Around the Arena (Championship Game ... Winner: ApolloSmieGirl)

Discussion in 'Archive: The Arena' started by DarthIntegral, Apr 23, 2008.

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  1. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    <center><img src="http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d42/DarthIntegral/aroundthearena.png"></center>
    Around the Horn is the game of competitive banter, played on ESPN by sports columnists from around the USA.

    Around the Arena is the game of competitive banter, played on TheForce.net's "The Arena" by users from around the world.

    Here's how the game works:

    Four players will sign up at a time.
    Once four players are signed up, the game host (DarthIntegral) will start the game.

    The game host will start by posting a topic from recent news in the world of sports. The four players will then have a minimum of 24 hours to debate the topic. The host will then close discussion on this topic, and award points to each of the players, based on the quality of their argument, statistics used, and sources cited (with possible bonuses for "inside information"). A second topic will then be posted, and the four players will have a minimum of 24 hours to debate the topic. The host will then again close discussion on the topic, and award points again. The first two topics will always be about headline events.

    The game host will then transition to "buy or sell" questions, where a statement is given about a current event in sports, and the players are asked to buy or sell (agree or disagree with) the statement. Points are scored in a similar fashion to the first round, but generally are scored in lower amounts. Each question here will again be posted for a minimum of 24 hours before it is closed off. After all three questions have been scored; the player with the lowest cumulative score will be cut, and will be given a 24-hour game ban.

    The game host will then issue a question about a topic that is controversial in nature from the world of sports, or that is barely related to the world of sports. Players will again be given 24 hours to debate the topic, and scoring will be done as before, but again, points will be given out in even lower amounts. At the end of the scoring, the player with the lowest score will be cut, and will be given a 24-hour game ban.

    Finally, the two remaining players will go head-to-head to debate three final topics. Each player will be given one post to state their side, and the host will declare which side must go first. The host will then declare a winner for each of the head-to-head debates. The player that wins at least two of them will win the game, and the other player will receive a 24-hour game ban. The winner of the game will move forward to a championship round.

    And the game will be repeated three times, until four players have moved onto a championship round. Then, we play the game as normal, only the winner receives one week of VIP, title, and custom colors.

    If you are eliminated from a round, you are still eligible to play again in the next round. No reserve spots will be held. Sign-ups will be available on a first-come, first-serve basis.

    To sign up for the first round, simply add your name to the list:

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  2. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    Are you going to do the paper toss at the end of every game as well?
  3. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    1. rechedelphar
    2.
    3.
    4.



  4. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    1. rechedelphar
    2. Onoto
    3.
    4.
  5. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    1. rechedelphar
    2. Onoto
    3. RX_Sith
    4.
  6. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    1. rechedelphar
    2. Onoto
    3. RX_Sith
    4. Juliet316


    I'm going to regret this.

  7. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Let's start off by going Around the Arena by talking about tomorrow's NFL Draft.

    <img src="http://media.collegepublisher.com/media/paper851/stills/ckvkx688.jpg">

    Jake Long has agreed to terms with the Miami Dolphins and will be the first pick in the NFL Draft. The first offensive lineman to go #1 overall since Orlando Pace.

    Here are my questions to our panel of experts:

    1) Is Jake Long worthy of being the number one pick?
    2) Did the Dolphins make the best pick?
    3) Was Jake Long the best player available, and if not who was?
    4) How will Long's career go?

    Let's go Around the Arena and get some answers ...
  8. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    1) Is Jake Long worthy of being the number one pick? This year he is the safest pick for the Dolphins. There is no "Franchise" Quarterback available, so they got someone to protect their quarterback, and that is very important as well.

    2) Did the Dolphins make the best pick? Absolutely. Parcells and Co. get their Joe Thomas franchise cornerstone offensive tackle. Jumbo Elliott, another Michigan man, played OT for two Parcells Super Bowl squads in New York in '86 and '90. Long should be even better. Don't underestimate head coach Tony Sparano's influence in this decision. He's a former offensive line coach and he's been touting Long for months. The Dolphins thought Long was the safest pick in the draft.

    3) Was Jake Long the best player available, and if not who was? No. Darren McFadden is the best player available, but because he is a running back, his career is much more limited than an Offensive Tackle. Running backs unfortunately have a short shelf life. They are constantly pounding for those rushing yards. McFadden will be great for whatever team ends up getting him, but like Reggie Bush, he will probably be used for kickoff and punt returns mainly to exploit his speed. If Oakland drafts him (and it's believed that Al Davis has orders to draft him), then they already have multiple running backs on the team (in Michael Bush, LaMont Jordan and Dominic Rhodes). And yes, they have more pressing needs than the running back position. But McFadden's a true game-breaker, and after two straight dreadful years of offensive futility, he's the pick at No. 4.

    4) How will Long's career go? It should last more than 10 years since tackles generally last at least that long. The only other offensive lineman taken with the No. 1 choice since 1970 was Ohio State tackle Orlando Pace, who made the Pro Bowl seven consecutive times after joining the Rams in 1997. The Dolphins would be thrilled with a comparable achievement by Long. At left tackle, they're now set.
  9. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I love Jake Long, as he was one of the best college lineman of the last decade, but NFL.com's combine analysis talks about his less-than-stellar agility and lack of explosiveness off the snap. He's smart, but those are incredibly dangerous complaints to have about your franchise left tackle. There were concerns about whether or not Long would eventually play right tackle at the beginning of his senior season, and, while he improved his pass blocking (Kiper, Draft Chat Wrap 2/13 (repost of Insider article)), question marks as big as agility should have been enough to go elsewhere with the first selection, especially when they were other players on the same tier.

    The Dolphins need to improve everywhere, so it's not a bad pick from a needs perspective. I just don't understand why they didn't go with Chris Long (who is "ideally suited to play defensive end in a 3-4 formation") or even Matt Ryan (his biggest weakness is the deep ball, and the Dolphins aren't built for such a style anyway). Chris Long fits perfectly into the system Parcells likes and has shown all of the same intangibles that make Jake Long a good candidate, and Ryan has the potential (far from a shoo-in, but the potential is there) to be a very good quarterback in the NFL.

    RX_Sith is right about Darren McFadden. He undoubtedly has the most raw talent (think Marshall Faulk), but with Ronnie Brown as one of the good pieces of the Miami puzzle (true even with the injury, which he should recover from to do solidly next season), that would be a waste of a fine opportunity to pick up some other parts.

    Long's career prospects boil down to one question: does he have the quickness and the agility to play left tackle long-term? If he does, he'll be a Jammal Brown. If not, he'll be more like Robert Gallery. For my part, I think he'll be a qualified success, with maybe even a few Pro Bowls, but that he'll have to move to the right side of the line before the end of his career.
  10. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Was he worthy of the #1 pick? Probably not there were probably other players more worthy of the #1 pick such as Chris Long or McFadden. However he was probably the best pick for the Dolphins. They needed to start somewhere and anybody that knows Parcells driven teams knows he likes to go big. So it was either trade out and hope they get another big player or go with the big player they thought was available and in their minds it was Jake Long.

    No he wasn't the best player available. That probably belonged to McFadden, but let's face it. He wasn't going to go #1 and I'm surprised he went as high as he did with the character issues surrounding him. Issues of character have been important n recent years to the NFL and even more so since Goodell took over 2 years ago (has it really only been two years since Goodell took over? Seems like more). That was only reinforced with the PacMan trade this weekend. Again, McFadden was the best physical player available, but nobody was going to take a chance on making him #1 overall.

    How long will Jake Long last in the NFL? Who knows? If he can stay healthy and learn the NFL game quickly, he could have a fairly good career. If not then it's not going to be a long career at all and, well then there will be egg all over Parcells face and he hates that.
  11. rechedelphar Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Mar 29, 2004
    star 6
    Jake long was certainly not the best player in the draft

    the Dolphins think they are doing the smart thing by taking the safe pick. Safe picks don't really change your team and the dolphins really need some change.

    Darren Mcfadden was the best player available and could change a team like the dolphins, but again they outsmarted themselves and chose an offensive lineman.

    His career will go as all offensive lineman's careers go, inconspicuous.







  12. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    There were a ton of good d-line players available, with 4 guys going in the top ten. They could have traded to the bottom half of the top ten (the Jets would have had reason, as they wanted Vernon Gholston and the Dolphins were also considering him) and still landed a good player to help in the trenches. Heck they could have traded even lower that that and gotten Ryan Clady.

    Jake Long could turn out to be a very good player, but his potential doesn't exceed that of the other top players, and it isn't as safe a pick as one might think. His potential for mediocrity on the left side of the line is too great to call it that. Questions about a guy's future position shouldn't exist for the number one selection.
  13. ApolloSmileGirl Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Jun 18, 2004
    star 8
    Tony Reali is hot. :D



    That is all.
  14. Trika_Kenobi Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1999
    star 6
    QFT. 'Nuff said. [face_love]

    Oh, and what about my paper toss question? I demand an answer on this issue, Inty! :p

    Good points being brought up all around. You all need to don ATH identities, though. Someone needs to be Jay Mariotti and get in fights with Woody Paige, who will then insult J.A. Adonde without really making a point. And over in the corner is Tim Cowlishaw, whom everyone ignores most times.
  15. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Time now to score the arguments ...

    This Rounds:

    RX_Sith: Very good information, hearkening back to Jumbo Elliot (+2), good information on McFadden and RBs in the draft in general (+2), and I enjoy you continuing the comparison to Orlando Pace (+1)
    Onoto: Nice way to bring up the question marks (+2) and offer the alternatives (+2), and I love the comparisons to Brown and Gallery (+2)
    Juliet316: Again bringing up the Parcells factor is good (+2) and offering McFadden as best talent, but not first pick (+2).
    recehedelphar: I love the boldness of calling out the Dolphins for the safe pick and having the will to talk about McFadden as the only game changer (+4), but I don;t like the overall knock on O-Lineman .. (-1)
    Onoto: I like your idea to trade down, but as always it takes two to tango ... we don't know if they had any trading partners. (+1)

    Scoreboard:

    This Round

    Onoto: 7
    RX_Sith: 5
    Juliet316: 4
    rechedelphar: 3

    Overall:

    Onoto: 7
    RX_Sith: 5
    Juliet316: 4
    rechedelphar: 3

    Around the Arena continues in my next post ...



    (And I'll do a paper toss if and only if I get my PTI game figured out and approved by the other forum mods to be posted at the end of this game, so I can toss the paper and send it to PTI)
  16. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    We now turn our eyes to the NBA Playoffs. A very compelling regular season (at least in the West) and several very dramatic and gripping game 1's captured our attention. Then, the rest of the series started to play out. And we now stand with seres at: 3-0 (Lakers-Nuggets), 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1, 3-1 (Cavs-Wizards, Hornets-Mavs, Jazz-Rockets, Magic-Raptors, Spurs-Suns), a surprising 2-1 (Celtics-Hawks) and an even more surprising 2-2 (Pistons-76ers).

    So, I have these questions for our panel of experts:

    1) Can any of the teams down 3-1, 2-1, or 3-0 actually win their series, or are all of them over?
    2) Can the 76ers pull off the upset?
    3) Is it too early to talk about second-round match-ups, and if not, what probably series are you most looking forward to?

    Let's go Around the Arena once again ...
  17. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7

    Honestly, I think all 3 - 1, 3 - 0 matchups are probably over, though in an era were we've seen Baseball teams come back from 0 - 3 deficits to not only win their playoff series but the World Series as well (2004 Boston Red Sox), anything is possible. The only team I think stands a passible chance are the Suns and that's really only because of the Shaq factor. I think the Cavs are going to steamroll the Wizards in Game 5 and really the Nuggets have given up. Which is disgusting given what type of talent Carmelo Anthony is. The Hawks also have no chance. I think the Celtics are ticked off over their one loss and will demolish Atlanta in the next two games.

    Can the 76'ers pull off the upset. Again anything is possible especally when you go into an opponents home arena and beat them like the 76'ers did . I think they've gained a confidence in picking up those wins and tying the series. Do I think they will pull it off? I have no clue. Detroit seems to be back in control but you never know in a Playoff situation. We'll see how the next two - three games roll out.

    Honestly, it is too early to talk second - round action. Everybody is still playing first round action and like I said earlier, anything can happen in a Playoff situation. I would however be interested in seeing how the Lakers will do with a team that isn't quite prepared to roll over and die for them and give them another NBA trophy, though.
  18. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    1) Can any of the teams down 3-1, 2-1, or 3-0 actually win their series, or are all of them over?

    The Nuggets are definitely done (they put a fork in themselves relentlessly in their series), with the surprise coming after Denver's 102-84 loss to the Lakers in Saturday's Game 3, when a dejected Carmelo Anthony accused coach George Karl of quitting. That set talk radio and bloggers across Colorado buzzing, but Sunday at the Nuggets' practice all we got was another weather event -- the blizzard of "no comments" from Denver's players on Melo's mutterings. They have reinvented the phrase "Failure is not an Option" into "Failure is most definitely an Option".

    Then there is Dallas. The Mavericks are a wreck as well. I am sure that Mark Cuban is steaming in more ways than one. When I looked at these teams before the series, it seemed as close as you could get to a dead-even matchup, and the Hornets' home-court advantage was the main reason I picked them in seven.

    It hasn't worked out that way, even though Dirk Nowitzki has had a very strong series. But he isn't getting enough help, thanks mainly to Josh Howard's complete and total implosion at the offensive end. Forget this week's controversy about his confession that he smoked marijuana in the offseason -- it's his game that's gone to pot. In the series, he's mustered just 12.8 points and 6.5 boards while shooting a dismal 15-for-58 (25.9 percent). By Sunday night's Game 4, the Hornets were leaving him wide open for jumpers throughout the second half, but he clanked all of them.

    The Wizards' use of Hack-a-Ben in their series against the Cavaliers hasn't been nearly as effective as San Antonio's use of the same ploy against Phoenix's Shaquille O'Neal, mainly because the Wizards haven't tried it.

    If you ever would use a Hack-a-Whoever strategy, Ben Wallace would be the guy to use it against. Wallace is the worst free-throw shooter in NBA history. He made a dismal 42.6 percent this season and is at 41.8 percent for his career.

    Do the math and you'll see that sending him to the line for two shots produces an expected return of 0.90 points for the Cavs -- 0.42 points on the first shot, 0.42 points on the second shot, plus 0.06 points on rebounds off a missed second shot (assuming the offensive team will rebound 13 percent, which is roughly the league average).

    Meanwhile, the expected return for an average offensive team facing the Wizards is 1.068 points per possession. So just fouling Wallace reduces Cleveland's expected output against the Wizards by more than 15 percent.


    2) Can the 76ers pull off the upset? Anything is possible, but really, look, I know the Pistons are still giddy about their 93-point explosion against a 40-win team last night, but they have to be gravely concerned about their offense. Even with Tayshaun Prince absolutely killing Andre Iguodala, the Pistons are tied with Philadelphia at 2-2, a shocking state of affairs that's mainly the result of their point guard's struggles.

    Chauncey Billups was the best player on the league's second-best team in the regular season. In the playoffs he's 12-for-42 with 16 turnovers, and he's taking the Pistons' offense down with him. Even in the Game 4 win, he was 4-for-16 with six turnovers.

    If this sounds familiar, it's because it is. Detroit's offense went into the tank in May 2006 and again in 2007, and Billups led the way both times. It's not just his shooting either; he hasn't been as good at getting the others involved. In 37 playoff games over the past three seasons, Billups has only four double-figure assist games -- whereas in the past three regular seasons he has 64.


    3) Is it too early to talk about second-round match-ups, and if not, what probably series are you most looking forward to?

    Yes, right now it is too early. When you're talking about playoff surprises, Atlanta's handling Boston so easily in Game 3 certainly cracks the list. Only a few people I know picked the Hawks to make it even a five-game series, much less get their win in such easy fashion ag/>/>
  19. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    The only team with a legitimate shot at a comeback from deep in the hole is Washington. They won two of three in the season series, with Cleveland's lone win coming on a one-point home-court victory; the winning free throws were made with seven seconds to go. Washington was only two games worse than the Cavs, with a 43-39 to Cleveland's 45-37, so they had comparable seasons and Washington had the edge through their three games. Cleveland showed in game three that they were capable of stinking it up, and another night with 39.7% shooting and only two players in double digits would get the Wizards right back in it. But I don't think they'll pull it off, as I can't imagine the scary good King James remaining silent three games in a row. He had only four stretches of three games or more where he didn't score at least 30 points, with the longest spanning six games and one of them taking place during an injury. The guy dominates basketball games regularly.

    The 76ers are in an interesting spot. They've played well twice and got beaten solidly twice, and that makes me wonder what team is going to show up for game five. I also worry about their morale; giving up 34 in the third quarter of game four may well have lost them the series, as the surrendered a half-time lead and every bit of breathing room they had before returning to Auburn Hills. There's also history against them: the Pistons have been down in a series and come back to win five times since the '03-'04 playoffs. Starting off slowly and then heating up is not out of character. Still, the Sixers have a chance, albeit a small one. They have to win game five and avoid another road trip by clinching in game six, so the pressure's on, but they've shut down the Pistons twice (in addition to splitting the season series, including a Philly win in April). I don't think it's likely to happen, but it's not an unrealistic possibility.

    If SI can make full playoff predictions in October, then we can make second round match-up predictions halfway through the first round! I'm looking forward to the New Orleans series, probably against San Antonio. Chris Paul is a ridiculously great player, and seeing the Hornets' young guns going up against the veteran champions is going to be delightful. Paul and West have played very well so far, and the rest of the team has been productive, so they have the weapons to beat the Spurs. But you never bet against the champs, either, so it should be exciting. The probable Celtics-Cavs second-round should also be fun, as Boston will face the best player on planet Earth and LeBron will get to face a trio of superstars. That series has the potential to go the distance, as Boston could win a game or two by blowout and LeBron could pull out one or two of those magical 40-point performances. Good choices all around, but those two match-ups stand out the most to me.
  20. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    Time to score some arguments again ...

    This Round

    Juliet: Nice quick and harsh on the teams trailing big (+2), good job summarizing the Pistons (+2), love the pot shot at the Nuggets (+1) ... and a nice way to kiss up to the host, by calling for a Cavaliers' steamroll (+2)
    RX_Sith Nice to see you so faithfully follow John Hollinger, but that's a good thing (+1), except when you just copy/paste his articles (-2). Don't do it again. I'd rather hear your thoughts.
    Onoto: I give you credit for being a man and picking a team with a chance (+2), and it might have been more credit if you weren't betting against King James. Of course, you cited that's the reason it's possible, but not likely (+1). Good recap of Detroit=Philly (+2), and I love you having the marbles on the final question. Good stuff there (+2)
    reched: Looks like you got the mute button ... (-1)

    Scoreboard

    This Round

    Juliet: 7
    Onoto: 7
    RX: -1
    reched: -1

    Overall


    Onoto: 14
    Juliet316: 11
    RX_Sith: 4
    rechedelphar: 2



    Buy or Sell is next ...
  21. DarthIntegral Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Jul 13, 2005
    star 7
    <img src="http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/2a/SidneyCrosby.jpg">


    Sidney Crosby and the Penguins won another game last night, advancing to 7-0 in the playoffs, and looking every bit like the future is now. You buy or sell Crosby making the NHL relevant and must-see tv again in America?
  22. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    I'm going to sell. Crosby is ludicrously talented - he's the youngest ever scoring champion, and Gretzky was only five months younger when he won his first Hart Trophy - but for the casual sports fan, he means nothing. You have to go by the casual standards, as the die-hards will watch no matter the conditions. A sport is truly popular if fans who would normally be watching American Idol instead choose to watch the game. Unfortunately, many people aren't even capable of watching NHL games at all, as the league is carried on the small-time network Versus.

    Without a prominent stage, I don't see how Crosby can capture the public's imagination on a scale grand enough to make hockey comparable to football or any of the other major sports. LeBron James is a good comparable in terms of talent, but the greater popularity and exposure of basketball easily makes the King a much bigger star. The most gifted, most talented hockey players in the world can be buried by the more popular "American" sports. Hockey's image as the game Canadians play has undoubtedly had a major impact on its standing; baseball recovered from its strike reasonably well, as its national stature put in a position so that the home run race of '98 reached the maximum number of fans. Hockey isn't in the same boat. It doesn't have the ability to reach the people who define the cultural norms, the casual fan.
  23. RX_Sith C&G Game Host

    Game Host
    Member Since:
    Mar 13, 2006
    star 5
    I completely agree with Onoto on this as being a huge SELL. The NHL Owners basically threw in the towel when they had their lockout. Now, mainly only the northern US cities and of course Canada care about hockey. Anywhere else, football, basketball, and baseball reign supreme. Who really cares if NBC or ABC end up carrying it besides the fans in Philly, Detroit, Boston, Pittsburgh, and the other northern US hockey towns.

    I haven't seen an NHL game since the lockout and I grew up in an NHL city (St. Louis). Sorry NHL, but I will only catch the highlights now.
  24. Onoto Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Oct 7, 2004
    star 5
    On a semi-related note, 87 is an awesome jersey number.
  25. Juliet316 Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Apr 27, 2005
    star 7
    Sell. The NHL is still recovering from the Lockout and it's going to take years more of recovery. It's cause wasn't helped when they basically put it's All - Star game on it's own Network (which very few people get) without much promotion of it, if anything at all. The Owners have been making stupid moves since the lockout and will continue to do so until somebody bashes them over the head and tells them that the fans really haven't come back yet. Though personally it's been irrelevant since Gretsky retired.

    Case in point: I know who Wayne Gretsky was, but I have no idea who this Crosby person is. The only time I pay any attention at all is when something gruesome happens like the skate to the throat in Feburary. NHL is a nothing sport and with the type of ownership it has, will continue to be a nothing sport.
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