seeking knowledge and laughter, putting a bullseye on inaccuracy

Sports

Thoughts on sports and games

Soccer Photos

I'm going to try to do more posting this year of my photo highlights. The gopher soccer home opener had a number of great opportunities for photos - see the full gallery here.

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A Good Baseball Photo

I like this photo from last Sunday.

Macalester Baseball Photo

First Men Gymnastics Shoot

I shot Gopher men gymnastics for the first time tonight - highlights in a gallery here.

Homophobia in Recruiting for College Basketball

A fascinating look at the world of college basketball recruiting for women - ESPN the Mag discusses the code used by some coaches to attract the God-fearing.

On every top recruit's college visit, there comes the moment of the final pitch, when the head-spinning hoopla finally gives way to the business of basketball, when the high school girl steps away from the rah-rah of all the games and the ego-stroking of all the VIP intros to sit down with the head coach. During one teen's big moment, a heart-to-heart with Iowa State's Bill Fennelly, the decorated coach of 23 years sang an insistent refrain. "He kept drilling that 'this would be a family,'" says the player, who asked not to be named. "'You should come here,' he said, 'because we're family-oriented.'"

To the recruit, those seemingly comforting words cloaked a deeper meaning. Two of the four schools she was considering were purported to employ lesbians on their staffs. Her stop in Ames, in fact, was on the heels of a trip to one of those allegedly "gay programs." There, coaches avoided discussing anyone's off-court lives. Iowa State, in contrast, pushed the personal hard. "They threw it out constantly," says the player, who became a Cyclone. "'Iowa has morals, and people who live here have values, wholesome values.'" The implication, to her and to another former Cyclone who confirmed her account, was that at other schools, "there's something going on you don't know."

We draw closer to getting rid of this bullshit in our society, but there is a ways to go.

Gopher Women Basketball Upsets Michigan

I shot the Minnesota Gopher Women Basketball v. Michigan game tonight - the Gophers have struggled this season but upset #1 in the Big Ten Michigan in front of a large crowd. It was great. My photo gallery is up here

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Gopher Basketball Photos

I shot the Gopher v. Iowa men basketball game last Sunday and it was awesome. These are my shots:

Update:I got rid of the embedded album because FireFox apparently couldn't handle it (I use Chrome, so I didn't notice). You can see the slideshow here.

Again, This is Why I Love Sports

For those who missed this when it happened, the story behind what was almost the 21st perfect game in the history of Major League Baseball, is a perfect example of why I am so passionate about sports.

It is a beautiful story of human error, forgiveness, and humility.

Nike Soccer Commercials

Sports Illustrated, Genetics, and Evolution

A few weeks ago, Sports Illustrated ran a fascinating cover story about evolution, genetics, doping, and sports. I think the insights into human evolution will be interesting even to those who are generally uninspired by sports.

It notes that all human are fundamentally built to be distance runners... and they mean distance! In fact, there is an argument that running was fundamental to our human development.

Even our large brains developed because we ran, growing only once our endurance enabled us to gorge on animal fat and protein. We are who we are—the only sweating, largely hairless bipedal mammals—because we ran. As Lieberman puts it, "Endurance running is hardwired into our anatomy and physiology."

The article goes into a great discussion of investigations into why the Kenyan runners have succeeded so well at long distances ... and it seems far more behavioral than genetic.

The discussion turns to brain injuries and what we can predict based on genetic markers and predisposition to slow healing from brain trauma:

The more ApoE has been studied, though, the more it has been associated not only with Alzheimer's but also with the ability of the brain to heal from all manner of trauma. People with ApoE4 variants who hit their heads in car accidents, for example, are more likely to have permanent damage or to die than those who have other variants. And a series of small studies suggests that athletes with ApoE4 variants who get hit in the head are more likely to recover slowly and to suffer greater dementia later in life. It is not entirely clear how ApoE affects brain recovery, but the gene is involved in the inflammatory response of the brain after injury, and people with the ApoE4 variant appear to take longer to clear their brains of a particular protein called amyloid, which floods in following head trauma.

I highly recommend the whole article, but I also wanted to note that our intelligence evolved because of our ability to maintain a high-fat and high-protein diet... from our ability to hunt animals. Those who argue that eating meat is inherently unnatural are wrong. Not only is it tasty - it was essential to our human development. Now, I do agree with those that argue much of our modern meat industrial complex is unhealthy, but that is different from arguing we should simply avoid meat because eating other animals is somehow wrong.

Macalester Football 2009 Photos

I just finished editing and posting the photos from Macalester's 2009 football season. Here are the best in my opinion...

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