Saban out-Sabaned himself. Which was nice. And that sort of works against Ohio State, as there's a chance to pick two teams without insufferable coaches.
But Auburn's home fans have had enough crazy finishes to cover the next decade.
posted by etagloh at 11:52 PM on November 30
It's daft, because surely one of FIFA's broader aims is to encourage large nations with lower-ranked sides to put on some decent matches to help build the game. If bigger teams don't want to play because it knackers their ratings, then those friendlies won't happen.
Netherlands-Indonesia was footballing diplomacy, reflecting the old colonial ties between the two countries, and the number of Dutch people of Indonesian ancestry (and, of course, a potentially lucrative market in SE Asia).
posted by etagloh at 06:46 PM on November 30
Was it a marginal call? Yeah. Will you see more marginal end zone calls that stand, especially if it benefits the home team? Yeah.
posted by etagloh at 11:30 PM on November 19
You'd expect Phoenix, as a pretty sprawly city, to fit the pattern here, but Chase Field is downtown (as is the US Airways Center) and both are on the light rail system, while the team operates shuttle coaches for people who are further out.
posted by etagloh at 01:57 AM on November 15
And just to underline that point, here's the chairman of the Cobb County GOP:
It is absolutely necessary the (transportation) solution is all about moving cars in and around Cobb and surrounding counties from our north and east where most Braves fans travel from, and not moving people into Cobb by rail from Atlanta.
posted by etagloh at 08:32 PM on November 12
I don't see why the Braves moving to the burbs is being treated like such a big deal
Read that Deadspin piece I linked. Take a look at the AJC's coverage -- and in particular, those who are cheering the move "out of the ghetto" vs those who want to rechristen the team the Cobb County Crackers. Yeah, that's the spirit of Dixie.
posted by etagloh at 07:39 PM on November 12
That entire segment of metro Atlanta between I-75 and I-85 north of I-285 is a mess, with interstate-level traffic on local roads connecting the "edge cities". Braves fans coming in from the north might have complained about traffic around Turner Field -- and the area around the stadium is not the theme park experience that's seemingly demanded these days.
East-west traffic in that area -- say, from Roswell or Alpharetta, which are deep red on the ticketing map -- is going to be ugly, and nothing that can be done by 2017 will change that.
Rembert Browne's piece on what it means for the actual city of Atlanta is well worth a read.
posted by etagloh at 09:48 PM on November 11
I wonder if part of this will be getting a MARTA line to the area.
No. Cobb County rejected being any part of MARTA from the outset, for depressingly familiar metro-Atlanta reasons, and metro Atlanta voted against a sales tax hike for transport improvements; And given the distribution of Braves ticket holders (north OTP) the idea of mass transit probably extends to shuttles from the other edge cities.
posted by etagloh at 04:36 PM on November 11
What a lot of condescending pish.
Remember that in American team sports, the championship trophy is typically given first to the gazillionaire owner, not the team captain. A bit like horse racing.
So this is the gazillionaire ownership group of the Red Sox being nice with the gazillionaire ownership group of the Cardinals, just so they can have something to chat about at the gazillionaire owners' banquet.
posted by etagloh at 01:22 PM on November 05
There's definitely less prevalence, so less experience and not the same kind of procedures in place. As often happens, it's reactive: I suspect that top league teams are now better prepared for a heart attack than a concussion. As that link mentions, most league clubs don't know the consensus guidelines on concussion, and most of those that do don't follow them.
Could the soccer powers actually allow an injured player to be withdrawn for treatment and evaluation and then be permitted to re-enter the game?
Allowing temporary replacements is something that FIFA, the confederations and the national associations have always shied away from, even as they've gradually increased the number of substitutes. Given that concussions are regarded as rarer than the blood rule, which already forces a player off the pitch, I can't see them making an exception there -- at least, not for a while.
In that context, there's the question of whether any evaluation could be done fast enough for the team's satisfaction, given that the clock is constantly running. There was a case in AFL this year when a player gave a half-time interview where he was obviously all over the place, but the trainer had given him a quick check and let him play on; had he not been on national television, he might have been sent out for the second half. And that was after the introduction of a "20-minute rule" for evaluation with a temporary replacement following a medical study on concussion in the sport.
It'll probably take a tragedy to get FIFA to change things across the game.
posted by etagloh at 12:16 AM on November 05
The stuff about rookies being used as ATMs by veterans is the most troubling part of the story.
You've got kids out of college getting decent money on a relatively short contract, regardless of the goodies that boosters might have shoved their way under the table. This might be their one shot as professionals, and they're being told that instead of using that salary to plan for the future, they need to be bankrolling the older players -- on higher NFL minimums -- because that's just what happens as part of the circle of life? Bollocks to that.
posted by etagloh at 02:07 PM on November 04
The strike zone is just a joke in this series, either way; the low or outside strike just comes and goes at the whim of an apparently insane umpire, mutating from inning to inning. We demand robot umpires!
Here's the pitch-by-pitch data from last night. The inside strike to lefties is where it's most marginal, but that map looks better than the outside strikes that appeared dodgy on the Fox tracker.
posted by etagloh at 03:44 PM on October 28
World Series amusement: FOX managed to miss the pickoff throw because its cameras were focused on a young blonde female Cardinals fan in the stands; the KMOX commentator (and Tim McCarver) questioned why Napoli was holding Wong at first base, only to eat their words.
posted by etagloh at 09:26 AM on October 28
The paying customers at Wembley have the advantage of not seeing many NFL games in the flesh, or in their timezone, but I think this one may only be enjoyable to people who have never seen the sport before. The people who got Pittsburgh-Minnesota tickets must be feeling pretty happy about their choice.
posted by etagloh at 02:22 PM on October 27
Heroic Cripple Allen Craig. How very bloody Cardinals.
posted by etagloh at 11:13 AM on October 27
The US women's bobsled team for Sochi? Mostly sprinters.
posted by etagloh at 01:52 PM on October 26
What's French for "it's just like watching FIFA 14"?
posted by etagloh at 04:30 PM on October 23
Gruden and Tirico called it a preseason game towards the end, and Gruden declared it over early on in the 4th quarter, once it became clear that Freeman was going to throw in the vague direction of a receiver for the rest of the game.
ESPN ought to get the league to reimburse them for that game.
posted by etagloh at 12:00 PM on October 22
ignoring that the Cubs went into a free-fall meltdown in the late innings, and they still had a Game 7 to redeem themselves.
Yep. I remember watching it live, as there was the prospect of a Cubs-Red Sox World Series, and the Cubs were bottling it before that moment, and they bottled Game 7. And if the majority of Cubs fans still blame the poor fucker and not the team that bottled it -- I say this as someone whose introduction to baseball was the '86 World Series -- then they can suffer a lot longer.
posted by etagloh at 10:19 PM on October 14
Anyone else hate the Cardinals?
Yeah, more or less. I'll give them Game 6 in 2011, because fuck the Rangers, but Magary highlights the bullshit midwestern piousness that sours them to me. And they usually manage to win in joyless ways.
Also, Tony LaRussa's whining still echoes.
posted by etagloh at 06:17 PM on October 12
Dallas has shown the NFL what it takes to (almost) beat Denver.
Denver reminded me of the Keegan-era Newcastle United, though: you can only go so far on 5-4 victories. The chasm between the LBs and safeties was jaw-dropping. I'm not saying that that padded Romo's numbers, but it felt like Denver was willing to give up (or simply unable to prevent) a lot of pass yardage in the middle of the field.
That Manning bootleg was unbelievably beautiful.
It was gloriously ridiculous. And the weird thing about it is that every D-line playing Denver this year will now have to second-guess it, because no way will he do it again, but you can't just assume that any more, because if you're the second D in a season to give it up, you have no excuse.
posted by etagloh at 11:39 PM on October 06
I am really glad that the umps okayed two players, one of whom isn't active, to do this.
Baseball seems to retain a sense of ritual about such things, even if these are personalised rituals that are coined at short notice. (Girardi's sketched-out plan to have him field at center then pitch is another one.)
They're a rare breed, the competitors who are loved by the home fans, feared by the away fans, and admired by both when they take their last bow.
posted by etagloh at 08:41 PM on September 27
"You suck, asshole", the American translation of "you're shit, aaaah", now considered harmful by MLS; the NYT does its delicate best not to spell it out.
posted by etagloh at 01:26 AM on September 20
It's not boxing if there's not at least a smidge of absurdity.
posted by etagloh at 03:21 PM on September 15
And wrestling's back in the lineup. There was some suspicion that it was dropped primarily in order to be reinstated in the autumn instead of adopting a new sport, which stiffs squash again (along with baseball/softball).
The writeup suggests that the federation didn't think its return was guaranteed, and made a lot of changes over the past year, both to its own hierarchy and the scoring system.
posted by etagloh at 12:21 PM on September 08
because they play it in and out of every break during a game on Fox Soccer.
And on every official CL broadcaster, I believe: definitely on the British channels. And on PES.
I always feel like a pint of Gazprom myself.
posted by etagloh at 01:22 AM on May 26
The story behind the bloody Champions League tune.
posted by etagloh at 10:20 PM on May 23
Appointing Moyes in his place removes both the first and third on the list of the Premier League's longest-surviving managers. Wenger goes top with 17 years, but there really aren't many managers with any longevity beneath him.
It feels like the appropriate choice, although it'll be a heartbreaker for Everton fans. Heck, I have friends who are Preston fans who still pined his move to Goodison back in 2002.
The Fergie Era warped time and space. Eric Cantona retired in 1997. I bet there are players on United's books now who weren't born then.
posted by etagloh at 11:19 PM on May 08
NBC should give up on the Premiership and just show the Championship - it's vastly more interesting.
I'm pretty sure it's the most competitive league division in Europe, in part because the competition is so desperate. As Mr B notes, a couple of months of bad results can take you from the top to the drop.
Right now, it's better to spread your ownership across Europe and take advantage of the looser loan classification, and adjust your squads based upon who's best set at mid-season. But how long, I wonder, before league rules are changed so that Premier League club owners can also have stakes in lower-league teams and use them as de facto reserve sides?
posted by etagloh at 01:19 PM on May 06
Will the quality of the game deteriorate?
Does that matter? Colleges still pack their stadiums and get massive TV deals. But by extension, does that change the calculation about the value of a college scholarship?
posted by etagloh at 11:12 PM on April 24
Man Utd clinch the title; RvP probably clinches goal of the season.
posted by etagloh at 07:02 PM on April 22
The Masters should move the green jacket ceremony outdoors so the fans at the tournament could share in the moment.
Yeah, right. If the Augusta National could keep the spectators out on the surrounding roads and still take their money, they'd do that instead.
posted by etagloh at 12:59 AM on April 15
This would seem to suggest that the rules are either very complicated, not well explained, or simply so numerous that it's hard to keep track of all of them.
Golf: the US tax code of sports.
posted by etagloh at 12:17 AM on April 14
Thatcher was inclined to support the "membership" scheme that would have forced football fans to carry special ID cards. Hillsborough changed all that; the families still want to know her precise role in the govt/police/press nexus that blamed that disaster on supporters.
posted by etagloh at 03:48 PM on April 08
101GreatGoals, better known for its not-quite-kosher goal videos, has a piece on the relationship between Liverpool FC and Margaret Thatcher.
No minute's silence in Manchester tonight for United vs City, either.
posted by etagloh at 01:35 PM on April 08
Why Rugby League is looking more like the NFL
That's one reason why I've tired of RL over the past few years, especially in its antipodean incarnation. If you look at the clips of Eddie Waring commentating on Wakefield vs Hull Kingston Rovers, you'll see a very different game from NRL.
posted by etagloh at 01:23 PM on April 08
It's a matter of degrees - $50-100,000 a year in tuition, room and board might seem like a lot except when you look at the sheer volume of revenue being generated by their activity.
"Shaq is rich. The white man who signs his check is wealthy."
The system persists because enough people first and foremost enjoy the myth of the true amateur, the scholar-athlete, and the transformative coach; as a result, they accept the "traditional answer" about scholarships because that perpetuates the myth. The mythology precedes the rationalisation, as it has done throughout the history of formalised amateurism in sport.
posted by etagloh at 12:32 AM on April 03
Bit snowy in Denver, then. Twitter collectively noted that the Nike hi-vis ball did not exactly live up to its name.
posted by etagloh at 02:18 AM on March 23
"A dingo ate my homework!" The cricketing bit of Twitter has been laughing about this all day. I especially liked the wag who said that Ed Cowan's submission had footnotes and a bibliography.
On the other side of the argument, Brydon Coverdale makes the case that the players deserve their fate. But it still feels like pretty ropey sports psychology.
posted by etagloh at 09:06 PM on March 11
And for those interested in the sharp-toothed pitch invader, it was a Beech Marten, which is significantly larger than your average mustelid. They apparently have a reputation in Germany for eating cars -- specifically, hoses and other rubber/plastic bits.
posted by etagloh at 04:52 PM on March 11
NASCAR is busily pulling fan videos of the crash that were uploaded to YouTube; they have a copyright claim on fan footage as part of the conditions of entry, but it comes across as knee-jerk suppression of a news event, not a sporting event. ESPN apparently didn't do any of its own reporting at the end of the race, and instead interviewed drivers about the race while "waiting for word from NASCAR."
posted by etagloh at 07:39 PM on February 23
I think we may be approaching the 40th anniversary of that projection
Lots of things that are tangentially related to the game have to change first, particularly the development system. It's been mentioned here and elsewhere before, but big league US sport is set up to identify talent at high school, develop it at college (or in baseball, the minors) and dish out pro contracts to 20-year-olds after the NCAA has taken its cut. That's too late for soccer, which is one reason why Klinsmann has brought German-born players into the national squad.
The infrastructure to get talented kids into academy systems is growing, but the relatively small professional base can only stretch so far, even with the assistance of the world's scouts. It's a fair guess that the US has 2026 World Cup-winning talent in suburban U-10 rec leagues right now, getting bored and disillusioned because there's not a well-defined path to higher-level play for them or for their parents.
posted by etagloh at 06:52 PM on February 17
One Afrikaans paper reported that Steenkamp's body was found in the bathroom and the shots had been fired through the bathroom door; no official confirmation of that, though.
posted by etagloh at 02:20 PM on February 15
Combined baseball and softball bid?
The IOC is bad at lots of things, but it's less bad at promoting gender balance, hence the combined bid by the two federations. I don't think Americans are much fussed about their presence or absence, either.
posted by etagloh at 02:29 AM on February 14
I don't get what the limiting factor is; is there some law about how long the Olympics can run for?
The 16 days between Friday night opening and Sunday night closing are pretty much locked in these days, but football group matches and archery ranking rounds precede the opening ceremony.
To complicate the politics even further, Istanbul is bidding for the 2020 games, although Tokyo is currently considered the favourite. To place in jeopardy the presence of a top event for a potential host city seems more than coincidental to me. Then again, the Telegraph writeup talks about perceived issues with TV appeal, but it also suggests that wrestling didn't conduct an "effective lobbying campaign", which sounds like IOC-code for something that rhymes with "tribes".
I like the "pinnacle achievement" formula (and I've heard it before) but don't mind the football competition on the men's side, because it fits into the FIFA youth championship system, and if you have a men's competition, you need a women's one too, even if you can't make it a U23+ringers tournament. For tennis and golf, though, it's just another tour week.
posted by etagloh at 07:28 PM on February 12
some Baltic-area nations (Turkey (28 of their 39 gold medals), Hungary, Bulgaria (their top sport), Romania).
ITYM Balkan. The wrestling belt runs from the Black Sea to the Caspian, with the US, Cuba and Korea as odd outposts. Perhaps it's just enough votes to keep out the squash advocates.
posted by etagloh at 02:53 PM on February 12
I kind of got into Modern Pentathlon at the London Games (#JJGo) so I'm glad to see it's still around, but for me there is not a more Olympic-y sport than wrestling.
ModPent is sort of easy to organise, as it's now done during the final weekend when everything is winding down, and re-uses existing facilities. (There was a good turnout in London, especially for the Comedy Horse Lottery in association with Findus.)
On the other hand, wrestling basically needs a general-purpose arena and a matted floor, so it can re-use the facilities devoted to judo and taekwondo, which is what happened in London. So my guess is that it's more to do with IOC-federation politics than anything else.
Maybe the IOC didn't like any of the other sports applying for bids
That sounds about right, since it's now one of those eight that gets chosen later in the year. It's an easy way to once again stiff squash, which admittedly has technical issues with the facilities, but has by far the best claim of the seven candidates. It's the equivalent of Heinz announcing that it'll discontinue its salad cream, basking in the brand promotion that ensues, then saying that they'll keep it around.
posted by etagloh at 02:03 PM on February 12
Obligatory Mawkish Beer-Horse beat Overblown Patriotism From Italian-Owned Auto Company?
posted by etagloh at 04:39 PM on February 04
Me neither, though I hope that this inspires every ball boy at every Chelsea away game. And I'm pretty sure that the terrace composers are already at work.
posted by etagloh at 07:41 PM on January 24
So the "ball boy" was deliberately stopping the player from getting the ball, by initially holding it and then laying down on it?
If only professional football matches had multiple balls on the touchline to keep the game flowing...
posted by etagloh at 11:41 PM on January 23
Eden Hazard just got sent off for kicking a Swansea ballboy who wouldn't give him the ball back fast enough. That's a first.
posted by etagloh at 04:28 PM on January 23
The Puppy Bowl just became a viewing option.
posted by etagloh at 12:23 AM on January 21
Wouldn't it make more sense to have the outdoor game played earlier, with some daylight?
Not if you want to raise the odds of a suitably wintry setting for the outdoor game.
posted by etagloh at 04:25 PM on January 20
Me in 2004
I've put a little mea in my culpa since then, thanks to reading a lot more about the bike culture of the late 90s, as the omerta has gradually been chipped away and the early whistleblowers have been vindicated. Simeoni doesn't need my apology, but he has earned some (non-wage-earning) satisfaction.
all are to me just ways in which science and biotechnology are making it possible for elite athletes to stay at their level for longer
Except that they're also making it possible for aspiring elite athletes to drop dead, something which you apparently refuse to acknowledge, conflating "science and biotechnology" with folk medicine and "if this works, take twice as much and see if it works twice as well".
posted by etagloh at 12:17 AM on January 19
Such a designer gloves, lime green cleats and featherwinged shoulder pads kind of place.
Don't forget the warm-hearted, tolerant and patient fan base.
posted by etagloh at 03:03 PM on January 16
as the coach and his attorney calmly tick off the extra millions in contractual championship bonus money that keeps rolling in.
And the academic departments once again contemplate what it is to be subsidiaries of a sporting franchise.
posted by etagloh at 04:24 PM on January 08
Maybe the SEC Championship should be considered the national title game until another program or conference can hang with their best.
I like the idea of having two title games: the SEC Championship and a matchup between two non-SEC teams, and never the twain shall meet. That way everyone can sustain the oneupmanship right through until the start of the next season.
(Remember, the arguments are features, not bugs.)
posted by etagloh at 12:36 AM on January 08
My broader point is that for every non-scrambling Hall of Fame QB, there are a handful of pretty decent pocket-passers who have had the bejimminies knocked out of them, which is one reason why they're not ranked alongside those non-scrambling HoF QBs. It just feels like there's a certain amount of confirmation bias here.
posted by etagloh at 10:02 PM on January 07
Seems there may be a reason Marino, Manning, and some of the QBs who rarely subject themselves to such punishment can play into their late 30s.
Well, one reason on the part of Marino was his skill at being born in 1961, which meant he didn't have to face modern Ds that are significantly bigger and faster.
posted by etagloh at 07:34 PM on January 07
By the fourth quarter, I was rooting for Seattle so that Griffin could get some rehab. There's already too much mythology in the NFL about playing through pain.
posted by etagloh at 12:38 PM on January 07
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