Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Tennis Anyone?

TigerBlog left two things out of yesterday's entry, so let him start by cleaning up those loose ends.

The first is that he was fascinated by Green Bay wide receiver Jeff Janis' stats on the final drive of regulation of what became a 26-20 Arizona win. Janis caught two passes on that drive, one on the big 4th-and-20 from the Green Bay 4 and then on the game-tying Hail Mary pass.

How many yards did he get on the drive? Well, the first was for 60 yards and the second was for 41. So that would be 101 yards on one drive.

Isn't a football field 100 yards long? Yes, but Green Bay had a sack for 10 yards and a five-yard penalty along the way.

It got TB to wondering how many times - or when the last time - a player had more than 100 yards receiving on one drive. Or had more than 100 rushing yards.

Statistical anomalies. TigerBlog loves them.

TigerBlog listened to Mike Francesa on WFAN yesterday afternoon and heard a few callers suggest that after the Hail Mary, which made it 20-19 Arizona with no time on the clock, Green Bay should have gone for two and the win right then and there. Francesa said that nobody would have suggested that at the time and that the only reason the callers were bringing it up was that Green Bay never got the ball in the OT.

Not true, TigerBlog said to himself. He has long suggested going for it in that situation. Beyond that, his belief is that coaches don't go for it not because they don't think it's worth the risk but because they don't want to be second-guessed if it doesn't work.

Nobody is blaming Packers' coach Mike McCarthy for his team's loss. Everyone would if they'd gone for two and hadn't made it.

Why go for two? If you figure the odds of winning in OT are 50-50, then you'd need better than 50-50 odds on converting the two-point conversion. In the NFL, the success rate of a two-point conversion attempt is right around 50%, so they're basically the same.

It's risky, though. Go for it and don't get it and you lose. But TigerBlog thinks the time to strike is when you have the opponent reeling, which is what Green Bay did. Get two yards. Win the game. Simple.

It's making the game come down to one play, as Francesa said, but it's also having control of that one play. Oh well.

The second thing TB wanted to mention was from "Hill Street Blues." Here was a show from the early 1980s, and it seemed like everyone was smoking. In restaurants and bars. In the precinct. In offices. Everywhere.

TigerBlog hated - hated, hated, hated - being in a restaurant where people were smoking. It ruined everything. Seeing it on "Hill Street" brought back how things used to be - and how much better it is now in that area.

What else?

Well, it's Tuesday, obviously. First semester exams roll along, though the end is in sight, with athletic events Saturday and Sunday.

The women's tennis team opens its fall season Saturday against Delaware and Georgetown Saturday in Jadwin Gym. Princeton has tennis courts on E level of Jadwin, which just happens to be where the new Office of Athletic Communications is located.

TigerBlog has seen a lot more tennis - and heard a lot more tennis - from his new office than he did from his old. Rec players mostly. He also has watched the tennis teams practice a little. When they hit the ball, it makes a very definitive sound at the moment of contact.

While Princeton Athletics has shut down for exams, BrotherBlog was busy flying across the world to Australia. He left Sunday, going from Seattle to LAX and then to Sydney. It took 21 hours from the time he left SeaTac until he arrived in Australia.

Then he texted his brother. Isn't the world wild?

BB's trip will take him from Sydney to Melbourne to Hong Kong and back to Seattle. Long, yes.

TigerBlog wouldn't mind going to Australia, but he's not sure he'd want to do the 21-hour one-way trip.

Laura Granville, the Princeton women's tennis coach, has been to Australia plenty of times. This was back when she was a professional tennis player and she'd go to the Australian Open.

BrotherBlog will be at the Open in Melbourne. As a spectator.

It got TigerBlog wondering how Granville did there, so he looked it up.

In all Laura played there for six years, from 2003-08. She twice made it to the third round in singles, and she reached the second round in doubles twice as well.

Granville has led Princeton to consecutive Ivy titles and NCAA tournament appearances. The Ivy schedule this year doesn't begin until March 26 at home against Penn, by which time Princeton will have played in Arizona, Alabama, Texas and New Hampshire. Oh, and Kentucky, Rutgers and Georgia State will play at Princeton.

It's a pretty ambitious schedule.

Of course, like everyone else at Princeton, the story in the short term is still first semester exams.

Maybe not for much longer - but still long enough to fly from here to Australia and back a few times.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

You are completely correct that football coaches should go for the two-point conversion and the win more often. The decision should hinge upon the following. In OT, the game will be determined by some combination of your offense, defense and special teams. In the two-pointer, the outcome will be determined solely by your short yardage offense against the opponent's short yardage defense. In which scenario of roughly 50/50 odds do you have a comparative advantage? If you've got even a single call in the playbook that you like in that situation, you should go for two.

Remember when Boise State beat Oklahoma in the Fiesta Bowl on a two-point Statue of Liberty run? Immediately after the game, running back Ian Johnson said that, as soon as the play was called in the huddle, he thought to himself, "Damn, we just won this game. . ." All you need is one such play.

But you can understand why coaches invariably play for overtime. The vast majority of coaches are not literally playing to win; they're playing to keep their jobs. They may have actually have a slightly lower chance of winning in OT, but a loss then is much less likely to cost them a job.