The search for the saddest punt in the world
> To punt is to give up, and in the 21st century, NFL teams have given up nearly 50,000 times. Most of those punts were reasonable decisions. But a few were so cowardly, and in such defiance of all reason, that they must not be forgotten. In this episode of Chart Party, it’s our mission to find them.
This is the golden age of NFL punting
> A punter’s job is no longer simply to kick the ball high and far while fans hold their collective breath that this time isn’t the time when the ball flies sideways into the stands. No, punters are now neutralizing and terrorizing the most electric return men in the NFL with kicks that spin and move and bounce and flip in all sorts of unpredictable, terror-inducing ways.
The untold story of Mike Leach's 'lost' OU play script that fooled Texas
> During pregame warm-ups of that year’s Red River Showdown, an underhanded script outlining OU’s opening offensive plays was spotted on the field by one of Texas’ student assistants, who scooped it up and took it to Longhorns defensive coordinator Carl Reese. To the heavily favored Longhorns, it seemed as if they’d caught an enormous break.
> It was a fake, part of a plot hatched by Leach, the Sooners’ offensive coordinator, and consulted by the Longhorns, who quickly fell behind 17-0 before realizing they’d been duped.
Can’t con an honest man...
The risky move a title-starved team should try: Trade a young, star QB
> Unless your quarterback is married to a supermodel with a net worth stretching into nine figures, though, the bargain doesn’t last forever. The best-case scenario is that you get four seasons of excellent play at a below-market rate before locking up your franchise passer and hoping to find arbitrage opportunities elsewhere.
How to best value an asset that will increase in absolute terms but decline in relative terms?
The Cowboys' salary-cap mismanagement is wasting Dak Prescott
> In reality, though, they aren’t spending because they find themselves in a difficult cap situation, even with the benefit of Prescott’s minuscule salary. For years now, they’ve operated with a unique strategy designed to pay their top stars market-value contracts while simultaneously keeping their cap hits relatively team-friendly. It might sound like a great plan, and it is when everyone stays healthy and effective. The downside is that when those players become ineffective or are otherwise unable to play, teams end up paying the price. While most teams can move on from veteran deals without incurring significant costs, the Cowboys have been stuck paying uncomfortable amounts of dead money.
Mostly a football story, but maybe some technical debt parallels. Borrow from tomorrow.
Is It Time to Sell Your NFL Team?
> Congratulations. I’ve just given you an NFL franchise.
> The criticism is intense. Newspaper columnists are fools, especially the dope at The Wall Street Journal. Sports radio is worse. Johnny Calling From a Car thinks you’re a moron. A moron? What has Johnny Calling From a Car ever done? Did he start a whoopee cushion empire?
> You tried lowering the price of parking, and you did that hot dog-and-a-beer promotion for $25. Twenty-five dollars for a hot dog and a beer! It’s a steal!
The untold history of the cookie cake, recruiting's must-have dessert
> In recruiting, the search for the next big thing means that sweet treats have to evolve. That is exactly why Scott said Clemson decided to move away from cookie cakes, instead using gourmet cupcakes for official visitors.
Carson Wentz: The Gunslinger Leading the NFL’s Best Team
> What makes Wentz so good is that he plays nothing like the other best quarterbacks. In an age when the league’s best have mastered high-percentage, short-yard passes, Wentz is the one torching defenses deep.
Mathletes: Eagles' analytics team has an in-game line to Doug Pederson
> When you do the math, you really want to try to be a lot more aggressive than the public would normally anticipate. So I think the smarter teams do it that way.
How a single phone call led to Hugh Freeze's downfall
Opsec tip: Don’t call escorts with a phone subject to FOIA requests.
How to Avoid a Debacle on NFL Draft Day
Can probably extrapolate some lessons to other decision making.
Lawyers, others vie for pieces of NFL concussion settlement
After a drawn out legal battle, that’s when the real fighting begins.
How NFL Players Lost Their Leverage
Hard to think of people earning six or even low seven figures as have nots, but it’s all relative I suppose. If there’s a way to restructure a guaranteed contract to be less guaranteed, somebody’s going to do it.
The NFL’s Mountain of Unusable Data
> Each player is equipped with a chip that gives coaches a trove of new metrics—but finding an application for this has proven tricky
First team to find a use will probably keep it as quiet as possible, too.
Ranking the greatest QB seasons in NFL history
> With league shares, we simply take an important counting statistic and look at what portion of the leaguewide total in that stat an athlete accounted for in a given season. We can then apply that percentage to different years if we want to translate his statistics.
This is a neat way to assess performance across time.
Can Technology Make Football Safer?
College Football’s Financial Woes
Several articles about stadiums, debt, TV deals, etc.
Catching-up with the Fake Schools that played college football in the 2016 season
Very strange phenomen. I’m still not sure who benefits. Is the school a front to field a for profit football team or is the football team a front to make the school seem more legit?
Simmons vs. Gladwell: The Future of Football
> Sagging ratings, national controversy, horrifying head injuries, shameless greed: The conversation about the NFL has officially changed.
Resolving the Parallax Error
Trying to do this by hand is kind of error prone, but it’s something. The actual positions of the cameras could probably be calculated, but many of them are mobile throughout the game. For NFL games, they’ve already started doing on the fly 3D generation, but that’s more of a gimmick.