NBA General

Oh, Jerry Sloan is going to love the new league rule

It was just last week that we were thinking about how cool it would be to make wearing microphones mandatory for players and coaches in major sports leagues. Well, here we are today and damn it all if our Christmas wish hasn’t turned into a real life miracle.

Viewers will even get to peek into locker rooms via networks’ embedded robotic cameras. Those unmanned cameras can be directed to pan, tilt and zoom after media members are required to leave locker rooms 45 minutes before tip-off — and can shoot at halftime and postgame. The first games with broader access are prime time NBA doubleheaders on TNT Thursday and ESPN Friday.

Networks have rarely miked NBA players in the past, but will now be able to ask them to do it on a regular basis — with the player having the choice to decline.

NBA coaches won’t get that luxury. For the first time in a major sport, coaches will have to wear mikes — and be required to do TV interviews during games.

Holy crap! We were just kidding, we didn’t know they were going to take us seriously. You guys are actually going to make coaches give interviews during timeouts?! Have these guys ever seen what happens when football coaches get interviewed at halftime? Example #1*****Example #2*****Example #3

Hmmmm, maybe this isn’t such a bad idea after all. We’re glad we came up with it.


[]: NBA says mike it, but some coaches won’t like it

All Other Sports

High school coaches of America gone wild

Homer might be a complete idiot,
but he’d never act like these idiots!

The fall season is just around the corner and for some high school coaches that means that all the hard work is fixing to pay off and the fun is about to begin. Unfortunately, this past weekend was a pretty bad time to be a HS coach…well, only if the coaches are drunks or molesters.

Four assistant football coaches in South Carolina were dismissed from their coaching duties after they got busted drinking on the job. Apparently the quartet was boozing it up on Thursday night as they were getting the field up to par and somebody turned `em in. Now, this is a lot better than taking swigs of Listerine in the bathroom during normal school hours and then getting your teach on, but a rule is a rule and these guys will be watching their team’s games from the stands because of it.

But one jerk who deserves no sympathy for his actions is 77-year-old former softball coach Edwin Coughenhour who got slapped with a lawsuit by a former player claiming that she was sexually exploited by the dirty old man. The suit states that Coughenhour had “repeated, offensive and inappropriate acts of sexual contact” with her. The guy is finishing up a 30-day stint in jail after copping to two counts of simple assault as a plea in exchange for the county dropping four counts of sexual exploitation. The sicko admits to lifting the girl’s shirt and slapping her on the butt during a May 2006 practice.

We would figure that being a coach has got to be one of the most rewarding jobs on the planet, but when you see all the inappropriate activity that goes on, it kinda puts a damper on the whole philosophy that coaches are “teaching the youth of today to be the leaders of tomorrow.” Hell, there’s really only one HS coach left in America that we are still completely envious of…hers.


[]: Four high school football coaches dismissed for drinking
[]: Former high school softball player sues coach, school

New Jersey Devils

You should see what they planned to do if he was in second place

Lou Lamoriello, one of the best GMs in sports according to Forbes, fired Claude Julien today.  The Devils are first place in the division, won four of the last five and are headed into the playoffs as potentially the number 2 seed in the conference.  Does Lou Lamoriello think he’s Pat Riley or something.

This is the oddest firing we’ve ever heard of.  We’ll let James Mirtle do the commentary:

Obviously there are some tensions behind the scenes to which we haven’t been privy to — but my guess is that’s something that will come out over the next few days. Duhatschek notes that many players looked at the team’s coaching situation as one where Lamoriello was pulling the strings from on high anyway.

Of course, hockey’s wiliest GM has pulled this stunt more than once before, which makes me wonder just who will be willing to take on the Devils’ coaching role in the future given their volatile boss and a lack of job security.

Behind the scenes?  Hmmmm… did someone sleep with someone’s wife?

[James Mirtle]: Lamoriello cans his coach

College Basketball

Oh so that’s why Pokey Chatman left so quickly

We were wondering why everyone was searching for Pokey Chatman. Yes, it’s a little odd when the coach of the #10 ranked team in womens college basketball announces she’s leaving just before the NCAA tourney but not to merit the amount of buzz that “Pokey Chatman” was getting. But now the reason is clear.

The New Orleans Times-Picayune is reporting that the reason for Chatman’s abrupt departure is because she had inappropriate conduct with players and ESPN reported that she had improper sexual relations with a former player. Although she was originally expected to coach the team through the NCAA tourney, she is going to leave immediately instead.

This story would be 1000x better if it was Coach K/ JJ Redick, Pat Riley/Tim Hardway, or Jerry Sloan/ John Amaechi. Oh man that would be priceless.

[Times-Picayune]: Chatman avoids NCAA tournament, leaves LSU

San Diego Chargers

Dysfunctional Chargers axe Martyball

So long, Marty

Almost two months after the flaming out of the playoffs, the Chargers decided that Marty Schottenheimer would be the fall guy for a disappointing 14-2 season. “Disappointing” and “14-2” rarely go together but when you have as much talent and momentum as the Chargers have, you simply can’t lose in the first round of the playoffs, especially when you had the game won on an interception. So Marty had to go.

Schottenheimer and General Manager A.J. Smith were not on speaking terms and had no working relationship to speak of. Team president Dean Spanos essentially took A.J. Smith over Marty Schottenheimer:

Events of the last month have now convinced me that it is not possible for our organization to function at a championship level under the current structure. On the contrary, and in the plainest possible language, we have a dysfunctional situation here. Today, I am resolving that situation once and for all.

Our fans deserve to know what changed for me over the last month. When I decided to move ahead with Marty Schottenheimer in mid-January, I did so with the expectation that the core of his fine coaching staff would remain intact. Unfortunately, that did not prove to be the case, and the process of dealing with these coaching changes convinced me that we simply could not move forward with such dysfunction between our head coach and general manager

So let the coaching rumors fly. Who is going to take over the Chargers and higher expectations next year? Will it be Bill Parcells? Norv Turner? Pete Carroll? Ted Cotrell? Or could it be ex-Cowboys coach Jimmy Johnson? While Parcells, Carroll and Jimmy Johnson are big name coaches that will have Chargers fans salivating, our money is on a retread like Norv Turner or Ted Cottrell.

[SignOnSanDiego]: Spanos changes mind, sends Schottenheimer packing

[Yahoo]: Marty odd man out

NHL General

Lindy Ruff vs Ken Hitchcock

After getting pasted 6-0 in the first period of last night’s playoff hockey game against the Sabres, the Flyers started getting a little chippy as they say in hockey and took a bunch of penalties in the second period. Of course, Flyers fans will say they were just sending a message for the next game, which is one of the great things about hockey.

After the game, Sabres coach Lindy Ruff said that the Flyers were playing “like idiots”. When told about Ruff’s comments, Flyers coach Ken Hitchcock said, “That’s Lindy’s opinion. I’ve seen his teams do the same things. Lindy ought not to talk about that.” OK…no news so far… then as he was walking out of the presser, Hitchcock added:

Tell Lindy to fuck off, to mind his own fucking business.

Sure, it was a calculated move to deflect attention from his own team but you gotta love hockey coaches for saying stuff like this.

[]: Ruffly speaking, Hitchcock offers fighting words

NFL General

Computer is smarter than your head coach

Hello Barry Switzer

The mad scientists at End Game Technologies have come up with a computer model, ZEUS, that can correctly pick the next play to run. Using data from NFL game logs and the current situation, the computer can run a million game simulations and tell the coach which play he should call next that will result in the highest game winning opportunity.

Here’s an example:

Coaches often lose sight of this goal by focusing on points rather than the statistical expectation of winning. Points certainly matter in an NFL game, but not all points have the same value.
Consider a team trailing by 2 points on the last play of the game at their opponents 2 yard line: the extra 4 points that come with a touchdown in lieu of a field goal have no value whatsoever. The field goal is the optimal GWC choice. In this simple example, if the team went for the TD and succeeded they would still be charged with a large blunder even though it didn’t affect the outcome of the game. This is because the chosen play will lose on average. ZEUS focuses on the methodology of optimal play-calling not the short term results.

They are quick to stress that ZEUS is intended to be a coaches aide and not a replacement. Considering the salaries that coaches make, you can believe that these units won’t ever make it into team headquarters. However, we see a future where every football analyst has one of these bad boys and plugs in the data for critical decision and god help the coach that makes the wrong call. Basically, everytime your boneheaded coach makes a dumb call, you’ll know about it.

This article on this site about onsides kicks supports what we’ve been saying for years: the onsides kick is severely underutilized. This is purely our own thinking… Let’s say your team has just scored and needs the ball back with 1:59 to go. You have two time-outs left. If you kick off and stop them at the 20 yard line, so what? If they get a first down, you’re done. Now, let’s say you onside kick. If you recover, well, great. (ZEUS says there’s a 25% recovery chance.) If not, the opposing team has the ball at, say, your 45 yard line. If they get a first down, you’re done. So what’s the difference between your defense having to stop them on your 45 or their 20? Sure, you have less field to goal if you force them to punt from their 20, but the biggest factor in this situation isn’t the field position, it’s possession. Why not give yourself the extra 25% chance of getting the ball back right away?

Back to ZEUS…

The company states that over a course of the season, callign the correct PAT and 4th down play can result in an increase between .6 and 1.25 wins . They also claim that ZEUS can help make decisions regarding the GWC (game winning chances) of the #1 ranked kicker vs the #32 ranked kicker. So no more terrible contracts and overvaluing of players by GMs.

Of course, if any of this comes to pass, football won’t nearly be as fun to watch. If we can’t second guess and curse at the coaches, who are we going to blame for our team losing again? Oh yeah, the refs.

(Story via

[Science Daily]: New Computer Model Of Football Can Help NFL Coaches Call The Next Play, Evaluate Playe