RandBall

Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could convince the world to love jumpsuits as much as he does. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.

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Tuesday (Vikings vs. Gophers -- who wins more games?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated September 2nd at 10:57am 273577771

GOPHERSVIKINGSThe best fake sports debates are the ones in which both sides have logical points to be made. And when we say “fake,” we don’t mean bogus. Rather, we mean manufactured — a talking point that need not be raised, but is fun to bring up nonetheless.

As such, we bring to you a fake sports debate this morning: which football team will win more games this season — the Gophers or the Vikings.

On the surface, the Vikings should always have the edge since they play four more regular-season games than the Gophers. Then again, the U gets a chance for a pretty good head start every season with the squishy soft non-conference schedule favored by many BCS schools. A decent year in college football, really, is 7 or 8 wins. Same goes for the NFL.

This year, if you really had to guess, you would say the Vikings are in line to win 6 or 7 games, maybe 8 if they overachieve a little, maybe 9 or possibly 10 with some breaks. You could say the same exact thing about the Gophers.

So who is going to win more games?

Here’s how we’d frame it: The Vikings have more upside since they have more games, and the NFL generally produces surprise teams every season. Minnesota had a comedy of QB errors last season and lost many games by narrow margins thanks to poor QB play and a bad defense. If those problems are even somewhat solved by a few new players and a new regime, this team could be intriguing.

The Gophers are more of the known commodity because they have one unit — defense, yes we know that’s shocking to say — that should keep the team in virtually every game. We still fear that the passing game will come up short against the best teams, but this team won 8 games last year and even against a tougher schedule this season shouldn’t do any worse than 6-6 (and very well should do better than that).

Gut instinct: Gophers win 7, Vikings win 6. But two years from now — when the Vikings theoretically should be better and the Gophers could be ready to contend in the Big Ten — this should be a race to 10 wins instead.

TFD: Sadly, Robbie Hummel does not, in fact, have a hip-hop album coming out

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 29th at 4:34pm 273239771

hummelTimberwolves forward Robbie Hummel, who along with former Wolves forward Brian Cardinal accounts for half of all games ever played at Purdue, announced via Instagram a couple of days ago that he had finished work on a hip-hop album.

Implausible? Sure.

Did we want to believe it? Yes.

He even added some fake lyrics to a fake song along the way via Twitter.

Sadly, though, the dream is dead. Hummel is not, in fact, a rap star. It’s just another sports hoax. Probably the biggest one this week.

He’s just a basketball player with a wet jump shot and a good sense of humor. After announcing his “retirement” from rapping, he tweeted this on Thursday:

Haha ok since people still think I’m making a rap album…it was all a joke..I was in a studio recording a voiceover for a commercial.

If you ever get serious, Robbie, give us a call. We can find an old Casio and a surprising number of phrases that sort of rhyme with anterior cruciate ligament.

Women's fantasy football writers create "relationship-based" player rankings

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 29th at 3:20pm 273226211

Maybe we shouldn’t be offended by this because we’re not the target market.

Or maybe — wait, probably … check that, definitely — it’s just simply offensive that in the year 2014, there is a fantasy football rating system, separated out for women, created by three sisters, sanctioned and promoted by ESPN on its “W” brand, that brags about the following:

You can find all sorts of incredible analysis and debate about whether Peyton Manning is a better pick than Aaron Rodgers, and we read all of it. But sometimes it feels like fantasy analysts end up competing over who can apply the most obscure stat to each player’s projections. Seriously, no one cares if a quarterback has the fifth-best completion percentage on balls thrown 38 or more yards down the field. Especially since he probably only does it once a game.

So we have tried to simplify things, and that’s why we have a simple relationship-based rating system that cuts through all of the clutter. LeSean McCoy and Calvin Johnson are two of the very best players in the game, so we consider them “Marriage Material” (elite players). Arian Foster and Andre Johnson? “Boyfriend Potential” (terrific catches). Wes Welker and Vernon Davis — “It’s Complicated” (pretty good placeholders until you find something better). And so on.

That’s right, ladies. Are those numbers and stats too complicated for your brains? Well, maybe if we dumb it down to a People Magazine-style HAWT or NAWT rating, you can crush the other dimwitted women in your league.

We showed it to a female co-worker, and before we even got to that excerpted part, she said, “I’m already offended.”

We imagine she’s hardly alone.

A heckling scout, an ice cream sandwich and a player taking a bat into the stands

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 29th at 11:45am 273198001

As near as we can tell from a report:

*Jesus Montero is on a rehab assignment with the Mariners’ AA affiliate.

*A scout employed by the Mariners was heckling him during a game.

*Montero went after him with a bat.

That’s just the summary. Here are a few grafs from MILB.com:

Seattle’s Jesus Montero was involved in an altercation during short-season Everett’s game at Boise on Thursday. The first baseman exchanged words with a Mariners crosschecker and reportedly had to be physically restrained while attempting to enter the stands with a bat during the argument.

Montero was coaching first base, and at the end of an inning, the unidentified crosschecker yelled at him to hustle off the field, according to Boise official scorer Liza Safford. Montero then headed to the AquaSox dugout on the third-base side.

According to a game offical, the crosschecker then ordered an ice cream sandwich and had it sent to Montero in the dugout, escalating the confrontation further. The official said Montero — who arrived at Mariners Spring Training 40 pounds overweight this season — approached the stands with a bat while screaming profanities and threw the sandwich at the crosschecker. Montero had to be pulled back from the stands by Everett pitching coach Nasusel Cabrera, Safford said.

Crosscheckers are intermediate-level scouts who verify the reports of regional scouts and pass on recommendations to their teams’ scouting directors.

This proves a point hammered home in The Big Lebowski: You don’t [redacted] with The Jesus.

Hopefully there is video of this somewhere, somehow. Please.

Friday (Did Jerry Jones tamper with Adrian Peterson?) edition: Wha' Happened?

Posted by: Michael Rand Updated August 29th at 9:27am 273179431

jerryjonesOne interesting side note from the Jerry Jones/Adrian Peterson story that emerged Thursday is the notion of tampering — which the NFL has taken seriously to varying degrees in the past.

Jones, who fielded a phone call from Peterson that was reported on in an ESPN story, says he thinks he’s in the clear, per the Ft. Worth Star-Telegram:

I understand the tampering thing, and you have to be an initiator,” Jones said. “It was good talking to [Peterson]. I’m a big admirer of him. We were talking about Texas. I really love his story, especially as to how it relates to his father. That’s mostly what we talked about. Certainly, that was about it.”

But does he really understand it? Pro Football Talk digs out the tampering language, and it sure sounds like even if Peterson called Jones, there could be trouble. Here is the rule, per PFT:

If a club is contacted by a player (or his representative) who is under contract to or whose negotiating rights are held by another club, and such player had not been given permission to deal with other clubs, or such player is not in a permissible negotiating period under the terms of an operative collective bargaining agreement, then the contacted club is prohibited from talking or otherwise dealing with the player or his representative, and the contacted club must immediately report such contact to the owner or operating head of the club which holds the player’s rights.”

Again, we’ll see if this goes anywhere or just dies in a day or two.

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Cincinnati - M. Latos 6:05 PM
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Boston - J. Kelly 6:05 PM
NY Yankees - S. Greene
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Cleveland - C. Carrasco
NY Mets - J. Niese 6:10 PM
Miami - B. Penny
Philadelphia - K. Kendrick 6:10 PM
Atlanta - M. Minor
Toronto - R. Dickey 6:10 PM
Tampa Bay - J. Hellickson
Milwaukee - Y. Gallardo 7:05 PM
Chicago Cubs - J. Arrieta
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Houston - B. Peacock
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Texas - D. Holland 7:10 PM
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Pittsburgh - J. Locke 7:15 PM
St. Louis - A. Wainwright
San Francisco - Y. Petit 7:40 PM
Colorado - J. Lyles
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Oakland - S. Gray
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Arizona - W. Miley 9:10 PM
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Green Bay 9/4/14 7:30 PM
Seattle
Buffalo 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Chicago
New Orleans 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Atlanta
Minnesota 9/7/14 12:00 PM
St. Louis
Cleveland 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Pittsburgh
Jacksonville 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Philadelphia
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NY Jets
Cincinnati 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Baltimore
Washington 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Houston
Tennessee 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Kansas City
New England 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Miami
Carolina 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Tampa Bay
San Francisco 9/7/14 3:25 PM
Dallas
Indianapolis 9/7/14 7:30 PM
Denver
Utah State 7 FINAL
Tennessee 38
SMU 0 FINAL
(10) Baylor 45
Miami-Florida 13 FINAL
Louisville 31
Arizona 9/4/14 7:00 PM
TX-San Antonio
Pittsburgh 9/5/14 6:00 PM
Boston College
Washington St 9/5/14 9:30 PM
Nevada
SMU 9/6/14 11:00 AM
North Texas
Fla Atlantic 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(2) Alabama
Buffalo 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Army
(24) Missouri 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Toledo
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Tennessee
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(22) Nebraska
Central Mich 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Purdue
Akron 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Penn State
Western Ill 9/6/14 11:00 AM
(14) Wisconsin
(20) Kansas State 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Iowa State
(4) Oklahoma 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Tulsa
Western Ky 9/6/14 11:00 AM
Illinois
SC State 9/6/14 11:30 AM
(16) Clemson
Navy 9/6/14 12:00 PM
Temple
UAB 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Miss State
South Alabama 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Kent State
New Mexico St 9/6/14 1:00 PM
Georgia State
Colorado 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Massachusetts
Fresno State 9/6/14 2:00 PM
Utah
(2) Eastern Wash 9/6/14 2:00 PM
(25) Washington
(15) USC 9/6/14 2:30 PM
(11) Stanford
Ohio U 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Kentucky
Middle Tennessee 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Minnesota
Northern Ill 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Northwestern
Missouri State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Oklahoma State
Ball State 9/6/14 2:30 PM
Iowa
Maryland 9/6/14 2:30 PM
So Florida
Eastern Mich 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Florida
Georgia Tech 9/6/14 3:00 PM
Tulane
(18) Ole Miss 9/6/14 3:30 PM
Vanderbilt
Old Dominion 9/6/14 5:00 PM
NC State
(8) Michigan State 9/6/14 5:30 PM
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(19) Arizona State 9/6/14 6:00 PM
New Mexico
Louisiana Tech 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Louisiana
San Jose St 9/6/14 6:00 PM
(6) Auburn
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(9) So Carolina
Duke 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Troy
Idaho 9/6/14 6:00 PM
ULM
(15) Sam Houston St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(13) LSU
Michigan 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(17) Notre Dame
Lamar 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(21) Texas A&M
Northwestern St 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(10) Baylor
BYU 9/6/14 6:30 PM
Texas
Citadel 9/6/14 6:30 PM
(1) Florida State
San Diego St 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(23) North Carolina
Virginia Tech 9/6/14 7:00 PM
(5) Ohio State
Memphis 9/6/14 9:00 PM
(7) UCLA
Colorado State 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Boise State
Air Force 9/6/14 9:15 PM
Wyoming
Oregon State 9/6/14 9:30 PM
Hawaii
Texas Tech 9/6/14 10:00 PM
Texas-El Paso
Brt Columbia 9/5/14 6:30 PM
Ottawa
Calgary 9/6/14 6:00 PM
Edmonton
Hamilton 9/7/14 12:00 PM
Montreal
Saskatchewan 9/7/14 3:00 PM
Winnipeg
Minnesota 9:00 PM
Phoenix

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