Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Watching NASCAR

Sunday, I watched the Daytona 500. In the old days, the race would come on around noon and be over in time for dinner, if not before. Now, the engines are revved at 3:30. Given Florida's weather, there was rain in the late afternoon - so the race was called early - just in time for the Fox evening line-up. The race ticker went to fast and scrolled at the top of the screen, while the eye naturally goes to the bottom, since that is where the cars are. I was also watching 3 little girls (my daughter and her two best friends), who were in the living room watching Dora the Explorer videos and generally spreading dolls all over the house. In prior years, the race was a sporting event. Now, with all the hype and interviews, it more resembles reality TV.

How about more racing, earlier racing, and less personality. Will I watch next year? Probably. Will I enjoy it, probably not.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Pittsburgh moves up in All Time Rankings

Here are the top ten rankings for this year in the NFL, both for appearances and wins.

Congratulations Pittsburgh!

By Appearance (Contenders):

Rank Team Appearances (wins)

1 Dallas 24 (13)
2 NY Giants 22 (10)
3 Pittsburgh 21 (13) (Passing Green Bay)
4 Green Bay 19 (13)
5 Oakland 19 (8)
6 San Francisco, Washington 17 (10) tie
8 St. Louis 17 (6)
9 Chicago 15 (9)
10 New England 14 (9)

Baltimore, who lost the AFC championship, moves to 26th with 3 appearances - although if you reject the fiction that they are not the former Cleveland Browns their real number of appearances is 17 with 6 championship wins (ranking them 8th in a tie with St. Louis). Arizona is tied for 22nd (or 23rd if Baltimore gets its history back from Cleveland) with 4 appearances and two wins. Philadelphia moves to 16th with 12 appearances and 5 wins (or 17th if Baltimore is counted correctly).

If you count championship trophies as your first criteria, with championship record as your tie breaker, last night's win moves Pittsburgh to #2. Phili stayed at 15 with its NFC championship loss. Baltimore stays at 21st with its AFC loss and Arizona moves up to a 4 way tie for 22nd with the other 2-2 teams with its NFC win and Super Bowl loss.

By Victories (Champions):

Rank Team(s) Win-Loss

1 Green Bay 13-6
2 Pittsburgh 13-8
3 Dallas 13-11
4 San Francisco, Washington (tie) 10-7
6 New York 10-12
7 New England 9-5
8 Chicago 9-6
9 Denver 8-6
10 Oakland 8-11

If Pittsburgh repeats next year, they will be the undisputed greatest of all time, leading not only in Super Bowl victories, but in total League, Conference and Super Bowl wins. Of course, in the League's history a pre-Super Bowl championship is equivalent to a Super Bowl and a Conference Championship is a lesser prize. By that reckoning, Green Bay is still hard to beat with 9 total League championships. I disagree, since they still give trophies for Conference victories. The original Super Bowl was AFL v. NFL. Because these merged to form a new NFL, the conferences can be called succeeding organizations with equivalent championships to the old leagues.

That's a discussion for later years. For this year - Hooray for Pittsburgh!

NFL Conferences

I was going back through old blog entries today and I came across one where I expressed an opinion on the NFL division line-up. It was based on more realistic regions and somewhat losely on the geographic regions I posit for the U.S. Government.

Here is what I published back in February of 2005:

American North: Indianapolis, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Pittsburgh
American East: New England, Buffalo, New York, Baltimore
American South: Tennessee, Miami, Jacksonville, Houston
American West: Denver, Kansas City, San Diego, Oakland
National North: Green Bay, Detroit, Chicago, Minnesota
National East: New York, Philadelphia, Washington, Carolina
National South: Atlanta, New Orleans, Dallas, Tampa Bay
National West: Seattle, San Francisco, Arizona, St. Louis

Since then, I have changed the regions to account for the upcoming census, based on the most recent populations shifts. Of course, the change has been minimal. However, it got me thinking about how you could do an NFL organization if you did not worry about Conference membership. Here it is for your consideration. Think about the juicy regional rivalries:

I. Buffalo, New England, New York, New York
II. Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Washington
III. Atlanta, Carolina, Jacksonville, Tennessee
IV. Houston, Miami, New Orleans, Tampa Bay
V. Cincinnati, Cleveland, Detroit, Indianapolis
VI. Chicago, Green Bay, Minnesota, St. Louis
VII. Arizona, Dallas, Denver, Kansas City
VIII. Oakland, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle

As I said four years ago, you can always schedule rivalry games, like an annual Dallas - Washington game. It would be more difinitive, since they would play only once, not twice.

I will provide the statistics later on the revised championship rankings.