Saturday, September 28, 2013
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
ESPN - "Pacific Northwest atop football world"
"How Does Seattle Do It? The short version of the success of the Seahawks' defense is good players who hustle, communicate with each other and wrap-up tackle. Contemporary NFL defenses are so plagued by players' desire for spectacular plays that make "SportsCenter" that blown coverages and missed assignments have become de rigueur. Seattle's defense almost never has a broken play. And those lads can tackle! Seattle misses fewer tackles than any NFL defense. Lots of wrap-up tackles where the runner gains an extra yard are better than a few spectacular hits for a loss, plus frequent missed tackles. Seattle defenders understand this.
The Seahawks play a conventional 4-3-4 with press corners -- none of the funky fronts or extreme blitzes that are popular. Thus the Seattle defense supports the maxim, "Classic never goes out of style." Seattle leading 12-0 late in the third, San Francisco reached third-and-goal on Seahawks' 3. No tricks, the Seahawks ran a four-man rush and tight coverage. Nobody was open. When the 49ers settled for a field goal, TMQ wrote the words "game over" in his notebook.
The front seven puts gap discipline above sack stats. The corners are tall and glued to their men. Just as Hawks quarterback Russell Wilson was "too short" for the NFL, corners Richard Sherman at 6-foot-3 and Brandon Browner at 6-foot-4 were too tall. Seattle has football's best defense -- and other than the gentlemen just mentioned, how many starters can you name without peeking?
The Seattle defenders are remarkable in being a collection of late draft picks and castoffs. Only safety Earl Thomas was a first-round choice by the team he now plays for. Defensive end Chris Clemons was let go by three teams; his understudy Michael Bennett, who started against San Francisco, was undrafted and let go twice. Browner was undrafted, and played in Canada. Linebacker Malcolm Smith was a seventh-round pick, safety Kam Chancellor a fifth-round selection. Unlike teams with lots of high-drafted defenders who spend their time complaining, Seattle has lots of hand-me-downs who spend their time working. That is a classic approach to success, and classic never goes out of style."
New York Times - "Americana at Its Most Felonious"
Q+A with Rockstar North's head writer and vice president for creative Dan Houser
Q. Are there games you play in which you think, “Oh, I’m going to steal that,” or, “I’m going to do that but do it better, do it right”?
A. Anyone who makes 3-D games who says they’ve not borrowed something from Mario or Zelda is lying — from the games on Nintendo 64, not necessarily the ones from today. But I would argue in that regard we’ve certainly been more sinned against than sinning.
Q. The closest thing to Grand Theft Auto I can think of that someone is doing in a different medium is the work of David Simon, who has tried to capture cities, in “The Wire” but even more so in “Treme.” It’s quite different, but TV is similar in the sense that people spend 30, 40 hours with a show.
A. I haven’t seen “Treme.” I never even saw “The Wire.” One of my weird disciplines is that I don’t really watch a lot of those shows, if they relate to what we do. I only watched a tiny bit of “The Sopranos.” No “Boardwalk Empire.” No “Breaking Bad.” Wherever it’s too close to crime, gangster, underbelly fiction, and it’s supercontemporary, I decided, for professional reasons, I have to avoid it.
Monday, September 16, 2013
"I had the most chilling thought that maybe people in their twenties and thirties don’t actually want to be moved anymore. They may want just to see more bombs, more explosions, because that is what they have grown up with. And I’ll never do that type of movie."
- Jack Nicholson
Saturday, September 14, 2013
New Yorker - "Man and Superman"
by Malcolm Gladwell
"[David] Epstein tells us that baseball players have, as a group, remarkable eyesight. The ophthalmologist Louis Rosenbaum tested close to four hundred major- and minor-league baseball players over four years and found an average visual acuity of about 20/13; that is, the typical professional baseball player can see at twenty feet what the rest of us can see at thirteen feet. When Rosenbaum looked at the Los Angeles Dodgers, he found that half had 20/10 vision and a small number fell below 20/9, "flirting with the theoretical limit of the human eye," as Epstein points out. The ability to consistently hit a baseball thrown at speeds approaching a hundred miles an hour, with a baffling array of spins and curves, requires the kind of eyesight commonly found in only a tiny fraction of the general population."