Re: Make Or Break

1

Does cricket have any decisive moments?

More seriously, wondering where television comes into play here.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:32 PM
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I've never seen a cricket match so I have no clue. I figured someone would set me straight if I was wrong.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:33 PM
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My understanding is that cricket matches have decisive stretches of several hours' length.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:36 PM
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1: Decisive moments can be captured in replay, whether instant or weeks-later.


Posted by: Nathan Williams | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:36 PM
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, the two strike pitch in the ninth, the free throws with a few seconds on the clock.

Aren't these both just "the very end of the game"? I mean, the last couple of minutes of a soccer game are make-or-break by that metric, no?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:37 PM
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I just wasn't aware the cricket matches actually ended; don't they just play until the last player has wandered off, bored?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:37 PM
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Worst post ever.


Posted by: Standpipe Bridgeplate | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:43 PM
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My dad, talking to me over the phone during the Cowboys-Patriots game: "The same play? That's another twenty yards! Oh, wait, that's the replay."


Posted by: feldspar | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:44 PM
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Bridgeplate!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:44 PM
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8: I can understand his confusion, though. There has been a certain rhythm to this game.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:45 PM
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6: Oddly enough, the unusually dogged teams playing the 1978 Pakistan-South Africa match for the World Championship are still at it. The record books have a little 'TBA' in place of a score.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:45 PM
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You know, it occurs to me that we just might not know enough about other sports to really understand when the decisive moments are.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:46 PM
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I was thinking the other day that the enjoyment people (i'm hypothosising, i don't give a shit personally) comes from not just the identity/association of the team/group, but also from teh sense of predicting and "will"ing the win. A man verson of checking one's horoscope.


Posted by: yoyo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:46 PM
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11: how do the rules of succession work when players drop dead? Firstborn, or can they nominate a successor in their will?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:46 PM
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Um, it's the announcing style, I'd bet. Australian rules football, Canadian football (the thing with three downs not soccer) are start-stop type games, and they do much the same drama building, but not in the same style. Cricket has a hushed version of the same type of announcing.

It also seems to moi, that frequently the most dramatic and best-remembered moments in football (and basketball and...) are the surprise bits (the Immaculate Reception, various record-setting runs/interceptions/kickoff returns).

Sport moments that Americans actually find boring: the long periods in soccer without a goal, the same with hockey, the boring middle innings of a baseball game, the middle 2 millions laps at any NASCAR event. But then some people watch that shit anyways. It's just not as popular.

So I don't think it's the sport, I think that Americans like drama in their sports, their celebrities, their politics, their movies with 4x10^23 explosions per 1/2 hour, and announcers play to that.

This comment sucks because it's SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!

max
['Stronger, faster, bigger: the Bionic! DeathVibe 3000! For the Killer Orgasm!']


Posted by: max | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:52 PM
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There was a climactic moment in the cricket match in Lagaan. If cricket matches always resulted in Bollywood dance extravaganzas, things might be more exciting.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:56 PM
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Maybe that it's a mythmaking culture, and that it likes to find out whether people will break or not. Or maybe Americans, as a nation, are feeble-minded and need their drama conveniently demarcated

Nice.

Taking the premise as it stands, that American team sports come down to the pinch, sure: we're a young nation and don't know from long-term suffering.

In terms of sports history, it might be interesting to know whether rules have evolved to support these last-minute moments.

But that's all boring to me. We are, if nothing else, a temporary culture. We don't know what the fuck we are any more: founded as the City upon a Hill, less and less sure, even the least of us, whether we can justify that. Increasingly angry therefore. So we engage in self-stimulation, delusion, and yes, myth-making moments of glory.

This may or may not bear any resemblance to what those final moments in the 9th look like.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 3:59 PM
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Rand Moss!! TD!!


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:03 PM
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y


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:06 PM
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5: I have heard people claim that soccer is better than basketball because every moment is equally important, rather than just the last five minutes.

Aren't there plenty of examples of rule changes in basketball designed to keep the game moving quickly and to have the outcome open right up to the end, like the shot clock?


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:10 PM
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20 also to 17.

To spectator sports in India feature Bollywood style music, with Bollywood style dancing at halftime? That would be a big improvement over the US.

I really can't stand US sports music. When I worked at Auburn University, I had to hear "Eye of the Tiger" at least twice a goddamned day.


Posted by: rob helpy-chalk | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:13 PM
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Back after a long hiatus, I have this to say:

There's plenty of that make-or-break stuff in other sports. Witness Manchester United scoring two goals in added time in the 1999 Champions League final. Or France scoring extra-time tries that made them the champions of the 2007 Six Nations rugby tournament. There are probably examples from other sports such as cricket, but I have no idea what the cricket commentators are talking about.

In other words, my swim-goggled Persian friend, it happens all the time.


Posted by: peter snees | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:14 PM
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On cricket: One-day internationals have decisive moments, at least if they're close: the last ten overs or so of the second side's innings.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:15 PM
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Some sports are puritanical poverty sports where it's almost impossible to score and every score is meaningful: baseball, soccer, hockey. Basketball is a free love rock n roll sport -- poontang is cheap and plentiful. Football can be either, and different people like different kinds of game.

This has nothing to do with the topic except that it's a deep reading of some stupid fucking sports. Cricket seems to be a free love sport, but you know, the British.



Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:15 PM
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I was just shopping for a new TV, and watched the Cowboys game on 40 TVs at the same time. I think I've seen enough.

There's plenty of drama in a make or break moment, but I don't mind it when my team plays welll and beats the crap out of the other guys. I do much prefer the winning side of a bloodbath, especially in the wee hours of the morning.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:15 PM
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I'll string along with LB and note that shoot outs seem to be the sort of thing you're talking about. I wonder, instead, whether the exact opposite is true: are Americans more likely to see bureaucratic or systemic advantage as decisive? We have sabremetrics, the old 49ers and the Patriots of today, and now the Rockets (and, I gather, the Sonics) are importing the same into the NBA. Do other countries have Moneyball-esque analyses of sports, or is that a function American managerial culture?


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:16 PM
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26: one of the complaints about Chelsea, when they were buying up all the high-cost talent in the universe, was that they were hauling in the best talent in the world and then demanding that they fit into a straightjacket-like mechanical system.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:19 PM
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The true differentiator of American sports is that Americans love team sports where the contribution of individual players can be very precisely measured on a range of metrics. This is just not possible in soccer or rugby in the way that it is in baseball, football or basketball. The naturally difficult case is cricket, which on this analysis Americans should really like. But for this very reason there is a scholarly literature that asks why Americans don't play cricket.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:20 PM
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It's true, there are scads of stats about cricket, and they throw up these bizarre charts of where exactly each batter's hits have gone in this particular innings, and much wise discussion of whether they ought to put another man on off-stump or wherever. But on the other hand, the test matches end in a tie half the time because they couldn't get all 20 outs in five full days of play.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:23 PM
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Heck, they even got rid of the double-elimination for the championship game of the college baseball series because they couldn't promise the tee-vee networks a single decisive game.


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:23 PM
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29: This is why one-day tests were invented.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:26 PM
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But for this very reason there is a scholarly literature that asks why Americans don't play cricket.

Because it's boring and the uniforms are poncey.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:28 PM
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But for this very reason there is a scholarly literature that asks why Americans don't play cricket.

Lack of Bollywood-style musical extravaganzas.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:36 PM
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and the uniforms are poncey

Have you looked at NFL uniforms lately?


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:39 PM
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why Americans don't play cricket

We already have a boring bat and ball game, and even that only has fans because it reminds people of outings with the fathers or whatever--no one is going to become the fan of yet another similar boring sport.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:39 PM
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We already have a boring bat and ball game, and even that only has fans because it reminds people of outings with the fathers or whatever.

I'm going to pay someone to bring a tape to UnfoggeDC and make you watch all five hours of last night's game.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:42 PM
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34: I don't see any sweater vests.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:43 PM
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I'm sure he was watching. He was waiting for me to wave to him.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:43 PM
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36 gets it right.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:44 PM
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I watched the god damn game. Playoff baseball can be exciting.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:47 PM
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40: that is pretty much how I feel about basketball, interestingly.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:48 PM
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40: Pathetic. They print the scores the next day, you know.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:51 PM
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I confess that I watch very little regular season basketball. The only sport with a regular season worth watching is football.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:52 PM
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43: Oh, gawd. Same. Maybe it's age.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:57 PM
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God, I loathe watching football. College basketball: fun. Baseball, in person or on the radio: fun. Football in person is eh, and on TV is just horrible. It's the sound of a million Thanksgivings curling up and dying.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:58 PM
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Penalty shootouts.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 4:59 PM
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Major counterexample to ogged's (admittedly dubious) thesis: even hockey-dismissers generally acknowledge that a playoff Game 7 - esp. Finals, obviously - is incredibly exciting. The whole game. Because it's just as likely to be 1-0 with the only goal in the first 20 seconds, or to be 7-6, with two goals in the last minute. And momentum can shift in literally seconds - 3 shots on goal with exciting saves, then an outlet to a surprisingly open forward who bursts down ice and scores, all in 10 seconds.

Of course, all that is true all season, but non-fans need the higher stakes. Anyway, point being that the whole 60 minutes is intense in a way otherwise rare in American sports (and, frankly, rare in soccer - with the huge field and the low scoring, several of those hockey elements are muted, at best).


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:08 PM
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On the other hand, do Americans really watch hockey?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:09 PM
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On the other hand, do Americans really watch hockey?


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:09 PM
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The only sport with a regular season worth watching is football.

You can seem so reasonable sometimes, and then you write something like this.

I share helpy-chalk's antipathy for sports music, though I'd extend it to the whole packaged aesthetic experience generally. I went to a few Blazers games at the old low-tech arena, and they were pretty great; moderately loud, but the focus was on the game. The Rose Garden is fucking awful &mdash deafening music and other noise, and the visual equivalent playing on every inch of screen available. I resolved never to go back after one game, a resolution the Blazers have helped me with by sucking so defiantly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:10 PM
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48/49: Depends on whether you call Vermonters Americans. Not everyone does, including some Vermonters.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:12 PM
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College basketball: fun.

But so, so corrupt.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:12 PM
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Hockey is damned exciting, but tough to watch on TV. Definitely one of my favorite sports to see live.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:16 PM
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Agreed, hockey is super, super fun in person.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:16 PM
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I've said before that hockey and football can be quite exciting live but I seldom find them so on tv, even with the stakes increased. Baseball I find just as easy to watch on tv, maybe a bit easier. I find my mind wandering at baseball games, such that I find myself watching the flights of birds, cloud formations, etc.

I enjoyed a Northwestern football game with my son a couple of years ago, when we were given a couple of tickets, and this surprised me. I had found my interest in watching sports had steadily decayed since college, and I was not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:20 PM
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Cricket was fairly popular in the US up until the end of the 19th century. Baseball advocates waged class warfare against it, arguing that baseball was more suited to the fast-moving go-getting nature of American society.

"Baseball is a form of rounders, isn't it?"


Posted by: Basil Valentine | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:22 PM
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I find my mind wandering at baseball games, such that I find myself watching the flights of birds, cloud formations, etc.

I more-or-less agree with this, everywhere but Fenway. Watching games there is a completely different experience, because there's so much concentrated crowd energy.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:22 PM
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Cleveland's stadium is great that way, too. You're surrounded on all sides by insane, drunken Tribe fanatics, and it's hard to forget there's a game on.

KC's stadium (The K) has no bleachers behind the outfield, and instead has a lovely dancing fountain display. It's like spending an afternoon at an expensive nursing home.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:25 PM
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Rfts and I are going to be at Game 5 next week -- since I grew up an Orioles fan, it's been a long time since I've gone to a postseason game. (I never got tickets to see Oakland when I was living in California.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:30 PM
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58: SBC Park (or whatever it's called now) is a bit like spending a day at Comdex, or at least it was when it opened.

Dodger Stadium is a bit like spending a lovely afternoon in LA County Jail's recreation yard.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:30 PM
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59: Cleveland is, I think, one of the few AL parks where you aren't going to see an enormous number of Red Sox fans, but who knows how that'll play out in the postseason.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:32 PM
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We're going to have one very quiet Red Sox fan sitting next to us, actually.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:33 PM
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I'm jealous, snarkout and rfts. That's going to be damn fun. Postseason Indians games are so so fun.


Posted by: A White Bear | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:37 PM
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Safeco: the name is atrocious, the stadium is awesome. Great views of downtown Seattle and the Sound, and that roof &mdash such an engineering marvel, it's definitely a distraction if it's in operation during the game.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:45 PM
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Muse with me, O citizens of earth.

Banned by ogged again!


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 5:55 PM
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I'm jealous too. I saw the last Indians playoff game before this year, when they lost the the Mariners, and it sort of marked the end of the 90s dynasty.

It sounded like Jacobs Field was really rocking against the Yankees last week. Make lots of noise!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:12 PM
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How are you lucky bastards getting playoff tickets?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:13 PM
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58: Fenway is another level from Jacobs, because the place is so small and Bostonians tend to be really obnoxious people.

Boston has succeeded to the role of the evil sports empire now -- unstoppable teams, obnoxious fans, frontrunners and bandwagon jumpers all over the country are now "fans", massive wealth permits them to buy championships (well, in baseball), etc. It's even worse than it was back when the Sox hadn't won a championship and we had to suffer through all those long, pompous, horrible essays on the Meaning of the Red Sox.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:17 PM
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Go Sox!

Fenway really is a fun place to watch a game.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:18 PM
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Go Sox!

Fenway really is a fun place to watch a game.

Non sequitur?

It's Tribe Time!


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:20 PM
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Bostonians tend to be really obnoxious people.

Seriously? You think the Fenway crowd is more obnoxious than your typical stadium crowd?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:21 PM
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68 - "Prisons are built with stones of Law."


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:23 PM
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On the basis of having gone to a total of one game at Fenway: yes.


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:24 PM
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massive wealth permits them to buy championships (well, in baseball)

In fairness, while one can righteously deplore the Sox' Yankeeish tendencies of late, their wealth hasn't bought them any championships yet.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:24 PM
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67: There's a lottery.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:25 PM
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In fairness, while one can righteously deplore the Sox' Yankeeish tendencies of late, their wealth hasn't bought them any championships yet.

?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:26 PM
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On the basis of having gone to a total of one game at Fenway: yes.

Sat in the bleachers, huh?


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:28 PM
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Either JMcQ is saying that the Sox's free agency madness didn't reach Yankees-like proportions until the last few years, or he's a visitor from the vastly more probably universe where Dave Roberts got picked off.


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:30 PM
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probably s/b probable


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:30 PM
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76: Given that they reached the World Series after winning the pennant from a team with something like a 50 percent higher payroll, the idea that they bought the championship doesn't seem to me to stand up to much scrutiny. Certainly, they didn't exercise their buying power very well in 2005 and 2006.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:30 PM
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Sure 'nuff.

I don't remember who was being heckled, but people kept yelling, "The other pink meat!"


Posted by: Blume | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:31 PM
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or he's a visitor from the vastly more probably universe where Dave Roberts got picked off.

Zackly.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:32 PM
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There's obviously a reward to the teams with higher payrolls in baseball. Meanwhile, the idea of having "bought the championship" is nonsensical, but the idea of buying your way into consistent winning records is not. The Yankees do this far more than anyone else, and are really the only team that has been absolutely guaranteed a winning record for the last several years. The Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Mets, Dodgers, and Cubs have payrolls that almost guarantee them good seasons, but they aren't immune to having the season destroyed by betting too much on key players without a backup plan for when they fail to perform, as we see from this year's Dodgers and White Sox.

The 2004 Red Sox had Manny Ramirez, Pedro Martinez, Curt Schilling, Nomar Garciaparra, Johnny Damon, and Jason Varitek all on big free-agent contracts that most teams in the league couldn't have matched.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:39 PM
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Given that they reached the World Series after winning the pennant from a team with something like a 50 percent higher payroll, the idea that they bought the championship doesn't seem to me to stand up to much scrutiny.

They were still #2 in payroll, with #3 pretty far behind.

http://asp.usatoday.com/sports/baseball/salaries/totalpayroll.aspx?year=2004


Posted by: Gabriel | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:40 PM
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83: My earlier comment notwithstanding, I totally agree. I like to think of the Gagne trade as karmic punishment.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:42 PM
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Given that they reached the World Series after winning the pennant from a team with something like a 50 percent higher payroll, the idea that they bought the championship doesn't seem to me to stand up to much scrutiny. Certainly, they didn't exercise their buying power very well in 2005 and 2006.

Yes they did. They were 95-67 in 2005 (tied with the Yankees, second best in baseball) and 86-76 in 2006 (despite Beckett having , Clement, Varitek, Loretta, Nixon, and Alex Gonzalez all being injured and playing poorly when they played).


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:45 PM
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Dodger Stadium is a bit like spending a lovely afternoon in LA County Jail's recreation yard.

Sifu is afraid of teh Mexicans.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:48 PM
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69: Ogged! So disappointing. Were you born to lobstermen and raised along the rugged coast of Maine? Have fond memories of sharing a cell with your fellow juvenile delinquents from Southie? Or are you just a natural follower who has obediently joined the tiresome cult of the Red Sox?

I can't believe that anyone would have the cojones to say to an Indians fan that the Red Sox didn't buy the championship. Hello, Manny Ramirez? Developed in the Indians farm system? Starred on the Indians? Purchased away in free agency? How good do you think this Indians team would be with Ramirez?


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:52 PM
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I find my mind wandering at baseball games, such that I find myself watching the flights of birds, cloud formations, etc.

I was about to ditto this for baseball as well as football, but I admit that Red Sox games at Fenway are pretty cool. That's probably only because I grew up with an obsessed dad with season tickets. Everything was all Yaz, Yaz at the time, and it's pretty exciting when you're 13.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:53 PM
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That's probably only because I grew up with an obsessed dad with season tickets.

That's a Red Sox fan who earned it.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:58 PM
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86: Ned, why must you hound me so? I was talking about the alleged championship-buying power.

Go ahead and gloat when the Indians win and the Sox get back to the business-as-usual of misery and despair. But remember, Cleveland fans, you still have Chief Wahoo on your consciences, you racists.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:58 PM
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Chief Wahoo is, in fact, why I cannot actually bring myself to be an Indians fan.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 6:59 PM
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Standpipe!

This is not the worst post ever, but it's really very wrong. Because it claims a purely structural factor creates drama when really there's nothing interesting about a two-strike pitch unless the batting team still has a chance. Or, if we are going to count that as structural, why not count a soccer game that goes into penalty kicks? Or the fact that swimmers race next to each other and it's conveniently filmable from overhead. Or gymnastics (to gay up your thread a bit), where a lifetime of training might come down to one vault.

So, not much about Americans there, I'm afraid. It's not that structure isn't important, it's that the decisive moments don't happen if the game doesn't unfold in the right way. I think you'd have a better case for sudden-death or one-decisive moment structure creating drama. But I don't think it's peculiar to American sports.

Sudden-death: College basketball? Meh. NCAA tournament: it's all direct elimination and plucky underdogs.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:00 PM
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Praise you, rfts.


Posted by: Jesus McQueen | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:00 PM
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No, I think Ogged has a point. It's not that the sports are structured for drama, it's that they are structured as opposed to free-form. Free-form sports like soccer never fully caught on here. America took loose, flowing sports like cricket and rugby and turned them into the more organized and rigid sports of baseball and football. Only basketball has the open, loose feel of soccer, and not coincidentally I think basketball is the most popular American sport worldwide.

This has something to do with the American character, but I'm not sure what.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:03 PM
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No, I think Ogged has a point.

Always a counterintuitive notion.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:05 PM
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Boston has succeeded to the role of the evil sports empire now -- unstoppable teams

I was doing a doubletake, because I'd forgotten about the Patriots; that tells you how little I care about football.

The Celtics are hardly unstoppable; they haven't been good since the 80's. They'd been crappy for a year or two when the Chicago Bulls were on the rise.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:07 PM
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95: I think your argument contains its own counterexample: basketball.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:09 PM
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The Celts could easily take the east this year, now that they have Pierce/Garnett/Allen.

"Chief Wahoo" may seem to mock Native Americans, but the Yankees actually *killed* them. And it's a little-known fact that "Red Sox" refers to socks stained red with Wampanoag blood during King Phillip's war.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:10 PM
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95: I think your argument contains its own counterexample: basketball.

No, basketball still has possessions that aren't really anything like a soccer possession and there are plenty of "the game turns on this possession" instances throughout the season, series, whatever.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:11 PM
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Okay, Bostonians, we've been saying that we ought to have another meetup. Anyone up for getting together to watch one of the Sox games? Something chill at someone's house would be fun, but that would require actual RSVPs. I could do some sort of sports bar thing, though I'd prefer the comfort of a couch.


Posted by: Bostoniangirl | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:13 PM
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Either way, it's popular here and overseas. Hard to make this about the American character. And don't the set pieces in soccer count as structural?


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:13 PM
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your argument contains its own counterexample: basketball.

okay, maybe, but basketball was a lot more tightly controlled before african-americans got hold of it. The dialectic of american sports is blacks getting hold of white games, jazzing them up and blowing them open (to the extent possible).


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:14 PM
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I didn't say a sport couldn't be popular here and overseas, just that the American games all share this trait.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:14 PM
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Occidentiologists are oppressing us with their normalizing gaze.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:15 PM
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Bostonians, you're all invited to my house! I do have a spiffy new TV.


Posted by: mrh | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:15 PM
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99: maybe, but who cares who wins the minor league championship?


Posted by: Tom Scudder | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:17 PM
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Wog Occidentalists.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:17 PM
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Oh, Red Sox. You're going to kill my father and then you're coming after me.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:22 PM
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68 to 109.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:23 PM
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Can we please dispense with the notion that soccer is like "free form jazz." Please. 90% of 90% of all games* are more like musicians tuning up, with regular breaks for drug induced naps.

* May be an overstatement, as I don't watch. Because of the 90/90 thing. Soccer is a game made for TiVo.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:23 PM
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106: Hurray!


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:24 PM
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Please. 90% of 90% of all games

So, 81% then. Better than car racing.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:25 PM
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95:

Only basketball has the open, loose feel of soccer, and not coincidentally I think basketball is the most popular American sport worldwide.

Basketball is, among American team sports, the most dedicated to individual grace and performance here and now, in front of your face.

It's just damn exciting to watch, not just for last minute tousles, but for Oh My God did you see what he just did moments of astounding beauty.

Thesis: ... Well, shit. I was going to go for some variant of what I wrote upthread at 17 (because I'm stubborn that way), but I'm not sure.

Why would US team sports work their way toward increasingly structured formats, susceptible of statistical analysis (say)? We need a sports historian or sociologist.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:26 PM
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I should really preview before I post.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:28 PM
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Here's another sports sociology tidbit to chew on: just about every major team sport played today took on its final form, had its rules codified, etc. in an Anglo-American country between about 1880 and 1910.

I'm not quite sure if that's true, but I heard it once and it makes sense. Seems at first glance to hold for hockey, soccer, rugby, baseball, football, basketball (all invented in Canada, England, or U.S.). The Olympics were also recreated during that period, and tennis and golf might have been codified then too, though I'm not sure where tennis was originally invented.

Probably the jump from informal games to mass sports would happen at a particular point in the evolution toward mass industrial society.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 7:46 PM
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116: I like the way you think, marcus.

There's got to be a lot of material out there on this subject.

If anyone interested enough has references, could you pass them along?


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:00 PM
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Wikipedia on the topic.


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:02 PM
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Cricket is much older than that. I can't think of another one.

Baseball was created in the 1850s, I think, but "codified" around 1900. But by those definitions basketball might have been created around 1900 and codified in the 1940s.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:05 PM
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Yeah, good start, but one has questions, one does.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:05 PM
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Gymnastics was developed by Czech nationalists and humorless Swedes.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:06 PM
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I BELIVE TUG OF WAR IS OLDER THAN THAT

AND THE MAYAN BEHEADING GIANT RUBBER BALL GAME

YOU NEWCOMERS NEED TO READ THE LITERATURE FIRST


Posted by: OPINIONATED GRANDMA | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:08 PM
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I love you too, OPE.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:10 PM
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Giant rubber balls don't have heads, OG.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:10 PM
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I didn't say a sport couldn't be popular here and overseas, just that the American games all share this trait.

But you were arguing that there was something about games popular in America that 'international' games didn't have, and that that difference said something interesting about the American psyche. This is undermined if the popular game that taps into the American psyche is also popular overseas.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:11 PM
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Oops, I have no idea why I called you OPE.

Grandma, I meant.


Posted by: parsimon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:11 PM
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Polo was invented by the Lur., except that they used human heads instead of a ball.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:12 PM
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This is undermined if the popular game that taps into the American psyche is also popular overseas.

I don't see why. It's not as if any game has just one redeeming quality. And now I'm off to work out, so you'll have to suffer being wrong without your favorite interlocutor. Sorry!


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:13 PM
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One head at a time, except that from time to time the umpire would throw in a new head in order to keep the players honest. The wily Lur had many ways of doctoring the heads to their advantage.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:14 PM
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I have the impression that while rules were codified about a hundred years ago, the pace of a great many games has changed with television, to say nothing of rules to facilitate televising. I saw a film of the '64 Stanley Cup on ESPN Classic, which I remember being excited about at the time, and being astounded at the slow, positional play.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:15 PM
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127: I thought that was the wily Pathans.


Posted by: mcmc | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:16 PM
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soccer is like "free form jazz."

Actually, soccer is like 4:33.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:19 PM
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The wily Lur

Lur polytropos. Eh. Not very mellifluous.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:19 PM
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130: The difference between attending a college football game that is televised, and one that is televised by whoever's pimping the Big Ten, is very different just due to the mandatory timeouts.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:20 PM
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4:33

The Cage work you're thinking of is called 4'33".


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:20 PM
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Didn't the Aztecs have a hard-rubber ball game, with rings in the vertical plane on opposite walls, but where the ball had to be forced through to some extend?

Anybody know what I'm talking about?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:21 PM
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I think that's what OPINIONATED GRANDMA is thinking of, Idp.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:23 PM
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135:

You know, I saw it being cited that way, but it's not clear to me what angular measurement has to dowith music.

I suppose that's why he was a genius, whereas I'm being corrected by imaginary pedants.


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:25 PM
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Maybe, although the beheading part threw me. Maybe that was championship games. The version I remember is that losers had their clothes ripped off or something. No idea if the fans were all men.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:26 PM
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I wouldn't say soccer is like free-form jazz so much as the ceiling of the Sistine Chanel, painted one pass at a time over the field, visible only to a blessed few. It is true glory, especially youth soccer.


Posted by: heebie-geebie | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:26 PM
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I wouldn't say soccer is like free-form jazz so much as the ceiling of the Sistine Chanel, painted one pass at a time over the field, visible only to a blessed few. It is true glory, especially youth soccer

I always wondered what happened to Kelly Flynn.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:27 PM
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but it's not clear to me what angular measurement has to dowith music.

Well, ' and " are read as minutes and seconds in angular measurement too, and I think the fact that it doesn't have to be interpreted temporally is part of the point.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:28 PM
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Lur polytropos. Eh. Not very mellifluous

Except, of course, that it wouldn't be pronounced "polly-trope-us." Since ypsilon is more of a pure "u" sound, the "lyt" would have a certain resonance with "Lur." Setting aside declension, which would probably help.

If Homer had ever seen the Simpsons, he'd probably call the Lurs "po-lur-tropos."


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:29 PM
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We need a sports historian or sociologist.

See 28.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:30 PM
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doesn't have to be interpreted temporally

I'd be more open to this notion if it didn't last, you know, 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

Just sayin'.

(It'd be awesome to perform a cover version that lasts, say, 2:27, but during which the stage rotates 4'33")


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:32 PM
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The Aztec ball game (also played by the Mayans and other Mesoamericans) definitely included beheading, of either the winners or the losers (I forget). The details may be a matter of scholarly debate; it's been a long time since I kept up with that field.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:32 PM
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What's that horrible Afghan game of quasi-polo with a goat head?


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:35 PM
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Tlachtli, IDP. You can play it with Hunahpu's head. (There's a wonderfully off-kilter fantasy book from the '80s, True Jaguar, in which the Lords of Death decide to end the world and challenge an incarnation of Hunahpu to a game, after hiring some ringers from an Italian basketball team.)


Posted by: snarkout | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:36 PM
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131: mcmc, you're no fun.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:37 PM
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There would be more opportunity in the chess world if the winners heads were cut off.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:39 PM
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146, 148: See, now there's a structural feature of a game that makes it exciting.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:39 PM
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There would be more opportunity in the chess world if the winners heads were cut off.

Objectively pro-Putin, I see.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:42 PM
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beheading, of either the winners or the losers (I forget).

But that's a really critical detail!


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:44 PM
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The article in 148 is very thorough, but not entirely internally consistent.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:45 PM
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Not important if head-cutting isn't your job.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:46 PM
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If you know beforehand whether winning or losing dooms you, marcus, then it'll skew the results. This way we make sure that the players are motivated by nothing but competitive spirit.

So, shirts or skins?


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:46 PM
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153: My memory was that the Mayans did it one way and the Aztecs the other, but the link in 148 seems to show that that's not true. Apparently the rules are not well understood, and it's not clear how much the versions of the game played by different cultures resembled each other.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:47 PM
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The men of the Corps of Discovery taught the Nez Perce baseball in the spring on 1806.

The Red Sox win one championship in nearly a century, and suddenly it's a big bad dominant dynasty? Get a grip. If they win 3 more games against the Indians, it'll be a big damn accomplishment. If they can beat the Rockies, it'll be one for the ages.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:48 PM
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Speaking of sports, the third date will be at a football game.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:48 PM
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Make sure she beheads the right player, teo.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:49 PM
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Will do.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:50 PM
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In A Window on Russia, Edmund Wilson was complaining about both Constance Garnett and Aylmer Maude. His solution was to learn Russian; I tried that too.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:50 PM
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This is the sports thread. Discussion of War and Peace belongs in the shoe thread.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:50 PM
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Sorry, belongs in the other thread, obv.


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:51 PM
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I mean, come on.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:51 PM
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Maybe the headcutting was based on some other factor, like beating the spread or getting prime-number scores like 13 and 17.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:53 PM
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It may have been based on the status of the players.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:56 PM
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Or maybe the head-cutting was the game, and the winners were rewarded with an opportunity to play the ball-in-hoop game with the Royal Ball that Sends Its Kicker To Heaven.


Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:56 PM
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106 -- Hey, that kind of looks like the TV I just got. It's kind of shocking to move from an early 90s 24" tube deal to a 37" LCD. Shows are still crap, but it's clear crap.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:56 PM
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Anybody know if other cultures, I mean entirely different civilizations, like the MezoAmerican, had formalraces, like the West has had from the Roman Hippodrome to NASCAR?


Posted by: I don't pay | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 8:58 PM
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Around 250 A.D. ox races were all the rage among the Chinese aristocracy. Fact.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:00 PM
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The Chinese actually invented NASCAR early in the 1st millennium BCE, but the society didn't have the institutional structure needed to capitalize on its commercial potential.


Posted by: Gonerill | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:05 PM
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Apparently. See the last paragraph.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:05 PM
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like the MezoAmerican, had formalraces, like the West has had from the Roman Hippodrome to NASCAR?

What were MezoAmericans supposed to race? Llamas? Turkeys?


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:09 PM
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That is, if footraces count. Horseracing apparently originated in Central Asia, if any number of unsourced horseracing websites can be trusted.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:09 PM
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174: Dogs? Not that they did, AFAIK.


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:10 PM
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What's that horrible Afghan game of quasi-polo with a goat head?

Buzkashi. Come on, JM: buz=goat, kashi=pulling. What kind of Farsi is your honey teaching you, anyway?


Posted by: ogged | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:10 PM
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It's kind of shocking to move from an early 90s 24" tube deal to a 37" LCD. Shows are still crap, but it's clear crap.

Some of us are still on 90's tube televisions.

Fuckers.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:10 PM
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He hasn't taught me that particular endearment for it yet, I'm afraid.


Posted by: Jackmormon | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:17 PM
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Using goat heads is tacky, low-class, and Afghan. Only human heads are accepted for Olympic competition.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:17 PM
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178 -- The old one stopped getting UHF. So, basically, it was less than 1981 around here: three networks and Fox, no PBS much less either of the young folks networks. I was content to stick with it, but the rest of the household mutinied.


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:20 PM
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PBS is UHF for you?


Posted by: teofilo | Link to this comment | 10-14-07 9:26 PM
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re: 178

I was thinking of buying an LCD tv recently. Looking around, they are all shit. The picture quality on broadcast television is abysmal* and significantly worse than similar sized CRT tv. They (the LCD tvs) look great on DVDs, of course, but until TV gets broadcast in HD**, LCD tvs will look shit on broadcast telly.

* watching normal broadcast TV on a large LCD tv is like watching a Youtube video blown up to full-screen on a high-res monitor.

** perhaps it's already broadcast that way in the US?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 12:23 AM
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I work nights, so even tv shows I tend to watch on DVD via Netflix. But the budget for a new tv definitely isn't going to happen in the near future. Meanwhile, those Costco bastards mock me by putting all the televisions near the entrance for me to walk past every week when I shop.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 12:45 AM
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I'd be more open to this notion if it didn't last, you know, 4 minutes and 33 seconds.

The title and therefore the length of 4'33″ is in fact not designated by its score. The instructions for the work indicate that it consists of three movements, for each of which the only instruction is "tacet," indicating silence on the part of the performer or performers.

Just sayin'.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 12:49 AM
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But for this very reason there is a scholarly literature that asks why Americans don't play cricket.

Lack of Bollywood-style musical extravaganzas.

You obviously didn't see the dancing girls at last month's Twenty20 tournament.

I'm told that there are actually quite a lot of people playing cricket in the USA, but there's some ongoing spat with international cricket's chief bods, so the USA is excluded from international competition. Which would tend to hamper any sport's development.


Posted by: sharon | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 1:29 AM
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re: 184

All the reviews I've read in consumer electronics magazines suggest that my impression [that LCD tvs are basically a bit shit for TV] is right. Pretty much all the reviews admit that broadcast TV [except the somewhat limited HD stuff available on satellite and cable] simply isn't high enough res and that the end result is blocky, pixellated looking tv. Until broadcast TV goes HD in the UK, I'll probably stick with a CRT. I mostly watch TV (or TV recorded on PVR) rather than stuff on disc, so the price/performance ratio for LCD tvs is all wrong.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 2:37 AM
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HD seems to be coming on pretty quickly here. My satellite provider (DirectTV) claims they're going to be up to at least 70 channels in HD by the end of the year.


Posted by: gswift | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 2:51 AM
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re:OT:
Bah, the lot of you. Regular stoppages of play heighten drama occasionally, but they always permit advertising. End of an inning? Fuck you, commercial. Pitching change? Fuck you, commercial. Two minute warning? Fuck you, pay me commercial. Never ascribe to vague cultural factors what can be explained by greed; 45 minutes plus stoppage time without commercials? Rank heresy!


Posted by: foolishmortal | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 3:01 AM
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The rules of cricket were first codified in 1744. They had to write them down because of the unbelievable sums of money that were being bet on games.

US national cricket teams are 95% Indian and Pakistani immigrants.


Posted by: OneFatEnglishman | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 3:08 AM
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189 gets it right. Finally.


Posted by: bitchphd | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 3:26 AM
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189: Of course, it's never truly 45 (or 90) minutes, because of the magic additional minutes that the referee keeps in his non-cheese-bearing pocket.


Posted by: Flippanter | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 7:17 AM
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Nice bit of put-on in an Amazon review of 4'33":

All of the pieces on this disc are excellent, but I wish to call your attention specially to the title piece. I have in my collection most of the extant recordings of 4'33", & have admired most of them, but without doubt this is the most splendid recording available at the present day. The Amadinda Percussion Group is in top form throughout, bringing a sensitivity & brio to the piece that have rarely been approached. The tempi are a bit faster than I am accustomed to, but I found this a welcome change, & if anything, truer to Cage's intentions. The sound quality is first-rate: every nuance is finely chiselled, dynamics are tracked with absolute fidelity. I should note that audience noise is somewhat pronounced, but it really presents no obstacle to enjoyment of this magnificent rendition of 4'33".

Well played, Henry Clayton.

Also, whatever the score may say, Cage himself performed it at 4:33. Or are you one of those nihilists who denies the validity of authorial intent?


Posted by: JRoth | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 7:21 AM
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182 -- Channels 22, 26, and 32.

183 -- I'm amazed to find that not only are the big networks broadcasting in HD, but our two of our 3 PBS stations are doing so; one of which has 4 different signals. None of this is in the TV section of the Post, so I have no idea what's on 26.1, 26.2, or 26.4. Our local ABC station has 3 HD feeds: regular ABC, a local weather channel, and something that looks like local access that was running crappy stand-up last night. The salesman really wanted us to go in for the DirecTV -- they give you $300 off the TV if you sign up -- but we thought we'd try it out without 257 channels of shit. The only station it doesn't get that I wish it got is 56. But that might just be because I haven't yet figured out how to work the thing.

You're absolutely right about ordinary signals of a LCD: the normal version of channel 26, which had a thing about grizzly bears last night, was unwatchable.

All our stations are going over to HD in a year or two, isn't that right? Or is it something else?


Posted by: CharleyCarp | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 7:40 AM
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58: Fenway is another level from Jacobs, because the place is so small and Bostonians tend to be really obnoxious people.

Absoswivinglutely. I went to school in Worcester, and lived near there for more than a decade. And I despised the obnawxious (ph) Sawx fans. Then I brought my son -- age 7 -- to his first game in Baltimore and a Masshole throws a beer cup at him. Thank God for the Baltimore PD.

Meanwhile, my son's first MLB game was in the Jake, because we were living in Cleveland at the time, and he got a ball thrown to him even though he was wearing an Orioles hat.


Posted by: peter snees | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 3:19 PM
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Independent confirmation!

I lived in both Boston and Cleveland, and even outside of baseball parks I saw a marked difference in how pleasant the population was. Midwesterners being much nicer.


Posted by: marcus | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:26 PM
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I like it when people complain about Massholes. Because (a) I had to grow up with 'em, and (b) ha ha whadda buncha whinahs.

Fenway is actually a lot more polite than it was when I was a kid. Less swearing, less shirtless dudes screaming, slightly less beer-spilling, waaay less throwing of batteries. Some of these things I think are positive, some I do not.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:33 PM
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Oh! Oh! Oh! And ANOTHER thing: on what planet are you supposed to be polite to fans of the opposing team? Throwing beer at kids is obviously cruddy and beyond the pale, but part of the fun of going to sporting events is yelling at the other team's fans. Part of the fun of going to an opposing ballpark is getting yelled at. No?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:37 PM
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I went to a hockey game in DC once and was utterly boggled by the complete non-reaction to my vigorous cheering for the Penguins.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:40 PM
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It's the beer throwing and hat grabbing and all that kind of shit that puts people into the Masshole category, though.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:41 PM
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Tweety, shouldn't you be dividing your time between Atrios' comment section and Red State's? With maybe a little LGF for spice?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:41 PM
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202

197--
"Some of these things I think are positive, some I do not"
well sure; batteries are like that.
one end is; the other isn't.


Posted by: kid bitzer | Link to this comment | 10-15-07 5:42 PM
horizontal rule