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Some (Dis)honest Discourse with a PIMI (or, why active JWs need to stop trying to preach on social media)
I tweet pseudonymously as I have chosen to fade instead of disasociate. I shut down Facebook and Instagram to eliminate the problem of having to delete PIMIs and any elders/ elder's wives stalking me on that ecosystem. Reddit and Twitter are now the only two places I engage with fellow exxitors and the public. I'd like to talk about a disturbing encounter I had on Twitter tonight. I'm a black woman who has experienced racial profiling in my own neighborhood numerous times. Therefore, when Watchtower posted an article asking if "protest was the answer" the same week George Floyd was murdered, I became furious. The original image they used had a black man in the foreground, so that added even more insult to injury. I wrote a tweet back on 1 June that read this way: "Jehovah's Witnesses, read the fucking room!No oneis trying to join your death cult when your fake-ass, Kenny Rogers-looking Jesus ain't doingSHITabout Black people being shot and terrorized by the government." Today, I received a reply from a woman claiming to be an active JW, stating that back in grade school she was assaulted by several black girls, asking me if I "cared about that too, asking for a friend." I stared at the tweet, marvelling at the obtuseness of this person. I bet this is a PIMI attempting to count field service time. I thought to myself. Well, if she wants the field service time, let's make her work for it. I replied, circling back to the point I was making with my original post. "I'm sorry that you experienced that. Racism is very real, and that's why people are taking to the streets. The point of my post: Jehovah's Witness leadership only posted this as a self-serving attempt to recruit people into their dangerous cult. Also, your story leaves me with questions. Were you able to get help from the administrators of the school? Did your parents press charges? Were you heard and listened to? Did your assailants face punishment? Too many people go to the authorities only to be ignored or punished." She went to explain that her mother did approach the administrators of the school, and that she was left with no lingering hatred towards black people. "Those girls didn't worship the true God, so of course they are full of hate." Again, I was left bemused at her "reasoning" , especially considering that many of the people who are out here targeting black people go to church every single Sunday and consider themselves "God-fearing." Next, she decided to tell me " I'm a happy witness tho. I don't feel compelled to spread hatred towards former witnesses on social media ALL day. I see how you all spend 24/7 spreading hate. I don't do that even tho I was molested by former a witness. Jehovah's organization is perfect runned (sic) by imperfect men, if you studied the scriptures you would know that in Bible times people did horrible things even when they claimed to be Jehovah's servants.. I'm a witness because I love Jehovah. " Is this a troll? I thought to myself. What kind of woman defends the same god that allowed them to be violated? But then I remembered Poe's Law, and my surprise at her comment dissipated. I was stricken with sadness, but replied nonetheless. "I'm terribly sorry you were raped. That's horrible. I'd be happy to stop talking about Watchtower, except they're currently embroiled in ligation on 4 continents for incidents just like what happened to you. My posts about them are to make sure people know what they're capable of. The apostles were imperfect too, but even Judas Iscariot didn't rape kids, and he was 'the son of destruction'. (John 17:12). There's imperfection and then there are crimes. Not turning in criminals makes the Jehovah's Witness religion evildoers and I refuse to be an accessory. (Leviticus 5:1). You messaged me, then when you were presented with evidence, resorted to the ad hominem logical fallacy because you are sticking to this duplicitous organization in case Jehovah rewards you with an afterlife. I'm confused why if you believe so strongly that Jehovah's Witnesses have the truth, that you're on here having discourse with apostates?" Whoever this person is didn't like that at all. She replied, "Thanks for the reminder. I can see this conversation isn't going anywhere, so peace out and enjoy your future!" After she attempted to argue with me about a religion I could have a PhD in and got nowhere, she blocked me. I have been awake for about a year now, and POMO for 4 months. A year, contrary to what our day-to-day experiences lead us to believe, is a very short period of time. There's no way that I'm going to heal 20 years of traumatic religious upbringing in only 1 year of being mentally liberated. Additionally, there's something else I think that theists fail to understand about an atheist that speaks about their former faith. The purpose of speaking out is to try to help innocent people to avoid what I went through-- manipulation, fear-mongering, deception, an atrociously ascetic lifestyle, tremendous mental stress and then the resulting mental illness. Watchtower promised us everlasting life, happiness, love, joy, a relationship with a loving God, protection from Satan, true friendship, and peace. The reality is that all we got from Watchtower was abuse of our time, resources, energy, money and trust. There are people who have wasted their entire natural life awaiting this promised paradise. Moreover, there are many people that I dearly love who are blinding themselves to the emotional contortions and excessive sacrifices the cult demands of them. This includes my parents, 2 of my siblings, my in-laws, most of the women I considered my closest companions for 15 years, my darling husband, and all of the people who were looking out for me when I was a child and my parents were too mentally ill to take care of me. Stating the facts about Watchtower's dirty deeds and manipulative tactics, which left me and millions of other people raised in their tradition traumatized, is not hate speech. To say nothing would be abdicating my duty as a human being to look out for other human beings, even if I get angry and use a lot of swear words to warn people. I liken telling people to stay away from Jehovah's Witnesses to telling people to avoid a soccer field where there is radioactive waste buried underneath. I'd like to leave you with the line of reasoning that lead me out of a cult a year ago, when I read about the court case in Montana and realized, with horror, that Watchtower leadership was lying about the extent of the child abuse problem: The two worst characters in the Bible are supposedly Satan the Devil and Judas Iscariot and yet neither of those guys raped children. However, the churches, including the Christian Congregation of Jehovah's Witnesses, claim the spirit of God placed rapists in positions of authority and then shielded them after they committed heinous crimes. If the people who supposedly have God's spirit are capable of worse evil than Satan himself... how is a sincere person supposed to reason? Either the church is lying and has no real authority or God is condoning and blessing the corrupt actions done in His name. Either way, staying in leaves you, the sincere and law-abiding believer, shit out of luck. I left Jehovah's Witnesses and religion in general due to the rampant abuse of women, children, the elderly and the vulnerable. If God would condemn me to hell or kill me at Armageddon for rejecting a group of charlatans that exploit the vulnerable, then I would much rather be dead than serve such a capricious and evil god.
Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives. PREVIOUSLY:
Okay, look, here's the deal. The obituaries, as sad as they are, contain some of Dave's best work. But good lord, they are looooooooooong. And they never contain anything newsworthy that is relevant to 2002 or anything. But they're always super interesting from a historical perspective. But last week, Dave wrote a brief obit for Lou Thesz (only 5,000 words, ahem) and promised to go into more detail this week. So this week, we open with a 16,000+ word obituary for Lou Thesz and I just can't. Sorry. It's really good though, you should all go read it. But I've got, like, a family and a job and responsibilities and stuff. I can't recap this. It's an incredible piece of work though.
The World Wrestling Federation is no more. On May 5th, the company unveiled its new name, World Wrestling Entertainment. Dave recaps the history of the company briefly (was originally called "World Wide Wrestling Federation, or WWWF, until 1979 when it was shortened to WWF, which is has remained for the past 23 years). But as of this week, the company has been rebranded to WWE. The website domain was changed to WWE.com and all references to "WWF" were changed to "WWE." The scratch logo was also changed, with the F being removed, so now it simply looks like "WW" (which, honestly, never really did make much sense to me. Even though the logo has changed, it's still "WW" to this day). Anyway, this all stems from the World Wildlife Fund lawsuit over in the UK, in which the WWE lost every court case and appeal. They were planning to appeal the ruling in the UK's highest court, their final last-ditch effort to save their name, but the reality is, they weren't going to win that case. Vince McMahon and the company blatantly and repeatedly violated the agreement they signed in 1994. It was 1000% obvious they were in the wrong here and they had gotten spanked by every single court before, often losing their appeals by unanimous decisions. So they weren't going to win this final appeal either and they knew it. So they dropped the appeal and threw in the towel and finally agreed to just change the name. The WWE has until May 15th to remove all references to "WWF" from their shows and merchandise. Any merch with "WWF" on it can no longer be sold after that date. All video packages and posters will have to be changed and any "WWF" mention or logos after that time on television or in past footage will have to be censored. Last year, during the court case, the WWE claimed it would cost them more than $50 million to change their name and to deal with all the legal and rebranding headaches that come with it. But this week, they backtacked on that and said it wouldn't be that expensive after all. Who knows if that's true, but the idea of this costing $50 million was enough to make the shareholders shit themselves, so Dave says they claimed it won't cost that much in order to keep the stock from plummeting. Anyway, none of this had to happen. In 1994, Vince McMahon and the Wildlife Fund signed an agreement that the wrestling company would not use the "WWF" name for promoting itself outside of the U.S. (since the Wildlife group is based overseas) and that worked well for a year or two. But then Vince McMahon apparently decided, "Meh, who cares about agreements?" and began repeatedly and blatantly violating it, constantly, for years, at which point the Wildlife group finally got upset enough to file a lawsuit. Anyway, on the first Raw since the name change, Jim Ross and Jerry Lawler repeatedly stumbled over the new initials, accidentally saying "WWF" multiple times. Gonna take time for everyone to get used to calling it the new name.
The buyrates for Wrestlemania 18 are in and it appears the event will have to settle for being the #2 biggest money show in wrestling history after it came up short and failed to surpass Wrestlemania 17. Final numbers aren't in yet, but latest estimates put it somewhere around the 800,000 buys range (ended up being about 880,000) which is quite a bit down from WM17. It was also #2 in total revenue from live gate and merch. Internally, it's actually being seen as something of a disappointment because with the power of the Hogan/Rock dream match, they were hopeful this show would top 1 million buys but unless something drastic changes with these buyrate numbers, it looks like the final total will be a good bit short of that.
NJPW's latest Tokyo Dome show is in the books. The show drew a sellout crowd of 57,000 fans, there to see the Masahiro Chono vs. Mitsuharu Misawa dream main event (which ended up going to a 30-minute draw). It was the biggest non-Jan. 4 crowd NJPW has drawn to the Dome in 2 years. So that's the good news. The bad news is that the show flopped in the ratings on TV. A big part of that is because the Chono/Misawa match didn't air as part of the show (due to the Asahi-TV/Nippon TV network issues discussed in past issues) so the televised show was built around the Shinya Hashimoto/Naoya Ogawa vs. Scott Norton/Hiroyoshi Tenzan match and man, the fans sure didn't seem to give a fuck about that. In fact, the rating was so bad that there's concern that this will be the end of pro wrestling on prime time TV in Japan for the foreseeable future. But there are justifiable reasons for the rating. The show went head-to-head with the Kirin Cup soccer tournament, which was a huge deal and did more than double the rating the NJPW show did. Unlike the U.S., wrestling and "real" sports in Japan have a major crossover audience, so having real sports competition severely hurt NJPW's show. Also, while Ogawa is a draw as a singles star, putting him in a tag match against Norton and Tenzan isn't exactly setting the world on fire. The show lasted 6 hours, which was way too long and the crowd was burned out before Misawa vs. Chono even started.
Other notes from the NJPW show: it opened with an hour long 30th anniversary ceremony. They had a 10-bell salute for Lou Thesz and brought out a bunch of legendary NJPW names from the 70s and 80s. Then they did an angle where Antonio Inoki came out to give a speech, but he was attacked by Tiger Jeet Singh. But then Chyna made the save, attacking Singh, running him out of the ring, and challenging him to a match. Inoki's ex-wife, famous Japanese actress Mitsuko Baisho then made an appearance, getting a huge pop, and she and Inoki did his famous catch phrase to kick off the show. Minoru Suzuki of Pancrase (who started with NJPW as a pro wrestler) was also there. Jushin Ligher and Minoru Tanaka won the IWGP Jr. tag titles and then Liger challenged several NOAH wrestlers who were at ringside (most notably KENTA) and they all jumped in the ring and it ended with a staredown. The Steiner Brothers reunited to face Hiroshi Tanahashi and Kensuke Sasaki, with Chyna as the special referee. Tanahashi was working hurt, but he still worked. They did a spot where Tanahashi ran into Chyna and he went down off the bump instead of her and Dave seems annoyed by this since Tanahashi is a guy they really need to be pushing who can be a huge star for this company. Dave doesn't like him selling bumps for Chyna. Anyway, decent match but the Steiners basically steamrolled them and Tanahashi was pinned by Scott Steiner. Chyna then challenged several All Japan Women at ringside as well as Scott Steiner, Tanahashi, Sasaki, and even IWGP champion Yuji Nagata, saying she wanted a title match. Dave thinks this company has lost its damn mind. Speaking of Nagata, he retained his title in the next match. And then, of course, the main event. Usually during interpromotional matches, the crowd is always super pro-NJPW but this time, they went insane for Misawa and it was clear there were a ton of NOAH fans in the building. Chono did some Inoki moves and Misawa did some Great Baba moves, to kinda have a spiritual "Baba vs. Inoki" tribute in the match I guess. Ended in a draw and by the time it was over, no matter how big the dream match was, the crowd was burned out and weren't as hype for the match as you might expect once the entrances were done.
Goldberg has received a full buy-out of his WCW contract from Time Warner and as of this week, he is now an unsigned free agent. Goldberg did not request the buy-out, the decision was made by the Time Warner side after the most unprofitable quarter in their history. The company was looking to cut expenses, even at a loss, just so the books can look better in future quarters. Goldberg reportedly received almost all of his remaining salary (more than 90% of the nearly $3 million he was still owed) in order to get him off their books. When Goldberg realized he's going to be a free agent a year earlier than expected, talks with WWE started up. But as usual, they went nowhere. WWE (I feel like I'm having to get used to typing that all over again. Really does feel like 2002 again) has interest in him, especially given the way ratings continue to plummet lately. But Goldberg has always wanted more than WWE is willing to pay. Plus, they're feeling burned right now after signing Hall and Nash to big money, long-term contracts for part-time work, only to have Nash get injured and Hall likely to get himself fired at any moment (that moment is coming sooner than you think), and neither of them really getting over in any meaningful way. Even Hogan, who is also making big money for a reduced schedule, was hot for a minute and boosted ratings and buyrates. But after only a few months, that train already seems to be out of steam and TV ratings are back to floundering with Hogan as champion leading the shows. So WWE is kinda gun-shy on opening the checkbook and paying out the ass for these big stars, futilely hoping that one of them is the quick-fix that can stop the bleeding.
There's also the question of how Goldberg would fit within the WWE locker room. He hasn't been shy about his dislike for Triple H, dating back to WCW when Triple H trashed Goldberg in a radio interview and saying that even if Goldberg was available, they wouldn't want him (which, at the time, when WCW was still alive and Goldberg was the biggest star in the company, is just about the dumbest thing he could have said. In 1998, WWF would have gladly traded 10 Triple H's for Goldberg). Anyway, Goldberg took the comment personally and even confronted Triple H face-to-face at the Toy Fair convention in New York a couple of years ago, in a bit of an ugly scene where Goldberg was yelling at him and Triple H and Stephanie kept their heads down and said nothing. Goldberg also has a lot of dislike for Scott Hall, which is another of Triple H's good friends, so ya know. The latest on Goldberg is that he's considering working some in Japan but he's just fielding offers right now. Word is he's interested in working with PRIDE as well as NJPW. Of course, if he's looking to maximize his money potential, WWE is still the place to go if you want to make big bucks. If promoted right, matches against Rock, Austin, Triple H, and others could do huge buyrates. And if they keep Goldberg and Austin apart for a year and build to a match with them at Wrestlemania, well, needless to say, that show would set records. Dave talks about how Goldberg got nuclear hot in 1998 and even in 1999, he was the biggest drawing wrestler in the business. But by 2000, the company was dying, Goldberg was injured, and "Jesus Chris with an Etch-a-Sketch" couldn't have drawn in WCW. Dave again does the math and talks about how WWE should have brought Goldberg in for the Invasion angle. Yes, it would have cost them a lot of money and upset the salary structure, but he would have more than made up for it with the kind of buyrates he could have drawn with those dream matches and the Invasion angle might have had a chance. But alas.
And of course, who's to say how WWE would use Goldberg? They already have Brock Lesnar and they're currently giving him the unstoppable monster push. Lesnar is bigger, younger, and a more legitimate athlete (for whatever that's worth). And WWE probably isn't going to give Goldberg an endless string of jobbers to beat. In WWE, he's going to be expected to work longer matches, sell for people, etc. They won't book him the way WCW did so who knows how he'd get over in WWE? If they wanted to build to an Austin/Goldberg match, it would make sense that Goldberg first has to plow through guys like Triple H, Undertaker, etc. And politically, that just ain't gonna happen. Dave doubts NJPW can afford him for anything more than one or two big shows. As for PRIDE, he could probably make a lot of money there, but the problem is.....PRIDE is a shoot. They haven't had "worked" matches in a couple of years and doing so now would kill their credibility. Which means Goldberg would have to go into a legit shoot and one embarrassing loss there would severely hurt his future earning potential. In the end, Dave thinks it's inevitable that Goldberg will end up in WWE, but probably not any time soon. But he's certain it will eventually happen. There's too much money on the line for both sides and WWE's ratings woes are making them desperate, so it'll happen some day (yup, less than a year from this).
And the moment is here! For those of you who had "under 3 months" in the "How long will Scott Hall last?" pool, come collect your prize. Scott Hall was released by the WWE this week due to misbehavior on the European tour. Firstly, he went on a drunken binge during the entire tour and was even worse on the plane ride home (much more on that in a bit). Dave says this was inevitable. WCW fired him. Even ECW stopped using him when he got arrested at one point. And even though he was seemingly behaving during his Japan tours, even NJPW cut ties with him shortly before he went back to WWE because they were fed up with some of his antics. And now WWE has fired him. Dave talks about how Hall made a drunken spectacle of himself in the locker room on his very first day back in WWE, before the NWO even debuted on TV, then he showed up in Toronto for Wrestlemania in no condition to perform (later came out that he was hungover from the night before), which caused Austin to insist on ending their feud at WM (which was the plan, but Dave says Austin has continued working with Hall afterwards simply because they don't really seem to have any other credible opponents for him). Hall's match with Bradshaw at Backlash was an embarrassment and the night before that show, agents had to help him back to his hotel. Just endless incidents like this. In Europe, Hall was such a blatant drunken mess that even the other wrestlers were calling for him to be fired. Hall was 45 minutes late for the bus they all took to London and then passed out in the locker room during the show. On the plane ride back, he was starting fights with people and eventually passed out and it got to the point that people were worried about his health. When they got back to the U.S. for Raw, they literally had to wake him up from a drunken stupor backstage to send him to the ring to do his segment (and yes, he wrestled). After the show, they fired him. No one came to his defense, and even Hall's closest friends are now admitting that he simply can't handle the pressures of being on the road and being released is the best thing for him right now. Dave talks about how a lot of wrestlers have been fired in the last couple of years for drug and alcohol issues and that's all well and good, but the big problem is why hire them in the first place? Scott Hall's issues were not a secret. It wasn't like he cleaned himself up before he came to WWE. He was getting in trouble and collecting arrests like Pokemon all the way up until the day they brought him back. Anyway, Hall had a 2-year deal, believed to be worth $600,000-per-year downside for only 10 dates per month. So a really sweet deal, but it's gone now.
Hey, speaking of that European tour, turns out there was a bit of trouble on the flight back to the U.S. Perhaps you've heard of it. Most of the trouble wasn't even due to Scott Hall. Turns out Vince McMahon didn't make the trip and lots of people decided that was a good reason to cut loose and have fun. Plus, since everyone has seen Hall get away with being drunk 24/7 for the last few months, they figured nobody would get in trouble. So....folks got DRUNK. Among the various incidents on this flight: Goldust got on the speaker system and began drunkenly serenading his ex-wife Terri with love songs. Terri was extremely uncomfortable and begged him to stop and then Jim Ross had to go sit him down. Ric Flair also "started to get wild" but Jim Ross calmed him down as well (Dave doesn't seem to know just yet exactly what Flair "getting wild" entailed, but if you don't know, it involved getting totally naked except for his robe and started helicoptering his dick at flight attendants. And it gets worse if you feel like researching it. The flight attendants later filed a lawsuit against Flair and accused him of sexual assault). Curt Hennig was spraying people with shaving cream and he kept trying to get Brock Lesnar to fight him. Lesnar, being a newcomer, didn't know how to handle it and didn't want to get in trouble, but he ain't gonna let Hennig talk shit to him either. So anyway, Lesnar got up and basically annihilated Hennig, repeatedly taking him to the ground and embarrassing him because, well, of course he did. It's Brock Lesnar. At one point, Lesnar slammed Hennig up against the side of the plane, right into the emergency exit door, which freaked everybody out for obvious reasons. Michael Hayes got into a scuffle with Bradshaw and then tried to pick a fight with Hall (although everyone on the plane said Hall had it coming). Anyway, Hayes was apparently obnoxious as hell and annoyed everyone. But then he made the mistake of falling asleep and someone (believed to be X-Pac) cut his hair off. When Hayes woke up, he was furious and tried to fight several people. The next day at the Raw tapings, his entire mullet was in a plastic bag, pinned to the wall of the locker room for everyone to see. Gerald Brisco, Arn Anderson, and Hayes all caught a ton of heat from Vince afterward since they were the people who were supposed to be in charge. Anderson and Hayes especially, since their jobs are to keep the boys under control, but they were apparently having just as much fun as everyone else. Everyone's waiting to see how Vince is going to handle this situation. As noted, Hall was already fired and Hayes got an earful from Vince, Stephanie, and JR at Raw the next day, but there will likely be more fallout. Undertaker was also said to be furious over how out of hand everything got (I'm sure we haven't heard the last of this).
Anyway, while they were in Europe, WWE presented its latest UK PPV, Insurexxtion. As usual with the UK PPVs, this was little more than a glorified house show. They announced the show as sold out, but there were empty seats everywhere. RVD vs. Eddie Guerrero for the IC title was the show-stealer according to every report Dave heard, and was said to be far better than their Backlash match. Brock Lesnar teamed with Shawn Stasiak (lol wut) and lost to the Hardyz. Brock beat up everybody after the match. Triple H beat Undertaker in the main event and Dave doesn't know why since Undertaker is the one challenging Hogan for the title at the next PPV. The top rope broke during the match when they did an Irish whip into the corner and when the rope snapped, a metal piece broke off from the corner and flew into the crowd and barely missed hitting a small child in the face.
Smackdown on 5/2 drew the all-time lowest rating in the history of the show. Dave says that's the scariest thing to happen to WWF in the past 5 years. It was also the 3rd lowest rating for any Smackdown or Raw dating back to 1998. The rating was a full 18% drop from the week before, which was already scary. The rating was even lower than previous holiday episodes. So what was the problem? Well, it was headlined by Hogan defending the WWF title against Chris Jericho (as it turns out, the final time the "WWF" title was ever defended). Dave says the title has been meaningless for years now and Hogan's steam is running out. And Jericho hasn't recovered from spending the first part of the year being emasculated and playing second fiddle to Stephanie McMahon in the Wrestlemania feud. Add all that together and you've got a recipe for a shit ratings night. Among other things. Dave isn't blaming this all on Hogan and Jericho by any means, there's a lot of problems with the company as of late, from bad storylines to failing to make new stars, and it's all starting to come home to roost.
Keiji Muto wrestled a match in AJPW under his alternate gimmick of Kokushi Muso. Turns out "Great Muta" isn't his only other persona. The Kokushi Muso gimmick is basically like Hakushi in WWF, where he's covered his entire body in Japanese writing. He originally debuted the gimmick in Michinoku Pro last year, when teaming with....Hakushi (Jinsei Shinzaki, who occasionally brought back the old Hakushi gimmick in Japan). Anyway, same thing here. He teamed with Hakushi for this match, while using that gimmick (Muto would use that gimmick a handful of times throughout the years, always when teaming with Hakushi. It's like that was only his gimmick for that team. The last time he used it was in 2009, also in a tag match with Hakushi).
Former NOAH Jr. champion Naomichi Marufuji underwent knee surgery this week and should be out around 6 months (ends up being 9 months).
NJPW is doing an angle (according to Dave) similar to the Vince/Flair angle last year where Antonio Inoki and Masahiro Chono are battling over control of the company. Although it's more realistic. Inoki is in the press talking about how many of NJPW's shows aren't doing well and is pushing for them to use Naoya Ogawa more, while Chono doesn't want to. Inoki is also saying Chono needs to retire from wrestling and focus his energies on managing the day-to-day business of the promotion full-time. Dave says this is an angle, but it doesn't sound like much of one to me, and I think later years have kinda proven there was a lot of blurring between fiction and reality here, because there was a ton of behind the scenes turmoil in NJPW during this period.
Will Smith appeared alongside Antonio Inoki at the Japanese movie premiere for the film "Ali" based on Muhammad Ali's life. Crowd went absolutely insane for Inoki (I've tried like hell and can't even find a picture of them together. But then again, I can't find a single pic from the premiere at all).
When reviewing the recent Dos Caras Jr. shoot fight in Japan, Dave talks about the guy's potential as a wrestler. He has a strong amateur background, legit shoot skills, and a famous name. Dave thinks, if he's even halfway a decent worker, he can almost be a guaranteed star in Mexico (based on his name alone) and probably Japan too, if he decides to pursue that career (indeed he did, and indeed, he was fairly decent at it. Of course, he later became Alberto Del Rio, accused rapist and pretty much confirmed all-around piece of shit).
Former long-time WCW referee Randy Anderson passed away this week after a long battle with testicular cancer. Back when WCW was still around and he first got diagnosed, they did an angle out of it where Eric Bischoff fired him and then laughed at his wife and kids when they begged him to give Anderson his back. Of course, he was later re-hired when Flair became on-screen commissioner and continued to referee until 1999 when the cancer forced him to retire.
Random news and notes: Bobby Heenan is said to be in good spirits and is especially excited because WWE recently contacted him about doing a WWE Magazine feature on him. Verne Gagne's wife Mary passed away from cancer this week. Goldberg will be appearing on this week's Wrestling Observer Live show to be interviewed. Mil Mascaras is releasing an autobiography (in Spanish of course) and man, I'd love to find an English translation of that because I bet it'd be interesting. Chyna appeared on "Sabrina The Teenage Witch" this past week.
Bruno Sammartino turned down an invitation to attend the Pro Wrestling Hall of Fame ceremony in New York (yes, that HOF existed and still does, in a different city now). Bruno did an interview with the local paper and said "Wrestling is how I made my living and supported my family, but it's over. I don't want anything to do with it anymore." Bruno managed to turn the discussion to the WWE, despite them not having any affiliation with this HOF and grumbled about how Vince McMahon blocked him from being inducted into the Madison Square Garden Hall of Fame. However, the new MSG owners have apparently promised Bruno he'll be inducted this year, since he sold the place out 200 times (Dave jumps in here to correct it and says the real number of sellouts is closer to 45. Bruno only main evented the Garden 127 times and by no means were they all sell-outs. But it's one of those myths that has been perpetuated for so long that Dave begrudgingly recognizes that people are always going to believe the 200 number is true, but it's not even close. He compares it to the claim that Andre The Giant was 7'4, which also wasn't true but people repeated the lie so often that it became accepted as fact).
Afa Anoa'i Jr., the son of the legendary Wild Samoan, is a star football player at his high school and is being recruited for Penn State. He also sometimes wrestles on his father's indie shows (that would be Manu, who was very briefly part of Legacy with Orton, Dibiase Jr., and Cody).
Former WCW announcer Scott Hudson will be doing commentary for Jerry Jarrett's new promotion, and Bob Ryder is said to be in a major front office position.
Jarrett has put out a press release saying that his new promotion has had talks with Randy Savage and Ultimate Warrior. Word is Warrior wanted a 15% ownership stake in the new company, which pretty much ended those talks right there. They're also apparently interested in Scott Hall now too, with the idea that since they're only doing 1 show per week, he won't be a screw-up here. Dave is skeptical. Anyway, currently Road Dogg and Brian Christopher expected to be some of the company's top stars and Dave's not optimistic.
XWF wrestlers were told last week that a television deal should hopefully be finalized this week. But Dave has been told no chance it's happening that soon. The rumors are that the deal is either with the FX or Fox Kids networks. Ted Turner had inquired about buying this promotion a few months ago, but when he learned how much it would cost to get them off the ground and make them competitive, he lost interest (TV deal never materializes, company is already dead, etc. etc.).
The Scorpion King slipped to 2nd place this week, falling to the new Spider Man movie which did a record breaking $114 million opening weekend. Randy Savage has a small role in that movie.
Speaking of, The Rock worked his first match in about a month at a Fort Lauderdale house show, teaming with Hogan to beat Jericho and Angle. After the match, Hogan tried to get Rock to pose with him, but Rock wouldn't do it. Rock thanked the fans for the success of Scorpion King and said it would likely be his last match for awhile. There was a ton of local media there, but Rock didn't talk to any of them. Basically, the house show was in his neck of the woods and he simply decided to show up and work it just so he could see his friends and hang out with the locker room, he had no interest in doing interviews. He was just there because he wanted to be. Backstage, Rock was telling people that Hollywood higher-ups have told him he has to leave the wrestling business if he wants to be taken seriously as an actor. Those in the company feel it's a certainty that Rock really is leaving and he's likely going to break out of wrestling into Hollywood and actually become a rare success story (yeah, you could say that).
Look how long this is already. Imagine if I had covered that Lou Thesz obituary in full. JUST IMAGINE!
Notes from Raw: Dave compares it to an episode of Thunder, with the crowd half-dead for everything. Also, the roster was exhausted after just returning from the Europe trip (and the plane ride shenanigans) and that was apparent too. Brock Lesnar won his match via pinfall instead of the usual ref stoppage and Dave says that word is Triple H got in Vince's ear and convinced him to end the ref stoppage gimmick for Brock. Sure, why not? Hogan was supposed to ride off on Undertaker's bike at one point, but then the motorcycle wouldn't start. It was one of those awkward live-TV moments where time stood still and nobody knew what to do. Flair finally turned heel on Austin, to a shocking lack of heat from the crowd. Nash returned, etc. Dave recaps the rest of this show and it sounds like a lot of bad WCW stuff, coincidentally enough with a lot of the same people.
The man who played the effeminate gay guy applying to be Vince McMahon's secretary on Smackdown a few weeks ago was new creative team member David Lagana. He recently joined the company and has written for several other TV shows, including "Friends" and has a strong knowledge of the industry (Dave says if you've been reading the Observer closely for the last few years, you're probably familiar with him, he's written in to Dave a lot over the years).
Dave goes on a brief rant about how to use older stars. In the past, everyone, even Vince McMahon, talked about how you should use guys like Hogan and Flair in small doses and how WCW's reliance on older stars like that is what made them less special. Dave talks about back in the day in Memphis, Jackie Fargo would come back once or twice a year and he was always the biggest star in the company when he did. Because he was used sparingly. But WWE has pretty much built its company around Hogan and Flair (and to a lesser extent, Vince and Undertaker) over the last few months and they've been totally overexposed because of it. Just 6 weeks ago, Hulk Hogan was getting some of the largest crowd reactions in the history of the business. Now, he and Undertaker are practically hearing crickets during their on-screen interactions.
Lita underwent neck surgery this week and isn't allowed to do anything physical for 9 months. Scotty 2 Hotty also had neck surgery and is expected to be out for about a year. Both are expected to make full recoveries though.
Jesse Ventura admitted this week that he received WWF stock options as partial payment for some work he did with them. Dave doesn't know if it's related to the Summerslam appearance a few years ago or the XFL announcing gig. Ventura says he has 10 years to exercise those stock options but wouldn't give any further details.
Scott Steiner told WWA he will work their next UK tour but after that, he's going to WWE. Dave is skeptical. Reports are that Steiner was in horrible pain after every match he worked on the last WWA tour and there's significant doubt that his body will hold up to a WWE schedule.
The new Steve Austin "What!" DVD has a lot of WCW footage, including the full Austin vs. Steamboat match from WCW Bash at the Beach 94. Dave doesn't say so, but I believe this is the first time WWE used any of the WCW library for commercial release after they purchased it the year before.
Someone writes in and asks Dave to stop spending so much time writing about steroid use in wrestling and instead says he should write a story about racism in the business. This person writes about the allegations from years back of Dusty Rhodes using the N-work with impunity, or the time DX parodied the Nation by wearing blackface. The WCW discrimination lawsuit, the embarrassing angles they've done with Mark Henry such as Sexual Chocolate, etc. This guy is asking why is it white wrestlers outnumber black wrestlers by 35-to-1 ratio in the U.S. (70-to-1 in Mexico and 80-to-1 in Japan). He wants to know why Dave isn't writing about that stuff. Dave responds and agrees that the blackface DX promo was racist, and it was racist when Buff Bagwell did it in WCW and when Roddy Piper did it in the 80s. Dave says wrestling, especially from the 70s through the 90s, had a horrible history of exploiting stereotypes and/or saying and doing racist things. You can argue it's gotten better, but no doubt the problem still exists. Dave lists some examples but he also pushes back on some others. For example, he's heard people complain that Booker T isn't being used properly due to his race and Dave disagrees. It's true that Booker T probably deserves a bigger push, but you can make the same case for guys like RVD and Jericho and Raven or DDP (when he first debuted, at least) and that didn't happen either, so Dave doesn't necessarily think Booker's lack of top-star push can be blamed on his race (we're less than a year away from Triple H definitively proving otherwise).
There's also 2 letters about the Rock/Hogan match at Wrestlemania and they couldn't be more different. One guy writes in and he can't understand why people are praising that match because if you put aside the hot crowd, it was awful, everyone's moves looked bad, it was embarrassing, etc. and says Hogan should have retired afterward. Then someone else writes in and says he was there live and, taken as a whole, Rock vs. Hogan was the greatest match he's ever seen. Basically the same "love it or hate it" opinion people have about that match to this day. Also, someone else writes in about the recent Low-Ki vs. American Dragon match from an ROH show and puts it up there among some of the greatest matches of all time (listing off several classic WWF matches like Shawn/Razor and Owen/Bret at WM10 for example). So there ya go.
NEXT WEDNESDAY:more fallout from the Plane Ride from Hell, more on the beginning of Jarrett's new NWA-TNA promotion, more on the NJPW Tokyo Dome show, and more...
[OC] An insight in the world of football kits - 454 teams that play in the most unusual colors
I would like to start with a humble warning, that this will be a longer than "usual" post. Hopefully, it will compensate with the amount of information you might deem as interesting. :) After finishing my first journey into the world of colors in football, by counting which teams play in red & black color combination, I decided to pursue my next curiosity: How many football teams in the world play in unusual colors? By this, I was thinking of teams which have a “main” color that is rarely used (grey, brown, purple, pink, etc.) or use an uncommon color combination. Because of this coronavirus madness that is going on, I was able to spend more hours for this project than I planned, so in the end I was able to go into almost every single league in the world. I checked teams from over 400 divisions, of different tiers, from all continents. Although it’s not an official list, I tried to include as many clubs as possible on it. Now, you're probably asking yourself "How do you measure how rare or how common is in football a color / combination of colors?" An exact answer is impossible to give, so I started the study using my own experience as a football supporter, finally finding an useful purpose for the thousands of hours spent on watching football games. Therefore, I used a subjective point of view and excluded the color combinations that I, personally, considered to be the most common in football teams, namely:
One-color kits: white, black, red, blue, yellow, green
Most 2-color combinations that contain white or black: white-blue, white-red, black-yellow, black-green, etc.
Other combinations: red-blue, red-yellow, blue-yellow, yellow-green.
An exception was the color orange, where I excluded only the orange+black combination, which is much more widespread than all other combinations that include orange.
The selection criteria for the teams were as follows:
The team should have their main kit in colors which are different than the ones enumerated above;
The team must have played or been associated with the colors for several seasons;
The team should be currently active (dissolved clubs were not included).
But enough introduction, let’s jump straight into the list of the most uncommon kit colors in the world of football:
CATEGORY I - Teams with 1 main color
1.Purple(includes purple+white or purple+black) - [73 clubs] Notable teams: Fiorentina, Anderlecht, Toulouse, Austria Vienna, Real Valladolid. Other teams (by conference): UEFA (photo gallery here) - CE Carroi (Andorra), SV Austria Salzburg, Austria Klagenfurt (Austria), K Beerschot VA (Belgium), Etar Veliko Tarnovo (Bulgaria), NK Dubrava (Croatia), Daventry Town FC (England), Istres (France), VfL Osnabrück, Erzgebirge Aue (Germany), Ujpest, Békéscsaba 1912, Kecskemet TE (Hungary), ACD Legnano, AS Ostia Mare, Gioiese, Casoria Calcio 1979 (Italy), St. Andrews FC (Malta), FC Argeș, ASU Politehnica Timișoara, ACS Poli Timișoara (Romania), FK Graficar (Serbia), KFC Komarno (Slovakia), NK Maribor (Slovenia), Real Jaen, Alameda de Osuna EF, CD Becerril, Atletico Guadalajara, CD Guadalajara, CD Liendo, CD Santurtzi, CD Palencia, La Baneza (Spain) (Spain), Afjet Afyonspor, Hacettepe, Orduspor (Turkey). Rest of the World (photo gallery here):
COMNEBOL - Club Villa Dalmine, Sacachispas FC, Club Atlético Quiroga (Argentina), Deportes Concepcion, San Antonio Unido (Chile) Defensor Sporting, CA Fenix (Uruguay), Metropolitanos FC (Venezuela).
CONCACAF - Orlando City, Louisville City FC, Oakland County FC (USA), Pacific FC (Canada), CD Chalatenango (El Salvador).
CAF - Mountain of Fire and Miracles FC (Nigeria), Mbeya City FC (Tanzania), AS Denguele Foot (Ivory Coast), Fovu Baham FC (Cameroon), AS Sonabel (Burkina Faso).
AFC - FC Anyang (South Korea), Kyoto Sanga, Sanfrecce Hiroshima, Fujieda MYFC (Japan), Heilongjiang Lava Spring (China), Hanoi FC (Vietnam), Nagaworld FC (Cambodia), Persita Tangerang, Persik Kediri, PSGC Ciamin (Indonesia), Al-Ain (UAE), De Abasin Sape (Afghanistan), Perth Glory (Australia).
OFC - AS Manu-Ura (Tahiti).
2.Burgundy (includes burgundy+white, or similar shades: maroon, claret, dark red, wine red) - [74 clubs] Notable teams: AC Torino, Metz, Sparta Prague, CFR Cluj. Other teams (by conference): UEFA (photo gallery here) - FK Sarajevo (Bosnia), Chelmsford City, FC Northampton Town (England), JJK Jyväskylä (Finland), Dynamo Berlin (Germany), AEL Larissa (Greece), UM Selfoss (Iceland), Galway United (Ireland), Reggina, Cittadella, Salernitana, Trapani, Livorno, US Pontedera, Arezzo, Reggio Audace FC, Fano, US Capistrello, AC Morrone, AC Locri, ASD Bovalinese, Borgosesia Calcio, Milano City FC, Union Clodiense Chioggia, USD Breno, Olympia Agnonese, ASD Travestere Calcio, AC Nardo, ASD Citta di Acireale (Italy), FC Džiugas Telšiai (Lithuania), Nardo FK (Norway), CD Fatima, Clube Oriental de Lisboa (Portugal), Rapid Bucharest, Viitorul Ianca (Romania), AC Libertas (San Marino), Heart of Midlothian FC, Stenhousemuir FC (Scotland), NK Triglav Kranj (Slovenia), Independiente de Vallecas, CD Cenicero (Spain), Hatayspor, İnegölspor, Bandirmaspor, Elazigspor (Turkey), Cardiff Metropolitan University FC (Wales). Rest of the World (photo gallery here):
COMNEBOL - Lanús (Argentina), Jacuipense, Ferroviaria, S.E.R. Caxias do Sul (Brasil), Deportivo Liberacion (Paraguay), Club Atletico Torino (Peru), Carabobo FC (Venezuela)
CONCACAF - Sacramento Republic FC (USA), Valour FC (Canada), Deportivo Saprissa (Costa Rica)
CAF - Manzini Wanderers FC (Eswatini), Generation Foot (Senegal), Moroka Swallows FC (South Africa)
AFC - Vissel Kobe, FC Ryukyu (Japan), Al Wahda (UAE), Al Markhiya (Qatar), Shahr Khodro FC (Iran), Al Nasr SC (Kuwait), PSM Makassar (Indonesia), Nejmeh SC (Lebanon)
OFC - Matavera FC (Cook Islands), FC Guadalcanal (Solomon Islands).
UEFA - HNK Sibenik (Croatia), Blackpool (England) SV TEC (Netherlands), Hapoel Rishon LeZion (Israel), Pistoiese (Italy), FK Banga Gargzdai (Lithuania), Bruk-Bet Termalica Nieciecza, Zagłębie Lubin (Poland), CD Burgos Promesas (Spain), AFC Eskiltuna (Sweden), Alanyaspor, Adanaspor (Turkey), FC Mariupol (Ukraine).
COMNEBOL - Nova Iguaçu FC (Brazil), Cobresal, Cobreloa (Chile) Envigado FC (Colombia), Universidad César Vallejo (Peru).
CONCACAF - Houston Dynamo, Rio Grande Valley Football Club Toros (USA), Deportivo Achuapa (Guatemala), Cibao FC (Dominican Republic), Guayama FC (Puerto Rico)
CAF - RS Berkane (Morocco), FC Nouadhibou (Mauritania), Polokwane City FC (South Africa), Akwa United (Nigeria), Dire Dawa Kenema (Ethiopia), Salitas FC (Burkina Faso), Côte d'Or FC (Seychelles), Fosa Juniors FC (Madagascar)
AFC - Jeju United FC (South Korea). Shimizu S-Pulse, Omiya Ardija (Japan), Ratchaburi, Sukhothai FC, Nakhon Ratchasima, Sisaket FC, Kasetsart FC, Udon Thani FC (Thailand), FELDA United (Malaysia), SHB Đà Nẵng (Vietnam), Albirex FC Singapore, Hougang United FC (Singapore), Borneo FC (Indonesia), Sporting Clube de Goa, FC Goa, NEROCA FC (India), Saipa FC (Iran), Sanat Mes Kerman (Iran), Brothers Union FC (Bangladesh), Ajman Club (UAE), UMM Salal (Qatar), Al-Hala SC (Bahrain).
UEFA - CS Sedan Ardennes, US Lusitanos Saint Maur (France), Alba Adriatica, Union Feltre (Italy), Speranța Drochia (Moldova), SP Cailungo (San Marino), Amio SD, Laracha CF, Apurtuarte Club, CF Jacetano (Spain), Amed SK, Karşıyaka S.K., Diyarbakirspor (Turkey)
COMNEBOL - Club Agropecuario, Sportivo Atlético Club Las Parejas (Argentina), Portuguesa RJ, Pato Branco EC (Brazil), Boston River (Uruguay)
CONCACAF - AD Carmelita, AD Guanacasteca (Costa RIca), SV Robinhood (Suriname)
CAF - Stade Tunisien (Tunisia), MC Alger, JSM Bejaia (Algeria), Africa Sports d'Abidjan (Ivory Coast), Teichman City FC (Ghana), Canon Yaounde (Cameroon), Defense Force SC (Ethiopia), AS Pikine (Senegal), Masters Security FC (Malawi).
AFC - Lokomotiv Tashkent (Uzbekistan), Adamstown Rosebud FC (Australia).
UEFA - OFC Sliven 2000 (Bulgaria), Braintree Town FC, Mansfield Town FC (England), Lions Gibraltar FC, ASD Czarlins Muzane (Italy), Aalesunds FK (Norway), AE Roses (Spain)
COMNEBOL - Duque de Caxias (Brazil), Academia Puerto Cabello (Venezuela)
CONCACAF - FC Cincinnati (USA), Lobos UPNFM (Honduras)
CAF - Real Kings FC (South Africa), Sunshine Stars (Nigeria)
AFC - Albirex Niigata (Japan), Queensland Lions FC, Riverside Olympic (Australia), Wellington United (New Zealand), Thai Port FC (Thailand), Al Fayha (Saudi Arabia), Al Karamah SC (Syria), Homenetmen Beirut (Lebanon)
UEFA - Enosis Neon Paralimni FC (Cyprus), Scunthorpe United, Weymouth FC (England), Argja Bóltfelag (Feroe), Glacis United (Gibraltar), Cobh Ramblers FC, Drogheda United (Ireland), USD Vipo Trento, FC Rieti (Italy), Gzira United (Malta), Veles Moscow (Russia), Keith FC (Scotland), Pontevedra CF (Spain), AC Bellinzona (Switzerland), Colwyn Bay FC (Wales)
2.Blue + Yellow + White [1 club] -CA Bella Vista (Uruguay) 3.Blue + Yellow + Black [1 club] -Real Sport Clube (Portugal) 4.Blue + Green + White [1 club] -St. Louis FC (USA) 5.Blue + Orange + White [2 clubs]
2.Red + Yellow + Blue + White [1 club] -ASDC Verbania (Italy) 3.Red + Yellow + Blue + Black [1 club] -Coras de Nayarit (Mexico) Here they are. 454 teams from across the entire the world, from Feroe Island to Papua New Guinea or the 4th Italian league. This should be about it. However, if there are by any chance teams that I might have missed, please feel free to leave a comment and I will add them on the list. Thank you for reading and hope you enjoyed it!
TIFU by getting half my dick caught in my zipper on a double-date with her parents and meeting my mom's friend at the doctor's office.
This fuckup didn't happen today, it was back in 1992. But there’s a lot of stories about medical professionals and their quiet acts of often invisible heroism in the news right now. I thought that this week, I would share one of my own stories about them. Because while they are absolutely heroes in our midst, some of those life-saving stories and incredible acts come with a laugh or two along the way. These laughs, as they often do, come at my expense. It’s a price I gladly pay to give you a much needed moment to breathe in all of the hell we are enduring together throughout the world right now. Enjoy, Chris Yes, I know, I’m a complete fucking idiot. Let’s just get that out of the way from the start. My only defense was that I was a teenager in the 90's at the time, and my dick was doing most of the thinking for me. On the whole, I’m a reasonably intelligent guy. My dick however, is much like one of those morons you meet who is all balls, no brains. Despite the fact that thinking with my dick got me through highschool at the top of my class, it has proven itself repeatedly to have no memory, no conscience, and what I will simply classify as “questionable moral fiber”. An obscure, late 20th century English philosopher known for his ballistic dentition once said “Dicks have drive and clarity of vision. They’re not clever.” and he was correct. But like most people who are all balls and no brains, that kind of decision making invariably leads to collecting good stories, and occasionally being scarred for life. This is one of those good stories, and it’s about a scar. I was sixteen, vacuously stupid, and the world as I knew it revolved entirely around my radiant affections for one hell of an awesome girl. She was short, beautiful, built like a soccer player, and had curves in all the right places. Miraculously, she was also my steady girlfriend. We had a magnificent system that involved a standing weekly date. This almost always consisted of exactly three things: dinner, a movie, and the furious, passionate, awkward sex that only inexperienced young lovers can have in the contorsionistic confines of an automobile. Good times. On the right day of the week you could catch a 2nd run movie at the Alpine Twin for just a couple bucks. Urban sprawl hadn’t reached far enough yet to consume all the best spots for privacy, and we knew every one of them. It was a great time to be young and in love. God is not without a sense of humor, however, and one particular week fate would throw me a curve. A movie had just come out that her father wanted to see. In a tormentative moment of parental schadenfreude, they decided it would be a great idea to join us on our weekly movie night for a wholesome double date. I was trapped. I couldn’t say no, her dad was a towering giant of brooding scowls who instilled the fear of God in me. He was an incredibly kind and funny man, but he commanded my respect and there was absolutely no doubt he held the fate of my love life at his whim. I was a nerdy, country kid from the wrong side of the tracks and he made it very clear that I was dating his daughter only so long as both her and him deemed that acceptable. She adored me, he tolerated me, and it was my lowly position to be grateful for the opportunity. I was fine with that. I was spending every Saturday night with her sowing my wild oats, and going to church every Sunday with him praying for crop failure. So we all met at her house, the whole family piled into their car, and off we went. We didn’t go to our comfortable, low-budget, second-run theatre out on the north end of town with the thin crowds that encouraged sitting towards the back well away from anyone who could see wandering hands and notice the whispers of young lovers. We went out to the fancy first-run theatre, the gigantic cineplex and shining star of the lower west side, Studio 28, where we would be packed side by side with strangers and held to much higher standards of socially acceptable behaviour. Studio 28 was massive. Thousands of people filled its acres of parking lots and watched the latest movies on twenty different massive screens with reclining seats in air conditioned comfort. One movie cost more than what we would spend for a month's worth of dates at Alpine - including food. But her dad was funding the entire expedition and I was happy to just be with her. My lovely girlfriend however, was a hormone-driven, devious genius, and happened upon a simple idea that changed my life forever. She noticed that they list not only the start times of the movies, but the duration as well. It had never for a moment crossed my mind that we didn’t all have to go to the same movie. Studio 28 was so massive that not only did they have a ton of different movies playing, many of them shared the same start times. She found a completely different show to catch, sorted out the details with her dad, and off we went on our own. She had stared into the bleakness and brilliantly wrought forth for us the greatest commodity of young lovers who live with their parents: privacy. For such a monumental day in my life, I don’t even remember what the movie was. But I do remember spending an hour and a half in the dark getting each other as worked up as we dared. The lines of socially acceptable behaviour were a lot tighter back then, but we were enjoying them to the best of our youthful ability. Our movie got out, and we made the long walk to the back-forty of the parking lot hand in hand and hopped in the car. We had no concrete idea when her parents' movie would get out, so we were just hanging out, waiting, and of course sharing only the most chaste and pure of good Christian thoughts. Just her, me, and our collective sexual tension that burned with the power of a supernova. It really was only a matter of time before it all reached criticality. Because sitting in a glass bubble in the middle of a thousand cars is totally the best possible place to be doing such things. I was a little on edge, but that didn’t stop her. It certainly did, however, limit our options. The good news was that I at least had a clear line of sight all the way up our row, and would easily see anyone approaching from the theatre. I kept a watchful lookout, and she decided to take action. In a matter of a few seconds, she was sucking my dick like it was filled with her father’s acceptance. Not a moment later, I saw the crowd of people start pouring out of the theatre doors. It didn’t take me long to spot her parents, hand in hand. Her dad’s bright blue shirt stuck out in the crowd, even though they were still a quarter-mile away. And then, at that exact moment, is when I fucked up. That’s when I did one of the dumbest things in my entire life; I made a split-second trivial decision that would leave me scarred forever. Now, what I could have done is simply reach down, gently pull her head out of my lap, and have a mildly disappointing end to some fun, gone on with my day, and been just fine. Hell, given how far away they were, the hair-trigger of a teenage boy, and her skillful abilities we could have likely finished without pushing our luck. The problem with wisdom is that you don’t get it until five seconds after you need it. What I did, in a moment of youthful stupidity, was say “Your dad’s coming!” and sit up straight in my seat. And that, my dear reader, is the exact moment that shit got real. Please understand that what I’m about to describe is much like a car crash. It will take me far longer to describe it than it took to actually happen. All of this transpired in just a moment, but that moment is burned into my brain forever. I apologise now, that it shall be burned into yours. When you share this story with your friends, you’ll know they got to this part when you see them adjust themselves in their seat. No man is immune to this effect. In one smooth powerful movement driven by pure reflex and fear, without a moment’s conscious thought, she snapped her head up, bolted upright in her seat, and while making that transition from laying on me to sitting next to me she stuffed my dick back into my jeans and ran that fuckin zipper all the way home with the power of an angry linebacker. The problem is I had never unbuttoned my pants, and it was a lot smaller when it came out ten minutes ago than it was when she decided to cram it back in through, what was now, much too short of a hole. She fought it in there in half a second, it just wasn’t situated as well as it needed to be. Then, with the delicate touch of a bricklayer she had yanked that zipper though several inches of my most delicate sensitivities and made me one with my Levi’s. It happened in the blink of an eye. I was absolutely convinced I was going to die. The pain was far worse than what you imagine right now. It was radiant and consuming. She had caught roughly…very roughly...the entire front of the most sensitive skin I own and interlaced it down nearly the full length of the zipper. I could glimpse a thin line poking out the front, and there was nothing I could do about it but sit there with tears running down my face and her parents approaching. She immediately knew what had happened, subtlety is not a skill I possess even on my best days. I think it may be when I levitated, shooting to the ceiling, howling in pain that she got her first hint that something was wrong. She was mortified, I was in agony, and the shitshow had just begun. I untucked my shirt to cover the obvious injury, and wiped my tears. It was hard travel across the great prairies of the parking lot. I heard they lost five good men, and at one point had to start eating the horses to survive. But eventually, months later, her parents finally made it to the car. The first battle was the parking lot. Several hundred people had all gotten out when we did and had to find their way to the exit. It took half an hour of stop and start agony while we all shuffled into place and trickled out onto 28th street - a bustling busy main thoroughfare of the lower-west side. And the fun was just beginning. Florida makes oranges, Idaho makes Potatoes, and Hollywood makes movies. But Michigan, we make potholes. Northbound 131 is a washboard of suspension testing craters that can knock your teeth loose. Because of the complicated interaction of freeze-thaw cycles, capillary action of water retention in asphalt, and the fact that we run snow plows for a third of the year there is a regular pattern of patched sections on the highway spaced at predictable intervals for miles on end. And I felt every one of those sonsabitches as we launched and bounded from pock to pock, all along my dick. It took about thirty minutes to get from Studio28 to their house. That was the longest half hour of my life. I felt every bump in the road in between my own heartbeats as I throbbed in agony sitting awkwardly in the back seat. The only saving grace was that her and her mom were making small talk about the movies they had each seen and my opinion didn’t matter. I sat there sniffling and rubbing my swollen, red eyes. When her mom asked me if I was okay I uttered the only word I could manage on the entire ride home. “Allergies”. We made it to her parent’s house, said our goodbyes, and she walked me across the street to my car. It took more work to get into my mom’s old boxy beige Pontiac Grand Prix than it did to get out of her parent’s SUV, but I made it, tenderly. Mission two accomplished, her parents had no idea. So that crisis was averted. Now, I had to choose. I was on the edge of The City. If I went East, I could fight my way through traffic to the giant gleaming state-of-the-art hospital located right downtown and wait in line in the emergency room. If I went West, I was heading towards home and in my own small country town was a little Med Center staffed with only a handful of people whose main job was helping people with minor bumps and bruises, and keeping the critical patients alive long enough for the ambulance to get there and haul them off to one of the much larger neighboring cities. I headed towards home. It was farther, but faster. I hopped on I-96 and blasted into the night more scared of hitting a deer than being pulled over for speeding. I figured if any cop pulled me over, all I had to do was show him my situation and there wasn’t a man in the world who would fault me for being in a hurry. I had a much higher chance of getting a police escort to the Med Center than getting a ticket, so off I went as fast as Mom’s old Pontiac would carry me. I arrived without incident and walked gingerly through the front door. I’d never been to the Med Center before. My parents were on the rescue squad of the local volunteer fire department so anything short of a sucking chest wound in my house was dealt with by someone running for the jump-bag in Dad’s truck. Any sort of injury was handled on only the best of equipment: the kitchen table. Life’s different in a small town. That’s why I wasn’t even slightly surprised when I walked in the front door and the triage nurse at the front counter stopped typing, looked me straight in the eye with genuine concern on her face and said “Chris, are you ok?”. It was my mom’s friend. Not only did this woman know me, she’d known me since I had training wheels on my bike. I knew she was a Nurse. Half the women in my world were Nurses, my mom was a Nurse. She worked at a nursing home filled with other Nurses. How the hell was I supposed to remember that one of her best friends just so happened to work at the Med Center. I should have gone East. “No Ma’am” I said, and quickly added, wincing, “please don’t tell my Mom” “What happened, show me what you did” Now, I grew up around trauma and emergency medicine. Back then they were dispatched with one-way pagers the size of a brick that looked like walkie-talkies. There was only one channel for the whole county, and every department had its own unique series of musical tones that told us who the message was for. It squawked and whistled all day and night and you never even noticed it. But when the BEEDEEBEEDEEBEEDEEBEEDEE-DOOOOOOOOO-----DEEEEEEEEEEEE sound that designated our unit came over that radio, it would take you out of a dead sleep before they got to the “COOPERSVILLE UNIT TWO-OH-FIVE” part of the message and Mom, Dad, or sometimes both, were headed out the door on a dead run before it stopped talking. If this happens while you’re out somewhere with Dad in the truck, you’re along for the ride. It was somewhere around age twelve when “stay in the truck” just didn’t work for me anymore. I’d learned where babies came from by watching a screaming Asian woman have one on the tailgate of a Subaru in the McDonald’s parking lot. I’d seen bodies mangled and I knew first hand why they called the people who ride crotch-rocket motorcycles “Organ Donors”. I’d learned the smartest and most heroic humans alive fly in AeroMed, and I knew that rescue crews have no problem working up to their elbows in your blood and then going out for pizza half an hour later. It’s just meat. I was also well aware that the strongest, hardest, most stoic, most unimaginably un-fucking-fazed woman you’ll ever meet, is a Triage Nurse. So I lifted up my shirt. And, for just a moment, I saw her humanity crack through her professional stoicism. I pray that you go your entire life and never once hear a Triage Nurse say “Oh Dear” when she looks at whatever injury you have. It’s up there with getting a prostate exam and hearing the Doctor behind you say “Aw, fuck!”. You don’t want any part of this situation. There was no paperwork, and my ass never touched one of the beige plastic chairs in the tiny waiting room. She stood up and walked me through the door behind the counter and ten seconds later I was sitting on the crinkly butcher paper of an examination table with my legs dangling over the edge. A Nurse who was only ten minutes older than I was came in just a moment behind me. Thankfully, I didn’t know her at least, but I’d have liked to under different circumstances. She held a BP cuff in one hand and a clipboard in the other and asked me how I was feeling and if I had any allergies. We chatted for perhaps a whole minute before she asked me what was wrong. I lifted my shirt. She took it well, just a tiny gasp before she got her shields back in place. But her blush betrayed her. She held tight to her professionalism and assured me that the Doctor would be right in as she stumbled gracefully backwards out of the room. However, I did notice that she never did get my BP, temp, or anything else. The Doctor was indeed, right in. I had been sitting there less than five minutes when he strolled into the room and said “So, I hear you’ve had an interesting evening.” He pulled up a little rolling stool, put on a pair of gloves, and scooted up for a front row seat between my knees as I sat sideways off the edge of the table. We discussed how I had gotten myself into this situation, and he surveyed the damage. I found it ironic that the one person who had shared this experience with me and who could truly appreciate what I was going through was the one person who was completely at ease with the situation. Of course…..it wasn’t his dick. It was also the first time I’d gotten a real look at things myself, and it was worse than I’d imagined. The skin on the bottom of my shaft was peeking out through the golden teeth of the zipper all the way from about a half inch above the bottom of the zipper to the top. There was way more blood than I had noticed at first and it had stained my pants several inches in every direction. The total zipped length was nearly five inches, and it was under tension on the inside because the standard response to pain is for your dick to shrink up like a stack of dimes. The added effect, because my brain is an asshole, was that the pain just intensified once I got a look at it. He pulled out a pair of trauma shears and we discussed what he was going to do about half a second before he did it with a running commentary. He planned on cutting my pants off around the zipper. I was fine with this, off is good, let’s get this off - free me from my golden restraints good Doctor! Deftly, gently, and with surprising ease the shears sliced right through the seams and folds of my jeans. He cut the bottom through several layers of denim and seams straight up to the base of the zipper, and sheared off either side about four inches away, leaving me with two flaps joined only by the teeth of the zipper and the button on top. He spun on his wheels, reached in the third drawer behind him, pulled out a pair of cutters like I would have in my toolbox, and snipped off the bottom half-inch of zipper entirely. It fell to the floor and landed with a wet plop. He gently unbuttoned what was now a much smaller piece of my pants, and examined it closely for a couple minutes with a flap held in either hand. Then he said something you never, ever, want to hear any manner of medical professional say to you. “We’re gonna go on three...” We’re…..WHAT!? Where? Whatthefuckare... “One” There was no motherfucking Two. Three was an outright lie. The way out was as blindingly fast and traumatic as the way in. The entire process was loud, a wild blur of motion, and terrifying. In what I have absolutely no doubt was a process he had experienced before, he tore apart the two halves of my zipper with the haymaker strength of a farm boy and kicked himself away from the side of my examination table with both feet to send himself rocketing backwards across the tiny room well clear of the wild reflexive punch I swung through the space his head had occupied a split second before. He landed in a heap, half fallen off his rolling stool, with a piece of my jeans in either hand and an accomplished smile from ear to ear. That all happened in less than a second. It took exactly the amount of time it took me to say “MOTHERFUCK-....eh?” The good side is, it didn’t actually hurt all that much when he did that. The bad side was, the blood was now rushing to my dick and it was throbbing with every heartbeat. It hurt like all hell. We both took a moment to compose ourselves and both spoke at the same moment, saying the exact same thing. “Are you alright?” I looked at the sad strip of hamburger laying in my lap, surrounded by a terrifying amount of dried blood in matted black hair. It looked like Edward Scissorhands had given me an old fashioned. “No?” I had visions of sutures, staples, and all forms of Spanish Inquisition cock torture that I was about to endure and was blissfully thankful that all he needed to do was clean everything off and tape a strip of gause to it. After the most unpleasant experience I’ve ever had involving my dick being cleaned, complete with being hosed down with Betadine, now it I just looked like I’d fucked an Oompa Loompa. I asked what would happen if I got a hardon, would I bleed to death or something? He assured me that the last thing I was going to get in the immediate future was an erection. After a few days it would be fine all on its own. I thanked him for saving my manhood, secured my pants with my belt, hid the giant square hole in front under my shirt, and headed home. I tossed my shredded jeans in the trash, took a shower that involved the creative application of a baggie and a rubber band that moments before had been holding the wing on my model airplane. He was right, I didn’t have any danger of getting a hardon for over a week. The throbbing pain became a dull ache that would hover just on the edge of being actively conscious of it. Sleeping was complicated, but I managed. After a few days it didn’t hurt at all, and a couple weeks later I was back to normal. In the third week a full operational test proved that all repairs had been completed and that all systems were operating within nominal specifications. But it’ll be a cold day in hell before I let a woman zip me up again. I’ll take care of that on my own, thank you. The scar is considerable, tapering to half an inch wide at the base and running front and center along the bottom of my shaft up to the tip. It’s been the topic of more conversations and won more stupid bets than I want to think about. But it’s part of me, a part of my life, and I’m just thankful that despite the relentless abuse and poor decisions my dick has endured, that all in all, things are working just as they should thanks to the compassionate care of a young country Doctor and a small team of Nurses. Thank you to everyone in the medical profession, of any rank and stripe, for enduring all that you do to help us fumbling idiots live to see another sunrise. You are awesome. With my kindest regards, cb ---------Addendum Edit, Because holy shit my inbox. In the end, like all good stories, things actually worked out alright. Her and I resumed our weekly Pontiac wrestling match and eventually as we gained wisdom, experience and the seasons turned warmer, found several much more comfortable places to explore each other’s bodies. All in all we dated for a little over a year in total. Our relationship ran the natural course of typical highschool lovers, and ended just as it should have. We both ended up dating each other’s friends, such is life in a small town, and went on with our lives. Her Dad never really did like me all that much, and that’s ok. I was a shitty teenager and certainly didn’t have the best of intentions for his daughter. That’s ok, she wasn’t nearly the good little girl he thought she was. But we were, on the whole, decent kids and we came out alright. He was a good and righteous man and was worth my respect; though I wouldn’t learn the true depths of that until I gained a lot more maturity. He died years ago, far too young, from a heart that wasn’t worthy of the love he carried for so many people. She’s married now, with a couple kids and what I hope is a good and happy life. I haven’t talked to her in decades, but I sincerely wish her well. I healed up just fine. This all happened back in 1992. Over the years the scar has faded to being something that’s still there, but hardly noticeable. It looks more like a shadow now, or a slight discoloration. You can still spot it, if you look, but it’s something that doesn’t get mentioned by anyone unless we’ve been together for several months and they’re really exploring my cock. I have to think it’s fine now, as I’ve been complimented many times on it’s appearance. I’d like to thank the many people who have read this and commented on my writing. I’m just starting out on the path to being an author, and I’ve been posting my stories here on Reddit to see if anyone liked them. It turns out, you really do, far more than I imagined. With all of my heart, thank you. Your support and enjoyment of my dopey stories means far more to me than I can adequately express. I’m still learning how to find my voice, but you’ve certainly helped me along on the path. If you enjoy my writing, there’s much more of it out there, and even more coming. Check my profile and you’ll find half a dozen other stories scattered about the Reddit universe. You're welcome to follow me or friend me on here if you wish. I would be sincerely honoured and I'm working to earn an audience, and even someday a paycheck. You’ll also find my YouTube channel (I make science and technology educational videos as my day job), and my Patreon if you’d like to support my work. I’m a full time YouTuber now, and for the past year. Though after your responses to my stories lately, I think I’ll add Author to that as well. And for the ridiculous number of people who have begged for a goddamned pic, fine. Go to Imgur, it's /a/WbCHtEw it's VERY NSFW Yes, that’s really me. Yes, it’s real. No, I’m straight, but thank you. TL:DR - A bit of adventuresex at a movie theatre resulted in a blowjob and I get zipped up epicly. Had to go to the Dr and learned my mom's best friend worked there. I was scarred for life. It's a long story but worth your time, read it, you'll like it.
https://www.debatedrills.com/en/blog/debate-game-moving-tautology-robust-theory-competition/?edit Listen to a T 2NR from the past few years (or twenty) and you’d struggle to avoid hearing the exclamation that “debate is a game!” in some form or another. Meanwhile, many who answer T will either reject the foundational premise that debate is a game, or will posit that while it may be a game, certain elements to that game are more important than competitive aspects that topical debates attempt to preserve. This article accepts the initial premise that debate is a game; debate does have axiomatic elements of competition that render it what many would consider “a game”. However, there are gaps in explanations and understanding on both sides of this debate, from disagreements over what the central purpose of debate is and how to best effectuate that, to even foundational disagreements over terminology, or what makes something a “game”. This article aims to clarify some initial premises of what it means for something to be a game, as well as to forward a more nuanced theory of competition that moves beyond simple, well-worn tautologies that often go no further than “debate is a game which must be fair since it’s a game.” Instead, I posit that the negative should defend that there exist a set of benefits to be garnered from debate, and that none of those benefits can be effectuated sans the competitive elements of debate. What does it mean for something to be a “game” to begin with? Colloquially, people use a game to just refer to something we do for fun. Monopoly, Yahtzee, soccer, etc. are all “games” in that people play them for fun; however, one important through line is that they do have some element of competition to them, insofar as they involve multiple parties attempting to achieve some zero-sum goal (Player A winning at the expense of Player B winning). Accordingly, one can adopt a rough definition of a game (at least in a context most analogous to debate) as a voluntary activity players partake that has a “winner” and a “loser”. As such, it’s irrefutable that in the purest sense of the word, debate is a game. There are two team, only one of whom can win, and they show up to a series of competitions to vie for a set of prizes that are zero sum. Many object that debate is more than a game; calling it a game compares it to meaningless competitive like flipping coins or playing Minecraft, but debate offers some educational potential that exceeds said meaningless games. However, this objection conflates something being a game with it exclusively being a game. Put differently, debate might be much more than “just a game”. In fact, it might be qualitatively different than any other game that we choose to play, with value greater than something like Minecraft. However, the fact that it’s a game and something more does not refute that it is, at a fundamental level, still a game. However, the neg going for T and winning that it’s a game doesn’t mean the neg automatically wins, nor does it mean the Aff automatically loses. Unfortunately, the level of sophistication and nuance that a lot of these debates take place at treats such a premise as such; if it’s a game, then obviously things related to games (i.e., fairness) should be preserved, and if not, then there’s zero reason to care about fairness, with neither team moving beyond this. Yet, there are ways that this can be handled better on both sides. Although this will vary depending on the debate and the specifics of the positions on both sides, teams would do better to take for granted that there are, descriptively, axiomatic elements of competition that render debate a game. However, the neg should need to defend that preserving those elements is valuable; in contrast, the aff should have to defend that there are changes to such aspects of competition that would be valuable, or that even if the Aff makes the game a bit less fair, the benefits from such a deviation are worth it. I’ll go into each of those lines of offense and how each side can thoroughly and persuasively unpack some of that in ways that go deeper than how it’s usually debated. As mentioned above, the neg’s arguments here are usually circular at best and tautological at worst. The neg will typically identify correctly that debate is a game, but leave it at that, with a question-begging assertion about how games need to be fair because they’re games and games require rules to make competition even. Further, the neg will often have difficulty explaining what makes fairness an “intrinsic good”; who cares if it’s axiomatic of competition? Why does it matter if the Aff makes the game a little less fair, or even breaks the game down? There needs to be some reason to partake in that game to begin with, and a reason the game is made meaningfully worse by the Aff’s model of debate. However, the set of reasons why preserving competitive equity enhance the quality of debates and viability of the activity readily present themselves, without having to resort to tautologies that preserve the game just because it’s a game. At a fundamental level, what distinguishes debate from a classroom conversation or an academic conference is that not everyone is on the same side; there’s a winner, and there’s a loser, and only one of each. This adversarial relationship between parties in the discussion has a series of effects on the ways the conversation or argument goes down; in a non-adversarial setting, everyone could just agree and move on, but in debate there need to be meaningful points of differences for the judge to make a determination that one side was better than the other. This necessitates rejoinder by the negative of the affirmative, and structurally distinguishes debate from a non-adversarial activity. Put differently, any conversation will have someone being “affirmative” insofar as they say something, but only debate has a “negative”, or someone tasked with disagreeing. For any competitive activity to function, there needs to be a set of rules that govern what players can or cannot do. Regardless of whether these limits on what people do are imposed externally or more organically created, games always carry expectations for what behavior is allowed and what behavior is not. For example, in a game of soccer, you can’t grab the ball with your hands. Imagine a player did that; many would just accept that this isn’t allowed and leave it at that. However, also imagine the player makes a series of arguments about why they should be allowed to handball (perhaps that it helps build stronger arms and that maximizing exercise should be the goal of soccer). Just asserting that they “broke the rules” no longer suffices; you’ve made a descriptive claim about a set of rules and they’ve questioned whether those rules or the game as currently constructed should exist that way. Instead, you need to force yourself to actually think about why fidelity to some set of rules is good and why this practice should not be allowed. Without engaging this player on the specifics of why handballing might be good exercise, you instinctually would think that some agreed upon rules are valuable, because players in any competitive game need to know what’s necessary to win, what’s allowed, and what is not. Absent such a set of “predictable win conditions”, how would the game function? Player A might think exercise is the ultimate goal and handball to boost muscle, Player B might think training for track is the most important goal and run across the field without time constraints, and Player C might like tennis more and just bring a racquet onto the field. Different people relate to soccer in different ways and find different things valuable, and all of those things can reasonably be construed as being the most important thing from the game. But, fundamentally, the game itself breaks down if everyone can deviate from a shared, intersubjective norm (i.e., the rules people agree upon), and it achieves none of those benefits. This example is obviously hyperbolic, and of a much greater magnitude than anything that goes on in debates when the Aff doesn’t read a plan. But, the example should illustrate how the neg should conceptualize such circumstances: the “predictable win condition” that defines debate is that the negative has to rejoin the affirmative. Just as soccer’s win condition is scoring more goals, debate’s is disproving an affirmative. While not perfect, the norm that has developed over a period of time is that there is a topic, and the predictable win condition is for the negative to rejoin that. The negative should argue that while there can still be viable win conditions that deviate from the topic (i.e., negating a separate topic), it’s fundamentally ad hoc and unpredictable, no different than being told a soccer game is decided by who hits more home runs; while the neg can successfully compete under such a win condition, they shouldn’t have to. The above example gives a hopefully more tailored illustration of what’s going on in some of these debates; the neg’s objection shouldn’t be that debate was made harder or whatnot by having to rejoin things other than the topic, but that competitive games require predictable win conditions to work, and that deviating from the topic jettisons the only viable, ex ante way to decide who wins or loses a debate. But that still begs the question of why such a game is worth preserving. The easiest answer (and the path that I think the neg should usually take) is one that is fundamentally agnostic to the types of benefits people get out of debate, or even defining one fundamental telos of debate itself. Debate means a lot of things to a lot of different people; some do it for the research benefits, some do it to make friends, and perhaps some because they thought trophies were cool but were bad at sports (I unfortunately include myself in this latter category). People get different things from the game, and it’s certainly more than “just a game”, but the only real way to actualize those benefits is to keep it as an operational game. There might be benefits for individuals that come from deviating from established norms; speaking for 15 minutes might allow you to say more about a particularly interesting topic, or giving a 3NR might allow for extra in depth argument resolution. But once the Rubicon is crossed of deviating from a set of norms and procedures that are ex ante defined, all bets are off. Debate is still a game, and individuals still care about winning, and they will make a series of choices that slant the game in their favor, through a series of zero-sum choices that hamper the ability for the other side to actualize a lot of the other benefits of debate. To get any of these benefits, there needs to be a predictable set of rules and “win conditions”. To use an extreme example, just as soccer might not work as well if Team A can change the rules to make the winner whoever handballs the most, predictably and consistently actualizing a lot of the benefits of debate becomes meaningfully less likely if a topic can be picked by one team that risks self-servingly narrowing the range of things the other team can say. I’ve merely attempted to outline what a more warranted version of that argument would say; there are a myriad of convincing affirmative answers (namely, that some of the educational benefits created by injecting alternative forms of scholarship are more important than even the competition itself, that deviations from the topic don’t meaningfully collapse the game or render it non-operational, etc.). Notably, I avoid the language of “fairness is just an internal link” or “fairness is not a voter” since I think couching it in those terms creates a strange duality between “something being an impact” and “something mattering”, and I think muddies the water far more than it helps. Much, if not everything, of what we presume matters in debates is “just an internal link”. Nuclear war is just an internal link to massive death, which is just an internal link to not allowing people to experience value, which is just an internal link to having the potential to experience happiness. While there can be argument comparison at all levels of that chain (i.e., claiming that value to life is more important than the existence of life itself), few judges would take seriously the claim that “nuclear war is only an internal link, therefore it’s insufficient to vote neg” if not comparatively outweighed by aff offense. Similarly, while fairness may “just be an internal link” or “not a voting issue”, if the neg has won that a loss in fairness is meaningfully harmful to the ability for debate to operate as a competitive activity, and that such operation is valuable, it makes little sense to not vote neg, sans the Aff winning that something else matters more. Teams on both sides would be better served to just explain comparatively why their offense outweighs their opponents, without artificially siloeing one set of arguments as “internal links” and elevating another to the status of “impacts”. In conclusion, I hope that this article helped to present an alternative explanation of what the neg really means when they claim that “debate is a game” or that “games should be fair”. As mentioned earlier, the claim that preserving debate as a competitive activity with predictable win conditions has value is something eminently contestable, and my outline of this argument is by no means meant to indicate this is a premise that should be taken for granted. To win this debate, the neg needs to win that preserving debate as a competitive activity with predictable win conditions is valuable, and there are a slew of convincing affirmative objections to what a model of topical debate prioritizes as most important, and the extent to which the aff’s model precludes such benefits. However, the question being about whether or not preserving the game is valuable (and, relatedly, a predictable win condition vital to the continuation of said game) allows the debate to occur at a level of nuance beyond a tautology (that games require fairness which matters because debate is a game), and will lead many debaters to deploy these arguments in a more comparative and responsive way, leading to better debates.
[Translation] The Libero's murderer: how Arrigo Sacchi revolutionized tactics and built the best team of all times.
-"How was Italian football before Sacchi?"-"Like now."
Just two words are enough for Arrigo Sacchi to disarm your face-to-face strategy and leave you out of the game like a beginner. Three words that, however, do not strictly correspond to reality. They are only half true. Only by digging deep into his footballing imagination can one discover how the man who built one of the greatest teams of all time is able to disregard his legacy and blur it in the timeline of the evolution of the beautiful game in Italy. Despite his modesty, there is no doubt that Arrigo Sacchi and his Milan team mark a turning point for Italian football, although from the manager's point of view it is not a turning point but a mere parenthesis. Italian football changed during his time on the bench, but recovered its natural course as soon as he stepped off the pitch and into the offices. "Clearly there has been some change, but not like in the rest of Europe. The televisions have made us see that a different kind of football is being played. 'They've changed all over the world except in Italy,' Costacurta told me a few years ago when we were watching the Italian U-21s against Denmark," explains Sacchi. What are the reasons for this lack of evolution in Italian football? Sacchi is able to recite them with the confidence with which a surgeon points out the ills to be removed. "In Italy, you don't know what the merit is, you just want to win. The fans and the journalists don't ask for the show or the fun, they ask for the victory. -And then how do we seek this victory? -We seek it in the way we know best, through cunning or the art of achieving what we set out to do. Then, our football is a football that costs to be updated and to evolve". Like a wharf which, however much you stretch, returns to its original form, Italian football always tends towards its most primal concepts. And to find the origin of those concepts, you have to do some archaeological work until you get back to the embryonic stage of football in Italy.
World football is roughly divided into four schools. First we have the direct style which was born in England and is still representative of British teams nowadays. Then we have the cheerful, colourful and lighthearted way of life that the Brazilians have been able to bring to the pitch to the height of artistic movement. Thirdly, there is the Dutch philosophy. The so-called total football with which Rinus Michels overtook Herbert Chapman's WM team to surprise the world, generating an idea of play that still has imitators, as is the case of Barcelona in recent times. Finally, we find the Italian style, baptized under the term of Catenaccio, which means lock in Italian. A nomenclature, by the way, quite illustrative of the ideals of the game. In its most basic concepts, the Italian is a football mostly defensive and disciplined, where the result prevails over any commitment to aesthetics. In line with Niccolò Machiavelli's 'Prince' ("the end justifies the means"), Italian football has always assumed that anything is permissible as long as victory is achieved.
Ironically, Catenaccio has no Italian parents. It is not clear who invented this style, but none of those who claim paternity were born in Italy. According to the accomplished historian Brian Glanville, the Catenaccio was invented by the Austrian coach Karl Rappan during the first half of the 20th century. In the 1940s, Rappan developed a tactic that the press christened Riegel (lock, in German) and consisted of having one of the five men on the WM front line move in behind the three defenders. The job of this sweeper would be to keep an eye on the opposing forwards who were running away from their marker. Helenio Herrera, however, not only proclaimed himself the inventor of the Catenaccio but claimed to be the first player to play the role of a sweeper. "It occurred to me when I was playing in France," explains the Argentine coach, as Simon Kuper relates in Football Against the Enemy."We were playing with the WM formation then," continues Mago Herrera, "and in a game where we were winning 1-0 with 15 minutes to go, I left my position to get behind the defense. I had these ideas in my time as a player and when I became a manager years later I remembered them." Glanville believes Rappan invented the Catenaccio, Nereo Rocco introduced it to Italy and Helenio Herrera perfected it. Whether it was one or the other who invented it, both versions agree that the key piece of this style is the figure of the Libero. Without it, there would be no Catenaccio.
The success of the ultra-defensive Inter Milan during the 1960s, which razed Europe to the ground with two consecutive European Cups (1964 and 1965), made the Catenaccio the book that rested on the bedside table of any self-respecting Italian coach. Anyone who wanted to win had to resort to defensive football. Nereo Rocco's triumphs with Milan in the late 1960s and Giovanni Trapattoni's triumphs with Juventus in the 1980s did not invite the idea of an alternative. That was the context in which a discreet footballer who had not managed to get out of the lower ranks of Italian football decided to hang up his boots to become a coach. At just 26, Arrigo Sacchi sat on the bench for the first time. At Baracca Lugo, a team in the neighbourhood where he worked as a shoemaker. "I was 26, my goalkeeper was 39 and my striker was 32. I had to win them" It was the start of a rise to the elite with stops at Bellaria and Rimini and the youth teams of Cesena and Fiorentina. But fate awaited him at Parma, with whom he would achieve promotion to Serie B in just one season and leave him three points behind the top flight of Italian football. During that season, a 1986-1987 Italian Cup play-off would change his life forever. He would beat AC Milan by the smallest of margins, playing a game that caught the eye of the Rossoneri's top executive. It was on that night that Silvio Berlusconi was enthralled by Arrigo Sacchi.
Silvio Berlusconi had recently became the owner of Milan. After a failed attempt to take over Inter Milan, he ended up buying the Rossoneri on 20 February 1986, ready to build the best team in the world. Although Milan did not seem to be the most suitable club to do so. The golden years when Europe was painted in red and black had already long survived only in the history books. In the early 1980s, Milan was going through its most traumatic period. Former president Felice Colombo, members of his board and some players were involved in the 'Caso Totonero' (blackjack), the illegal betting and match fixing scandal that rocked Italian football in the 1979-1980 season. As a result, Milan were administratively relegated to Serie B and began a dark period from which they could not escape. Despite the arrival of stars such as Paolo Rossi, top scorer in the 1982 World Cup in Spain, or the hiring of symbols such as Nils Liedholm to the bench, Milan did not get off the ground again. Berlusconi would become the end of Rossoneri's troubles. He took over from Giuseppe Farina in the presidency, brought optimism to the stands, millions to the coffers and, above all, a new philosophy for the team. He set himself the goal of becoming the best club in the world by always opting for attacking football that would be attractive to fans. To achieve this ambitious goal, he relied on the coach he had fallen in love with when he faced him in the Italian Cup. He trusted Arrigo Sacchi. An unknown, with no past as a footballer, he was in charge of one of the most successful teams in Europe, making front-page coverage in the Italian press. The headslines that considered Berlusconi's gamble to be wrong were multiplying. They accused him of losing his mind. It was too shocking that someone who had not previously been a professional footballer should take over one of the giants of Italian football. That was the first obstacle Sacchi encountered in his promotion to the elite. It was a rare thing at the time. Ottavio Bianchi coached Napoli, Rino Marchesi coached Juventus, both of whom had a history with the Italian national team, and the illustrious Giovanni Trappatoni, who was a European champion in Rossoneri colours, sat on the Inter Milan bench. However, Milan's fate was in the hands of a rookie who was not known for his footballing skills. Replacing a myth like Liedholm didn't make things any easier either. Sacchi defended himself as his Milan would later, knocking out the critics with a simple phrase: "I didn't know that to become a jockey, you first have to be a horse". Despite the doubts of the surroundings, there was total confidence in Arrigo Sacchi at the club. Silvio Berlusconi gave his new manager full powers to build a team to suit him."My work at Milan is made possible by a great club. A club that was positively impressed by what I did at Parma, that believed in a few things and followed me completely. They even threw out some players who were undoubtedly valuable, but who were not functional and others who were not professionally as I wanted them to be," says the Italian coach. Sacchi does not give out any names so as not to reveal the identity of these non-functional or unprofessional players, but to draw your own conclusions you need only look at the list of players who left Milan that summer in 1987. Agostino Di Bartolomei set out for Cesena despite being the player who had played the most matches the previous season. Dario Bonetti, Ray Wilkins and Mark Hateley, among others, followed the same path. But the key of that summer was not in the departures, but in the arrivals. Sacchi marked a clear line in the transfer policy. "I believed in ideas and work," says the Italian coach, "and to do this I needed to have reliable people, people who were enthusiastic, generous, a culture of professionalism, perfectionists, and we looked for these kinds of people. Then, that they were functional to the technical project we had in mind and that they were complementary to each other." It was within these parameters that Sacchi brought Walter Bianchi and Roberto Mussi with him from Parma, requested the signing of Carlo Ancelotti and was given two top stars by Silvio Berlusconi's checkbook: Marco van Basten and Ruud Gullit. The former arrived from Ajax in exchange for 1.75 million euros. For the second, 13.5 million was paid to PSV Eindhoven. Both would become the totemic symbols of their Milan. "Van Basten was the best, but Gullit was the emblem. Without being the best he was the one who helped me the most", Sacchi confesses. Together, they formed the basis of the team along with promising youngsters such as Paolo Maldini, Franco Baresi and Roberto Donadoni. Frank Rijkaard, the Holy Trinity's companion from the Rossoneri tulips, was not due to arrive in Milan until the following summer. After a summer of avoiding criticism and disdain while transmitting to some heavyweights that they should make the suitcase, Sacchi managed to build his Milan and this had its first test in official match in the Coppa d'Italia against Bari. The business card could not have been better. The Rossoneri won 5-0 with goals from Donadoni, Virdis, Van Basten, Gullit and Massaro, and that 23 August 1987 has become a holy day in the history of Milan. It was the moment when the team that changed the destiny of the entity was born. Three days later it would beat Como, then Monza, and then make its Serie A debut with a win over Pisa. Milan had become a machine, from the beginning, that was very difficult to stop. Disappointments such as the early elimination from the UEFA Cup against Espanyol and some unexpected results injected doubts in Berlusconi, who even flirted with Johan Cruyff to give him the Rossoneri bench, but negotiations with the Dutchman did not bear fruit. Sacchi held on to his position and ended up building one of the best teams in history.
Sacchi's avant-garde ideas were the reconstruction of tactical values not only in Milan and Italian football, but also had a great impact on the world stage. His tactics marked a complete break with the style that was being imposed in Italy and, therefore, also in Europe. It was a tactical revolution and, as such, it required some sacrifice. Marat's death set fire to the French revolution and the assassination of Martin Luther King accelerated his 'dream'. For his own revolution, Arrigo Sacchi murdered the Libero. The Libero represented the icon of the Catenaccio, the figure with which the hitherto unquestionable WM formation was overthrown to create a new style in which defensive concepts were varied. "Italy has a defensive mentality in general, not just in football. For centuries everyone was invading us. When I arrived, most of the attention was on the defensive phase. We had a libero and a line of markers. The offensive phase was left to the intelligence and common sense of the only creative element in the team, the number 10," he says in 'Inverting The Pyramid'. Sacchi changed everything. He abolished the law of the sweeper to form a very forward four-man defensive line that was perfectly synchronised to zonal marking and managing offside when necessary. Franco Baresi was in charge of the back line and marked the line over which the rest of the defence was to be deployed. Such a forward defensive line meant that spaces were reduced, providing a key safety net for the other two lines to push the opposition's ball out of their control. Thus, if an opposing player crossed a line, he immediately crashed into the next one. "We wanted to get the ball back as quickly as possible," says Sacchi, as if it were the simplest thing in the world. However, every move of that pressure was totally studied. To the extent that there was a false pressure, like the striker: "Sometimes we practised a false pressure. We pretended to put pressure, but in reality we used that time to recover our strength". That kind of defensive work was the first necessary condition for a footballing bet that depended solely and exclusively on ruling the game through possession. Without the ball there was no plan. So it was necessary to get it back as soon as possible. In a way, it was a reinvention of Rinus Michels' total football. "We had the presumption, also the hope, of knowing how to do everything. We wanted to get the ball away from our opponents quickly and when we had it, we wanted to know when to have possession or when to play a vertical game. We defended by attacking, by running forward," explains Sacchi, "and when we had the ball we knew when we had to play upright or, on the contrary, when to pass backwards, change sides." As he talks about his tactical ideals, Sacchi seems to have moved into the dressing room for a moment. He looks down, forgets about the camera, the focus and even the journalist in front of him, and stands in front of an imaginary team he's coaching before a game or during a training session. He speaks without resting. Having a tactical conversation with Sacchi is the perfect metaphor for the game that Milan played on the field: he takes possession, monopolises the words and leaves hardly any space for the interlocutor to interact. He is the unequivocal master of the dialogue and one can only shut up, listen and learn. "We trained believing that pressure was important because it allowed us to grow our self-esteem and personality and impose on others a rhythm of play they were not used to. We also tried to condition them when they had the ball. But when we had the ball we had to know how to manage it and understand if it was time to play vertically or start again with the ball, change the game or change the zone. It was a team that I think knew everything and was played by excellent performers, with a great club behind them. We had the interpreters and they were all functional. For me, they were the best players in the world, all 18 of them. I knew that wasn't the case, but I wouldn't have swapped them for anyone else," he concludes, before taking a breath. By way of false pressure, we intuited. Paradoxically, that Milan that needed the ball so much to represent their football ideas on the field, often worked out without it. The ball was not a usual assistant in Milanello, training center of the Milan team. Sometimes, Arrigo Sacchi designed purely theoretical work sessions in which the players did not even need to jump onto the field. At other times, he encouraged positional play and Sacchi forced his disciples to show him where they should be on the pitch depending on where an imaginary ball was. The coach would walk around the pitch and the players would have to correct their position with millimetric precision. His tactics revolutionised Italian football to the point where the foundations of the game were called into question. Italian teams were divided internally according to the characteristics of their players. Some had the responsibility to defend and others were in charge of attacking, being exempt from running backwards. With Sacchi, although this had already happened with Michels, both parties merged to reward the block. They all ran to get the ball back and they all represented basic pieces in the creation of attacking football. With Sacchi came the supremacy of the group over the individual in the Serie A.
Sacchi's Milan reached its peak in the European Cup. During his time on the Rossoneri bench he gave Silvio Berlusconi a Scudetto, an Italian Super Cup, two European Super Cups, two Intercontinental Cups and, above all, two European Cups. But, above the titles, key moments are remembered, matches in which Milan was consecrated as one of the best teams of all times. Probably one of those matches was the one that pitted them against Real Madrid in the semi-finals of the 1988-1989 European Cup. Sacchi was facing his second season at the head of Milan. After winning Serie A, he had to export his success to Europe, where Berlusconi's most coveted ambition lay: the European Cup. After beating Bulgaria's Vitosha Sofia (2-7 on aggregate), Red Star on penalties and Werder Bremen with a solitary goal from Marco van Basten in the second leg, he would face Real Madrid in the semi-finals. Although the Merengue players barely remembered those European Cups that Di Stefano won in black-and-white television, they had brought together a generation that had been thrilling the stands: the Quinta del Buitre. The Butragueños, Michel and company were joining international stars like Hugo Sanchez to dream again with the trophy with big ears. There was plenty of talent in Madrid and it was, along with Milan, the fashionable team in Europe. It was unquestionable that the Spanish capital smelled of the Seventh, but the first leg generated doubts. After 90 minutes, the score was a 1-1 draw, but the feeling was very different. Sacchi remembers it clearly and confesses that even Butragueño recognized to him years later that he did not know how they had obtained that draw in the Bernabéu. "Butragueño told me when I was at Real Madrid - when he was vice-president and had been a great player since he was little and therefore knew everything about Real Madrid - that he had never seen in his life, having followed football and having played it, "a team that came to the Bernabeu to do what you did. We managed to recover a draw not knowing how. You looked like twenty and we looked like ten or eleven. You attacked even Buyo", recounts the Italian. The key to Milan's dominance in Madrid was once again pressure, the hallmark of Sacchi's Milan. Such was the superiority shown by the visitors that, when adding up an insufficient result, the Milan players went into a state of depression. Sacchi had to work as a psychologist to lift the spirits of his team and show them the way to seal their qualification for the European Cup final. "I remember that in the following 15 days I was telling the players: 'Remember that at certain levels, when you have to win and you don't win, you lose nine times out of ten. So either we make a masterpiece or we lose here". That work of motivation was the first stone to build what later has been considered the Opera Prima of Milan. Milan has given three artistic jewels to the world: the Scala, the Duomo and the Manita to Real Madrid. Milan came back with a 5-0 win at the San Siro, although things did not start off well. So much that as soon as the match got underway, Sacchi considered removing his main star Marco van Basten from the field. "When they came here, Madrid started well, we didn't start so well; van Basten was static, so much so that I immediately got a striker warming up. I remember Ramaccioni saying to me: 'Arrigo, calm down a bit'," said Sacchi. Then came the stroke of genius. All it took was a tactical move and the game changed in favour of the Rossoneri. Carlo Ancelotti was the embodiment of the strategy. To find the origin, you have to go back a few days before the meeting. "Carlo unlocked everything," analyses Sacchi, "and that's how I see football. On Tuesday, Evani had been injured in a clash with Albertini; because we trained on Tuesday as if it was already the match, with that strength. I had many solutions to replace him: to put Donadoni as a winger, who although many journalists put him there, we didn't use as a winger. We used him as a midfielder, the fourth central player, because if he ended up on the right or left wing, he bothered the wings, which were Evani and Colombo. Or putting Virdis in attack with Van Basten and Gullit as a midfielder in Donadoni's place, but Gullit didn't guarantee me on a tactical level what Donadoni guaranteed me... In the end I played the player least likely to replace Evani, who was Ancelotti, but he was the most available and gave me his 100%." The gamble proved to be perfect: "The prize was that the first goal was scored by Ancelotti. And then he played the final in that position too. What did the Steaua coach do? He put Hagi in that area, but he didn't know that we never had a marker, we had two or three, because our team was, in that way, compact, short in that period of time compared to the others, but we were always going to mark with two or three men. And this happened against Real Madrid, where we had a numerical superiority in the pressure on the ball."Sacchi believes that the basis of the victory over Real Madrid was, as it was throughout his career, the importance of the team over the individuals."They had players with great technique, probably better than us, but we were a great team. They had a group, but less of a team than we did. And in football the collective achieves more than the individual. You have to know this," says the Italian. That victory marks the definitive explosion of Milan, who went on to become the dominant force in European football. After that, they won the Intercontinental Cup against Nacional de Medellin and went on to reach the footballing heavens. However, that match also represented the change in the way teams faced Milan. The Colombians were the first daring ones who forced Arrigo's thoughts to change."With Nacional of Medellin they were the ones who made things difficult for us because for the first time we were up against a team that attacked us a lot. Then, of hunters we became hunted. It took us tranquility, security. This requires patience, which is a virtue I have not always had, but at that time I had it. I remember that at half-time Van Basten said to me: 'We are not well, we are not in shape, we have to have patience'. It wasn't a pretty game, but I was amazed at how many people said it was bad. Those people never understood that Milan were playing great football. I have to say that it was a game similar to reading a Kafka book: heavy, difficult," says Sacchi for El Enganche about that 1-0 win for Evani in the last minute of extra time, which represented the club's second Intercontinental and the first one to be shown in his living room. Milan, however, were already a despotic side who had challenged the previously dominant footballing laws and turned them to their advantage.
Despite the successes achieved with his Milan, Arrigo Sacchi was not lacking detractors. His style was so far removed from Italian traditions that some were unable to digest the change. "Even now it is said that when Milan played well it was because they had good players and when they played badly it was because Sacchi was there," joked the Italian coach, seeking complicity. Gianni Brera, the legendary Italian sports journalist, was one of his fiercest critics. Brera, an exquisite connoisseur of football and tactics, professed admiration for a doctrine that was antithetical to that represented by Sacchi's Milan. His attacks on the ideas of the revolutionary coach were commonplace in the Gazzetta dello Sport. Although Arrigo was intelligent to take advantage of these criticisms and reverse them in his favour. Before the 1989 European Cup final against Steaua Bucharest, he used an article by Brera to motivate his players. "I remember before the final with Steaua, that the greatest Italian sports critic, the poor Brera, an excellent writer, very good indeed, but with footballing ideas very distant from ours, said: 'Milan will play against the champions of dancing football, against the champions of possession of the ball, they will have to wait for it, defend it and go on the counterattack'. On Tuesday before the match the best Italian sports journalist wrote this and I read it because I needed to know his convictions. You cannot say 'do it because I say so'. According to him, we had to use that strategy. Gullit stood up and said 'we'll attack them from the first second until we have the forces. Okay, everybody? And we did." However, Sacchi's most surprising enemy was not Brera, but was hiding in his own dressing room: Marco van Basten. Known to all, the relationship between the two was not good. So much so that the Dutchman often questioned him in front of the group. Sometimes he found it hard to see the logic in his coach's approach, and so he let him know. "Van Basten asked me why the others were winning and why we had to win and convince them. He also told me that we worked too hard and didn't have any fun. I always told him: 'You're a clever boy and you have to have fun in a different way. We're here to make sure the audience has a good time. He never understood that you can't get a lot without giving a lot. Van Basten has been an extraordinary player for me, not easy to manage, but extraordinary," says Sacchi. Years after their paths diverged, Sacchi and van Basten crossed paths again and the Dutchman acknowledged his mistakes: "When World Soccer recognised not too long ago that Milan had been the best team of all time, from when football existed, I said to him: 'Did you understand why we had to win and convince? And he said: 'I understood. And I understood something else too. Now I am a coach and I understand how many problems I created for you". And I said to him: "If I can console you, I didn't solve many of them." Nevertheless, Sacchi admits that he wouldn't have swapped van Basten for any other player, either of the time or of the present. "When they tell me 'between Ronaldo and van Basten who would you have signed,' I have no doubt: van Basten. But not because van Basten was more talented than Ronaldo, but because he was more functional in terms of our style of football and was a professional who gave more guarantees than Ronaldo, who was an unimaginable talent." While the estrangement with Marco van Basten was evident, Sacchi had a close relationship with another Dutchman in the team: Ruud Gullit.He was his main support in the dressing room and the player through whom he injected his philosophy to the rest of the players."Gullit was considered the emblem, for me he was a phenomenal player and an extraordinary person; probably the one who helped me the most without being the best, because the best was van Basten, but he had personality while van Basten hid himself, he was discontinuous. Gullit helped me a lot in making Italian players who always ran backwards run forward. He was the most convinced of this," he says. Sacchi changed the philosophy of Italian football, but Gullit transformed the philosophy of the Milan dressing room. The combination of the two Italian players made Rinus Michels' total football a success, building a Milan that would go down in history.
After winning everything with Milan, he took over the reins of the Italian national team with whom he was second in the 1994 World Cup. He then went through an erratic career with a brief return to Milan and a few stints with Atletico Madrid and Parma before making the jump to the offices. With the perspective of his entire career, it's time to ask the same question as at the start: what was Italian football like before Sacchi? How have things changed since his revolution? Sacchi himself answers: "There has clearly been some change, but it is not linked to globalisation. Capello said it: 'We've rediscovered the Libero'. Most teams play with a fixed sweeper in the back."With Sacchi, Italian football learned that everyone must defend and attack as one, as a whole, without the previous attack-defence division. But it has forgotten everything else, and that takes its toll in Europe:"More and more we are getting slapped around and then we say: 'Why don't we spend? Why don't we use more start-up money? Then it happens that Borussia Dortmund reach the final and spend less than most of the big Italian teams or that Atletico Madrid reach the final of Champions and spend less. Our clubs are full of foreigners, full of fear, full of an eminently defensive football, playing with a sweeper. Then the result when they play at international level, where they find themselves with one less player in midfield or in attack, with the rival having players of level and leaving the ball and the initiative to them... well, they put you in difficulties". "Also because outside the country, in general, they're much better at attacking than defending. So, if you want to put them in trouble, you have to attack them, not stop their attack. But all this requires work, organization, time, planning, programming and less improvised teams, teams that make some sense. What does a sense mean? Putting each value in its place. Since we are talking about a team sport, let's start with what unites the team: the game. What is the game about? From ideas and work. And without ideas and work, you don't have the game. If you don't have the game you rely only on individuals, and no individuality will ever have the power of a team. In some teams, this tendency to improvise - which we call fantasy - causes total disorganisation, with the consequence of losing the team," he adds to close a precise X-ray of the ills that Italian football is suffering from. Three decades after the birth of Sacchi's Milan, Italy has forgotten everything it has learned. There is no trace of the game with high pressure, offside is just another resource and even the sweeper, whose assassination triggered everything, has come back to life. Sacchi is a revolutionary without revolution. No one has been able to pick up on his witness. Italy has forgotten him, but football hasn't. Football just cannot forget the creator of one of the best teams in its history. by Massimo Callegari & Francisco Orti for El Enganche.es (2016).
I recently got NFL Pass and started watching. I have a few questions and a few thoughts
NFL pass was made free for a year in the UK (and around the world, by the looks of it) recently, so I got it and started trying to learn more about American football. My normal sporting jam is association football (or soccer) and rugby union, although I know my way around rugby league. I've so far watched the first two weeks of post-season, with about 50/50 split of watching the full replay, and the "game in 40'" replays. In trying to properly get in the mood, I've often had a drink or two while watching. Normally beer (as is proper) although by "beer" that's usually an English ruby ale, rather than an American beer. (The only American beer I can easily get hold of is Budweiser. I know you have many excellent beers in the USA, but that isn't one of them.) Occasionally it's a gin & tonic with raspberries in. I hope that doesn't ruin the football experience. INITIAL THOUGHTS Hits don't seem, for the most part, to be particularly worse than rugby on running plays. Given football's reputation in the UK, most tacklers seem happy to do enough to end the play and that's it. (This is probably down to most pop-culture coverage in the UK being "biggest hits" highlight reels and films like this, in fairness.) Having said that, once it does get rough football does seem to be far less restrictive on certain things as well. Football seems quite happy with no-arm tackles, dump-tackles, and I'm sure I saw a neck-roll at one point. All go without much to say. Even on passing plays, where the quarterback gets sacked, you might expect a bigger hit against the relatively stationary target from a run-up, but while they look painful they generally don't look so bad. The cadence of the football v rugby is really different, and this is probably what the biggest bit of getting used to. Rugby would only ever have 25+ seconds of downtime for a set piece. It gives football an explosiveness which rugby only rarely matches but with a trade-off: I find it doesn't get the intensity of watching a rugby team hammer at the defensive try line, phase after phase after phase looking for an opening, while the defence desperately makes tackle after tackle with no idea how long it will be until they get the ball back. (Rugby union only; in rugby league they know it's only six phases.) In comparison, there's quite a different physical test. Rugby doesn't require the same explosive athleticism that football does, but is a much bigger test of cardio fitness. I don't know how far a football player runs during a match, but I'm willing to bet it doesn't come close to how far a rugby player runs, although it will generally be at higher intensity. (My reasoning being: it can't come close, can it? The ball is apparently live on average 11 minutes in football (surely more? That number is quite old) and there are 53 players sharing the load; in rugby its live for 60 minutes or so, and there are 23 players to share the load.) The off-the-ball blocking and stuff is clearly so important, but it's hard to keep track off without seeing what happened on a replay. Particularly since the side-on camera angle makes it tough to see what's happening on the line of scrimmage. (And also means I often can't see runners who've gone long.) The 2 point attack is a great piece of game design. If I could import one thing from football to rugby, I think this would be it. NFL referees seem to follow the letter of the law far more closely than rugby referees. In rugby if there's no advantage to be gained or both teams are doing something about equally as wrong, and it's not dangerous the referee will basically just ignore it. In football referees seem to call infringements that don't, so far as I can see, gain any advantage a lot more. Some roughly equivalent positions I've figured out: quarterback & fly-half; centre & scrum-half; safeties & fullbacks (on defence); running backs & fullbacks (in possession); linemen & forwards; receivers & wingers. With no rucking, mauling, or scrummaging the second row of forwards doesn't really have a football equivalent. Dropped catches are way more common in NFL compared to rugby. Obviously the ball is coming faster, smaller, and from harder angles, and the downside to a dropped catch is less (no loss of yardage, compared to losing the ball entirely). While the difference isn't surprising, I was expecting to see the ball more consistently caught if the catcher got hands to it. While I was expecting to have to get to grips with a lot of new language, I almost choked on my drink when the commentator referred to a muff. That is not a word to use in polite conversation over here. QUESTIONS What's up with the AFC and NFC split? The geographical splits make sense in a country the size of the USA, but this one doesn't. How much leeway to teams get to improvise on the fly? For example, if I'm told to go for a streak route, and realise I'm being covered by someone faster than me, could I improvise and hook back to find space without getting a bollocking from the offensive coach/quarterback? I saw a foul called for an ineligible receiver. How can I tell who is an eligible receiver and who isn't, and why are some receivers eligible and some not (i.e. why does that rule exist - is there some strategy it's meant to stop)? Quarterbacks seem to get away with throwing away the ball quite a lot. Is that just how it is, or are the rulesmakers probably going to alter that somehow? It feels cheap to avoid losing yards to the sack by just throwing a super speculative pass in the vague direction of a receiver. And the big one: any advice on how to read a defence, or learn the language of it? I kind of get the basics: I know "4-4", for example, means four on the line scrimmage (who's job is to stop a sneak, or sack the quarterback), and four linebackers who stand behind the line of scrimmage and aim to stop runners, leaving three more players. I get that corner backs mark the receiver on their side, and then a safety hangs back to pick up any extra receivers, or make a last ditch tackle. What I don't know is how defences choose which line up to use, how many people to blitz with, or what a good defensive shape looks like once the ball's live.
A money-line bet is a bet on a team to win outright. You don't adjust the score; you only win the bet if your team wins on the field. Find your chosen team's money line. Say the game is listed as "Chicago -110 Detroit +140." If you think Chicago will win, your money line is -110. If Detroit is your pick, it's +140. Apply the money line. Article: How To Read Moneyline Betting Odds. Soccer Spreads Explained. In terms of this type of betting the line, a goal spread is meant to establish a favorite and an underdog and then draw a handicap to even out the playing field. The goal spreads in soccer are typically small, with a half-goal up to two goals the spread that is seen most often. Learn how spread betting works in soccer matches. Spread bets involve betting against a bookmaker's decision on various elements of a game. For instance, if a bookmaker predicts there will be 11 to 12 corners in a game, the spread will be set at 11-12. Soccer point spread betting is when you are betting on whether a team will win or lose by a certain number of goals. It is an increasingly popular form of betting and is gaining ground in the soccer betting market. It allows to equalize uneven teams and to get more people to bet on underdogs. 4. Soccer Goal Line Betting. Also called: Soccer Spread Betting. Bet is made on the expected score difference, just like a point spread. Most soccer goals lines are 0.5 or ½. Occasionally, some will be 1.5 or 2.5. Example Favorite Lines. A ½ line rounds up to 1. Favorites must win by 1 or more goals. A 1½ line rounds up to 2.
Sports Betting: How to Read the Moneyline and Total
Football Betting Tips:- How to win football bets every time 2020 #FootballBettingTips - Duration: 9:30. Football Betting Tips - 100% Sure Free Soccer Tips 66,738 views 9:30 Sports Betting Tips with a look at "Understanding Fake Line Moves" is the topic on this episode of Sports Betting Tips from the WagerTalk TV Studios in Las Vegas. Discover my powerful secrets on how you can win the online soccer betting system over with supreme confidence and consistency. http://www.the80percenter.com. Learn how to bet ATS, or against the spread, with this informative breakdown. These Sports Betting 101 videos are meant to help you learn and start winning today. This is the first in a series of how to bet on sports. This is a very basic video exploring the moneylines. Most of you probably know all this and can skip it.