Enjoy the shenanigans below and don't be afraid to chime in if you have an insightful comment or a fart joke. Starts promptly at 7ish pm EST****
Saturday, August 23, 2008
Enjoy the shenanigans below and don't be afraid to chime in if you have an insightful comment or a fart joke. Starts promptly at 7ish pm EST****
We have standards here. They are low. But they are there.
The real-time results were not much fun for those tape-delay watchers among us. The red trim totally clashed with the rest of our layout. But those were the less egregious of the trespasses. Lookie here:
OK, look closer.
Are you serious? There are some places even we won't go.
But: to see how low we will go, tune in to our live blog tonight.
Friday, August 22, 2008
In addition to the marathon, it looks like NBC will be cramming a number of other tape-delayed, spliced up, poorly commentated track finals into the broadcast, including the women's 1500 and the men's 5000. Two events that, as I'm sure you know, have HUGE potential for American flag waving (Jeremy says he's not going to look at results, I won't be able to help myself. I never can.).
We'll be here discussing the races, sharing libations, playing truth or dare, and otherwise doing things my Grandma should never ever ever know about. Join us!
So let this be your last reminder. Tomorrow night is going to be totally rad and I'm super excited. How excited? This excited:
That's right Zack! I "really are taking drugs." Caffeinated drugs. Since Wednesday. You should be too.
phoned in by Ben at 11:27 AM
-- sweep in the Men's 400HBut OH GOD! We lost to a freak of nature in the 100 & 200 with our best runner coming back from injury! We didn't win the 4 x 100s! Well, here's a little truth-bomb that I'm borrowing from ben's caché: the US men haven't won the 4 x 100m in consecutive Olympics since 1976, and the women haven't won it period since 1996. So it's not exactly like we've had a stranglehold on the event. Should we win the 4 x 100 most years? With our depth, Yes. Absolutely. Does losing it this year perhaps bespeak some laziness or a lack of preparation, especially when it feels like we always blow it in the Olympics? Sure.
-- sweep in the Men's 400
-- 2-3 in Men's 110H, behind the WR holder
-- gold in the Women's 110H (nearly 1-2)
-- surprise gold in the Women's Discus
-- bronze in Women's 10,000, behind the (essentially) #1 and #2 10k performances, all-time
-- 3-4-5 in the Men's 200 (essentially), behind the WR holder
-- silver in the Women's pole vault, behind the WR holder
But choking in the 4 x 1 hardly indicates that our athletes are no longer top notch, since that particular gold medal has never been a given, even in our best years. To wit: in 2004 we were talking about Athens being our most dominating showing in athletics, ever, despite getting beaten by Britain (men) and -- gasp! -- Jamaica (women) in the 400m relay. This time around, a couple key athletes falter individually -- while other unknowns step-up, mind you -- and we lose THE SAME RELAYS WE LOST IN GREECE and suddenly we're in the shitter. Right.
We've got women medaling in distance races. In the short stuff, we were beaten by world record holders in Bolt and Robles. If ANYTHING should be a cause for concern, its that we got totally housed in the Women's 100m, and had no one in the 800 or 1500 finals, on the men's side. But the latter is a product of a brutal Trials system which saw top talent in each event (Webb and Khadevis) get left at home. And the former, well, shit. Sometimes it just happens. Since 1992, US Women have won exactly FOUR of a possible 15 medals in the 100m, just two of them gold. Not like we've been laying waste to the rest of the world.
Why the sudden consternation? Because, after great showings at Worlds, Tyson Gay and Allyson Felix and Reese Hoffa and Jeremy Wariner have been getting pimped around for months now, and in Beijing they have 3 medals between them, none gold. (Felix & Wariner should each pick one up yet, in the 4 x 400s.) Statistically, this has been a pretty darn good showing, overall, for the American team, so don't blame the athletes. It just feels like a let-down. And for that, blame the marketing people at NBC, at the USATF, at Visa, at Nike, at adidas.
Guess what: surprises are what makes the Olympics the Olympics. One shot. Sometimes it doesn't work out.
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
And meantime, take a look at some of the other existing submissions. If you can't beat them, you ain't trying. In fact, whoever can come up with the best re-captioning/Photoshop-job of someone else's entry, we'll give you something for nothing. Something mysterious. Something cool. Something that's cool because it's mysterious.
Hey - looks like we officially have a contest, after all.
We can be together for all the highs (Ryan Hall winning Gold) and the lows (NBC identifying Martin Lel as Rashid Ramzi), for all the cheers and the jeers, the laughter and the tears (so what, I cry every Saturday night when I'm drunk and texting my ex-girlfriend begging her to give me another chance, sue me!). It will be a time to get pumped for the marathon together and to look back on the Olympics as a whole. But most of all, it will be a time to make fun of as much crap as possible.
So join us, we'll be cracking open our first Budweiser tall boy at 7pm EST sharp on Saturday night and we promise we won't pass out or leave to "go get some chicks" at the bar like your other friends. At least not until I gather the courage.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
As it turns out, Kara has been writing journal entries for her hometown paper in Duluth, MN about her experiences in Beijing. And oohh baby have they been experiences.
The main thing I gleaned from reading her entry on August 10 is, I guess, something any fool would realize: Dudes love hitting on Kara Goucher. And not just any old dudes. In the first two days Kara was in Beijing she was hit on by:
1. A former President of the United States
2. A current President of the United States
3. An undisclosed NBA player
4. The entire United States men's volleyball team
5. The entire United States men's soccer team.
Whhooo! That's a lotta hollerin' headed in Kara's direction.
I have no doubt, of course, that her husband Adam has nothing to worry about. Kara's one of those wholesome types. Plus, I'm sure male athletes are spraying it in all directions while they're in Beijing, I know I would be. It is just this kind of thing that lends to Kara's girl-next-door, jee-golly vibe and makes her all the more deliciously appealing. To fans, that is (get your head out of the gutter, this is a family blog).
To keep up this image, I'm just going to ignore this part of the August 10th journal entry. Kara writes:
When I got to my room earlier, there was someone there and I lost it! She is a pole vaulter and very, very nice and she is leaving tomorrow morning :).
I know what she means, this afternoon I caught someone in my office eating the bologna and ketchup sandwich I left in the fridge. He was very very nice and he ended up without a left eye ;)
I like the Olympics mainly because they include sports and I am a sports fan. More specifically, I like being a fan of sports teams. Being a fan of a sports team you truly care about is fun as hell. Especially this time of year when I get to look forward to NFL Sundays with wings and wing sauce stained Bengals jerseys, and yelling at a television in a bar full of less enthusiastic post-church brunch-eaters. At this point I'm even looking forward to college basketball starting and the inevitable ebb and flow of hope and despair, and depression, and crushing losses and unhealthy coping mechanisms. All the emotions that accompany every Cincinnati Bearcats basketball season for me. I love being a fan!
Every four summers, though, the Olympics represent an event that is like our American sports experience jam packed into 16 days of a nation's rapt attention. It is special. It's 16 days of sports ALL THE TIME. Like the entire 16 week Bengals season in 16 days. Like the entire Big East basketball season on 16 straight nights. My team is playing every night, and that gets me pumped.
I am a huge homer and always have been. I cannot fill out an NCAA tournament bracket without having Cincinnati win the whole thing. I can't play a fantasy player for the weekend if he has a game against the Bengals. Quite frankly, I'm lukewarm about sports in general if there is not an extreme emotion that hinges on whether one team/athlete wins or loses. In these unemotional cases, I'd usually rather watch Office DVDs.
Because I'm a huge homer, I want the USA to win/dominate/set world records every time (Beware of whoever doesn't want this. They are Communists). Naturally, this makes every event interesting to me (full disclosure: I have been having strong Usain Bolt feelings the last few months, but I know my Gay feelings will come to the surface soon. Wait, that came out wrong. I have my strongest feelings for Brazilian Beach Volleyball. That's right, I'm ALL MAN).
Being a fan creates scenarios where I get to cheer not only for my country but against an "other." I know that when the "other" loses, we, as a collective fan base, have proven that we are more bad ass than the "other." Albeit in competitions like fencing, footraces, and ping pong (rarely), but a win is a win. And no one had to die!
In the Olympics, of course, this comes across as "patriotism" or "pride in country" but mainly I want to prove that my guys are better than your guys. We all know the USA has a lot of faults and so do other countries, but for these competitions we get to trivialize those faults and use the games as a release of all the built up aggression, rather than the other way around. To me, that needs to happen. Boycotting an Olympics, for instance, is the last thing that will help relations with another nation. One country gets to actually say "we are the best at this" and pound their chest, which is something that humans really really like to do. It gets it out of our system so we can focus on those faults when the games are over. Plus, it's fun!
So, as track competition looms on the horizon, dear reader, you have been enjoying some gymnastics and some swimming and getting your Michael Phelps fanboy on. But, now is the time to hitch up your pants and get serious about this 2008 Beijing Olympiad. Be a fan out there, I know I will. Get drunk, punch a wall, let off some steam, throw out some good-natured stereotypes (don't forget to include America, you arrogant, prudish, wasteful cowboy you) and don't hold back when you yell at Matt Tegenkamp to "Kick, gahdammit. Go. GO. KICK!!" Because that shit is fun. And healthy.
Monday, August 11, 2008
Ladies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . and gentlemen . . .
Personally, I don't get it with Phelps -- he may be the first person with an underbite worse than mine -- but I keep hearing females call him "hot" and "so hot" and "I wish I had the unbridled lascivious vocabulary of a man because all I can keep coming up with is 'hot'." Now, on the other hand I can think of a lot of adjectives that could be used in conjunction with Ms. Alicia Sacramone, here (she's on the women's gymnastics team, and don't worry -- she's 20 years old). Lotta verbs for that matter. But I will refrain. Afterall, she's someone's daughter.
And, I trust a bunch of you will be more than capable of picking up the slack in the comments.
Friday, August 8, 2008
And remember, the beauty of the drinking game is that, no matter what, you will win -- and you won't have to dedicate your entire life to the pursuit of it. Though, at 270 minutes, watching this telecast will certainly feel that way.
A new country enters the stadium - take 1 drink
New batch of fireworks set-off - 1 drink
Exterior shot of the Birds Nest - 1 drink
Shot of the Great Wall - 1 drink
Bob Costas appears on-screen - 1 drink
Commercial pimping The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor - 1 drink
Commercial pimping Season 2 of Heroes - 1 drink
Broadcaster mentions Michael Phelps - 1 drink, poke self in eye
Broadcaster mentions heat, humidity, or pollution/smog and potentially adverse effects on competition - vomit, take 1 drink after clean-up
Exterior shot of The Cube (Aquatics Center) - take 2 drinks
Close-up of athlete with camcorder - 2 drinks
Close-up of Chinese administrator and/or high ranking political figure - 2 drinks
Discussion of US' inability to
Performers perform any sort of Cirque du Soleil-style acrobatics - 2 drinks
Inappropriate racial/cultural generaliztion crosses your mind - take 2 drinks, chuckle to self
Bob Costas says "Ni Hao" - 2 drinks
Feature/mention/close-up of breathing masks offered by foreign Olympic Committees to their athletes - 2 drinks
Broadcaster mentions Tibet - 2 drinks (self-immolation optional)
Close up on a "delegation" of a single athlete (think Seychelles) - take 3 drinks
Close up on Chinese celebrity that looks -- to you -- like any other Chinese person - 3 drinks
Feature on Tiananmen Square and/or past political unrest in China - 3 drinks
In-Studio "Interview"/Promo with cast-member of The Mummy 3 - 3 drinks
Bob Costas uses some form of the world "inspire" in setting up an athlete feature - 3 drinks
Broadcaster mentions Darfur and/or the Sudan - take 3 drinks, pour 1 for Lost Boys
Mention of Ryan Hall and his chances at a marathon medal - take 3 drinks -- of juice, or tea, or water.
Inevitable mention/close-up/update on Eric "the Eel" Moussambani - drink until he finishes his race.
In-studio segment with Bob Costas learning martial arts moves from Mummy 3 star, Jet Li - 5 drinks
Feature on Carl Lewis - Finish drink
Airing of the inspired Carl Lewis music video - Finish 2 drinks
Feature on 1996 Gymnastics Team Gold Medal - Finish drink
Airing of the related -- and utterly inspired -- SNL Weekend Update Bit - Finish six-pack
Animated on-screen promo for The Mummy 3 featuring a warrior yeti performing Olympic sports - Finish six-pack
Anything involving the Olympic rings and a shirtless Brendan Fraser - Kill self
Some personal favorites:
American Samoa - Just won gold over Thinmintistan.Hey-o!
Kyrgyzstan - Would like to buy a vowel, please.
Afghanistan - Has a chance to medal this year, because the US will be too focused on beating Iraq.
Thursday, August 7, 2008
The NBC thinger below it just wants to hijack you over to their site, which we don't like as much... but we're sure there's no way we'll be able to update LTOB as quickly as those bastards at NBC will be updating that feed. So it'll make sure you never miss breaking news about the Hamm Brothers while you're visiting our site. Also, we've been promised that it will be a Carol Lewis-free zone.
Ultimately, let us know if you like having them there, hate having them there, or just think we're stupid for selling out in an arrangement that managed to net us zero dollars.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Anyhow, I apologize if this news comes as a bit of jolt, but no matter -- the important thing is that you've still had ample time to go see Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Warrior. Twice. So in light of that, let's take a little look ahead to all that lies in store for us -- athletics and otherwise -- during these three glorious weeks, using the most inspired element of M3 as our ruberic...
Excitement level... 10 warrior yetis
MODERN PENTATHLON: Running, swimming, pistol shooting, equestrian, and fencing. Remind me: when exactly was this event "modern"? I feel like a truly modern pentathlon would consist of Halo, Eating Snacks, Getting Fat, More Halo, and Whining. That said, I do like the spirit of this poorly-named event. I would like it more, though, if you had to fence another person while you were each riding a swimming horse, with the other competitors shooting at the both of you as they run along the riverbank. Then we all switch.
Excitement level... 5 warrior yetis
SWIMMING: Will Michael Phelps break medal-winning records? Probably. Will I care? Doubtful. Let's be honest - swimming is the most overrated sport on the docket every four years. Having multiple "discplines" for the same act -- swimming -- is like contesting a 400 on the track but making everyone run backwards, or walk on their hands. It's asinine.
Excitement level... 1 warrior yeti
BASKETBALL, MEN: Also known as, LeBron's Chance to Meet His Future European Teammates. What does it say about Northeast Ohio if LBJ is talking more about playing in Russia than he is about re-signing with Cleveland? Oh, and if I hear the USA team automatically referred to as "The Dream Team," I may try to choke on my own tongue. There was ONE Dream Team. There will only be one Dream Team. I'm not sure anyone has ever laid awake at night dreaming about Tayshaun Prince playing ball.
Excitement level... 6 warrior yetis
BASKETBALL, WOMEN: I hear the Women's portion of the Olympic basketball competition was so unwatchable it had to be subsidized by the Men's portion. Hey-o! But here's hoping this guy travels to China to support his favorite WBNA-ers and to serve as an ambassador for our nation.
Excitement level... 0 warrior yetis
TRAMPOLINE: I like trampolines. When I was a kid, my neighbor had one one time and it was fun.
Excitement level... 9 warrior yetis
TABLE TENNIS: Maybe the best game ever invented, if only because in 68 tries, ben has beaten me exactly 2 times. To get a sense of what that looks like, watch Trinidad's Dexter St. Louis take on Wang Hao of China in the early rounds. Won't be pretty.
Excitement level... 8 warrior yetis
JUDO: What do you do here? Grapple. Throw your opponent. That. Is. Awesome. I mean, even the name sounds cool. Joo-doe. Jooooooo-doe. Moreover, it's the sneakiest of all martial arts, as "judo" means "gentle way" -- you hear that, you start to think you're about to get a massage or maybe some sort of exotic aromatherapy/facial peel and then WHAM!
Excitement level... 8 warrior yetis
WUSHU: I'm pretty sure this is some sort of traditional food item. Not sure how it made it onto the Competition Schedule.
Excitement level... incomplete
BEACH VOLLEYBALL: Not as sexy as it sounds. Or as it could be.
Excitement level... 3 warrior yetis
RHYTHMIC GYMNASTICS: Not NEARLY as sexy as it sounds. Or as it could be.
Disappointment level... 100 warrior yetis
HANDBALL: Handball might be the coolest, most underappreciated ball sport there is. It's like soccer and basketball and hockey and ultimate frisbee rolled into one. Could some trampoline have been thrown in there for good measure? Sure. But there's still a lot of jumping, diving and balls flying everywhere. In other words, it kind of sounds like my typical Friday night.
Excitement level... 7 warrior yetis
ATHLETICS: Also known as Track and Field. (I will be using Athletics because it is beautifully compact, yet all-encompassing.) Do I even need to say that there is no better Olympic sport? There's more history here than in any other sport. No subjectivity like in gymnastics. And the Beijing08 edition should be a doozy when it comes to storylines: Lagat's double... the ouster of Russian cheats (unfortunately they still haven't caught the dirty-as-hell Russian steeplers)... Bolt v. Powell v. Gay... Jamaica gunning for the 4x100m WR... tons of talent in the 800m...
It just goes on and on.
Excitement level... 3,000,000,000 warrior yetis
1. A name, often cheesy, that references a hyper-specific entity within the larger world of the thing that the blog is about: +1
--"Shin Splints"!! HAHA, classic Doug, we can so tell he's one of us!!!
2. Liberal use of profanity: -1
--Have yet to read a "shit" an "ass hole" or even a "greasy taint monster" in the first two posts. And he calls himself a blogger?!
3. Pictures of hot chicks: -1
--So far both pictures have been of Doug himself. Not a strong start. He's gonna want to get some hotties plastered all over that blog, and fast.
4. A billion different ways to share each blog post and subscribe to the blog in a reader: -1
--No RSS feed? No Technorati? No "Share this article on facebookmyspacestumbleupondiggreddityahoogooglenewsvinemixxprintthedamnthingoutonapieceofpaper?" If a tree falls in the forest...
5. Start every post with "I" or "me" being within the first 5 words: +1
--Every blogger knows that their life is what people are dying to hear about.
6. Pop culture metaphors that come somewhat close to making sense: -1
--This is an easy fix for Doug. They can be thrown in, literally anywhere, in each post. For example, "Marion Jones is worse than Oprah in a pancake factory" or "performance enhancing drugs are about as welcome in track as a can of Bud Light in a Jay-Z video." See, it's just that simple.
As we can clearly see, Doug Logan's "Shin Splints" is actually a negative 2 on the blog validity scale, which makes it less of a "blog" and more of a "press release." Of course, Doug can change all that with some bad words, a steamy picture of Gail Devers at the office 4th of July cookout, and a few well-placed Fall Out Boy references.
So there you go, Doug, a new priority #1, the whole drug thing is sooo 2006 Tour De France anyway.
********It should be noted that Doug Logan actually writing about the state of USATF is great and seems to signify a strong move toward self-awareness which will ineveitably lead to positive change in the organization and blahblahblah.
Also, LTOB scores only a +2. Jeremy and I are O.K. with that score. Not happy, but O.K.
Tuesday, August 5, 2008
The event is held in conjunction with that whole "Nike Human Race 10k" thing. The Keflezighi's are upping the ante on those humanitarians at Nike, though, by raising money for ninemillion.org, a campaign promoting education and sports for refugees worldwide. So, a great cause to be sure. No word yet as to where exactly the concert will be held. the only information I found was here, where a Mr. DJ Craze is claiming Kanye on his schedule somehwere in L.A.
My question: What is Meb's favorite Kanye jam? Stronger? Jesus Walks? Too obvious. Get 'em High? Barry Bonds? Now, we're talking.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Quite frankly, it's on the verge of being "too corporate" for us, given that they show commercials before the videos and, since we don't get any money for those commercials, that's aaaalllllmost unacceptable. But, it looks like they will have high quality live video and highlight videos during the games, so it's worth checking out. Here it is: share it, embed it on your own site, or better yet, bookmark this page and come back over and over and over again (but not more than three times because this is a fringe site, we don't want TOO much traffic lest we lose our counter-culture cred).