Tags: sports

cass, can you not

My favorite kind of snark

I don't really follow sport writers. The exception is Jonathan Wilson, less because of what he writes about (soccer, with an emphasis on the Premier League, as he writes for The Guardian) than because of how he writes about it [source]:
Attack, attack, attack.

Under Louis van Gaal, Manchester United attacked. They often attacked in a way that would excite only the most purist of Dutchmen, retaining possession with a risk-averse monotony that brought the very term “attacking” to semantic crisis, but it was attacking. There was a plan, even if it was dull and predictable.

Attack, attack, attack.

[...]retaining possession with a risk-averse monotony that brought the very term “attacking” to semantic crisis[...] is quite a nice turn of phrase.
cass, can you not

Revisiting the wild days of my youth

Specifically, that part when you start looking for old TNG fanfic, blink, and suddenly it's six hours later. *facepalm*

In other wild days of youth news, in a world quite like pre-Rebirth DC's, Timothy Drake-Wayne is encouraged by his adoptive father to develop some sort of silly overly public persona, lest people notice that there are *two* hypercompetent young adults with an overly developed sense of responsibility in Gotham, and deduce his secret identity (which, by the way, is Bruce No, of course I'm not influenced by any traumatic childhood experience linked to a favorite character who happened to be a masked vigilante hiding his identity behind the mast of a useless fop Wayne's main worry vis-a-vis secret identities, never mind that Tim figured his identity through a wholly unrelated kind of clue).

Anyway, Tim Drake, never one to miss an opportunity to enhance his persona as an enthusiastic geek among civilians, allies, and enemies alike (not to mention, *be* the enthusiastic geek he actually is, disguising it as a disguise), decides to go into the world of competitive yo-yo play:

Every one of his age peers, plus every former Robin and above half of the cumulative roster of the Titans will keep mocking him about it forever (perhaps item #7 in the Reasons I'm Tempted to Establish a Totalitarian Cyber-utopia in Gotham list Tim keeps in a little telepath-proof box in his mind), but Bruce is impressed. He has to alternate between faking clumsiness and being specially dense in order to compensate for the extreme sports he has to publicly engage in to cover how obviously trained he is, but Tim can actually show some reasonable dexterity and agility in his civilian life without endangering his cover. No matter what physical feat somebody might catch him doing, he'll shrug it off to his training, and everybody will both believe him and continue to find him utterly harmless and not a little bit silly, because, let's face it, he's a competitive yo-yo player. Plus, it's something that can be modified into some forms of useful training (add sharp edges to the yo-yos, work under increased and/or unstable gravitational fields, etc), so it's not as complete a waste of time as showing up to parties he's paying for and would pay far more not to attend, and distracting himself by Sherlock-scanning everybody until the sheer density of infidelities and petty crimes gives him a headache.

It's sheer genius.
cass, can you not

Come the Super Bowl, I'm going to be watching-slash-wincing

Yesterday I read a Miami Herald article about some of the medical issues of active NFL players: chronic use of painkillers, an athlete who played multiple games with a hidden catheter pushing antibiotics next to his heart, regular brain and nerve damage, and 24/7 pain. Players aren't healthy, and they aren't well-conditioned in any generic sense of the word. They are biological wrecks optimized to perform one specific set of movements without any regard for integrity or sustainability; they can only perform during games thanks to highly specific chemical help, and the rest of the week they aren't much better (I'm overgeneralizing, but not, I think, too much; when an active, professional athlete cannot bend enough to put his kids to bed, we are far from anything the Greeks had in mind).

There's much to think and write about this (its ethics, its economics, what it says about american culture that this is the dream, the impossible contradiction between the ideal "warrior" male body and lifestyle and the realities of physiology, and so on) but my first thought was, unsurprisingly, of Bruce Wayne. Somebody should write an AU where Batman trains Robins since year one, because a Batman's career cannot last more than two or three years on the outside, and half a dozen intense, crippled-to-semi-crippled men meet every night in the Cave to work on cases, be the current Batman's backup eyes and brains, and train the next ones.