Recent Comments by ctal1999

In 2005, OU went 0-4?

This system never made much sense to me. Too many kids who were already in the system when all of this blew up are going to get screwed even though they personally kept their noses clean, and the younger players weren't even there when it went down. Sure, they could leave school and hope that they can find a slot at another major college (and most likely have to sit out a year), but how's that fair? It's either that, or stick with Oklahoma and live with playing for a team that's undermanned because they're shorted on scholarships. I say that the punishment should be more focused. If what the guilty players did was bad enough to warrant these actions, then blast them harder. Make them sit out two or three seasons instead of one. If the coaches turned a blind eye and should have been more vigilant, fine their asses. Same with the compliance staff. Hell, fine the university in general. If you want to take away scholarships, delay it until the current crop of players have all had their chance to make it through the system. That means waiting until the 2012-13 season, but it also means that the NCAA could impose a much stiffer penalty. They could cancel ALL football scholarships for a season or two. As long as the decision was announced now, nobody would be able to complain that they didn't know what they were getting into once the sanctions kicked in because it would be public knowledge long before any new players or coaches signed on the dotted line. That approach would take a little longer, but it would put one hell of a dent in OU football without harming any of the kids who'd already made a commitment to the program before all hell broke loose (or who were convinced that the steps the university took on its own would be deemed sufficient). Seems to me that it would be a lot more fair, and you can bet it would get the attention of the people in charge if coaches started to see six figure fines and schools saw fines that wiped out all those bowl revenues, and a season or two with zero scholarships would make them all squeal. In the end, it would get the job done better and avoid penalizing innocent kids.

posted by ctal1999 at 07:46 PM on July 11

Red Wings Re-Sign Goalie Dominik Hasek

Are you kidding me? A 1.79 GAA in the last playoff stretch and no reason he can't do it again. Of course he can take them all the way. He wasn't the main problem. When he was giving up under 2 a game and that roster around him couldn't scrape up enough offense to win out, I find it hard to place much blame on him. When the rest of the team struggled, he pretty much had their backs. They didn't return the favor. If the team gets their collective poop in a group during the next playoff stretch, they can most certainly win with Hasek. Notice, I said CAN, not WILL, so don't bust my chops if they fail to get it together. I'm just saying that the team showed long stretches of dominance on both offense and defense during the season, but consistency was a critical problem. If they can overcome that issue, they can roll.

posted by ctal1999 at 03:40 PM on July 07

Prosecutor in Duke Case Disbarred by Ethics Panel

Bishop, you've just illustrated my earlier point spectacularly. I agree with just about everything you said in the post you just put up. My earlier comments weren't aimed so much at your opinions as at how you express them. I do sometimes think that you're reaching a bit on some of your points, but then I'm not in your shoes, am I? I just think that you often come off as belligerent right out of the gate, and that tends to breed immediate defensiveness in response. That's just my impression, and I'd bet that you generally don't mean it that way. Still, it's perception that's going to dictate the reaction. A discussion between reasonable, civil people seems to always accomplish a lot more than heated exchanges and I, for one, find it a lot more palatable. Don't get me wrong. There are people who need to have their heads bashed against the wall periodically, just on general principle, but I don't think you're one of them. I hope you don't think most of your fellow SpoFiers are either.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:21 PM on June 23

Prosecutor in Duke Case Disbarred by Ethics Panel

Sorry. It dawned on me after the last post that I'd used the word "sangfroid" when I meant "schadenfreud". Ooops!

posted by ctal1999 at 03:39 AM on June 19

Prosecutor in Duke Case Disbarred by Ethics Panel

I say Bishop's right! Those Duke boys are rich and white, so in the interest of social justice, it's only right that they got railroaded. After all, they had the audacity to be at a college party with **GASP** strippers and booze. God knows none of US would ever be at a party with strippers and alcohol, so I say those degenerates are damned lucky that the cops didn't bust in and shoot 'em all. As for Pacman, right on, Bishop. We all know that if he'd been involved, pesky little facts like a total lack of anything resembling his DNA in the samples and video evidence that he was using an ATM somewhere else while the events were supposed to be happening wouldn't even enter into the equation. He'd be cooling his heels in a cell next to OJ...er, wait...no. Anyway, the point is that he'd fry...not, sure how, but he would. Finally, get the hell off the Reverend Al. He's a VERY angry man, and with good reason. Just ask him. He can find all sorts of reasons for being indignant. Some are even valid, so HOW DARE YOU fault him for spouting off and further inflamming an already racially charged situation when he doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground concerning the issue? His fully understandable attitude is "She's black, so I've got her back. I don't care if she's the damned Antichrist.", so why would anyone feel justified in expecting an apology? Seriously Bishop, I get where you're coming from. There's been a hell of a lot of injustice heaped on African Americans, and that hasn't ended just because we're in the 21st century. It's wrong, and it makes me sick. If your comment tended to be in the vein of "See? This kind of shit has been happening to blacks since before there even was a United States. Doesn't feel too good, does it? We need to fight this kind of lunacy whenever we see it.", I'd have a lot more sympathy for your position. Hell, I'd be standing shoulder to shoulder with you. At least in a lot of your previous posts, you've argued that there are gray areas in things like the Foley case (which is an entirely valid point, rooted in a healthy and understandable skepticism). The problem is that there's virtually no gray area on this one and your post leaves the impression that you're wallowing at least a little bit in "getting some back" when the opportunity presents itself. There's something to be said for sangfroid when karma catches up with a particularly heinous individual, but it's harder to defend when it's directed at an entire race. Maybe that's not really how you feel, but you certainly leave that impression.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:27 AM on June 19

Seeing Manhattan from sea level

Then where's the harm in making a wetsuit swimmer's choice? Sure, you get the advantages...and the disadvantages to go along with them.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:09 PM on June 17

Prosecutor in Duke Case Disbarred by Ethics Panel

Is this as relevant to sports as, say, who's going to make the All Star game or win the U.S. Open? Of course not. On the other hand, we constantly discuss athletes getting special treatment (or getting shafted) in their dealings with the law. Like it or not, what Nifong did had a huge effect on several athletes and their sports program. I think that means that seeing how it all plays out is every bit as relevant as whether or not John Q. Public would be in jail for what "Athlete A" did, or if a particular cop was in the right when he shot "Athlete B". The debate wouldn't be so bad if it would remain civil...but we all know from experience that it's not likely to turn out that way.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:55 PM on June 17

(I)t hit me, the Spurs are Nickelback.

Nicklebacking...Hmmm. It does have a certain ring to it, doesn't it?

posted by ctal1999 at 05:02 PM on June 09

MLB Demands Toothpaste Be Put Back in Tubes, Andy Griffith Re-runs*

Stofer nibbled around the edge of their complaint. I think the main concern is that it can be, in effect, pirated. Say I buy the MLB package. My buddy, who's moved from Michigan to Colorado, buys a Slingbox and we hook it up to my service as the "home" location. He can now watch his Tiger games to his heart's content and not pay a penny for the MLB package. Of course, if the powers that be at MLB would take their heads out of their asses, they'd design a system that's fan friendly where you can buy access to whatever games you want, with the participating teams getting a cut of the action. Black out the area within a REASONABLE drive of the stadium to protect ticket sales. Otherwise, leave the fans to their fun. Let's face it. My buddy isn't likely to make the trip to Detroit from the western foothills of the Rockies, but if he could buy an MLB package that gave him the content he wanted, it would make more sense than spending the money on a Slingbox anyway.

posted by ctal1999 at 12:18 AM on June 03

Casey steps in, connects: Goes to bat to help feed hungry

I didn't know much about Casey before he became a Tiger. I've learned about him as a player since then, but it's great to know he's a good human being as well as a good athlete. It's finally fun being a 'gers fan again, but this puts an even bigger smile on my face.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:30 PM on May 16

Dear Senator Brownback:

You know that this wasn't off the top of his head. His handlers have to have heard some version if this analogy before he just popped it out there...and nobody realized that it would go over like a lead balloon in Packerland? Sheesh!

posted by ctal1999 at 09:53 PM on May 12

Buzz for De La Hoya-Mayweather

Oscar's grown into a pretty tough character and he almost always keeps his head when the fur starts to fly. Mayweather get's frustrated and emotional sometimes, so I think Oscar gets the thumbs up there. Mayweather has also had somewhat fragile hands in the past, so if he breaks one, it could make a big difference. He's determined enough to fight through stuff like that, but it has definitely made him less effective on occasion. Those are about the only advantages Oscar has as far as I can see. Mayweather is a frickin' little buzz saw. I've lived near Grand rapids all my life and Floyd has acted like a little prick for as long as I can recall, so I hope that De La Hoya slaps that infuriating smirk right off his face...but he'll need to be almost perfect to pull it off.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:10 PM on May 04

Hey, Clarett, This is How You Get Drafted Early

Believe me, Yerfatma, I feel your pain. After we've been in the adult state for awhile, we start to wear out. We have a few years at our peak, and then it all starts to go downhill (even if the closest we come to exercise is watching sports from the couch). I guess what it comes down to is that being an NFL lineman is GOING to take a toll on the body. The difference is that someone who hasn't finished developing faces all the dangers that an adult does, plus potential problems because the anchor points of ligaments and tendons may not be at 100% yet, the bone growth plates are still active and vulnerable, etc. That's the main reason why heavy weight training for teens is a bit controversial.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:56 PM on April 15

Bledsoe retires

After reading through the first several comments, both pro and con, it occured to me that Drew was to quarterbacks what Lloyd Carr is becoming to coaches. They both have almost all of the needed traits (in spades!), but they've both displayed an inability to make timely in game adjustments when their nuts are really in the fire. People like that tend to do very well on a day to day basis, but stumble when a situation nears crisis proportions. So, are the numbers great? Yup. Was Drew? That's not so cut and dried.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:43 PM on April 14

Hey, Clarett, This is How You Get Drafted Early

Yay-yo, Big doesn't necessarily equal physically mature. Until his development settles into an adult state, he's probably in greater danger of injury. This is much more true of playing in the NFL than other sports, especially as a lineman, because of the demand for heavy impact and nut-busting displays of strength on virtually every play. Running, jumping, etc., are pretty natural actions for any adolescent. Brute force combat is not, and it can really screw up developing bones, joints, ligaments, etc. Okoye could be an exception who happened to mature earlier than most...but if he's not, then concerns for his health aren't too far fetched. He sounds like a wonderful kid, and I hope he suceeds, but I can see where his entry to the NFL could mean trouble, both for him and for future teens who overdo it in an attempt to follow him.

posted by ctal1999 at 02:15 PM on April 14

Beilein takes UM job.

Any coach at that level knows the game and most are reasonably effective teachers. Fewer have the knack for knowing which elite high schoolers have peaked and which will continue to develop. Fewer still are adept at motivating and instilling confidence. That last piece was the one missing for Tommy. He got some great talent to Ann Arbor, and they proved that they could play with anybody...for awhile. Unfortunately, against top flight opponents, they had a tendency to wilt when the heat was turned up. The other team would start to make a run, and instead of manning up and playing with attitude, you could see the Wolverines start to sag. It was one "Here we go again" moment after another, and Amacher didn't have any answers. I didn't see a lot of WVU b-ball, but from everything I've read and heard, Coach Beilein doesn't have that weakness. Tommy is a good man, but I don't think he had the ability to get the very best out of some very good players. It will be interesting to see where Coach B. takes them.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:31 PM on April 05

Pressel survives, becomes youngest to win LPGA major

Sad, but true.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:19 PM on April 02

Ricky Williams wants back in...

Apoch, I meant no disrespect. The CFL is a fine league, but I don't think that the overall talent base equals that of the NFL. I wouldn't even go as far as Weedy and compare it to the minors, but it is a slight step down. I said that in order to cut off anyone who'd say, "Yeah, but he only played in Canada" because the Canadian athletes ARE in shape and that complaint falls flat.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:16 PM on April 02

“They ought to tell the girls that they are signing a death waiver."

As sports go, cheerleading is an odd duck. Before it was a sport, it was pretty much the way she describes pro cheerleaders today. No big tricks, mostly dancing, yelling, and mild tumbling. When it started to become competitive, everyone started to push the envelope. No surprize there, but the fact that pads and helmets don't exactly fit into the mix means you have to expect trouble. There are a few safety devices they can use in practice, but that's about it. Add to that the fact that they're in danger during practice and competition like most athletes, but also in that gray area of traditional cheerleading. They're often doing these stunts under conditions that range from tracks like hardened sandpaper to wet grass and mud on football fields to polished hardwood basketball floors. Full time gymnasts have it hard, but at least they never fly that high and the success of any of their maneuvers is solely dependent on their actions. On top of that, on any events involving dangerous moves, gymnasts get a heck of a lot of padding on the floor. Competitve cheerleaders deserve a lot of respect. Most know how dangerous it is and do it anyway. Hopefully, someone smarter than I can come up with the workable safety ideas.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:55 PM on April 01

Ricky Williams wants back in...

I think the last paragraph of the article said it all. He can still contribute to an NFL team if he's motivated and in shape. In shape? Probably. He spent last season playing the game, albeit in Canada. The broken arm shouldn't be a concern, but the Achilles may be a concern. Motivated? That's the bigger "if". He always seems to get motivated when he doesn't have enough cash, but once it starts to roll in again, his newfound focus goes bye bye (or maybe just shifts to "other things"). I don't know what his current financial situation is, so maybe he's actually straightened out his life this time. I hope so, because if he never does anything more in the NFL, it will be a terrible waste of potential.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:08 PM on April 01

The heroism-stupidity line.

I admire his grit, but it does seem like he could set a better example by using a little common sense. Sure, in a crucial situation, you play through the pain if you can, but when the only thing that you're contributing to by pushing on is your reputation, it's time to sit down and focus on recovery. The more you put into recovering, the sooner you'll be able to play at 100% again, and if you're playing hurt today (or resisting treatment) when the team doesn't need you, you're likely to screw them later when they need you at your best (or when you needlessly aggravate an injury to the point that it ends your career).

posted by ctal1999 at 10:36 PM on February 28

One Good Turn Deserves Another!

Some of you have gotten a little snarky because you're not Vol fans, but I don't have a dog in that fight. On the outside looking in, what I noticed was the team attitude that is so front and center here. Usually, you expect to see the students avidly support all the teams, but coaches are another story. Sure, if they're asked about another one of the sports programs, they usually say the right things, but enthusiasm is too much to expect. It's important to be focused on your work, but it sure is refreshing to see coaches who get that college athletics are about the students in the long run and not just their little corner of the universe.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:12 PM on February 28

Stop Me If You Think That You've Heard This One Before.

There are two things I hate about situations like this. First, names are leaked without any associated facts. As often as not, it turns out that the persons mentioned are guilty of nothing, but it doesn't matter because the leak created buzz. Second, I hate that raids like this have become necessary, but I guess they have. Until the pain of the penalties start to outweigh the benefits, many elite athletes are going to do whatever it takes to remain competitive. Education about the extremely harsh health dangers doesn't seem to be enough to slow most of them down (and if we slow them down enough, the supplier problem solves itself since there are no longer buyers). Maybe taking away enough of the money they make and preventing them from competing for long enough periods would do the job. Getting banned from competition would kind of defeat the purpose of using illegal performance enhancers, right? I hope something works. Too many young people are gambling their futures against a chance for instant gratification. Russian roulette, anyone?

posted by ctal1999 at 09:50 PM on February 28

Who's the Daddy?

Kinda makes you wonder about those "busy" people who can't find a few minutes a day to spend with their kids, doesn't it?

posted by ctal1999 at 06:11 PM on February 20

Tommy Morrison Cleared to Fight

If he's been repeatedly tested and come up clean, it sure sounds like the first test was wrong. If that's the case, I hope his comeback goes well. He had a lot of potential, but that's an awfully long layoff. Then again, I guess he should be well rested!

posted by ctal1999 at 06:07 PM on February 20

Dog's Best Friend.

My kinda guy. Learn from this trip and live to fight another day...along with your dog.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:55 PM on February 20

Dad intervenes during his son's wrestling match.

Wow. I'm coming in a little late to the party tonight, but I really need to put in my two cents worth. First, to all of you who seem horrified that someone could find it acceptable for their kid to "learn from pain", relax a little. Football, hockey, boxing, wrestling. Done 'em all. Never once without at least some pain. Comes with the territory, and it definitely adds to the learning experience. Injury is a whole different story, and that leads me to "the thrower". If he was afraid that his kid was in serious danger of injury I can see why he'd step in, especially if the ref was slow to act. Granted, the ref signaled the illegal move, but he didn't exactly rush in and it didn't look like the other kid was letting up yet. I think it's obvious that the ref could have stepped in physically in a more urgent fashion (or the dad, who was further away, wouldn't have gotten there before the ref even reached for the kids). Having said all that, the guy was really over the top. Launching the kid across the mat wasn't called for. He could have just as easily put an arm around the kids' waist or grabbed him by the back of his singlet and picked him up. Same result without taking a chance of hurting the other kid. It certainly looks like adrenaline got the better of him and he has some anger management problems. I'm glad he won't be doing any coaching and we can all hope that he never does anything this bone headed as a spectator again.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:25 PM on February 18

"Geez, you mean I'm supposed to feed them, too?"

Amen, Vito. Too bad that when he finally did drag his sorry ass home from the last few road trips (and whatever the hell else he's been up to that has him away from home for MONTHS on end) the dog didn't decide to eat HIM (probably too weak). Seriously, even if the dog sitter wasn't doing the job, it sounds like it should have been pretty obvious that something was wrong. If the dog was in rough enough shape that animal control felt it had been abused, then it should have been pretty damned hard for Artest to miss the fact that there was a problem (or are we to believe that all this happened while he was gone on one road trip?). Sure! Yeah! That's the ticket! Oh, and those neighbors? Yeah, they were actually coming over while he was gone and taking the food from the dog, then turning him in 'cause they're a bunch of haters. See? Simple explanation.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:36 PM on February 07

Brett Favre Coming Back For 17th Season

I'm sure the record means something to him, but I'm just as sure that the adrenalin rush of somehow clawing his way into playoff contention this year had a lot to do with convincing him that he wasn't ready to let go of the reins yet. Only time will tell if it's good for the organization or not, but keep a few things in mind. First, he's a warrior and he'll still have the desire to play when he's 80. Second, he can still play pretty well if the rest of the team doesn't fall apart on him. Third, that was a MUCH better team at the end of the season than when it started and he knows it. If folks think that a fired up Brett Favre couldn't still lead a decent team well into the playoffs, I think they're kidding themselves. Still, even a great season for Brett may not be the best thing for the team. If Rodgers doesn't get a chance to develop and/or gets discouraged because he can scratch out a little playing time, it could be bad for the Pack for years to come. I love Brett and his never quit attitude, but I hope he pays enough attention to the big picture to allow, or even promote, more playing time for the kid.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:56 PM on February 03

The Legend of 'One-Hundred-Foot Wednesday'

Good point, LBB. There are times when it's just you and whatever deity you may hold dear, and if you're counting on help from anyone else, you are well and truly screwed. Do it right, or literally die trying.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:21 PM on February 01

Long-shot Serena Williams annihilates #1 Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open.

TBH, I doubt that she planned it that way, but I think she followed where the notoriety and down time from injuries led, and I'd sure be pleased to see it work out that way for her.

posted by ctal1999 at 07:36 PM on January 27

Long-shot Serena Williams annihilates #1 Maria Sharapova to win Australian Open.

I expected to see comments pro and con to Serena, but eveyone seems to agree with me today. Early in the decade, it looked like she was going to rule the sport. Since then, there's been a slide and people have gotten on her because she's been involved in modeling and clothing lines and general fame. I'm sure all of that had an effect, but I think that personal tragedy and repeated injuries were a bigger part of the picture. It just looked to me like she had her focus back against Sherapova and that she wasn't fighting her own body on top of her opponent this time. Maybe she is still out of shape (but she only needed 15 games to crush Sherapova), but that just means that the rest of the ladies have more to worry about. After all, what's she going to be like if she maintains that focus, avoids injury, and builds up her stamina? There's no certainty, especially about the injury bug, but it's got to be a possibilty that's going to make the rest of the field pretty nervous.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:14 AM on January 27

Florida 41, Ohio State 14

Tressell tied Lloyd Carr's brain in knots. Meyer did the same thing to Tressell. Damn, I have to admit that I'm impressed...and more scared of Florida in the future.

posted by ctal1999 at 07:22 PM on January 09

Cowher resigns, Steelers begin coach search

He may be coaching again in a year or two, but that doesn't mean he's not sincere about spending time with his family. How many of us would love to take a year or two off and hang out with the wife and kids without having to worry about finances? It's almost a lock that there'll be an opening somewhere whenever he's ready. As for him being a pussy, give me a break! He's ridden out his share of shit storms in 15 years. If he's ready for a break, he's earned it.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:45 PM on January 05

USC's John David Rips Booty in 93rd Rose Bowl

Thanks Grum. Michigan screwed up by the numbers today, and against OSU (and several other times this year), but somehow this "horrible" team managed to get past the other 11 teams they played (which included the Wisconsin squad that handled Arkansas today and an overlooked Penn State team that smacked Tennessee around pretty good as well). They are far from horrible. I do have to question the coaching staff though. I like Lloyd Carr, but he got schooled today. Both teams made adjustments for the second half...and we know how that turned out. If it was an exception, I'd shrug it off, but it seems to happen in most big games. I think Carr's a good recruiter, a good strategist, and a decent motivator, but he doesn't adapt well on the fly. I never thought I'd say it , but discipline seems to be a problem, too. You'd think that after shoddy tackling cost them so much in Columbus that the coaching staff would have drummed proper technique into those kids until their heads exploded. Apparently not. Carr certainly doesn't have a dismal record as a coach, but I'm starting to think that his success has a lot more to do with the quality of the athletes than it does with his coaching skills. Maybe it is time for him to go.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:52 PM on January 01

Rose Bowl wilts while title hopes push up daisies.

TBH, you're probably right that the best U of M will end up is #2, but if the OSU/Florida game is an OSU blowout, and U of M stomps USC, it certainly strengthens the argument that the Wolverines should have had another shot at a neutral site. Pittsburgh didn't go undefeated last year, but do any of the teams that beat them have a valid claim that the Steelers aren't the NFL champs? Of course not. Sure, that's because the Steelers won out in the playoffs, which the BCS certainly bears no resemblance to, but the point is still valid. One road loss to the concensus "best" team in the country shouldn't eliminate you from the title hunt. As a Michigan fan, part of me hopes that CC is right. The other part feels like a piece of the title that way would be like a smoking hot kiss...from your own sister. Likely to make you feel a little queasy for all time.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:45 AM on December 31

Bears beat the Lions and they're the worst team in the past five years.

FonGu, I wouldn't call Barry an exception to that. He had a ton of individual success, but what did it get him? Nothing but so much disappointment that he couldn't stand to do it anymore. The Lions have spent years getting some pretty good talent. Some of the players have had individual success, some have flopped, and others have stagnated in Detroit, only to do well when they move on. They've tried no name coaches and established ones, nice guys and hard asses. Nothing works. They get close, and their numbers aren't usually anywhere near as bad as the record, but they continue to find ways to lose. Different players, different coaches, different schemes, same damned result.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:37 PM on December 25

S(he) failed

l_b_b, you're right that we're selective about what we regulate, but we have little choice. Since it's impossible for any of us to anticipate every scenario, we could never regulate all the possible situations. Hence, we regulate some things and not others. Since I know from experience that you're very intelligent, I'm certain that you already recognized that fact. Under those circumstances, it seems to me that your argument is more about what we choose to regulate than the fact that we don't regulate absolutely everything. I get your stance that this situation doesn't demand the level of regulation that it seems to be drawing, and I'm not sure I disagree...and there's the rub. Whether or not I agree with you, I think it's a certainty that we'll never be able to set regulations that everyone agrees on. There will always be those who think a regulation goes too far or not far enough, or that a group should be exempt, or one that is exempt shouldn't be, etc., etc., etc. Still, that doesn't mean that you should hesitate to argue for what you believe to be the most equitable outcomes. Just realize that others will probably have different opinions, and often their reasoning will be just as well thought out and valid as yours, and since we can't regulate everything, the only other way to eliminate these arguments would be to eliminate all regulation as qbert suggested. As to the Staley/Dydek debate, I still think that you're putting too much emphasis on size. It's only one factor, after all. Staley's speed and agility nicely offset Dydek's size and strength. Would you also argue that AI would be overmatched by any of the NBA 7+ footers? He plays on the same court with them all the time, and he seems to get by fairly well, don't you think? I get the point that you were trying to make. I just didn't think that the Staley/Dydek example was an apt one.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:40 PM on December 21

S(he) failed

l_b_b, qbert has a point though. Since every person is unique, none of us are ever exactly equal (except in theory) in any situation. There will always be unavoidable inequity in any and every group. If you define it as an injustice every time someone is just a hair outside of the rules, then there are injustices in almost every competitive situation. What's worse, more often than not, if you eliminate one injustice, you'll end up creating others. You may want to rethink the Staley/Dydek argument as well. You're comparing apples and oranges. Soudarajan competes in an individual sport while Staley and Dydek are each part of a team. Their size, skills and style of play are very different even though they're playing the same game, but that's not a problem because the demands of their respective positions are different. They'd never be expected to compete against one another in a head to head sport where the size difference would be overwhelmingly decisive (weightlifting or boxing, for example). In many other individual sports, they'd both be eligible to compete, but not necessarily very capable because their physiology doesn't fit with the demands of that particular competition. I have no doubt that Staley would be a better gymnast or sprinter, while Dydek would most likely be better with strength related activities like the shot put. None of that matters because their game is basketball and they're each well suited to the demands of their given positions. Your comparison implies that the size difference somehow makes it as unfair for them to compete against one another as it would be for a woman who has male characteristics that give her an advantage over the standard woman to compete against a field comprised of just such women. That comparison simply doesn't wash. Remember, there is a qualifier here. If it's demonstrated that Soudarajan has some masculine characteristics, but none that give her an unusual edge (such as high testosterone levels, etc.), then there should be no objection to having her compete against other women. On the other hand, if she does have demonstrable advantages, and your interest is truly fairness, then you cannot expect all the other athletes to compete against her.

posted by ctal1999 at 03:04 PM on December 21

S(he) failed

Amateur, you seem to think that it's a small thing to allow a woman who has a competitive advantage based on a partially male physiology to compete against other women who could not attain that same advantage without pharmaceutical help (which gets them banned from their sport in most cases). I have a sneaking feeling that most of the women competing against her would disagree with you, and I can't help but think that they'd have good reason. In most cases, these athletes have trained for years and years, and asking them to compete against someone with male characteristics isn't far removed from asking them to run against someone who's been allowed to use steroids. I know that Soudarajan didn't likely do anything to cause this (unlike steroid users), but that doesn't change the end result. The condition she suffers from looks like it may cause her a great deal of difficulty, and I feel for her, but that's not an excuse to be unfair to potentially hundreds of her competitors over the years in order to be "fair" to her. Like the vast majority of us, her genetics work against her when it comes to competing at the elite athletic level.

posted by ctal1999 at 10:52 PM on December 20

What if the BCS bowls all went to high school together?

Ya just had to get back to Soudarajan, didn't ya fraze?

posted by ctal1999 at 06:04 PM on December 20

S(he) failed

lbb, I'm with you on the desire to include as many athletes as possible, but I'm not sure that it leads me to the same conclusions. If, as it appears, Soudarajan is partly male, and if those male characteristics result in any advantage against women, then the only answer would be for her to compete against males. Otherwise, it cheats all those competing against her. She probably couldn't compete successfully against men because her genetic make up would be a disadvantage there, but my genetic make up won't allow me to play in the NBA or NFL either. I don't have the combination of size, speed and strength to be successful in any position at that level and no amount of training would be sufficient to overcome that. It's unfortunate for her, but it would be much more fair for her to compete against men (again, assuming that she has male characteristics that would be an advantage over women), than it would for her to compete against women. Her genetics could keep her from competing at a world class level, but that's true of 99% of the people on the planet. Also Amateur, I'm not sure why you think that the fact that Bagger wasn't a pro as a man invalidates mjk's point. If anything, it supports him. Bagger wasn't good enough to be a pro as a man, but as a woman, well...who knows how good she could be? Granted, it's not the "male journeyman pro + SRS = world's dominant female player" formula. It's worse. The actual formula is as follows: decent male amateur + SRS = competitive female pro. That is a valid point as far as I can see.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:00 PM on December 20

QB: T-Rac Wrecked My Season

You're absolutely right, jmd82. Unfortunately, sometimes the juries are actually stupid enough to stick with the original amounts. Cases like that are the ones that get everyone's blood boiling. McPherson deserves to be compensated, but I hope it isn't to a ridiculous level.

posted by ctal1999 at 06:03 PM on December 18

English flags banned at the Emirates.

As a Yank, I have to say that the top of my head would blow off if American sports teams started doing this with the stars and stripes. Frighteningly, I have to admit that it's a possibility. No matter what any of you say, it IS political correctness run amok. If, as some have intimated, the English flag is banned because a few have used it to represent their racist beliefs, it's entirely PC to decide that it's reasonable for people to be offended on the assumption that it's ALWAYS a racist representation. If, on the other hand, the ban was in response to trouble between Greek and Turkish Cypriots, again it is nothing but PC to decide that all national flags had to be banned rather than singling out the offenders.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:52 PM on December 18

Knight passes Rupp as Texas Tech wins

I really wish the "Knight's an a-hole so he sucks as a coach " argument would stop. I don't like him, but he's a great coach. Knight runs his program like a drill sergeant. Every one of the kids in his program know that long before they sign on the dotted line. Every kid that's good enough for Knight to want him is also good enough to have several other options. They choose to play for him knowing full well that he's a tough bastard and he won't be overly gentle in their training. They want to be there anyway, and the rest of us should just shut the hell up and let them play. I don't like Knight. I also don't like opera, or the egos it sometimes spawns, but that doesn't mean that I can't recognize the talent and commitment it requires. Bottom line, Bobby's a hard ass. His kids expect it, and overwhelmingly say that they appreciate it. He's one of the best coaches ever whether we like him or not.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:10 PM on December 12

Cindy Klassen Wins Lou Marsh Trophy as Canada's Best Athlete

Weedy, we'll forgive a little homerism on this one. Let's face it, Canadian athletics had a VERY good year. Congrats to the neighbor to the north, and especially to the Klassen lass. She really did kick some serious booty.

posted by ctal1999 at 07:39 PM on December 12

ESPN: Smith Wins Heisman

Make no mistake, the numbers can at least be misleading, especially as a predictor of success at the next level. Having said that, I expect Quinn to do well as a pro (unless Detroit drafts him since they can ruin any QB). ND has fielded a good team the last couple of years, and I think that Quinn is a big reason why they've flirted with moving from good to great. They didn't get there, but the defense did fail to show up in many of the "big" losses, so you can't pile all the blame on Quinn. The real point of this thread dealt with Smith. As a Wolverine, it pains me to say it, but he's deserving. His game has really developed, but he's also become a heck of a leader.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:53 PM on December 10

Florida Will Face Ohio State in BCS Championship Game

Wow. No matter who wins, there's going to be a ton of crow eaten by some SpoFiers. Could make for another interesting discussion come January.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:00 PM on December 05

Bonds not offered Arbitration

If he doesn't stay in SF, who else will want him for the money he'll demand? With his health, he can't be depended on to contribute to any team, even as a DH. Could he rebound physically and have a "comeback" season? Maybe. Is it likely? Nope. The biggest reason to sign him is the publicity when (or should I say "if"?) he breaks the record. If his health isn't a total disaster, he probably will break it, so the question is whether his new team will get several million dollars worth of good publicity or not.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:53 PM on December 02

Another Opinion on the BCS

Jaygolf, you're right that the money is a necessary evil, but a playoff system could generate a ton of cash, especially if the "bowl" games all ended up having an effect on the national championship just like the NFL playoffs. As for Florida or Michigan in the championship, I truly think that Michigan is the better team. Having said that, Florida had a slightly tougher schedule (maybe the toughest in the nation). I expect that Florida gets the nod, even though I bleed maize and blue. Again, the damned BCS leaves major doubts about the championship.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:19 PM on December 02

Wojciechowski: BCS System Needs Extreme Makeover

Spot on, Howard_T.

posted by ctal1999 at 08:29 PM on November 29

Wojciechowski: BCS System Needs Extreme Makeover

"Michigan had their chance"... and this invalidates the discussion about a playoff system why? Or could you just not resist an opportunity for a "Nyah! Nyah! Nyah! Nyah!" moment? USC may deserve a shot more than Michigan. Hell, some people think Florida is more deserving. The point is that with the BS ...er, BCS system, we'll never know, will we? BTW, the LAST person who wants to see a rematch is Tressle. Michigan tightens up the tackling and stops even one of those long runs (which they had the opportunity to do), and you're the one with a box of tissues. If you think for one minute that Jimmy wants a do over on that one, then you're the one that's delusional. In truth, I wouldn't be bothered by USC going even with a questionable loss. They were very impressive Saturday. The biggest reason I'm hoping for a rematch is the chance that all the yakkers like you may have to eat their words.

posted by ctal1999 at 05:50 PM on November 26

Wojciechowski: BCS System Needs Extreme Makeover

Howard_T, thanks for the back up. Makes sense to me. The only downside I see is that the participating schools would have to make allowances for players, student trainers, etc., to reschedule exams and the like. A pain? Sure, but considering the small number of schools involved and the huge paydays, I have to think they'd find it worth their while. SummersEve is right. The real reason there's not a playoff system is that the cash flow from the current bowl system is too comfy for the powers that be just the way things are.

posted by ctal1999 at 04:36 PM on November 26

Wojciechowski: BCS System Needs Extreme Makeover

A playoff system wouldn't need to eliminate the Wolverines. My contention has always been that you take the top 12 ranked teams. The top four get a bye in week one of the playoffs, which are the first week in December. Week two has four games, week three has two, and New years day sees the Big Daddy. Sure, there would be complaints about teams being ranked too low and not making it in, but how often do you think a team ranked #13 or lower is really the best team in the country? Under this system, an undefeated Rutgers gets in. A one loss Rutgers still has a shot. Heck, Boise State would have a chance of getting in (and does anyone really believe that they'd have a snowball's chance in hell of surviving this playoff?). As for the "Bowl" games, spread the playoff games around the usual bowl sites. The championship game still rotates between sites, every bowl game has championship ramifications, everyone gets to play at a neutral site, and you have a true national champion in the end.

posted by ctal1999 at 01:46 PM on November 26

Tom Izzo is being considered for the head football position at MSU.

On the surface, it sounds like a bad idea...but considering the success rate of established football coaches with the MSU program, he couldn't do much worse. Of course, all they'd really accomplish is bringing a quality basketball program down to the level of their underperforming football squad. The Spartans could be a Lions farm team. They get plenty of talent, but can't find a way to consistently do anything worthwhile with it.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:47 PM on November 21

The Road to Canton Does Not Pass Through Denver

Wow. I didn't realize that so many teams didn't have a single player in. With some of the newer teams, it's not that much of a surprise. It'll come. All the one hit wonders that are on the list are amazing to me though.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:35 AM on November 19

Bo Schembechler Dies on Eve of Michigan/Ohio State Game

Godzilla82, you're dealing in "what ifs" pretty badly there. I can just as easily say that if Michigan tightens up their tackling technique enough to stop either of those long TD runs for no gain,or even a loss (which they had the chance to do), you lose dude. Or if that helmet to helmet doesn't happen, drive over and you probaly lose, too. That helmet to helmet call was a good one, but it didn't appear to be intentional. They just came together at about the same level and banged heads. Either player bobs his head a little , or the tackler goes lower (as he should have since tackling high is usually the worst technique to use), and that penalty goes away. What if this tackler or that reciever didn't slip? What if the ref had seen that face mask? What if, what if...what if we give up on "knowing" what would have happened and focus on what did. What are almost certainly the two best teams in the country played a whale of a game that actually lived up to the hype. I'm a Michigan fan through and through, but I can recognize that OSU is an outstanding football team. OSU won Saturday. If the computers end up setting up a rematch, I wouldn't count on the same result, but I wouldn't be stupid enough to count it out either. I don't really expect a rematch, and I'm OK with that (things happen almost every year that knock a championship caliber team out of the playoffs in the NFL and there's very little carping that the Superbowl winner isn't the "real" champ). The Bucks are in the championship game, they deserve to be there, and they will likely win it no matter who they play...but I'd be willing to bet that Tressel doesn't want any part of replaying yesterday, especially away from the 'shoe.

posted by ctal1999 at 11:28 AM on November 19

Bo Schembechler Dies on Eve of Michigan/Ohio State Game

Oof. He always seemed indestuctible. He's had heart trouble since the '70's, but his attitude was always "Heart attack,Schmeart attack! I got things to do!". I saw him do an interview the other day and my first thought was that he looked worn out. Still, I didn't expect this. I've been looking forward to The Game all season. The increasing stakes have just made the anticipation more intense. Suddenly, it feels like tomorrow doesn't matter as much because something essential is missing... but if the boys from Ann Arbor step up and win this one, it'll be an emotional roller coaster of a day. It'll be bittersweet, but the emphasis will be on the "sweet" part. Tomorrow, Bo gets the best seat in the house. Go Blue! Make the big guy proud.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:32 PM on November 17

Knight: I didn't do anything wrong, would do it again

You're right about that VM. I probably took that reference a little too far, especially with the DR. Phil portion.

posted by ctal1999 at 09:06 PM on November 17

Knight: I didn't do anything wrong, would do it again

Venice, I wasn't putting down coaches who have a gentler approach than Knight when I compared them to Tony Robbins. Robbins has become filthy rich by motivating people, generally by positive reinforcement. His system works for a lot of people. Others don't respond to it at all. Still others are somewhere in the middle, and need an occasional kick in the pants to go along with the pats on the head. I don't think there's a coach out there that doesn't use some of both. Some use more carrot, others more stick. Kids who need structure and discipline tend to benefit from the more stick system. Without a doubt, that's what Knight provides, but there is a place for it and once the kids in his program start to see it paying dividends, they generally end up on board 100%.

posted by ctal1999 at 03:38 PM on November 16