tamim's profile

Member since: January 29, 2002
Last visit: November 27, 2002

tamim has posted 1 link and 10 comments to SportsFilter and 1 link and 0 comments to the Locker Room.

Sports Bio

I also commented thrice in this column by owillis: 1, 2, 3.

Not to gloat or anything, but I beat the corresponding MetaFilter thread to my SportsFilter post by 5 minutes and change. I even included three more links to relevant stats and trivia.

Recent Links

Michael Schumacher wins 2002 Formula One Driver's Championship at the 11th of 17 races. His fifth title ties him with Juan Manuel Fangio. Nigel Mansell won the championship at the 10th of 16 races in 1992.

posted by tamim to other at 09:04 AM on July 21, 2002 - 2 comments

Is it possible to have "comments to Columns" (in addition to the Posts/Comments to SpoFi and Posts/Comments to LC) stats in the user profiles?

posted by tamim to feature requests at 11:04 PM on February 19, 2002 - 1 comment

Recent Comments

[ spoiler! spoiler! ]

Oh the joy of seeing our man Jalabert leading with 5K to go. If only. . . I wonder what his fans will ask him tonight on his website and how emotional he'll get answering them. It would've been nice to see the Spaniard Roberto Heras win. Armstrong was, as they say, "inabordable;" and could've afford to give up the 20 seconds time bonus and let Heras win if not for that pesky Joseba Beloki. Armstrong executed his plan to perfection, and his team was extremely disciplined in leading the peloton. I have not seen this kind of text-book riding in a race in a while, if ever. Even in the team time trial they stayed true to their text-book formation when other teams ran "full steam ahead." To his credit, Beloki stuck with Heras and Armstrong when the rest of his ONCE team folded like a paper cup under pressure from USPS. The Basque mob at the 2K mark were amazing. Were they there as tourists or as part of some political statement? Is any of the Spaniards riding this year of Basque background? Even with two Spaniards in the top three today, there were hardly any Spanish flags in the crowd. [I guess all the Spanish flags were sent over to Perejil island.]

posted by tamim at 11:36 AM on July 18, 2002

The agony of victory.

I have been reading the daily updates Frenchman Laurent Jalabert is putting up on his website, that is not really a "blog," or written as one. Jalabert explaining his near-misses are much more entertaining than hero-worshiping pieces about Armstrong that are two years too late.

posted by tamim at 10:57 PM on July 10, 2002

The New FIFA Ranking After The World Cup:

I forgot to add this to my initial comments after the final match; the overwhelming Jesus praising by the Brazilians, and in English no less, seemed like a Catholic payback to the heretic Protestants from Germany. Lucio [no. 3] (and also Belletti [no. 13] and Junior [no. 16]) wore a t-shirt that read "Jesus *heart* You." Kaka [no. 23] wore a t-shirt that read "I belong to Jesus." Then there were all those people writing "100% Jesus" on the jerseys of everyone from Cafu on. There also were t-shirts that said "I pledge to Jesus." With 100% Jesus on their side, no wonder Brazil is Number One in the FIFA ranking. Might I add, the non-Jesus-loving countries couldnít even break it into the top 10. While not "100% Jesus," when USA rose 13 spots through the ranking this past year, I should point out, that all that progression came when this mighty nation was united "under God." Now that Americans no longer pledge to be "under God," I think it is safe to say that USA's position in the ranking had peaked. It will only go down. But of course, I kid.

posted by tamim at 05:54 PM on July 03, 2002

The best assessment of this World Cup I've seen so far

I qualified my opposition to co-hosting. I am all for financially strapped countries co-hosting the World Cup. I, however, am not in favor of splitting the costs between two rich countries. Both South Korea and Japan could've organized this World Cup all by themselves. On the other hand, having second-tier economies, like two ASEAN countries, co-host the World Cup would've been a better use for a co-hosted Asian World Cup. No African teams played in 1930 and there were no African quotas between 1938-1966. Lack of independent countries might have something to do with it. Of the nine African countries to have played in the World Cup: Morocco (1970, 1986/2RD, 1994, 1998), Algeria (1982, 1986), Tunisia (1978, 1998, 2002), Egypt (1934, 1990), Senegal (2002/QF), Nigeria (1994/2RD, 1998/2RD, 2002), Cameroon (1982, 1990/QF, 1994, 1998, 2002), Zaire (1974) and South Africa (1998, 2002); Morocco, Nigeria and Cameroon seem to have a legitimate right to be part of any co-hosted African World Cup. Since most of the African countries to qualify for the World Cup are from North of the Equator (Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Egypt, Senegal, Nigeria, Cameroon), I said that I support a co-hosted North African World Cup. A Cameroon-Nigeria (and Senegal) World Cup or a Morocco-Algeria-Tunisia (and Senegal) World Cup is logistically possible. Pairing South Africa with any of those countries will create a host of logistical problems. South Africa has the financial capacity and the political stability to host a World Cup all by itself. I am all for co-hosting in Central and South America. If co-hosting was an option in 1986, Columbia would not have to withdraw outright from the hosting duties in 1983.

posted by tamim at 01:03 PM on June 30, 2002

The best assessment of this World Cup I've seen so far

While the early departures of many of the pre-cup favorites made for an exciting elimination round, a Germany-Brazil final reeks of same ol', same ol'. The Good:

  • South Korea: Played like a 'European Team' until they faced Germany in the semis. Since the semis they have played like an 'Asian Team': too star struck and often getting caught watching the dribbling skills of opposing players. Also their lack of height caught up with them. It'd have been better had they won the third-place match. There would've been a European, a South American and an Asian team at the podium. Their luck ran out in the last two matches and having a goal called back by a wrong offside call in the third place match against Turkey was almost a poetic ending to their marvelous run.
  • Turkey: I was pretty impressed with their stamina and co-ordination. They ran after the ball and never relented to anyone. Unlike other European teams, Turkey beat everyone they were supposed to beat (China, Costa Rica, Japan) and played better than Senegal in that match. They were the only team to beat both hosts: Japan in Miyagi and South Korea in Daegu.
  • Senegal: They played like Cameroon of old. I hope success doesn't go to their heads1.
  • USA: It's amazing that the team that went so far is made up of mostly 'Americans.' While Llamosa and Mastroeni are naturalized citizens, they play their league matches at MLS and are just good as any "American" Americans out there. Unlike in the years past when USA ran with Green Cards, Passports and obscure immigration laws to recruit the likes of Frenchman David Regis, this year USA did it with people who went to high school with you and dated and went to prom with someone you know. [Not you in particular.]
  • South Korean Fans: They cheered, shouted and sang louder than the Japanese. The rhythm of their cheers reminded me of Premiere League stadia. They turned out to be just as loud, passionate and fanatic as the English and the Spaniards; without the hooliganism and rioting.
The Usual:
  • Germany and Brazil: Some how they always show up to play during the World Cup no matter what happened during the qualifying. With a win in the finals Brazil will become the only team to have won the World Cup in every continent the cup was played in: Europe (Sweden: 1958), South America (Chile: 1962), North America (Mexico: 1970), (USA: 1994); while any European nation has yet to win it outside of Europe.
The Bad:
  • France, Argentina: The French were tired, injured and old(?). The Argentines could not recoup from their usual slow start in the group of death.
  • Portugal: One of my pre-cup favorites and scored the most goals of any team not making into the second round. They blamed everyone else but themselves for their failure.
  • Italy: They scored 5 goals and let in 5. I'd say they were the most over-hyped and disbalanced team. Other than Vieri, no one else showed up to play.
  • Spain: Have the Spaniards won something, anything, since the Armada lost?
  • England: Inability to score goals ended the day for my other pre-cup favorites.
  • Japanese Fans: Their silence at the stands were akin to being at the opera. The solitary teardrops rolling down their cheeks after Japan lost to Turkey in the second round was just as dramatic.
  • Co-hosting: FIFA should do away with co-hosting unless the countries involved are financially strapped. Both South Korea and Japan had the financial and organizational capacity to stage the World Cup by themselves. Nothing of social, cultural, political or diplomatic value was gained from having these two counties host the World Cup. If I had a choice, I'd have picked South Korea to be the sole host. I think co-hosting is appropriate for only financially strapped North African and South American countries.
The Ugly:
  • Officiating: Most blind and incompetent referring that I can remember. It's time to assign the fourth official to check instant replays when he is not checking in substitutes.
  • ESPN: Guys with Irish and Italian accents are not necessarily good at calling 'football.' It's time to send those guys packing back to where they came from: Brooklyn.
More Meaningless Stats:
  • Both groups C (Brazil, Turkey) and D (South Korea, USA) had two teams in the Quarter Finals. Groups G (Mexico, Italy) and H (Japan, Belgium) had none.
  • England (v. Denmark.[1].2RD) and Turkey (v. S. Korea.[2].3PG) scored the most goals (3) in any one match in the elimination rounds.
  • Germany won most (3) 1-0 matches in the elimination rounds.
  • Brazil and Turkey scored most goals: 5 in the elimination rounds. Brazil has one more match to play. South Korea and England scored 4. South Korea also let in 5 goals.
  • In the first round Saudi Arabia drew more crowd (149,866) to their matches than past champions France (148,950), England (133,512), Argentina (115,754), Germany (115,157), Brazil (109,116), Italy (106,844) and Uruguay (102,127).
  • Paraguay drew the least at the stands. 55% of the seats were empty at its match against South Africa (25,186) at Busan; and 40% were no shows at its second round match against Germany (25,176) at Seogwipo. Paraguay drew the least of any matches at this World Cup, 24,000 (43% no-show), at its match against Spain at Jeonju.
  • There were 65,625 (or 1,664 more than the listed capacity) at the stands for the Germany-South Korea semi final match. 369,587 attended the 8 South Korean matches.

posted by tamim at 03:48 AM on June 30, 2002

How are you following the World Cup?

To answer how I am following the World Cup, here are some random (and probably useless) trivia (known in the MBA and Management Consulting circles as 'analysis') I crunched up during the down time between the two second round matches using my uber Excel geekery. First Round Winners and Losers:

  • 2 teams won all their matches: Brazil and Spain. Uruguay (1930), Italy (1938), Brazil (1970) and France (1998) are the only teams to have won the cup without the blemish of a tie or a loss and winning all their matches. Italy tied all three of their group matches in 1982 on their way to winning the cup.
  • 12 teams went unbeaten: Denmark, Senegal, Spain, Brazil, Ireland, Germany, England, Sweden, Mexico, Belgium and hosts South Korea and Japan.
  • 3 teams lost all their matches: China, Slovenia and Saudi Arabia.
  • 25 teams won at least one match.
  • 7 teams did not win a single match: France, Nigeria, Uruguay, Tunisia, China, Slovenia and Saudi Arabia.
  • 11 goals, the most of any teams, scored by two teams: Brazil and Germany. Spain scored 9.
  • 0 goals: 3 teams failed to score a single goal: France, China and Saudi Arabia.
  • Most balanced teams in terms of goal-differential: Paraguay, scored 6/conceded 6. South Africa (5/5), Belgium (6/5), Costa Rica (5/6) and USA (5/6).
Movin' on:
  • 5 points was the magic number for teams advancing to the second round. All 12 teams scoring 5 or more points made it through.
  • 4 points was the toss-up number. 4 teams with 4 points made it into the second round, while 4 other teams with the same 4 points did not.
  • 6 goals scored by Portugal was the most for any team failing to advance to the second round. South Africa and Costa Rica scored 5 goals each in a lost cause.
  • 2 goals, the least, were all England needed to see them through to the second round.
  • 21 teams scored more goals than England.
  • 6 teams that scored more goals than England yet failed to qualify for the second round: Portugal (6), Costa Rica (5), South Africa (5), Russia (4), Uruguay (4) and Poland (3).
  • 1 goal, the least, allowed by three teams: Germany, England and South Korea. No team shut-out their opponents in all three of the group matches.
  • 6 goals allowed in by Paraguay were the most allowed by any team making it on to the second round.
  • 10 goal-differential of Germany was the most of any team. Brazil had 8.
  • -1 goal-differential of USA was the least of any team making it through to the second round. Paraguay had 0.
  • 4 teams had better goal-differential than USA, yet failed to advance: Portugal (2), South Africa (0), Argentina (0), Costa Rica (-1).
  • 66% or 2 of 3 teams from North American CONCACAF advanced to the second round. Europe had 60% (9/15), Asia had 50% (2/4), South America had 40% (2/5) and Africa had 20% (1/5) teams advance. Both CONCACAF teams: USA and Mexico, will play each other in the second round.
  • 100% of the teams wearing Umbro (2), Kappa (1), Hummel (1), Atletica (1) and which ever company made the jerseys for Senegal moved on. Adidas (5/10) and Nike (4/8) were half as successful. Puma (1/4) at least had 1 team in the second round. Joma (0/1), L-sporto (0/1), Uhlsport (0/1) and Marathon (0/1) had none.
Travel Management Simplified:
  • 4 teams will play all their first round through semi-final matches in South Korea: Spain, Paraguay, USA and South Korea. One of these teams will stay in South Korea to play its third place match too.
  • 4 teams will play all their first round through final matches in Japan: England, Sweden, Belgium and Japan.
BTW, if anyone knows the name of Senegal's jersey and equipment sponsor, please let me know.

posted by tamim at 03:12 AM on June 17, 2002

Schumacher second best driver ever

While Michael brings in some intangibles into his team and a remote case can be made that he has won with cars others have not found a way to drive to the top of the podium, I don't know if breaking the "Fangio Barrier" is what will define him as the best ever.

Ferrari drivers managed to win exactly twice (Berger: Germany 1994; Alesi: Canada 1995) and finish on the podium 11 times between the 6 wins-14 podiums 1990 season and the 3 wins-9 podiums in 1996, Schumi's first with the outfit. Was it the car? Or was it the drivers? Were Prost, Alesi, Morbidelli, Capelli, Larini and Berger not up to the challenge? I guess Ferrari was contractually obligated to give Italians: Morbidelli, Capelli and Larini a ride, and Alesi and Berger were, well, "Alesi and Berger." Prost drove his heart out. He went from a contender in 1990 to an also ran in 1991. Ferrari could not keep up with the Honda/Renault assault. I fault the car. Schumacher has 4 championships in 11 years (1991-2001) while Jackie Stewart won 3 in 9 years (1965-1973) and Fangio won 5 in 9 years (1950-1958). Prost had 4 championships in 14 years (1980-1993).

While not "greatest ever," the best driving in one race in the 90s has to be Damon Hill in Hungary in 1997. He qualified his Arrows third on the grid after Schumacher and Villeneuve; led for 62 laps; and came in second only after his Yamaha engine gave out and Villeneuve had to drive on the grass to pass him. I'd like to see Schumacher drive like that with an underpowered car.

I think Jackie Stewart is the best driver of all time. He won driving similar cars with the same engine as everyone else who were winning at that time. Fords won 66 raced and 6 Driver's Championships of the 9 years that Stewart raced in F1*.

[Stewart drove in 1965-1973, while Ford's statistics are from 1967-1973.]

posted by tamim at 03:20 AM on February 28, 2002

Rule change boosts Fords to front of field.

Yeah, I too am happy for Shawna Robinson. I was gonna link to her on the front page, with today being "unimaginative and entirely arbitrary consumerist interpretation of romance day" (via), and she being a hot gal in a fast car; then I remembered that she is married. And good for ol' (literally) Dave Marcis. I can't believe he came in seventh in his Twin-125s. I don't know if auto racing is a "sport" or not, but I wouldn't base my decission on it being left out as a category at Sportsfilter. That would be shallow of me to do. But from a strictly psychological and physical stand point, it takes just as much nerve and physical fitness to drive a car at upwords of 200 miles an hour with 20 other cars at similar speed running around you. A blink at the wrong time can turn really good sheetmetal into pancakes. The article GYC linked to gives a great perspective on that. By the way, Jimmy Spencer is cut out from the same cloth as Nigel Mansel. Rumor has it, they share a tailor too. I got it wrong on the Burton brother. It indeed was Jeff and not Ward. I hope Ward is still in the hunt on Sunday. I was also wrong on Michael. After seeing some of the footage from today on Fox Sports, I think Dale Jr. has a really good shot at winning it. I am allowed to be wrong at times. :-) My previous analysis still holds. Nothing else has changed much. As much as I'd like to see Rusty or Mark win, I don't think their cars can hold up.

posted by tamim at 11:50 PM on February 14, 2002

Rule change boosts Fords to front of field.

Practice speeds mean squat in Daytona and Talladega. NASCAR allowed the Fords to cut off a quarter inch off of the rear spoilers to give them a fighting chance and most importantly, to make the race "exciting" for the fans on the stand and watching on TV. NASCAR never really knows how a car will behave on the track solely based on wind tunnel tests. This is why they do all these last minute changes before Daytona (and also during the year). This is why last year they gave a bit more to the Dodge teams, not knowing exactly where they stood. I personally would like to see Rusty or Mark win it. I won't mind if Ricky Rudd won it either. I guess that makes me a "Ford Person." Looking realistically, I am just rooting for the underdog here. Fords have won only ten times in the history of Daytona 500. But if I were betting money (which may be illegal where you live; adult supervision required; check local listings; all other warnings apply), I'd go with any of the RCR, Hendrick, Yates or Joe Gibbs cars. That's 11 cars right there. While DEI has a great super-speedway program, only Dale Jr. is of any threat. Michael is the new Derrick Cope. Kenny has always proved to be a loyal drafting buddy. Roush has never won at Daytona, and this year will not be any different. One dark horse was Ward Burton, but he wrecked his car yesterday. Unless racing gods shine on him like they did on Jarett in 2000, Ward will have to wait another year. Sterling Marlin knows how to drive around Daytona, and has his best bet is to have other Dodge teams helping him during the race. Racing Daytona has evolved into a "system." Yates, RCR, Hendrick, and to lesser extent Joe Gibbs (and maybe DEI) have figured out how to win at this track. Their cars can win it with a trained monkey and good drafting partners. BTW, Daytona 500 is not a "championship." It is just a race in the Winston Cup series.

posted by tamim at 05:19 PM on February 13, 2002

Christianity in Athleticism

It is not only the athletes' comments that are edited for content, reporters routinely edit out faux paus (and many lifestyle choices) of political leaders too. It is a way to preserve their status as heroes, leaders and role models. I personally felt a bit uncomfortable at first watching few of Warner's press conferences on ESPNNews. I didn't realize how deep his born-again-ness ran until this Superbowl media blitz. But reading up on him, (and mostly being told by the Times,) I have come to appreciate his religiousness. Times had a good piece on how his religiousness has not created any rifts in the lockerroom.

Warner is also not a hypocrite, players said. In the N.F.L., there have been any number of instances of players who are boasting of religious beliefs but hardly abiding by them in their private lives. "Kurt is the real deal," Herring said. "Everyone knows that."
And seeing his wife, (and not to pass any judgment on her looks,) I'd say that he is a lot better than Eugene Robinson, the other "preacher" to reach the Superbowl. Falcon's Robinson was arrested for solicitation the night before the big game.

posted by tamim at 11:36 PM on February 01, 2002