Recent Comments by elsoltano

Montreal wins the Grey Cup.

Yeah Fox Sports World shows CFL games in the US. I haven't gotten a chance to catch any of them yet though. Do the rules differ significantly from American Football?

posted by elsoltano at 06:57 AM on November 26, 2002

Welcome to the alternate universe. Up is down and down is up. The madness just never stops - thank you parity. I think this is the biggest NFL story of the year. Is everyone going to be 8-8 at the end of the year? Ok, everyone besides the Bengals?

posted by elsoltano at 06:44 AM on November 25, 2002

The MLS expanded the season length to 30 games in 2003. The first match will be the LA Galaxy visiting the Columbus Crew on April 5th. In a nice sign of the expansion of the league, the game will be broadcast live nationally on ABC. Meanwhile Chicago Fire star Demarcus Beasley underwent successful arthroscopic knee surgery. He's expected to be recovered by opening day. The US Men's National Team emerged victorious in a 2-0 friendly against El Salvador. Clint Mathis captained the team. "On the field I'm more like my father. I'm just so competitive, I can't help myself -- I'm a dick." says our boy Clint. Finally Grant Wahl's SI column details his picks for the 2006 Cup Team. A bit early to predict, isn't it?

posted by elsoltano at 08:01 PM on November 24, 2002

Ohio State heads to the national championships!

First the Crew wins the US Open Cup, then the Buckeyes head to the national championships. What's next, the Bluejackets have a winning season? Ok.. maybe I'm a bit too elated. Off to celebrate!

posted by elsoltano at 03:31 PM on November 23, 2002

Excellent excellent post!

posted by elsoltano at 09:21 PM on November 18, 2002

The silly season.

As an Indians fan, I know I have a couple of years of rebuilding ahead of me. But that should be interesting, right? Right? Oh hell...

posted by elsoltano at 02:58 PM on November 14, 2002

My team just won the US Open Cup!

It was very cold. I can still barely feel my toes. But tonight The Columbus Crew won at home and brought us our first trophy ever. I could say more, but now it's time to sleep the way we barely ever get to as fans. Tonight there are no worries.

posted by elsoltano at 09:58 PM on October 24, 2002

BCS Standings are out.

tieguy: I have no solutions, that's why I offered none. There are far bigger college football fans than me who have thought much more about this.

posted by elsoltano at 12:08 PM on October 22, 2002

BCS Standings are out.

The whole system is bad. OSU(and I'm sure many other teams) is stuck playing regional blowouts for the first half of the season, ruining our strength of schedule and making for some very very very boring football.

posted by elsoltano at 07:07 AM on October 22, 2002

WC2002 thanks for the links! But pity pity my poor bosses who will now see me slack off at match time :)

posted by elsoltano at 08:50 AM on October 19, 2002

Offside: Soccer and American Exceptionalism (or Why soccer ain't big in America) [Amazon link].

Haven't read the book, but I don't think I buy the premise. I actually think American sport is going to undergo a massive transformation in the next 5-10 years, and we're seeing the beginnings of it now. The major sports teams (NFL and MLB really, of which NFL is far far ahead) are enormous beasts. They need a massive community of fans and taxpayer support to stay alive economically. Thus they can only survive in larger markets. Well those large markets only make up a certain percentage of the country, and there are tons of underserved markets that more niche sports can easily make their mark on. I'll take Columbus for example. The Crew sells ~17,000 tickets to every match, and the Columbus Bluejackets SELL OUT every game. No matter how good or bad the team is doing. There are dozens of Columbus's out there (Raleigh, for example). I think you're going to see the emergence of a stable fanbase for minor league baseball, MLS, WNBA, etc. in these markets. It doesn't matter if footie is never #1, just that it grows, gets better, and survives.

posted by elsoltano at 03:02 PM on October 15, 2002

MLS Players to form union?

I agree somewhat. The problem is the players we DO have that are good (McBride, Mathis (when he's not nuts), Donovan , etc.) like all MLS players are signed to the MLS itself, not to their individual clubs. So they have no idea what kind of offers they are getting from foreign clubs and have no say in accepting deals. I think the MLS needs to find a way to make good US players WANT to play in the MLS (the $250k salary cap probably doesn't help) if they want their product to improve. On the other hand, would most Americans even notice if the game quality DID improve :)

posted by elsoltano at 08:42 PM on October 08, 2002

Congrats to the Giants! So what exactly caused Atlanta's postseason curse?

posted by elsoltano at 11:34 AM on October 08, 2002

A radio DJ being an asshole with the humor of a 6 year old? Well I'll be!

posted by elsoltano at 08:51 AM on October 05, 2002

Maddox or Kordell?

I agree with insomnyuk - as a Browns fan I beg you Cowher - START KORDELL.

posted by elsoltano at 11:27 AM on October 02, 2002

Is Tice Toast?

Who goes first, Tice or LeBeau?

posted by elsoltano at 09:07 AM on September 30, 2002

End of offside controversies in soccer?

Yeah Rabi, if I recall correctly the MLS did try that. Then again (I'm assuming you're a Fire fan (excellent supporters!) - I'm a Crew fan btw) the MLS tends to just make things up as they go along. How often has anything stayed the same in this league? One other thing I think is wrong with thinking of ways we need to become more accurate in footie - this is a sport that very much relies on flow. In the NFL instant replay worked (ok, kinda) because it's a stop start game. Things like this would never work in soccer and would make me very sad if they tried it.

posted by elsoltano at 02:08 PM on September 27, 2002

End of offside controversies in soccer?

I completely agree Starfucker. The refs are part of the game, this is the way things work, sometimes there are bad calls.. OH WELL.

posted by elsoltano at 12:39 PM on September 27, 2002

Donovan McNabb the highest-paid player in league history.

I like how Strahan was making fun of Donovan's Chunky Soup commercials when he was microphoned on Monday Night Football last year and this year Strahan is the one doing the Chunky Soup commercials!

posted by elsoltano at 12:38 PM on September 27, 2002

You know... I really don't like anything Shockey said, and think the comments were stupid and homophobic.. BUT he's a young rookie on the Howard Stern show. Howard Stern isn't exactly Connie Chung, he steers conversations in certain directions. This, in my opinion, is just a young guy making a lot of dumb comments that we all hear a lot of ignorant people say. He's still no Randy Moss! :)

posted by elsoltano at 12:37 PM on September 27, 2002

USA higher than England and Italy in FIFA rankings.

The ability for the US to maintain this position rests solely on the shoulders of the MLS, no matter what the detractors say. Have a professional domestic league where talent can grow and play is absolutely vital in my opinion.

posted by elsoltano at 07:16 AM on September 19, 2002

Obsess much?

As a Cleveland native I can only take pride that the entire nation is presumably joining in with us in our two favorite hobbies. Hating the Ravens and the Steelers is obviously a lifelong obsession shared by people other than myself. In fact, using the scientific tool known as "Google" I am able to determine that the Browns are the most loved team in the AFC. "Browns Suck" - 51 results "Ravens Suck" - 106 results "Steelers Suck" - 108 results "Benglas Suck" - 58 results

posted by elsoltano at 04:42 PM on September 18, 2002

USA higher than England and Italy in FIFA rankings.

Yet we're still behind Mexico, which we can beat anytime.

posted by elsoltano at 02:16 PM on September 18, 2002

Obsess much?

Excellent link.

posted by elsoltano at 02:15 PM on September 18, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Yeah I can understand that WorldCup. Fox Sports World shows about 4 EPL games a week. Most are on a 2 hour or so tape delay, sometimes longer. Sometimes live though. I've seen all of the teams this year at least once with it. They don't stick with just the big names, and they seem to have a Newcastle fetish as they show them all the time. My brother follows Liverpool and has been able to catch 3 games already I think. FSW also shows 2 Bundesliga games a week and assorted South American and Euro leagues, not sure if they're showing any Champions League stuff. Speaking of which, the Arsenal game looks like it's crap, and Liverpool are down 2 nil. What a crummy afternoon.

posted by elsoltano at 02:41 PM on September 17, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Anyone know if today's Championship Cup matches will be broadcast over the internet? I'm not having much luck.

posted by elsoltano at 12:37 PM on September 17, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Worldcup, you don't get Fox Sports World? God.. I don't know what I'd do without it. I went home last night and was able to watch the match. Bless Tivo. I'm able to watch 3-4 games a week. Plus you need to get it by October 24th so you can watch the US Open Cup Finals and cheer on my Columbus Crew! As for the others, I get BBC World Service on my NPR here in Columbus, but it's only on from 1am until 5 am. Arsenal's site has free live radio, and a few others are free as well. All of these are free I believe. Also check out Soccer Audio - which seems to update sporadically and is a bit hard to navigate. Do you read Big Soccer at all?

posted by elsoltano at 11:49 AM on September 17, 2002

How to Fix Football

I agree that football games are way too long, if you plan on watching one it takes over a serious chunk of time.

posted by elsoltano at 09:50 AM on September 17, 2002

How to Fix Football

Ehh I don't really agree with any of these except for #10. Instant replay is a good thing. I know it slows down the game, but I think the only thing that should be added to it is that refs should stick to reviewing the play for only 30 seconds and make their call. Getting rid of the extra point is dumb. Sure it was stopped only 19 times last year, but that makes those 19 very significant! It can change the outcome of the game. I totally disagree with his field goal rule changes (I get penalized for marching my team further down field??) I could maybe agree with changing sudden death overtime. Letting them play a full 15 minute quarter would be better maybe. The thing is, none of his suggestions are ones that would increase TV viewership, which he sees as the problem. The NFL is the most popular game in the land because of a few simple things: the salary cap and the fact that every game is important.

posted by elsoltano at 08:29 AM on September 17, 2002

Game stopped for several minutes by police spray.

I don't think you can ever prevent violence like this, people get passionate (and drunk) and things happen. It's unfortunate but I don't think it's a massive problem. Sitting around watching the game last night with some friends, one uttered the best line of the night - "Steve Spurrier coaches like he's playing NFL Blitz." Genius.

posted by elsoltano at 08:19 AM on September 17, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Bang 3-0 to the Blues. Congrats Fat Buddha, sorry for the loss BC. Time to head home for me.

posted by elsoltano at 04:02 PM on September 16, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Back from my meeting and the Blues have scored twice?!! ElSoltano: "I don't really need to be in this meeting do I?" Manager people: "It's about your project isn't it?" ElSoltano: "Shit.."

posted by elsoltano at 03:51 PM on September 16, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Ack they're calling me into a meeting as the game hits 72 minutes. #$#@%* work!!

posted by elsoltano at 03:39 PM on September 16, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

No problem Worldcup! Looks like Villa are building pressure. My roomate has just IMed me that he has Stern John, Damien Johnson and Martin Grainger on his fantasy teams this week. We're both proxie Birmingham fans due to Stern John being a former Columbus Crew member. He's not mentioned in any of our chants or songs anymore, but we gotta stay loyal. Also looks like the Villa webcast has crashed again.

posted by elsoltano at 03:22 PM on September 16, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Worldcup: it's on Aston Villa's website. Here's the link. Yep Guardian does that for all the games. What's nice about being a Yank EPL fan is that the games start around 3pm EST for me and last until right about the end of the day. So that post lunch/pre leaving time boredom is easily taken care of. So far it sounds like both teams are pretty even with even the Villa announcers being shocked at the amount of energy the Blues are putting into the game. Savage sounds like he's all over the pitch.

posted by elsoltano at 02:57 PM on September 16, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Got radio working just as the Blues score. Sounds like a very physical match so far.

posted by elsoltano at 02:37 PM on September 16, 2002

Midlands derby revived!

Guardian's match report here. Trying to get the game in on internet radio, no such luck. Guardian says Villa is looking poor early doors, sorry for the Ronglish. Buddha, I have your boy Grainger picked in my fantasy teams and he's gettin carded! Yell at him to WIN ME POINTS!

posted by elsoltano at 02:28 PM on September 16, 2002

Byron Moreno

It's a tough call. You undermine refs by doing stuff like this, but it's obvious this guy is a nut. However the Italians weren't blameless in all of this, they rival Brazil in their acting abilities.

posted by elsoltano at 02:34 PM on September 13, 2002

Um, Kordell, sometimes, the best team wins...again!

As a Browns fan I just have to congratulate Kordell. Keep it up!

posted by elsoltano at 10:36 AM on September 10, 2002

Miami dominated. Florida flopped.

Does anyone else know that feeling? I think that feeling is one half of why we're sports fans. It's what makes winning such an incredible feeling. Without that feeling you might as well be a Yankees fan. Bleh.

posted by elsoltano at 08:05 AM on September 08, 2002

The NFL season is now upon us and Dr. Z has made his picks.

rosey8810, no worries. Now that the season has begun (err, well, in a couple more minutes) I'm going to have to seriously sedate myself on these boards from just shouting CLEVELAND CLEVELAND CLEVELAND every five seconds. I see a lot of people picking the Colts as having a big comeback this year and I tend to agree. I'm also expecting big things from Miami.

posted by elsoltano at 06:49 PM on September 05, 2002

The NFL season is now upon us and Dr. Z has made his picks.

All this Steelers talk is making me sick. Guh.

posted by elsoltano at 08:31 AM on September 05, 2002

The NFL season is now upon us and Dr. Z has made his picks.

Here are mine: AFC North: Cleveland Browns Superbowl: Cleveland Browns Do any other picks actually matter?

posted by elsoltano at 07:10 AM on September 05, 2002

Red card withdrawn after the game.

Well there's a difference between correcting bad calls via video during the game and after the game. I'm fine for them reviewing things after the game and changing cards, fining poor decisions by refs... Actually, it wasn't until I typed this in that I realized how much something like this could undermine the players respect of referees. So I'm going to contradict my first paragraph :) Either the refs word is law or it isn't. Maybe. I dunno. How's that for a comment?

posted by elsoltano at 07:11 PM on August 20, 2002

You think these owners are corrupt?

Unfortunately I have nothing of value to add other than saying that this was my favorite Sportsfilter link all week. I will, however, remark on how great it is that people used to say "How's that for beans?" in the 1930s. We need to bring that back.

posted by elsoltano at 09:36 AM on August 17, 2002

Building better marathoners by reengineering neuro-mechanics, blood chemistry, and brain waves.

Elite running is almost entirely genetic, there is a level that you can't reach with just training. The average individual will never run a marathon at a five minute per mile pace, no matter the training level. Typically individuals of the same age will have around the same maximal heart rate (220-age, and yes, I know this is somewhat of a myth, but work with me here). So let's say my max is 190. A genetically endowed Elite runner will have around the same at the same age, so let's give her 190 also. Now the difference starts to show in other areas. My maximal stroke volume (# of fluid ounces of blood i pump per beat) is around 3.5 (let's say). An elite athlete's is much higher, say 7.0. Their hearts can just naturally pump more blood than the average person. Well your maximal cardiac output is the stroke volume x heart rate. So I'm able to pump around 21 quarts per minute using the stats above. The elite runner really gains here, she's able to pump 41.5 quarts per minute! When you're running you have to deliver oxygen (via your blood) to those muscles to produce ATP (your muscles' "fuel" to simplify it). An elite runner is pumping much more blood per stroke and thus delivering more oxygen to their muscles, thus running faster and longer, etc. etc. The altitude training mentioned above has been used by a lot of athletes (well, not to the engineered extent written about in that article), and has proven very effective in some circumstances. However, the ability for the US to win some marathons is going to come down to genetics and steering the genetically gifted athletes to running and not other sports (haha good luck!).

posted by elsoltano at 08:59 PM on August 03, 2002

The MLS All Star Game

Interesting game when we weren't getting rained out (57 minute rain delay) or being subjected to an awful half-time show. The teams were pretty even, but the MLS All-Stars triumphed in the end. This game, combined with the state of the league address really encapsulated US soccer this year - a bit of a mess, a bit too optimistic, a bit too full of itself, but able to provide some great games.

posted by elsoltano at 05:40 PM on August 03, 2002

Bowden must go,

Rebeuthl I think you, like many others, are misreading his words. Look at the quote carefully: "If players want to strike, they ought to just pick Sept. 11, because that's what it's going to do to the game,'' Bowden said." He's not saying that a work stoppage == Sept 11th. He's saying the the effect of Sept 11th to the United States is like the effect a work stoppage in baseball will have on the sport of baseball.

posted by elsoltano at 12:39 PM on August 02, 2002

Bowden must go,

I don't see the problem either. Olbermann isn't making much sense.

posted by elsoltano at 10:52 AM on August 02, 2002

Monster deal for Ray Lewis.

Only the Ravens would pay a murderer this much money.

posted by elsoltano at 09:25 PM on August 01, 2002

"... (I)n 1884 the U.S. became the second country to establish a football association after England."

I dunno WorldCup2002. I know a lot of lifelong baseball fans who have "given up" the sport this season. Now, I put that in quotes because we'll see just how long this "giving up" lasts. Some have converted into soccer fans, I know that. I think the more interesting story than the potential rise of soccer is just the rise of several other sports. I've had friends talk about the Tour de France and conversations about endurance sports (marathoning, cycling, triathlons, etc.) have been dominating our lunchtime conversations. That's probably because many of us participate in them, but I know we've managed to rope others in as well. It may be the overall shakiness of major league sports in general. It seems they're becoming increasingly financially untenable. With the stories of the Transfer market in Europe and England falling apart and football clubs diving deep into the red, combined with the rumor of two MLB teams going under this year - you have to begin wondering where our sports "institutions" will be 5-10 years from now. In America, the NFL is just amazingly dominate (hey, it's still my favorite too) that it may make these 2nd tier sports in America (Baseball, Basketball, Hockey) have to re-examine the scope of their finances.

posted by elsoltano at 09:55 PM on July 18, 2002

Round three of the US Open Cup kicked off yesterday

I just got back from the Crew/Richmond match. Fun game. Richmond got a bit testy once we were up 3-0 and began fouling like crazy, but all in all I was very impressed with Richmond. The A-League has a much higher caliber of play than I assumed they would. I will definately check out some of the A-League games on Fox Sports World now. The best part? The Fire lost!

posted by elsoltano at 09:51 PM on July 17, 2002

The true greatness of that Guardian article is the hope that someday my prowess (or lack of, to be honest) in Championship Manager might net me a job managing a team.

posted by elsoltano at 03:59 PM on July 16, 2002

The New FIFA Ranking After The World Cup:

Korea gained the most ground, probably deservedly.

posted by elsoltano at 09:32 PM on July 03, 2002

USA v Germany by the numbers.

i_cola: that's right! jbou: Salmacis and I_Cola are dead on. Go support the Revolution, living through the bad and the good are the best part of sports. And it's not like the Rev. are a bad team, all the MLS teams are rather close. So today was bad with England and US going out, now it's time to cast about for the next teams to cheer for. It's Senegal and S. Korea for me now.

posted by elsoltano at 10:21 AM on June 21, 2002

USA v Germany by the numbers.

Oh one more quick thing about the game's acceptance in America - the Cup matches were so popular when show in the Columbus Crew Stadium that they're now going to show England Premier League matches there this season! Excellent!

posted by elsoltano at 09:04 AM on June 21, 2002

USA v Germany by the numbers.

Bixby23, as much as it pains me to say it I think the ref made the right call in that situation. I don't think the ball went in and I don't think it was a handball, any contact wasn't purposeful. I'm sad the US lost but I'm happy we went out in a match where we looked so good. I would've hated to go out in the Poland game. I think we can feel very proud of what we accomplished. That German team sure is tough and Kahn really did tip the game in their favor. Excellent match. Being in Columbus, Ohio I can tell you this - this town at least is soccer crazy. We're having THOUSANDS show up at our local pitch to watch the World Cup matches and not just the US ones. We have US natives cheering next to this town's sizable Somali and Ethiopian immigrant population during Senegal matches. There's a large German population here (we have an area of town called German Village that is filled with em) and they've been a fixture at Crew Stadium for the matches. The best part? Our MLS games are getting record attendance and my coworkers are not just showing patience but actual enjoyment in my long winded football rants as the Cup has gone on. This has been the first World Cup I've followed closely and I'm a 100% convert to the sport now. It still can't beat American Football in my heart but it's a damn close second.

posted by elsoltano at 08:56 AM on June 21, 2002

England v Brazil

Korea, Turkey, Senegal, and the US making up half of the quarterfinals, who on EARTH would've thought??

posted by elsoltano at 10:50 AM on June 18, 2002

England v Brazil

Wait, my schedule says that these don't take place until this Friday (the 21st). Did I miss something?

posted by elsoltano at 09:36 AM on June 18, 2002

Japan v Turkey

Poor Japan, I was really cheering for them. And now it looks like Korea might go out also (0:1 at 68 right now). I really enjoyed watching both of these teams and I'm hoping that someone like Fox Sports World picks up some Japanese or Korean league matches now.

posted by elsoltano at 08:00 AM on June 18, 2002