Archive for the ‘sports’ tag
I love riding bikes. I’ll probably never ride one in a race, and certainly not in a race as competitive as this. Very interesting to see though, and very hard to follow:
(via Mr. Kottke)
The FIFA World Cup’s going on now, and I learned something I didn’t know as a result:
“From this point onwards the two versions of football were distinguished by reference to their longer titles, Rugby Football and Association Football (named after the Football Association),” Szymanski writes. “The rugby football game was shortened to ‘rugger,’” while “the association football game was, plausibly, shortened to ‘soccer.’”
Both sports fragmented yet again as they spread around the world. The colloquialism “soccer” caught on in the United States in the first decade of the twentieth century, in part to distinguish the game from American football, a hybrid of Association Football and Rugby Football. (Countries that tend to use the word “soccer” nowadays—Australia, for example—usually have another sport called “football.”)
I don’t really understand the appeal of thorough-bred racing as a sport, but I found this to be an interesting fact:
Since 1949, the time it takes thoroughbreds to run around the 1.25-mile track has averaged 2:02.25, and no winning race time has deviated by more than 3 seconds from this long-term average.
There’s a few more interesting tidbits about the fastests speed that other animals (including people) can run in the rest of the piece.
I’ve seen many of American sports fandom maps, but this is the first that seems really throughly researched and well done. And it comes with an amazing write up of the details of the interesting boundaries.
A young and average cross-country runner was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Rather than take it as an excuse to quit, Kayla Montgomery used it as a reason to push herself harder:
Because M.S. blocks nerve signals from Montgomery’s legs to her brain, particularly as her body temperature increases, she can move at steady speeds that cause other runners pain she cannot sense, creating the peculiar circumstance in which the symptoms of a disease might confer an athletic advantage.
But intense exercise can also trigger weakness and instability; as Montgomery goes numb in races, she can continue moving forward as if on autopilot, but any disruption, like stopping, makes her lose control.
(via Jason Kottke, who was reminded of a similar story)
A nice little story well told from Grantland:
Without telling anyone I sold this blog to Grantland, and now I’m only going to link to their videos. Hope you don’t mind.
I kid, but two-in-a-row is something I’d typically avoid. But I have two and so you’re going to go watch a video about a coach of a small private Arkansas high school called Pulaski Academy whose strategy is to never — with very very few exceptions — punt away the football. He credits the strategy, along with his unconventional almost-all-onside-kick strategy, with allowing his small school to win so many state championships.
A nice little feature about the couple who made, by hand, Major League Baseball’s schedule for almost 25 years. Pleasant watching.
(via The Talk Show)
This article is about all the bogus benefits the NFL has, but it’s approximately true of all major sports leagues in the United States, and the mentioned tax incentives are realized by copious other businesses at smaller scales. Still, if you’re unfamiliar with the whole political structure of it, it’s hard not to be incensed by a summary like this:
Taxpayers fund the stadiums, antitrust law doesn’t apply to broadcast deals, the league enjoys nonprofit status, and Commissioner Roger Goodell makes $30 million a year. It’s time to stop the public giveaways to America’s richest sports league—and to the feudal lords who own its teams.
Despite — or perhaps because — I rarely pay attention to sports anymore, Hang Up and Listen, which is Slate’s sports podcast, is one of my favorites. In the latest episode they talked about an exhaustive story about all the evidence that the famous “Battle of the Sexes” tennis match between Billy Jean King and Bobby Riggs wasn’t really an even fight. It’s hardly a novel theory, but the amassing of evidence for Don Van Natta Jr. story makes it pretty hard to doubt that Riggs didn’t try to win the match.