2008


Beijing Olympics [08.08.08]

Edit: As my friend Joe pointed out in the comments, NBC is showing a ton of coverage online which is unprecedented but there is some trouble on the horizon for those of us who subscribe to Cablevision.  Cablevision has decided not to air all 3,600 hours of Olympics-related programming, but it appears viewers who get their broadband Internet service will be limited to 1,400 of those hours.

That is because NBC is charging carriers a premium for its 2,200 hours of live video from the Olympics – as well as for two special channels dedicated exclusively to soccer and basketball – but Cablevision has declined to sign up.

NBC said most TV and Internet carriers have agreed to its terms. It said in a statement:

“A substantial majority of the industry, about 90 percent of multiplatform subscribers, will have access to NBCOlympics.com broadband content. Nearly every distributor, including all majors [Comcast, DIRECTV, Time Warner, DISH, Cox, Mediacom, Verizon, AT&T] are making Olympic broadband content available to their customers. To date, Cablevision has not elected to offer its customers the enhanced Olympics package.”

Just fantastic news for us Cablevision customers. [Source: Neil Best, News Day]

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Well the Summer Olympics are finally here amid all the protest over human rights, Tibet’s freedom and internet censorship. I know a couple of people who are in Beijing either watching the games or helping out volunteer so good luck to them and hope you have a great time.

So is anyone else actually going to watch the Olympics? There has been talk recently that it does not generate much interest anymore but I find that hard to believe but then again, maybe it is not that hard to believe. I barely hear anyone talk that they are looking forward to watching the games and it is mostly about how they are overrated and not very exciting. I call all of that nonsense and completely garbage as the Olympic Games can be a place to bring issues to light, to bring athletes and people from all over the world together to watch an event that has entire communities and countries biting their nails awaiting the result. It used to be a stage where people spoke out on issues that were being suppressed in everyday lives.

Two people who come to mind for that are Tommie Smith and John Carlos who gave everything for their country (United States) and were humiliated when they returned home. Smith and Carlos were largely ostracized by the predominantly white U.S. sporting establishment in the following years and in addition were subject to criticism of their actions. Time Magazine showed the five-ring Olympic logo with the words, “Angrier, Nastier, Uglier”, instead of “Faster, Higher, Stronger”. Back home they were subject to abuse and they and their families received death threats. At least they made a positive difference in the world we live in today and it was nice to see them being honored by ESPN for their 40th year anniversary of the event at the ESPY’s this year (that I blogged about here).

I don’t know about all those doubters but I have always been a fan of the Olympics (Winter and Summer both) because once every other year, atheletes from all over the world can sort of come together and compete against each other while proudly wearing their country’s colors. For all the other times (at least in the US anyways) you just see the title of “World Champion” or “World Series” get tossed around like it means something when the teams only consist of the United States and only a handful of teams from north of the border.

I have tried to stay away from much of the details regarding the opening cermony as I want to watch it live tonight (7:30 PM on NBC) will be shown in taped-delay fashion. There has been much anticipation regarding what the Chinese have in store for the opening ceremony as it certainly will be lavish and I am particularily curious to see be the last to light the Olympic Torch. Who can ever forget Muhammed Ali lighting the Torch in the Summer Olympics of 1996 in Atlanta, Ga.

For anyone interested in the history of the Olympic Medals for a summer Olympics by country, year, or ranking, New York Times once again put out a brilliant interactive Graphic on the matter that can be found right here. The graphic is pretty clear as it changes the size of a particular country based on the number of medals they have won in a given year and they also detail each medal won if you just click on a specific country. For example who knew that the only medal Dominican Republic won in the 2004 games was a Gold Medal by Felix Sanchez in 400m hurdles.


MLB Review at the Break

So I had posted “MLB Preview… Sorta?” all the way back on March 24th before the season predicting which teams will go over or under their win totals according a number I believe that is given to each team by some Las Vegas betting line.

Currently I am on pace for only 14 correct predictions but do take a look at some of my “incorrect” picks so far in Cincinnati who is 1.1 games off the pace, Houston Astros who are 1.5 games off and Toronto who falls 3.9 games short. As for the close ones that I am getting correct right now are Philadelphia Phillies (0.25), Kansas City Royals (0.94) and Boston Red Sox (1.2). So technically I could be anywhere from 11 to 17 correct picks and certainly even higher if teams like the Mets and Brewers decide to make a little run.

The teams that I have looked really brilliant on are of course the Tampa Bay Rays (OVER +22.8), Seattle Mariners (UNDER -21.9), Cleveland Indians (UNDER -20.34), Minnesota Twins (OVER +16.9) and even Florida Marlins (OVER +16.8).

On the other hand, some teams that made me look down right awful are the San Diego Padres (OVER -21.9), Colorado Rockies (OVER -17.2), Chicago White Sox (UNDER +17.06) and Detroit Tigers (OVER -12.5).

Here is the table from the post at the start of the season: (more…)


MLB Preview… Sorta?

I thought about doing an entire MLB preview but that is just too much to write for very little in return so I’ll do an Over/Under to a line that my brother put up from some where in Vegas. Check out his post here. Maybe I’ll do something with the Jays, Yankees, Red Sox or maybe if you have a team you want to talk about, send me something and I’ll put it up / comment on it.

They give each team a number on how many games they will win the upcoming year and you guess (or bet) whether they will go over or under the amount. Here are my guesses (no betting here).

A couple of ones that I will point out are Boston at OVER 94, Cubs at OVER 87.5 (I expect them to win the division), and the winner of AL West which is usually a strong division to be UNDER 92 (LA Angels).

Let me know what you think, if you don’t want to post on all of the teams, take your favorite team and a couple of their rivals and let’s see where you rate them.

Listed below are my picks:

Arizona UNDER 86.5
Atlanta OVER 86
Baltimore UNDER 65
Boston OVER 94
Chicago (N) OVER 87.5
Chicago (A) UNDER 76
Cincinnati UNDER 76.5
Cleveland UNDER 91
Colorado OVER 83
Detroit OVER 93.5
Florida OVER 68.5
Houston UNDER 73.5
Kansas City UNDER 73.5
LA Angels UNDER 92
LA Dodgers OVER 87.5
Milwaukee UNDER 84
Minnesota OVER 73.5
NY Mets OVER 92.5
NY Yankees UNDER 94
Oakland OVER 74
Philadelphia UNDER 88
Pittsburgh OVER 68.5
San Diego OVER 85
San Francisco UNDER 72
Seattle UNDER 85
St. Louis UNDER 77
Tampa Bay OVER 72
Texas UNDER 75
Toronto OVER 84
Washington OVER 71.5


Happy New Year 1

Happy New Year everybody! So I had told myself that I would start off this new year by finally starting my own blog. I plan to write maybe a couple of times a week usually about whatever is either bugging me that week or could even be something good. I am not always an angry brown guy, actually most of the times I am not but who knows. So from the 2008 US Elections to Sports to International Politics to Video Games, whatever seems to be the flavor of the day for me then, expect to see it here. Feel free to comment away on how you feel about the topic, it does not matter if you agree or disagree, I just maybe want to hit a nerve or two which gets people talking about something.

I’ll start off this first one on the 2008 Iowa Caucuses. I have heard some people say they don’t understand the caucus system or they are not fans of how it is done but that is usually the people who have not sat down on voting day and witnessed the event. This is democracy working it self in front of your eyes. These people in Iowa give up their regular lives and thoroughly investigate and background check these candidates and leave no stone unturned. It might have been Chris Matthews on MSNBC who said most of us get angry if we have to wait more than 10 minutes in a line at a voting booth come our primary or election night but not these people. Not only do they spend countless number of hours beforehand looking at which candidate to support but come caucus night, they get together for a couple of hours, trying to jockey for votes so they can pick up an extra delegate or two for their candidate. These people deserve a lot more credit than they get but I am sure sooner or later, they will get their dues.

Before tonight, I had hoped to see Mike Huckabee and Barack Obama as the two victors in tonight’s electoral process and I am glad it turned out that way. I think when Obama came on the stage in 2004 with a speech that literally blew the country away, I thought that speech set the bar way too high for him and he would never top it. He still has yet to do so but his victory speech tonight in Iowa really sent some chills down people’s back. He has a way of captivating his audiences and this is no time to get lazy now but if he keeps it up in New Hampshire and maybe pick up one or two in Michigan, Nevada or Florida right before Super Tuesday, I think he is in very good shape to lock up the nomination very early.

Cannot wait for the Rutgers Bowl game on Saturday, New Hampshire Primary on Tuesday and a sad departure of a dear friend for a semester abroad sandwiched in between. Expect to hear from me somewhere around then.

This is a pretty subdued brown guy right now… signing off.