You Got Served

You Got Served by Ted Bartlett

You Got Served: IAOFM in-house mockery!

Check the picture, friends.  It's 9 PM on Monday night, and I just got out of class.  I had a busy day in the office, with another one starting preternaturally early (for me, anyway) tomorrow.  I also need to devote some time to my impending housing situation tonight.  I've decided that I have three hours to contribute tonight, and I thought that I'd reprise something I experimented with last year, which I called the Rational Actor Mock Draft.  Last year, I did it as a PowerPoint slide deck and voiceover, but I'm going to write it this time.

This is conceptually different than other mockery for a few reasons:

  1. Every team has a rational actor for a decision maker.  Essentially, I'm saying what I would do as the GM for each team, not what their actual GM will do.
  2. I'm factoring in two key hypothetical trades:  Kevin Kolb was traded to Seattle for the #25 pick, and Kyle Orton was traded to San Francisco for their third-round pick in 2011 (#76), and a conditional 2012 pick that could be as high as another third.  Cincinnati refuses to trade Carson Palmer, and he retires.  This clears up the key part of the veteran QB market.
  3. One part of my mind can trade with the other, where it makes rational sense for both sides.  I'm only bothering to do this in the first round.

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You Got Served - Opening/exiting the circle

Happy Wednesday, friends, and welcome to You Got Served.  I finally have a running home computer, $500 and three weeks later, so I’m aiming to give you a good one here, to the extent that the current news environment allows.  Armed with Raekwon’s excellent new album Shaolin Vs Wu-Tang, excitement that the local Cleveland weather is breaking, and tentative plans to take Thursday off to play outdoor golf, I’m all set to get this thing started.  Ready… BEGIN!!!

1.  I haven’t written since my brief decertification reaction piece last Friday night, and a lot has happened since then - that is, if you’re measuring in public posturing by representatives of both sides and horribly ill-informed commentary by most football media types.  Good heavens!  Has it gotten too personal to reach an agreement?  Get used to this answer.  No.  It’s just business.

In terms of progress, all that’s happened is that the hearing to rule on the players’ injunction against the lockout was scheduled for April 6th.  My expectation continues to be that the injunction will be granted, and this will have been the most meaningless lockout ever.  I don’t consider it a foregone conclusion that 2010 rules will be adopted, as the ones from 2009 were much more in line with the concepts outlined in the 1993 settlement that became the last CBA.  A case could be made for either model, and I suspect that the outcome will be the result of a loose negotiation between the judge (presumably David Doty), and lawyers from the two sides.

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You Got Served, Bunker-Hill-is-open style

Happy Tuesday, friends.  Thanks for joining me for another Serving.  As Doug noted yesterday, the topic of the week is the CBA, and we’re going to get into that some today.  We’re also going to “sneak in some football” like Peter King did.  I'm happy because I just got an email saying that Bunker Hill Golf Course is open today for outdoor play.  Even though I'm stuck at work, it puts me in a very good mood, because it reminds me that spring is upon us, even those of us who live in Cleveland.  So armed with that good mood, a slow news week, and a drug called Charlie Sheen that's laced with concentrated Tiger Blood, let's get this thing started.  Ready….. BEGIN!!!

1.  The NFLPA and the NFL continue to negotiate, and I know only one thing for sure.  There won’t be a lockout.  There will either be a deal or a decertification.  The fact that the NFLPA has to decertify in advance of the end of the current CBA to stay in David Doty’s court, and to prevent a lockout dictates that a lockout will never even be an option.

There was some question whether players would actually use the decertification option, but I’m here to tell you, they were ready to do so last Thursday, and they spooked the owners into extending the CBA, first for a day, and then for a week, which continues.  Somebody asked last week if I thought that decertification was some kind of despicable pre-planned tactic by the union, and I never found time to respond in the comments.  The answer is that I don’t think it’s any more despicable than a lockout.  Each side is appropriately a self-interested actor, and has certain tactics they can employ.  It just so happens that the NFLPA has the upper hand right now, tactically speaking.

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You Got Served (In the 3rd person)

Happy Thursday, friends.  My computer problems continue, and I’m still awaiting a damn Windows 7 restore disk from Gateway.  As such, I am typing from my work laptop tonight (Wednesday), which is exactly what I want to do after working on it all day.

That said, I may not have the most stamina for looking at this little screen, so I’m going to get right to this.  All I have is Only Built 4 Cuban Linx, my thoughts, and the natural tenacity of a former United States sailor.  Ready…. BEGIN!!

1.   A lot of interesting stuff has happened lately around the CBA negotiation, and by the time this drops around noon Thursday, what I’m about to say might be really old news, or even outdated.  I’m going to go ahead with some thoughts though, as of 8:40 PM Wednesday night.

Have you ever heard of the term “judicial activist?”  It always cracks me up when I hear it used, because depending on your political point of view, it seems that it’s only activism if you disagree with the ruling at hand.  A lot of people who say Roe v. Wade was judicial activism sure seemed to think it was cool when 2 of the 5 federal judges who’ve ruled on the Affordable Care Act found the individual mandate to be unconstitutional.  Conversely, a lot of people who appreciate Roe v. Wade will tell you that the recent rulings by judges Henry Hudson and John Vinson constitute thinly-veiled political hackery by a couple of Republican appointees. 

Of course, if we’re going to have any kind of judicial integrity, none of us can have it both ways, even if we all seem to want to, at times.  Judges have to be free to rule as they deem appropriate within the law.  David Doty, a Ronald Reagan appointee of 1987, is a Senior District Judge for the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota.  He’s had jurisdiction over the NFL’s CBA since 1993.

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You Got Served (a day late)

Happy Tuesday Wednesday, friends - and welcome to the Year in Review Edition of You Got Served.  Since that sterling example of journalistic football excellence, Peter King, ran his YIR piece Monday, I feel like I need to one-up him today, as I review the year that has been.

Here goes...

January, 2010 – I left MileHighReport.com and started a website that I was sure was going to be the greatest thing since sliced bread.  Sliced bread is pretty damn great, so I was setting a high standard for myself.

February, 2010 – I started to realize that writing all of the content, doing all of the site’s technology management, and still working a full-time job was a lot.  Still, I pressed on.

March, 2010 – I still pressed on, and imagined that I was learning what it was like to bang my head against a wall repeatedly.

April, 2010 – I felt burned out from football writing, and after the Draft, I took a break that ultimately resulted in being the end of SmarterFans.com.  It wasn’t that good from the beginning anyway, and I knew it.  On the bright side, I got asked to play in a golf tournament at work - never having played much golf, I bought clubs, started taking lessons, and set about trying not to embarrass myself in June, when it was time to play.

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More about Robert Ayers

On Tuesday, one of our readers said that he felt Robert Ayers’ low sack production to date means that he shouldn’t have been drafted in the first round.  He opined that the reason people seem to imply or call Ayers a flat-out bust is this supposed over-drafting.

I have some problems with this thinking, and I decided to focus on it today.  I don’t blame the commenter, and I’m not picking on him or her.  Everybody is entitled to their own opinion, and my purpose today is to explain my own.

I didn’t love the Ayers pick when the Broncos drafted him 18th overall in 2009.  I also didn’t love the Knowshon Moreno choice six picks prior, and of course, I did love the Alphonso Smith pick in the second round.  Obviously, my opinions have changed over time on all three.  Moreno is on his way to being an outstanding all-around RB, Smith really isn’t very good at all, and Ayers is the best player of the three.

Somehow, somewhere along the way, I became Ayers’ biggest supporter in the Broncos internet world.  I feel like I should explain myself.  As a member of the Fat Man team, you should be used to me saying that the best way to win football games is to pass the ball down the field, and to stop other teams from doing so. 

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You Got Served - Welcome to the offseason

Happy Tuesday friends, and welcome to another kicking-it-old-school edition of You Got Served.  As Doug lamented Sunday, we’re now into the extended no-football period, of which this is my third as a blogger.  In the past two, this was the time to get really excited about soon-to-come free agency, and in a parallel sense, the draft evaluation activities such as the Combine and various Pro Days.  It’s been an exciting time, with lots to write about.

This year, of course, rosterbation feels a little strange.  Since we don’t know what’s going to happen on March 4th, we don’t know if this is going to be a boring time, or a really exciting one.  I tend to think that it will be exciting sooner rather than later, and I’m proceeding under that assumption.  In any case, we’re going to keep bringing it to you like room service here at the Fat Man.  While other sites fall off, we’re going to keep getting stronger.  Ready….. BEGIN!!

1.  Two weeks ago, I wrote the most focused article I’ve ever written about football, regarding the clear overvaluation of NFL franchises by Forbes - it’s been a gigantic success in the scheme of this site’s current footprint.  It’s been viewed about twice as many times as the next most-viewed article here so far in 2011, and yet, I feel like it’s just scratching the surface.  I’ve been sort of shamelessly trying to push it to finding critical mass, and really widespread (millions of people, rather than thousands) consumption, and while I’ve gotten some wide-platform people to read and compliment it, it hasn’t yet gotten the push I’m looking for.  (For the record, I almost never push my work anywhere once it's done, but this seems different.  It's like I want to be seen in my Sunday best.)

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You Got Served - The offseason begins

Happy Tuesday, friends, and welcome to another edition of You Got Served.  I had a busy day today, including my 3-hour project management class, and a busy weekend, so I’m starting at 9:10 PM on Monday night, and I’m going till I run out of gas.  This is kicking it old school, like back in my ST&NO days (I would have watched 8 games in 4 hours then, instead of going to class, but whatevs.)  Ready…. BEGIN!

1.  I really enjoyed the Super Bowl on Sunday, because it spawned so much good subject material, much of which has already been discussed by Doug and TJ.  I’ll absolutely cosign with Doug that Green Bay should have gone for it on 4th and goal late in the game.  Either you score a TD and effectively end the game, or you make Pittsburgh play out of their own end zone, trailing by three at the two-minute warning, with only one timeout.  Either way, it’s a lot better than kicking off with a six-point lead, even if you minimize the kickoff return.  I know this, and you should know it by now, but read this article, which Doug linked in yesterday’s Lard, if you need mathematical proof.

TJ also made the salient point that the halftime show was atrocious.  What in the hell was that plastic device on Will.I.Am’s head?  And Fergie did butcher Sweet Child O' Mine.  It couldn’t have gone worse if Barry Manilow and Tom Jones adapted it as a duet for the 60-something women set, complete with pelvic gyrations. (Whoa... scary thought.)  The NFL decided to dip their toe back into contemporary music, and came up a loser on that roll of the dice.

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Why John Elway should stop talking

When I write a long column, I number my different topics and always retire Number 7 for John Elway.  I've seen that done by others, here and there, and I always think it's cool to be the guy who started it.  As a player, John Elway's career was amazing, and he's very well-deserving of having his greatness honored in whatever little way that people like us can do it.  I advocated for the hiring of Elway to a front office role, and I was glad when it happened, but I have to tell you, I'm troubled with what I've been seeing from him.

I have no doubt that Elway is a smart guy, and I have little doubt that he can be a good front office guy.  I keep hoping that he'll stop with the media blitz, and that he realizes that it's inappropriate, but there doesn't seem to be an end in sight.  I listened to Brian Xanders on Sirius NFL Radio last night, and he's been at it too.  It seems like they want to be the public faces of the Denver Broncos, and this is a huge mistake.  The front office should speak to the media sparingly, and only in the offseason.  Otherwise, they severely risk handcuffing the Head Coach, who is essentially required by NFL policy to be the public face of the team.

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On Bubbles (and I don’t mean that dude from The Wire)

A Navy buddy of mine named Billy Gamble recently asked if I thought there would be a lockout that would affect the 2011 season.  He couched the question in terms of his own outrage with paying $8 for a beer, and I think that's a fairly common and reasonable fan reaction:

I spend a lot of money on football, so what the hell is the problem?  Why would there even be talk of a lockout?  Isn't there enough money coming in right now for everybody to get a fair piece?  I mean, come on, 8 freaking dollars for a beer?

The short answer is, no, I don't think there will be a lockout that causes any games not to be played.  It's possible-to-likely, though, that a lockout occurs which delays the start of the new NFL year, and makes things which are normally orderly, like free agency and offseason workouts, a bit chaotic.

I decided that I'd talk extensively today about NFL economics, and move from that into a discussion about the real issues in this collective bargaining negotiation.  As usual, my assumption is that my readers are smart enough to understand all of this, but I realize that there may be some detailed questions which you may have. I'll be glad to answer those in the comments.

First, let's talk about some accounting concepts, at a really basic level.  This is obviously what I do for a living, and it can get very complicated, but, for now, I'm only going to touch on stuff which frankly everybody should understand, and which a shocking number of people misunderstand.

The first key term is revenue, which is the top line of any income statement.  Revenue simply means gross income received for goods and services.  The $8 for the beer, the $200 for the ticket, and the $1 billion that DirecTV pays each year for Sunday Ticket rights all end up as revenue.  All current-term and future cash inflows related to business operations become revenue.

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