Olympic ticketing has its set process. Organizers generally sell seats as far ahead of the Games as they can, slowly releasing batches for the premier events first — in order to maximize cash flow in the years leading up to the festival. Pools of seats are then made available to citizens of the host nation, and anything that’s left goes to general sale nine to 12 months before the Opening Ceremony. So the Games are usually either “sold out” or “95 percent booked.” It only takes one visit to the Olympics to know that this type of news is all useless misnomer that should be completely ignored.
Roughly 60 percent of the Easton hockey sticks sold in Canada are for left-handed shots, Mountain said. In the United States, he said, about 60 percent of sticks sold are for right-handed shots. Figures over the years from other manufacturers have put the ratio discrepancy between the two countries as high as 70 to 30.
The difference even trickles over into golf, where the swing is not unlike that of a slap shot. According to the Professional Golfers Association, 7 percent of Canadian golfers play left-handed, which is proportionally more than any other nationality. The reason is probably that Canadians pick up a hockey stick first and are therefore imprinted by the time they take up golf. Especially if they are from Quebec, where hockey players are even more left-handed than players in the rest of Canada.
Oddly, British Columbia — sometimes said to be the most American-like of the Canadian provinces — skews the other way. “The rest of the country goes 2 to 1 in favor of left sticks, but it’s reversed in B.C.,” said Marc Poirier, a customer service representative who handles Canadian orders for Warrior Sticks.
Europeans also tend to be left-handed shooters. The International Ice Hockey Federation does not keep figures by European nationality, the communications director Szymon Szemberg said. But, he said, lefty shooters have predominated. “For long spells, the great Soviet teams of the ’80s never had a player who shot right,” Szemberg said.
I was encouraged to hear that Michael Vick, in advance of his reality show that debuts Tuesday on BET , is saying he led “a double life,” and I use the word “encouraged” advisedly. Because you don’t know how many times I’ve asked myself and asked people who worked inside the building at 4400 Falcon Parkway if I/they had any hint — any hint — of what was to come.
And I did not. Which might make me the world’s worst reporter, except that I’ve not yet found anyone within the compound who saw it coming, either.
I know, I know. People on the outside will harrumph and say they knew it all along because he wore his hair in corn rows and dressed in a manner different from, say, Peyton Manning. But I grew up in the ’60s and have had some fairly extravagant hairdos myself, and I attended my high school graduation wearing platform shoes with four-inch heels. Me, I stopped judging on appearances long ago.
And even if you believed Vick mightn’t have been a model citizen, you knew this … how? Before the Ron Mexico civil action was filed in 2005, there wasn’t a hint of misdoings, and he’d been a Falcon since April 2001. In hindsight, the weird part wasn’t that we “knew all about” the most famous person in Atlanta but that we knew, as in really knowing, hardly anything.
That’s why I’m intrigued by “The Michael Vick Project”, and what it might reveal. I thought I knew him. Turns out I only knew what I was allowed to see. I’m intrigued to see how he kept his lives compartmentalized. I’m intrigued, as the spies in John le Carre’s fictional Circus would say, by the tradecraft.
On whether or not people ever saw the best that he could’ve been:
“No. Not at all. I think if I woulda applied myself, there was a lot more I could have done off the field and also in the film room that could have elevated my game to a totally different level. I was complacent at the time, somewhat lazy, and I kinda settled for mediocrity. I thought what I was doing was enough. I thought that would suffice and I didn’t have to do anything else. I thought as my career went on I would continue to play at a high level. Everything that I was doing off the field, in regards to the marijuana and everything else, it didn’t slow me down, but it definitely slowed my developmental process because it made me lazy in a sense and I wasn’t really focused and didn’t take things seriously. Now, I want to make the most out of the next couple of years out of my career. I want to play my best football up until the age of 34 or 35, so that’s my plan. I’m gonna put everything into it. Put my all into it.”
On the fact that he still had success even when he didn’t dedicate himself completely:
“Just imagine what I could’ve been doing if I really would have been applying myself. That’s a regret that I have. I’m just glad that I have an opportunity to make amends for what I didn’t do and try to recap that. That’s what I wanted to show in my documentary because people didn’t know that. I wanted a clean slate, I wanted to put all of that out there so that once this documentary aired and the series is over, then I can move on with my life and I don’t have to answer a lot of questions. I can just answer them through my actions.”
Judging by the above paragraphs only, it sounds like he’s growing up.
“To all the people watching, I can never thank you enough for your kindness to me and I’ll think about it for the rest of my life. All I ask of you is one thing: please don’t be cynical. I hate cynicism- it’s my least favorite quality and it doesn’t lead anywhere.
The Football Outsiders guys wrote up their worst of 2009 team. If you enjoy snide comments at the expense of pro athletes, this column is for you.
So, Sabby Piscitelli. It’s kind of a fun name, in that juvenile, vaguely dirty way some Italian names are. His house was burglarized during the win against Green Bay this year, and burglary is wrong and illegal, so he has my sympathies. I hope he was covered by insurance. If you do an Internet search on him, he’s apparently somewhat of a favorite of the ladies. They had an easy time finding him this year; all they had to do was look at who was supposed to be there when Tampa Bay gave up a long touchdown pass.
All these humanizing details tend to take the edge off the fact that Tebow’s entire role-model persona doesn’t work unless he can convey that, fundamentally, he’s better than you: stronger, more capable, more at peace, just basically happier. This is what the people who make fun of Tebow are skewering—his cult of personality. When Obama invited the Gators to the White House earlier this year, the sports blog Deadspin ran a picture of Tebow’s “steely-eyed Manshake” with the president under the cheeky headline our two greatest leaders make a pact to save the world.
But in Gainesville, in close quarters with 52,000 other students, where there’s already a statue of him, seven feet tall, carved from an oak tree—”Tim Treebow”—he’s universally adored. I try to find people to talk shit about him. I fail.
Ichiro! did an extensive interview last week and among other things talked about negativity and not getting fat. He’s probably my favorite active player and it’s not solely because he carries his bats in a briefcase.
A lot of people for a long time have thought that you can’t do this forever. A lot of people were thinking by now Ichiro would be a three hitter, he would be hitting 40 homeruns a year, but you can still do everything you did before. Are you in any way surprised that you are still doing these things and what is your reaction when people say Ichiro is going to move on and become this?
Probably for my style of baseball the key to maintaining it is not to get a gut.
As far as what other people say… The thing is a lot of people who comment about other people, especially people who say negative things about other people, they are not really in positions to be able to evaluate other people in the first place. If we input that information into ourselves more than necessary only negative things will come of that. So it is really about knowing yourself and not being controlled by people who have no value or say. I guess now that we have talked about this I guess you can say that is one key to where I am now is that I have not been swayed by what other people have said.
If you could trade places with anybody in the history of the game for one day who would you like to trade with and why?
(Becomes very animated)
There’s not really a certain who that comes to mind but I think I would like to become a really fat player. (Raucous laughter) Maybe not necessarily fat, but a really, really big player and the reason for that is when I see really, really big players able to perform in baseball I always think to myself how are they able to do that? Because I think to be able to be a good baseball player you have to be able to control your body and for them to have really big bodies and to perform well in this very difficult game of baseball, I am very curious.
Some other people say, ‘You are so small, how come you are able to perform on the baseball field?’ but to me it is only natural because with me I am able to control my movements and my body. For me it is the opposite. Big guys? How are you able to do it? That is a big mystery. (much laughter)
There is a rumor floating around that several Chargers were “partying” .. Saturday night and well into Sunday morning before the game. Can any of this be confirmed?
Regarding Marty, I thought he was just plain stupid. Push come to shove, I take Norv…but I wish he was our offensive coordinator. That is his destiny in life, and that’s ok.
…and Kaeding???The boy can’t seem to handle pressure in the play-offs,that scares me going forward because he’s so darn good in the regular season,how do you justify a switch?I can’t think of a good question,because honestly,I think we’re as good as any team out there,I’m just confused as heck by yesterdays game,GO BOLTS…ALL THE WAY IN ’10…God,I hate baseball season….
The NBA D-League’s Idaho franchise is aptly named.
The Stampede run, gun and make themselves quite a bit of fun for their fans to watch. The team scores 111.2 and allows 105.6 points per game, primarily as a result of the fact that its contests consist of an average of approximately 104 possessions on each side. For reference purposes, the Golden State Warriors lead the NBA in pace at 100.9 possessions per game.
The Stampede press in the fullcourt throughout the game every time out and look to get out and run in transition at every opportunity. Coach Bob MacKinnon developed his system with last season’s championship-winning Colorado 14ers team, and he has brought it successfully to Idaho, where the Stampede are off to a 11-6 start. In addition to the fast pace, MacKinnon came to Boise with an original explanation for the motivation behind all the running.
“The great thing about basketball is that it’s a player’s game,” MacKinnon said. “When I got the job last year, I figured ‘What’s most important to the players?’ The most important things are minutes and numbers. Points, rebounds, assists, that kind of thing. As a coach I thought, ‘What can I do to take some of their concerns away and make it more about winning?’ I thought if we could get our possessions up, the way that we play will be determined more by possessions than by minutes. If we get our possessions up, the numbers will take care of themselves.”
Tip for all you degenerates out there: Don’t bet on any Chinese soccer games unless you have a good tip.
Match-fixing in Chinese football is “normal” but the poor standard of play in domestic leagues makes it difficult to detect, according to a club manager arrested in a nationwide police probe.
Is there a less encouraging sight than Dick Curl excitedly imparting information to an overwhelmed head coach trying to make a crucial strategic decision? He’s like a two-minute drill saboteur. Lost in the Jim Zorn bashing this week after the Rams-Redskins game was a vintage piece of Dick Curl gamesmanship at the 9:25 mark in the fourth quarter with the Rams down 9-7 and facing 4th-and-2 on the Washington 41. Now, what would someone who is not Dick Curl recommend in this situation? Send the offense back out and go for it? Attempt the long field goal? Solid choices, but lacking in the Curl touch. Wouldn’t it be better to call a timeout after an incompletion, line up in a fake punt formation with an eye toward drawing Washington offside, only to have one of your guys commit a false start at the last second, killing any chance for a field goal or manageable fourth-down conversion? Brilliant. I’m interested in who else Steve Spagnuolo considered for the clock wrangler job before settling on Curl. There were people in the McKinley administration with a better sense of when to take a timeout.
This point admittedly seemed more controversial two weeks ago, back when the Colts were 14-0 and the Saints were 13-1. Back-to-back losses have left both teams vulnerable entering the playoffs. Turner’s the last man standing all right, but his case would be complete with or without the late-season swoon from Jim Caldwell and Sean Payton. All it did was remind us that a good coach—fundamentally—is someone who keeps preventable damage to a minimum. That’s Norv Turner. Norv Turner is a good coach. How the hell did this happen?
For readers under the age of three, it’s worth noting that Turner was considered an apocalyptically bad head coach for nearly a decade. He went 49-59-1 in seven seasons in Washington and 9-23 in two years in Oakland. Since taking the Chargers job in 2007 he is 32-16, with a 3-2 mark in the playoffs Whether Turner improved in San Diego or merely had his incompetence outpaced by a new generation of coaches is debatable. Not debatable is Turner’s performance over the past one-and-a-half seasons holding together a Chargers team that had every excuse to go to pieces.
Top NFL Business Stories of 2009. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about this, especially during Lions games, and I’ll certainly have more on it this offseason.
Despite several recent meetings between the NFL and its labor counterpart, the NFL Players Association, regarding the extension of the labor agreement ratified in March of 2006, it appears we’re headed for a different system come March.
The amazing thing about this negotiation, unlike any other in modern professional sports, is that ownership is ready and willing to embrace a system without a Cap and the players are arguing in earnest for continued operation with a Cap.
In looking more closely, one can see two reasons: (1) Among the poison pills built into a system without a cap are two more years required for free agency, meaning 212 players – including top players such as Logan Mankins, Elvis Dumervil and Vincent Jackson – who would be free to negotiate with any team in the league now cannot; and (2) the lack of a spending floor that will permit (encourage) teams to roll back player costs and gear up for the next system, with or without a cap.
The gap between good and bad appears to be widening. The successful teams of recent years – Patriots, Colts, Chargers, Eagles, Packers, etc. – continue to have success. The unsuccessful teams of recent years – Lions, Raiders, Browns, Rams, Bills, etc. – continue to have challenges (the Rams and Lions will draft in the first two slots in consecutive years). The games appeared less competitive, especially early in the season.
It wasn’t entirely clear how the gang scored themselves an invite to Sleazeside’s version of Lake Havasu, but we’re fairly certain the lake that they were romping in contains more crabs than your local Red Lobster. The highlight of the afternoon was clearly when Pauly D hopped in the water and not a single hair on his head moved.
During a year-long gambling binge at the Caesars Palace and Rio casinos in 2007, Terrance Watanabe managed to lose nearly $127 million.
The run is believed to be one of the biggest losing streaks by an individual in Las Vegas history. It devoured much of Mr. Watanabe’s personal fortune, he says, which he built up over more than two decades running his family’s party-favor import business in Omaha, Neb. It also benefitted the two casinos’ parent company, Harrah’s Entertainment Inc., which derived about 5.6% of its Las Vegas gambling revenue from Mr. Watanabe that year.
Watanabe would have done well to have this guy gamble with him. He actually supports a family picking up losing tickets that aren’t.
As someone who is somewhat caught between the world of statistical analysis and actually being involved in the game I’ve thought a lot about how I would handle the closer situation if I were a manager. In this instance I feel like players pitch better when they have a definitive role, thus I would disagree with statistics that say that you should play match ups in the 9th inning unless you have an elite closer. The fact is that it is nearly impossible to be locked in where you need to be to pitch for the entire game, in every situation.
Enthusiasts of frequent-flier mileage have all kinds of crazy strategies for racking up credits, but few have been as quick and easy as turning coins into miles.
At least several hundred mile-junkies discovered that a free shipping offer on presidential and Native American $1 coins, sold at face value by the U.S. Mint, amounted to printing free frequent-flier miles. Mileage lovers ordered more than $1 million in coins until the Mint started identifying them and cutting them off.
Coin buyers charged the purchases, sold in boxes of 250 coins, to a credit card that offers frequent-flier mile awards, then took the shipments straight to the bank. They then used the coins they deposited to pay their credit-card bills. Their only cost: the car trip to make the deposit.
MTV’s Jersey Shore is the newest best worst reality television program ever. It’s probably not worth the time and brain cells killed to sit and watch full episodes of this, but the clips and quotes are outstanding. From Vulture:
“You have your penis pierced. I love it.” —Jenni “JWOWW”
After housemates Pauly D and Jenni “JWOWW” found themselves a little bit buzzed and falling prey to the always romantic strains of house music at club Karma [Side Note: We’re strongly considering hitting up Google Maps and making a road trip there this weekend], they made their way back to the share and started making out. It was there and then that we learned that “the party’s in Pauly D’s pants tonight” (his words, not ours), and that said party was pierced.
“I feel like this is beneath me. I’m a bartender. I do great things.” —Angelina “Jolie”
We’ve all been in a position at one time or another when we’ve felt like our unique talents might be going overlooked in the workplace. However, we imagine that only a small fraction of you ever had this epiphany while putting airbrushed tank tops on hangers in a souvenir T-shirt joint on the boardwalk. Thanks to Angelina, though, we can now all empathize with her plight. She’s sort of like the Erin Brockovich of Shore Store.
“I love the Situation.” —Mike “the Situation”
And now, so does America! You see, our boy Mike has dubbed himself “the Situation,” which provides him with the opportunity to lift up his shirt and display his rippling abdominal muscles at a moment’s notice simply by asking women, “Do you love the Situation?” while pointing at his six-pack. You might think this outright display of peacocking wouldn’t work in a post-Mystery world, but surprisingly, it works like gangbusters. Not only do women coo and fawn in his presence, he was able to sell multiple factions of guidettes booty shorts emblazoned with his catchphrase, quickly proving himself to be one of America’s all-time greatest salesmen. Could “I love the Situation” be the new “Eat my shorts, man”? Quite possibly!
“I’ll never buy again,” said the veteran Nets guard Keyon Dooling, who rents the downtown Orlando condominium he bought in 2005 to a Magic player. “That was a learning experience. I’ll never buy again as far as where I’m playing. It’s not a good idea because you can never predict how long you’re going to be in a situation. You could be stuck with a piece of property that you never go to.”
Dooling’s teammate Courtney Lee, a rookie with the Magic last season, considered buying in the same condominium building before Dooling advised him against it. Good thing, since Lee is now with the Nets, where he rents on a month-to-month basis from the former Net Bostjan Nachbar, who is playing in Turkey.
I think that’s the first Bostjan Nachbar reference on this blog.
Tony Dungy continues to provide understated excellence on Sunday Night Football. Somehow, he’s able to illustrate and tactfully disapprove better than any of the more animated commentators filling the airwaves. Instead of openly criticizing Bears QB Jay Cutler, he said, “I didn’t think anyone could overthrow Devin Hester.
Believe it or not, there was someone who played worse than Mr. Russell on offense, and his name is Chris Morris. While subbing for Samson Satele at center in the first three weeks, I nearly JaMarcussed my pants charting all his blown blocks and inability to handle a simple stunt. Either he’s getting bowled over on passes, or whiffing linebackers on runs. While he has returned to his natural position as a guard, every once in a while I’ll see him diving around in on my TV, only to fall to the ground while his man wraps up the running back.
Chris Spencer has pretty much proven that he’s not a starting-caliber NFL center. He’s a detriment as a run blocker on almost every play. The bad news is that Max Unger, drafted to be Spencer’s replacement, has started every game at guard and has looked even worse. The pinnacle of this duo was a play against Dallas when Unger and Spencer tried to double-team Jay Ratliff. Ratliff not only pushed the pair into the backfield, he actually put Spencer on his back.
Site-wide, two-thirds of male messages go to the best-looking third of women. So basically, guys are fighting each other 2-for-1 for the absolute best-rated females, while plenty of potentially charming, even cute, girls go unwritten.
The medical term for this is male pattern madness.
As you can see from the gray line, women rate an incredible 80% of guys as worse-looking than medium. Very harsh. On the other hand, when it comes to actual messaging, women shift their expectations only just slightly ahead of the curve, which is a healthier pattern than guys’ pursuing the all-but-unattainable. But with the basic ratings so out-of-whack, the two curves together suggest some strange possibilities for the female thought process, the most salient of which is that the average-looking woman has convinced herself that the vast majority of males aren’t good enough for her, but she then goes right out and messages them anyway.
Prior to kickoff [versus Tennessee], Rich Gannon of CBS asked Dick “Cheerio, Chaps” Jauron what Buffalo worked on during the bye. Cheerio Chaps replied he spent two weeks studying film and concluded there was nothing wrong with Buffalo’s strategy, “We just need to improve our execution.” Coaches love to blame “execution,” because this is the same as saying, “The coaches are doing everything right; the players need to perform better.” There’s nothing wrong with our strategy! After spending two weeks supposedly improving execution, Buffalo threw two interceptions returned for touchdowns.