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Friday, September 12, 2003
 
Krugman's off his meds again.

"Meanwhile, the crudity of the administration's recent propaganda efforts, from dressing the president up in a flight suit to orchestrating the ludicrously glamorized TV movie about Mr. Bush on 9/11, have set even supporters' teeth on edge."

No, Pablo, it's this nonsense from you that sets my teeth on edge.

"Maybe it was the pressure of other commitments that kept Mr. Bush from visiting New York yesterday; but one suspects that his aides no longer think of the Big Apple as a politically safe place to visit."

Perhaps he missed it, but Mayor Bloomberg specifically requested that VP Cheney not attend because the security procedures would interfere with the families of the victims. Obviously security would not be any easier with the President there.

"Four months ago it seemed that the 2004 campaign would be all slow-mo films of Mr. Bush in his flight suit. But at this point, it's likely to be pictures of Howard Dean or Wesley Clark that morph into Saddam Hussein."

I don't get the fascination with Clark among the left; surely he is not likely to win in the primaries entering at this late date. And I'm sure Krugman is horrified at the prospect of Howard Dean morphing into Saddam. Tough.

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Monday, September 08, 2003
 
Are You Ready for Some Football? During one of the games this weekend, Fox Sports asked fans to log onto their website and vote on the question of whether winning the first game was important in the NFL. This may seem obviously so; after all there are only 16 games in the season, so that one game is the equivalent of 10 games in baseball.

However, a different picture emerges if you look at the record of teams winning their first game. In 2002, 16 teams went 1-0 to start the season. Their combined record was 137 wins and 119 losses. If you take away the 16 opening day wins, they combined for the remainder of the season to go 121-119; basically .500 football.

Oddly enough, the picture was even worse for teams starting the season 2-0. There were eight teams that went 2-0 to start the 2002 campaign; they combined for a record of 66-62. After removing the 16 wins, the 2-0 teams were a combined 50-62 from week 3 on, substantially worse than .500 ball.

This does not appear to be a one-year fluke. In 2001, 15 teams that started off 1-0; for the remainder of the season they went 111-114. There were eight teams that started out 2-0; for the rest of the season they were 52-60.

What's going on here? I suspect that the schedule-meisters at the NFL have been making an effort to have the good teams play the good teams and the bad teams play the bad teams early in the season. Note the Raiders-Titans game last night and the Philly-Tampa Bay matchup tonight for examples of the former, and the Arizona-Detroit game for the latter.
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