Recent Comments by Chargdres

Carlos Sastre wins Tour de France

Everytime I saw a Garmin-Chipotle rider I had to chuckle. Maybe the Chipotle riders didn't dope, but if their sponsor also provided their food, they likely were afforded extra propulsion.

posted by Chargdres at 09:56 AM on July 28, 2008

US Soccer Fan's Bill of Rights

Responsibility 1 doesnt sit well with me. Yeah, I really wish I could support my local team, but fact of the matter is, the MLS, while improving, is still dull and about the quality of the English League 1 (ie. third tier). Yes, in Europe, even those lower tier clubs have devoted fan bases, but there are also essentially no other sports options in Europe. I'm not going to waste my time on bad American soccer as long as there are good baseball, football and basketball games going on in my city. I still much prefer going to a bar at 10 in the morning on a Saturday to watch the Premier League or Serie A, then paying $30 to go see an MLS game.

posted by Chargdres at 04:03 PM on July 24, 2008

First Class?

Yeah, gotta say that real first class is pretty air tight.

posted by Chargdres at 11:15 AM on June 30, 2008

Ever wondered what happens when a switch pitcher meets a switch hitter?

Well, even if the umps gloriously F-ed this up, it was still a lot of fun to watch.

posted by Chargdres at 01:51 PM on June 20, 2008

Mourinho to Inter Milan, targets Chelsea trio.

I'm back.

posted by Chargdres at 01:40 PM on June 04, 2008

Ortiz goes on DL

Edgar Martinez? Did he ever do anything but hit?

posted by Chargdres at 04:22 PM on June 03, 2008

IPL hits for six with faster, sexier cricket (NPR audio link).

Mumbai Indians?! I am appalled! How dare a sports franchise trivialize such a great people. I sense a protest. Wait, what were we talking about again?

posted by Chargdres at 01:57 PM on June 03, 2008

Mourinho to Inter Milan, targets Chelsea trio.

Ancelotti makes no sense for Chelsea, so I'd be surprised if that turns out to be anything other than an unsubstantiated rumor. If Rijkaard wasn't now officially damaged goods, I'd say that's who Chelsea would go after. I think Grant got a raw deal though. As far as Jose taking any of those three, I think that the only one he might get is Drogba. I think Lampard will eventually sign and there is no way that Chelsea lets Essien go as Makalele's career is all but over. Carvalho, as you mentioned trox, may also be a target, but again, he may be too valuable to Chelsea to just let go. Maybe Paulo Ferreira, who also followed Mourinho from Porto to Chelsea will go to Inter.

posted by Chargdres at 01:46 PM on June 03, 2008

Canadian NHL teams mean money

I have never understood the NHL expansion and relocation policy. Why are there teams in Florida, Arizona, Texas, Southern California, Tennessee, Georgia, or North Carolina? I know that even in these places some fans can be found, but why move a team out of Hockey crazy Canada or Northern USA, to put them in some place where it snows once every decade? I was hoping the lockout would convince the NHL to contract the league and reposition the remaining teams to more traditional cold weather hockey markets, with the exceptions being warm weather cities that have been proven to be strong supporters of hockey. Apparently they either couldn't or didn't want to, but it should be no surprise that the evidence shows that Canadians like hockey more than Americans do.

posted by Chargdres at 01:00 PM on May 30, 2008

Pro Cycling At The Crossroads: Clean Up Or Clear Off.

Thanks for that, etagloh. Interesting read (although when did the word "cheater" get invented? What was wrong with "cheat"?). Well, I suppose its been around at least as long as the age old taunt, "cheater, cheater, pumpkin eater."

posted by Chargdres at 09:06 AM on May 29, 2008

Female ski jumpers taking VANOC to court

" encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women..." lbb, I am still missing the the part of that quote which binds the IOC to include women's ski jump as an event. Its charter calls for promotion and support. Both of those objectives, which are intentionally vague, can and are met without the having an Olympic event. I don't believe any man is entitled to comete in the Olympics either. However, if no international body has created a women's world ski jumping championship, they are fully entitled to create one for themselves if they are so willing. If the FIS refuses to host it, then they are essentially ceding the responsibility to whoever else comes along to take up the banner. The FIS does not have a copyright on the term "champion" or "championship". And again, when I refered to "these women" I was not referring to women in general, as you appear intent on twisting my words into meaning. You see, I used the term "these", an adjective implying exclusivity, in order to refer only the the women petitioning the Canadian Human Rights body for redress. But thanks again for making me out to be a sexist, thats real cool of you.

posted by Chargdres at 01:42 PM on May 23, 2008

Female ski jumpers taking VANOC to court

Why do these women think they have some entitlement to be in the Olympics? Ick, that sounds terrible. I don't even know what to say with this kind of statement. Thanks for taking my comment entirely out of context. It would have said these "men" these "kids" these "people" if those terms were applicable. As it turns out, these are women, which is why I phrased it "these women". The IOC charter states that the IOC's role includes " encourage and support the promotion of women in sport at all levels and in all structures with a view to implementing the principle of equality of men and women..." Sounds like it is on them, after all. Sorry, lbb, where in that does it say that the IOC must include every sport that women have ever considered playing? Encouragement does not neccessarily mean the inclusion of an event at the Olympic level. It can, and does also mean material and non-material support to the development of women's sport. As I understand the IOC's position, women's ski-jumping is not developed enough yet to warrant an olympic event. That does not mean they don't support women's sport. On that same line, should the IOC include women's american football, just because there is a small league in the US, and to not have an event would somehow imply that the IOC does not "promote" that particular women's sport? Sure, the Vancouver Olympics are in large part taxpayer funded, but that money was not given with the singular condition that the Olympics will in fact be held in Vancouver. Of course, they will have to obey local law, that goes with out saying, but there is no law in Canada that obligates the Olympics to hold any event that is demanded by an organized group of women, men, or whatever. I will say it again: if these women want a championship in their event, they are fully entitled to create one for themselves, and fully entitled to lobby the IOC to include it as an event in the Sochi games in 2014. They are not, however, entitled to force the IOC to include the event in 2010 by calling its absence a "human rights violation".

posted by Chargdres at 08:49 AM on May 23, 2008

Female ski jumpers taking VANOC to court

What do they mean women are "barred" from competing in ski jump? Women aren't barred from baseball, there just aren't many women who play it so the Olympics does not include an event for it. Men aren't barred from synchronized swimming or rhythmic dancing, there are just so few men who compete in it as to make having an event for it worthless. I don't know much about the popularity of women's ski jumping, but since when did courts get to decide what events a private organization must include (and by the way, human rights?!)? The IOC should be free to include or exclude whatever events it pleases, as it is a private enterprise. It will see the light of the exclusion of an event when it realizes the money to be gained from it, similarly it will exclude any event which is a big time money loser and is not a traditional event such as steeple chase or greco-roman wrestling. What the Olympics can't do is violate discrimination laws which prohibit banning or holding to a different standard people for inappropriate reasons in the events that they actually do decide to hold. Why do these women think they have some entitlement to be in the Olympics? If they want to crown a champion, they can, all they have to do is run a championship for themselves. If they gain enough popularity that way, there is no doubt that Rogge or whoever will include them.

posted by Chargdres at 01:45 PM on May 22, 2008

Mike Piazza decides to retire after 16 seasons

I suppose he'll be wearing a Mets cap on his HoF plaque, which seems about right. It's the Mets with whom I tend to associate him, although that probably has as much to do with Roger Clemens as with anything else. Why do you say he would go in as a Met? I certainly associate him more with the Dodgers, as the Mets were the second half or so of his career. He came up with the Dodgers and became a stud there, by the time he got to NY, he was already a veteran. I suppose he did spend roughly an equal amount of time in either organization's MLB team, but seeing as Lasorda essentially drafted the guy in the bazillionth round as a favor to Piazza's dad, I think he kinda owes his career to the Dodgers. And yeah, even though the guy could not throw the ball from home plate to second base except on one hop, the guy was clearly a HOF hitter for his position. When as a catcher you stats are better than Berra, Fisk and Bench, its a done deal.

posted by Chargdres at 08:42 AM on May 21, 2008

How soccer prepares athletes for the NBA

Soccer never did much for my basketball game. When I played youth basketball, coaches would always yell at me for not pivoting correctly. I could never figure out exactly what I did wrong, but I think it stems from the fact that you really can't pivot in cleats, so I learned to turn differently seeing as my first sport was soccer. Now to be fair, being short was probably the main factor in my being a terrible, but soccer didn't do much to make up for it.

posted by Chargdres at 10:47 AM on May 20, 2008

Pistorius makes strides

As long as we're dueling analogies, what if Pistorius was deaf and required a hearing aid to hear the starter's gun? If that's OK because it's a mechanical aid that conveys no advantage to Pistorius over other runners, why can't he run if his blades are ruled scientifically to convey no mechanical advantange over other runners? Hearing is not the central facet of the race. Running, with legs, is. The question of whether an advantage is gained or not is not the issue here, or at least I contend it should not be. Cycling, over a short distance like 100m, would not likely be any faster than a top runner, because of the difficulty in starting on a bike. But no one would ever suggest that a person be allowed to use a bicycle in the 100m dash, because cycling uses a different means of propulsion than does running. It is a differnt event. Paralympians use a device to allow them to move. Paralympians like Pistorious are incredible athletes, but Pistorious is attempting to compete against people in a different sport from that he intends to frame himself in.

posted by Chargdres at 04:35 PM on May 19, 2008

Pistorius makes strides

Why don't we do this. At the Belmont Stakes coming up soon, we run a field half filled with horses, and the other half with greyhounds. Except the greyhounds, because they are smaller, get to use a special device which makes each one of their strides roughly equal to that of Big Brown. Does anyone think this is going to happen? Of course not. Why? It is not because greyhounds should not be allowed to race, rather, it is because greyhound racing is a different sport, and it is only through technology that the two sports can be melded. Paralympic racing, that is racing with specialized prothesis, is a sport seperate from able bodied racing. When Pistorius runs against other paralympians, each uses or at least has access to the same technology. They have the same condition. They all approach the race and their training the same way. Able bodied racers do all of this differently. While there are similarities between able-bodied and paralympic racing, at its heart, they are completely seperate (ie., using legs as propulsion v. using aids as propulsion). Pistorius's event is more similar therefore to cycling then to able-bodied racing. He should be kept seperate not because of an unfair advantage gained, but rather because it is mixing two distinct events.

posted by Chargdres at 08:49 AM on May 19, 2008

A dazzling Manny being Manny moment

To be honest, that catch was not all that outstanding. The high-five, sure, but the catch was unspectacular. Don't get me wrong, it was a good play, but a solid outfielder makes that play look easy and SportsCenter every night shows a top 10 reel with at least 7 dives that are more impressive or acrobatic. The real question here is, what the hell was Markakis doing so far off first base?

posted by Chargdres at 08:44 AM on May 16, 2008

Page 2's Bill Simmons channels Doc Rivers

Maybe ESPN can get a homer for every other city in the USA. Simmons is ok, but it really gets tiresome reading about the Celtics, Pats and Sox. He should be a writer for the Boston Globe, not There are other teams out there, Bill.

posted by Chargdres at 08:40 AM on May 15, 2008

It's time to pitch the DH.

I got nothing against Edgar Martinez. All I'm saying is that if he is the cream of the DH crop, then its not exactly a position that has produced a ton of Hall of Fame talent.

posted by Chargdres at 03:03 PM on May 14, 2008

It's time to pitch the DH.

Opel, the leagues grew up organically and separately, around the turn of the century and each have a very long history. To merge the two leagues would be to toss aside the history of the game. The DH rule came into place in 1973, a long time after the great Yankee teams of Ruth and Gehrig, Mantle and Ford. The DH has nothing to do with the historical split between the leagues, it was merely added later on and has since developed into another aspect of of split. To all the DH supporters, think if the DH had been in place in the early days of baseball. Babe Ruth was a pitcher, and a quite good one, who just so happened to also be a solid batsman. If the DH was in place, no one would know the name George Herman Ruth except for the people who also know a lot about Lefty Grove and Dizzy Dean and Walter Johnson, etc. The best DH to play the game thus far is Edgar Martinez, but the best pitcher turned batter is the Great Bambino, the Sultan of Swat, the Colossus of Clout. What if in the last 35 years we have kept the next one from appearing just so we could have an Edgar Martinez?

posted by Chargdres at 02:43 PM on May 13, 2008

New York City Makes Cricket a Varsity Sport.

First time I went to London, many years ago, I checked into the hotel in the morning, turned on the TV, and there was a Cricket match on. I took a nap, went out, returned to the hotel later, and the same teams were playing. Next morning I wake up, and its still the same teams going at it. Once I realized this was still the same game, and not a series, like in baseball, I sat down for about an hour to try to figure out what was going on. When the commentator yelled something about a wicket, and everyone seemed really excited, I just started laughing as I hadn't the foggiest idea what happened. I imagine this is what happens when a British or Indian person watches a baseball game. Or Fry watching Blurnsball. Good for NYC to make cricket a varsity sport, it does look like fun, and I imagine the US Cricket team is awful, so maybe this will be a first step towards allowing us to successfully compete internationally.

posted by Chargdres at 01:41 PM on May 13, 2008

It's time to pitch the DH.

The only thing that bothers me about Major League Baseball, is 14 AL teams, and 16 NL teams. And the arrangement of them. 6 Teams in the NL Central, and 4 teams in the AL West? thats just not right. Milwaukee should switch back to the AL, and even it out. OR... Mr. Selig can expand the league and add 2 AL teams. The reason the Brewers changed leagues in the first place was because MLB made the determination that it was not possible to create schedules for two 15 team leagues. I don't understand the math behind it, but I'm pretty sure that even with interleague play, those calculations have not changed, so the Brewcrew aren't going anywhere. And I also see no way that baseball expands at this point, there are enough fringe markets at this point (Miami, Tampa, KC, Minnesota, Oakland, no offense to people who are fans of these teams, but you know why I list you here) that trying to add another team to a Las Vegas or Portland would just bring down both quality and add another team that after that new team smell wears off averages 16k a game. I think the DH is and has always been a joke. There are so many super-athletic pitchers these days that the NL has a ton of excellent hitting pitchers, like Peavy, Zambrano, Willis (when he was with Florida) and Micah "Second Coming of Babe Ruth" Owings. There is no reason why AL pitchers can't do the same thing, and I guarantee a number of them will be pretty darn good. I'd rather see a pitcher struggle at the plate then have some one tool, fat DH take a few swings before taking a nap in the dugout for 2 innings until his next plate appearance.

posted by Chargdres at 09:00 AM on May 13, 2008

There is an "I" in "Team"?

Whatever the rules, I just think its prett amazing that she could be awesome at both discus and sprinting. The 100 and 200, along with even the long and high jumps are fairly similar, but the discus uses a totally different muscle group, and generally sprinters and throwers are of totally different sizes. That she could be state championship quality in two totally different events is amazing to me.

posted by Chargdres at 01:51 PM on May 12, 2008

PGA Dresses Down John Daly for Golfing Topless

Mecha-Godzilla? Is that like the Chicano version?

posted by Chargdres at 04:29 PM on May 09, 2008

Wigan coach and former Man U captain Bruce vows 100% effort against former boss Ferguson.

In Spain there has actually been a longstanding tradition of paying crappy teams with no other incentive, to win down the stretch against your rival. It is kind of a loophole, seeing as you don't pay a team to lose, but the newspapers in Spain tend to discuss it each year and debate whether it is a practice that should be cracked down upon or not.

posted by Chargdres at 10:21 AM on May 09, 2008

College junior self-declares for 2008 NBA draft.

Yeah, if you look through the comments on the article about the GW kid, someone makes an Isaiah joke there too.

posted by Chargdres at 02:10 PM on May 08, 2008

College junior self-declares for 2008 NBA draft.

Here is a link to the GW superstar.

posted by Chargdres at 02:05 PM on May 08, 2008

College junior self-declares for 2008 NBA draft.

Yawn. This happened last year, some kid at GW in DC who played some pick up basketball declared. It wasn't really that clever then, and it didn't get any fresher this year.

posted by Chargdres at 02:02 PM on May 08, 2008

West Brom clinch Championship and promotion.

Come on salmacis, if Cheslea and Man U are "ruining football" then you also have to include Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich, PSV, Juve, Inter, AC Milan, Lyon, Olympiacos, Fenerbace and so on... Every top flight league has a few dominant teams who win year in year out, thats just how football works. The great thing about the sport is that a team like Stoke gets the chance to stand toe to toe with the billion dollar teams, and as is the way the sport often goes, the little guy can succeed. You don't see the Toledo Mud Hens ever take on the Red Sox. Maybe Stoke will not challenge for the title, but there are multiple races going on in the league: the championship, CL places, UEFA places, relegation. And it certainly does not seem as if English fans are "bored" of the game with the big 4. As many or more fans than ever come out to the games, for teams of all levels and sizes. Football is awash in money, get used to it. It is a business, whether or not English fans bristle at the term "franchise". The product in the Prem is as good as it has ever been, as evidenced by the European successes. Balance is fine, but personally I am more interested in quality.

posted by Chargdres at 02:08 PM on May 07, 2008

Heisman Winner Tim Tebow Circumcises Kids

Tebow is a moyle?

posted by Chargdres at 02:20 PM on May 06, 2008

West Brom clinch Championship and promotion.

Agreed Bismark, I think I would much rather see some new blood in the Prem then the rehashing of some other top division washout like Palace or Watford. As far as one of these teams becoming the next Derby, even before the season started, most commentators said that Derby really were not ready for the Prem and predicted a disaster season. I don't follow the Championship (god I hate calling it that) that closely, so from your view, are any of these teams really in the similar position to where Derby was last year?

posted by Chargdres at 02:48 PM on May 05, 2008

LA Galaxy reserve team uses ticket agent to fill out game day roster

What are your methods? Don't get him started Bo, he'll never go away. We have had this exactly same discussion with him more than a few times before. Everyone is out to get him. Guy is a shukster of the highest order, and it almost seems that along the line he actually began to believe his own crap.

posted by Chargdres at 10:06 AM on May 03, 2008

LA Galaxy reserve team uses ticket agent to fill out game day roster

Dear Peter, Thank you again for destroying a perfectly good thread with your sales pitch. While it is wonderful that you are clearly very committed to the sport, this is not a forum about your qualificiations, but rather about interesting stories in sports. There are places, on the web and elsewhere, that are appropriate for selling your services, however this is not one. If you have insight or opinion that is actually relevant to the thread, that is fine, but if you are only here to tell us all how wonderful you are, please go away. Best Wishes, Chargdres

posted by Chargdres at 03:48 PM on May 02, 2008

LA Galaxy reserve team uses ticket agent to fill out game day roster

The MLS Reserve League is essentially a JV or minor league system for the MLS, but it is very poorly run. The MLS barely has the funds to run senior teams, and have never truly invested in the kind of youth and reserve development that you see in every other major football league in the world. Reserve teams often scrimmage USL teams, and regularly get pounded, not so much because they don't have talent, but because so little focus is placed on them. Alexi Lalas said it the best not too long ago, "The MLS does not have a monopoly on crap soccer." I'm not saying that the MLS is the worst league in the world, nor am I saying that there are bad teams and bad games played all the time, everywhere. The MLS is fact has done an excellent job of selling a sport that most Americans are plainly suspicious of, and the push to get soccer specific stadia has been a boon for the league. Nevertheless, the quality of MLS play is still "crap". Tactically the games are sub par, and talent-wise, when washed up players like Juan Pablo Angel or never has been players like Luciano Emilio can be regularly imported into the league and become first rate stars, there is a problem. From a PR standpoint, the MLS has been generally a success based on expectations. From a footballing standpoint, it is still not where it could be.

posted by Chargdres at 01:25 PM on May 02, 2008

LA Galaxy reserve team uses ticket agent to fill out game day roster

Fresh off the wire: The MLS is poor quality unwatchable football with second rate managers and executives. Details at 11.

posted by Chargdres at 11:59 AM on May 02, 2008

Chelsea beat Liverpool, set up final battles with Man Utd for Premier League and Champions League

Nice link Bismarck, clearly it was inside the box and Hyypia without a doubt fouled Ballack. Rosetti was right on top of it and clearly had to make the call. Scars, why don't you see Chelsea winning? Did you forget that less than a week ago Chelsea did just that?

posted by Chargdres at 09:55 AM on May 02, 2008

Chelsea beat Liverpool, set up final battles with Man Utd for Premier League and Champions League

Who would have ever guessed a thoroughly entertaining tie between Chelsea and Liverpool? Regardless of partisan feelings for either team, this was actually a really good couple of games.

posted by Chargdres at 05:00 PM on April 30, 2008

Salary vs Performance

This is an interesting tool but only really tells part of the story. I think the better determinant of how well money is spent is not raw ranking but rather dollars spent per win. Another way to look at eficiency is instead of looking solely at team salary, look at team net revenue, ie. how many dollars does a team earn or lose per win, all earnings and expenditures included. Not sure how you would calculate the latter number, but I think it would be interesting.

posted by Chargdres at 09:54 AM on April 30, 2008

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

As for Chelsea, they're still filth. They used to be a crap team in a shithole ground supported by 90% scum, 10% toffs, and little has changed except that they're now bankrolled by a Russian oligarch with contracts signed in babies' blood. Every time they lose painfully enough to silence their neanderthal regulars, saving random strangers from atrocious abuse on the District line, is sweet, sweet ambrosia to my lips. Thanks for proving my point. Chelsea could donate all of its gate earnings to orphanages, and it would still be the most hated team in the Premiership just because of a perception of what it stands for. By extension, every Chelsea player, no matter how much they may have been loved or respected prior to pulling on the Blue, instantly becomes a twat. Chelsea's expenditures still do not even approach that of Man U and many other teams in England and Europe, but being nouveau riche still irks the shit out of people.

posted by Chargdres at 11:02 AM on April 26, 2008

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

For my money's worth, there are two types of hated players out there. Flamboyant ladies men step over greasy hair types (ie. Ronaldo) and anyone who plays for Chelsea. Drogba, Lampard, Terry, Ashley Cole, etc., are guys who would be adored if they played for anyone else in the world. For a good example, think of Luca Toni (one of my favorite players by the way), whose game is virtually identical to Drogba's. Both are tanks and fast as hell, and so all opposing defences do is put their biggest defender on them and ask the defender to foul, grab, kick and/or American football tackle them every time they get the ball. Toni is rarely criticized for the amount he goes down, but with Drogba the criticism is endless. The abuse both guys take is ridiculous, yet somehow Drogba is a cheater (so is Lampard, Terry, Essien, etc.). Now part of that is the increased exposure of the Premiership. But what it really comes down to is if you play for Chelsea, you are a capitalist swine all about the money so you must be destroyed.

posted by Chargdres at 11:49 AM on April 25, 2008

The Ten Worst Number One Overall Picks

When the San Diego traded the first pick, not only did they get Tomlinson, who has of course been hugely successful, but they also took Drew Brees in the second round, who it can be argued turned out to be a much better QB than Vick.

posted by Chargdres at 11:16 AM on April 23, 2008

Cheerleader death renews calls for increased safety steps.

worldcup2002, these girls (and guys) are essentially doing gymnastics. Do you think that they should stop doing balance beam, vault, uneven bars, etc.? Some of the stunts they do on those look at least as dangerous as the cheerleading routines. Like me, you may find cheerleading to be obnoxious, but what they are doing requires an incredible amount of strength, balance, agility and teamwork, so as long as they are able to clean up their safety record, I see no reason why these competitions are "ridiculous".

posted by Chargdres at 11:41 AM on April 22, 2008

Cheerleader death renews calls for increased safety steps.

I have no idea what its like on the local level, but occasionally ESPN (the Ocho) shows major cheerleading competitions. I have noticed that they are always done on top of some kind of padded mat, and there are these big burly guys who essentially stand underneath the throwers to make sure nobody takes a nasty fall. Does this not happen in smaller competitions? If so, why not? Too expensive? As far as the cheerleading becoming a "circus act", I agree, their purpose is no longer to pep up the alumni, rather the competetive teams are a sort of team gymnastics competition. I don't think that there is anything wrong with that. Personally, I find cheerleaders at sports events that I actually attend to be annoying, a sort of side show, so it doesn't bother me that they sometimes have to go to their own competition instead of doing a number at the under 8:00 timeout of my basketball game.

posted by Chargdres at 10:03 AM on April 22, 2008


I'd like to trademark "Damn Patriots" Is that anything like "Damn Yankees"? Cause if it is, you'll need a lot more music...

posted by Chargdres at 08:41 AM on April 22, 2008


One of my dreams in life is to own and wear proudly around a few of these types of shirts. I would wear them just to get the confused glances as I walk by with my "New York Yankees World Series Champions 2001" or my "Oklahoma: 2007 Fiesta Bowl Title" shirt. Guess I just need to move to Nicaragua. Maybe Bellichek will start wearing a ratty, cutoff "19-0" sweatshirt next season.

posted by Chargdres at 12:54 PM on April 21, 2008

Have we returned to the days of 'Gladiators'?

I'll keep that in mind when wearing NY Giants gear at an Eagles home game. You will get jeered and yelled at by drunk jackasses in Philly, but as long as you don't engage them, you'll be fine. On the other hand, try wearing a Rangers jersey at Celtic Park in Glasgow. If you make it out alive, give me a call. Seems like a you need to get off your high horse. Most sports are almost by definition violent, each somewhat more or somewhat less regulated, but each in effect a mini-war. Certainly Americans enjoy violence, but to say that this is a particularly American phenomenon or something new that highlights the "American Idiocracy" (heh heh, Southerners are stoopid) is just as holden pointed out "facile pop anthropology".

posted by Chargdres at 07:07 PM on April 19, 2008

Top 10 Unbreakable Sports Records

Ripken's record "quite breakable"? The guy played every day for more than 16 years, no rest days, no injuries, no bereavement leave, etc. The next longest streak after Ripken and Gehrig's is Everett Scott, a player from the 1910s and 1920s whose streak is only half as long as Ripken's. Miguel Tejada recently tried to break the record, and only came up 1480 games short. GoBirds, Utley is a terrific player, but what records is he going to make look silly exactly? How about this for an unbreakable record: 72. I know, I know, it was just broken recently, and just a few years before that Big Mac hit 70 and Sosa 66, but in the post-steriod era, can anyone come anywhere close to that mark?

posted by Chargdres at 10:34 AM on April 18, 2008

Sean Avery does his best to reduce the NHL to the level of the WWE

Besides, how was that NOT unsportsmanlike conduct? Rule 41g reads: A misconduct penalty shall be imposed on any player who persists in any course of conduct (including threatening or abusive language or gestures or similar actions) designed to incite an opponent into incurring a penalty. You answered your own question. The rule is conduct designed to incite an opponent into a penalty. Avery was trying to distract and shield him, he was never expressly intending to incite a violent response.

posted by Chargdres at 04:44 PM on April 16, 2008

"Greg Maddux? I bet you could catch him with your eyes closed."

When Maddux finally does retire, I have to believe that he will instantly become the league's highest paid pitching coach. The Padres are paying him about $10 million this year, and while he is still decent as a pitcher, his real value is to help bring along Jake Peavy, Chris Young, and the Padres' other young pitchers. Peavy had an off year before Maddux's arrival, then Maddux goes to SD, and Peavy wins the Cy Young. I doubt thats a coincidence.

posted by Chargdres at 10:33 AM on April 15, 2008

Basqueing in Glory:

Traditions can be both good and bad. The tradition of excluding people based on race, religion or nationality does not seem like a good tradition to me. Athletic's decision not to employ non-Basques, smells more than a little suspiciously of xenophobia. Athletic was not the only Basque team to do this, either; Osasuna and Real Sociedad both used to employ similar methods of Basque-only exclusion. However, neither Osasuna nor Sociedad have the following that Athletic has, nor do the others have the political history that Athletic does. Like Barša was the team of anti-centralism for Catalu˝a during Franco, similarly, Bilbao was a bastion for Herri Batasuna in the Pais Vasco. Barša moved forward, and now has a healthy but heated rivalry with Real Madrid, but Athletic has held on to its "traditions" more as a political/nationalist statement (ie., we don't want to have our team filthied with those Francoist Spaniards) than a sporting one. When Chivas USA tried to be an all Mexican team in the US, it was roundly criticized, and fortunately saw no success in its first few seasons, so it made the decision to just have a Hispanic image, rather then being an exculsionary employer. Similarly, Athletic could give up being discriminatory and still be THE Basque team, but xenophobia (especially as it pertains to Spaniards) is so firmly rooted in both the administration and fans at Athletic that this clearly is unlikely to happen unless Athletic finally get their comeuppance and are relegated.

posted by Chargdres at 01:44 PM on April 14, 2008

Basqueing in Glory:

Since when did xenophobia become a value?

posted by Chargdres at 09:35 AM on April 14, 2008

Olympic torch put out by protests.

No, but not being able to afford clothes does.

posted by Chargdres at 10:38 AM on April 10, 2008

Olympic torch put out by protests.

drumdance, to be fair, the Xinhua news service does publicize a sizeable number of those protests you mention, although they tend to be the ones surrounding issues that the government either sees as being "safe" or productive to the government's policies. A prime example would be protests about corrupt local officials, as the central government in China has been very active in trying to stamp it out as of late. Back to the issue though, China is a vastly different place from where it was at the time of the Tianamen Square protests. Media is much less controlled, and even though the internet is highly regulated, that has never stopped information getting dissmenated to at least the urban classes. You would be very suprised at just how informed and intellegent the Chinese citizenry are, and just how nuanced their views of their government really are. Tibet is one issue though where there is no nuance. To the Chinese people Tibet is China, period (by the way, so is Taiwan. Even the Taiwanese think so; why do you think the island is officially the "Republic of China"?). It always has been, always will be. They point out that the Dalai Lama, throughout essentially the position's entire history, has been a vassal king (by treaty) to the Chinese Emperor. Certainly the point can be argued, but you can be certain that the Chinese people have no sympathy for the pro-Tibet protesters who get tackled while trying to extinguish the torch. I don't know as much about the public opinion in China on Sudan/Burma and imprisonment of journalists and dissidents; but I do know that there is a palpable sense in China that foreign imperialism once controlled everything in China, so now they should stay out of Chinese policy making. These protests will not change anything other than to embolden the anti-Western feelings already latent in China. The last 30 years of opening and modernizing China into being an active and increasingly responsible partner in international affairs will be given a major setback. Of course, China does not subscribe to all of our Western ideals yet, but if you look at China's policies on both of these issues from 30 years ago to today, there is a major and positive shift. And as far as boycotting Chinese goods, come on people, you all wish. Its fine for those of us in the upper echelon of American society (which makes us richer that just about everyone else in the world) to say that we won't shop at Wal-Mart or stop buying IPods until they shift production elsewhere, but the reality is, if we actually got our wish and shifted production somewhere else, there would be double digit inflation in the US, as the price of manufactured goods would skyrocket. The less affluent would suffer mightily so that you can have the moral high ground.

posted by Chargdres at 09:47 AM on April 10, 2008

Chasing Perfection

Not to parse words here, but its a no-hitter, not a perfect game.

posted by Chargdres at 09:04 AM on April 09, 2008

Olympic torch put out by protests.

Whether or not China sees the the Olympics as an entrance onto the international stage, the fact is, the spirit of the Olympics, from the time of the Greeks, has always been that politics should be kept seperate from sports. In Ancient times, wars were actually postponed during the games. For most the of the modern history of the games, the same spirit was kept, save for the 1980 and 1984 Olympics, where the only people who truly suffered from the boycotts were the athletes themselves. The boycott of the Moscow Olympics did not bring down the Soviet Regime. Inept governing did. There are a number of valid complaints to be made about the Chinese government. But attacking torch bearers is absolutely the wrong way to voice those complaints. Similarly a boycott would only serve to create a bad precedent, such as happened in 1984, when the USSR boycotted the Los Angeles games as a response to the 1980 boycott. Do we really want half the world boycotting the 2012 games in London? Because I guarantee that more that a few countries will follow China's lead in a boycott if Western Countries do decide to politicise the event. The Olympics are an act of cultural diplomacy. By inviting a gigantic event to take place on their soil, China's government, and especially for those people in Beijing, will find it very hard to filter out the things they don't like. China has gradually become a more and more open society based on the fact that it has opened itself up to the world. Politicising the Olympics will only anger the Chinese people and lead them to see the West as an adversary, as opposed to a partner.

posted by Chargdres at 04:58 PM on April 07, 2008

Improv Everywhere makes the kids' day.

That is so awesome. I once played a soccer game when I was about that age in which a team of guys came to film the game, provide commentary and do after game interviews; then they sold the videos to the teams. That was cool, but man, this is the whole shabang. Fans, mascots, Jim F-ing Gray!

posted by Chargdres at 04:45 PM on April 07, 2008

Hawk attacks 13-year-old at Fenway Park

OK, I think it would have helped if I'd been American. Alex Rodriguez? Virtually unknown outside of America. Sorry. Pfff. Communist.

posted by Chargdres at 11:03 AM on April 04, 2008

Indiana set to hire Crean as hoops coach

Sportnut, John Thompson Jr. is the father, John Thompson III is the son. As for the elder Thompson, he actually had an academic advisor made an assistant coach, so that there would always be someone on trips and such to make sure players did their work. If you look through the Sports Illustrated archive, there are a few articles about Thompson and his emphasis on education. There is one story that Thompson once threatened to send Mutombo back to his father in Zaire because he missed a single class. I think if I am not mistaken, Bob Knight was another one of these coaches who recognized that the opportunity was the free education, not the basketball. It would be nice if IU could find another coach who would bring the same standards, as Sampson obviously did not. Not sure about Crean's reputation with this issue though.

posted by Chargdres at 11:39 AM on April 03, 2008

Indiana set to hire Crean as hoops coach

While some schools have seemed to put books second to hoops, there are still a number of premier level programs that have maintained a high level of importance for education. Best example I can think of is John Thompson (and now his son) at Georgetown, who is said to have kept a deflated basketball on his desk to remind his kids (many of whom were All-Americans) that basketball is a temporary pursuit, and the real value of the scholarship was the opportunity for a free outstanding education. For Thompson, it was about exploiting the fact that rich white people wanted a good basketball team so that poor inner-city blacks could get free access to a superior education. There are quite a few other coaches with reputations like this, so I wouldn't declare the NCAA system morally bankrupt just yet. As for Crean, I have only really followed him the last few years as MU moved into a major conference, but to me he seems something of a confounding coach. He seems to be a pretty decent recruiter of guards but not of big men, and his game situation coaching is solid but not exactly inspiring. I don't think IU has hit the jackpot with Crean, but he will be better than Mike Davis, and cleaner than Kelvin Sampson. I just don't see him as turning them around in the same way that Pearl did with Tennessee or say what Matta did at OSU.

posted by Chargdres at 11:48 AM on April 02, 2008