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This blog is the work of an educated civilian, not of an expert in the fields discussed.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Half A Good Game

And Also: "Malpractice Makes Perfect: How the GOP milks a bogus doctors' insurance crisis" by Stephanie Mencimer is a good taste of the flavor of her book, Blocking the Courthouse Door. Her tasty sounding blog also covers its subject: "how the Republican Party and its corporate allies are taking away your rights to sue," and gain justice given the lack of a satisfactory safety net or things like universal medical insurance. A brief, surely, but one backed up with enough examples and reasoning to stick.

The NYT had an interesting article today discussion on the value of going for two at the end of regulation, if the alternative is a tie and OT. Considering that the two point conversion (did it really only enter professional football in the mid-1990s?!) hovers around a 50/50 call on average (it used to be lower), especially for some teams, it might just be a reasonable option -- a team with a mediocre defense, for instance, might not want to risk losing that coin toss.

Talking about the two point play, I sometimes think it useful to give up two, if the alternative is punting deep out of your own end zone. This quite often results in three or more points, while two points is not too bad, especially if you stop them after the "free kick." This seemed to be shown when the Saints were called for intentional grounding from their own end zone, by rule a safety, and stopped Chicago after the kick. An end of the half quickie drive plus a long pass play (plus good defense) turned a messy turnover filled 16-0 deficit into a 16-14 game of it by mid-third.

The safety only made it 18-14, meaning even giving up a field goal would give the Saints a shot to tie it with a score. Things looked good, especially with Rex having a history of being inconsistent and a Bears turnover possible. And, though they looked wicked early, perhaps embarrassed by all those Seattle points (until the final three stands -- obviously when it counted and where three would have done them in), the Saints seemed to be back on track. Seemed. The Bears had a quick strike. And, one more turnover did the Saints in. They had to deal with a defense that was lethal in that department, but the Saints just turned over the ball too much to have a shot. The Fourth Quarter after it was 32-14 was largely garbage time. Yummy.

The better team won, but it promised to be better than that. I noted that I leaned toward the Pats, though this was before I read about their unsportmanslike antics at the end of the game (shutting it off after the failed field goal). Likewise, honestly, I'm sick of them. Though it wouldn't give me too much pleasure, I guess I favor the Colts, perhaps via the Pats' old kicker. OTOH, a blowout would help the Saints share the misery, if again, not too satisfying. Ah well. One has to root for the Bears ... and really, should they be counted out as some kind of token opponent against the far from unbeatable Colts (Peyton would be new to the big dance, right?) or imperfect, if doing such things in their sleep, Pats?

I think not. Anyway, I blame this on Seattle. You had three chances, guys! Sheesh. Anyway, the NYT also had a cover story on the likely depopulation of New Orleans. The flood a sort of natural cleansing of what is deemed by some as excess population. Clearly, they are thriving elsewhere, right?