Re-organizing sports to be more fan friendly

What is Community after atomization and the subcultures?

Lack of social connection, and by extension lack of community, is one of the primary issues of this era. Resolving it means building meta-communities. When these communities are being constructed, we ought keep an eye towards restoring/restructuring the vitality of many of our institutions through the transcendent energy of intrinsic connection presumably buffeted by the meta-community.

My dude David Chapman is so on point about a sensible approach to life these days. He’s not perfect, but his is the closest I’ll get to a guiding philosophy. Often my intellect can barely wrap itself around his points because they are so on the edge of where our society is at right now, I forget them, fuck up from how I’d like to live, but then return, presumably (so I hope) a bit closer to integrating the lessons into my body and behavior.

I’m in one of those oasis emotional points where I’m grasping what he’s saying, the parts that particularly resonate, and how it resolves ‘confused stances’ I’ve been enacting in the interim since my last ‘oasis’.

The idea is that the great cultural shifts of the 60s resulted in two competing countercultures – conservative family values (evangelicalism as the archetypal but not exclusive spiritual movement related)  and liberal social justice/change (new age as an archetypal but not exclusive spiritual movement related).

These typified the baby boom generation, and, due to that generation’s frustrating, continued arthritic grip on our politics, still defines our country. In 2018. Fuck. You realize how far from 1968 that year is right, and we’re still in its grip? Christ, dude.

But does a political affiliation (which swallows up ones religious identity, ones selfhood, one’s local community, even) provide identity? Well:

Countercultural identity didn’t work well, because a nation-scaled group is too large a group to provide functional community; and because each counterculture merely suppressed and denied its internal diversity.

Because of this suppression, Gen Xers came to embrace subcultures that would allow diversity to flourish through group cohesion, i.e. punks, goths, bros, D&D nerds, etc. This Chapman refers to as the subcultural mode.
But when it comes to community, that didn’t quite resolve it either:
Both countercultures recognized the value of local communities, which the systematic mode had eroded. Both invented new local community models: monist communes and dualist megachurches. Communes failed quickly; megachurches remain vigorous. The subcultural mode developed subsocieties as another new model for community, which unfortunately did not survive atomization. The atomized mode provides virtual but limited community through internet social networks. Overall, the problem of community is still mainly unsolved.
So we have:
  • Baby-boomers and the counter-cultures, Social Justice Liberal vs. Family Values Conservative, which has failed because its way too milquetoast and generic to really supply many identities; sub-cultural identity became more appealing for…
  • GenXers and the subcultures, i.e.  SLC Punk. However [spoiler alert] just as the punks in SLC punk eventually died, got straight, or burned out, subcultures couldn’t remain a dominant force due to the fact that those identities were tenuous, we in reality have a multitude of identities, which was made clear as the Internet, globalization, etc. took hold bringing forth the era of…
  • Millenials and atomization, the fracturing of identities, the infinite ironies and lolz and hyper-niche creation of Harry Potter / Mad Men fan fiction mashups starring the Care Bears that comprise 1/4 of someone’s identity.
The atomized mode provides virtual but limited community through internet social networks. Overall, the problem of community is still mainly unsolved.
So that’s where we’re at. As we survey the landscape of community, we find:
  • A politics still dominated by the counter-cultural inclinations of 60+ year-olds, the liberal communal form of which is largely long dead and the conservative communal form of which is something like the Walking Dead, full of false consciousness and empty calories (i.e. the Megachurch).
  • A shadowy whisper of the old subcultures that were so cool in the 80s and 90s (sorry GenXers, you’re always overlooked) which provides a kind of identity through comic book conventions and the like, but which can’t really help people navigate the world and is more of an escape.
  • Atomized modes of online community that aren’t addressing people’s needs (of which Meetup is perhaps the best because it at least gets people together in person)
Where does this leave us? Very anxious and depressed.
And I basically buy the solutions proposed in Lost Connections, which include:
  • Reconnect to meaningful work
  • Reconnect to other people
  • Reconnect to Meaningful Values
  • Acknowledge and overcome Childhood Trauma
  • Restoring Status and Respect
  • Restoring Sympathetic Joy
  • Restoring a Hopeful Future

If we could find a way to build bridging meta-communities that bring counter-cultural (first bullet points in the two 3-bullet point list-sets), subcultural (second bullet points…), and even atomized (third bullet points…) communities together, I think that’s how we can start to find these solutions and address the aforementioned ‘unsolved’ problem of community.

So what might the three forms of culture I’ve talked about so far contribute to a meta-community that brings people together from all 3? Thoughts:

  • Chapman points out that “The countercultures developed personal and small-group practices for personal emotional fulfillment, self expression, and “finding yourself.” These seem to me on the right track, but had limited success, mainly due to universalism—the denial of diversity.” If we could embed those practices within a meta-community, perhaps we can get past the denial of diversity problem. If an Encounter Group can meet within a community that also includes Bible Studies and an artist’s roundtable, and that makes space for getting to know people as people outside those emotional practices, too, then perhaps certain individuals could find themselves enjoying the practices without getting their entire identity wrapped up in them and thus either abandoning said practice altogether or just sort of not feeling great about it.
  • Chapman next points out that the subcultures (the GenX one)  “made their greatest contribution [through] expressive communal practices for “DIY” exploration of psychologies, aesthetic culture, and social models.” In the same way as with countercultural personal and small group practices, these expressive communal practices could become the practices leaned on in ‘all hands’ type meetings of the aforementioned meta-community.
  • Finally, I’d speculate that atomization could find a place here, though I’m not quite sure how, because if atomization is large enough in scale to meet in person, it’s by definition subcultural, and this seems to involve online forms of community. I suppose it gets down to the diversity, nebulosity, and non-judgmentalism of the meta-community allowing mostly millennial atomized types to find a comfort level of community that isn’t squeezing them into a mold that feels ‘off’. And, to specify, I think plenty of millennials fit into countercultures or subcultures, as those are still around, it’s just not a majority.

So let’s dream big. This meta-community succeeds. We start to remedy the maladies Lost Connections speaks of. We’re all feeling better. We did it! But that’s only the beginning.

At that point, we only have the foundation of connection and lots of good feelings and warmth from which to address the slow-rot of the institutions on which modern life relies upon. Back to Chapman on how the rot started with the countercultures:

  • Countercultures saw the misery of modern life as due partly to inadequate selves. Overall, though, the countercultures’ anti-rationality and subjectivism undermined effective systematic understandings, methods, and institutions.

  • Both countercultures tried to reorient society away from formal, systematic roles toward natural ones: family, unstructured friendships, and local communities. This was the obvious response to the painful gap between the private and public selves. However, it represents a partial reversion toward the choiceless mode, which isn’t capable of sustaining contemporary civilization. That could eventually become disastrous.

And this is my concern with Lost Connections if we succeed at its aims, which god I hope we do. The underlying value the book highlights is intrinsic connection  – which, yes, is needed when we overvalue materialism. But, restored and refreshed, we need to create a positive feedback whereby our ‘natural’ enjoyments – unstructured friendships, local community, family – revitalize our enthusiasm for work, for boring detail-oriented societal reform (instead of the stasis of countercultural conservatism and the drastic-society-is-evil change of countercultural liberalism), etc. If we do not, we will have created a small little light of encouragement while abdicating our responsibility to the institutions that keep the light on. Life is empty without the ‘childlike’ side of intrinsic connection, its likewise a brute state of nature (I would argue) without the adult side to keep all of these modern systems going. We do indeed need people to go back into their workplaces and inhabit their necessarily impersonal roles with perspective and grace, helping the whole machine function better. We need creativity from all across society to help solve issues like the health care system.
As Morgan Freeman as Nelson Mandela says in Invictus, “to get [each other] to be better than [we] think [we] can be.” 
“Inspiration, perhaps. How do we inspire ourselves (as a collective) to greatness, when nothing less will do?”
That’s a question for next time.

Oh and one final note – get yourself a high school style romantic tragedy. It does wonders for the creative juices. Maybe I’ll start doing this like monthly or something bros and gals and zirs, it’s great!

 

ADDENDUM:

The below essentially resolved my exploration of Marcuse enough to where I doubt I’ll be motivated to read Eros and Civilization and have it lead me back into professordom or whatever. And it probably got lodged in my subconcious from an earlier reading of this very passage, even. Had I only remember these paragraphs already worked out the damn problem and resolved Marcuse with contemporary evidence. Goddamnit!

Herbert Marcuse was probably the most important New Left theorist. His Eros and Civilization rejects Freud’s pessimistic conclusion in Civilization and Its Discontents (which I discussed previously) that the self, particularly its sexual desires, must be subordinated to the social system. Modern political repression, Marcuse argued, is based on sexual repression. For the New Left, the sexual revolution was inseparable from the struggle against oppressive corporations and an oppressive state.

This program was partly successful. By the mid-1970s, when the monist counterculture petered out, a majority of Americans had adopted a much more liberal sexual morality than was publicly acceptable in the early ’60s.

The demand that all men marry and support a wife and children doomed many to an onerous and unwanted breadwinner role. The Beat movement—to hippies—was largely a revolt against work, which implied a revolt against marriage. Hippie men too wanted to sleep around, get high, and listen to music—not spend all their time in a mind-destroying job in order to pay for children they hadn’t asked for.

The loosening of social norms, particularly around sex, drugs, and family, which originated in the monist counterculture and which is propagated by the leftish upper middle class, has been catastrophic for the working class. Millions who might have led decent early-marriage strategy-2 lives have slipped instead into the underclass: destructive drug addiction, permanent unemployment, crime, child neglect and abuse

Old Christian communities: And, the Christian technologies of the self were designed to make the large-family strategy more emotionally bearable.

So Jordan Peterson can fuck off about artists necessarily needing to get married unless its one that works for said person and partner in a very uniquely thought out way (or else things seem to frequently go poorly, highly sensitive people (i.e. artists) have more difficulty having good relationships apparently), but I’ll accept that we’re outside the dominance hierarchy in our weird little shamanic world, which is another of Peterson’s ideas. We should watch out for romantic rebellion and instead focus on enjoyableness and usefulness. 

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Yep.

2011-12 Roster Adjustments

    • Bain takes over before the draft

    • Profitable teams (payroll not a factor) from 2010-11. These teams may go over the cap to re-sign all of their players if they wish, but may not sign any draft picks, and may only sign players to replace retirees or players placed on the season long injured reserve so long as they remain over the cap:

      • Bulls

      • Clippers

      • Heat

      • Knicks

      • Lakers

      • Mavericks

      • Rockets

      • Warriors

      • Celtics

      • Suns

      • Spurs

    • Revenue

      • Previous Year Revenue to be Disbursed is $4.15 Billion

      • Player cut (51%) is $2.1 Billion

        • League pays out $1.46 Billion in guruanteed player salary pre-Bain, leaving $640 million for the rest of the league

        • $33 Million taken from the $640 million to pay for Injured Reserve Fund ($9 Million), Rookie Allotment ($3 Million), and the Supplemental Salary Cap ($21 Million) for temporary injury and skill replacement players–leaves the NBA with $607 Million to disperse for pay-for-performance

      • The Salary Cap for 2011-12, before adjusting for non-profit teams later, is $20,233,333. This is much lower than a regular salary cap because all guruanteed money is already paid out and the league-minimum salary is now much lower, which decreases the cost of 5-7 flotsam players on each roster considerably. The cap will nonetheless rise drastically as league revenues go up and guruanteed salary burdens from the pre-Bain era decrease.

         

          • Post Re-Signing Cap ReAdjustment:

            • Over the cap, profit market Bulls, Spurs, Mavericks, and Heat -$25,627,795 total over the cap.

            • The 18 nonprofit teams will see their cap reduced

            • The Memphis Grizzlies and Orlando Magic’s cap space is less than the reduction, so they simply lose all cap space beyond league minimum $100k salaries

            • The remaining 16 nonprofit teams lose $1.56 Million per team from their cap

        • Draft

          • At the deadline before the draft, Timberwolves and previous pick Ricky Rubio agree to deal

          • At the conclusion of each team’s re-signings, the compensations received on the one-time supplemental draft to transition into the Bain Capital Era.

            • From now on, draft choices may not be traded, only players. Once rookies have played for one month, though, they may be traded, preventing, officially at least, “draft rights” schnennanigans that confuse fans.

          • The Compensations (this year only) :

            • Los Angeles Clippers

              • Owe this year’s 1st. round pick, a future 1st. round pick, two 2nd. round picks

              • Committee Conversion to Bain NBA: Surender this year’s Elite Round selection, may not participate in this year or 2012 Regional Draft

            • New Jersey Nets

              • Owed two likely low 1st round draft picks, owe their own lottery pick this year, a future first round pick, four future 2nd. round picks

              • Committe Conversion: Surrender this year’s Elite Round selection (6 spots higher than Clippers), may not participate in this year’s regional draft

            • Cleveland Cavaliers

              • Owed a net of 3 2nd. round picks, also owed a 1st. round pick and a pick swap in the future

              • Conversion: Receive the equivalent of two mid-round picks, the #2 and #7 picks in the Special Supplemental Draft (#14 and #19 overall)

            • Denver Nuggets

              • Owed two first round picks (one likely mid, one likely low) and a net of 1 2nd. round pick

              • Conversion: Receive the #3 and #8 picks in the special supplemental draft(#15 and #21 overall)

            • Minnesota Timberwolves

              • Owed two first round picks (one likely mid, one likely low) and a net of 1 2nd. round pick

              • Conversion: Receive the #4 and #7 picks in the special supplemental draft (#16 and #20 overall)

            • Charlotte Bobcats

              • Owed two first round picks, owe one first round pick

              • Conversion: Receive the #1 pick in the special supplemental draft (#13 overall)

            • Golden State Warriors

              • Owed three 2nd. round picks

              • Conversion: Receive the #5 pick in the special supplemental draft( #17 overall)

            • Boston Celtics

              • Owed three 2nd. round picks

              • Conversion: Receive the #6 pick in the special supplemental draft (#18 overall)

            • Toronto Raptors

              • Owed two late 1st. round picks, owe two 2nd. round picks

              • Conversion, Receive the #9 pick in the special supplemental draft (#22 overall)

            • Washington Wizards

              • Owed a late 1st. round pick

              • Covnersion: Receive the #10 pick in the special supplemental draft (#23 overall)

            • Detroit Pistons

              • Owed two 2nd. round picks

              • Conversion: Receive the #11 pick in the special supplemental draft (#24 overall)

            • Oklahoma City Thunder

              • Owed a low 1st. round draft pick

              • Conversion: Receive the #12 pick in the special supplemental draft (#25 overall)

            • Milwaukee Bucks, Utah Jazz, Houston Rockets

              • All owed a 2nd. round pick

              • Since they are from the three different conferences, each team receives first rights automatically on all players qued from their conference until they choose to draft a player this year only in the regional draft

            • Los Angeles Lakers

              • Owed two 2nd. round picks

              • Receive the #13 pick in the special supplemental draft (#26 overall)

            • Chicago Bulls and San Antonio Spurs

              • Bulls and Spurs owed one 2nd. round draft pick

              • Since the league wants to encourage competitiveness and profitability, it allows profitable markets to re-sign players over the cap. However, they wish to never let teams who decide to do so participate in the draft at all to allow other teams exclusive rights on the next generation of stars. A special exception is made in the case of compensating for pre-Bain draft picks, though harsh rules will be enforced for the privliege of getting to draft all for the Bulls, and Spurs

              • After the regional round is complete and all regional round-eligible teams have either drafted players to the 15-man roster or declined any more picks, the Supplemental Over The Cap Draft, a one time event, will occur. The Spurs and Bulls will get one pick apiece

            • Phoenix Suns

              • Owed two 2nd. round picks, a trade exception, and a low 1st. round pick

              • Owe a future 1st. rounder and a 2nd. round pick

              • No compensation occurs

            • Atlanta Hawks

              • Owe late 1st. round, owed 2nd. round

              • May not participate in this year’s regional draft (and thus don’t get any draft picks at all)

            • Sacramento Kings

              • Owe a net of 2 2nd. round picks

              • May not participate in this year’s regional draft

            • Orlando Magic

              • Owe a late 1st. round pick

              • May not participate in this year’s regional draft (thus no draft picks at all)

            • New Orleans Hornets

              • Owe a distant future 1st. round pick, net of two 2nd. round picks

              • May not participate in this year or next year’s regional draft

            • Portland TrailBlazers

              • Owe a their own high 1st. rounder and a future 1st. rounder; owed a mid-1st. rounder

              • Surrender next available Elite Draft selection

            • Miami Heat

              • Owe two future, likely low, 1st. rounders, two 2nd. round picks and a trade swap option

              • Surrender next & third (after getting to pick one season) available Elite Draft Picks

            • New York Knicks

              • Owe one future, likely low, 1st. rounder, a trade exception, and five 2nd. round picks

              • Surrender next & third (after getting to pick one season after surrendering for the first time) available Elite Draft Picks

            • With the new elite draft rules, some argue that the Knicks and Heat will be crippled from rebuilding,but Bain reminds fans and pundits that neither LeBron nor Carmelo would have gotten away in the new Bain system, and the Heat and Knicks will enjoy frontrunner status for years. The strategy for both will now be to continue to re-sign above the cap, until their players decline so much that they are under the cap by default, as they know a protracted, 3-5 year rebuilding process is likely required as soon as the current 4-6 year championship windows for each begin to close

          • Shane Battier trade cancelled under league suspicion (Grizzlies-Rockets)

Simulating the Bain NBA

  • Teams may play players only at their specified positions, and for a maximum (remainder/decimal not rounded) of the whole number they actually played in the RL season

  • The players stat X minutes / 48 will determine their portion of contribution to each category

  • First,we consdier the home team on offense vs. the away team on defense, we begin with the league median of 95 possessions per game

  • Turnovers are determined by the offensive team’s turnover rate averaged with the defensive team’s steal rate and block rate added together. These are subtracted from the 95 possessions

  • The percentage of quality looks (115% bonus, or 20% becomes 23%, 30% becomes 35%) is determined by the offensive team’s assist rate. This is subtracted from the overall shot attempts (both 3pt and regular), which are taxed down to 85% of the previous rate to account for difficult shots.

  • The number of 3pt attempts is determiend by the teams adjusted 3pt/2pt per minute ratio

  • Shots and points are made for the above two categories based on team FG% and 3pt%. The team FG% and 3pt % is determined by first deciding who shoots how often. Each player’s usage rate-assist rate minutes divided by the total of each players usage rate minus asssist rate X minutes. This determines what portion of the total shots that player will get. From there, the proportion of 3 pointers is decided by the individual players 3pt/2pt ratio.

  • Next, each player’s free throw attempts per minute is multiplied by minutes played to determine total free throw attempts. This number is averaged with 80% of the opposing team’s total fouls (fouls per minute times minute added together) to determine free throw rate. The free throw% adjusted by which players are taking the free throw determines the points scored from these free throws.

  • Next, we’ll determine the extra shots determined by offensive rebounds. The offensive team’s offensive rebound rate is averaged with 100 minus the defensive team’s defensive rebound rate. This is multiplied times missed shots (missed FGS + 30% of missed free throws) to determine the # of offensive rebounds.

  • Again, the appropriate 3pt/2pt ratio is calculated to divide up available shot attempts created from these offensive rebounds. Points scored are added to the toal points scored from before.

  • If the offensive team is at home, 2 points are added for home court advantage (regular season, 5 points playoffs)

  • This total number is averaged with the defensive team’s minutes-adjusted Defensive Rating multiplied by 95, the possessions

  • This final score, in the regular season, is either increased to 105% (hot streak), kept the same, or decreased to 95% of previous (cold streak)

Introducing The Bain NBA Takeover

  • The situation: It’s September 2011. An outside audit proves the NBA’s revenue numbers are not mere negotiating tactics–this time, the league, despite record profits, is in danger of losing many small market teams due to devestating financial losses. After losing a chance to buy out the NHL in the ‘04-’05 lockout, Bain Capital makes a shocking, successful bid to buy a controlling stake in all 30 NBA teams. After succesfully winning over players on rookie scale contracts (first few years), superstars who would stand to make more money in a more value-based salary system, and players with existing big contracts, assured that their money would still be guruanteed, the players narrowly approve of the proposition, which delivers the players the 51% of gross revenues that was their rejected opening offer with the owners.

  • The Solution: Bain’s research has identified several potential ways to increase revenue, primarily through helping more teams be competive, sell more tickets, increasing the value of merchandise and TV contracts through this increased overall excitement league wide.

    • Players will now be given only 1-year contracts, with salary proportionally determined out of total league revenues by a formula that factors in the player’s marketing power, on-court statistical advanced metrics, and subjective evaluations from various parts of NBA clubs. This solves the profitibility problem of huge guaranteed contracts on team competitiveness.

      • The league minimum is now $100,000 regardless of experience, a prestige, 6-digit figure that should still more than motivate veterans to do whatever it takes to get in the league–if they want paid more, they must get minutes and better metrics

    • The salary cap will now be a hard(er) cap. Superstars will be forcibly spread evenly throughout the league through this mechanism, increasing popularity for individual squads.

      • Recognizing that certain markets are more profitable than others, profit-making markets are allowed to go over the cap to re-sign all of last year’s players, but then cannot make any trades except for those that shed payroll, may not draft any players, nor can they even pick up new players in free agency unless a player on the current roster retires or is placed on injured reserve.

    • To avoid conflicts of interest in resting players and making players overly tired, but in order to avoid subtracting home games from teams’ payrolls, the league will be realigned into 3 conferences and 6 divisions that are closely geographically related. All teams will play each non-conference team twice, and fill the rest of the games in their schedule with conference games.

    • To discourage tanking, all 15 non-playoff teams will be entered into a single-elimination tournament with a neutral site final four to generate excitement and entertainment, with the winner entering the playoffs as the 16th playoff team.

    • Bain believes the playoffs begin to become “capivating” most often in the Conference Finals round, as often 2-3 of the conference semi-final sereis are subpar. Thus, playoff caliber teams will all be entered in one large pool per conference, with 7 losses (the equivalent of 3 first round + 4 conference semi-final losses) eliminating a team from contention from the playoffs. Now every win that even non-contenders have can become a “spoiler” loss for a contender. The final four surviving teams move on to the semi-final round. In order to keep top teams from resting starters late in this round, any team which had 3 or more losses less than its opponent in the opening playoff pool will be granted a 2-2-3 home court advantage in the semi-final round.

    • Game 1 of the Finals will now be at a neutral site in a Super Bowl-like event. The team with a better record still has a slight home court advantage in getting to host Game 7 (as well as 2 and 3). Losing game 1 will put the worse record team at a large disadvantage, potentially down 3-0 before getting a home game, but they could also be in a position to win 3 home games in a row and take the series before the home team gets a chance to play more home games than them if they take the neutral Game 1, and if they can gain a split plus a neutral game 1 win now only need to win 2 of 3 at home.

  • The Rules

    • For the first 4 years of Bain’s ownership, the league year will begin with buyout payments on all guruanteed money owed players which pre-dates Bain’s involvement with the NBA being deducted from the players’ total revenue cut

      • In 2011-12, 40% of all guruanteed salary for all years, including all salary for 2011-12, will be paid out

      • In 2012-13, 30% “ “

      • In 2013-14, 20% “ “

      • In 2014-15, 10%, the rest of all pre-Bain guranteed money, will be paid out

    • In addition to the guranteed salary being deducted from the total available for this year’s salaries, $55 Million will be deducted from the total available to cover:

      • Playoff Bonuses ($22 Million in total, paid equally to all 15 players on the active roster depending on finish)

      • Supplemental Roster Freeze ($30 million, or $1 million per team, released gradually to the teams as the year goes along to cover injury and skill replacement players)

      • Rookie Pay ($3 million, or the league minimum for each player)

    • Once all these deductions have taken place, we now know the total player salary to be assigned at the beginning of this year. Now its time to determine the players eligible to receive a piece of the pie:

      • All players to appear in any games are rated by the following formula

        • Fans (10%)

          • Jersey Sales, 5%

          • All-Star Voting, 5%

        • Injury (5%)

          • Games Played/82

        • Human Evaluation (35%) [Fantasy Game Stand-In]

          • NBA Expert Panel (20%) [ESPN NBARank]

          • GM Survey (5%), [Simmons Trade Value]

          • Head Scout Survey (5%) [NBA 2k]

          • Head Coach Survey (5%) [Subjective]

        • Advanced Metrics (50%)

          • Win Shares/48 Minutes (20%)

          • PER (15%)

          • Offensive Rating (10%)

          • Defensive Rating (5%)

      • Each individual rating is determined by the players % proportion of the NBA total. The composite rating is determined according to the percentages above. Once the ratings are finished, only the top 450 players are eligible for the salary. The totals are reapportioned to equal 100%.

      • After this is all done, the players adjusted % value ranking (to a player universe of 450 players instead of however many actually appeared last season) is used to determine the player’s salary for this year.

    • The ratings and next year salaries are determined the day after the leagues fiscal year report is released (July 2). Player salary is capped only by the regular salary cap minus the $1.4 million needed to field a team of 14 other minimum salary players. Any money taken from over the individual salary cap in this manner is reapportioned evenly to all players due for salaries between $125,000 and $199,999 to a maximum of $200,000 annually, then to players making between 200,001 and 299,999 and so forth until fully spent

    • Next, teams have 3 days to determine which players they will keep for next season at the new salary, the aforementioned profit-market-team vs. loss-market-team rules applying.

    • Any money that goes over the total cap +$300k per over-the-cap team for IR replacement players by profit-making teams seeking to re-sign players until they go over the cap is deducted evenly from the salary cap of all finanical loss-bearing teams.If this adjusted cap changes any team’s status to over the cap, the amount they’d be over the cap minus the league minimum needed to fill their roster is deducted proportionally from remaining nonprofit teams under the cap’s cap.

    • Now that the official #s are released, teams have an idea what the draft order will be. The draft takes place the first saturday after July 5

    • On Saturday morning of the draft, all teams receive the $100k in cap money frozen agains the draft

    • Next, the draft takes place

      • All players not drafted in the top 14 receive the league minimum salary

      • All non-playoff teams are organized in order of the team with the most available cap space first (with cap holds to get the roster to 15 players of the league minium of $100k enforced)

      • The team with the most cap space must choose a player with the #1 overall pick.

        • Player salary is 90% of the previous pick or all the team’s available cap space

      • Once the 14 non-playoff selections are completed, the draft moves to a regional format, with the order of player bid decided by a mix of draft experts and total nomination preference votes from the 16 playoff teams, though any team may bid.

        • Nominated players are proceeded through by the order of these teams’ nomination combined with the expert panel’s evaluations based both on skill and potential. Players whom know team picks up become free agents

        • The first player selected in the regional round receives 50% of the last lottery player selected’s salary or the team’s available cap space less filling all roster slots, whichever is lower. Subsequent players receive 90% of the last player’s salary down to the minimum,

        • First the home pool is determined. All (if any) NBA teams in the player’s high school senior city get first dibs

          • The order of teams selecting within that pool is determined by

            • (1) Team with least amount of draft selections thus far (not counting lottery selections)

            • (2) then, if still tied, team with the most cap space

          • If all teams in the home pool decline the player, the scope of the players draft position widens

            • Local: Within the same state as the high school senior city and college (both considered at same time)

            • Regional: Within the college home state’s NBA division

            • Super Regional: Within the college home state’s NBA conference

            • All-NBA teams now entered into the pool of least draft selections then most cap space

        • The draft concludes after 50 total selections, all non-lottery contracts non-guaranteed until camp

    • The day after the draft, free agency begins

      • Compensation is pre-determined by the pre-season salary determination, but players may sign with whomever they wish

    • All contracts not already guruanteed by a lottery draft choice or player re-signing become fully guruanteed upon the end of training camp and the selection of beginning of the year 10 man rosters

    • Players may be traded as long as neither team goes over the cap as a result of the transaction

    • Draft picks cannot be traded

    • The $300k IR reserve cannot be accessed unless to replace a player placed on IR for the duration of the season. It can only be spent in $100k increments until March 1, when teams who have not placed any players on IR can now spend up to $200k on one player, saving $100k for a second IR event. However, IR money can be combined with supplemental salary cap money, then further combined with regular salary cap money if either are available. Profit-market teams over the cap may only spend $100k on an IR-replacement player. When they do so, $50,000 is payed out of the owners’ pocket books and the other $50,000 is paid out of an equal proportion of non-profit markets still under the cap, and removed from their cap.

    • Once teams submit their post-camp rosters guranteeing 15 players’ salaries, $200k of their $700k supplemental cap is unfrozen in case day-to-day or skill replacements are required in the month of November. At the first of each month, an additional $100k is unfrozen.This money can be combined with money under the regular cap to sign players

    • Beginning with November 1, unsigned players whose numbers call for them to make more than the league minimum are reduced to 75% of the previous salary at the 1st of each month, fully guruanteed. If such a player is relased, they keep the entirety of the previous money and if re-signed gain an additional $100k minimum salary. All players not signed at any point in the season are reduced to the league minimum salary as of March 1. Since players are paid the full amount of their salary, not a pro-rated amount, players given high salaries by the ratings that teams don’t want to pick up are not overly punished; they will still get their pay if someone eventually picks them up.

The first three rounds of the NCAA Tournament are always magical. This year, Florida Gulf Coast and LaSalle capitvated us as super-low seeds going on a dream run to the Sweet 16. But what of the regular season, as entertaining as it has ever been, but in a generation raised on the NCAA Tournament, is also a season as ignored as its ever been. My alternative format for the college basketball postseason makes sure that teams are actually rewarded for going through the long haul of a conference championship. The conference tournament and non-conference schedule must keep their relevance however. I believe that I’ve found the answer, and I’m on my third season of beta testing the formula. WhatIfSports.com’s wonderful simulator was employed to work out the brackets.

Teams are broken up into brackets based on their regular season finish. The dual bracket gives several smaller schools who pull off winning both their regular season and conference tournament the chance to play in a winnable first round game. It also gurantees an easier route for the top-ranked team to win its regular season and tournament conference title, this year, that’s Louisville. The Cards road to the final four includes teams that were 11,14,2, and then not even in the field for their fourth game, much easier than the hellish Midwest Regional they were “rewarded” with in our present version of the tournament. Bucknell scores a win over Akron before succuming to Louisivlle. Memphis and New Mexico are rewarded for their hard regular season with each other, much easier than their real life paths. Miami is also rewarded for their dual championships.

The bracket you see at the bottom represents the replacement for the NIT and all other tournaments. Instead of wasting away their time dreaming about next year, these teams can play for local glory and a glimmer of hope to play themselves back into the bracket itself. Its modeled after local high school sectionals, so that teams can host games on their home floors and travel by bus, controlling costs. After a gruelling 5 games in 6 day stretch, 32 sectional champions and eventually 8 regional champions can celebrate season-salvaging local championships, with the aforementioned regional champs moving on to the tournament’s second weekend. These regional champions are seeded for the Bracket (called “regionals” in real life), with real life tourney team Temple the favorite to move on to win the “general bracket” title and earn the right to face the Dual Bracket champion for a Final Four slot.

The next bracket is for teams who won their regular season conference title but failed to win their tournament title.* This gives the big programs like Georgetown and Florida an easier brackets and lets smaller programs like Western Illinois play their way into the field of 64 instead of being locked out to the NIT. In the simulation, Denver, not seen in this year’s tournament pulls off a stunner over top-seeded Kansas, an upset probably on par with Florida Gulf Coast’s real life takedown of Georgetown, or at least Harvard’s 3-14 victory. Marquette beats Kansas State to score one for the committee’s seeding over my NCS formula, while Georgetown was rewarded for their Big East success with an easier path than facing that dangerous FGCU team they did in real life.

*The reason Kansas is here is that the No.1 seeds, except for in the dual bracket, are exempt from this rule to keep them spread out across brackets.

The next bracket is the tourney bracket, a slight reward for the conference tournament champions in that they bypass the long-shot route of the General Bracket (sectionals), and avoid the super-tough at large bracket. Both this bracket and the Season champs must be filled to 24 teams so that host sites have the # of games to be played guranteed, thus at large teams fill out this bracket to 24, alternating with the At Large bracket on placement. These tourney teams who get hot at the right time are forced to play a bit tougher route to the title, which is probably a bit more fair. Amazingly, whatifsports simulators saw Florida Gulf Coast repeat its real life form of a stunning upset, and Gonzaga repeat a stunning loss. Ole Miss won another 5-12 matchup, while the chalk seeds rolled, despite another epic Duke-Butler battle (my NCS rankings were lower on the Bulldogs than the committee’s ).

The At Large Bracket gives At Large teams a slightly easier road than going through the General Bracket, but not by much in a brutal 4-game path to the Final Four against top 30 caliber opponents. By chance, the Big Ten gets grouped here, a downside of the arrangement since No.1 seed Indiana is moved here as the weakest of the 4 No.1s. Next year, my big formula tweak will be to seperate evenly by conference at large teams shipped to other brackets (mainly the Tournament, but also in some years the Season) and kept at the At Large instead of alternating, which led to this overloading of Big Ten squads in the At LArge Bracket. If I had used that method this year, 1-2 of the four Sweet 16 Big Ten squads would be over in the Tournament bracket with Big Ten Tourney champion Ohio State (again, because the Tournament Bracket needs at large teams to fill it to 24 teams).

Next week, we’ll see how the Final Four unfolds as I go into greater detail on what the television viewing experience would look like in this revised format.

The NFL, SuperSeason Edition: The NFC SuperSeason

After winning 7 in a row after an 0-3 start to capture the NFC East, RG III and the Redskins struggled mightily against the NFL’s best in the NFC Champions Group.

NFC Champions Group

4-2 Green Bay
4-2 San Francisco
3-3 Atlanta
1-5 Washington

RG III and company couldn’t hack it, only beating Atlanta at home in the rugged competition of 3 of the NFL’s 4 best regular season squads. Atlanta fought to even records with all three teams, and thus all 3 other squads will stay “up” in the Primary Group for the playoffs

NFC Secondary Group

6-0 Seattle
5-1 Chicago
4-2 Minnesota
3-3 New York Giants, HTH over St. Louis
3-3 St. Louis
2-4 Dallas
1-5 Carolina
0-6 Tampa Bay

Carolina and Tampa Bay expose the weakness of the NFC South in struggling in Secondary group play. Dallas starts 2-1 but loses its last 3. Seattle’s 6-0 campaign forcefully stakes thier claim to be the one team that joins the Primary Group in the playoffs.

NFC Tertiary Group

4-2 Arizona
4-2 New Orleans
2-4 Philadelphia
2-4 Detroit

Arizona and New Orleans surprised by moving up to the next group, though no one went 6-0 so they’ll be staying in the tertiary. Philly and Detroit both lost their week 18 matchups, ending their seasons and sending them down to the Draft Group.