Posts Tagged ‘Olympics’

Let’s Give a Final Round of Love to the Weird, Little Guys

November 16, 2012

Sorry it’s taken so long to get to this point – all good things are worth waiting for though, right? That’s a saying, no? Whatever, it is now. We’ve finally reached the pinnacle of all that is good in the land of unique sports.

Today, we pit the strange Asian/Middle Eastern sport of Kabaddi against a suburban wunderkind combination sport in Phasketboot, to determine the best “weird” sport in the world.

Because Jam Shots is clearly the authority on something like this. Regardless, I hope you’ve enjoyed my faux tournament and learned a little bit about some weird-but-awesome new sports along the way.

As determined by your votes, this is what it has come down to (click on the picture to enlarge bracket):

And for the final time in this epic tournament of ours, let me break this down for you:

Championship: (4) Kabaddi vs. (8) Phasketboot

In a trail of upsets that only George Mason can match, this Cinderella-story 8th seed is worthy of a Hollywood script. I’ll admit it – I didn’t like what I read about Phasketboot originally, and really had no idea how the game was played. I ranked it low, expecting it to bite the dust early. But on its way to the title bout, Phasketboot defeated heavy favorites in Curling, Fistball and Bossaball by wide margins.

You can thank the sport’s loyal legion of fans on Twitter for that progress. You can also thank them for finally making sense of this mystery sport. Check out the awesome video they sent me here, and bask in the glory that is a hybrid of basketball, football and ultimate frisbee. The best part? All you need is a driveway, basketball hoop, and a football.

I was also surprised to see Kabaddi squeak out a victory in the semifinals over one of my new personal favorites, Chess Boxing. On its impressive path of destruction, Kabaddi also claimed a number one seed, the Olympic sport of Slalom Canoeing. Now the strange sport finds itself up against the darling of the tournament, at a loss for momentum.

Will seeing this video again turn the voters in Kabaddi’s favor? The rules are still fuzzy, but I’ve been told that in between tagging, tackling and jab-stepping comes some breath-holding and ritual chanting. If that’s not the coolest mix of the 5th-grade playground, the XFL, Streetball, scuba diving and being in a cult…well then I don’t know what the heck is.

Let your voices be heard, people. Vote early, vote often, and vote for which “weird” sport you want to see crowned the best of them all. It’s been a long road and I thank you for your undying support.

Don’t forget to keep tuning into Jam Shots for a weekly dose of sportsaholism. You can follow me on Twitter @Jamblinman!

Let’s Give Some (More) Love to the Little, Weird Guys

November 1, 2012

We’re back! After a surprisingly high voter turnout in Round One, we are officially moved on to the Elite Eight of the weird sport bracket! For those of you that are just tuning in, here is what we have going on.

This is simply a testament to the fact that outside of the worlds of baseball, football, basketball, soccer and hockey, there are some pretty badass sports.

We may not know of them or appreciate them, but the skill it takes to play a game of fistball or take part in a curling match should not go unnoticed. That’s what I’m here for.

I’m putting together the “weird sport” tournament, which has already run the course of one opening round. We’re here to determine the best “weird” sport out there. Check out what the updated bracket looks like (click to enlarge):

Among the surprises of Round One were a very high amount of support for the number eight seed Phasketboot, which was one of my original least interesting choices. Hence, the lowest ranking. But for the first time in weird sports tournament history, a number eight seed has upset a number one seed, and the pre-tournament favorite has been ousted.

Even though everyone knows curling is the greatest weird sport out there, it got too cocky and was sent packing. I have to give props to the Phasketboot fans out there for coming out strong in the polls.

Here is the run down of the rest of the round. I’ll set up the new match-ups in the same way I did the last one. Here goes nothing:

(6) Chess Boxing vs. (2) Racewalking

I’m not surprised by either of these sports moving on, even though chess boxing was the lower seed. Racewalking is so incredibly hilarious that middleball never stood a chance of upsetting it. Just for poops and giggles, here is the link to that video of somebody racewalking again. It is up against the best low seed in the tournament in chess boxing, a daring mix of chess and boxing. Personally, I’m leaning towards chess boxing again just because of how mentally and physically draining the sport is. But it’s up to the voters! Have your say here:

(4) Kabaddi vs. (1) Slalom Canoeing

Again, two pretty safe bets to move on. Kabaddi is very, very strange and requires a lot of strategy, quickness, teamwork and…lung capacity? Is it a weird enough sport to upset my personal favorite, slalom canoeing? If you missed the Olympic competition, check out this video. It’s hard enough to maneuver a canoe in that amount of white water, let alone through a slalom course, let alone having to go back upstream through the gates on every other one.

(8) Phasketboot vs. (4) Fistball

Here is that Cinderella story, Phasketboot. I’m still not entirely sure how the game works, but I’ve been assured by its legion of fans that it makes sense and is sensationally fun. I’ll believe it when I see it – for now, I’m sticking with fistball, the long-distance version of volleyball in which you can only use your fists, and have to allow the ball to bounce once on each side before hitting it.

(3) Bossaball vs. (2) Trampolining

I have a feeling this match-up won’t even be close. Believe it or not, I think bossaball will sail into the semifinals. Both sports utilize a trampoline, but bossaball also includes a blow-up court and a volleyball net. Not to take anything away from the Olympic competition, because I’m sure the moves they do are very technically difficult. But give me a ball, a net and a bounce house any day.

I’ll set the deadline for this round of voting for Saturday afternoon, November 3rd. When the votes have been tallied, we will have our Final Four and will be one step closer to determining the best weird sport in the world! Because I am totally the authority on these things. Apparently.

Just vote! I’ll see you next time.

London 2012: Disgracing the Olympic Games

August 2, 2012

Much to your dismay (probably), this blog won’t be about NBC’s sub par coverage of the London Olympics, nor will it be a long, angry diatribe about prime time viewership allowing super spoilers.

Instead, I want to talk about two sports; one you probably follow closely, one you probably only played in high school gym class because you absolutely had to (and let’s be real – nobody wants to be held back for failing high school gym).

First, soccer. “Football,” as it’s known abroad. Silly foreigners! Football is for helmets and pads and skull crushing and heaps of money and shitty commissioners! But, I digress.

I know so..er..football isn’t exactly the most popular sport here in the good ol’ U.S. of A. But people are starting to come around. And every couple of years, football frenzy reaches peak performance in America, when our Women’s National Team is in the World Cup or Olympics.

While our Men’s National Team squander in eternal awfulness, the Women’s team is actually one of the best teams in the world annually. And they are one of the favorites again in this 2012 Summer Olympics. Their biggest competition will likely come from Japan (curse thy name, World Cup shoot out ninjas!) and the powerhouse Brazil team.

And those are the two teams who will be playing each other in the next round of Olympic soccer. The issue I have with them playing, is that it never should have happened. Buhhhhh whaaaa?

Japan’s coach Norio Sasaki apparently told reporters that she told her players to purposely play to a draw against a weak South African squad in its last game of pool play. Interesting strategy – not illegal, not intentionally “throwing” the game…but seriously immoral and against the integrity of both the sport and the Olympics themselves. 

You can read more about Japan intentionally playing to a 0-0 tie HERE. 

I really wish South Africa had somehow popped a last-second goal in to completely knock Japan out of the tournament. Why? Because the whole reason Sasaki wanted to tie and finish 2nd in their group was to avoid traveling – wait for it – 300 miles to play their next game tomorrow.

Really? 300 miles? That’s a four, maybe five-hour drive. A one hour flight. It’s like going from San Francisco to San Luis Obispo.

To cap it off, the strategy backfires big time. Good for you, Japan. You get to stay in Wales and play on the same field you “tied” on. Plus one for comfort and familiarity? Minus 100 for not realizing you now have to play BRAZIL in the knockout round.

For the sake of footballers and sports fans across the entire globe, I sincerely hope Brazil pounds Japan into the turf tomorrow. Because the flight back to Japan is sure a hell of a lot farther than Wales to Scotland. Sheesh.

Now, let us turn our attention to the fierce competition that revolves around a …ball?… with the funniest name in sports history. Badminton and its star player, the shuttlecock (don’t pretend you didn’t giggle)!

Four pairs of female badminton players representing China, South Korea and Indonesia were disqualified from the doubles tournament for purposely losing matches in order to get better seeds in the later rounds.

At first glance, you might think “So? It’s badminton.” Well, believe it or not, badminton is actually fairly popular outside of America. And those teams that threw the matches are insanely good at it. Good to the point of making me wonder why they felt the need to lose on purpose? 

The Chinese teams especially dominate that event, but they needed to be lazy and have their way with easier teams along the way to another inevitable gold medal? Come on.

It’s an even more cowardly move than Japan’s soccer team. At least Japan didn’t throw the match they were in – they simply played conservatively for a stupid reason and slide tackled the sport IN THE FACE while doing so.

In my opinion, purposely losing is a whole different beast. Misty May Treanor and Kerri Walsh Jennings had never lost an Olympic set until yesterday, but they would never take it easy in the opening rounds in order to line up with easier opponents on their way to a gold.

You would never see a baseball team lose purposely to win a Wild Card spot instead of the division so they get to play the A’s instead of the Yankees. And though NFL teams like to sit their players in week 17 when the playoffs are assured, you can bet those scrubs falling all over themselves are working their tails off to win the game still.

Sports are sacred. Everybody ultimately wants to be the best at whatever they do, and sports is one way we measure that.

Best athlete. Best team. Best scorer. Best defender.

And what higher honor than being the best at your sport in the entire world? That means out of 7,057,351,245 or so people in the world, you are number one.

Whoa.

Yet, with stakes like that, the Japanese women’s soccer team and especially the eight women disqualified from the badminton tournament have disrespected a collection of Games started by the Ancient Greeks to honor the gods. Isn’t that sort of like farting in God’s general direction?

Okay, okay that’s a little far. I apologize. But as a fan of sport, I fully endorse the badminton players’ disqualification. I wholeheartedly hope Brazil rolls Japan like sushi in tomorrow’s soccer game.

And I REALLY hope the International Olympic Committee reconsiders how “far” soccer teams have to travel in future Games, so this problem can be avoided altogether.

Maybe we should give the Expelled Eight and Japan’s soccer team a little taste of how much we respect sports in America…have you watched that link yet?…you probably should…thank you.

Told ya badminton could be cool!

Forget You, Beautiful Stranger…I’m Sexy And I Know It!

January 28, 2012

Is there any debate that Saturday is the best day of the week? We get to sleep in, do whatever we want all day and all night, then look forward to absolutely nothing important on Sunday. Winning! I’m sorry. That is an incredibly annoying video.

Well, Saturday is also a good day for splogging. That’s sports blogging for those that don’t know me and don’t understand my obsessive tendency to combine words. They are known as “Jisms” (Jam-isms) and will frequent my blog until you give up on humanity. Right, back to splogging.

We have huge news for the Super Bowl! LMFAO, Cee Lo Green and Madonna are joining forces to play halftime. And now, most of you do the “ohhhhhhhh that’s what the title means” groan. This slate of performers can only mean one thing. Regardless of how little talent is actually present on stage, the show will be stuck in your head like a migraine for at least six days straight. I’m just imagining a mash-up of Party Rock Anthem, Crazy and Like A Virgin. Comment below and specify which one of those three is now haunting your brain. You’re welcome.

Honestly, I think this is a step up from what the Super Bowl has produced in recent years. At least it will be fun. And for everyone outside of Boston and New York, it will definitely be the most entertaining part of the game.

Speaking of fans being butt hurt about their teams not going to Indianapolis for all the marbles…I found a clip of a fellow 49ers fan after they lost in the NFC Championship. I sent the URL (that is essentially the web address, ya old fart) to my roommate, and he responded “Dude that’s exactly what you looked like after the game!” Fabulous.

Even more offensive than my roommate’s comment was what Darrelle Revis told a reporter at the Pro Bowl yesterday. He said he was surprised that Tim Tebow wasn’t there and that he deserved to be in, based on his winning games. Look, I already swore off hating Tebow. But if Tim Tebow is a Pro Bowler, Alex Smith and his 14 wins this season should be starting for both teams.

And I have to ask; what the hell is Rob Gronkowski’s DAD doing telling the media about his son’s injury? Even more frustrating, which media members are so incompetent and desperate that they run to Mommy and Daddy to get a story? This has been happening far too much in professional and collegiate sports lately. Unless the story directly involves a family member, keep them out of it. Parental interference in offsprings’ sports should have ceased right around middle school soccer.

Unless of course, it is the WSOBP we are talking about. Then all fatherly wisdom and motherly care is welcome with open arms. What do you mean you have never heard of the WSOBP?! Prepare to hop on the beer ball bandwagon. The WSOBP or World Series of Beer Pong is the greatest tournament to hit this Earth since Gladiators who looked strangely like Russell Crowe clashed with their nemeses in the Colosseum.

With the World Series of Poker quickly fading into obscurity (let’s be real – EVERYONE thought Phil Ivey was the coolest cat on the tables and he NEVER won), this should definitely fill the slot on ESPN. Anything announced by Bruce Buffer deserves consideration. And who knows, maybe some day beer pong will firmly cement its place in the Olympics, where it belongs.

I know you’re waiting for me to say “just kidding,” but as a proud alum of Washington State University, who are proud consumers of six percent of the national Busch Light sales, who is proud to provide beer for thousands of students to partake in beer pong, I will leave you hanging. Proudly.

On to the game that Michael Jordan ruined for everyone. No, not baseball. Basketball – because he was so unfairly good, who will ever top him? Nobody. That’s who. I just wanted to point out that the last couple days have been a mini-skills challenge if you’ve paid attention to SportsCenter. We’ve had about 30 buzzer-beating half-courters at all levels and Dwyane Wade and LeBron James combined for ten highlight reel dunks in their win over the Knicks yesterday. That is all.

And Jam Shots wouldn’t be complete if I didn’t complain about ESPN at least once. So, without further adieu, I’m sitting in front of the TV right now with the screen paused (isn’t DVR just fantastic?) on this statistic: Rookies in NBA history with 11+ points per game, 8+ assists per game and 4+ rebounds per game are John Wall, Damon Stoudamire, Mark Jackson and Oscar Robertson (who averaged 30, 9.7 and 10 I might add…I think that deserves its own class).

The reason ESPN’s Pointless Stat Dept. is throwing these numbers up, is because Ricky Rubio is currently averaging 11.4/8.8/4.6 for the T’Wolves. The second lowest point total among the four rookies previously mentioned is 13.6 by Jackson. Which means ESPN lowered their standards for this “rookie benchmark” to 11 points per game, just so Rubio would fit and they would have news. I’m too annoyed to even explain why that’s stupid.

Well, that’s all folks. I leave you with the Saturday Badass Clip of the Week (hint: it’s always, always going to be a Denzel clip).

Now go away. I have a sudden itch to watch Remember the Titans. And Gladiator. Who’s got it better than me? *Sniffle* Nobody. *Sob*


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