Monday, July 27, 2009

Unintentionally hilarious paragraph on Federer

The Onion has some great posts on Federer, but generally he's not the source of a lot of laughs, except perhaps when he says something silly in an interview or post match speech. I don't think his crying is funny but maybe some people disagree.

Anyway, I came across this on his Wikipedia page.

Like all Swiss males, Federer is subject to compulsory military service in the Swiss Armed Forces. Unfortunately, long-standing back trouble led him to be declared inapt in 2003 and he was unable to fulfill his obligations[22]. Nevertheless, he did not let it affect his tennis and bounced back to win Wimbledon that year.

It had never occurred to me that his tennis career could have been disrupted because of military service. I love the "unfortunately". It's pretty impressive that despite being physically handicapped he was able to be one of the world's greatest athletes. Imagine how good he could have been if he was healthy!

Friday, July 03, 2009

It doesn't make sense to me

I've read some of the news stories, the Freakonomics chapter on sumo wrestling and one post on the topic on the Freakonomics blog, so I don't have much of a leg to stand on when I say this, but what the hell: Match fixing in tennis is not a problem but doping probably is.

Match fixing has been in the news a lot but I can hardly think of a case of a famous tennis player being caught doping, so I say that in the face of the evidence. But tennis is just a terrible sport to fix. The incentives line up so well in tennis. Money, ranking and status in tennis go with winning every match you can (this isn't true in sumo and in lots of other sports). But more importantly, people just don't bet much on tennis, especially on matches involving lower ranked players, so there's not much money to be made. Matches that are heavily bet on stick out like a sore thumb.

I do think it's likely that Davedenko threw his match way back, but I'll bet it was more from people credibly threatening to kill him than him making lots of money. I have no reason to think this beyond the fact that he's Russian. Sorry.

On the other hand, for some reason people taper off drastically at quite an early age, much more so than most other sports. So physical intensity is very important and the benefit of doping is potentially very large. So players probably do it.

Good thing Federer is so scrawny, otherwise I'd wonder.

Thursday, July 02, 2009

some good sport results recently

And I'm not even counting the rugby. Of course the tennis can still take a painful turn, but I feel pretty relaxed about it. And I'm glad Fed's semi-final streak is still going.

The Confederations Cup results were decent. But while I'm glad we did well I have to confess how deep my lack of patriotism runs. I hate vuvuzelas, always have. I don't want the lasting memory of next year's world cup to be that horrible fucking noise.

been a long time

I know I haven't been blogging, but I was surprised to find just how foreign it felt opening blogger just now. That "test" post was done from word, not blogger.

For about a week the browser on my laptop stopped working for god knows what reason...

Anyway, what better way to get back into blogging than to blog about how little you've been blogging? On the other hand, I doubt this is the best way to go about rebuilding my once huge readership.

Soo... while I won't kid myself that I'll get back up to a really decent post rate. I haven't given up. So do check in every now and then...