Friday, July 3, 2009

Independence Day Random 10

Today's Random 10 is brought to you by two local fraternities and their annual fireworks battle.

And now on to the 10! Yall know how to play by now.

Dancing Days - Led Zeppelin
Shorty Wanna Ride - Young Buck (Ratatat Remix)
Fixing A Hole - The Beatles
Ramblin' Man - The Allman Brothers
Peggy Sue - Blink-182
Darlene - Led Zeppelin
Next Year - Foo Fighters
Gasoline Drems - Outkast
A Day Late - Anberlin
If You See Me - The Black Keys

Pretty good mix to start my day off...keep the lists comin'!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Athleticism leads to financial failure

After yesterday's post about the super rich GT athletes, I started looking around for additional reading on athletes' finances. I found a very interesting line from a great SI article about the financial failures of pro athletes:
When former NBA guard Kenny Anderson filed for bankruptcy in October 2005, he detailed how the estimated $60 million he earned in the league had dwindled to nothing. He bought eight cars and rang up monthly expenses of $41,000, including outlays for child support, his mother's mortgage and his own five-bedroom house in Beverly Hills, Calif.—not to mention $10,000 in what he dubbed "hanging-out money." He also regularly handed out $3,000 to $5,000 to friends and relatives.

Holy Crap... 60 million down the tube. I can't even fathom that much money. I don't necessarily pity the guys that lose that much money but I am definitely jealous. I think about what I could've done with 60 mil or someone with more forethought in a similar situation.

Another link provided by the same article shows the very interesting Championship Rings.NET. I searched specifically for GT rings and found several baseball rings that had already been sold. Apparently, this site has seen a jump in 30% sellers since last year. Whether that's increased exposure or simply a downturning economy is another discussion but I still find the site intriguing. Seeing athletes' prized possessions up for sale. Reminds me a little of the OJ hostage situation.

Just thought I'd share the linkage.

The Director's Cup: ACC-ANALyzed

The National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics of American Athletics of America releases a rating system every year ranking every athletic program by the number of bullshit sports by the quality of the athletic teams competing in NCAA sanctioned sports.

This year the NACDA announced the winner as Stanford (again) and runnerup UNC. However, upon further investigation I have found that the system for crowning a champion is designed strictly for big ass athletic programs like Stanford to win rather than smaller more efficient programs such as FSU or Wake (small as in # of teams small).

First, let me explain the scoring system. The NACDA uses an exponential function to assign points. The input is final standing in the NCAA tournament (or CFB polls) and the function is based on the total number of postseason teams. The output ranges from 100 points (Champion) to 25 points (making the tournament). Certain sports with odd numbers of teams or non-tournament systems have special scoring systems.

The scoring system only accounts for the 20 best teams fielded (10M/10W), which automatically puts 50% of the ACC at a disadvantage as only UNC, Maryland, UVA, Duke, BC, and NC State have 20 or more teams.

The final overall tally:
2. UNC - 1184.25
8. UVA - 1059.00
15. FSU - 945.00
17. Duke - 891.80
28. MD - 668.80
37. Wake - 580.25
43. Miami - 491.00
46. VT - 459.25
48. GT - 452.38
53. CU - 397.00
74. NCSU - 265.30
75. BC - 262.00

This is merely a total of the 20 best teams so schools like Stanford and UNC with 30 or so teams can dominate especially in sports with smaller postseasons where Final 4 or Elite 8 status is almost guaranteed. For example, you have to beat 6 teams to win March Madness but you only have to beat 4 teams to win the Frozen Four. So schools in less-popular sports are automatically racking up big time points.

A breakdown of actual efficiencies shows a slightly different ranking of the ACC teams. If the teams were ranked by actual teams earning points in the NACDA system, FSU would win as 100% of their teams earned points (earned postseason births). UNC was second with 82% of their teams. The worst was BC with only 26% of their teams earning postseason births. The ACC received points by 59% of their competing teams for comparison's sake.

This BC fact is particularly disturbing in that they've also got the most NCAA teams of the ACC with 31, placed the lowest percentage of teams into postseason play, and got the least amount of NACDA points out of the entire ACC (despite their voluminous team advantage). I know their hockey team normally kicks ass but they've gotta do something with the rest of their dead weight programs, in my opinion.

Another interesting way to look at the system is actual team efficiency or "How many points did each school earn per competing team?" Once again FSU won with 55.59 points/team wth UNC and UVA close behind with 44.97 and 42.36 points/team, respectively. BC had 8.45 points/team.

1. FSU - 55.59 p/t
2. UNC - 44.97 p/t
3. UVA - 42.36 p/t
4. Wake - 36.27 p/t
5. Duke - 34.20 p/t
6. Miami - 32.73 p/t
7. GT - 30.16 p/t
8. VT - 27.01 p/t
9. MD - 24.77 p/t
10. CU - 20.89 p/t
11. NCSU - 11.05 p/t
12. BC - 8.45 p/t

I like the idea of awarding points based on postseason appearances but my main problem is the over-valuation of smaller tournaments. It is much more difficult to earn a bid for the Men's/Women's Basketball tournament then it would be to the fencing tournament as there are a lot less teams competing in fencing. The system should account for tournament size and regular season competition field size (more teams = more points).

Otherwise, I find the system intriguing because it is good to have a uniform "objective" metric to evaluate athletic departments. I think it's also good because it adds "weight" to sports that normally get very little (if any) coverage.

Thoughts are welcome.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

SI's 50 Richest Athletes - GT Represented...

Sports Illustrated released an article with the 50 highest paid American athletes of 2009. GT had Starbury and Teixeira represented on the the list at #17 and #14, respectively. I went through the list and broke down the players by college/conference. It's pretty interesting seeing the way sports pay their players as well. No surprise to me is that 22 of the 50 athletes are NBA guys, 14 are from the MLB, 9 from the NFL, 3 from the PGA, and Dale Jr. and Jeff Gordon finish the list off. The highest paid is obviously Tiger by almost double.

8 of the top 50 are from the ACC, which ain't too shabby. Especially considering it's three different sports. The Pac 10 has 6 of the top 50, the Big East has 5 all from the NBA, the SEC has 4, and the Big 12 and Big 10 both have 2 represented. This means that 20 of the top 50 highest paid American athletes didn't attend a four year university before going pro. Pretty interesting.

The most represented university on the list of athletes was UNC with 3. GT's 2 were tied with Tennessee, Syracuse, and Arizona. There were 19 Division I universities with only one representative in the top 50. No one from uga made the list...

I thought the article was interesting. Any thoughts?

T-Book Tutorings: Rat Caps and Drownproofings

This week's T-Book Tutorials involve some student participation. I give you RAT Caps and Drownproofing.

Often referred to as Drowning 101 by Tech students, Drownproofing was the infamous class taught by swimming coach Fred “Crankshaft” Lanoue starting in 1940. The water survival techniques taught by Lanoue allowed potential drowning victims to float and bob naturally in water for hours, even when injured. Students were required to float and swim with wrists and ankles bound, bob fully clothed for one hour, and use only their teeth to retrieve rings from the bottom of the pool. The class became a graduation requirement for all male students and remained so until 1988,when it was removed from the curriculum due to restructuring of the physical education department. The class reached national prominence in the late 1950’s when it was included in the U.S. Navy’s survival training and featured in the June 1960 Reader’s Digest article titled “Nobody Needs to Drown.”

Drownproofing completed. Photo courtesey of


RAT caps first appeared at Georgia Tech in 1915. Freshmen were required to wear the caps everyday until the semester ended or Tech beat UGA in the Thanksgiving weekend football game. RAT originally stood for “Recruit at Tech” during the time when the military had a large presence on Tech’s campus; however, now many people describe freshmen as RATS or “Recently Acquired Tech Students.” In the past, freshmen caught outside without a RAT cap were subjected to various forms of punishment including the “T-cut,” where the student’s hair was shaved into the shape of a “T.” Enforced by the Ramblin’ Reck Club and other upperclassmen, all RAT’s were once subject to the RAT rules listed below:

RAT caps must be decorated in the following manner: In the center of the upturned brim, the acronym, “RAT,” should be written in large, bold letters. Directly above this should be the st
udent’s first and last name, while their hometown and state should be written below the three letters. To the left should be the student’s major, and to the right, their expected year of graduation. On the back panel of the cap, the words, “To HELL with georgia,” should be proudly displayed. The phrase should be displayed with one word on each line. The words “To” and “with” should be written the smallest, and “HELL” should be larger than “georgia.” The word “georgia” should be in all lowercase letters because we choose not to recognize U(sic)GA as an institution of higher education. A circle around the top button of the cap denotes the student is in the Co-op program. Throughout the season, football scores should be added to the cap with all wins displayed right side up and any losses written upside down. Our team should be represented by the word, “TECH,” and should always be written above the opponent as read. The front panel of the cap should be saved for the score of the “georgia” game. All markings on the cap should be done with a black permanent marker.

Anti-hazing policies led to the end of any RAT rules, but freshman still receive a RAT cap at convocation out of respect for tradition. Donning the RAT cap is now completely voluntary, but freshmen are encouraged to show their Tech spirit by sporting their caps at home football games. The marching band is at the forefront of maintaining this tradition. No matter how often one decides to wear their RAT cap, a properly decorated cap serves as an excellent souvenir and reminder of freshman year.

"T-Book Tutorings" is brought to you in anticipation of the 2009-2010 T-Book, the ultimate guide to the history and traditions of Georgia Tech. The book is published by the Ramblin' Reck Club.

Anybody still have their Rat Cap? I still have mine. Crazy stories about Drownproofing are more than welcome.

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Paul Johnson's Bad-Assery

By now many of you have probably read The Birddog's post about how we beat Georgie in November. But have you read everything else the man has written? CPJ was at Navy for long enough for The Birddog to understand a lot more about his offense than many of us and every Tech fan should use his posts as an excellent resource. I have read all these links at least 3 times each, always trying to find something new to look for and pick up on. We'll start from the earliest entry.

But wait! There's more! SmartFootball dove into CPJ Bad-Assery today as well
And Orson at EDSBS gets sexy with the NCAA 2010 Flexbone

This should hopefully hold everyone over for a while. So sit down and get ready to LEARN.

Edit: Found a good article of 11 meanest dudes in CFB history. Pat Swilling made the cut.

Know Your Head Coach Analysis

Paul Hewitt filled out a survey for He was asked mostly about his favorite foods, sports teams, etc.. Here're the highlights with commentary...

Birthdate: May 4, 1963 -- Coach Paul is 46 years old
College attended: St. John Fisher
What I watch on TV: MSNBC, Fox, CNN, ESPN, State of the Union with John King, O'Reilly Factor, Keith Olbermann, Anderson Cooper 360 -- Coach Paul is a Centrist

What music I listen to: Earl Klugh, David Sanborn, India.arie -- Coach is all about that smooth jazz/R&B

What I drive: Ford Explorer -- Way to support Detroit and America Coach Paul

Superstitions: picking up head-up pennies -- I've got this conspiracy that the government uses coin collectors as a sneaky form of deflation.

On my office walls: Ernie Barnes painting (shirts and skins), John Holston painting, family photos and basketball memorabilia

The one person I'd love to trade places with for a day: Tiger Woods, just to see what it's like to hit the golf ball like he can

My first job: Burger King on Westbury, Long Island. It lasted 13 minutes because I showed up late from basketball practice. He fired me on the spot. -- I tried to google maps this location...location not found.

My favorite meal: Lasagna or curried goat -- Curried goat looks more disgusting than it sounds. It must be a Caribbean thing.

Favorite sports team growing up: New York Yankees, New York Knicks -- I think I've always had a strong dispassion for Northern teams growing up. The Knicks, Yankees, Boston, etc.. Can't stand any of 'em. George Can't-stand-ja.

My bucket list: 1. Visit every major league baseball park, 2. Attend Wimbledon -- 3. Win a NCAA Title at Georgia least that should be on this list.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Around Tech Campus (Recession Anarchy)

A parking deck collapsed right across from the Cheetah. It's not the Tech deck but the one adjacent to Tech Square and Centergy. Pretty nuts. No real information yet on injuries or number of cars smashed but the pictures are pretty intense.

Twelve People have been mugged/robbed/assaulted since February around Tech campus. Ten of them were Tech students. What doesn't surprise me is that all of the stories have the same info. Late at night, student is walking alone. Think man, you're gonna get mugged if you're in any city alone. Now is not the time to tempt fate. Walk home with your study buddies, avoid shadows, and don't live in Home Park - For the Love of God.

Seriously, all of this bad news AND Billy Mays passed away...

Around the ACC

NC State
-Linebacker Nate Irving apparently fell asleep at the wheel. He suffered a broken leg and collapsed lung. That sucks.

-Coach K is the highest paid employee at Duke. Does this really surprise anyone? I figured the Department Head of Foreign Lit would be making $2.5 mil easy.
-Duke guard Elliot Williams is transferring to Memphis.

-Good read by Yahoos!/Rivals about the importance of college seniors in the NBA.