A recent article in Salon reminded me of something I briefly mentioned during the Beijing Games four years ago and then expounded upon during the Vancouver Winter Games two years ago. In one recent two-hour stretch of primetime viewing, I managed to see several final serves of a volleyball match, five or six swimming semifinals[…]
OK, instead of Phillies vs Yankees World Series, it’s Giants vs Rangers. As disappointing as that is, at least I am not missing anything I care about due to the Cablevision/FOX dispute. I suspect World Series ratings will take a big hit in markets other than Northern Cal and Dallas-Ft Worth area. Which may temper[…]
My first ever live NFL game turned out to be surprisingly more enjoyable than I expected. I am enough of a fan of the American football to enjoy the games in general. However, I fully recognize the static nature of the sport, where each subsequent play is separated from the previous one by long periods[…]
I finished Kimmy’s birthday movie with over a week to spare. Go me! It turned out pretty good, if I say so myself, but I’ll be sure to post here the raving reviews I’m certain to receive after its premiere this coming weekend. Of course, I spent so much time focusing on that one project[…]
It occurred to me that my girls now possess skates signed not only by the Olympic silver medalists, but an Olympic champion as well. Becky participated in a 2004 edition of Stars Stripes and Skates gala with Nancy Kerrigan. Next year, she attended a skating clinic in NYC’s Central Park hosted by Sasha Cohen. Now,[…]
What a joke NBC’s Olympic coverage is! A single Olympiad occurred during my time in Europe and, having watched it in two different countries, I was impressed with the coverage both on BBC and also on Italian TV. It was much closer to what I remember from my Soviet days, when during the Olympics, practically[…]
Both of the teams I was rooting for lost in conference championship games on Sunday. The Jets were exposed as a lower-class team with mostly toothless offense and only occasionally stingy defense. The Vikings turned the ball over four times and yet had the game for the taking with 2:29 remaining in the fourth quarter.[…]
I am a rare European-born and raised naturalized American who gets baseball. For most of my fellow emigrants, the game is too static, too full of seemingly inconsequential action when only a couple of people seem to get involved (for instance, when the batter takes a ball), and not very athletic on the surface –[…]
I realize that a lot more comes into an Olympic host selection than just the appeal of the leaders of each respective country whose cities are in the running. Yet I feel strangely disturbed that Obama’s appeal to the IOC turned out to be a non-factor in Friday’s vote for the right to host 2016[…]
I realize this morning that my attempt at congratulating my Red Sox fan friends (I can name only a couple off the top my head, anyway) last year has had a desired effect for at least this year: Boston is not going to the World Series this time around. But I don’t know if I[…]
I did watch a couple of hours of Olympics today, and at some point it hit me: BBC shows them commercial-free, except for one or two promotional clips of upcoming BBC programs. Add in the fact that the multi-screen option allows me to pick from among several concurrent feeds on a single channel, and I[…]
The Olympic opening ceremony is about to start, and I realize that for the first time since I became actively aware of the wonderful medium of television I will not be watching Olympic Games that much. It’s not because I’ve always felt it was an irresponsible acquiescence to award the Games to an oppressive regime.[…]
In most sports that I follow, besides rooting for a favorite home team, I have individual favorite players, whose teams transitively get my allegiance as well. For instance, I’ve been partial in the past to the Detroit Red Wings because of all the Russian players on their roster or the Utah Jazz while John Stockton[…]
As unpredictable as football can be, the football gods rarely insist on throwing their weight behind an illogical outcome, Greece’s triumph at the last championships notwithstanding. Today, we have a well-deserving champion. The Spanish team was not the only one that went through the tournament unbeaten (the unfortunate Croatians were knocked out in the quarterfinals[…]
Bookmakers are no slouches: We’ve got a Germany – Spain final. Spain pretty much pasted Russia in the second half, winning in more than convincing fashion. The Russians played as I expected them to play in the previous game, i.e. reasonably well but worse than the opponents. The first half actually ended up scoreless in[…]
After four quarterfinal games of Euro Championships, I suddenly feel that, although I considered myself reasonably knowledgeable about the Beautiful Game for all my life, I have, in fact, very little understanding of it.
Or some aspects of it, at least.
There were stunning reversals of form, dumb coaching decisions, plenty of missed of opportunities, and of the four group winners – who all, as you recall, won their respective groups with a game to spare and rested their first teams in the last group round – only one managed not to lose in the quarterfinal. Three games went to extra time, two of those were decided by penalty kicks, and the one game that ended after 90 minutes was actually the most evenly contested.
A good live football match every night at a convenient viewing time. Heaven! I do not think I will ever have a chance like this again…
I have watched only a half of games after the first round of group play, but still, that’s all together 16 matches out of possible 24. Only 7 more left, which I am sure I will all see in live broadcast.
So, what does it look like at the quarterfinal stage?
As I mentioned on a number of occasions, I am a horrible golfer. I am capable of adequate displays of skills – and I hope you all understand what I mean by adequate – but not for any length of time, which summarily produces double-par-or-worse outcomes in any given round of play. It’s a hard game to master even with regular practice (and I play too irregularly, unfortunately).
I also maintain a view that golf is the hardest individual sport to win at. Not to become good at (which I already admitted is hard in itself). But to win at. Golf may be comparatively not too demanding a sport from the athleticism perspective (as opposed to, say, tennis), but winning a golf tournament means outperforming a hundred of other people at the same time over the course of several days, without being able to affect their scores (in tennis, you have to be better than only 7 opponents one at a time while directly fighting each – I am not saying that it is easy, just that the magnitude of the opposition is on a different level).
Which makes Tiger’s continuing success all the more amazing.
To the envy of many, I am sure, I have watched every single game of the European Championships in its entirety thus far. Live, too, with only one 30-minute-delay PVR-enabled exception. In other words, at the conclusion of the first round of group play, I have seen each of the 16 teams in action exactly once.
At the top of the draw, both Portugal and Germany looked confident and solid. Their respective opponents, Turkey and Poland, started out well enough, especially the Turks, but simply did not have enough talent to compete. The supposed second-best teams in these two groups, the Czechs and the Croats, looked utterly unconvincing in scraping out minimal wins against lesser opposition, Austria and Switzerland, respectively, who were supposed to be hopefully outclassed but compensated with heart and effort for what they lacked in ability.