5 Favorite Fire Tower Hikes

Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgImagine living inside a 40-square-foot room, perched 60 feet above a 5,000-foot mountain for weeks at a time.Except for the occasional hike to the nearest town for re-supplies, you’re completely self-sufficient. Your job is simple: Watch the mountains that spread before you for smoke. Aside from that basic task, you’re free. It’s just you, the fire tower you call home, and the miles and miles of unending mountains that surround you in every direction.It’s easy to romanticize the bygone era of fire towers and the watchers who inhabited them, but the truth is, these men and women served a very practical function. At one time, thousands of towers stretched across America’s expansive wilderness. They were manned by watchers who kept tabs on the thunderstorms and accidents that could endanger the forests and communities within their purview.While some fire towers are still used to monitor the forests in the Western U.S., here in the Southeast, most towers were abandoned in the 1960s when it was decided planes could monitor the mountains more cheaply than men and women living in towers. Since the structures were abandoned almost five decades ago, various land management agencies have either dismantled the majority of their towers or let them fall into disrepair. Virginia’s George Washington National Forest had 24 fire towers at one time; they now have three. The others were either dismantled and sold, moved to private land, or burned by arsonists (a common fate for fire towers).“Most people think that because these towers are in a national park or in a national forest that they’re maintained by the land managers, but they usually aren’t,” says Peter Barr, author of the book Hiking North Carolina’s Lookout Towers. Barr and the Forest Fire Lookout Association are leading the charge to restore what remains of the Southeast’s lookout towers, partly because of each tower’s historical significance (most were built in the 1930s by the Civilian Conservation Corps), but also because the few towers that remain have become hiking destinations.“You can hike to the top of a mountain in the Southern Appalachians and you’re not always guaranteed a view,” Barr says. “But if there’s a tower, a 360-degree view is your reward.”The Forest Service in the Southern Appalachians is beginning to value the towers because they are becoming popular hiking destinations. Cherokee National Forest in Tennessee recently restored the Pinnacle Mountain Tower outside of Erwin, and North Carolina has asked for federal funds to replace the roofs of eight towers in Pisgah and Nantahala National Forests.During peak foliage season, these towers offer a bird’s eye view of the colorful transition that consumes the Southern Appalachians. Keith Argow, chairman of the Forest Fire Lookout Association and former administrator for the Mount Rogers National Recreation Area, believes these towers offer a unique way for hikers to connect with the forests they overlook.“These towers are a recognized symbol of our forest legacy—a symbol that helps remind the public that these forests are essential to our environmental well-being.”High Knob TowerGeorge Washington National Forest, Va.The Tower: One of only three fire towers left in the George Washington National Forest, High Knob sits on the state line between Virginia and West Virginia in Rockingham County. It was built by the CCC in ’39, and is one of the few rock towers in the Virginia forest system. A restoration effort between 2001 and 2003 has helped High Knob become one of the most beloved hiking destinations in the G.W. National Forest. A separate tower located in Wise County, Va. was also named High Knob. Sadly, the High Knob Tower in Wise County was burned by an arsonist in 2007. Efforts to restore the tower are underway.The Hike: Take the two-mile High Knob Trail, which follows the ridgeline of Shenandoah Mountain before accessing the tower. Portions of the trail are steep, but also steeped in rich fall color. Access the trail from Brandywine Campground.The View: The tower sits at 4,107 feet. From the observation deck, you can see Cow Knob ten miles to the north, Harrisonburg to the east, Reddish Knob to the south, and Spruce Knob in West Virginia to the west.The Foliage: The slopes immediately surrounding the tower are dominated by colorful hardwoods, as are the forests that unfold before you for 360 degrees.Hanging Rock TowerJefferson National Forest, W.Va. The Tower: Hanging Rock is a cedar cabin sitting on top of rocky Peters Mountain near the Virginia and West Virginia border. Birding groups use it to spot bald eagles, hawks, falcons, and osprey. In fact, it’s now known as the Hanging Rock Raptor Observatory. The tower burned down in 1996, but the forest service scrambled to rebuild it because it’s so popular with birders.The Hike: An easy one-mile hike on the Allegheny Trail takes you to the Hanging Rock Tower. Access the Allegheny from the trailhead on Route 15 near Waiteville, W.Va.The View: Sitting at 3,812 feet, views from the squat tower include the Greenbriar Valley and the Mountain Lake Wilderness as it stretches into Virginia. Beneath your feet lie mountains interspersed with small farm communities.The Foliage: Peters Mountain is a rocky ridge adorned with mature hardwoods. Reds and yellows creep up to the jagged rock fins that highlight Peters Mountain below the observation deck.Mount Sterling Fire TowerGreat Smoky Mountains National Park, N.C.The Tower: Mount Sterling Tower is a 60-foot tall, metal and wood observation deck perched above a dozen flights of stairs. The Mount Sterling Tower was manned several months out of the year by watchers who lived in a nearby cabin for two-week tours. Sterling is one of only three towers left inside the park, and is the highest true fire tower in the eastern U.S. Built in 1935, Sterling hasn’t been maintained since the ‘60s. It was listed on the National Historic Lookout Register in 2007 and is on the waiting list to be rehabbed by the park and the Forest Fire Lookout Association.The Hike: There are several ways to reach Mount Sterling. One of the most rewarding is to hike the Baxter Creek Trail, which is a 6.1-mile climb from the Big Creek Campground. The trail climbs 4,000 feet in just over six miles, earning the highest average grade per mile of any trail inside the Smokies. Good campsites sit near the base of the fire tower, making Sterling a popular overnight destination.The View: From its perch at 5,842 feet, you’ll get uninterrupted views of the east end of the park. You can see Balsam Mountain to the west, Mount Guyot to the north, Max Patch to the east, and Cataloochee Valley to the north.The Foliage: The peak is covered in a dense evergreen forest, so don’t expect close up foliage views from the summit. Once on the tower, the valleys and peaks surrounding you form a undulating sea of color.Yellow Mountain TowerNantahala National Forest, N.C.The Tower: Yellow Mountain isn’t so much of a tower as it is a tall stone cabin with an observation deck on top. Built in 1934 by the CCC, the cabin was staffed until 1969. It was recently restored, but it sits on the edge of the forest boundary and is being encroached upon by private developments.The Hike: Take the Yellow Mountain Trail for a 4.9-mile hike with stellar views and a steep climb up Shortoff Mountain. Access the trail from Cody Gap on Buck Creek Road a few miles from Highlands, N.C.The View: From its observation deck over 5,000 feet above sea level, you can see the rocky cliffs of Hogback Mountain, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, the 6,000-footers of the Plott Balsams and Great Balsams, and even Lake Jocassee in South Carolina.The Foliage: Yellow Mountain is a rocky knob with low-lying hardwoods at the base of the tower, so you not only get the long range foliage views, you get some up-close color as well.Olson TowerMonongahela National Forest, W.Va.The Tower: The Olson Tower sits on top of Backbone Mountain, the site of West Virginia’s first fire tower, constructed in 1922. The original tower was removed and replaced by the Olson Tower in 1963. Today, hikers can still climb the steel tower’s 133 steps to the base of the vintage (read: not maintained) cabin.The Hike: A number of trails lead to Olson Tower, but we like the three-mile Canyon Rim Trail for the full experience. It’s a rocky path starting on Forest Service Road 18 that traverses the northwest side of Blackwater Canyon, delivering you from a thick canopy to the open views from the tower.The View: The tower sits at 3,736 feet, with views of the Otter Creek Wilderness, Canaan Mountain, Blackwater Canyon, and the Mount Storm Power Station.The Foliage: You’re immediately surrounded by red spruce, but from the top of the tower you’ll get long-range views of colorful oak, maple, and yellow poplar juxtaposed with sharp green spruce.Still Watching After All These YearsThe Southern Appalachians may be patrolled for fires by planes, but two fire towers in North Carolina are still manned for a few months each year, usually during the winter: Toxaway Tower near Lake Toxaway and Chambers Tower, near Waynesville. A few fire towers in Virginia are also manned on a periodic basis.“We still need to man fire towers on certain days, especially during windy or inclement weather when planes can’t fly,” says Keith Argow of the Forest Fire Lookout Association. “You need someone with eyes on the forest. And you still need experienced eyes in the towers that can tell the right people exactly where the fire is and which direction it’s moving. There have been several horrible fires out West that could have been contained if someone with experience was watching them.”Save ShuckstackThe Shuckstack Lookout Tower sits less than a mile off the Appalachian Trail in the southwestern corner of the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. You can see the 60-foot wood and steel tower as you walk across Fontana Dam, and it’s become a prime destination for day hikers and A.T. thru-hikers who use the tower to soak up views of Fontana Lake below. While that view is impeccable, the tower itself has fallen into disrepair. The rotted floor, missing steps, and lack of handrail could pose a hazard to hikers.“Shuckstack is in great need of repair, but it’s still salvageable,” says Peter Barr. “If we don’t act quickly though, it will become too expensive to repair and the park will shut off access.”Barr is organizing a project to raise private funds and volunteer labor to restore the tower, hoping that the National Park Service will match the funds and labor as they did to restore the Mount Cammerer Tower in the 1990s. The tower has offered fire protection for the forests and communities of southwestern North Carolina since 1934. Watchers stationed at Shuckstack witnessed the creation of Fontana Dam and the subsequent flooding of the Tennessee River.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_img“I’ve sat in this chair twice before with Porto, Manchester United out, and Real Madrid, Manchester United out, so I don’t think it’s anything new for the club,” said Mourinho, who bristled at questions over his tactical approach.“I don’t want to make a drama of it. We have no time to be sad for more than 24 hours, that’s football. It’s not the end of the world.”The visitors were deserving winners as they controlled the game throughout, but had to wait for Ben Yedder’s introduction as a substitute 18 minutes from time to add a clinical finish by taking his Champions League tally for the season to eight goals in seven appearances.Ben Yedder put Sevilla in front two minutes later when he blasted into the bottom corner before heading in a second shortly after. “In the first half we played a good game apart from the last 30 metres,” said Sevilla coach Vincenzo Montella.“In the second half we were more clinical with Ben Yedder, he made the difference today.”Mourinho sprang a surprise before kick-off by recalling Marouane Fellaini at the expense of Pogba, who had also been dropped for the first game.Sevilla dominated the vast majority of the first leg only to be denied by some stunning saves from David de Gea.However, it was wayward finishing rather than the Spanish number one that prevented the visitors making the most of their ascendency for most of the match.Indeed, of Sevilla’s 10 efforts on goal in the first period only one weak Muriel effort forced De Gea into making a save.Share on: WhatsApp Pages: 1 2 Romelu Lukaku reduced United’s arrears, but it was too little, too late with Mourinho’s decision to once again drop Paul Pogba certain to be scrutinised.center_img Manchester, United Kingdom | AFP | Manchester United manager Jose Mourinho insisted European disappointment is nothing new for the English giants after losing 2-1 to Sevilla at Old Trafford to crash out of the Champions League by the same scoreline on aggregate.Wissam Ben Yedder struck twice in four second-half minutes on Tuesday to send Sevilla into the quarter-finals for the first time in 60 years as United suffered a first European home defeat since Alex Ferguson’s Champions League farewell in 2013.Mourinho was on the winning side that night as Real Madrid manager and also sent United out of the last 16 when Porto boss in 2004.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_img13 Jul 2015 Plant takes runner-up spot in France England’s Alfie Plant was runner-up in the Chiberta Cup in France with a two-under par total for 72 holes.Plant opened with two rounds of two-over 72 before sweeping up the leaderboard with his third round 65. It was bogey free and included birdies on the 1st, 17th and 18th and an eagle three on the 12th.He completed the championship with a score of one-under 69 and, despite a bogey on the last, managed to finish a stroke ahead of the charging third-placed player Javier Sainz Delgado of Spain. He scored 62 with a blemish-free card of eight birdies and ten pars.The Chiberta Cup was won by Scotland’s Craig Ross, who finished five clear of the field on seven-under (70 69 67 67).Plant’s result underlines his current run of good form. The 22-year-old set a course record 63 at Panmure in the first round of qualifying for the Amateur Championship. This season he has also tied fifth in the Hampshire Salver and seventh in both the Welsh stroke play and the South East of England links championships.Tom Gandy, from Rowany in the Isle of Man, also represented England in the event and finished tied 43rd after rounds of 71 78 72 72.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgBy John BurtonRED BANK — Expect discussions on the construction of a parking garage in downtown Red Bank to come up again at borough council meetings in the near future, says Mayor Pasquale Menna.Business owners and developers are already expressing interest in a parking garage after a lull brought on by a series of economically difficult years.Given that interest, Menna said, the time might be right to start talking about a public/private collaboration to fund the constsruction of a parking deck at the White Street municipal parking lot.“I think in the next few months there will be some action by the [borough] council on a number of comprehensive garage, parking/public use initiatives,” he said.Red Bank RiverCenter has been talking with “people who may be interested,” in pursuing this, the mayor said, but declined to name the interested parties.Any such partnership would include some stipulations, Menna said, including that the garage would be a revenue generator for the municipality; that resident taxpayers wouldn’t pay for the facility’s construction; and that, in addition to containing parking stalls, the garage would have some additional public use.“It’s got to be a creative use and we’re open to suggestions,” he said.One other condition, Menna attached: “It can’t be a big box with a housing element on top.”The shortfall in parking spaces has long been a problem for elected officials and local businesses and at times has become a heated political issue. More than a decade ago, then Mayor Edward J. McKenna Jr. and some of his Democratic borough council colleagues proposed bonding for $11 million dollars to construct a municipally owned and operated parking deck at the White Street lot. The downtown business alliance, Red Bank RiverCenter, strongly supported the project and McKenna argued that the garage would help not only the businesses, but the whole community.Republican candidates for municipal office waged a successful campaign encouraging residents to voice objections to their tax dollars being used for the project.Menna, a Democrat, at that time eventually said he would vote against it, and with the others opposed, the bond ordinance was withdrawn.Since then RiverCenter and members of the downtown business community have continued to advocate for a parking garage as a way of keeping commercial activity alive in Red Bank.New proposals have been discussed, including those that would contain retail or housing components; but none of them have moved beyond the discussion stage.Now, Menna believes, business and constsruction projects are moving forward again and the time has come to revisit the idea of a parking garage.“It’s very easy to put up a parking meter and collect a fee on the parking stall,” he said, explaining his reasoning. “But is that the most creative and the best use for the taxpayers who need relief?”Menna declined to be nailed down as to when these proposals would become public. But he did hint that there would be other significant news about forthcoming businesses. “And they will be extraordinary for the municipality, in terms of people who are going to move in to work in town,” he said.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgThe Selkirk Saints look to continue its winning ways during the exhibition season when the Men’s Hockey team hosts Eastern Washington University Eagles visit the Castlegar Recreation Complex for a 2 p.m. puck drop.The match-up represents the third and final exhibition tune-up for the Saints, who have posted back-to-back victories over the KIJHL’s Beaver Valley Nitehawks (8-2) and their BCIHL rivals from Thompson Rivers University (4-3). “Sunday’s game against EWU is a great opportunity to gauge where we’re at as a group and fine-tune some aspects of our play,” said Saints head coach Jeff Dubois.”We’ve had two good performances in exhibition so far and we’ll expect to build on that momentum as we prepare for a very challenging weekend at UVic to open our regular season at the start of October.” A pair of key players will make their preseason debuts against the Eagles, as second-year defenceman Justin Sotkowy and first-year goaltender Alex Sirard will both draw into the line-up.Sotkowy’s 23 points last season placed him third in scoring amongst BCIHL blueliners, while Sirard brings experience with the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos and SJHL’s Melville Millionaires. The Eagles line-up features a number of new faces that will be familiar to local hockey fans, including former Trail Smoke Eaters forward Uriah Machuga.The 20-year old forward was amongst the KIJHL’s scoring leaders last season with 78 points in 51 games for the Spokane Braves.Braves captain Nick Redding and former NCAA blueliner Zach Maxwell are also among Eastern’s seven new recruits. Tickets for Sunday’s game are available at the door for $5 and Season Pass information is available at the team’s website — www.GoSaints.ca.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgARCADIA, Calif. (April 2, 2016)–Longshot Thess Is Awesome stunned an on-track crowd of 13,724 in winning Saturday’s Grade I, $100,000 HH Sheikha Fatima Bint Mubarak Darley Award Stakes for Arabian-bred older horses by 1 ¼ lengths over heavily favored Paddy’s Day while covering 1 1/16 miles in 1:54.75. On the lead gate to wire under Travis Wales and trained by Lynn Ashby, Thess Is Awesome reversed a 38 length defeat at the hands of the favorite on March 5 to win at odds of 46-1.“He’s never shown his true potential,” said Wales. “I was waiting for his day, the day when he could challenge the best. Today was that day and he loves Santa Anita’s track. He was comfortable on the lead and he just opened up from there.”The fourth-longest shot in a field of 10, Thess Is Awesome paid $94.20, $20.80 and $8.00. Owned by Cre-Run Enterprises, LLC, the 6-year-old Virginia-bred horse notched his fifth win from 13 starts, and with the winner’s share of $49,500, he increased his career earnings to $118,881.“He had some bad habits,” said Ashby. “He would duck in and duck out…I’m so proud of him. There must be a lot of angels here today. This is wonderful.”Off at 4-5, Paddy’s Day was third, three lengths off the winner turning for home, but couldn’t get the job done under Kelsi Purcell as he finished a head in front of Easter Man. Paddy’s Day, who had over $72,000 bet to win on him, paid $3.00 and $2.20.Ridden by Edwin Maldonado, Easter Man was second turning for home and tired late to finish third. Off at 6-1, he paid $3.20 to show.Fractions on the race were 25.12, 51.03, 1:18.56 and 1:47.22.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgThe Warriors were doing their absolute best to choke away Sunday’s game to the Nets.Golden State’s 19-point second-half lead had dwindled down to two, as Brooklyn was red-hot from behind the 3-point arc and the Warriors’ offense had gone ice cold.For nearly four minutes in the fourth quarter, Golden State didn’t score, and with less than two minutes to play, they couldn’t wait another possession to break out of their funk.So the Warriors went to the best play in the entire NBA. Uns …last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgKevin DavieYou don’t have to remember too far back, 1989 to be precise, to the day when it was declared game over in the great and often hostile debate between markets and planning. Markets won.They won decisively and handsomely, it being hard after 1989 to find an economy which at least pretended to be modern which did not both espouse and practice capitalism. True, you could find the odd museum piece, such as Cuba, but after the fall of the Berlin Wall, markets ruled.Their supporters always saw markets as things of magnificent beauty, each day invisibly and quietly working their magic as they create, calculate and share value. Markets for some came to equal divinity.But suddenly markets are in big trouble. The crisis is so bad that some banks have already been nationalised. A slew of leading governments are rolling out plans to nationalise their banks, in whole or part in a desperate move to get the world’s financial system working again.Some experts say that should the crisis continue to develop as it has being in recent weeks that all banks will end up nationalised. The United States and several other governments have already signalled that their central banks will make loans directly on a short-term basis to non-financial institutions. Until now only top-rated banks have enjoyed this privilege.The central banks have to make loans to large corporations (and states such as California) because the banks have stopped lending to them. So great has the fear factor become that banks are refusing to lend to other banks less they fail and they do not get their money back.So what appeared until recently to be divine, now looks no more than stupid. How did the all-seeing, all-knowing market come to seize up to the point that nationalisation may be the only way to fix things?The thing about the banking system is that the taxpayer is always by default in the equation. Banks, as is well known, do not keep enough cash on hand to be able to pay everyone out if there was a run on the bank.These days, as this crisis has shown, you will not even need to see queues of people outside the bank to know that it is suffering such a run. All clients do it fire up their computers, bring up their bank’s website and start moving cash as fast as they can with no more effort than clicking their mouse.Now Taxpayer Inc is called to the rescue, in the case of the Royal Bank of Scotland taking control of the bank after its share price had fallen 85% from its peak. The idea is that over time this and other nationalised banks will be sold to private investors.We’ll have to see. Government may in the meantime get to like the income stream from dividends and prefer to retain ownership.Viewed from a long-term perspective the debate over private versus public ownership has not ended, and markets have scored an own goal.In the South African case leading business journalists have been heard to acknowledge that the fact that our market is not so free (exchange controls remain on residents) has acted as handbrake on panic.Tight monetary policy has seen us fare better than most emerging markets which have found themselves in the market maelstrom as has tight regulation of the banking sector – none of the flighty and fancy unregulated derivative stuff, we’re South African.So while banks are being bailed out in many countries, money is being printed by the central banks and deposit guarantees put in place, none of these drastic steps have yet visited our shores.Still, the JSE is down to the 21 000 level from trading at a high of 31 000 as recently as May this year.Put in money terms this is a loss of close to R2-trillion. To contextualise, a Medupi-sized power station costs R80-billion. You can buy 25 of these power stations with R2-trillion.There are few if any obvious winners from the market maelstrom of recent days. One is the Democratic Party’s Barack Obama who has been racing ahead in the polls because he is widely and correctly seen as better able to manage the market crisis. His opponent, John McCain appears to be too set on the business as usual approach of recent years which brought the collapse in the first case.It is the Republican administration which has presided over the slack and lax credit criteria in housing, funnelling loans to people who had no hope of repaying the loans. It was also this administration which encouraged the development of a massive shadow financial system behind the traditional one.The latter is highly and prudently regulated. The former, which includes the complex derivative market with a face value of $62-trillion, is less regulated than the casino industry.This is how it was intended to be. No less than former Federal Reserve chairman Alan Greenspan, a deity himself in these circles, fought off attempts to regulate derivatives on the basis that market players were so sophisticated at managing risk that this was better left to them than fuddy duddy regulators.Backers of no regulation saw this as a way for the United States to retain its pre-eminence in the world’s financial markets.Where voices, notably that of Warren Buffet who described derivatives as weapons of mass financial destruction, were raised, they were ignored.We now have a whole new order where socialism first and now capitalism have seen to fail spectacularly.Barack Obama has put air between himself and John McCain as blame has been levelled at two successive Republican administrations for the economic mess.Obama is now just a few weeks off becoming the next president of the United States. His will be the unenviable task of trying to undo the recent mismanagement and  restore the country’s tattered international reputation.Go to the MediaClub weekly columns home pageAs a journalist Kevin Davie is a Nieman Fellow and editor of numerous South Africa business magazines and newspapers. As an Internet entrepreneur he co-founded South Africa’s first online stockbroker and WOZA, the first news portal which was independent of a traditional publisher.He divides his time between the Mail & Guardian, where he  runs the business section and pursues the twin interests of economics and environmentalism, and projects in construction (particularly green building) and a better way to search the Internet. He also makes time to paddle and ride his mountain bike.last_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

first_imgThe very first cold call I ever made, the lucky recipient accused me of reading from a script before hanging up in my face. I was 19 years old. I was reading from a script, and a damn good one. It was the delivery that killed me. But I called him right back and told him that I didn’t need the script to ask him for an appointment, and my audacity won him over (he might have been my first client).A few years later, my territory was the entire city of Los Angeles. I decided to target Century City because there were great targets there. One was Carnival Cruise Lines, but that story is one for another day.The big building where President Ronald Reagan kept his post-Presidency office was there, but the security was pretty tight. I fell in with a group of guys coming back into the building after lunch and pretended I was with them. I skated right past security. Then I started cold calling offices within the building. Apparently that wasn’t allowed. The security guards that received complaints about my sales efforts didn’t have a great sense of humor about me cold calling in the building and told me I was lucky I didn’t get to Reagan’s floor. I am certain the Secret Service would have been even more humorless.As a sales manager, I’ve had prospects call me to tell me to stop my salespeople from calling on them. I would get one or two calls a year when an overzealous rep rubbed a sensitive prospect the wrong way.Here’s the thing, if you’re not rubbing a person the wrong way occasionally, you’re not prospecting. It’s not that you have to be super aggressive or pushy or intolerable when you are prospecting (even though you do have to push for appointments). You aren’t intentionally trying to make people unhappy or damage relationships. It’s that you’re not running into people who are sensitive or not calling the same people frequently enough to get a single complaint. You’re not trying hard enough.If you’ve got the chops to defuse the occasional unhappy recipient of your unexpected call, then it isn’t a problem. If you do happen to rub someone the wrong way, apologize, shrug it off, and make the next call. Essential Reading! Get my 2nd book: The Lost Art of Closing “In The Lost Art of Closing, Anthony proves that the final commitment can actually be one of the easiest parts of the sales process—if you’ve set it up properly with other commitments that have to happen long before the close. The key is to lead customers through a series of necessary steps designed to prevent a purchase stall.” Buy Nowlast_img read more


Tag: 不准不开心论坛

Fitzpatrick runs betterExpected points added on quarterback rushes quarterbackPer Pass PlayAiryards after catchSuccess Rate James Winston+0.22+0.82-0.6049.30% Atop their quarterback depth chart, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have a 24-year-old former No. 1 overall pick who won the Heisman Trophy and was handed the keys to the franchise just a couple of years ago. Behind him, they have a 35-year-old journeyman — playing on his seventh team — who is most notable for going to Harvard and having a massive beard.This is not a team that’s supposed to have a quarterback controversy in Week 3. But that’s the reality in Tampa right now.Ryan Fitzpatrick has led the Buccaneers to a surprising 2-0 record to start the season, including wins at New Orleans and against reigning Super Bowl champion Philadelphia. He has been nothing short of brilliant filling in for the suspended Jameis Winston, throwing for 819 yards, eight touchdowns and just one interception. With Winston set to return from suspension after Week 3, Bucs head coach Dirk Koetter won’t commit to either player as his starter. Meanwhile, wide receiver DeSean Jackson is on the record saying that Fitzpatrick should keep his job when Winston returns, arguing that the Bucs need to ride the hot hand.Fitzpatrick’s hand has certainly been hot to open the season. His 13.4 yards per attempt leads the NFL, as does his 15.3 adjusted yards per attempt, a stat that incorporates touchdowns and interceptions. It’s the most dominant two-game start to a season1For a quarterback with at least 40 total attempts. since 1972, when Joe Namath threw for 14.5 yards per attempt and 15.7 adjusted yards per attempt in two wins for the Jets.Koetter and the Buccaneers will be faced with a difficult political environment in the locker room if they choose to bench Fitzpatrick in favor of Winston after Jackson’s comments. But what do the numbers say? Should Tampa Bay ride the hot hand or sit Fitzmagic and hand the team back over to Winston?We’ll start by comparing career numbers — they provide the largest sample size and the least noise. Winston has a career yards per attempt of 7.5, well above the league average of 7.1,2Since 2009. while Fitzpatrick is slightly below average at 6.8 yards per attempt. Both quarterbacks’ career touchdown rates are similar (4.5 percent for Winston vs. 4.4 percent for Fitzpatrick), as are their sack rates (5.8 percent for Winston vs. 5.4 percent for Fitzpatrick). Winston appears to take better care of the ball than Fitzpatrick does (2.8 percent interception rate for Winston vs. 3.3 for Fitzpatrick), but interception rate is a notoriously noisy stat, so drawing firm conclusions about who is truly better is difficult.These metrics lack context though. Perhaps a better way to compare their performances is using expected points added, which take into account down, distance and field position. Using the EPA model developed by Ron Yurko, Sam Ventura and Maksim Horowitz and play data from Elias Sports Bureau, I calculated the expected points added per pass play for both Winston over his career and Fitzpatrick since 2009.3The first year for which the data is available. I separated passing EPA into points added through the air and points added through yards after the catch. Finally, I calculated the percentage of passes that were positive EPA plays, also called success rate. Success rate is the share of plays in which a team picks up the yards needed to stay “on schedule” for a first down.4Which typically means gaining at least 4 yards on first down, 4 on second down and 2 on third down. Source: Elias Sports Bureau Winston’s passes are more effectiveExpected points added per pass — broken down by air yards and yards after catch — plus the success rate of each pass play Expected points added (epa) So while Winston is pretty clearly the better passer, there are legitimate reasons to prefer Fitzpatrick. The problem is that those reasons just aren’t terribly compelling. Having a 30-something QB — one who is not even known to be very fast — scramble for first downs is probably not going to be an integral part of the Tampa Bay game plan moving forward. Monken and Fitzpatrick have been great so far this season, but they’ve also been lucky. Passes that travel 25 or more yards downfield are worse than a 40 percent proposition across the league, and 95.7 percent of NFL passes go for less than 30 yards in the air. Optimizing for rare plays with a low probability of being caught probably isn’t wise.Finally, the way a quarterback plays in his first two games has almost no bearing on how he will perform over the rest of the season. (Sorry, Patrick Mahomes.) Using game-level passing data from Armchair Analysis from 2000 through 2017, I looked at how well a quarterback’s yards per attempt in the first two games of the season matched his rest-of-season numbers, and the first two games weren’t predictive.6Yards per attempt in a player’s first two games explains just 8 percent of the variance in the player’s rest of season yards per attempt. R-squared 0.082, n = 766 player seasons Basing your decisions on a two-game sample at the start of the year is deeply unwise, hot hand or not.The Buccaneers have one more week to evaluate Fitzpatrick’s play — and so will America, as Tampa takes on Pittsburgh in Monday Night Football. If Fitzpatrick has a poor game, it will likely make it easier for Koetter to decide to play Winston in Week 4. If Fitzpatrick has another solid game, there will likely be grousing in the locker room if he’s taken off the field, but it’s very likely the correct decision. Monken has shown the ability and creativity to maximize the talents of his players, and the Tampa Bay receiving weapons will be best served in the long run by having Winston under center.Check out our latest NFL predictions. We can also see that across most other depths of target, Winston is the superior passer, consistent with our previous metrics. Still, Monken has been smart with Fitzpatrick, calling deep plays early that take advantage of Fitzpatrick’s strengths, and it has paid off handsomely.Another area in which Fitzpatrick is superior to Winston is an unexpected one: QB scrambles. Despite being 10 years older, the journeyman completely outclasses the youngster when pulling the ball down and running. Jameis Winston-0.01 quarterbackRush EPA As a passer, Winston is worth almost twice as many points per play as Fitzpatrick is, and Winston is 4.2 percentage points more successful at keeping his team on the field with his arm. And while EPA per play from yards after the catch is negative for both players, Fitzpatrick has probably been helped more by his receivers than Winston has.In each of the first two games of the season, Tampa Bay offensive coordinator Todd Monken dialed up a deep pass attempt early. On the fourth offensive play of the game against New Orleans, Fitzpatrick threw the ball 38 yards in the air to DeSean Jackson, who then ran 20 yards after the catch for a touchdown. On the first offensive play of the game against the Eagles in Week 2, Fitzpatrick completed another long pass — 35 yards deep to Jackson, who then rumbled 40 yards after the catch, again for a TD. Those two plays account for two of Fitzpatrick’s eight touchdowns and 16 percent of his passing yardage on the year — and 45 percent of those yards were Jackson running after the catch.Apportioning credit for yards in football is notoriously difficult. If we plot Fitzpatrick’s career completion percentage by depth on plays in which he faced no pressure5Work by Eric Eager has shown that QB performance from a clean pocket is more stable and predictive of future performance than when a QB is pressured. and compare it with both Jameis Winston and the league average, we can see that Fitzpatrick is actually quite good on deeper throws. Ryan Fitzpatrick+0.16 Source: Elias Sports Bureau Ryan Fitzpatrick+0.12+0.60-0.4945.10 read more