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Friday, July 27, 2012

OT: London Olympics Thread

A place to discuss sports that no one cares about for 3.9 years at a time.  Swimming, track, basketball, gymnastics, soccer, whatever.  I like ‘em obscure.

Team Handball: Can France (m) defend their gold?  Can South Korea (w) break the Northern European dominance of the sport?
Fencing: Can the US Women sweep the saber medals again?  How much fencing can I watch online before I realize I’m wasting my life?
Canoe Slalom: Can David Florence bring back gold for Great Britain in this, the greatest and most traditional of all summer olympic competitions?

And more!

Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM | 1691 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: olympics

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   301. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:22 PM (#4195118)
This concludes your shocking going-to-be-tape-delayed update on a sport that people only pay attention to in leap years.

So you are saying nobody is going to pay attention to Gymnastics in the 2100 Olympics?
   302. frannyzoo Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:24 PM (#4195120)
Field Hockey might be the perfect sport. Hard to score, but not nearly impossible. Easy to spot ball. Weapons. And in the women's version, skorts. The game length is right, and they have a pretty cool penalty corner setup, complete with defender masks obtained from a They Might Be Giants video shoot. Fun stuff.
   303. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4195122)
And it's weird that apparently only the English and Welsh actually decided to contribute to the Olympic team.

Not quite right. The manager for the team selects who makes the team and he just happened to not choose any players from Scotland or Northern Ireland.
   304. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:30 PM (#4195123)

So you are saying nobody is going to pay attention to Gymnastics in the 2100 Olympics?


....

You win.
   305. Crispix reaches boiling point with lackluster play Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:33 PM (#4195125)
I was so amazed by the variety of outfits in the opening ceremony's "parade of nations" that I quickly backed up the DVR and tried to write an assessment of each one. The results are somewhat rushed. Sorry about my dislike of baseball caps in this particular context.
   306. Doris from Rego Park Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:43 PM (#4195128)
I don't know if it's the shadows or what, but I'm finding archery very difficult to follow. I often think a shot is an eight while the crowd and announcer cheer a ten.
   307. zack Posted: July 29, 2012 at 12:48 PM (#4195134)
I think it must be the light, because I could tell each shot yesterday, but I can't see anything today.

It might also be that the women shoot weaker bows and have to arc their shots more. You can't tell on TV because of the angles they show, but they are shooting at 70m and there are several feet of drop in the flight path.
   308. salajander Posted: July 29, 2012 at 01:06 PM (#4195142)
Man, it's pouring now for Women's Archery.
   309. phredbird Posted: July 29, 2012 at 01:10 PM (#4195145)
Geez, boxing might be the simplest sport ever, two guys trying to beat the crap out of each other.

Not really. They're trying to score points. The guy who seems the most beaten-up at the end of the fight is often the winner. And in the Olympics the fights last about five minutes and there's all this safety padding so they couldn't beat the crap out of each other if they tried.


to the first comment, would that it were so. then it would be easy to understand. olympic boxing is really an odd duck. its rules are so circumscribed that it can hardly be called boxing, really. more like fencing with a glove on your hand instead of a sword.

i imagine Y R and some of the other boxing aficianados on this site probably hate it. i like to watch it a little.

to the second comment: actually, the fights are 3x3-minute rounds, which is nine minutes. but you're right, there's a lot of padding and its pretty hard to really do any damage. which i guess in the big picture is a good thing for the fighters' health. its just that this type of boxing, which rewards a man who keeps up his guard and can flick punches on his opponent, is almost worthless in a prizefight.

on the general subject of the olympics, my favorites hands down are the classic track and field events. i wish they'd just boil down the olympics to that stuff and just dump everything else. but the IOC needs its bribe money and the networks need the ratings ...
   310. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 29, 2012 at 01:18 PM (#4195149)
I love it when the color commentator for the archery says that they're holding it too long and they end up drilling a ten.
   311. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 01:20 PM (#4195150)
I think some venture capitalist out there should try to launch a pro Team Handball league here in the USA. Seems like something we'd do great in if we paid attention to it and knew the rules (which, I gotta admit, I haven't quite figured out). I mean, with the excess amount of basketball players we have....


Only problem I can see is that it looks like the Handball arena is bigger than a basketball court and maybe a hockey arena. Although I guess it could be possible to make some small modifications and have a "American Team Handball" that has a different size of playing surface, much like how a hockey rink is slightly different between North America and the rest of the world....
   312. I am going to be Frank Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:14 PM (#4195181)
More Dressage!
   313. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:20 PM (#4195184)
I dislike how Equestrian is in the Olympics. So much of it is based on the animal. I'm not saying the riders aren't skilled or athletes, but I find it sort of disconcerting that the Olympics formally ban any motorized or machine-powered sports, yet allows animals that basically serve as biomechanical devices.

Of course, I'll let it slide since it was a part of the Ancient Olympics. However, I'd let it slide even more if they add in another Horse-involved ancient olympic event: Chariot Racing.
   314. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:29 PM (#4195191)
if it's any consolation to folks adamant that dressage is representative of all equestrian events the cross country starts tomorrow and that is hard core stuff.

or if you prefer to continue to demonstrate massive ignorance term all things equestrain as dressage

and no, this is not being sensitive. it's just galling that folks focus on this one event and lump it in with a larger series of events and term the whole collection as 'stupid'
   315. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:30 PM (#4195192)
and i am not a fan of dressage.

but i love horses and am an avid horseman

i tolerate dressage like a baseball fan of the american league copes with the yankees. it's a necessary inconvience
   316. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:39 PM (#4195196)
The first Swedish medal hope, in women's 100 m butterfly, is crushed by American athletic imperialism.
   317. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:48 PM (#4195199)
The NBC Online streams have been much better for me today than yesterday, but the swimming stream keeps stopping. Is anyone else having this problem?
   318. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:51 PM (#4195200)
I think some venture capitalist out there should try to launch a pro Team Handball league here in the USA. Seems like something we'd do great in if we paid attention to it and knew the rules (which, I gotta admit, I haven't quite figured out). I mean, with the excess amount of basketball players we have....


I continued my every four years tradition of watching team handball thinking that I should like it but realizing fairly quickly that while it was amusing enough I couldn't get into it. Today I was struck that it suffers from the same problem I have with basketball, it's a bit too easy to score so I didn't feel any anticipation during the first half of the game I was watching because unless one of the teams built up about a 10-15 point (goal?) lead it didn't matter.

Having said all that it certainly should be something popular in the US. Basketball, while not my cup of tea, is quite popular of course as is hockey and handball seems to be a rough combination of the two (in very simplistic terms).

I don't think arena size is an issue. The court (according to Wikipedia is 40 meters by 20 meters so that's about what, 130 feet by 66 feet? That's somewhere between a basketball court and a hockey rink so the dual purpose arenas that are everywhere could easily handle it.

i imagine Y R and some of the other boxing aficianados on this site probably hate it. i like to watch it a little.


I'm not the boxing fan YR is but I am a fan and I enjoy the amateur version as well. As you note it's a modified version of the pro game with an emphasis on frequency of punches rather than power but it creates a different game.
   319. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4195201)
The NBC Online streams have been much better for me today than yesterday, but the swimming stream keeps stopping. Is anyone else having this problem?


Can't speak to the swimming specifically but after not getting the App on my iPad to work at all yesterday it was fantastic today. No problems and I was able to watch some of the other sports that I don't normally watch (handball, archery, ping pong).
   320. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 02:52 PM (#4195202)
Yeah, I haven't had any problems other than the swimming, so I'm curious to see if it's working for anyone else.
   321. RobertMachemer Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:01 PM (#4195207)
So has this article been mentioned yet?

Key quotation from the link:

Gilady informed us that a moment of silence was not possible because if the IOC had a moment of silence for the Israeli athletes, they would also have to do the same for the Palestinians who died at the Olympics in 1972.

My mother said, "But no Palestinian athletes died."

Gilady responded, "Well, there were Palestinians who died at the 1972 Olympics."

I heard one of the widows say to Gilady, "Are you equating the murder of my husband to the terrorists that killed him?"

Silence.


EDIT: Alex Gilady is a member of the IOC.
   322. Fancy Pants Handle doesn't need no water Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:15 PM (#4195213)
Yeah saw the article, or well a similar one. I'd have supported a MoS in the 76 Olympics, but at this point? Might as well have a MoS for the Titanic while we are at it...
   323. Bowling Baseball Fan Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:17 PM (#4195215)
The NBC Online streams have been much better for me today than yesterday, but the swimming stream keeps stopping. Is anyone else having this problem?


Turn the sound on. Thats the end of the race.
   324. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:19 PM (#4195217)
NEWSFLASH: The IOC is cowardly and corrupt.

Now lets talk sports.
   325. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:23 PM (#4195218)
Is there anything more pointless than mixed-zone interviews with winners?

"How does it feel to win gold?"
"It feels great!"
   326. Tripon Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:28 PM (#4195220)
I read the article by Weinberg, and after reading that, I'm against the moment of silence. At this point, its pointless.
   327. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:36 PM (#4195221)
I have decided that the best way to watch the Olympics on television in the US is to just watch the MSNBC version. I got to see Kim Rhode tear it up in Women's Skeet Shooting!

The prime-time NBC action is just too basketbally for me. I like the Olympics for the sports I know nothing about.
   328. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:39 PM (#4195222)
nbc's obssession with basketball is weird
   329. Tripon Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:41 PM (#4195223)
I can understand, its the only pro basketball quality that they'll get for years. The NBA rights won't be up for bid again for years, and it'll cost NBA a lot of money to reacquire it. Also, NBC is likely to go for baseball. This is their only real chance for pro basketball.
   330. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:49 PM (#4195229)
Turn the sound on. Thats the end of the race.

...That's not what the problem was. It's working now, at any rate, must have just been an early blip.
   331. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: July 29, 2012 at 03:52 PM (#4195231)
I don't think it's just a blip. The streaming on NBC's site appears to suck for events people actually watch. I'm getting lots of spinning circles of sadness.
   332. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:02 PM (#4195233)
I think NBC is doing a conspiracy: they cut it off intentionally at times.
   333. salajander Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:06 PM (#4195235)
This GBR/UAE match is pretty fun.
   334. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:11 PM (#4195236)
I feel like UAE has been the better team the last fifteen minutes or so. I might just be easily impressed by aggressive play.
   335. Steve Treder Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:12 PM (#4195237)
I like the Olympics for the sports I know nothing about.

I tend to agree. The more obscure the better. They're fun to watch, and about once every four years is just the right interval.
   336. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4195240)
I have changed my opinion on the GBR-UAE match.
   337. President of the David Eckstein Fan Club Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:18 PM (#4195241)
Looks like Great Britain will survive the UAE, but a game effort nonetheless. Spain still losing though!
   338. Gold Star - just Gold Star Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:23 PM (#4195245)
Anyone else watch the cute 19-yo Kazakhstani girl break the world record in the clean/jerk? BEAST MODE.
   339. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:35 PM (#4195252)
Anyone else watch the cute 19-yo Kazakhstani girl break the world record in the clean/jerk? BEAST MODE.


Bull, what about the North Korean that lifted three times his body weight thanks to the help of the ghost of Glorious Leader Kim-Jong Il?
   340. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:39 PM (#4195255)
I could get behind field hockey if I wasn't so bothered by the sticks. They seem needlessly short. Upper back takes a beating.
   341. Ron J Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:40 PM (#4195256)
#339 They aren't testing for PEGs (Performance Enhancing Ghosts) so the North Koreans may have an unfair advantage.
   342. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:44 PM (#4195257)
I understand that they have to run ads, but it's ridiculous that they're running ads during active play. If a sport doesn't have a natural stoppage to run an ad...don't. Maybe I'm spoiled since I've started actively following soccer in the past few years, but they don't run ads during play and they have 45+ minute halves with no stoppages.
   343. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:51 PM (#4195261)
342: Biff, earlier today they missed a GOAL by the USA polo team.


Also, I'm not a big soccer fan, but even I know Spain has laid a gigantic egg at these games. So much for that triple crown of having a world, continental and olympic championship.
   344. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:56 PM (#4195264)
I love it when the color commentator for the archery says that they're holding it too long and they end up drilling a ten.


When you're drilling a ten, it's hard to hold it for long.
   345. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: July 29, 2012 at 04:59 PM (#4195267)
[344] Slow clap.
   346. rfloh Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:24 PM (#4195285)
"Bull, what about the North Korean that lifted three times his body weight thanks to the help of the ghost of Glorious Leader Kim-Jong Il?"

Wasn't he the Dear Leader? I wonder if all the N Korean lifters are going to say this. There's another guy, Kim Un Guk, who's the favourite in the 62s.

The Kazakh girl was expected to win easily, not the N Korean guy though, and certainly not with a 3x bodyweight lift.
   347. vortex of dissipation Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:33 PM (#4195293)
I was so amazed by the variety of outfits in the opening ceremony's "parade of nations" that I quickly backed up the DVR and tried to write an assessment of each one. The results are somewhat rushed. Sorry about my dislike of baseball caps in this particular context.


Czech: Blazers and shorts? Women look like they’re going from work to Zumba class. What are those, umbrellas? Galoshes? Covered with sparkles? WTF


Wellingtons and umbrellas. A tribute to the host nation.

Germany: This is a huge mess. Pastels? Same hats as Gabon? Bright blue? PINK? Scarves, blah blah


I liked the idea of this, if not the execution - pink for girls and blue for boys...

   348. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:34 PM (#4195298)
Wasn't he the Dear Leader? I wonder if all the N Korean lifters are going to say this. There's another guy, Kim Un Guk, who's the favourite in the 62s.

The Kazakh girl was expected to win easily, not the N Korean guy though, and certainly not with a 3x bodyweight lift.


Whoops, got my Asian charismatic authoritarians mixed up. Glorious leader was Mao Zedong. Kim Jong-Il was dear leader.

(Kim Il-Sung was Great Leader, Kim Jong-Un doesn't have a nickname yet, I think)
   349. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:50 PM (#4195309)
342: Biff, earlier today they missed a GOAL by the USA polo team.

And this happened again in the USA women's field hockey game. And it was their only goal of the game.
   350. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:51 PM (#4195310)
(Kim Il-Sung was Great Leader, Kim Jong-Un doesn't have a nickname yet, I think)

Yeah, what's up with all the lukewarm reception he got:

He was hailed as the "great successor to the revolutionary cause of Juche", "outstanding leader of the party, army and people",[72] "respected comrade who is identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il",[73] and chairman of the Kim Jong-il funeral committee. The Korean Central News Agency described Kim Jong-un as "a great person born of heaven", a propaganda term only his father and grandfather had enjoyed,[74] while the ruling Workers' Party said in an editorial: "We vow with bleeding tears to call Kim Jong-un our supreme commander, our leader."


The people really needs to step it up a bit, show him some love, this won't do.

Although I don't blame him if he was creeped out by that "respected comrade who is identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il" bit.
   351. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:56 PM (#4195317)
Yeah, but he doesn't have ONE BIG OVERARCHING NAME. They give him platitudes, but no catchy nickname. Unless "respected comrade who is identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il" sounds way better in Korean.
   352. Monty Predicts a Padres-Mariners WS in 2016 Posted: July 29, 2012 at 05:59 PM (#4195323)
I wish there were more table tennis matches on television. Especially women's table tennis, because I can actually follow the action.
   353. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2012 at 06:00 PM (#4195325)
Unless "respected comrade who is identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il" sounds way better in Korean.

"Cloned Leader"?
   354. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 06:04 PM (#4195329)
Unless "respected comrade who is identical to Supreme Commander Kim Jong-il" sounds way better in Korean.

Cloned Leader?

Not of Jong-Il. Apparently Un received plastic surgery so that he'd look more like his Grandfather....
   355. Swedish Chef Posted: July 29, 2012 at 06:25 PM (#4195354)
Turns out the timing data from the cycling was so shitty because crowds overloaded the networks that they relied on to send GPS data. Who could possibly have imagined that service could become spotty?
   356. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:04 PM (#4195400)
I hope the Bob Costas segments are also tape-delayed.
I mean, they wouldn't keep him up that late or force him to stick with East Coast Time, right?
   357. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:27 PM (#4195410)
for this pair diving some country should try and use clones
   358. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:33 PM (#4195420)
i presume the chinese divers are covered with band-aids because they are being punished between dives for not being perfect?

//obnoxious comment
   359. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:46 PM (#4195424)
good for the u.s. divers

good for them
   360. Chicago Joe Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:54 PM (#4195431)
i presume the chinese divers are covered with band-aids because they are being punished between dives for not being perfect?

//obnoxious comment

No, it's for spin. Like an emery ball.
   361. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2012 at 07:56 PM (#4195435)
Can someone explain to me why some of the Water Polo guys had electrical tape on their backs?

At first when I saw it, I thought it was some sort of hideous infection.
   362. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:12 PM (#4195456)
Can someone explain to me why some of the Water Polo guys had electrical tape on their backs?

At first when I saw it, I thought it was some sort of hideous infection.


I almost have to wonder if it's some sort of identification marker or something....
   363. salajander Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:26 PM (#4195472)
It was probably kinesio tape.

I expect it's just this side of snake oil (with phiton necklaces and hologram wristbands on the other side).
   364. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:29 PM (#4195477)
It was probably kinesio tape.

I expect it's just this side of snake oil (with phiton necklaces and hologram wristbands on the other side).


I have to wonder if the snake-oil stuff actually DOES help. Not because they actually do anything, of course... but rather because they give a placebo effect. The person wearing them thinks it'll make him better, so he somehow actually does better.
   365. salajander Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:31 PM (#4195481)
I have to wonder if the snake-oil stuff actually DOES help. Not because they actually do anything, of course... but rather because they give a placebo effect. The person wearing them thinks it'll make him better, so he somehow actually does better.

If you're saying it's the same thing as a lucky rabbit's foot, then yes.
   366. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:33 PM (#4195485)
I expect it's just this side of snake oil (with phiton necklaces and hologram wristbands on the other side).

Don't forget the ionic bracelets or whatever the hell they're supposed to be.
   367. tshipman Posted: July 29, 2012 at 08:37 PM (#4195489)
It was probably kinesio tape.


Fascinating. Thank you for the link.


Don't forget the ionic bracelets or whatever the hell they're supposed to be.


I always cringe when I see a guy I like wearing one of those stupid bracelets or necklaces. It drives home the whole "rooting for laundry" concept.
   368. JJ1986 Posted: July 29, 2012 at 09:48 PM (#4195509)
To me, gymnastics seems like the antithesis of sports. They plan out everything ahead of time, including the possible score that you can achieve. Then you execute that plan and anything that differs can only hurt you. Surprises aren't good. There's no spontaneity, no sense that anything can happen.
   369. hokieneer Posted: July 29, 2012 at 10:02 PM (#4195513)
Don't forget the ionic bracelets or whatever the hell they're supposed to be.


The reminds me of an episode of Shark Tank. Some entrepreneur was asking for upwards of a 40-50K investment in his ionic watch/bracelet company. His # of units sold rate, profit per unit, etc; were all very solid, as apparently he was some sort of search engine optimization wizard. None of the first 3 investors wanted anything to do with the company, despite the profits, because of the "snake oil salesmanship" nature of the product. The 4th investor bluntly said "If you admit your product is a hoax, I'll invest in your company". The entrepreneur refused, claiming the entire time the "science behind them proves it works". My wife and I's opinion after the entire exchange was the entrepreneur honestly believed in his product.
   370. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 10:15 PM (#4195518)
To me, gymnastics seems like the antithesis of sports. They plan out everything ahead of time, including the possible score that you can achieve. Then you execute that plan and anything that differs can only hurt you. Surprises aren't good. There's no spontaneity, no sense that anything can happen.


They are athletic enough where I really don't care. It is sick what the human body can do. Especially the Pommel horse and vault.
   371. mex4173 Posted: July 29, 2012 at 10:26 PM (#4195524)
Crazy refereeing in this Judo match on tape delay. Sudden death point overturned, Korean wins refs vote, head judge says vote again, they change to Japanese athlete.


FWIW, I know nothing and less about Judo, but I thought the Japanese guy was the better.
   372. Gamingboy Posted: July 29, 2012 at 10:36 PM (#4195526)
Y'know, I don't think the French can take as much joy in beating the Americans here. Mainly because it still doesn't take the fact away that they had been being ######## before that race and were made to eat their words.
   373. Random Transaction Generator Posted: July 29, 2012 at 11:45 PM (#4195557)
Bull, what about the North Korean that lifted three times his body weight thanks to the help of the ghost of Glorious Leader Kim-Jong Il?


The best part about that is he was stuck in the "B" pool. They lifted earlier in the day because they weren't expected to be competitive.
Then he goes out and hulks up to be one of only 5 people to ever C&J 3-times their own body weight.

Dude is going to get an extra ration of food when he gets home.
   374. Tripon Posted: July 29, 2012 at 11:50 PM (#4195563)
At least the Chinese give their athletes a life of wealth and luxury if they medal. All the North Korea give is giving them a choice of working for some podunk general from East Lansing.
   375. Jim Wisinski Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:18 AM (#4195572)
They are athletic enough where I really don't care. It is sick what the human body can do. Especially the Pommel horse and vault.


And Kerri Strug is still really awesome.

It wasn't always like that with the scoring anyway, it used to be on a scale of 10 for everyone (hence Perfect 10s). I think other Olympic sports have changed as well (figure skating maybe?). It's kinda an odd system but also one that makes sense due to the difference in difficulty in routines.
   376. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2012 at 07:28 AM (#4195615)
Korea - Denmark in Women's Handball is interesting tactically, in the second half Korea has pushed up two players in defense. And now Denmark has withdrawn their goalie on offense.
   377. Ron J2 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:47 AM (#4195637)
I have to wonder if the snake-oil stuff actually DOES help. Not because they actually do anything, of course... but rather because they give a placebo effect. The person wearing them thinks it'll make him better, so he somehow actually does better.


There is some research that appears to show that this effect is both real and strong in athletics. A sincere belief that you're doing something performance enhancing appears to give the same general performance gains as things that actually do affect the athlete's body.

The study I know of is a few years old and was hardly definitive, but I expect there's been further research.

EDIT: Wondered who screwed up the page width. That would be me. Sorry
   378. Gamingboy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 08:48 AM (#4195638)
Serbia is trying desperately to comeback in women's volleyball, but it's looking like it'll be too little, too late. And, indeed, it is.
   379. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:07 AM (#4195647)
Double canoe slalom looks totally ridiculous.
   380. Gamingboy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:18 AM (#4195656)
I have to say, while I don't like Equestrian being in the Olympics (due to the reliance on the horse), I have to say that whoever designs those cross country courses is good. It's like a well put-together mini golf course. Very creatively-shaped obstacles.
   381. rfloh Posted: July 30, 2012 at 09:30 AM (#4195665)
"The best part about that is he was stuck in the "B" pool. They lifted earlier in the day because they weren't expected to be competitive.
Then he goes out and hulks up to be one of only 5 people to ever C&J 3-times their own body weight."

He was stuck in the "B" group because he (deliberately) submitted a low qualifying total. A few lifters do this. For whatever reason, (maybe psychological), they prefer to lift away from the spotlight of the "A" group, so they "lie" about what they can do, they submit a low qualifying total. In recent years, Vladimir Smorchkov of Russia liked to do this, resulting in complaints from some of the other lifters.

There is absolutely no way that he just "hulked" up a 3x bodyweight C & J from nowhere, no way that the qualifying total that he submitted was reflective of his "true talent". Even a few kgs in weightlifting is HUGE, at this level. At this level, one year of (injury free) hard training, might get your total up by maybe 5kgs or so.

The Chinese lifters this time around are kinda doing this too. Pretty much the entire lot of them have submitted qualifying totals that are (far) below their "true talent".
   382. mex4173 Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:00 AM (#4195685)
Huh. I assumed they were playing the field hockey on a field...
   383. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:15 AM (#4195696)
Huh. I assumed they were playing the field hockey on a field...


It's pretty much been on artificial turf for 30+ years. Oddly enough, I think the game play is better on turf than grass, provided they soak the field in advance, which is the norm. I think allowing longer sticks would help too.
   384. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4195703)
<i> Oddly enough, I think the game play is better on turf than grass, provided they soak the field in advance, which is the norm. </I.

Ohhhhhhh. I was confused when I was watching yesterday and was seeing water kick up from the ground. It seemed odd to me.
   385. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:26 AM (#4195704)
this cross country layout is clearly a challenge for the riders (and horses). most courses put in higher jumps but the londoners were clever and focused on inclines and tight turns. very tricksy of them

wonder how the riders will change tactics to cope
   386. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:37 AM (#4195712)
I'm watching the women's epee on live stream. It strikes me that epee would be the easiest of the three weapons for the casual observer to enjoy, at least in terms of following the rules. First guy that hits gets the touch.

Foil, however, gives viewers the most back and forth swordplay.

MCA: to answer your much earlier question, I was a foilist. All-state NJ in high school. Never fenced in college. Like you, I wasn't really that good. I still coach fencing up in Maine. I fenced saber my junior year because of a shortage of fencers and went 30-6 in dual meet competitions. Saber is so freaking fun, but is the least telegenic, imho.

Tim Morehouse and Daryl Homer both fenced really well yesterday. For all that he has become the face of the men's sabre team, I've never given Tim much of a shot in individual world competition, but he came damn close to making the Top 4, and I didn't even expect him to win his round of 32 bout. His counterattacks were popping off with perfect timing.
   387. zack Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:42 AM (#4195715)
I was really looking forward to both handball and field hockey, because I enjoy comparing sports that have the same basic nature and seeing what the rules variations and the inherent difficulty of controlling the ball do to the way the game is played.

And they both suck. If we're going to have another sport of this type as a popular team sport, make it lacrosse.

In handball, the play (from the two matches I've seen) is far too negative, with the default formation having all 6 defenders in a line with their backs literally against the crease. And the normal mode of defending is to club the offensive player when they get within forearm's range. It's like watching an entire game of parking the bus/hack-a-shaq/the trap/prevent whatever your metaphor of choice.

Field hockey, which I've seen even less of, just has too many stoppages in play. And most of them seem to be for completely assinine reasons, including giving up PKs for such horrible offenses as having the ball touch your foot or bounce too high off the goalie's blocker. The arbitrary scoring limit (the exact opposite of most sports of this type, in field hockey you have to be in the crease to score) also leads to some rather boring tactics. I've read that field hockey used to be even more dominated by defensive play and relying on penalty corners for scoring, which seems unbelievable. Seems to have a lot of potential, unlike handball which just doesn't seem to offer much to adult athletes. Great gym class game though.
   388. Swedish Chef Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:52 AM (#4195725)
In handball, the play (from the two matches I've seen) is far too negative, with the default formation having all 6 defenders in a line with their backs literally against the crease. And the normal mode of defending is to club the offensive player when they get within forearm's range.

South Korea often plays with an open defense, both the men and women. In the last training game before the Olympics against Sweden the Korean men played with just three men back and the others high.
   389. Harveys Wallbangers Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:54 AM (#4195727)
reading the comments about the other sports it is a reminder as to why some events, like the 100m dash, remain supreme

athletes and their helpers cannot find some weakness in the rules. there is nothing to exploit. just all on the athlete to do his best.

   390. Gamingboy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 10:56 AM (#4195730)
An American woman won Bronze in Judo.

Why is it that the Martial Arts sports (Boxing, Judo, Taekwondo, Wrestling) give out two bronze? I think it's because they don't want the fighters to risk injury for "just" a bronze, but is that the real reason?
   391. bunyon Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:01 AM (#4195737)
The Cross Country is awesome.

My wife swears by that tape. She's a PhD in chemistry and snarks better than you guys about snake oil. But someone talked her into it and, though highly skeptical, she said the first application (on her calf) basically took her from "can't walk" to "pain-free". I have now applied that tape all over her body. (Joke-fire at will).
   392. zack Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:06 AM (#4195744)
reading the comments about the other sports it is a reminder as to why some events, like the 100m dash, remain supreme


Of course the trade-off there is that those events are just contests, not games, with little to no interactivity and really no tactical depth*. "Oh, that guy won. He won because he is faster". Fortunately, every 4 years they are near to breaking a record of some sort, and there is something primal about a short running race that makes them interesting enough for the 10 seconds or 4 minutes they take to run.

By the way, I'm happy to be shown wrong about anything I say, especially in this thread. I know that 99% of the enjoyment of sports is understanding their complexities. Except for beach volleyball, anyway.

*For the sprints, definitely. The middle distance races can be quite tactical, though there is still not much space for creativity.
   393. Shooty Survived the Shutdown of '14! Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:07 AM (#4195745)
NBC does a terrible job letting you know who is winning/the standings of these events. It's annoying.
   394. rfloh Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:11 AM (#4195749)
"Field hockey, which I've seen even less of, just has too many stoppages in play. And most of them seem to be for completely assinine reasons, including giving up PKs for such horrible offenses as having the ball touch your foot or bounce too high off the goalie's blocker. The arbitrary scoring limit (the exact opposite of most sports of this type, in field hockey you have to be in the crease to score) also leads to some rather boring tactics. I've read that field hockey used to be even more dominated by defensive play and relying on penalty corners for scoring, which seems unbelievable. Seems to have a lot of potential, unlike handball which just doesn't seem to offer much to adult athletes. Great gym class game though."

This is true unfortunately. In the 90s, field hockey was very much a matter of scoring via penalty corners. If you wanted to win, you needed to become really really good at penalty corners, both scoring from them, and defending them. The Dutch specialised in this.
   395. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:21 AM (#4195760)
So Field Hockey is not just a girls sport? Who knew.
   396. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:23 AM (#4195762)
Thought exercise: How many days of practice would Team USA basketball need to compete for a medal in handball? I say 5.
   397. Gamingboy Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:26 AM (#4195765)
So Field Hockey is not just a girls sport? Who knew.


I think it's up there with cricket as the Indian subcontinent's most popular sport.
   398. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:27 AM (#4195767)
Also, there is virtually no chance that women's saber will sweep again. Zagunis is a good bet to win gold, but Becca Ward and Sada Jacobson are long gone, and Dagamar Wozniak and the rest don't compare. Also, women's saber around the world has caught up quickly. We were the pioneers, but fencers like Velikaia and Kharlan will wipe the floor with any of our fencers except Zagunis (and they still beat Zagunis 50 percent of the time).
   399. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 11:59 AM (#4195811)
In handball, the play (from the two matches I've seen) is far too negative, with the default formation having all 6 defenders in a line with their backs literally against the crease. And the normal mode of defending is to club the offensive player when they get within forearm's range. It's like watching an entire game of parking the bus/hack-a-shaq/the trap/prevent whatever your metaphor of choice.
If you think of handball as being like basketball, this is a bug, not a feature. If you think of it as being like soccer, it's a feature, not a bug. Think of soccer with greater contact allowed, to discourage flopping. Because kicking is a more violent act than anything done in handball, they can't really relax contact rules in soccer without turning it into a blood sport. In handball, it works well.

Hard contact between offense and defense isn't supposed to be allowed unless the defender stands between the ball carrier and the goal. The key to defense is to keep offensive players isolated. If two are next to each other, they can open a hole that the ball carrier can use to get a clear shot. When it comes down to it, it's like linesman on a run play in the NFL, which is one of the more fun things to see in action, and something live TV doesn't convey well.

(I went to the medal games for handball in the 1984 Olympics. Other than seeing a preliminary heat on the hurdles featuring Edwin Moses, it was easily my highlight of those games. Handball is awesome stuff. But Edwin Moses was the hurdles equivalent of beast mode.)
   400. villageidiom Posted: July 30, 2012 at 12:04 PM (#4195818)
Thought exercise: How many days of practice would Team USA basketball need to compete for a medal in handball? I say 5.
In five days they couldn't even adapt to proper dribbling instead of carrying. And they probably couldn't get more than a couple shots past a good goalie, nor learn to defend their goal at all.

Give them several months or a year, it's plausible. But I think it's far more likely that the NBA players suited to handball are not on the USA basketball team; it would take most of that time to sort out who the best candidates are, then more time to train them.
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