Recent Comments by Mr Bismarck

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Pablo Sandoval hit a pitch last night that was a little over five feet off the ground.

Good work to ground out on that pitch.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:07 PM on June 30

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

The Norwegians who don't know how to play football met England today in the World Cup and ran the show for the first half hour. England then started to come back into it and were looking the better side in the second half. So of course, Norway scored.

A while later England equalised Norway's goal from a corner with one of their own and then on 75 minutes Lucy Bronze won the game with what the boys from the Guardian would call "a thunder bastard."

It's the first World Cup knockout game the English ladies have ever won.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:53 PM on June 22

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

That's good stuff. I have to hope Norway lose their next game, but if they don't, I can root for them now.

Especially as I don't have to worry I might accidentally fall in love with Cathrine Dekkerhus.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:00 AM on June 19

St. Louis Cardinals Investigated by F.B.I. for Hacking Astros

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:22 PM on June 16

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Don't give up your day job, Tom.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:52 AM on June 16

Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship


posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:56 AM on June 15

Warriors Win Game 5, Need One More for NBA Championship

That face.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:25 AM on June 15

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

After his excellent piece in advance of the World Cup last year, John Oliver returned to the subject of FIFA last night...

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:39 PM on June 01

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

This weekend's Formula 3 race at Monza was called off after the governing body determined the competitors weren't able to drive to an acceptable standard.

After a somewhat calamitous second race on Saturday afternoon, the drivers were gathered at an emergency evening meeting and warned about the way they were driving. They were told that any accident on Sunday caused by driving standards would bring out a Safety Car to run to 75% distance, when full points could be issued.

When Sunday's race featured two safety cars in the first nine laps, it meant that the race could not get to 75% distance inside the 35 minute time limit. So the race officials decided to just bring out the red flag and go home.

I'd quite like to see this idea extend to other sports. Have the refs come out halfway through the second quarter of a Jacksonville-Oakland game and tell everyone to just stop and go home because no one knows how to football.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:30 PM on May 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

"Mr Bismarck's link doesn't work for me,"

I fixed it. It should work now. I had originally embedded the html5, but it was large, (in screen size).

I presume rcade edited it by changing the height and width parameters, but this meant that half the time only the top half was showing, which consisted of a few players standing around watching an off-screen Messi do his thing.

I like watching Rakitic fill in behind to give Messi an outlet pass and then realise "oh... right... it's Messi" and just stop to watch..

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:28 PM on May 31

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Messi back on cheat mode again.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:58 AM on May 31

Henchmen arrested, but the Joker is still at large

Vox attempts to sum up what happened today and why.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:09 PM on May 27

Henchmen arrested, but the Joker is still at large

Also, from the NY Times comments:

Aslak Oslo, Norway 7 hours ago

On behalf of the rest of the world I can safely say that we're absolutely delighted that you're using your power for good. If Bush had invaded FIFA instead of Iraq he'd have a street named after him in every European capital.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:14 PM on May 27

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Houston Rocket Scientists.

If you can watch that without shouting at your screen, you're a better person than I.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:44 AM on May 26

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Marouane Fellaini is doing his best to help Hull. He just stamped on Paul McShane and got a straight red card, dropping United to 10 men. I'm fairly sure McShane is bleeding from the "inner thigh."

Meanwhile, Arsenal are beating West Brom 4-1, despite hitting the post of crossbar five separate times.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:42 AM on May 24

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

When NBC announced its deal with the English Premier League would show every game on the final day across 10 networks, a final day in which only two games mean anything is probably not what they had in mind.

Proof that I'm easily amused comes as the E! Entertainment Network is showing Crystal Palace vs Swansea. It's currently one of only two goalless games today.

In one of the two games with meaning, Newcastle are beating West Ham 1-0, which renders the result of the other game, (where Hull have to beat Manchester United to have any chances of survival), moot.

Stevie Gerrard's send off from English football could be going better. Liverpool are losing 5-0 to Stoke.

*Edit : As I type this, Palace Forward Marouane Chamakh's tap-in gives E! fans the type of entertainment they love.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:25 AM on May 24

Kraft Says Patriots Won't Appeal DeflateGate Punishment

I think those two are way past their first date.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 03:51 PM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Turns out I've been over-complicating baseball.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:44 AM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

As no such team exists, they should give Ipswich the other slot in the final.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:46 AM on May 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Guess now I know what Gollum playing soccer looks like.

"Phil Jones Face" is a thing...

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:39 PM on May 18

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Phil Jones, ladies and gentlemen.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:29 AM on May 18

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

The NFL has selected the judge for Tom Brady's appeal and it's . . . Roger Goodell.

Every time I think this whole thing can't get any dumber.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:16 AM on May 15

NFL Announces Punishment for Patriots' Deflated Balls

In this Division, I'm not worried that four games with Janeane Garofalo at Quarterback is going to derail the Patriots' ascension to yet another AFC East title.

Angry Bill will make sure he's the most prepared backup since that time Matt Cassell looked like an NFL Quarterback.

And Tom gets to enjoy another five weeks of whatever is happening here.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:04 PM on May 13

NFL Investigator: Patriots Probably Deflated Balls on Purpose

Can we have dirty communist currency symbols, like £ and €?

Not that I haven't enjoyed eleven years of trying to remember the code to force money with pictures of the Queen on it into these comment boxes.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:44 AM on May 08

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I hope the groundsmen can find Boateng's ankles.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:41 PM on May 06

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Messi has cheat mode enabled on FIFA again.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:25 PM on May 06

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

I was disappointed that when I went to youtube I found a collection of Pippo's goals, but couldn't find what I wanted, which was a 60 minute montage of him being caught offside over Kenny G smooth jazz.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:03 PM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Chiellini, covered in blood, cleaning out Ronaldo in the most professional foul imaginable is a perfect summation of his career.

It's like Pippo Inzaghi looking shocked at being caught offside.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:37 PM on May 05

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle


posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:53 AM on May 03

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

So the fight was pretty dull. Which will tell you who won it, and how.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:51 AM on May 03

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Robin van Persie is going to play for Man U's U21 despite not being U31.

Radamel Falcao, (he of £6,000,000 loan fee and £265,000 salary a week), played for Manchester United's u21 team earlier this season too and apparently didn't impress.

United and a number of other top sides moved away from the traditional "reserve" team and the Premier Reserve League was replaced with a developmental league a couple years ago. So United's u21 side is the most senior team you can play for if you're not in the first squad or recovering from injury/loss of form.

They're allowed to play three outfield players and a Goalkeeper over 21 years of age.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:43 PM on April 29

U.S. Men Win 2-0 Over Mexico in San Antonio

the winning US goal came from a debutante

I'd pay to see that. But didn't Morris play in the 4-1 loss to Ireland?

Amusingly, Morris couldn't be given the Man of the Match award, because he's 20 and the award is sponsored by Budweiser.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 04:03 PM on April 16

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

In this week's example of how major companies don't understand the internet, Ferrari Formula 1 sponsor UPS asked the internet to provide pictures for an enormous collage that would be put together to make the UPS logo.

This logo would then be prominently pasted onto the Ferrari's sidepods for this weekends Chinese Grand Prix.

Of course, the internet is an enormous jerk, so they managed to sneak in a picture of famous internet celebrity, "dickbutt." Which is the internet's version of "guess what? ... chicken butt." With genitalia. Google at your own risk.

So... here's the logo UPS put on the Ferrari.

It turns out UPS are aware enough that once the story exploded in the darker corners of the web they removed said image from the collage, but the logo was already on the Ferrari.

Later, Sky's Formula 1 coverage picked up the story about how Ferrari have altered the logo of "the brown delivery company" with black marker pen.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:48 AM on April 11

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Richie Benaud has died.

Richie's last commentary in England was in 2005, after which he returned to Australia to work on TV there. Not bad for an Aus to be the voice of cricket in England.

He got a nice send off from the crowd at his final test.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:06 PM on April 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

This would be an acceptable alternative to all the arm folding in world sports.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:26 AM on April 06

Australia bowls out New Zealand on 183

Disappointed the list of sledges doesn't have the Eddo Brandes classic.

Outside of Jimmy Ormond's best moment international cricket, Mark Waugh also suffered another good one.

I don't remember who it was, but after a bowler beat Mark's outside edge with six straight deliveries, he turned to the Umpire at Square Leg and said, loud enough for Mark to hear, "Clearly he's the adopted one."

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:23 AM on March 31

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

It's the fancy new sticks for this World Cup - the bails light up when they come off the stumps, (it looks cool in night games), and the stumps light up if they're hit by the ball.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:53 AM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

The first Cricket World Cup semi-final was played last night between New Zealand and South Africa and made for an exciting few hours.

A rain break in the middle of the South African innings meant the Duckworth-Lewis Method was invoked - something understood only by theoretical physicists and some members of Duckworth-Lewis.

New Zealand ended up chasing 298 to beat South Africa's 281 and the match went to the wire.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 11:08 AM on March 24

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

As a result, if England can get to +63 they will win the title because they have score more tries than the Irish. To do that, they have to beat France by 26 points.

England ended up winning 55-35 - thereby falling six points, (one converted try), short of the margin needed for the title.

As a result, the Irish defended their 2014 victory, while England finish second for the fourth Six Nations tournament in a row.

The full England-France match can be seen here, (starts at the anthems). Kick off is here.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:10 AM on March 22

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The last round of the Six Nations is today, with three teams- Wales, Ireland and England - all tied at the top, meaning the destination of the title will be decided by points differential.

Before kick off, France could have won the title with a victory over England by at least eight points, combined with losses for Wales and Ireland, but both of those teams won.

Wales did their part early, by beating Italy 61-20, to end up with a +53 differential. Ireland then beat Scotland 40-10 to complete a Scottish whitewash, (they finish 0-5) and to move to the top of the table with a +63 differential.

As a result, if England can get to +63 they will win the title because they have score more tries than the Irish. To do that, they have to beat France by 26 points.

The score at halftime is England 27-15 France.

Heaven knows the French don't enjoy spoiling England's day...

posted by Mr Bismarck at 02:08 PM on March 21

Can popularity ruin a sport?

Really good article.

Rafa is one of those Germans who apologise that their English isn't so good.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:53 PM on March 19

Lewis Hamilton wins with ease in Australia as only 11 cars finish

Meanwhile, new Ferrari Team Principal Maurizio Arrivabene is a breath of fresh air. While Renault have gone backwards, (which takes some doing), Ferrari's engine is clearly a step up over last year and his attitude has been really great.

Firstly, he's been open to a technical relationship with the new Manor Marussia team, even though Ferrari is still owed money by the old Marussia team, but his quote on the subject was gold - "I said to Graeme, no money, no honey."

Then, during the race when the left rear wheel man couldn't get the nut threaded and Kimi Raikkonen had to pull over and retire from the race, Arrivabene went and found the gunman, to find out what happened and then, when everyone expected an ass-kicking, he just told him "stay calm, keep doing your job, it's going to be fine."

Then after the race when Renault Principal Christian Horner suggested the FIA might want to step in and even up the engines because Mercedes are too good, (and Red Bull even threatened to take their ball home and pull out of the sport), Arrivabene said "Our job is to attack Mercedes on the track. Not change the rules."

Having lived through the Schumacher/Ferrari domination, I'm still not ready to see Ferrari win another title, but this guy has been fun so far.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:23 PM on March 15

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

The Dolphins have traded Receiver Mike Wallace and a seventh round draft pick to the Minnesota Vikings for a fifth round draft pick.

This is a pure salary dump, as Wallace is due to get $12m next season. With Hartline and Gibson also released, the Dolphins don't have much for Tannehill to throw at next year, outside of 2014 draft pick Jarvis Landry and former Saint Kenny Stills who was acquired today for Danell Ellerbe and a draft pick, (another salary dump, this time of $6m).

Landry had a pretty good season, but isn't really #1 receiver material.

In vaguely-related news, I'm currently GMing the Dolphins in video game "Front Office Football 7" and life is copying me to a weird degree. Firstly, I franchised Charles Clay one night, then woke up the following morning to find the real Phins had done the same. Then I traded Wallace to the Vikings, straight up for a fourth rounder and then used the freed cap space to sign... Ndamukong Suh.

If Jeff Ireland was still in the role I'd suspect he was just copying me.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:52 AM on March 14

The NFL free-agency period begins with a slew of major moves

It was fun listening to this week's Grantland NFL podcast, as the Jimmy Graham and Sam Bradford trades were announced while they were taping.

This led Mays to say "I'm glad the thing I wrote today had a shelf life of 38 minutes."

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:25 AM on March 12

The NFL free-agency period begins with a slew of major moves

If Bradford doesn't work out they always have Sanchize.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 07:37 AM on March 11

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

"Who is going to be the first Herald scribe to dub Ndamukong "Miami Vice"?"

With Cameron Wake already being tabbed as "Earthwake", the correct names are clearly "Earthwake and Suhnami."

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:30 PM on March 09

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

yerfatma should be working for Football Outsiders, as the Pats just re-signed Devin McCourty.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:49 AM on March 09

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Good main event - one for boxing fans, in front of a crowd full of people who'd boo 15 rounds of Balboa-Creed.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:57 PM on March 07

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

That was a very reserved Broner performance. He didn't try to spin Molina around and there wasn't much posing. Hopefully the main event isn't as one-sided.

The main event I watched last week, (UFC), lasted 14 seconds. So I should at least to get to see more of something this weekend.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:52 PM on March 07

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Football Outsiders expect Gostkowski's franchising to lead to McCourty hitting Free Agency.

Meanwhile, the Bills traded for Cassel and then traded for the opportunity to give LeSean McCoy a third of their cap space.

Our division might be the Patriots + three clowns punching themselves in the face, but I hope Rex never leaves.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:07 AM on March 06

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Finally, I can dunk.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:31 AM on March 02

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

"helmets all the way down"

I've run into a few "NFL concept helmet" stories in the past couple weeks and my reaction to both has been "if you touch the Bengals helmet, I will cut you."

I actually didn't mind what they did with the background idea here :

The guy who did this series of concepts should probably stop.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:02 PM on February 25

SportsFilter: The Thursday Huddle

Best thing about that match was the Umpires taking everyone off for a 45 minute lunch break when the Kiwi's were about five minutes away from winning.

England really are dreadful at the one day game.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 12:49 AM on February 20

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

For further Calvinball, the full second round Six Nations match between Wales and Scotland is available on youtube here.

Anthems start here (always worth watching "Flower of Scotland" in Scotland).

Game starts here.

The game features an excellent beard-off, between Jake Ball and Geoff Cross.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:04 AM on February 18

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

You're right about the runner in the "end zone." Where you touch the ball down is where the kick has to be taken from, so if you score in the corner, then the kicker has to take the kick from way out on the sideline. The kicker can choose to move the ball back as far as he wants, to open the angle.

As a result, runners will get across the try line and then attempt to run under the posts before touching the ball down to make the conversion as easy as possible.

Unlike a touchdown a try actually has to be touched down, so if a defender can tackle you to the ground and keep you pinned and up so you can't down the ball then that isn't a score. It's quite rare and usually happens when an attacker is diving for the try line, rather than already over it, but the defenders will trot over anyway, just to keep you honest.

As for the penalty on the ground, (that mess of people is called a "Ruck"), there are several and can be called on both sides. Firstly, when you're tackled down you have to release the ball. When Wales screw up that throw in and the England forward intercepts he gets isolated and when tackled there's no one around to take the ball, so he holds it a fraction too long, hoping for his backs to catch up and gets penalised.

Later, one of the Welsh players gets called for reaching into a ruck and picking up the ball with a knee on the ground, because you aren't allowed to touch the ball unless you're supporting your own weight.

Rucks have a thousand rules around how you're allowed to join in, who's allowed to touch the ball and when and the offside rules in Rugby are labyrinthine to say the least.

I also really like how the officiating is done in Rugby Union. The Referee is in constant communication about what he's seeing and what he wants cleaned up. He clearly tells teams to keep their hands clear, or where they're not allowed to stand and he'll communicate infractions he has seen through a team's Captain... warning a Captain that he needs to have his player stop twisting the scrum or stop joining the ruck from the wrong angle, or stop this or that behaviour or it'll lead to a penalty.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 05:29 PM on February 07

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Full coverage of the opening Six Nations game between Wales and England is (currently) available on youtube, featuring an opening sequence by someone who's watched Game of Thrones.

[jokes about a red wedding goes here]

Anthems are at ~36 minutes, with the game starting at ~40 minutes.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 09:54 AM on February 07

SportsFilter: The Friday Huddle

The Six Nations starts tomorrow.

Last year, a decent England side beat Ireland, Wales and Scotland to claim the Triple Crown, but a fantastic performance in Paris took the title for Ireland. This year, the bookies have Ireland, England and Wales practically inseparable, even if partly because England have three home games.

Here's some footage of the 2014 championship.

Musical Montage Time.

Coverage is available on BeIn Sports in the US, or ESPN in Spanish in Central America, or your usual nefarious Other Sources'.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 01:40 PM on February 06

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Very large image of all Formula 1 cars 1950 to 2004.

That Cooper T66 was the first F1 car my Dad worked on, as an engineer for Phil Hill.

Here's some highlights from the British Grand Prix that year. Sadly they cut off way too early, as that was the only race Hill scored a point at in '64.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:30 PM on February 03

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

'Arry has resigned from QPR. Apparently because he needs a knee operation and not because his side are second bottom with the worst away record in the league since 1954.

If QPR are relegated back to the Football League at the end of the season, they're expected to face a fine of up to £40,000,000 for failing the League's football fair play rules during their one season there.

If they don't pay or renegotiate the fine they could be refused entry to the league and become the first club to be relegated from the Premier League all the way down into the Conference.

posted by Mr Bismarck at 10:09 AM on February 03

Patriots Win Super Bowl 0x31 After Epic Last-Second Interception

posted by Mr Bismarck at 08:58 AM on February 02