Recent Comments by sic

Soccer theatrics debunked

"The most flamboyant of the dramatics Dr. Morris describes is called the "archer's bow," in which the aggrieved player throws both arms in the air, with open palms, chest thrust out and legs bent at the knee. He wants to look like he's been fouled. Among other giveaway gestures: clutching the body where a player has not been hit; taking an extra roll when he or she hits the ground; taking fully controlled strides after being tackled before an ostentatious fall."

Wow, what penetrating insight into this mysterious practice of "diving". I never realized that when a player clutched a part of the body where he had not been hit he was in fact "diving". This study should be published in Nature.

posted by sic at 02:45 PM on September 20, 2009

Photos from the Wimbledon men's final, 2008

Nice photos, the commentary was laughably bad though:

"As the impending dark clouds roll over SW19 like some foreboding Shakespearian play, these two central characters are locked in a battle which leaves the audience spell-bound."

"The clock shows, 8.55pm an almighty 4 hours and 27 minutes of this Shakespearian drama of Dickensian lengths."

lol It's amusing/embarrassing when sportswriters try to wax poetic.

posted by sic at 07:02 PM on January 07, 2009

When is enough "enough"?

The IOC doesn't suspend athletes for circumstantial evidence on doping, they suspend them when they fail drug tests.

I have no idea if there is any substance to these allegations, but whatever their age, they won right? Unless you subscribe to the international conspiracy theory, as grum pointed out, these gymnasts won fair and square. They were the best gymnasts at the Olympics. Making a big deal about their age seems like, no actually it reeks of, sour grapes.

Athletes should win gold medals, not lawyers.

posted by sic at 04:28 PM on August 23, 2008

Spanish Racism Toward China?

There is racism in Spain, no doubt, and there is racism in the US, GB and everywhere else, no? There are skinheads all over Europe, but also in the United States. Isn't it unfair to judge an entire country by the actions of 4 assholes in black face calling Hamilton a "whore" (I just looked this incident up on Google) or by the actions of the Minute Men in Texas "guarding" the US border with Mexico. There are so many examples everywhere that it is depressing.

But the issue here is whether or not this particular gesture was intended to be racist, mocking, insulting etc. It was not, the reasons I feel this way are explained in my earlier post. Epicanthic folds are just not seen as an insult in Spain (or China) as they are in the US. What I meant in my earlier comment is that racial sensitivity degenerates into mere political correctness when blanket prohibitions are foisted upon people as opposed to trying to come to a real understanding of intent.

I hope this is received in the positive spirit in which it is offered, but perhaps the US media should focus on why some Asians in the US are made to feel ashamed of their epicanthic folds, or, to answer your question more directly, why Americans in general (not just Asian Americans) are offended by a gesture that is mostly seen as inoffensive outside of the Anglo world.

Anyway, the Spanish players were sorry to have offended, I just hope that Americans come to understand that they didn't mean to hurt anyone's feelings.

posted by sic at 12:27 PM on August 18, 2008

Spanish Racism Toward China?

Not sure if I understood that last comment.

A perceived insult is not the same as a real insult. A real insult is intended, a perceived insult is a mistaken interpretation. In this case, I understand why Asians living in the Anglo world could misinterpret the gesture as an insult as they have probably had to put up with all kinds of racism in the countries where they live, including being mocked for looking "different". However, I'm hoping that by explaining the very different context in which this occurred, maybe those Asians who are offended will see that it was not meant to be mocking or insulting and that the Spanish don't think that epicanthic folds are in any way shameful. The Chinese (in China) don't either, apparently.

Anyway, that's the best I can do in explaining it.

ps) this new site layout is really hard to read.

posted by sic at 10:18 AM on August 17, 2008

Spanish Racism Toward China?

Spaniard here. This was not meant to be an offensive gesture - there was no malice in the intent. In Spain, there is no large Asian population and so there are no racial tensions at work here, no Asian children mocked in elementary school with this gesture as occurs in the US. This why the team and most of Spain is surprised that this has bothered people in the Anglo world.

An interesting aspect of this controversy it that the photographers contracted by the team sponsor insisted that the players do the gesture (some of the players felt silly doing it), but as the team sponsor who was putting up the money for their campaign, they complied. Who was that team sponsor? A Chinese company.

The Chinese ambassador in Spain and other Chinese officials have communicated that the Chinese took it the way it was offered, as a friendly wink toward the host nation. And if you think about it why *would* the Chinese be offended by this gesture? Do you think they are embarrassed by the epicanthic folds of their eyes? Or do you think they should be?

Personally, I don't think the gesture is brilliant, but it is far from racist. However, I understand that in intensely multicultural nations like the US and GB there is a hyper-sensitivity to offending different races. For instance, there is a lot of negative history between the US and Asians from the exploited Chinese rail workers to the Japanese Internment camps during WWII to childhood taunts that create a context in which this would be a cruel gesture. However, this hyper-sensitivity often degenerates into mere political correctness. In this case, the Anglo world has to understand that there is no history of racial tension with Asians in most other countries. If you can accept this, it's easier to see why people in Spain simply cannot comprehend why this gesture would be considered racist.

Finally, it's ironic that the American Media sees itself as the arbiter of morality in other countries. Glass houses and all that. *cough* Iraq *cough* Mexican immigration *cough*

posted by sic at 04:50 AM on August 17, 2008

I was robbed:

First of all, I have seen no definitive "proof" that the ball actually hit Fernando's racket. It's not like the ball suddenly careened off in a different direction. Second, it was a 15-0 point, not at all decisive, and by making a big deal out of it Blake took himself out of the match. He was broken the next game and that was all she wrote. In my opinion, it was poorly played to make such a big deal about it after the match even if he was convinced that he was right. Blake is a great player and he seems to be a good guy, but the difference between champions and great players was on stark display in this match. Champions win, runners up find ways to lose.

posted by sic at 04:29 AM on August 17, 2008

NBA source says Ron Artest to be traded to Rockets

Hmmm, the whole, "I don't feel like playing basketball for a few months during the regular season while I be a Rap producer" stunt that he pulled on the Pacers was quite disdainful.

posted by sic at 12:31 PM on July 30, 2008

The Doping Dilemma

Ha! So let's draw the line at gatorade then! ;-) But seriously, electrolytes can only be considered a drug in the very broadest sense of the word (check out the wikis for "drug", "electrolyte" and "chemical substance"). Still your point has been well made, at least I understand what you have been trying to get at in your posts. But I think it comes down to what you want professional sports to be. If it is purely entertainment, spectacle, then I guess it makes sense to let consenting adults knowingly do what they want to their bodies to earn money (a dangerous proposition, as cynical exploitation is already common in sports like cycling and especially boxing). However, in my case, I want sports to serve a nobler purpose as well; you know, old fashion stuff like setting an example for youngsters of certain values that we want to promote in our societies, and that's why I just can't get behind dangerous PEDs (notice the adjective, the first time I have used it). The obvious short term and potential long term health risks just turn me off. Have you seen the size of Barry Bonds' head? I wouldn't want a child of mine to be seduced by money and fame into deforming their body and cutting their life short. But hey, that's just me!

posted by sic at 02:18 AM on July 17, 2008

The Doping Dilemma

The law is rife with arbitrary lines in the sand. If you are going to legislate the use of drugs in sports you have to put that line somewhere, because as you rightly point out there are tolerable exceptions (such cortisone shots, anti-inflammatory medication etc.). The problem with allowing say r-EPO to be legal and thus safer (somewhat debatable) would create a situation where r-EPO would then become the baseline, that is, all cyclists would have to be using it just to stay in the peloton; at the same time the superstars, the Lance Armstrong's that have to carry teams would then be obliged to take greater risks by using more radical techniques to keep ahead of the pack. That's the danger. Maybe it's great that baseball pitchers can prolong their careers by using drugs, but perhaps those drugs are going to have serious long-term health consequences. Should that be a factor in this debate? Anyhow, judging from the conversation, Shermer's game theory proposition hasn't impressed, and that's what I really wanted to talk about.

posted by sic at 06:30 PM on July 16, 2008

The Doping Dilemma

Hal, I admit your argument is clever, but it doesn't convince. Although the line may be blurry, there is a difference between taking a drug to help heal an injury and quite another to take drugs purely as a way to enhance performance. Yes, I understand the semantic argument that in both cases performance is "enhanced". But it would be disingenuous to say that there is no difference between one scenario and the other. You blithely say that nowadays it's "safe", but as you know all athletes, dopers or not, push the envelope as to what their bodies will withstand - so if everyone were taking r-EPO, new, more powerful and riskier techniques would be employed to achieve an "edge". We would have a doping arms race on our hands. Therefore, as I stated earlier, if we were to simply make everything legal, the sporting world would be taken over by chemists and their performance enhancing cocktails. That would become the only story, or at least the primary story to all professional sports. I also think it would be impossible to monitor what the doctors were putting in the athletes as these would be closely guarded secrets (like the recipe to Coca Cola, these performance enhancing cocktails would become intellectual property of say US Postal) and once doping is made legal very little effort (even less than today) would be made in improving testing methods. Is this really what we want professional sports to become?

posted by sic at 12:33 PM on July 16, 2008

The Doping Dilemma

Hal, I respectfully disagree with your solution. On the one hand, encouraging drug use is not only dangerous to the elite athletes and the validity of sports but it would also have an even greater trickle down effect on amateur sports, those that try to emulate the elite athletes without the aid of "doctors" - including children. Surely that's not a good thing? On the other hand, I don't think that the stigma of taking dope would be wiped away just because the penalty is lower; in other words, the illusion that somebody is a great natural athlete, who achieves greatness through natural ability and hard work is what makes them popular, so if a player is doping there are reasons beyond legal penalties for them to keep it hidden. For instance, if Lance Armstrong would have admitted he had been doping, he never would have had huge sponsorship deals and his consecutive Tour streak would have been unimpressive because people would have assumed (correctly) that it was the dope that won it for him. In your dystopia (and to me that's what it is) it would be the dope pushers, the "doctors", who would be the real stars, because they would be competing with one another to concoct the most effective drug cocktails to push the athletes over the edge. But really they wouldn't be stars because, at least in a sport like cycling, no one would care anymore if the drugs became the most important aspect. The winner of the tour this year is r-EPO! Who could get excited by something like that? Cycling fans? Corporate Sponsors? Would little kids dream of being the next vehicle for a break through drug in Tour De France 2020? One part of the solution that Shermer came up with (and in reality all of the things he mentions would have to be implemented in conjunction, so you have to look at all of them not just one or two) is that to break the "code of silence" the teams and all teammates should be punished along with the cyclist who is caught. This would reverse the pressure to be silent on (and take) drugs as everybody's career would be in jeopardy. This would create a "reverse cascade" of drug rejection and the speed of the peloton would slow down and in his words their would be a collective "woosh" of relief as the cyclists no longer felt forced to dope to be competitive. I think he is on the right track.

posted by sic at 02:10 AM on July 15, 2008

The Doping Dilemma

And don't forget to check out the further reading: Gaming Baseball: Why Players Dope

posted by sic at 01:56 PM on July 14, 2008

Nadal-Federer epic the most thrilling of all the Wimbledon finals

Too bad I'm late to this post (which itself was inexplicably not posted on Sunday night!). Thoughts on the match: Perhaps the best match ever in terms of overall drama and quality of tennis. Not only the rain delays, the comeback, the two tie breaks, Nadal's possible injury, the extra games in the 5th set, the dying light, but also the fact that history would be made no matter who won the match. Now that's drama. The tennis was intense as well, with Nadal dominating Roger early and possibly winning in straight sets if not for the lucky rain delay. Nadal probably should have closed out in the 4th set tie break, but he blinked, giving up a double fault then he was serving for the match. His ability to shake off that moment, which would have devastated most players, was the difference in the 5th set. In the end Roger was physically and mentally tired while Nadal continued to be rock solid. The better man won the match. As far as comments being made here, a couple of observations. Nadal is a huge problem for Roger because he is a terrible match up. Nadal has exposed Roger's backhand as a major weakness. His brutal topspin forehand just destroys Roger's one-handed backhand (although Federer stubbornly refused to run around his forehand the first two sets and you see where that got him). There is no debate on this, we've seen it now every time they've played over the past two years. People often can't believe how many time Roger shanks the ball when he plays Rafa; "Roger played terribly, that's why Rafa won" is what I often hear. But the truth is that those shanks are caused by the fact that he can't handle Rafa's heavy topspin forehand. He just can't. Nadal came very close to pulling off the double last year and this year it seemed inevitable. Nadal also seems dialed into Roger's serve and he doesn't wilt when Roger hits amazing winners, as most players do when facing the number one. On the other hand, Rafa's iron will scares Roger, that much is obvious, although Federer showed alot of heart coming back on Sunday. My hat's off to him. Roger is not done, he's still one of the top three players on the tour, but depending on the day and the surface he can be as low as three or as high as 1, same with Nadal and to a lesser degree Djokovic, the third player in the mix. The key thing is that Roger no longer has an aura of invincibility, in fact, it seems that it is Nadal who increasingly has opponents beat before they step on the court. Head to head Nadal has totally undermined Federer's confidence. I look forward to the hard court season to see whether this is permanent or temporary. At age 26 Roger has probably peaked, I find it difficult to believe that he will have the will to "improve" his game as many have talked about. On the other hand Nadal has been improving every year since 2005 when he came into his own on the professional tour at the age of 19! He has untold depths of humility that makes him always believe that he needs to improve Scary. Calling Nadal's serve "nothing special" as someone did upthread is really mistaken. The casual tennis fan probably thinks that pace is the only measurement of serving. So if that's the criteria you're working from then I can understand why Rafa's serve would seem ordinary compared to Roddick's. But ask yourself why Federer can break Roddick's 150 MPH serve so easily and he has a very difficult time breaking Nadal's. It's because good serving, like good pitching, is not just about hitting/throwing the ball as hard as you can. You have to mix up your serves, use strategy, placement, spins, consistency, all of those factors make Rafa a superior server despite having a top speed of "only" 130 MPH. You also have to know how to finish points on your serve once the ball is in play. That's why Roddick will never win another slam, he's too predictable and one-dimensional. Right now Nadal is playing the best tennis in the world, everybody's waiting to see if his astonishing improvement on grass will lead to more hard court titles. But people forget that although he had a disappointing USO series last year due to injuries, he still had the third best overall results between July 07 and May 08, only Djokovic and Federer were better. I can't wait for Cincinnati, Montreal and Flushing Meadows, I think that Rafa is finally going to put his critics to rest once and for all!

posted by sic at 09:42 AM on July 12, 2008

Using pawns, brawn to nab chess-boxing crown

This is about the stupidest thing I've ever heard of.

posted by sic at 09:12 AM on July 12, 2008

Tour of France rider Beltran in custody after doping

Bullshit, not all the cheaters are caught and punished, just the sloppy (like that idiot Floyd Landis - oooh, nobody will suspect my all-time dominating ride a day after I nearly dropped out of the Tour from fatigue!) or unlucky ones (like when Vinokov's wife got caught with a car full of dope; or all the guys that went down with Operation Puerta). Anybody who believes that over the past decade or two the top cyclists weren't ALL doping is deluding themselves. Cutting edge doping techniques are far more advanced than testing techniques. That's why teams with the big bucks who can afford the best "doctors" and techniques generally don't get caught (US Postal). The sport has become a farce. sincerely, disgruntled ex-cycling fan.

posted by sic at 09:04 AM on July 12, 2008

It's a sister slam!

Knowsalittle, they could look at the matches played on that surface over the last 52 weeks. It's absurd to have Davydanko seeded 4 at Wimbledon or Roddick seeded (at all) at Roland Garros. Although it occurs to me that Wimbledon would have problems doing this since there is no grass season...

posted by sic at 06:21 PM on July 03, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

Out of curiosity, has this whole mono business been confirmed? There have been conflicting reports. I heard at some point that he had a stomach virus before the AO. The mono rumors came out quite a bit after. During his Roland Garros presser he mentioned a "disease" that he had (that was a translation from French), but he doesn't specify. Has RF actually said he had mono?

posted by sic at 02:41 PM on June 10, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

Yeah, those finals against a clueless Roddick were more painful than anything else. Although I admit I was wincing my way through Sunday's match as well. Rafa has become on clay what Federer was on grass. I'm hoping for some more compelling tennis come Wimby.

posted by sic at 03:55 PM on June 09, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

I was getting tired of watching Federer have no competition. Big difference.

posted by sic at 03:11 PM on June 09, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

Fed has definitely lost the aura of invincibility that he has had against the rest of the tour (except for Nadal, who was never intimidated by Roger). It seems apparent that his motivation and perhaps his skill are in decline (although he's still the best all around player, just not by much). This is normal for any player who has stayed on top of his sport for so long. It happened to Borg, McEnroe, Connors, Agassi, Sampras. Hell, even Michael Jordan had to take a two year baseball camp vacation. Staying number one for as long as Federer has is a superhuman feat. The top players get no breaks, they have to play tournament after tournament to maintain their ranking. If you make it to every final like Federer has, you end up playing an incredible amount of tennis. It takes a physical toll, of course, but I have to believe that the mental toll must be absolutely devastating over the long-term. I think Roger has lost his spark and I can't say that I blame him. There are many hungry youngsters who are ready to fill the ATP power vacuum, given the chance. Besides Nadal and Djokovic there's Monfils, Tsongas, Gulbis, Gasquet (if he can ever get it together), Berdych, Murray, Youznhy, Baghdhitis, etc, etc. All young, all potential world beaters. This is good for tennis. Federer is a virtuoso, but his five year monologue was growing tiresome. All I can say, thank God for Nadal, and also for Djokovic.

posted by sic at 01:33 PM on June 09, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

You know that in tennis, like most sports, confidence is a huge part of success. I have to believe that right now Federer would have very little confidence facing Nadal in the Wimby final, while Nadal's would be through the roof. I think Borg was right, if Rafa makes it through the early rounds he will win Wimbledon.

posted by sic at 09:19 AM on June 09, 2008

Nadal wins 4th straight French Open in a rout.

One of the greatest tournaments ever played in Tennis. Nadal absolutely dominated the field and capped it off with a flat out beatdown of the perhaps the greatest player of all time. Congratulations Rafa! Throughout the tournament he didn't drop a single set and I believe he lost the fewest total games since Borg. He held his quarterfinal opponent Nico Almagro to three breadsticks (6-1, 6-1, 6-1) and bageled the world's number one (first time Fed's lost a set 6-0 since 1999). Wow. The sickest thing about this performance (I'm talking the entire fortnight) is that it illustrates that Rafa has actually improved his clay court game over the past year. It sounds amazing but here's what's happened: Rafa has been working hard to improve on grass and hard courts over the past few seasons and he's incorporated some of those weapons into his clay game. So now, in addition to being the greatest defensive player on the circuit with amazing movement he is also a fierce attacking player. He's playing closer to the baseline, which allows him to dictate points and go for winners; he's serving harder and more consistently; he's developed a blistering cross-court backhand and has some of the best passing shots in the game. In short, he is now unbeatable on clay. Unless he's injured (a legitimate concern with Rafa), Roger will never beat him in an RG final.

posted by sic at 06:10 PM on June 08, 2008

Fines will be imposed for clear cases of flopping:

Nice post dave2007, I think what you wrote about how globalization of soccer has created cultural problems about what is fair play and what is cheating is dead on. The same goes for basketball. Players from Argentina or Serbia or Italy will always bring these "gamesmanship" aspects to any sport. For those of you who think that the league will be able to shame guys like Ginobili into not flopping (pink armbands and all that), you are dead wrong. That kind of "cheating" is so ingrained in his culture (and many others) that its not just accepted, it's applauded. If you do it well, you are admired and respected.

posted by sic at 02:30 PM on May 30, 2008

It's been 10 years?!

video's down - any alternative sites?

posted by sic at 05:37 PM on May 08, 2008

"This fella, Ronaldo, he's a cod"

I think Ronaldo's penchant for diving cost him a valid penalty against Barca. It wasn't called, partly because he had tried several ridiculous dives in between the first (called) penalty and the second (non-called). I think the referee was suffering from Ronaldo fatigue. It happens. He did look mighty dangerous every time he touched it though and he certainly looked about twice as fast as Marquez and Milito.

posted by sic at 10:29 AM on April 26, 2008

The Cubs Own Chicago; The White Sox Just Rent There

Two words: Wrigley Field. The friendly confines oozes magic; Big Corporate Box field on the south side has no soul.

posted by sic at 02:25 PM on April 01, 2008

Top 10: Hardcore Fans

Shoddy reporting, the average FCB fan, the "culer" may be rabid, but if you are talking about the truly radical factions, that would be the Boixos Nois, who are the equivalent of the Ultra Sur group that supports Real Madrid.

posted by sic at 06:05 AM on March 13, 2008

A Crushing Blow to Yao Ming and the Rockets

Well this sucks. I find myself really liking Yao for a lot of different reasons, work ethic, his arc of progression, the fact that he handles himself really well in the most stressful position of just about any athlete in America (when you realize how heavily his every move is scrutinized by the BILLION + people in China). He is also worn down every summer playing for the Chinese national team, so he gets little rest. History will tell you that most guys that big who play as much as Yao get injured often. Again, this sucks.

posted by sic at 01:43 AM on February 28, 2008

Cavs Acquire Ben Wallace and Wally Alphabet for Playoff Run.

I haven't see Chicago play this year but if Big Ben still has that fire then he'll be huge for them. That fire is dead. To be honest, this may be a decent trade for both teams (but never a good trade, because no real talent was exchanged). Wallace may be able to salvage something of his defensive reputation playing PF next to a big, offensive C. Hughes may fill a need as a decent slasher on a team made up primarily of jump shooters - as opposed to being a crappy jump shooter on a team that already has the best slasher in the NBA. But let's be honest, this is trading garbage for garbage, bad contract for bad contract. To really understand the context, go read Cavs blogs like or Bulls blogs like Blogabull to see how ecstatic each teams' fans are to get rid of Wallace and Hughes respectively. The first time Hughes goes 1-14 from the field, and the next 50 times Wallace airballs a free throw will make the fans of their new teams see the light. The best player, or at least the player who is playing best, in this deal is Joe Smith.

posted by sic at 01:38 PM on February 24, 2008

Suns go from Run and Gun to Ground and Pound

Nemo, you make good points about age and health, but I think they just reinforce Phoenix's urgency to win now. Marion just wasn't happy and it seems like he was hurting team chemistry with his negativity (no way they would have extended him a max contract). Shaq's huge contract only hurts them capwise for two years, that's a short-term negative. So in the end this boils down to spending money. Apparently they have the money to pay the luxury tax (do they even have to?) so I think it's a good gamble for a short term payoff, with no long term negatives. Anyway, everything depends on Shaq's health and attitude.

posted by sic at 06:22 PM on February 07, 2008

Suns go from Run and Gun to Ground and Pound

This brings up the question of whether its better to win consistently year to year with a chance at the Finals, or whether you go all in for one good season and suck for at least the next three. I'd prefer my team win consistently and have a handful of valuable assets available each season. That's an interesting question that I've discussed elsewhere. What is more important to a franchise, a fan base, a city, winning one championship or being a good team over the course of many years but never winning the whole thing? I think the Suns made the right choice here. Sure it's a risk, but they are going to lose something special in Nash relatively soon and it didn't appear that they would ever win the championship without a low post presence. The Suns have been great (but not good enough!) for several years now. I think they should go for the championship now and take a 2 year hit on the salary cap with O'Neal's contract. Marion was going to be gone regardless so to me that is a non-factor. The comparison with the Heat is apples and oranges. The Heat are made up of old broken down players and one young stud who is also playing injured. The Suns are loaded with talent, some of it great. The loss of Marion and the contract of O'Neal will not drag this team down to Miami's level, not this year not next year.

posted by sic at 02:35 AM on February 07, 2008

Suns go from Run and Gun to Ground and Pound

Well, if the trade goes through it's a calculated risk to win a championship now before the window of opportunity closes forever on this particular group. Nash and Hill are old and don't have that many seasons left at a high level and when Nash goes that's it for them. I suppose the hope it that Shaquille can come up with one good playoff run or perhaps two (forget the regular season though). On the other side of the ball, Marion wanted out, wants out, and will want out in the future. He cannot stand being the "third guy" behind Nash and Amare. He's been a distraction and apparently the Suns are tired of it and have been trying to get rid of him for a while now. One thing has to be clear at this point: the Suns are probably not good enough to win a championship as is. They needed to do something and so they are rolling the dice with Shaquille. If things don't work out (or even if they do) two years from now Nash and Shaquille's contracts both come off the books and they can start over building around Amare and Barbosa. Will it work? Who knows? But you have to admire a franchise that goes all in, instead of playing a decent but non-winning hand over and over.

posted by sic at 01:08 PM on February 06, 2008

Suns go from Run and Gun to Ground and Pound

As far as I can tell this trade has not been finalized.

posted by sic at 09:32 AM on February 06, 2008

Giants Win Superbowl!

If you look at the #'s and consider them in light of the pressure he faced, i think Brady was great. Almost every other quarterback would have given the game away with the beating Brady took. He, however, actually kept them in it and gave them a chance to win. Agree. To me Brady's defining moment as a great quarterback didn't come on a scoring drive, but on that last failed drive. Two plays jump out at me: First he put a tremendous bomb right on Randy Moss' hands but the Giants defensive backs played amazing defense to break it up. Moss barely had to break stride, the ball was right there. Second, when he got sacked, I mean just hammered near the end there, his first thought was to call a time out. Presence of mind. Time has almost completely run out, he just received a sledgehammer to the chest, he's lying on his back with 75,000 screaming fans and he still has the presence of mind to immediately call a time out from the ground. That is a quarterback. Congratulations to the Giants, they played an amazing game, especially the defense, and they beat a great team and a great quarterback. Also strongly agree that a defensive player should have won the MVP.

posted by sic at 04:21 AM on February 05, 2008

Giants Win Superbowl!

I just watched the fourth quarter (I live in Europe and didn't to stay up watch the game live) after knowing that Manning was voted MVP. All I can say is WTF? He must be the luckiest guy in the world. That last drive he threw two balls that really should have been intercepted. He nearly fumbled the ball when he ran out of the pocket. Toomer made an amazing shoestring catch on another pass that he threw short and granted he showed a lot of desire in getting away from the pass rush on the helmet catch, but Christ! he threw that ball wild into quadruple coverage!! The receiver made an amazing catch, but damn, that play was more luck than anything else. The only sharp pass he threw was the touchdown pass. Everything else just seemed like luck and near turnovers. This is an objective viewing by someone who is not a fan of either team, and doesn't even really follow the NFL anymore. No way is manning the MVP. The defense should have gotten it.

posted by sic at 05:07 PM on February 04, 2008

Giants Win Superbowl!

That said, I can't help but get the feeling there would have been a server crash with at least 10 Pats fans posting a thread titled Perfect! all at once. Know what I mean? You should also cut me a little slack, this is the first time all season I've been able to take a legit jab at the Pats or their fans for losing. Comment icon posted by Prophite at 6:25 AM CST on February 4 I've heard of being bitter in defeat, but bitter in victory? That's a new one.

posted by sic at 08:58 AM on February 04, 2008

Giants Win Superbowl!

Bill B walking off the field with 1 sec left on the clock is one of the most gutless things I have ever seen in sports. I have seen players do it but never a coach. Burn in hell Bill. Doesn't even rank in the top 10. Number 1 is the Detroit Pistons "bad boys" (Thomas, Laimbeer, Vinnie Johnson etal) sulking off the court and into the locker room with like a minute and a half left in the blowout that was the fourth game sweep in the playoffs by Jordan's ascendant Bulls in 1991. They wouldn't even look at the Bulls bench, let alone congratulate them after the Bulls had tried for years to beat the Pistons in the playoffs. Isiah Thomas has the least class of any sports figure in American sports. Congratulations to the Giants.

posted by sic at 03:18 AM on February 04, 2008

Pau Gasol headed to the Lakers.

In a word? No. I'm not sure of Shaq's salary with the Lakers when they won but I'm assuming it was at least 15 million per. That, and the opportunity for all those endorsements being in a major media market, really should be payment enough. Well, like I said it was the right business decision, but I like to think (in my more idealistic moments) that professional sports sometimes still transcend the business end of it. Especially when we are talking about iconic figures like Larry Bird (who was way overpaid in his final seasons with that aching back) or Michael Jordan (who was never ever overpaid!) or Shaq. Even more so when lots of championships are involved - fans, cities, get emotional and tend to want to deify their sports heroes if they are able to give them something special like a sports dynasty; even if they are no longer as great as they once were. That's why it wouldn't have been at all surprising for Buss to overpay Shaq at the end and why it was somewhat surprising that he let him go win a championship in Miami, overpriced or not. I mean could you imagine if he would have won that last championship with the Lakers instead of Miami? He would have surpassed Magic Johnson in the pantheon of all time Laker greats. Wow, from reading this you would think I like Shaq, but he is one of my least favorite players... Still a champion is a champion.

posted by sic at 05:45 PM on February 02, 2008

Pau Gasol headed to the Lakers.

Cjets, you raise an interesting question: just how much is a championship worth? Shaq delivered the championship to Miami, but was that one championship worth all the money they will have to pay him, now that he is essentially a bench warmer? Is it worth it to their fans? To their owners? On a not entirely related tip, Shaq, and Kobe, but mostly Shaq, got the Lakers and Buss a fistful of championships - should that be taken into consideration when deciding whether to give Shaq an "over-valued" last contract , so that he could retire a Laker? Sometimes smart business moves clash with sentiment/nostalgia/respect earned. As far as Kobe is concerned, ugh, I can't discuss him rationally; I just don't like him as a human being.

posted by sic at 01:38 PM on February 02, 2008

Pau Gasol headed to the Lakers.

You won't see the real effect of this trade until next year. It's going to take a while for these guys to gel. The Celtics had the whole off-season. These guys are going to have to learn on the fly (plus Bynum is gone until mid-March). They will only have 20 or so games to play together before the playoffs. And your comment is teeming with insight. Into your unoriginality.

posted by sic at 01:30 PM on February 02, 2008

Pau Gasol headed to the Lakers.

Man, lot of bitterness toward Shaq who immediately won another championship with the Heat after he was traded. That is what most teams are in this for, championships, right? Immediate dividends for the Heat. Obviously he's done now, but Kobe's Lakers haven't won anything since Shaq left. Pau, with a healthy Bynum, might get them over the top (actually there's a really good shot, because I'm a big fan of Pau's scoring, intelligence and willingness to do what is needed to win; PJ just got a talented player who can be coached) but the West is very tough. I also don't trust Kobe's megalomania - if he starts freezing his teammates out with selfish play, they might quit on him in the playoffs.

posted by sic at 08:56 AM on February 02, 2008

Pau Gasol headed to the Lakers.

Damn, I was hoping he'd end up on the Bulls. When Bynum comes back and is paired with Gasol the Lakers are going to be very tough. My happiness for Pau is offset by my dislike for Kobe.

posted by sic at 06:49 PM on February 01, 2008

Fans make Liverpool takeover move

This is interesting. It also leads to other... distractions. The elections at FCB and Real Madrid can be as cut throat as anything you see in politics anywhere. Powerplays by factions within the club trying to elect someone president can be quite divisive. While it is a more democratic system, rather than modern democracy it is more along the lines of the Roman Republic where the highest bidder gets the mob's vote. Florentino Perez became President of Real Madrid by offering to steal Figo from FCB a few years ago, remember? Still, I hope that Liverpool goes for it.

posted by sic at 02:29 AM on January 31, 2008

The mighty hath fallen:

SFValley: Nadal did not implode, Tsonga played out of his mind, amazing tennis. His serve was devastating, his volleying was flawless, he could not be passed at the net, he ran down everything, he was returning like Agassi. I was blown away by his game. In short, there was really nothing Rafa could do; nobody could have beat Tsongas the way he was playing. I just hope that he can maintain that level of tennis for the final. If he and Djokovic bring it like they did in the semis we could see the match of the year in January.

posted by sic at 02:10 PM on January 26, 2008

How Do You Get to 16 - 0?

You bring up some good points Footballcrew. I'm convinced!

posted by sic at 03:59 PM on January 04, 2008

Fergie bungles at Bolton.

I love football, but is this really post worthy? Manchester United loses a game in the middle of the season? Surely something more interesting is happening in the world of football.

posted by sic at 12:33 PM on November 24, 2007

Getting Tough with the '72 Dolphins

I've always thought that football is just a metaphor for war and what is a war without spies? I mean what general wouldn't try to crack the enemy's code to try and gain an advantage? I remember Phil Jackson talking about "gamesmanship" in the NBA, like opposing players hiding needles in their shorts so that they could let the air out of the over-inflated balls in Laker games because Magic liked the balls to bounce high on his dribble. Like the Detroit Bad Boys, who won primarily by shutting their opponent down on defense, installing a basket that "wasn't right" in their arena which opponents would have to shoot at in the 4th quarter; things of this nature. PJ himself is reportedly a lip reader and would try to "steal" what the opposing coach was saying during timeouts. I'll bet just about anything that all successful NFL franchises are willing to bend and break the rules to win games.

posted by sic at 01:30 PM on November 09, 2007

Martina Hingis reveals she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon, announces retirement immediately thereafter.

Some posters don't believe any professional athletes have ever taken drugs, performance-enhancing or otherwise, ever. Not even an aspirin! All positive tests are due to incompetence or conspiracy. Trust me, dviking you will not change their minds about this.

posted by sic at 06:45 PM on November 02, 2007

Martina Hingis reveals she tested positive for cocaine at Wimbledon, announces retirement immediately thereafter.

There is of course the possibility that she did use cocaine, got caught, will not win an appeal (because she is guilty) and is trying to save face with this "farewell cruel world" retirement. I also submit that she may have used cocaine not to enhance her performance, but because it was, you know, fun. Should that be illegal? There's a more interesting debate.

posted by sic at 06:50 AM on November 02, 2007

This Just In: 'Alex Rodriguez is a Weasel'

Why is this an issue? Really, I don't understand what the big deal is.

posted by sic at 05:11 AM on October 31, 2007

Landis appeals

What a surprise. Just go away already Floyd.

posted by sic at 12:31 PM on October 11, 2007

Mourinho Departs from Chelsea

Well this isn't that surprising, considering Chelsea has failed to win the Champions under Mourinho despite an investment in players totalling hundreds of millions of euros. Rumor has it that Sevilla coach Juande Ramos is being considered for the job.

posted by sic at 05:04 PM on September 21, 2007

Offerman charges the mound

Again, sic, it comes down to intent. Comment icon posted by jerseygirl at 9:15 AM CDT on August 16 Nolan's intent was to hit a batter with a 100 mph fastball. He saw "scaring" batters with the very real possibility of injury as part of the game; I always though it was criminal.

posted by sic at 11:16 AM on August 16, 2007

Offerman charges the mound

I remember thinking that Nolan Ryan should have been arrested for throwing his 100 mph fastball at batters; if it is intentional, how is that not assault with a deadly weapon? Same applies with a bat wielding maniac. Intentionally hurting other people should really not be part of sports.

posted by sic at 09:06 AM on August 16, 2007

Thierry Henry Bound for Barcelona

My god, I can't freaking wait to see him teamed up with any configuration of Eto'o, Messi, Ronaldinho, Deco, Iniesta, Xavi, etc. etc etc. Barca lost the Liga, not at the end, but in the middle of the season, when Eto'o and Messi were hurt (and Larsson gone - oh how Barca regretted that). Without a sniper to put the ball away, all of the midfield touch touch touches were pretty but ineffective. With a healthy Messi, Eto'o and now Henry, all I can say is, wow.

posted by sic at 04:27 PM on June 25, 2007

Asante to Pats: See you midseason

A website? I don't know where that came from, but as far as employers and the government, there are certain legislated rights that do protect workers against discrimination whether they work for the government or in the private sector, as I'm sure you know. In this case a player isn't discriminated against because of race, religion, gender, sexual preference, etc. but because they are good enough to command a higher salary on the free market. This is pretty f*cked up in my opinion. On preview: Nor would I, and I don't see how you could read that into my comment. Race and gender do matter in terms of a broader socio-economic perspective in the United States. This is undeniable.

posted by sic at 09:15 AM on June 07, 2007

Asante to Pats: See you midseason

It's hard to understand how this Franchise Player tag is even legal in a country where free market capitalism is supposedly the law of the land. But of course we know that real free markets don't exist here or anywhere, only markets that are legislated to always benefit the stronger party in an economic relationship whether it be Corporations/consumers or Rich White Owners/less rich (mostly) black players. (Race and gender do matter by the way, unless your completely ignorant of economic realities and power structures in America). It doesn't matter if the player is going to make a ton of money; by designating a player as Franchise Player he is being denied the possibility to make even more money that, by the logic of the free market, he should be entitled to. Even worse, the money that he is denied goes directly to the Rich White Owner that is already raking in the lion's share of all profits. This is both an unfair distribution of wealth and a travesty in a supposedly free market.

posted by sic at 02:27 AM on June 07, 2007

Ten of the Best

I thought the list was very well thought out and accurate.

posted by sic at 11:07 PM on May 30, 2007

1996 Tour de France winner admits to doping

Thanks for the article Fat Buddha. Armstrong's actions against Simeoni speak volumes. Why would he be so upset about him breaking the code of silence if he himself wasn't part of the dirty element?

posted by sic at 09:03 AM on May 28, 2007