All posts by thelongtalk

Tears in Denver

If I was the GM of the Denver Nuggets I’d be crying right now.  Crying because my franchise player wants out, because he’s the main selling point for my marketing department, because their seems to be no way to make him happy at this altitude.

But I wouldn’t cry for long.

Once the tears dried I’d be picking up the nearest phone and send his sorry butt to LA… and not the good side of the Staples Center, but the terrible one with the racist owner.

Anthony at $17,149,243 matches up well with Griffin and Kaman at $17,157,280, toss in a couple of unprotected first round picks and you’ve got yourself a trade.

The benefits for Denver are…

– Kaman is a low level All Star and allows the Nuggets to move Nene who can’t seem to stay on the floor.

– Griffin, even with his history of injury, can be a solid contributor and more importantly can be sold to the fan base as a future All Star with franchise potential.

– With Griffin and Billups running the pick and roll and running up the score for Denver, the Nuggets would be free to move J.R. Smith for whatever 3 point threat they can get… perhaps Jason Kapono who’s $6,641,440 matches close enough with J.R.’s $6,757,851.

– Griffin and Kaman also allow Denver to move Martin out of town for whatever they can get… maybe a beach chair and some umbrellas.

– The satisfaction of seeing Melo suit up with one of the worst franchises in NBA history and knowing that you don’t need his approval to make it happen.  Just knowing that he’s miserable, even if it only lasts one season, would turn my frown upside down.

So why would the Clippers agree to rent Anthony in exchange for an All Star center and an up and coming Power Forward…

– First and foremost, because they’re the Clippers and they often make bad decisions.

– Second, if it “accidentally” got leaked to the press that LA had the opportunity to land a proven franchise player for an untested, knee problem and a fruit basket, post player… and they didn’t take it.  Well that might just make the 9 Clippers fans that are still in existence a little angry.

– The team they’d have really wouldn’t be that much worse then what they have now.  The Clippers would have an energized Baron Davis, something the league hasn’t seen for years, and Carmelo on the break… with Ryan Gomes, Brian Cook, and fill-in scrubs TBA.

– Renting Anthony, even just for a year, is better for the Clippers bottom line then 10 years of Griffin and Kaman barely making the 9th spot and missing the playoff’s.  The buzz that this would create is priceless!

– Giving up first round picks would be tough for LA, but if they traded them for Denver’s second rounders… maybe they might accidentally stumble on to someone like Manu… stranger things have happened.

Now TheLongTalk is willing to admit that this trade will never happen.  Denver could never apply enough spin to this move to make it’s fans happy and LA can’t realistically cut the cord on Griffin without at least a half season of play.

But wouldn’t it be nice to see a year of Anthony’s championship window wasted on the Clippers? To see his heavy handed power play blow up in his face?  To see Carmelo Anthony… the Bird to Lebron’s Magic, the person that was going to go blow-for-blow with The King for years to come and usher in a new era of NBA prosperity… in a Clippers uniform?

With a bit to much schadenfreude,
TheLongTalk

P.S. The Lakers should try to pick up Dampier for cheap.

Run Punch (Part 2)

So, you’ve come back for more have you. Well enjoy!

Sports Building Basics #3 – Can it be take too seriously? (Translation: can we make any money off of this.)

If TheLongTalk has learned anything while inventing stupid and/or pointless games it’s that whatever can be done, can be taken too seriously. To prove that point, see competitive eating, toddler beauty pageants, and celebrity tabloids.

So if the sport you’re participating in, or attempting to invent can’t be taken too seriously then something has gone terribly wrong.

If football wasn’t taken seriously would people be paid millions of dollars to play it? If soccer wasn’t taken seriously would fans kill goal keepers after the game? If golf wasn’t taken seriously would Charles Barkley’s swing still make us laugh? (Probably)

RunPunch can easily be taken to seriously, because at it’s core it is an insanely stupid game. When you start out stupid, then getting to the place where everyone is taking you to seriously is a short trip.

So now that the basics are covered and we know that RunPunch can be played to win or for simple fun, that it meets all 5 of TheLongTalk’s Sports Requirements, and that it’s really easy to over think, all we need to know now is… what’s RunPunch? (Drum roll please…..)

RunPunch Rules & Requirements

Equipment
– 6 players split into 2 teams of 3 (optional alternate for both teams, making a maximum of 8 players)
– A large supply of fast food ketchup packets
– Some room to run
– Some sort of time keeping device
– Tape
– At least 2 white T-shirts
– Designated boundary lines (be they traffic cones or hedges, whatever is handy)
– A coin (to determine who starts on Offense or Defense)

Basic Rules
– Points are scored by successfully landing a punch on the opposing teams Runner
– A successful punch results in the appearance of ketchup anywhere on the Runner’s shoulder
– Points may only be scored during the predetermined time period (2-4 minutes suggested)
– Points may only be scored during the Offensive turn (a turn being half of a round)
– A minimum of 5 rounds must be completed (each round including a turn at both Offense and Defense)
– If after 5 rounds there is a tie, a sudden death tie breaker turn will be undertaken, see Tie Breaker Rules for details.

Rules – Offensive Turn
– From your group of 3 (4 if you are using your optional alternate) select 3 players to be Punchers
i – Punchers will tape no less then 3 and no more then 5 ketchup packets to the outside of there closed fists over there knuckles.
ii – When the Runner (from the other team) announces the start of play, Punchers will attempt to land a successful punch on either shoulder of the Runner within a preset time limit. (2-4 minutes)
iii – Punchers may punch the Runner on either shoulder, but no where else (keep it above the belt)
iv – Punchers must use common sense and avoid killing the Runner
– When a successful punch is landed the turn ends, a point is scored, and your team will now take it’s turn at Defense
– If a successful punch is not landed, better luck next time.

Rules – Defensive Turn
– From your group of 3 (or 4) select 1 Runner and 2 Blockers
i – Runner must wear a white T-shirt (with an optional hit zone drawn on the shoulders)
ii – Runner will announce the start of play for each turn by shouting, “You hit like my MeMa!”
iii – Once a turn has begun the Runners only task is to not get hit in the shoulder (no duh)
iv – Runners may not punch the Punchers or kick or bite or scratch, etc…
v – It’d be a good idea to pick someone who is fast to be your Runner
vi – The Blockers (2) job is to protect the Runner by blocking the path of the other teams Punchers
vii – Blockers may not punch, kick, scratch, or HOLD Punchers… but they are allowed to push
viii – Again, common sense please… this is mindless fun not murder
– If at the end of a predetermined time (2-4 minutes) your Runner has not been punched, congratulations you’ve completed a successful turn at Defense

Additional Rules
– If no one is scoring any points then shorten the turn or decrease the running area by moving the boundaries… did I forget to mention boundaries?
i – Set up predetermined boundary lines that can not be crossed by the Runner (if they do then the Punchers get a free punch)
– Don’t kill each other, the point is macho muscle flexing not medical insurance paperwork
– Players can switch between turns from Runner to Blocker vice-versa, but not during a turn
– If someone wants to be the Runner multiple times in a row let them, it’s not your shoulder that’s going to be bruised
– Try to keep teams even, the fun is in splattering ketchup all over the place and hitting people, not winning without ever getting hit (see what I mean about a stupid pointless game)
– If one team has an alternate but the other doesn’t, then no alternates may be used
– 1 round equals 2 turns in case that wasn’t clear

Rules – Tie Break
– If at the end of 5 rounds no winner has been determined then 1 final turn will be undertaken with each team selecting 1 Runner, 1 Blocker, and 1 Puncher.
i – Runners try not to get hit
ii – In a Tie Breaker a Blocker may block either a Puncher or Blocker
iii – Punchers may only punch Runners
– No time limit will be in place on the Tie Breaker Turn, first team to land a successful punch wins!

So that’s RunPunch, a beautifully simple and pure pursuit of dominance. A game of pushing, punching, and splattering ketchup… fun to play and to watch. So go have fun exploring the possibilities of RunPunch, use the comment section to suggest rule changes or alert TheLongTak to problems with game play or established rules, make it your own and remember above all else… please don’t sue TheLongTalk.

With the latest stupid game announced,

TheLongTalk

RunPunch or The Birth of a Sport (Part 1)

For a long time TheLongTalk has been an inventor of new sports.  Most of these inventions have been stupid and/or pointless, but perhaps RunPunch will be different.

What is RunPunch you ask?  Great question and in time an answer will be given, but first TheLongTalk must dive into some sports building basics.

Sports Building Basics #1 – Why we play?

Why do amateur athletes participate in competitions that at their best, leave us with only momentary highs and a pressed metal statue and at their worst might actually snap our spin?  Why do we play?

TheLongTalk believes there are two reasons…

A. Because we want to win.  Deep down inside all of us there is a need to prove that we’re better then the other guy.  We feel compelled to show everyone that on this day, in this place, under these rules, we are superior.

B. Because we’ve taken care of everything that “needs” to be done and we’ve got some time to kill.  The time to kill game is the game played by older people, myself included.  It’s the pickup game of basketball where, when someone asks what the score is… you really don’t know.

The worst sporting experiences are born in a place where Type A’s are playing Type B’s and neither side seems to be aware of it.

The great thing about RunPunch is that it can be played by either Type and when undertaken buy over juiced A’s might actually be fatal.

Sports Building Basics #2 – Is what we’re playing a sport?

When you’re trying to invent a new sport it’s important that you know what a sport is, otherwise at the end of all your hard work you might find yourself and your friends just sitting around crocheting baby blankets.  Crocheting is not a sport.

So what is?  What makes one activity a sport and another something else?  This is a topic that TheLongTalk has covered with #12 and Going90 at length and with little consensus.

To each his own some might say, but when you don’t define a word then it has no meaning and that won’t work for TheLongTalk.  So below you’ll find TLT’s list of sports requirements.

TheLongTalk’s short list of Sports Requirements
1. The activity in question must be physically demanding.  (sorry chess)
i – At least 50% of the activity should actually be done by the competitor. (so long NASCAR)
2. You must be in direct competition with an opponent who can effect your play. (that rules out gymnastics)
3. The outcome of the competition cannot be predetermined. (no pro-wrestling)
4. Luck should be kept to a minimum. (otherwise you’re just playing the lottery)
i – Anything that’s over 20% luck is under 80% skill and that’s not sports.
5. Officials are aloud, but Judges are frowned upon. (think ice skating scandals)

Using these requirements TheLongTalk can say with confidence that RunPunch is indeed a sport.  Now whether or not it’s a good sport or an interesting sport will be revealed in Part 2 with more Sports Building Basics and the Rules for RunPunch.

Only half way there,

TheLongTakl

Picking Your Replacement

Watching your team win it all is something special.  You’ve invested yourself, and even if it didn’t require any physical exertion on your part, you’ve won.

But what happens when your team falls short?  What do you do after that second round elimination or a conference finals choke?  You love the sport and you want to follow its progression, but without someone to root for there’s no tension… no drama.  You need someone or something to hope for, but who?

Here is TheLongTalk’s thoughts on picking a replacement…

- No picking the front runner.
It reeks of band wagon, and there are only a couple of sports smells that are worse.

- Picking the team that beat you IS a possibility.
TheLongTalk knows what you’re thinking… traitor!  But give TLT a moment here to explain the logic.  Your team has lost, they not coming back, you’re going to have to face the ridicule of those whose teams remain in the running, you might as well be able to say – at the end of things – that your guys were taken down by the best.

- You MUST pick against the team that beat you.
The enemy of my enemy is my friend, from round 2 till the end.  Pick against the bad guys and stick with it, and if the bad guys keep winning – keep picking against them.  And if they end up winning it all, see above.

- Pick the underdog.
Sort of the opposite of bandwagon, with a dash of Cinderella story mixed in for flavor

Whatever road you take be sure to stay on it until it reaches its natural end… and to remind everyone that there’s always next year for your true team.

Keep on trucking,
TheLongTalk

Fine with Fantasy

With only a single season of Fantasy Basketball under his belt, TheLongTalk can’t speak with much authority on the topic of Fantasy Sports (FaSp), but why should that stop him.

Love and hate, as words that carry powerful meanings, are too strong for TLT’s feelings.   On their best day, Fantasy Sports are simply there.   They are something that people, other then TheLongTalk, take part in and seem to enjoy.

However the single season spoken of above, in combination with the purchase and subsequent use of NBA Live 2002, did leave TLT with some interesting observations, for instance…

– Tim Thomas seems to rock in NBA Live 2002 for no particular reason
– The NBA season can be interesting, even after the trade deadline and before the playoffs
– When you watch a player and hold his contract in the fantasy realms you pay a lot more attention to him…
– Which means FaSp are an excellent way to learn about players that don’t get a lot of spotlight
– Knowing the players, simply knowing their names, makes watching the real games at least 75% better
– Combining Fantasy Sports with virtual sports and attention to the real thing, makes each of those things that much better

With not much to say,
TheLongTalk

Reply to a Response

FIRST - The RULE as a rule

Yes, The Mercy Rule (TMR) is indeed a rule and must therefore be enforced by the officials.  I see your point that it is not optional.

SECOND - The CONFUSION

The quote “Officials should step in when a game has lost it’s competitive nature and end it at a logical stopping point.” does not reflect the feelings of TLT.  TheLongTalk cares not for The Mercy Rule!

This quote is part of a list of logical steps that TheLongTalk assumes took place during the conception of TMR, probably in some lonely alley behind a liquor store.

THIRD and LONG - The 100 POINT GAME

TheLongTalk agrees that the Coach involved in #12’s described 100-0 game should probably be asked to hand in his/her whistle.  However, TLT feels as though their is someone who holds even more responsibility for the disgraceful 100-0 game… and that would be the schools Athletic Director.

The Athletic Director that scheduled these two teams to meet either had no idea what he/she was doing or was intentionally planning a blowout.  When one team scores 100 points and the other doesn’t even get 1 – you’ve created a very, very bad match-up.

A good Athletic Director should be planning for competitive games, with the exception perhaps of Homecoming when it’s customary to pick the opponent with the most suckatude in order to provide for the best chance of winage.

FOURTH and INCHES - The FINALE

TheLongTalk thinks #12 might have missed the point of the post.

The Mercy Rule’s flaw is not its mercy.  Ending a 100 point blowout while it’s only a 65 point blowout might be the best thing for everyone involved, not sure that’s true… but it might be.

But imagine for a moment a Perfect Storm of Stupid Behavior (like the 100-0 game)
– Athletic Director sets up a slaughter
– Coach refuses to pull the team’s best players when the win is assured
– The superior team’s players refuse to hold back or take their foot off the gas
– Officials have no predetermined Mercy Rule so they are powerless to avoid the blowout
– The inferior team has nothing in its makeup to turn this into a real game

Even in this downpour of stupid, TheLongTalk feels as though The Mercy Rule is lacking.  Using TMR in this scenario only stops the bleeding, it doesn’t cure the patient.

Here’s TheLongTalk’s solution – minus TMR
– Athletic Directors should look for good matches
– Coaches should pull their top players when a game has been decided
– Superior players should request removal from the game or should at least take it down to 75% when the score board reads 65-0
– Officials should pull Coaches to the side and suggest that if they do not remove their best players from the game… perhaps fouling out will do the trick!
– The inferior team should keep it’ chin up and readjust… picking a more realistic goal than winning.  Perhaps something like, “Let’s go out there and score 10 points before the end of the 3rd… Team on 3!”

I know this might seem like a perfect world, but in most cases this does happen (on one level or another)  Most teams do not win 100-0 nor do they even come close.  Most times The Mercy Rule isn’t needed… just some real, heartfelt compassion.

With rose colored glasses firmly in place,
TheLongTalk

The No Mercy Rule

Mercy can be defined as: compassion shown to victims of misfortune, if you accept the authority of Merriam-Webster to define the English language.

And, provided you extend that authority to TheLongTalk, the players and fans of Angola’s National Basketball Team can clearly be defined as “victims of misfortune,” given their resent 55 point drumming (121-66) at the hands of Team USA.

Historically this game isn’t even Angola’s worst Team USA beat down.  In 1992 The Dream Team dismantled Angola, winning by 68 points, and iced the cake with the super classy Charles Barkley suggesting he feared possible payback in the form of spear attack.

Now speaking from a position of experience, TheLongTalk having been on the receiving end of a basketball thumping (40-4) during his middle school days… a thumping wherein TheLongTalk was the only member of his team to score… and even then only from the foul line… getting smacked down sucks.  It sucks real bad.

A lopsided loss leaves everyone, even the winners, with a sour taste in their mouths.  Losers feel humiliated, winners feel like bullies, and fans feel like they’ve wasted their precious time.

And so from this sour taste was born the great sports equalizer… The Mercy Rule (TMR).  Now you won’t come across TMR if your sports experience is limited to the professional level, in the pros there is no mercy… nor should there be, but if you’ve ever watched a mismatched Little League game end at 5 innings then you’ve seen The Mercy Rule in action.

The underlying theory of TMR appears to be…

1. Children cannot handle the shame that goes hand-in-hand with getting it handed to them on the field of play

2. Adults must protect said children from the horrifying disgrace of losing

3. Officials should step in when a game has lost its competitive nature and end it at a logical stopping point…  after the third quarter or 5th inning, etc.

4. This will result in a better sports world for everyone

TheLongTalk will admit that it is pretty hard to argue the logic of TMR when that sour taste is still on your tongue or when you’ve just avoided an embarrassing experience.  At these moments The Mercy Rule seems like your best friend… and maybe it is.

But TheLongTalk cares not for The Mercy Rule!!!

If you’ll jump quickly back to the top of this little rant you’ll see that mercy involves compassion, which itself can be defined as:  a sympathetic feeling.  This means that in order for there to be mercy there must be sympathy.

TMR knows no sympathy, TMR is not about compassion… The Mercy Rule is a system put in place to save face and to minimize hurt feelings.

Now let me make myself clear on this point… TheLongTalk has no problem with avoiding hurt feelings or minimizing face lossage… TheLongTalk is cool with mercy, it’s the rule part that chafes him.

When we make mercy a rule it is robbed of its compassion and left empty, shallow, and pathetic.  By the time an official is forced to use The Mercy Rule the opportunity for true mercy has already been missed.

The answer to the sour taste isn’t forced mercy… it’s real compassion.

When a coach benches his starters because he’s up by 20, that’s real compassion.  When players in the game self regulate with an impromptu “no fast breaks” rule, that’s real sympathy.  When a team realizes that it is within their power to destroy and humiliate their opponent but chooses not to, of their own accord, that’s real mercy.

And don’t think that players can’t tell the difference.  The children that TMR is meant to protect know when their being pitied, when their being felt sorry for.  They know when the mercy isn’t real… and it’s worse.  To know that you’ve not only been beaten, but that the game had to be ended early because your team is so pathetic you couldn’t make a sporting match of it.

Fake mercy helps no one and teaches nothing of value.  Losing teams learn only that when it’s clear you can no longer win.. you should call it a day… and winning teams are given a pass on lessons involving empathy… their responsibility for sportsmanlike conduct is simply passed on to the officials.

TheLongTalk says no to The Mercy Rule, even if that means more double digit disgraces, and YES to a sports system that promotes empathy and good sportsmanship that come from within.

With many grammatical errors,
TheLongTalk

Why Sports Matter

Why do we spend our time watching other people play games? Why do we spend our money on T-shirts, tickets, and trinkets? Why do sports matter?

In the grand scheme of things, they don’t.  We humans only need a few things; air, water, food, shelter, and to reproduce, in roughly that order, everything else is icing.  But sports… oh sports are such delicious icing.

We make sports matter by saying that they do.  Ask someone who doesn’t care about baseball, that would be me, who won the World Series in 1972 and you’ll get something like this, “uhm…urgh…ahhh…The Mets?” So if a person doesn’t think a certain sport matters, then to them, it doesn’t.  Simple really.

So why do the sports that I say matter, mostly basketball, matter to me?

Because of the unpredictable nature, the unknown outcome.  Because of my knowledge of the rules and the players involved, I tend to dislike games played by people I don’t know and with rules I can’t understand.  (Sorry cricket, maybe if I got to know you…)

Because of the thrill of seeing something new, Ron Artest as the hero of Game 7… that’s sort of new.  Because of the connection to my fellow fans.  Because of the fun of competition and the joy of the win, on the rare occasion that I do win.

All these reasons and the fact that chicks dig athletes.

With deepest wishes of well,
TheLongTalk