Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

We begin this week with a view of a cycling sprint finish from the winner’s perspective. Sounds like that would be “nothing,” but Marianne Vos didn’t take the lead until the last few meters: Last 200m is strangely zen. RT @Bonnie_D_Ford Yowsers MT @velonews On-board footage from Vos final km/La Course. … … — Jason Gay (@jasongay) July 28, 2014 And another point-of-view video from a winning cyclist, this time from BMX women’s world champion Mariana Pajon. Nibali cares not for your dropped call: Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali is a model of focus as he plows right through … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 28: Sprinter’s paradise

MMA has answered its fundamental question

UFC founding father Art Davis has written a book (with fellow soccer/MMA commentator Sean Wheelock) on the early days of the UFC — Is This Legal?: The Inside Story of The First UFC from the Man Who Created It. Bloody Elbow, always interested in MMA history, took advantage of the opportunity for a long conversation with Davie in which he pins his interest in pioneering mixed martial arts as his attempt to answer a question that had always stuck in his mind … Who would win a fight between a wrestler and a boxer? Twenty years later, we have the answer. Wrestler. … Continue reading MMA has answered its fundamental question

Chasing a national championship

National youth championships in the USA are the most ludicrous thing I’ve ever heard in my life. Whoever thinks these up should be stoned. — Horst Bertl, Dallas Comets What is the reason for having roses when blood is shed carelessly? It must be for something more than vanity. — 10,000 Maniacs, Eden For something we shouldn’t be doing, we sure do national championships a lot. Teams and families travel thousands of miles to see just how cruel and heartbreaking this sport can be. At the U.S. Youth Soccer championships today, I wound up standing behind a lot of parents from Legends FC, … Continue reading Chasing a national championship

U.S. soccer’s cluttered amateur/semipro/youth landscape

Summers are getting shorter all the time, aren’t they? If you’re a soccer player or fan, they certainly are. My county’s school system only wrapped up its school year 30 days ago. And already, a lot of our local soccer teams have finished their seasons. That’s the reality today for the W-League, WPSL, PDL and NPSL, which try to squeeze competitive seasons, national playoffs and the occasional cup competition into the 10 weeks or so between the end of the college academic year and the time their players are due back on campus for preseason training. The teams all have … Continue reading U.S. soccer’s cluttered amateur/semipro/youth landscape

Spirit-Thorns and the state of NWSL player development

Think for a second about the talent on the field at last night’s Washington Spirit-Portland Thorns game. The teams combined to use 27 players. Ten players have made it to the field in a World Cup or Olympics. Six more could make their World Cup debuts next year. Five more played in a youth World Cup.* That’s great for the fans. But it’s even better for the players. They’re improving, game by game. These players could be tucked away in residency right now, doing beep tests and going up against the same opponents every day. Instead, they’re coping with new … Continue reading Spirit-Thorns and the state of NWSL player development

Remembering Dan Borislow

Dan Borislow’s larger-than-life reputation was so great that, upon hearing of his death this morning, I immediately thought I needed to get his side of the story. I was sorely tempted to text him, thinking I might get an entertaining response about a bunch of idiots declaring him dead when he had every right to be alive. In this case, he would’ve been right. To pass away so suddenly and so young, with children just on the verge of adulthood, is a colossal injustice far beyond anything alleged in a Palm Beach County court document. And for someone like Borislow, … Continue reading Remembering Dan Borislow

Monday Myriad, July 21: Spike and strike

This week: A couple of U.S. teams won world championships (one official, one nearly official), and we had a track meet with a series of dizzying performances. We are the champions (I): U.S. men in the World League volleyball final. #FIVBWorldLeague: USA win the World League for the second time and for the first time since 2008. USA were ranked 12th last year. — Gracenote Olympic (@GracenoteGold) July 20, 2014 We are the champions (II): U.S. women’s saber team in the fencing world championships. And individually, Mariel Zagunis rocks on … .@marielzagunis says she feels "reinvigorated" after winning silver for @USFencing at … Continue reading Monday Myriad, July 21: Spike and strike