Swallowing the Whistle

Stevens wanted the ball in Hayward’s hands. Twice during the season—against UCLA and Detroit—Hayward had been fouled at the finish and saved games by making free throws. Not that Butler’s coach expected a reprise of those scenarios.

“I didn’t think they’d call a foul,” Stevens said. “My thought was, ‘Shoot a pull-up if you have it.’ You would just have to get creamed in the national championship game to get a foul call.”

—Butler basketball coach Brad Stevens as quoted in David Woods’ book Underdawgs

Let the players decide the game. It’s a phrase we hear often from coaches, fans, announcers, and players themselves. Referees are criticized for blowing the whistle in the final moments of a close game—they are accused of “making it about them.”

How is a ref calling a legitimate penalty in the final seconds wrong? He is letting the players decide—it was a player who committed the infraction. It’s the ref’s job to call it.

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College Football Week 8 Rap

Guess who’s back with a brand new rap? The game of the week, if not the century, lived up to the hype, as Florida State outlasted Notre Dame. That game, and others, are mentioned in my Week 8 rap recap:


Lyrics and playoff picks below:

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New York Mets 2015 Outlook

The Mets have had many terrible slogans over the years, weak attempts to draw fans to the ballpark to watch a crappy team. In 1998 the motto was the admittedly catchy “Show Up at Shea.” In 2003 it was “Experience It” (“it” apparently referred to a 66-win team). On the heels of a rare playoff appearance, the 2007 slogan was “Your Season Has Come,” a declaration that Mets management has been selling to fans ever since without delivering on the promise. But next year, Matt Harvey is back. The pitching staff is loaded. The good news: Your Season Has Come! The bad news: It looks a lot like the past few seasons.

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