Music Tuesdays - Stronger (What Doesn't Kill You) by Kelly Clarkson

Every night for the last week or so Violet and I have been listening and dancing to this song. Love the song. Love the video. Love the energy. Love all the fan videos choreographed to the song. And I especially love the girls dancing underwater. Just all kinds of cool going on there.

FIWK the NBA: Fantasy basketball time!

[note: this article was written before Christmas Day but I was unable to post until now... the strategies herein still apply however]

Drafting a fantasy NBA squad is like trying to assemble a team of Action Movie All-Stars out of the cast of Hollywood actors. Some are better suited for the all-offense role, others are legitimately good actors who aren’t great holding a gun.

If you were drafting the Action Movie All-Stars, Jason Statham would be a top pick. Awesome in Crank, Transporter, etc. Probably not going to carry you to an Oscar as a lead man, however. Bruce Willis gets you a little closer; amazing in Die Hard, has a slightly funny side, can be dramatic in Pulp Fiction for instance. Viggo Mortensen is even more of a good actor/great action guy mix. Denzel Washington: the total package. Great in action movies like Man on Fire and Book of Eli, an amazing all-around actor, he can do it all.

FIWK the NFL: Pro Bowl

For the absolute ridiculousness it is trying to predict a winner in the Pro Bowl, I took ridiculous to a scientific level. I added up all the points scored and allowed in each conference. The NFC scored 6022 points and allowed 5889 points for a Pythagorean winning percentage of 51.3%. The AFC scored 5334 and allowed 5467 for a 48.6%. This means that on a neutral field, the NFC should win 52.7% of the time, which corresponds to a 2.5 point spread. Since the spread is 4, I am taking the AFC +4.

Music Tuesdays - Punching In A Dream by the Naked and Famous

This is another song from the Naked and Famous' same album as 'Young Blood' which was on Music Tuesdays about a year ago. I just heard this song in a car commercial, randomly enough.

FIWK the NFL: Playoffs Conference Championships

As friends of mine, I want Scott and Mik to be happy in general. In fact, I'd like to think I want all my friends and family to be happy. So why would I want the 49ers to lose this weekend? A few years ago my wife and I moved from San Diego (where I grew up) to the San Francisco Bay Area (where she grew up). We already had many friends from UCLA who lived in the area so it was a relatively easy transition. They knew I loved the Chargers and Padres and I knew all my friends and family in the area supported the San Francisco 49ers and San Francisco Giants. So in 2010, after I recovered from the Padres' epic collapse and the SF Giants were working their way to the World Series, I didn't support the Giants by any means, but I was happy for my friends and family in the area to see their team doing well. It took a few days or so before I learned of the folly of my emotions. Everyone was wearing "SF Giants 2010 World Series Champs" apparel and asking me something along the lines of "Are the Padres ever going to have clothes like this?" Days turned in to weeks and weeks turned in to months and it was relentless. People going to the parade. Jessica asking me if I would fly down to San Diego for a playoff game or parade. Yim coming over in said apparel saying "I wore this just for you." Now with the 49ers playing so well, and my own analysis concluding that I am going to pick them in every game they play, I feel a sense of dread coming upon me. It's not an impending sense of doom, because I am still uplifted by the thought of my friends and family being happy. It's just a sense of dread...maybe frustration... It's people bringing up all kind of SF vs. SD talk. It's friends blasphemously saying that Violet will want to be a 49ers fan. It's me wondering if I will ever get to cheer for a championship team...

Music Tuesdays: Home - Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros Acoustic Cover (Jorge & Alexa Narvaez)

My daughter is 11 months old and I have so much fun every second I am with her. Either she is playing with me, smiling and laughing, or she is exploring by herself, astounding and amazing me. This video makes me want to get good at music, but I know that will never happen. My daughter and I will create our own beautiful moments.

FIWK the NFL: Playoffs Week 2

What? A picture that isn't the Chargers? Is Aaron feeling ok? Yes. But just in case the Saints emerge victorious this weekend, I wanted Scott and Mik to be a little happy. As for last weekend...that Texans-Bengals game pretty much went exactly as I called it. That was the big news right? I mean, you couldn't turn on the TV without seeing JJ Watt, right? In much more boring news, every home team won. Every home team was the higher seed and they won, meaning there were no upsets. In every game, the victor threw fewer interceptions than the loser (or tied at zero, meaning they weren't a factor). Even in the Denver-Pittsburgh game, the Broncos quarterback played significantly better than his Steelers counterpart and won. But in actually making my predictions, especially against the spread, I did not do so well. When the Saints-Lions was at 24-21, choosing the underdog and all those points seemed like a really good idea. Thirty minutes later at 45-28, not so good. As for the Falcons laying an egg? (Does that even count as a pun?) I guess I was smart not to put $ on them. And if the Saints and Lions were to play again this weekend, I'd probably still pick the Lions and the points. And while I picked the Broncos and the points, I was very, very confident the Steelers would win. In fact, I'm participating in a pool where you get to pick a winner for each of the eleven playoff games straight up and assign it a confidence 1-11, where you can only use each confidence number once. I picked the Steelers with confidence of 11. Now, that I've convinced you just how good I am at predicting the outcome of NFL playoff games, on to the picks...

FIWK the NFL: Playoffs Week 1

This picture is honor of Eric Weddle being named to the All-Pro team. Which is about the only good thing going for the Chargers right now. If you want to know if any 49ers made the All-Pro team, you'll have to ask Scott or Mik. I'm already thinking about next year and fantasy football for next year. I won our keeper league, but we'll have to see how I do without Adrian Peterson next year. I guess I'll just have to console myself with Ray Rice in the 3rd round, Matthew Stafford in the 5th round and Vincent Jackson in the 8th round. I think I'll be ok. As for this weekend, the only good thing I can think of for Royce and myself is that we can make completely objective thoughts and analysis. Before I get to the actual games, a little reminder about how I do things around here. First, I take the team's points scored and points allowed to calculate a Pythagorean winning % that is more accurate than a team's actual winning percentage. Then taking the two winning percentages, I determine how often the favorite is likely to win. Yeah, you learned all of this from Bill Barnwell a couple months ago. Then, using data from Spreadapedia, I determine how often a favorite with a given spread has won historically. Additionally, for the playoffs I take a look at interceptions. It is easy to say that the team that turns the ball over the least is probably going to win. And fumble recoveries tend to be very random. But interceptions are not. So I look how many pass attempts and offense and defense should expect to see before an interception is thrown. I don't have a specific algorithm, but there are only four data points and the sample size is a little small, so I prefer to eyeball this one. Then I check Football Outsiders just because I like their DVOA efficiency stat. And then I just make up the rest. I'll walk you through it, but it's probably easier with an example. That way I don't have to be explaining this for every game, every week.