Ray Ratto

Third Brady-Belichick Super Bowl loss brings the worst in recency bias

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USATSI

Third Brady-Belichick Super Bowl loss brings the worst in recency bias

This is directed specifically at our brethren and sistren at NBC Sports Boston, especially the noted troublemakers Phil Perry and Tom Curran, who cover the New England Patriots on a daily basis.

This result proves that Bill Walsh is better than Bill Belichick. This also proves that Joe Montana is better than Tom Brady. I mean, I think that’s how Legacy Bingo works, right?

The Philadelphia Eagles won the title of Super Bowl Pinball Wizard Sunday night in a 41-33 victory over the Patriots that will be remembered mostly as a grand night for bettors over the bookies, a glorious rebirth for Nick Foles, a difficult night for the Philadelphia Police Department, and an addition to the long-running series of “Long Suffering Cities Finally Getting Theirs” that began in 2004 in Boston and moving to Chicago’s South Side, Chicago’s North Side, Cleveland, The Bay Area West and East and Houston.

What it doesn’t mean, of course, is that Belichick and Brady have been diminished by the result of Sunday’s game, except by idiot talkmongers and manure sculptors who believe that recency bias is the same as scientific method.

This game made a mockery of defensive strength and elevated the new era. They were proud NBA combatants at a time when America’s youth is turning from football to basketball as their organized amusement of choice. The Eagles won, and if you need that to mean that the Patriots lost, go ahead. Nobody’s going to be mean to you . . . as long as you stay off social media. Social media is where scum goes to multiply.

But part of the new world order is diminishing the team with fewer points and castigating it and its denizens to the seventh circle of hell, and we want you to be happy, even if that means you have to deny the past by elevating the very recent past.

So Walsh and Montana. Or Brown and Graham, or Lombardi and Starr, or Noll and Bradshaw, or take your pick. Your favorites are now supposed to be better than New England’s favorites because that’s how this nonsense works. The last team to lose is filth because we want it to mean that.

But at least this way, we can hold Curran and Phil Perry and all our pals in Boston responsible. You people did this, and you will reap the whirlwind.

In fact, let’s double down on stupid AND kneejerk and say, “This wouldn’t have happened if Jimmy Garoppolo was still there.” I mean, if that’s the game we must play to remain down with the millenials, so be it.

Besides, we also have NBC Sports Philadelphia, and they’re the best people ever. I know this. I just read the box score.

For next year's All-Star game, NBA should focus on what really matters

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USATSI

For next year's All-Star game, NBA should focus on what really matters

The National Basketball Association got only one real lift from All-Star Weekend, and that is that LeBron James got to summarily dismiss Laura Ingraham.
 
Other than that, the big announcement after a largely uninspiring weekend was that Commissioner Adam Silver is going to televise more of the only thing the All-Star Game is actually good for – the assembling of the teams.
 
I suppose that isn’t exactly the bounce the league was hoping for from its first experiment in a format the National Hockey League abandoned as dated and the National Football League couldn’t make people care about their Pro Bowl, but the league’s bounce is the league’s problem.
 
So are the introductions, which one supposes will be sped up next year in Charlotte so as not to allow folks to remember why the game was in Charlotte two years after it was supposed to be in Charlotte.
 
But the only real production values the league ought to care about are the identities of the players on the two teams, if only because of our obsession with what we erroneously call “snubs.” If the idea is to see players irked by not being named, or elated by being named, then that is where the league’s focus ought to be.
 
That point was made fairly clear when Chris Haynes of ESPN was given the identities of the last two players drafted on this year’s teams – Boston’s Al Horford and San Antonio’s LaMarcus Aldridge. That was supposed to be a closely guarded secret apparently at the behest of Stephen Curry (who had a tough weekend himself), and yet it tumbled out like so many others – because it was one of the few curiosities about this event.
 
So if the idea is that the selection of the teams is the only real value other than the weekend price-gouging, then Silver’s job is to finish the job that begins by televising the draft – specifically, to televise the selections of the backups from which the draft emanates.
 
I mean, why do the players have to show their work while the coaches do not? Why is secrecy allowed for the suits but not for the sweats? What sort of anti-egalitarian message is being sent here? Fight the power! Rage against the machine!
 
And then when that’s done, the league should cozy up to Las Vegas again to undo some of the damage caused by its ridiculous “integrity fee” fiasco. After all, one of the undertold stories of the weekend was the way the betting line for the total plummeted once the smart guys figured out the two teams would not try to break 200, and everyone loves a betting coup. Thus, keeping up to date on betting trends, one of Silver’s ongoing initiatives, would seem to be an imperative in the years to come.
 
Well, that, and coaxing some fringe political yammerhead to insult one of the players for no decipherable reason. That one never fails to stick the landing.

Sabean's return: Giants want team's dominant mind to be dominant again

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AP

Sabean's return: Giants want team's dominant mind to be dominant again

Brian Sabean’s return to the con in San Francisco, as first reported by noted troublemaker and barista A. Baggarly in The Athletic, is not a turn back to the past as much as it is a demand for a better future.

That is, unless the Giants sign Tim Lincecum, in which case you never read Paragraph One.

But Sabean’s return means that Giants ownership (presumably president Larry Baer and major stockholder Charlie Johnson) wants the team’s dominant baseball mind to be dominant again.

This of course generates rich speculation about current general manager Bobby Evans’ future, but that probably is beside the point . . . at least through the current calendar year. This isn’t really about Evans specifically anyway – it’s about ownewrship’s impatience, fear of a worrisome unknown and need for the comfort of the man who succeeded.

The Giants are at a similar fork in the highway as they were when Sabean first took the job in 1997. The 1996 Giants were 68-94, older chronologically against the league average, offensively substandard and horrific as a pitching staff. A year later, they won 90, got younger, improved in both areas, and then did it again in 1998. From that turnaround, they began what can fairly be described as the franchise’s renaissance, which finally ended last year with what in the eyes of most baseball experts and all meaningful metrics was the fourth worst year in the franchise’s 136-year history.

And because Sabean actually never left daily contact with the team and its decision-makers, this isn’t your standard chase for past glories fixation. It is, however, a measure of how little patience the Giants are willing to be with their present predicament.

But mostly, this is the team understanding that its ability to identify, develop and lure young talents is what saved it at the turn of the century and will have to do so again at the turn of the decade if they intend to make 2017 a blip rather than a harbinger.

The Giants could conceivably spend their way back into relevance, but their money wasn’t good enough for Giancarlo Stanton when every other suitor would be paying exactly the same number, and for that matter neither was their reliance on “We won three rings and we have a full stadium.” That they thought their past could work more than their present with a player who is looking for a future is a sign that they have over-relied on the lure of the good old days.

So they want that changed . . . with the guy who built those good old days. If that seems inconsistent, well, it is. But impatience and fear are going to do what they do, and Brian Sabean is as good an answer as they are likely to find. Which is why they found it.