Monday Dregs

Nietzsche said, “out of chaos, comes order.” Or maybe he didn’t.  The infamous Howard Johnson of Rock-Ridge had quoted him, in a town meeting to discuss the new sheriff – so maybe it’s true.  But maybe chaos theory explains it just as well as Nietzsche – the more complex system, the faster and easier it breaks down.  That could apply to climate-change, governments and our bracket(s).  There is a morbid Bedouin proverb that says: “As the camel falls to its knees, more knives are drawn.”  A Proverb is a proverb because it speaks to a permanent truth…which may or may not be exactly how we felt when we saw what happened in the opening rounds.  All those 1 possession games, upsets…Seppuku

That is the word I was looking for when the Tigers of LSU missed 20 consecutive shots to lose the game against NC State.  There wasn’t much to expect this year, but to lose that way was a terrible shock to every fiber of my body.  It’s like your heart goes limp and the air is kicked out of your lungs for 20-30 seconds after seeing the final score and how it came to be – I fell sideways into a plate of tacos, like I was whacked in the head with a baseball bat.  Momentarily, I might have blacked out, but the room had already emptied except for two girls who were snickering at me as they walked out the door.  I was so swollen with shame that I felt like a fat kid after halloween – and that was when I thought about reaching for my gold-handled sword, as Dean Martin sang about kicks in the head  – it was the only honorable way out.  Just then I got a text message, taunting me and my thoughts moved from melancholy ceremony to vendetta.  A feeling I’m sure is shared with any fan of Virginia, Kansas, Iowa St or Villanova.

In our attempt to breakdown the bracket and build us all a better mousetrap – it appears we accomplished that.  If only we actually listened to what the tea leaves told us.  What we built, ended up getting 28 out of 32 correct on Thursday and Friday – 13 out of 16 for the weekend – that’s 84.4% overall!  Now if we had only listened to our own model…but that’s the trick isn’t it?  Just because you got UCLA correct and the system got it wrong – you blame the minor flaw for the whole – like Seinfeld and the numerous women he dumps because they are a low-talker, has man hands, or eats peas one at a time – and it all seems justifiable.  We chose poorly – the game is rigged, it knows you need the 12/5 upset, there was none.  It knows you have to find two #10 seed upsets and it gave one, Ohio St.  It counts on you selecting a #15 seed beating a #2 because the last 3 years it has happened, becoming a trend – but shuts that door on you as well.  Much like it knew the record of the #3 seeds, and yet the game crushed you with UAB over Iowa St (also a double-digit favorite), Georgia St over Baylor and almost gave you Northeastern over Notre Dame.  Only 3 times has 2 #14 seeds won a game in the same tournament – 1986 and 1995, and the last time a 12 did not beat a 5 was in 2007.  Hell, #8 seeds only win 53% of the time in the tournament the last 16 years and that did not stop all of them winning this year.  She’s a cruel mistress.

The system says Villanova and Virginia and your brain says they will fall – you know this, but when do you switch your faith in the design, to what is rationally dependent.  Is there any bigger set of teams that consistently choke away their chances more than Villanova and Kansas?  Of course you could be an entire state, like Texas, who failed to show up.  Even when the advice tells you to pick with the cruel logic over the bleeding heart, you still line up and get slaughtered.  The NCAA fattens us up so Vegas can eat well in the Spring.  But I digress, our bracket is hanging on and is tied with several other prognosticators having more final four teams than most and being the only one out of 8 that has Arizona and Duke in the title game.  If only we had listened to our own March-Madness Frankenstein – who says this is how the next round shakes out:

  • Notre Dame close
  • Wisconsin close
  • Kentucky
  • Arizona
  • Gonzaga
  • Louisville
  • Duke
  • Oklahoma

Further advancing Oklahoma over Louisville, Duke over Gonzaga, Arizona over Wisconsin and ‘Tucky over Notre Dame.

Aside from our DiRT Canon Analyzer, here are other “entertainment purposes only” trends in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8:

Sweet 16

  1. the Sweet 16 is usually where double digit seeds go down like a soccer player.  Better seeds have won 50 of the past 72 games SU (69%) the last nine years, but are only 29% ATS since 2012 (7-17)
  2. From 2003-2010 favorites of at least 5.5 were 22-1 SU in the Sweet 16.  However, 4 big upsets have occurred since: Arizona (+9.5) over Duke in 2011, Kentucky (+5.5) over Ohio St in 2011, Louisville (+5.5) over Michigan St in 2012 and Marquette (+5.5) over Miami in 2013.  These big favorites are only 17-18-1 ATS since 2003.
  3. Last year’s Sweet 16 featured six teams seeded 6th or worse, and three advanced to the Elite Eight, including #11 Dayton beating #10 Stanford.  That makes the lesser seed 8-2 SU and ATS (80%) in the last 10 situations when two teams seeded #6 or worse met in the Sweet 16. (none this year)
  4. Double-digit seeds are just 4-24 SU in the Sweet 16 round since 2003, with the only such win coming when #11 Dayton beat #10 Stanford, 82-72.  (UCLA is the only double digit seed remaining).
  5. In games where the total is 128 points or less, the UNDER is 14-5-1 (74%) since 1999.

Elite 8

  1. Since 1998, lesser seeds hold an overall advantage in the Elite 8, going 44-22-3 ATS (66%), including 3-0-1 in 2014.
  2. Lesser seeds in the Elite 8 had been 7-9 ATS (6-10 SU) from 2007-2010 before a 12-3-1 ATS run (11-5 SU) overthe past four tournaments with #8 Kentucky, #7 UConn and #2 Wisconsin all advancing as lesser seeds in 2014.
  3. Teams favored by 8+ points in this round have won 12 of the last 15 games, but are just 4-10-1 (29%).  Florida beat Dayton last year 62-52, giving up 10 points.
  4. When the difference in the seeds was five or more from 1998-2010, the better seeds were 12-1 SU, 4-8-1 ATS (33%).  But since then, #11 VCU beat #1 Kansas, #8 Butler beat #2 Florida, #8 Kentucky beat #2 Michigan and #9 Wichita St beat Ohio St.
  5. In games with the total is less than 145, the OVER has won 73% of the time (33-12).  However was just 1-3 last year with only Kentucky/Michigan surpassing the total.

continue to follow us @TheDiRTCanon for updates and sign up and win money with us on FanDuel+DraftKings – if you’ve been playing, you’d be up several hundreds of dollars from our suggestions last week, in just the $2 tournaments.  It’s been an amazing week of basketball both college and pro – regardless of what happens in Vegas – because we are all damn fine Americans!




Monday Dreg

Maybe I am forgetful in my somewhat advanced age, but I thought Icarus only had one shot to fly away on wings of wax and feathers.  And, here is Pete Carroll proving again the folly of hubris, as this time he threw away a second chance in a title game or did y’all forget the 2006 Rose Bowl – I know someone who hasn’t and bringing it up again feels like an eagle’s thirst for promethean liver – #4thand2, #19seconds, #41-38.  That one moment aside, it was a heavyweight bout.  The likes last seen by Ali and Frazier, possibly…

But seriously, is there anyone in the world who feels that was the right call to make from the 1 yard line?  Prior to that, we were all staring, with dropped jaws, into the warming glow of LED’s, wondering about the inevitable iceberg of titanic failure from the Patriots losing 3 consecutive Superbowls in spectacular fashion – Tyree’s bubble gum helmet catch, Manningham’s sideline hatbox catch+Welker’s drop, and this time, Kearse’s miracle…

Chris Mathews, coming straight-outta-Foot Locker, and undrafted from Kentucky, did his best Randy Moss impression – causing Kyle Arrington to get benched, only to be replaced by a former Popeye’s employee, delivered from Shangri-La as a redeemer – How does Malcolm Butler go from West Alabama, fried chicken, to goat on Kearse’s catch, to guardian angel two plays later stepping in front of Lockette?  The teams were so well coached and prepared that they attacked the only weaknesses each team had…

You begin to wonder, now and again, if the script is already written in this topsy-turvy world…Do we just gather around the swirling-inferno of our global coliseums to cheer for the Lion? Or the Christian?  Just to witness mayhem or victory, quenching our thirst for blood?  Because by the Gods we will thirst, regardless of our opinion of neither Lion nor Christian.  We want the field stained with blood and the gut-wrenching anguish of an amputated soul.

What we got in the second half of this Superbowl was the stuff of myth and legend.  A Legacy born and rivaled by another, but now shared within the pages of history.  Like Hercules, Tom Brady has endured his labors and may now sit at the table of idols in Olympus.  He may not be the hero of your choice, but he has earned his seat.

On the other side of the coin of legacy stands Bill Belichick.  Viewed more as the possible Guardian of Tartarus, than being the Czar in the Titanomachy of coaches.  A Position he might now, share alone.

But what about the periphery of the game itself and what was wrong with the advertisers this year?  Superbowl Sunday is a time of joy and bloodlust, not warped emotions of lost dogs, domestic violence and dead children.  This is not the time I would like to peer into the haunted recesses to question my own choices – I want to enjoy the temptation, the beer, the wings, the pizza, queso, cheese plates, cheese cakes and whatever else could GPS me the fastest route to diabetes.  Neither shame, nor guilt deserves a seat at my table during the bacchanal!  Let me repent and clear my soul the day after Fat Tuesday, and honor the Holy Zombie the right way 40 days later, like every other self-gratifying-christian.

Hell, it looked like Katy Perry was providing us a road map, with that acid-trip-beach-shit-show that looked like a kids version of Sharknado.

Katy Perry's tropical-themed halftime set.

Either way, the party at the Safehouse was a wild affair as I’m sure it was where you were.  We had boozed out butterflies flitting around from snack to snack, to constant wagering of prop bet after prop bet…Someone actually bet that Paul Walker lives at the end of Furious 7.  Maybe some of you were hunkered down looking to make three grand on the possible safety that loomed, only to be snuffed out like a mob-snitch by the Seahawks’ offsides penalty.  Or maybe you gambled on football’s version of Sudoku each quarter? It was all glorious debauchery and me with a front row seat to the foot-balla-pocalypse-of-it-all.

There are so many more story-lines and events that took place, that we could dissect and diagram until the aliens come home.  Let’s just enjoy the moment of an incredible contest that might have been decided with one minute remaining and remember two number one seeds providing us a game for the ages. It was fun!

The tragedy of the event was not lost on some – as a buddy called after the game disillusioned by all the commercials, and wanted to take some time off to concentrate on his place in the world – how to make a difference in the grub-worm population that is being decimated by the legion of quail in the area – I quoted him some Ghandi and reminded him of the trials of Oscar Wilde – he mumbled something about crabcakes and football……and like most Americans he’ll wake up a little more confused today, a tad dehydrated, but ready to attack his day with a renewed vigor and many Red Bulls.  With the thirst still flowing thru our veins, he and we, will find a revival for the unquenchable blood-lust of the next wager – as we all should, as Damn Fine Americans this post Super-Sunday.


Here are some fine moments from last night on the interwebs:

The internet couldn't resist mocking Nationwide's extremely dark child death commercial.

Photo via <a href="">@unlikelynerd</a>

Obligatory Detroit joke of the day.

Photo via <a href="">@NFL_Memes</a>

The most plausible explanation for Seattle's terrible play call at the end of the game.

Photo via <a href="">@umangdua</a>The resemblance mocked across the internet.

Photo via <a href="">@WorldofIsaac</a>As the clock wound down, punches were thrown by some the frustrated Seahawks.

Photo via <a href="">@WillyFerrell</a>