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Four Big Questions for the NFL Season

9th September 2016

It's going to be almost 90 degrees this weekend and the leaves haven't started changing color at all, so that can only mean one thing: football season is here! When we left off last season, an ascendant Carolina Panthers team struggled in Cam Newton's first Super Bowl against Von Miller and the Denver Broncos. And when we picked up this season, not too much had changed. With Game One in the books and an exciting slate of football ahead this Sunday, let's dig into some of this season's biggest questions.

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Breaking Down the Heisman Trophy Candidates

2nd September 2016

There have been 33 grueling Saturdays since the Alabama Crimson Tide defeated the Clemson Tigers in Glendale to claim the 2015 College Football Championship, each emptier than the last. Going to the movies? Hanging out with friends and family? Leaving the house? No thanks.

Fortunately, our nightmare has come to an end and the 2016 college football season finally kicks off this weekend! Technically, it already kicked off last weekend, if you are a fan of the California Golden Bears, Hawaii Warriors, or games played 5,000 miles away from either of those campuses. And while there are a number of juicy storylines to follow, from Nick Saban's quest for his 5th title to Jim Harbaugh's attempt to follow-up his excellent debut season with the Michigan Wolverines, one of the most interesting ones is the race for this year's Heisman Trophy. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, CFB at Sports Reference | 1 Comment »

What Would It Take For a Kicker or Punter To Be Worth the #1 Pick?

25th August 2016

I feel awful for Roberto Aguayo. In a decision that could be charitably described as "off-beat," the Tampa Bay Buccaneers took Aguayo, a kicker, with the 59th overall pick in the 2016 NFL Draft. Aguayo isn't the first kicker to be taken that high -- as recently as 2005, the New York Jets took Mike Nugent in the second round, while Sebastian Janikowski was drafted in the first round in 2000 -- but between the Internet, the rise of advanced statistics, and the proliferation of fantasy football, we know a lot more about kickers. Mainly, we know it's not worthwhile spending a lot of resources, in terms of salary cap space or draft capital, in order to get one, because you can usually find a decent one pretty easily and results can fluctuate widely from year-to-year because of the small sample size. Read the rest of this entry

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Find Your Own Dang Fantasy Football Sleepers!

18th August 2016

Have you heard about Kevin White? The 2nd-year wide receiver for the Chicago Bears who's basically a rookie? The 6'3, 210 lb physical pass catcher who's poised for a breakout in a Chicago offense that needs a second option besides Alshon Jeffery?

If you play fantasy football, the answer is probably yes. That's because just about every fantasy expert has cited Kevin White as one of this year's best fantasy football sleeper picks. The sleeper is a time-honored fantasy tradition; everyone who's played in a fantasy league has a story about a 15th round running back or waiver wire flyer who ended up swinging an entire season. Read the rest of this entry

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How Prince Fielder, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez Changed Baseball

12th August 2016

We like to think of it as slow and incremental, but change tends to happen pretty fast. The game may have been shifting over the last few years, but it's hard not to have whiplash from the events of the last seven days. In rapid succession, Mark Teixeira and Prince Fielder announced their retirement from baseball, while the Yankees cut Alex Rodriguez, in a transaction that also seemed like it could signal the end of A-Rod's career.

In their prime, all three players were superstars who came to define their era. And it's hard not to see this moment as something of a paradigm shift. Over the last few years, there's been a dramatic shift in our understanding of the game, and you'd have a hard time finding three players closer to the center of it than Fielder, Teixeira, and A-Rod. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement, | 10 Comments »

NHL Rookies of the Month Added Back to 1983-84

11th August 2016

In January, we added NHL Rookies of the Month back to the 2005-06 season. We've recently made some additions and now have the award listed back to 1983-84.

There are a few holes in the data, however. If anyone has the October 1987, November 1989 or December 1990 winners, please let us know.

We hope you enjoy this addition to our NHL Awards section.

Posted in Announcement, Awards, Data, History, | Comments Off on NHL Rookies of the Month Added Back to 1983-84

Inside the (Underrated?) Hall of Fame Class of 2016

4th August 2016

There's no shortage of big names in the 2016 Pro Football Hall of Fame Class, as legends like Brett Favre, Marvin Harrison, and Tony Dungy head to Canton. But despite the star power, statistically and historically, this year's crop of Hall of Famers can seem a little lacking.

Favre's best season was 60th all-time in passing yards, behind predecessors like Dan Marino, contemporaries like Drew Bledsoe, and, of course, the next generation of star quarterbacks like Tom Brady and Peyton Manning. Harrison's game lacked the electricity of Randy Moss or the showmanship of Terrell Owens. Dungy always seemed to be outfoxed by his rival, Bill Belichick. Since 1990, 40 defensive players have made more All-Pro First Teams than Kevin Greene.

The game has changed at such a rapid pace that it's diminished some of the raw statistics by this year's Hall of Fame class. But make no mistake, these are some of the greatest players of all-time. Perhaps even better than you remember. Let's take a look. Read the rest of this entry

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The Trade Deadline Matchmaker

28th July 2016

There's a few days that every baseball fan has saved in her Google Calendar. Opening Day, the All-Star Game, and Game 1 of the World Series all loom large, but another highlight of every year is the Trade Deadline.

This year's Trade Deadline looks like it could be a little slower and less star-packed than last year's, when stars like David Price, Cole Hamels, and Troy Tulowitzki were on the move. However, four of the six division leaders have a team within 4 games of them, and both Wild Card races are still wide opening, meaning a lot of teams are incentivized to make a deal. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, WAR | 5 Comments »

Remembering Mike Piazza’s 8 Amazing Days with the Florida Marlins

21st July 2016

With the announcement of Mike Piazza's induction to the Baseball Hall of Fame, everyone's attention turned to one question: What logo would appear on Piazza's cap on his plaque? Would he select the team that famously drafted him in the 62nd round, the Los Angeles Dodgers? Or would it be the team he went to in 1998 and led to the 2000 World Series, the New York Mets?

One team that likely did not receive consideration: the then-Florida Marlins. While the idea of Piazza wearing a Marlins logo in the Hall may seem as outlandish as him in a Braves or Phillies cap, it wasn't totally out of the realm of possibility. That's because, for eight glorious days in 1998, Mike Piazza was a member of the Marlins, playing 5 games before moving on to the Mets. Though it's now a largely forgotten mini-chapter in his Hall of Fame career, Piazza may never have been a Met were it not for the Marlins.  Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, Hall of Fame | 3 Comments »

21 Things You Didn’t Know About Tim Duncan

14th July 2016

The writing was on the wall for the San Antonio Spurs. At the end of the third quarter of Game 6 of the Western Conference Semifinals, they trailed the Oklahoma City Thunder by 26 points. They had lost three of their last four games vs OKC and found themselves overwhelmed by the size and physicality of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, and, most surprisingly, Enes Kanter.

On the San Antonio bench, Tim Duncan pulled Gregg Popovich aside for a quick conversation. After the conversation, Duncan played the entire fourth quarter. Even as the game entered clear garbage time and Andre Miller and Kyle Anderson replaced Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard, Duncan stayed on the floor. Read the rest of this entry

Posted in Announcement,, History | 7 Comments »