Iconic

You know that a practice has entered the mainstream when Microsoft records it as clipart:

Courtesy of Microsoft

A Redesigned Production Line

From ESPN.com:

"They will not win Game 2, and you heard that from me," 'Sheed announced Saturday night after watching Foster share the hero mantle with Reggie Miller in the Pacers' 78-74 triumph.

"Put it front page, back page, middle of the page," 'Sheed continued, making you wonder what he plans to say if the Pacers do win.

"They will not win Game 2."

'Sheed then receded into Both Teams Played Hard mode, repeating the same answer to the next few questions he allowed, no matter what the questions were: "They will not win Game 2."

And, as a signoff: "They will not win Game 2."

Game Time

smithers:

[Aside] I am taking a hiatus from my extremely hectic 2-3 posts-per-week publishing schedule to concentrate on converting sportsBabel material into book form, as has been promised in the sidebar for some time now.

Thanks to those who have read the blog during the evolution of my thought, and I'll be back soon. :)

[Exit]

IronyFilter

A letter to Salon.com from reader Melissa McEwan responding to Farhad Manjoo's article on the Nick Berg beheading video:

Coincidentally, just before I read Farhad Manjoo's latest article, 'Horror Show,' my husband was pointing out to me the top searches list on MSN.com. For months on end, it has been the usual drivel; the week after the Super Bowl, the top five searches were something like Janet Jackson Super Bowl; Janet Jackson halftime show; Janet Jackson Super Bowl halftime, Janet Jackson breast; and Janet Jackson Super Bowl breast.' And for months on end, we've been bemoaning the complacency of the American public; why aren't they searching for Fallujah, Taguba, something — anything — that resembles an interest in something other than celebrity scandal?

Today the top searches include Iraqi Prisoner Photos and Abu Ghraib. He commented that it seems like the tide is finally turning; people are finally interested. Perhaps, I said. Hopefully, I said. But the only thing that's changed, the only thing we can be sure of, is that there are finally pictures. Does the average searcher on MSN make a distinction between searching for pictures of Janet Jackson's breast and searching for pictures of Iraqis being tortured? Is it just more of a titillating sameness, or are people really starting to pay attention, now that they have something almost unavoidable to pay attention to? I hope it's the latter.

It is ironic, then, that the AI-generated Sponsored Links listing at the bottom of the Salon page featured this:

Courtesy of Salon.com

Soccer, Sport and War

In another of the recent juxtapositions of sport and war, Iraq qualified for the Olympics in soccer after only being reinstated by the International Olympic Committee three months ago.

A Foundation for Sports Geography

STAGES

ENVIRONMENT

PERMEABLE BOUNDARIES
WEAK RULES OF EXCLUSION

No spatial limits; uneven terrain; spatial interaction between "players" and "spectators"; diversified land use.

ENCLOSURE

Limits of pitch defined; players segregated from spectators.

PARTITIONING

Embankments, terraces, grandstands; payment for entry; segregation of spectators by social class; start of segregation within crowd; specialized land use.

SURVEILLANCE

Enclosed ground; synthetic pitch and concrete bowl; TV replay screen; total segregation within crowd; panopticism; diversified land use.

RULES OF EXCLUSION STRONG
IMPERMEABLE BOUNDARIES

A four-stage model of the evolution of the modern stadium. Lines refer to possible freedoms of movement for players and spectators (from Bale, 1993).