Life: January 2007 Archives

Superbowl Box Odds

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This week I am gearing up for the Superbowl. Sadly, my beloved Eagles won't be making an appearance, but I am still very excited to watch the game because I am betting on the game. I'm not actually betting on who will win, just hoping that I get lucky in my Superbowl box bet.

Never played a Superbowl box?

It is basically a pool, in which you pay a certain fee to buy a "box" in a 10x10 grid. The horizontal columns & vertical rows will be assigned to one of the teams in the Superbowl. This year, in my current pool, the Colts are the veritcal column and the Bears are the horizontal row. It doesn't matter, really, to which team is assigned a row or the columns.

Everyone pays anywhere from $5, $10, $20, $100...I have heard of Superbowl boxes that were $1,000 box entries on Wall Street. Each person picks a box, write in their name, and once all the boxes are filled up, with 100 entries, then the numbers are drawn, to fill in each of the 10 columns and 10 rows:
012907b.JPG

The numbers are from 0-9, and each number is randomly assigned (by way of drawing numbers from a hat, for example) to each column and row. So, if the first number drawn is "4", then that is assigned to the first column. This is repeated until all the numbers have been drawn for each column, and then repeated for each row. Then looks like this:
012907c.JPG

Once completed, each grid will have its own unique combination of numbers from 0-9. As a player in a Superbowl box the only thing you are interested in is the TOTAL score of the game for the first, second and third quarters & the final score (not the fourth quarter, the final score in case of overtime).

If you had the box in the grid where it lines up to 7 (Bears), 3 (Colts), then you are rooting for each quarter of the game the LAST number of the TOTAL score. So, if in the first quarter, the score is Bears 7, 17, 27, 37, 47...the only thing you care about is that the "7" is represented. To win, you also need the Colts to have 3, 13, 23, 33...and so forth. The Bears could score 7 points and the Colts 103 or the Bears score 13 and the Colts 7, you are still a winner. The team winning doesn't matter, just the last number in the total points at the end of each quarter or final.

There are 4 prizes in the most common pools. First quarter, second quarter, third quarter and final score. Remember that most pools say "Final score" and not "Fourth quarter" in case of an overtime game. I have known some pools to be $2 per box entry. The most common seem to be $10, with first quarter assigned $125, second quarter $250, third quarter $125 and final score $500. Again, this can vary from pool to pool. I'm playing in 2 pools this year, one for $10 and the other for $20 per box.

Some pools have quirky side rules. I have played in pools that had a "reverse" for the final score, so that if the score was Bears 27, Colts 13, the person who had the reverse of the winning box - holding 7 (Colts), 3 (Bears), was also rewarded like $10 or so per quarter & a bit extra for the finals.

Each year when I play the pool, I always think: What's the best numbers to have in this pool?

I went to the website of the Superbowl, and took reviewed the total scores for each quarter and the final scores of all 40 Superbowls. I want to stress the following before I continue:

1. Please note this only accounts for Superbowls, and not regular season football games. I think teams play differently in the Superbowl and regular season scores would show a different tale. For example, battles of field positon in the first quarter versus desperate-powered 4th quarters seemed to be more common in what I found in the stats.
2. I'm was an english major, not a math major. I'm sure this isn't 100% accurate. I'm sure somewhere I may have made a mistake.
3. I'm still think about Superbowl XXXIX. I was there, the game was incredible. I honestly think we could have won that game if we just ran the ball more. Too many mistakes that doomed us, I think one of the key momentum changes was the interception in the first quarter by Rodney Harrison with the Eagles in the red zone.

I talked to someone about this while writing it and while this may differ than the results of regular season scoring, I think that the Superbowl is a different beast. There certainly have been runaway blowouts, but for the most part it seems that the contests are two evenly matched teams vying for a battle of field position and strategy. In a regular season game a team might be more apt to go for a 2 point conversion, or take more chances when their offense is backed into the end zone (and risk a safety). Also I simply didn't have the time to crunch the numbers of every regular season game of the last 40 years.

So, I found the results interesting.

For the first quarter the following numbers in the last 40 Superbowls have been: 0,3,4,6,7. That's it. If you have those numbers, for any team, you are looking good, at least for the first quarter prize.

0 has shown up 37 times (20 times for the away team, and 17 times for the home).
3 was 19 times.
4 was 5 times.
6 was 1 time.
7 was 18 times.
Best first quarter combo? 0,0, which showed up 9 times.

For the second quarter the following numbers in the last 40 Superbowls have been: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9. Everyone can be a winner! Those holding 0, once again, are looking good.
0 has shown up 25 times
1 was 2 times.
2 was 2 times.
3 was 16 times.
4 was 8 times.
5 was 1 time.
6 was 7 times.
7 was 14 times.
8 was 3 times.
9 was 2 times.
Best second quarter combo? 7,0 which was 5 times. Plenty of other combos showed up 4 times.

Once again, for the third quarter the following numbers in the last 40 Superbowls have been: 0,1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9.
0 was 16 times.
1 was 4 times.
2 was 2 times.
3 was 10 times.
4 was 12 times.
5 was 4 times.
6 was 8 times.
7 was 17 times.
8 was 2 times.
9 was 5 times.
Best third quarter combo? There isn't a clearcut favorite. 0&4 show up 4 times.

The final score everyone shows up again. Here's what I found:
0 was 12 times.
1 was 9 times.
2 was 4 times.
3 was 6 times.
4 was 10 times.
5 was 4 time.
6 was 10 times.
7 was 15 times.
8 was 3 times.
9 was 7 times.
Best final score combo? 7&4 showed up 4 times. 7&0 was 3 times.

Best number, clearly was 0. It appeared 90 times in the every quarter or final last 40 Superbowls. 40 Superbowls multiplied by 4 quarters is 160. There are two teams, so that number is doubled to 320. If my math is correct, that makes it 28% of the time. 7 showed up 64 times or 20% of the time. The worst number was 8, with only 8 times it appeared, or 2.5% of the time. This was also the same story for 5, which tallied for 9 times or, 2.81%.

I have the full stats after the jump, have fun crunching them to your full desire. Also note I included a "squared" percentage. It isn't 100% accurate, but it also gives you an idea of the chances that a combination of having that number would win. Just having a 0 is nice, but doesn't mean you win 28% of the time. It just means it has been appearing 28% of the time, you still need the second number to win.

Have fun, good luck and I hope the Colts crush the Bears. To me, the Colts earned their way to this Superbowl, with a great, winning organization over the last 5 years, much like the first class Philadelphia Eagles. The Bears are a flash in the pan team, having one good season and really have no business in the Superbowl with a quarterback like Rex Grossman.

But, as we all know, Defense Wins Championships. Think about the Ravens in 2001 (Johnson went 18/34, 215 yards, 2 TDs and 1 int. Or Tampa Bay in 2003 (Dilfer passed 25 times, completed 12, had 153 yards and 1 TD). To me, I think the Colts deserve the victory not only on this season, but the fact that they have been a great team for the last 5 years and contending for the crown with the Patriots always standing in their way. They finally beat the Pats (in a game that I think should have been the real Superbowl). Don't count out the Bears. They have the special teams alone to give their QB mid-field position every kick off or punt. That's amazing.

Here are the stats after the jump. If you find a mistake with what I calculated, please email me, and I will fix that.

CANCER SURVIVORS RALLY

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Sent to me by my friend Christina...

CANCER SURVIVORS RALLY TO SUPPORT
AMERICAN CANCER SOCIETY

WHAT:
• The Relay For Life kick-off rally is when families, caregivers, cancer survivors, schools, companies, etc. come together to celebrate the beginning of the Relay For Life season. Relay For Life will take place in Hoboken on May 19, 2007.

• The American Cancer Society Relay For Life is a community celebration where individuals and teams camp out, barbecue, dance, and take turns walking or running around a track “relay” style to raise funds to fight cancer. At nightfall, participants will light hundreds of luminary candles around the track in a moving ceremony honor cancer survivors as well as remembering those lost to the disease. The American Cancer Society Relay For Life represents hope in that those lost to cancer will not be forgotten, that those who face cancer will be supported, and that one day, cancer will be eliminated.

• Started in 1985, Relay For Life began with one man who walked and ran around a track for 24 hours raising $27,000. This year, Relay For Life will take place in more than 4,500 communities and is expected to raise well over $300 million.


WHO:
• The American Cancer Society encourages anyone wishing to honor cancer survivors and caregivers, or pay tribute to those who have lost their battle with cancer to attend the Relay For Life kick-off to find out more about the Relay for Life event in Hoboken.

WHEN:
• TUESDAY, FEBRUARY 6, 2007 at 7:30PM

WHERE:
• MILE SQUARE BAR & GRILL
221 WASHINGTON STREET, HOBOKEN, NJ 07030

HOW:
• To join Relay For Life in Hoboken, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit www.cancer.org. Create a virtual team or donate online anytime at www.cancer.org/relay.

The American Cancer Society is the nationwide community-based voluntary health organization dedicated to eliminating cancer as a major health problem by preventing cancer, saving lives and diminishing suffering from cancer, through research, education, advocacy and service. For more information about the American Cancer Society, call 1-800-ACS-2345 or visit its web site at www.cancer.org.

ABC 1-2-3

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I just read this:

http://abcnews.go.com/Technology/GameOn/story?id=2819621&page=1

Right after I read Janine's comment, "this will NOT help your quest to find a girlfriend!!!" on my Warcraft post.

Part of why I write this blog is a sort of honest "This is who I am" writing style. I will write about things I am even ashamed about doing (Fights with Giant fans, unabashedly getting seats on the PATH).

I could sit here and write about some sort of Phony Sean that doesn't really exist. I could get very creative and try to portray someone who isn't real. Or maybe creatively edit out things that I haven't done. I'd hazard that most of what I am is written into this site, warts and all, and i'm not looking for any sort of validation. I do like constructive comments. I don't really need people to tell me that my site sucks - if you don't like it, don't read it. Go someplace else.

But then again, when I read an article from abc news, I know that I am hitting the pulse of what is going on. I know that more people are gaming. I know that it is becoming more mainstream. 15 years ago if you said, "I love fantasy movies, like The Hobbit." - everyone would shun & ridicule you. Today, how many people do you know that loved "Lords of the Ring". Yes, i'm well aware of the VAST differences of the two movies. My point is that with technology and creativity it is making things that were once "uncool" to "cool". Before the .com boom anyone who worked on computers were laughed at. Now they are the new CEO's.

Sorry to people like Janine who think i'm on some sort of "quest" to find a girlfriend. I'm not. I'm a firm believer that a girlfriend doesn't make you happier. I'm very happy by myself. If, perchance, I meet someone - great. But I certainly expect that they would love me for who I am - gamer and all - rather than a false facade of who I am not.

The end is near!

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Nothing angers me more when I read stories like this...

Asteroid to destroy Earth?

The news industry, no doubt, is based on the same capitalistic factors as the entertainment industry - the more people watching your program translates into more revenue for your efforts.

This so-called Journalism translates into a sensationalistic method of reporting.

Is this news? Sure.

Is this important news? Not really.

Are we going to be wiped out by Avian Flu, asteroids, nukes, overpopulation, global warming or too much methane gas farted into the atmosphere by cows? Who knows?

To me it is also like a paralleism to living here in New York. I told my mother recently, while she visited me over the holidays, that I really don't like living here because of the chance of another terrorist strike.

It is like living in Pompeii, next to Mount Vesuvius in A.D. 78.

I got the first "rumble" in 2001 (I wasn't here for the 1993 bombing, for example). To me it has always been a question of not "if" but "when" the next big thing happens. Certainly the media adds to this sense of unease.

But much like the news report about Asteroids - my attitude is "What can you do?"

Do I tuck tail and run away? Well, no. I certainly am well aware, much like our ancient Pompeiians, that living here has a certain level of risk. I know there are friends of mine who have confided in me that they, too, would like to be "someplace else" besides here in the future. I'll stay here until the day comes where I decide (or i'm forced) to leave. It's funny some friends and family have said, "Why don't you just leave?" - But after living here 13 years, and establishing some roots in the community it is very hard to just change cities and start over. To some people it is very exciting for change and new things, for me, and my personality, I have little desire to shake things up. I like my weekly bartending gig. I like knowing my friends at Maru. I enjoy working in the heart of New York. I told people before I feel like living in New York would be the equivalent of living in Rome during the height of the Roman Empire. The pulse of the world beats here, you can feel the energy in the air when you walk around New York. I never had that experience in Philadelphia (sorry Philly, you know I love you).

I think about the risk of living here a lot. I remember when I walked into work every morning, the World Trade Center standing like a beacon, with the sun rising over the towers, and I would always marvel at them. They were eye catching, they were almost larger than life. Now when I go into work, there is always the same wistful rememberance of what was. Sort of like remembering the good times with an old girlfriend. You remember how great it once was.

I'm just tired of the news constantly scaring us. Doom and gloom. I suppose, in a way, that is why blogs are a bit more popular, don't you think?

One Big Happy Warcraft Family

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Family-07-2004 089
Originally uploaded by Furey.
My next few weeks will be a bit....occupied. If you haven't heard of the game "World of Warcraft" then you have been under a rock. They now have 8 million people playing this massively addicting game. My nephews have joined in on the fun and I went from obscure relative to rock star status with them.

For those who don't know the game I will try to explain the basics. It is a online 3d video game. Based on Dungeons & Dragons, you are in a medieval fantasy world in which you adventure in the form of quests, killing monsters & also battling other living players. There is an online economy, and you advance your character through experience in killing monsters, solving quests or other similar puzzles. The higher level you get, the more powerful you become, and a force to be reckoned with by monsters or players. There are other programs that allow you to use headsets and chat online with each other using Nextel-like style programs like "Ventrilo". You can play the game, press a key, "Hey, lets go to the stronghold" and everyone in your ventrilo channel will hear you talk and can respond.

Ok, so you should have an idea of what's going on. So I have played the game for the better half of 2 years, since it began, and my character, a mage, is probably more powerful than 95% of the rest of the characters on the server.

When my nephews started playing they were at the bottom level, or level 1. I was the highest level, level 60. My two nephews started to play, and by welcoming them, I gave them each 25 gold, which in the economy of the game was something that you would have accumulated by level...40.

The response was fun watching them jump around.

Little did I know that I was going to regret my generousity.

You see, I also have 2 OTHER nephews who heard about this and became very, very excited to also play. My visit to Washington DC was a marathon sesson of explaining to them how the game works and their excitement to start playing. Once I got them online, and taught them the basics came the problem.

Now, I am not a father or a parent (as far as I know), and I didn't realize how the "monkey-see-monkey-do" mentality works with kids. Maybe if you are a parent reading this, you might chuckle and if you are single, you may empathize with me.

Now my generous gift of 50 gold to my other two nephews was not lost on these two. Their immediate action was to ask ME for gold also, and quite honestly, I certainly could give them 25 gold each, but I was getting a bit low myself. So I gave each of them 5 gold, which is PLENTY for anyone their level. It should certainly last them 10 levels if they are careful.

Right after I gave 5 gold to one nephew and watched him start talking to another level 1, and I was busying chatting to someone else. Then I watch when the level 1 character exclaim "THANKS!" and jump around. It didn't take a rocket scientist to figure out what he did.

"Did you just give him some gold?", I asked.

No answer.

"Do not, under any circumstances, give away your gold.", I told him.

That worked until the next day.

I get online, and my nephew, excitedly runs up to me, "Uncle Sean! Hi 2 PAC!"

(Their parents relay certain edited portions of my writings to them...)

He opens up his trade window and says: "GOLD"

I'm mortified and laughing at this at the same time. I created a monster.

Fortunately their parents have been nice enough to explain that Uncle Sean isn't a gold vending machine. But I must admit that it is nice to have something in common with my relatives that for years has basically been my dark secret.

Try to explain video games to the non-gamer and you can almost hear the eyes roll in their head. They don't understand it. They don't want to understand it.

You know it's funny. I played fantasy football in high school. Now remember, that is 1986 when I was in school. No internet. No Yahoo or CBS Sportsline sites to calculate your scores. We read the newspaper each day, and would, by hand, calcuate our scores. The jocks laughed at us, they didn't understand fantasy football. They didn't want to understand fantasy football. They thought it was just a bunch of guys who took their dungeons and dragons to the sports world.

Today, fantasy football is...normal. Everyone plays it, from jocks to nerds to girls to my uncles.

So what's my point? World of Warcraft is just the tip of the iceberg. It is what fantasy football is in 1996. It might not be the watershed game that the world plays, I still think that game is about 10 years away, but with the world growing more and more distant from each other, the one level of community that thrives is the online community.

Case in point. My brother-in-law was in California for business. He started to play Warcraft at the same time his children, my nephews, started to play. His home is in Great Falls, VA and when the kids got online after school last week - so did he. I don't know, it just is a nice way for parents to keep in touch and connect with their kids, if you ask me.

The same is true for my friends. Last March I was on a golf trip. While there I convinced a friend of mine to give the game a try. He wouldn't have struck me as your "typical" online gamer. He tried it and loved it. LOVED IT. To the point where he would email me and say, "Took the day off from work so I could play."

Hey, I know where he's coming from. A lot of my "vacation time" is basically "computer time". Some people go on a vacation to a beach to relax, or maybe golfing - relaxation to me is sitting in front of a computer and playing games with my friends.

This week an expansion to Warcraft was released. An expansion sells new content: more monsters, lands, spells, items and things to explore. It raised the levels from 60 to 70.

My one sister laughed with me yesterday saying how my nephew saw I got to level 61, and started to go bonkers, saying "UNCLESEANISLEVELSIXTYONEYOUHAVETOSEETHISOHMYGODHESSIXTYONEMOMMOMMOMUNCLESEANISSIXTYONE!!!!"

To the untrained observer and people that wouldn't understand his excited language it would be like watching a child hop around with a honey bee in his pants yelling bloody murder.

Now I am trying to figure out if there is a way I can get out of birthday presents and christmas presents in return for World of Warcraft favors for my nephews. That would be nice.

(The above picture was taken of the Koy fish pond & waterfall at my parents house at Collegeville, PA in 2004)

Footlocker/Champs/Footaction Sale

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I picked this up from the Eagles messageboard, reposting here for any sports fans who didn't know:

Don't miss this footlocker/champs/footaction 40% off sale! It starts on January 11th. The code is below.

Coupon also works IN-STORE if you print out the coupon and bring it with you.

40% OFF also works on items that are already on sale.

Sale starts 1/11 and ends 1/15!

Footlocker F&F Online Code: FF7JL307

Champs Sports F&F Online Code: FF7J6307

Footaction F&F Online Code: FF7JV307

DISCOUNT WILL NOT WORK ON NIKE OR JORDAN BRAND PRODUCTS!

You type in the Online Code during one of the last Checkout pages, I believe after you've already entered in your payment information.

I bought my Westbrook Jersey this way, and got a nice deal on it from the Reebok site. This is an awesome sale.

Edited to add: I updated the hyperlinks, they weren't working. -Sean

Happy New Year!

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The picture was from 6th and Bloomfield. A large crowd of onlookers were stunned by a 15 minute long firework show by local residents. I remember living on 6th and Bloomfield about 10 years ago, and they would have a firework show each year. It seems they get bolder and bolder each year. A bit blurry (I didn't have a tripod and had the shutter open for 4 seconds, f/11). But this was one of the better pictures. Happy New Year!

10107.jpg

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This page is a archive of entries in the Life category from January 2007.

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