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2012 NCAA Bracket Methodology: The RUN System

March 14, 2012 Leave a comment

Well, it’s that time of year again. March Madness begins in earnest tomorrow, and I’ll be looking to defend my championship from last year’s FOTB Bloggers Cup. My method last year revolved around ranking teams by a combination of SRS and Win Shares. For a quick refresher on those two terms, feel free to check out last year’s article here.

This year I’ve decided to expand my system by including a few new statistical categories that I think are important to tournament success. This was done mostly because my long-term plans include developing arthritis, and I figured that wasting a couple hours over at www.sports-reference.com/cbb (the holy grail of basketball statistics sites for nerds like myself) would help expedite the process.

The result is called the RUN system (Ridiculously Unnecessary Numbers).

Read more…

Categories: Other

NCAA March Madness Methodology – Battle of The Alumni

March 14, 2012 1 comment

And this years winner is……. Burt Reynolds! Yes, seriously, Burt Reynolds wins. Ok well maybe not but the school he once attended is going to win. And that school is Florida State.

I’ve always gotten along well with Texans. You’ve got to.

Ok now to explain where I’m coming from. My methodology last year of using actual basketball stats to try and work some sort of system out. That didn’t go so well. I ended up with a whooping 55 points and a third place finish in our bloggers cup. Thats why this year, I’ve decided to throw basketball skill out the window and do something more interesting. My new methodology is to find famous alumni (or anyone who attended but maybe didn’t quite finish all of their degree) from each school and match them up head to head, who would I rather spend a day with. Its totally irrelevant to basketball but it will find me a sure winner.  Read more…

Year 1 of FOTB – Top 5 News Events From a Historical Perspective

March 6, 2012 Leave a comment

Wow, time flies. While I regret not being able to contribute more regularly to FOTB while I chase my dreams in grad school, Matt and the rest of the boys have done a good job at ensuring that this place doesn’t completely go to hell. Kudos to my more regular contributing colleagues on that front.

I would love to say that my absence can partially be attributed to my ongoing protest against Stern for failing to acquiesce to demands of having an NBA franchise back in Vancouver (although, a juicy NBA/NHL combo in Seattle with a hedge-fund owner is just starting to gain rumor momentum that might satisfy my northwest basketball needs), but in reality I won’t be my regular active self until this first year of school mercifully runs its course.

However, it wouldn’t be right to let the day pass without at least acknowledging some of the awesome events that happened in our first year that I felt have some sort of long-term historical significance. And yes, I’m refusing to acknowledge the NBA lockout, because it never happened.

Presenting David’s Top 5 Most Influential Real-Life Moments in Year 1 of FOTB:

Read more…

First Off The Bench has Turned 1-Year Old!

February 8, 2012 Leave a comment

Ok, so I am a little late with the birthday wishes for our blog, as the first post went up on January 31, 2011. Either way, 8 days later, there is cause for celebration.

The delay in this post is a fairly accurate indication of the second half of the year for First Off The Bench. Of the 49 posts we had throughout the year, only 13 were posted after July 1, 2011. Our writers were busy people in the second half of the year with other things like:

– Getting married
– Graduating from high school
– Moving to Toronto/Vancouver
– Starring in commercials and appearing in TV shows
– Attending grad school
– And a plethora of other things.

Regardless, it was a very successful year for the blog. In a year and 8 days we amassed 16,081 views. The most popular of those were:

The Stage: The Colosseum to Cowboys Stadium
Loveable Losers. The Oilers, Cavs, Clippers and Many More
Does The Miami Heat’s Record Against the NBA’s Top Teams Really Matter?
David’s NCAA Basketball Tournament Methodologies: SRS and Win Shares

All of which were viewed over 1,000 times.

So from all of us here at First Off The Bench, thanks for taking the time to check out our blog and hopefully we can still crank out some content every once and a while.

– Matt Townley

Strip Appeal: My Amateur Architectural Attempt

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

The University of Alberta, through the City-Region Studies Centre, is in the process of judging the entries for “Strip Appeal”, a call for submissions of new design ideas for the common strip mall.

Having zero experience in putting together an architectural design or ever using an architecture program, I thought I would give it a try. I downloaded a free demo version of ArchiCAD, slowly taught myself how to use it (somewhat), and put together a decent reflection of what I was imagining for a redesign. The strip mall I chose to redesign is one close to my house, on the corner of 96 street and 76 avenue, and is currently home to the Blue Chair Café.

Although I thought my idea was more practical than innovative, it definitely was not up to the caliber of some of the other submissions. Of over 100 submissions, 20 were short-listed. Mine was not picked and after attending the gallery of short-listed submissions at the U of A Campus of Extension I understand.

Many of the submissions were very professional and very progressive in their methods of integrating ‘green’ aspects. I still like mine due to the practicality of it as I couldn’t see many real-estate developers investing in some of the architecturally innovative designs that made the short-list. Either way, I wasn’t fully expecting to get short-listed and it was a good learning experience.

Check out a copy of my submission on the link below!

Strip Appeal. Matthew Townley. 96 Street and 76 Avenue

Follow Matt on Twitter: @Matt FOTB

Canada’s Election 2011: Take a page from the NFL’s rulebook

April 3, 2011 2 comments

Can Canada learn from the NFL?

On March 26, 2011, Canada’s Liberal, New Democratic, and Bloq Quebecois parties voted against the annual budget proposed by the ruling minority Conservative Party. In result, Parliament lost confidence in the ruling party and called an election. This is the fourth election in seven years, which were held in 2004, 2006, 2008, and now 2011. Read more…

The Emotional Hedge Bet

February 16, 2011 2 comments

Gambling is a dangerous game to start with—and when you start looking into hedging bets based on past bets and existing bets in play, it gets even more cluttered. While watching the 2011 Super Bowl, a hedging idea came to mind. It may not be a  completely original idea, but I can expand on it and add a new flavor. Read more…