Monthly Archives: August 2014

Birmingham Diamond League 2014

After Stockholm, it’s Birmingham time! And so, without freddy adu… let’s start.

Discus Men

This is Harting’s territory, and Malachowski knows that. He handed the victory to King Harting on a plate of gold, and settled for second place, over 2.5 meters behind him. Harting’s result – 67.57, not bad. He still chases Malachowski in the diamond race, but if he’ll take this thing seriously, I don’t think Piotr will manage to stay on top much longer. The difference is 6 points. Stay tuned! Continue reading

Why I am embarrased to be an Italy fan

No, it’s not because they lost to Costa Rica and were eliminated at the group stage in the last World Cup.

In football, I have three loves. At the club level it’s Chelsea and AC Milan, and at the international level it’s the Italian national team.  My relationship with the three of them started at about the same time, right when I started to become interested in football. Italy captured my heart at the 1996 European Championships, the first time I watched football, and Chelsea & Milan did it in the following season, 1996/7.

Eric Cantona, one of the greatest football players among the philosophers, has a famous saying: “You can change your wife, your politics, your religion, but never, never can you change your favorite football team”. And even though I wasn’t aware of this saying until a few years ago, it makes sense intuitively. How CAN you change your favorite football team? Continue reading

Stockholm Diamond League 2014

I first started watching the Diamond League back in 2001. Oh sorry, the Golden League. That’s how it was called back then. I loved track & field competitions before then, but my enthusiasm was confined to world championships and the Olympics. But after Sydney I decided to turn it up a notch. Or maybe we (in Israel) were simply treated to broadcasts of Golden League events for the first time in 2001. Who knows.

Anyhow, I’ve been following the Golden League, and then the Diamond league, ever since. I love how everything is crammed to one evening and we are treated to many events, which are usually high-level. And I love how they added more meetings with the transition to the Diamond League. After all, more meetings means more competitions for us to watch!

My dad, whom I own my initial fascination with track & field which started back at the world championships in Athens (1997. I watched some stuff at the Atlanta Olympics, but I was only 9 years old back then and I don’t remember much), joined me in watching the meetings these last three years, and this is why my take on the meetings will come a few days after they take place – it usually takes a couple of days for us to find a time to watch them together. Continue reading

Who has the best “worst season”?

This is a question that for some reason started to occupy my thoughts a few months ago: if we take all the NBA players and check their scoring average throughout their entire careers, and specifically look for their worst scoring season – who’s worst season will be the best? What player, even at his lowest point in terms of scoring, was still THE MAN?

So I did what every stats-junkie would do – I looked it up. I remembered that Michael Jordan averaged a career-low of exactly 20 points per game during his last season in Washington. Which is pretty damn awesome, because you know – he was 40 fucking years old at the time!!

So having an average of 20 points-per-game for your worst season is amazing, but is this the best anyone has ever managed? Continue reading

The demise of the 20-10

I was thinking about writing about the awesomeness of Chris Andersen‘s tattoos, but instead I will write about something very saddening for me and for other NBA stats-junkies: The demise of the 20-10.

In the past, averaging a “20-10” was the hallmark of a good center. 20 points, 10 rebounds – this is what was expected of your average good center (or 30 and 20, if your name happens to be Wilt Chamberlain), and the great ones maintained those averages throughout their entire careers. In fact, the “20-10” club has, as of now, 14 members, all of which are retired. But until very recently, there were 15 members in the club, the 15th being the only active player. Who was it? Well, Kwame Brown is a great guess, but no. We’ll see in a minute who our mystery man is.

Do you know how hard it is to get into that club? Averaging 20-10 for your entire career? Just to put things in the correct perspective, here’s a list of several big names who missed the “20-10” club by a little: Kevin Garnett, Chris Webber, Patrick Ewing, Willis Reed, Bob McAdoo, Dwight Howard (true, he still has many years in the league, but he’s not in the club right now, nor will he ever be). Not a bad group at all! Continue reading

European Athletics Championships 2014 – Day 6

Well, it’s over now. A very good championship it was, certainly better than the 2012 edition. But no time for summaries yet, there are still the events of the last day that we need to cover!

Shot Put Women Final

It’s strange to watch a shot put competition without the greatest female athlete of the last decade – Valerie Adams. Maybe we can make an exception and let her compete just for kicks? No? Okay L…

Anyway, without her majesty Valerie, Christina Schwanitz was the clear favorite. I was actually a bit surprised when I checked and saw that she never was even a medalist in the European championships yet! This has got to be her competition, I thought to myself. And it turned out it was. Continue reading

European Athletics Championships 2014 – Day 5

Oh no, only one day left! The good thing is that the last day was as great as it can probably be, and hopefully today will be the same.

Hammer Throw Men Final

The evening session started with a great Hammer competition. The favorites were probably Pars and Fajdek, who surprised everyone last year at the world championships, when he won the gold ahead of Pars.

Pars had a great series, which peaked first at his first attempt – a 82.18. Fajdek, who changed his dorky glasses from last year to a cool pair, and who looks like an XL version of Harry Potter, came close with a fifth throw of 82.05. But it wasn’t enough and he couldn’t get any further. Pars, on the other hand, came into his last throw as a champion, and unleashed a PB of 82.69! That’s a true champion! Fajdek is great, though, and he’s only 25. He can rule the field for a long time after Pars. Continue reading