Michael Rand started RandBall with hopes that he could keep lies from conquering the minds of the weak. So far, he's only succeeded in using the word "redacted" a lot. He welcomes suggestions, news tips, links of pure genius, and pictures of pets in Halloween costumes here, though he already knows he will regret that last part.
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This video has been circulating for a few days, but we finally just saw it thanks to a hat-tip from Johnna M. (one of the only clean tweets she will ever deliver). The USHL's Fargo Force has created a rather unique promo video to drum up sales for 2013-14 season tickets. The Force -- a good team last year with the second-best average attendance in the junior hockey league -- is obviously not resting on its laurels. Have a look-see:
Bidding opened recently, and the price is already up to more than $27,000. If you have that kind of spare change lying around and can't stand to see the jersey bought by someone else, you can bid on it now through March 5.
One of the better quizzes we have seen in a while was sent our way yesterday by the esteemed Jon Marthaler. It featured 32 major North American pro sports team logos, with a catch: all you get to see is the silhouette of the logo. In five minutes, you had to see how many you could name.
Some are quite easy -- we pulled a quick sample, and we would venture to say most of you could get at least the one in the upper left and bottom right.
In all, we were only able to get 19. Marth knocked out 29, which we're not sure is a source of pride.
We invite you to take the quiz, linked here, and report back in the comments with your number as well as the real stumper(s) you encountered.
That's the main premise, and from there Drew takes the reader on a nice ride -- one that could have gone a number of different directions. As it is, the book picks up, in a manner of speaking, where famed authors such as George Orwell and Kurt Vonnegut Jr. left off.
Because it is a more serious work, it does not examine in any great length the impact of "the cure" on sports. Naturally, though, that is one thing we started to think about after putting the book down at its finish.
Imagine a world in which the best athletes in their sports -- Barry Bonds, LeBron James, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Wayne Gretzky, anyone -- could have had their age frozen in their primes. They could be 27 forever, theoretically playing for hundreds or even thousands of years so long as they never contracted a disease or met their death accidentally.
At the outset, much like in The Postmortal society at large, this sounds wonderful. We can see our favorite players in perpetuity. Jordan never has to turn 50 (and ESPN doesn't have to celebrate Michael Jordan Birthday Month). We never have to look at LeBron and wonder, "Has he lost a step?" Gretzky can top 10,000 goals and 20,000 assists. With the best players playing, every sport is elevated -- no more neutral zone traps, etc.
Ultimately, though, this would be problematic in a lot of ways. First, wouldn't it get kind of boring? Part of the charm of an athlete's career is watching the arc -- seeing them get better, reach a point of dominance and then see how long they can hold onto that dominance. Second, there would be less and less room for emerging athletes as time wore on. As long as the odds are now of making it as a top pro athlete, imagine trying to do so 50 years from the day a cure for aging is invented. You're not only competing against your peer group, but theoretically the best in-their-prime athletes from the past half-century. Third, part of the fun of sports is the flicker of hope that your team is getting better -- that the players your team has or your team is getting will eclipse another team, whose athletes have lost a step or have left. We can imagine a very stagnant post-mortal sports world. If you think the Heat is a super-team now, imagine 50 years from now when Miami has won 43 of the most recent NBA titles.
In any event, we think many of the things that seem wonderful about never aging would become burdens on the sports world, just as they were in the Postmortal society at large.
That said, we invite any more theories, concepts or rebuttals in the comments.
As a spectator sport, badminton falls behind cricket, football and tennis, but could that soon change? The Indian Badminton League, the IBL, will begin in June in India, with the aim of increasing interest and recruiting new fans.
Organisers hope it will do to badminton what the Indian Premier League (IPL) has done to cricket, by injecting huge money, Bollywood glamour and razzamatazz. Just as the game of cricket was given a shake-up to attract a new generation of viewers who didn't have an affinity or the patience for five-day Test matches, the IBL will be based on a short, city-based tournament format.
It will see six teams (each, like the IPL, affiliated to a big Indian city), compete over 18 days. Each team will consist of 11 players, both men and women. For every fixture a combination of singles, doubles and mixed doubles games will be played. The matches will be hosted in India, but this is designed to have international appeal. Badminton is hugely popular in Asian countries such as China, Malaysia and Indonesia, and the organisers of the Indian league hope some of that success might rub off.
Also, a fact from the story: An early version of badminton was called "poon."
The more you know.
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