Bangor Police Department Praises Phish Fans In Open Letter To Citizens

first_imgPlease folks, if I gave you advice on financial decisions, food selection, roofing materials or what kind of flatware…Posted by Bangor Maine Police Department on Wednesday, March 23, 2016 The Police Department of Bangor, ME recently posted a long message on their social media account, which mainly focused on a series of vehicle break-ins throughout the small city. Written by an officer, the note is quite wordy in structure, talking about how to cook lobster, naming children, and, interestingly enough, the jam band Phish.There’s a full two-paragraph side note written directly for phans, which praises them for being cleaner than most concert attendees though disapproving of the parking lot nitrous oxide situation. Phish last played in Bangor, ME on July 3rd, 2013, and this officer must have been in attendance. The officer writes that the Phish fans “cleaned up after themselves, leaving not a trace of their barefooted dance-fest. Smart questions, showed much respect for law enforcement as a whole and were just a cool and fun bunch.” The police officer continues, “Gluten free was never so much fun as that show.”Some kind words written in a bizarre note. Read the whole thing below:  The full text is copied below, just in case the Bangor Maine PD retracts their social media offering:Please folks, if I gave you advice on financial decisions, food selection, roofing materials or what kind of flatware you should buy, ignore it. I know very little about those things.My idea of a good investment is one which returns just fifty percent of my initial outlay. Flatware pulled from the McDonald’s bag has been used on many a night in my little world and I think discarded street signs look pretty cool as a stopgap measure on the camp roof. I am not promoting taking street signs. I said discarded. Read all the words before contacting my supervisor.I rethought my first paragraph and have decided that my food selection skills are superb. Add a half a cap of apple cider vinegar to your drawn butter when using it dip your steamed clams or lobster. You will be thanking me soon after the meal, possibly naming your next child after me. This child will be well behaved, a heck of a pool player and will move out of your house after his or her 36th birthday. I was a late bloomer as well. Trust me. I work for the government. Get it right. Capital T. Capital C. Sounds like “easy”, and rearing him/her will be just that. Their middle name should be, Tangy-Goodness.What does all that rambling have to do with police work. Nothing. You expect too much from me.I need you to lock your stinking car doors. All over Bangor, we are dealing with a roaming dipstick or dipsticks that are ransacking your belongings, dropping your registration paperwork on the floor of the Civic and taking things of value. How hard is this for us? Obviously, it is tougher than I think.Lock your doors. Just use the little button on the remote, hold down the mushroom looking thingie on the door, push forward or backward on that tab near the handle. They even make it easy by marking it with orange. Lock it. Lock it. Lock it.This will stop much of the problem. Yes, there is the theory that by leaving it unlocked, they won’t break the window. If that is your decision and you want them to camp in your car, setting up one of those little Phish Concert, impromptu Barbecue Stands where they sell unrefrigerated Soy Hot dogs and ground Tofu to pedestrian traffic, feel free. I am going with the lock.Do not read the following paragraph if you were not offended by my mention of a Phish Concert Impromptu BBQ Stand. Skip ahead two paragraphs. Do not read between the asterisks.******Phish fans: I will add that I have never worked a concert with a more polite band of individuals. I met and conversed with some of the smartest and brightest people I ever met at a concert. They cleaned up after themselves, leaving not a trace of their barefooted dance-fest. Smart questions, showed much respect for law enforcement as a whole and were just a cool and fun bunch. Gluten free was never so much fun as that show. They didn’t even have to tell me they were vegetarians, vegans or Gluten free. I just knew. Do not be offended by my mention of the Phish Concert BBQ stand. I just notice these things.I did disagree with the nitrous oxide hits being sold along the waterfront. The purveyors even ran away from the sales area without giving us the finger. I appreciated that. Thank you.********Lock your car doors. People want to take you stuff. Remove valuables from your car. Lock your house doors and windows. Call if you see suspicious activity. Do not leave me a message on Facebook at 3 in the morning. CALL THE POLICE. You pay us to be here and we will be. Lock your doors.Have a great night. I am hungry for Soy.last_img read more

Practice session planned Sunday at Boyd

first_imgBOYD, Texas – Pit gates open at noon and a practice session for all divisions starts at 2 p.m. this Sunday, May 24.  Gates to the pits open at 5 p.m. and racing starts at 8:30 p.m. The grandstand will be open, social distancing will be in effect and masks are recommended.  The Texas Sprint Series headlines the first night of the IMCA Speedway Motors Weekly Racing point season on Friday, May 29. IMCA Modifieds, IMCA Sunoco Stock Cars, Smiley’s Racing Products Southern SportMods and Mach-1 Sport Compacts round out the card. center_img Pit passes are $35. Spectator admission is $15.last_img read more

Northwest Farm Credit Service Grant For International Mermaid Museum

first_imgFacebook32Tweet0Pin0Submitted by Westport WineryThe non-profit International Mermaid Museum was awarded a $1000 grant this week from Northwest Farm Credit Services headquartered in Spokane, Washington. Museum founder Kim Roberts said, “This grant is special since it will allow us to feature a display on oyster farming here on the Washington Coast. We will tie it back to the story of Ben-Varrey mermaids from Scotland.”The museum has a clear mission of teaching ocean ecology from seashore to sea floor immersed in mermaid mythology. Roberts said, “Our board of directors believes offering these lessons within the mythology of merfolk will allow the museum to engage all ages in a fun and unique manner. When you look around the world, virtually all seafaring nations have mermaid lore. This is one of those things that unites different cultures.”The museum’s grant application was sponsored by Stan and Jill Schwartz Farms in Reardan, Washington. A portion of the proceeds from spirits crafted by Ocean’s Daughter Distillery are donated to support the museum. The distillery will release a new whiskey made from Washington white winter wheat grown on the Schwartz farm later this year. Ben-Varrey is the name of their Irish cream liqueur.This is the first museum in the world dedicated to mermaids. It will be constructed on the grounds of Westport Winery Garden Resort on the Washington Coast. This is also home to Ocean’s Daughter Distillery.This is the second grant awarded to the museum. The first came from the Awesome Foundation in the amount of $750.Inquiries about making financial donations or items to include in the display are encouraged by emailing [email protected]last_img read more

Red Bank Charter School Proposes Expansion

first_imgImpact on public schools is a concernBy John BurtonRED BANK –  A plan to double the size of Red Bank Charter School is necessary in order to meet the needs of the entire community, said Meredith Pennotti, the charter school’s principal.But some traditional public schools supporters fear the increased size would compromise the budgets, resources and extracurricular activities for Red Bank’s diverse school population.And there are the taxpayers, who wonder what it would mean for their property tax bills – should the plan move forward.“The reality is this is not good for the children of Red Bank. It’s not good for the taxpayers of Red Bank. It’s not good for Red Bank,” stressed Jared Rumage, Red Bank superintendent of schools.“We feel we have a model that can be shared more in Red Bank,” for the educational community’s betterment, Pennotti said of the plans.In December, The Red Bank Charter School, 58 Oakland St., submitted a proposal to state Department of Education (DOE) Commissioner David Hespe in Trenton to increase enrollment and facility.Hespe is expected to make his determination toward the end of February, according to DOE spokesman David Saenz.The plan calls for doubling the school’s current student population to 400 from its current 200. That would be done over a three-year period period. In essence, it means adding an additional class of students per grade for the pre-K-8th grade school, according to Pennotti.For the past three years, Pennotti said the wait list for students has been “robust,” roughly 112 students, believing that filling the additional 200 seats is an easy call.The “clincher” for school officials in favor of seeking the expansion, according to Pennotti, was the availability of an adjacent property, 135 Monmouth Street, which the school would use for its S.T.E.M. (science, technology, engineering and math) lab and additional classroom and activity space.Another deciding factor for the school is recent changes in state education policy that allow other factors to be considered when evaluating students’ and families’ socio-economic status as part of admission.Charter school students are selected by an annual lottery, but siblings are accepted without submitting to the lottery. Last year, however, DOE officials changed the lottery to give more weight to family income and other factors, to give those students a better chance to be selected.“This will increase our ability to serve the economically disadvantaged,” Pennotti said.The charter school is increasing its community outreach by mailing a bilingual application to every residence in the community that also makes families aware of the changes in the lottery system, according to Pennotti.Concern about how a proposed expansion of the Red Bank Charter School could impact public schools drew people to the borough’s middle school auditorium Wednesday. They marched to the Borough Council meeting at Borough Hall. Photo: Tina ColellaThe fact that the charter school population is significantly less diverse than the public school population and the community at large has long been a source of contention. Early in the charter school’s history, which was established in 1998, the district Board of Education waged a lengthy and rather bitter legal battle arguing the school allowed for creating a segregated school district, providing for “white flight” from the public school – on the taxpayer’s dime. The lawsuit was eventually unsuccessful and the two entities had entered into a sort of separate peace, letting live and let live, until this development.Increasing the enrollment, fears Rumage, “It is fairly accurate to say that funding would double over that period.” And given the state finances, no one expects funding from Trenton to increase in an appreciable way, he added.The public school district is currently required to provide $1.67 million for the 2015-2016 school year to cover 90 percent of the cost to provide under state guidelines what is determined to be a “thorough and efficient education.” It is up to the charter schools to find the additional 10 percent of the cost and provide and upkeep a facility.Should the state education commissioner allow this plan, departing students will result in less state education aid to the district. And that Rumage maintained, would mean having to raise property taxes, likely to the maximum 5 percent cap, to cover some of the shortfall. And given those limitations, he said, the likely scenario would mean cuts to programs, possibly eliminating positions and abandoning some programs.“It will lead to cuts here that will be devastating,” Rumage said. “I can’t emphasize that enough.”Pennotti countered, saying state aid dollars follow the student, so that money wouldn’t have gone to the district anyway and any decision the charter school makes has no impact on the public school budget.“What happens to the tax rate is the decision the borough makes in its spending,” Pennotti argued, referring to the borough board of education. “We have no input in the school budget.”The charter school was established by activist parents in the late 1990s when Gov. Christine Todd Whitman signed the legislation allowing for such schools to operate. In Red Bank the school was in response to a failing public school district, with rundown facilities and dismal test scores.Charter schools are public schools but have greater freedom and are exempt from much of the bureaucracy that critics say bogs down traditional public education. This freedom, charter school supporters argue, allows for more creative and effective education and gives families a choice.Families braved bitter cold Wednesday night to express concern about proposed plans for a charter school expansion. Photo: Tina ColellaRumage insisted, “I’m not anti-charter school. I’m just anti-expansion,” at this point. He hoped the charter school would postpone the expansion to give the district time to evaluate its situation.Pennotti dismisses the idea of waiting. “Waiting for what?” she asked. “We waited for a promise of a new day from five superintendents,” to turn around the public schools in the 18 years the charter school has been operating. Pennotti maintained her school’s standardized test scores far exceed the public schools’ and “for the sake of the children we have to move forward.”Rumage, who has been in the district for less than two years, fired back that Pennotti and others have mischaracterized the public school students’ achievements. “The big issue here is that people don’t know the full story,” and the strides the public district has been making over the years.The public school disproportionately faces more challenges than the charter school population. Ninety percent of the 1,410 students at the middle and primary schools qualify for (mostly) free and reduced cost lunch, a traditional measure of family income levels. The population also includes 33 percent of students who are limited English language proficient.By contrast, 52 percent of charter school are white (as compared to the 8 percent in the public schools), with a 4 percent population that is limited English-language proficient. The charter school population is 34 percent Hispanic; the public school population is 78 percent Hispanic. The number of charter school students who qualify for the free and reduced cost lunch is currently 38 percent.And some sources indicate that the per pupil funding results in the charter school receiving $2,000 more per student, per year.Julia Sass Rubin, an associate professor at Rutgers University’s Edward J. Bloustein School of Planning and Public Policy, and an adjunct professor at Princeton University, has been studying Red Bank and its Charter School as part of her research on state funding of charter schools. Her analysis indicates the charter school has yet to live up to its potential even with its additional resources and continues to contribute to a segregated school district. “The data is pretty straightforward,” she said. “The district is underfunded relative to the charter school, under the current formula.”And when factoring in other variables, the larger percent of special needs students, among others, the divide is closer to $5,000 more per charter school student. And taking all of that into consideration, Rubin said, “if you look at all of those considerations, the charter school is really underperforming,” she said.In her final analysis, this expansion, “would either be devastating for the district or devastating for the taxpayers.”It should be noted Rubin has her detractors. In response to a report on charter school funding, enrollment and demographics she did with a doctoral candidate Mark Weber last year, the New Jersey Charter School Association, a charter school advocacy group, took Rubin to task. The association accused Rubin of having a personal agenda against charter schools.Rubin, this week denied that, offering, “Am I pro-public schools? Absolutely. But I’m not anti-charter school,” noting her daughter had attended a charter school for couple of years and Rubin had served on a nonprofit board that provided charter school facility funding.Rubin planned on providing her research to local educational and elected officials on Friday.This debate has spilled over into the political arena, as well. Mayor Pasquale Menna at this year’s annual reorganization meeting called it “The elephant in the room.”While the borough council has no formal say in the matter or decision, Menna plans to form a “blue ribbon committee,” of objective educational and financial professionals to evaluate the plan’s impact. Their report will be submitted to the DOE for consideration.In addition, on Wednesday evening the borough council was expected to vote on a nonbinding resolution asking the charter school to delay any actions until more information can be collected.Council sources said there was unanimous and bipartisan support for the resolution.last_img read more

SA’s reputation secure despite Rugby World Cup defeat

first_imgJohannesburg, Sunday 9 October 2011: Following today’s match between the Bokke and Australia, South Africa is disappointed that we will not bring the Webber Ellis Cup back to our shores. But with the internationally hailed demonstration of sportsmanship, skill, unity and leadership by our team, South Africa leaves the tournament with its reputation for sporting excellence secure  and citizen participation standing remain intact.Miller Matola, CEO of Brand South Africa said: “Despite their loss the Springbok team has made the South African nation proud. Throughout the country, indeed throughout the world, millions of South Africans have played their part by waving our flag with hope and wearing our jersey with pride – all in support of our team.“Once again we have demonstrated the unifying and uplifting power of sport. Indeed we are world-renowned not just for sporting excellence but for showing how sport can unite a nation and make history.“In New Zealand, our global South African community have further enhanced our reputation for friendliness, passion and pride in our nation.As Brand South Africa we call upon every South African to continue to keep the the pride, passion and spirit of our rugby world cup campaign alive.”last_img read more

Affordable Rental Units Are Designed to Be Net Zero

first_imgLexington Farms – a nearly completed subdivision of 32 single-family homes in Jerseyville, Illinois – represents a small but promising step toward the Illinois Housing Development Authority’s plan to add almost 2,500 affordable rental homes to the market.Each home in the development, which is about 40 miles north of St. Louis, includes 1,230-sq.-ft. of interior space and leases for $590 a month to families earning at or below 60% of the area median income (up to $40,980 for a family of four). Tenants who stay at Lexington Farms for at least 15 years can apply to purchase, on favorable terms, the property they’ve been leasing.Wind power on the PlainsAnother sweetener here, as we noted in September when the project broke ground, is that the homes are designed to operate at net zero energy – or at least as close to it as occupant behavior allows.The builder, Capstone Development Group, teamed up with two other companies in the region, MidAmerica Solar and Sachs Electric, to blend solid construction and renewable-energy features in ways that were both economical and effective. Exterior walls are insulated to R-21 and attics to R-49, and air leakage rates are low. The homes are equipped with 7.2-kW photovoltaic systems and mast-mounted wind turbines that can deliver up to 1 kW.PV panels and wind turbines also power the community’s 16 LED streetlights, whose battery packs have enough storage capacity to power the lights for about seven days.As affordable-housing projects go, Lexington Farms might be a bit unusual, but other communities like it could soon emerge in the state: the Illinois Housing Development Authority imposes green-building requirements on affordable-housing developers who want federal low-income-housing tax credits. So as the rest of the 2,500 affordable rental homes slowly emerge on the Illinois landscape, don’t be surprised if more than a few lay claim to a high level of energy efficiency.last_img read more

Injured Sushil Kumar to skip Asiad

first_imgWorld champion and Commonwealth Games gold medallist Sushil Kumar will be missing next month’s Asian Games in Guangzhou, China. Sushil has opted out of the Asiad because of a shoulder injury. The wrestler had won the gold medal in the 66 kg freestyle wrestling category at the Commonwealth Games that concluded on Thursday.  Having earlier won a bronze medal at the Beijing Olympics and the world championships in Moscow, much was expected from Sushil during the Asian Games.last_img

Prada redefines youthful elegance with psychedelic flair

first_imgMILAN – Youthful designers injected energy into the third day Sunday of Milan Fashion Week menswear previews for next spring and summer.While the topics of generational and creative change at some of the most-established Milan fashion houses were running in the background, young brands carved out their own space to grow by their own rules.Some highlights from Sunday’s shows, including Milan mainstay Prada alongside younger brands Palm Angels, MSGM, Sunnei and Korean newcomers BESFXXK.___PRADA BASICSMiuccia Prada says she was “trying to do elegant in a new young way” with her latest menswear collection.At Prada, young does not translate to streetwear, even if there were sneakers. The new plastic square logo on nearly every garment, including the folded turtle neck, was strictly an ironic answer to prevailing trends.Against previous intentions, elegant at Prada translated into sexy — i.e. short shorts for men — and at times playful — big stuffed aviator hats made for summer despite the decidedly wintery earflaps, mostly in Prada’s trademark black vinyl.“I never pronounced sexy in my life. I never wanted Prada to be sexy,” but willingly embraced the notion as the rest of the fashion world seemed to resist sexiness in favour of boxy street looks, the designer said.“You know I am a bit of a contrarian,” she said.The looks amounted to basic mix and match, layer or not: Straight trousers, turtle necks, shirts and jackets, and the short-shorts, which Prada called “a miniskirt” for men. Materials included denim and suede. The colours were mostly neutrals.There was a slightly psychedelic feel to daisy print shirts and fantastic scenes that conjured the animated film version of the Beatles’ “Yellow Submarine.”Underlining the message, Prada stripped the showroom bare, put clear plastic sheets on the wall and sat guests on inflatable clear cubes.“Sometimes, it is good to go back to simple things,” she said.____PALM ANGELS: ITALIAN STREET WEARFrancesco Ragazzi’s America-inspired street fashion brand, Palm Angels, had all the codes of the latest trends: neon flashes, thick-soled sneakers, short gym shorts, technical cargo pants.But the 32-year-old designer underlined the luxury in the brand with details. The gym shorts were suede and had orange trim. Shorts and a baby blue top with puffy sleeves came with draw sting.The footwear included cowboy boots painted with the Stars and Stripes, the perfect accompaniment to a jumpsuit in a bald eagle-American flag print.A striped strap worn across the chest, apparently binding the upper arms, was an accessory, not part of the garment, as was made clear when a model sported one bare- chested. The looks were tagged as much as branded, with neon tags hanging from pockets. Tiny goggles with colored lenses added an urban edge.___VITAMIN INJECTION AT MSGMMassimo Giorgetti’s MSGM collection for next spring and summer recalls his youthful 1980s summers in his native Adriatic coastal city of Rimini, a time, the designer said, when the beach crowds never abandoned their fashion sense.And Giorgetti paid homage to classic looks of his adopted home in Milan, where he launched his MSGM brand eight years ago.Giorgetti said he wanted to emphasize his Italian roots while also injecting a dose of 1980s energy. “It’s a show that recharges you,”Giorgetti said backstage.The 41-year-old designer made the point quite literally, imitating colorful graphic logos from well-known Italian vitamin brands with the MSGM Milano logo on silky button-down shirts. There was a plethora of 1980s neon colours, bright florals and prints —from Manga volley-ball playing characters to Roger Minick photographs of tourists.Rimini is celebrated in slouchy knitwear with the city’s name in rainbow colours, worn with striped denim shorts layered over longer boxers. But also in the tangerine shorts and lime green swimming briefs.For Milan, there were tie-dye knits over colorful print thigh-baring short, jeans and colour-block hoodies, and pin-striped suits with palm tree shadows and the band logo on the back.____SUNNEIDesigners Simone Rizzo and Loris Messina showed their Sunnei label against the backdrop of the Milan skyline as seen from the 31st floor of Gio Ponti’s famed Pirelli Tower. It was an aspirational location, reflected in the invitation that showed the tower from below in a faux smart-phone snap — the view the designers have from their studio.But the sophisticated, architectural designs were a natural fit for Gio Ponte’s arched ceilings and geometrically tiled floors, and showed the designers have definitely arrived. The collection included for the first time women’s looks alongside the menswear, and the designers said they found a natural interplay.“They speak the same language. For us, men and women change little. Unfortunately, we have to categorize it. But for us it is the same thing,” Rizzo said.The looks were clean and sharp, with a focus on soft comfort. The colour palate was soothing, from pale blue, sea green, cream and grey offset by orange and red.Parachute pants worked for him and for her, paired with knit cropped tops for her or an oversized jersey hoodie for him.Her transparent anorak with orange draw strings gave a sporty touch to an orange terry cloth dress with an asymmetrical hemline. His anorak features a notched collar and doubles as a suit jacket with wide-legged cropped pants.He wore a worn leather vest with utility pockets with loose jeans and a floppy brim hat, while she wore it with slim skirt with cargo pockets. He carried a large travel bag, hers was a rectangular purse, as the designers also presented a full range of accessories including wavy platform shoes and simple sneakers, sunglasses and headbands.“It is the natural extension of the brand that we have always presented,” Rizzo said. “Our goal is not to change the mood for style from season to season, but to grow, expand the categories.”___SOUTH KOREAN NEWCOMERS UNVEIL BESFXXK BRANDSouth Korean newcomers to Milan, Jae Hyuk Lim and Bona Kim, unveiled their BESFXXK brand that mixes Japanese textiles with American street-styling from the 1980s and British tailoring.The unusual name combines the notion of bespoke designs with a more irreverent street looks.The 33-year-old designers aggressively deconstruct and recompose everyday garments for their combined menswear and womenswear collection, like sweatshirts and trench coats.So a top for him is composed of a T-shirt and a jean jacket sewn together, while hers is a man’s collared shirt on one side and an angelic white woman’s shirt on the other. Trench coats feature asymmetrical hems. Or can be transformed into a skirt for her, the arms of it wrapped around the waist as a natural belt.“It is not just a mix of two different elements, it is a mix of cultures,” Lim said.___This story has been amended to correct the spelling of Miuccia Prada’s name.last_img read more

Passengers stage protest at Barasat station

first_imgKolkata: Male passengers of Sealdah-Barasat section put up a blockade at Barasat station demanding permission to board the ladies special trains. However, Railway Protection Force (RPF) and Government Railway Police (GRP) personnel were able to clear the track within a short time.On Friday morning, some male passengers boarded the ladies special train and despite the women passengers raised an objection, these passengers didn’t move out the train. RPF and GRP personnel were informed. RPF asked the male passengers to leave the compartments. Soon the GRP personnel also arrived. But, as the RPF and GRP personnel were less in number they could only request the passengers. Also Read – Bengal family worships Muslim girl as Goddess Durga in Kumari PujaLater, a large police force comprising RPF and GRP personnel forced the male passengers to evacuate the compartments. This created an unrest situation. Within minutes, a huge mob of male passengers put up a blockade obstructing the ladies special protesting the action by RPF and GRP personnel. Male passengers claimed they had to face immense trouble as general trains ran packed while many seats in ladies special trains remained vacant. Therefore, male passengers must be allowed to board the ladies special, they said. A source informed that though male passengers demanded permission to board ladies special trains, railway authority clearly stated that the demand will not be granted as such trains were meant for the female passengers for their safety. After sometime, RPF and GRP personnel forced the male passengers to withdraw the blockade.last_img read more

A 14Team NFL Playoff Wouldnt Bring More Parity

New York Giants President John Mara said Tuesday that the NFL would probably not expand its postseason field from 12 to 14 teams for the 2014 season. But make no mistake, expansion is coming sooner or later. The television ratings for playoff matchups — even for early rounds — are so monstrous that it makes sense from a revenue-maximizing perspective to add postseason games.But how about from a football perspective? ESPN’s Stats & Information correctly points out that, even with 14 playoff qualifiers, only 43.7 percent of NFL teams would earn postseason berths, which is still lower than the 53.3 percent qualification rates in the NBA and NHL. Then again, both of those sports play best-of-seven series to determine who advances to the next round; the NFL’s postseason is a single-elimination tournament. (And, 2013 excepted, the NFL playoffs are trending toward less predictable outcomes as it is.)Even in a 12-team playoff format, the best team in football fails to win the Super Bowl far more often than not. But would a 14-team bracket add another layer of randomness? Using the power of Monte Carlo simulation and the theoretical distribution of true talent in the NFL, we can estimate how often a team of a given ranking in “true talent” wins the Super Bowl under both the 12-team format and the proposed 14-team arrangement. For both formats, I assigned each team a true-talent rating at random (from a normal distribution with a mean winning percentage of .500 and a standard deviation of .146) and simulated the 2013 NFL schedule 10,000 times, recording how often a team of a given talent ranking won the Super Bowl. Here are the results:As it turns out, a 14-team playoff format wouldn’t change much for the favorites’ chances of a Super Bowl victory. The No. 2 seed in each conference would be forced to play an extra game (rather than receiving a bye during the wild-card round), but that doesn’t move the needle a lot — mainly because the No. 1 seeds still get byes into the divisional round.What would really shake things up, though, would be a move to a 16-team bracket, which would give the NFL a playoff participation rate closer to the NBA and NHL (although the NFL would still be lower). If we run the same simulation process above but plug teams into a 16-team playoff format, the following probabilities emerge:Forcing the top seed in each conference to play an extra game would drastically shift the Super Bowl odds for the NFL’s three most talented teams, redistributing much of their current probabilistic advantage across the rest of the league. The move to a 16-team playoff would be a much bigger change than from 12 teams to 14.The remaining question is whether that’s a bad thing. A 16-team playoff would increase the role of chance in the NFL’s postseason — an element which has already been on the rise in recent seasons. The NFL’s landmark popularity over the past decade suggests that such parity has moved the league closer to the optimal mix of determinism and randomness. (By contrast, a system designed to turn the NFL playoffs into a science experiment always yielding the most deserving champion would be tedious and unpopular.) But it’s not clear whether there are diminishing returns to the NFL’s parity formula. read more