Everybody Wins: Leisure Olympics II

The Second Leisure Olympics began, appropriately enough, with a blank sign. It had originally been marked with words (white gaffer’s tape on black cotton), but the letters decided they didn’t want to be letters. They didn’t want to be corralled into meaning-making, they didn’t want to pin anything down, they didn’t want to work. So the letters fell off. They relaxed. Things, of course, went smoothly off the rails after that. We didn’t get to half the sports (Slothathon slumbers on). Our medal ceremony music (10 versions of “Ode to Joy”) sputtered. At some point we ran…

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Leisure Olympics II

Saturday, Sept. 1, 12-5p Prospect Park Peninsula, Brooklyn All events are free. Brooke is cooking a whole pig and some chickens and biscuits and slaw ($10, all you can eat + $5 for all you can drink). Email us if you’re coming so we can get enough beer and wine. Gold, silver, and bronze medals are being carved by Emily Thompson as I write! They will feature Winged Victory in Repose. You must arrive 15 minutes before an event to sign up. If you’ve never been to the Peninsula in Prospect Park, give yourself some extra time.…

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Who Will Win the World Cup?

The Modern Spectator is back with daily, or near daily updates, musings, and jokes about the World Cup in South Africa — and of course a predictions game. We’re using ESPN.com this year. It’s easy to do, just click here (If you don’t have an ESPN account, you have to register but it’s painless), click the teams you think will win. ESPn provides their FIFA ranking to give you some indication who is favored. To join “The Modern Spectator” group, the passwor is “tms”. Invite your friends, but do it soon. Games begin early Friday morning. And…

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Our Belated NCAA Pool

   Dear Spectators, We put up a free, open NCAA pool over on Dawgsled. Join in. The only prize is bragging rights, but since we’re late getting it going, your chances of winning are good! Enjoy your March. Pick some teams. (The website is complicated. Click here for directions.) Pool name: The Modern Spectator Password: spectator Pictured here, by the way, is the ridiculous logo of the Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions, who made their first tournament. Go Arkansas Pine Bluff! DIRECTIONS The website is complicated. You have to go to this link, then click “create an account”…

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Snowboarding Imitates Rodeo

Watching the Olympic snowboard half-pipe the other day, I was struck dumb. Not by the ridiculousness of the sport – although it does bring out the fuddy-duddy in me – but by the U.S. uniforms. They are, on top, fake flannel and on the bottom, fake denim. The “jeans” have phony fading and phony rips. The whole thing is made of Gore-Tex (which I like to think of as a long lost election result, not as a magical fabric) and was created by Burton so ski bums could imitate urban hipsters imitating cowboys. It’s not surprising really.…

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Gambling Gurus: Week 12 Picks, Oooh… Miami

Brooke Costello and Stefan Tornquist gives us their weekly NFL bets. Indy @ Hou (3.5, 48) Brooke: Indy can’t help winning. It’s what they have always done, and it comes down to executing well when it matters most. Houston can’t help losing. It’s what they have always done, and it comes down to executing poorly when it matters most. It’ll be close because that’s the way the script was written. (Tease Indy w/ the under, and see if you can’t buy half a point.) ST: Take the Texans in any tease you can find because these two…

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Gambling Gurus: NFL Week 11 Picks, Bills Fire Themselves

Brooke Costello: We at the Gambling Gurus apologize for our inconsistency over the last few weeks. I chose to blame Austin for loving his Phillies too well, Stefan for having a real job, and me? I don’t blame me at all! Buff @ Jax (-9, 42.5) Brooke: So far this year Buffalo has fired their All Pro left tackle, O-Coordinator, starting QB (twice), and finally now their head coach. Next up is the GM. The owner on the other hand stays the same, and he is the guy that hired all these other guys. Perhaps he should…

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Gambling Gurus: NFL Week 9 Picks–Texans Forget, Lose

Each week our gambling gurus make bets on the NFL. This week Stefan Tornquist is off so Brooke Costello goes it alone. Texans @ Indy (-9, 50) Brooke: There is a lot being written about Matt Shaub’s season. He is leading the league with 16 TD’s and his yard per completion stat is through the roof. But more importantly he has Houstonians forgetting to ask themselves why they live in an overpriced underconstructed shack in the middle of one of North America’s biggest swamps. This is what professional sports is all about. Replacing the “Why?” with a…

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Pic of the Day: Godzilla Strikes

 When the Yankees jumped ahead of the Phillies on Hideki Matsui’s third RBI hit of the night, I got a text from a friend and Yankee fan, Matthew McKown. It said, “At least it’s Matsui.” I used to love Matsui. Back in 2003 he came to New York with great fanfare. He hit a grand slam in his first game in Yankee Stadium. And he always looked hilarious. He wore the same determined expression on his face at all times. When he sprinted straight and hard for the ball in the outfield, his hat would fly off again and again. Matthew and I attended one of his first games against Seattle when Ichiro and Matsui drew thousands of Japanese fans to the stadium. We loved it.

But in the end Godzilla is not a lovable character. He is a monster who destroys your village without even trying. He is a nuclear bomb, a disaster. So it was last night when the Phillies succumbed to the wrath of Matsui. In a way, I’d rather have been beaten by Teixeira or Posada, someone without special menace and without special charm. Now I’ll never look at Matsui the same.