Category Archives: Disgruntled Fan Feature

Slightly-erratically scheduled, full-length commentaries on major issues in sports.

The Mystery Of NBA’s Arc

Why are there two three-point lines on an NBA half-court?

We tend to think of the three point arc on an NBA basketball court as one continuous line, but in fact that’s not true. There actually are three separate but joined lines that define three-point distance in an NBA game: there’s the actual arc that curves 23 feet and 9 inches away from the center of the basket, and then there’s the straight 22-foot lines that parallel the sidelines on each side of the width of the court. All those lines join at a couple of soft corners to form one continuous stripe that defines three-point range.

OK, that’s all easy to understand; it’s even easier to visualize when looking at the court versus describing it. (You can see all of this laid out inĀ the diagram available at this site.)

What’s not easy to understand, if you pause to think about it, is why that’s supposed to make sense.

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Knights And Daze

A lot has been happening lately–so much stuff, in fact, that it’s been difficult to pick one sports story to think much about, let alone write a commentary about it. One thing that has stood out, just enough, in these recent, active days has been the unusual immediate success of the NHL’s expansion darlings, the Vegas Golden Knights.

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The Golden Knights: they’re having quite the time in Vegas

At 9-4-0 with 18 points, the GK’s are sitting in second place in the Pacific and breathing down the necks of the division-leading Los Angeles Kings. It’s pretty remarkable that an expansion team would shoot out of the gate with such winning ways. Clearly, the Vegas ownership has done a sparkling job of putting together a team that can compete right away with the NHL’s established squads.

But you have to wonder: is this really a case of the Knights being that good…or everyone else not being all that great?

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Look Beyond The ‘Unity’ Label

Another Sunday, another round of NFL players and assorted others kneeling, linking arms, raising fists, and doing who knows what else as a demonstration of their belief in…

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Aaron Rodgers and the Packers: Unified, or “unified”?

Well, you see, that’s the thing: it’s actually somewhat difficult to tell what all these players believe in; or, rather, what it is that they are demonstrating through their actions.

The motivations behind the various and sundry national-anthem-time actions appear to be as varied as the colors of the uniforms on those sidelines–not to mention the colors of those players themselves.

The overarching theme of the NFL actions seems to be centered around a vague concept of “unity.” But it is an open question as to just how far that idea of unity actually goes.

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The Incredible Shrinking Umpires

This Feature was originally supposed to be about the problems with Major League Baseball’s replay system.

Then, with the umpires donning white wristbands to protest–too much, methinks–Ian Kinsler and other ‘verbal abusers’ of their kind, I figured a few words about the sports’ officials might be in order.

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MLB umpires’ protest: they brought wristbands to a knife fight

And then, of course, last week’s brawl in Detroit happened, and your correspondent figured that was what really needed to be written about–in an Audible if not an outright Feature.

But then, after a few moment’s sober reflection, I realized something: all three of those items are really part of the same story–the increasing diminution of Major League Baseball’s umpires.

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