Recent Comments by afx237vi

Belgian cyclist dies in Giro D'Italia crash

I watched the stage live on TV and I'm still shaken up by it. I would recommend you don't watch a recording of it. Unfortunately there are some fairly graphic images.

Cycling is a dangerous sport, but things like this are still shocking and tragic. 26 is no age to die. RIP Wouter.

posted by afx237vi at 04:20 PM on May 09

Fans Brawl at US Open Match

It's hard to hear what she's saying, but the woman seems to giving as good as she is getting in the verbal asshat stakes. The young guy is being a loudmouth jerk, but he didn't look like getting violent until the old guy tried to throttle him. Even after he takes a dive, the woman starts with the shoving.

But yeah, where the hell was security?

posted by afx237vi at 02:35 PM on September 04

Pakistan Cricketers Accused of Match Fixing

A few of the places I've read about this online have brought up the death of Bob Woolmer in the 2007 World Cup, hours after Pakistan lost to Ireland in a huge upset. I remember there being a lot of speculation about that match being fixed at the time. It makes you wonder.

posted by afx237vi at 04:15 PM on August 30

LeMond: Federal Probe Will 'End' Armstrong

Wait, wasn't Greg LeMond's name mentioned in the recent allegations by Floyd Landis?

Yes, in as much as Landis's manager made threatening phonecalls to LeMond on the eve of LeMond appearing as a witness in Landis's arbitration case against USADA.

I believe LeMond has since accepted Landis's apology for that incident and has said he believes most of the allegations that Landis came out with last month.

With regards to this latest story, I saw this quote from Armstrong today was pretty confused: "We will have the opportunity to tell the truth to the authorities, and Greg LeMond will tell the truth about 1989 I hope".

What is that? A threat? Is he suggesting LeMond doped in 1989? Because if you ask most cycling fans to name one racer they think is clean, most will say LeMond.

posted by afx237vi at 04:22 PM on July 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Sure does. By my reckoning, he only had one crash in the Tour between 1999 and 2005. Then three in one day. Plus one on stage two. Oh well.

posted by afx237vi at 01:31 PM on July 11

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

End of an era in the Tour de France. Armstrong crashes 3 times and gets a pasting, losing 12 minutes.

posted by afx237vi at 12:35 PM on July 11

What's Gazza up to?

I think it was nasty and irresponsible for the radio station to interview him when he was clearly wasted. As JJ says, Gazza was comical and the butt of many jokes when he was playing, but now it's just sad.

posted by afx237vi at 12:33 PM on July 11

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The octopus is starting to scare me.

posted by afx237vi at 04:45 PM on July 10

Petacchi Wins Tour De France First Stage

There's still a handy number of Tweeting riders in this year's Tour de France. Robbie Hunter is particularly entertaining.

posted by afx237vi at 06:19 PM on July 05

Designer Defends Jabulani World Cup Ball

The ball swerves and knuckles and dips and skips so viciously...

From what I've seen so far, every shot from outside the box has sailed high, wide and straight into row Z. Where is this swerving and dipping he's on about?

posted by afx237vi at 02:03 PM on June 14

Which is harder?

Which is better, apples or oranges?

deflated is right, the ToC is a good race, but does not come out well when you start comparing it to grand tours.

posted by afx237vi at 06:13 PM on June 02

Cyclist Accused of Using Motorized Bike

trapskiff: Dragging all that weight around for over 100 miles so you can use it over a couple hundred yards at a few critical spots in the race may be counterproductive

The conspiracy theorists who believe in the "bike doping" stuff would point out that Cancellara changed bike in both Flanders and Roubaix, both times a few kilometres before he launched the winning attack.

But put me firmly in the skeptics camp. I can't believe people are actually taking it seriously. Most of it has been covered already, but :-

- Cancellara is the best one-day racer in the world. His victories in the Spring were dominant, but not surprising. He'd been building up to that for years. Not only is he strong, but he is also smart. If you watch the winning attack in Flanders, you will notice that he attacks while Boonen (his only real rival) is eating and resting at the rear of the group. When Cancellara attacks, everyone hesitates and waits for Boonen to chase - that's why it appears that Cancellara "motors away" and leaves everyone standing.

- The race is on live TV for hours at a time with millions of people watching. The bikes are on display outside the team buses at the start and finish. No-one would notice the mechanism or the buttons? Or the noise? Not even the other riders in the peloton?

- To my eyes, the original Rai video looks like a practical joke. The cameraman is careful not to show the whole bike, and the presenters look like they're on the verge of laughing. One of them, David Cassani, a former pro, was the guy who blew the whistle on Michael Rasmussen's lies in the Tour de France. Now he has a "doped bike" and won't say who used it or where he got it from? Really?

So yeah... in my opinion, this is a joke that the gullible English-language press have fallen for hook, line and sinker.

posted by afx237vi at 05:47 PM on June 02

Volcano prevents runners from Boston Marathon

One of the quirkier sports related volcano stories I've seen involves the pro cyclist Kurt-Asle Arvesen, who got stranded on a north sea oil rig for five days. He went to give a lecture and got stuck, so carried on training by running up and down the stairs.

posted by afx237vi at 04:22 PM on April 19

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Italian cycling legend Franco Ballerini has died at the age of 45 after a car crash in a rally he was taking part in. Ballerini won Paris-Roubaix in 1993 and 1998 and was the current Italian national coach.

posted by afx237vi at 09:47 AM on February 07

Togo team bus attacked in Angola before African Cup

Togo have now pulled out of the tournament.

posted by afx237vi at 09:16 AM on January 09

Jean Todt wins FIA presidency

Same as the old boss.

What, even down to the concentration camp spanking fetish?

posted by afx237vi at 06:33 PM on October 23

The 2010 Tour de France route has been revealed.

The most interesting point in my view is the inclusion of 13 kilometres of cobble sections towards the end of stage 3. A lot could happen on that day, as it did the last time the Tour used cobbles in 2004. That day, Iban Mayo lost a lot of time in a crash, so the main contenders will need to be on their guard. Guys like Contador and Andy Schleck have no experience of the pav whatsoever.

Glad the TTT has gone, too. It's a nice thing to watch, but has too much influence on the overall result. Strong riders shouldn't be penalised for having weak teams.

posted by afx237vi at 05:03 PM on October 14

SportsFilter: The Tuesday Huddle

Belgian cyclist Frank Vandenbroucke has been found dead in a hotel room in Senegal. He was 34 years old.

Vandenbroucke was a prodigious talent in the mid-to-late ninenties, but suffered from a whole host of problems, including drug addiction (both recreational and performance-enhancing) and severe depression (including at least two suicide attempts).

His death is a tragic loss, but one that didn't come as a huge surprise to his legions of fans. RIP VDB.

posted by afx237vi at 05:09 PM on October 13

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

It would probably be more interested if they stopped televising F1 races and just televised the court cases instead.

posted by afx237vi at 04:13 PM on October 04

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Cycling is already fairly TV-friendly, isn't it? Even if the race is boring you usually have some pretty scenery to look at.

And TBH, I don't think even die-hard cycling fans would ever watch the entirety of a 7 hour race. Most races - with the exception of the World Championships - only televise the final 1 or 2 hours for good reason.

posted by afx237vi at 04:14 PM on September 27

SportsFilter: The Sunday Huddle

Cadel Evans becomes the first Australian to win cycling's road race World Championship. Helluva race it was, too.

posted by afx237vi at 12:21 PM on September 27

Extra Time

With the ball in mid air on it's way into the goal? Try disallowing that one when the buzzer or whatever sounds.

Why not? A match is 90 minutes, not "90 minutes and a little bit extra just to see what happens".

posted by afx237vi at 11:21 AM on September 22

Extra Time

The whole concept of stoppage time is outdated and unnecessary. There's a simple solution: do what they do in rugby. The referee already wears a earpiece and microphone, so just hook him up to the guy in charge of the stadium clock (and / or the TV producer) - when there's an ijury or a goal, the referee says "time off" and the stadium clock stops.

That way, everyone knows what is happening and how much time in left. When the clock reaches 90 minutes, the game ends. Simple.

posted by afx237vi at 09:38 AM on September 22

College Stadium Tests Students for Blood-Alcohol Content

A guy called Patrick Day disapproves of excessive drinking and rowdy behaviour? For real? Did the journos at ESPN and the Onion swap jobs for a day?

posted by afx237vi at 05:11 PM on September 20

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

Big crash involving dozens of riders in the Tour of Spain bike race yesterday.

posted by afx237vi at 06:21 PM on September 02

South African Runner Faces Accusation She's a Man, Baby

Aren't human characteristics always on a spectrum anyway? We set rules that you are either female or male, but the reality is not always so clear.

+1

I feel sorry for her. She just won the biggest race of her career and instead of enjoying her night with a lap of honour, she was whisked away by the IAAF, away from the journalists who are all clambering to ask her if she's a man.

The IAAF have handled this terribly. There was an official being interviewed on the BBC about it, and he was using words likes "discretely" and "sensitively" and "privately", completely oblivious to the fact he was talking about it live on TV.

Michael Johnson made a great point: If an athlete fails a dope test, their name is not released to the press until the b-sample confirms the positive and all doubt is removed. Why wasn't this done here? If there are gender tests that need to be done (apparently there are a whole battery of tests to be done, and an outcome is only decided after a debate by a panel of doctors), then so be it. But do it privately and sensitively and allow her to compete in peace until all doubt it removed.

The girl is 18 years old and according to the BBC commentators there is absolutely no question of a deliberate attempt to cheat. She identifies as female. This is going to mess with her head, however the tests turn out.

posted by afx237vi at 04:31 PM on August 19

Harlequins rugby coach given three year ban

The inquiry found that Dean Richards, the coach and former England international, had orchestrated fake injuries on at least four previous occasions.

Tom Williams has been banned for four months, the physiotherapist for two years, while Harlequins RFC were fined 300,000 euro and could still be banned from future Heinekin Cups.

posted by afx237vi at 09:35 AM on August 18

Famous Spanish Matador Knocked Out by Bull

Those in favour of bullfighting argue that it's a sport, don't they? Well, the bull won.

posted by afx237vi at 04:14 PM on August 17

Usain Bold faster than Usain Bolt

The announcers on NBC mentioned that they were running against the wind today.

...and the BBC was saying yesterday that Berlin has a "slow track". I guess that depends on who's running on it.

posted by afx237vi at 06:22 PM on August 16

Women's boxing set for 2012 Olympics, golf and rugby sevens for 2016

Surely squash is no harder to televise than any of the shooting events?

Extremely happy to see rugby sevens get approval for 2016. It's a great game. Fast, fun, high scoring, extremely easy to understand, and works well in a big tournament arena (it's been a big hit at the Commonwealth Games). Plus it's a lot more competitive at international level than the 15-a-side game - it should give countries like Fiji a good opportunity for a medal.

posted by afx237vi at 10:04 AM on August 14

Substitute

The trailer in the BBC article makes it look rubbish, but the Youtube clip looks much better. I love sporting documentaries like this - real candid, fly-on-the-wall film-making rather than the more staged talking-head stuff you usually see. I will definitely check this out.

posted by afx237vi at 03:59 PM on May 08

Hawk attacks 13-year-old at Fenway Park

No problem. I was aware of the nickname A-Rod from various spofi FPPs, but rarely venture into any baseball threads, so didn't know his full name.

posted by afx237vi at 10:32 AM on April 04

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.

posted by afx237vi at 09:40 AM on April 04

Hawk attacks 13-year-old at Fenway Park

And you won't believe the name of the girl. I don't get it.

posted by afx237vi at 08:48 AM on April 04

SI: The Vault

This is awesome. Thanks nemo.

posted by afx237vi at 09:26 AM on March 23

Arsenal's Eduardo Da Silva injured in outrageous tackle, possibly ending his career.

Here's a good article by David Busst, the former Coventry player who had his career ended by a similarly gruesome leg break.

posted by afx237vi at 07:31 AM on February 25

Arsenal's Eduardo Da Silva injured in outrageous tackle, possibly ending his career.

Unfortunately for Eduardo, you can see from trox's pic that his foot was firmly planted in the turf when Taylor made contact. Nowhere for all that weight to go, except his leg. Yuck. I tuned in to the match as he was being stretchered off and you could instantly tell how serious it was. The stadium was deadly silent and the commentators were very hushed. In fact, Sky Sports refused to replay the tackle until they found a "safe" camera angle at half-time. So you knew it was bad, bad, bad. But how many awful tackles have there been this season - diving in at full speed, studs up and shin-height. Dozens. And after each one, the pundits have all said "how long 'til someone suffers a career ending injury?" Well now they have. Arsene Wenger reckons Taylor should never play football again. Maybe that's a heated statement and a bit OTT, but it should be a long, long ban. Counted months, not matches.

posted by afx237vi at 04:12 PM on February 23

Manuel Almunia hears dead people.

More award winning journalism from the nation's favourite newspaper.

posted by afx237vi at 03:40 PM on February 20

From Exeter City to the 2010 World Cup... via Singapore?

See also: Chris Birchall in 2006. "Six months ago, Chris Birchall was hanging out with friends in Stone, Staffordshire, trying to become a regular at League One Port Vale, and now he's eating chicken feet with Dwight Yorke and heading to the World Cup finals with Trinidad & Tobago."

posted by afx237vi at 10:12 AM on February 06

Dakar Rally cancelled

The 2001 Ryder Cup was put back a year because the American team were a big bunch of wusses had concerns about post-9/11 air travel and security. It's a shame about the Dakar Rally. I'm not a big motorsport fan, but I sometimes caught the highlights on Eurosport in the past and it looks like a spectacular race. I saw the press conference today and they said there had been a specific threat towards the race, so I guess they had no choice but to cancel.

posted by afx237vi at 04:01 PM on January 04

For The Love of Sport: A Look Back

Michael Rasmussen being fired by his team just a few hours after winning the decisive mountain stage of the Tour de France, whilst wearing the yellow jersey. That was pretty damn big. Oh, also that time Jose Mourinho's dog became a fugitive, heroically evading arrest from London's finest police officaers.

posted by afx237vi at 09:28 AM on December 15

The Top Ten Obscure Sports in the World.

Dog racing obscure? Uh... okay. And also, I know all about surf lifesaving because I used to watch Home and Away (ya flamin' drongo). My favourite obscure sport has got to be kabbadi, a weird Indian version of tag that used to be televised every Sunday afternoon on Channel 4.

posted by afx237vi at 10:43 AM on December 03

McLaren drops Robinson and Beckham for final Euro 2008 qualifying group match.

Now all you England fans know what it feels like to be Welsh. Return of the home internationals tourney next summer?

posted by afx237vi at 04:49 PM on November 21

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

For that matter, couldn't coffee be considered a performance enhancer? Pretty sure caffeine is banned above a certain level. I remember reading that cyclists (what else?) used to use caffeine suppositories in the past and current pros are only allowed two or three espressos before they start racing. Must annoy the Italians. They also used to use vast quantities of amphetamines, and I'm sure they must have dabbled in cocaine too. One of the most famous doping horror stories of recent years was Willy Voet's exposť of pot-Belge, a truly mind-boggling cocktail of amphetamines, caffeine, cocaine, heroin, painkillers and corticosteroids (no seriously). This was only 10 years ago, and they didn't use pot-Belge for any particular performance enhancement, but just to keep them going throughout the season. The performance enhancers were put on top of that. And now I'm rambling about stuff that has nothing to do with Hingis. I guess what I'm saying, is that sometimes you can dope without it being about sport. She's still young, doesn't really like tennis any more, has oodles of cash. It's happened to dozens of sports stars before.

posted by afx237vi at 05:23 PM on November 01

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

WTA Tour chief executive Larry Scott said the tour had not received any official information about a positive test and "as a result we are not in a position to comment on the matter." So let me get this straight. One of the most well known female tennis players in the world tests positive for a banned substance at the biggest tournament of the year, and almost six months later the world governing body of female tennis hasn't received any information at all?

posted by afx237vi at 04:48 PM on November 01

Brazil Awarded 2014 World Cup

D'oh, for a moment I forgot that the Earth has, y'know, a totally different hemisphere! So that's not bad footballing weather at all.

posted by afx237vi at 04:41 PM on November 01

Brazil Awarded 2014 World Cup

Nice thing about this location is the kickoff times will be much friendlier for America; Germany wasn't terrible but Japan/Korea was pretty much Tivo-only (PST in the house). I wouldn't be so sure. The last time the tournament was held in the Americas (USA '94), most of the matches were played around lunchtime and early afternoon to ensure peak time viewing in Europe. Better than the middle of the night, but still not good for office workers! Not good for the footballers either, playing in the heat of the day. It seems strange, having the final in bright daylight, but that's what happened in '94, and might happen again in Brazil.

posted by afx237vi at 09:21 AM on November 01

Floyd Landis loses arbitration:

Your argument here is: He made up lots of time, ergo, he cheated. By that logic Pereiro cheated too. Which was my point to begin with. Strategy is far more reasonable explanation for Floyd's comeback then some testosterone patch or injection. Side note: Floyd wasn't hurt on Stage 16. Well, no more than having a degenerated hip, but that was nothing new. Hmm, I disagree. Pereiro simply wasn't seen as a threat. He was over half an hour down, he's a solid yet unspectacular climber and he can't time trial. The bunch allowed him to get away because he wasn't a danger to them (although they turned out to be wrong). Pereiro wasn't chased, but Landis was. Sure, the organisation was a little lacking at first, but CSC (O'Grady in particular) really put the hammer down in the valley before the final climb. And they made no impact at all. Also, the bunch ambled all the way to the finish line on the Pereiro day, but Evans, Kloeden and co raced up the climb after Landis. After such an effort for over 80 kilometres, I find it implausible that Landis could hold that gap right until the end.

posted by afx237vi at 04:56 PM on September 21

Floyd Landis loses arbitration:

They should just kill off cycle racing as a sport NFL too? Baseball? Track and field? Just scrap the Olympics? Even golf has had its drug controversies of late, kill that off too?

posted by afx237vi at 05:14 PM on September 20

Floyd Landis loses arbitration:

"I am innocent and we proved I am innocent." No, Floyd, you didn't. Now please go away and shut up. See you in two years for your failed Tyler-style comeback.

posted by afx237vi at 03:28 PM on September 20

Stephen Ireland busted for lying.

Yes, I did not know who Stephen Ireland was before this event. But I do know the behaviors that I have witnessed in pathological liars, he is one. What? He didn't lie for the sake of lying. He lied because he was put in a highly stressful situation and wanted to respect the feelings and privacy of his girlfriend. Let's not forget it was his unborn child too. Sure, it was wrong to lie, and yes the situation could have been handled a million times better, but to call him a pathological liar is stupid. Have you never told a white lie to spare someone's feeling?

posted by afx237vi at 03:40 PM on September 16

The 6th Rugby World Cup

And now Canada expose Wales for the bumbling idiots they actually are (before running out of gas in the last 20 minutes). Good showing from the Americas (North and South) so far. People have been saying this for 20 years, but if rugby ever gathered some momentum in the US and Canada, they would be really, really good. Just needs a bigger player base, better fitness and more competition against the better nations.

posted by afx237vi at 08:57 AM on September 09

The ultimate sports theme tune

Back to Pavarotti for a second. I've seen links to various Youtube videos of "Nessun Dorma" over the past couple of days, and you know the comments in Youtube, right? Any popular video on that site usually descends into a complete shitfest of personal abuse and utter idiocy. But all of the Pavarotti ones are unequivocally gushing in their praise of the big fella. It's pretty rare these days that a celebrity is universally loved by just about everyone. Literally no-one has a bad word to say about him. And he was once on the books of AC Milan as a goalkeeper. What a guy.

posted by afx237vi at 04:24 PM on September 07

The 6th Rugby World Cup

I just don't know whether to cheer for France or Argentina yet. Definitely Argentina! I wouldn't mind seeing France win the whole tourney, but I'd love to see Argentina do well. The progress they've made in the last decade or so is incredible, and their recent record against France is pretty good. Unfortunately, I have no confidence in Wales doing well whatsoever. Gareth Jenkins is a total idiot. We'll make the QFs but that's it.

posted by afx237vi at 08:22 AM on September 07

The ultimate sports theme tune

There's always Jerusalem in connection with English cricket.

posted by afx237vi at 08:14 AM on September 07

The 6th Rugby World Cup

The Beeb also have guides for certain players to watch, including the midfield playmakers, who add a touch of poise and finesse to what is often a brutal sport, and the forward powerhouses, who use their brute strength to batter holes into the opposition defence. Going into the tournament, the New Zealand All-Blacks are overwhelming favourites to lift the Webb Ellis Cup for the first time since the inaugural tournament in 1987. However, since that win 20 years ago, the ABs have almost perfected the art of peaking between tournaments, and many people are wondering if they will be able to handle the pressure this time around. If they falter, then France and South Africa are next in line on the bookmakers' odds sheet. And hey, if the rugby's not really your thing, then at least drop in to take a look at the pre-match build-up, which can often be just as entertaining as the match, including some great anthems... - Mae Hen Wlad Fy Nhadau (Wales) - L'Inno Di Mameli (Italy) - Flower of Scotland - La Marseillaise (France) - Ireland's Call ...and some great haka by the South Pacific nations, including: - The siva tau (Samoa) - The cibi (Fiji) - The kailao (Tonga) - And the most famous of all - Ka mate (New Zealand) Naturally, when two of the South Sea teams meet each other, all manner of awesomeness ensues!

posted by afx237vi at 05:10 PM on September 06

No gay old time in Brazil

Very immature, but yes, I did have a little guffaw about the possibility of a gay Brazilian goalie called Roger.

posted by afx237vi at 04:09 PM on August 15

Spofi EPL fantasy footie

First objctive achieved: be not last after week one.

posted by afx237vi at 03:30 PM on August 13

Spofi Fantasy EPL Barclay's Premiership launches Saturday the 11th.

Alright, I joined up: Afx Argonauts. I reeeally don't follow football as much as I used to, and most of the players on offer were a total mystery to me. But I'll give it a go. (Got my excuses in early.)

posted by afx237vi at 04:33 PM on August 10

The Age of Discovery is over.

As one exits, so enters another. Introducing the new American team, and great white hope for professional cycling: Team Slipstream. They've been around for a couple of years already riding the US circuit and at a low level in Europe, but will be stepping up to the big time next year, having signed David Millar, Magnus Backstedt, Julian Dean and Christian Vande Velde. There are also 26 unemployed cyclists as of today, so it wouldn't surprise me if they took some of the Disco boys too. More importantly, they are the biggest advocates of clean cycling... ever. We've heard that before, I know, but this time they mean it.

posted by afx237vi at 04:07 PM on August 10