Unsportsmen of the Years

August 27, 2008

SI.com has posted a great slideshow of “unsportsmanlike” incidents at various Olympics. The best one: a Soviet fencer who installed a magical-sounding button in the hilt of his sword, allowing him to register a touch even when the blade fell short.

The vaunted 9-hitter…

August 25, 2008

The ‘x-hits’ format is a way of expressing admiration for a pitched game which, while not a no-hitter, was still quite impressive. Commonly it appears near the word ‘hapless’. As in, “J.A. Happ 2-hits hapless Nats.”

But what are the rules governing this? How many hits can an SP give up and still qualify for an “x-hits” headline? I’ve noticed a dismaying trend of overinflated hit heds recently. In July, I read of a Johan Santana 6-hitter, which set off alarm bells. And last week, my fantasy league feed informed me that Brett Meyers had just “tossed a 9-hitter.” A joke? The text-box seemed dead serious.

I say we draw a firm line at the 4-hitter. 4.5, maybe–perhaps a hit really should have been scored an error. I’ll concede 5 if the hurler spent a decent part of his evening flirting with an actual no-no, thus putting the question of hit count in our minds.

Can an argument be made to go as far as 6? Am I already being too liberal with 5? Perspectives welcomed…

Bob Costas found this to be a metaphor

August 23, 2008

Not the dropping of the baton, mind you. The rendering of the national initials in Sharpie.

Am experiencing degrees of difficulty

August 20, 2008

Can anyone figure out the accent of NBC’s female diving commentator (or, clearly, her name)? You think South, but then there’s a Plains-y element that sneaks in there. The ultimate effect is Nancy Grace-ian. Wikipedia has Grace hailing from Macon, Ga. But do we really think that’s our answer? I’d put likelihoods at:

1-Northern Arkansas
2-Tulsa, Ok.
3-Kentucky (though actually, I’ve met some more Kentuckians recently and have been surprised by the smoothness of their drawls. Bourbon-esque, you might say… (Or would you rather say… Bourbon-ic? (Na.)))

The best thing yet written about the Beijing Olympics

August 20, 2008

is this right here.

“Different runners adapt to different conditions…

August 17, 2008

differently.”  –NBC

Runner, adapting to condition.

Runner, adapting to condition.

Stalking in the San Diego desert

August 17, 2008

Instead of the preposterous “desert camo” jerseys, maybe the Padres should try “baseball camo.” Jerseys would be the colors of grass and chalk. Outfielders could advance all the way to the infield front before the enemy ascertained their coordinates.

The couple that dives together…

August 13, 2008

Do these NBC synchronized diving bios sound to anyone else like gay love stories?

“They’ve known each other since they were 7 years old, but they only paired two years ago…” (Usually intoned as the duo takes a synchronized shower.)

NB: Synchrodiving actually quite impressive.

Rotational momentum

August 10, 2008

Am kind of liking this Olympic basketball, the way the the lines let you see the rotation on shots. It reminds me of the “pro” ball in Wii bowling. It is important to earn that ball, I feel, because only when you’re able to read your spin clearly can you truly understand–and, one hopes, learn from–your mechanical mistakes.

The rest is noisy

August 9, 2008

You know you’re in a B-list Olympics event if…  loud, unexplained noises occur in the middle of your event. And no-one apologizes. And frankly, no-one in the stands seems to be watching. (Who are the Beijing Olympic badminton spectators, anyway??)

Also— This NBC website graf on shuttlecock romance is amazing:

“China’s Lin Dan and Xie Xinfang — No. 1 in the world and with each other (they are boyfriend-girlfriend) — will be the centers of attention in the Olympics badminton tournament.”

Can I write copy for NBC.com? When I was 12??