Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Revisiting My Thoughts on the College Football Playoff System

   Concerning my post from May 4, 2013, I wanted to show an example of how a post season could look if it followed my idea. In my system every game in the post season (after conference championship games) would still be bowl games, the difference being that the winners from these games play again in another bowl game the following week vs. the winner from another bowl (or one of the top 8 seeds if in round 2).
   The advantages of this system are threefold:
1>Every game means something (you're playing for a chance to get to the BCS Championship Game)
2>If you win you'll play in another bowl game (doubling the profits made for your university)
3>The fans will be more interested in watching because the games are far more important & not just
    a way for their university to make some money after the regular season.
In the graphic below I've shown a fictional example of how the 2012-13 postseason bowl games in my system might have turned out. I listed the top 23 bowl games actually played, and so did not include 11 of the bowl games (because they were lesser quality games and because in my system I only have room for 24 teams & currently there are 35 bowl games. A bit too many I think).
As for what each bowl paid to each team selected to play in them:
Armed Forces Bowl: $600,000
Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl: $837,500
Heart of Dallas Bowl: $1.1 million
Independence Bowl: $1.1 million
Liberty Bowl: $1.4 million
Meineke Car Care Bowl: $1.7 million
Pinstrip Bowl: $1.8 million
Music City Bowl: $1.8 million
The Holiday Bowl: $2 million
Sun Bowl: $2 million
Russell Athletic Bowl: $2.2 million
Alamo Bowl: $3 million
Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl: $3 million
Gator Bowl: $3.5 million
Outback Bowl: $3.5 million
Cotton Bowl: $3.6 million
ChickfilA Bowl: $3.9/$2.9 million
Capitol One: $4.5 million
Rose Bowl: $17 million
Orange Bowl: $17 million
Sugar Bowl: $17 million
Fiesta Bowl: $17 million
BCS National Championship Game: $18 million

It might be necessary to adjust these payouts, otherwise the team which wins in this playoff system would take home around $40 million or more (is that too much?)
Another thing to remember however is that it costs the universities a lot of money to send their teams to these bowl games. One of the greatest expenses being tickets-the teams have to buy thousands of tickets. Also, their is lodging, travel, food, etc. So, after all is said and done many times the teams either barely make any money or actually lose money. So much for the big payouts.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Mamma Mia! The Nonsensical Movie

Just thinking the other day as I was driving down the road-as I am wont to do-and I thought on the popular film called "Mamma Mia! The Movie" From my recollection this film is about a girl who invites 3 men to her wedding, one of whom she believes may be her father (she doesn't know which one is her father). It was a very popular film making back over 10 times its budget (possibly due to songs by ABBA making up the majority of those used, particularly the title song Mamma Mia).
I had a major problem with the film as the premise of the movie is that the main character (Sophie, the girl getting married) wanted to know who her father was and yet the issue of a paternity test never arose. The possibility that a DNA test (which are 99.99% conclusive today) was never brought up or given a moments notice, but instead she invites the 3 guys over to her parents' villa to talk with them before the wedding in order to accomplish this. Okay...So the only possible explanation for this I could guess was that the film was set in a pre-DNA testing time. At this point I gave them the benefit of the doubt-at least until I did my research.
Research done, low and behold I discover that, although this film was produced in 2008 it was adapted from a 1999 Broadway musical of the same name. So, it was not originally created before say the 1980s (when DNA parental testing could be done with 99.99% accuracy). Of course Broadway musicals don't give much mention as to the setting-at least when it comes to exact year. The film from 2009, however, did make some mention of a year setting. That info found I also discovered that the setting for the film (though a date was never specified in the film) was probably in the late 1980s
due to there being mention of Sophie being a kid in the 1970s.
So neither the original adaptation nor the setting were pre-DNA paternity testing days.
My only conclusion therefore is that DNA was totally ignored as existing even though it would be able to identify without error who Sophie's father was-which was the whole premise of the movie. Why is science being ignored? I could maybe understand it if either the original adaptation or setting was from say the 1950s or earlier, I wouldn't object to that, but neither are. So I'm just at a loss for the logic here.
However, logic be damned, the movie was a big hit. I guess it matters not to people if something makes no sense as long as it looks and sounds great. I'm an ABBA fan myself (I like me some ABBA songs, which were used in abundance in the film). Hell, I liked the movie Muriel's Wedding in at least some small part due to ABBA's music in it as well, though the premise of the film made much more sense than Mamma Mia!
I guess that if they made more movies like Mamma Mia! the studios would be rolling in money, seeing as how people loved it so much.
Here's some ideas for other movies that don't make sense, but could make millions if put to music:
Yay! Here Come The Unicorns!
Moby Dick, The Resurrection
The Texas Chainsaw Highschool Musical
Rocky 8
You get the point.
There was one funny item of note I found while
doing my research on DNA paternity testing. This
was the fact that parental testing can be performed
easily through established companies in the US with
AABB accreditation (American Association of
Blood Banks). I thought it interesting the similarity
of ABBA (the rock group) to AABB. (Same letters,
just in a different order).

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Thoughts On The College Football Playoff System

   I was at a college baseball game today with a friend and while discussing various sports related things the topic of college football came to my mind, and with it the problem with  its playoff system--or lack thereof. This I'm sure has been mulled over by hundreds of sports writers before: the fact that, at least as far as the division 1 ncaa teams are concerned, although college baseball and basketball participate in post-season tournaments there is no such animal when it comes to division 1 football. The College World Series (CWS) has been held in Omaha, NE since 1950, and the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship began in 1939. College football has, however, had no playoff or tournament system and has simply utilized bowl game(s) since 1923, starting with the Rose Bowl Game (humorously enough aka: the Tournament of Roses) in Pasadena, CA.
   I'm sure that there are logical reasons why this has transpired in this way. The most obvious reason I can think of for why college football plays bowl games is money (teams are paid to participate in bowl games). In 2010 70 of the 120 division 1 teams played in bowl games that year. That's 35 bowl games! And while I suppose 68 of those teams were glad to get paid for participating, and maybe some people enjoyed watching those games, none of those games really mattered. Only the best 2 teams, the 2 that played in the BCS Championship Game, were playing for a shot at being the national champion. Isn't that what the post-season is really about? To determine what team in the country is number 1, and not about how much money the university can get by playing some meaningless post-season bowl game that most people probably don't care about.
   College football has never really done it right. Oh, it was once kind of special. After the Rose Bowl began the number of bowl game grew to five: [Rose Bowl, Sugar Bowl(1935), Cotton Bowl Classic(1937), Orange Bowl(1935), and Sun Bowl(1935)]. By 1950 it grew to 8. By 1970=11. By 1980=15 games. 1990=19 games. In 2000 we had 25. Up to the dreaded 35 of 2010 that we still have today. More and more teams have jumped onto the gravy-train to cash in, with the American public
sitting back all accepting of the situation. Is this really what the people of US want? I know that football is probably the most popular sport in the US, so I would guess that showing more and more games would in one way please their senses. However, should this be done to the detriment of the sport? Playing so many bowl games for no real reason other than to pay those teams who participate in them and to have something on TV to watch I suggest makes zero sense. Especially when
we see how brilliantly the post-season is handled in baseball and basketball.
   Rather than the current schedule of bowl games where those teams participating play their games and are then one-and-done, a much more logical approach, and one worth actually playing for the teams involved, would be a playoff system. It might seem impossible to many to implement such a system in football (where it is normal to play at most one game per week), but I've given this some thought and feel that it could be done--even using a great deal of what already exists. Bowl games that are currently scheduled could serve as the event locations for where the games would be played. The only major change to our current system would be not knowing ahead of time the teams to be matched up against one another. And although I'm sure that this would be a problem for some people it is unfortunately the way it need be done (and it is how both basketball and baseball are handled, fans be damned). The tournament locations involving basketball and baseball could care less who is playing at their venues. All that matters is that the games are being played to determine an ultimate winner. This is how football should fare as well. Currently fans have weeks if not months to plan and prepare for their team's bowl game(s). This would be reduced to a much shorter time frame-perhaps as little as only 1 week. I understand the difficultly this imposes. But I also realize that somehow the baseball and basketball crowds seem to cope with these difficulties perfectly well. So I would ask that the football crowds follow suit.
   At any rate below I've created an example rendering of how a ncaa post-season might look. Instead of the current number of teams (70) I'd start with 24, but give the top 8 teams first round byes. This would give us a staggered 5 round bracket and a total of 23 games (instead of the current 35), so the total number of games would be greatly lessened, while keeping fairly close to the current schedule of game days. The major advantage to this system is that every game means something and is not simply a money-maker for universities. We would have no more than 4 games played on any particular day, due to the staggered play arrangement, which is a common occurrence already.

   Next year we'll be going to a new system where in addition to the meaningless bowl games the top 4 teams (chosen by a committee) will compete for the national championship. This would be the closest we've come to a legitimate playoff system for ncaa division 1 football, so maybe we're at least headed in the right direction. Many would say that letting the top 4 teams compete for the title is plenty, while others, myself included, want a greater number. Who's to say what that perfect number is. But I will be looking forward to see how next year's playoff pans out.