The Nba Needs To Change It S Playoff Format Now Solitaire Klondike Learn How To Play Soccer 101

One great thing about the NBA and commissioner David Stern is that they fix mistakes with their game. Case in point – in 2003 the NBA switched the first round of the playoffs from a best-of-five game series to a best-of-seven to help ensure that the better team advances. That’s why it’s mind boggling to wonder why they won’t change the playoff format to account for debacles like this season.

If a non-sports fan took a quick check at the 2006 Western Conference Standings and then the Playoff bracket, they would scratch their heads in disbelief. The Dallas Mavericks had the second best record in the conference at 60-22, three games behind conference leading San Antonio. The Denver Nuggets were 44-38, 19 games behind San Antonio. Yet, come playoff time the Nuggets were the #3 seed while the Mavericks were the #4 seed. All because Dallas happens to play in the same division as San Antonio and the top three seeds HAVE TO be division winners. So now Dallas and San Antonio are meeting in the second round of the playoffs as opposed to the Western Conference Championship, where the two best teams should be meeting.

To add to the chaos, the #6 seeded LA Clippers had a better record than the #3 seed Nuggets. Therefore, in their first round series the #6 seed had the home court advantage! This is because the NBA gives the team with the better record the home court advantage…but not the higher seed. Does that make sense at all? If you are going to reward division winners with the top three seeds, shouldn’t you also reward them with home court advantage? Or you could just reward the teams with the better record with the home court advantage AND the higher seed! This isn’t rocket science Mr. Stern.

If all of that wasn’t embarrassing enough, at the end of the regular season the NBA was faced with the worst possible scenario for a sporting event – a game where it was better for each team to lose. The #5 seeded Memphis Grizzlies were playing the #6 seed Clippers with the loser having the inside track to the #6 seed and home court advantage in the first round. The winner would likely get the #5 seed and a date with the Mavericks in the first round. The Clippers “lost” the game and went on to get the #6 seed, home court advantage, and a relatively easy win over the Nuggets in the first round. The Grizzlies “won” the game, the #5 seed, and were promptly swept out of the playoffs by the superior Mavericks.

The NBA cannot allow this to happen again. It’s an embarrassment to their game and to all things sports. There should never be a game where it is in each teams best interest to lose. So what do I propose?

The most simple and logical solution to this problem is to guarantee each division winner a spot in the playoffs, but then seed the teams based on their records with the highest seed always having home court. All ties in record would go to the division winner. This still makes winning the division important – it guarantees you a spot in the playoffs and the upper hand in tie breakers – but also ensures that the best teams get the best seeds and home court advantage. I liken it to the NCAA Tournament – winning the Big Ten or the ACC doesn’t guarantee you a number one seed, it guarantees you a spot in the tournament.

Here’s what the seeding looked like this year:

1. *San Antonio (63-19)

2. *Phoenix (54-28)

3. *Denver (44-38)

4. Dallas (60-22)

5. Memphis (49-33)

6. LA Clippers (47-35)

7. LA Lakers (45-37)

8. Sacramento (44-38)

*Division Winner

Here’s what it would have looked like in my proposed system:

1. *San Antonio (63-19)

2. Dallas (60-22)

3. *Phoenix (54-28)

4. Memphis (49-33)

5. LA Clippers (47-35)

6. LA Lakers (45-37)

7. *Denver (44-38)

8. Sacramento (44-38)

*Division Winner

Amazing! The best teams actually have the highest seeds AND have the home court advantage, all while still preserving the importance of winning a division. This would prevent Dallas and San Antonio from playing in the second round, ensure that Memphis would have home court advantage and not be stuck playing Dallas, and prevent Denver from getting the #3 seed just for winning the division…all while keeping the integrity of winning a division by giving Denver the #7 seed over Sacramento for winning their division.

Please, please do the right thing for next season Mr. Stern and adopt a system that is fair for every team. Don’t let this disaster turn into the new BCS. Do what you always do – fix what’s wrong.

Since computers entered each and every household, classroom and office, solitaire became the most popular game. It is simple to learn, easy to play, and addictive because of its simplicity. But that was ages ago, and people have begun to grow tired of that same old game. As a result, they turned to new variations and Klondike is the most popular of them.

Ironically, its not a new game. The term Klondike as a game surfaces somewhere in the latter part of the nineteen hundred, and historians suggest that it evolved from miners in the Alaskan and Californian mountains to pass the time.

How Can You Play Klondike?

This is not a difficult game to learn, but what’s good is that though you will get the hang of it quickly, its difficult to beat in an addictive way. Its not frustrating, but fun and invigorating. One of the things you must learn is how to lay the cards out.

1) Start by placing one card on the table in front of you. Place it facing up.

2) Place another six cards to its left, but keep these facing down.

3) Place a card facing up to the card left of the first card you placed down.

4) Add another card facing down to all the remaining cards a bit below them so as to form a column. Likewise, continue by placing one open card and then by adding a closed card to the rest.

If you follow the instructions properly, you should have it so that last column will have seven cards. Check also that you have twenty-four cards in your hand because these are the cards you will play with.

Now What?

What you have to try and do is place all the cards on the four different aces. These will appear whenever they do, and you have to try and create the four suited sequence from the ace to the king. The moment you see and ace, place it on the side and start adding the next card. (eg: After an ace, place a two and then a three.) Note that each suit must be according to colour and type. By this I mean that the ace of diamond gets only diamonds, the ace of spades gets only spade cards and so on. Likewise, you can create card sequences down on the base cards as well by placing the card lower than it of the opposite colour. For instance, under a six of clubs, you can place either a five of diamonds or a five of hearts, but the five of clubs or the five of spades is out of the question.

Opening the Cards Facing Down

When you can use the cards facing up, then you can open the card that appears under it. And like in regular Solitaire, when you manage to open a base card and have only six or less bases, you can open a new base by placing a King there.

Moving Sequences

You can also move card sequences from one base to another and this doesn’t depend on the length of the sequence. All that matters is that the rules of sequence are kept.

To use the cards in your hand, take the top three cards and turn them over. But remember that you can use only the top card. Only if and when you use that card, you can use the next one under it. Continue revealing batches of three. Once done, pick up all the cards and start again.

The biggest sporting event in the world is about to begin and most in the USA are uninformed about soccer. This article will provide a brief introduction to soccer, rules of the game, structure of the World Cup, odds-on-favorites and authentic underdogs that will participate in the FIFA World Cup.

Welcome to Soccer 101. As the FIFA World Cup, the most popular and fervently followed sporting event in the world approaches, many are anticipating that the world’s largest tournament will be successful in increasing the sport’s fan base. In the past, most people in the USA have had little to no knowledge or interest in this huge event. In recent years, there has been a shift in “American” thinking, and soccer is starting to become more popular. The event that clearly defines this sport, the World Cup, is to be held in Germany starting June 9th and will reach its climax on July the 9th with the crowning of a World Championship team.

The word “soccer” is actually only used in the United States and Great Britain, where it has its origins. The rest of the world simply calls it “football”. The term ‘soccer’ is actually an abbreviation derived from “Association Football”, an organization formed in London in 1863. Originally called the Football Association, it was formed to standardize the rules for the game. One of the early compelling rule changes established by this association was that the ball could not be carried, or touched by the hand, except by the goalie. At the time, many enthusiasts and players were leaning toward morphing the sport into something similar to rugby or American football. This caused a rift in the two schools of thought and the rugby oriented clubs departed from the association soon after. The organization then coined the name Association Football to make a distinction between the two sports. In 1889, the abbreviated form “socca” started to be used. Eventually, in 1895, the spelling was changed to “soccer.” The origin of soccer, according to historians, is not nearly as clearly defined as the origin of the name.

The earliest known game similar to soccer was played in China during the Ts’in Dynasty (255 BC-206 BC). A game played with an animal skin ball and thirty-foot high posts connecting a net to form a goal, “tsu chu”, as it was known, was used to train soldiers. It is also documented that it was played as a form of celebration for events surrounding royalty. In ancient Near-East countries such as Egypt, a version of the game was played as a form of fertility rites. The American Indians and the Eskimos also had versions of a game similar to soccer. One legend documents a contest between two villages in Alaska with goals set up ten miles apart in a game called aqsaqtuk.

A Native American legend depicts the game played on the beach with goals a mile apart and players wearing disguises. Trying to distinguish between teammates and opponents was a part of the strategy in this game called pasuckuakohowog. Legends surrounding the game that describe using a conquered enemy’s skull as the soccer ball are found as early as the fifth century in England.

Now that you know a little bit of history of soccer, here is a quick look at the basic rules:

No Hands allowed – Only the goalie can use his hands in defense of the goal. This doesn’t apply to throw-ins. FIFA defines the hand as “Any part of the body from the tips of the fingers to the shoulder”. The goalie also cannot use his hands if the ball is passed directly from his teammate.

Fouls – A player cannot hold, kick, trip, charge, jump at, strike, push, or spit at or on an opponent. Fouls are called at the umpires’ discretion, making distinctions between incidental and deliberate contact. These are frequently called when the shoulders, arms or hands are used in an offensive way toward an opponent.

Direct and Indirect Free Kicks – A direct kick is one by which you can score by kicking the ball directly into the goal. An indirect kick is one by which you cannot score with directly. It may, however, be assisted toward the goal by another player. A direct kick comes from a contact foul or “hand” infraction. All other fouls result in an indirect kick.

Throw-ins – When the ball goes out of bounds on the sidelines a throw-in is taken by the closest offensive player. In this instance, use of the hands is allowed. Both feet must be on the ground and the ball is thrown in with both hands over the head.

Goal Kicks / Corner Kicks – Corner kicks or goal kicks are taken when the ball leaves the field across the end-line. If the offensive team was the last to touch the ball, it is a turnover and a goal kick is taken. If the defensive team was the last to touch the ball, a corner kick is taken.

Yellow and Red Cards – A yellow card is given as a warning, a red card is an ejection of a player. Two yellow cards equal one red card. If a player is given two successive yellow cards or a red card, they must leave the game and the team plays a man short.

Two-touch Rule – No player can touch the ball twice successively when putting the ball into play. This rule applies to throw-ins as well. A player cannot throw in and then kick the ball.

Penalty Kick – As a direct-kick foul, a penalty kick results from a contact infraction or hand foul by the defending team within the penalty box area. The kick is taken from the penalty box arc, which is 12 yards in front of the goal. All offensive players must be outside of the penalty box when the kick is struck. The goalie must have both feet planted at the goal line until the ball is struck.

Offside – If a player is closer to the opponents goal than to the ball or ahead of the ball with no defender between him and the goal, offside is called only if that player is involved in some type of offense activity as determined by the referee. This doesn’t apply to a goal kick, corner kick, or throw-in. It also doesn’t apply to a player on his “own half” of the field. You can’t be offside if you are standing on your half of the field. Also, the offside rule applies only when the ball is kicked, not when the player receives the ball.

To understand this better go to the FIFA Laws of the Game. Keep in mind that the FIFA International soccer competition rules are immensely complex. Even when viewed in brief, the “Laws of the Game” are not simple. They can be confusing and difficult to understand. The official FIFA rules are found in a 70-page book containing 17 sections and thousands of rules. Go to for the complete laws for International tournament play.

The FIFA World Cup has held 17 tournaments. Oddly enough, there have been only seven different nations that have won the championship. Spanning the entire history of the tournament, here are the winners: Brazil 5, Italy 3, Germany 3, Argentina 2, Uruguay 2, England 1 and France 1. Amazingly, six of these wins at the World Cup were by the host country. This would indicate that the host nation has a distinct advantage. There have been some notable upsets along the way however. The underdog USA team of 1950 defeated a highly touted English team. North Korea beat Italy in 1966 and Cameroon won over Argentina, a super power in the sport, in 1990. If you are looking to lay down a bet on the World Cup, historical and tournament structural facts are important to consider.

The structure of the tournament can be one of the things to look closely at when trying to decide who is the favorite. For 2006, Brazil and Japan, who are equally matched, are in the same pool. That makes it tough to predict who will survive that grouping. Head-to-head match-ups are not the only thing to consider. Fatigue comes into play when evenly talented opponents meet in an early round. So you have to consider that even if Brazil is victorious early on, will they still have the stamina to go the distance? There is also some luck involved in the structure of the final groupings. The top 8 teams are separated as #1 seeds for groups A through H. Germany and Brazil get their free pass as top seeds because they are respectively the host nation and the previous champion. The remaining clubs are simply drawn at random from a bowl.

The pools for the World Cup have been chosen and their seeding in descending order looks like this:

Group A; Germany, Costa Rica, Poland, Ecuador

Group B; England, Paraguay, Trinidad-Tobago, Sweden

Group C; Argentina, Ivory Coast, Serbia-Montenegro, Netherlands

Group D; Mexico, Iran, Angola, Portugal

Group E; Italy, Ghana, United States, Czech Republic

Group F; Brazil, Croatia, Australia, Japan

Group G; France, Switzerland, South Korea, Togo

Group H; Spain, Ukraine, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia

Group A: Germany is a very tough opponent, and they are on their home field, which makes them scary. However, Poland has a legitimate shot at making the finals. Group B: It is important to note that Sweden has not lost to England in 37 years. Group E: The Italians are a good team but overall this group is too evenly matched to call. The United States has as much a chance as anyone in this division. Group C: The two toughest powerhouse teams in one single group are Argentina and the Netherlands. One of these two will no doubt emerge victorious.

The Underdogs: Trinidad-Tobago will pay big (~1000/1 to win), but can they make it past the first round? Portugal (~22/1), Sweden and Mexico (~40/1) and the Ukraine (~50/1) will also provide a big payoff if they win.

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