Archive for the ‘Football’Category

The 15 Greatest NFL Teams Ever (the rankings are back)

You might remember that a while back I toyed with building my own rankings system to rank professional and college sports teams. With a little free time recently, I went back to that and revised my rankings and I think I found something better. I used data from NFL seasons dating back to 1940, every college football season and some NHL data. I also created a few custom data sets to see how my system reacted to a few things. The results are here. As a teaser though, I thought I’d share the 15 most dominating teams in NFL history (based on this ranking). Read the rest of this entry →


09 2011

Bart Scott’s Keepin’ it Real

Edit: My friend Ben sent me the extended cut of the Bart Scott interview, so I’ve changed the youtube video below.

It was an exciting weekend, and I got to watch it in northern Wisconsin with 3 college friends (more on that later), but it also marked the divisional round of the NFL playoffs, where the Super Bowl suddenly becomes a very real possibility for 4 teams. Read the rest of this entry →


01 2011

Realigning the Big Ten

Note: Someone just pointed out to me that my proposal actually violates NCAA rules.  The NCAA rule for holding a conference championship game is that the conference must be split into 2 divisions of at least 6 teams apiece where all teams will play each other within  each division.  This make my proposal a moot point, but I’m leaving it up as an interesting idea nonetheless.  Here is the actual NCAA rule:

Rule Annual Exemptions. [FBS/FCS] The maximum number of football contests shall exclude the following:

(c) Twelve-Member Conference Championship Game. [FBS/FCS] A conference championship game between division champions of a member conference of 12 or more institutions that is divided into two divisions (of six or more institutions each), each of which conducts round-robin, regular-season competition among the members of that division;

With Nebraska moving to the Big Ten next year, there is a lot of talk about how to restructure the league to add a championship game. The controversy around all of this revolves around the Ohio State – Michigan rivalry. There are a lot of great rivalries in the Big Ten, but that one has pretty much defined its football history, and any sort of proposal will likely impair the historic importance of this regular season match-up. Read the rest of this entry →


09 2010

Blast(s) from the Past

A few memories from the past have resurfaced in the past few days: Read the rest of this entry →


01 2007

Night football in the ‘paign

Saturday marked the return of college football. Since it was a long weekend, I had the opportunity to witness the Illini take on the Eastern Illinois Panthers.

The Illini looked improved from last season, when they struggled to beat similarly talented teams. The offense put up 42 points, which I pretty much excepted and the Illini running game racked up almost 300 yards. Isiah “Juice” Williams played a few drives and did ok, although he did fumble on one scramble.

The defense still looks suspect. The secondary gave up a number of big plays to Panther wide-outs.

Next week I expect a very tough challenge for the Illini. Yes, we beat Rutgers last year, but they did manage to go to a bowl game and they’ll be at home. I do favor Rutgets to win, but this is definitely a winnable game for the Illini.

And I’m heading back to Champaign in 7 days for corporate recruiting.

I’m hoping to make it back for the Indiana and Ohio games in October too. We’ll see how that works out.


09 2006

The almighty golf course ranger and the Cardinal camera

I spent the past weekend in Chicagoland. On Saturday, I played golf with Darren, Bova and Gartley. The course was Crane’s Landing in Lincolnshire. Anyways, as we got ready to tee off the golf course ranger comes up to us and starts explaining the rules of the course. He also tells us that the pace for the course is 2 hours on the front nine and 2:20 on the back nine.

The GPS unit on the golf cart is also nice enough to keep time for you, so it warns you about how you are doing relative to the course pace.

Anyways, we get to the 9th teebox and some guy from a charity accosts us and starts asking us to donate. We listen to his spiel for 5 minutes and finally tee off. As we are standing on the 9th green, the almighty ranger walks up to us and tells us we are running 10 minutes behind.

We explain that half of that time was lost due to the charity guy that the course gave permission to harass on the golf course.

He just shrugged his shoulders.

Anyways, we finish the hole and I’m still walking back to the cart when Darren gets in and yells, “Hey I don’t know where he got 10 minutes. The cart only says we’re 5 minutes behind.”

I yelled back, “Maybe he added our 5 minutes to the other carts 5 to get 10.”

The ranger was standing about 50 feet away. Oops.

Anyways, we teed off on the 10th and another ranger comes by and starts harassing us. We tell him we’ll try to hurry up but mostly ignore him.

We continue to play at the EXACT same pace and at the 11th hole, the first ranger drives up to us and thanks us for hurrying up.

For the record we finished the course 4 minutes ahead of pace.

After the golf course, Darren and I headed to Wrigley for the Cubs-Cardinals game with Tim and Paul. I, of course, was decked out in my Cardinals regalia — jersey and hat. The Cubs won the game and we actually ended up leaving early, in the 8th inning.

On the way out, I wanted a picture of the four of us, so I asked the usher to take one. He tried to take it, but I hadn’t set the time on the camera so it wouldn’t take a picture. The Wrigley crowd started yelling at us, “Who knows if that thing works, dude, it’s a freakin’ Cardinal camera!!!”

True, but I’ll guarantee one thing: It works in October.

Anyways, I came to a big realization on my drive back to Detroit today: The Washington Redskins have won more championships at Wrigley Field than the Chicago Cubs.

December 12, 1937, at Chicago
Wrigley Field, Attendance – 15,870
Washington Redskins
Chicago Bears
Was – Battles 7 run (R. Smith kick)
ChiB – Manders 10 run (Manders kick)
ChiB – Manders 37 pass from Masterson (Manders kick)
Was – Millner 55 pass from Baugh (R. Smith kick)
ChiB – Manske 4 pass from Masterson (Manders kick)
Was – Millner 78 pass from Baugh (R. Smith kick)
Was – Justice 35 pass from Baugh (R. Smith kick)


07 2006

Why I love the Big Ten

Yesterday I’m flying back to Detroit from Washington DC and I’m sitting in the airport bar at National Airport. The guy next to me is talking to the 2 guys next to him. It turns out the two guys are Michigan State alums, and the guy next to me is an Iowa alumnus, and they’re talking Big Ten smack.

Then they notice my Illinois T-shirt and I jump in on the Big Ten smack too. As it turns out Michigan State fans love Luther Head and Dee Brown (only because he went to High School with Shannon Brown) but they hate Deron Williams and James Augustine. None of this really surprised except the Deron Williams thing. Then again I’m surprised they like Dee so much considering he usually played the game of this life against them.

The other funny thing was that they thought it was so frustrating to play us because we beat them so much. I can clearly remember when Assembley Hall would be going crazy because our up-and-coming Illini were hosting the mighty Spartans who were National Title contenders year in and year out.

Anyways, this is something unique to the Big Ten and possibly the Pac-10. There is a certain level of respect that transcends athletics because every school in the Big Ten also has an incredible Academic reputation — even Ohio State.


06 2006

A story from 8 years ago …

It was August, 1998. I was about a week and a half from beginning my freshman year of college. Ninad and I went to Redskins training camp for fan appreciation day.

We were sitting in the bleachers at Frostburg St. when one of the Redskins came over and stretched out near the fans. I went over to take a picture.

“What do you know about Illinois,” he asked me, commenting on my Illini hat.

“Oh nothing really, I’m starting school there in a couple of weeks.”

“You know … I went to Illinois,” he said. “What are you studying.”

“Electrical Engineering.”

“Then that’s the place to be.”

The player in question was Scott Turner. He was cut from the team that training camp, but he continued to have a successful career with the San Diego Chargers, and spent another year with the Denver Broncos.

Anyways, as it turns out he’s running for congress in San Diego and has an article about him.

He also has his own campaign website, at

Anyways, it’s kind of a pointless story, but I thought it was pretty cool. Especially, since he seemed like a pretty decent guy the one time I met him.

As a sidenote, I tried to take a picture of the Redskins third string quarterback too. Right as I took the picture, an ambulance drove by right behind him and he gave me a little grief for jinxing his career. Later that season, starter Gus Frerotte got injured and that 3rd stringer became the starter.

That third stringer was Trent Green, who started for the Rams for a year, and has started every game for the Chiefs the past 5 seasons. So much for me jinxing him …


03 2006

Unimpressive First Half

Yes its been a while since I’ve updated. I just watched the first quarter of the Superbowl and I must say both of these teams are looking very horrible right now. Read the rest of this entry →


02 2005

Writing a song

So I was at Sameer’s house on Sunday and at about 3 in the morning, we get this brilliant idea to write a song. I can usually sit in front of the piano and put out some riffs, but this is a whole new animal. Every time I write some chord progressions on the piano, I keep thinking it’d be easier if I had lyrics to go with them. And every time I try to write lyrics they end up being sappy and dopey. I’ll keep you updated on whats going on. Read the rest of this entry →


12 2004