Patriots late game problems

Yesterday, the Patriots went into halftime with a 14-10 lead. They didn’t score once in the second half, and went home on the wrong side of a 14-28 game. I said at the time that it reminded me a lot of last year. I pulled up some numbers to be sure. (The following stats are for all of 2009 and 2010, including both regular and post-season games. That’s a total of 19 games.)

  • In regulation over that period, we were 11-7-1. The one "tie" went into overtime and the Broncos won on a field goal. (Don't get me started on sudden death overtime.)
  • If the games had ended after one half, we would have been 14-3-2 over that period. If they'd ended after three quarters, we'd have been 14-5-0.
  • Our total point differential has been 154 points in the first half, and -28 in the second half.
  • The point differentials have been 38 in the first quarter, 116 (!!) in the second, 3 points in the third, and -31 in the fourth quarter.

Maybe we can lobby the league to switch to a 45-minute clock when they go to a 20-week/18-game schedule?

2009 Oscars Scoresheet

The Academy doubled the number of slots for Best Picture nominees (to ten!) but it hasn’t really helped my Oscar scoresheet. Just like past years, I’ll go over the nominees and admit exactly how many movies I haven’t seen this year.

Category # seen
Best Picture 0
Best Actor 0
Best Actress 0
Best Director 0
Best Screenplay 0
Best Adapted Screenplay 0

Goose eggs, across the board. In fact, the only nominated movies I saw this year were Coraline (Best Animated Feature Film), Sherlock Holmes (Art Direction and Score), and Star Trek (four nominations, all FX-related). But like usual, there are a whole bunch of movies that are high on my list: Up, Inglorious Basterds, District 9, and The Blind Side (Best Picture? Wow. I loved the book, so I need to see it.)

If I see all of those before March 7, I’ll finish with 8 points, which would tie with my final score last year.

Update: I did manage to see all of the above-listed movies. Expanding Best Picture from 5 to 10 let some great-but-not-fantastic movies in. District 9? Blind Side? Who really thinks those might deserve Best Picture?

2009 in books

Looking back, 2009 was great year for my reading list. Although I only read three fiction books (not counting the collection of Science Fiction I used as waiting-for-inter-library-loan filler), they were all remarkably good. Next year’s list is likely to be very interesting. Not only am I trying to figure out how to fit my new Kindle (thanks, Mom and Dad!) into my reading habits, but I also hope to get fiction recommendations from other people for 2010 so I can try to divide my time 50/50. Right now there are four books on my nightstand, and they’re all non-fiction. What a bad start to that New Year’s resolution.

Here are the books I read this year, and my thoughts on some of them:

See also 2008, 2007, 2006, and 2005.