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Super Bull

I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a biased observer. After the armpittsburg stealers stole (with help from the referees) Super Bowl XL from the Seahawks, I have basically been anti-steeler. So I was unhappy that they made it to the Super Bowl again, but I held out hope that the Arizona Cardinals would be able to pull out a win. Nevertheless, I maintained a nagging doubt — the mighty, popular, league-favored, presidentally-blessed stealers versus a relatively small market, perennially crappy, barely-sold-out-playoffs NFC West team like Arizona — who would the league want to win? Would the referess try to throw the game again?

Unfortunately, the nagging doubt was right, and for the second time in four years, the stealers have an illegitimate Vince Lombardi Trophy.

This time, at least, the referees tried to hide their bias a little more. They overturned plays that they obviously had to instead of ignoring evidence (like the phantom quarterback sneak touchdown in XL). They even threw some flags against Pittsburg when it wouldn’t hurt them (the defensive holding against Fitzgerald) or when it was beyond blatantly obvious (the atrocious on-field assault by Harrison). They nevertheless conveniently ignored holding on Harrison’s runback, at least one blatant steelers block-in-the-back, and let us not forget the phantom roughing the passer and running into the holder penalties. Thirty yards given to the stealers right when there initial momentum was in question.

Then of course there were the two terrible calls against Arizona that required coach’s challenges. Unlike in tennis, however, in football you don’t get an infinite number of correct challenges — you only get three, maximum, so basically the officials tied the hands of the Cardinals by making sure that they couldn’t use a challenge on a play they weren’t absolutely sure was wrong.

The coup de grace, of course, was the failure to review Kurt Warner’s “fumble” at the end of the game. It sure looked to me like his arm was coming forward when the ball came out, but even it it really was a fumble, there is no excuse (other than wanting the stealers to win) for not reviewing the play.

The stealers may have six super bowl titles, but at least two of them came at the expense of teams that outplayed them and outcompeted them throughout both games, and deserved to win. Instead, in both cases, the league and its referees ensured a different outcome. This is modern American sports, I guess. Make the game exciting, but make sure the right team wins. It makes me sick. I just wonder if I’ll have the gumption to stay away.

Wonderful Game

Today I had the opportunity to attend the BYU vs UW football game at Husky Stadium. Having attended both universities, I was pretty excited to go out and be able to cheer no matter what happened. For the event, I wore my UW shorts, UW Class of 2008 Shirt, and my BYU hat. Given that I was in the general student seating (Dawg Pack), it was easier to cheer for the Huskies than the Cougars, but I found myself happy with pretty much every touchdown.

The game wound up being wonderfullly entertaining, ending on a blocked kick after a somewhat contoversial, but in my opinion correct (by the rules) unsportsmanlike conduct penalty. Whether the rule is a good one or not, I would have to say no, but I cannot fault the referees for enforcing the rules. Overall, I thought the game was very fairly called, and its hard to get more exciting than a touchdown with two seconds left to (almost) tie the game.

Note: Bobby was unhappy with the ending.

I, however, thought that the Huskies made a number of improvements since last week, and I no longer think that the season is a lost cause. I think the game against Oklahoma next week will be competitive, and there is hope for a bowl this season. Time will tell.

When Live is not Live

NBC seems to have taken a liking to labeling all of its Olympic coverage as “LIVE,” which is particularly mystifying considering that the gymnastics competition which is “LIVE” now was already won by China, as reported by the Seattle Times over 40 minutes ago.

Why is NBC lying?

For the ever-so-slightly higher ratings they expect the “LIVE” tag to gain? At what cost?

Seafair Triathlon 2008

The results!

Place 647 740 756
Name Luis Balanzategui Ryan McElroy Kunlun Ouyang
Age 26 25 25
Sex M M M
Overall Time 1:29:28 1:31:57 1:32:15
Div Place 54 56 57
Swim Time 0:14:42 0:16:54 0:14:57
Place 374 738 408
Bike Tran Time 3:22 2:34 4:27
Bike Time 0:40:29 0:39:08 0:42:43
Place 642 504 873
Run Tran Time 1:42 1:25 2:17
Overall Pl After Bike 534 515 791
Run Time 0:29:13 0:31:55 0:27:50
Place 961 1177 815
City & State Mill Creek, WA Bellevue, WA Seattle, WA

Seattle To Portland 2008

Overall
Trip Distance: 206.8 miles
Riding Time: 13:05 hours:minutes
Average Speed: 15.8 miles per hour
Max Speed: 38.7 miles per hour

First Day
Start Location: E1 Montlake Parking Lot, University of Washington, Seattle, WA
Riding Time: 9:46 hours:minutes
Riding Distance: 152.5 miles
Average Speed: 15.6 miles per hour
Stop location: Longview, WA (Many Thanks to Quincy!)

Second Day
Riding Time: 3:01 hours:minutes
Riding Distance: 54.3 miles
Average Speed: 17.96 miles per hour
Stop location: Holladay Park (sp?), outside the Llyod Center, Portland, OR

Registered for STP

[01:31] Dennis Tang: okay well i registered
[01:31] RyanMcE: mee too
[01:31] RyanMcE: awesome
[01:31] RyanMcE: no turning back now
[01:31] RyanMcE: we will bike often once our papers are done

Sigh… yeah, once our papers are done…

Knee Progress

Today was a very good day for my knee overall, so I thought I would write about it to help keep my spirits up and stay dedicated to the still long road of recovery ahead.

Despite it being a good day, it did not start well. My knee was achy despite icing last night, and I thought it would be a bad day for the knee. Nevertheless, after my first class, I made my way to the IMA wher eI started my physical therapy exercise routine. After biking 15 minutes, my knee has loosened up considerably; next came the leg curls. My right hamstrings have regained considerable strength — I was able to curl sets of ten starting at 40 lbs and moving up by five pound increments to 65 lbs, which is where I stalled. I can still do more with my left leg, but the disparity is nowhere near where it used to be. Furthermore, I am not pain-limited in the leg curl exercise, so I feel I can build up strength as quickly as I can continue to push my limits there.

My quadriceps development, on the other hand, is pain-limited, and is therefore a much slower prospect. Although I was sure it wasn’t going to go well when I went to do my leg presses, I decided I would try anyway. I concentrated on my technique and although it wasn’t comfortable, I was able to control the pain and get through two sets. Afterwards, surprisingly, my knee felt better than before, not worse as it usually does. It was my first glimmer of hope in a while that I may be finally turning the corner on this knee swelling issue — nevertheless, I will continue to medicate and ice until I am sure it is behind me. After all, I only have two month and six days until I need to be back playing frisbee!