Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Tiger's "Master" Plan

You can find this article on Bleacher Report too.

For an athlete, it is never a good sign when you are on the "Most Wanted" list of TMZ. That is exactly where Tiger Woods finds himself, ever since that eventful Thanksgiving night of 2009. Add to it that Tiger, by nature, is one of those sticklers pining for privacy and secrecy of his life away from the golf course, it totally cornered him into a real uncomfortable place. A place from where he had to set things straight with his family and friends. A place from where he had to openly talk about his unfaithful acts that had come to light. A place from where he had to fix his image so that he does not lose his sponsors, and in the process, a major source of his income. And worst of all, he had to address most of it, if not all, in public.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

The State of the Packers

This article is also on B/R.

To some, the season might be officially over after crowning the New Orleans Saints as champs. But football ain't dormant at this time, far from it. For all the pro-football teams and their hard core fans, there is no off-season. Most teams strive at all times of the year (during the season and off-season) to try make their team better; to find missing pieces; to give them that shot in the arm that would propel them to the next level. The off-season period for these teams are predominantly spent by having scouts analyze prospective college football players they could draft. This requires a lot of man hours (more than you can even imagine) as the body of work for these college players are very limited. Apart from their on-field abilities, teams will like to get a hang of the personality or character of prospective players. After all, we are talking about 20-22 year olds, and it is obvious how flaky and unpredictable people of that demography are, let alone try predict what kind of a character they would grow into. So, scouting involves a lot of psychological and personal background analysis apart from regular football stuff. At the same time, the front office folks have it a little easier trying to evaluate free agents or trades for players on other teams. After all, these players usually have a well documented body of work for everyone to look at and also the pool of players generally available through trades or as free agents is typically minuscule compared to the myriads of prospective college players that are available to be drafted (or maybe signed up later on as undrafted free agents). This post is to look at where the Packers stand this off-season, what are their pressing needs, holes they need to fill, and other concerning off-season issues.