John Galt League Super Bowl

Dec 312010

I’m pleased to announce that, despite having the worst regular season record of all the playoffs teams of the John Galt (Fantasy NFL) League, my Sedalia Sea Monkeys managed to win the Super Bowl! Yay me! Paul managed a similar surprise win last year with his GeekPress Generals, surprisingly enough.

Paul and I will be playing the NFL’s Playoff Challenge during the playoffs. If you’d like to join us and some other teams from the regular John Galt League, you just need to sign up and join the John Galt League. For this fantasy game, you need to pick not only good players, but good players from teams that are likely to advance in the playoffs. That’s fun — and it’s easy to join, as there’s no draft.

Monday Morning Coach: Belichick on Fourth Down

Nov 162009

As anyone who was watching knows, last night’s Colts versus Patriots game was simply phenomenal. After Manning’s last interception, I stopped paying much attention. I was just certain that my beloved Colts would lose, and I just couldn’t stand to watch. I was amazed — and delighted — to be proven so wrong.

After the game, Paul and I watched the commentary, mostly focused on Bill Belichick’s controversial call to go for it rather than punt on fourth down. Despite the heavy criticism of him, I came to the conclusion that the decision was risky, but not necessarily wrong given the context.

Today, Paul sent me this analysis of the decision by NY Times writer Judy Battista. It’s excellent, I think. Here are the first few paragraphs:

Forget the Barry Switzer references. Yes, Bozo the Coach, which is what The New York Post called Switzer in a headline in 1995 when his Cowboys failed to convert a fourth-down attempt at their 29-yard-line against the Eagles — made the same decision that Bill Belichick did Sunday night in the Patriots’ 35-34 loss to the Colts.

But as second-guessing continues to rage about Belichick’s stunning decision to try to convert on fourth-and-2 at his own 28 while leading, 34-28, with quarterback Peyton Manning waiting on the opposite sideline, the best point of comparison may be Belichick himself earlier this season.

Against Atlanta on Sept. 27, Belichick went for it on fourth-and-1 from his own 24-yard line. The Patriots converted. Belichick was hailed for his you-play-to-win-the-game moxie. And in his postgame comments, he sounded strikingly the way he did Sunday night, if a lot more jovial.

If you’re a fan of the game, go read the whole thing.

The John Galt League

Aug 272009

Much to my delight, Kevin McAllister has agreed to act as the commissioner for a fantasy football league for fans of NoodleFood. Hence, the “John Galt League” has been resurrected!

You need not be an Objectivist to join the league, but you should be a fan of NoodleFood, not hostile to me and mine. Kevin has told me that “If Immanuel Kant tries to join, I’ll reject him.” (So there, Manny!)

The league will be run on When I managed the John Galt League two years ago, my greatest frustration was that communication between teams was difficult. So I often felt like I was playing with a bunch of strangers, not friends and acquaintances. To alleviate that problem, I’ve created a mailing list for the league on Google Groups. That way, we can trash talk at will discuss some of the interesting epistemic and ethical dimensions of the game over the course of the season.

If you want to join the league, you need to sign up with the Google Group. Then we’ll all sign up on ESPN, then Kevin will schedule a draft. If you have any questions or problems, please contact Kevin McAllister at [email protected].

Space is very limited, so sign up now if you want to join.

Thank you, Kevin!

Are You Smarter Than A Super Bowl Quarterback?

Jan 302008

Both Eli Manning (quarterback for the Super Bowl-bound New York Giants) and his older brother Peyton (quarterback for last year’s Super Bowl champion Indianapolis Colts) are regarded as very intelligent men. What I didn’t know is that Eli is considered smarter than Peyton, at least by one standard NFL measure of intelligence. According to this New York Times article:

[Eli] Manning posted a score of 39 out of 50 on the Wonderlic, the intelligence test administered by N.F.L. teams to evaluate draft prospects. It was 11 points higher than Peyton’s score and well above the average.

If you want to know how you stack up to the Manning brothers, a sample test is available here. Just multiple the number right on these 20 questions by 2.5 to get your Wunderlich score.

Here are how some other NFL players scored and what those numbers mean:

Specifically, 21, considered an average score, is equivalent to the average IQ of 100. Higher scoring applicants are supposed to learn more rapidly, master more complex material, and exercise better judgment while lower scoring applicants tend to require more time, detailed task instruction, and less challenging job routines. 25 is the average score for quarterbacks and offensive linemen. Other positions average about a 20.

(For what it’s worth, I did better than Eli on the sample test. But I can’t throw a football spiral to save my life.)

More Football

Jan 252008

During this football season, Paul and I have taken to watching The NFL Channel if we have some extra time while exercising but nothing to watch on DVD. The analysis shows are reasonably good — although we definitely prefer HBO’s “Inside the NFL.” The essentialized “NFL Replay” games are fun to watch, as are the significant games from past seasons. When listening to some lecture or fiction on my iPod, I’ll often watch games on the NFL channel with the sound off, as that keeps my brain occupied enough to concentrate on the audio material.

A few days ago, I watched a portion of 1998′s Superbowl 32: Denver vs Green Bay. (I was also listening to Onkar Ghate lecture on philosophy!) That’s ancient history for me, as I only began watching football two seasons later.

When I began watching football, my goal was to be nothing more than a very casual fan. I thought I’d know which teams were doing well each season, enjoy watching a few games, but not much more than that. In fact, I even said that I couldn’t imagine learning the names of players.

How times have changed! Of course, I recognized tons of players from this old game, most notably the very young-looking Brett Farve, but also McCaffrey, Davis, Sharpe, etc. The two head coaches were also familiar faces. I recognized the commentators: Phil Simms looks so much older today. However, what blows me away is that I recognized Ed Hochuli. He wasn’t nearly so buff then as he is now. And he isn’t the only referee I know on sight! Plus, I now have very definite preferences for in-the-booth commentators: I adore Chris Collinsworth above all others.

If someone had told me ten years ago that I’d be such a devoted NFL fan, I would have gotten a good chuckle from such crazy talk.

Oh, and… Go Giants!

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