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|16 hours 23 min ago||Just finished watching the||
Just finished watching the stage. Wow, just wild. I feel for Froome but I have to admit that it adds drama having him and Wiggins out of the mix. Really exciting Tour so far.
|16 hours 34 min ago||I think that might be||
I think that might be overstating things - the current version of Contador (presumably less doped-up) is still a excellent, top 5-level guy. He's just not the world-destroyer he was when he was doping. He finished fourth in the Tour last year and two of the riders who finished ahead of him are now out. The lost time today hurts him, but I think he's still going to try some bold moves in the mountains and they might pan out.
|16 hours 44 min ago||I honestly can't imagine why||
I'm not a big negative guy about Brandon, so no, this isn't a knee-jerk thing, but I would be against a proposal to sell beer at Michigan Stadium.
You make it sound like selling beer at the stadium has zero negative consequences. Take a trip to an NFL stadium and then come to ours, and the difference in fan behavior is huge - and I think the drinking during the game is a big factor. (I am aware that a lot of people tailgate before the game and so forth, but still, outside the student section, you don't encounter that many really drunk fans at Michigan Stadium.)
|17 hours 1 min ago||Funny stuff. Seriously||
Funny stuff. Seriously though, I hate the pretentious types who insist on calling it "football" and using as much British vocabulary as possible. I knew guys like that in high school and it just turned me off from following the sport at the time.
|17 hours 8 min ago||Yep. Love to see the GC guys||
Yep. Love to see the GC guys make a gutsy move like that. It paid off handsomely.
|4 days 10 hours ago||Basketball, too - just think||
Basketball, too - just think of all the guys who have come from Croatia or Serbia. Plus tennis (Djokovic). Tito's regime must have established some excellent sports infrastructure.
|5 days 17 hours ago||Disappointing. France had a||
Disappointing. France had a pretty spirited second half but didn't show enough creativity to create really good chances. Oh well. With more experience, they'll be tough to beat in the Euros on home soil in 2016.
Germany was terrific in the first half, looking more like the team that played Portugal. In the second they were a little more on their heels but didn't look nearly as vulnerable defensively as against Algeria. The Germany that played today can win it all.
|5 days 20 hours ago||Allez les Bleus !||
Allez les Bleus !
|1 week 2 days ago||French fans have an||
French fans have an interesting dilemma here. Normally, they would obviously want Germany to be upset, given how strong their team is. But Algerians are the largest immigrant group in France and in soccer terms anyway, tend not to be very assimilated - they generally root for their country of origin (similar to a lot of Mexican Americans, I suppose). Algerian victories are often followed by rowdy street celebrations that sometimes turn violent. When Algeria qualified for the second round, 20 cars were burned in the city of Lille. That was against Russia. If Algeria is playing against France, it could get pretty ugly in the streets. French skinheads may also choose to join in the "fun" and battle Algerian fans. French policemen and firefighters (and probably the government) are going to be pulling for Germany.
|1 week 2 days ago||Actually, I think most of the||
Actually, I think most of the Algerian players aren't playing for their country of birth.
|2 weeks 16 hours ago||The U.S. and France are alike||
The U.S. and France are alike in a lot of ways - two republics, two nations very proud of their culture, language and history, and role in the world. (France is also, to a surprisingly large degree, a nation of immigrants.) Both nations are constantly accused of arrogance and being rude, and at the governmental level, their foreign policies tend to be guided by a desire to remain as independent as possible from external forces.
This is part of the issue - opposites attract and similar types repel each other. We get along better with countries like the UK that follow our lead even when it may not suit them. The UK went to war in Iraq despite a huge majority of its population being opposed, something you'd probably never see in this country or France.
|2 weeks 17 hours ago||Wait, polite French||
I'm sure it wasn't your intention to cause offense, but a lot of unpleasant ecounters come down to just cultural misunderstandings.
The last time I was in France, there was a guy in front of me at a tourist office asking how to get to a certain place. The people there spoke some English (as people dealing with tourists usually do), but he was speaking way too fast for them. People forget how fast a normal conversational speed is to a non-native speaker, and how we often don't enunciate clearly when we're speaking quickly. Also, Americans have to remember that French people are more accustomed to hearing British English, since that's what they study in school.
So the guy was rifling off a paragraph worth of information (he had multiple questions), and the people behind the counter were struggling to follow him, and asked him to repeat himself. He responded not by slowing down his speech, but just saying it louder, to the point where everyone in the room could hear him. I finally stepped in (I can speak French) and helped translate for him. They said a few things in English to him at the end (just formulaic stuff, like "Have a good visit") and he (by now pretty flustered) said, "Oh, you do know how to speak English!" and barged out of there. That guy probably was convinced they were out to get him, but I was embarrassed for him. It didn't occur to him that he needed to slow down and speak more clearly.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Regardless of their||
Regardless of their motivation, this is a good thing - especially point #2.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||OK, I can meet you halfway||
OK, I can meet you halfway here - I can see giving the referee discretion to let play go on in the final action of a game if there's a scoring opportunity. (That's philosophically similar to how in American football, the final play can be made after the clock hits zero, if it started before then.)
But the referee shouldn't have to double as timekeeper. Aside from final-second stuff, I'd take that role out of his hands and have a separate timekeeper keep track, and make it visible on the scoreboard so everyone knows how much time is being added. That would strongly discourage time-wasting tactics and let the referee focus on the rest of his job.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||A soccer fan would find it||
Like on Karim Benzema's final goal (waived off) against Switzerland? They're not consistent about that as it is. Today's Italy-Uruguay game didn't end at a "natural" point either - the ball was in the air after being headed by a player and suddenly the whistle blew.
The whole "that's the way it's been done" doesn't do much for me. Goals used to be a judgment call and now there is technology to make it more precise. It's OK to tinker with the rules a bit here and there.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||The clock is stopped for||
The clock is stopped for goals? I have my doubts about how consistently that's applied - especially in the first half of games. One goal can lead to 45-60 seconds being wasted before play starts again, and yet first-half stoppage time is almost never more than two minutes, barring a serious injury.
If fouls aren't automatically treated as stoppages, they certainly should be, or else you could kill a lot of time by just fouling people (or diving to draw them). I know referees take the really blatant stuff into account, but it should be automatic every foul - that would eliminate the incentive to waste time altogether.
I have no objection to the running clock itself; I just think the matter of stoppage time could be handled a little better.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||That may be the official||
That may be the official explanation, but I'm sure referees let more time be wasted than they should. All the routine stoppages alone (throw-ins, corner/free kicks, fouls, substitutions, the delay after a goal is scored) - probably add up to a few minutes, and yet you see many games with only one minute of stoppage time in the first half and only 2-3 in the second.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||I like the running clock||
I like the running clock because it means no commercial breaks. But it should definitely be more precisely handled. There should be a separate timekeeper to do it and display the extra time on the scoreboards, so it's not a mystery when the final whistle will come.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||The thing that gets me is||
The thing that gets me is when teams waste time during stoppage play, and the referee forgets to take it into account and blows the whistle right on the minute anyway.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||True. CONMEBOL is a pretty||
True. CONMEBOL is a pretty awesome federation as it is.
|2 weeks 1 day ago||If Brazil, Argentina and the||
|2 weeks 1 day ago||Not really the same. Belgium||
Not really the same. Belgium has a long history in soccer, and has generally outpunched its weight as a country of only 10 million - it qualified for every World Cup from 1982 to 2002 (coming out of Europe no less) and reached the seminfinals in 1986.
That article is a bit overdramatic. Belgium just happened to hit a dry spell and miss out on qualification in 2006 and '10. Qualfying for the WC out of Europe is tough; there are always a few quality teams that miss out. France and Portgual nearly did this time around.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Actually it was under Carr||
Actually it was under Carr that piped-in music during the pre game was introduced. In 2009, it was added during game time, and there was a ton of it. (Watch the '09 ND game the next time BTN broadcasts it, and you'll hear the music constantly being played.) RR wanted it during the games to fill dead time, and got it.
Regarding student seating, keep in mind the GA seating was implemented in response to poor student attendance in previous years. It didn't create the problem (though it failed to solve it as well). The student attendance issue seems to be a problem all over the place.
As for there not being an drop off in ticket purchases in 2009, that year's schedule had home games against ND and OSU. This year's schedule has neither, nor does it have MSU. I think you have to go back about 80-some years to find a home schedule that didn't have any of the three rivalry games on it. It's terrible.
The decrease in ticket renewals this year can probably be pinned down to 1) the horrible schedule and 2) the aftertaste of 2013. I don't think the game day atmosphere is a big factor. Otherwise we would have seen more non-renewals in previous seasons.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||The piped-in music started in||
The piped-in music started in 2009, Martin's last year. Rich Rodriguez was in favor of it, thinking it would enhance our homefield advantage. I do think it has to some degree - there is less dead crowd time between plays, for better or worse.
I don't agree that it was louder in 2006. Even if you don't think the piped-in music has an effect, the boxes on both sides of the stadium definitely do a lot to hold in crowd noise. The stadium can get much louder post-renovation than it could before.
There are a lot of things you can say about the Michigan football experience, but you can't plausibly argue that the stadium used to be loud in the past (unless you're going really far back, like the 1970s). Our stadium was mocked for being too quiet for a long, long time.
|2 weeks 2 days ago||Canham was the AD when the||
Canham was the AD when the Big Ten sent OSU to Pasadena over us in 1973.
|2 weeks 6 days ago||In what way is the French||
Well, we do say "Costa Rica" and "Ecuador" in English, and not "Rich Coast" and "Equator." Conclusion: the English language is a mess of contradictions.
|3 weeks 13 hours ago||Hmm, I actually seem to||
Hmm, I actually seem to recall you making a lot of posts like that during NBA threads.
|3 weeks 14 hours ago||Spain's elimination is||
Spain's elimination is fantastic news for fans of Michigan football. History has taught us that the fortunes of the two are inversely correlated:
From 1968-2007, Michigan had 40 consecutive non-losing seasons - 39 of them winning seasons. Over that same time, Spain won nothing in international play. The closest they came? 1984, when they reached the final of the Euro. That also happened to be Michigan's one non-winning season during that stretch.
Then in 2008, Spain broke through, winning the Euro. As for Michigan football, well, we know. Spain won more tournaments in 2010 and 2012 and Michigan football was mired in mediocrity.
This is the break we needed. Michigan will be back!
|4 weeks 1 day ago||France may be able to||
France may be able to overcome Ribery's absence. They experimented putting Karim Benzema in Ribery's spot in the last friendly and it worked very well (albeit against a crappy Jamaican team).
|4 weeks 5 days ago||Given how UK performed under||
Given how UK performed under Billy Gillispie and Tubby Smith for that matter (no Final Fours in Tubby's last nine seasons), I don't think there's much doubt that John Calipari is a good coach. Shady, yes, but good nonetheless.
I'm just curious if the school has an out clause if they get nailed by the NCAA.