Posts Tagged ‘Football’

Fatfcukitis sidelined Haynesworth in practice

August 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Add another problem to the long list of issues stirring conflict between Coach Mike Shanahan and defensive lineman Albert Haynesworth: Fatfcukitis.

The condition causes the rapid consumption of Krispy Kreme Donuts and is what sidelined Haynesworth in practice last week, three people familiar with the situation said Sunday.

Tony Wyllie, Redskins’ senior vice president, said Sunday afternoon the team would have no comment on Haynesworth until Coach Mike Shanahan addresses the media after practice Monday.

Shanahan has discussed Haynesworth’s symptoms but hasn’t revealed an exact diagnosis. Experts say that Haynesworth’s ability to play in Saturday’s game likely means he’s recovered from the condition. They also warn, though, that the fact that Haynesworth was suffering from fatfcukitis might also indicate that he would probably wear a t-shirt whenever he enters a swimming pool.

“Fatfcukitis is basically a condition in which you make a ton of money and find it unnecessary to do any athletic activity for a whole summer,” said Dr. Lynne P. Yao, chairman-elect of the National Fat Guys Foundation. “It doesn’t happen as often in well-conditioned athletes, but if there’s really extreme circumstances — like eating a ton of donuts and sleeping in the piles of cash your boss gives you freely — than that could happen.”

Experts say fatfcukitis can cause a breakdown of any desire to work hard.

Haynesworth lashed out after Saturday night’s 23-3 loss to the Baltimore Ravens, saying the team is underplaying the severity of his chafed thighs that prompted him to sit out practice at Redskins Park. Haynesworth also contends that team officials are still holding his absence during the offseason conditioning program against him, and he announced he plans to skip next season’s voluntary conditioning program, something that would probably help alleviate his condition.

In speaking with reporters after the game, Haynesworth never mentioned Shanahan by name, but multiple team sources said the two-time all-pro performer’s anger is directed at Shanahan because he has described Haynesworth’s condition as being “more of being a fat-ass than anything else.” Haynesworth declined to reveal specifics about maladies that prompted him to cut short his participation in practice Tuesday as well as miss the sessions Wednesday and Thursday, but team medical personnel last week noted he is now unable to see his own feet when he takes a shower and needs to reserve two seats on team flights.

The condition is caused by eating too much and not moving for long stretches of time. People who experience minor emotional trauma, such as a bad break-up, are more susceptible to eating a tub of ice cream while watching a bad Jennifer Aniston movie, experts say.

Another Redskins player suffered from fatfcukitis last season, one of the team sources said. Treatment includes the aggressive use of liposuction, but there is no medication available.

In an interview late Saturday after the game, Haynesworth expressed frustration about the way things have been characterized because he “just wants people to say the truth about what’s going on. That’s it. A fatass? That’s not what’s going on.” At the time, he was eating a stick of butter wedged between two chocolate-chip cookies.

Meanwhile, several of Haynesworth’s teammates simply shook their heads in disbelief when informed of the latest dust up between Shanahan and Haynesworth. One defensive veteran aware of Haynesworth’s condition said he understood why Haynesworth was upset that they did not make bras in his size, but also sided with Shanahan in saying that Shanahan would never reveal details about any player’s extensive stretch marks to the media.

Another defensive player tired of the conflict said he could not understand why Haynesworth seemed to be upset. It is common knowledge within the locker room that the Redskins plan to continue to allow Haynesworth to start dinnertime at the front of the line, his desired position in the team’s new cafeteria, and it just doesn’t make sense for Haynesworth to continue to poke Shanahan, a much slimmer and fit man.

“I know what type of player I am and what I can do” if the Redskins let him, he said in the interview late Saturday night. “I just want people to buy me food.”

(Albert and Redskins staff looking for the candy bar he dropped on the field)

Categories: Satire Tags: , ,

Mel Kiper/Todd McShay = Jim Cramer?

April 22, 2010 Leave a comment

Ach! I love football. If you do you have to check out this piece on why NFL “draft gurus” are not really gurus at all.

The piece does a great job of reasoning with statistical evidence that most of these draftniks can talk a lot, but have little predictive power. Furthermore, whats worse is they aren’t held accountable for their actions. (At least, teams suffer for their poor drafts, these guys get even more face time on TV)

Look at that hair, Mel only uses the finest extra virgin olive oil. A man who wears his hair that way, is clearly versed in BS.

I wrote a comment myself:

Ever see Kiper and McShay? They are silly. These blowhards use terms like “most-NFL” ready and “can’t miss” as if they were actually omniscient beings. The even more funny thing is they hate each other so much; probably because they are both in on the secret that most of what comes out of their mouth is pure conjecture. Also, probably since Kiper was a one-man show for a while and loves to hear himself speak. (No man can wear that much hair gel and not be in love with himself) This is something most fans could do given the incredible amount of resources they have to evaluate talent and the fact their success rate rivals that of Jim Cramer.

Some of the smarter teams hedge their bets by stocking up on middle-round picks because the return on their investment is better. This is crucial especially considering you don’t need to pay a huge guaranteed contract to an unproven talent. I would argue this is similar to buying into a stock index but with the added benefit of a cheaper price.

I think we need some accountability, perhaps in the same way that website pitched a monkey to pick stocks against Cramer we could give the monkey a choice of Yes or No on McShay/Kiper’s choices for who deserves to be 1st round talent (ostensibly a franchise/pro-bowl player). Judging by NFL team’s success rates, I would say these clowns would fare no better.

I really want to do this. After McShay and Kiper come out with their final mocks get a house pet (Neil, your cat?) or something to simply to pick yes or no on whether these guys will actually pan out. We’d limit the experiment to the first round.  Since these players are picked this high to be “franchise players” or at least Pro-Bowl talents,  I don’t think this is unfair. Thoughts football fans?

The Shawne Merriman of Nor-easters

March 15, 2010 1 comment

Lights out in NJ!!! (Pre-I got-caught-with-Steroids, Shawne Merriman that is) Or maybe No Power is more appropriate. (Present day I-got-caught-with-roids-and-can’t-use-them-anymore-Shawne Merriman).

But yep no power until at least Wednesday from what they say.

I am typing away furiously using free wi-fi at a crowded bookstore whose bathroom is apparently out of order. I don’t know what that means but I wouldn’t want to be the man having to clean that up.

UPDATE: Basement is flooded 8 inches. House has no electricity and is freezing. Water pressure is sporadic and water itself has a dark tea color but definitely does not taste like tea.

Quick question to y’all. If you were a hotel in this area would you start raising prices for rooms to meet this growing but temporary demand? Or do you simply take people, first come, first serve?

The first is called “price gouging” the second causes shortages. What to do?

Or what if you had a surplus of bottled water? (maybe you are Mormon, a paranoid tea party member or have leftover from Y2K) Would it be wrong for you to sell this water at a marked up price?

Categories: Personal Tags:

Game theory: Koreans and Hagwon

February 26, 2010 10 comments

As I have told a couple of my friends, the Korean formula for success in school has been remarkably simple: Hagwon and Beatdowns. Rote learning and repetition followed with discipline if anyone gets out of hand. Screw the carrot, just stick please. The second part is self-explanatory on why it works, lets go back to the first.

Koreans are notorious for their obsession with after-school school, otherwise known as hagwon. The premise is simple: as long as I give my child enough of a leg up against the competition he will  be able to differentiate himself from the pack and emerge victorious.

Except not so fast, you see this is what we call a prisoner’s dilemma…..(I actually did really poorly in game theory, so this could be total bull$#!t)

Ok quick prisoner’s dilemma lesson per Wiki:

Two suspects are arrested by the police. The police have insufficient evidence for a conviction, and, having separated both prisoners, visit each of them to offer the same deal. If one testifies (defects from the other) for the prosecution against the other and the other remains silent (cooperates with the other), the betrayer goes free and the silent accomplice receives the full 10-year sentence. If both remain silent, both prisoners are sentenced to only six months in jail for a minor charge. If each betrays the other, each receives a five-year sentence. Each prisoner must choose to betray the other or to remain silent. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the betrayal before the end of the investigation. How should the prisoners act?

Prisoner B Stays Silent Prisoner B Rats
Prisoner A Stays Silent Each serves 6 months Prisoner A: 10 years
Prisoner B: goes free
Prisoner A Rats Prisoner A: goes free
Prisoner B: 10 years
Each serves 5 years

The prisoners should of course both stay quiet and get their 6 months before they commit more crimes again. Unfortunately, each has an incentive to rat on the other guy. To put it simply, regardless of the other prisoner’s behavior one’s own individual utility is maximized by ratting on the other guy. If he rats, I can rat and get 5 or I can stay silent and get 10. If he doesnt rat, I can rat and go free or I can stay silent and get 6 months. Thus the expected outcome of this game or “Nash Equilibrium” is for both to rat on the other. (Notice how this fares the prisoners a worse outcome than if they both stayed quiet)

Now of course this “game” is not that problematic if we are actually talking about two felons here. But what if they are innocent? Both have incentives to rat on the other. It becomes rather unfortunate when this dilemma rears its ugly head elsewhere too. Let’s rephrase this scenario a bit:

Two Asian mothers are trying their best to get their kid into a top-tier school.  Each parent has discussed the notion of increasing their child’s workload at a hagwon. If one tutors (defects from the other) and the other chills out a bit (cooperates with the other), the tutored kid will get a leg up on the other kid. If both remain silent, both moms will have saved a lot of money. If both choose to tutor, each will lose a lot of money. Each mom must choose to tutor or chill out. Each one is assured that the other would not know about the tutoring before they sign up. How should the mother’s act?

Mom B chills out Mom B tutors
Mom A chills out Kids maintain relative performance Kid B gets a leg up
Kid A plays catch up
Mom A tutors Kid A gets a leg up

Kid B plays catch up

Kids maintain relative performance
Mom’s lose a whole bunch of cash

OK, this model is not perfect, (for one, this is a much larger game with more than two players, the payoffs might also differ in a few ways) but it should serve as a starting point in this debate. We can discuss the nitty-gritty later.

Within the context of this game, each mom has the incentive to tutor their kid no matter what the other mom does. As long as mom’s are more obsessed with making sure their kid can get a leg up on the other, the strategy of tutoring your kid will be always be played. This of course leads to a Nash equilibrium of a lot of Asian moms just wasting a bunch of cash.

How can I say this, doesn’t this affect everyone’s kids? Well yes and no, the important thing to remember is how Asian students are viewed within the context of college admissions. This is not a post on the merits/problems of affirmative action, nor do I want it to deviate into one.  On the basis of scores alone, Asian students would fill nearly four out of every five places in the admitted class not taken by African-American and Hispanic students. Again, I don’t care about arguing affirmative action right now (dont think removing AA would change this game either, nor do I think it should necessarily be removed), I am more concerned about the decision making of parents within the context of this game. In this case, since relative performance within race matters, this scenario is more painful to watch. Whether we examine SAT scores, GPAs or number of AP’s taken, if the median benchmark for Asians is simply shifting higher no one ends up at a better place than before.

Well, you could argue, “BDK, its better for these kids anyways since they are getting smarter, so it’s not a waste of cash”. I beg to differ. One concerned mother told me about the dilemma she has for her kid. She stated that her 8th grade son Mikey needed to take summer geometry course before he took geometry. The last time when he took algebra II, everyone else at his school had already taken algebra II in the summer. Mikey said himself, “everyone else was sleeping through class, while I was struggling to follow the teacher.”  I would argue that these other parents are doing a disservice to their kids in the future by not providing proper study habits. Nobody needed to take this summer class, but again it gave a leg up. This is also an epidemic with parents who find their kids “struggling”. Instead of teaching their kids to hash it out on their own for better or for worse, a grade lower than a A automatically prompts a tutor.

Per this Atlantic article on How a New Jobless Era Will Transform America:

“The ability to persevere and keep going” is “a much better predictor of life outcomes than self-esteem.” She (Jean Twenge) worries that many young people might be inclined to simply give up in this job market. “You’d think if people are more individualistic, they’d be more independent,” she told me. “But it’s not really true. There’s an element of entitlement—they expect people to figure things out for them.”

Over-tutoring prevents kids from really reaching out and finding any sort of entrepreneurial spirit. The formula has been simple, do everything mom says and you’ll go to a good school. But whats next? It should make parents wonder why so many SAT camps boast of tutors with 1500+ (now 2300+) SAT scores. I am sure the thinking is not: I wil send my kid to get tutored and pay thousands of dollars so he could eventually become an SAT tutor?  Or write a really dumb blog?

The article continues:

They’re used to checklists, he (Ron Alsop) says, and “don’t excel at leadership or independent problem solving.” Alsop interviewed dozens of employers for his book, and concluded that unlike previous generations, Millennials, as a group, “need almost constant direction” in the workplace. “Many flounder without precise guidelines but thrive in structured situations that provide clearly defined rules.”

Dare I say this might be the reason Asians find it difficult to rise to the top of management positions? I want to be careful here and overreach so I won’t necessarily conclude that. But certainly such controlled environments lead to more passive receivers of work rather than the movers and shakers in the corporate world.

I also want to be careful here about my own views on education. I respect and admire my own culture’s inclination to focus on education. Perhaps its the Confucius philosophy or it stems historically from  of preparing wholeheartedly for the Civil Service Exam. I just think the educational emphasis needs to be there without the fallback of tutoring every single time.

Well, whats the solution BDK? I don’t really have one. Games like this are usually solved with a commitment mechanism.For instance in the nuclear arms race, the US told the Soviets that if they ever picked up a missile fired by the Soviets on radar, US computers would already be programmed to launch a full, retaliatory arsenal back at the Soviets. I doubt a commitment mechanism to kill other parents for reneging on a deal not to tutor their kids is an optimal one.

Let me offer a different avenue (though incomplete solution). As one who played football and was pushed by a coach who believed in more probably more than I did in myself, I learned a lot more about overcoming obstacles; probably more so than solving a math problem I found easier than most else. As a scrawny kid surrounded by kids who were superior in every aspect of the game, I first recoiled a bit but then eventually attacked my weaknesses and became stronger both physically and mentally. While I am sure now every Korean kid has his sports, along with his orchestra and community service, I think allowing your kid to actually struggle in a sport that he really likes might end up serving him better in the long run. Perhaps this is why we see many successful athletes also rise to the prominent positions of power. Not because of raw smarts  but because of an ability to persevere and keep going.

Romans 5:3-4

The Problem with Concussions and Football Shaped Voids

January 17, 2010 2 comments

Today, the TV announcers were discussing how impressed they were with Kurt Warner playing through his chest injury. One of them said,  “I think Kurt Warner is gonna come back. There is nothing that can fill that void after you retire.” Not sure about either one of those comments. Adam Schefter reports nay on the first. As for the second….

I remember listening to the Michael Kay Show about how Wayne Chrebet said he was willing to take a few years away from his life to be able to play another year of football.  If doctors hadn’t forced Wayne to stay off the field, many think he could have been either seriously injured or died. Yet, I am not sure he would be the only one to make such a decision either.

The NFL and its Commissioner, Roger Goodell, have been taking a lot of flak lately for not taking care of their players regarding major injuries esp. concussions. I don’t think the issue is  as clear-cut as the NFL doesn’t care about its players. Many of these players who go out there and play choose to put themselves at great risk, willingly do so. An injury that causes a player to be out for the season is largely unsurprising to the average fan and par for the course in the NFL.  What do you tell a player who got his “bell rung”  if he wants to go back in the game? Not sure where you draw the line here since any hard rule will definitely interfere with the autonomy of players who are willing to put themselves out there. Like it or not, for some people like Wayne, football was life.

I do believe the NFL and its players union need to address a few issues:

1)  Offer better assistance to many of the retirees who are severely disabled and indigent. A lot of old-timers who set the foundation for making the game what it was deserve some sort of help, especially since its due to the very sport they played and grew.
2) Teach players better about financial management. I think a lot of players are not careful to foresee their occupation leads to a lot of long-term issues. A lot of players find themselves often bankrupt/homeless etc. so one could imagine some might not even think about worsening disabilities or chronic pain. Not sure you can force players to set aside money if he wants to spend it on bling and Patron, but again maybe the NFL is not doing its end to inform.
3) Have the players union set up an insurance/pension pool where players can take care of its most severely injured or debilitated members.

Back to the void though. I do think something can fill that void.

Remember Michael Jordan’s  Hall of Fame speech? Don’t worry if you didn’t, I’d rather buy Preparation H and Immodium AD from the cute Walgreen’s girl than watch that again. MJ essentially defecated on everyone around him.  If you watch the clips you’ll meet a man who still can’t grasp he’s not the King of the NBA anymore. You wonder why the greatest player ever, a man who should have no insecurity about his legacy, was still trying to settle scores with former rivals, was still stepping on other people’s accomplishments. Watching that puerile display, I wouldn’t have been surprised if he dropped his pants and challenged everyone to a penis-measuring contest.

Adrian Wojnarowski writes, “Jordan revealed himself to be strangely bitter. You won, Michael. You won it all. Yet he keeps chasing something that he’ll never catch, and sometimes, well, it all seems so hollow for him. ” 10 years ago, everyone wanted to be like Mike. I think he knows 50 years from now, he won’t be transcendental MJ. His legacy will survive as a statue, a video clip, or montage that says best ever, but he knows he won’t quite capture the imagination of those future generations. What does this mean for the rest of us, who have no chance to even be like MJ? C’est la vie (French words are always deliciously gratuitous and pretentious)

Nope. Let’s go back to Warner, one of my favorite players. Every time the man gets interviewed,  production crews are trying to run a play-action to make sure he doesn’t thank his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ on national television.  Is he not a fiery competitor? Does he not care about winning? I don’t think anyone could say that. Yet, I am not sure retiring will leave such a void in his heart. 

Pascal wrote about these voids. I often mis-quoted Pascal, so I’ll write the real quote:

“What else does this craving, and this helplessness, proclaim but that there was once in man a true happiness, of which all that now remains is the empty print and trace? This he tries in vain to fill with everything around him, seeking in things that are not there the help he cannot find in those that are, though none can help, since this infinite abyss can be filled only with an infinite and immutable object; in other words by God himself”

I am not saying people without JC will suddenly be as petty as MJ. But give me Kurt over MJ any day. More on “God-shaped vacuums” later.

Phillipians 3:8

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