Not what the game is about

According to the investigation, the players regularly contributed cash into a pool and received improper cash payments of two kinds from the pool, based on their play in the previous week’s game.

Williams administered the program with the knowledge of other defensive coaches and occasionally contributed funds, according to the league investigation.

Payments were made for plays such as interceptions and fumble recoveries. But the program also included “bounty” payments for “cart-offs,” meaning that the opposing player was carried off the field, and “knockouts,” meaning that the opposing player was not able to return.

The investigation showed that the total amount of funds in the pool may have reached $50,000 or more at its height during the 2009 playoffs. The program paid players $1,500 for a “knockout” and $1,000 for a “cart-off,” with payouts doubling or tripling during the playoffs.

“The payments here are particularly troubling because they involved not just payments for ‘performance,’ but also for injuring opposing players,” Goodell said in a statement. “The bounty rule promotes two key elements of NFL football: player safety and competitive integrity.”

Read the full report.

When Keeping It Real in the World of Warcraft Goes Wrong

Not football, but I found this rather, ah, dramatic:

Following a dispute over stolen “gold” in an online video game, Trevor Lucas devised an incredibly detailed and disturbing plan over the course of a year and a half to get revenge on the would-be “thief,” CG, a minor living with his mother in Wisconsin. Lucas discovered CG’s home address, drove twenty hours to CG’s home, and impersonated a law enforcement officer in an attempt to lure CG out of the house and kidnap him. When CG’s mother refused to allow Lucas into the house, he attempted to gain entry by pointing a handgun directly at her face. But CG’s mother quickly slammed the front door before he could react, and Lucas fled while she called police. He was eventually arrested in his home state of Massachusetts. Lucas pled guilty to brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence and the district court sentenced him to 210 months’ imprisonment. He now appeals his sentence, presenting a barrage of arguments claiming the district court committed error at sentencing and the sentence was substantively unreasonable. We find none of these contentions meritorious, and accordingly affirm Lucas’s sentence.

You can find the entire opinion here. The whole thing is troubling:
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Happy Valentine’s Day from Vince Lombardi

Sort of, though he knew how take care of the ladies:

H/t CoachHuey.

Smart Links – Conference Realignment, Pass Rushing, Jim Harbaugh on QBs, Madden, Derek Parfit, “Bob” – 1/19/2012

Beginner’s guide to conference realignment. Below is catlab’s take:

Pass rush, thinking about the big picture.

Jim Harbaugh on quarterbacking.

Tom Bissell on Madden and the future of video game sports.

Defensive line play in the 46 Nickel.

“Bob,” R.I.P.

Steve Spurrier’s coach hiring criteria: No smokers and no sloppy fatties.

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Smart Links – Concussions, BCS, Pizza, Ditka, Journey – 1/12/2012

Blutarsky on the realities of a playoff.

Russell Wilson gives up his baseball career to pursue football.

Jonah Lehrer on concussions and high school football.

We finally have an answer: There is no such thing as “South Detroit.”

Brian Phillips on the BCS, the end of the season, and, as always, Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden.

A reading list for Law and Literature. I prefer this book.

A history of breast implants.

Tracking the “Pizza Princple.” I sincerely hope history doesn’t hold in this case.

Waiting for Ditka.

And I thought marketing had gotten salacious here.

Tech help: Spam/Mirror site of Smart Football

I need a little help from my tech-savvy readers: Someone (apparently in Russia, no joke) has created a spam/mirror site of Smart Football by adding “.net” to my hostname and copying over the site. Right now it is more of an annoyance than a problem, though I am getting streams of hits through via domain from various IP addresses around the country (at least a few per second, though the traffic is not overwhelming). Yahoo is the DNS provider and I have reported the site, and I have made complaints to Google as well. The actual web host seems impenetrable, so I’ve had little success reporting anything.

My concern is that the site would convert itself at some point to some kind of attack site or one that fishes for information. If you have any advice or ideas please leave them in the comments. You may also email me at chris [at] smartfootball.com but I’ve prefer to keep the discussion here, if possible. Any help is appreciated.

Refreshing the site’s look

I have been mulling about a few things I would like to do to the site:

  • Develop iPad/iPhone/Android Mobile versions of Smart Football.
  • Polish up the sidebar — what would be most useful to have on it?
  • Clean up the header, title, etc.
  • Add Google Plus to the social share at bottom — any other sharing tools people wish they had?
  • Embed advertising in RSS feeds.

I’m also open to any other suggestions or ideas. If you or someone you know has design and/or programming capabilities feel free to reach out to me at chris [at] smartfootball.com. Much appreciated.

The Play That Changed College Football: Spurrier’s “Righty”

That’s the title of this new ESPNU documentary about the new SEC Championship game, and specifically the 1992 Championship game between Alabama and Florida.

At the risk of spoiling the fun, the play call that changed the game is revealed after the jump.
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Paragraphs of the day, Homer Smith/Ohio State/Ross Fulton edition

From Ross’s great analysis of Ohio State’s offense (and the lack thereof) at Along the Olentangy:

Every primary backfield action needs to threaten all 11 defenders. What a primary play needs is good counter plays. Every defender needs to be worried about the ball coming to his area – on a throwback screen, a reverse, a play-action pass, or whatever – as a play begins.

What makes a defender good is something to read. If he can say to himself something like, “As soon as that quarterback makes that half-assed fake, I’m going to find the tightend coming across and try to get an interception,” if he can read initially and react accurately, he can play over his head. Counters, not mirrored primary plays, keep defenders from reading and jumping on plays.

The quote is of course from the great Homer Smith. Read all of Ross’s analysis here.

Coaching a Surgeon: What makes top performers better?

Very interesting piece from the New Yorker:

What we think of as coaching was, sports historians say, a distinctly American development. During the nineteenth century, Britain had the more avid sporting culture; its leisure classes went in for games like cricket, golf, and soccer. But the aristocratic origins produced an ethos of amateurism: you didn’t want to seem to be trying too hard. For the Brits, coaching, even practicing, was, well, unsporting. In America, a more competitive and entrepreneurial spirit took hold. In 1875, Harvard and Yale played one of the nation’s first American-rules football games. Yale soon employed a head coach for the team, the legendary Walter Camp. He established position coaches for individual player development, maintained detailed performance records for each player, and pre-planned every game. Harvard preferred the British approach to sports. In those first three decades, it beat Yale only four times.

The concept of a coach is slippery. Coaches are not teachers, but they teach. They’re not your boss—in professional tennis, golf, and skating, the athlete hires and fires the coach—but they can be bossy. They don’t even have to be good at the sport. The famous Olympic gymnastics coach Bela Karolyi couldn’t do a split if his life depended on it. Mainly, they observe, they judge, and they guide. . . .

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