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Will the Los Angeles Rams win OVER/UNDER 8.5 games? By University Stats Prof!

1. Introduction

The Rams looked almost unstoppable in 2018 when they finished with a 13-3 record and the second-highest scoring offense in the league. They made it to the Super Bowl, and that’s when things started to unravel for them.

New England won Super Bowl LIII by a 13-3 score. The Rams offense was limited to just 260 total yards; they were totally unrecognizable.

Their two biggest stars, Jared Goff and Todd Gurley, have not looked the same since that game. Their level of play took a big hit last year, and it led to a 9-7 season and missing the playoffs.

What will 2020 bring?

2. Offensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

2.1 Quarterbacks (QBs)

Jared Goff was a huge disappointment for fantasy owners. He did rack up 4,638 passing yards, but if you omit his rookie season, he had a career-low in TD passes with 22 and a career-high in interceptions with 16.

Goff graded as the 20th overall QB out of 37 by PFF. A much better production was expected of him, especially with some playmakers around him.

Its offensive line wasn’t as good as it was in the past. When your quarterback is as mobile as a statue, the results are bad. He struggles a lot when pressured; he doesn’t seem to be able to scramble or avoid the rush.

The team would love to upgrade the OL, but it’s an almost impossible task considering the team’s lack of cap space. For this reason, Goff is unlikely to match his 2017 and 2018 numbers, but the team hopes he can fare better than last year.

2.2 Running Backs (RBs)

Todd Gurley had four magnificent seasons with the Rams from 2015 to 2018. He was widely viewed as one of the best non-QB player in the league. He was racking up rushing yards, receiving yards and also a boatload of touchdowns.

Then, his play started to decline towards the end of the 2018 season because of knee and ankle injuries. His 2019 play wasn’t so good, including a pedestrian 3.8 yard-per-rush average.

The team got rid of him even though he’s only 25 years old. His knee issues appear to be chronic, which scared the team. His enormous contract also became a big problem.

Who is set to replace him?

The team pulled the trigger on Cam Akers in the 2nd round of this year’s draft. He was the #1 ranked RB coming out of high school. He had a tough time at Florida State running behind a putrid offensive line.

Akers has a very thick lower body. He has the skillset to become a three-down NFL runner since he showed promise as a pass catcher (albeit not spectacular in that part of the game). He has shown a great understanding at reading defensive fronts.

The Rams invested a 3rd round pick in 2019 on Darrell Henderson, so they are likely to give him all the opportunities to prove his worth. He only rushed 39 times for 147 yards (an ordinary 3.8 yards-per-carry average), while catching just four balls last year. And that was despite Gurley not playing very well, so I don’t recommend holding your breath hoping he can suddenly break out in 2020.

As for Malcolm Brown, he had more rushes and yards than Henderson, but his yards-per-rush average was no better. Brown did get into the end zone on five occasions, though. The undrafted runner from Texas seems unlikely to be a lead back in the NFL.

2.3 Wide Receivers (WRs)

Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods led the team with 94 and 90 receptions, respectively. Both surpassed the 1,100 receiving yard mark. Kupp hauled in 10 TD passes versus just two for Woods. Both are very reliable and well above-average receivers. A very nice duo to have for Goff.

The 2019 season was one to forget for Brandin Cooks. He had career-lows in receptions (42) and TDs (2), and pretty close to a career-low as well in terms of receiving yards with just 583. His five concussions as a pro and his bad contract enticed the team to trade him to Houston.

That opens the door for Josh Reynolds, who is clearly a huge downgrade compared to Cooks. That being said, second round pick Van Jefferson might push Reynolds for the number three role.

Jefferson is known for his route running prowess, which is something Sean McVay values. However, he doesn’t have extraordinary size, nor speed. His production in college wasn’t very impressive, as he never topped the 700 receiving-yard mark in any college season.

2.4 Tight Ends (TEs)

The Rams have a nice TE duo with Tyler Higbee and Gerald Everett. They graded as the 3rd and 10th-best tight ends in the league last year, according to PFF ratings.

Gerald Everett entered 2019 as the #1 tight end for the Rams and he was on his way for a breakout season. In Week #11, he sustained a knee injury and he ended up missing a few games. During that time, Tyler Higbee did an astounding job and the team had no choice but to put Everett in the backseat.

Both of these guys will be back in 2020 and are entering their prime years. The future is bright at this position.

2.5 Offensive Line (OL)

L.A.’s offensive line struggled last year. The only guy who seems to be locked into a spot is left guard Andrew Whitworth. His play dipped last year, but he was still one of the best from this group.

The Rams have signed some bad deals recently, and they might have done another one this offseason. Why sign Whitworth for three years at an average of $10 million, knowing he’s 38 years old? He’s been very durable, but a 38-year-old body is more likely to get hurt. Also, his play might deteriorate even more this year.

Austin Blythe started the second half of the season at center following Brian Allen’s injury. Both had a subpar season and it remains to be seen who get the starting nod when the season opens.

Rob Havenstein was considered as a strong up-and-coming right tackle in the NFL until the wheels came off last year. He eventually got benched in favor of Bobby Evans. Both received marks around 50 from PFF, which is horrible.

David Edwards seems to have a shot to become the starting right guard. He was taken in the 5th round of the 2019 draft and he ended up starting 10 games last year. He finished as the 44th-best guard in the NFL among 81 guards. That’s not great, but it turns out to be a higher rank than most of his teammates.

Joseph Noteboom is another guy whose PFF grade cratered in 2019. It went from 70.7 in 2018 to 39.7 last year. He was overmatched and looked nothing like the promising third-round pick.

Austin Corbett might still be in play as well. He’s been nothing short of bad with the Browns and the Rams. He couldn’t make it into the starting lineup with the OL-desperate Browns.

2020 VS 2019 OFFENSE

The Rams didn’t add any offensive player worth of note via free agency.

However, they lost Todd Gurley and Brandin Cooks. Both disappointed a lot last year, but they still had talent and contributed to some level last year.

I’m also worried about the team’s depth, except at the tight end position.

First, the backup WR position is questionable. If either Kupp or Woods get hurt, who will step in at WR? Reynolds isn’t ready to be a #2 receiver. Rookie Van Jefferson isn’t up to the task either.

Next, we don’t even know if the Rams have a #1 running back, let alone a viable backup. They have to hope for Cam Akers to be pro ready. Finally, the offensive line is a mess.

Therefore, it’s hard to envision an upgrade from this offense. They scored the 11th highest number of points in 2019 and I can hardly see them finishing above spot 11. Perhaps 14th-19th is more realistic.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Moderate downgrade

3. Defensive Position-by-Position Breakdown

3.1 Defensive Linemen (DLs)

The interior of the defensive line is the strength of this defense. Having what may be the best defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald, clearly helps the cause.

Donald has obtained a PFF grade above 90 in each of his first six seasons in the league, which is unbelievable. For clarity purposes, note that just three DLs obtained a mark above 90 last year.

His numbers are staggering. He has averaged 12 sacks and 2.5 forced fumbles per year. He has also missed just two games during this 6-year period. It doesn’t get any better than this!

Michael Brockers agreed to terms with the Ravens, but the deal fell through because he failed a physical exam. Baltimore was too worried about a high-ankle sprain he suffered last year. A few days later, he signed a three-year contract with the Rams.

The team is glad to have him back. He was the 23rd-best DL out of 114 qualifiers, according to PFF. He will soon turn 30, but still has some gas left in the tank.

Los Angeles added some nice depth by acquiring A’Shawn Robinson, formerly of the Lions. He never lived up to his round 2 status and he struggled more last year, but his presence might help.

3.2 Defensive Ends (DEs) / Edge Rushers (ED)

Dante Fowler and Clay Matthews are gone. There goes 11.5 and 8 sacks.

Out of the two, Fowler’s departure hurts the most by far. He’ll be 26 years old when the season begins and he was coming off career highs in tackles, sacks and forced fumbles.

As for Matthews, his eight sacks were deceiving. He still received the lowest PFF grades of his 11-year career; his tackling was particularly horrible.

In order to alleviate those losses, the Rams signed Leonard Floyd. After being selected as the #9 overall pick in the 2016 draft, he posted seven sacks in 12 games during his rookie season. Things were looking up.

However, he picked up just 4.5, 4.0 and 3.0 sacks from 2017 to 2019. At least he defends the run well, which allowed him to finish above-average among all edge defenders in the NFL (based on PFF ratings).

Samson Ebukam has enjoyed three similarly “okay” seasons in the NFL thus far. He’ll be 25 years old so he could improve a little bit. He’s nice depth to have on your team.

3.3 Linebackers (LBs)

Cory Littleton leaving to Las Vegas is a huge blow to this defense. A very big loss. He led the team in tackles both in 2018 and 2019. He was a three-down player and it’s unclear how the team plans to replace him.

Troy Reeder is an undrafted guy who played 27% of the snaps. According to PFF, he finished as the second-worst LB in the league out of 88 guys. Enough said.

3.4 Cornerbacks (CBs)

Last October, the Rams made a lot of big moves.

First, they traded Marcus Peters to the Ravens, whose level of play increased dramatically after the trade. A few hours later, the Rams acquired Jalen Ramsey from the Jaguars, in return of a couple of first-rounders and a 4th round selection. Finally, the Rams shipped Aqib Talib to Miami for cap reasons.

Ramsey played pretty well in his nine games with the Rams. He’s been very good in each of his first four years in the league.

After the trade shuffling, Troy Hill became the starter opposite of Ramsey. He received good marks from PFF, but he seems likely to regress in 2020. He’s an undrafted guy who was used as a fill-in during his first four years in the NFL.

Nickell Robey-Coleman was a slot man for the Rams, and he was good at it. His 74.5 grade from PFF put him in the #16 spot out of 112 CBs. Unfortunately, he left for Philly and he leaves a hole in L.A.’s defense.

3.5 Safeties (S)

Eric Weddle was the most used safety in the team, but he decided to retire after an illustrious 13-year career. Hats off to him for missing just seven games during this time frame!

Last year the team drafted Taylor Rapp out of Washington in the second round. He had a satisfying season with 100 tackles, two interceptions and one TD. Despite such very respectable numbers, he graded as the 57th-best safety out of 87.

Who will fill the void left by Weddle? As of now, the most probable answer is John Johnson.

The former Boston College player enjoyed two very good seasons after being drafted in the third round. Indeed, 81.5 and 83.6 grades from PFF during those years was exceptional. However, he crashed down to a 53.5 mark last year, while also missing 10 games due to a shoulder injury. He really struggled early in the 2019 season.

2020 VS 2019 DEFENSE

The only defensive position where the Rams improved during the offseason is DL via the acquisition of A’Shawn Robinson. And to be honest, that’s not a huge improvement.

On the other hand, the team will be hurt big time from the loss of LB Cory Littleton. At edge, replacing Fowler and Matthews with Leonard Floyd won’t cut it.

More bad news in the secondary. Effective slot corner Nickell Robey-Coleman is gone, while starting safety Eric Weddle decided to hang his cleats. The Rams will be hard-pressed to find suitable replacements.

Thank God they have big-name players like Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey (and perhaps to a lesser level Michael Brockers) because the rest of the roster is pretty weak. If either player gets hurt, it could be catastrophic for this unit.

Last year, Los Angeles ranked 17th in terms of points allowed. I expect a severe downfall into the 24-30 range.

Final call (2020 vs 2019): Big downgrade

4. Regular Season Wins

According to sportsbooks, the Los Angeles Rams are expected to win 8.5 games this season. Should we bet the “over” or the “under”?

Here is the methodology I used in order to answer this vital question:


Here are the results:

Estimated Probability Sportsbook Odds ROI
OVER 8.5 WINS 49.3% Bookmaker.eu +116 +6.5%
UNDER 8.5 WINS 50.7% William Hill -110 -3.2%

Here are BetOnline’s point spreads for the Rams’ 16 regular season games:

Note: The “Best odds” from the table above were obtained after looking at 13 well-known online sportsbooks on May 18th, 2020.

This 6.5% ROI is the 28th-highest among the league's 32 teams. Tomorrow, I'll discuss the team whose ROI is 27th in the NFL (and I'll keep going every day with ROI improving each time).

I hope you found this article and in-depth statistical study insightful!

Professor MJ
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The Long, Wild Story of Denny McLain

Denny McLain is, for the most part, known by baseball fans only for his legendary 1968 season in which he went 31-6 with a 1.96 ERA, winning the Cy Young and the MVP Award, while leading the Tigers to a World Series victory in the year of the pitcher. He and Bob Gibson, equally competitive and equally dominant, became the symbols of baseball's new dead-ball era, and their success drove the league to reduce the size of the strike zone and lower the mound from 15 to 10 inches.
But there was more to McLain than just that one season that we remember him by, and in my opinion, he's one of the most interesting characters in MLB history.
The Rise
The Downfall
After Baseball
At 75 years of age, Denny McLain has had quite the eventful life. I just think it's fascinating how much more of a story can be told than what's found on the back of a baseball card.
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The UK General Election. All you need to know!

The UK General Election 2019. All you need to know.
Plus, a great betting opportunity guide as a bonus.
The need for the election was obvious, given the Brexit impasse in the parliament, that was unable to deliver Brexit for more than 3 years, sabotaging the will of the people. Having a Remainer prime minister without the real majority did not help the cause either.
Now, with new Brexiteer prime minister Boris Johnson at the helm, and the ERG-the European Research Group, the eurosceptic parliamentary fraction within the Conservative party, the country has got a chance to see some real action. Yet, we saw the parliament going to great lengths to sabotage the new government, ranging from using the powers of a scandalously biased speaker- John Bercow, to prevent voting from happening to using the newly created supreme court, who’s politically motivated decision undermined the government and the Brexit proceedings.
Getting to the election was a massive struggle in itself with the opposition blocking the motion to call for an election, which Implies the oppositions grim outlook on its electoral prospects.
Now, with less than 8 days to go, let's have a look at the election scene the way I see it.
So, the Tories are leading in the polls, entering this election as a ruling party, with some recent success in the Brexit talks, a charismatic energetic leader, and a clear Brexit position, which is now declared to be the hard Brexit, with a proper trade deal afterwards. The, who wins this election will decide not only the manner of leaving the EU but also the future relationship with the Block.
Brexit seems to be the key focus issue of the Tories in this election, and they are trying to steer all the debate into this channel. There is a grain of salt in there for Boris, however, as he promised to take the country out of the EU by 31st of October, and, as we can see, he did not. Not his fault though, but, a good aim for criticism for the competitors.
There are some spending promises from Tories too, for NHS In particular, which seems to have become the sacred cow of UK politics.
Boris Jonson himself is both an asset and a liability in the increasingly «presidential» in style UK elections. He is vocal and charismatic, bold and aggressive. Compared by many to Donald Trump in both the political style and in the way he looks. Some might remember him as a liberal mayor of London, for others, especially the young swing voters, his Brexit stance and his style might be a massive put off.
On the bright side, one of the highlights of the last debate was Boris’s clear position on Scottish independence. He said that the Union is more important than Brexit and than anything else, which is appealing to the part of the electorate that values the Union, which, let's be honest, is a majority, even in Scotland. Seats before current parliament dissolution: 298
Labor, in contrast, is entering the election mired In the antisemitism scandal, with Jeremy Corbyn as a leader and an unclear Brexit position. Corbyn, being a geriatric incoherent Marxist, who miraculously managed to become the Labor leader is a massive scarecrow for swing voters of all stripes.
The last election momentum surge, that deprived the Conservatives of their majority was largely due to the voter’s delusion of Labor being a Ramain party. That advantage is gone, with labor spending all 3 years of Brexit struggle sitting on a fence, calling it “constructive ambiguity” and now, becoming a second referendum party. Labor wants to renegotiate Boris Jonson's deal and then put the result to another public vote, with the Remain as a second option.
Unsurprisingly, Labor talks mainly about the “starved” public services, the river of cash for the NHS, the free broadband for everyone, in addition to their plans to nationalize Water, Rail, and Electricity.
More free stuff for everyone paid for by the money form the magic money tree, which is how Labor sees the government borrowing and taxation. Should labor get in power, having half their plan done is certain to put the country on the brink of insolvency. They call that ending the austerity, which turns out to be a maximum affordable level of spending when put under scrutiny. The fact that the public services used to get more funding in the pre-crisis Labor era simply means that the latter tend to spend beyond the means.
Another cornerstone of labor criticism of the Conservative opponents is the trade deal with the US which might be struck, should Brexit go as planned by the current government. Labor screams about the dreaded chlorinated chicken, lower labor protection and the sacred cow-the NHS being up for sale for the US health providers. For that, it is only fair to repeat Jonson’s joke, that the only chlorinated chicken here is Jeremy Corbyn himself. Seats before current parliament dissolution: 243
Lib Dems gamble on being a Remain party, with the policy to cancel Brexit seems to have backfired, with such pandering being perceived as unconstitutional and undemocratic by most of the people. Also, fake grotesque confidence exhibited by its newly elected leader, styling herself to the next Prime Minister which is almost impossible, has turned voters away.
The third mistake was remaining fiscally conservative, as it was expected for the Tories to go on a spending spree, so the Lib Dems wanted to appeal to the Tory voters, who are disappointed with the so-called current conservative's swing to the right, but who can’t vote labor. Having a female leader- a fresh face that is not mired in the “dirt” of the coalition years might help, yet, I don’t see the Lib Dems as a formidable contender. Seats before current parliament dissolution: 20
SNP- the Scottish independence party is interesting to watch with the independence talk being reinvigorated by Brexit, with not only the majority of Scotts voting Remain in the Brexit referendum, but also, previously, many voted to stay in the UK during the Scottish independence referendum, because of the UK’s membership in the EU. Now, with the UK set to leave the EU, SNP is making the case for another independence referendum, arguing that the post-Brexit UK would be such a different country, that another referendum is needed. Seats before current parliament dissolution: 35
The other parties are most likely to keep their insignificant number of seats and are largely irrelevant for this analysis. Independent MP’s: 24, DUP:10, Others:22. The total number of seats in the house of commons:650.
There is another interesting element of this election: the Brexit Party. A newly formed party starring in the latest EU parliamentary elections, which theoretically were not supposed to take place in the UK due to Brexit, humiliating Britain with its inability to get the job done.
The party is Nigel Farage’s child, who is arguably the most notorious and well-spoken Brexiteer, who advocated for the UK leaving the EU for the last 20 years.
The party was meant to be a boogieman for the Tories, pushing the latter further south on the scale of the Brexit hardness, threatening to steal the leave voters from the tories around the country.
The Brexit party's current position exposes the inadequacies of the UK’s current electoral system. The first-past-the-post (FPTP) system, where single MPs are picked per constituency on a non-proportional basis, means that smaller parties have virtually no chance of getting any representation in the parliament, ensuring the two main party’s lead position.
UKIP- the UK independence party, a former Nigel Farage’s project is a perfect example of the inflexibility of the FPTP system, with the UKIP polling in 7-12 percent at times, yet failing to get a single MP in the commons for years.
Voters might like your agenda, yet people vote for the party that has got chances of being in power at the end of the day. In other words, it is theoretically possible for the party to get 30% of the popular vote, but with it being distributed evenly among the constituencies, the party gets ZERO representatives in the parliament.
The recent study shows that nearly 14 million voters are living in constituencies that have been held by the same political party since at least the second world war, with some not having changed hands for more than a hundred years.
The Brexit party’s power, while having no chance of getting a single MP, is in that it could steal some voters from the Conservatives in each constituency, delivering victory to the Labor.
That is how it was supposed to work. This position might have shifted the Conservatives position, so the plan worked. Now, however, with the Tories being the only ones, who can deliver any Brexit at all, Nigel Farage said they are not targeting Conservative seats.
The same complication haunts the Lib Dems, with the Conservatives saying: vote Lib Dem-get Corbyn in power. And that is a reasonable claim.
This election is going to be about who you hate least, not the who you like most one for sure.
With no one having made a single major gaff yet, the campaigns have been quite dry and boring, the debates were toothless and uneventful. Taking this into account, with just a week left to go, the polls and the common sense suggest a high chance of the Conservative majority, with the bookmakers supporting this view with 2/5 odds on this scenario vs 6/1 on the Labor Minority being a second likeliest one.
Labor Minority, which Implies that Labor takes more seats than the Conservatives, yet less than needed for the majority, is wildly unlikely, due to the fact that Lib Dems are mostly targeting Labor seats. SNP might gain in Scotland, taking seats from both labor and Conservatives. So Torie seats are largely the only ones, that Labor can be targeting , which will prove to be a hard thing to do, given the current poor state of the labor party.
Tories minority government seems to be the second likeliest option to me with the odds around 10/1 making it an excellent betting opportunity. Here is why. If Tories don’t get the majority, labor might indeed try to form a coalition government by promising SNP a second independence referendum and offering Lib Dems a seat at the table and a second Brexit referendum with even softer Brexit option on the table. Labor will need both SNP and Lib Dems to form a coalition, which makes it an unlikely option, given the limited time given to form the government and the difficulty and instability of the Trilateral relationships. The prospects of the coalition are further undermined by the Lib Dem's bad memories from the coalition with Tories. Will they risk another one? Who knows. The unlikelihood of the coalition government is reflected in the 22/1 odds, making it a formidable betting option too, because, while being less likely than the Conservative Majority/Minority government it is still possible given how volatile politics has become.
Common sense suggests that the Tories majority is the best scenario for the UK now, as this option provides certainty with regards to Brexit, makes the US trade deal possible, and keeps the Union intact by denying the SNP their second referendum, which is an insane endeavor, to begin with. Not least because they had one already. And such votes are supposed to be a once in a generation thing at best. You can't just throw in an independence vote now and then for a laugh. Also, we can trust the Conservatives to be fiscally responsible, which will help the country prepare for both the possible global crisis and the headwinds of the first post-Brexit years.
On a side note, Brexit and all the other issues that the UK faced in the last 5 years exposed an outdated political system unfit for the 21st century. The need for the electoral reform, giving more power to smaller parties while also allowing for the new ideas to come onto the political scene, forcing major parties to adopt, is clear as day.
There is a need for a written constitution too, now that the UK has got a supreme court, which was able to overturn the decisions of the government recently while being unelected and unlimited in the scope and direction of its decisions by a written constitution. Finally, a radical decentralization is crucial to keep the Union, or one, and also to allow for the county to be run more efficiently, whereas now almost all the power rests in London.
The end.
Please, like, comment and subscribe.
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bathrobeDFS - Daily Analysis for March 18th

Hello, everyone! bathrobeDFS here with your daily basketball article. First, I will breakdown my lineup for yesterday’s main slate. Then I will go over tonight’s slate as someone that plays on Draftkings. If you have any additional questions or want to see guaranteed updates in regards to breaking news- I provide additional updates, information, and stats on my twitter @bathrobeDFS. Feel free to throw me a follow cause it’s much easier and more timely to provide updates over that medium. I also have a Venmo and Patreon for those that wanna donate
I also strongly suggest joining us on Flick. It’s a live chat app that allows me, and a wonderful group of people, to deal with news as it happens, talk about the slate, share lineups, and break things down in a way I simply can’t on any other medium. It is also invite only, so there are no trolls and only good, helpful people talking all different sports, all day, every day.. If you want to join us there, Download the Flick App and send me a message so I can get you an invite. That’s it! Free and easy!
It also should go without saying, this is just a preliminary analysis of the slate: everything can change throughout the day, so make sure you are staying on top of any and all injury news and change your lineups accordingly! Let’s get started with the Review!
Yesterday In Review:
While I played a quick lineup in a couple of the slates, I basically took a day off yesterday to spend time with my wife and son. It was wonderful. I got to leave the house for the first time in a couple of weeks. We had a delicious dinner. Spent some quality time with our pets. And, best of all, watched my son pretend his Raphael doll from the Ninja Turtles could fly around and kick other, non-related things (like Iron Man and a LEGO Airplane).
The one thing I want to say as my entirety of my review for yesterday is CONGRATULATIONS to Flick user bp123 for his 4 figure GPP win yesterday! He took home some serious money, and, having the pleasure to talk to him in Flick a bunch, I couldn’t be happier. It couldn’t have happened to a nicer dude, and I am beyond happy. You should join us there. Hopefully tomorrow the winner will be you!
The Daily Slate:
Ahhh, back up to 9 games. A little more than I like, but still not terrible. Plus we got a bunch of people missing that will make this an interesting day of games. The people who know the most and plan for everything are going to have a HUGE advantage tonight, so let’s get into it.
Situations to take advantage of (in no particular order):
Jaaazzzzzzzzzzzz - The Jazz have a pace up spot against one of the worst defenses in the NBA. Yet it is still projected to remain close- with an O/U of 228.5 and a spread of UTA -4. We also have a Wizards team that is one of the worst in the NBA against C and PF, so first people we start with are Gobert (8300) and Favors (5800), with some Jae (4900) for good measure. These are the 3 players who are going to get the most minutes, and the most usage, in the best position in which to attack the Wizards. While Donovan (8200) is 6th overall in usage, and cheaper than Gobert, I will prioritize Gobert here, though, if ownership has Gobert as chalk, I will GLADLY pivot to Donovan, seeing as how Beal is a subpar defender, at best.
Beal and Bryant - So, Beal (9400) has been on fire lately, and he has been carrying this team on his back. If he is popular, given the matchup, I have no problem taking a pass. But I expect Beal to go completely overlooked tonight and, given how crazy his production has been, I don’t know how you don’t think that makes him a perfect GPP play. My favorite play on the Wizards, though, is Bryant (4100). As crazy as it would be, the Wizards are only 3.5 games away from backing into the 8th seed. They are going to go all out here, and play to win. That means that I would expect them to employ the same game plan they settled on last game. Last game, Bryant had barely gotten any run in the 1st half. He entered the game at the beginning of the 2nd quarter after Portis got the entire 1st. He played 5 minutes in which the Grizzlies went on a 13-4 run due to a few hot shots by Chandler Parsons. He managed to shut down Noah and, when they took both Bryant and Noah out, the Wizards were in the midst of a 21-9 run that would get them a brief lead before it they went into the half down 2. When the 2nd half opened, the Wizards hammered JoVal and opened up a 6 point lead, forcing him out of the game. Noah came in and started getting the best of Portis. The Grizzlies went on an 8-0 run, taking a 2 point lead before they let Bryant come in to close the 3rd quarter. He didn’t leave for the rest of the game (15 minutes). He is not the best defender, but, compared to Portis, he looks like it. If they needed Bryant that much against Noah and JoVal, how bad do you think it’s going to be against Gobert? While Portis will have a chance to exploit the Jazz’s major weakness against C, I think most of that is going to fall to Bryant. And I will be there with whoever else reads this and 1% of other people.
Jokic’s insane price - On January 7th Jokic went up to 10k. He went down to 9800 on the next day but, on 1/10, he was quickly back up to 10500. He fell down to 9800 again on 1/23. From that point on, Jokic had been priced over 10k, as high as 10900, until 3/16. And now Jokic (9200) has fallen to a price that is just laughable. Yeah Horford is a decent defender. But Jokic is one of those freaks. And I don’t care if he is in one of his streaks of getting around 40 DKP. 2 of those were blow outs. 1 was a weird game he only took 9 shots. And the other he went 11-21 and got way less of the other stats than he normally would (cause of Myles Turner). Well, no one on the Celtics is Myles Turner. And Jokic could get you 60 DKP. At 10k that was great. At 9200, that’s real money in your pocket. I also have to point out that, like always, I want to attack the Celtics through Morris, so I am also a huge fan of Millsap (6600) today. If you don’t want to eat the Jokic chalk, Millsap could get you 50 DKP, even in this matchup.
Kyrie and Jaylen - With the Celtics still fighting for seeding in the East, I expect the Celtics to come out come blazing as well today. This means, basically, Kyrie (9100) putting up more than 60 DKP again. This game has a 222.5 total and a spread of BOS -3.5. This is a Championship caliber game, and Kyrie is in as good a spot as anyone on this slate to take control of all of their teams usage and run with it for 40 minutes. That being said, Hayward is expect to miss the game tomorrow, meaning I am also in love with Jaylen (4800) and the guaranteed extra run he will get with Hayward down.
PG13 and Schroder - Well, Russ went and got himself a one game suspension. You know what that means?? Everyone on the Thunder is underpriced. It also means that Cerberus is looking more like Orthrus today (look it up). You have to consider PG13 (9700) and Schroder (5100) as straight locks here, no matter the matchup. I don’t care how pace down this is, and how defensive Miami is. The Heat are the best against C, not against SF/PG. Seriously, you can play both of them together. Both are fantastic. I don’t know how I would get off of them. They would be good chalk. Again, 213.5 total be damned, I’ll take the OKC -3.5 and the playoff implications for both teams. On the season, the Heat have been weakest against PF, so if you want to take a chance on Grant (4400), he should also get you 30 DKP with Russ out. If they announce Markieff (3300) would get extra run, I would be all over him too. But 17 minutes is tough to pay for in this matchup.
DeRozan - Even with Durant in for most of this time period, over the last month+ the Warriors have been worst in the NBA against SFs. While I normally like to play DeRozan when he’s already getting hot, I will take the chance today, in this matchup, especially if he turns out to be underowned. This game is projected to have a bunch of points scored, and to stay close. With Dray on LMA, DeRozan is going to have a lot of extra work to do. Expect an increase in shot chances and, at a cheaper price, I would take that. This is also the kind of game that Belinelli (3400) scores 30 DKP, so make sure you are giving him serious consideration as one of the best punts of the day.
Doncics and Randles and Elfs, Oh My - With Jrue out, Doncic (8900) is one of the best plays of the day. If he is less owned than other people, I will try to have him in almost all of my lineups. Guards have been destroying the Pels since Jrue went down, and Doncic is going to be able to absolutely eat here. It’s one of those “more surprised if he doesn’t 3x2 than if he does” situations. Speaking of which, Elf (7500) is taking on the Mavs and their inability to guard PGs. 7500? Still too cheap when he’s going to get you 50-60+DKP.
If they are serious about giving him less run, I would be worried about playing Randle (8000) but, even if he gets 32-35 minutes, the Mavs have been so, so bad against Bigs since they traded Jordan, I would even consider using Brow in his 22 minutes today. Also, Diallo (3900) should get you 25 minutes again at least, and get you 30 DKP against this Mavs team. I’m not kidding.
Most everyone else on the Mavs is also in play, as well, in this insanely good matchup against the fastest team that gives up the most DKPPG. They are worst in the NBA against SG AND SF AND PF AND C over the last month. Do you know how hard that is to do? So, I will also be a big fan of taking Powell (6200) and Kleber (4800), who should get most of the front court minutes, and should be able to keep crushing their prices. Also Hardaway (5200) is the most risky as someone who is dependent on scoring, but if anyone is going to give up those points, it’s these Pelicans.
One of the sneakiest plays on the whole slate - Jalen Brunson (6100). GPP only, but what a spot for him to have one of his 50 DKP games. Now I think Doncic is a guarantee. So I wouldn’t take more than 2 more Mavs, since I expect only 2 other people to have enough points leftover.
Bulls vs Suns - While I don’t normally comment on Sports Betting topics, I have to say one thing. Right now this game has a total of 228.5. A game with a spread of PHX -3, which means it should stay close. A game between a Bulls team playing faster lately, and the 3rd fastest team in the NBA in the Suns. A game between the Bulls, who give up the 6th most DKPPG and the Suns, who give up the 3rd most DKPPG. A game where the Bulls are weakest against the positions the Suns are best at and vice versa? I’m sorry, but if I lived in a Sports Betting state, and I got to the bookmaker and the O/U is still 228.5, I am spending a FUCKTON of money on the over. I would expect this game to get to 240. I am shocked the O/U isn’t at least 235.
That being said, this is a game where we know where the usage is coming from. The Bulls are AWFUL at defending SG. The Suns are the Worst. LaVine is one of the worst SG defenders in the NBA. Booker is the worst. So my absolute favorite 2 plays on the day are LaVine (7900) and Booker (8500). I will start my lineup with those 2. They command an overwhelming amount of usage, Booker will control the ball if Johnson is out again, and they could both, easily, get you 60 DKP here. This game is going to be breakneck, with shots coming as quickly as Booker and LaVine can throw them up.
The Bulls are Suns are also 2 of the worst teams at defending against Centers. Both Ayton (6600) and RoLo (6200) for this matchup, especially if Holmes misses for PHX.
You know who is also bottom 5 at their position in DRPM? Oubre. So, again, if you wanna go in on Porter (6700), I wouldn’t argue if you considered him the 2nd best play on the Bulls today. Porter is also not the best defender and the only other Sun in the top 50 in usage is Oubre (6500), so if you argued that Oubre was the 2nd best Sun today, I also wouldn’t think you were crazy.
If Holmes misses again, you can also take some punty chances on eitheboth Bender (3400) and Jackson (4200). I would expect them to be popular, but both should be able to exceed value, especially in this matchup.
CJ McCollum is OUT - Normally, I would see this game and immediately put it in the “situations to be careful” section (that won’t even exist today), but with CJ out, we just have too much on the Blazers that is underpriced. Now, don’t get me wrong, this is still a TERRIBLE matchup. I mean, the Pacers are slow and fantastic. They are best, or near the best, against PG and C. They are above average against everything. But, even though it’s only 213.5 projected points, there are still going to be over 100 points scored by the Blazers. Most of those are now going to come through Lillard (9000), who sees a massive spike with CJ off the court. He gets 1.59 DKPPM. So, if he gets 35 minutes, that’s 55.5 DKP. Not bad. Nurkic (7100) gets 1.44 DKPPM with CJ off the court. Even if he only gets 28 minutes, that’s still over 40 DKP. Again, at that price, not bad at all. Even Kanter (4300) has gotten almost 120 minutes now without CJ on the court. And he gets 1.14 DKPPM. If he gets the other 20 minutes Nurkic doesn’t, that’s 22.8. Which isn’t a huge deal, but when you are playing a GPP, it’s a great jumping off point. It also shows just how viable he is. I will also add, Rodney Hood (3700) is expected to get the start for CJ, and he should also be one of your favorite punts, given how horrible at D Wes Matthews is.
Myles Turner - In all honesty, given his immense block upside, especially with Hood slotting in for CJ, Myles (6200) should be priced at least 1000 higher than this. I know the matchup against Nurkic is tough, but I also know that he’s going to get 35 minutes and he can easily get you 50 DKP in that time. He keeps getting priced down and, every few games, he goes off and makes people some money. Even though this isn’t the best game, I will have some Myles Turner, and certainly keep him in my pool for my single main lineup.
Situations to monitor:
The DET/CLE Injury Report - As of right now, Blake is QUESTIONABLE, Love is QUESTIONABLE, and Tristan, Nance, and Delly are OUT. Blake would miss for rest purposes, while Love has a lower back contusion.
So, let’s assume Blake and Love are out. In that case, you have to consider locking in a few people, as slow and low scoring as this game will be. First, Drummond (8600) would get a ton of usage, a ton of extra rebounds, and spend all game matched up with, at best, Zizic. R Jax (5100) keeps seeing his usage creep up. A little over a week ago, he entered the top 50 (over the last 15 games). Now he’s 36th, while Blake, who had been near the top 10 has fallen to 25th. He gets the dream matchup against Sexton, who is the 2nd worst defender in the NBA. For that reason, you have to give SERIOUS consideration to Ish (3900) who is a threat to get as many minutes as R Jax and outproduce him, for 1200 less. I am serious here. Yesterday, both got 24 minutes and Ish outdid R Jax 32 DKP to 31. Today, at WORST, Ish is going to be matched with Clarkson, who is the 3rd worst PG in the NBA defensively. At best, he gets a ton of time against Sexton. Either way, I am going to have a LOT of Ish tomorrow. And if you are smart, and Blake is out, you will too. You also have to play whoever gets the start for Blake. The Cavs would likely start Cedi at PF, meaning the Pistons could start Robinson at the 4, or push Brown to the 4 and start Kennard at the 3. If they start Thon (3100) you have to play him. He is 7’1”. On the Cavs side, you would have to give serious consideration to Zizic (4000), who is far underpriced and would get serious minutes, as well as Chriss (3100), who would get enough minutes guaranteed to pay off that price. I would also take a chance on the too-cheap Clarkson (4900) or the fairly-priced Sexton (5700) and Cedi (5600) who would all see a considerable bump in usage.
If Blake is out and Love is in, I would imagine they start Zizic and Love together, meaning you can still play Zizic for this minutes, though I would be worried about Love’s back injury and look elsewhere with 9 games. You can apply all the analysis I wrote about Detroit above, except they would have to start Thon at PF, at which point you have to consider him seriously as well.
If Blake is in and Love is out, Blake will be risky, since they could still limit him, and there is much less of a chance this game stays close. He will still get lined up against Cedi, so he will eat completely if he tries at all. Drummond would still be awesome. R Jax would become less attractive, but I would still LOVE Ish regardless. You also have to lock in Zizic as well Chriss, who would probably have to play PF against Blake, unless they want to put Cedi on him to get destroyed.
If both Blake and Love are in, I have interest in Drummond in the matchup with Zizic, and Zizic at his 4k price if he is starting. Blake and Love are too risky, though that makes them great GPP plays. And I would still take a chance on Clarkson and Ish.
The NYK/TOR Injury Report As of right now, DSJ is QUESTIONABLE, Vonleh is QUESTIONABLE, Frank N is QUESTIONABLE, Lowry is DOUBTFUL, Kawhi is DOUBTFUL, and Ibaka is OUT, serving the last game of his suspension. So, Doubtful is better than Questionable. Cause we can assume they are out and then adjust tomorrow if the news changes. So let’s start with Toronto.
First, you have to lock in FVV (4000). As I pointed out yesterday, he hurt his thumb, meaning he can stay in game shape. He doesn’t have to be limited at all. And he played 31 minutes and really underperformed for that time. Tonight, he will get that time without Kawhi on the court either. He is the #1 play I have right now, and it’s one of those situations where, if he isn’t chalk tomorrow, I will make up 20 lineups just so I can go over the field on him as heavy as I can. You also have to lock in Siakam (6800) who gets the matchup against a Knicks team that has been 2nd worst against PF lately, and would be even worse than that if Vonleh misses. He will get a decent amount of minutes, and a ton of usage, and he’s just too cheap for all that. You also have to give consideration to Gasol (6200), though I am worried since he played 37 minutes yesterday and he hadn’t gone over 26 with the Raptors before that point. I wouldn’t be shocked if he is rested or limited tomorrow. Otherwise, he’s still in a tough spot against Jordan, who is 2nd in the NBA in DRPM for Centers. You also have to love both the awesome Rapunts, Powell (3700) and OG (3300)
On the Knicks side, if DSJ is in, he is too expensive for the matchup with FVV who is actually a fucking stellar defender, but I would love Mudiay (4800) matched against Lin. With that in mind, if DSJ is out, I would like Kadeem (3800) who would see Jeremy Lin’s defense and then the blow out run, should it get to that point.
If Vonleh plays, without limits, you have to consider him at 4800. Though Siakam is tough, he would have a lot to do, and a lot of ways to score points. If they rest him one more game, honestly, I just want whoever starts. If they let Hezonja (3400) start again, he probably gets 36 minutes again and 10x value. If Kornet (3300) or Ellenson (3400) start, the same. Otherwise, I am staying away from any Knicks forever.
Justise QUESTIONABLE - With Schroder manning PG, this is hugely significant. The Thunder are already insanely bad against SG lately, but with Russ gone, and the lackluster D of Schroder taking its place, you have to love whoever gets guard duty today. If Winslow is out, then you have to absolutely love Dragic (4600), who could get around 30 minutes again, given the lack of options. I would also be totally in love with Wade (4400) here. I mean, I think he’s great anyway, given the OKC weaknesses, but with no Justise, he would get some backup PG run, and he could get you 40 DKP in that case.
Durant QUESTIONABLE, Cousins QUESTIONABLE - First of all, Kerr said he expects Durant (8800) to play. He gets one of the best matchups against DeRozan, as road favorites in SA. His price is far too cheap. Especially considering that Cousins is going to need an MRI on his foot and, normally when that happens, the person misses at least one game. If he does, that is a TON of usage that once again opens up for Durant, as well as Klay (7600), who gets a nice matchup against Forbes, and Curry (9300), who will draw a tougher matchup against White, but is Steph Curry. Perhaps even more significant- Bogut (3000) is available. Should Cousins miss tomorrow, Bogut would get a lot of run at C, at minimum priced. He would be chalk. And you would have some real decisions to make about how much chalk you can eat today.
Alright! That is a huge, fun slate! I will see you all tomorrow for a good chalk/bad chalk! Probably!
submitted by bathrobeDFS to dfsports [link] [comments]

You can bet on next NBA player, like Steph Curry, to deny moon landing.

Source
"People at bookmaker.eu just released a prop on who will be the next NBA player to deny the moon landing."
Here are the rest of the players who could be in denial of the moon landing:
submitted by DookyButter to nba [link] [comments]

[Friday, 09. August]

World News

A scathing new Pentagon report blames Trump for the return of ISIS in Syria and Iraq
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Leaked documents show 16-years-old children work gruelling and overnight to produce components for Amazon's Alexa in China
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Boris Johnson accused of 'unprecedented, unconstitutional and anti-democratic abuse of power' over plot to force general election after no-deal Brexit
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All news, US and international.

Man arrested after entering Springfield, Mo Walmart with body armor, assault rifle, and 100 rounds of ammo
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Elderly couple found dead in apparent murder-suicide, left notes about high medical bills
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Illinois Cop Shot Unarmed Black 12-Year-old in Bed During Botched Raid: Lawsuit
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Science

The first empirical study on dick pics found that 48% of men have sent unsolicited pictures; Unsolicited senders are also bigger narcissists and more sexist than their counterparts (n = 1087)
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Boosting academic success does not have to derive from new teachers or curriculum; it can also come from changing students’ attitudes by teaching them a growth mindset, the belief that intellectual abilities are not fixed but can be developed, suggests a new study (n>12,000; 65 public high schools).
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Study finds fish preserve DNA 'memories' far better than humans - University of Otago researchers report that memory in the form of 'DNA methylation' is preserved between generations of fish, in contrast to humans where this is almost entirely erased.
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/Technology

Group sex app leaks locations, pics and personal details. Identifies users in White House and Supreme Court
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This Simple Law Could Have Saved The US $126 Billion in Broadband Deployment Costs - Experts say a law requiring fiber conduit be installed in highway construction is a “no brainer,” so why hasn’t one been passed?
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Schoolchildren in China work overnight to produce Amazon Alexa devices. Leaked documents show children as young as 16 recruited by Amazon supplier Foxconn work gruelling and illegal hours
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Sadly, this is not the Onion.

N.J. man accused of stabbing, pouring bleach on raccoons. He says they were ruining his life.
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Bookmakers are taking bets on what the Government will ration first after Brexit
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L.A. County Sheriff’s Sex Crimes Detective Gets 3 Years Prison for Sex With Teen Whose Case He Was Investigating
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Ask Reddit...

Redditors who have tried to hide on your cruise when it ended so that you could stay on the ship for the next round, how did that go?
Comments
What is the most wholesome thing you have seen?
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Dear Reddit, how many of you begin to type responses to a thread, only to delete everything you said and move on? Why?
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Sysadmin

When you accidentally bring your server off the Internet for an entire day...because you tried to update network config remotely
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PSA: If it's a weird issue, check the time first!
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Symantec on the final death slide
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Microsoft SQL Server

Basics to loading data
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Identifying SQL table entry source and time stamp.
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PowerShell

Powershell script to send new Plex library additions as an HTML email
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What have you done with your $Profile ?
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Can I preserve the original fields 'Created By', 'Created', 'Modified By', 'Modified', when copying from one sharepoint list to another?
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Functional 3D Printing

Broke the neighbors tool.... Maybe they won't notice
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Marshmallow Roasting Stick Holder
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A universal holder for my wheelchair.
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Data Is Beautiful

Global population by birth year [OC]
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[OC] I made an acyclic graph visualization tool for impact analysis
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[OC] Commitments Made by the G7/8
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Today I Learned (TIL)

TIL of Ellen and William Craft, who escaped slavery by travelling openly from Macon, Georgia to Boston. Ellen, who was light skinned, dressed as a man with a sling to hide the fact that she could not write and passed as William's slave owner. Eventually, they fled to Liverpool, England.
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TIL that Mr Rogers' Neighborhood featured an episode with Lou Ferrigno on the set of "The Incredible Hulk" to teach children not to be scared of fictional characters in heavy makeup.
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TIL of Qian Xuesen, a Chinese rocket scientist and mathematician, who worked on the Manhattan Project during WW2 to help America build the world's first atomic bomb. During the Cold War, he was accused of being a communist and fled America to China, where he helped China build its first atomic bomb.
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So many books, so little time

Vending machine for books at local school: "Students can earn tokens based on good behavior, where they will come up and get any of these books for free"
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Do you ever have a list of books you want to read, yet you feel like you wouldn’t be able to concentrate on them?
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Into Thin Air has left me in an awestruck stupor.
Comments

OldSchoolCool: History's cool kids, looking fantastic

Deep south Louisiana 26 years ago I married the love of my life. It may not have been legal but it was real ! Thanks to all my friends and family that supported us back then and today. I’m the redhead on the right. 😘
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Extras taking a break on the set of Cleopatra (1963)
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Circa 1970. My Grandfather still looks at her like this to this day.
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aviation

I found this and thought it was cool what do you guys think of it?
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P-51C Mustang commemorating the Tuskegee Airmen
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H.U.D
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Reddit Pics

A movement we can all get behind.
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Still relevant today
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I have shower envy.
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.gifs - funny, animated gifs for your viewing pleasure

9.5/10
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Playing hide and seek with his sister.
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Chinese pole routine
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A subreddit for cute and cuddly pictures

Rare moment captured this morning as our cat (who is very shy) booped our bearded dragon (who is always sleeping under his rock).
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This sleepy girl turned 13 last week. I took her to her favorite beach to celebrate.
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How blackholes are discovered
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submitted by DangerDylan to DangerDylanTLDR [link] [comments]

PGA: No Frills DFS Data - Bernhard With A Vengeance & RBC II: Satoshi's Island

Click here for an introduction of me and the PGA model
Masters Recap
So happy for Tiger. So happy the bookmakers lost millions as well.
My Bernharding Question
So fitting that just like the terrorists in Die Hard, Bernhard too is a German and last week he terrorized me. You may recall how much difficulty I had trying to incorporate someone like him in my model. And then, at one point he was putting together a pretty nice run and it made me think all the more about my model. It is normally nice to have a distraction when you have to look at these mementos of failure for 4 days. But this didn’t help, it only made things worse. I had horrible lineups and this geriatric German was pissing all over my model.
I didn’t just have horrible lineups in my all Hideki all the time strategy. In a week where I chased binary outcomes, I got the 0 instead of the 1. But to make matters far worse, in all my hype for the Masters I had registered a whole bunch of tables throughout the week (and would regularly register for more as they became available). I’d be doing some baseball stuff and figure “hey let’s see what new golf tables are available.” I was kind of on autopilot and hadn’t realized just how many exactly that I did register and by the time I realized what I’d done, it was too late.
If I had a chance I’d still roll out Hideki all over again, but would have cut back my cash investment a good 80% at least. The worst part of it is it mostly went poof in 10 mans, which are the scourge of DFS. It doesn’t matter how good you are, those things are viper pits always full of the top players. In this instance it didn’t matter who I played but there are so many spots out there to distribute bankroll that really nobody should ever play 10 mans unless it’s veteran restricted. I will happily create $109 h2hs every baseball slate and sometimes go up to $500 but I won’t be caught dead in most $1 10 mans. Golf is much softer than a sport like baseball, so I do venture in 10 mans there, but still, I shouldn’t have committed so much so foolishly into such a competitive field. What makes 10 mans even more poor a decision is there isn’t any upside to them with only 9 other people so you’re arguably taking on 3-5 of the guys who’ll finish top 10 in the 100 man yet in format with only 3-5 pay slots. It’s just dumb and this was an expensive lesson. No more 10 mans for any denomination that I wouldn’t feel comfortable tipping into a g string. Well… unless there’s overlay :)
I also want to clarify, this wasn’t results oriented. If I won them all I’d still feel the same. I felt that way the moment after lock when the amount in play was suddenly shoved in my face. I invested that much, in 10 mans, against arguably the best 7 or 8 golf dfsers out there… dumb dumb dumb. I still haven’t finished my bankroll long read, but not playing 10 man’s is going to be a key ingredient.
But back to Bernhard. After much agonizing asking myself what he was worth and whether or not he was playable, I realized how foolish I was being. One of the things I learned early on in my other projections is not to get too caught up in the details. Don’t try to project for a backup quarterback coming in mid game. Don’t bother trying to analyze and guess which random receiver is going to come off the bench for 2 plays and catch a Drew Brees TD. Don’t bother projecting for TE after the top 10 (and even that is pushing it).
The daily nature of my bread and butter which is baseball let’s me better roll with the variance. You see the guys you didn’t like pop homeruns and the guys you love go 0/5 and realize that on an individual slate nothing matters. I don’t have to play Mike Trout despite that my projections say he’s the best play every single night. Likewise, if I just feel like playing the 4th highest projected starter then so long as he’s not significantly more expensive than the other 3 I should go ahead and have at it. Like today, Matt Adams wasn’t all that high on my projections. I didn’t care, I liked his raw HR equity and place in the batting order and I played him anyway. Projections are guidelines and nothing more. In baseball, my projections are the invisible hand that influence the path but don’t shape it. It’s like this for me in the sports where I really excel like baseball and football, my work give me nothing more than very soft guidelines. They help me make better decisions, they don’t control my destiny.
I was letting my golf projections control my destiny. I was stressing out over giving the Bernhard question a DFS solution that I didn’t take a step back for perspective. Bernhard was an all time great, but for DFS he doesn’t matter. He’s that backup quarterback. So why am I even remotely interested in trying to project for someone not even on my player pool radar. I shouldn’t even have someone like Bernhard available for my optimizer to troll me like that.
To Bernhard. I can’t thank you enough for helping me smash the pedestal I put my golf model and projections upon. It was the pain and torture you gave me trying to figure out how I should project someone like you where I realized that very little of what I am doing actually matters. From this point onwards I’m not going to be adhering to such strict lineup construction.
Thank you Bernhard, prost!
Now that we’ve dealt with ze Germans, on to the Japanese.

Return of Satoshi
This is it, this course here is the beginning of my journey down discovering how OWGR is such a useless system. All thanks to Mr. Bitcoin himself, Satoshi Kodaira. This may have been Satoshi’s Island but likely won’t be again. That’s why the returning champ has vegas odds of 150:1 against him winning. If you guys love course history narratives and OWGR then that’s the most profitable bet imaginable.
Actually, I want to do a replacement ranking system based off FIDE and call it TIGER. I’m dead serious, if anyone wants to help contribute to that please get in touch, would love some collaborators and not even sure where to start.
Taking a lesson from Bernhard, this as far as we’ll go with Bitcoin.

The Original Player Pool
These are all the players my optimizer spit out. As always, in order of exposure. It’s a much wider pool this week – a lot of that has to do with course history conflicting with traditional performance indicators. It also has a lot to do with many of the players having insufficient data.
Tommy Fleetwood Byeong Hun An Dustin Johnson Jim Furyk Corey Conners Ryan Moore Luke List Lucas Glover Webb Simpson Jason Kokrak Matthew Fitzpatrick Francesco Molinari Adam Long Sungjae Im Joel Dahmen Luke Donald D.J. Trahan Patrick Cantlay Jordan Spieth Kyoung-Hoon Lee Rory Sabbatini Charles Howell III Ollie Schniederjans Ian Poulter Kevin Streelman Wyndham Clark Branden Grace Kevin Kisner Keith Mitchell Cameron Champ Eddie Pepperell Bud Cauley Denny McCarthy J.T. Poston Colt Knost Alex Noren Brian Stuard Justin Harding Whee Kim Troy Merritt Trey Mullinax Matt Wallace Satoshi Kodaira Tom Hoge Scott Stallings Ben Silverman Xander Schauffele
I was very surprised this wasn’t an all DJ build. DJ is head and shoulders above the rest in my rankings. I think a lot of this is price oriented. Either way, I’m pleasantly pleased by that because I have a feeling he’ll be so highly owned this slate I’d prefer to keep him mostly confined to cash and single entry.
Really don’t like how much it likes Moore, don’t have a good reason. But taking a page from ole Bernhard, I won’t be playing nearly as much of him as it recommends as a result. Same goes for Long and Trahan.

What? No Reavie?
I couldn’t believe it, my model that I jokingly referred to as the Chez Reavie model when I started this blog 100% faded Chez Reavie, someone it usually really likes. It doesn’t even necessarily have any problems with him either – it thinks he’s alright in the ranking.
This is actually an incredibly nice development. It really shows that player stats are fluid enough that the model won’t just get locked in on certain things all year. Much like I was locked in on Ilya Kovalchuk and Anze Kopitar most of the early NHL season, I just couldn’t get past their glory days and kept on believing the breakout was around the corner. At least Joe Thornton held up.

Final Player Pool
Corey Conners
Jim Furyk
Ryan Moore
Lucas Glover
Webb Simpson
Sungjae Im
Byeong Hun An
Tommy Fleetwood
Dustin Johnson
Joel Dahmen
Adam Long
Luke List
Charles Howell III
Cameron Champ
Francesco Molinari
Jason Kokrak
Wyndham Clark
Kyoung-Hoon Lee

This is a nice distribution, the top guys are all about 50% and then the others pop up here and there. I may make a few pivots (Cameron Champ, Wyndham Clark) and still haven’t chosen my cash lineup yet but I’m pretty happy with this build – which should be pretty low ownership at the top I’m hoping.

Good luck everyone
submitted by DFSx42 to dfsports [link] [comments]

100 Years Ago in Pro Football, Massillon Tigers 6, Canton Bulldogs 0

The 9-0 Canton Bulldogs conclude their 1917 Ohio League championship season, losing to the Massillon Tigers 6-0 at League Field in Canton, Ohio.
While Canton assumed the championship had been secured when they defeated Massillon 14-3 the week prior, the loss gave the Tigers cause to claim the title for themselves, as the tradition in the Ohio League had always been to assign more importance to games later in the season. At 5-3, Massillon had lost to Akron and Youngstown, and of course Canton. Canton stood at 9-1, having defeated Massillon, Akron, and Youngstown twice.
The league determined Canton deserved the 1917 championship more than Massillon based on the head-to-head games, with the combined score of 14-9 providing the final justification.
While the Tigers were surely frustrated by the decision, there must have been some satisfaction on the field and back at home when the final gun sounded and Jim Thorpe and the mighty Canton Bulldogs had finally been defeated.
For Stan Cofall and the core group of players who migrated from Youngstown to Massillon the game would be the fourth meeting with Thorpe’s Bulldogs since November 4.
A hundred years ago today, Cofall made a play in the second quarter that injured Thorpe and he limped through the rest of the game. Cofall would connect on both his field goal tries to provide all of the scoring and give Massillon the win. Years later, in 1920, at the first meeting that led to the founding of the NFL, Jim Thorpe and Stan Cofall were the only players present.
Researcher Bob Gill analyzed 14 big games in Jim Thorpe’s pre-NFL Canton career (1915-19) to see what kind of a player he really was. Fortunately, today’s game is on the list.
Gill also compiled cumulative statistics from these games.
What Gill found is that Jim Thorpe deserves the accolades accorded to him over the years, and certainly a place in the Professional Football Hall of Fame, despite not doing much while he was in the NFL. There are but few enshrined in Canton who can make such a claim.
A hundred years ago today, Thorpe would rush for 70 yards, including a 36-yarder, but he also had a punt and field goal blocked.
Canton quarterback Milt Ghee, whose record 17 touchdown passes in the 1917 season stood for a decade, had five interceptions, including two by Cofall.
Canton outgained Massillon on the day 194 to 51, but the miscues were too much to overcome.
While some of the data could not be gleaned from the play-by-play information, Gill is confident in his overall numbers:
Rushing
Jim Thorpe (13 games): 158 carries, 768 yards, 7 TDs, 4.9 average
Other Canton players (14 games): 428 carries, 1,201 yards, 2.8 average
Opponents (14 games): 434 carries, 640 yards, 1.5 average
Stan Cofall (6 games): 45 carries, 51 yards, 1.1 average
Gus Dorias (4 games): 27 carries, 49 yards, 1.8 average
Thorpe certainly shines in this comparison, but remember the same great Canton line that blocked for Thorpe would be on the field defensively to stuff his opponents. Fats Waldsmith at Center, Doc Spears and Fred Sefton at Guard, all would likely have gotten all-Pro consideration if such a metric existed a hundred years ago. The other great Canton backs also posted quality numbers. For example, Gill found that Pete Calac averaged 3.0 yards over eight games and F.A. Dunn averaged 3.2 over four. Joe Guyon, an NFL Hall of Famer and Carlisle Indian School alum who joined Canton in 1919, averaged 3.7 yards a carry over three games, and Carp Julian, who ran with Thorpe in 1915-16, averaged 4.3 over the four games in the study.
The other important skill Thorpe brought to the early game was punting. Real games were low scoring affairs. Consider, over the course of 30 games from 1916 to 1919, the Canton Bulldogs only surrendered 43 points.
Punting
Jim Thorpe (13 games): 80 punts for an average of 40.7
Other Canton players (14 games): 36 punts for 31.2
Opponents (14 games): 126 punts for 34.3
Other stats compiled over the 13 games Thorpe played in the study:
17 punt returns for a 14.8 average and a TD
9 kickoff returns for a 19.7 average
Of course in his own time Thorpe faced the racism we would expect to see a hundred years ago, given even The New York Times used the word “Redskin” in its sub-head when announcing Thorpe’s arrival in Queens for the Olympic qualifiers.
Some go further, claiming racism led to Thorpe being stripped of the gold medals he won in the decathlon and pentathlon representing his country (when charged, Thorpe admitted to playing minor league baseball for what amounted to chump change, pleaded ignorance). The medals were not reinstated until 1982, almost thirty years after his death.
It’s worth considering, if Thorpe had retained his amateur status, he would not have become the quintessential pro. Recognized as the greatest athlete of his time and perhaps of all time, Thorpe gave professional football the star power it so desperately needed, enough to carry it through the war. Everyone today has heard of professional football, expects it on Sunday. A hundred years ago, this was far from the case.
President Teddy Roosevelt himself spoke out against the violence in the game, citing the players who died and were maimed during the course of the season, at a time when his son played for Harvard and he himself was a fan.
The rules commission made some changes to make the game safer, and at that time the pro game did not have its own rule book, so whatever came down from the college ranks was immediately implemented.
For instance, the neutral zone over the line of scrimmage was introduced to keep players from wrangling even before the play had started. Also, rules about the number of players that needed to be on the line of scrimmage prevented teams from running plays like the flying wedge, where the offensive linemen would get a running start before the snap.
While these changes were put into place over the course of a decade there were many changes that ended up promoting the offense. Most of these rules are naturally taken for granted today, yet it’s worth looking back to better understand the game’s evolution.
First and foremost there needed to be rules about the football itself. Each field had their own balls, sometimes with differences in construction, wear, inflation.
Perhaps the rule change that opened up the game the most was the addition of hash marks to the field. Prior to the hash mark, the ball would be spotted wherever the last play ended. This made players reluctant to run outside. After an out-of-bounds play, the ball would be spotted about a foot from the end line. The center would snap the ball as normal with the rest of the offensive line to one side. Without hash marks, after an out-of-bounds play the next play was often for a loss as the offense tried to bring the ball back into the center of the field. Under these circumstances, it’s clear why the offense would often punt away before fourth down.
For a time, when you scored, you got the ball back. This “make it take it” approach resulted in some tremendous blow-outs as inferior teams were unable to get their offense on the field.
Originally, when you scored a touchdown, you had to kick the extra point from wherever you crossed the goal-line, so if you took the play outside it was almost impossible to hit from that angle.
Nowhere did the rules change as much as in the passing game. First it was legalized, with restrictions. An incompletion in the end zone would be a touchback. In some old pictures you see players on a checker-boxed field; this is because of the passing rule, where five-yard increments were needed on the field to help the referees determine if the play was legal.
It took two players at a small college in Indiana to prove the effectiveness of the passing game. When Gus Dorias threw the football to Knute Rockne during the 1913 Note Dame season the game took another step towards both safety, as the threat of a pass forced defenders away from the line of scrimmage, but also now had a new level of excitement, one that would be embraced then as now more firmly by the pro game.
A hundred years ago, the close relationship we see today between professional and college football did not exist. Up until the founding of the NFL and even afterwards, there was little encouragement of the pro game from the college ranks. Consider perhaps the greatest name, Amos Alonzo Stagg, continually spoke out against playing football for money; of course he managed to find a way to make a living for himself off the game.
When Red Grange signed with the Bears after his college eligibility ended in 1925, the Illinois coach, Hall of Famer Bob Zuppke, while giving his speech from the podium at the team’s end of year dinner, openly ripped into anybody who thought making money from playing football had any honor to it, and his star player, who had given the team so many good memories, left the event with his head held low.
Once in the pro ranks it would be Grange who proved that the baseball stadiums could be filled in the off season, the way their proprietors had longed dreamed. The baseball men had it all, but they had high hopes for football, given it could be played in poor weather, when their colosseums sat empty. None of them could imagine a sport surpassing baseball in popularity, least of all professional football.
Grange redefined the game. Fans around the country liked the idea of being able to see the revolutionary player at their local field. Grange had played in what was known as the Western Conference, making it difficult for fans on either coast to see him. With Grange the Bears took two barnstorming tours, one on each coast, playing games every couple of days in front of what were usually record-setting crowds for a football game at each venue. The seeds of the game’s popularity had been sown.
Prior to returning for the 1926 season, Grange tried to negotiate a deal with George Halas that he felt better reflected his star power. After all, the Bears had gone from playing in front of 5,000 fans to 25,000, with everyone lined up to see the Galloping Ghost. The Bears as a franchise had already benefitted from Grange’s presence, as Hall of Famers like Link Lyman joined the Bears for the barnstorming tour, sensing a big payday, and then simply remained with the team after it was over, making the Bears one of the dominant teams in the league’s early years, and likely the reason they were one of the few that survived without having to change location.
Grange, when he wasn’t able to get the money he felt he deserved, didn’t form his own team, he started his own league, the American Football League. While the league only lasted one year, it had a lasting impact on the NFL. Grange wanted the teams in his league to be in big cities, a policy the NFL adopted, and with the exception of Green Bay, maintains today.
In 1926 there were almost as many pro teams as today, as the NFL began the season with 22 teams, and the AFL had 9.
Teams from Philadelphia won both Championships. The leagues found a merger of sorts for 1927, and the New York Giants won their first NFL title. The game of professional football had found a home on the East Coast. By 1933 all of the Ohio League teams were gone, and the smallest city with a team was Portsmouth, which would move to Detroit for the 1934 season.
Professional football has always held a bad reputation in certain quarters, not just because of the violence, but also the gambling and drinking. Imagine this reputation a hundred years ago in the age of temperance, when states were adopting the prohibition of alcohol, and women who had tired of losing their men to vice wanted the right to vote so they could elect leaders ready to make the sort of activity rampant at football games illegal. Ohio went dry in 1918 and the country followed suit in 1920, the same year women earned the right to vote and the NFL was founded.
While drinking alcohol had now become illegal, speak-easies popped off offering a wide range of concoctions, and it was well understood, then as now, that there would be plenty of drinking in the bleachers. Football fans would stop at the speak-easy for a bottle on their way to the game. One Decatur Staley player claimed that by the second half it was impossible to hear the quarterback because of the sound of breaking glass as fans began ditching their empties under the stands.
Is this why the NFL resists putting too much emphasis on the old days of the game? Readers of this series well understand it is impossible to tell these stories without going into detail about what we know was happening on and off the field. Many of the old owners were familiar faces at the track. Any organization proud of its traditions gladly puts its history forward. If this were true of the NFL, they would find 30 seconds of a four-hour nation-wide broadcast to recall how, a hundred years ago on Thanksgiving Day 1917, the tradition of professional football in Detroit began when the mighty Canton Bulldogs came to town in what might have been the first national championship game.
The study of old-time football is humbling. It doesn’t take much to become an expert because there’s simply not that much out there.
Today’s standards did not exist on the front page of the newspaper, let alone the sports page. The people who wrote about sports were full of hyperbole and tall tales, and their editors knew the big bosses wanted headlines that sold newspapers, and there were less headaches when you stretched the truth about what had happened on the field.
The few newspapers yet to go extinct and others have digitized their archives, but they rarely if ever covered sports with the sort of detail we would expect to find today.
A hundred years ago, sports meant amateurs, professional athletes did not warrant much mention, especially football. It would be like opening your local daily and seeing the results of Wrestlemania XXXIII alongside news of Major League Baseball’s opening day.
Sometimes the local newspaper in a football town would print a lineup, but is “Brown” really a player named “Brown,” or is he a household name trying to hide his identity? For instance, today’s Massillon lineup featured a player named French, who was really NFL Hall of Famer Champ Chamberlin, then an All-American at Nebraska.
This cross pollination of college players into the pro ranks was perhaps the most important factor driving the creation of the NFL, and it was serious business for the new league, as the Green Bay Packers found out in January 1922 when Joe Carr kicked them out for fielding Notre Dame players in what had always been common practice.
By such high standards the NFL began laying the groundwork for the close collaboration that still exists between the two levels of the sport, and ultimately sits at the heart of the pro game’s success.
While today it is a joke to say a college team is good enough to beat a pro, or a pro team is so bad they might lose, in the early days of professional football the opposite was true. The top college programs had great players recruited from around the nation, who were well coached, had proper equipment, medical resources. These massive stadiums were already being filled every Saturday.
This reality existed for some time in the minds of historians but the truth about professional football is your team was usually as good as you could afford it to be.
While a hundred years ago professional football had no governing body capable of awarding all-pro status, newspapermen would often make their own picks, such that a paper in Indiana listed only local players, and so on, as the reporters did not have the budget to travel and see anything other than local talent.
A Cleveland paper attempted to compile a more diverse list for the 1917 season:
QB Milt Ghee, Canton Bulldogs (Dartmouth)
LH Jim Thorpe, Canton Bulldogs (Carlisle)
RH Stan Cofall, Youngstown/Massillon (Notre Dame)
FB F.A. Dunn, Canton (Dickinson)
C Bob Peck, Youngstown/Massillon (Pitt)
LG Al Nesser, Akron (No college)
RG Doc Spears, Canton (Dartmouth)
LT Pike Johnson, Massillon (Washington & Lee)
RT Charley Copley, Massillon (Muhlenberg)
LE Nasty Nash, Massillon (Rutgers)
RE Roy Burrell, Akron (No college) Conspicuously absent are Greasy Neale, probably the top end in the game at the time, and Pete Calac, likely second only to his old teammate Thorpe when it came time to smash the line, who both played the 1917 season for Canton under assumed names due to their relationship with West Virginia Wesleyan, one as coach, the other as star player. Of this list, only Jim Thorpe made it into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Any football fan might ask, why is the Hall of Fame in Canton?
This series has attempted to answer that question by following the Canton Bulldogs through the 1917 season, as this team itself provides a big part of the answer. Not only this dominant Canton team but the great one that first went pro in the early 1900s alongside Massillon, Akron, Shelby and the other Ohio League stalwarts, when the state first made its claim to having the best teams in the country.
After folding after a game-fixing gambling scandal in 1906, oilman Jack Cusack revived the team from the ashes, making Jim Thorpe the highest paid football player in the country, surrounding him with reliable pros, ultimately bringing the Ohio League Championship to Canton in 1916, and defending it in 1917.
Cusack went back to Oklahoma when it was clear there would no team in 1918, selling the rights to local businessman Ralph Hay, perhaps the game’s greatest promoter. Hay made sure the Bulldogs returned for the 1919 season, including Jim Thorpe and Pete Calac. He improved the team, adding Joe Guyon, and they again won the Ohio League Championship. Hay went up to Youngstown to make sure they fielded a team, even though it was only for a week. He did whatever he had to do to make sure professional football survived. So it makes sense that the first meeting that led to the NFL happened in his office, and the second larger meeting that solidified the creation of the nationwide league was held in his Hupmobile showroom, with George Halas sitting on a running board.
There is a larger answer as well, and that is the people in Ohio love football. Even today you see the fans’ enthusiasm despite getting little in return from their teams. Back then this willingness to buy a ticket and go to the game meant the owner could recruit top talent for fans to watch and win bets on. The Canton paper complained after the 1917 game in Youngstown because their backers had took the train up there with pockets full of cash, unable to find locals willing to put money on their team. The bookmakers were right next to the field.
At the dawn of professional football the Midwest had seen a tremendous influx of industry and population growth. Since the war had been raging in Europe since 1914, the area had been in the midst of a boom-time that encouraged both the funding of player salaries and the “judicious bets” the owners and people around the team would make to cover any losses at the gate. These benefits seemed to wane after the war, yet four of the first five NFL champions hailed from the state.
Also worth considering is Ohio’s geography, close to western Pennsylvania where the pro game took life, yet not governed by the religious Blue Laws that prohibited playing football for money on Sunday. Just as these first enterprising athletic clubs around Pittsburgh were closing the doors on their often controversial football program, the teams in Ohio were going pro, and brought in the top players from the east to settle local rivalries.
The Ohio League teams needed to create the NFL. They needed a stronger league not only because the use of college players had become more controversial and harder to conceal, but because the competition to bring in top players had spread far beyond the state’s borders. Without the Ohio League there is no NFL, yet Massillon folded in 1919 and the other teams would drop off one by one. The Canton Bulldogs returned to dominance in 1922 and 1923, becoming the first back to back NFL champion under Champ Chamberlin.
In Cleveland, frustrated by his own team’s lack of success, the owner simply bought the entire Canton Bulldogs franchise for $2,500, cherry-picked Chamberlin and his core group, which included Hall of Fame linemen Fats Henry and Link Lyman, and won the city’s first NFL championship in 1924.
The Canton Bulldogs had become the Cleveland Bulldogs, more than symbolic of the NFL’s move from the small towns to the large population centers. Once rooted in places like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, the love affair between the city and their team continued to grow, ultimately becoming the NFL of today, the most popular sport in the country.
Other entries in the series:
November 29, 1917 (Thanksgiving Day game) Game 9 - Canton Bulldogs 7, Detroit Heralds 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7gj33x/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_thanksgiving_day/
November 25, 1917 Game 8 - Canton Bulldogs14, Massillon Tigers 3 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7ffpbu/a_hundred_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton/
November 18, 1917 Game 7 - Canton Bulldogs 13, Youngstown Patricians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7dt1i2/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_13/
November 11, 1917 Game 6 - Canton Bulldogs 14, Akron Indians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7c9hvf/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_14/
November 4, 1917 Game 5 - Canton Bulldogs 3, Youngstown Patricians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7aqzn1/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_3/
October 28, 1917 Game 4 - Canton Bulldogs 41, Rochester Jeffersons 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/79b7il/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_41/
October 21, 1917 Game 3 -Canton Bulldogs 54, Columbus Panhandles 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/77t4vs/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_54/
October 14, 1917 Game 2 -Canton Bulldogs 80, Altoona Indians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/76e5t7/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_80/
October 7, 1917 Game 1 - Canton Bulldogs 12, Pitcairn Quakers 7 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/75119e/100_years_ago_in_pro_football/
Contribute to the New Subreddit /OLDTIMEFOOTBALL Pre-NFL professional football is a local story.
It’s obvious the NFL is going to do a bad job retelling its own history.
While the league’s centenary is still years away, the Packers will turn 100 in 2019, meaning the celebrations are sure to begin even sooner. Hopefully the Packers fans will contribute to the subreddit and see it as a place to celebrate the long storied history of the franchise. They are the best representatives of old-time football, in that they come from a small town and were sponsored by local business.
The Bears turn 100 along with the league, but even before the top team out of Hammond played their games in Chicago, and so hopefully Bears fans will also see the subreddit as a place to share the city’s history and the tales from the NFL’s most tenured franchise (the Packers joined the league in 1921).
New York Giants fans will also have great memories to share, and while the team will not turn 100 until 2025, it will soon after celebrate the anniversary of its first championship in 2027. Even prior to the Giants the city has a rich history of old-time football, considering the 1902 World Series of Professional Football held at Madison Square Garden, and that the most attended game in the NFL’s first season was at the Polo Grounds.
Hopefully this new subreddit will be a place to find all of the locally sourced history of the game’s early days, and as interest in the anniversaries continues to grow, so will the subscriptions on the subreddit.
Fans around the country might be surprised to find their local community also once supported its own football team, and that they had a star player.
Also fans should post pictures, as these are also often difficult to find on the internet, and of course any video is priceless.
submitted by BacteriaLogical to nfl [link] [comments]

Abandon ship – Theresa May heads for Davy Jones’ Locker - by George Galloway - 29 May 2018

One thing is a given, Theresa May will not be in Downing Street this time next year and will be gone long before that if Brexit is derailed in forthcoming crunch parliamentary votes.
Almost imperceptibly, the British prime minister has gone from “strong and stable” headmistress to hapless supply teacher who doesn’t know where the chalk and duster are kept, and in whose temporary care the pupils have risen up and are trashing the classroom.
As bookmakers open the betting, and rivals procure campaign HQs and pick their running mates, power is visibly ebbing away from the PM.
Of course when the history is written her disastrous decision to call an unnecessary general election last year, only to lose her existing majority, will be identified as the beginning of her end. But in truth she could have survived even this with a modicum of adroitness, a scintilla of empathy, and an ounce of leadership quality. Her cupboard was empty of them all.
The existence of a Fifth Column in the opposition Labour Party so large that it outnumbered the labor loyalists, endlessly harassing the Labour leader, the large national canvas of the Grenfell inferno, the Manchester Arena terrorist slaughter, and the challenge of the Brexit negotiations and Britain’s re-entry into the world beyond the EU were all opportunities for the PM to seize the national mood. But Mrs May turned out not to be a Mr Churchill, more a Mrs Bean.
Finding neither the words nor the measures, May stumbled over every rock in her path, appearing ever more robot-like, not even much of an Artificial Intelligence, just dumb and dumber.
Her party have had enough and amidst the havoc the dogs have been unleashed.
When Jacob Rees-Mogg – often described as the Member for the 19th Century on account of his double-breasted pyjamas, elegant smoking jackets and Dickensian smoking cap – made his statement real-estate move this week, one didn’t need a monocle to see what he was doing.
Buying the iconic Westminster pile which served as Mrs Thatcher’s victorious campaign headquarters throughout the 1980s, Rees-Mogg served notice that he was both her linear successor and in campaign mode. An authentic and pious paragon of Conservative values, a clean-living Christian gentleman with six children so far, JRM is the purest purveyor of the Brexit cause in the Tory ranks and importantly is untainted by office, and thus unstained by betrayal.
No such claim can be made by his suddenly new rival, Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
I have known Gove literally from his school days. He is smart, maybe the smartest, with a backstory worth knowing.
Gove is an adopted child, his adoptive parents simple hard-working ordinary people. His brains rather than any blue blood got him to Oxford and to the presidency of the Oxford Union. He was a journalist before Parliament and spent an entire year on the picket-line on strike against the management of the Aberdeen Press and Journal.
When I visited him in his inner sanctum when he was education secretary under David Cameron, he made sure I didn’t miss the image of Lenin on his office wall.
Ruthless Michael Gove surely is, and but for his act of Cain against his brother Boris, today’s foreign secretary would likely already be prime minister.
With the contest to succeed Cameron already underway, Gove knifed his running mate Johnson and fatally undermined him by additionally standing for the job himself.
Though officially chums again, in truth Gove’s treachery will never be forgiven and the two men are already rival candidates in (scarcely) waiting.
Gove is seeking to reinvent himself as green and animal friendly, and it won’t be long before he hugs a Husky at the Arctic Circle like Cameron infamously did. He has floated as his running mate Ruth Davidson, a Scottish pregnant lesbian who’s not even in Parliament yet. Not even Jeremy Corbyn had thought of that one! But Gove is damaged goods and not just with Boris.
He is as compromised as any cabinet member by the endless concessions of the Brexit negotiations – in his case betraying Britain’s fishing communities – as JRM subtly alludes only every time he opens his mouth.
But not as compromised as the caricature cad and mountebank Boris Johnson, whose time at the Foreign Office has been little short of farcical – and that was before his 18-minute crank call with the “prime minister of Armenia”...
Johnson is so rum a character, with his trail of cuckolded husbands, illegitimate children and broken promises all the way back to public school, he’s the sort of bounder Jacob Rees-Mogg would have horsewhipped and cashiered out of the regiment, never mind considered as officer material.
As all of this swirls around her, Theresa May knows her ship is sinking. In the end few will want to be standing with her on the bridge as it slips below the waves. The sight of Merkel, Macron and Abe doing business up close and personal with President Putin last week will have been confirmation to her that home and away, everybody else is abandoning ship.
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/428136-theresa-may-uk-elections/
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to BritishSocialism [link] [comments]

Abandon ship – Theresa May heads for Davy Jones’ Locker - by George Galloway - 29 May 2018 - r/BritishCommunists

Abandon ship – Theresa May heads for Davy Jones’ Locker - by George Galloway - 29 May 2018
One thing is a given, Theresa May will not be in Downing Street this time next year and will be gone long before that if Brexit is derailed in forthcoming crunch parliamentary votes.
Almost imperceptibly, the British prime minister has gone from “strong and stable” headmistress to hapless supply teacher who doesn’t know where the chalk and duster are kept, and in whose temporary care the pupils have risen up and are trashing the classroom.
As bookmakers open the betting, and rivals procure campaign HQs and pick their running mates, power is visibly ebbing away from the PM.
Of course when the history is written her disastrous decision to call an unnecessary general election last year, only to lose her existing majority, will be identified as the beginning of her end. But in truth she could have survived even this with a modicum of adroitness, a scintilla of empathy, and an ounce of leadership quality. Her cupboard was empty of them all.
The existence of a Fifth Column in the opposition Labour Party so large that it outnumbered the labor loyalists, endlessly harassing the Labour leader, the large national canvas of the Grenfell inferno, the Manchester Arena terrorist slaughter, and the challenge of the Brexit negotiations and Britain’s re-entry into the world beyond the EU were all opportunities for the PM to seize the national mood. But Mrs May turned out not to be a Mr Churchill, more a Mrs Bean.
Finding neither the words nor the measures, May stumbled over every rock in her path, appearing ever more robot-like, not even much of an Artificial Intelligence, just dumb and dumber.
Her party have had enough and amidst the havoc the dogs have been unleashed.
When Jacob Rees-Mogg – often described as the Member for the 19th Century on account of his double-breasted pyjamas, elegant smoking jackets and Dickensian smoking cap – made his statement real-estate move this week, one didn’t need a monocle to see what he was doing.
Buying the iconic Westminster pile which served as Mrs Thatcher’s victorious campaign headquarters throughout the 1980s, Rees-Mogg served notice that he was both her linear successor and in campaign mode. An authentic and pious paragon of Conservative values, a clean-living Christian gentleman with six children so far, JRM is the purest purveyor of the Brexit cause in the Tory ranks and importantly is untainted by office, and thus unstained by betrayal.
No such claim can be made by his suddenly new rival, Environment Secretary Michael Gove.
I have known Gove literally from his school days. He is smart, maybe the smartest, with a backstory worth knowing.
Gove is an adopted child, his adoptive parents simple hard-working ordinary people. His brains rather than any blue blood got him to Oxford and to the presidency of the Oxford Union. He was a journalist before Parliament and spent an entire year on the picket-line on strike against the management of the Aberdeen Press and Journal.
When I visited him in his inner sanctum when he was education secretary under David Cameron, he made sure I didn’t miss the image of Lenin on his office wall.
Ruthless Michael Gove surely is, and but for his act of Cain against his brother Boris, today’s foreign secretary would likely already be prime minister.
With the contest to succeed Cameron already underway, Gove knifed his running mate Johnson and fatally undermined him by additionally standing for the job himself.
Though officially chums again, in truth Gove’s treachery will never be forgiven and the two men are already rival candidates in (scarcely) waiting.
Gove is seeking to reinvent himself as green and animal friendly, and it won’t be long before he hugs a Husky at the Arctic Circle like Cameron infamously did. He has floated as his running mate Ruth Davidson, a Scottish pregnant lesbian who’s not even in Parliament yet. Not even Jeremy Corbyn had thought of that one! But Gove is damaged goods and not just with Boris.
He is as compromised as any cabinet member by the endless concessions of the Brexit negotiations – in his case betraying Britain’s fishing communities – as JRM subtly alludes only every time he opens his mouth.
But not as compromised as the caricature cad and mountebank Boris Johnson, whose time at the Foreign Office has been little short of farcical – and that was before his 18-minute crank call with the “prime minister of Armenia”...
Johnson is so rum a character, with his trail of cuckolded husbands, illegitimate children and broken promises all the way back to public school, he’s the sort of bounder Jacob Rees-Mogg would have horsewhipped and cashiered out of the regiment, never mind considered as officer material.
As all of this swirls around her, Theresa May knows her ship is sinking. In the end few will want to be standing with her on the bridge as it slips below the waves. The sight of Merkel, Macron and Abe doing business up close and personal with President Putin last week will have been confirmation to her that home and away, everybody else is abandoning ship.
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/428136-theresa-may-uk-elections/
submitted by FinnagainsAwake to British_Problems_Jerk [link] [comments]

The 5 Conservative MPs most likely to replace Theresa May as Tory leader

The 5 Conservative MPs most likely to replace Theresa May as Tory leader
by Lianna Brinded via Business Insider
URL: http://ift.tt/2rJh56r
LONDON — Theresa May's snap election spectacularly back-fired and members of her Conservative Party are asking for her to resign as party leader after they lost so many seats.
May is refusing. She is convinced that in these turbulent times she must try and form a minority government to stay in power, with the help of the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP).
A Tory leadership contest seems unlikely even if May resigned as Prime Minister or is forced out of government by opponents like Jeremy Corbyn. That's because less than a year ago she was installed as Tory leader and prime minister after a failed party leadership contest, which followed David Cameron's resignation over the Brexit vote. The field for possible replacements in the Tory Party looks thin.
However, already there are reports that Tories such as Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson are sounding out a possible leadership bid.
As the largest minority in the House of Commons, any new Tory Party leader could find themselves the next Prime Minister if they can form a coalition or minority government. May herself is currently trying to form a minority government.
So who are the favourites to replace May as Tory leader right now? Here are the top 5, according to bookmaker Paddy Power. The betting odds and total returns — the initial bet, plus the winnings — are accurate as of June 9, 3 p.m. BST:
SEE ALSO: 'LET'S GET TO WORK' — DEFIANT MAY PROMISES STABILITY AND REFUSES TO QUIT

5. Philip Hammond

Odds: 16/1
£10 bet gives a total return: £170
Chancellor Hammond is in the running but not the most likely to succeed May if she stood down.
A government taking Britain into Brexit need someone with a command of numbers to make sure the economy is being managed well through a period of great uncertainty. Considering Hammond was nicknamed "Spreadsheet Phil" by colleagues it is more likely he'll stay in his Treasury than take control of the party.
But you never know, the party could ask him to step for stability. He managed to increase his vote share by 1.2% to 31,436 votes, while the rest of the party bled seats.

T=3. Amber Rudd

Odds: 6/1
£10 bet gives a return: £70
May was home secretary for six years before she became Prime Minister after David Cameron stepped down in June last year. Rudd is the current home secretary and is naturally a favourite to succeed her. Rudd was also widely seen to have done a good job when she took May's place in a televised election debate.
However, Rudd only retained her seat in this general election with a margin of just 346 votes — not exactly a ringing endorsement in what should have been a safe seat. Rudd is also seen as May's right-hand woman and this could damage her chances given May's standing in the party at the moment.

T=3. Ruth Davidson

Odds: 6/1
£10 bet gives a return: £70
The leader of the Scottish Conservatives showed her firepower for the Tories in this general election. She helped her party claim 13 seats in Scotland — a previously unthinkable feat in a country long dominated by the SNP and Labour.
To seal her popularity, she managed to do this while Tories lost marginal seats and previously Conservative-held seats across the country. A relative Westminster outsider, Davidson could be seen as a clean break by the party.
See the rest of the story at Business Insider
submitted by feedreddit to arableaks [link] [comments]

Bookmaker Odds on Johnson: 100/1 to Win

Link: http://www.paddypower.com/bet/politics/other-politics/us-politics?ev_oc_grp_ids=791149
Hillary Clinton: 1/4 Donald Trump: 11/4 Gary Johnson: 100/1 Jill Stein: 500/1
So the bookmakers at least don't think it's impossible.
Just to translate, this means that they think there's a 0.99% chance Johnson will win (1/101.) So at least it's non-zero. And fun to watch over the next three months.
submitted by ritchie70 to GaryJohnson [link] [comments]

[December 2, 1917] History of American Football, Massillon Tigers 6, Canton Bulldogs 0

The 9-0 Canton Bulldogs conclude their 1917 Ohio League championship season, losing to the Massillon Tigers 6-0 at League Field in Canton, Ohio.
While Canton assumed the championship had been secured when they defeated Massillon 14-3 the week prior, the loss gave the Tigers cause to claim the title for themselves, as the tradition in the Ohio League had always been to assign more importance to games later in the season. At 5-3, Massillon had lost to Akron and Youngstown, and of course Canton. Canton stood at 9-1, having defeated Massillon, Akron, and Youngstown twice.
The league determined Canton deserved the 1917 championship more than Massillon based on the head-to-head games, with the combined score of 14-9 providing the final justification.
While the Tigers were surely frustrated by the decision, there must have been some satisfaction on the field and back at home when the final gun sounded and Jim Thorpe and the mighty Canton Bulldogs had finally been defeated.
For Stan Cofall and the core group of players who migrated from Youngstown to Massillon the game would be the fourth meeting with Thorpe’s Bulldogs since November 4.
A hundred years ago today, Cofall made a play in the second quarter that injured Thorpe and he limped through the rest of the game. Cofall would connect on both his field goal tries to provide all of the scoring and give Massillon the win. Years later, in 1920, at the first meeting that led to the founding of the NFL, Jim Thorpe and Stan Cofall were the only players present.
Researcher Bob Gill analyzed 14 big games in Jim Thorpe’s pre-NFL Canton career (1915-19) to see what kind of a player he really was. Fortunately, today’s game is on the list.
Gill also compiled cumulative statistics from these games.
What Gill found is that Jim Thorpe deserves the accolades accorded to him over the years, and certainly a place in the Professional Football Hall of Fame, despite not doing much while he was in the NFL. There are but few enshrined in Canton who can make such a claim.
A hundred years ago today, Thorpe would rush for 70 yards, including a 36-yarder, but he also had a punt and field goal blocked.
Canton quarterback Milt Ghee, whose record 17 touchdown passes in the 1917 season stood for a decade, had five interceptions, including two by Cofall.
Canton outgained Massillon on the day 194 to 51, but the miscues were too much to overcome.
While some of the data could not be gleaned from the play-by-play information, Gill is confident in his overall numbers:
Rushing
Jim Thorpe (13 games): 158 carries, 768 yards, 7 TDs, 4.9 average
Other Canton players (14 games): 428 carries, 1,201 yards, 2.8 average
Opponents (14 games): 434 carries, 640 yards, 1.5 average
Stan Cofall (6 games): 45 carries, 51 yards, 1.1 average
Gus Dorias (4 games): 27 carries, 49 yards, 1.8 average
Thorpe certainly shines in this comparison, but remember the same great Canton line that blocked for Thorpe would be on the field defensively to stuff his opponents. Fats Waldsmith at Center, Doc Spears and Fred Sefton at Guard, all would likely have gotten all-Pro consideration if such a metric existed a hundred years ago. The other great Canton backs also posted quality numbers. For example, Gill found that Pete Calac averaged 3.0 yards over 8 games and F.A. Dunn averaged 3.2 over four. Joe Guyon, an NFL Hall of Famer and Carlisle Indian School alum who joined Canton in 1919, averaged 3.7 yards a carry over three games, and Carp Julian, who ran with Thorpe in 1915-16, averaged 4.3 over the four games in the study.
The other important skill Thorpe brought to the early game was punting. Real games were low scoring affairs. Consider, over the course of 30 games from 1916 to 1919, the Canton Bulldogs only surrendered 43 points.
Punting
Jim Thorpe (13 games): 80 punts for an average of 40.7
Other Canton players (14 games): 36 punts for 31.2
Opponents (14 games): 126 punts for 34.3
Other stats compiled over the 13 games Thorpe played in the study:
17 punt returns for a 14.8 average and a TD
9 kickoff returns for a 19.7 average
Of course in his own time Thorpe faced the racism we would expect to see a hundred years ago, given even The New York Times used the word “Redskin” in its sub-head when announcing Thorpe’s arrival in Queens for the Olympic qualifiers.
Some go further, claiming racism led to Thorpe being stripped of the gold medals he won in the decathlon and pentathlon representing his country (when charged, Thorpe admitted to playing minor league baseball for what amounted to chump change, pleaded ignorance). The medals were not reinstated until 1982, almost thirty years after his death.
It’s worth considering, if Thorpe had not lost his amateur status, he would not have become the quintessential pro. Recognized as the greatest athlete of his time and perhaps of all time, Thorpe gave professional football the star power it so desperately needed, enough to carry it through the war. Everyone today has heard of professional football, expects it on Sunday. A hundred years ago, this was far from the case.
President Teddy Roosevelt himself spoke out against the violence in the game, citing the players who died and were maimed during the course of the season, at a time when his son played for Harvard and he himself was a fan.
The rules commission made some changes to make the game safer, and at that time the pro game did not have its own rule book, so whatever came down from the college ranks was immediately implemented.
For instance, the neutral zone over the line of scrimmage was introduced to keep players from wrangling even before the play had started. Also, rules about the number of players that needed to be on the line of scrimmage prevented teams from running plays like the flying wedge, where the offensive linemen would get a running start before the snap.
While these changes were put into place over the course of a decade there were many changes that ended up promoting the offense. Most of these rules are naturally taken for granted today, yet it’s worth looking back to better understand the game’s evolution.
First and foremost there needed to be rules about the football itself. Each field had their own balls, sometimes with differences in construction, wear, inflation.
Perhaps the rule change that opened up the game the most was the addition of hash marks to the field. Prior to the hash mark, the ball would be spotted wherever the last play ended. This made players reluctant to run outside. After an out-of-bounds play, the ball would be spotted about a foot from the end line. The center would snap the ball as normal with the rest of the offensive line to one side. Without hash marks, after an out-of-bounds play the next play was often for a loss as the offense tried to bring the ball back into the center of the field. Under these circumstances, it’s clear why the offense would often punt away before fourth down.
For a time, when you scored, you got the ball back. This “make it take it” approach resulted in some tremendous blow-outs as inferior teams were unable to get their offense on the field.
Originally, when you scored a touchdown, you had to kick the extra point from wherever you crossed the goal-line, so if you took the play outside it was almost impossible to hit from that angle.
Nowhere did the rules change as much as in the passing game. First it was legalized, with restrictions. An incompletion in the end zone would be a touchback. In some old pictures you see players on a checker-boxed field; this is because of the passing rule, where five-yard increments were needed on the field to help the referees determine if the play was legal.
It took two players at a small college in Indiana to prove the effectiveness of the passing game. When Gus Dorias threw the football to Knute Rockne during the 1913 Note Dame season the game took another step towards both safety, as the threat of an effective passing attack forced defenders away from the line of scrimmage, but also now had a new level of excitement, one that would be embraced then as now more firmly by the pro game.
A hundred years ago, the close relationship we see today between professional and college football did not exist. Up until the founding of the NFL and even afterwards, there was little encouragement of the pro game from the college ranks. Consider perhaps the greatest name, Amos Alonzo Stagg, continually spoke out against playing football for money; of course he managed to find a way to make a living for himself off the game.
When Red Grange signed with the Bears after his college eligibility ended in 1925, the Illinois coach, Hall of Famer Bob Zuppke, while giving his speech from the podium at the team’s end of year dinner, openly ripped into anybody who thought making money from playing football had any honor to it, and his star player, who had given the team so many good memories, left the event with his head held low.
Once in the pro ranks it would be Grange who proved that the baseball stadiums could be filled in the off season, the way their proprietors had longed dreamed. The baseball men had it all, but they had high hopes for football, given it could be played in poor weather, when their colosseums sat empty. None of them could imagine a sport surpassing baseball in popularity, least of all professional football.
Grange redefined the game. Fans around the country liked the idea of being able to see the revolutionary player at their local field. Grange had played in what was known as the Western Conference, making it difficult for fans on either coast to see him. With Grange the Bears took two barnstorming tours, one on each coast, playing games every couple of days in front of what were usually record-setting crowds for a football game at each venue. The seeds of the game’s popularity had been sown.
Prior to returning for the 1926 season, Grange tried to negotiate a deal with George Halas that he felt better reflected his star power. After all, the Bears had gone from playing in front of 5,000 fans to 25,000, with everyone lined up to see the Galloping Ghost. The Bears as a franchise had already benefitted from Grange’s presence, as Hall of Famers like Link Lyman joined the Bears for the barnstorming tour, sensing a big payday, and then simply remained with the team after it was over, making the Bears one of the dominate teams in the league’s early years, and likely the reason they were one of the few that survived without having to change location.
Grange, when he wasn’t able to get the money he felt he deserved, didn’t form his own team, he started his own league, the American Football League. While the league only lasted one year, it had a lasting impact on the NFL. Grange wanted the teams in his league to be in big cities, a policy the NFL adopted, and with the exception of Green Bay, maintains today.
In 1926 there were almost as many pro teams as today, as the NFL began the season with 22 teams, and the AFL had 9.
Teams from Philadelphia won both Championships. The leagues found a merger of sorts for 1927, and the New York Giants won their first NFL title. The game of professional football had found a home on the East Coast. By 1933 all of the Ohio League teams were gone, and the smallest city with a team was Portsmouth, which would move to Detroit for the 1934 season.
Professional football has always held a bad reputation in certain quarters, not just because of the violence, but also the gambling and drinking. Imagine this reputation a hundred years ago in the age of temperance, when states were adopting the prohibition of alcohol, and women who had tired of losing their men to vice wanted the right to vote so they could elect leaders ready to make the sort of activity rampant at football games illegal. Ohio went dry in 1918 and the country followed suit in 1920, the same year women earned the right to vote and the NFL was founded.
While drinking alcohol had now become illegal, speak-easies popped off offering a wide range of concoctions, and it was well understood, then as now, that there would be plenty of drinking in the bleachers. Football fans would stop at the speak-easy for a bottle on their way to the game. One Decatur Staley player claimed that by the second half it was impossible to hear the quarterback because of the sound of breaking glass as fans began ditching their empties under the stands.
Is this why the NFL resists putting too much emphasis on the old days of the game? Readers of this series well understand it is impossible to tell these stories without going into detail about what we know was happening on and off the field. Many of old owners were familiar faces at the track. Any organization proud of its traditions gladly puts their history forward. If this were true of the NFL, they would find 30 seconds of a four-hour nation-wide broadcast to recall how, a hundred years ago on Thanksgiving Day 1917, the tradition of professional football in Detroit began when the mighty Canton Bulldogs came to town in what might have been the first national championship game.
The study of old-time football is humbling. It doesn’t take much to become an expert because there’s simply not that much out there.
Today’s standards did not exist on the front page of the newspaper, let alone the sports page. The people who wrote about sports were full of hyperbole and tall tales, and their editors knew the big bosses wanted headlines that sold newspapers, and there were less headaches when you stretched the truth about what had happened on the field.
The few newspapers yet to go extinct and others have digitized their archives, but they rarely if ever covered sports with the sort of detail we would expect to find today.
A hundred years ago, sports meant amateurs, professional athletes did not warrant much mention, especially football. It would be like opening your local daily and seeing the results of Wrestlemania XXXIII alongside news of Major League Baseball’s opening day.
Sometimes the local newspaper in a football town would print a lineup, but is “Brown” really a player named “Brown,” or is he a household name trying to hide his identity? For instance, today’s Massillon lineup featured a player named French, who was really NFL Hall of Famer Champ Chamberlin, then an All-American at Nebraska.
This cross pollination of college players into the pro ranks was perhaps the most important factor driving the creation of the NFL, and it was serious business for the new league, as the Green Bay Packers found out in January 1922 when Joe Carr kicked them out of the league for fielding Notre Dame players in what had always been common practice.
By such high standards the NFL began laying the groundwork for the close collaboration that still exists between the two levels of the sport, and ultimately sits at the heart of the pro game’s success.
While today it is a joke to say a college team is good enough to beat a pro, or a pro team is so bad they might lose, in the early days of professional football the opposite was true. The top college programs had great players recruited from around the nation, who were well coached, had proper equipment, medical resources. These massive stadiums were already being filled every Saturday.
This reality existed for some time in the minds of historians but the truth about professional football is your team was usually as good as you could afford it to be.
While a hundred years ago professional football had no governing body capable of awarding all-pro status, newspapermen would often make their own picks, such that a paper in Indiana listed only local players, and so on, as the reporters did not have the budget to travel and see anything other than local talent.
A Cleveland paper attempted to compile a more diverse list for the 1917 season:
QB Milt Ghee, Canton Bulldogs (Dartmouth) LH Jim Thorpe, Canton Bulldogs (Carlisle) RH Stan Cofall, Youngstown/Massillon (Notre Dame) FB F.A. Dunn, Canton (Dickinson) C Bob Peck, Youngstown/Massillon (Pitt) LG Al Nesser, Akron (No college) RG Doc Spears, Canton (Dartmouth) LT Pike Johnson, Massillon (Washington & Lee) RT Charley Copley, Massillon (Muhlenberg) LE Nasty Nash, Massillon (Rutgers) RE Roy Burrell, Akron (No college)
Conspicuously absent are Greasy Neale, probably the top end in the game at the time, and Pete Calac, likely second only to his old teammate Thorpe when it came time to smash the line, who both played the 1917 season for Canton under assumed names due to their relationship with Wesleyan West Virginia University, one as coach, the other as star player. Of this list, only Jim Thorpe made it into the Professional Football Hall of Fame.
Any football fan might ask, why is the Hall of Fame in Canton?
This series has attempted to answer that question by following the Canton Bulldogs through the 1917 season, as this team itself provides a big part of the answer. Not only this dominant Canton team but the great one that first went pro in the early 1900s alongside Massillon, Akron, Shelby and the other Ohio League stalwarts, when the state first made its claim to having the best teams in the country.
After folding after a game-fixing gambling scandal in 1906, oilman Jack Cusack revived the team from the ashes, making Jim Thorpe the highest paid football player in the country, surrounding him with reliable pros, ultimately bringing the Ohio League Championship to Canton in 1916, and defending it in 1917.
Cusack went back to Oklahoma when it was clear there would no team in 1918, selling the rights to local businessman Ralph Hay, perhaps the game’s greatest promoter. Hay made sure the Bulldogs returned for the 1919 season, including Jim Thorpe and Pete Calac. He improved the team, adding Joe Guyon, and they again won the Ohio League Championship. Hay went up to Youngstown to make sure they fielded a team, even though it was only for a week. He did whatever he had to do to make sure professional football survived. So it makes sense that the first meeting that led to the NFL happened in his office, and the second larger meeting that solidified the creation of the nationwide league was held in his Hupmobile showroom, with George Halas sitting on a running board.
There is a larger answer as well, and that is the people in Ohio love football. Even today you see the fans’ enthusiasm despite getting little in return from their teams. Back then this willingness to buy a ticket and go to the game meant the owner could recruit top talent for fans to watch and win bets on. The Canton paper complained after the game in Youngstown because their backers had took the train up there with pockets full of cash, expecting to find locals willing to put money on their team. The bookmakers were right next to the field.
At the dawn of professional football the Midwest had seen a tremendous influx of industry and population growth. Since the war had been raging in Europe since 1914, the area had been in the midst of a boom-time that encouraged both the funding of player salaries and the “judicious bets” the owners and people around the team would make to cover any losses at the gate. These benefits seemed to wane after the war, yet four of the first five NFL champions hailed from the state.
Also worth considering is Ohio’s geography, close to western Pennsylvania where the pro game took life, yet not governed by the religious Blue Laws that prohibited playing football for money on Sunday. Just as these first enterprising athletic clubs around Pittsburgh were closing the doors on their often controversial football program, the teams in Ohio were going pro, and brought in the top players from the east to settle local rivalries.
The Ohio League teams needed to create the NFL. They needed a stronger league not only because the use of college players had become more controversial and harder to conceal, but because the competition to bring in top players had spread far beyond the state’s borders. Without the Ohio League there is no NFL, yet Massillon folded in 1919 and the other teams would drop off one by one. The Canton Bulldogs returned to dominance in 1922 and 1923, becoming the first back to back NFL champion under Champ Chamberlin.
In Cleveland, frustrated by his own team’s lack of success, the owner simply bought the entire Canton Bulldogs franchise for $2,500, cherry-picked Chamberlin and his core group, which included Hall of Fame linemen Fats Henry and Link Lyman, and won the city’s first championship in 1924.
The Canton Bulldogs had become the Cleveland Bulldogs, more than symbolic of the NFL’s move from the small towns to the large population centers. Once rooted in places like Chicago, New York and Philadelphia, the love affair between the city and their team continued to grow, ultimately becoming the NFL of today, the most popular sport in the country.
Other entries in the series:
November 29, 1917 (Thanksgiving Day game) Game 9 - Canton Bulldogs 7, Detroit Heralds 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7gj33x/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_thanksgiving_day/
November 25, 1917 Game 8 - Canton Bulldogs14, Massillon Tigers 3 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7ffpbu/a_hundred_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton/
November 18, 1917 Game 7 - Canton Bulldogs 13, Youngstown Patricians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7dt1i2/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_13/
November 11, 1917 Game 6 - Canton Bulldogs 14, Akron Indians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7c9hvf/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_14/
November 4, 1917 Game 5 - Canton Bulldogs 3, Youngstown Patricians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/7aqzn1/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_3/
October 28, 1917 Game 4 - Canton Bulldogs 41, Rochester Jeffersons 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/79b7il/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_41/
October 21, 1917 Game 3 -Canton Bulldogs 54, Columbus Panhandles 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/77t4vs/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_54/
October 14, 1917 Game 2 -Canton Bulldogs 80, Altoona Indians 0 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/76e5t7/100_years_ago_in_pro_football_canton_bulldogs_80/
October 7, 1917 Game 1 - Canton Bulldogs 12, Pitcairn Quakers 7 https://www.reddit.com/nfl/comments/75119e/100_years_ago_in_pro_football/
Contribute to the New Subreddit /OLDTIMEFOOTBALL
Pre-NFL professional football is a local story.
It’s obvious the NFL is going to do a bad job retelling its own history.
While the league’s centenary is still years away, the Packers will turn 100 in 2019, meaning the celebrations are sure to begin even sooner. Hopefully the Packers fans will contribute to the subreddit and see it as a place to celebrate the long storied history of the franchise. They are the best representatives of old-time football, in that they come from a small town and were sponsored by local business.
The Bears turn 100 along with the league, but even before the top team out of Hammond played their games in Chicago, and so hopefully Bears fans will also see the subreddit as a place to share the city’s history and the tales from the NFL’s most tenured franchise (the Packers joined the league in 1921).
New York Giants fans will also have great memories to share, and while the team will not turn 100 until 2025, the team will soon after celebrate its first championship in 2027. Even prior to the Giants the city has a rich history of old-time football, considering the 1902 World Series of Professional Football held at Madison Square Garden, and that the most attended game in the NFL’s first season was at the Polo Grounds.
Hopefully this new subreddit will be a place to find all of the locally sourced history of the game’s early days, and as interest in the anniversaries continues to grow, so will the subscriptions on the subreddit.
Fans around the country might be surprised to find their local community also once supported its own football team, and that they had a star player.
Also fans should post pictures, as these are also often difficult to find on the internet, and of course any video is priceless.
submitted by BacteriaLogical to 100yearsago [link] [comments]

"The Greatest" Is Gone

Monday, Feb. 27, 1978 - TIME

For God's sake, let us sit upon the ground,
And tell sad stories of the death of kings:
How some have been deposed, some slain in war.
Some haunted by the ghosts they have depos 'd...
—Shakespeare, King Richard II

"We have a split decision," Ring Announcer Chuck 'Hull proclaimed, and absolute silence fell over the plush Las Vegas boxing emporium where Muhammad Ali and Leon Spinks had struggled through 15 lashing rounds to claim sport's most special crown. "Judge Art Lurie: 143-142, Ali. Judge Lou Tabat: 145-140, Spinks. Judge Harold Buck: 144-141." A pause, a breath in that utter stillness and then: "The new Heavyweight Champion of the World, Leon Spinks!"

All but the first two words were lost in the roar of the crowd, that unmistakable, primordial voice of a fight crowd hailing a new king of the most basic sport. But the silence before the verdict had spoken too, for it anticipated the passing of a giant, a unique athlete whose skills and life had resonances far beyond the ring. As Cassius Marcellus Clay Jr., Cassius X, or Muhammad Ali, he had talked from center stage, mirror and lightning rod for a tumultuous era. Olympic gold medalist, Louisville Lip, upstart champion, Black Muslim convert, draft resister, abomination, martyr, restored champion, road show.

Through everything, Ali was a fighter. In his youth, when he psyched himself into manic pretensions and took the title from Sonny Listen, he was a dazzling, dancing fighter. In midcareer, when he willed his body through three epic bouts with Joe Frazier, he was a courageous fighter. Toward the end, when he paced his guttering resources to turn away muscular challengers like Ken Norton, he was a thinking fighter. Last week he was an old fighter. He had to match the craft of his past against an opponent who seemed to have little more than youth, stamina—and courage—on his side.

Leon Spinks, just 24, had fought only seven times as a professional after a busy amateur career that culminated, as had Cassius Clay's, with the winning of the Olympic light heavyweight gold medal. Spinks had never fought more than ten rounds. The demanding logic of a title bout requires 15 rounds: it is the final five that probe the heart and take the true measure of a fighter's will. Ali was perhaps the greatest war horse in heavyweight history, a man who had the guts and gifts to win the excruciating final rounds. The odds against Spinks were so prohibitive that only one Las Vegas betting shop would cover wagers—a general cowardice that shook the city's bookmaking creed.

As he fought Spinks, Muhammad Ali's career, in all of its various styles, was suddenly telescoped. He talked and taunted in the early rounds, danced and threw flurries of punches just as he had years ago—though he paused on the ropes and covered up to rest. He was casually giving rounds away to Spinks, confident the pace would wear him down.

Then, just as he had so many times before, Ali tried to take command in the middle rounds, and for a time the old magic blinked on. In the champion's corner, Trainer Angelo Dundee had noticed that Spinks' early bobbing and weaving had degenerated into an amateur's dangerously upright stance as the young challenger appeared to tire. "This is it," Dundee told Ali before the 10th round. "He's ready to fall. This round, champ, this round. Go get him! Hit him! Take him out now!"

Ali tried. He flicked the famous snakelike jab, laced together combinations and shot rights to Spinks' head. It was exquisitely conceived boxing from Ali, the aesthetician of ring art. But what the canny mind desired, the 36-year-old body—measuring itself now in the milliseconds between impulse and action—could not deliver. Age had slowed the timing: too many punches landed without sting, grazed past Spinks' youth-quick dodges or missed altogether.

Spinks got through the 10th round and four more, giving as good as he got, enough to maintain the early points he had built up against Ali. Then came the 15th. Ali bravely swung for the knockout that alone could have saved his championship. His rallies were reminiscent of the magnificent final rounds he had fought in the past—against Joe Frazier and Ken Norton—but there was no power in his punches. He slowed, seemed to move as if underwater, locked in leaden embrace with an equally exhausted Spinks. Finally, unable to fight any longer, Muhammad Ali absorbed two last-second uppercuts, and accepted the final bell, beaten, but on his feet.

In victory Ali had sought the microphones to shout that he was the prettiest, the greatest. In defeat, battered and swollen, blood splattered on his trunks from a 5th-round cut in his mouth, he did not shy from the questions: "I lost fair and square to Spinks. I did everything right, and I lost. I lost simply because Spinks was better, that's all. It's just another experience in my life, nothing to cry about."

Ali departed the next day on one of those journeys to a global constituency unique to his championship reign. This time the destination was Bangladesh, where he was to dedicate a sports stadium named in his honor. He left behind a new boxing king and a glorious—and sometimes infuriating—past.

To peer into the kaleidoscope of memories of Ali, studying the changing shapes and shifting images, is to glimpse reflections not just of a man, but of an American time. Demanding that the nation know his every thought, insisting that the public mark each of his deeds, he was bound to the events—and thus the lives—of his era.

John F. Kennedy was campaigning for the presidency when Cassius Clay Jr. returned triumphant from the Olympic Games in Rome. The blithe boy-child stepped off the plane spouting poetry and singing of his possibilities. He was bold—some said brash—with hopes and dreams, but much seemed within the reach of American aspirations in those freshening days. Cassius signed with a syndicate of wealthy Louisville businessmen, who underwrote his early training as a professional fighter against a 50% belief in purses to come. He had been boxing since the age of twelve with the heavyweight title as his unwavering goal, and he was willing to pay any price, bear any burden to fulfill his vision.

With the aid of his backers, Ali apprenticed under Trainer Angelo Dundee, a skilled groomer of fighters. Dundee recalls: "The Louisville group wanted me to train him. I told them to send him down to Miami after Christmas. Twenty minutes later, I get a call telling me Ali wasn't waiting till after Christmas, he was coming right away. They told me he said, 'I don't want to wait for Christmas. I want to fight.' That's how it all started in October 1960."

Dundee soon discovered just how good his young charge was. The strident gym voice softens, as if remembering something rare and lovely: "Oh, yes, I knew I had a winner. Of all the fighters I've ever known, only he could make the heavy bag sing when he hit it. I used to hear him make it snap like a snare drum every time I came up the stairs to the gym.

"He ran seven miles to the gym from the hotel and back every day along the causeway. He was always the first in and the last out of the gym. He is the most unspoiled kid I've ever had. He insisted on putting on his own gloves. He didn't like to be pampered."

Dundee tells how he had barnstormed the country with the young Clay and finally brought him into Madison Square Garden in 1962 to fight Sonny Banks. "Banks hit Ali with the finest left hook I've ever seen. It would have floored King Kong. Ali's eyes glazed like he was out of it, and his keester hit the canvas. Then he sprang back up, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed and stopped the guy cold. He won by a knockout. That's when I knew for sure. I really thought for a split second that Bank's punch was goodbye to everything, then and there."

Cassius moved up in the rankings, and with each step he minted new doggerel predicting the round of his opponent's defeat. The talking, talking, talking had begun in earnest now; the young, barely literate Louisville Lip displayed the stirrings of a genius more valuable in a media age: a flair for public relations, for hype and self-aggrandizement.

He superbly displayed his talents for promotion in 1964, when he was matched for the title with Champion Sonny Liston, a great, seemingly invincible giant of a man. Clay called Listen an "ugly old bear" and pranced around carrying a bear trap to the delight of the photographers. Budini Brown, Clay's corner man and cheerleader, gave his fighter the perfect line: "Float like a butterfly, sting like a bee." That is precisely what he did. Cassius attacked, disappeared on those marvelously fast feet, attacked again, disappeared again, until the bear was beaten, helpless in his corner.

Then the first shock from this narcissistic, almost coquettish new champion. He went off after the fight to eat ice cream in the company of Malcolm X, the Black Muslim leader whose unyielding words attacked the nation's racial hostilities and foretold the fire to come. The next morning, the conqueror of Listen told sportswriters he had become a Black Muslim.

It seemed at first that the conversion was just another idiosyncrasy, some kind of gimmick. It was nothing of the kind. Clay had actually changed his religion before the Listen fight. Harold Conrad, former sportswriter, sometime promoter, and, in the years when Ali was banished from the ring, tireless seeker after the means of his return, was privy to a prefight crisis.

Two weeks before the fight in Miami, Promoter Bill McDonald learned of Ali's Black Muslim associates and threatened to cancel the fight if Cassius did not denounce the Muslims. Conrad remembers: "When Ali heard that the fight was going to be nixed, he turned to Angelo and said matter of factly, 'Well, that's that.' He had absolutely no intention of renouncing his faith, not even for a crack at the world championship he'd fought and slaved so long and hard to get. It meant chucking the fight and plunging into obscurity, but he didn't hesitate."

His conversion, complete with the adoption of the new name, Muhammad Ali, raised eyebrows but not full public ire—yet. He was funny and, yes, pretty, and so what if Malcolm X was looking over the man-child's shoulder? He was still eating ice cream. How bad could it be?

Ali and the American public learned the answer to the question in 1965, when he defended his title against Floyd Patterson. A sporting event became a religious war between Catholic Patterson and Muslim Ali. It was also a terrible mismatch between a flagging ex-champ and a cruelly derisive young titleholder. By the time of the K.O. in the 12th round, even the most bloodthirsty fight fans were sickened by the gruesome giving and taking of pain. But there was more than that to the scene. White America had seen Watts burn with a deadly rage that summer. Now there stood a triumphant Black Muslim fighter, lips peeled back around his mouthpiece, sneering down at a softspoken, respected black who talked of moderation. Muhammad Ali had confirmed the worst fears; the rest came easy.

There was a war on. Every night, television sets in the nation's living rooms showed—in color—the horror of the fighting in Viet Nam. Ali refused to do his bit. "I ain't got no quarrel with them Viet Cong," he said, and changed his life forever. When the Army tried to draft Ali, he appealed, claiming that, as a Black Muslim, he was a conscientious objector: Ali managed to squeeze in a few fights, mostly in Europe, before the date he was supposed to take the fateful step forward to induction. Ironically, the man who read so haltingly that he was once declared below Army standards was also invited to lecture on campuses by students who were sitting out the war behind a book. Ali became the symbol of opposition to the war at a time when Lyndon Johnson still was in office and, supposedly, there was light at the end of the tunnel. He was also bitterly attacked in the press for his close association with Elijah Muhammad, the Black Muslim leader. The Chicago Tribune ran eleven anti-Ali draft stories in a single issue.

Ali and his entourage claim that the Government secretly sought to strike a deal—offering, if he would go quietly into uniform, to allow him to defend his title regularly and put on boxing exhibitions. A similar arrangement had been worked out for Joe Louis during World War II. The Pentagon last week denied that any such arrangement was ever suggested to Ali.

By April 1967, Ali had exhausted all of his appeals. At the Houston Induction Center, he refused orders to step forward to join the Army. Within minutes the New York State Athletic Commission rescinded his boxing license; it took the World Boxing Association four hours to do its patriotic duty and take away his title. The State Department confiscated his passport so that he could not travel to nations willing to sanction his fighting. For his stand, Ali was convicted of draft evasion and given a five-year prison sentence. He started the lengthy process of appeal, and discovered that he could no longer get fights in the U.S. Conrad recalls the banishment: "I canvassed 27 states trying to get him a license to fight. I even tried to set up a fight in a bullring across the border from San Diego, and they wouldn't let him leave the country. Overnight he became a 'nigger' again. He threw his life away on one toss of the dice for something he believed in. Not many folks do that."

For three and one-half years, Ali was not allowed to earn a purse at the only work he knew. The banishment cost him his fighting prime. Finally, late in 1970, he began to get some bouts: he tuned up by beating Jerry Quarry and Oscar Bonavena and then challenged Joe Frazier for the title on March 8, 1971. He lost, but three months later scored a bigger victory in another arena. On June 28, 1971, his conviction was overturned by the Supreme Court, which ruled 8 to 0 that the draft board had improperly denied Ali's claim for exemption on grounds that he was a conscientious objector. Ali returned to the frustrating trail of a contender: a broken jaw at the hands of Ken Norton, a rematch triumph over Frazier, newly dethroned by George Foreman.

No matter that his best years were gone; the fighter was back working at his craft. His championship had been a bully pulpit, and he eagerly sought it once more. The Muslims had softened their separatist hard line, and with that there was less raw, reverse-racism talk from Ali. Finally Ali reclaimed his crown in Kinshasa, Zaïre. George Foreman, the hardest puncher since Sonny Listen, spent himself pounding Muhammad Ali ceaselessly—and uselessly—on the ropes one early African morning. Ali again was the underdog, but it was his galvanic personality that drew the attention of the world.

In his long odyssey, Muhammad Ali became a global celebrity on a scale known by only a handful of men. He called upon heads of state, and it is they who were thrilled by the meeting. As one of the world's most recognizable faces, he drew appreciative, knowing crowds from African village to Asian hamlet to European capital. If he walked a single block, he trailed a mob in his wake. Now an aged, dethroned champion, he can no longer light the ring with his skills. But the path he burned across his time remains.

A few days before the fight, Muhammad Ali sprawled on the couch of his 29th-floor Las Vegas hotel suite. His eyes were closed, the great, graceful body quiet under a maroon-and-white bathrobe. His 18-month-old daughter's doll lay near by, and from the next room came the laughter of his third wife, Veronica, and another daughter. The room filled gradually with relatives, gym figures, musicians, sycophants, friends. His dietician entered, carrying a bushel bag of carrots. The champ suddenly clucked. Everyone jumped. This sound of a popping champagne cork is Ali's command signal. It was a summons for his infant daughter, Laila, dutifully brought in by her nanny and admired by the claque.

With the time to the fight measured now in hours, Ali had no presentiment that this was the bout when the overarching years would finally catch him: "I've never felt better. I've never been in better shape." He spoke to TIME Correspondent James Wilde in a sleepy whisper: "Because people know athletes are superior physically, when they see these men go downhill, they see themselves. Everything gets old. The pyramids of Egypt are now crumbling. Buildings crumble, and so do monuments of all kinds. When we look at our bodies, we see how its shape is changing. We see our children and we see ourselves in them. It don't take the fall of an athlete to show people they can fall too."

He looked back on his life and times: "My life has been a lot of fun, a lot of suffering and a lot of pain. It has also been a lot of testing: being black in America and saying the things you want to say and exercise real freedom. My life has made me controversial; it has made me different. My title was taken away because of my religious beliefs and for not going to war. The decision to deprive me of my title was reversed, but first I was tested."

Ali twisted on the couch and considered the future: "I'd like to keep the title for 15 years, the longest any man, white or black. Not even Presidents ruled that long. I'd like that." He grinned wolfishly. "But one must face reality. We all go down eventually. And this makes you sad, but you always have, for the rest of your life, the knowledge that you were a winner to the last. I want to go out a winner. I really do."

Many ghosts shadow the comet-man Ali. Old opponents, ancient grievances, roiling issues stilled by forgetfulness and, perhaps, forgiveness. Yet he can be bitter. Someone last week remarked that the U.S. was the greatest country in the world. "Yes," said Ali dryly, "I have access to it sometimes."

But he also has the gentle memories of children. For however much his ego has needed the reinforcement of the crowd, he has been a most accessible public figure, striding into schoolyards and across sidewalks, a plainly gleeful Pied Piper who always, always signs autographs for kids. The touch of a heavyweight champion is a big moment to a child, and in some ineffable manner those titled men seemed drawn to children. It is remarkable how many ex-fighters work with children after retirement. Perhaps it is a means of staying close to the incandescence of their youth. Or perhaps it is an impulse to pass on that special strength forged in fighting, man's first competition. Ali tells how his daughter tried to thread a needle for several minutes, then gave up in frustration. "I spanked her and made her try again. It wasn't important for her to thread the needle, but it was important to wash away the taste of defeat. She had to learn she could not fail."

Defeat came to Muhammad Ali, and with it the ghosts of a Miami night. Sonny Liston had been a tired man, worn by poverty and prison. At 35, he was old for a fighter—even for a slugger who stayed put and blasted. He got into the ring with a strong, fast, young Cassius Clay, who had nothing to lose and a crown to gain. Last week Muhammad Ali was a tired man too, pummeled in the ring for 24 years—amateur and professional. At 36, he was old for a fighter—especially for a boxer who must move and whittle. And, like Liston, Ali had looked across the ring and seen a lean, eager, young fighter. In the words of Promoter Bob Arum: "Ali was beaten by his own shadow."

After a remarkable reign, Muhammad Ali stands whole—old and young, winner and loser—for assessment. Was he really, as he proclaimed from the earliest days, the greatest? Comparing fighters of different eras is a risky enterprise, flawed by changes in boxing rules, training methods, improved diet and medical care. Then there are those shifting subjectives: the accuracy of recollection and loyalty to generations. One expert favors Joe Louis, another Jack Dempsey, voting for the knockout punch that Ali admittedly never had. Rocky Marciano was inelegant, but he could hit and he never lost a fight.

Ring Announcer Don Dunphy, who has called the blow-by-blow in over 2,000 fights during a 37-year career, insists: "Certainly Ali's the fastest heavyweight champion of all time. Joe Louis had fast hands, but not fast feet. Rocky was a bit of a plodder." Joe Frazier, who ought to know, credits Ali's savvy: "He knows how to psych most of his men out." Veteran Manager Gil Clancy pays homage to the post-exile Ali's distinguishing characteristic: "He can absorb a punch better than any fighter who ever lived." Still, there is a tendency among the experts to say the best fighter probably was Louis, the man with the fast and powerful hands. But Ali had something else that put him in a class apart, a personal flair that, coupled with his athletic skills did indeed make him "the greatest." No less an authority than Dempsey praises Ali for his accomplishments: "He brought back boxing. It was dying, and he brought it back."

Will Ali come back? He insists that he shall, pinning everything on one last benchmark: becoming the first man to regain the title a third time. "I ain't through yet," he claims. "I want that boy, and I want him bad." The new champion is also eager for a rematch.

Ali does not need to fight Spinks for the money. He made nearly $60 million in purses—$3.5 million against Spinks, who got $320,000—and even Ali could not spend all that. Two divorces, bad investments, taxes, profligate generosity and a large, leeching entourage have made tens of millions vanish, but he has an estimated $2 million in cash and real estate. He has no need to stagger through humiliating defeats, as did Joe Louis, trading on memory and affection in order to survive.

What drives Ali to think of returning to the ring is pride. If he could somehow beat Spinks and win back his title, he would round out his career and make time stand still—for a little while. The rhyming ex-champion is much like Shakespeare's deposed poet-king Richard, who wrestled with himself and the gathering forces that beat against his life. Muhammad Ali careened across his stage, by turns as hopeful and despairing as his times. He is unlikely to go quietly into the past.

Of that I were as great
As is my grief, or lesser than my name,
Or that I could forget what I have been,
Or not remember what I must be now.
—King Richard II
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