Saturday, April 30, 2011

Saturday's "I just feel like I should post something" Post...

This blog gets kind of neglected from time to time, which can happen when you're me and you have 83 zillion blogs and also when you're me and you have kids that need a lot of attention, and also when you're me and for the past few weeks you've been struggling with something that started out kind of seeming like you'd had a heart attack and which now the doctors seem to think is just asthma, which is crazy, because it's not like asthma at all, but that's what they seem to have settled on, but they're probably wrong and in any event, it leaves me kind of tired...

... but it shouldn't be neglected because I have lots of sportsy-type thoughts all the time, even though I don't always get to them. In fact, I keep track of my sports-ish thoughts on a little notepad app on my phone, where I "jot" down ideas for posts and then never get around to posting about those things because (a) I think it's important to not just say "here's a bunch of stuff I noticed" and (b) did you already forget that whole paragraph introducing this post? I've got a lot of reasons, remember, why I don't get around to posting stuff here.

So here's what I'm going to do: Every Saturday, I'm just going to go ahead and post all the stuff that's on my little app-pad (which is an application I downloaded that lets me make notes on my smart phone, thereby justifying my writing off the entire cost of the smartphone on my taxes, I hope) and maybe make some comments about the stuff along the way.

Here's what's on the phone now, in order, and exactly as I wrote the notes, plus my thoughts on them now.

Eva Styrofoam head: This was a note I made after hearing some guys on a sports talk show -- probably The Dan Patrick Show, but who knows? -- talk about how some team or other was teasing Tony Parker by holding up a giant styrofoam bust of Eva Longoria. The sports-guys were debating whether that was going too far, whereas I thought that perhaps the topic of conversation should be 1. That's really pretty impressive given that most sports fans express their support for their team through creatively spilling beer on the people around them, and 2. Was it a reasonably good likeness of Eva Longoria, thereby making it more impressive?

And, having now checked it out, it is a pretty good likeness, but my reporting/listening skills are somewhat limited in that it's not a styrofoam head.

Still, it's pretty good.

F.L.W. DP Show 4 27: Favre didn't help him about a_rodg. This rather cryptic note should be read as "Favre Legacy Watch, The Dan Patrick Show, April 27, on which Dan Patrick talked about whether a quarterback is better off going to a team to learn behind a great QB or just being thrown into the mix, and he brought up The Anointed One, Aaron Rodgers, and pointed out that Favre never helped A-Rodg much. I thought about putting it in as a separate post on Brett Favre's Legacy Update but having just done one of those that very morning, it seemed a bit much, so I postponed it and then it felt dated.

You know what'd be awesome? If Brett Favre talked about Star Wars, so I could just have one big mash-up post.

And having thought that, I went to see if that had ever happened -- I'm sure Brett Favre must have talked about Star Wars at some point, right? And I instead found a link to something that promised a Packers-Star Wars mashup but which I could never get to load, which is proof that Packer fans are still stupid.

16 On A Par 4: This refers to the worst score ever by a pro on a PGA tour, a stat I heard on the radio recently and thought "That'd probably make a good post topic," but then, it never did, did it? Still, the idea of the worst score ever by a PGA pro on a single hole hung around as something I thought I should write about.

The score was "achieved" by Kevin Na, and you can go read about it here, but why bother? As it turns out, it's not actually the worst score ever on a PGA hole. It's just the worst score on a par 4. That same story notes that the worst score ever, period, is an 18 on a par 5 by John Daly.

So this has been one big letdown.

Tiger slept with 120 women. Yeah, I know, this should have been a post, right? It's got everything a good sports story needs: an athlete, and 120 women having sex with that athlete.

But I never got around to talking about it because I didn't have much to say about it, and because it's not clear whether it's 120 or 121 women and I am a stickler for accuracy on stories like this, and because Tiger mostly sleeps with women who look like this:

Or who are Leeann Rimes, so either way, the story isn't one I like to think about much.

LeBron animated: This was a note I made at the start of the NBA Playoffs (which technically began in 1822) after some guys on sports radio talked about whether LeBron James should be concentrating on the playoffs rather than on an animated series he was making:

because sports talk radio hosts are under the impression that cartoons are filmed live. There are lots of reasons that LeBron won't win an NBA title in his career, but devoting time to a destined-to-be shortlived cartoon is not one of them.

Oldest Marathoner Hawaii: My thoughts on what actually constitutes "finishing" a marathon are well-known. What is less-well-known are my thoughts on "News stories about old people doing things that are out of character for old people."

My thoughts on such stories are:

I find them annoying.

Great for you, Old People, I think to myself when George Bush the Elder goes skydiving, or I see that annoying old man drumming in what I think is a commercial for a bank, or the local senior citizens have a beauty pageant that Channel 27 reports on. Great for you. Now leave me alone and let me quit hearing about Old People.

I don't expect that I will change those thoughts when I'm old, either. When I'm old(er) I expect that I will still find (other) Old People Doing Uncharacteristic Things to be annoying, and I will probably tell the man down the hall to quit doing whatever it is he's doing that's intended to prove that Old People are just as capable as everyone else. (Probably hang gliding. That seems like it would be particularly annoying for an Old Person to do.)

So I don't find it inspiring when a 92-year-old woman finishes a marathon, and I find it even less inspiring when that woman finishes in nearly 10 hours and is still lauded for having finished.

I almost typed that I don't mean to take away from her accomplishment, but I guess there's no way around it: I do mean to take away from her accomplishment, and I can't help it. I guess it's kind of impressive that a 92-year-old woman could walk for 10 hours straight, but that's not exactly the kind of thing that should make the news or be celebrated as an achievement, should it? And yet, it does make the news, because the news has a special category for Old People Doing Uncharacteristic Things, the reporting of which just prompts more Old People to do even MORE Uncharacteristic Things, in a neverending cycle.

If the news would quit reporting on them (and if banking commercials quit putting them into their commercials playing the drums, and such)(playing the drums is also annoying, independently) then Old People could go on doing their Uncharacteristic Things and they would (presumably) be happy, while I could avoid hearing about them, so I would (presumably) be happy.

Also, I'm against World Records that aren't, really. It's getting so that EVERYTHING is a World Record. I mean, what's next, the Oldest Fattest Person To Finish a Marathon? And then the Oldest Fattest Person To TRY To Finish a Marathon?

Actually, I hope that last one becomes a category, because I'm pretty sure I could at least be competitive in that area.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Thursday's Sporting List: We're Number Ones?

UPDATE: Rogue Mutt's comment made me realize I'd forgotten the most important feature of any post. Hence, the Hot Weather Girl, who will now be the symbol of Thursday's Sporting List.

Thursday's Sporting List is a new weekly feature here on NC! Hopefully, I will remember that it's a new weekly feature and will continue to post it. But if not, hey, the blog is free. What are you expecting?

Draft "Analyst" Mel Kiper, who I won't say got paid to hype certain draft prospects (but who Josh Luchs will) invented himself a job by deciding to make the NFL Draft (which maybe starts tonight, God and the Courts willing) a big thing and then by convincing people he was the best man to talk about the Draft. That led to ESPN's Todd McShay inventing himself a job by doing what Kiper did... and so on.

To get a flavor for how easy it is to be a "draft analyst," I've put together the first Thursday's sporting list, which presents:

Mel Kiper's 2011 NFL Draft Number One Picks:
Here are each of the players that Mel Kiper has said, over the past few months, will be the number one overall selection in the NFL Draft.

1. Andrew Luck, Stanford QB (Dec. 14, 2010.)
2. Cam Newton, admitted felon. (April 27, 2011.)
3. Nick Fairley, DT (Jan. 19, 2011.)
4. Blaine Gabbert, ? (March 19, 2011.)

And those were just the ones I could find in the 10 minutes before I had to go get the kids ready for school.

Poll Results: College football fans vote about as often as college football players go to college.

Low turnout on whether or not college football players should be paid:

Yes got 50% of the vote... with two.
No got 25% of the vote... with one.
Don't Care got none % of the vote... with none.

And If you Don't Care Why Did You Take The Poll got one. I like whoever checked that box the best.

Other Poll Results here

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The First Installment of Brett Favre's Legacy Update!

Brett Favre's Legacy Update is a new feature that monitors the ongoing legacy of the Greatest Football Player Ever*

*Brett Favre.
Didn't you get that? seeing what popular culture says about him. Will Brett go down as the Iron Man who played well at age 40, won a Super Bowl, and inspired a generation of Packer fans to burn him in effigy in return?

Or will he be remembered for ... um... something else?

The first installment? On NPR's Wait, Wait Don't Tell Me, April 23 2010 episode, a question about an NFL executive downing a quarterback prospect because the prospect has red hair led to Mo Rocca asking the host "Doesn't Brett Favre have red hair?"

To which the host, Peter Sagal, replied:

"Let me check -- I'm just getting a text from him."
NPR has had some fun with Favre before -- a prior show claimed that the NFL instituted the lockout to keep Favre from coming back yet again.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Today, I go in search of... Sports That Have Yet To Exist!

I'm actually quite busy this week in my "real" "job," so I don't know why I'm taking time out of doing actual work that actually pays me and lets me actually live in a house and support my family...

... but there you go; I just took a little break to eat lunch and began thinking, as I read the news. Specifically what I was thinking was "I wonder if anyone ever thought to turn video games into real-life sports?"

Not Wii-type real-life sports: standing and mimicking bowling isn't actually bowling. ("Actually bowling" involves more sitting than actual activity, you know.) I mean taking classic video games and turning them into real-life activities.

And because I'm still thinking about Pac Man, I decided to see if anyone had ever said "Hey, let's go play a real life game of Pac Man."

It turns out they kind of did, years ago:

As a child, Adrian David Cheok played his fair share of "Pac-Man," steering the hungry yellow sphere through mazes, vicariously eating dots and gobbling ghosts. But only recently has he been able to see the world through Pac-Man's eyes.

Cheok, a scientist from Singapore, has created "Human Pacman," an experimental video game that uses a backpack computer and special goggles to present users a view of the real world that is augmented with floating, virtual Pac-Man pellets. It turns players into Pac-Man and an ordinary sidewalk into part of a video game maze.

Conceived more than two years ago, and refined several times since by Mixed Reality Lab, the game will be on display in Chicago at this weekend's Wired NextFest, an annual festival focused on the futuristic. It will go on display alongside other experimental games such as "Kick Ass Kung Fu," a game that puts players inside a martial arts video game environment, and "Brainball," which straps players to a monitor that rewards whichever player is less stressed.

That's from an MTV news story dated June 23, 2005, and it's a great idea: kids can still play video games, but they've got to get up and move around.

So what happened? I went searching for "Human Pac Man Game" and found... nothing. Or almost nothing. Here are some people who played a "Life Size" game of Pac Man:

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

And this video which talked more about the "Human Pac Man" game:

But nothing that says that this is actually a thing, now, and why not? Why isn't there a version of this that can be played with bikes, or on playgrounds? Why don't we have whole sports leagues based around classic videogames?

Come on, world. We're going to need something to replace football.

Maybe the problems is that the original inventor got too distracted by what can only be summed up as the least essential invention ever. That article goes on to say:

At Cheok's Singapore lab, the focus on Pac-Man is likely at its end. His team is developing a wide array of projects, including a high-tech jacket for pet chickens that allows a distant owner to "touch" it through the Internet.

I'd go and see if that's available, but then I'd have to weep for humanity.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

When will "science" get around to figuring out something important, like how to meet the girl in the picture?

Most people think being a sports writer or sports talk-show host would be a dream job, but they haven't considered the downside(s) to such a job, like "You have to probably make small talk with Colin Cowherd about his television pilot" or "Isn't there a lot of standing in locker rooms with sweaty guys?"*

*May not actually be a downside to some of you readers. But not all of those guys look like Mark Sanchez, remember.
If you like the idea of a job that combines never having anything more serious to do than, say, asking jocks dumb questions and video golfing with a complete lack of any social significance or responsibility, but don't like the idea of standing around a sweaty, naked Colin Cowherd**

**I had to do something to get you to stop thinking about Naked Mark Sanchez, and that was it.

Then maybe consider sports "scientist" a potential career. No, not the kind of scientist that studies, say, how to create a concussion-proof helmet like the kind Aaron Rodgers wears but won't tell kids about because while he doesn't want concussions, he doesn't particularly care if anyone else gets them, because that kind of scientist [sans air quotes] has to produce results.

Instead, consider being the kind of "scientist" who studies, say, whether sliding into first base is a good idea.

I heard a snippet of this on The Dan Patrick Show yesterday, and looked into it further, and there really is such a person, or group, dedicated to using "science" to study things that don't really matter. From the site

The age old debate that has lasted since the days of little league has been "which is more efficient, running or sliding into first base?" .... Sports Science wants to put the debate to rest and set up an experiment to hopefully close the case on this age-old argument. They started off by constructing a base area complete with the same dirt used at Yankee and Dodger Stadium while having a college baseball player run as fast as 18mph into the base to test each theory. Velocity, deceleration and kinetic forces were all factors in the experiment.

The "study" ended up showing that there's a ten-millisecond difference in time between the two, and on that basis, the "scientists" concluded that running into first base rather than sliding is the better of the two options, because 10 milliseconds equates to a difference in space of about "the size of a baseball."

Unfortunately for "sports scientists", REAL science also must weigh in, and point out that:

(a) Their study showed a time difference only for one player, that college baseball player in the study. Other runners who might be faster or slower, bigger or smaller, would show larger or smaller differences in the time elapsed, so what they really proved is that that one guy should always run through first.

(b) Their study didn't in any way relate to real baseball, where a runner wouldn't just start on a gun but would have to swing at a pitch, hit the ball, and then start running -- so their study proved only that that one guy should always run through first rather than sliding only when he gets up to the plate and somehow advances without having to wait for a pitch.

(c) REAL scientists have proven that your sense of time elapsing varies based on the effects around you -- including noise. Another study has concluded that the eye requires 0.1 seconds to detect one flash of light after another -- so there's no way a human eye could detect the difference in time between sliding headfirst and running through the base; if less than 0.1 seconds passes between when the umpire sees you touch the plate and the ball hit the glove, he'll conclude that they happened simultaneously. It's even worse if the umpire simply listens for the ball hitting the glove while watching the bag: nerve impulses from the ear to the brain (the sound of the ball hitting the glove) can move as little as 3 feet per second, or only 2 miles per hour.

In other words, the study proved nothing. But the "scientists" got paid and nobody had to have anything to do with Colin Cowherd, so it's win-win.

If you'd like to see the experiment yourself, there's a video, too -- after all, "science" shouldn't just be for people who can read and write; it should include those of us who only learn by watching stuff on TV.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

But Is It A Sport? Fishing.

But Is It A Sport? asks the question people are afraid to ask of themselves: Is what I'm doing really a sport? And although the Masters Tournament and the warm weather usually heralds the start of golf, the start of the warm weather is also the start of fishing season, and since NC! already investigated the sportsiness (or lack thereof) of golf, I now turn my attention to the 133rd most popular pastime in America, fishing!

Or, if you must, fishin' !

And ask: But is it a sport? Let's find out.

The Basics: Fishing seems pretty simple: You take a pole, and a line, and a hook, and some bait. You throw most of that into the water and hold on to the part you didn't throw in, and see whether anything living under the water is remotely interested in eating anything you threw in.

But, as with many activities (rocket science, dating), humans have made fishing more complicated, primarily by having tournaments that have created the occupation of professional fisherman, which makes me wonder if you're a professional fisherman, what bumper stickers do you put on your car? People who work in offices put on I'd Rather Be Fishing bumper stickers-- at least, those who would rather be fishing do -- or I'd Rather Be Doing This Or That Or The Other Thing, including sometimes this:

I don't even know what that
is. At first, I thought it was riding a tricycle, but then I noticed the hang-glider-y silhouette, and thought I should go look it up and see whether triking was some form of hang-gliding but then I got distracted by wondering whether there are any I'd Rather Be Riding A Tricycle bumper stickers, and it turns out that there are not, if my scientific survey* can be trusted.

*I googled that phrase and then looked at a page or two of pictures
And you know you can trust science, because science is made up of the kind of people who keep stockpiles of smallpox around for no discernible reason other than to make sure that we never, ever defund their labs.

In case you're wondering, there also is no I'd Rather Be Stockpiling Smallpox bumper sticker on the market, so there's an opportunity for you aspiring bumper sticker moguls out there.

Where was I? Oh, yeah-- fishing.

The Big Names:
As I mentioned, there are professional fishermen (and I'm using fishermen in the sense that all appelations of that sort should be used: generically. I've never understood the argument over whether people were waiters or waitresses, or actors or actresses, or congressmen or loony-bin-escapees who are coasting on racist Tea Party members eating up her deranged rhetoric, when it's obvious to me that an actor is someone who acts and so forth. So when I say fishermen I'm using men in the generic sense of people and women who fish are fishermen, and if you don't like it, then, tough, you should've brought up your objection when language was invented, which happened in the 1850s**

**I have it on good authority from Michele Bachman that the Founding Fathers invented the English language specifically as a way to fight slavery, which they did riding on dinosaurs that co-existed with humans because the world was created 200 years ago, as specifically shown by the 28th amendment, which is also the one that proves Barack Obama is a citizen of every country except the US.***

*** That paragraph is taken verbatim from Bachman's stump speech.

The problem with me writing about "The Big Names" in fishermanning is that I only know of two fishermen, and one of them doesn't have a name, and the other I think might be dead.

The two fishermen I know are: (1) Babe Winkelman, who I'm 100% sure was a fisherman but who I'm also 70% sure is dead, and (2) the old man in The Old Man And The Sea, the Hemingway novel I was supposed to read in high school, but didn't, and then finally read six years ago when our oldest daughter ("Oldest") was reading it in school and commented that it "wasn't bad," and I, in a fit of parenting, decided to encourage her apparent interest in reading, and decided that I would read it, too, so that we could discuss it. So I read The Old Man And The Sea, and I liked it, too, but by the time I tried to talk to Oldest about it, she had moved on to only paying attention to Laguna Beach type shows.

I'm reasonably sure she also never read another book after that, so my parenting may have backfired.

In the interest of presenting some actual facts to you, though, I again engaged in some science and googled the phrase "most famous fisherman," where I found that the top result -- the only result that matters -- is a link to "Fishing With Roland Martin," a site about Roland Martin, who I'm 85% sure is a fisherman. That site has a video embedded in it that plays stirring music of the sort that typically plays in the background of mid-grade television shows. It's stock music, is what it is, like stock photos, and it occurs to me, as I write that, that there is probably quite a bit of money to be made in creating stock music.

After all, if Americans spend a minimum of $245 million per year on stock photos -- which they do-- think how much money they would spend for a stock song, a little jingle or ditty that would play over credits or on your website or when you entered a room at a business meeting. Probably, they'd pay a lot. Americans are stupid that way.****

****And in other ways. We're engaged in a debate right now about whether to shut down the federal government because the two major parties can't agree on whether we have to cut a lot of money, or even more than a lot of money, out of the budget, as both sides pretend that there isn't enough money to fund basic services like not letting people die in the streets, and yet nobody bothers to mention that we live in a country where we have so much discretionary money we can spend $245 million a year-- or $466 per minute -- on stock photos of people cutting lettuce?*****
*****Yes, you read that right: $466 per minute. While you read this, Americans spent $900 on photos like this.

Roland Martin's website says this about him:

Roland Martin's extensive Professional Tournament Angler career includes 20 first-place finishes, 19 second-place finishes, 24 appearances in the BASS Master Classic, and 9 time B.A.S.S. Angler of the Year title. He was inducted into the IGFA, National Fishing, and the Professional Bass Fishing Hall of Fame.

Which tells me -- try to follow my deductive reasoning here -- that there is an "IGFA" and that it has a Hall of Fame, so on to that we go!

The IGFA is the International Game Fish Association, and its website has everything from a pro fishing app -- it seems to me that if I was to go fishing, I'd have to have a smart phone with me to pass the time, but it seems to me that if I was fishing, and passing the time looking at an app about fishing that I'd be caught in some sort of redundant space-time loop that might lead to the destruction of the universe, or me being my own grandfather, or Michele Bachman getting elected, so I'd suggest that nobody buy that app -- and the site also has breaking news and the Hall Of Fame, which has royalty in it, specifically "Lord Robert S. S. Baden-Powell."

The site notes that Lord Robert S.S. Baden-Powell is in the Hall of Fame for this:

History books recognize Lord Robert Baden-Powell for his military genius during the Boer Wars. But to millions of people the Baden-Powell name is synonymous with the Boy Scouts, for he is the man credited with founding that worldwide movement in 1908....

That doesn't seem enough to get into a fishing Hall of Fame, but wait: there's more:

....Throughout his life Baden-Powell was a passionate fly fisherman. He practiced catch-and-release fishing nearly 50 years before it became widely accepted and, as is obvious from his writings, was a true believer in angling’s powers of healing and the rejuvenating effects of time spent on the water. He traveled extensively, first in the military and later as Chief Scout. And everywhere he went, he fished. Lord Baden-Powell passed along these intense feelings about fishing in the Fishes and Fishing chapter of Scouting for Boys: “Every Scout ought to be able to fish in order to get food for himself” …

So, basically, he fished a lot, and also founded the Scouts. Good enough for me. Let's move on.

Is It On TV? Any sport worth its salt is on TV, and some sports that aren't worth their salt. (I'm looking at you, NASCAR.)(But not literally, as I never watch NASCAR.). Fishing, as I recall, is generally on TV on stations nobody watches, and at times that nobody is watching TV; I distinctly recall there being a lot of fishing shows on TV, when I was a kid, on Sunday mornings -- fishing shows replacing cartoons, and because of that we were generally reduced, on Sunday mornings, to either going to church, or watching fishing shows, or watching Davey & Goliath:

Because there was no way we were going to go outside and get some fresh air and exercise unless and until our mom and dad made us.

I never watched the fishing shows, though.

Nowadays, though any major sport has to at some point be televised on ESPN; if you can't compete for a time slot with the spelling bee, then you can't consider yourself a sport, can you?

(That's a rhetorical question.)

ESPN does broadcast, on ESPN2, fishing -- coming on April 10, they'll show the "Bass Citrus Slam" from Florida. So fishing is on TV, even if nobody is watching it.

Is the Scoring Objective: If there's no objective way to win, it can't be a sport. Real sports don't depend on subjective impressions; when's the last time you asked a judge whether someone ran a 100 yard dash with enough style to win? To call yourself a sport, you've got to have clear winners and losers.

Fishing would seem objective: weigh the fish and see who caught the biggest, or longest, or however they measure it, fish. And yet... there's controversy.

Back in 2006, speculation ran rampant about potential cheating at the Montauk Shark Fishing Tournament. The talk centered on Joe Gaviola, who'd won 3 of 4 prior tournaments, and who himself said that if he won in 2007, he'd suspect himself of cheating. He apparently didn't win in 2007, according to this rather hard-to-understand blog, which also noted that at the time there was a "fair amount of fish in the rips."

I don't know what that means.

The other controversy I know about in fishing came in the Brooklyn Fishing Derby, which is a thing; a while back, The New Yorker detailed a claim that one guy had cheated by pre-catching a fish. You can't read the story online, so you'll have to take my word for it.

But the bottom line is that cheating is pervasive in professional fishing, making fishing only slightly more credible than professional wrestling, and that's saying something, because professional wrestling has this:

You know, while we all laugh at her and/or despair of civilization because we know who she is, Snooki got paid $32,000 to speak at Rutgers. How much did you get paid to speak at Rutgers?

Does It Involve Physical Exertion? Judging by The Old Man And The Sea, yes. That guy had the worst time getting that fish back to shore. Judging by this:

No, there's no physical exertion involved. But there are RC helicopters, and isn't that enough? It is for me.

Apparently, though, that's not enough for some people as the explanation for that video notes that RC Heli-fishing, too, is fraught with controversy:

For you skeptics who say the fish was dead, I assure you it wasn't dead.

That said, I still risked my E-Flite Blade 400 for some entertainment for you
(I used 3 batteries, hence the cut) as fun and challenging for me.
I doubt most others would risk their $450 heli just to hover over the water, let alone dangle a line!

Yeah: I doubt all you other RC Helicopter owners would risk your heli. Losers. Plus, that fish totally didn't look dead. Lots of fish lay meekly on their side in the water. Flounder, for example. Don't be hatin' on him just 'cause he's way better than you at RC Heli fishing. He's the Joe Gaviola of that activity.

Can You Get Hurt Doing It? If it's a sport, you can get cool sports injuries doing it, sports injuries you can brag about later on to show how tough you are. Why is it tough/cool to get injured doing a sport? I don't know; I'd think it'd be tougher to never get injured, because that shows you're doing it right, whereas if you get hurt you're obviously doing something wrong, but that's just me. I'm not an athlete, so what do I know?******

****** Quite a lot.
There is a site called "Angler Wise," and it has an entry on it called "The Worst Fishing Injuries I Have Ever Seen." I went to that page, and it was disgusting right off the bat and I didn't look any further. I recommend that you don't go to it because it's so gross.

Raise your hand if you immediately wanted to click that link.

Can you play while drinking a beer and smoking a cigarette? I'm pretty sure that's the whole point of fishing.

Is there some kind of incomprehensible rule that only avid followers will understand?
For the answer to this question, we go back to the IFGA, which announced some new rules on its website, rules like this:

Assist hooks or other such single hooks that are attached to a lure with a lead constructed of monofilament, multifilament, wire or other such material must conform to the following: When using assist hooks on any artificial lure, other than a skirted lure, the lead cannot be more than 1 ½ hook’s length and the bend of the hook may not be more than 4 inches (101 mm), whichever is less, from the closest point of attachment on the lure. Double and treble hooks may not be used as assist hooks
This is what I think a skirted lure is:

I also am saddened to have to note that the IGFA has been overtaken by Communist Socialists, or Socialist Communists, or both: They require that all measurements be done in centimeters, which are not only socialist but are also tools of the devil.

The Verdict:
It's a close call, but given the fact that every single tournament ever has been won by cheaters, and the fact that I'm not very good at it, I'm going to go with: No, it's not a sport.

Previously on But Is It A Sport:


The Masters starts today...

... so I'll just remind you that the authorities here at Nonsportsmanlike Conduct! evaluated golf back in October 2010, and asked: But Is It A Sport?

The verdict was... here.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

They should've used a telephoto lens.

Tom Brady doesn't just rely on his lineman for protection -- his reconstructed knee and greasy, shoulder-length hair also require some paramilitary efforts to keep him safe and commercially viable. We here in the U.S. understand that, and are willing to go to any lengths to make sure that the lead plaintiff in the NFL suit can keep on dancin' in the streets, other countries -- less sophisticated than US, of course -- don't see it the same way:

Three bodyguards of Giselle Bundchen and her NFL QB husband Tom Brady are facing trial in Costa Rica for alledgedly firing shots at paparazzi while they were trying to take photos of the couple during their wedding ceremony. The three bodyguards are Miguel Solis, Manuel Valverde, and Alexander Rivas and it is said that three started firing shots at photographers who took pictures and had recorded footage of the nuptials. The bodyguards started firing at a car that the group of photographers were in and busted out the back window of the vehicle.

(Source.) (That story had a picture of Gisele Bundchen with it, so I decided that the journalistic thing to do was put one on this post, as well. I'd rather look at her than Brady -- sorry, ladies!)

Brady himself is calling the entire country of Costa Rica a bunch of liars:

‘There were two photographers who came on to our property with out permission. We asked them to leave and told them to get out. There were absolutely no shots fired’ stated Brady.

(Same source.)

I think we can all agree that the only reasonable solution to this mess is for President-For-Now Obama to lob a few bombs at Costa Rica, and then for Republicans to call him out for doing that.

P.S.: If you follow me on Twitter, you'll see that I made a very funny pun, calling the President for Now "Obomba." Get it? It's a thinker, so take your time.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Did somebody put a LoJack on Cam Newton's Heisman Trophy?

Let's start that clock ticking on when Cam Newton (shown at right in his felony mug shot photo) will officially be asked to give back the Heisman Trophy that was temporarily awarded to him in a demonstration of just how little NCAA "rules" mean anymore. With the revelation that Auburn is essentially an NFL expansion team that pays its players, can it be long before we find out that Auburn simply outbid everyone else on eBay to buy its crystal trophy?

Losing a little credibility -- and paying top dollar for college athletes -- is the risk you run when you hand your program over to an admitted felon and his con-man dad, but I'm sure Auburn fans aren't complaining, since NCAA sanctions are simply the price you pay for running a winning program for a while. (Right, UCLA? Don't forget to forward Pete Carroll's mail.) And, anyway, it's not like the admission that Auburn players got paid to play in a college program is going to be brushed under the rug -- Auburn is totally going to investigate, you guys:

Auburn will investigate claims by four former football players, who told HBO's "Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel" they received thousands of dollars while being recruited by or playing for the Tigers.

Stanley McClover, Troy Reddick, Chaz Ramsey and Raven Gray told HBO for an episode that aired Wednesday night that they received cash payments — in book bags, envelopes and even handshakes. Ramsey played at Auburn most recently, in the 2007 season.

Besides, it's not like Auburn doesn't have a defense. Their coach doesn't believe it and never saw anything of the sort, and he'd be in a position to see:

Coach Gene Chizik dismissed the report as "pure garbage."

Chizik, Auburn's defensive coordinator from 2002-04 during the careers of McClover and Reddick, said Wednesday night he had no knowledge of the alleged payments, "and I don't have my head in the sand."

Not only that, but also, there were lots of people who never got paid, which in Auburn logic somehow means nobody did, by logical deduction:

"What's disturbing to me is that they interviewed other former Auburn football players who had exactly the opposite to say but somehow or another that failed to make the air, unless I missed that section," Chizik said. "So I've got other former players that are calling me who are still playing and who are great players who had absolutely no knowledge of any of that stuff.

He's got a point: It is unfair for HBO to not run a story pointing out that there were lots of people who were also never paid to play football for Auburn. (In fact, had HBO contacted me, I would have confirmed that at no point was I offered cash to play for Auburn.)

On a related note, what do you suppose those former players calling are saying? I'm thinking it's along the lines of "Hey, coach, I think you owe me some back pay!"

I've long supported paying college football players anyway, so I'm not so much outraged by this as I am amused.


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