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Whose stock went up? Whose stock went down? A market index report from the MTV Challenge Accepted podcast

On our MTV Challenge Accepted podcast (link in bold) we have a segment where we discuss this question. Whose stock went up? Whose stock went down? Here were our winners and losers this week.
We try to avoid the obvious, so it almost goes without saying that Kyle had a good week. He slithered to a victory, and made sure to keep his streak going of a good quip or two in every episode.
Kyle may not be the strongest challenger left in the house, but he's not bad at all. He's going to have a puncher's chance at winning this final -- which is probably true of every guy remaining. Fessy will be the betting favorite, but there's still some uncertainty there. Without knowing how he'd do in a final, we'd call this one of the most even fields in memory (on the guys' side.)
When anthropology professors explain different civilizations to their students, they should be clicking on episodes of The Challenge. After all, the show is as a great example of a patriarchal society. The men have always lorded over the women, expecting that their opinions should be sent down from the mountaintop and treated like gospel.
The daily challenge illustrated as much. Fessy and Cory cut a deal with Josh, and then cut a deal with each other. They'd promise the other a spot in the tribunal. The fact that this negotiation took place showed an implicit belief that the decision would come down to their preference. No questions asked. No pesky female weighing in with her "vote."
However, Jenny didn't roll over. As an equal 1:1 vote with Fessy, she actually stood her ground and pushed for Josh (or Kyle), because it was the fair thing to do. Fessy ultimately backed away, allowing Jenny to win this argument. It may have been a trivial one, but it showed that Jenny isn't going to be a shrinking violet. She's going to have just as much of a voice as the guys. Given her place in the game, she deserves as much.
We adore Jenny already, so it's hard for her stock to go up much higher. Still, it climbs and climbs like she's Amazon (the stock and the warrior.)
Conversely, we have not been so kind to Nelson this year. He's been erratic and insecure for the majority of the season so far. But then... it felt like something changed. He's been a comforting friend to Bayleigh last week, and this week had a honest heart-to-heart "tough love" talk with Aneesa about her place in the game.
So what changed? When did Nelson grow up?
If we had to pinpoint a moment, it would be when he earned his red skull. Since then, he's appeared to be a newer, kinder, calmer Nelson. He's such a Challenge superfan that he comes in hard and hot sometimes, so eager to prove himself. Right now, he must feel confident about his place in the game. He's a beast in elimination, and has a very good chance to win the final presuming swimming is not heavily involved. Better still, his alliance looks like it's in control of the house for the first time in ... ever? Nelson's view from the catbird seat looks good, and the effect on his personality looks good as well.
Meanwhile, success has not done much good for the game of Nelson's BFF. Cory had been fairly cool and rational this season in pursuit of his red skull. Once he got it, you would figure he'd be as happy and content as Nelson. Instead, Cory made waves this week by getting very upset that he wasn't picked to be in the tribunal.
Why...? We're still trying to figure that out.
He claims that he was mad at Jenny because she "owes" him, but I'd be very skeptical of that debt if I was a ruling judge. Cory acts like he gifted Jenny a purgatory win in that first elimination, when in fact Jenny was one of the only competitors campaigning for it at the time. She doesn't owe him anything; she would have gotten a red skull sooner or later anyway.
He was also upset with Fessy, more understandably so. Fessy snaked out of a deal. Agreed. Not cool. Still, was it that big of a deal...? Cory wasn't up in the discussion to go in. It didn't affect him in any way. The only reason Cory appeared to be mad was a matter of pride. He gloated about his daily challenge record, and seemed to want to "win" for the sake of winning. In reality, that won't matter in the long run. If anything, Cory should have let this one go like Elsa, knowing that Fessy's friendship will do a lot more for his long-term success than this one irrelevant daily.
Again, the obvious choice so we won't dwell on it. Josh lost in elimination, ending a very poor season for him overall. Actually, T.J. ended the season for him, mocking him as the "dude who cries a lot." Ouch.
We did wonder though: is this a pattern? Do the Big Brother contestants choke in big moments? Josh panicked and froze up again. Swaggy looked like a deer in headlights prior. Even Paulie -- a good competitor -- has stumbled in major moments before. Perhaps the Big Brother folks don't have the eye of the tiger. TBD. Fessy and Kaycee will have the chance to reverse that curse in the upcoming weeks.
We're mixed on Fessy this week. On one hand, we completely understand his strong desire to grab a tribunal spot. Smart competitors should be targeting him, so he was understandably paranoid in this case. However, by backing out of his deal with Josh and then Cory, Fessy showed some of his true colors. He's not the most reliable friend and ally, which is a knock against his reputation that may end up costing him more on a show like this (where players return) than it would on a one-off show like Big Brother.
At the same time, I did connect with Fessy's personal story. It couldn't have been easy to be a Muslim kid in school after 9/11. And he's absolutely right that there aren't many Middle-Eastern Muslims in professional sports. When you're a Middle-Eastern kid, or an Indian kid, or a Korean kid, or whatever, and you never see someone like you in the NFL, it would be discouraging. It'd be a huge deal to have that representation and motivation that it's possible. All in all, I wish Fessy had his chance to shine and be a role model in the NFL.
Was that dream realistic...? Eh. Kinda-sorta. I'm a huge NFL Draft fan (and write about it often on reddit), so I know that his prospects were fairly dim. There are barely any players from his school that matriculate to the NFL. His statistics don't jump off the page either in comparison to other small-school tight ends. Being ranked as the "30th tight end" as he mentioned isn't a huge feather in your cap either; on average, less than 15 tight ends get drafted every year. To be fair, he genuinely did have some darkhorse buzz and some good workouts, so it's possible that he would have gotten some invites to training camps and perhaps latched onto a team from there. But overall, he had long odds.
the red skull
Arguably the most import aspect of this season so far, it's been a polarizing one.
All season long, we've said that the red skull twist would be a "bust" if at least 1 challenger didn't get sent home for not securing a chance at one. That won't happen now. Everyone funneled into a neat and orderly line, and everyone remaining has their skull in hand.
Still... is that really such a bad thing? Every competitor won an elimination. That's good. That's different. This season would have been worse if players like Kyle and Nany skated to a final without sniffing the Purgatory. Overall, I'd still consider the red skull wrinkle a good idea, even if it didn't lead to AS MUCH drama as we expected. In the future, I'd recommend keeping some version of it, with some possible tweaks. (2 red skulls = immunity, for starters.)
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Woke up Kidnapped 21 (Intermission)

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Gabriel woke up the following morning, sore and a little stiff. He probably pulled a muscle in the last jump while dodging the riding animal. He sat up and groaned.
"Rough night?" Deana asked, she sat up and stretched her neck.
"You were there, you should know," Gabriel said.
"Not used to battering Kriks into the ground?" She asked.
"Is that what they are called? No, not really. Not that I'm more used to sword fighting." Gabriel said as he tried to get his spine in order. After a couple of satisfying cracks, he felt much better. "So what now? When's the next fight?"
"I don't know, three, four days I suspect." She shrugged and leaned back against the wall, her legs crossed. “But we can always hope for more.”
“Agreed, I’ll keep my fingers crossed,” Gabriel said and walked over to the bathroom to wash his face. Breakfast arrived at the same time, along with a fancy dressed male Roniean Gabriel had not seen before. Gabriel walked out toweling off his face. “What a pleasant surprise, a guest. Are you joining us for breakfast?”
“Not quite, I was just interested in seeing what my money has bought,” he said and raised his crest. Gabriel noted that it was a bright purple color but didn’t understand the significance of the gesture.
“Satisfied?” He asked.
“Maybe, tell me, how did you jump out of the way of the Krisk that fast?” he asked looking nonchalant.
“I have strong legs, good for short bursts,” Gabriel lied.
“I see,” he said. He studied Gabriel for some time before squinting and nodding to himself, “Hmm, I’ll have to try harder next time it seems,” he said and left the cell. Gabriel gave Deana a confused look and got a shrug back.
“Who was that?” Gabriel asked after he heard the door at the end of the corridor lock.
“He owns this arena, I don’t know his name. All the guards just call him boss.” Deana said. “But I’ve only seen him on the stands, preaching to his guests.”
Gabriel frowned, “He didn’t know how strong I was,” he said scratching his head. “Hmm,” Then the realization hit him. “Of course my seller would lie to him,” Gabriel said.
“What do you mean?” Deana asked, Gabriel heard shuffling and saw Sen at the other door.
“He means buying an alien that has taken down ten armed Igris pirates with a metal rod is likely a bad purchase. Too difficult to control.” Sen’Chakar said. “That would be my guess. Most believe the rumors are just a ruse to keep Gabriel away from trouble so confirming that would make sense.”
“Right,” Gabriel said. “Not to toot my own horn or anything but I crushed all the physical tests they had on US 535.”
“I’m assuming toot your own horn means bragging,” Deana said. “And that was a bad attempt. But I see your point, he seemed to think you would be weaker.”
“Yeah, and he accepted that I could only run in short bursts,” Gabriel said.
“...So that was a lie?” Deana asked.
“Yeah, humans are...persistent hunters, I think is called. Or I mean not in modern society.” Gabriel said. “We don’t run around chucking spears at mammoths anymore.”
“Ignoring what a mammoths is, how long can you run?” Deana asked.
“Full speed? not that long, I’ve only run 400 meters in a sprint. Well, it’s called a sprint but I can’t run it maxed out. I guess I’ve only done 200 meters.” He said.
“And how long is a meter?”
“About this,” he held his hands apart in the best approximation of a meter he could.
“That’s...what would you guess the arena is?” she asked.
“I don’t know, long side maybe 100 at most.” Gabriel guessed.
“I see,” Deana nodded, “Yes, that is far, but a fit Roniean can do the same, although just about I would guess.”
“Same with Igris,” Sen’Chakar said.
“And how long can you run, at whatever speed?” Deana asked and seemed to compare Gabriel’s legs to her own.
“Uh, I mean I’ve run marathons, which usually involves some walking but mostly jogging,” he jogged a little in place.
“And how long are those? In arenas?”
“Shit, hold on,” Gabriel said, quickly doing the math. “The OS, that’s Olympic sport is about 42,200 meters so 422,” Gabriel said.
“You can run, I mean jogging 422 lengths of the arena?”
“Yeah, I mean I’m out of practice so maybe not but with some more walking.” He shrugged.
“And all that while weighing more than Sen,” Deana shook her head. “How is that possible?”
“Gravity?” Gabriel ventured. “I mean like I said, my planet had higher gravity. I blame my weight on that. Wait, would that even help? Actually, with the lower gravity, I might do better, but that needs more testing.” Gabriel rambled on.
“Right, back to the previous subject, you believe you were sold with false information right?”
“Yes, the first time I was sold as some monster that they thought would kill and eat Madeline, this time I can only guess but as Sen said, I assume he wanted a strong but not too strong fighter,” Gabriel confirmed.
Deana shook her head, “This is getting too confusing for me, I need some sustenance,” she said as she grabbed a plate of breakfast. Once the boring breakfast was eaten she spoke up once again. “We don’t know what the ‘boss’ has been told, but eventually he’s going to believe the rumors floating around about you. The ones Sen heard.”
“I told you to call!...” Sen’Chakar started from the other cell. “Nevermind Dee, I suppose I can handle being called Sen for the time being.”
Deana scowled at Gabriel, “Coming here and ruining my fun…Oh well, we should try and escape before the boss figures you out if you still think that’s possible.”
“I do and yes, I agree,” Gabriel said. “Do you think we can talk our way into the armory between matches?” He asked.
“Not really, but it’s worth trying,” she said and rubbed her crest. “Sen, any ideas?”
“We can ask to practice in armor, otherwise I do not have any ideas at the moment...Dee” He said.
“Thanks again Gabe,” Deana sighed and scowled, but it quickly turned to a chuckle.
“Speaking of nicknames, does Gabe mean anything?” Gabriel asked.
“Not in Roniean,” Deana said.
“Not in Igris, but gabend means something similar to someone that does not think, or in other words, idiot.” He said, gabend was pronounced with a short a, but still quite similar.
“Oddly appropriate,” Gabriel murmured. “But now that I’m done bragging and we are done talking about theories we can’t solve at the moment, I think you have a story to tell Dee.”
She looked up from trying to scoop up the last of her breakfast, “I do?”
“Yeah, last night you said you would tell me how you ended up here, I told you my tale.”
She sighed, “You told me what happened after you ended up in space. But, I suppose I did. I can’t claim it to be a story or tale but I can tell you about it.” She put the plate away and got comfortable. “So, where do I start?”
“Wherever you want, we got time,” Gabriel said and sat down on his bed.
“Alright, what brought me here, in the end, was my work in the Roniean military as an intelligence officer. I looked through captured information, drives, recorded conversations, and the like.” She started. “I’m going to assume you know little about my society but stop me if you have further questions.”
“Will do,” Gabriel said.
“Before the military, I studied to work in communications, on FTL tech preferably but I planned to take whatever was available. But I was recruited to the military and went that direction instead. Roniean society is based on a strong military and almost all public services are provided by them. And most large factories also belong to the government and the military.”
“Almost?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, it is difficult to compete with the prices of the military, whether it is food, clothes, housing, appliances, or the like. But there are always many willing to pay more for custom stuff, or different brands, handmade stuff you know. And so, almost all private companies deal in custom wares of whatever.” She paused for a moment, seeming to gather her thoughts after the tangent. “And because of that, many top students in their field get offered further education in the military. It’s a way to get a good education for less money but comes with a two-year contract after the studies are finished.”
“Forced service?”
“Sort of, but in many different sectors, and none in direct conflict. You can get recruited further to become a soldier or pilot or whatever but for most, it is an employer like any other. I worked testing some new communication unit that was meant to work instantaneously over light seconds. Different ships would be able to talk with each other in the same system.”
“You said would?”
“Yeah, never got it to work during my time there. After those two years were up I was offered my current...well I might be replaced now, but my last assignment which was as I said to gather and sort information.” she looked down at the floor.
“That sounds like a desk job to me,” Sen said from the other cell.
“It was, for the most part. I found some leads that suggested a large criminal organization operated in our capital, where I lived. They both smuggled and sold illegal stimulants and I suspected they also dealt in trafficking. And foolishly I thought if I could just get a little more information I could make sure the gang left the capital altogether. But I was stupid and got captured with enough information to be seen as dangerous and I got sent here.” She finished and looked at Gabriel. “And that’s my story.”
“Thank you for telling me,” Gabriel said and smiled. “I’m sure the information in this place will put many behind bars. After we get out that is.”
Deana chuckled, “Maybe I can convince my boss that I was deep undercover”
“It’s always good to stay positive. Sen, do you want to share?” Gabriel asked.
“I was captured doing much the same, except my position was in Security. Before that, I was studying to go into Security. Before that general school, and before that I did nothing that affected me ending up here.” He somehow managed to fit into one breath.
“...Thanks for sharing,” Gabriel said and shot a questioning look to Deana. She grinned and shook her head. “Did you practice that?” Gabriel asked Sen.
“No?” He said and walked off to do whatever.
“Ok then,” Gabriel turned back to Deana. “An Igris of few words was it?”
“Correct, most of the time, he can string together several sentences once in a while,” she said chuckling. “Your turn Gabe, what did you do before ending up in space?”
Gabriel stood up and began pacing, “Alright, where do I start?” He said, mostly to himself.
“Wherever you want, we got time,” Deana said.
“Fine, fine,” he said grinning. “I’m going to skip most of my childhood, it’s not that interesting. I was a nerdy kid, always liking games and movies more than many of my friends who dove headfirst into sports. When I started high-school a war started between two foreign countries and our country sent forces to help. My sister that I told you about started military training and after I turned the right age I also joined up. I went through a program that was supposed to last for two years but after a year and a half the war ended and my sister came back. Shortly after I was discharged due to...various reasons,” Gabriel said a bit sheepishly.
“Now I’m interested,” Deana said and leaned forwards.
“It’s nothing too special, I got into some fights because I was young and dumb. And they insulted my sister who came back without some of her friends.” He said and sat down.
“I see, talking bad about soldiers who have fought in battle is seen as bad manners and even punishable in the military. Only with chores and less free time but still.” Deana said.
“I'm not sure if they were punished, but I sure was.” Gabriel leaned back against the wall. “Regardless, after that, I started selling and fixing electronics, our version of com units, and the like. It was at quite a high-end store that served several large companies and not at all a bad job.” Gabriel sighed. “Then from what I call piece together I was on my way to my parents with my sister and we got kidnapped.” He shrugged and spread his arms. “The rest I’ve told you I think.”
“Yes, I think so, I just have one question,” Deana said.
“Shoot,” Gabriel said.
“Never mind, what’s your question?”
Deana squinted at him, “You have to explain that later, but what is boxing?”
“A...let’s call it a physical sport where we put on gloves and fight. With rules of course.” Gabriel launched into a very bare-boned explanation of boxing, explaining the basic rules and weight classes, finishing with an explanation on how matches were conducted. “There are some great human movies about boxing, shame I can’t show you any.”
“I think I understand, we have a sport which is similar but more focused on points and getting an advantage over your opponent. In the past, it was more or less put together so soldiers would train harder to try and win. But it is physical combat, though with more protection.” Deana said, “I was never a soldier so I didn’t try it, never got the training.”
“You don’t get training if you’re not in...let’s say the military part of your government?” Gabriel asked.
“Yes, and no, we get plenty of physical training and some very basics in using both guns and physical combat but no, we do not get any certification for weapons or learn combat as you have.” She explained.
Gabriel nodded, “I wasn’t that good at CQC too be honest, boxing is not part of the training I received in the military but I was better at it, and enjoyed it more.”
“What was that word, cequce?”
“Oh, C.Q.C, close-quarters combat,” Gabriel said. “We learned to fight hand-to-hand and defend against knife attacks and stuff like that.”
“I don’t suppose you learn how to fight with swords and shields?” she asked.
“Unfortunately, no”
“Shame, I don’t think we can fight without weapons. Or I mean we can, but probably shouldn't.” She said and sighed.
“No, probably not,” Gabriel said, quite aware he could likely break arms with his bare fists, even through shields. But that would hurt his knuckles in the process, or even break a wrist or two if the hit landed wrong. “Is there any, uh, tape or bandages to wrap my hands with?”
“For what? are you hurt?” Deana asked, looking questioning at his hands.
“No, not at all, just to keep me from breaking anything if I do decide to punch someone,” Gabriel said waving a hand dismissively.
“I don’t know, but that can’t be too hard to get. The ‘boss’ does want a good match and bandages will cost him little. It’s all about costs with that man.” Deana said. She stood and rolled her shoulders. “Can you teach me some boxing while we wait?”
“Sure, but what are we waiting for?” Gabriel said and stood as well.
“Food. There is nothing else to look forward to.” Deana said and looked at her fists. “Should we wrap our hands for this?”
“Preferably yes, but we can start easy,” Gabriel said. He showed her how to stand and how to guard and apart from hitting his palms a few times, they spent the next few hours on technique, some shadow boxing, and dodging. It was slow and easy-going so they used most of the time until lunch arrived. Still, they had both worked up a sweat when they broke for food.
“And you are telling me you fight for three minute rounds with only one minute between?” Deana asked as she ate. “Shadowboxing for three minutes was quite a workout.”
“Yep. Is it just me or is this food blander than usual?”
“Just you. And you fight for...what was it, 12 rounds at most?”
“At most, yes, but fights can be over in the first,” Gabriel said.
Deana nodded slowly “I can live with never becoming a boxing champion,” she said and grinned.
Gabriel chuckled, “Same here.” There rest of the day they trained some more, although it was more demonstrations and less physical and Gabriel tried to remember how CQC worked without resorting to just throwing a punch to the face of his opponent. Before dinner, he had managed to remember some throws and how to twist an arm holding a knife. Though he still remembered the optimal way to fight a knife which was to turn and sprint as fast as you can the other way.
After dinner, they talked about both Roniean II and Earth and even managed to get Sen to join them and Gabriel learned a bit more about Igris prime, the first Igris planet. Roniean II was a forest planet with quite extensive polar caps. Around the equator was a thick band of lush forests that did not get to warm or cold. It hardly ever snowed and often rained. Igris prime on the other hand was closer to earth but with more landmass north and south and less at the warm equator.
Igris prime had many popular locations for tourists with warm weather and good swimming, but further down, or up depending on with hemisphere you were on, it often rained with strong winds. And although they were not hurricane levels it would still be miserable to be out in them.
“So Earth has temperatures in the same range as us?” Sen asked.
“Yes, thereabouts,” Gabriel said. It has taken quite some time to translate temperature but they had gotten close he thought.
“But you live in almost all of them?”
“Are there several species of humans? how can you handle the coldest and warmest temperatures?” Sen asked him.
“We are adaptable I guess, As we produce a lot of heat ourselves we just need to isolate for the cold. The heat is different and while we do sweat to cool down we can easily overheat. Many die every year from heatstroke.”
“I see, while we do send scientists to the polar caps we need environmental suits to handle the cold. But I think we produce less body heat.”
“I wouldn’t know,” Gabriel shrugged, “My knowledge of Xenobiology is severely lacking.”
Deana reached over and grabbed his wrist, holding it for a while and then nodded, “Yes, you are warmer than me,” She nodded. “And we Ronieans have about the same temperature as Igris.” She let go of his wrist and reached a hand towards his chest, but stopped before making contact. “Boundaries, sorry,” she said and withdrew her hand. “Just wanted to check, limbs are usually colder.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t get any ideas,” Gabriel grinned and grabbed her hand and placed it on his the back of his neck.
Deana tilted her head, “Your arm was almost cold compared to this. Want to touch me in return?” she asked. “No private place though,” she grinned.
“Thanks for the offer, but I’ll pass,” Gabriel chuckled.
“Your loss,” Deana laughed, she walked back to her bed, “I think I would like to see Earth sometime, Igris prime too for that matter.”
“Won't gravity be a problem?” Gabriel went back to his bed, then decided a shower would be a good idea.
“I guess, but I can get an exoskeleton or something,” She said and stretched out on the bed.
“Or something,” Sen said from the other cell, “You could use a powered armor, provided you can get a hold of one.”
“See,” Deana said, “I just have to convince someone to give me one.”
“Good luck with that, I’m going to take a shower,” Gabriel said and grabbed a change of clothes.
“Have fun, and leave it running,” Deana said waving a hand.
The next couple of days was much the same, breakfast, practice in the training room, lunch, more practice, dinner, and free time. Gabriel tried to convince the guards to let them into the armory but apparently, the boss was away on business and they didn’t want to make any decisions while he was away. And calling was not an option it seemed. On the fourth day, after dinner, they were informed that there would be fighting the next day. Maybe his best bet for escape had been when the boss had visited but that ship had sailed. The guards were always careful when delivering food, always when Gabriel and Deana were at the far wall and they quickly shut the door after pushing in the plates. But if things went on like this he would have to risk it.
“We have to make a move soon,” Gabriel said while they were just about to sleep for the night.
“I agree, but what do we do?” Deana asked.
Gabriel sighed frustrated, “I don’t know, but if we can’t convince the boss we need access to the armory we have to try something. Every time we fight may be our last.”
“Again, I agree but I have been through several matches already,” Deana said and tapped her chest, “I can take it,”
“I’m sure,” Gabriel said, “But I don’t like risking it.”
“I agree with Gabe,” Sen said. “I believe we should try and escape after this next match, it is risky to wait.”
“I’m not arguing,” Deana said and raised her hands defensively. “But we can’t tomorrow, there will be too many guards.”
Gabriel laid down and stared up at the ceiling. “Damn it, I wanted to be out here by now.”
“Sleep, Gabe,” Deana said. “Worry tomorrow.”
“Goodnight Dee, Goodnight Sen!” Gabriel shouted at the door.
Sen chuckled from the other cell, which mostly sounded like several sharp hisses, “Goodnight Gabe, and Dee”
“Goodnight,” Deana sighed.

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My Introduction to a Professional Sports Betting Syndicate

This is part 1 of a 3 part story I recently shared within The Betting Network community. The Betting Network or TBN is a group of sports bettors that all share information with a common goal of winning more bets. I also do weekly lessons, a mentorship program, game previews and just pass along any and all information I’ve gathered over the past 15 plus years, the main goal is to help members improve their overall sports betting IQ and help them avoid the brutal trial and error I had to go through before becoming successful in the sports betting industry.
I decided to share this story because of the feedback I received within The Betting Network, hope you guys enjoy it and also gain something from it.

PART 1/3

Before I get into the good stuff I have to explain what my job entailed at the time. The company I use to work for scraped sports betting information and data off the internet. A lot of pro bettors use “data scrapes” and what it does is it searches the internet 24/7 every second of the day for anything that has the keywords you programmed into the software. Think about how much time and effort this saves. You input “LeBron James Injury” and the second anything related to that is posted anywhere online it will be sent to you and even compiled in an organized fashion. You could put Steph Curry 3pt attempts and it will gather all that info and compile it. Data scrapes are really the only way a person could compile stats and information on entire leagues, it would take the entire season alone if you attempted to input it yourself without a scraper.
One of the most important data scrapers is for injuries and the company I worked for had it set up where it would be constantly searching the internet for injury related news and it would “ping” our computers already formatted so it could be sent out to members and social media. For example, this is what a “ping” would look like - CLE-F [LeBron James] - Calf- Questionable or GSW-G [Steph Curry] - wrist - Doubtful. Our job was to edit any errors and basically just click a button that was linked to send it out on all platforms, members text services, on twitter, everywhere we wanted. Our company's injury scrape was so good that live odds services like Don Best would simply have a scrape on our Twitter account. Pro bettors would just have notifications set for our tweets because we were breaking injury information 10 to 20 seconds before ESPN sometimes. By the way, 10 to 20 seconds is an eternity in the sports betting world. If you couldn’t tell already I’m no computer wiz, but what I believe separated our scrape from many others was how the information was formatted when we got it and how it was streamlined with all the platforms it needed to be sent out to after we got it. In other words, injury news breaks, we get the ping, hit one button and it’s sent. Other people may receive the injury information and have to type out the format and then send it out one by one to twitter or on their website. But like I said I have no fucking clue how it all works all I know is we were considered one of the best for NBA, NFL.
If you want to learn more about how to actually set up a scraper I provided a good intro to scraping link here: ⬇️⬇️⬇️⬇️
The MIT Sloan conference is one of the biggest sports analytics conferences in the world. Myself and a few co-workers were sent to the Sloan conference to represent our company. It’s a big 2 day event and everybody from the sports world is there, anyone from sports book operators to NBA head coaches and players. Link below for this years speakers at Sloan ↙️↙️↙️
Anyone that’s heavily involved in the sports betting industry is usually there because it’s a great way to network with everyone all in one place. My company had a booth there and we would just answer questions, hand out promotional fliers and point out all the famous people we saw. This is where it gets good. While sitting at the booth a guy approaches me and asks: “What do you do”? Me: I’m a data analyst Guy: ok, but what do you do?
I explained to him my job responsibilities adding in a bunch of stuff to make it sound more important because the truth was I sat at a computer for 8hrs a day waiting for pings and answering phone calls where 90% of the callers had the wrong number. He pretended to be interested in the job details and before I could get into what he did or why he was there the convo ended with him asking if I’ll be attending day 2 of the conference. I said yes and he told me he would also be back tomorrow for day 2 and that after the conference tomorrow him and a bunch of guys were going to meet for drinks at the Westin hotel across the street from the conference, “drinks on me” he said while walking away.
The next day after the conference I went across the street to the Westin and they have a restaurant. I see “George” who I met the day before and invited me, he’s sitting at one end of a table that has 2 big tables pushed together making one big table. He waves me over and I sit next to him, there’s about 7 other people there. He tells me to order anything I want, drinks, food whatever and made a point to tell me and everyone there that he’s covering the bill. The Westin is really nice and expensive, not a place I would be going to eat and drink on my own considering I think I was making $16 an hour at this time. I couldn’t help but wonder why he invited me and only me when I had 2 other co-workers. After a couple hours and 4 vodka tonics I found out.
“George” was a professional bettor and was (still is) the head of a nationwide sports betting syndicate. He knew exactly what the company I work for dos and even knew my boss. Once we got into talking about what he does he wasted no time telling me what he wanted to do. He wanted me to notify him and his team about injuries before sending it out to the public, 15 seconds after to be exact. He knew that a majority of sports books used the live odds screen Don Best and that Don Best used our company for breaking injury news and if he was able to get the injury news before Don Best he would be able to beat the line on all the books that copied lines from them.
For example: Your bookie isn’t sitting in front of the computer moving the lines when an injury happens, it’s done automatically. Most local books set up what’s called an auto-mover and this copies the feed from another sports book. Some local books may copy the feed from say pinnacle or 5dimes or any book they feel has strong accurate lines. They can’t set up a direct feed to pinnacle or 5Dimes because established books such as those can detect software. So what they do is set the auto-mover up onto a live odds service like Don Best. Once the line moves on don best all the books that are copying lines will then move their lines.
George had software of his own that allowed him to bet games on thousands of accounts with a few clicks of a button. He explained to me how this would all work - I get the ping - CLE-F [LeBron James] - Rest - Out, I would copy and paste that onto the telegram messenger app and press send, he said sing happy birthday and when finished then I could post it to the world like I normally would. With his automated bet software he could pick off all the books that didn’t move the line yet based on Lebron being OUT. Of course not every single book was reliant on Don Best to move lines, many of the bigger well known offshore books had their own data scrapes and injury software, but more than enough books did rely on Don Best, who relied on my company. So the potential for this was through the roof.
I had some serious thinking to do, as much as I wanted to say yes on the spot my instincts held me back. I told him I had to weigh the pros and cons. After all I basically would be tanking my job duties and going from a committed employee to what seemed like a sneaky spy. It does our company and it’s members no good if I’m sending out information late or at the same time as every other company. Also, without getting too detailed regarding the financial arrangement I felt I needed to counter his offer. The biggest upside for me besides the money was my strong desire to get involved with a real sports betting syndicate but the negotiations quickly let me know that there is a dark side to the industry and I had one foot in.
To Be Continued....
PS I’ll likely share part 2 and 3 in the coming days.
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this took way too long and everyone is gonna forget about this post in like 2 days

when tyler said “[Intro] Bitch, fuck! (Uh, uh, fuck) You have a question?
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] How many cars can I buy 'til I run outta drive? How much drive can I have until I run outta road? How much road can they pave until I run outta land? How much land can it be until I run in the ocean? Niggas go with the motions and all the plans See, I was never into the beaches and all the sands See, I was in the woods with flowers, rainbows, and posies Fallin' outta my pocket, but y'all want to know if I swam to cool down How much cooler can I get until I run out of fans? How many fans can I have until they turn on the AC? If the AC blow up, then I'm TNT, I'm gone
[Bridge: Rex Orange County] I'm gone and I'm finished And I ain't seen my friends in a minute Guessing nothing lasts forever Yeah, nothing lasts forever Nothing sticks together Sick of sitting in doubt Please let me figure this out
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] Shout out to the girls that I led on For occasional head and always keepin' my bed warm And tryin' their hardest to keep my head on straight And keepin' me up enough 'til I had thought I was airborne How many raps can I write 'til I get me a chain? How many chains can I wear 'til I'm considered a slave? How many slaves can it be 'til Nat Turner arise? How many riots can it be until them Black lives matter? Niggas click-clack splatter, (Pew) pew that nigga Life a game of basketball, you better shoot that nigga 'Cause if that cop got trigger, he better pull 'Cause when I get pulled over, I usually play it cool 'Cause I know what I'm drivin' is usually paid in full And my ego and possessions, will not let me be one (Nah) Because I got a mansion, my mansion got some rooms Them rooms got some windows and my windows got some views Them views get some stares and my backyard does too And if you walk to the bottom you'll prolly see a pool You better not drown, keep them ten toes up 'Cause if them ten toes down, that mean that you fucked up And that's what I swim in
[Outro: Rex Orange County] And if I drown and don't come back Who's gonna know? (Maybe then I'll know) And if I crash and don't come back Who's gonna know? (Maybe then I'll know) And if I fall and don't come back Who's gonna know? (Maybe then I'll know) I'm wondering if I don't come back Maybe then I'll know Don't come back Don't come back Ayy, don't come back Don't come back No, no
[Verse 1: Tyler the Creator] Ayo Let's take it back to them days Counting sheep on Sadie Hannah's floor Carpet was my baby mama 80 dollar profit from the coffee I poured Rent-A-Center calling everyday Nobody home, they're knocking on the door Now I skrrt, skrrt, skrrt, skrrt (Skrrt!) In toys I only dreamed that I could afford Now I roll through Okaga
[Chorus: Frank Ocean & Tyler the Creator] I ride to California (Yeah) These frog oval goggles I'm leanin' out the window OJ shinin' on me (Oh, ooh) Simp sun shinin' on me (ayy, yeah) Slick circles float roll Out this world Yeah, yeah
[Bridge: Tyler, The Creator] Run it, run it, run it, run it I rock, I roll, I bloom, I grow (I grow) I rock, I roll (What you say?), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (Let 'em know), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (One more time), I bloom, I grow (Let's go!)
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] Ain't nobody fucking with T, but that just may be my ego But don't be too cool, you might freeze Because niggas get stuck in the cold (Man, look at this ice) Shit weighs a ton Water your garden, my nigga (Stunt on these niggas!) Tell these black kids they could be who they are Dye your hair blue, shit, I'll do it too (What the fuck?) Look, I smell like Chanel I never mall grip with my manicured nails I coconut oil the skin I keep the top low 'cause the follicles thinnin' But other than that, man It feels like I'm winning (I'm winnin', nigga) Went from statistic to millionaire CNN doubted 'cause my skin is dark Then they forget when I get in my car
[Chorus: Frank Ocean] These frog oval goggles I'm leanin' out the window OJ shinin' on me (Oh, ooh) Simp sun shinin' on me Slick circles roll float Out this world Yeah, yeah Run it, run it, run it, yeah (Ohh, ohh!)
[Bridge: Tyler, The Creator] I glow (I glow) I rock, I roll (What you say?), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (Let 'em know), I bloom, I grow (I glow) I rock, I roll (One more time), I bloom, I- (Let's go!)
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator] Flower boy T, nigga that's me Rooted from the bottom, bloomed into a tree Took a lil' while, nigga makin' leaves Keep it in my branches so my family can eat Favorite color green, energy is skrong Giving niggas life, birdies and the beez Droppin' them seeds, not what you want You don't know what I keep in the trunk
[Interlude: Tyler, The Creator] Ah, shit!
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator] Ahh, ahh Ahh Run it, run it, run it, run it Run it Run it Run it
[Tyler, The Creator] Sometimes, I sit in my room and think about us
[Shane Powers] "It's Golf Radio, you're on the air with Shane Powers Taking requests... Uh, What’s uh, pick that one... What's uh... What's your name? Hello? Um, okay, well, since you want to be Mr. Fucking-Secret-Agent, what song you wanna hear?"
[Wyatt Navarro] The one about me
[Intro: Tyler, The Creator] Okay, okay, okay, okay Okay, okay, oh
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] You live in my dream state Relocate my fantasy I stay in reality You live in my dream state Any time I count sheep That's the only time we make up, make up You exist behind my eyelids, my eyelids Now I don't wanna wake up
[Pre-Chorus: Tyler, The Creator] 20/20, 20/20 vision Cupid hit me, Cupid hit me with precision, I Wonder if you look both ways When you cross my mind I said, I said I'm sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of chasing You're the one that's always running through my day dreams, I I can only see your face when I close my eyes
[Chorus: Kali Uchis & Tyler, The Creator] Can I get a kiss? And can you make it last forever? I said I'm 'bout to go to war And I don't know if I'ma see you again Can I get a kiss? (Can I?) And can you make it last forever? (Can you?) I said I'm 'bout to go to war (I'm 'bout to) And I don't know if I'ma see you again Ugh, switch it up
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] I said, okay, okay, okay, okie dokie, my infatuation Is translatin' to another form of what you call it? (Love) Oh yeah, oh yeah, oh yeah, I ain't met you I've been looking, stop the waiting 'Fore I stop the chasing, like an alcoholic "You don't understand me", what the fuck do you mean? It's them rose-tinted cheeks, yeah it's them dirt-colored eyes Sugar honey iced tea, bumblebee on the scene Yeah, I'd give up my bakery to have a piece of your pie Uugh!
[Pre-Chorus: Tyler, The Creator] 20/20, 20/20 vision Cupid hit me, cupid hit me with precision, I Wonder if you look both ways When you cross my mind I said, I said I'm sick of, sick of, sick of, sick of chasing You're the one that's always running through my day dreams, I I can only see your face when I close my eyes (So)
[Chorus: Kali Uchis] Can I get a kiss? (Can I get a kiss?) And can you make it last forever? (Make it last forever) I said I'm 'bout to go to war ('Bout to go to war) I don't know if I'ma see you again (See you again) Can I get a kiss? (Can I?) And can you make it last forever? (Can you?) I said I'm 'bout to go to war ('Bout to) And I don't know if I'ma see you again
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator & Kali Uchis] Okay, okay, okay, okay Okay, okay, okay, oh La la, la la la la, la la La la, la la la, la la Okay, okay, okay, okay Okay, okay, okay, oh La la, la la la la, la la La la, la la la la One more time?
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] Yo, who dat boy? Who him is? Him that ni-guh, I swear Stand out guy, him don't need no chair Well, where the fuck him at? 'Cause nigga, I'm right here I don't shop at the mall, all y'all just Dumb mothafucka, I'm a goddamn artist You can give me some markers and I'll draw you a closet And you know that it's GOLF, bitch, gonna make the deposit Nigga fresh to death like he got dressed in a coffin Cons, overalls, and a striped shirt The boy drips swag like a broken faucet It's runnin', nigga, I'm runnin' shit That cherry be the bomb like he ran in Boston Won't stop 'til the cops surround him One nigga jiggy and the other awesome With his fuckin' face blown off, that's how they found him It's Young T
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator & A$AP Rocky] Who dat boy? Who him is? Who dat boy? Who him is? Nigga, who dat boy? Who him is? Who dem boys? Nigga, who dem is, nigga? Why you niggas feel like that? Mad 'cause a nigga neck chill like that You mad 'cause a nigga push wheel like that? Why you puttin' bad vibes in the air like that? Nigga, who dem boys?
[Verse 2: A$AP Rocky] Who dem is? Nigga, who dem is? Who else step in this bitch this jig? Who else your bitch say got a bick this big? Who else came through with a wrist this flick? Nigga, Guess my pants, do my dance Spin around, bitch, you could kiss my ass Never seen a nigga in this much Raf Still doin' math when I miss my class Was it Summertime '06, had the Number (N)ine Nigga, never mind, was another time before Vince Had the Gucci gold tips with the letterman Nigga, dollar sign was my favorite number at the time Fresh freshmen 'til they skipped my ass Senior citizen, don't forget my pass Been that nigga and you knew that there Make the dick disappear, how she do that there?
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator & A$AP Rocky] Who dat boy? Who him is? Who dat boy? Who him is? Nigga, who dat boy? Who him is? Who dem boys? Nigga, who dem is, nigga? Why you niggas feel like that? Mad 'cause a nigga's neck chill like that You mad 'cause a nigga push wheel like that? Why you puttin' bad vibes in the-?
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator & A$AP Rocky] Fuck the rap, I'm tryna own a planet From my other fuckin' business ventures These niggas these days Actin' like some bitches, like they're fuckin' with ya (yeah) Teeth is glistenin', Jesus, Christmas He just shittin', she exquisite, bitches be expensive (Yeah, let 'em know, nigga) And I don't even need attention WANG$AP on the bumper sticker, fuck you niggas Fuck global warming, my neck is so frío I'm currently lookin' for '95 Leo My mom say she worried because I'm so ill I should stay in bed, but got too much bread To make, she said watch my weight So I stayed home and start eatin' some meals Get out of my way-way, boy that's McLaren That's 0 to 60 in 2 point nueve, I'm gone
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator] Fuck
[Intro: Tyler, the Creator] Shit
[Verse 1: Tyler, the Creator] My mother warned me that some niggas ain't my right hand To trust her, only my heart and that elder white man His name is Clancy, I fancy him, gotta give him props He half the reason why dealerships even let me cop So now I'm speedin' and tryna drive away from the fact That she was right, so I triple left, tryna double back The streets are filled with some clues Like how I ain't notice that? (How I ain't see that?) Fuck it, I seen some familiar stuck in the cul-de-sac I pull up, get out, what up? I wanna help But what you want for some, some niggas Really don't want for themself Now do I stay? Do I go? That's my dilemma And traffic is picking up, if I don't leave I'ma get stuck (Skrt) So I speed off, we talk barely and it seems awkward And I heard through some words that you're off it I got too much drive, don't wanna steer off path And crash and get distracted But I listen to that weather man 'cause it might rain Keep my windshield wipers prepared 'Cause y'all throw so much shade And I got jacket in trunk, but that's in the front I also got power for both of us if you're ever in need of jump Just let me know, my nigga
[Chorus: Jaden Smith & Tyler, the Creator] I had to switch gears on 'em Fishtail in the rearview mirror on 'em (Skrrrrrt!) I had to switch gears on 'em You know, swerve, left turn, steerin' wheel on 'em Nigga that's a pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Look out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole
[Verse 2: Tyler, the Creator] Snakes in the grass, but I walk I got some new boots, on the back it says GOLF So I be prepared for their bites, they're all talk I left the condom in the grass so fuck off Watchin' Clarence in a mansion with nobody in it Young successful nigga, ride McLaren with no windows tinted I drive by piggies when I'm in it 'cause it feels amazin' The irony is I stopped eatin' bacon Don't get it twisted, nigga, I'm still hungry, oh he lonely All my friends talk about their hoes and tenderonies But all I can show 'em is a couple cars and more things That I've made in the couple past month, he's on, please Everyone is a sheep, me, a lone wolf Nobody gon' make a peep 'cause everyone wants some wool Since everyone is a sheep, not everyone here is cool Man I'd rather drown in a pool by myself Than fuck with their fleece See, man, T-Man fans be seesaw Wind blows, they go, which way, who knows? One day, "Fuck no," the next day, "Okay" But fuck y'all, I know that T is four for four I just want that garden and that Batmobile Good health, success, time on earth worthwhile Find somebody who love me and raise a couple of lizards But my vehicle's good for now, that's in a couple of miles Now keep it pushin', nigga
[Chorus: Jaden Smith & Tyler, the Creator] I had to switch gears on 'em Fishtail in the rearview mirror on 'em (Skrrrrrt!) I had to switch gears on 'em You know, swerve, left turn, steerin' wheel on 'em Nigga that's a pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Look out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole Watch out for the pothole, watch out for the pothole
[Outro: Tyler, the Creator] Fuck, okay, next one Do-do-do-do-do-do Gotta watch out for the potholes Ooh, said watch out for the potholes Haha
[Chorus: Estelle] Don't kill a rose Before it could bloom Fly, baby, fly Out the cocoon
[Verse 1: Tyler, the Creator] You don't have to hide I can smell it in your eyes That there's something more to say, baby Them words Damn, run me back, yeah
[Bridge: Estelle & Tyler, the Creator] If I could, if I could If you could Find the words to say Find the words to say Find the words In the garden Shed Go
[Chorus: Estelle] Don't kill a rose Before it could bloom Fly, baby, fly Out the cocoon
[Verse 2: Tyler, the Creator] Ayo Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed, garden shed For the garden That is where I was hidin' That was real love I was in Ain't no reason to pretend Garden shed, garden shed, garden shed Garden shed for the garçons Them feelings that I was guardin' Heavy on my mind All my friends lost They couldn't read the signs I didn't wanna talk and tell 'em my location And they ain't wanna walk Truth is, since a youth kid, thought it was a phase Thought it'd be like the phrase; "poof," gone But, it's still goin' on Big fan of the beige tan Polka dot nose, how it goes Had to keep it on the subwoofer A couple butterflies wanna float But I was always like, "Eh" Barely interested, but bagged just to brag to my boys like, "Bruh" This is a crucial subject matter Sensitive like cookin' batter 'Til the temperature that's risin' Steppin' on that ladder, tryna Grab the rings of Saturn, I'ma Planet by the time you hear this Shit and chatter 'bout the heat It will not fuckin' matter
[Intro: Rex Orange County & Corinne Bailey Rae] When you're having fun, fun Time flies, time flies, time flies When you're having fun (time flies) Out the window (it goes, goes, goes)
[Chorus: Rex Orange County] Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something Ah
[Verse 1: Rex Orange County & Anna of the North] Boredom got a new best friend (Boredom, boredom, best friend) 'Cause boredom got a new best friend (oh, oh, oh) Boredom got a new best friend Na-na-na, na-na-na, oh-na-na-na Oh, oh, oh
[Chorus: Rex Orange County & Anna of the North] Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time (Find some time, oh)
[Verse 2: Tyler, The Creator] Boredom, boredom, boredom, boredom Boredom, boredom, boredom Boy, my bedroom floor is a cereal burial, I'm serious I ate 'em all, dry boxes, bodies, yeah I caught 'em If we're talkin' 'bout real meals, ask my stomach, he ain't saw 'em I've been in this fuckin' room so long My eyeballs are turning to drywall My friends suck, fuck 'em, I'm over 'em "Hi y'all, y'all ain't hit me all-day What the fuck is the problem? Is it me? 'Cause I'm not solved, I'm... bored."
[Chorus: Rex Orange County & Anna of the North] Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something (Oh)
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator] Bored and getting desperate as hell (Desperate, using, texting, amusing) Cellular not amusing and I hope someone will Message me with some plans that are amusing as well 'Cause I haven’t seen the exit of these walls since before this morning Morning, morning, morning, morning (Morning, oh, what the fuck?) Got some cars I can handle but nowhere for performance My stomach angry and yellin', I need some food, I could order But I hate eating solo Need someone, we can loiter in parking lots As sunsets at the border, yeah Ringy dingy dong, I can't be alone I been starting to feel like I don't know anyone So now I'm staring at my ceiling fuckin' blowing Like I have no idea where I'm going Tick tock (Damn, gotta get outta here)
[Chorus: Rex Orange County, Anna of the North and Tyler, the Creator] Find some time Find some time to do something (Hey, can y'all help me right quick?) Find some time Find some time to do something Find some time Find some time to do something(Tick Tock) (Ti-Ti-Tick Tock) (Oh)
[Bridge: Tyler, the Creator & Anna of the North] 'Cause boredom got a new best friend Tick tock Boredom got a new best friend 'Cause boredom got a new best friend Tick tock
[Outro: Rex Orange County] Find some time, find some time Gotta find some time, find some time Gonna find some, find some time Gotta find some time, find some time Gonna find some, find some time Gotta find some time, find some time Gonna find some, find some time Time, time, time, time Time, time, time, time Time, time, time, time Time, time, time
[Shane Powers] "Ride's over, we got some tickets to see s-"
[Intro: Shane Powers] Right now we got some new music only here on Golf Radio! (God I love this sample) We're going to dance And exercise And have some fun
[Chorus] I ain't got time for these niggas Better throw a watch at the boy Had my boys in this bitch, looking like a seminar Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time for these bitches Better throw a clock at these hoes Have these hoes in this bitch looking for a water hose Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time
[Verse 1] Boy, I need a Kleenex How I got this far? Boy, I can't believe it That I got this car, so I take the scenic Passenger a white boy, look like River Phoenix First, happy birthday! You bitch ass nigga, yup I'm thirsty Them little shots that you threw, they ain't hurt me I ain't fuck with you bitch ass in the first place
[Chorus] I ain't got time for these niggas Better throw a watch at the boy Had my boys in this bitch, looking like a seminar Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time for these bitches Better throw a clock at these hoes Have these hoes in this bitch looking for a water hose Who the fuck you talking to, motherfucker? Boy, I ain't got time
[Verse 2] Nat Turner would be so proud of me 'Cause all these motherfuckers got they style from me I bet they all looking from the crowd at me And if I ask them, they would bow at me But you're a house nigga, so you don't know How that shit go, with my big lips and my big nose And my big dick and my short hair 'Cause you already know how slow my shit grow
[Bridge] (Hey) Tick, tock Tick, tock Tick, tock Tick, tock
[Verse 3] Been the man with a pickle plan, niggas know the dill When I sell the carnival, I bet I get a 100 mil' Next line will have 'em like "Whoa" I've been kissing white boys since 2004 One me, two feet, three M's Four, five, six years ago sucked Seven figure conversations with Converse finalized 'Cause Vans fucked up I'ma read commas, you gon' leave comments Saying what I shoulda did, but you ain't did nada You ain't important I'ma keep sporting All smiles over here Shout out to The Garden (Tick-tock) (And that's a fact boy!) And I just handle all my business like a chessboard (Tick tock, tick, tock) And at them Golf boys? That's my motherfucking set, boy Hard pill to swallow like some thick soda Walk weird 'cause my pockets look like thick Yoda With a Skywalker, riding 'round solar Anakin skin Sprite, and my tint cola Getting neck from abroad like some big shoulders Till I bust like that 9 in ya heat holster Everything I say is hot, bitch I speak toaster And the bread orthodox like I eat kosher Shout out to (shhh) they gave a big loaf of Green bread, got me chilling like a clean sofa What's that thick odor? Young Millie T A young, focused black boy, oh silly me (I ain't got time!)
[Verse 4] Better talk shit 'Cause I'm either in my Cons or my Golf shit Pants got a lil flood, nigga pipe down I'm Lil Boosie, Lil Boosie, way I wipe down (Boy I ain't got time!) Yeah right now 'Cause niggas dying every day and I ain't light brown And i-D ain't wanna give a nigga no post So I went and did a 12-page spread in Vogue (Nigga I ain't got time!)
[Outro] Listen, man, I'm that boy All you little niggas clones Boy I fill that void You better kill that noise Turn around and remap route When they see that boy with them big ears and that gap tooth Bitch Tick, tock Tick, tock Tick, tock Fuck, hello
[Part I: 911]
[Intro: Tyler, The Creator] (Call me, call me, call me) Uh (Call me, call me, call me) Uh (Call me, call me, call me) Uh (Call me, call me, call me) (Call me) How you doin'? (Call me) My name is Lonely, nice to meet you Here's my number You can reach me, woo!
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator] (Call me) 911, call me some time (You should call me) 911, call me some time 911 (You should call me, oh) 911 (Call me)
[Verse 1: Tyler, The Creator] Aw, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah My thirst levels are infinity and beyond Sippin' on that lemonade, I need a Beyoncé Can't see straight, these shades are Céline Dion Sucks you can't gas me up, shout out to Elon Musk, yeah, I got a sold-out show Crowd wild out but don't matter 'cause you not front row I've been lookin' for a keeper, listen to the speaker If you fit description, hit me on my beeper At that 911
[Bridge: Steve Lacy, Anna of the North & Tyler, The Creator] Call me some time (ring, ring, ring) Please bang my line, you know I'll answer (click) Call me some time (ring, ring, ring) Please bang my line
[Chorus: Tyler, The Creator & Anna of the North] Call me 911, call me some time You should call me 911, call me some time 911, (you should call me, oh) 911, (you should call me)
[Verse 2: Frank Ocean] Chirp, chirp Chirp, chirp Woke up in the 'burbs, 'burbs, with the birds, birds Where you used to come and get me with the swerve, swerve These days you gotta find time Even the nightline Work line Dial nine
[Verse 3: Tyler, The Creator] Five car garage Full tank of the gas But that don't mean nothing, nothing Nothin', nothin', without you shotgun in the passenger I'm the loneliest man alive But I keep on dancing to throw 'em off I'm gon' run out of moves 'cause I can't groove to the blues If you know any DJs, tell 'em to call me at 911...
[Part II: Mr. Lonely]
[Intro: A$AP Rocky, ScHoolboy Q, Lionel & Tyler, The Creator] I can't even lie, I've been lonely as fuck Old lonely ass nigga I can't even lie, I've been lonely as fuck Forreal, you need to go somewhere, like, get some bitches or something I can't even lie, I've been lonely as fuck Old weird ass nigga I can't even lie, I've been Lonely, lonely, lonely, lonely
[Verse: Tyler, The Creator] They say the loudest in the room is weak That's what they assume, but I disagree I say the loudest in the room Is prolly the loneliest one in the room (that's me) Attention seeker, public speaker Oh my God, that boy there is so fuckin' lonely Writin' songs about these people Who do not exist, he's such a fuckin' phony One thing I know, is that I wanna Win so bad, but I'm not Chicago Heart is low, it's real low, it's so low You can't lift me up, I'm like Gallardo From the start it's been real dark It's been so dark, I guess that you could call me charbroiled, huh I'm playin' like Hasbro I'm really Saari, call me Arto Crashed the McLaren, bought me a Tesla I know you sick of me talkin' 'bout cars (skrrt) But what the fuck else do you want from me? That is the only thing keepin' me company Purchase some things until I'm annoyed These items is fillin' the void Been fillin' it for so long I don't even know if it's shit I enjoy (ohh) Current battle as an adult My partner is a shadow I need love, do you got some I could borrow? Fuck it, I could find some tomorrow But that never comes Like a vasectomy, what have I done? I got the talent, the face and the funds Found myself long ago but I haven't found someone (who) Mirror, mirror on the wall (who) The loneliest of them all (me) Cupid actin' stupid Do you got another number I could call? Never had a pet I've never had a pet There's more fish in the sea But I never had a goldfish to begin with I never had a dog So I've never been good with bitches 'Cause I never threw a ball, fetch I never had a pet, that's where it stems from, I bet Treat me like direct deposit Check in on me sometime Ask me how I'm really doin' So I never have to press that 911
[Outro: Jasper] Ohh! Damn! Damn!
[Intro: Lil Wayne] Mula!
[Verse: Lil Wayne] Like Adam in the Garden of Eden My bitch got an apple bottom and she swallow my seeds Follow my lead, fire I breathe, water my seed And sit back and watch money grow on trees Droppin' seeds like classes, these hoes drop they asses I drop a seed in her panties if it smell like pansies I'm a banshee in her panties, nigga, ask your mammy Never played golf, but got a driver and a Caddy Whole squad slammin' like Onyx, you know Sticky Fingaz Some drop science, I'm droppin' English Even if Tyler named the song "Flower" No seeds in the bud, still don't trust bugs I'm down
[Outro: Tyler, The Creator & Lil Wayne] Droppin' seeds on these niggas, they can't fuck with the boy (Mula!) I'm droppin' seeds on these bitches for the love of the sport I'm droppin' seeds, got this garden, flowers poppin' of course I'm droppin' seeds, motherfucker, Weezy Baby the boy, yugh!
[Intro] Say some more, never want to talk about it Feel a way, woah Feel a way, woah Feel a way, November...
[Chorus] Take me back to November Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the winter, cold water, cold water Yeah, take me back to November, wassup Can we go back to November? Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the winter, deep thoughts, deep thoughts Naw, take me back to November, wassup
[Verse 1] What if Clancy fuckin' me over? What if "Who Dat Boy" is rhetorical and this shit is over? What if I'm hustling backwards? What if my accountant ain't payin' my taxes? Fillin' his pockets and IRS show up asking me questions I couldn't answer 'cause I was too busy tryna make classics Boy ain't got no motherfucking classics What if my music too weird for the masses? And I'm only known for tweets more than beats or All my day ones turn to three, fours 'cause of track seven Fuck, what if I get stuck? What if I got comfortable? I gotta keep it buck fifty What if I lost it all and ended up back in Ladera At them shitty apartments that's across the Bank of America Damn, I would be hurtin' Writing all of these songs cause Wi-Fi wasn't working Last year in total, I put out two verses But five-seven figures since then, life's kinda perfect Oh is it really? Oh is it really? Bitch you know the dealy Really hilly willy tilly silly, hold that billy how I Milly Rock When they can't relate him, when they start to hate him They don't drive these cars so what's their ultimatum? Tell me, what's your November? Is it a person? Mine was the summer '06, I remember the... (horn) What if I thought the brake was the gas? What if I crashed? What if these deep thoughts was my last? Let me pull over, quick!
[Chorus] And drive back to November Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the Winter, cold water, cold water Yeah, take me back to November, wassup Can we go back to November? Take me back to November Hawaiian shirts in the Winter, deep thoughts, deep thoughts Naw, take me back to November, wassup
[Interlude: Jasper Dolphin, Taco, Kilo Kish, Christian Clancy, Syd, Lionel, Vince Staples, Julian Conesugra] My November was those Odd Future Sundays, where we used to just skate all day My November, and I was performing and Lil Wayne rapped with me, I think I cried that night My November was awesome, I booked my first feature film My November was when I was gifted this Getz and Gilberto album My November was seeing Erykah Badu perform My November was... my brother took me to my first concert ever, which was to Kanye West's Glow in the Dark... My November was summer 2015 when I fell in love with someone who fucked my whole world up, showed me life through a different 2014, Miami 43rd Street, every day was November
[Bridge] Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back I ain't doin' fine, lost my mothafuckin' mind Time travel back and help me find Take me back, take me back to November, this I know Take me back, take me back Take me back, take me back to November, this I know "My November is right now"
[Verse 2] I wrote a song about you, I want your opinion Opposite of my heart rate, it slows down at the ending 'Cause the love I got for you has exceeded appearance, the lyrics are Matter of fact, I'ma just call you, so you can hear it If you do answer, I'll play it to state facts Although I already know the response you gon' say back At that point I'll hang up, disappear and just stay back And if you don't I'll leave a voicemail with the playback
[Outro] Hello, no one is available to take your call Please leave a message after the tone [beep]
[Intro] Da na na na na, da na na na na Da na na na na, my baby You've been on my mind (How ya feel?) I'm losing my mind because I hope that we can be more than just friends
[Chorus] Fireworks, I feel like glitter And every time you come around, I feel like glitter (How ya feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life (How ya feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life
[Verse 1] Ayo, mirror mirror on the wall, who the brightest of them all? I never been the darkest one 'cause my self esteem is tall So I never seen eye-to-eye with y'all niggas, ayo Uno peso, never paid attention to what niggas gotta say-o So I keep that buck, I ain't give no fuck They ain't build me up so I block 'em like Lego Feelin' glitter, feelin' good and great Got the burner, got the heat, like wait Got the shit, it's all up on that hip I'll use it on myself on the day you dip Got that 4, 5, 7, track 8 for me Baby doll, I hope you agree Because you light my
[Chorus] Fireworks, I feel like glitter (I don't even know what that means) And every time you come around, I feel like glitter (How you feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life (How you feel?) You're the one that I needed in my life 'Cause I love having you around (I love) 'Cause I love having you around
[Verse 2] Yeah, look at my face, look at that joy This is one sided, yeah, I can't lie We ain't gon' work out, we a fat boy Yeah, sumo, got it, memo Pale skin see-through, must be a window 'Cause you ain't an L, could be a DJ When I see you my heart beat changes tempo Yeah, simple, that's what I want but I can't That's who you are but I ain't (how ya feel?) We can track 10 skiptrace, I'm caught in your quicksand, wait Please don't save me
[Bridge] Ooooh (Please don't save me, yeah) How ya feel? (Rose tinted cheeks) How ya feel? How ya feel? How ya feel? How ya feel? How ya feel? (Scum Fuck Flower Boy) How ya feel? (Scum Fuck Flower Boy) How ya feel? (Scum Fuck Flower Boy) How ya feel? How ya feel?
[Outro] We didn't get your message, either because you were not speaking or because of a bad connection Fuck” i felt that
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JoJo's Bizarre Adventure OC Tournament #5: Round 1 Match 16 Jade Vs Keith

The results are in for Match 14. The winner is…
Raymond Delwyn Shimizu, with a score of 66 to Cy Syntheta’s 60!
Category Winner Point Totals Comments
Popularity Baker Street Rat Pack 13-17 The rat pack took a commanding early lead, but the Lookers managed to slowly catch up, ending 2 votes behind.
Quality Sharp Lookers 22-15 Reasoning
JoJolity Sharp Lookers 21-18 Reasoning
Conduct Tie 10-10
Raymond Delwyn Shimizu wasn’t sure what came over him there, thinking about this noted killer in terms of ghosts and ghouls, but it seemed to have served him well, at least, against this foe who had played with him a game of stealth of sorts. ‘Pure and True’ repaired his sword to the pristine state it had begun the match in, and then the man looked around at the damage this battle had caused, quiet contemplation on his face.
A tanned, casually-dressed (Ray, as part of the sharpest-dressed team, might even call his look outright shabby, were he the judgmental sort) young man with prominent eye bags met his gaze soon, and Raymond looked at the book the figure was reading, a story of sorts about local fauna of the Agricultural District. Fascinating stuff, he was sure, but of the younger people in the room who had been closely watching the battle, this guy was the one who, for some reason, he had felt the most curious about.
“Old enemy..?” Noticing he was being watched, but apparently not deeming being in the same room as Ray a threat, the tired-looking guy asked about the defeated Cy. “I mean, that was basically on sight that they started an Antlerhead cosplay and you turned this entire library into… This.” He gestured at the wreckage of the place, the vacantly malicious black-hatted man still walking around like nothing about this was odd, but many of the other obvious Stand Users of the area moving more cautiously around every oddity like an elaborate game of ‘floor is lava’ had just played out before them.
“Moreso a noted hired killer I happened to run across,” he answered, still weighing how much of his cover to blow as he spoke, “I just came here for research, and immediately understood that a fight had begun. Really did a number on this place, though…” Adjusting his hat, he summoned ‘Pure and True’ again. “All this, and I never actually met this ‘Oh No’ guy…”
“I saw a bunch of professors leaving to go ‘talk more at CaraMel’s’ earlier, when I came here, if you’re talking about that,” the guy answered, the purple beret girl nodding slightly as if to corroborate the story in the slight background, “and two of them seemed to be offering much of the same gripes about not finding this person… It wasn’t my business, so I minded my own, but it did stick out in my head somewhat.”
“I see… Thank you.” He’d heard somewhere that the head of the Institute would often blow off meetings and ask another member to say what he wanted to hear. And he’d wanted to check that place out, so maybe he could..!
Then, he looked around at him. That ‘assassin’ fought with almost a contempt for this place of learning, for some reason, which makes me wonder even more about who sent them, but… I had my part in this too. I can’t just leave a mess. If I did, that receptionist girl would either have a heart attack or cut my throat in my sleep, I’m feeling it… That helps too.
Ray, while he wished he could investigate further, felt a sense of responsibility for this wrecked-up place. Even using his Stand to fix this place up, public hours here were shorter than they were for faculty and students of Midnight Sun schools, so it would probably be close to closing time for the public by the time he finished up with that. Certainly barely anybody else walking around seemed to want to help clean…
He would have to choose how he used his limited research time wisely from here.
Keep reading to see what that young man Ray met is getting up to, but also keep in mind, as of this being posted, you have over a day still to vote on a cow heist that’ll shape the future of the district!
While it might not be the most well known creature in the district’s storied history, there have certainly been rumors going about of one that is seldom seen, written about only briefly, and nonetheless a marvel in its own right.
Something dangerous that lurks in the forests of the Agriculture District. A creature that can best even expert hunters and is used to scare children away from wandering too far into the woods. They are only ever said to be spotted every 2 to 3 decades, but they are as fearsome as the rumors say they are.
Midnight Sun Parapsychological Institute Research Library
It was just Keith’s luck, two stand users were fighting inside the library. The worst part about it, very few people were even batting an eye at the literal silent war going on in the background. He could swear he saw some college kids placing bets on the fight over in the corner.
This was not at all what he came here for, he just wanted to learn more about the biodiversity of the Agricultural District. While it was hard to find specifics about it in the history and geography section, surely there would be something here that would be able to help him.
But as fate would have it, his hunt for books had ended up fruitless. Maybe some of the content was being gated, or maybe the Agriculture District was just difficult to get specific data on. Keith would not be dissuaded that easily though, changing the search terms and checking all the boxes in the computer catalogue, he hit enter.
The top result was an essay, and a recent one at that. Keith clicked the link, it was the only relevant result he got today.
“The Desert Jackalope of Los Fortuna”
The article was more of a news reading and summary on witness accounts of a jackalope that resembled a striking resemblance to a desert hare. It was just spotted recently along the outskirts of the city as well. But as luck would have it, Keith couldn’t glean any more information from the article besides the existence of the jackalope, the fact it could shed its horns, and the fact it was spotted in a number of varied biomes over the past century.
With that, bidding the Speedwagon Swordsman farewell, Keith closed the tab and turned to leave. It seemed as if he was going to need to do some investigating of his own if he wanted to see the jackalope and the other features of the Agriculture District in person.
A few days later…
Bounty Woods, the relative middle of nowhere - Agriculture District
Keith made his way over to the Agriculture District by bus, taking in the scenery and getting off at the last stop. Keith had visited the district a few times in the past few days, taking notes on the wildlife, exploring the strange desert biomes which somehow coexisted with frigid tundras and dense jungles, and trying to get more information on the elusive jackalope. Finally he managed to pin down its location here with the help of some locals.
Keith made his way to the foot of the hiking trail, and stopped as he noticed something in front of him. There was a large pick-up truck, and out of it he saw a man emerge, dressed in full uniform.
“Hey! What are you doing there? This range is currently off-limits, sir!” The man called out.
Keith, pointedly nonthreateningly, put his hands up when he realized the man he quickly surmised as the district’s Sheriff looked right at him. “Sorry officer, I didn’t know this was private property. I swear it won’t ever happen again.”
The officer was slightly taken aback by the reaction, but continued, “What? No boy, this place is dangerous. You gotta get out of here.”
“He… is… right,” A voice, low, uttered, before something opened the car door and stepped out.
Keith stood in silent shock. A creature over 7 feet tall, hide cloak, antlers adorned on their head, and glowing green eyes. There was no mistaking it, it was the Antlerhead, another one of the creatures said to be in the district, but what were they doing here? “Wh … what ... how …. Antlerhead?” Keith’s head ran wild with questions as he fumbled over what to ask first and finally put his arms down.
The man looked back at this ‘Antlerhead,’ and then back at Keith. “You got the stink of the Industrial District’s smoke all over you, but even besides that… You’re not from around here, are you? Another of that batch of newcomers…” He sighed, “probably means you’re just involved in this now. Guess I’ve got some explaining, then… Names, first. Sheriff East, to ya.” East walked over and sat down on the back of the truck.
The Black Hill Estate - Agriculture District, a day before
Sheriff East West was no stranger to the Estate, but ever since its enigmatic proprietor, “Spencer,” disappeared, and shortly after a bunch of new stand users moved in, the place had nonetheless put him a little on edge. What effective police the district had had were on loan to the Keshem family, aiding them in investigating a local’s tip into a possible heist, however, and the sole time since the recent incidents began he had been there had proven pleasant enough.
East walked down the bridge to the island estate. He knew that these people weren’t so unlike those of the area; most of them simply didn’t wish to be bothered, but under these circumstances, he thought it important. “Worth a shot, at least…” East mumbled to himself.
Sheriff East made his way up to the poarch and rang the doorbell… no response. Strange, he thought, surely there would be somebody left at the manor to respond… Is everyone out all at once? Or has the wild around here ended another stay here prematurely…
From behind East, then, making the hairs on his back stand on end, came an animalistic rumbling, and grumbling, and as he turned, he saw them: a massive, cloaked figure, another of the many beings whom had been recently sighted around the earth and Los Fortuna.
“What are… you doing… here?” Jade had followed after him the moment he crossed the bridge. They vaguely recalled the last time he was here, to pick up a lost child who, by all the limited follow up the Estate did, did in fact return safely and happily to his family, cementing at least the likely lack of malice of the man. He had introduced himself then, but here he had to be here for something else… Generally, the only people who came out here without a purpose were thrill seekers, and he had seemed a touch old for that.
East nearly jumped out of his shoes as he turned around. And almost did again as he got a look at Jade standing at the edge of the steps. “Chist, you can’t just do that to somebody. 38 is way too young to start gettin’ sent to the hospital with heart attacks!”
Still audibly breathing Jade reworded, basically, the same question, “What… are you… here for?” Jade was slightly curious, and it had seemed like the man wasn’t running away… Either brave, foolish, or simply… Not threatened?
East eventually caught his breath and cleared his throat. “Well, I had a favor I was going to ask for one of y’all, knowing that people with certain… Skillsets, have taken up residence out here. A certain, er… Problem has come up around Bounty Woods.” East tried to formulate his words carefully, thinking about how to phrase what he was about to say.
“On with it…” Jade prompted him, finding little amusement in how he took his time getting to his point.
“There is a creature that’s been wrecking the crops and the outlining forest.” East took another slight pause, realizing how that sentence might come across to Jade. “Wait, actually it's probably easier if I explain. Have you ever heard of a ‘Jackalope?’”
“‘Jackalope…’” Jade grunted, then slowly nodded, not particularly caring about the slip up East made. “Rabbit… with antlers. Like mine.”
East continued, “While that’s true that’s not even the half of it, they are extremely dangerous but I’m getting ahead of myself.” East cleared his throat again, “There is a right mean one over near the outskirts of the forest. It’s practically kicked out all the other animals that lived in that area too.”
Jade grunted quizzically, “So… you want… my help?” Jade had never heard of any animal that could cause all others to flee from an area, not even they did that in their forest. This seemed to be a not terribly unusual occurrence here based on how East spoke of it.
“Yeah that’s about, er, the gist of it. My men are busy, Ernie’s busy, Matilda and that Green animal expert kid who works the airport are busy… Basically everyone I’d have asked normally is on something that, yeah, it’s more important long term, but in the meantime, there’s still this damn jackalope causing trouble, yeah?” East scratched his head, then turned to leave. “Though, honestly, maybe I can come back some other time and ask the others here… I take it you’re not interested in this kind of stuff, after all.”
Jade puts up a hand, “Wait...tell me... more.” Jade saw no reason to involve the others just yet, this was a problem they themself could probably easily solve.
Turned away, a grin was plastered on East’s face. I’ve got one… I wonder if ‘one’ is enough, though… I guess it’ll have to be, if nobody else shows up.
East wracked his brain for what to say, “I assume you’re from out of town. Did you come here to see the jackalope?”
Keith nodded, “Uh,..yes?” Keith wasn’t quite sure what this had to do with anything.
East continued “It must have been somebody from the college in the parapsychological whatchamacallit that got the information, but I don’t know what they’ve been telling you, so I want to make one thing clear. The jackalope is dangerous.” East pointed to Keith, “And it’s a stand user to boot.”
Exactly how surprising Keith Moon found this read clearly in his entirely unchanging facial features, beyond briefly resting his eyes as if to mentally prepare himself for what he’d sought out, and how much danger it might cause if left unattended.
“So we have to capture it before it starts ruining entire farms or injuring somebody here.” East said as though it were a totally clear matter of fact… Not that Keith or any other reasonable person would disagree.
Keith interjected, “Wait, you aren’t going to kill it, right?” Even if the jackalope was dangerous, Keith thought that pulling something like that would be a shame and a waste of life, if it could be avoided.
Jade chimed in, “Catch… And… Relocate… If we can.”
East nodded, “While I would prefer to bring them to a safe enclosure…”
Jade interrupted with a cross between a snort and a growl.
East continued a little defeated, “We reached a compromise on what to do with it. Although, admittedly, in the worst case we might have to put them down. I never like havin’ to pull the plug on anything either, but it’s like with all that stuff you hear about going down way down South… Sometimes, it’s just the nicest thing you can do for an animal outta place.”
Keith just took in all this information; frankly, none of it sounded good. This might’ve been his only chance to even see the jackalope in person, and he couldn’t stand the thought of it possibly being killed. “I can’t walk away here and I can’t let you kill it. I need to see the jackalope for myself first.” Keith talked with a quiet conviction.
East mused, “You know what, I’ll make you the same offer I made them,” East gestures over to Jade. “You help capture it and see for yourself what kind of damage that jackalope can do. If you do a better job than Jade over here, then you can decide what gets to happen to the jackalope, as long as you don’t let it loose near any hiking trails or settlements. Though, I, uh… Like I said, you smell like the Industrial District, so I’d at least like to hear what you mean to do with it if you mean to keep it after.” East turned over to Jade, “Does that sound fine to you?”
Jade gave another snort and rumbling noise, “Fine… I’ll still… Catch anyway. Makes no difference.” It would be troublesome having to share the space for trap setting, but if Keith got hurt that would be on him.
Now determined, Keith looked over to the mountain trail in front of them, “Deal.” There was no chance he was going to idly sit by and watch this happen.
“Alright now that that’s settled, let’s get ready to do this.” East said, reaching for some equipment from the truck. “Feel free to use anything you need, and don’t underestimate the jackalope. Run away if you have to and, I emphasize and emphasize again, absolutely do not try to confront it unprepared.”
As East rode his little posse the rest of the way he was comfortable driving without risking scaring the thing off, he explained some of its abilities to them, and as they drew to a halt…
“Everybody ready now?” East stood back, “Now I don’t want to make this seem like a trivial sport, but there is something on the line for both of you here so here I go.” East took a deep breath in.
Jade didn’t care much for the competition, but as long as the jackalope was a potential threat to the forest they had to deal with it where they could.
Keith had to compete in order to make sure the jackalope had a better possibility of surviving. Yes they were dangerous, but that didn’t mean they didn’t deserve the best possible outcome here.
“Open The Game!”
Location: A Hillside forest in Los Fortuna’s aptly named ‘Bounty Woods’ region. The area here The area is 60 by 96 meters with each tile being 6 by 6 meters.
There are 5 elevation levels here denoted by the 5 tile colors, brown and four increasingly darker shades of green. The brown is flat ground, then the green tiles slope up to 4 meters the darker the color gets. So the lightest green goes up from 0 to 4 meters elevation as you make your way up the map, next is 4 to 8 meters, and so on.
The players are in the bottom left area of the map as represented by their character tokens. Sheriff East is represented by the nearby black circle with the rectangle between them being his pick-up truck. Inside the pick-up truck are various tools for catching the jackalope such as binoculars, nets, flashlights, carrots, fishing poles, dog catcher poles, and other potentially useful things for tracking/capturing the jackalope that wouldn’t directly harm it. There are even muzzles, hard plastic cages, and restraints custom made for its size. The players may feel free to take whatever they like from here.
The green circles are trees and the yellow star near the top center is the jackalope. The dotted orange rectangles are the rough direction of the dirt hiking path along the forest and the blue line going across the map is a river with wooden bridges denoted by brown arches. The river is about one meter deep towards the middle
Not visualized on the map are the rocks along the riverbed as well as the other vegetation in the forest. Basically everywhere on the map that is not directly along the dotted path has vegetation such as bushes and flowers growing on/around it as well as fallen logs, tree stumps and anything else you might find in a forest.
Goal: Catch the jackalope! Contributions such as traps, wrangling, and roadblocks and other effective contributions to catching the jackalope may also count to this score. Or in other words if you do more of the heavy lifting in catching the jackalope, you will be the victor!
Additional Information:
Warning: This jackalope is highly dangerous, it boasts a 345 stat line as well as the skills Jackalope 5 (more details later, just know that this is the base level of this animal stat usually) and a Berserk 3 skill(its bloodlust is effectively increased when you attack it allowing it to better work through pain and increase its strength under high stress)
Jackalopes are not to be messed around with, they boast near 360 degree field of vision, excellent hearing, great agility, sharp deer antlers, and burrowing capabilities as well as the combined strengths and traits of all other antlered animals on the body of a rabbit. Namely they have back leg kicking strength on par with a giraffe (meaning they are strong enough to kick the head off a lion), the speed of a gazelle (it can reach up to 60 mph), the ability to eat through things like a goat and the neck strength of a moose. Their most noticeable trait however is their ability to shed and regrow their horns at a moment’s notice.
This Jackalope in particular also seems to possess a stand ability, its stand ability allows its body or parts of its body to turn into metal, dirt, wood (or other plant material), or rock. It also lets it quickly regenerate by consuming any of those four things which it can do with relative ease at a one to one ratio of mass healing.
Onto the Jackalope’s general behaviors and other information:
  • Despite its powerhouse nature, the jackalope tends not to exert that power unless provoked.
  • It will usually turn parts of its fur and antlers into plants, leaves, and dirt to camouflage.
  • While the jackalope can eat just about anything, it can’t easily gnaw through rubber or hard plastic.
  • It will casually travel around at more usual rabbit speed looking for food and occasionally water throughout the match. But if necessary it will eat anything it can if it needs to regenerate.
  • It has a seemingly bottomless appetite and can eat through a whole carrot in less than half a second. Its stand ability also makes metals, dirt, wood, plants in general, and rocks just as easy to eat through. It will generally also eat its way through obstacles if needed.
  • It prefers vegetables, then berries and nuts, then grass = leaves = flowers, with everything else being beneath that for food preferences
  • If it ever needs to cross the river, the jackalope will turn its parts of its body into wood to better swim across or float downstream.
  • If attacked it will turn parts of its body into metal for defense and retaliate if you are in easy striking distance (around 6 meters in general, but can be shortened by other factors such as coverage, potential debuffs, injury severity, etc), otherwise it will hide or run.
  • They are rather territorial and will try to attack you if you get too close, but will not give chase if you run away.
  • Their attacks are generally limited to goring with their antlers, turn-around back leg kicks, and biting. If they are caught, they can flail with a flurry of strong kicks.
  • They can shed their horns if you try to grab/capture it by the horns, if they get stuck, or if it ever needs to go through denser foliage
  • The jackalope will make no active efforts to avoid or look for traps that are in its path.
  • Don’t expect this to be a quick match, with the jackalope’s strength, speed, and regeneration a direct conflict is ill advised.
  • The jackalope doesn’t have a known or proper name, but if you want you can call it ‘Jackie’ if you want to not have to type jackalope all the time
Team Combatant JoJolity
Black Hill Estate Jade (Antlerhead) “Wh… What’s this freak doing? Does he think he’s Bruce Lee or something?” This jackalope thinks it owns the forest it seems, maybe you can show it who’s really in charge here. Assert superiority in any forms you can by absolutely styling to the best of your abilities on this jackalope.
Underground Exodus Keith Moon “He may love coffee-flavored chewing gum, but he still won’t let his guard down for anyone.” This jackalope is a virtually extinct or critically endangered species for all you know; do whatever you can to keep close to it so you can study its behavior as you work to capture it.
Link to the Official Player Spreadsheet
Link to R1 Match Schedule
As always, if you would like to interact with the tournament community and be among the first to get updates for the tournament, please feel free to PM a member of our Judge staff for an invite to our Official Discord Server!
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BAT – A Wonderful Company at A Wonderful Price (8x PE, 15% dividend yield, 100% ROE)

In 1987, Buffett famously stated, "I'll tell you why I like the cigarette business. It costs a penny to make. Sell it for a dollar. It's addictive. And there's fantastic brand loyalty."
“The best business to own is one that over an extended period of time can employ large amounts of incremental capital at very high rates of return.” – Warren Buffett
“Invest at the point of maximum pessimism.” – John Templeton
Warren Buffett’s best winners have always been stocks which were bought during times of maximum pessimism. GEICO was bought on the brink of bankruptcy. AMEX was bought during the Salad Oil Scandal. Goldman Sachs was also bought with bankruptcy looming. Wells Fargo was a bank with a largely residential loan book bought during a housing crisis. Coca-Cola was bought at a time of massive overdiversification. And so on and so forth.
It’s not often that one has the opportunity to put into practice the all-encompassing philosophy of buy low, sell high. But even when that opportunity rears its ugly head, it’s the rare investor who has the aptitude and the stomach to back up the truck. Thankfully, these opportunities do exist, but it takes a keen eye to discern the difference between a falling knife and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
British American Tobacco (BAT) Malaysia is one such example. Currently trading at just 8x PE, sporting a 100% ROE, and giving a 15% dividend yield, it’s hard not to salivate a little at the financial statistics. But why is such a high ROI stock – a cigarette company no less – trading at such awfully low valuations?
First, some history. BAT Malaysia is the largest cigarette company in the country, with a roughly 50% legal market share and 12% total industry market share. If you’re observant, you’ll notice that Malaysia’s illegal cigarette market share takes up a whopping 65% share of the pie. This was largely due to the massive excise duty (i.e. sin tax) hike in 2015, which brought illegal market share from a reasonable 33% before the hike to 65% and rising today.
As a result, BAT Malaysia has suffered massive share price declines, with the share price falling by 85% in the past 5 years (from RM 60 in 2015) and 70% in the past 12 months alone (from RM 37 in early-2019). This was largely due to revenue declines of nearly 20% and earnings decline of 40% over the past 3 years, with a corresponding shortfall in dividends (the company has a 90% dividend policy). ROE has also fallen from approximately 200% to around 100% today.
Thus, it’s not surprising that the stock has taken such a beating. Indeed, over the past two weeks alone the stock price has fallen by about 30%. But is investing in it now simply trying to catch a falling knife?
Business Narrative
The source of the problem can largely be traced back to the sin tax hike in 2015, which brought illegal cigarette market share from 33% to 65% over the past 5 years. The Malaysian government has not been very accommodative to local industry players, rebuffing efforts to reduce the sin tax and dragging its feet when it comes to the enforcement of existing laws and the introduction of new ones. The local Customs department, working together with the police, has had some success in recent years tackling the illegal cigarette cartel – arresting the decline in legal market share from 20%-30% annually to just above 10% in the past year – but efforts are largely seen as too little, too late. On top of that, the illegal vaping scene has blossomed in Malaysia, with nicotine-related products claiming up to 10% of total industry market share.
This backdrop has inspired analysts to impose doomsday scenarios for the legal industry players (i.e. BAT, PMI & JTI), according present values to the companies which reflect a resumption of historical revenue and market share declines. Indeed, when parsing the financial statements of BAT, it’s not impossible to forecast revenues declining to a point where they fall below operating costs (i.e. EBITDA of zero), rendering the equity essentially worthless valuation-wise.
The main reason for the government’s lack of progress is bureaucracy. Different governmental ministries have drawn different interpretations of their legal jurisdiction regarding the matter, and thus shuffle the responsibility of arresting the illegal trade to their peers. For instance, the Ministry of Health (MOH) has stated that it has no authority to enforce legislation against illegal cigarettes, while the Customs department disagrees and says it is the MOH’s prerogative to clamp down on illegal cigarette packets which don’t portray mandatory and unsightly health warnings (illegal cigarette packets tend not to include them). As a result of the red tape, there has been little progress on the front lines, and legal industry players are lesser of for it.
BAT and JTI (the two largest cigarette players) have resorted to shutting down their manufacturing operations and implementing an importation business model, where legal cigarettes are imported from Indonesia into the country to be sold. BAT has also gone through one round of layoffs last year, with a second round expected in 2020.
As alluded to earlier, revenues have declined by 20% over the past 3 years while net profit has declined by 40%. This was surprisingly not due to a contraction of Gross Margin (which you’d expect as costs go up when switching from a manufacturing model to an importation model), but largely as a result of revenues falling while operating costs remain the same. This can be seen in the Operating Margin falling from a high of 24% in 17Q3 to 18% in 19Q3, and net margin contracting from 18% in 17Q3 to 13% in 19Q3.
On the balance sheet side, things look much rosier. Intangibles take up the lion’s share of assets (40%), while Inventories and Receivables have declined slightly in line with the fall in Revenue. Net cash is negative owing to a revolving credit facility which the company has drawn presumably for tax reasons. The debt is current in nature and can be paid back in full with 2 years of Free Cash Flow. The company doesn’t have much fixed assets remaining following the closure of its manufacturing plant, indicating that liquidation value (approximately zero) falls far short of market value. Current ratio is reasonable at 0.8x. Share capital has not changed for at least 3 years.
Receivable days and Inventory days have respectively increased by roughly 50% over the last 3 years – indicating a struggling business which is facing business challenges from its illegal brethren. Payable days have remained static over the same time period. As a result, Cash Conversion Cycle stands at 79 days, up by double from 33 days in 2018.
Cash flow is still stable, with cash receipts approximating revenues. Free Cash Flow is almost equal to Operating Cash Flow, exemplifying the asset-light nature of the current business. The company pays out the entirety of its FCF as dividends (and then some), leading to a dividend yield of 15% at the current share price and a 118% dividend payout ratio.
The risks are apparent. If the government doesn’t do something about the illegal trade and allows it to run rampant, it’s possible that illegal market share increases from here and revenues continue to decline. In the worst-case scenario, it’s not hard to envision revenues falling below operating costs and EBITDA reaching zero, implying the shares are worthless and that dividends will be cut or even stopped entirely.
The current share price of 8x PE (RM 10.00) reflects this doomsday view. The market is basically pricing in declining earnings growth into perpetuity and giving no stock to a potential turnaround. Government intervention to address the illegal trade is widely perceived as sorely lacking and possibly not existing, with analysts imputing revenue declines of up to 30% a year into their models. Share price targets range from RM 11 – RM 15, although the share price has fallen by some 20% since the last revision of analyst reports. All in all, it seems like bad news for BAT.
The opportunities for BAT, while less apparent, do exist. For one, the government could by some miracle successfully enforce existing laws and put the brakes on illegal trade – it has already slowed the latter’s advance by some 50% since the sin tax hike. Alternatively, the government could recognize the disadvantages of the narrowing tax base from legal cigarettes and decide to reverse or reduce the sin tax, leading to a reclaiming of legal market share by industry players to previous highs. By some back-of-the-envelope calculations, if legal market share rises to just half of their historical levels, BAT’s earnings and share price could double from here. PE ratios would also expand in such a scenario.
BAT’s parent company in London could also decide to acquire the Malaysian subsidiary given the depressed prices. A fair market price given the circumstances would be roughly 15x PE, which assuming earnings continue to decline by 30% from today, would put the acquisition price at around 120-130% from current share prices.
BAT has also been experimenting with nicotine-related products, such as the Heat-Not-Burn (HNB) device known as Glo (PMI has a branded competitor known as IQOS). Both have received glowing reviews from former cigarette users and is expected to help the companies transition into the post-smoking era (i.e. 20-30 years from now). So far, Glo has developed a 1% total industry market share in Malaysia despite only being launched 2 years ago, showcasing its popularity and potential success.
Finally, the government is preparing the release of new legislation regarding vaping, which is due to see light by mid-2020. While legalization is still not guaranteed, government officials have publicly admitted the difficulty of enforcing laws if a vaping ban were to be instituted. If vaping is legalized, the legal industry could see a 10% increase in market share overnight as they introduce their own products to supplement the demand for currently illegal products.
Risk : Reward
In my opinion, current share prices have priced in all the risks while discounting all the opportunities. Even assuming earnings decline at an average annual rate of 10% into perpetuity, it would take just ten years to reclaim your initial investment. This is assuming illegal market share continues its rise unabated and legal market share never sees the light of day again. Keep in mind that the company has a 90% dividend payout policy, and has kept this rate despite recent struggles in its business, so you’d get a return of capital regardless of the share price performance.
In this worst-case scenario, the parent company would either push for an acquisition or liquidate the Malaysian operations. An acquisition at fire-sale prices would probably yield at least 5x PE, while a liquidation would yield nothing given the current ratio of 0.8x. The latter is highly unlikely because it would mean that BAT ceases to have a presence in Malaysia completely, a growing South East Asian nation with GDP growth of 4-5% and potentially bright future. Hence, given the probabilities and an estimate of expected value, you’d already come out on top at the current PE of 8x.
What about the alternative? Before we get into the valuation from an opportunity set perspective, let us consider BAT’s business model. As Buffett says, this is a company with unit economics of a penny per cigarette, selling them at a dollar per cigarette, fantastic brand loyalty and a captive audience. Imagine if you could have owned Altria in the USA in the 1970’s. Today, you’d own Altria, Kraft Heinz, PMI and a smattering of profitable businesses around the world. While I don’t mean to draw a direct comparison between BAT Malaysia today and Altria USA of the 70’s, it’s not hard to imagine a similarly wonderful future for a company with such an attractive business model.
As far as economic moats are concerned, the cigarette business is probably one of the few businesses you can say will be around in another 20-30 years. Sure, they’re facing headwinds in the form of a burgeoning illegal cigarette trade today, but who says they will still be facing the same demons 10 years from now, or even 5 years? If there’s one thing for certain, it’s that the business environment is fluid – and chances are good that things won’t remain the same as today, whatever they may be.
A Reasonable Bull-Case Scenario Valuation
Let’s put the humdrums aside for a moment and imagine a brighter future for BAT. What would this future look like? For one, it’s possible that within the next 5 years the government realizes it can’t contain the illegal cigarette problem and decide to reduce the sin tax to previous levels. The wider tax base resulting from such a move would result in the same absolute amount in taxes even at lower tax rates – so there is no financial disincentive not to do so – while at the same time reducing the illegal market share. If legal market share even reclaims half of their former levels, the share price of BAT could double from today.
Furthermore, what’s stopping BAT from resuming earnings growth, assuming the business environment recovers? Even if earnings grow by just equal to GDP growth (i.e. 4-5% a year), it would justify a 15x PE at the minimum considering a long-time horizon of 20-30 years. Combine a doubling of earnings with a 15x PE, and you’re looking at a potential quadrupling (4x) of the current share price.
A Best-Case Scenario Valuation
If BAT reclaims its former glory and returns to its historical market capitalization of RM 18 billion, we’re talking about a 600% increase in share price.
That’s just for the next ten years. What about dividends beyond that? Let’s imagine the best possible scenario for BAT. Assume for awhile that you’re planning to hold BAT for the next 30 years. Assume also that in ten years’ time, BAT’s share price skyrockets to 600% of current levels, and then grows earnings by 4% a year into perpetuity and pays out 90% of earnings at dividends. Account for 3% inflation and zero percent cost of capital (i.e. growth funded from retained earnings). By the end of year 30, you’d end up with 27x your initial investment, or 2700% of your capital. That’s a 12% CAGR.
In other words, a $40,000 investment in BAT today could potentially yield a million dollars in 30 year’s time. And that’s with reasonable assumptions. Tweak the numbers further and you’ll could potentially reach Buffett-like returns.
To sum things up, it appears that current share prices already impute the worst-case scenario, while the best-case scenario is a 600% capital appreciation potential in ten years, or 2700% over 30 years. Giving a margin of safety, let’s dial the ten-year return of 600% down by 50% - we still get a 300% reward scenario. That’s a 12% CAGR over ten years. Not too shabby.
Assuming 50% downside from today’s prices, the upside-to-downside ratio at 300% upside would still be a healthy 1:6. Now that’s a margin of safety.
If you believe that BAT has no future in Malaysia and will ultimately be acquired or liquidated, expect share prices to fall by up to 50% from here. If you expect that the legal industry will recover to former highs and that BAT is well-positioned as the largest cigarette player in an ASEAN country with 4% GDP growth (alongside Vietnam, Singapore, and Indonesia), you can expect share prices to rise by at least 300% over the next 10 years.
More realistically, share prices will fluctuate by 20% from current levels both to the upside and downside over the next year or so. If you can stomach that kind of volatility, BAT makes for a wonderful risk-reward component of your hopefully diversified emerging market portfolio.
A Value Investor’s Perspective
As mentioned above, Warren Buffett has a history of buying companies for pennies on the dollar when the share price reflects maximum pessimism. This does not mean to dive blindly into freefalling stocks which you do not understand. It does mean that you should do your homework, and when you spot an attractive risk:reward ratio in stocks where others are running for the exits, you should be comfortable holding a large position.
Buying a leading cigarette company in its market while it’s beaten down represents one of the most potentially profitable investments imaginable. For reference, take a look at Altria. If you had bought $1,000 worth of shares in Altria in 1970, and reinvested all the dividends, you would be sitting on a fortune worth $5 million by today. That’s an astounding 18% CAGR over an extraordinarily long period of 50 years. Can BAT Malaysia repeat this tier of performance? Probably not, but you don’t need to in order to make a satisfying profit from it.
Buffett espouses thinking long-term when it comes to investing. Think about the long-term when it comes to BAT Malaysia. Is it likely that illegal cigarette’s share of the market will remain elevated at 65% or above for the next 20 years continually? If I was a betting man, I’d wager that it won’t. More likely than not, some kind of unforeseen development will unfold which will bring market share back into the folds of the legal industry – it could be vaping, HNB products, a newly yet unrevealed form of nicotine-device, or even an evolution in the way smokers think. What can be relied on however is that in 20 years smokers will still continue to view nicotine, and by extension smoking-related products, as a form of entertainment and relaxation.
Then there’s the dividends. The dividend yield on one share of Altria bought in the 1990’s held until today would exceed 30%. This is because the dividends have grown over the years in tandem with earnings growth. Extrapolate that to BAT Malaysia, which currently has a dividend yield of 15%. Assuming an average of 4% earnings growth going forward, that dividend yield would grow to just about 45% in 30 years. That’s the power of compounding.
Buffett also champions the idea of owning companies with fortress economic moats. Some of the companies which he owns have such moats, including Coca-Cola, Wells Fargo, GEICO, American Express, etc. It’s hard to argue that BAT Malaysia doesn’t have such a moat. Even in such trying times where revenues have contracted by 20%, it still sports a high-flying ROE of 100%, and stable gross margins of 30%. I would go so far as to compare BAT Malaysia today to a Coca-Cola or American Express when Buffett bought them during times of pessimism.
Think about the future of BAT in 10 years, or 20 years’ time. It’s likely that it will have overcome the temporary hurdles which it faces today by then and resume earning high returns on significant capital invested over a long period of time. This is truly a compounding machine if there ever was one. Or as the title suggests, a wonderful company trading at a wonderful price.
Remember that Buffett’s best buys in the public markets have all been investments made during trying times, such as what BAT is facing today. AMEX could have gone bankrupt over the Salad Oil Scandal. GEICO was literally months away from being unable to service its insurance liabilities. Goldman Sachs was teetering on the brink of financial collapse under the heavy weight of subprime mortgage obligations. Coca-Cola was not the company it is today – it was an overburdened, overdiversified conglomerate with little growth outlook. Wells Fargo was staring at a huge, unserviceable loan book immediately following the Californian earthquakes given its significant residential exposure. It’s definitely nice to pay fair prices for wonderful companies, but it’s even better to be able to pay wonderful prices for wonderful companies.
In times like these, it pays to reflect on some words of wisdom for guidance:
Buy when there’s blood in the streets.
Be greedy when others are fearful.
In the short-term, the market is a voting machine; in the long-term, it is a weighing machine.
Price is what you pay, value is what you get.
It is far better to buy a wonderful company at a fair price, than a fair company at a wonderful price.
Opportunities come infrequently. When it rains gold, put out the bucket, not the thimble.
May the investing odds be ever in your favor!
Stock code: 4162.KL Stock name: British American Tobacco (Malaysia) Berhad Financial information and financial reports: https://www.malaysiastock.biz/Corporate-Infomation.aspx?securityCode=4162
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Offseason with Cidolfus: Quarterbacks


There’s no way to discuss the Miami Dolphins looking ahead to the 2020 season without addressing the elephant in the room. Ever since Ryan Tannehill was shipped off to the Titans, a single question has loomed large over the future of this franchise: who is the long term answer under center? As we head into the 2020 draft with a top-five pick, it’s a question we’re going to be hearing an awful lot over the next few months.
I’ll be blunt from the outset: a great deal of this series this year is going to deal with that question. I understand that this is going to cause contentious debate, just as it has throughout the season and will continue to throughout the offseason. I understand also that some of my takes about our strategy this season are going to be controversial.
I’ve tried to stay out of the pro-/anti-tank arguments throughout the season as much as possible. I have not always been successful. Spoiler alert for those who hadn’t already caught on: Cidolfus was pro tank. I understand that this position makes many of you viscerally angry just as I understand that many who supported tanking were annoyed at those celebrating “meaningless” wins. So before we get going, I want to ask everyone to keep one thing in mind not only in regards to my own commentary to follow, but for any discussion in this series or in the many other posts that are sure to occur over the next several months:
Let people be fans in whatever manner makes them happy.
I understand that we have emotional reactions to this sport. Nevertheless, it bears reminding: football is a sport and watching is supposed to be fun. If someone wants to win every Sunday because it’s just more fun to win? Good for them. If someone is willing to trade losses now for a perceived advantage in the long term and is happy to see us lose now because they think it’ll be better later? Good for them. If someone wants to bandwagon a team because they just like to watch winning football on Sundays? Good for them. If someone wants to pick the Dolphins as their team for the future because they like the animal? Pity the poor fool, but good for them.
It’s not my job, your job, or anyone else’s job to tell someone else how to enjoy watching sports, so we should all just try and live and let live. That’s not to say that we can’t discuss these differing viewpoints. The whole point of this series is to generate discussion. Just keep it respectful.
Like last year, I plan on posting one of these each week throughout the postseason, and then when I can find time as appropriate through the offseason I’ll try to follow up with an additional free agency and draft discussion. I’m expecting a lot of real work to hit me beginning on March, though, so we’ll see what happens. As always, this series will be primarily geared towards team-building with a focus on contract management under the salary cap. I don’t pretend to be any great evaluator of NFL talent and instead rely pretty heavily on other sources for that type of analysis. This analysis is pretty statistics heavy, by which I mean the math part. Disclaimer: I’m not a statistician and I’m pretty far removed from what little stats I took in college at this point, so as far as the real math goes, it’s still going to be pretty rudimentary.
With all that said, let’s start The Offseason with Cidolfus III.

The Quarterback Conundrum

Whether you’re a believer or a skeptic of Flores as the coach to drag this franchise kicking and screaming out of mediocrity, I hope it is not too controversial to suggest that getting a quarterback should be our first priority from a roster-building standpoint.
But of course it is.
Especially due to the recent uncertainty regarding Tua Tagovailoa’s intentions to declare for the 2020 NFL draft, this subreddit has seen enthusiastic suggestions from using any of our three first round selections all the way to not even drafting a quarterback in the first three rounds at all and instead rolling into the 2020 season with Fitzpatrick and Rosen. Some suggest faith that Rosen can still develop into the heir apparent. Others recommend punting to the 2021 draft where we can try our chances at Lawrence or Fields. Still others suggest that first round quarterbacks are overrated and point to successes found in the middle and later rounds.
Those who have read these posts in previous years know that I’m a numbers guy. So I spent a good chunk of my holiday vacation this year compiling statistics on every quarterback drafted since 2000 to see what we can learn to inform a strategy as how to best find your future quarterback in the NFL. The data has mostly been culled from Pro Football Reference cross-referenced with Wikipedia for information on when players were rostered but did not play. Being a numbers guy, I would have liked to get into some more advanced metrics like ANY/A+ (which is useful for comparisons over a long period of time since it’s normalized to the league average over a three year period). Unfortunately, this information, and many other stats (like QBR) were not available going back the full twenty years, and I wanted to be as consistent as possible. Instead, I decided on 12 different values across three broader categories:
Activity: Availability is the best ability in the NFL. How many games did the player start? How many seasons was that player on an active roster? What percent of their possible games played did they start? What was the QB win percentage in starts?
Accolades: How many accolades did the quarterback acquire over their career? A lot of people will make appeals to these accolades when determining a player’s value, and while I find them the least helpful for this discussion, it’s good to know for argument’s sake. How many Pro Bowls, First Ballot All Pros, and MVPs did the player receive? How many Super Bowls did they win?
Stats: Nothing too fancy here. How did the player perform over their career? We’re looking mostly at career completion percentage, touchdown to interception ratio, adjusted net yards per attempt, and passer rating. These are some easily-digestible, high-level metrics on a quarterback’s general passing performance. I intentionally omitted rushing performance from this analysis because it’s so extremely skewed in favor of a small handful of quarterbacks that the data wouldn’t be particularly useful.

Some Caveats and Acknowledgments

I tracked total attempts initially as a metric to exclude or weight individual quarterback stats. For example, when calculating the average ANY/A, I wasn’t satisfied with simply taking the simple mean of the stat across all quarterbacks in a given round. After all, why should Tyrod Taylor’s 5.96 ANY/A on 1362 attempts be weighed just as heavily as Jordan Palmer’s -2.50 ANY/A on a mere 18 pass attempts?
On the other hand, weighing these stats would vastly overinflate the value of any single long-time player to skew the averages of any single round. Tom Brady’s 9959 career attempts, for example, account for more than 50% of passes thrown by sixth rounders drafted in the past 20 years. Tom Brady is obviously an outlier in the dataset: to weigh his 7.08 ANY/A as over 50% of the entire sixth round would dramatically skew the results even further.
As a result, I have not weighted any of the stat averages based on attempts or games player or any other metric of longevity. I admit that this skews the results the other way. Sticking with the sixth round, 26 of the 43 players drafted threw 50 or fewer attempts their entire career. Many of them never threw a pass in an NFL game, which I evaluated as straight 0s across the board. I decided that this is very much the point for this analysis: if a quarterback never throws an NFL pass, that is a completely unsuccessful draft pick.
I do not expect NFL drafting behaviors in general to change. Most sixth-round quarterback selections will never get a legitimate chance to start, so tracking averages in such a way that devalues a sixth-round quarterback by scoring them as straight 0s while allowing even bad first round selections to put up marginally better numbers is at least an acceptable reflection of a team’s actual attempts to draft quarterbacks.
There are going to be variables I can’t account for, at least not with the data available to me. Rules changes and general trends in the NFL have resulted in the bar moving pretty dramatically upwards especially in the past couple years.
With that all out in the open, let’s take a look at the past 20 years of drafting quarterbacks. As a quick note, I’ve made the assumption that Lamar Jackson wins the MVP this season (because obviously), but I’ve not projected a winner of the 2020 Super Bowl.

Round by Round

The quick and dirty: 242 quarterbacks were drafted between 2000 and 2019. Let’s start with a simple breakdown of the averages.

Means by Round

Round Players Drafted Games Started Seasons Rostered Start % Win % Pro Bowls All Pros MVPs Super Bowls Completion % TD:INT ANY/A Passer Rating
7 36 8.44 3.86 5.31% 6.39% 0 0 0 0 22.86% 0.28 1.06 24.87
6 43 15.53 4.58 8.86% 13.87% 0.39 0.14 0.08 0.17 36.67% 0.67 2.34 43.02
5 34 3.50 3.74 4.77% 15.27% 0 0 0 0 27.38% 0.35 1.81 31.80
4 26 16.08 5.35 14.57% 21.05% 0.12 0 0 0 50.07% 0.72 3.17 60.43
3 26 22.42 6.08 19.42% 22.41% 0.35 0 0 0.08 50.17% 0.98 3.64 62.03
2 21 41.38 7.29 30.83% 35.97% 0.48 0.19 0 0.05 53.18% 1.07 4.28 67.06
1 56 70.52 7.38 58.57% 46.68% 0.93 0.11 0.11 0.13 60.12% 1.59 5.50 82.68
ALL 242 28.16 5.41 23.02% 23.96% 0.36 0.06 0.04 0.07 43.10% 0.95 3.18 53.88

Medians by Round

Round Players Drafted Games Started Seasons Rostered Start % Win % Pro Bowls All Pros MVPs Super Bowls Completion % TD:INT ANY/A Passer Rating
7 36 0 3.00 0% 0% 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
6 43 0 3.00 0% 0% 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
5 34 0 3.00 0% 0% 0 0 0 0 35.80% 0 0.11 17.05
4 26 3.00 4.50 4.48% 5.00% 0 0 0 0 56.80% 0.59 4.37 63.95
3 26 10.00 5.00 13.28% 22.22% 0 0 0 0 59.00% 0.89 4.45 74.10
2 21 21.00 6.00 26.79% 38.71% 0 0 0 0 58.60% 0.86 4.68 72.70
1 56 50.00 7.00 63.54% 47.54% 0 0 0 0 60.30% 1.43 5.47 81.70
ALL 242 7.50 4.00 93.11% 20.00% 0 0 0 0 56.20% 0.71 4.11 69.00
A couple things to note looking at both of these tables in tandem: accolades are a poor metric by which to judge the worth of a quarterback pick in each round. This is easy enough to explain: the same few players have won the same awards multiple times in the past 20 years and there are also a limited number of each award per season. Only one quarterback can win MVP or win the Super Bowl, but multiple players can post a solid ANY/A over 6.00 each season. This scarcity is reflected by the median where the vast majority of players never win any of these awards. Case in point: Tom Brady accounts for 13.63% of all Pro Bowl nods, 33.33% of all First Team All Pros and MVPs, and 37.5% of all Super Bowl victories in the entire population examined. That doesn’t change that drafting a quarterback in the sixth round is functionally worthless.
Similarly, the number of seasons rostered and games rostered correlates very strongly to draft position. This shouldn’t come as a shock to anyone, as even poorly performing players often get more opportunities to start draft position. The steadily increasing seasons rostered also indicates that the higher drafted a player is, the more likely they are to play a second contract. A median seasons rostered of 3.00 for rounds 5-7 indicates that quarterbacks drafted in those rounds are more often than not cut before completing a standard rookie contract.
At a glance, the data confirms what most probably suspected already: the higher a quarterback is drafted, the more likely it is that the team got it right and the quarterback in question was a successful pick. What can be observed from above is the general trend that all statistical measures trend positively with the round the player is selected. In general, from the data here it should be pretty obvious that a team is not likely to find their franchise quarterback after the third round as the means for nearly every category for all of those are lower than the means of all quarterbacks drafted. Shocker: quarterbacks in the back half of the draft are, on average, worse than the average of all quarterbacks drafted. So the question then becomes: how do the top three rounds stack up?

Completion Percentage

Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of All
1 60.12% 3.82% 0.64
2 53.18% 17.81% 0.38
3 50.17% 21.73% 0.27


Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of All
1 1.59 0.81 0.42
2 1.07 0.80 0.08
3 0.98 1.02 0.02


Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of All
1 5.50 0.98 0.79
2 4.28 2.09 0.38
3 3.64 2.15 0.16

Passer Rating

Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of All
1 82.68 9.89 0.79
2 67.06 27.33 0.36
3 62.03 29.78 0.22
Again as expected, the first round selection is, in aggregate, better. Importantly, though, first round selections are better not just because they have higher mean values for the stats we’re tracking here; they are better because they typically have less variance and also because they’re notably better relative to an average quarterback from the entire draft. Not only is the average ANY/A of a first round selection much higher than that of a second or third round, the standard deviation within its own population is dramatically lower. It’s a safer pick. The standard deviations of the mean from the mean of all draft selections also suggest that the average first round pick is, in general, better relative to the average of all picks than the second or third is. Again, that shouldn’t be a surprise given what we’ve already seen and the positive correlation between draft status and performance.
The takeaway from this should not be that you can only find success in the first round of the NFL draft for QBs or that top-selected quarterbacks are locks (more on that later). This is obviously and demonstrably not true. The takeaway should be that in the aggregate, quarterbacks in the first round are more successful than those drafted in any other round, and it’s not particularly close.
This brings me to the first of the draft suggestions proposed that I want to directly address.

But the best quarterback from the 2011 draft was a third rounder!

Look at Russell Wilson! Look at Dak Prescott! Drew Brees! Tom Brady! They are some of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, and they were all drafted outside of the first round. Tony Romo was a really good quarterback, and he even went undrafted! You don’t need to draft a quarterback in the first round to find your quarterback of the future.
Let’s look at all the teams in the NFL and who was projected as the team’s starting quarterback headed into the preseason and what round they were drafted in.
Team Quarterback Round
Arizona Cardinals Kyler Murray 1
Atlanta Falcons Matt Ryan 1
Baltimore Ravens Lamar Jackson 1
Buffalo Bills Josh Allen 1
Carolina Panthers Cam Newton 1
Chicago Bears Mitch Trubisky 1
Cincinnati Bengals Andy Dalton 2
Cleveland Browns Baker Mayfield 1
Dallas Cowboys Dak Prescott 4
Denver Broncos Joe Flacco 1
Detroit Lions Matt Stafford 1
Green Bay Packers Aaron Rodgers 1
Houston Texans Deshaun Watson 1
Indianapolis Colts Andrew Luck 1
Jacksonville Jaguars Nick Foles 3
Kansas City Chiefs Patrick Mahomes 1
Los Angeles Chargers Philip Rivers 1
Los Angeles Rams Jared Goff 1
Miami Dolphins Ryan Fitzpatrick 7
Minnesota Vikings Kirk Cousins 4
New England Patriots Tom Brady 6
New Orleans Saints Drew Brees 2
New York Giants Eli Manning 1
New York Jets Sam Darnold 1
Oakland Raiders Derek Carr 2
Philadelphia Eagles Carson Wentz 1
Pittsburgh Steelers Ben Roethlisberger 1
San Francisco 49ers Jimmy Garoppolo 2
Seattle Seahawks Russell Wilson 3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Jameis Winston 1
Tennessee Titans Marcus Mariota 1
Washington Redskins Case Keenum Undrafted
Only 10 of 32 teams planned to start a quarterback drafted outside of the first round at the beginning of this season. Of those teams planning to start a quarterback drafted outside the first, three of them were rostering quarterbacks drafted in the first who were expected to start at some point of this season (Josh Rosen, Dwayne Haskins). A full 75% of NFL teams went into 2019 planning to start a first rounder at quarterback at some point.
Tom Brady is one of 43 sixth rounds who has amounted to anything. Minshew has a chance at being the second, but his head coach won’t even commit to him as the starter for next season despite his solid performance. What Brady and Minshew have in common is that both got their first opportunity to start because the guy ahead of them on the depth chart who had just inked a massive new deal got injured.
Drew Brees had an up-and-down start to his career in San Diego before he started lighting the world on fire in New Orleans. Dak Prescott, like Brady, got the nod to start because Tony Romo got injured. He looked good in pre-season and flashed there, but if Romo doesn’t go down, is Prescott still the heir apparent? Does he survive two seasons on the bench, or do the Cowboys bring in competition when Romo retires?
Even Russell Wilson wasn’t projected to be the starter when he was drafted. The Seahawks had just inked a deal with Matt Flynn and he was expected to be their starting quarterback. Nobody was betting on the undersized guy to beat him out for the starting gig. Wilson came in and started playing extremely efficient football, sure. But without Beastmode pounding away on the ground and the Legion of Boom keeping scores low, how does that story go?
To be clear, I’m playing devil’s advocate here. I’m not saying this to discredit these players, but rather to demonstrate the reality of the circumstances in which they were drafted. The Patriots and the Seahawks didn’t outsmart everyone by drafting Brady and Wilson late. They got lucky. If Bill Belichick really, truly believed that Tom Brady would lead the Patriots to six Super Bowls, he wouldn’t have waited to the sixth round to draft him.
Banking on getting lucky is not a valid team-building strategy.
Tom Brady, Gardner Minshew, Dak Prescott, Kirk Cousins, Russell Wilson, Nick Foles, Jimmy Garoppolo, and Drew Brees are the only quarterbacks drafted outside of the first round in twenty years to have a completion percentage of 60%, a TD:INT ratio over 2.00, and an ANY/A rating over 6.00. That’s a pretty low bar for franchise quarterbacks these days, and only eight out of 186 quarterbacks drafted outside of the first round qualify.
I’ll say it again for those in the back: banking on getting lucky is not a valid team-building strategy.

First Round Breakdown

So Cidolfus, you might say, what about within the first round? Top quarterback picks are overrated. Look at the past few seasons: the top QB drafted often isn’t the best QB in the draft. This is often true, so let’s take a look at the numbers here, too. I’ve broken down the quarterbacks selected in the first round by those taken in the top 5, those with picks 6-15, and those with picks 16-32.

Means by Pick

Picks Players Drafted Games Started Seasons Rostered Start % Win % Pro Bowls All Pros MVPs Super Bowls Completion % TD:INT ANY/A Passer Rating
16-32 17 50.76 7.41 38.59% 44.77% 0.59 0.18 0.18 0.12 58.99% 1.60 5.12 76.70
6-15 14 55.14 6.07 56.32% 45.94% 0.79 0.07 0.07 0.14 60.19% 1.59 5.45 82.87
1-5 25 92.56 8.08 73.42% 48.39% 1.24 0.08 0.08 0.12 60.85% 1.58 5.74 84.22

Medians by Pick

Picks Players Drafted Games Started Seasons Rostered Start % Win % Pro Bowls All Pros MVPs Super Bowls Completion % TD:INT ANY/A Passer Rating
16-32 17 33.00 7.00 32.64% 41.67% 0 0 0 0 58.10% 1.19 5.12 76.70
6-15 14 33.50 5.00 57.29% 46.22% 0 0 0 0 59.20% 1.40 5.38 78.95
1-5 25 73.00 7.00 76.79% 50.00% 0 0 0 0 61.50% 1.57 5.80 86.10
The first round plays out similarly to the entire draft. In general, quarterbacks taken in the top five (which, in this data set functionally means quarterbacks drafted in the top three, as only Philip Rivers and Mark Sanchez have been drafted at fourth and fifth overall respectively) are better in the aggregate than those selected elsewhere in the round.

Completion Percentage

Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of First
1-5 61.50% 3.16 0.36
6-15 59.20% 4.00% -0.24
16-32 58.10% 5.00 -0.53


Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of First
1-5 1.58 0.47 -0.01
6-15 1.59 0.91 0
16-32 1.60 1.14 0.01


Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of First
1-5 5.80 0.78 0.31
6-15 5.38 1.32 -0.12
16-32 5.12 0.93 -0.39

Passer Rating

Round Mean St. Dev. St. Dev. of Mean From Mean of First
1-5 86.10 7.71 0.34
6-15 78.95 12.45 -0.37
16-32 76.70 10.85 -0.60
Like before, nothing too surprising here. We already knew that first round picks had relatively low variance, so it shouldn’t be a surprise to see statistics clustered really heavily here. Only the touchdown to interception ratio doesn’t outright favor the top five picks, and even then the first five picks have the lowest standard deviation and a difference of 0.02 on a touchdown to interception ratio is only one extra touchdown for every fifty interceptions. That the standard deviation of the means for the 6-15 and 16-32 picks are below the mean of the entire first round in general also isn’t too surprising when considering that nearly half of the quarterbacks taken in the first round in the past twenty years have been taken in the first five picks.

What This Means About the Draft

So, to summarize so far: quarterbacks taken in the first round tend to be better than quarterbacks taken in any other round. They generally post better aggregate stats and there’s also a trend of decreasing variance among draft picks the higher you pick. The same applies to the first round itself but on a smaller scale. In the aggregate, a top five pick on an NFL quarterback not only typically yields the highest average performance, it is also the safest place to draft a quarterback as those who are drafted in that position exhibit the lowest variance of their performances. All of these numbers support what conventional wisdom already tells us.
What should definitely not be ignored in this conclusion, however, is that the data also tells us one other very important thing, and it’s yet another thing that conventional wisdom tells us: drafting a franchise quarterback is really, really hard. If we conclude that the average top five pick is the best chance we have in the aggregate, we also have to come to terms with the fact that the average top five pick also isn’t a great quarterback.
A career completion percentage of 60.19%, a touchdown to interception ratio of 1.59, an ANY/A of 5.45, and a passer rating of 82.87 for a player who wins 46.22% of their games and starts for not even three and a half seasons of games is not great. For some perspective: those numbers are worse than Tyrod Taylor’s career numbers.
A top five quarterback pick is obviously not a lock for a franchise quarterback, but it offers the best chance to find your guy.

What About Free Agents or Trades?

All right, so that’s the draft, but that’s only part of how you put together a roster in the modern NFL. What about our options in free agency or on the trade market? Historically speaking, starting quarterbacks who hit free agency or are traded do so for a reason. You don’t have to go back nearly as far as 2000 to demonstrate my point here. Just look at the last several seasons of transactions:
  • Josh Rosen traded to the Dolphins for a 2nd and a 5th
  • Ryan Tannehill and a 6th traded to the Titans for a 4th and a 7th
  • Nick Foles signed by the Jaguars, 4 years, $88 million
  • Joe Flacco traded to the Broncos for a 4th
  • Case Keenum and a 7th traded to the Redskins for a 6th
  • Case Keenum signed by the Broncos, 2 years, $36 million
  • Kirk Cousins signed by the Vikings, 3 years, $84 million
  • Alex Smith traded to the Redskins for Kendall Fuller and a 3rd
Hindsight on most of these has looked pretty bad for the team acquiring the quarterback. Cousins and Tannehill have been the most successful of the bunch, but that’s not exactly a ringing endorsement. Tennessee is obviously glad to have Tannehill this year (as are we all), but in 2019 Tannehill and Derrick Henry had a combined salary cap cost under $4 million. The Titans have $48 million in cap space in 2020 and Ryan Tannehill, Logan Ryan, Jack Conklin, and Derrick Henry are all unrestricted free agents. Cousins hasn’t lit the world on fire in Minnesota, and I don’t think anyone is rushing to call his fully-guaranteed contract the deal of the century, but it hasn't been the worst deal in the world.
Teams do not generally let good quarterbacks go unless they have a clear successor ready to roll in their absence. When you see names like Cam Newton, Marcus Mariota, or Jameis Winston thrown around this offseason, take a look at who’s replacing him on that roster and ask why we would want to pay veteran quarterback money for someone another team is ready to walk away from.

Okay, So What?

That’s all great, but what does this tell us? There are three prime takeaways from this:
In the aggregate, quarterback performance appears to correspond with draft position. The higher the quarterback is drafted, the better the in general he is likely to be. Most quarterbacks drafted aren’t very good. Busts are common even at the top of the draft where a team has the best chance to find their guy. Free agents are free agents for a reason. If a team is willing to let a quarterback go, odds aren’t good that he’ll be someone substantially different with another team.
With all of this in mind, how should it inform our strategy moving forward? The first takeaway suggests that we shouldn’t bet on beating the system by passing on quarterbacks until later in the draft. It takes a special kind of hubris as a general manager to believe that you’re smarter than everyone else and will be able to find your guy that all the other teams slept on. In the hunt to find a quarterback, most teams will have to invest meaningful draft capital into the position. We have the fifth overall pick, and if a guy we think can be our franchise quarterback is available at that position, we’d be foolish to wait until one of our later firsts or even our seconds to draft him. The only reason that we should be passing on a quarterback in the first round this year is if we do not think that guy is there.
The second takeaway suggests that the single most important thing that we can do to maximize our chances to find our quarterback of the future: keep drafting them. Since Dan Marino left, the Dolphins have drafted six quarterbacks:
  • Josh Heupel (2000; Round 6, Pick 177)
  • Josh Beck (2007; Round 2, Pick 40)
  • Chad Henne (2008; Round 2, Pick 57)
  • Pat White (2009; Round 2, Pick 44)
  • Ryan Tannehill (2012; Round 1, Pick 8)
  • Brandon Doughty (2016; Round 7, Pick 223)
That’s fucking scandalous. In the twenty years since Dan Marino retired, the Dolphins have drafted only six quarterbacks, and only one of them in the first round. We’ve relied heavily on free agents and castoffs from other organizations trying to replace one of the greatest pure passers of all time.
Last year we spent a second round and fifth round selection to trade for Josh Rosen, a first round pick only a year removed from being selected 10th overall. He hasn’t been able to supplant the textbook definition of a journeyman quarterback in Ryan Fitzpatrick this season. There’s no indication beyond wishful thinking that we should be willing to allow Rosen to be the only young quarterback developing on our roster right now. I believe strongly that unless our front office truly, truly believes that our quarterback of the future isn’t in the 2020 draft, we should be spending our fifth overall pick drafting a quarterback. And even if we don’t love anyone enough to take them at five, we should still be open to drafting someone in the second or third if anyone falls.
As mentioned earlier, the hiring of Chan Gailey as our offensive coordinator probably suggests some level of commitment to Ryan Fitzpatrick as a starting quarterback for at least the beginning of the 2020 season, but no sane fan believes that the 37-year-old journeyman is our future. That said, keeping him on does allow us to avoid throwing a quarterback right into the fire. The reality is that quarterbacks drafted in the first round rarely sit for their rookie seasons anymore. Mahomes only played the last game of his rookie season after the Chiefs had already clinched and Rodgers obviously sat behind Favre, but they’re the two notable exceptions in more than a decade. Even though I expect Fitzpatrick to kick the season off, it’s a good bet that he won’t start the full season.
And then, until we are absolutely certain that our young starting quarterback is the future of our franchise, we should continue to draft quarterbacks. Obviously you don’t need to continue to invest high picks every single year, but until a team has committed to a quarterback on a long-term, veteran contract, it’s in the team’s best interest to continue to invest picks in rounds 2-4 on quarterbacks at least every other year.
One of the biggest mistakes the Dolphins made during Ryan Tannehill’s tenure was ignore the quarterback position after drafting him. The front office should have been drafting quarterbacks if not to push him then to have a young, cheap back-up quarterback with upside. When Tannehill went down with an ACL injury, it’s an absolute travesty that our front office made no effort to augment our QB room until Tannehill reinjured the ACL and missed the season and instead overpaid to bring Jay Cutler out of retirement.
Tannehill’s injury not progressing as expected or being reinjured should have been a scenario we planned for, and that we signed Cutler so late suggests that we never had a serious conversation about what a season of Matt Moore would look like. With Tannehill recovering from injury, we should have used that as an opportunity to add a young guy with upside to our quarterback room. Would it have worked out any better? Given the quarterbacks who came out of the later rounds of the 2017 draft, probably not, but that’s something we know in hindsight, and given the results of the 2017 season and the cap cost of Cutler, it’s a move we should have made.
This team shouldn’t make the same mistake again. The Miami Dolphins have pussyfooted around investing in finding a quarterback for the future through the draft for years, and it’s time that changes. I’ll address my specific thoughts on our options in the draft later in this series. Frankly, until Tua Tagovailoa makes an announcement tomorrow, it’s really too early to say anything for sure. Even if you’re skeptical of Tua for whatever reason, his availability likely shifts how other quarterback-needy teams act (including the possibility of jumping us as the Cardinals did to secure Rosen). In the meantime, to sum up my thoughts on general strategy:
We should almost certainly draft a quarterback in the first round of this year’s draft. Probably at fifth overall unless we really, truly, do not believe in any of the guys available. We should continue to spend middle-round selections on quarterbacks in subsequent seasons until we’re absolutely certain we have our quarterback of the future. Even after we have our quarterback of the future, we should continue to invest in selecting quarterbacks in the later rounds regularly (although not every year) to try to develop talent from within.
What are we looking to find? Based on the numbers, in order to meet what most people would expect of a starting quarterback in today’s NFL, expect the quarterback to hit the following benchmarks at minimum:
  • Completion percentage of at least 60%
  • TD:INT ratio of at least 2.0
  • An ANY/A of at least 6.0
Typically, if a player manages to hit all three of those benchmarks, he’s well on his way to being a winning quarterback, although not necessarily an elite one. And as we’ve just seen in the wildcard round, having a quarterback who’s good enough can sometimes be enough.
Next week, I'll be continuing with where I usually start with this series, the season review including thoughts on the coaching staff, player performance, and a review of in-season transactions. Enjoy the rest of wildcard weekend, all.
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