Re: Splash

1

Do you think if it becomes an all-swimming-all-the-time blog he'll come back? It's probably worth a try.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 9:40 PM
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And yes, I meant Isaac Hayes.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 9:40 PM
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1 - Maybe if we throw in some beach volleyball.


Posted by: Becks | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 9:44 PM
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We'd need pictures.


Posted by: md 20/400 | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 9:53 PM
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How much sand goes into those made-from-scratch beach volleyball, uh, courts? Enough to fill a pool? We should get mythbusters or someone to find out.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 9:57 PM
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I can't watch any videos, MSNBC says that not only do you need the correct version of firefox or safari (which I have) and not only do you need OS10.4.8 (which I have) but you need to have an intel processor. Is there any possible technological reason for this or are they just trying to make people buy new computers?
I'm guessing they're clamping down any youtube versions the instant they're posted?


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 10:48 PM
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Juiced, juiced, a thousand times juiced. That is all.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:09 PM
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I have to say that partly as a result of doping scandals in various sports, I've become almost completely uninterested in world records and much more a fan of close races. Not that I've ever not been a fan of close races, but world records could make up somewhat for lack of competition.


Posted by: eb | Link to this comment | 08-10-08 11:20 PM
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Holy crap was that men's 4 x 100 freestyle relay dramatic.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:10 AM
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Mens 4x100 video here. Watch it before NBC bitches about copyright.

http://www.faniq.com/blog.php?id=10943


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:44 AM
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Actually, I am guessing NBC doesn't have the copyright, since it's Chinese footage, but rather the broadcast rights.


Posted by: Gaijin Biker | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:49 AM
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My former deep respect for Misty May-Treanor has been destroyed. That's an undignified way for an Olympic champion to behave.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 4:59 AM
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Speaking of swimming, the mens' 100 metre relay just showed why everybody outside the US wants the merkins to lose, because they're such wankers about it when they do.

Which is why it was so good to see the Dutch women win their 100 metres relay, especially after the press conference where the Americans were only judging the Aussies as serious competition. Any day when both the yanks and the spare yanks can be crushed is a good day.


Posted by: Martin Wisse | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:13 AM
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13: I suppose I wasn't paying close attention, but why? What was the problem?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:20 AM
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The Olympics were my favorite sports event 1960-1990 or so, and I have many fond memories from that period, but I haven't watched the Olympics at all so far this year. Partly I'm just losing interest in sports, but really it's everything. The advertising and sponsorship, the nationalism, George W. Bush, Vladimir Putin, Wen Jiabao, the horrible horrible human interest stories, and the predictable and stupid selection of which events to cover.

A turning point for me was the time when a complete unknown from the Ivory Coast won the mens' 800 meters, and we saw to a prepackaged clip about the American favorite who had finished third, but nothing at all about the winner.

These are conventional things to say, but it's all true. David Brooks will sneer, but he'd sneer if I liked the Olympics too. (Real Americans watch NASCAR anyway.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:26 AM
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re: 14

I assume Martin is referring to the manner of their celebration?


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:29 AM
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16: Yes, I assumed that as well -- from what I saw, they whooped, high fived, hugged... What did I miss that was inappropriate?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:41 AM
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When I Googled the story I wrote "metre" instead of "meter" and exclusively got Canadian nationalist reports about their team, which broke the existing record for the event but placed 6th.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:44 AM
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re: 17

It wasn't that bad. It was moderately toolish, though. There are whoops, high-fives and hugs and there are toolish high-fives and hugs.

It didn't seem that bad to me. I've seen worse.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:48 AM
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OT: If Elvis could go to Hawaii (Blue Hawaii, 1961) it's OK to go to Hawaii.

Shove it, Cokie. Shove it, David Brooks.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:54 AM
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20: So, so stupid. Having lived in the Carolinas almost my entire life, I've had more than my share of Myrtle Beach, and I can guarantee you there isn't a single soul there who wouldn't rather be in Hawaii.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:57 AM
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It's funny, because sometimes those guys are pointing to something real, though stupid, about American life, but this time Cokie was completely making things up in a stupid, ignorant way.

And maliciously, too, because Obama was visiting his grandmother, for God's sake-- his full honky grandmother.

Those people must really live in a bubble, or they'd die of shame. There's no way to get rid of them, apparently.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 6:05 AM
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The beloved grandnephew is Hawaiian (along with Kansan, Minnesotan, and Mexican.)


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 6:08 AM
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17, 19: Plus, given how nerve-racking that final leg must've been, with the American anchor guy trying to make up an entire length against the world record holder in the 100m freestyle, I can see why the celebration would be big.

Still, motherfuckers should be broadcasting foil instead of the gymnastics routines that, OMG, might affect SEEDING!


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 6:32 AM
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The Race Of His Life (TM).

If the closer had dropped dead the moment he touched the wall, it would have been an even more effective story.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 6:35 AM
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Their post-race interview was moderately toolish, but my reading was that they were only responding, in a gloaty way, to the French team's "The Americans? We will crush them" statement.

If they had been favored to win, or if they had been ahead the whole race instead of only pulling forward at literally the last second, their celebration would have been annoying. As it was, I was completely entertained by watching them scream and pound fists in slow motion like ten times.


Posted by: m. leblanc | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 7:04 AM
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As it was, I was completely entertained by watching them scream and pound fists in slow motion like ten times.

I did kind of think they looked like dicks. But, as I said, moderately so, I've seen a lot worse.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 7:07 AM
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Plus, given how nerve-racking that final leg must've been, with the American anchor guy trying to make up an entire length against the world record holder in the 100m freestyle, I can see why the celebration would be big.

Yeah, this wasn't just winning, this was Lezak swimming the fastest relay split ever against incredible competition.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 7:12 AM
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And as far as American coverage, everyone knew the French were fast and the announcers were saying 'looks like the U.S. is going to get the silver medal....'


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 7:15 AM
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I've been really enjoying the olympics this year, for whatever reason. My disgust with it waxes and wanes, and the operative reaction this time around seems to be "wow, I haven't seem somebody compete in one of these sports in a long time: look, they're doing something kind of amazing!"

Watching online helps.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:00 AM
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No annoying commentary online!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:03 AM
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Watching online helps.

I just wish that I didn't have to go to my parents house to watch. Stupid OS requirements.

Also sport Judo would be much more interesting if they allowed more time on the ground.


Posted by: CJB | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:11 AM
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I could watch that clip all day. Lots of shirtless manly grasping bear hugs. Yum.


Posted by: oudemia | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:48 AM
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13: Martin,

You're just jealous. S'okay. We're used to it. It is part of the price one pays for being number one. Go back to your big ears and warm beer and hawk-nosed women.

Number one. Number one! We're number one! We're number ONE! USA! USA!! USA!!!


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:48 AM
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re: 34

Heh, Even though I know you're kidding, the USA! USA! thing still provokes an intense urge to hit someone.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:58 AM
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I've been impressed by all the live coverage of preliminary-round matches between obscure boxers from obscure countries in obscure weight classes. But why only boxing? Why not archery?

That Cameroonian guy really outclassed the RepbubliqueCentrafricain guy.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:59 AM
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Dude, Dutch women? I still have dreams about my camp counselor Maria Pannekooken.


Posted by: Wrongshore | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 8:59 AM
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These were hairless bearhugs, Oudemia. Yuk.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:03 AM
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35:ttaM - Thanks!

I finds the buttons, I pushes - hard.

I help people develop callouses. It's a living. (shrug)


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:05 AM
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Tripp, you're no Jason Fortuny.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:07 AM
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Why not archery?

That's another thing. Olympic archery and target shooting kind of annoy me. Sights? Stabilizers? Funny pieces of paper on your hat so you don't even have the wasted effort of closing your non-sighting eye? That shit's crazy! This article (previously linked by Sifu, I believe) made me feel terrible for the Bhutanese archers who are always going to the Olympics and getting beaten out by damn sissies who are used to competing on quiet, 90 meter ranges with fancy-pants bows. It would be awesome if Olympic archery required old-school bows with an unadorned limb and string, no sights, no stabilizers, nothing. Longer distance to the target couldn't hurt either.


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:17 AM
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These were hairless bearhugs, Oudemia. Yuk.

Only a Canadian could find comfort in a hirsute ursine embrace, John, or find the frisson of fur to be the most important element. Have you finally given yourself away? Have you finally revealed the self-hating canuck behind all those cruel comments about our brothers to the north?


Posted by: Po-Mo Polymath | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:22 AM
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Wasn't me. Maybe I linked to some arch butanery?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:26 AM
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It really is an Olympics where swimming times have taken a big leap forward. Here is the time differential from Olympics to Olympics for the Mens 400M Free Relay since it came back into the Games in 1984:
2.5
-.2,
1.3
1,7
.5
4.9

Another element to the relay story is that Torres has gotten all of the "age" hype, but Lezak is 32 years old.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:26 AM
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45

Nobody likes a hairless bear.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:27 AM
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45 is NSFW.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:27 AM
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Theme song for this year's Olympic swimmers:
I Gotta New Drug

Probably a version of the famous Chinese spider-centipede-fungus concoction.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:30 AM
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44: I think I read that five of the teams in the relay broke the world record that had been set that morning. That race was incredible.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:32 AM
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27: Seriously? Like, do they not have adrenaline on your side of the pond? Granted, if I swam like that I would not celebrate quite so boisterously -- but only because I would be collapsed on the pool deck gasping for air. But how do you not respond to an accomplishment like that with alot of Wooo!! Yay team!?


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:42 AM
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The Olympics are fascinating to watch. (Not the American coverage, of course, that's almost always shit-stupid in predictable ways; I'm talking about the CBC coverage now.) This has nothing to do with all the fuzzy-wuzzy sentiment that's supposed-to-but-never-really-does attach to the event; aside from the entertainment of the sports themselves, there's the tremendous entertainment of watching Western journalists struggling in various ways to cope with the transformation of the psychological landscape that this extended, lavish celebration of Chinese modernization represents. The general anxiety and groping cluelessness on display in laboured puff pieces and equally laboured attempts at "hard-hitting" journalism is truly something to see.

That relay was pretty impressive.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:44 AM
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re: 49

Some people just look like dicks doing it. There's a whole range of celebratory reactions and some have more of an aggressive 'fuck you, we rule' attitude than others. As I said, this wouldn't have stood out to me as a bad example, but I can see why Martin thought so.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:45 AM
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That relay was incredible. I would appreciate more features on the architecture, however.


Posted by: Armsmasher | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:47 AM
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49: It's also interesting that all the initial roaring is about the other swimmers celebrating Lezak's amazing swim and victory. You can see Phelps and Weber-Gale twitching as he's coming into the wall.

When Phelps won individually the other night, he just did a little fist pump.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:47 AM
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49: In other words, that celebration was tame compared to the victory dance of Di's Little League softball team: there's full-on chest-bumping, booty-shaking, and bicep slapping. And that's just the coach.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:48 AM
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It seems to me that bear-wrestling should be an Olympic event. I don't think that we should assume too quickly that the Canadians would win; I'd expect Russia to do well, and also the Scandinavian countries.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:50 AM
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I take it you read the artforum article, 'smash'r?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:50 AM
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You know what there aren't enough of at the Olympics? Rodeo events. And bullfighting. Also, chessboxing.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:51 AM
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54: If, in fact, we'd ever actually won a game...


Posted by: Di Kotimy | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:53 AM
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48: Yes. And all 8 in the final were faster than in 2004. I suspect the French were so confident because they added up their expected times and saw how much better they would be than the record, not expecting such improvement from the Americans. (Phelps and Lezak alone improved 3 seconds total over their 2004 times, even with Phelps swimming the slower leadoff leg where you don't get the anticipation on the start.)

I think Bernard probably went out a bit too fast (.2 faster than Lezak at the 50). If Bernard had had anything at all left to respond in the last 15 meters Lezak I bet Lezak would not have had as good of a time (even if he started that stretch closer), the adrenaline rush associated with the "other guy has nothing left" is impressive. (Sporting equivalent of "Crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and hear the lamentations of their women!")


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 9:57 AM
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If, in fact, we'd ever actually won a game...

I've got three words for you: "forged birth certificates".


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:00 AM
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I have to admit that I prefer more of an "eeeee! holy shit!" or "yaaaaay" style of celebration to the "rock woooo!" style on display among the swimmers.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:15 AM
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re: 61

Yeah.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:17 AM
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This weekend a friend took me on a YouTube tour through various exciting moments in the history of women's figure skating, including Sarah Hughes' surprise win in 2002. Now that involved some truly serious "HOLY SHIT EEEE"ing.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:21 AM
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64

Aren't the swimming times substantially affected by the new swimsuits made out of live sharks or whatever the hell it is?

I'm with Po-Mo in 41 - ditch the newfangled gimcrackery and compete on a truly level field. Plus if you wan to go old school, compete naked, which would do wonders for the ratings.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:22 AM
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Not that I would expect them to do anything other than celebrate; it would just be more charming if they were radiating omg omg omg omg while engaging in their manly bear hugs. Probably it is harder to fully embrace that style of celebration when it is all hard and slippery; no puppy-pile hugging at poolside.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:24 AM
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63: She was so excited she fell out of her chair!


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:24 AM
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65: It did seem a lot of omg omg omg omg omg omg to me, plus a lot of release of tension. The French were seriously favored! They won in the last three feet! ROAR.

To the extent it looks dickish, it's because Phelps is kind of scarily freakish looking.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:26 AM
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re: 67

Nah, the roary fist-waving thing is kind of cockular. Massively common, of course, in all kinds of sports.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:30 AM
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I have to admit to getting irritated by ANY woo/wooing, high-fiving ANYWHERE at ANYTIME (almost as much - but not quite - as when I hear the word 'awesome' wrongly used) but that finish of the 400 metre relay was just AMAZING and deserved ANY kind of gesture/shouting/screaming etc


(unless it was the drugs.....................)


Posted by: Herr Torquewrench | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:31 AM
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The Olympics just haven't been as satisfying since the Cold War ended. How am I supposed to know who the bad guys are? Do I go with the "Clash of Civilizations" theme, and root for Christendom against the Arab and Muslim countries?

But what happens when it's, say Turkey (Nato ally!) versus Ukraine?

Or do I go with the "Yellow Peril" theme, and root against the Chinese? What if China is competing against Vietnam or Cuba? Can we just let bygones be bygones with the former Soviet client states? A little too easy, I say.

And what happens when, say, Hungary is facing Germany in the medal round? Is it Old Europe versus New Europe?

It's enough to make me long for a simpler time, when the plucky American amateurs took on the state-sponsored might of the Russian bear, and any East Bloc wins could be dismissed as doping or treachery. Suddenly, the neo-con foreign policy seems so appealing...


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:31 AM
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Just a bit more on Bernard probably not "pacing" himself correctly (or else just not quite fit enough, not much pacing per se in the 100), although he had the 3rd fastest overall time his 2nd 50 was only 25th out of the 32 swimmers in the relay finals, only faster than one other swimmer on the first 4 teams.

64: New suits are certainly one of the factors helping.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:32 AM
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it's because Phelps is kind of scarily freakish looking.

True!


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:32 AM
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Martin is lucky that the Dutch scored in the last last seconds of the football match, or he would have been really ticked of at that celebration of Yank domination.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:32 AM
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I really wish the IOC had not decided to stagger the winter and summer olympics. It was much more exciting when it was a massive extravaganza every four years, instead of a semitraviganza every other year.


Posted by: redfoxtailshrub | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:34 AM
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70: HULK SAY, "SMASH FRENCH FAGGOTS!" MAYBE SMASH YOU TOO, CLEVER WORD BOY.


Posted by: OPINIONATED INCREDIBLE HULK | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:36 AM
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20 & following: That pissed me off so much this morning. My hatred for Cokie Roberts has gone to 11,000.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:37 AM
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And what happens when, say, Hungary is facing Germany in the medal round?

We never support Germany. That's the rule.*

* with the 'except when competing against the USA or England' caveat.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:37 AM
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I agree with 69. Now this, this is what I would call an overly masculine and demeaning celebration.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:42 AM
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Do I go with the "Clash of Civilizations" theme, and root for Christendom against the Arab and Muslim countries?

Nothing casts the bedwetting of modern America into harsher light. Then our enemies had the bomb, and pwned us at sports, and now, they don't have the bomb, and sometimes qualify for the finals.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:42 AM
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I rooted for the Egyptian boxer against some European guy, too. But then he got all religious after he won, man.


Posted by: Fatman | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:44 AM
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The rule is, jam tomorrow, and jam yesterday, but never jam today. Jeez, ttaM. I thought better of you.


Posted by: ben w-lfs-n | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:46 AM
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I don't follow swimming much but it makes sense to me that the extra tall people, if they have good form, will be faster. The bigger paddles and longer oars would seem to be a natural advantage, if they can handle them.

So - Yay! It is impressive, really impressive. Assuming no drugs, as someone said. It is a shame that is always in the back of one's mind these days.

I didn't like how the cameras focused so much on Phelps though. They should have focused on the anchor leg guy for awhile and then back to the team. Let the team be the focus with special notice to the anchor guy.

And this is really dickish of me but I was thinking "Ghost Busters' when I saw the team on the podium. That is terrible, I know. I was ashamed of myself, but there it was.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:47 AM
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I was on a plane where they were showing some puff piece about Olympic beach volleyball. I think the women who play it were designed in a lab to torment Sayyid Qutb.


Posted by: Walt Someguy | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:54 AM
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I was expecting Fatman's 78 to link to some NBA-style, crotch-in-face, dunkalicious mockery. Boy was I wrong.


Posted by: NickFranklin | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:54 AM
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Assuming no drugs, as someone said.

See, this is why I wish they would just come out of the closet and be open about the drugs that the bulk of competitors are surely using, at least in the record-driven sports. The hypocrisy is maddening.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:57 AM
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I would almost always root for the less-known athletes and the ones from the smaller, weaker countries, if I still cared. I just love guys like Akii-Bua, Filbert Bayi, and Dashpunstag Tulga.

Hint: keep an eye out for Tsagaanbaatar Haskhbaatar.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 10:58 AM
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One of the American beach volleyball contestants looks too much like Ann Coulter.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 11:00 AM
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86: there's an Indonesian women's badminton player who kicks some ass. Maria Kristin Yulanti, I think.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 11:01 AM
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Aren't the swimming times substantially affected by the new swimsuits made out of live sharks or whatever the hell it is?

Apparently it's the pool.


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 11:02 AM
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Here's a sports story just made for Unfogged.

Two members of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln's wrestling team--both nationally ranked wrestlers, one a national champ--have been caught with their pants, er, wrestling snigglets down. UNL's Paul Donahoe and Kenny Jordan appeared in solo jerk-off porn for a gay website, Fratmen.tv. The school is "investigating."


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 11:38 AM
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I maintain that Mr. Savage should have titled that post "Chokehold!"


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 12:21 PM
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Assuming no drugs, as someone said.

That's a mugs bet.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 12:23 PM
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89: The pool.

I think it is fine the Chinese have done whatever they could to make the pool the fastest they could. More power to them, since it affects every swimmer equally.

On a different aspect I was surprised again (but shouldn't have been) by the variety of human bodies there are at the Olympics. The different sizes and proportions are amazing to see. I suppose this is viewing the human body a little like livestock but really it makes sense that certain characteristics will be better for certain events.

Compact forms for tumbling, big hands for swimming, that sort of thing. Sport's medicine has come a long way in 100 years. I'm not saying something fishy is going on, I'm just saying our athletes have gotten specialized to an amazing degree.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 12:48 PM
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My hatred for Cokie Roberts has gone to 11,000.

Cokie Roberts can come paint my elitist fucking 1060 square foot house, which badly needs it. Although I have to admit she annoys me a lot less since I stopped listening to her.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 12:59 PM
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I have to admit she annoys me a lot less since I stopped listening to her.

I do try to dash over to the volume button or walk out of the room when either she or Juan Williams comes on, but there are those times when I'm still in bed with a cat sitting on me and purring and I just have to suffer through it. [Don't make the joke. You will incur my enmity.]

Getting your house painted would be convenient for you, I'm sure, but hardly penance enough for her.


Posted by: Sir Kraab | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:15 PM
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building the pool to a depth of 42.7 feet, which prevents water-temperature interference
Really? The pool is 43 feet deep? That's a whole lot of water. I hope there isn't someone like that African swimmer in 2004 who almost drowned, they'd need a scuba team to retrieve his body off the bottom.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:21 PM
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Getting your house painted would be convenient for you, I'm sure, but hardly penance enough for her.

You haven't seen my house. Lotta scraping and sanding needed. Anyway, as procedural liberals, we're all about the incremental steps. Emerson's hogs can have her after the house is done.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:25 PM
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She already acts like she has lead poisoning.


Posted by: SP | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:26 PM
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So you get the pool + suits + general trends in swimming training/technique etc. I seriously do not know if that accounts for it all or not. There are non-drug step changes in sports training/technique. At one time swimmers were cautioned not to lift weights, the amount of distances covered in a practice were very short (and then there was a period of overtraining a lot of athletes which led to frequent blood analayses (or they might do saliva) of the top swimmers to fine tune the training.) Increasingly muscle-specific exercises are used. All of these have moved the bar quite a bit.

But of course drugs have gotten better as well, as have the financial rewards.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:32 PM
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100

100: Kobe thinks it's possible the gains are all natural, just not plausible.


Posted by: | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:35 PM
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101

||

Those sneaky bastards!

|>


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:41 PM
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102

"Wily" is the word you're looking for there.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:44 PM
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103

101: So they recreated the real fireworks in CGI to take all guesswork out of the filming?

That's some PR dept.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:45 PM
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Inscrutably wily.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:50 PM
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99 Don't forget the goggles!

I heard once that good goggles were a breakthrough since they allowed the swimmers to spend a lot more time in the water. Sometimes the little things make a big difference.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:50 PM
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At least they didn't whoop about it afterwards. That would have been tacky.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:52 PM
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106: So you're saying that the US is successfully maintaining the tacky gap?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:52 PM
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108

107: it's that US stick-to-it-ivness.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:54 PM
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109

That's some PR dept.

The Chinese are adopting American ways very selectively. Fake reality is one thing they like.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 1:55 PM
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I seriously do not know if that accounts for it all or not.

I seriously do not know if politics sometimes involves little white lies, or even outright fibs.


Posted by: DS | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:21 PM
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110: Yes, that does come off as pretty naïve. There was some drug use then, there is some drug use now. I just do not feel comfortable then going from that observation to tagging a specific swimmer/performance of being drug-enhanced absent other indications. Bonds, Clemens many others, yes. Florence Griffith-Joyner yes. Phelps/Lezak/Torres not ready to say it is definite. (But I do think there is a non-trivial probability that *all* of the top guys do it to some degree.)


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:29 PM
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112

Did NPH formerly go by a pseud containing an area code?


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:33 PM
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At some point we have to stop wondering if elite athletes are juiced and start wondering if they aren't. I'm not sure where that point is, but if pushed I'd have to guess 15 or so years ago. This goes at least double for any sport with significant money in it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:33 PM
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112: No. He used to be CommonfirstnameLastInitial, like, e.g., NickS.


Posted by: LizardBreath | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:35 PM
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112, 114: But he does have, and used to use here, an e-mail address containing that first name-last initial combination plus an area code.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:42 PM
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116

AnaL976@yahoo.com


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:44 PM
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117

That's Labs.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:46 PM
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118

According to a college buddy of mine, all of the sprinters in track and field are juiced. People are clean until they get near the top ten.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:47 PM
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119

All the college football players I knew (not top end guys; second string d-line and the like) did steroids.

Shit, I knew a weightlifter kid in eighth grade who did steroids. He was a nazi, though.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:50 PM
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120

||

So I've been thinking.

(1) The Obama campaign seems to think that one of the keys to victory is holding down McCain's margin of victory among evangelical Christians. If it's an 80-20 rout like GWB v. Kerry, he's in trouble. if it's closer to 70-30 or 65-35, he's in with 300+ EV.

(2) The McCain camp seems worried that Obama might be onto something, so they are working hard to poison the well, going so far as fan scurrilous rumors that Obama could be the Antichrist.

(3) My right-wing conservative, nominally-catholic-but-heavily-influenced-by-dispensational-premillenial-eschatology neighbor was generously sharing his political opinions at my house this past weekend, and he responded to someone's observation about the sad state of the nation/world by remarking, "Things won't be set to right until the Second Coming. After that, it will be a 1,000 year reign of peace. So I'm not too worried about it."

So here's my thought: shouldn't Dem operatives responsible for ratfucking McCain be setting viral e-mails into the wild that say, in essence, "You know, this Obama guy could very well be the Antichrist. But how will he usher in the era of tribulation if he doesn't win the Presidency? Dear me, it's my responsibility to help Jesus Christ return to earth by voting for Barack Obama!"

Remember, these are the same people who view war in the Middle East (and the destruction of Jerusalem) as a good thing because they portend the End of Days and help fulfill the prophesy. Surely our side can get a meme going that every good Christian should pull the lever for Obama to hasten the final showdown between God and Satan?

|>


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:50 PM
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115: OK, I've got it straight now. Say hello to my man Hussein if you run into him, OK?


Posted by: KR | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:52 PM
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122

120: no.


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:53 PM
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My s-i-l is currently demonstrating that chemo brain + roid rage is not a pretty combination.

120: So you're suggesting a flip-flop on the Antichrist issue?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:53 PM
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119 falls under the `at least double' contention in 113.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:53 PM
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According to a college buddy of mine, all of the sprinters in track and field are juiced. People are clean until they get near the top ten.

I can believe that. It's a bit like recruitment of major college athletes: the conceit is that there are dirty programs, but the reality--as I understand it--is that all programs are dirty, and what we're really talking about are degrees of dirty or degrees of ineptitude at dirty deeds.

120: No. Because their real problem isn't that he's the Anti-Christ. It's that he's black. And they're not voting for one of those. Write 'em off and pray for our own day of deliverance from their evil.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:55 PM
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124: there's a lot of money in being a middle school nazi?


Posted by: Sifu Tweety | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 2:57 PM
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their real problem isn't that he's the Anti-Christ. It's that he's black

Their real problem isn't even that he's black, though it contributes, certainly. It's that he's a Democrat (which has largely been equated with Satanist in many evangelical minds) who looks like he might win.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:03 PM
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121: Oddly enough, I have a friend by that name (spelled differently) whose (very white) wife was distantly acquainted with the one you're referring to during his Punahou days and whose relative (brother? cousin? I've forgotten exactly) was a roommate of The One in NYC.


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:07 PM
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127: Fair point. But I think a white guy Democrat who hadn't cheated on his cancer-ridden wife with some coked up floozy might have a decent shot at some of those votes. I don't think that they love the Republicans at the moment. I'm certain that they don't love the taint of corruption.


Posted by: SomeCallMeTim | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:09 PM
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119: Yes, on reflection I should learn from my sad experience that there is a lot of (at least usually not that intense) steroid use at the high-school level for almost all sports. For HS in particular where overall skill levels in general are not that high and there are very big developmental differences, often the big determinant on excelling or even simply playing/making the team for many sports is how physically mature/developed a child is, and steroids are seen as compensating for any underdevelopment. So they in fact end up percolating down to a fairly low-level of athlete. However, these folks have little fear of being tested/found out.

The "intersting" part for the elite athletes is the risks/consequences of being found out given the testing. Maybe the users are always two steps ahead of the testing. There has been a rash of well after-the-fact disclosures recently.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:11 PM
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re: 130

That's so weird. I'd be very surprised if, here in the UK, many [if any] high school athletes were taking drugs.

A guy who went to the neighbouring high school when I was growing up played international rugby. The idea that he was juicing would have been laughable [he did like to smoke the odd spliff and get pissed though].


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:18 PM
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131: What's the ratio of expected earnings in the NFL compared to international rugby?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:21 PM
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130: And, iirc, many of the recent disclosures weren't due to getting caught by testing, but BALCO getting busted.


Posted by: Cala | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:22 PM
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re: 132

Well, that's clearly partly it. There's no system here for college entry based on sport, so, no incentive that way. At the time we are talking [late 80s/early 90s] rugby union wasn't a big earning sport. Also, no real jock culture. As I've said before, no-one gave a shit about high school athletes. So, little social incentive to take performance enhancing drugs.

I'd imagine the incentives now for people doing the same sport to take steroids are higher. I still suspect that, for those using, it probably starts later in their career though -- post high school, definitely.


Posted by: nattarGcM ttaM | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:26 PM
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132: Yes, but many of these high-school/not top college types are not fooling themselves that they are on the road to riches. They are just about getting to participate and do well at the level they are at (or maybe popping up a level).


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:26 PM
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In Scotland they are civilized. No obsession with organized sports, just informal artisanal headsmashing contests.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:27 PM
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I think that in HS the main goal is for people to notice you when you walk into the room. Girls, guys everyone. Being invisible is the greatest fear.

Being good at sports is a plus, having a sex life is a plus, but just making a social stir is the most important thing.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:29 PM
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I still suspect that, for those using, it probably starts later in their career though

Agreed. The US preoccupation with high school sports, (particularly football, particularly some states) is bizarre. But given that, juicing at this age isn't surprising. Especially, as JP notes, for a kid a little behind his teammates developmentally.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:30 PM
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135: Good point. How many kids are doing this for a shot at playing first-string, and dating more of the popular girls?


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:31 PM
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137 - During my brief stint in US high school my primary goal was to avoid being noticed.


Posted by: togolosh | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:38 PM
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Being invisible is the greatest fear.

Not to quibble, but being invisible was my fondest wish in high school. And not for the reasons a perv like Apo would hope for that superpower.


Posted by: ari | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:38 PM
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134: Yes, all of the things you mention are at play in the US. High School sports very big in many places. Jock culture is still the social pinnacle in many schools (or at least one of the pinnacles) Are you a smart but not absolutely top student who wants to go to a top "academic" school? Be a pretty decent athlete. (Paradoxically, this runs most rampant at places like small liberal arts colleges where some of them have 30% athletes on campus to fill their teams. Not all are that good of course, but if you can get yourself good enough to get "recruited" your chances of getting in skyrocket. This might ease off a bit when the current "baby boomlet" passes. I think next year's freshmen are the peak cohort.) And of course there are the boomers "competing through their kids"—we'll see if that one really does ease off in the future.

And I'll admit my attitude towards sports is completely schizophrenic; played them, coached them, watch them, but then I see this and so many other ways in which they negatively influence society. Although like most things it is probably just the underlying ills of society manifesting themselves through yet another set of institutions. I just hope we are sublimating about a jillion wars we would otherwise be starting and fighting ...


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:41 PM
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140, 141: ^For healthy young men without serious emotional problems,^ being invisible is the greatest fear.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:41 PM
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142: There really isn't a lot of upside to jock culture as currently instituted in US high schools, as far as I can see. I don't know how you go about changing that, though.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 3:44 PM
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Given the actual world we live in, though, sports success can be good for kids.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 4:00 PM
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There really isn't a lot of upside to jock culture as currently instituted in US high schools, as far as I can see.

I am deeply skeptical of scholastic sports as currently instituted in the U.S., and even more so of intercollegiate sports. But I will say this: once pass-or-play became the rule in my school (I think the rule was that you lost your eligibility if you got any grade below a C-minus), a number of my peers perceptibly increased their devotion to schoolwork. Perhaps we were in that sweet spot where sports were important enough to be a motivator for the kids (and their parents), but not enough to corrupt the grading system.


Posted by: Knecht Ruprecht | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 4:18 PM
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Yes, all problems of the world, but especially Amerikka would be solved if high school jocks weren't idolized by all and sundry. Yet another thing for Obama to straighten out.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 4:31 PM
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Four-year letterman in strawman bashing, TLL?


Posted by: Not Prince Hamlet | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 4:48 PM
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Yes, all problems of the world, but especially Amerikka would be solved if high school jocks weren't idolized by all and sundry.

Nope, just the problems that arise from idolizing high school jocks. Duh.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:00 PM
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The high point of TLL's life was a football game during his senior year. Let's not take that away from him.


Posted by: John Emerson | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:06 PM
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If only. My athletic career did include football, but my glory days came in lacrosse while in college. Don't make me give you a wedgie, JE.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:09 PM
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Don't make me give you a wedgie, JE.

A real jock would snap him with a towel, TLL.


Posted by: apostropher | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:21 PM
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Apo- that's what we did to each other. A- bomb was another fav.


Posted by: Tassled Loafered Leech | Link to this comment | 08-11-08 5:33 PM
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There are rumours of juicing among some of the boys in the Dublin rugby-playing schools. (Schools rugby is a big big deal in certain middle class circles and part of their whole "making connections with the right people" stuff. The popular parody of a stereotypical entitled waster has as his life's chief achievement the fact that he won a medal in a schools competitition. )


Posted by: emir | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 2:23 AM
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An interesting article about a former East German shotputter. Athlete says sports steroids changed him from woman to man.


Posted by: JP Stormcrow | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 5:34 AM
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154: emir

Sounds like the equivalent of the American "starring" in high school football.

It is a big deal at the time but lame when a 50-year-old still refers to it.

That is why I rarely mention my sport's stardom. (grin)


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 10:24 AM
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but lame when a 50-year-old 25-year-old still refers to it.


Posted by: soup biscuit | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 10:29 AM
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JP:

And I'll admit my attitude towards sports is completely schizophrenic; played them, coached them, watch them, but then I see this and so many other ways in which they negatively influence society. Although like most things it is probably just the underlying ills of society manifesting themselves through yet another set of institutions. I just hope we are sublimating about a jillion wars we would otherwise be starting and fighting ...

I agree. Around these parts youth sports before HS are generally OK. Everyone who wants to play gets on a team. For most of the teams the emphasis is on perseverance, learning from mistakes, personal improvement.

At HS that changes and the local schools have incredibly competitive teams with very skilled players so it is impossible for a good but not great athlete to make the team.

For example, the varsity football team has over 100 players! They have to double up on numbers. The vast majority of those kids practice but never play in a game. It is a shame.

I think we are taking our anxieties about globalization and projecting those onto our kids - spurring them to work extra hard on sports and talents and academics. We are pushing our kids extremely hard.


Posted by: Tripp | Link to this comment | 08-12-08 10:33 AM
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