Nerds on Sports Where nerds are talking about sports!

February 2, 2009

[Business Day One] A Wizard’s Guide To Sports

Filed under: Business Day One,MMA — Tags: , , — Serpico @ 1:55 pm

Steelers-Cardinals was boring.  Sure, Big Ben Roflcopter led a blistering two minute drive down the field to score the go-ahead touchdown with under 60 seconds to play.  Sure, the Santonio Holmes catch was impossibly athletic, and could only be performed by about 50 people in the world.  But, well, Roflcopter always leads those drives and Holmes always makes those catches.  And the game ended just as Vegas predicted – a close Pittsburgh victory.

UFC 94 was boring.  The main event (St. Pierre vs. Penn 2) involved the Canadian ruthlessly pounding the confused and exhausted American for four rounds before the fight was called.

The sporting highlight of my weekend was neither of these things.  It was, instead, my first viewing of Wisest Wizard, the greatest nerd-related drinking game I’ve ever seen.  Here’s how it works:  Every time you finish a beer (or a diet A&W root beer, in my case), you duct tape a fresh beer to the top of it.  Eventually, you create a mighty wizard staff of beer cans and duct tape.  Every third or fourth can, you fight a “boss battle,” which involves taking a shot.  And that’s it.  That’s the game.

The peripherals of this hobby are splendid.  You can discuss which powers you gain as you increase in level (“I just learned the Stumble spell” or “Dude, you just discovered Summon Lo Mein Fart.”)  Walking around with an aluminum staff is ridiculous, as they are more durable than you think they’d be.  Wisest Wizard works at any sporting event that could use a little extra spice on it.  Like, say, a lackluster SuperBowl or Ultimate Fighting event.  Seriously.  As a nerd, you owe it to yourself to pick this up.

February 26, 2008

I Coulda Been A Contenda!

Filed under: MMA — Tags: , , , , , — Perich @ 10:00 am

There are two MMA movies coming out within a year.

Ken ShamrockThe first, Never Submit, is the story of a judo champion who enters an MMA tournament, haunted by the memory of his father’s death in a no-holds-barred match 10 years earlier. Ken Shamrock plays the dead father; I know getting defeated in an MMA match will be a stretch for him to play but I bet he’s got the chops.

I wouldn’t count on seeing this movie any time soon, however, or in any sort of major release. Rumors about its production have been circulating for a year and a half now (note: the fighters named in that article are apparently no longer in the cast). Its official website is terrible. You start to recognize these things as symptoms of “production hell” – the pre-filming stages that mean a movie’s never coming to life.

“When,” you ask, “oh when will a serious director give mixed martial arts the treatment they deserve?”

Chiwetel Ejiofor in RedbeltApparently, May of this year. David Mamet (?!) is releasing his film Redbelt, starring Serenity‘s Chiwetel Ejiofor (?!?) as a martial arts instructor turned prize fighter. Additional cast include Mamet regulars Ricky Jay, Joe Mantegna, Rebecca Pidgeon, as well as that staple of fighting films, Tim Allen (?!?!). And it boasts big name fighters like Randy “The Natural” Couture in its cast.

As usual with a Mamet film, an outsider is drawn into a world of lies and intrigue, nothing is as it seems, etc etc. In this case, Ejiofor (as a martial arts teacher) crosses paths with a big celebrity (Allen). He becomes embroiled in the world of Hollywood, and then with the world of MMA prizefighting, through seedy pay-per-view promoters (Jay; Mantegna). Unlike most Mamet films, however, there are some kickass fight scenes.

Never Submit barely has a consistent cast. Redbelt already has a kickass trailer. I know which movie I’m in line to see.

October 2, 2007

Rocky Mountain High

Filed under: Baseball,Football,MMA — Tags: , , , , — Perich @ 9:44 am

Let’s talk science.

Going into last night’s game, the San Diego Padres’ bullpen had the best ERA in the league at a rock-steady 3.00. In case anyone forgot that, watching them butt heads against the Rockies last night, note that San Diego gave up just one hit between the time they pulled Jake Peavy (in the 7th) and the time they called in Trevor Hoffman (in the 13th). One hit in six innings.

Ol’ ReliableHoffman, who holds the record for saves, proceeded to give up two doubles, a triple, and then walk the runners into position for Matt Holliday to score the game-winning (and still disputed) run.

Why did Hoffman break down so spectacularly? You can talk about the pressure; you can pin it on an off night. But we wouldn’t be Nerds on Sports if we didn’t at least consider the well-documented “Coors Field Effect.”

Coors Field is located 1 yard shy of a mile above sea level, the highest ballpark – by far – in the Major Leagues. The air thins at that altitude. Will a baseball, which is significantly hollow, tend to travel further in such a park?

Science!Howard L. Penn of the U.S. Naval Academy, in the course of figuring the home-runniness of various ballparks, came across an answer. Using Halley’s rule, a centuries-old formula for determining the amount of powder needed to land a cannonball on a given target, he came up with some interesting figures.

A home run ball hit at Coors Field as an average velocity of 110.82 feet per second, the highest in the league. A baseball hit in Colorado travels 10% farther than it would near sea level.
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