* Note: Current rankings are based on activity in the last calendar
RIP Niki Lauda
by pangloss 2019-05-21 17:43:53
Niki Lauda died yesterday at 70. He was a Formula 1 racing champion in the 70' & 80's.
This is my best recollection of the truth. It has been a while.
I started work at Hercules Aerospace in 1980. In '82 or '83 Lauda and John Watson visited the plant and spoke briefly at the lunch room. They had joined the Mclaren racing team which had joined with Hercules to build the chassis for their new design. Old article.
Watson also came to recognize the engineers & technicians who designed and built the driver cockpit for the car he crashed a year earlier. They brought the actual cockpit from the crash. It was a nondescript graphite box about 4' by 2', open on top with some access holes. One corner was damaged a little. It wasn't much to look at, it looked like a soapbox racer without tires & steering wheel.
They showed a film of that crash. He hit the wall hard, tearing the front and rear off the car as it burst into flames.
Lauda had crashed a couple years earlier, was burnt badly and nearly died. The burn scars on his head were gruesome when he visited. Watson thanked those who were involved for building the cockpit that saved his life.
Formula 1 race car drivers were like rock stars back then - especially in Europe and the UK. Lauda and Watson were big time. Paul Newman wanted to be them. I had no idea.
My impression is that the Utes played zone a lot this year. Is that a change in philosophy or was it driven by the height of the guards and freshman playing time?
by pangloss 2019-04-07 15:08:23
The two coaches with the greatest influence on the Utah basketball program are, arguably, Montgomery and Majerus. Both were primarily Man D coaches.
Conference teams play more zone now - with Washington, Oregon, UCLA and others.
But it seems to me that most of this year's sweet 16 played man.
I stumbled on this Montgomery quote, “In my opinion, it takes two good years to teach man-to-man defense. It really does. To teach kids how to slide, how to close and all of that stuff – two years. With the zone you can put it in pretty quick and cause people problems.”
So, did Utah's reliance on the three freshmen force them into more zone this year? Was it driven by the height-challenged Van Dyke and Barefield? Was it copying the crowd?
Or is my memory completely shot and the Utes have always been a zone team. If that's the case, don't tell me I'm happier in my ignorance.
It galls me, but I've got to hand it to the Ducks.
They are the regular season's fifth place team.
In the conf tourney they beat WSU by 31, #3 Utah by 12 after trailing by 6 at the half, #2 ASU by by 4, and #1 Washington by 20 after leading by 2 at the half.
In the NCAA tourney they beat 5th seeded Wisconsin (4th place in the Big 10) by 18 after being tied at the half.
They beat Cal Irvine by 19 after trailing by 2 with 12:35 to go. Leading by 14 the wheels came off at the end of the first half. They were stuck at 35 from 1:35 to go in the first half until 12:35 in the second and found themselves down 2. It looked like an epic collapse. From that point they outscored CI 38-17.
Their end-of-game runs have been incredible.
I think their run will end Thursday against #1 seed Virginia, but I wouldn't bet that way. The Ducks have represented the conference extremely well.
With Poeltl and Wright gone from the Raptors, they're no longer on my radar. Bogut's return to Golden State was a nice surprise. Warrior fans & players welcomed him back with open arms, pretty nice stuff.
by pangloss 2019-03-23 11:38:20
Warrior fans gave him a standing ovation before he was even announced. I didn't know he was such a fan favorite. There about a dozen Youtube videos about his return - here's a couple.
Mr. Moore and his wife Betty were long time friends of my parents. My mother and Betty were childhood friends in Ogden. Over the decades they lost track of each other. One day my grandmother struck up a conversation with a black woman on the bus. They were both long time residents of Ogden. My grandmother mentioned her daughter in law, phone numbers exchanged, and after about 50 years their friendship renewed.
Betty was married to Willie Moore, a barber and owner of a barbershop on 25th Street in Ogden. For years, Willie, Betty and my parents met often.
I was close to 30 when their friendship grew and I met Betty and Willie. Willie was quite a character. His stories of a black man in Utah during the 1930's and 40's were great. He cut hair in the Hotel Utah before opening shop in Ogden and met dozens of famous people like JFK. He played for the Globetrotters. I dropped by his shop about a dozen years ago. He was in his 80's, still cutting hair six days per week. He said I looked raggy and cut my hair.
When my son was about 5 he asked about his grandparents. I told him about my parents and my wife's parents. Then he asked how his other grandparents, Willie and Betty fit in. This is an old picture of my son, Mr. Moore, and another kid.
In the spirit of finding something all of us can agree on. Here is the goofiest bunch of shat I've seen in decades - the best pictures from the New York Times Men's Fashion magazine.
by pangloss 2019-03-03 13:21:54
When I was a young student radical hippie I remember when old farts would get in your face and ask if you were male or female because you had long hair and dressed casual-cheap. If this is this is the natural progression of hippie style, I apologize to all the old farts I told to fuck off.
I'm no coach and I'll support the Utes whatever they do, but the Utes should go back to their roots and play man-to-man defense.
by pangloss 2019-02-25 16:39:11
With so many freshmen the Utes will make mistakes playing man. It's worth it.
The extra effort with man defense transfers to offense. We saw that against WSU. The team played hard at both ends for 40 minutes. Rebounding is better. Tracking down loose balls is better. Playing 'monster' against star opponents is better. Players stay active, pay attention and don't turn into spectators.
Utah has been a man D program since spot was a pup. Majarus thought if you had to play zone to win, it wasn't worth it (box & 1 the sole exception). The six inch in-your-face stance wasn't a zone. Unless you're Boeheim, one of his disciples, or Air Force, zone D is for sissies.
Washington is similar to the 2010 Syracuse team. Hopkins was the long time assistant to Bayheim and brought their defence with him.
In 2010 Syracuse played in the NCAA regionals in SLC. That team started a 6'5" guard, three 6'6" - 6'8" swings and a 6'9" center. At least three players were drafted. They won the Big East regular season, then lost in the first round of the conf tourney. Despite that loss, they were a #1 seed in the NCAA and won their first game against Vermont by 24. They beat Gonzaga in the 2nd round by 22, 87-65. They played in the Salt Lake regional and lost in a 'shocking upset' to the Gordon Hayward Butler team, 63-59.
I expect Washington will have a similar post season - without the #1 seed.
This century, Utah's record against Arizona is awful - one win and a bunch of losses, I think.
Tomorrow should be different. They've lost six of their last seven and five in a row. They've had bad loses against Wash St (14 points), @UCLA (21) and @USC (23). Last year's promising-but-underperforming freshman, five star PG Akot quit the team seven games ago when their losing funk started and will transfer to Boise.
Jeter (6'10" center) and Randolph, the two who each scored 21 against the Utes in January have been inconsistent.
Miller describes his team as fragile in terms of depth and talent. He's developed a nervous twitch in his left shoulder. He and Jeter look & sound like their dogs died in this week's news conference.
So anyway, the Utes should pound 'em. The cats can't lose enough to make me happy, but they're going in the right direction.
I don't know which Utah win was more improbable, last night's or this one.
by pangloss 2019-02-10 13:21:20
One thing is sure, yesterday's win will be included in the updated version of the 100 greatest moments when the do the 200 seasons of Utah basketball.
I was at this 1985 game. It was swell.
Hendrix is now the Senior Associate Athletics Director for Development. He was a great basketball player - 4 year starter, three year captain. He didn't play football at the U, but went on to play six years for the Cowboys.
I'm probably influenced too much by prior years, but the games in bold seem like upsets. And there seemed to be a home court disadvantage, home teams 3 wins, visitors 8 with the So Cal teams getting swept at home by Colorado & Utah, Arizona getting swept, and ASU beating Washington at home after losing to WSU.
So, which UCLA team will show up? ESPN has the Bruins at 76% win probability.
by pangloss 2019-02-09 14:21:03
I expect the crowd will be flat today - afternoon game, coming off a loss and three losses in a row. I saw one of their recent games, I don't remember which one, and Bartow was in the face of a player screaming at him. I doubt he has a chance to be elevated and lose the interim tag. They're talented, but have folded - their 5 conference losses have all been by double digits.
A theory of winning college basketball after a disappointing weekend.
by pangloss 2019-02-03 12:46:15
First, a definition of 'win'. I think these are conservative milestones: getting into NCAA regularly (2 years out of 4), making sweet 16 occasionally (1 out of 5 years), competing for conference titles (top quartile 4 of 5 years). Other off-court requirements: academic excellence or close-to-it, no recruiting or other NCAA scandals, turds get run out after failing a second chance. There are other on- and off-court requirements, but these are a reasonable start.
There are two ways to win in college basketball. Truism: Teams win when their roster includes 2 or 3 NBA or near-NBA talented players.
The perennial marque programs (Duke, Kentucky, N.Carolina, Kansas etc.) and near-marque programs (Arizona, Oregon, Gonzaga, Michigan St. etc ) win by one of two routes: 1) By recruiting a couple one-and-done and two-and-done players every year.
Or 2) Develop a few NBA or near-NBA juniors and seniors. The near-marque and near-marque-wannabes (Utah, Stanford, Tennessee, Wichita etc) usually win this way - with several players in their 3rd and 4th years of playing together.
Utah's player turnover causes years like this one, where 50% of the minutes are played by the three freshmen and the sophomore, Tillman. They're inconsistent with flashes of great and bad. None of those four players are one-and-done and probably not two-and-done NBA talents. All four might develop into NBA or near-NBA talents as juniors and seniors and the Utes will win bigly. If the core players transfer, the Utes will stay in the "wait till next year or the year after" realm.
I just tuned into Utah's first Lacross match v. Vermont. They're down 10-4 at the half. I saw two Utah goals and a flag ( I don't know who it was against or for what ). The ball (?) is really small and hard to follow. It looks like a great game.
by pangloss 2019-02-01 17:14:54
We need a new sports category. I put this in other sports but that's for darts and bowling, if I'm not mistaken.
I found this while wandering around virtual land. A couple of you might be interested.
It shows the post-war assembly and launch of a V2 by the Brits using captured Germans and captured German equipment. A couple nifty things I saw were the portable 10 ton overhead crane and the <something-or-other> wagon. The special tooling, special equipment, ground support equipment and launch support equipment were also interesting, but my previous life selling stuff like that warped my interest. The trajectory of the rocket is a kick, 20 miles of thrust, 180 miles of ballistic arc. The 'launch troop' guy smoking a cigarette on the launch pad is a surprise.
Is hairspray a product that indicates class distinction? Maybe I'm just one of the great unwashed proletariat and these upper class necessities are beyond my comprehension.
by pangloss 2019-01-23 15:07:03
I heard the name of the hairspray Tяump uses, TRESemme, and went to their site. I tried to think of something funny, insulting or clever to write about it. I couldn't get past how weird the site is. It's the New York fashion scene I think. I keyed in my zip to get the nearest store. There isn't one. Apparently they don't sell the stuff in Utah. It's a different world than I inhabit. Hamdillah (thank God).
"The Dunning-Kruger effect explains why unskilled people think they know it all and tend to be overconfident."
It certainly explains Trump: "I know more than <fill in the blank>"
the generals about ISIS
the Sec. of Defense about NATO
“My Twitter has become so powerful that I can actually make my enemies tell the truth.”
“I know all about knives and belt buckles.”
“And I know more about wedges than any human being that’s ever lived.” “I know more about [campaign] contributions than anybody.”
“Nobody has better toys than I do.”
“Nobody loves the Bible better than I do.”
“I’m the king of debt. I understand debt better than probably anybody.”
“I think nobody knows more about taxes than I do, maybe in the history of the world. Nobody knows more about taxes.”
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