etagloh's profile

etagloh
411
Member since: April 06, 2002
Last visit: April 14, 2014

etagloh has posted 49 links and 1438 comments to SportsFilter and 0 links and 1 comment to the Locker Room.

Recent Links

Trying their best to win at losing: Eight badminton players face disciplinary hearings for "not using one's best efforts to win a match" after two Olympic women's doubles matches where both pairs were very obviously playing to lose their final group matches in order to secure a better draw in the knockout round. This is the first Olympic tournament that's not been a pure knockout competition; it may be the last.

posted by etagloh to olympics at 01:53 AM on August 01 - 32 comments

"In the white spaces. I think about the silence at Lord's, and I understand. Test cricket is different from the rest of the world because it was designed to be." : Having travelled to India for the World Cup (as mentioned here), Wright Thompson visits the home of cricket and meditates on the nature of the Test match.

posted by etagloh to other at 07:18 PM on December 27 - 9 comments

Dan Wheldon Dies in 15-Car Crash at Las Vegas: Dan Wheldon died Sunday from injuries suffered in a 15-car wreck during lap 13 of an IndyCar race in Las Vegas. He was 33. Wheldon won this year's Indianapolis 500. "I've never seen anything like it," driver Ryan Briscoe said of the crash. "The debris we all had to drive through the lap later, it looked like a war scene from Terminator or something."

posted by etagloh to auto racing at 06:29 PM on October 16 - 28 comments

Argentine Soccer Giants Relegated: For the first time in their storied 110-year history, the Argentine soccer team River Plate has been relegated from the country's top division. They lost a promotion-relegation playoff against Belgrano de Cordoba in Buenos Aires. Despite the presence of 2,200 police at the match, violence erupted in the stands and spread into the streets, leaving 68 people injured, 50 arrested and 15 vehicles destroyed. The 3,000 traveling Cordoba fans were not able to leave the stadium for two hours.

posted by etagloh to soccer at 09:00 AM on June 27 - 3 comments

“He plays like a child enjoying the pasture, playing for the pleasure of playing, not the duty of winning.": That's the Uruguayan novelist Eduardo Galeano on Lionel Messi, who receives a long profile from the New York Times in advance of next Saturday's Champions League final.

posted by etagloh to soccer at 01:50 AM on May 22 - 7 comments

Recent Comments

Abby Wambach: Players Didn't Get Coach Fired

It's a weird situation to have a league that's very much an afterthought to the international setup and only just emerged (in semi-pro fashion) from the ashes of a failed league. You have players whose profile is defined by being in the national starting 11, no real benchmark for new selections other than international games, and not that many friendly matches.

US Soccer might want to focus on building a proper professional league for women first, and micromanaging the national team later.

posted by etagloh at 11:33 PM on April 11

In Fake Classes Scandal, UNC Fails Its Athletes—and Whistle-Blower

I do think that you can safely assume that every big time program has something in place to facilitate eligibility, and that something most likely falls along the continuum between outright fraud and bending the rules.

Past precedent suggests that the NCAA has thresholds of toleration for institutional-level shit, and only asserts itself when institutions start to get too cocky, and when there are no pending TV deal negotiations. That's to say, it's an entirely predictable hierarchy of power built upon preserving a billion-dollar product.

The linked piece gets to the heart of the collective self-delusion that sustains high-end college sports in the US: it is no longer possibly deploy the "but they get a scholarship" argument if colleges are not actually providing an education to large numbers of their "scholar-athletes".

If there were an obvious alternative arrangement that could preserve the rivalries, the local ties and the bullshit ethos, I'm sure that it might stand a chance. But there isn't an obvious arrangement, and the people who matter (i.e. those with the money) are largely not prepared to give up the spectacle and the bullshit.

posted by etagloh at 09:02 PM on March 05

How Cities Fared After the Olympics Left Town

I had to laugh at the Onion's (NSFW) video suggesting that Sochi would be turned into a resort where Russian oligarchs could take their prostitutes.

The interesting thing about Sochi is that the main stadium, which only hosted the opening and closing ceremony, was built with the intention of becoming a training facility and venue for the national football team.

Atlanta's venues were often arranged in a pretty crappy spread-out way, and I'm pretty sure it set a precedent for the IOC to demand something more coherent, even if that leaves the problem of what to do with venues afterward.

When I was in London last year, I headed out to the grotesque Westfield mall and got to see the park from the edge of the large fence surrounding it: it re-opened briefly later in the summer for a few events, but it's only going to be (somewhat) open again in April. That's a reminder of how the "legacy" requires a lot more work on top of everything done for the few weeks the Olympic roadshow is in town and access is eased by hundreds of volunteers.

posted by etagloh at 12:58 PM on February 25

Dutch Speedskating Coach No Fan of American Football

Here's the whole interview with CNBC, where you can see that he's yanking the interviewers' chains, given that the first question was about those bloody suits.

I'm going to focus on his point about 'a few lone wolves': as a rich country with a population of 300+ million, the US has enough sporting capability to compete at a high level with countries that focus on a much narrower range of sports, but there's a tacit assumption that raw talent plus a little bit of funding plus NBC's broadcast focus equals medals. Sometimes that happens and you'll see Americans representing an indifferent nation break the hearts of people who live and breathe and throw tons of investment into a sport. But not always.

Now, the counterargument would be that the foundation of American Olympic success is usually at the college level, where the 'foolish sports' subsidise everything else to some degree.

posted by etagloh at 05:38 PM on February 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

Here's a NYT piece on the question of participation in 2018 which notes that not only do the players want to go to Korea -- and the CBA gives them a role in the decision -- but NBC can also make fairly pointed suggestions as broadcast rights-holder.

Frankly, the Islanders' GM talking about refunds would be funny if it weren't sad, given the team's performance in recent history.

posted by etagloh at 09:38 AM on February 23

SportsFilter: The Saturday Huddle

The Tavares injury will go a long way to discouraging NHL participation in the Olympics.

Garth Snow's Olympic experience ended with fuck all, which is why he can huff and puff about how it should be an amateur competition. That horse, it has bolted. You might as well whine about the risk of playing outdoor games.

Let's revisit in four years' time. If it's still brewing, then somehow I don't think you'll see Finns and Swedes and Canadians responding particularly well to the suggestion they shouldn't travel to South Korea.

posted by etagloh at 05:29 PM on February 22

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

I do agree that EITHER of these games would have been a better gold medal game than whatever combination comes out of the semis.

Two potential classics instead of one. They won't have the intensity of the gold medal match in Vancouver, but that was never going to be replicated in Sochi because of the location.

Has anyone checked to see whether Finland has suffered a mysterious outage in its gas supply yet?

posted by etagloh at 09:13 PM on February 19

Missouri All-American Defensive Lineman Michael Sam Announces He Is Gay

It will be extremely interesting to see whether his draft status moves based on his courageous and financially risky decision to come out.

SI already has a lot of NFL personnel talking (without attribution) about how picking him would "chemically unbalance" a locker room, along with other nuggets that explain why they're without attribution.

This is the game changer for North American pro sports.

Up to a point. The SI quotes show that there was already a willingness to push him down to the lower rounds of the draft, and since it's pre-combine, it gives teams who aren't prepared to draft a player who is gay plenty of time to come up with a plausible sporting justification. If he goes undrafted, then there's also deniability in numbers.

It's a game changer to the extent that we don't know how many gay players were passed over by teams based upon stories from their campus. It's a game changer to the extent that it will put teams on the record (and off the record) regardless.

posted by etagloh at 11:28 PM on February 09

How to Watch the Olympics

It's the same thinking behind WatchESPN: streaming coverage is "earned" by paying the cable company for TV service. In 2012, I paid for a month of cable to earn the right to watch the NBC streams, and ended up watching the BBC instead through alternative arrangements.

The 9-12 hour timezone difference means that a lot of events happen overnight for US viewers, and I'd assume there'd be a small but decent audience for live coverage. But cable company relationships take precedence.

posted by etagloh at 03:57 PM on February 08

Seattle Wins Super Bowl 0x30

Grantland, on the impact of Wilson's rookie contract vs. Manning's free-agent deal: "Manning is probably a better quarterback than Wilson, but is Wilson plus $16.8 million worth of players better than Manning? On Sunday, he very much was."

posted by etagloh at 11:57 AM on February 03

Seattle Wins Super Bowl 0x30

Can't really overlook how Wilson played, though.

Wilson played a Bruno Mars kind of game: it was competent, professional and not especially memorable. And unless Chevy was going to hand out more of those grotesque trucks, they had to pick an individual for MVP.

posted by etagloh at 10:11 AM on February 03

Seattle Wins Super Bowl 0x30

#esuranceloseby35

posted by etagloh at 11:28 PM on February 02

Why Aren't More Americans Playing in Europe?

The section about scouting, agents and the successful Americans in Europe being late flourishers rings true: is a talented 16-year old going to close the door on a college scholarship in order to seek a professional club overseas, especially when European clubs are already sceptical about the US development model? The Red Bulls' GM wants a professional development league for 17- to 21-year-olds, which would be a direct competitor to the college route, but it would be a system that foreign teams understood and might be more willing to respect.

posted by etagloh at 09:18 PM on January 31

SportsFilter: The Wednesday Huddle

The Man Utd - Sunderland cup tie just ended with possibly the worst (and thus most hilarious) penalty shootout in the history of professional football.

posted by etagloh at 05:30 PM on January 22

SportsFilter: The Monday Huddle

Posnanski's commentary does not address the fact that 99% of all NFL players handle postgame on-the-field interviews without making an ass of themselves.

99% of all NFL players who do postgame on-the-field interviews are QBs (extra media training) and/or players who haven't come directly off a big play. When was the last time you saw a cornerback get the mic thrust in his face?

There are some weird expectations at work for people in those particular roles to switch from Berserker Mode to Interview Mode in fifteen seconds. I frankly want more berserkers.

posted by etagloh at 06:42 PM on January 20