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The Most Elaborate Weekend Project of My Life: Why I Built, Maintained, and Sold

1 Jan 2013

I have vivid memories of getting excited about the Sunday edition of the Chicago Tribune as a kid. It listed every baseball stat for every player on every team. I think I spilled more Honey Nut Cheerios on sports pages than I actually ate. I liked playing baseball like any red-blooded American boy, but I think I liked it the same way Nate Silver does today, because it has more data points that just about anything in history.

My Best Friend in 1988: Earl Weaver Baseball

I knew about Rotisserie baseball and how you could simulate your own games with friends, but damn if I was going to wait more than a week to get back results in the mail. I tried Strat-o-matic and Earl Weaver for Apple ][, but there was something about playing with a big group of friends that was most appealing about the potential of "fantasy" baseball.

I made up rules and manually scored a league for my friends early in high school. I can't say it made me the coolest kid in school, but it was fun. Don't worry, I still got chicks because I played trombone and was in advanced math.

League Zero

In college I met two things that changed me. The first was a dude on the track team named Jeffers who was named after a poet, was way more worldly than me, wore dog collars, and dyed my hair obscene colors on the regular. The second was the Internet.

In our college cross country coach's basement, we decided we needed something competitive (other than the running) to keep us busy for the winter. Jeffers wanted to start a fantasy basketball league from scratch. In 1994, the Internet wasn't much. But, we had "high" speed dorm connections and I'd had some luck building a joke (at first) Vlade Divac Fan Club that was featured on Yahoo!'s first What's Cool list and later on actual NBC TV.

The First Boxscore

Fantasy sports were coming into existence online, but only baseball and football were available, and they certainly weren’t mainstream. So we had to invent our own rules for basketball. We counted +1 points for the big categories (points, rebounds, assists, steals, blocks), let each team start one player at each position, have a sixth man, then two more count half-points. Two more on the roster could ride the pine. We added a one-point advantage/disadvantage for home-court. One catch: if a player didn’t play at all, the next in line would sub-in automatically (maybe the most important rule we added). If you play today, you’ll notice it’s a very crude version of the default game offers.

Rethinking Fantasy Sports

If you’re not versed in fantasy sports, you may wonder what the big deal is. Why so popular? Here’s my view: it’s the ultimate way to keep score. Take NFL Football and think about how many millions of hours are wasted spent watching games every Sunday. When friends watch together, the banter between plays usually revolves around what will happen next and postulating what the coaches, players, cheerleaders, trainers, and groundskeepers are thinking. There’s no score, it’s just argumentative fun. Fantasy sports is a way to keep track of this: winning is a proxy for a way to say “I’m a bigger fan than you.”

I think fantasy sports fans are underserved by mainstream rules. They’re just crappy and way too arbitrary. Let’s break down my six biggest gripes, and the guide I’ve used to create

  • Mainstream sites call game play “head to head” because they add up scores for a certain time period and score you against some else in your league. In fantasy football, you’re usually subbing out whoever’s not playing that week; for basketball you’re just picking players that play 4 games instead of 2. Actual good play isn’t rewarded enough.
  • The default categories mainstream rules reward were seemingly selected because they’re available. In basketball, every major site counts shooting percentage for big points. You know who had a high field goal shooting percentage? Shaquille O’Neal: great player, one of the worst shooters in history. Add some value to stats if you use them. Kudos to any site that lets you customize point values, but offer meaningful stat values as a default.
  • For leagues that draft, 99% of mainstream sites steer you towards doing them live, over just a few hours. I’d argue half the fun of a league is in the draft. It’s the one time of the year when everybody is equal, where anybody can win the championship. I’ve done live drafts, and they’re great, but why not at least offer the option to not rush bad picks? To make more trades mid-draft? To not force someone that can’t make it to choose auto-draft? Let leagues customize how they draft players.
  • “Snake Order” drafting has been antiquated since it was invented. It’s a nice idea — give teams that get a first pick in the first round last pick in the next — but in every major sport, talent is not evenly distributed, and the first overall pick always has an even bigger advantage even with the added risk. The math is sound: Make the draft as fair as possible.
  • How many sites let you have a league of more than 12 or 16 teams? Incredibly few. Don’t limit league size if you don’t have to.
  • Team defense is still a thing? Seriously? Let game players identify with people, not teams or concepts.

Arvydas Sabonis, Finals MVP: The 1995 Site

We had fun that first season, but it was a lot of work to score 82 head-to-head games manually. The next year I set out to automate things with more programming. Simultaneously, I was fortunate enough to forge a sports nerd camaraderie with Caleb, who used Pascal and Hypercard to code the first per-minute simulation. If you play today, you know that’ most unique feature is scoring of every minute of fantasy play. in 1998

Automated code meant it wouldn’t be much more work to host leagues for others, so I launched a public site at and tried to host multiple leagues. In short, it failed hard. It was absolutely crushed by the interest and I had to shut it down the first season even before it started.

It wasn’t long before I graduated, hated my first job, and quit to move in with Jeffers to try to go pro with a fantasy site.

I got an offer to buy in 2000 by a clothing manufacturer with the same name. I sold it for cash plus a huge assortment of amazing basketball clothing. Jeffers and I played around with the domains and but ultimately won the domain from the newly minted TLD .ws registrar by convincing them “we are to fantasy sports what .ws is to .com.”

"Office": 1999

We launched a zillion mini-games, and portals for football, international soccer, hockey, and the olympics. We funded the site (and rent) with advertising dollars. Jeffers designed, our other roommate Hooshla coded some real backend stuff, and the rest of League Zero offered up insight and kept our league alive. The site took off and quickly amassed hundreds of thousands of users, but the basketball game was the most effective, successful, and we eventually narrowed the focus on that.

Things I learned quickly:

1) I had serious feature ADHD. I had some luck inventing a few games, but I should have stuck to a slimmer feature-set and communicated with users more.
2) I had no idea what I was doing from a business perspective.

Evolution, The Black Era

The Site in 2004

I had begun a hardcore job (in more ways than one) by 2001, and experimenting full-time wasn’t an option. Jeffers took another crack at a redesign and I coded the version of the game that exists today: 82-game schedule, up to 32 teams per league, per-minute scoring, playoffs with customizable brackets, awards, trash talk, trades, and voting.

By this time, our interests were to address all of the fantasy sports gripes above and to keep our own league (7 seasons in) alive. By focusing on basketball, we kept bugs at a minimum and grew faster than ever. By 2004, we were getting as much traffic and basketball teams as the biggest fantasy sites.

We call the era the black era because of the raw obnoxious black backdrop — it was a design that people complained about later saying “everybody thought I was watching porn at work.” But also, I was focused on so many other projects by then that it took a backseat at a time when it really could have taken the world by storm. In 2006, I turned it to auto-pilot for a season to focus on other things and because I couldn’t find an easy way to make a lot of money staying true to the mission.

The Renaissance

I had a hankering to inject some new ideas into the site for a while, and in 2009 overhauled it to function like it does today. I leveraged the powered of communal sharing to develop organic news feeds generated almost entirely from Tweets by journalists and players. I also broke down the wall between leagues. Chatter, sharing, and profile building kept users occupied between games. I also added one of my favorite features, the “props” buttons.

Facebook Has Likes: Has Everything Else

Gestures have long been a fascination of mine — user actions that require very little effort, unlike adding a comment. If you’re a user, you see these props available on draft picks, trades, and news items, but they’re built to be completely dynamic so that some day (cross fingers), you can choose your own amongst your leagues.

Exodus and The Good Point

The site has grown every year since 2008, but apart from playing with my own league, I don’t have the passion to support it the way it needs. Complicated rules mean complicated documentation, and that requires technical help. The millions of teams on the site need the TLC of someone that understands them.

I’ve had offers to buy the site to strip it for parts, mostly to mine the email lists for gambling offers. I’ve refused them to date because this is still the ultimate side passion project and the kid with the sports page would kick my ass if I killed that.

As of the first of this year, I’ve decided to sell to digital media juggernaut The Good Point. From their press release:

What does it mean for regular users?
We all know that you’ve been loyal to for years. Now the site that you’ve been so committed to over that time will be evolving from the No. 1 fantasy basketball game on the internet, to the No. 1 most engaging fantasy sports community period. We have professional credentials here at TheGP, one of the many perks of working in news, and a team of 50+ writers both past and present delighted to give this site and this community the attention it deserves. The brilliant Patrick Butler and his team of former developers have created this gem that we’ve all grown to love, now we at TheGP have come together to accept the baton and complement that dream.”

Austin Kent and the staff of The Good Point have, first, been users themselves for many years. Second, the sensibilities of their content is right in line with the anti-establishment nature of the site. Lastly, the final piece of the puzzle to making the site really shine is good, original content and I’m excited to see what they can offer as I enter my role solely as end-user for the first time.

If you’re a user, I owe a huge amount of thanks to you for supporting and using the site, for sticking with it through experiments and tech hiccups, and for being willing to take a chance on the oddball rules before there was documentation. I don’t take that commitment lightly. In return, I’m hoping that handing it over to passionate people that will only improve upon it brings you solace.

I look forward to playing year after year… if just to take down Jeffers and his Manu Ginobili fascination.

The Cost of Competing – or – Why Olympic Weightlifting is More Hardcore Than You Think

12 Aug 2012

One of my favorite parts of the Olympics is all the hypothetical pub-challenges I exchange with my friends.

“If you had 8 years to train and were executed if you didn’t medal, which event would you train for?”

My Answer: Sailing

“Which should be the first sport to go? And replaced with what?”

Answer: Ping-Pong, Tug-of-War

“If you had to sleep with a random Olympian in a certain sport, which sport would you pick?”

Pragmatic Answer: Field Hockey or Soccer; Gross Answer: Gymnastics; Fun Answer: Boxing

I like to arm myself with numbers when I come to a bar fight (go ahead, judge me), so I thought I’d try to settle the whole Is Equestrian Elitist? debate.

For all summer medalists since 1988, here’s how much money the average person from the medal winning countries earn:

Average Country Income
Equestrian $38,302
Triathlon $37,189
Cycling $33,635
Sailing $33,557
Softball $33,375
Rowing $33,367
Archery $31,500
Handball $30,900
Aquatics $30,277
Tennis $30,203
Table Tennis $29,933
Canoe / Kayak $28,794
Field Hockey $27,844
Volleyball $27,200
Judo $26,418
Shooting $26,325
Fencing $25,615
Basketball $25,445
Modern Pentathlon $24,606
Taekwondo $24,385
Track and Field $24,058
Gymnastics $23,234
Badminton $23,058
Wrestling $21,734
Football $20,936
Boxing $20,346
Weightlifting $17,675

In my mind, these seem incredibly intuitive across the board. The more gear, luxuries, and training space required, the better richer athletes and countries do.

But it doesn’t stop there. Even within disciplines, the numbers are fairly unsurprising. Look at Track and Field:

Track Event
Athlete Income
Pole Vault $30,910
110m Hurdles $30,583
Javelin Throw $30,350
20km Race Walk $29,857
3000m $28,850
Decathlon $27,311
100m Hurdles $27,264
1500m $26,823
50km Walk $26,175
4x400m Relay $26,089
Shot Put $26,008
4x100m Relay $25,992
20km Walk $25,600
Heptathlon $25,400
100m $25,280
High Jump $25,213
Triple Jump $23,825
800m $23,412
Hammer Throw $22,731
Discus Throw $22,086
200m $21,482
3000m Steeplechase $21,167
Marathon $21,081
Long Jump $21,023
400m $20,867
400m Hurdles $19,686
10000m Walk $18,800
10000m $16,655
5000m $14,860

There are a few outliers but if something requires stuff or special training, athletes from richer countries tend to do better.

So does this mean you can you compare one sport to another? One might look at these numbers and correlate race stereotypes with how difficult a sport is; I’d argue some countries do better because of the economics more than the body mechanics and genes. And in general, I think the lower the average medalist income, the more badass the medal is. Lower incomes mean less barriers mean bigger competitor pools.

Summary: If you’re starting from scratch and want a medal, don’t go into weightlifting. 10 of the bottom 17 spots are weightlifting events.

The process:

  • To be clear, the averages come from macro-level country averages, not individual people.
  • The income is not actually income but GDP per capita based on purchasing power parity (PPP) (source: CIA/World Bank, 2007-2011). Since accurate disposable income numbers aren’t readily available for all countries, I like this estimate for guessing how much buying power each potential athlete has to buy javelins, bikes, horses, and doping kits.
  • The income is a mean, not a median, in the hopes uneven distribution does play a factor.
  • Retired sports and retired countries were ignored.

The Legendary Chicago Sports Moustaches

6 Feb 2012

Chicago was named 2011′s Most Moustache Friendly City in America. Civilians across Chicagoland can grow as much facial hair as their follicles support, now with less ridicule than ever.

If you’re a fan of Chicago sports, you may be aware of the amazing string of championships rung up by moustachioed coaches and managers. The last nine major sports championships won by Chicago teams were helmed with lip fuzz.

Exactly how much better are moustachioed managers? The breakdown since 1980, when moustaches emerged regularly:



545-193 W-L
.738 pct
Postseasons: 9 (100%)
Championships: 6
792-1006 W-L
.440 pct
Postseasons: 12 (52%)
Championships: 0


370-294 W-L
.557 pct
Postseasons: 8 (80%)
Championships: 1
721-728 W-L
.498 pct
Postseasons: 13 (62%)
Championships: 0


146-118 W-L
.553 pct
Postseasons: 8 (47%)
Championships: 1
119-121 W-L
.496 pct
Postseasons: 4 (27%)
Championships: 0

White Sox

1151-1067 W-L
.519 pct
Postseasons: 3 (21%)
Championships: 1
1447-1391 W-L
.510 pct
Postseasons: 2 (11%)
Championships: 0


569-619 W-L
.479 pct
Postseasons: 1 (11%)
Championships: 0
1859-2018 W-L
.479 pct
Postseasons: 5 (21%)
Championships: 0

City Total


2781-2291 W-L
.548 pct
Postseasons: 29 (33%)
Championships: 9
4875-5264 W-L
.480 pct
Postseasons: 25 (26%)
Championships: 0

Every team has performed better when led by moustache. The exception are the Cubs who do equally poorly in any condition, but they have Billy Goat, Black Cat, Vance Law, Steve Bartman and a whole bunch of other curses to offset the magic of the moustache.

While it’s obvious from the numbers that Moustaches are Moneyball v2.0, take a look how every Chicago sports champion did it:

Champion Team Coach/Manager Moustache?

2010 Blackhawks
Joel Quenneville
The Walrus

2005 White Sox
Ozzie Guillen
The Swamp Otter

1998 Bulls
Phil Jackson
Coiffed Beard

1997 Bulls
Phil Jackson
The Italian Plumber
plus Soul Patch

1996 Bulls
Phil Jackson
The Chevron

1993 Bulls
Phil Jackson
The Lampshade

1992 Bulls
Phil Jackson
The Selleck

1991 Bulls
Phil Jackson
The State Trooper

1985 Bears
Mike Ditka
Hurricane Ditka

1963 Bears
George Halas

1961 Blackhawks
Rudy Pilous

1946 Bears
George Halas

1943 Bears
Hunk Anderson
and Luke Johnsos

1941 Bears
George Halas

1940 Bears
George Halas

1938 Blackhawks
Bill Stewart

1934 Blackhawks
Tommy Gorman

1933 Bears
George Halas

1920 Staleys
George Halas

1917 White Sox
Pants Rowland

1908 Cubs
Frank Chance

1907 Cubs
Frank Chance

1906 White Sox
Fielder Jones

And for fun, the top 50 Chicago teams since 1980:

Year Team Record Pct. Postseason Coach/Manager Hair Stache?
1985 Bears 15-1 0.938 Won Super Bowl Mike Ditka Moustache
1996 Bulls 72-10 0.878 Won NBA Championship Phil Jackson Moustache
1986 Bears 14-2 0.875 Lost Quarterfinals Mike Ditka Moustache
1997 Bulls 69-13 0.841 Won NBA Championship Phil Jackson Moustache
1992 Bulls 67-15 0.817 Won NBA Championship Phil Jackson Moustache
2001 Bears 13-3 0.812 Lost Quarterfinals Dick Jauron Clean
2006 Bears 13-3 0.812 Lost Super Bowl Lovey Smith Clean
1998 Bulls 62-20 0.756 Won NBA Championship Phil Jackson Beard
2011 Bulls 62-20 0.756 Lost Eastern Conference Finals Tim Thibodeau Clean
1988 Bears 12-4 0.750 Lost NFC Conference Championship Mike Ditka Moustache
1991 Bulls 61-21 0.744 Won NBA Championship Phil Jackson Moustache
1987 Bears 11-4 0.733 Lost Quarterfinals Mike Ditka Moustache
2010 Blackhawks 52-22 0.703 Won Stanley Cup Finals Joel Quenneville Moustache
1993 Bulls 57-25 0.695 Won NBA Championship Phil Jackson Moustache
1990 Bears 11-5 0.688 Lost Quarterfinals Mike Ditka Moustache
1991 Bears 11-5 0.688 Lost Wildcard in Playoffs Mike Ditka Moustache
2005 Bears 11-5 0.688 Lost Quarterfinals Lovey Smith Clean
2010 Bears 11-5 0.688 Lost NFC Conference Championship Lovey Smith Clean
1991 Blackhawks 49-23-8 0.681 Lost NHL Division Semi-Finals Mike Keenan Moustache
1983 Blackhawks
1990 Bulls 55-27 0.671 Lost Eastern Conference Finals Phil Jackson Moustache
1994 Bulls 55-27 0.671 Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals Phil Jackson Moustache
2009 Blackhawks 46-24 0.657 Lost NHL Conference Finals Denis Savard, Joel Quenneville Clean, Moustache
1993 Blackhawks 47-25-12 0.653 Lost NHL Division Semi-Finals Darryl Sutter Clean
1984 Bears 10-6 0.625 Lost NFC Conference Championship Mike Ditka Moustache
2005 White Sox 99-63 0.611 Won World Series Ozzie Guillen Goatee
1983 White Sox 99-63 0.611 Lost ALCS Tony LaRussa Clean
1988 Bulls 50-32 0.610 Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals Doug Collins Clean
2002 Blackhawks 41-27-13 0.603 Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals Brian Sutter Clean
2011 Blackhawks 44-29 0.603 Lost NHL Conference Quarter-Finals Joel Quenneville Moustache
2008 Cubs 97-64 0.602 Lost NLDS Lou Piniella Clean
2007 Bulls 49-33 0.598 Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals Scott Skiles Clean
1984 Cubs 96-65 0.596 Lost NLCS Jim Frey Clean
1994 White Sox 67-46 0.593 Missed Playoffs Gene Lamont Clean
1996 Blackhawks 40-28-14 0.588 Lost NHL Conference Semi-Finals Craig Hartsburg Clean
2000 White Sox 95-67 0.586 Lost LDS Jerry Manuel Moustache
1990 White Sox 94-68 0.580 Missed Playoffs Jeff Torborg Clean
1993 White Sox 94-68 0.580 Lost ALCS Gene Lamont Clean
1989 Cubs 93-69 0.574 Lost NLCS Don Zimmer Clean
1989 Bulls 47-35 0.573 Lost Eastern Conference Finals Doug Collins Clean
1995 Bulls 47-35 0.573 Lost Eastern Conference Semifinals Phil Jackson Moustache
2005 Bulls 47-35 0.573 Lost Eastern Conference First Round Scott Skiles Clean
1995 Bears 9-7 0.562 Missed Playoffs Dave Wannstedt Moustache
2008 Bears 9-7 0.562 Missed Playoffs Lovey Smith Clean
1994 Bears 9-7 0.562 Lost Quarterfinals Dave Wannstedt Moustache
1995 Blackhawks 24-19-5 0.558 Lost NHL Conference Finals Darryl Sutter Clean
2006 White Sox 90-72 0.556 Missed Playoffs Ozzie Guillen Goatee
1990 Blackhawks 41-33-6 0.554 Lost NHL Conference Finals Mike Keenan Moustache
1992 Blackhawks 36-29-15 0.554 Lost Stanley Cup Finals Mike Keenan Moustache
1998 Cubs 90-73 0.552 Lost LDS Jim Riggleman Clean
2004 Cubs 89-73 0.549 Missed Playoffs Dusty Baker Moustache

If Theo Epstein and Jed Hoyer want to start winning, an obvious solution would be to hand over the 2012 Cubs to ex-Cub Warren Brusstar, but understandably there’s a transition phase.

NFL Quarterback Turnover

6 Feb 2011

Cheering for the Bears requires living and dying by whatever Johnny-come-lately quarterback the franchise decides is the next big thing. New Chicago quarterbacks are common — as it turns out, more frequent than any other NFL franchise since 1980:

Team Yrs Most Played QB Starts Different QBs QBs Per Year
Chicago Bears 31 Jim Harbaugh 60 29 0.94
Cleveland Browns 28 Bernie Kosar 91 26 0.93
Arizona Cardinals 31 Neil Lomax 92 27 0.87
Carolina Panthers 16 Jake Delhomme 71 13 0.81
Dallas Cowboys 31 Troy Aikman 165 25 0.81
Baltimore Ravens 15 Joe Flacco 48 12 0.80
Tampa Bay Bucs 31 Trent Dilfer 76 24 0.77
Atlanta Hawks 31 Chris Chandler 67 24 0.77
Washington Redskins 31 Joe Theismann 83 24 0.77
New Orleans Saints 31 Bobby Hebert 69 23 0.74
Detroit Lions 31 Scott Mitchell 57 22 0.71
San Diego Chargers 31 Dan Fouts 98 22 0.71
NY Jets 30 Ken O’Brien 100 21 0.70
Minnesota Vikings 31 Tommy Kramer 82 21 0.68
Kansas City Chiefs 31 Trent Green 72 21 0.68
St. Louis Rams 31 Jim Everett 100 21 0.68
Oakland Raiders 31 Rich Gannon 67 20 0.65
Philadelphia Eagles 31 Donovan McNabb 135 20 0.65
Miami Dolphins 31 Dan Marino 235 20 0.65
Denver Broncos 31 John Elway 230 20 0.65
Tennessee Titans 31 Warren Moon 139 18 0.58
Buffalo Bills 31 Jim Kelly 160 18 0.58
Indianapolis Colts 31 Peyton Manning 160 18 0.58
Houston Texans 9 David Carr 75 5 0.56
Seattle Seahawks 31 Matt Hasselbeck 124 17 0.55
New England Patriots 31 Tom Brady 143 17 0.55
Cincinatti Bengals 31 Boomer Esiason 118 17 0.55
San Francisco 49ers 31 Joe Montana 131 16 0.52
Pittsburgh Steelers 31 Ben Roethlisberger 98 14 0.45
Jaxsonville Jaguars 16 Mark Brunell 101 7 0.44
New York Giants 31 Phil Simms 148 11 0.35
Green Bay Packers 31 Brett Favre 237 8 0.25

NFL Roulette

24 Jan 2011

Boys’ weekend challenge: “We need a way to be able to bet on anything at anytime during this weekend’s games.”

Restrictions: we’re all flying to the same place, there are four conference semis to watch over two days, everybody needs to be able to participate at any level at any time, we’ve only got a five hour flight with in-flight Wifi to invent the game.

Challenge accepted.

Download every play from the regular season, create a board with payouts that offset the probability of each event not occurring.

292-1 payout for predicting an overturned penalty? Don’t mind if I do!

URGENT: Wild Animal on the Loose!

25 Jan 1998

After a few months of bear-sitting, we here representing Wesleyan Cross Country have decided that the creativeness in stealing The Bear that once made it what it is (to teams other than Williams) is gone. With the exception of a few violent escapades, there were no respectable efforts to take it from us since we acquired it late in this year’s cross country season.

Because of this, and the fact that we may not have gained our furry friend as admirably as we would have liked, we present a challenge to NESCAC cross country teams. Our community seems to be closer than in past years, possibly because of post-season play woes. We feel that the bear is ready to transfer again with the new semester. He is open to all types of small New England liberal arts educations. We offer T. Bear to another school with no price attached – tuition and board provided by you. In fact, while you are reading this, Mr. Bear is waiting to be picked up at the location described below. We understand that Williams may have the most profound relationship and more than half of NESCAC schools have never had the bear, and this was taking into consideration. But not too much.

For those of you who don’t know of this animal or don’t understand read on: in past years, the bear has surfaced at multiple cross country meets, most notably the ones including the teams of the Little 3. There are multiple stories that claim the true origins of the giant stuffed beast, but these are insignificant for this mission. Most stories are consistent with the fact that bear has changed hands many times, and he has welcomed change with open paws, provided the change was a well-deserved non-violent exchange. It has been an unspoken rule that after each exchange the new team would be allowed to affix one item representative of his new owner’s team (we recently made him a working Wesleyan University Student ID).

After visiting two other countries, T. Bear and his paraphernalia have been sitting at Wesleyan for a few months. Certain coaches have notified our coaches that they are onto us, and want “their” bear back. This is only an incentive to keep it longer, but we now fear the only way the bear will get to visit another school is if there is a confrontation that results in no less than a royal rumble. We look forward to getting him back in the future via creative means, and that can only happen if he leaves us for a time.

If nobody claims (“finds”) T. Bear by the end of the month, we will let our teammates with conflicting interests have a chance at it — a very good chance.

Keep us informed of your pursuits and good luck to you all.

what could these be for?

1. The first letter of the All-New England Conn College’s male or female captain’s first name.

2. The second letter in the last name of Hamilton’s head coach.

3. If you take the name of the Trinity library and add up the number of letters, that number letter in the alphabet is what you are trying to find (A=1, B=2, etc…).

4. The number of letters in the first name of a graduate student at Tufts from a town in southwestern Connecticut on the Men’s Cross Country team will equal the number of the letter in the alphabet that you are trying to find (same logic as 3).

5. This team’s fifth man at the 1996 SUNY Cortland Invitational. 4th letter in his hometown. The men’s team was 22nd overall at this meet.

6. The second letter in the last name of the fastest Williams runner to hook up with a coach.

7. The third letter in the last name of the runner that ran the 101st fastest time ever on Wesleyan’s home course, Veterans Park.

8. The second letter in the last name of a female Bates running astrology guru.

9. The second letter in the 1997 New England D3 Mens’ Regional Champion’s middle name.

!. The fourth letter in the title of the magazine that named a NESCAC alum “Sexiest Author Alive.”

@. The number of schools in NESCAC in 1980 (ALL the letters in the spelling of the number of schools).

#. The second letter in the first name of the fastest beer-miler in NESCAC history (no puking!).

$. The fourth letter in the spelled-out number of letters in all 4 of the 1997 Wesleyan captains’ last names.

%. The first letter of the home state of this year’s women’s Little 3 Champion’s older brother.

&. The first letter in the last name of the tallest graduate of the same high school as Chelsea Clinton’s in NESCAC.

*. The NUMBER (no letters) of Wesleyan’s NESCAC Mens’ team finish in 1993.

the plot thickens…

Follow the maze through the shortest path. The order of the symbols you pass through is the order of the corresponding blanks below.

The bear is at:

__ __ __ __ __   __ __ __ __   __ __ __ __   __ __ __ __   __

 r _________________________________________________________________________
|t|    ___ &___________ |   |_  |   | _________________ | * |   |9 _____ 8 7|
| | | |   |_ ___|   | __| |   | | | |____ | ____________| | | | | |___  | | |
|___|___| | |   | | |_____| |$|___|_______| __  | __  | | |___| |____ | | | |
|  _______|___|___| | ______|___  |   |   |__ | |__ |___| | ____|  ___| | | |
| |%  | ____________|_______|   | | | + | | __|  ___|6 ___|_______| ____| | |
|___| |___________ 7 ______ | | | |___|__ |__ | | ____|& 1|  ____ |_______| |
|9 _____________  | |  _____| | |___  |  _| __| |  _____|___| ____| 3 | ____|
| |2 _____  |   |+| | |    ___| |   |  _|_____| | |   |   | |_______| |_____|
| | |  ___| | | | | |_| |%|   |___|___|   | # |@|$|%|___|________ | __| ____|
|__ | |_______|_____|  _   _|________ | |___|_____________  | | __|__ |____ |
| __|2 ___  |   |   | |     |   |  ___|  ^|   |   |__ |   | | |__ | __|  ___|
|_____|   | | | | | | | |#|___| + |_  | | | |___| |  _| | | | | __|_  | |   |
|   |  _| |___| |_| |_|______ | |_  | | |___|   |4| |  _| |___|_  | | __| | |
| |___|  _|  _ @|  ___________|_  |___| |  ___|___| | | __|  __ |___| 7 | | |
| | ____|  _|   | |___  |   |   | | 6 | | |  ___ ___| |__ | |  _| |1 _|___| |
| |_______|___|___|   |___|___|___| | |  ___|  ____ |  _____| |  ___|  __@ _|
|___   _ @ _____   _|____8 _________| | |   | | ____|   |  0| | |   | |   | |
| | | | | | | __| | |_   _|!  |  __ | | |2|___|_______|___|___|___| | | | | |
| |___| | | |__ | |__ | | __| | | __| |  ____   ____  ____    |   | | | | | |
|  _____| |  ___ 8| __| |__ | | |_____| |  ___|____ |___  | | | | | | | | | |
| | |  ___| |   | |__ | | __|___|  _____|+| ________|   | |__ | | | | | | | |
| | | |  _  | | | | __| |__ | __ _|   |  _|____ | __ 3|___ %__| | | | | | | |
| |___| | |_| | | |__ | | __|_  |  _| | |  _____|___| |$  |__ | | | | | | | |
| | 7 | |_____|___|6____|___ 5|4|3| __|   |   |   ____| |____ | |_| | | | | |

Good luck!

College Running Pages

19 Oct 1995

After we put up our Wesleyan cross country web page last fall, other schools decided to do the same and contacted me about getting a link from our page to theirs. I’ve gotten enough requests that I decided to start a directory for all schools. Once we get enough, I may start putting nationwide results online in one place.

Visit my running web page directory here!

[West] | [Southwest] | [Midwest] | [South] | [East] | [Northeast]

League Schools

New England Small College Athletic Conference

Deep Thoughts… with Vlade Divac

19 Feb 1995

Last fall, after discovering the WWW’s most ridiculous web page, the Michael Jordan Fan Page, I decided to one-up it and start the Vlade Divac Fan Page.

It now gets too much traffic for my desktop, so I’ve moved it to the Apollo workstation running my personal web page. It’s a 400t Workstation with 8MB memory and now should be able to be up 24/7. It has more than 300 user contributions and has already been translated into Serbian. It’s a work in progress.

Thanks to the page’s visitors for unearthing these gems:

On Aging

  • “We all get heavier as we get older because there’s a lot more information in our heads.”

On playing in the NBA

  • “At times, I have to say to myself, ‘Wake up’…”

On Yugoslavia’s chances in the 1996 Olympics

  • “The U.S. will have another Dream Team, so they are the team to beat,…we would be very happy to finish in second-place.”

On playing in the NBA as a European

  • “I don’t think they respected us in the beginning, but I think now they should.”

On the NBA vs Europe

  • “Playing for the national team, you don’t play for money or for anything else, you play for pride…the NBA is the same game, but it’s a style of thinking that’s different. Each year somebody comes over and we get better and better.”

On the NBA Dream Team vs. a European Dream Team

  • “Depends on which team we play…the first team? No way! But I think any other future dream teams, we could win.”

On Europeans in the NBA

  • “I was the first one to break this wall…and now players can come over and not be afraid. I’m talking about players who came directly from Europe without going to college. Detlef helped me, but playing in the NBA, directly from Europe, I was the guy.”

On the war

  • “The last couple of years were really tough for me with the war…people say I should be the happiest man in the world, but I can’t be since my country is at war…one part of my country is dying, so I don’t look so happy. Mr parents, my family and friends are suffering.”

On the USA

  • “I have a feeling that I belong here, I’ll definetly be here for the rest of my life. This is my home, even after basketball.”

On his family and the US

  • “My kids are Americans, they were born here, but they’re also Serbian because I’m from there. They’re going to speak both languages, learn both cultures.”

On “back home”

  • “I’m big over there. Let’s put it this way: Michael Jordan is over here like I am over there.”

On his country

  • “When Monica Seles started playing tennis, I was so proud of here because she’s from my country. People are suffereing and many people are dying, so I’m proud for things that people from my country do.”

On European NBA players’ families

  • “We speak different languages, but we are far away and in the same situation. Missing our families, not going home that often. When we play against each other, we try to get together and have dinner.”

On dedicating his life to basketball

  • “I left my parents when I was 12 to play basketball because we had no team in our town. My father was behind me 100 percent. He didn’t want me to regret it later. I don’t.”

On family

  • “My parents come here almost year during the winter time there so they can save some money and don’t pay electricity. I’m so happy to see them. My parents did everything for us and put us in the right direction. I always say to them, ‘I wish my kids were like yours because we’re successful.’”

On arriving

  • “When I first came here in ’89, I crossed in the locker room, and when I saw Magic, Worthy, Byron and A.C., I couldn’t believe it…I saw those guys on TV and I just couldn’t believe I was playing with them. I was scared. I remember Jerry West was waiting for me at the airport, and whatever he said was great. I din’t know what he was talking about since I didn’t speak English that first year. Everything was new and schocking, but it was great.”

On the war and Serbia/Croatia

  • “You must push yourself and try to leave those things in you home and do your best at your job…sometimes, when I play against Dino or Toni, we talk trash in Yugoslavian, so when we go to the free-throw line, we might have a hard time.”

On dreams and his country

  • “I remember a couple young guys I was helping in a camp in Bosnia. I told them the most important thing is to have a goal or a dream, and take the steps to that dream. The NBA is big there, especially after the road of success that I’ve been lucky to have. It’s much easier when someone does it in front of you and you can follow them.”

UPDATE! Ahmad Rashad just referenced this page and read the first two quotes on NBA Inside Stuff before the Sonics / Kings round 1 playoff game!