X-Games to the Left, Soccer to the Right

I am surrounded by TV screens, all showing things that resemble sport. In soccer, a Mexican team is playing a Spanish Italian one. I have to say I was pulling for Guadalajara over Seville or wherever Juventus comes from. [Um… Turin, actually.]

I didn’t see the goal, but I did see a few supposedly macho men lying on the grass crying. Not as many as I expected, which just goes to show you how far this league is from earning my respect. Only four episodes of babyism in the second half? That’s progress! I’d like to think the boys from North America spent less time on the soil than the Europeans.

Meanwhile, my left eye and right hemisphere have been absorbing X-Games. I watched an event where kids rolled their bikes down a ridiculous slope, up a ramp, through the air (tricks ensue) and then, if they land, they have a chance to do one more trick. I’d say maybe 30% landed the first flight. Probably less. These kids fell a long, long way, sometimes with a bicycle in the crotch, and when things came to a rest they took a deep breath and walked off, trying as hard as possible to NOT look hurt. A nice departure from the soccer.

And yet. Does the double-front-flip or the backflip-with-the-bike-spin score higher? That’s for the judges to decide. Ultimately most of the events in the X-Games are slightly-more-dangerous figure skating. Contestants do stuff and someone else decides who wins. Interesting, occasionally entertaining, but not satisfying from a sporting point of view.

When does hockey season begin again?

Darn that Science

I’m in a bar right now, trying to get the blog mojo working. On the TV I just saw a commercial that featured some sort of record-breaking car jump. I just couldn’t get excited.

Back in the ’70s the guys doing jumps just put a big motor in their cars, set up a ramp, and took a shot at the other side. Sure there were some estimates of how far they would fly if they were going a certain speed at the top of the ramp, but there was still a seat-of-the-pants feel to it. You started small, you jumped farther and farther, and learned to land on your wheels.

Now, I see a specially-modified car sail through the air and all I see is math. The driver has only to hit the ramp at the right speed and keep level and Bob’s your uncle. [This has always been the case, but ‘the right speed’ was not as exactly-known as it is now, nor was it so easy to hit that speed back in the day. I contend. And now that I think of it, some ramps back then might have doomed the driver no matter the speed.]

Daredeviling, like tennis, has suffered from the advance of technology.