Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Army Football Preview: The 2017 Season (Part 2)

Last week we talked a bit about Army Football’s offense and took a brief look at the first third of the 2017 football season.  This week we’ll talk about defense and take a look at the middle four games—UTEP, Rice, Eastern Michigan, and Temple.

In case you missed it, Part 1 of this series is here.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Arrow Season 5 Finale: Where Do We Go From Here?

Just finished reading Entertainment Weekly’s recap of the season finale of Arrow, and though I enjoyed it, there were a few things about the show that I’m not sure EW’s reviewer thought all the way through.  Thus, my thoughts own thoughts on the finale are below, for whatever they’re worth.
Ahoy!  Spoilers Ahead!

Saturday, May 27, 2017

I Get Letters: Writing as a "Hobby"

Thursday's was a classic:


My name is M___ and I'm from, INC. I came across your Army season preview and really enjoyed it. Was just wondering if you have every[sic] entertained writing about Army football for a hobby with a website?

Friday, May 26, 2017

5 Things on a Friday: Are Non-Partisan Politics a Thing?

This week’s post comes back to politics, though I hope not in a particularly partisan way.  I’ve definitely done partisan politics on the blog, but with notable exceptions, the point of this column has always been to talk about what’s going on and why I think it’s important.  Ideally, that’s not the same as me telling you what you should think.  Of course, your mileage may vary.
Reality is that we all have opinions, and while some are clearly wrong, it’s just as clearly no use trying to explain that to anybody.  This column is therefore a study of what caught my eye in a week’s worth of new.  This comes hopefully without preaching, either to the converted or to the heathen masses.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Army Football Preview: The 2017 Season (Part 1)

We’re into the doldrums of early summer, which means there’s a lot of baseball on TV but not much else.  It’s the toughest time of the sports year for me personally, though in all other ways I love this season very much.  Nevertheless, the dearth of quality sports TV gives rise to some wacky projects, not least of which is my way-too-early annual preview of the coming Army Football season.  
This preview makes use of both ESPN’s Football Power Index (FPI) and SBNation’s S&P+ rankings.  In many ways I loathe S&P+ due its tendency to insist that Team B is better than Team A despite the fact that Team A won their game last Saturday night, but what can you do?  S&P+ is particularly bad at predicting the performance of Army Football because of the emphasis the model puts on explosive plays.  Explosive plays are exciting, sure, but they’re not exactly a staple of the Black Knights’ particular variant of the triple-option, a point that even SBNation acknowledges in its annual preview of Army’s season.  By using two data points from two independent models, however, I hope to provide a more balanced look, even if I personally think FPI has done a better job modeling Army’s particular performance in recent years.

Monday, May 22, 2017

On Turning Forty-Four

My birthday is this week, and as you might’ve guessed from the title of this piece, I’m turning forty-four.  I spent the weekend feeling old and fat and slow, and I’m not gonne lie, I was legitimately upset about it.  I don’t know if it got quite bad enough to be called a “depressive episode”—I just learned that term from Twitter and have no idea what its technical definition is—but I was really blue most of the weekend and maybe a little more sullen than usual, so much so that I know that it bothered my wife quite a bit.
I don’t know what to tell you.  I feel like I’m struggling with this whole “mid-life” thing, and you can say whatever you want to about it.  I’ll just say that it’s true.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

The Measure of a Man

Yes, this is more poetry.  No, I wouldn't necessarily say that this piece is particularly serious.  

Sally and I got to talking about this on Sunday, I don't remember how, and it sort of stuck with me.  Wasn't necessarily expecting inspiration to strike, but what can you do?

Monday, May 15, 2017

To My Wife, The Moon

I've been writing a bit more poetry lately.  This one was for my wife Sally for Mother's Day.

Friday, May 12, 2017

5 Things on a Friday: Heading into the Doldrums of Sport

Happy Friday, folks!
Speaking personally, this has been an incredibly busy and often hectically stressful month.  I usually enjoy May, but right now I just want to see its backside.  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

A Few Thoughts on Indie Publishing (Part 2)

I get letters.  Yesterday's was from my good friend and Academy classmate Joe, who's been trying to get a new sports blog off the ground called A Hoosier on the Potomac.  He asked me some questions about how I built my audience, and my answer ran quite a bit longer than I meant it to.

This is now the second part of what may well become a series. The first part is here.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Quick Thoughts: Army Men's Lacrosse vs. Notre Dame

Yesterday's Army Men's Lacrosse finale was one of the most exciting games I've ever attended at Michie Stadium.  I took my daughter Hannah and her friend Ciara up to yesterday's game, and as you may imagine, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

With the girls at American Burrito just outside Thayer Gate yesterday before the game.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Learning Baseball: Pitching as Endurance Racing

If you’ve known me awhile, you’ve probably seen me go through a few little phases or manias, where I’ll pick something up and then do it obsessively for a season or two, until I can do it about as well as the average dedicated hobbyist.  Then it either becomes part of my life in the background, or it goes into my toolkit in case I ever happen to need it later.  This, I think, is how smart, well-rounded people become smart and well-rounded.
The New York Yankees
This is my summer of watching baseball.  I got interested last year watching the Bridgeport Bluefish, and now I find myself watching the YES network every night as the NY Yankees embark on a rebuilding season that suddenly looks to have a little magic in the early-going.  I’m also following the Bluefish obsessively via their app and their Twitter account.