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|4 weeks 2 days ago||That's the landscape of||
That's the landscape of Soccer in the 21st Century. The best players all play on a small handful of the richest clubs. Real Madrid is actually the worst example of this--since the days of di Stefano and Puskas, they have always hoarded as much of the best talent as they could get. True to this day.
What is remarkable is that even in this environment, the offensive results that Messi and Ronaldo produce every year is staggering. And they are producing in the biggest games, at least for their clubs. Netting 60-70 goals in a season simply isn't done, and yet these two have been doing it for YEARS.
Many all-time greats have played with other all-time greats. It doesn't get results like this. The Messi-Ronaldo rivalry is a golden era of Soccer, one that we will tell our grandkids about. It's a pity that it gets so little attention in the States. This isn't just greatness, it's all-time greatness.
|4 weeks 3 days ago||Same reason that doping is||
Same reason that doping is widespread and effectively overlooked across major sports: the benefit is huge.
Flopping happens in basketball because the challenging nature of the block/charge call means that it can directly benefit the team. Low cost, good upside. Flopping in Soccer probably has a lower success rate, but the cost is still low. And the benefits are huge--penalties or free kicks near goal; further out, yellow or red cards that neutralize or remove opposing players for the entire game. That's a huge benefit. Even if it only works one out of ten times, that one success is worth whatever it takes.
So it will continue.
|4 weeks 6 days ago||I'm with you on this. I||
I'm with you on this. I watched and enjoyed the Super-Regional last year and tuned in again (vaguely familiar with the players) when national TV did. And it's been a lot of fun to watch; this is a very likable team. I have vague hopes that the pizza meme crosses over to a big-time sport next year, say as part of a team TD celebration.
Hope they win tonight.
|5 weeks 1 day ago||That play at the plate,||
That play at the plate, between two teams I don't care about, in a sport I am usually indifferent toward, was electric. Awesome. This is why sports are great.
|5 weeks 3 days ago||You two are arguing about||
You two are arguing about something that you basically, vaguely, agree about.
Tony George was an idiot.
Tony George held the trump card, the Indy 500.
The breakaway had all the best drivers, a great collection of cars, a fantastic format, a brilliant stable of races... But no Indy.
And that mattered. And now the Indycar series is still a thing, but it's much more of a niche. And insomuch as it has success it has success by being basically what the series was before the split. The big event is a huge, huge issue. The best teams needed Indy.
|6 weeks 1 day ago||I love the way Richard||
I love the way Richard Rothschild concludes his article ( http://www.si.com/more-sports/2010/05/24/owens-recordday ) on the Owens moment:
"Ferry Field still stands. Outside the track a plaque commemorates Owens' record-shattering day. It is, perhaps, the ultimate compliment in college sports that a University of Michigan athletic facility continues to honor the achievements of an Ohio State Buckeye."
Some things are bigger than sports rivalries. What Jesse Owens did in the '36 Olympics, repudiating in symbol and in fact Hitler's Fascist philosophies that took the world six years to militarily defeat, might be the highest possible achievement in sports.
To have such a transcendent athlete achieve one of his greatest accomplishments in the home of his school's greatest arch rival is fitting: to be so great that said arch rival is happily compelled to memorialize that achievement on its campus is appropriate. A proper tribute to his greatness.
May he be long remembered.
|6 weeks 2 days ago||Didn't the tournament do||
Didn't the tournament do pretty well in Nebraska? You know, where there's an established college baseball fanbase.
I wish I had some extra time, because I would actually love to catch a game at Target field this weekend. It's a selling point for me. But then I root for Michigan and don't always have a local MLB team to see whenever I want.
And two hours is a bit too long to drive.
I think the smaller-town idea is pretty good. But honestly I don't think this well draw very well anywhere. Smaller venues at least look respectable.
In fairness, WD, the B1G hockey tournament at least had the reasonably successful CCHA finals to use as a blueprint for holding games at the Joe. There is no similar record of success for college baseball.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||College players who sign||
College players who sign before the end of the NHL regular season almost always get called up to the top level for a game or two, whether they have an NHL future or not. Shawn Hunwick dressed for Columbus and was out of hockey a year later, etc. It's a standard practice that gives young guys a game or two of top seasoning and the organization a chance to learn about them. Teams that are in the playoff hunt can rest guys that they will need later, since the college kids aren't eligible for the playoffs anyway; basement teams have nothing better to do. Been this way for years.
Your logic is flawed. Red was a great coach, had forgotten more about hockey than any of us will ever know, and still doubtlessly knows a lot. But the results are simply beyond dispute; the team isn't winning. Further, talented guys aren't developing, and the locker room has been a problem for several years (we thought we had lost bad apples after last season, and maybe we did, but the loss of Copp, who was a big Red supporter in past seasons, suggests that things are still unpleasant).
This doesn't invalidate Red's contribution to the program, his greatness, or his quality as a person. And nobody is calling for him to be fired; he has earned the right to choose when to retire.
But he's going to retire on a four-year streak of no tournaments. Coaches of top programs who miss that many tourneys in a row aren't doing that well.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||It's not just Larkin; it's||
It's not just Larkin; it's also Andrew Copp, an Ortmeyer-type with a much harder road to NHL success, the local kid who went to Skyline and loves Michigan as much as anyone, also leaving early.
They're not just leaving because they're good enough; it looks to me and others like they're leaving because the Michigan Hockey program isn't that great to be around right now.
Either the program is terrifically talented and has massively underachieved for three years, or it's not as talented as we think. Either way, the results speak for themselves--a program unequalled in its consistent record of success under Red has suddenly become, in a massive conference downswing no less, a mediocre team that can't make the NCAA tournament.
As Brian has said, no program in hockey is more patient than Detroit. They out no pressure on Larkin. He left anyway.
After next season it will be four consecutive years without a Tourney berth. If that's not a rebuilding job for this program, I don't know what is.
|6 weeks 4 days ago||Can't blame the guy. Very||
Can't blame the guy. Very discouraging as a fan. It's clear that Red has lost his fastball; whomever comes in next will have to completely rebuild the program.
Going to be hard to follow hockey next season. At least basketball is good.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Bad calls can happen in any||
Bad calls can happen in any game in any situation, in any sport. It doesn't need to be a play-in to cost a team dearly, either.
The Braves put themselves in the position of relying on one game by not winning their division. The game itself may be capricious, but they exposed themselves to that by not winning. Their downfall could just as easily come from a bad pitch by a good pitcher, a freak error, or a relief pitcher who just "doesn't have it." That's baseball on any given day. Avoid it. Win your games.
The Giants won it that year BTW. I don't blame you for messing that up, I've tried to forget about that World Series myself.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||Posted before I posted mine,||
Posted before I posted mine, and well put.
|6 weeks 6 days ago||I'm a bit confused--you are||
I'm a bit confused--you are praising a response that says that suggests less randomness would be a good thing, and that it can be achieved by adding teams and going to full 7-game series for all rounds.
I agree with you that there is value in rewarding regular season success with a playoff berth. Too many teams dilute the product, and baseball is one sport where the long regular season really has to mean something.
...Which is why the one-game playoff, while gimmicky and bizarre, works for me. It is reserved for Wild Card teams, which makes a division title a real and valuable achievement. Basically, it's a one-game coin flip that throws off your pitching rotation.
To me, this is superior to the old days of the past decade where the Red Sox and Yankees would both make the playoffs and the games played in the last two months meant nothing. Last year, the A's faced a real consequence for their late-season collapse, and the Tigers earned a real reward (which the bullpen, naturally, gave back) for how they played in the regular season.
The season mattered.
One thing I do agree on: all series should go 7. 5-game series are silly.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||The major question, I guess,||
The major question, I guess, is how aggressive you want to be with a 7 and an 8-year-old. A lot of suggestions anchor around Traverse City, and there's a lot of stuff nearby, but if you play it right you can stay somewhere close to that and still make a manageable day-trip to Mackinac for the sights and experience. My family spent a week at Shanty Creek in Bellaire 20+ years ago and we had a great time: not on top of everything but close to a lot.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||I wasn't quite as limited in||
I wasn't quite as limited in my state travels as you were, but I never saw the Mackinac bridge until after I turned 20, and didn't go to the island until after 30 when my wife and I went.
|7 weeks 3 days ago||Isle Royale is surely a||
Isle Royale is surely a magnificent destination, but it is waaaaay more remote than most of the other ideas here. It can only be accessed by boat, and one must either go to the northern fringes of the UP or swing by me on their way to the Minnesota arrowhead.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Duluth is home to one of||
Duluth is home to one of those wood-bat Independent Summer League teams and it seems like a nice setup. FWIW they play something like 70 games from late-May to early August, with the bigger-college players joining a few weeks into the season.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Sad, because he was a likable||
Sad, because he was a likable guy and he was fun to watch.
|7 weeks 6 days ago||Yes. Elite returners need||
Yes. Elite returners need speed to hit holes when they form and punish mistakes. The best returners make at most one cut and rocket upfield to open space, getting through before e holes close. The exceptionally rare moments where a great return happens after a major reversal of field require speed even more, because slower guys get swarmed by backside pursuit.
Norfleet was elusive, but he was not particularly fast. That's why his ceiling was always just "adequate."
|8 weeks 3 days ago||A lot of Stadiums look like||
A lot of Stadiums look like that. Neyland Stadium is totally unimpressive from the outside, for example. It's just functional design at work. I'm really grateful that the Michigan Stadium renovations left the exterior looking sharp; most above-ground stadiums that were raised before the current era of aesthetic expansion look pretty spare.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||I'm going to be||
I'm going to be controversial, but it's in good faith:
The Rose Bowl game is a magnificent event. The setting, of course, is spectacular. The game is peerless. Twilight over the San Gabriel's is amazing (and you should see the sunrises--best I ever saw anywhere was over those mountains on a drive home from work after a double). Everything about the Rose Bowl is great.
But the physical Stadium itself is kind of meh.
The concourses are too narrow, the restrooms too scarce. The seating bowl is pretty, but the elliptical shape puts you further from the field and most of the bowl is shallower than Michigan Stadium. You who have been there know how lousy the parking situation is out there; forget about getting anywhere fast. Everything is in serious need of renovation, but public funding issues make that hard to do.
None of that changes anything about how wonderful the experience of attending a Rose Bowl game is; a summit experience for a sports fan. I got to go to one (2007) and the final result scarcely changes how awesome it was that I got to attend.
But the facility is mediocre. Think of it this way: assuming no spare time to enjoy the city and equal weather, would you rather attend a UCLA home game than a home game for, say, Auburn or Florida or Texas? I wouldn't.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||I'll plus-one this. I really||
I'll plus-one this. I really enjoyed the Glass Bowl, cool place, good places to sit, kinda quirky.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||This is really a question of||
This is really a question of which great place is the most enjoyable, because any number of these great venues are waaaaaaaaaay better than, say, a mediocre sports facility with 20,000 people in it. Live sports are just awesome witness, and college football is the best thing going.
Seriously, if you had the choice of regular season events as a neutral observer (your team isn't involved), would you prefer to watch: 1. A regular season baseball game in Minneapolis with 28,000 people; 2. A regular season NBA game in Charlotte with 18,000 people; 3. A regular season NHL game in Denver with 18,000 people; or, 4. A regular season college football game in Spartan Stadium (as nondescript and mediocre as a college stadium can be) with 75,000?
For me, it's the college game hands-down. It's an event you'll never forget. Even there.
I've been to games in Knoxville, College Station, Lincoln, Pasadena, Columbus, and others. When I say the best place I went was a night game at LSU (hosting Eli Manning's Ole Miss, FWIW) it's a solid preference but it's preferring an A-plus to a bunch of A's and a B-plus or two. All of them are awesome.
I attend and enjoy local UMD D-2 games that draw 2-4000 people. It's great fun. I'd rather do that than a lot of other recreational things. Seeing a game in a huge stadium with superior athletes, a huge band, and a vibrant crowd? There's nothing like it. It's awesome. LSU is slightly more awesome than, say, Nebraska, but it's all still awesome.
|8 weeks 3 days ago||Tailgating is hard to come by||
Tailgating is hard to come by in Minneapolis, which is a topic of some discussion amongst the fanbase. The urban campus affords little space near the stadium to tailgate, and the few nearby parking lots are sold to season pass holders. I believe there is significant fairground parking at the St. Paul campus with shuttle service, but I think that's about it.
I did briefly consider tailgating at a riverside park (name escapes me) on the far side of the Minneapolis campus, walking to the game after, but I haven't done it.
The upside is that dinkytown is not a bad walk from the Stadium, so there's that.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Actually that team had||
Actually that team had relatively mediocre talent, couldn't run the ball, and wasn't super-talented on defense. We all remember that Marquise Walker was the star receiver, and he had over 80 catches. Do you know who the next two leading receivers were?
You guessed it: BJ Askew with 24 catches... and Bill Seymour with 23.
It is true that Henson would have made a huge difference; despite all of these weaknesses and a quarterback who was forced to play one year too soon, Michigan's losses were flukey and close. The Washington loss that nobody remembers (it happened on September 8, 2001) turned on a blocked field goal returned for a TD, followed immediately by a pick-six that bounced off the hands of a Michigan player (Askew, I think) that wasn't Navarre's fault. Still only lost by 5. The MSU loss was the clock game. The OSU game was a dreadful performance that Michigan still nearly won.
But it is all irrelevant. For one, Michigan always lost at least one game it shouldn't have under Lloyd after the '97 season. For two, even if all three of those games are flipped, Michigan was severely outgunned against Tennessee (which was loaded) and would have been embarrassed by any other seriously contending team it had played that year whether Henson was QBing or not.
Given the situation, I have come to the conclusion that the 2001 Michigan team actually did about as well as it could have given the roster.
The problem with Navarre as a QB is not that he wasn't a great player; it's that he was a fine QB to play Lloyd's preferred defense-first running-game oriented conservative game, but the team could never execute it. Washington, already referenced, was a special teams failure; so were Iowa and especially Oregon in 2003. Navarre was seriously hamstrung by failures in other parts of the team that forced him to play a pass-heavy game that was neither a strength of the offensive coaches nor something well-suited to Navarre.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Glad you brought this up,||
Glad you brought this up, though your reasoning is suspect.
It's possible that he was "dependable and consistent," but John Kolesar made some of the most incredible, most-clutch catches in Michigan history. I could list three and people could chime in with five more (the three: OSU clincher in '85, OSU winner in '88, and amazing Hall of Fame Bowl winner).
Michigan has a history of great receivers, and many of them are associated with one huge TD catch that won a game at some point. Mario Manningham against Penn State, David Terrell against Wisconsin, Braylon against MSU (ok, so it was three huge TD catches plus the key bomb catch to set up the field goal that set up the onside kick...), Desmond Howard against Notre Dame, Mercury Hayes against Virginia, Roy Roundtree against Notre Dame, etc.
Kolesar has a handful of huge TDs like that.
|8 weeks 4 days ago||Brady got the nod in the||
Brady got the nod in the second half of the MSU game because the offense didn't look great with either guy at the helm, but Henson did nail a long td pass late in the second quarter. Based on Lloyd's criteria of playing whomever was the hotter hand, Henson was a defensible choice.
I don't think Lloyd should have handled it that way, but I highly suspect he wanted to keep Henson as involved as possible to keep from losing him to baseball. And he did get a terrific year out of Henson in 2000, so it was partly successful. Unfortunately, in the '99 MSU game, Brady would have been better suited to win the game, and given the comeback that he almost led (in two years with Brady as a starter Michigan lost five games and Brady managed to rally the team late in each one of them) it's possible they would have won.
The Illinois game was extremely flukey. Michigan was playing a typical conservative Lloyd-ball game and it was working just fine, hence the 20-point lead. Anthony Thomas was playing well but got dinged (groin tweak, maybe? I don't recall) and Lloyd sent him to the locker room. There's no question in my mind that Thomas could have continued to play well, but Lloyd had a huge lead and didn't want to risk further injury, an understandable caution.
Then the wheels came off and Michigan's key RB had already hit the showers. Michigan wins if Thomas doesn't leave the game early, and the killer is that he really didn't have to.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||It sounds like you haven't||
It sounds like you haven't chosen a marina yet, which can be a significant deal--how long it takes just to get out on the water can be a big obstacle. Drive time, prep time on the boat, it all adds up to hours not spent enjoying yourself.
Are you at a point where you can commit to making boating activities a primary recreation outlet in the summer? It's a pretty expensive investment just to have for the occasional Saturday when you feel like getting out on the water, but if you are going to spend portions of at least a day or two every week enjoying it, it can make more sense. But you have to factor in things like travel time and fuel expense there.
There's a couple in our church that has a very modest Bayliner in a Marina that accesses the Apostle Islands, 1.5 hours away. It makes sense for them because they take every Friday off and head out there, coming back Saturday evening, all summer. They bring friends out regularly. It pays off. Most of the boats that dock near them don't get used nearly that much.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||"East Coast" also means "salt||
"East Coast" also means "salt water," which has significant implications to things like motors.
|8 weeks 5 days ago||Cat and dinghy sailing is||
Cat and dinghy sailing is fantastic, you should have a great time. How much needs to be done? Does it have decent sails?
There's some value in doing some research to learn, just to have an idea of what you're doing. The best way to learn is to do, though. As long as you have a clear idea of how to hold course and get upwind, you have a good base to start.
One resource that might actually help is a demo version of Sailing Simulator 5, which will allow you to sail a Laser (those are pretty fun to sail too, though as a large guy I find them uncomfortable to operate) and get a feel for how to handle wind direction.
I'm a big-time sailing convert myself--as a kid I wanted all boats to have motors on them, but I got a hankering to try sailing a couple of years ago and joined a local club. Helps to have Lake Superior and the harbor minutes from my house. My favorite summer activity.