Posts Tagged ‘sports

17
Feb
09

Steroids because of blacks’ domination of pro sports?

In this article, Jason Whitlock states that he believes that illegal steroid use was and is fueled by the myth that black athletes are superior.

I’m probably about to become the Jimmy The Greek of the blogosphere here, but here goes…

I disagree with him on two fronts:

1) Steroids were once legal. They were used by professional bodybuilders and power lifters. Even Arnold has admitted that he used them, and he began using them when they were legal right through the 80s. Steroids increase strength, and perhaps more importantly recovery. They allow athletes to go all-out with much lessened negative effects of their training or competition. Results: High level performance almost everyday as opposed to a normal wave cycle. So I don’t believe that steroid use in pro-sports here in America has increased because of blacks’ dominance. At least not at a conscious level. At an international level perhaps, especially during the 60s and 70s when the Soviets were using heavy dosages of anabolics on their athletes.  Heck, I played softball for 16 years with people who used steroids. I know they were using. They didn’t think to themselves: ” Black men have more fast twitch muscle fibers, I better start roidin'”

2) I believe that black athletes are superior to Caucasians, at least in the three prime American pro sports. Football, basketball, and baseball all require explosive speed and leaping ability.

Blacks with West African roots have the following characteristics according to Emmy Award-winning producer Jon Entine in his book Taboo: Why Black Athletes Dominate Sports and Why We’re Afraid to Talk About It.

  • relatively less subcutaneous fat on arms and legs and proportionately more lean body and muscle mass, broader shoulders, larger quadriceps, and bigger, more developed musculature in general;
  • denser, shallower chests;
  • higher center of gravity, generally shorter sitting height, narrower hips, and lighter calves;
  • longer arm span and “distal elongation of segments” – the hand is relatively longer than the forearm, which in turn is relatively longer than the upper arm; the foot is relatively longer than the tibia (leg), which is relatively longer than the thigh;
  • faster patella tendon reflex;
  • greater body density, which is likely due to higher bone mineral density and heavier bone mass at all stages in life, including infancy (despite evidence of lower calcium intake and a higher prevalence of lactose intolerance, which prevents consumption of dairy products);
  • modestly, but significantly, higher levels of plasma testosterone (3-19 percent), which is anabolic, theoretically contributing to greater muscle mass, lower fat, and the ability to perform at a higher level of intensity with quicker recovery;
  • a higher percentage of fast-twitch muscles and more anaerobic enzymes, which can translate into more explosive energy.

 

Point being–race matters when it comes to sports. Whites dominate weightlifting. Kenyans have ruled the distance running world. Why? Partly–and perhaps mostly–because their physiology helps them. Biopsies of Kenyan runners leg muscles have shown that while they have a similar composition of fast twitch to slow twitch muscle fibers as Scandanavian people, they have a higher density of capillaries which facilitate recovery and lower the training time needed to achieve peak condition.

I am not nullifying cultural differences here. Many blacks do not have access, say, to hockey rinks where they live, and so spend much of their time on basketball courts. But this does not give us a full explanation.

If we are to move beyond racism, we’ll first have to admit differences. We’ll have to eat cold, hard truths even when they don’t fit our ideology’s fantasies.

And no–White men can’t jump for crap. Most of them at least.

08
Feb
09

Post-modern morality and the death the American pass-time

The gods of baseball are dead. And steroids killed them.

The gods of baseball are dead. And steroids killed them.

Alex Rodriguez has put baseball out of its misery. Reports state that he too, despite his numerous denials, tested positive for illegal, performance enhancing drugs back in 2003.

 To the post-modern man, God is dead, and so it seems is everything pure and innocent.

The post-modern novel is characterized by cynicism. Authors such as Thomas Pynchon and Don Delillo made us feel cliche’ were we to say–were we to think–such trite things as: aren’t the flowers lovely? that rainbow is wonderful; there’s no place like home…

In a Pynchonian landscape, the home would have been infested with bleak parents snorting cocaine from the kitchen table, while lil Johnny joined a cult to make up for  lack of attention.

I look now at baseball. Anything I could say about it in connection with my childhood would make Pynchon and Dellilo appear to be correct in their beliefs. The great game is now nothing but a stew of anabolics and guiltless frauds. It’s a very readable Gravity’s Rainbow.

The opening line of Pynchon’s,  Gravity’s Rainbow: A screaming comes across the sky.

I’ve only ever managed to make it a couple of chapters past that opening line, but to continue the baseball parallel, that screaming used to be a line-drive hit by Paul Molitor or Wade Boggs. Now though, it’s a titanic homerun hit inside a baseball stadium the size of a phone booth. The batter’s arms are jacked with steroid analogs, like some cyber-assasin from Neuromancer.

Post-modernism has killed the last of the ideals. In fact, it has proved itself to be too true. As American culture and romanticism shreds, we stare blankly at our TV screens and watch as wars rage in distant lands. Death no longer surprises us. Hope itself is passe’. When the camera pans the seats at a baseball game, we see the smiling faces of children as they munch popcorn, hoping to see a hero do his thing. But then, we shake our heads and sigh. We hold back, except to ourselves, that there are no heroes. Seems we’ve given up. Seems the cynics were right.

Goodbye, baseball. Goodbye sunshine and hotdogs. So long, worn leather mit and Louisville Slugger. You were all the Man Behind the Curtain, and now America is paying you no attention.

18
Jan
09

Let’s talk sports.

No more damn politics for a while. I’m back in the real and important world.

Sports. Don’t tell me that professional sports aren’t real or important. Millions of dollars are involved, making them very real, and they make people happy, so they’re very important.

I’m on a four-day weekend, so I thought I’d wander down to the Irish Pub last night, in Wiesbaden. They were showing UFC 93.

I’ll comment on two fights, the first between 44 year old, Mark Coleman and Maricio ”Shogun” Rua.

Coleman was, years ago, the UFC’s heavyweight champion and possessed what may be the best ground and pound techniques in the game. His takedowns, polished from his Olympic candidacy, were incredibly quick, and his ensuing rain of punches were powerful and lethal. His only flaw: Endurance.

Though in very good condition, his attacks were so intense that they often left Coleman spent after the first round, should his opponent prove capable of weathering what amounted to Ultimate Fighting’s Perfect Storm. Opponents picked up on this and built strategies around it. They found another weakness too. Coleman couldn’t defend against the Thai kicks once he was tired.

I started feeling depressed when I saw Coleman fighting. Not that he performed badly , but because of my horrible curse of nostalgia. My dad carries this curse, too. Coleman was still in very good shape, but I could see his age. Where as before he was a wall of muscle, he now appeared slightly hollow. I just read that he had to drop weight for this fight, so that probably explains a lot of the hollow look.

The fight began, and it was apparent to me that despite Coleman’s age, Rua still had a fight on his hands. Coleman took some shots, but delivered several of his own. I could see though, that his old nemesis, fatigue, was going to haunt him yet again. He began to drop his hands, and Rua began to land more shots. At one point, Rua had Coleman in a shoulder-lock on the mat. Rua was using his hip and leg to wrench Coleman’s shoulder and to leave him defenseless against hammer-fists. I thought that the referee may stop the fight, because Coleman was unable to defend himself, but Rua was too tired to capitalize.

In the following rounds, the two continued to trade stand-up shots and Coleman was able to take Rua to the mat on several occasions, but his fatigue was such that the ground game amounted to nothing. Finally, in the waning seconds of the last round, Rua’s youth gained him an advantage. He had been losing the round, in my opinion, but he’d managed to back Coleman against the fence and began a burst of punches from multiple angles. Coleman, too tired to clinch, caught a devastating upper-cut that threatened to lift his head from his shoulders. He fell, and as Rua moved for the kill, the ref jumped in to announce the TKO.

The next fight I’ll talk about is the Rich Franklin and Dan Henderson fight.

A few years back, Rich Franklin looked unbeatable: Then he met the current champ, Anderson Silva, and he’s not been the same since.  While Silva is phenomenal, I think part of Franklin’s problem is that his style matches badly with Silva’s. Franklin likes to stand outside and drill people with accurate punches from many angels. He’s pretty good at maintaining distance and his conditioning is such that he can punch for all three rounds. Silva though, is the master of the Muy Thai clinch, and just kills people with knees and punches from close in. His ability to clinch with Franklin nullifies Franklin’s ability to maneuver and keep the distance.

Henderson is a classic ground and pound guy, with world-class wrestling skills and a tremendous right hand. His conditioning is also great. The first two round had the two fighters trading stand up blows, with Franklin gaining the edge on his feet and Henderson finding a few opportunities to take the fight to the ground. But Franklin proved his ability to keep the episodes on the ground very short, and when the fighters stood up, he continually peppered Henderson with kicks to the midsection and overhand punches.

Two things happened in the fight which I believe had a subliminal effect of the judge’s score cards. First, while in the clinch, the two fighters banged heads, resulting in a horrendous cut on Franklin’s scalp. When he got to his corner, his crew began working on the gash, but Franklin, ever the gamer, just laughed. The next event happened in the third round. With Franklin pressing a  stand-up attack, he lunged in with a right punch. Henderson reflexively raised his left hand and one of his fingers drove deep into Franklin’s left eye. Franklin immediately dropped and began crawling on the mat, obviously in agony.

I’ve studies some Jeet Kun Do, the martial art created by Bruce Lee. One of the attacks greatly favored by Lee was the eye flick. Lee was incredibly fast, and this type of attack would have fit him perfectly. The problem would be, actually landing the attack intentionally. In the UFC, eye gouges are illegal. But it was an incidental occurrence. The results, though, were immediate and devastating. Franklin fell like Achilles struck  on the heel. I was actually scared for him. He held his face and I expected him to look up with his eyeball cupped in his hand. Fortunately though, after a 40 second pause, Franklin was back in the fight. Nothing more of importance occurred after the eye-gouge though.

Before the judge’s gave their verdicts, I believed Franklin had won a close victory. He had been the aggressor the whole fight, persuing Henderson. Henderson was not really able to land any decisive shots, while Franklin, especially in the last round, was hitting Henderson all over.

The judges didn’t feel that way though. Two of them gave the decision to Henderson, 29-28 and the third gave it to Franklin 30-27. I read on-line that there may have been a scoring mess-up, because in the UFC, the total scores of ll three judges is what matters, not the number of judges that think a fighter wins. In that case, Franklin would have won 86-85. The fight was doubly important because the winner earned a spot on the next Ultimate Fighter as a coach.

25
Jul
08

My Quest for the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge

Today I signed up to participate in an event which could earn me the German Armed Forces Proficiency Badge. It is the only foreign badge awarded by the US Army and is highly sought after.

There are several events which I must pass through. I will be judged according to my moral and physical standards. The Sergeants here will evaluate my general performance here as a soldier, and then I will take part in a pentathlon-like series of athletic events. 2 mile run, 100m sprint, shot put, pistol shooting, first aid test, long jump, 16 mile ruck-march wearing 22 lbs, and high jump. The events will be spread out over several days. All of them are judged on a bronze, silver, gold scale with age adjustments.

Hopefully I have time to study up on the first aid portion. The Combat Life Saver 1 and First Aid test are part of it, which means I could be asked to do a saline lock ( IV). I was trained and had to do one in Basic, but I could use A LOT more practice.

Everyone say a prayer for me. I’m gonna do my best….




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