|26th September 2010, 05:16 AM||#452 (permalink)|
Here kitty kitty kitty!
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Australia, Queensland
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
Although I am firmly in the "loathe them" camp, my heart goes out to our resident (precious) Magpies tragic. Blame Ms Gillard for putting the Moz on it.
|9th July 2011, 08:09 AM||#455 (permalink)|
Keep Moving Forward!
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
If it wasn't for Darren's retirement, I would not have begrudged a Blues series win. It's getting a little boring with it being so one-sided every year. It's hard to hate a team that is so... ordinary. Not like the NSW teams of the 90s and early 2000s. God, those were easy teams to hate.
|10th July 2011, 01:53 AM||#456 (permalink)|
Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Australia, New South Wales
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
I don't think NSW's team has been so bad, it's just that Queensland's team is quite incredible. I think it was Phil Gould that said 'They say a champion team will always beat a team of champions. But what happens when a champion team is made up of champions? That's Queensland.'
Also, congratulations to the Reds. I'm on the verge of supporting another team - I just don't think I can bear any more disappointment on the part of the Waratahs.
|10th April 2012, 01:37 AM||#458 (permalink)|
Benevolent Galaxy Being
Join Date: Mar 2010
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
Wow! This place even has a batting cage.
Now, dressed as a Chicago Cub player, Starbeast enters the cage and inserts five bucks into the baseball throwing machine. The device signals it's ready and fires a baseball toward the benevolent galaxy being.
"OWW! That one hit m.."
"UGH! My back!"
"Ahnnn.." (thud) "blahhhhh.....Oh no, the machine is aimming down at me."
(POW POW POW) Reloads (POW POW POW) Reloads (POW POW POW) It shuts down.
|29th May 2012, 11:37 PM||#459 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2005
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
"So it's root, root, root for the Cubbies,
if they don't win, it's the same,
for it's one, two, twelve machine pitches... you're out,
at Cul's Sports Bar."
I was born in Kankakee, Illinois... so I root for da Bears, the Cubs, the Bulls, and the Hawks. I know I should root for the South Siders too, because the first pro game my dad took me to was a Chisox game in 1972. My dad wanted me to see Dick Allen (on his way to being the AL MVP hit a homer. I don't remember if he did or not, I was only six... but I prefer the Lovable Losers.
By the way, thanks for the conversation on my last topic. It was very riveting...
"AFL is dumb."
"Rugby is dumber."
"No, you're dumberer."
Usually I'd have to go to a eight year football game to conversation like that.... and I mean from the parents.
"No, Boaz. You didn't get the subtle differences we were making. The intracacies of the AFL and Rugby are too detailed for your brain."
No, I did get it. I've had that conversation a hundred times.
Anyway, I'd like to introduce a topic... I'll try to keep it short... you know how I love brevity.
What is Sport?
This is Cul's Sports Bar. So can we define what activities are actually sports and which are not?
I don't have an OED or Webster's on me, but I'd say it's an athletic activity usually conducted outdoors for the purpose of excercise, enjoyment, or competition. In my opinion, this is a fairly accurate representation of what the dictionaries would say. So billiards, bocce, and horse shoes are sports. Archrey, golf, and fox hunting would also qualify. More physically demanding games like tennis, snow skiing, and bicycling are sports. Still violent activities like rugby, boxing, and bull fighting are considered sports.
"Boaz, really?!?! You're gonna give us your trumped up, made up, fictitious definition of sport and then post a thesis on it?!?!"
It seems incongruous to me that shuffleboard and the decathlon are both sports. I remember reading that the English word 'sport' comes from the French word 'desporte' which could more accurately be translated as 'leisure.' I'd like to propose a redefinition of sport into Sport and Leisure.
"So, Boaz, do you have a way to tell the difference?"
Absolument! Lafayette, I have returned! Wait, I don't even speak French...
Athleticism, skill, effort, drama, intellect, heart, results, equipment, drugs, and martial preparation.
1. Athleticism is the number one criteria. If the player is not put into positions to display real skill and/or development of dexterity, strength, and/or speed, then it cannot be a sport. The Olympic motto is a great measurer of sport... Citius, Altius, Fortius. Higher, Faster, Stronger. I'd say Water Polo and the 110m Hurdles are good examples of athleticism while Chess and Billiards are good examples of leisure.
2. Skill. The activity should reveal the amount of time a player has dedicated him/herself to learning proper technique. While not physically demanding, Golf is an excellent example of skill... but for my purposes, perhaps the Pole Vault or Soccer would be better examples. Bridge, while requiring study, still depends a lot upon the luck of the draw.
Even more importantly, than skill versus luck, is the absence of prejudice. If the officials and players are cheating, then the game is ruined. This is true for any game. Leisure. Work. Schoolwork. Marriage.
3. Sweat. How much physical effort is required to seperate Sport from Leisure? Look, I'm 6'5", 240lb, and not in great shape, but I will not work up a sweat from bowling or bocce. And let's face it, baseball players sweat more taking their positions than they ever do playing them... ouch!
4. Which brings me to drama. Sport should be dramatic. Mano a mano. And not much is better than a pitcher and batter in baseball... it may not look like it on TV, but step up to the plate and it will fry your nerves. Just think of Boxing... you're all alone against a guy trying to beat you up! What about the 100m? Fastest from here to there... GO!
5. Intellect. This is related to skill in that the player must have studied, but I also want to see the game push the player to formulate and execute a strategy. I want to see the player analyze his/her opponent's strengths and weaknesses and attack and defend accordingly. In team sports, I see this all the time... and I also see a lack of it. Does anyone remember the Rope-a-dope?
6. Heart. Resilience. Never say die. "Aw, shucks. I lost that game of Bridge? Well, deal another round." Ronnie Lott? Anyone? Do you remember Shun Fujimoto? In the '76 Olympics, Fujimoto broke a patella in the floor excercise (the first event in the Men's Team Gymnastics), but as Team Captain, he refused to set an example of quitting. As the best of the Japanese team in the Rings, he knew his high score would be required to his country to defend their Gold Medal. He did his routine eight feet in the air, swinging his legs around with a broken kneecap and then somersaulting to the earth and sticking the landing with arms upraised. Only then did he collapse, ligaments shredded. He received a 9.7 and was sent to the hospital... and Japan retained the Gold Medal by .4 points over the Soviets.
7. Objective results. In the U.S., the most popular events at the Summer Olympics and the Winter Olympics are Women's Gymnastics and Figure Skating, respectively. These athletes are phenomenal packages of grace, speed, dexterity, beauty, skill, and strength. But the results are from judges and not from any objective measure. Yes, the judges are experts and they are looking for certain positions and turns and twists, but when even the expert commentator (all former competitors and coaches) say, "That trip should receive a deduction" (they cannot even say will automatically), then it's not objective. The 100m is objective... first from here to there. Hockey is objective... most points wins. I understand officials are needed and that their judgement with yellow cards, flags, and whistles will always be subjective, but the bottom line is that these events need an objective scoring system. I can say the same for MMA and Boxing.
What?!?! Boaz, you're nuts!
How many split decisions have you disagreed with in Diving, MMA, Boxing, Figure Skating, and Gymnastics? Lots, I'll bet. A knockout equals an objective end to the contest. A judges decision equals a subjective result. Look when MMA ends in a tapout or Boxing ends in a KO, then it was a sport. If it goes to the judges, then it was a beauty contest. That's the honest truth.
8. Equipment. First, the more equipment involved, the less part the player plays. The High Jump, the Clean and Jerk (weightlifting), and the Marathon are pure sports. Higher, Stronger, Faster. How much equipment is needed? Shoes and pants, that's it. Oh, wait... I forgot Abebe Bikila. So forget shoes, you just need pants. Is Horse Racing a sport? Who's the athlete... the man or the horse? What about Motor Sports? Yeah, Boaz, don't those guys have strength, endurance, heart (you gotta be nuts to go 200mph in an aluminum can), and lots of skill? Who's in control during a race? The driver, the crew chief, or the owner? Rubens Barichello, anyone? I don't think they put physical restrictions on the drivers, but the cars are highly regulated and regularly inspected... so who is doing the real work? Hockey has too much equipment for my taste... but it's so cooooool to watch. Ooops.
Second, any equipment used needs to be available to both teams. Even auto racing gets this right. You cannot have a vast discrepency in equipment or the contest is about the equipment and not about the skill of the players. Shame on swimming! Shame, shame, shame.
9. The playing field should be equal. In high school, our girls basketball team was playing a road game in an ancient auditorium slightly bigger than a shoebox. The fans' feet crossed over the lines and onto the court. The baselines were the wall and the stage. In the second half, the lights went out only in the half where our girls were shooting. Our coach wanted the lights back on, but the referees (supplied by the host team) demanded our girls play in the dark or forfeit the game. Our girls holding a ten point lead went out and held on for a one point win.
If the weather changes during a soccer game or a tennis match, it affects both sides equally. Yet, weather can dramatically change during golf tournaments and skiing events... furthermore the actual course conditions will radically change also. And I don't really think it provides an accurate gauge of each participant's abilities that day.
10. Drugs. There are three types of drugs used in sports and leisure. The first is alcohol and tobacco. How many games of billiards are played where alcohol is not used? None, is my guess. On the other hand, I don't think Pele ever downed pre-game Mojitos. Maybe Maradona did... as chasers after snorting Coke. How many rugby players smoke cigarettes during games? How many baseball players chew during games? That's a strike against baseball.
The second drug is anything that immediately enhances performance. Stimulants and painkillers come to mind. I've never seen bowlers taking oxygen between rounds, have you? I'm not advocating drugs, but you can tell which are looking for an edge in physical exertion and which are not. I was on the High Q team in High School (you guys never would have guessed, right?) and on the basketball and football teams. I did not use any drugs for High Q, but took cortizone shots for pain and smelling salts to revive me from unconciousness in football and basketball.
The third type, in my way of thinking, are long term enhancements, i.e. steroids and other muscle building and recovery drugs. I don't think these are used in Curling or Competitive Eating.
11. I suspect that all athletics stem from each civilizations martial preparations. For English speakers, our organized athletic history goes back to Ancient Greece. Their games all had martial applications. Running, throwing, jumping, wrestling... it's pretty basic. You can still see these types of applications in contemporary games... I think the Decathlon is awesome! The most obvious contemporary events are wrestling and marksmanship, i.e. shooting guns and bows. But maybe less obvious are games where you have to just physically stand up to your opponent. Rugby, Aussie rules football, and American and Canadian Football. In these contests, the other guy is going to try and shove your face in the dirt, but you have to keep your head, remember the plan, and execute your part of the team plan while not getting turf in your ear. This teaches you face your fears and to physically and mentall perform under duress.
I'm not equating American Football to actual military combat, but there are practical applications. I'm just not sure that basketball (my all time favorite game), soccer, cricket, and bass fishing teach those same lessons. And maybe football does not compare to wrestling in this.
1. This is a continuation of athleticism... I could not state this at the top or most of you would have quit reading. But athleticism means pushing your body towards it's limits... and I contend that prohibiting hands in soccer is unathletic. Boaz, you're an idiot! It's what separates soccer from rugby, you dolt! Sure, but why don't any of us play Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey or Smash-the-Pinata past the age of seven? Because using all of our faculties is better! Imagine Tennis... using only your feet... wait, that's called Hackey Sack... and how many TV contracts are there for Wimbledon Hackey Sack? None. Imagine Blindfold Chess... No, let's not. Imagine the High Jump without using your legs... someone could invent the new Fosbury Flop. Imagine playing football with earplugs... Physical handicaps exist only for betting purposes, not real athletic games.
Okay, maybe not all of these are valid points...
I'd say the big ones are athleticism, effort (a player should need a breather from all of his/her exertion), skill instead of luck, a paucity of equipment, and objective measuring.
I'm going to start now and say that baseball is not a Sport according to my thinking. Sure it's fun, but you can chew tobacco, be fat, and not get any excercise during a game.
I'm also stating now that Auto Racing is not a sport. It's thrilling, dangerous, and filled with tactical moves by the drivers and strategic moves by the crew chiefs, but the machine is everything. Call it a Motor Sport and I'm fine with it.
I stated above that Figure Skating, Diving, and Gymnastics are not sports. If you can show me a way to quantitavely measure them, then I'd call them sports. But as long as they remain scored by some esoteric quality ratings by a chosen few, then they'll remain beauty pageants.
Boxing and MMA need to figure out scoring systems like Wrestling (I've used wrestling as an example a few times and I want you to know that I mean Greco-Roman and Freestyle wrestling. I do not mean WWE or whatever it's called now.), Fencing, or Sumo. If judges decide the winners by secret ballot, then it's a beauty contest.
Finally, swimming used to be a sport. Not now. There is too much advantage in the equipment used. It's inherently unfair. Michael Phelps is drinking his own bongwater.
Okay... that's my post.
Shoot me down. Love me. Tell me Football stinks. Praise me. Call me an idiot.
(I wonder how much of my comments are accurate and how much are just my cultural biases.)
Above all, please help me refine my definitions.
|30th May 2012, 01:18 AM||#460 (permalink)|
Keep Moving Forward!
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
So should we expect you to return in another two years with an even longer essay, Boaz?
I'll grade this one next week and you'll have the mark at the end of the semester.
|31st May 2012, 05:09 AM||#463 (permalink)|
Where matter vanishes...
Join Date: Feb 2008
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
As usual, I stand in awe of your stream of thought, Mr. Boaz.
*Random pecking ensues*
Marriage as a game, and (worse!) with officials? How does one win, and what is the prize? Nevermind, moving off that tangent now (lots of sharks in those waters!).
Correctly done, there's lots of running in baseball. True, it will never amount to more than a drop in soccer's bucket, but there are places where the players not immediately involved in the play are supposed to be to back it up, to anticipate a play, or to back up those anticipating the play. Especially the outfielders. So, given a typical muggy day here in Wash. D.C., you'll find sweat on the Nats sure enough.
Where does dancing fall in your encyclopedia? I readily acknowledge the exhausting practice and training (and the end product also being the epitome of grace, power and skill), but can't help thinking of it as an art. Compared to the floor exercises at the Olympics, though, is it really so different?
Finally, if an official must be present, there are a lot of sandlot pick-up games I must wistfully push to the wayside, saying good-bye to the imaginary runner, the closed field, and the scoreboard in my head in the process.
|31st May 2012, 11:37 PM||#464 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jul 2005
Re: Cul's Sports Bar
Grimmy, did you really mention sweaty Nats? Hey, I'm in Denver, the Mile High City, where walking a flight of stairs can be devastating to tourists.
Dancing is an excellent example. I'm glad you compared it to the floor excercise in gymnastics. Figure skating is almost identical... especially pairs. And I whole heartedly agree about the skill, training, balance, timing, strength, and dexterity of dance (and it is absolutely athletic artistry), but how can it be quantitatively measured? "I thought Miranda's backsteps were more distinctive than Julia's." That's like saying, "I thought Federer's backhand was better than Nadal's today." The way it should be is, "Despite a ferocious backhand today, Federer lost to Nadal in the French Open final... again."
I'd love to get around officiating, but I don't know how. Last night in the NBA Eastern Conference Semi-Finals, Rajon Rondo got hit in the head as he took a shot in the last minute. The officials did not call a foul, the Heat rebounded the ball, and Dwayne Wade was fouled at the other end. Those two plays essentially decided the game. Do I think the officials plotted that? No. Officials are humans and each one only has two eyes and one view of the play. They're fallible.
But there is a difference in Judges and Officials in my thinking. Officials are referees and umpires. The preside over the process, they do not give opinions on who is better or worse. Officials only make sure the contest is played as fair as possible.
Judges are the ones who decide who won and who lost. It is their decision alone that counts.
Compare boxing and baseball. In baseball, all spectators know at all times what the score is because they can see and count the runs for themselves. The home plat umpire makes decisions about fair play, but does not tell the fans who won the game in his opinion. In boxing, three judges are secretly keeping score and the results are announced at the end. You've seen or heard of boxing matches where the crowd's opinion is the opposite of the judges.
Maybe, boxing should just call it a tie if no one gets knocked out.
By the way, in number nine of my big post, I'd like to add that the contestants should compete head to head, i.e. at the same time, on the same field, under the same conditions. Why is the 100m mens sprint at the Olympics so popular? Why is he lauded as the World's Fastest Man? Because they compete head to head... mano y mano. It's the Highlander all over again.... there can be only one. And we looooove to see that.
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