seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

Sports

Thoughts on sports and games

A few Volleyball Photos

I have been remiss in posting photos - both on my Macsportsphotos.net site and here. The photo below is from this gallery of Mac volleyball v. Saint Olaf.

Volleyball photo

Shooting Labor Day Weekend

Weekend is flying bye for me - shot a lot of soccer yesterday, football and volleyball today. I rather liked this photo below, came from the U volleyball game. More soccer tomorrow, then editing editing editing! Also, hanging out with James and Autumn! Yeah for visitors!

Volleyball Photo

Lance Armstrong - Almost Never Made it... Twice

It almost never happened. Though he was a world-champion cyclist at 21, by 1998 Lance Armstrong was a 26-year-old cancer survivor who'd never finished better than 36th at the Tour de France and was struggling to reenter professional cycling. The big teams didn't want him, and he wasn't sure he wanted the sport. His first race back was the five-day Ruta del Sol, a February warmup for the long season ahead. He finished an encouraging 14th. But just two weeks later, while contesting the much more difficult Paris–Nice, he rolled to a stop in the middle of a cold, windy second stage and got off his bike. Even he doubted he would ever get back on.

Pretty incredible story from Outside magazine. He won his first Tour de France in '99 - but hours before the race started he very nearly crashed into a car. The world would never have known him. One wonders how many other people come that close to stardom and something intervenes.

This is a good article looking at the start of a legend - and a reminder of how incredible he was back then.

Today, he showed some of his age. He gained enough time in the Individual Time Trial to get back into 3rd place but his teammate Contador proved that he is the best rider in le Tour this year. Contador smoked everyone in an impressive ride - this Tour will definitely go down as one of the most interesting.

Lance Armstrong - Greatest Athlete Alive

Controversial, undoubtedly. But watching the Tour de France today, I think Lance will soon prove to be the greatest athlete alive in my eyes. The Tour de France is probably the most grueling sporting event. On any given day, it is less challenging than the Ironman competition (sorry Iron-Kimmi) but it runs for 3 weeks with 2 rest days.

Lance dominated it for 7 years, an unprecedented achievement. After several years off, he came back this year at 37 (the oldest rider in the tour this year is 40). Today he proved that he can control his ego and work for his team when he is not the leader. There was some doubt that would work for Contador (the current Tour leader and a teammate to Lance) if that were best for the team. But today he did what was best for the team by hanging back to keep an eye on a guy named Wiggins that could threaten Contador's lead. The price for doing that was dropping from 2nd overall to 5th overall in the standings (something he hopes to reverse in the time trial on Thursday).

His reward was yet another poorly thought out move by Contador that screwed over another of their teammates, Kloden. Lance has previously questioned Contador's tactics and Contador's actions today again suggested that he has little strategic understanding as he hurt the team with a poorly timed acceleration. Even then, Lance has put the team above his ego by not calling Contador out on it.

Lance may yet prove me wrong - in the coming days he might try to go for an overall win but I hope he doesn't. If he continues working for the team rather than just himself, I think it will cement his legacy in ways his 7 wins alone would not. It will show that he is even more well-rounded than most give him credit for.

I should mention that the NY Times and ESPN coverage of today's race was disappointingly poor. Neither of these outlets appear to have any understanding of cycling strategy or even that it is a team sport. The idea that Lance is falling behind because he is not up to the task ignores the fact that his teammate is leading and in this situation, Lance is not supposed to go all out for himself.

Go ahead, attack me.

Dodgeball

A few months ago, Kimmi partook in a dodgeball tournament as a fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society - I tagged along to snag some photos. Unfortunately, the lighting was horrible.

dodgeball kimmi

How Things Really Work - Football Production Truck

I enjoy watching sports on TV. I suspect that most people don't spend a lot of time thinking about all of what goes into televising a sporting event. Having been on the ground, shooting at major events, I have some respect for all the folks that make it possible. But there is a whole lot of work that I don't see - what goes on in the production truck.

If you ever wonder what goes on in that truck, you should read "The Hardest Job in Football" from The Atlantic.

Most of the people who witnessed this seesaw battle were watching on CBS. The capacity crowd in Giants Stadium was 79,276 that afternoon, but was less than 1 percent of the game’s total audience. More than any other professional sport, football is primarily a television show. Many die-hard fans have never even attended a contest in person. For them, a football game is something that unfolds on their screen in a smooth and familiar way, so commonplace that few give it a second thought. The broadcast arrives in their living room, packaged in stereo sound and in full-color high-definition, shown from constantly shifting angles, from stadium-embracing wide shots to intimate close-ups, all of it smoothly orchestrated and narrated, and delivered up as though from the all-seeing eye of the supreme NFL fan, God Almighty.

Back in the NBA

I'm writing this while watching the NBA finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic. I don't know that I've watched an NBA game in 15 years. I'd been really down on it, but figured I needed to see Lebron James play as so many are already calling him the greatest player ever. The dude is huge.

It is better than I remember it. Maybe is just the Cavs, but they play defense. The refs have called the travels I saw and I don't see many of the tendencies that drove me away. That said, I still like college ball better - mostly because of the longer shot clock maybe.

Aside from tuning into the game, I've doing a lot of web work - between a site I am designing for work, the main work site, and my personal site (which I have nearly completed - prepare for a launch soon).

Michelle and I had a great long Memorial Day weekend - I spent Thursday at my parents' place after Michelle developed a painful migraine and couldn't leave the apartment. Got some landscaping done. On Friday we headed up to her parents' place and enjoyed our time, although Banjo went a little crazy here and there, attacking Pokey for no reason.

Since then, Michelle and I have been house-hunting, hoping to find something we really like that fits into our budget. We currently have 2 candidates but nothing definite.

Spring Sports Winding Down

What a glorious spring for sports in Minnesota this year! Last year, we got rain for most of April (or cold, or something else undesireable). The lack of rain in the metro area has resulted in lots of good days for shooting but a distinct lack of green grass. Ah, tradeoffs.

Another effect has been me being crazy busy - and also dealing with some mild (but annoying) spring allergies. So that is why I haven't posted anything interesting, preferring instead to throw up a video or photo when I get a chance. This week should be the last of that - my schedule is calming down and I will soon have evenings free again.

For grilling! Grilled out twice already this spring and hope to do it at least once a week. Good times - and easier than coming up with something that would take more effort.

Last night, we watched Independence Day with a commentary provided by Rifftrax - the MST3K guys who sell cheap MP3's of their commentaries that you can sync to the movie. It had us rolling - and I was crying from laughter toward the end. I can't wait to get Top Gun or Transformers. Highly recommended.

Finally, as part of my fascination of how the explosion of information available to us is producing more misinformation than knowledge, I wanted to point you at a short article from Wired - "How More Info Leads to Less Knowledge."

He has developed a word inspired by this trend: agnotology. Derived from the Greek root agnosis, it is "the study of culturally constructed ignorance."

Water Polo

Check out Michelle's blog for some stuff on Banjo, our new dog.

Went out this morning and photog'ed two water polo games at Macalester. Water polo is fun to shoot - and I'm starting to understand the rules. I set up a remote camera for time lapse shots and am trying to get a good movie out of them. In the meantime, here are some highlights from the action photos. You can see all the Macalester water polo photos here.

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First Baseball of 2009

I do love shooting baseball. These are from Saturday afternoon - when Macalester opened its brand new field with a doubleheader double victory 3-0 and 3-0 over St. Mary's. The photo gallery is here.

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