we were forced to read his 6,722 words about high school football to learn anything about this Lavaedeay fellow].
37. Alex Henry, Nebraska’s kicker, has made only one FG from 50+ yards this season (but he is a solid 13 for 14 overall, going 5 for 5 from 40-49 yards). Randy Bullock has never even tried a 50+ yard field goal for Texas A&M this season. While I am always suspicious of people with two first names, Mr. Henry is clearly better. I guess 37 works.
2. [Goals + Assists] – [Goals + Assists] = X. At first, I thought X was the degree of lameness for requiring math to solve a Pick 6 category. Then again, math has never really been my thing. Staal is inconsistent, with flashes of brilliance (like his hat trick on Wed). Regardless, it is pathetic to campaign for an all-star game two months in advance. Maybe he should focus more on point scorin’ and goal makin’ in Real America before he worries about his 2011 election. So: [3 for Crosby] – [1 for Staal] = 2, in reverence to The Great One. Not the man who threw his wife under the bus.
72. My first thought after reading this final pick was “good god, please let this be over soon.” My mind then wandered to seeing Harry Potter tonight, which brought me such joy, even if just for a fleeting moment. Because I then remembered the task at hand and, like a dementor’s kiss, felt my soul being sucked into blackness once again. BC had 38 rebounds in their first game (and averaged 36 per game last season), while Holy Cross had 33 in theirs (and averaged 37 last season). Numbers, math, adding, averaging, whatever it’s almost Deathly Hallows time, 72.
First they came for Tailgate, then they came for my beloved fourloko. The Pick 6 is all I have - time to dig deep for some data.
1. In their last two games against each other, Durant had 33 and 31 while Jennings had 13 and 14. Of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't scale their scoring averages from last year to this year... Since Durant and Jennings are scoring at 93% and and 110% of what they scored last year, respectively, the final tally comes to 44.65. Lets
round up to 45.
2. In their first two games, Threezy and Trans went 6 for 11 and 6 for 9. Marquette and Duke have roughly equal adjusted tempo stats (68.5 and 68.8), so these stats should be scaled pretty well. One key stat is that Marquette's opponents have shot 42.6% from 3, ranking Marquette's 3 point defense 289 out of 333 teams, not to mention that and each of their three opponents are fairly pedestrian 3 point shooting teams. Even though I imagine that against a tough opponent Singler and Smith will take a few more shots, the guys at the end of the bench should get fewer touches as well. Im going to say 7.
3. I'm going to note here that my research is significantly hampered by my inability to get past Shane's brooding countenance at Reesesport. The only stat I could find is that last year he rushed for 600 yards in 10 games. Whatever, I'll go with 75.
4. A & M's Randy Bullock hasn't hit from past 40 this year, so the long will probably be from Nebraska's Alex Henery. He hit one from 52 against Oklahoma St but missed from 46 against Mizzou. Both teams have tough defenses (A&M is ranked 41st in points against at 22.1, while Nebraska is ranked 10th at 17.5), so it should be a low scoring affair
with ample FG opportunities. I'm going to go with 48 yards.
5. Going back to last year, Eric Stall has 5 points in 5 games and the bitch pictured below has the same. Staal has been really hot lately, with 7 points in his last two games. I'm going to put this one at -1.
6. Both teams have adjusted tempos of about 70 possessions per game. Their raw FG% are .481 and .462, so that comes to 33.67 and 32.34 rebounds in this game. 66
1. So, first I had to look up who this "Durant and Jennings" was. I felt good when I found Durant and he played for a basketball team. But where was his partner-in-crime Jennings? Turns out, he plays for the other team. I bet they aren't even friends. Still, let's say they'll come together (right now*) for...40 points.
*Topical humor alert: did you guys hear that iTunes finally nabbed The Beatles? Which is cool because now people can finally listen to their music.
2. Let's go with 4 threes. There was a lot of math involved in deciding upon this answer for me.Yes, it was basic math. Essentially, addition and then division. But I feel really good about it.
3. Oh my god. My brain is breaking. In recent years, I have just barely managed to cultivate an interest in football. Like, at this point, I enjoy when one team scores and I occasionally even understand how it happened. But "rushing yards"? I don't even really know what that distinction means. (Momentary aside: I'm a pretty decent speller, but I almost never get "occasionally" right on the first try.) Gosh, I just don't even know. I like the sounds of Vad Lee and it turns out I have a six-degrees-of-separation connection to Hillside's championship football program, but none of that is helping me here. Ah! 100? Is that a lot? Is that only a little if you're really good and are already in possession of a name that is going to make you sound like a kickass pro player? How the hell am I supposed to know? I don't even mean that rhetorically. I don't know how I am supposed to know.
4. Fifty yards is like world record setting, right?* So, I don't know that these two teams, great mascots that they may have, are capable of setting world records (real or imagined). 43 seems doable, but also moderately impressive. To me.
*No, it's not.
5. Hockey? Seriously? I have heard of Sidney Crosby. I hear good things. He can probably get two goals. I don't know about Eric Staal, but I imagine since he is a professional hockey player, he can probably knock one in. So, 2 minus 1 is 1.
6. I assume total rebounds means offensive and defensive boards for both. I also assume that "because I want to give everyone a chance to at least feel a little good about their pick" is directly specifically at me. But I tell you what, even with those gimme (decimal) points thrown in there, I don't feel very good about this pick. I could do a little research because I do actually know what rebounds are, but I am real sleepy after all this mathing. 20.
Enjoy your weekend, be safe, root for Duke.