David Kirkpatrick

January 10, 2010

Congrats to the Cowboys and the Jets

Dallas destroyed the Eagles for the second consecutive week with a final score of 34-14, and finally won a playoff game in the new century. In the other rematch from last week, the Jets rolled the Bengals 24-14. One similarity between the first two games of this year’s playoffs was the play at QB — Romo and Sanchez looked good and McNabb and Palmer looked, well, not so good. Palmer was absolutely dreadful. At least McNabb can place some blame on a solid Dallas D.

All in all an excellent start to the second season. Today’s games should be fun.

December 12, 2009

Should Tiger be banned by the PGA Tour commissioner?

Filed under: Media, Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:09 pm

Are you kidding me? Hank Gola of the New York Daily News disagrees.

Dumbass.

(Hat tip: Deadspin)

November 27, 2009

NFL Network inadvertendly airs blue language

Filed under: et.al., Media, Sports — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:47 am

So (expletive) what.

And why is ESPN breathlessly reporting on this non-story?

From the link:

The NFL Network accidentally aired a vulgarity yelled by Denver Broncos coach Josh McDaniels as he chastised his players on the sideline of their Thanksgiving night game against the New York Giants.

Coming out of a commercial break following a series of false starts near the goal line that resulted in Denver settling for a field goal, the NFL Network showed a clip of McDaniels, who yelled at his players: “All we’re trying to do is win a (expletive) game!”

November 7, 2009

SEC football officials are either on the take …

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 7:04 pm

… very high or just incompetent. The new conference rule fining coaches who complain about the officiating is crazy. The zebras make NBA officials look good and that’s saying something.

And this post is coming from someone who thinks college football is an almost impossible-to-watch game played by kids who’ll never make it in the NFL aside from the few hundred that end up on NFL rosters each new season.

The SEC ought to be very very embarrassed by its officiating, particularly the replay booth work.

So conference executives which is it — bribery, drug use or lack of ability?

October 21, 2009

Cuban is for steroids

Mark, I did this post just for you.

From the link:

“If somebody thinks it’s controversial, fine. To me, it’s just common sense. I’m sure I’ll hear about it [today] that ‘Cuban is for steroids.’ “

September 30, 2009

Tiger Woods tops $1B …

Filed under: Business, Sports — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:51 pm

… in career earnings. And barring any major injuries, he has a long way to go before that career ends.

September 26, 2009

Ichiro ejected …

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:17 pm

… for the first time in his career — US or Japanese.

September 10, 2009

The NFL’s blackout rule …

Filed under: Media, Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:11 pm

is stupid, outdated and very counterproductive.

For this reason alone, if nothing else.

Bill Simmons today from the second link:

Prediction VI: Blackouts of home games will become the signature media story of the 2009 season. You’ll hear way too much about it. Here’s my take: This isn’t about the economy. It’s about the fact that it’s more fun to stay home and watch football than it is to sit in crappy seats to watch any team ranging from “lousy” to “mediocre.” It just is. For many fan bases, here are the two choices every Sunday:

Door No. 1 (more expensive): Traffic, parking, long walk to stadium, lousy seats, lifeless state-of-the-art arena, TV timeouts, dead crowds, drunk/bitter fans, more TV timeouts, hiked-up concession prices, PDAs with jammed signals as you’re searching for scores, even more TV timeouts, long walk to car, even more traffic.

Door No. 2 (less expensive): Sofa, NFL package, HD, fantasy scores online, remote control toggling, gambling, access to scores, seven straight hours of football, cell phone calls, beer and food in fridge, no traffic.

I can see going through Door No. 1 once a year just to remind yourself that going to an NFL game sucks. But eight times a year? Unless you had good seats, or unless this was your only excuse to get out of your house and get plastered, why would you? It’s a blue-collar sport with white-collar ticket prices. This blackout trend would have happened whether the economy was suffering or not.

River basins, the NFL and the spread offense

Here’s an interesting article from the Wall Street Journal making the argument the NFL is seeing prolific offenses because the game is a flow system where the offense acts as a river does on its basin to constantly improve efficiency.

It’s a fun read, but for the increase in offensive output I’m going to go with a rule book that wildly favors the offensive side of the ball and scoring, coupled with some offensive twists — like the wildcat and the spread offense — that are trickling up from high school and college football.

But hey, the football season is about to officially kick off and what better way to spend a little time than to contemplate how the mighty forces of a river equate to the offensive production of your favorite team.

From the link:

Some football thinkers believe these numbers speak to a temporary period of offensive dominance in the NFL—just one more high point in an endlessly fluctuating historical curve. But if you venture a bit beyond the particulars of football, to the principles of science, there’s another argument to be made: that the NFL’s high-speed, high-scoring offenses are a reflection of one of the laws of nature—the tendency of all things to evolve toward efficiency.

Adrian Bejan a professor of mechanical engineering at Duke University, likens the NFL’s evolution to a river’s effect on its basin. (Stay with us, here.) Over time, a river relentlessly wears away its banks and, as a result, water flows faster and faster toward its mouth. When obstacles fall in its way, say, a tree, or a boulder—or in the case of an NFL offense, beefy linebackers like the Baltimore Ravens’ Ray Lewis or the Chicago Bears’ Brian Urlacher—it will figure out how to wear those away, too.

“The game is a flow system, a river basin of bodies that are milling around trying to find the most effective and easiest way to move,” says Prof. Bejan. “Over time you will end up with the right way to play the game, with the patterns that are the most efficient.”

In 1996, Prof. Bejan, who began following the NFL after coming to the U.S. from Romania to attend college, came up with a theory about natural phenomena known as the Constructal Law. The theory, he says, can be used to explain the evolution of efficiency in everything from river basins to mechanical design. By extension, he says, it could also be applied to the explosion of offense in the NFL.

August 13, 2009

Ahh, pro football

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:52 pm

I love the NFL, but I’m usually not terribly excited by the preseason. For some reason this year is different. I watched the bulk of the Hall of Fame game, a notorious snoozer, and I’m watching preseason ball tonight. I think I’m ready for the NFL this year.

Mike Vick signed with Philly today, Donte Stallworth is out for at least this year with a conduct susupension and every team has some sort of interesting/exciting/perplexing training camp news cooking right now.

I can’t wait for the September 10 kickoff between the Steelers and the Titans.

August 3, 2009

Arena Football League, RIP

Filed under: Business, Sports — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 11:34 pm

Looks like the Arena Football League is going belly-up and will declare bankruptcy. I’ve always liked the arenaball product. It was definitely a different animal than the NFL and the differences made it a very fun watch in terms of wild-ass offense and a quick pace.

Long ago I did some reporting on the AFL for the now defunct BootlegSports.com.

From the link:

The Arena Football League will soon announce that it is folding, multiple media outlets reported on Monday.

Arizona Rattlers owner Brett Bouchy said the league will also declare bankruptcy, according to the Orlando Sentinel.

“It’s just unfortunate we’re in this situation,” Bouchy said, according to the newspaper. “Everyone knows myself and Arizona fought hard to avoid this day. The league was divided into two groups and factions. You had one group of committed owners who contributed capital and willing to do whatever it took to bring the league back in 2010 I have been in that group the entire time. Then there was another group that just wasn’t willing to make the investment. We could never get a consensus.”

Tampa Bay Storm owner Jim Borghesi posted a message on his Facebook page saying: “The AFL will be having a press conference to announce that the league will not be returning,” according to the Albany Times-Union.

July 19, 2009

NASCAR, Mayfield and the rule book

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:51 pm

I’m going to say out front I don’t care if Jeremy Mayfield or NASCAR is correct about his use, or not, of methamphetamine. I do think NASCAR as an organization has zero credibility. The ruling body for this “sport” changes the rules so often – including mid-race– I wouldn’t be shocked to find out the braintrust is drug addled.

Didn’t blog on this, but on a similar note I thought it was bullshit the NHL changed the rules in the middle of the playoffs — the PLAYOFFS — in response to Sean Avery’s antics.

Sports and sanity don’t go hand-in-hand. With NASCAR neither term applies.

July 12, 2009

Arturo Gatti, RIP

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:19 pm

I haven’t done posts on the overload of celebrity deaths recently, but Arturo Gatti deserves mentioning because; one — he’s not that well known, and two — he was a decent boxer and a truly good guy. It’s sad to hear his wife was likely involved in Gatti’s untimely death.

From the link:

Police said 23-year-old Amanda Rodrigues was taken into custody after contradictions in her interrogation. Gatti’s body was found early Saturday in a hotel room at the Porto de Galinhas resort in northeastern Brazil.

The former junior welterweight champion was apparently strangled with the strap of a purse, which was found at the scene with blood stains, said Milena Saraiva, a spokeswoman for the Pernambuco state civil police. She told The Associated Press that the Canadian also had a head injury.

The investigation was not complete, but Saraiva said authorities were preparing to present a formal accusation against Rodrigues, who denied being involved in her husband’s death.

Police said Rodrigues, a Brazilian, could not explain how she spent nearly 10 hours in the room without noticing that Gatti was already dead.

June 27, 2009

The no fun league strikes again

Filed under: Business, Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 4:04 pm

I love pro football. Almost all my sports blogging is on pro football. But — the moniker “no fun league” for NFL is all too fitting. The league is too ready to crack down on players for public relations reasons and far too draconian in its business dealings.

Now the no fun league wants to codify a lower court precedent with a Supreme Court ruling? I doubt the court takes the case and if it does I hope the NFL gets shot down. Sadly the Roberts court – which I had some hope for — might actually take a bullshit case like this.

From the second link:

In the legal equivalent of running up the score, the NFL is going to the U.S. Supreme Court in search of a bigger victory in an antitrust tussle over team merchandise than it already won from a lower court.The Supreme Court could decide as early as Monday whether it will hear the case, which involves American Needle Inc.’s challenge to the league’s exclusive contract for selling headwear such as caps and hats with team logos on them.

American Needle of Buffalo Grove, Ill., also is urging a high court review. Football team owners hope the Supreme Court will issue a broader decision that would insulate the NFL against what they contend are costly, frivolous antitrust lawsuits.

At the heart of the matter is whether the NFL’s teams constitute 32 distinct businesses or a single entity that can act collectively without violating antitrust law.

Update 6/29/09 — The big court is going to hear the case.

From the link:

In taking a case involving the National Football League’s exclusive licensing deal for sports merchandise, the Supreme Court could go beyond caps and give leagues more leeway in areas such as team relocation, legal scholars said Monday.”A broad ruling in favor of the NFL could rewrite almost all of sports antitrust law,” said Gabe Feldman, associate law professor and director of the Sports Law Program at Tulane University in New Orleans.

May 19, 2009

Wisdom from teh internets

Filed under: et.al., Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:08 pm

Here’s an actual question from an ESPN chat with UFC president Dana White:

Is your eight sided octagon a trademarked fighting arena?

I’m thinking about trademarking the lesser known seven-sided octagon.

May 14, 2009

Breakfast cereal and sports drinks

This release provides a lesson in news dissemination. You’re barely going to find this information on the release itself, but it was put out by the General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition, an organization not surprisingly created by the breakfast cereal manufacturer and marketer.

For all I know this research is absolutely correct and I hope it is, but it’s always good to know where your news is coming from. Do you?

The release:

Cereal and milk is the new sports supplement

Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer, from The University of Texas at Austin, led a group of researchers who investigated the post-exercise physiological effects of the foods. Kammer and her team studied 12 trained cyclists, 8 male and 4 female. In contrast to many sports nutrition studies, however, the exercise protocol was designed to reflect a typical exercise session. After a warm-up period, the subjects cycled for two hours at a comfortable work rate, rather than the more frequently seen test-to-exhaustion.

“Our goal was to compare whole grain cereal plus milk—which are ordinary foods—and sports drinks, after moderate exercise,” said Kammer. “We wanted to understand their relative effects on glycogen repletion and muscle protein synthesis for the average individual. We found that glycogen repletion, or the replenishment of immediate muscle fuel, was just as good after whole grain cereal consumption and that some aspects of protein synthesis were actually better”.

“Cereal and non-fat milk are a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high quality protein, which can promote protein synthesis and training adaptations, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home”.

The researchers concluded that, for amateur athletes and moderately physically active individuals who are trying to keep in shape, popping into the kitchen for a quick bowl of whole-grain cereal with a splash of skimmed milk may be a smarter move than investing in a high-priced sports drink.

Kammer and her colleagues are scientists in the College of Education’s Department of Kinesiology and Health Education. This study was supported by General Mills Bell Institute of Health and Nutrition.

 

###

 

Notes to Editors

1. Recovery from a cycling time trial is enhanced with carbohydrate-protein supplementation vs. isoenergetic carbohydrate supplementation.
John M Berardi, Eric E Noreen and Peter WR Lemon
Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (in press)

During embargo, article available here: http://www.jissn.com/imedia/7586410682517602_article.pdf?random=737134
After the embargo, article available at journal website: http://www.jissn.com/

Please name the journal in any story you write. If you are writing for the web, please link to the article. All articles are available free of charge, according to BioMed Central’s open access policy.

2. The Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (JISSN) is a peer-reviewed journal that covers various aspects of sports nutrition, supplementation, exercise metabolism, and/or scientific policies related to sports nutrition. The journal is designed to keep members of the International Society of Sports Nutrition and the public up to date on the latest advances in sport nutrition.

3. BioMed Central (http://www.biomedcentral.com/) is an STM (Science, Technology and Medicine) publisher which has pioneered the open access publishing model. All peer-reviewed research articles published by BioMed Central are made immediately and freely accessible online, and are licensed to allow redistribution and reuse. BioMed Central is part of Springer Science+Business Media, a leading global publisher in the STM sector.

April 16, 2009

John Madden retires

Filed under: Media, Sports — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:34 pm

This announcement will spawn all sorts of comments. Madden had many fans and just as many, or more, very vocal detractors. At least detractors of his recent vintage work. I’ll miss him. Always enjoyable, if not fairly predictable. Sports broadcasting is a little diminished today.

Of course his cash cow — the Madden franchise with EA Sports — will go on. At least I hope so.

From the link:

John Madden is retiring from football announcing, where his enthusiastic, down-to-earth style made him one of sports’ most popular broadcasters for three decades.

The Hall of Fame coach spent the last three seasons on NBC’s “Sunday Night Football.” His final telecast was the Super Bowl in February.

“You know at some point you have to do this — I got to that point,” Madden said on his Bay Area radio show Thursday. “The thing that made it hard is not because I’m second guessing, ‘Is it the right decision?’ But I enjoyed it so damn much.

“I enjoyed the game and the players and the coaches and the film and the travel and everything.”

Cris Collinsworth will replace Madden, moving over from the network’s studio show, NBC Sports chief Dick Ebersol said. Collinsworth filled in when Madden took a game off last October.

Ebersol called Madden “absolutely the best sports broadcaster who ever lived.”

April 1, 2009

Jay Cutler is a baby

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:45 pm

I doubt the Broncos have any trouble trading him, but any team taking on Jay Cutler better heavily lay in on the infant supplies to keep him happy.

March 27, 2009

Margarito’s gloves contained plaster

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:40 pm

It’s been confirmed, Antonio Margarito’s gloves had elements of plaster of paris in them before his fight with “Sugar” Shane Mosley in January. Mosley’s trainer complained before the fight started and the illegal gloves were confiscated. Mosley went on to take the WBA welterweight title from Margarito by ninth round TKO.

Rightly, or not, this taints Margarito’s entire boxing career, and with this evidence both he and his trainer should be banned from the sport for life. The trainer put the contraband into the gloves and there’s no way Margarito wasn’t aware of what was happening.

March 19, 2009

Mayweather to fight again

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 2:34 am

Maybe as soon as July. I didn’t think Floyd Mayweather Jr., could stay out of the ring.

February 17, 2009

Bud Selig is an idiot …

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 12:23 pm

… if he thinks the steroid era isn’t going to be the sum total of his legacy as head of Major League Baseball.

From the link:

In the volatile wake of Alex Rodriguez‘s admission that he used performance-enhancing substances earlier this decade, Bud Selig remains bothered by the suggestion that he is to blame for Major League Baseball’s steroids era.

“I don’t want to hear the commissioner turned a blind eye to this or he didn’t care about it,” Selig told Newsday in a Monday phone interview. “That annoys the you-know-what out of me. You bet I’m sensitive to the criticism.

“The reason I’m so frustrated is, if you look at our whole body of work, I think we’ve come farther than anyone ever dreamed possible,” he said, adding, “I honestly don’t know how anyone could have done more than we’ve already done.”

February 12, 2009

Arrests in Phelps case

This is among the worst use of police resources possible. Nothing more than moron sheriff jerking off and seeking cheap publicity.

All this does is provide yet another “exhibit A” on why US drug laws are asinine, illustrate how the scare tactics used against drugs are largely bullshit and expose just how much taxpayer money is wasted fighting a non-crime due to stupid politics and worse enforcement of the bad laws on the books.

From the link:

Authorities in the South Carolina county where Michael Phelps was photographed smoking from a marijuana pipe have been arresting people as they seek to make a case against the superstar swimmer, lawyers for two arrested people said Thursday.

Attorneys Joseph McCulloch and Dick Harpootlian told The Associated Press they each represent a client charged with possession of marijuana who was questioned about the party Phelps attended near the University of South Carolina campus in November.

The lawyers said the two clients were renters at the house where the party apparently took place. Harpootlian said his client was at the party, but didn’t see Phelps smoke marijuana, while McCulloch said his client wasn’t there. The two have since moved and were arrested after police executed a search warrant at their new home and accused them of having a small amount of marijuana there.

“After they arrested him, they didn’t ask him, ‘Where did you get the marijuana?’ or ‘Who sold it to you?’ Almost all the questions they asked him were about Michael Phelps,” Harpootlian said.

I think an easy summation on this whole situation is Sheriff Leon Lott=douchebag extraordinaire.

Also from the link:

Lott has said Phelps should not get a break because of his fame. Harpootlian said that he believes police are being overzealous.

“I find it amazing the justification is they don’t want to treat him any differently just because he is a celebrity, and he is being treated far differently than any other Joe Blow who might have smoked marijuana four or five months ago.”

February 1, 2009

Congrats to the Steelers

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 9:20 pm

The game was beaten down with atrocious officiating for three and half quarters, then a real football game appeared.

The end was fun.

January 7, 2009

GPS for golfers

Filed under: Sports, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 5:12 pm

Garmin is marketing a GPS unit, the Approach G5, specifically for golfers. The device is being introduced at this week’s CES expo.

Sounds like a cool device. Looks like today is golf-blogging day

From the first link:

Golfers, take note. Garmin’s newest GPS line may not improve your handicap, but at least you’ll know exactly where the greens are. The Approach G5, the first Garmin touch-screen handheld designed for golfers, will come preloaded with detailed maps for thousands of U.S. golf courses–no subscription required.

With a tap on the waterproof 3-inch touch screen, golfers will have access to precise information on their current location as well as distance and position data about fairways, hazards, and greens, Garmin says. Two AA batteries will power the device.

“The Oldest Member” — a work of short fiction

Filed under: Arts, et.al., Media, Sports — Tags: , , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:52 am

This story is an homage to P.G. Wodehouse’s “A Golf Omnibus.” That story collection featured The Oldest Member as a narrator for each tale. If you play golf, go find a copy — you will love it. If you just like good fiction, do likewise. Hit this link – The Golf Omnibus – to find the book at Amazon.

In case Wodehouse doesn’t ring a bell, he’s the guy who wrote a series of novels featuring “Jeeves” the butler. Jeeves does not feature in “A Golf Omnibus.”

And now, the tale …

*********

The Oldest Member

(A tribute to P.G. Wodehouse’s “A Golf Omnibus”)

by David Kirkpatrick

The Oldest Member sat on the terrace, well, rather he dozed on the terrace, and well, technically he wasn’t a member because it was a municipal course. A quite nice muni, but no membership required. At any rate the Oldest Member dozed on a terrace just off the ninth green and was startled awake by the cleats of a young golfer clearly in some sort of distress.

“What’s the matter old chap, if I may ask?” said the sage.

The youngster replied, “My game’s all off.”

“Have you been playing much lately?” the white whiskered one asked.

“Plenty. The problem is it’s been mostly wii golf,” answered the young man.

“Oui? Like the magazine?’

“No, no – wii, the videogame console from Nintendo. I play that darned thing all the time and it’s totally put my real game right off. Couldn’t hit a fairway wood, or chip, all day,” said the troubled one.

“Ah yes,” began the Oldest Member, “The brassie and niblick. I remember my playing days and both clubs gave me fits on occasion …”

“Huh?” said the youngster.

“And those Oui’s. I can see how that could be distracting. Reminds me of old Finnegan McHoots and the burlesque queen..”

At this point the youngster, who actually wasn’t all that young being well into his thirties – the Oldest Member considered anyone who didn’t require the use of a cane and ear horn a youngster – remembered the Oldest Member was known for trapping unsuspecting casual golfers with long-winded stories about days gone past full of references to clubs no longer used and players long forgotten. He immediately began to rise and said, “Oh dear, I may be late for an important meeting …”

And with this the Oldest Member deftly snagged the man’s arm with the crook of a cane held him in the adjacent chair and once again said, “Yep, reminds right on about the story of Finnegan McHoots and the burlesque queen.”

Here the man knew he was trapped and the Oldest Member began his story …

*****

You see (began the Oldest Member), old Finnegan was a scratch golfer and was coming off a narrow tournament loss to the great George Duncan and all the boys took him to a burlesque show to ease the pain. It was there he met Charlotte. I’ll have to admit her sobriquet had a rhyming addendum, but I’ll leave that to your imagination. As the night wore on this Charlotte captured every bit of McHoots attention and later his fancy. He even visited the very same show the following night and even one more evening. You could fairly say the boy was smitten beyond belief.

It just so happened his play against Duncan in that open tournament caught the eye of a tycoon of industry who, although he wasn’t a bad golfer, was still a solid ten handicapper. To the delight of local scratch men, he thought of himself as more of the five and would wager a round with them taking only those five strokes. The scratch men worked it out amongst themselves to throw the odd game or two to keep the cigar-and-belly man interested and pooled the winnings evenly. Those who were forced to toss the round were chosen by drawing a short straw at a monthly business meeting and earnings disbursal.

Of course as a true golfer, Finnegan McHoots never deigned to join this group as it just would not do for an honorable man of the links to play less than his top game every time out. The other scratch men had approached him more than once hoping to draw some new blood into the racket, but McHoots just snorted and turned away every time.

McHoots problems arose because of the aforementioned Charlotte. Finnegan found himself in a tough way after the third trip to the specialty revue and really couldn’t justify the monetary outlay to return once again. At the same time the siren’s call beckoned to him day and night. He finally broke down and approached the group of scratch men to see what it was really all about. All he knew up to this point was all honorable golfers and men among men looked down on the entire operation. As a matter of fact, several threatened to expose the whole operation – I was amongst this group – but were gently dissuaded.

The group happily took McHoots’ call and eagerly explained the process to him. “All it takes,” they said, “Is we trade off playing the captain of industry around two rounds a week giving five stokes. We all play for the same figure and pool the winnings to be disbursed monthly. We also maintain a bank so each member has the wager on hand in the rare occurrence one of us takes a loss on the day. And of course the short man takes the losing wager from the bank.”

McHoots asked about the losing wager and “short man.” He knew rounds were thrown, but he didn’t understand the whole game. The group further explained, “Well, we make the businessman’s patsy a random act of drawing straws at the disbursal meeting. The scratch man with the short straw loses his round that month. If the tycoon wants extra rounds for some reason, we draw for two short men and the first is left out of that pool to avoid suspicion and so no reputations are too sullied by losing to this character.”

Finnegan thought it over, didn’t like the concept, but he did like the figure offered up at the monthly disbursal. With this game, he thought, he could keep things as they were and have this tidy little sum of additional money to help him dote on his Charlotte. Little did he know the true cost of his burlesque queen and abandoning his days as an honorable golfer and man on the links.

As it were, the night he met with the cabal of scratch men was the disbursal and straw-drawing night. He signed on with the group right then – with visions of Charlotte dancing in his head – and immediately drew the short straw. I don’t know because I don’t associate with the kind, but I’ve heard through various channels the gang conspired for McHoots to get the little reed.

At any rate, he drew the short straw and sighed. The group told him not to fret. They’ve all been there so he should, “Suck it up old chap.” They also told him his first round with Vandersnatch, the tycoon, was the coming Tuesday at seven a.m. sharp at Marshy Maples, beginning on the front nine.

Now Finnegan’s dreams were haunted by two goblins – visions of his Charlotte coupled with the dread and shame of his coming round, and loss, to Vandersnatch. He tossed and turned so much in the nights leading up to the match he feared he would lose outright from exhaustion alone. Of course as a golfer he kept up his daily 54 hole regime and proudly noticed he maintained his scratch game.

The fateful Tuesday arrived and McHoots was a good twenty minutes early to make sure he had time for the standard two scotches before his round began. At five ’til seven a large, but not fat, man with bountiful side whiskers and three caddies strode purposefully up to the first tee. “McHoots, I presume,” said Vandersnatch with a booming voice that echoed in the early morning mist.

“Yes sir, Mr. Vandersnatch. I’m pleased to make your acquaintance,” returned McHoots.

“Rot that Vandersnatch business my man. Call me Sidney, and I trust I may call you Finnegan? It is I who is pleased to make your acquaintance. I’ve been following your career for a good while and have long dreamt of this match.”

“Sidney it is,” croaked McHoots. “Funny you should mention that about the reveries of slumber. I’ve done some dreaming about this round as well.”

With this the men tossed a coin for the honor and McHoots won. For the first three holes he couldn’t contain his game and was playing one under. Vandersnatch, getting five over the entire eighteen was already up three. At this point Finnegan realized he didn’t have any instructions on how to lose this match? Lose without the handicap added to Vandersnatch’s score? He decided that wouldn’t be possible, but he did begin to work to closely monitor the tycoon and make certain he was in the margin of losing after eighteen.

And then panic struck him. What if the old boy had say an eight on a three par? How could he make up that sort of difference without sticking out like a sore thumb. He also realized he neither sought, nor was given, any pointers on this whole game. Vandersnatch was a ten-handicapper – my heavens, thought McHoots – his game could be terrible and I have to match it stroke for stroke.

As fate would have it, the match did go as poorly as Finnegan feared it might. Vandersnatch fought the course mightily and ended up a solid twelve over. McHoots fought himself mightily and came in at ten over. Within the margin, but a scorecard that pained both heart and head.

The captain of industry didn’t notice a thing, of course, and clapped Finnegan on the back over a glass of scotch and said, “Tough luck, old boy. I got you today, but I bet you come roaring back next time. Seems all scratch men have an off day here and there, but I never can get the best your whole lot.”

With that the game was over. McHoots went home sick at heart. He hadn’t shot a ten over since he began wearing plus fours on the links. He thought to himself, at least after the month of play is over I’ll get my reward and go visit sweet, sweet, Charlotte. His dreams that night eased the pain a mighty bit and by the end of the month the game, Vandersnatch and his loss of honor was completely forgotten. After that horrid day he kept his card under par on every round of his customary 54 daily.

The night of the meeting of the scratch men cabal finally arrived, Finnegan eagerly went, collected his ill-begotten gains and drew a long straw this time. He rushed to the burlesque show to see his vision of beauty and grace, Charlotte. After the first hour there was neither hide nor hair of his angel. Finnegan finally went to the barman to enquire when she might appear. The barman looked confused until Finnegan provided a quick description of his beloved. It was then Finnegan’s turn to be confused when the tender said, “Oh, that broad? She took off a couple of weeks ago and hasn’t come back. Happens all the time around here buddy. You want another scotch?”

Finnegan went home broken-hearted. He had lost Charlotte and he had lost his golfing honor. He was a broken man. But he still had his game on the links, and it had been better than ever.

The next morning on the opening tee of his customary 54, McHoots teed up a four par, let rip with his driver and immediately sliced into a small group of trees. After getting out of that trouble with a niblick, he drew out his trusted brassie to get to the green. His swing topped the ball, which did a couple of little hops and landed about four feet closer to the pin.

The next hole went the same. And the next. And from that day forward poor Finnegan McHoots was never better than a ten-handicap man.


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wii fit works

Filed under: et.al., Science, Sports, Technology — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 1:43 am

I’ve yet to mess around with a wii fit, but did finally break down and last week opened a console I’d bought for resell. The game unit is definitely everything it’s cracked up to be. Very fun, very innovative and even the basic “wii Sports” games are something of a workout.  Hell, the Clone Wars lightsaber game is downright tiring.

Plus this post on the wii console ties into my next post — a bit of fiction in which “wii Sports” golf plays a minor role.

The release:

Wii Fit a promising tool for all ages

Game’s health measurements flawed

MANHATTAN, KAN. — While some emerging technologies can create environments that require very little physical effort, one Kansas State University researcher thinks games like Nintendo’s Wii Fit can help promote physical rather than sedentary activities for people of all ages.

“I think there is a great potential to develop ways to promote physical activity through technology,” said David Dzewaltowski, professor and head of the department of kinesiology at K-State and director of the university’s Community Health Institute. “Kids innately like to move, so I believe that there is a big future in games that use emerging technologies and require movement because the games will be enjoyed by children and also be more healthy than existing games.”

In a commentary published in the October 2008 Exercise and Sport Sciences Reviews, Dzewaltowski discussed how technology is changing our everyday life and affecting our health.

Wii Fit has games that incorporate yoga, strength training, balance and aerobics. The games are interactive and require the player to physically move, which is better than nothing, Dzewaltowski said. It uses a balance board and allows gamers to simulate challenges like snowboarding down a mountain.

“Anything that gets people to move more than they have in the past is positive, but if people are trying to replace physical activity that demands more movement with the Wii, then that will be negative,” Dzewaltowski said.

He said it is difficult in a small indoor space to replicate the intensity of some real-life physical activities, though dance video games are effective at demanding physical movements that require caloric expenditure.

“The caloric expenditure demanded by an activity depends on the energy necessary to move the body’s weight to complete the task and how long you perform the task,” Dzewaltowski said.

He added that different activities demand different amounts of caloric expenditure, like playing a game of soccer, which demands much more energy expenditure than bowling or playing the outfield in baseball.

Dzewaltowski said Wii Fit can be an effective tool to create or maintain a healthy lifestyle for some people because it follows the basic principles for adhering to an exercise program, like having physical activity goals, tracking those goals and evaluating the progress.

Wii Fit measures players’ body mass index, or BMI, which is a weight evaluation based on height and weight. Dzewaltowski said this a good screening tool for adults, meaning if the game categorizes them as being overweight or obese, they should seek more information from a health professional who can better evaluate the level of body fat. However, he said the calculation is unsuitable for children.

“For children, the BMI calculation has to be expressed based on age and gender growth charts, and it doesn’t do that,” Dzewaltowski said. “Due to children’s age and gender differences in growth, the adult BMI calculators don’t work. My use of the Wii BMI calculator showed that it was inappropriate for children and would categorize children incorrectly.”

The game also gives players a Wii Fit Age, which is measured by the player’s BMI and their center of gravity and balance testing. However, Dzewaltowski doesn’t think the measurement is credible.

For personal goals, he said it is more important to focus on behaviors such as physical activity and fruit and vegetable consumption rather than the game’s BMI and fitness age measurements.

Dzewaltowski said it could be healthy for gamers to solely rely on Wii Fit for exercise if they are meeting the guidelines for physical activity set by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

He said future technologies should continue to promote physical activity if they make exercise enjoyable, especially for adults.

“I also believe that adults enjoy movement if they are at a fitness level where they can perform the activity comfortably,” Dzewaltowski said. “The problem is most adults have very poor fitness levels. So, I believe there is a future in developing games that include movement and demand caloric expenditure at the level of the participant.”

 

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January 4, 2009

Wildcard number four — Eagles over Vikings

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:51 pm

The Philadelphia Eagles beat the Minnesota Vikings 26-14 in a spirited game. Maybe too spirited looking at some of the hits delivered by the Eagles defense. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Giants ask the league to watch Brian Dawkins penchant for helmet-to-helmet contact very closely next week.

That said, Philly looks like the charmed team right now. Not great, but good and they seem to have all the breaks falling their way. You can’t discount that in the playoffs. Just ask New York last year.

Here’s next weeks matchups:

NFC

Eagles at Giants

Cardinals at Panthers

AFC

 Chargers at Pittsburgh

Ravens at Titans

Wildcard number three — Ravens over Fins

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 3:01 pm

The Baltimore Ravens advance over the Miami Dolphins 29-9. The game featured five turnovers by the Fins, but it’s fair to say the errors were not unforced.

Baltimore played a methodical, and solid, game.

January 3, 2009

Wildcard number two — Bolts over Colts

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 10:38 pm

Overtime thriller and the San Diego Chargers beat the Indianapolis Colts 23-17. Affirming last year’s playoff win and an amazing story given how San Diego’s season played out

Wildcard number one — Cards over Falcons

Filed under: Sports — Tags: , , , , — David Kirkpatrick @ 6:46 pm

In a battle-of-the-birds, the Arizona Cardinals win their first home playoff game in some sixty-odd years 30-24 over the Atlanta Falcons.

I’m going to admit to floating around during the game and not really watching the every play, but from what I saw the Cards overcame both the Falcons and the guys in black and white for a bit there.

Congrats to Arizona.

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