Monday, May 22, 2006

Pet Peeves

The start of another week, and thank GOODNESS the draft lottery is tomorrow, because the online Blazer community desperately needs something new to talk about. Believe me, I realize it's the off-season and substantial topics are hard to come by. But I still find myself getting vaguely annoyed at some of the silly stuff being said...through the sheer repetition of it if nothing else. And this year a lot of that stuff ties in with the lottery, which is why I'm glad it will be over soon.

Since it's Monday and everyone is probably feeling blah anyway, it seemed a good time to share some of my Blazer conversation pet peeves. (And yes, I'm fully aware that I'm probably a pet peeve for some people, but they're probably not reading this anyway.) So here you go:

1. Lottery simulators. They're fun toys, useful for avoiding that big project at work, but running one 50 times and posting the results seems to be a new hobby. Why??? Anyone who got through Algebra I back in high school (or who's a degenerate gambler) can tell you that the lottery is an independent trial, which means that the odds stay the same no matter how many times you run it. The Blazers have a 25% chance of getting the first pick. Simulating the ping pong balls a thousand times won't make it 25.1% or affect the real lottery in any way. If your simulated results didn't come back 25% 1st pick, 21% 2nd, 18% 3rd, and 36% 4th it's because you didn't run the simulator enough to accurately model the statistical results. (You need to approach infinity. Have fun with that.) And I've got to believe that most of the folks doing this already know that full well. So why do so many insist on aggravating the repressed mathematician in all of us by posting their results? This should be like googling erotic dysfunctions...doable, but better kept to oneself. Better yet, read a book...donate blood...write Martell some fan mail or John Nash some hate mail...whatever! Just say, "No" to lottery simulation!

But however much this may annoy me, I am interested in making this a full-service site, meeting the needs of as many as possible. So for those who just can't get off the crack, here's "Uncle Dave's 50-cent Lottery Simulator". It works anytime, anywhere and you don't need a fancy computer to run it:

Take two quarters. Flip them. If they both come up heads, you've got the first pick. If not, you've got something else. Simulate to your heart's content. Just don't write me about it!

2. I also get annoyed by trade propositions involving the pick when we don't even know what pick it is yet. I know Nate kind of started this one, but he was sharing a philosophical outlook, not proposing specific trades.

3. In the same vein, it annoys me when everyone knows who we should pick when we haven't seen workout one yet. And...well...WE won't actually see the workouts when they do happen. And...well...even the people who do see them are going to disagree who to take, especially this year. I can see debating the needs of the team. I can see coming up with a range of candidates. But anyone who says they're riding a single horse right now is just duplicating the old sportscasters' trick: figuring out the most likely outcome and then calling it certainty, the better to have bragging rights if and when it happens.

Fortunately tomorrow's lottery drawing will at least partially alleviate all of these things, if nothing else by bringing the picture into sharper focus. There are some things, however, that nothing but the start of the new season or some major team surgery will cure. These include:

--People who think Darius Miles' talents could still help this team.
--The assertion that just because a player is our best player means we have to keep him or disaster will ensue.
--Arguments based on the underlying premise that 29 wins is a lot better than 21, or that 15 is a lot worse.
--100,000 posts about 100,000 trade rumors credited to "reliable sources" including everyone from NBA GM's to team janitors' cousins. And this is from the mainstream press, let alone fans. (Easy rule of thumb: If you read about it, it's not happening unless the words "press conference tomorrow" are attached.)

Ah well...such is the life of a fan, I suppose. I generally disagree with those who think it's good enough just to get back to the playoffs, but I will say this for it: at least the off-season would be three weeks shorter.



Anonymous Lance Uppercut said...

Sorry Dave. I'm guilty of number 1, though some of my readers had the good sense to call me an idiot for it.
I don't think anyone actually beleives running a simulator over and over is going to change anything, but it does pass the time.

12:11 PM  
Blogger Dave said...

Ego te absolvo. Everybody has to have ONE flaw...


12:39 PM  

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