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Author Topic: So I know this board is too high class to talk about American sports
Obama
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But holy god I need to take a moment and bitch about who my team, the Phoenix Suns, took in last night's draft.

A future superstar in Ben McLemore is sitting right there for the taking and instead they take some tall white stiff who is prone to stress fractures in his feet and ankles at the age of twenty. Who couldn't even work out for the Suns because he's currently wearing a boot to protect his fractured ankle. Welcome to the Suns, Sam Bowie Jr. Oops, I mean Alex Len.

I went through a decade and a half of the Cardinal's BS before they finally went from always always always bad to merely bad-mediocre. I don't think I can do it again. I won't root for another team but I'm pretty sure I'm done with Phoenix.

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Herblay
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Sorry. Je ne parle pas le langue sportive.
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rollainm
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I can't sports [Frown]
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Obama
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That's okay guys, I wasn't really expecting you to. [Smile] Sometimes a guy just has to complain, even if it's to the wall.
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The Black Pearl
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I'm a Laker fan. Kill me now.

The Pheonix training staff has a good history of keeping their players healthy at least. Still didn't want to gamble on Noel's knee.

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Obama
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Yeah, the Suns training staff is the best. Only thing about the team I've been pleased with in the last few years. If anyone can keep Len mobile and healthy it'll be them. Still, the Suns had need at every position. I wish they'd taken McLemore. I'm just not a fan of tall, skinny project centers with gimpy wheels, especially at number five. He does have some potential though, so perhaps I'll be pleasantly surprised.

Next couple years are going to be rough for a Laker fan. Looks like Dwight is going to walk, and who knows how good Kobe is going to be when he returns, no one ever comes back 100 percent from a ruptured achilles and he's not exactly young anymore.

Don't worry though, the Lakers never really go through more then a couple years of being bad/mediocre before some idiot team giftwraps them a massively lopsided trade. [Wink]

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Obama
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Also, thanks for Archie Goodwin. [Wink]

If the Lakers were smart, next year they would run the offense through Nash. Which is what they should have done last season.

Nash is my favorite player ever. I've never seen someone so coordinated, with such great court vision and basketball IQ. He's an absolute killer shooter, as well.

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The Black Pearl
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Nash is breaking down. He's 40. Doesn't have a fast pf who can finish around the rim anymore. Pheonix training staff. ETC. The Lakers are completely screwed if Dwight leaves.
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PSI Teleport
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Like sports, can't tolerate basketball. Hit me up come football season.
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Obama
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umberhulk

Nash still has his court vision and passing skills, the best I've seen since I've been watching basketball and IMO among the best of all time. He can probably still drive, too, and as I said he's a killer shooter. The issue, as you said, is his age and health. He's never going to be a 30 minute a night guy again, and if they try to force that he's going to be injured a lot.

Best bet would be to have him come in on the second unit. Nash's passing is meaningless when the offense begins and ends with Kobe Bryant. But what Nash can do is take scrubs and make them look great ; trust me, I watched him do it for years in Phoenix. Nash leading the players off the bench would make your guys' second unit feared.

PSI Teleport

Which team do you support? I'm a Cardinals guy, of course. I'm actually kind of excited for this season. Loving the new GM and coach. Think they had a great draft and a lot of the pieces are in place for a good team. WR corp led by Fitzgerald, with the young pieces of Andre Roberts and Michael Floyd to complement them. Lots of good young talent on a defense that was actually pretty damned good last year. Offensive line looks to be bolstered a lot and while Carson Palmer isn't a HoF'er, he is a genuine NFL quarterback, something the team has lacked since Kurt Warner retired.

I think they'll definitely compete for a wildcard spot. Unfortunately they play in the toughest division in the NFL right now, so they won't be winning the division title and having to play both the 49'ers and the Seahawks twice could help edge them out of the wildcard. Still, there's plenty of reasons to have optimism.

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The Black Pearl
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He can, but he needs big men who can move and finish. He had that in Pheonix. He and Amare were the deadliest the pick and roll combo in history. But Pau isn't Amare. In the Lakers offense he would make passes that lead to misses or turnovers, that would be dunks/and1s if he was playing with some of his older running mates. Pau (or any of the other Laker bigs) aren't Amare. They aren't Shawn Marion or Gortat either. The Lakers want for good spot of shooters as well. Nash had that. While he was responsible for much of their success, many of the players who he used to play with were legitimate shooters. Some of them would be far too harassed in a mediocre offense to have much success. But a guy like Jared Dudley is still a legit shooter, in a way that players like Pau, MWP, Jamison, Morris, Jordan Hill, and Goudelock are not. Dudley is garbage without a great PG, don't get me wrong, but the Lakers have some players that Nash's facilitating is kind of wasted on.

I still really want him obviously. But yes, he needs to be in the second unit, so he's rested and he's not guarding the opposing starting point guard.

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Lyrhawn
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It took me a long time to get to where I can sit down and watch a whole baseball game. I think baseball is definitely the acquired taste of the four major American sports.

But it was a soothing presence to listen to home games when I was 1000 miles away from home.

Nothing will ever be as good as hockey.

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Obama
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Umberhulk

Good points on the Lakers. You're right, it's going to be a rough few years, especially if Kobeball is the preferred style of play even when he inevitably starts to go downhill.

I've seen a bit more on Len and I'm a little more excited. At least there's some potential there. I'm still concerned about the injury issues though, stress fractures are no small thing in a big man.

Lyrhawn

Out of all the sports, I think baseball is best suited to radio. I've always been kind of luke warm on it, though. It's okay, but I won't actually sit down and watch many games unless the home team is in the playoffs.

I love hockey. My home NHL team is about to move to Seattle, though. Frustrating.

I've liked basketball since I was a kid, was the only game I ever played much on the playground. Always liked soccer, too. I'm a pretty big american football fan now, but funnily enough that never started until I first played the Madden video games. Until then I'd just thought of the game as a bunch of guys in pads running into each other, and didn't realize the strategy involved.

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Lyrhawn
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I've never been able to get into basketball on TV. I think it's kind of fun to watch live if you're close enough, but it's pretty boring to me on TV. They just run back and forth. Every shot seems to more or less look the same, it's rarely exciting when someone scores.

Plus the Pistons suck. [Wink]

I like soccer a lot more than I used to, though I think we've waited more than long enough for an MLS team in Detroit and we should be next in line for one. The local fourth tier MLS minor league team brings in a few thousand viewers a game. We have a pretty intense fanbase here. I actually think Detroit has one of the most intense sports fanbases in the country. When they build a soccer stadium, I'll regularly go to games.

Going to a live baseball game got a lot easier when they invented smart phones.

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The Black Pearl
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Baseball is a fake sport.
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Lyrhawn
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Baseball is a weird sport.

It really requires the least amount of athleticism of the major sports. Other than the starting pitcher and maybe the catcher, you don't really need endurance. You don't even really need to be in shape at all depending on your position. You just need to be able to sprint, but even that's not a deal breaker.

It's all about your ability to hit the ball. And hitting a ball from an MLB pitcher is probably the single hardest thing to do in all of sports.

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The Black Pearl
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legit game. fake sport.
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Obama
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Phoenix should be the next city to get a MLS team. I'm prettty surprised that they don't have one already. The Hispanic population here alone would mean the team would get a lot of support.
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Risuena
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
It took me a long time to get to where I can sit down and watch a whole baseball game. I think baseball is definitely the acquired taste of the four major American sports.

Different strokes. I grew up watching baseball, but I couldn't sit through an entire football game until sometime in college.

I still can't watch basketball.

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advice for robots
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
Baseball is a weird sport.

It really requires the least amount of athleticism of the major sports. Other than the starting pitcher and maybe the catcher, you don't really need endurance. You don't even really need to be in shape at all depending on your position. You just need to be able to sprint, but even that's not a deal breaker.

It's all about your ability to hit the ball. And hitting a ball from an MLB pitcher is probably the single hardest thing to do in all of sports.

I'd have to disagree about the level of athleticism needed. Yeah, you're not moving all the time like you are in many other sports, but if you're not in tip-top shape you'll never make the kind of plays they make in the major league. Any position at any time has the potential for explosive action, and you've got to be able to run, dive, twist, stretch, catch, and throw all in a matter of seconds. Anybody in the field has to be able to catch anything coming at them and then turn around and throw with pinpoint accuracy. Plus, baseball is a head game with the best of them, and the players have to think on their feet in quickly evolving situations. And that's just the fielding part. Pitching a 100 mph fastball and catching one take elite skills; and like you said, hitting one also takes elite skills. Then there's base running, stealing, diving, and sliding.

Michael Jordan, arguably the best basketball player ever, couldn't shake it in the MLB. [Smile]

Just playing a no-stakes softball game for me is tiring. While I don't get winded like I do playing basketball or racquetball, I finish the game with sore muscles and pretty spent all around. There is no way I could play at a higher level without being a better athlete.

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The Black Pearl
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If you could hit a 300 batting average at the MLB level you could. While that is a form of athleticism with the arms, waist, and balance, but if you could do that, it wouldn't matter if you couldn't run an eleven minute mile; you would still be extremely valuable.
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Xavier
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quote:
And hitting a ball from an MLB pitcher is probably the single hardest thing to do in all of sports.
I'm curious if you really think this or if its just hyperbole. It seems easy to think of things more difficult in sports than something the average MLB player does >25% of the time they come to bat.

Hitting a hole-in-one in golf, for instance? Or returning a kickoff return for a touchdown? Kicking a 60+ yard field goal? etc.

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ScottF
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I've long thought that golf is the single hardest sport to be consistently good (as in world leading) at. Unlike tennis, baseball, basket ball, hockey, etc. it's the only sport where every time you hit the ball it is sitting on a different and potentially unpredictable surface/angle/position.

That said, it's also the only sport where for one moment, the average to good player can execute it as well as the best player in the world. He can't do it 70 times in a row, 4 days straight like the world champion, but for that one shot, he can get the same result.

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stilesbn
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quote:
Originally posted by ScottF:
I've long thought that golf is the single hardest sport to be consistently good (as in world leading) at. Unlike tennis, baseball, basket ball, hockey, etc. it's the only sport where every time you hit the ball it is sitting on a different and potentially unpredictable surface/angle/position.

That said, it's also the only sport where for one moment, the average to good player can execute it as well as the best player in the world. He can't do it 70 times in a row, 4 days straight like the world champion, but for that one shot, he can get the same result.

Kind of like bowling...
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ScottF
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quote:
Originally posted by Obama:

I love hockey. My home NHL team is about to move to Seattle, though. Frustrating.

Your Coyotes are probably gone, but I doubt it will be to my town of Seattle. Seattle has no appetite for hockey and would have to build a new arena.

I'd love to see a team here but Quebec is more likely IMO.

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The Black Pearl
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When you compare them to things that are considered routine, it probably is. Those things aren't something that are really expected of a player to be good. Hitting a MLB pitcher is essential to being a good player, or at least its essential to have players who can do that, to be a good team.

Meanwhile, you can still win a golf tournament without ever getting a hole in one.

And they technically don't succeed over 25% of the time that they're swinging a bat.

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Xavier
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quote:
When you compare them to things that are considered routine, it probably is.
That does make it more applicable.

But still, the average NHL shooting percentage looks to be about 9%. This is lower than that 26% (or whatever) batting average. And just getting a shooting chance isn't easy. A typical "decent" NHL forward gets a goal about once every 5 games, as opposed to getting a hit in baseball which a decent player should do every game. So "scoring a goal on an NHL goalie" would appear to be more difficult, right?

I'd love to be convinced, but I just don't see it.

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The Black Pearl
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quote:
Originally posted by Xavier:
quote:
When you compare them to things that are considered routine, it probably is.
That does make it more applicable.

But still, the average NHL shooting percentage looks to be about 9%. This is lower than that 26% (or whatever) batting average.

That is a great point. But comparing to batting average is still flawed because MLB players are allowed the possibility of three swings (and possibly more depending of foul balls). The batting average may say they're succeeding 100% of the time, but if they have two misses, two foul balls, and then a base hit, they still "failed" 80% of the time.

*shrug

I think part of why I was quick to accept what Lyr was saying are childhood memories of being intimidated as I had to face stronger pitching. Hockey points and batting are probably close though.

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ScottF
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I assume you mean 9% scoring average and not shooting. Scoring a goal on an NHL goalie is more difficult than getting a hit in the MLB for good reason. Baseball is structured to give the hitter a protected time and space to try and hit the ball. No such time or protection exists in hockey.

In no way am I saying hitting a MLB baseball is easy.

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Xavier
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quote:
I think part of why I was quick to accept what Lyr was saying are childhood memories of being intimidated as I had to face stronger pitching.
Yeah, I would have no problem with the assertion that its "a extraordinarily hard thing for an average athlete to do". Trying to put it above all the other extraordinary things pro athletes do is what makes me start asking questions [Smile] .
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Wingracer
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Hitting a baseball is not the most difficult accomplishment to do in sports but it is one of if not the most difficult fundamental skills to do well.

I'm not sure that explains what I mean. Let's see if I can figure out a way.

Yes, statistically a hole in one is much more difficult. But a golfer can be a great golfer and win championships without EVER getting one. You could say the same about kick and punt returners in football. Yes it's the touchdown runs that make the highlights but it's the return average and lack of mistakes such as turnovers that really matters.

I can hit a golf ball, I can shoot a basketball, and no I can't do any of those things at a pro level but I can do them. Can I get a hit off of Verlander? Well maybe since I am an experienced baseball player that has faced 75 mph pitching but 90+ with movement would be tough.

Look at it in terms of fundamental skills.

Basketball = get a basket. Even bad shooters can do it 40% of the time.

Bowling = hit the pins. The best strike around 70% of the time and pretty much never gutter. Even a complete noob can hit the pins most of the time with just a little practice.

Golf = hit the ball in the general direction of the hole. I don't play golf so I don't have statistics for this.

Football = throw the ball or catch the ball or tackle. Pretty much anyone can do these at least some of the time.

Baseball = hit the ball. The best in the world only do this about 1/3 of the time. Well actually, that's "getting a hit". You can hit the ball and not get a hit so I guess this could be a lot higher than 1/3. Still, fundamental skills in sports are thing you usually do almost ALL the time.

Now what about specific accomplishments like a hole in one or touchdown or something. Well yes these are more rare than getting a hit but what about hitting accomplishments like hitting for the cycle or four home runs in a game or hitting .400?

All that being said, I still think the best athletes in the world are motocross racers. There's a reason these guys tend to retire at 27. [Big Grin]

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stilesbn
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To me getting a hit in MLB would be more akin to taking a shot in hockey and a home run would be like a goal in hockey.
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Kwea
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Hardly. They retire because they take chances with heavy machinery. They are fit, for sure, but swimmers, gymnasts, ice skaters are all more fit.


Swimming uses more muscle groups than anything else, so a strong case can be made for them being the most fit.

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Wingracer
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To the hockey people, I get where you're coming from but scoring isn't the fundamental skill, hitting the puck is. If you want to compare scoring to baseball, compare it to home runs or something.

How often does a hockey player go to take a shot and miss the puck completely? How often does a baseball player swing the bat and hit nothing? Big difference there.

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Xavier
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Good post wingracer, though of course we're now getting pretty far away from the original assertion [Smile] .

And of course, the way you are framing it in different sports is highly skewed. A wide receiver in the NFL needs to "catch the ball", while evading someone whose job is to STOP them from catching the ball. You can't remove that from the situation when comparing apples to apples.

I think if you gave me a few weeks of training, and a thousand tries, I have a decent shot of hitting a ball thrown by an MLB pitcher. Under the same circumstances, I think the odds of me pulling in a reception while guarded by an NFL cornerback are probably considerably lower.

Edit: Maybe I could if I just did short routes and circled back...

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Xavier
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And of course, I think the debate needs to explicitly exclude bunting or else that's an easy counter-example [Smile] .
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ScottF
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Motorcross guys are insanely good. They win for wear and tear on the body.

As far as golf goes, I smiled a bit at your description. Not that it's incorrect, but it's kind of like saying all a lunar lander has to do is head in the general direction of the moon. The average weekend golfer shoots around 100-110. Your handicap rating is your typical score minus the course's par (usually 72). I'm around an 8 handicap (meaning I typically shoot in the high 70's and low 80's) which probably puts me in the top 5% of weekend golfers, and wouldn't even get me sniffing in the same zip code of the worst professional.

Like most sports, going from really crappy, to decent, to pretty darn good can be a relatively fast curve with golf - assuming you practice. Going from really good to a zero or better handicap index is next to impossible for all but those who are highly gifted and/or practice maniacally.

Probably more info that anyone cares about but I'm on a plane and bored.

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Wingracer
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
Hardly. They retire because they take chances with heavy machinery. They are fit, for sure, but swimmers, gymnasts, ice skaters are all more fit.


Swimming uses more muscle groups than anything else, so a strong case can be made for them being the most fit.

I can buy that but I could also point out that "fitness" and "athleticism" are two different things. I could be the most fit person on earth yet still suck at all sports.

To me, athleticism in sports is a combination of physical fitness and technical skill. Now different sports provide a different balance of the two. Some are very high on the physical, but lower in technique such as running, swimming, cycling, etc. Note I am NOT saying there is no technique to these sports, just a bit less. Then there are high technique, lower physical sports. These would be baseball, auto racing (except maybe F1), etc.

Now when I think about "the best athletes", I like a high degree of both. To me that would be things like pro basketball players, fighters (boxing, MMA, etc.), maybe soccer but I don't know enough about it and motocross racers. I know most people will disagree on the motocross part but if you really know the sport, the things those guys can do and go through is pretty damn incredible.

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American football and baseball are similar in one respect; they're very, very good at building tension in those watching. There's nothing like those last few seconds before the game deciding pitch is thrown or football play starts.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by Obama:
Phoenix should be the next city to get a MLS team. I'm prettty surprised that they don't have one already. The Hispanic population here alone would mean the team would get a lot of support.

We've already sold out more than a thousand season tickets before a list of candidate cities for the next team has even been announced.

Southeast Michigan is rabid soccer fan country.

Chivas USA in LA is averaging just over 8,000 per game in attendance so far this year. Our local NPSL team, which is a FOURTH TIER soccer team that's only in its second year draws 2,000 per game playing at a high school football field in Detroit.

And we have a ton of Hispanics too, if that counts for anything.

We're next.

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The Black Pearl
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http://basketball.realgm.com/wiretap/228515/Lakers-Reach-Out-To-Byron-Mullens

makes sense in dantoni's offense i guess.

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If the Lakers resign Howard, it would be pretty idiotic to keep D'antoni as head coach, as much as I like the guy.

In other news, Glendale council chooses to give the new ownership group the deal they want, and the Coyotes stay in Arizona. I'm surprised but excited. The arena is only fifteen minutes from my place, love grabbing a cheap ticket and seeing a game.

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Elison R. Salazar
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I have no idea Obama was talking about baseball until I consulted the Chart.
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The Black Pearl
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rMXI-Abkp4g

Great vid for nba fans.

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Kwea
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We DO have a FF league here at Hatrack. I will be posting a thread about the new season fairly soon if you are interested. [Big Grin]

It's been running for years now, and is pretty fun.

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Tarrsk
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All this talk about hitters and nobody has bothered to mention that pitching may be (a) the purest expression of what sets humans (athletically speaking) apart from other primates and (b) one of the most physically straining activities you can do? A baseball pitcher spends his entire career gradually destroying his shoulder and elbow while perfecting a full-body motion that accelerates a 5-ounce sphere to 90 mile per hour speeds using no external hardware whatsoever.

If a pitcher isn't an athlete, neither are 95% of "athletes."

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The Black Pearl
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We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

Unfortunately, CC Sabathia is both.

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Tarrsk
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quote:
Originally posted by umberhulk:
We want a pitcher, not a belly itcher.

Unfortunately, CC Sabathia is both.

You won't get any argument from me, I'm a Red Sox fan. [Razz]

(In seriousness, though, you can be an athlete without looking like a Greek statue. Or are you going to argue that Sumo wrestlers and football linemen aren't athletes?)

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The Black Pearl
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Can they pass P.E.?
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The Black Pearl
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(that said Highschool P.E being a mandatory class is incredibly dumb)
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