The arc of the ALDLAND universe is long, but it bends toward this weekend

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If there are two things I’ve written about with consistency at this weblog they are 1) the Detroit Tigers and 2) the Atlanta Braves’ foolhardy abandonment of their downtown home at Turner Field. Beginning tonight, and for the next two days thereafter, these two ALDLANDic worlds will collide when the Tigers face the Braves in the final three games ever to be played at the aforementioned Turner Field. More than anything, I am grateful that we will be able to attend each of these games, live and in person. These are critical games for the 2016 Tigers, teetering as they are on the edge of postseason qualification, and they are historic games for the City of Atlanta. I have little more to add at this juncture other than that I am very excited.   Continue reading

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How to watch, stream, or listen to the 2015 MLB Playoffs

The MLB postseason begins tomorrow night, and my latest post for TechGraphs is the single-best source of information I know for details on how you can follow along using your television, computer, smartphone, or radio.

The full post is available here.

Preds Season in Review: What Could Have Been

The Nashville Predators are done for the year after losing 4-2 to the Chicago Blackhawks, playing golf now, apparently (a sports turn of phrase I somehow only just familiarized myself with). Over at THW, I glance in the rearview mirror to see if this is an expected outcome, or if the 2014-15 Preds were destined for more than a first-round loss in six games.

Read the full story here.

Predators Struggling to Last Through Second Periods

Even as the Predators picked up a win last night (ending at a reasonable hour too), there are still some worries with the long change. The long change happens in the second period (really, considering how this series is going, I should say even periods) when a team’s defensive zone is on the opposite side of the ice from its bench.

Read the full post here.

Bench Pekka Rinne, for the Cup

My first post over at The Hockey Writers, a hockey commentary site, considers what might be in the Predators’ best interest going forward through the rest of the regular season. If the Predators value Lord Stanley over the President they might want to sit goalie Pekka Rinne for much of the final month of regular season hockey.

The full post is available here.

The BCS is dead they say: Long live the BCS

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When the BCS died a year ago, I wrote an introduction to the College Football Playoff that, in essence, contended that we were going to miss the BCS:

With the College Football Playoff ©, we will have one thing we asked for and one thing we did not. A semifinal playoff round will precede, and determine the participants in, the national championship game. That is good, and it was a structural shortcoming of the BCS. For some reason, though, the College Football Playoff © scrapped the BCS’s rankings system in favor of a Byzantine (Soviet? Orwellian?) black box: the PolitburoSelection Committee.

Participating in the BCS is like paying your income taxes: there’s a lot of math and fine print involved, you probably can’t quite find all of the information you need to calculate the precisely correct result, and there’s that guy down the block who hollers that the thing’s unconstitutional, but you generally have a pretty good idea of your expected outcome.

On the other hand, the new playoff’s Selection Committee recalls the Supreme Court: members deliberate behind closed doors, apply any criteria of their choosing in reaching decisions, and announce those decisions under their own terms.

On Sunday, the Selection Committee spoke for the last time in its inaugural season to announce the four playoff participants: Alabama, Oregon, Florida State, and Ohio State. Two days later, everyone outside of Texas generally seems to agree that this is the right result.

The only reason the results were or remain controversial has to do with what the Selection Committee did prior to Sunday. Their flipping and flopping of TCU, with seemingly connected treatments of Baylor and Minnesota, was the genesis of the confusion, surprise, and, in Fort Worth and Waco, disappointment, that arrived with the final playoff announcement. On one hand, those confused, surprised, and disappointed feelings were unwarranted: the Committee reached the correct result. On the other hand, however, they were unnecessary and likely would not have arisen absent the lack of transparency that now characterizes the college football ranking process.

If the BCS could speak from the grave, what would it say about the CFP Selection Committee’s final result? The answer, Continue reading

ALDLAND Podcast

ALDLAND is in finals mode . . . NBA and NHL finals that is! Your favorite hosts are here to break down, or at least pay lip service to the championship rounds in both hockey and basketball. And that’s not all. Stay around after finals talk for a quick discussion on the upcoming Vanderbilt-Stanford series in the NCAA baseball tournament. It’s really the most fun you can have listening to a podcast.

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Download the ALDLAND podcast at our Podcasts Page or stream it right here:

Equal Justice Under College Football Playoff

scocfWith college football’s 2013 regular season complete, the die has been cast for the final bowl pairings under the BCS system. Next year, or in exactly 385 days, 9 hours, 56 minutes, and 25 seconds as of this writing, the College Football Playoff © will be in place. With the death of the BCS effectively accomplished, this is a good time to consider how the college football world will be different 385 days, 9 hours, 52 minutes, and 34 seconds from now.   Continue reading

Looking ahead to the Stanley Cup finals

And they are. The simple story is that the Kings dominated on defense all year but couldn’t score, losing 2-1 games on their way to an eighth seed in the Western Conference. By adding scorer Jeff Carter late in the season, they finally had a complete (or complete-er) team that could compete on both sides of the ice. The simpler story is that LA is 14-2 in the playoffs and undefeated on the road.

As for New Jersey, they really came out of nowhere from my perspective. I don’t pay the Eastern Conference much mind until the Stanley Cup finals anyway, but the Devils really weren’t on my radar at any point this season, which, as far as the East was concerned, seemed to be all about the Rangers and Flyers, the woes of the Penguins, and the what-if-they-meet-the-NHL’s-own-Coyotes-in-the-finals Florida Panthers, for a series I would have relentlessly hashtagged #catsanddogs.