Monday, December 14, 2015

Blake Griffin Did Not Deserve An Ejection

When the Los Angles Clippers played at Chicago against the Bulls, Blake Griffin whacked Taj Gibson on the head while swiping for the ball and was ejected because the foul was deemed a flagrant 2.  In a different game, the Toronto Raptors' point guard, Kyle Lowry, throws an elbow that hits 76ers' power forward, Nerlens, Noel, right in the eye.  Lowry just gets a technical foul.
To me, Griffin should have been given a flagrant 1 since he at least attempted to make a play on the ball and he immediately held Gibson up after the foul.  On the other hand, Lowry made no attempt at the ball and thus should be given a flagrant 2.  It was unnecessary and excessive.
Now, here's ruling on flagrant fouls.
Flagrant 1: unnecessary contact committed by a player against an opponent.
Flagrant 2: unnecessary and excessive contact committed by a player against an opponent.
Other factors officials will look at to determine which foul to give include:
1) Severity of the contact
2) Whether or not the player was making a legitimate basketball play
3) Did the fouling arm have a wind up or follow through
4) Potential for injury (blow to head or was foul committed when player was in vulnerable position)
5) Severity of the injury suffered by the offended player
6) Finally, was there an altercation.
There's also a set of rules on elbows.  A technical foul is given only if the elbow was swung and misses.
According to these rules, I could see why Griffin was given a flagrant 2 because of #3 and #4, but the officials' call on Lowry was just terrible.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Holly Holms vs Ronda Rousey is not PPV Worthy

UFC could of had the biggest fight to start next year if they somehow agreed to book bantamweight champion Ronda Rousey to a fight with Invicta's Cris "Cyborg" Justino.  But nooo, the UFC is scared of Justino so they went with a boring fight in matching Rousey with former boxer Holly Holms.  Look, Holms may be 9-0 in her MMA career, but she's still raw and has no ground game.  Rousey will finish her with a submission in less than a minute.  Remember at UFC 118 when Randy Couture embarrassed James Toney?  Couture got Toney to the ground easily and made sure Toney couldn't get up nor land a single punch.
An agreement to a catchweight 140 lb non-title fight is all it would take to have the best female MMA fighters compete for superiority rights.  But UFC wanted to stand firm at 135, even though Rousey has fought at 145 initially before she moved down to 135.  I guess Dana White wants to protect Rousey.  He said there's no featherweight division because there's not enough depth.  The bantamweight division isn't going anywhere either if Rousey is finishing everyone off in less than a minute.  Rousey is on a whole another level compared to her peers and Justino is the only fighter out there that can match her skill level.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Jurassic World is a Terrible Sequel to Jurassic Park

Jurassic World has so many things going wrong for it because of the themes that are present in it.  You've got the military involved, one who wants to turn the dinosaurs into soldiers.  There's some hypocrisy involved in Bryce Dallas Howard's character and family.  She was peeved at one employee for wearing a Jurassic Park T-shirt, yet she is carrying out John Hammond's legacy.  Then she and her sister are squabbling over not being there for the children, when both are not there for the children.  Howard's company is gene splicing a dinosaur, because obviously consumers want a dinosaur that can't be under control.  Lastly, there's no dinosaur expert working there.  What all this means is a lack of interest on the people in the movie.
  Yes, people will be in danger.  But all this hypocrisy and greediness creates a lack of connection between viewer and the characters in the movie.  I had a similar problem with Katniss in the "Hunger Games" because she was a bitch.  Since she was, I would not root for her.  Jurassic World may be the best sequel to the original, but that's not saying much.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rebuttal to use of Rape in Storytelling

Author John Scalzi recounts a lesson he learned about the incorporation of a rape scene in storytelling, as seen here.  In summary, when he first began honing his craft, Scalzi had a story where an investigator matched wits with a serial killer.  He added a scene where the serial killer tortured and raped the investigator's wife.  His writing mentor was a female, Pamela Wallace, who left disgusted after reading that scene.  Scalzi said that was the last time he ever thought of using rape in a novel.

What did he learn from Wallace's reaction?  That rape was bad?  Of course rape is bad, but why was it bad in this story?  She didn't say nor did he say what else she may have said.  The good advice Scalzi added at the end was from Robert Jackson Bennett, who stated that before a scene gets added in ask yourself what purpose does it serve.

I still believe Scalzi could have used that rape scene if he explained why he wanted to use it in the first place.  It also was not the main plot device that makes a story one dimensional.  There are plenty of movies were murder leads to revenge and that's basically all the movie is about.  There are plenty of movies that have cheesy sex scenes with no purpose.  That is lazy writing.

In Stephen King's Rose Madder, the titular character, Rose, was an abused wife who endured it for nine some years.  Was it wrong to show that she was abused? No!  It would have been extreme, however, to have several chapters about her abuse.  The abuse was the driving point for Rose to develop a spine and escape her abusive husband.  The abuse served a purpose.  King wasn't being sexist nor did he throw it in just because he could.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Floyd Mayweather is a Dirty Fighter

Floyd Mayweather, Jr is hailed as the best pound-for-pound boxer in many magazines and is currently 47-0.  He will face Manny Pacquiao in a mega fight that took five years to make this May.  Yet for all his accomplishments, many people including the officials refuse to recognize Mayweather for who he truly is, a dirty fighter.  They often say he is an elusive fighter and a great counter puncher, but he wins by illegal means. 
Mayweather's three main strategies are running away, clinching, and ducking.  He should be deducted points for all three.  Running away is a cowardly move.  Boxing is a contact sport.  Mayweather spends a lot of time retreating from his opponent.  Clinching is sometimes used to help a tired fighter get a breather or throw an opponent's momentum off.  Mayweather clinches often after throwing a counter punch.  It prevents the opponent from having an opportunity to strike back.  Excessive holding is considered a foul, yet Mayweather is usually the winner in the judges' scoring.  Lastly, Mayweather likes to duck.  It's a foul to duck below the opponent's belt.  Yet, Mayweather can be seen ducking below the belt or at waist level.  It's a cheap strategy.  His competitor can't strike back because there's no area for him to strike.
Mayweather is calling for Olympic drug testing because he wants a fair fight.  However, he himself does not fight fair when inside the ring and the officials and judges kiss his butt all the time.  Any time he runs away, ducks at waist level, or presses for a clinch Mayweather should be called for a foul.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Friday, February 20, 2015

When will the Tanking Stop?

Right before the trade deadline, the Philadelphia 76er's general manager, Sam Hinkie, traded away Michael Carter Williams, a Rookie of the Year winner, for more first round draft picks. Yep, more draft picks.  I believe he's a little carried away with this tanking strategy.  Next, he might trade Nerlen Noels and Joel Embiid for future draft picks.  Who knows?  The problem with all of this player movement is the team will never get better and there will not be any team chemistry.  Team chemistry is vital to a team's success.  You can't just get the best players and expect them to all get along.  What if everyone wants to be the alpha dog?  The 2003-04 Lakers consisted of Gary Payton, Shaquille O'Neal, Kobe Bryant, and Karl Malone.  They lost to the Detroit Pistons in the NBA Finals, a team that played together longer than the Lakers.  During the 2011 NBA Finals, the new look Miami Heat lost to the underdog Dallas Mavericks.  The majority of people expected the Heat to win because they had Dwyane Wade, Lebron James, and Chris Bosh--three superstars compared to the Mavericks, who only had Dirk Nowitzki.  Only after that NBA Finals loss did the Heat win in two straight Finals appearances.
When players are constantly moved around, there's a sense of job insecurity.  That creates anxiety and the players might under perform because they don't feel comfortable.  Plus, no player enjoys losing all the time.  Ask any Detroit Lions player that was present when during the 2008 season if he loved losing every game. 
Rebuilding and tanking only works if it is temporary.  A general rebuilding time table is about 4-5 years.  But since the 76ers just traded away their best asset, they're going to take even longer to rebuild.  Constant rebuilding also wears out the fans.  When fans feel despair, home game attendance drops and there is loss of revenue.  Hinkie should be fired before he causes any more damage to the team.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Monday, January 19, 2015

DeMarco Murray Should be Re-signed Over Dez Bryant

After the Dallas Cowboys lost in the second round to the Green Bay Packers, the team has to decide whether or not to re-sign running back DeMarco Murray or wideout Dez Bryant.  While the NFL is a passing league, Murray would be the more valuable weapon to keep.  The real reason the Cowboys fared so well this past season was because of their offensive line.  They did a fantastic job protecting Tony Romo.  As Colin Cowherd of ESPN pointed out on the radio, the offensive line should get the credit for the team's success and get paid.  However, offensive linemen don't get paid as well as offensive weapons like receivers, quarterbacks, and running backs.
The Cowboys should re-sign Murray over Bryant because he makes the team better.  The opposing team would have to respect both the running game and the passing game.  If the other team tries to stop Murray, Romo can throw it downfield or use play action.  The running game wears down defenses and takes crucial time off the clock when used effectively.  In 2011, Murray's rookie season, the Cowboys were 5-0 when Murray had 20+ touches in a game and 2-5 when he did not.
A receiver's success ultimately depends on the ability of the quarterback.  Bryant cannot help the team if he has to play with a terrible quarterback.  On the other hand, a running back can create for himself and help an inexperienced quarterback.  It's not a coincidence that the Cowboys finished 12-4, with Murray running for 1,845 yards and 13 touchdowns, Bryant receiving for 1,320 yards and 16 touchdowns, and Romo throwing for 34 touchdowns with just 9 interceptions.  It was a balanced offense. 
A good wide receiver is a luxury but not necessary.  The New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens and Seattle Seahawks in recent years have had great success because they have a solid running game and a good quarterback.  In addition, they all don't have an All-Pro wide receiver.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Great Packers-Cowboys Game Ruined by Calvin Johnson Rule

Last Sunday was a great football game between the Green Bay Packers and Dallas Cowboys.  Unfortunately for the Cowboys, their playoff hopes ended with a controversial call that ultimately decided the outcome of the game.  On fourth and 2, Dez Bryant of the Cowboys leaps high into the air for a catch that would have spotted him at the 2 or 1 yard line had it been declared complete.  It was initially declared a complete pass, but upon review after the Packers challenged the call, the officials overturned the decision and declared it incomplete.  The decision was based on the "Going to the Ground" rule, often referred as the Calvin Johnson rule because he was the first victim of it.  That rule states:
"If a player goes to the ground in the act of catching a pass (with or without contact by an opponent), he must maintain control of the ball throughout the process of contacting the ground, whether in the field of play or the end zone. If he loses control of the ball, and the ball touches the ground before he regains control, the pass is incomplete. If he regains control prior to the ball touching the ground, the pass is complete."
Here is the video: Link
However, there is another rule that talks about when a play is dead.  It says:
"An official shall declare the ball dead and the down ended:
(a) when a runner is contacted by a defensive player and touches the ground with any part of his body other than his hands or feet. The ball is dead the instant the runner touches the ground. A runner touching the ground with his hands or feet while in the grasp of an opponent may continue to advance."
In real time, it appears Bryant loses the ball the moment he touches the ground.  But in slow motion, like in this video, Bryant touches the ground four times before the ball comes loose.  He takes 3 steps and his right forearm touches the ground before the ball falls out.  That's a complete pass.  The officials messed this call up big time.

Robert Lin enjoys basketball and anime.  Follow him on Twitter and/or Google.