Thursday, May 20, 2010

World Cup Fever: Catch It!

Today's a grab bag kind of day, because there are a lot of good things to chime in on, and I don't have coherent theme to any of it. So without further adieu, let me get you tuned in to a tent-pitchingly-awesome website that will get you fired up for the World Cup.

It is the un-official "Babes of the World Cup" page.

Unlike fake World Cup soccer fans who are actually models, painted up to look like fans (usually body and boob paint) these gals are the real deal!

And as always, because I think you people are too lazy to actually click the link and go find it yourself, I decided to pull a few choice gals from the menu of nations.


This week, the NFL marked it's 75th anniversary of the college entry draft. While pro sports drafts vary greatly in terms of interest and media coverage (NFL = massive, MLB = obscure) they are an accepted fact of life in pro sports.

The notion of going back to a day and age where every college entrant was a FREE AGENT is simply un-thinkable to most fans.

Not to my man, Skip Oliva who writes He has been a strident ANTI-draft advocate for years. And while I disagree with his take on the issue, nobody makes a more compelling argument.

Here's Skip:

The draft is an illogical business model. No other business allocates top incoming talent either by (a) random chance, as the NBA lottery does; or (b) rewarding the worst performing divisions. The draft isn't socialism, but it is a subsidy scheme, and subsidies mask business failures.

The draft doesn't even make any sense from the teams' perspective. By restricting intra-club competition for new talent, teams are often forced into making bad, expensive decisions. See JaMarcus Russell. If he's not an argument for abolishing the draft, I don't know what is.

I wrote a more extended piece on the subject after the 2009 NFL draft.

Interesting thought. Although I don't think I'll ever see an existing entry draft in ANY sport abolished in my lifetime. They serve as defacto marketing vehicles these days. The leagues would never give that up.


The inventor of the Chipwhich has died.

Richard LaMotta knew he had something good when he stuffed a serving of vanilla ice cream between two chocolate chip cookies and rolled it in chocolate morsels, and invented the 'Chipwich.'

But, Lamotta had no way to market his new tasty invention. After failing to raise money to roll out the 'Chipwich' nationwide, LaMotta found a way to sell the ice cream after watching hot dog vendors in Manhattan.


What started as 50 highly visible streetcarts with people standing in line for the $1 novelty, soon turned into armies of vendors nationwide. The 'Chipwich' became a success. In 2002 LaMotta sold his company to Canadain Distributor, CoolBrands International Inc, after over a billion were sold nationwide.

I plan to mourn by devouring four of the tasty treats on the couch in a prone position in one sitting.


Lewis Wheaton emails me to clarify why the NBA uses the mathematical jujitsu on the NBA lottery, instead of just 100 colored balls. And by "clarify" I mean: "CONFUSE THE LIVING SHIT OUT OF ME!"

Hey Czabe,
While you are dead on in your article about the overly-complicated NBA draft, it is based on basic math/probability.

So, it was deemed statistically invalid to flood the hopper with team-colored ping-pong balls based on wins/losses because it's too fair for the lowest slotted team (team with the best record of the lottery teams). When this happened in the Magic 1993 draft where, defying probability, they ended up with the first pick on a 1/66 chance. This was totally freakish and deemed unacceptable... basically like you guessing the first number coming out of the hopper in a 1 number, 1 shot deal, 1-66 ball lottery. Now, it is based on an entirely different statistical model where you have 1001 possibilities (basically, like putting 1000 balls in the hopper based on the 93 draft model). So now, you have a dramatically lower (and less random) chance of drawing the first pick if you are #14 in wins/losses because you have to have the right ordering that equals to the probability. So, instead of having to select 1 ball out of the 1001, you have to get the right 4 number sequence, which magnifies the odds. It could actually be worse, as the 4 number sequence (I believe) doesn't matter. 1-14 should net 24,024 possible individual combinations. By negating the order of the numbers (5-1-3-10 vs 1-5-3-10), this drops it to 1001, with 1 sequence removed to make the math more simple, leaving 1000 combinations.

So, go back to the Magic (11th seed, when there were only 11 teams lottery eligible), you had a 1/66 = 1.5% chance in 1993, would have an equivalent (11th slot) shot of 8/1000 = 0.8% chance today (this is a moderately fair comparison, because it assumes that the probability of the last team in 1993 is similarly slotted to the 11 seed today). So it basically dramatically modifies the odds. Basically, 100 balls in the hopper slpit amongst the 14 teams is to prone to have "mistakenly high" odds for the best of the worst teams. So, at worst, the odds are 1/100, or 1%. Compared to 5/1000, or 0.5% that's perhaps too good. And compared to the 1.5% that Orlando had in 93, it is way too good. And again, remember that if you did the 100 balls in the hopper, you'd have that 1% chance for each pick individually from 1-14. It basically does nothing to the #1 team in the lottery, but curtails the statistical probability more evenly for teams 2-14 making it next to impossible for the 4 teams that have less than 1% chance. In your 100 ball situation (and the old NBA draft style), nobody would have less than 1% odds.

It happens behind the curtain because in all likelihood it takes several hours to do this and would make for the worst TV ever, though ESPN would somehow try. Any network that will try to sell me on billiards and poker as prime time viewing can and will do anything. To me, I think that lotteries are stupid anyways and should be based on W/L only and if you finish lower on the pole, your ticket sales should be dramatically affected. Teams will be less likely to tank it then!



Well then, now you know why I never escaped Algebra 2 in high school, much less Trig or Calculus.



If it is found that some of the Redskins have used PEDs of any kind over the past decade, it is the only proof we have seen that suggests PEDs don't work.

Todd Nicolini

REACT: I can't top that one. Well played, Todd!


  1. Your ability to pick top-notch female "talent" is surpassed only by your ability as a talk show host...And I would add to Todd N's observations vis a vis (I always wanted to use that phrase)PED's ineffectiveness and the use by Redskin's players, that Tiger can be put into the same category. Not only has his golf been off, his body has broken down and his taste in women has also deteriorated.

  2. I pray that Lewis Wheaton is not a teacher because he is horrible at explaining things.