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The Sports Thread


#864

So the Yankees got Giancarlo Stanton…

What else is new?


#865

I heard an interesting interview with Alex Corbusiero today who is the main guy behind rugby on NBC in the US. It was a good view on trying to promote a minority sport in a new market. The sevens side (the abbreviated version which is now an Olympic sport) is now pretty good and won a major tournament last year. In the Spring they will make a first with the England v Ireland game being on the main NBC network channel and not a smaller cable offshoot, their coverage of the English league right now has around 100k viewers, a long way to go.

Perry Baker has pace that is proper Forrest Gump. I’ve watched this guy play live in Hong Kong and everyone in the stadium holds their breath if he gets the ball.

(In rugby it is literally a touch down, you can’t just run across the line you have to touch ball on the ground or there’s no score).


#866

We used to call it a “try”, but I guess that’s harder to explain to Americans :smiley:


#867

I like how he crosses the line then just strolls over to between the posts :smiley:


#868

Sevens is actually a really smart sport to promote in the US. NFL players only play for typically 3 years on average so you can take some well known names and put them in teams, the action and scoring are fast enough to keep audience and the small team size means that personalities can shine. If they do this right it could become something pretty big pretty quickly.


#869

There’s a long and complex history to these things that I was reading about recently. Essentially around 1850 or so all forms of ‘football’ were under the same umbrella in Britain and there were constant arguments about regional rules. Rugby players used to dribble the ball like in soccer and score that way, some argued if you held the ball you couldn’t run with it but had to bounce it etc.

So they all split off and that was complicated with colonies and partners where it was hugely difficult to communicate. American Football, Rugby, GAA, Aussie rules, rugby league, association football all come from the same core so the terms overlap. In the late 1800s American Football was rugby and they share a lot of moves and terminology before they diverted. A ‘try’ was because a score on those days didn’t score but allowed a kick at goal that did, so you got to ‘try’ for points. A ‘touchdown’ comes from rugby rules where you had to touch it down before it was changed. Both are anachronistic terms really that don’t reflect the current game.

Independently they actually came closer together. Now the rugby ‘try and conversion’ and the NFL ‘touchdown and field goal’ are very similar, they both score 7 points.


#870

That was his main point on the playing side. Unlike football in the UK there is no lower division structure for NFL in the US so you have hundreds of very talented players who don’t quite make the top grade with nothing much to do with that talent. You can earn a living wage in British football down to 100 teams below the top. Most of the skills are directly transferable. You make a good point that they could have familiar names to push it more.

Perry Baker may not earn millions like Tom Brady or Lionel Messi but he has a very nice lifestyle, the sevens circuit is like Formula One so he gets a professional wage to travel from Cape Town to Las Vegas to Hong Kong and then Paris.


#871

yoda


#872

A former teammate and good buddy of mine is a bit of an anomaly as he is an American but a massive fan of rugby.

If he had the choice he would be playing Rugby over football any day. Anyways he helped to start a rugby tournament in Alaska where they played late at night/well into the night during the summer months of perpetual light.

He has now finished his time with the Air Force and is now back in Alaska and seems to be a bit of a driving force behind the promotion of sevens in the region and in the wider USA.


#873

There is a core following there, there are pro players scattered around the European clubs and I help coach little kids at a local club that was started up a couple of years back and the main man behind it is American.

Corbisiero and his team are fully realistic and don’t dream they’ll challenge the big 4 sports in the US but they have a lot of scope to make that following much bigger. In some ways similar to the way they’ve been promoting American football in the UK.


#874

I feel like if your asthma is so bad that you have to use enough of a controlled substance that you’re constantly hitting the doping level, just to compete, then maybe professional cycling isn’t for you. :thinking:


#875

All is not well in the City of Angels:


#876

Wonder if they kept the receipt so they can get their money back…


#877

Hmm I am used to sporting teams asking players to undergo a full independent medical before they hand over any cash. Seems a bit silly.


#878

I’ve mentioned I used to hang out - in the early '80’s - at the College Inn. Clientele was made up of at night of about 50% psych and other medical staff, and 50% the rugby team from Cal State Northridge (CSUN). It’s always been a bandit sport, very loyal players and fans, barely holding on to its school attachments, almost impossible to get rid of once in place.


#879

Is he cynical or just a bit dumb? It looks very questionable it offers any performance improvement anyway.

Sky maintain that Froome’s levels of the asthma drug salbutamol – twice the permitted limit – can be explained. “There are complex medical and physiological issues which affect the metabolism and excretion of salbutamol,” Brailsford said on Wednesday. There is varying medical opinion as to what, if any, performance-enhancing benefit salbutamol offers.

Professor Chris Cooper of the University of Essex said Froome “would have to be really stupid” to try to cheat with salbutamol as it has no performance-enhancing effects when taken via an inhaler, and the rider would have known he was being tested every day. Froome has even said as much in his defence.


#880

Should people with disabilities be excluded from the sport, though? :thinking:


#881

#882

2016 was the year celebrities died. 2017 seems to be the year careers died.


#883