One Week Out

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The SEVEN
by Mack Williams
8 February 2015

I. Worst Call Ever?

Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll and his offensive coordinator have taken it on the chin in the week since the Super Bowl for the pass call at the one yard line that resulted in the interception that saved the game for the Patriots; some have even taken to call it the worst play call ever. But what would have happened had Malcolm Butler not stepped in to make an extraordinary play? The Seahawks would have won and everyone would have praised Carroll for not going with the “obvious” choice of Marshawn Lynch.

My thought, though, is that handing to Lynch is not as obvious a choice as some would have you think…things can go wrong, as in the case of the “Butt Fumble.” I would wager that Russell Wilson on a keeper minimizes potential mistakes, and I doubt they would have stopped him from gaining a yard running for the flag at the sideline.

II. Give Me A Call

If there is a nameplate on Brian Williams’ desk at NBC that reads “Mr. Williams,” I could use that same one if I were there. I’m not there, but to the suits at NBC, if you need me, give me a ring.

I don’t gloat over anyone’s misfortune, nor hope for anyone’s firing, but I must note that if it had been me in that position, and I had misrepresented my role in a wartime situation, I’d be gone already.

III. Called To Serve

What a shame that Sarah Palin is not going to seek the Republican nomination for the presidency. I was really looking forward to her participation; we need some comedy relief in our lives from time to time. Fortunately her fellow GOPers – from Carson to Santorum to Paul to Christie to Cruz to Walker, and so on – should be able to pick up the slack.

IV. The Weather Outside Is Frightful

…with more bad weather on the way for the East Coast. But word is that it might not be as frightful in the near future for Kevin Garnett – and perhaps Amar’e Stoudemire as well. Both are allegedly considering asking for buyouts from their teams, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks, with KG supposedly headed to join former coach Doc Rivers with the Clippers and Amar’e supposedly sought after by the Dallas Mavericks. Frankly, I don’t see why KG and Paul Pierce didn’t both roll out there in the summer.

V. Seeding

A lot is made about playoff position within the NBA format, in which in each conference seed 1 plays seed 8, 2 plays 7, 3 plays 6, and 4 plays 5. The general assumption is that the eighth seed has the hardest road to the finals…but in fact, it can be argued that – assuming the teams are, in fact, seeded in order of competence – the eighth seed has it slightly easier than the sixth and seventh seeds.

In each case – assuming no other “upsets” – these teams would be without home court advantage in each conference series. The eighth seed would play number one first, and then if they win would play number four, then number two. Meanwhile the seventh seed would play number two, then number three, then finally number one. The sixth seed would play number three, then number two, then number one.

So eight would play 1, 4, 2.

Seven would play 2, 3, 1.

Six would play 3, 2, 1.

Obviously eight’s road to the finals is less strenuous by the factor that seed three is better than seed four. Were it not for the fact – in each conference – that seeds nine and ten are usually fighting to the end to pass number eight and number eight has to play hard in order to keep that slot, there would theoretically be little incentive for the eighth seed not to “tank” in order to avoid getting to six or seven.

VI. If Form Holds True…

Given that Justin Bieber won the MVP one year at the NBA All-Star Celebrity Game…and given that this has been an incredible 10-12 months for Mo’ne Davis, I expect her to be the Celebrity game MVP on Friday.

VII. Too Bad…

…that Olympic champion Bruce Jenner is now referred to as “reality star,” and so many younger people know him as a result of the Kardashians (and now this other story) as opposed to the Decathalon.

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