Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 20 February 2008 09:02With one hand on my copy of Hockey Scouting Report 2004 and the other raised in a clenched fist, I solemnly promise that there won’t be any actual math in this column.
Being a sportswriter is great fun, but whenever I see tables and charts full of numbers, the science education in me starts clamoring for an accounting of how the numbers got there and what set of equations, theories and immutable laws offer access to the fullness of their meaning.
Where other sports guys have turned to karma and a pantheon of sports-obsessed pseudo-deities to explain the Patriots stumbling to 18-1 instead of finishing 19-0, my guts tell me that every turn of events in the sports world—even the most unexpected turns of events—can be explained with...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 16 January 2008 13:36The Major League Baseball steroids problem goes beyond the integrity of baseball as a sport—it is better seen as one of many unintended side effects of the prevailing attitude that every imaginable problem with a person's body can be solved by popping a pill.
I'm not an expert, but it seems to me that there are probably quite a few problems that could be solved much better by going for a run than by going to a pharmacy.
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Until this weekend, it had been around a 10 years since I last saw Run Lola Run. Even saying as little as possible about Franka Potente, the film has aged remarkably well, and is still as entertaining as it ever was. I even had an ironic epiphany while watching it on Saturday—sometimes it is probably better...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Monday, 31 December 2007 03:44I can hardly wait for the second half of the college basketball season to get into full swing. As much fun as the marquee non-conference matchups between highly touted players and teams are, the real test of a basketball team is always in its conference games.
What I’m not looking forward to are the unending streams of pseudo-polls that every major sports news Web site puts out.
I had to stop checking up on these things, because inevitably, some random expert’s pithy remarks in defense of an indefensible selection would get me a little riled up about an ultimately pointless exercise in free speech.
Take Luke Winn’s rankings on Sports Illustrated’s NCAA basketball page. Not only does he overrate Memphis by five or six spots, he...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 19 December 2007 07:44This is the time of year when everyone I know starts thinking about hockey, talking about hockey and having beautiful, beautiful dreams about hockey. Sadly, that says a lot more about the number of people I know it does about the popularity of the greatest sport played on ice skates.
Nevermind the strong possibility that hockey is the only sport played on ice skates.
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With all the attention the steroids issue gets, the NHL gets lost in the shuffle—for all the right reasons, if you take hockey commissioner Bill Daly at his word (as reported by The Canadian Press):
“I don’t think we’ve ever had the same problem...Hockey players have been tested for many years in international play. It's simply not part of their culture. And...
Written by Andrew Ottoson Wednesday, 05 December 2007 13:03When Andy Pettitte announced on Monday that he will play for the Yankees in 2008, it struck me as a little bit strange.
There’s no doubt the veteran lefty will fit right in—especially because the word “veteran” in the Yankees rotation might as well mean “aging.”
Yes, New York has a strong group of three youngsters (youngsters in this case means “pitchers younger than me”) in Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Ian Kennedy.
But what does it say about the other two when the Yankees are aggressively trying to include Hughes in a deal for Johan Santana?
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I don’t see how Minnesota can pull the trigger on any trade involving its ace because there’s no chance that whatever the team might get back will include one...
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