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kottke.org posts about Bill James

The bracketless March Madness bracket

posted by Jason Kottke   Mar 15, 2011

Gelf Magazine has an NCAA tournament bracket for those who hate filling out brackets: one devised by baseball stats master Bill James. Here’s the quickie explanation:

Sign up for your Bracketless Bracket using your Facebook ID. Instead of picking the winner of each game, all you have to do is pick your favorite team from each seed line. You pick exactly one team — no more, no less — from each seed number. You like both Kansas and Ohio State? Too bad. Pick one. Every time your team on the one-seed line wins a game at any point in the tournament, you get 100 points. Every time your 2-seed wins, you get 110 points. You get the picture; if your 16 seed wins a game, you get 250 points.

Great idea…the best part about this is that you get to pick all sorts of underdogs.

Steroid users as sports pioneers

posted by Jason Kottke   Jul 23, 2009

Baseball historian Bill James makes a compelling argument that steroids will eventually become an accepted aspect of sports (and society as a whole) and that baseball players who are now more or less banned from entering the Hall of Fame (though not officially) will eventually be elected to Cooperstown.

If we look into the future, then, we can reliably foresee a time in which everybody is going to be using steroids or their pharmaceutical descendants. We will learn to control the health risks of these drugs, or we will develop alternatives to them. Once that happens, people will start living to age 200 or 300 or 1,000, and doctors will begin routinely prescribing drugs to help you live to be 200 or 300 or 1,000. If you look into the future 40 or 50 years, I think it is quite likely that every citizen will routinely take anti-aging pills every day.

How, then, are those people of the future — who are taking steroids every day — going to look back on baseball players who used steroids? They’re going to look back on them as pioneers. They’re going to look back at it and say “So what?”

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