Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Leslie Nielsen. You will be missed.

What is the best baseball movie of all time?
Bull Durham? The Natural? Field of Dreams...?

Hell, no. It is The Naked Gun, without a doubt. I can't hear the national anthem without thinking of Frank Drebin filling in for Enrique Pallazo, and I can't watch an umpire calling a strike without hoping he does a dance.

Best prison movie ever?

Shawshank? Midnight Express? Cool Hand Luke?

Wrong. It is The Naked Gun 33 1/3. Forward this to about four minutes in. I dare you to watch Frank Drebin yell "There ain't no prison yet that can hold me! Attica! Attica! Power to the brothers! Kill Whitey!" without laughing. It can't be done.

Leslie Nielsen passed away this week. Please take the time to read David Zucker's exclusive tribute at hollywoodreporter.com, and enjoy the video clips. They are some of my favorite scenes ever. He will be missed.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Recent Heated Discussions We Should All Be Following...

*This was supposed to be a bloody picture of two tigers fighting, but Jason Marsteller asked us to tone it down a bit.

Are you missing the days back when floswimming was the place to be and every blog or video seemed to turn into a 100+ comment argument? I have to say that I have missed the haters and anonymous cowards a little and wondered where they all went. You might be able to get your fix though, as Swimming World has had some real hot discussions lately in the comments sections of the following posts:

Mark Schubert Out At USA Swimming; USA Swimming Confirms Separation With Release -- November 17, 2010

Mark Schubert Speaks Publicly About Termination as USA Swimming National Team Head Coach, Says Executive Director Wanted Him on the Job "Until 2020" -- Updated with Press Conference Video -- November 17, 2010

Open Letter to U.S. Coaches From Coach Bob Gillett -- November 20, 2010

USA Swimming Board of Directors Votes Down FINA Bureau Shakeup Proposal -- November 22, 2010

Of course, these posts are reporting some pretty hot topics in the world of swimming, so they deserve heavy discussion and input from those of us out in the world who care. Even with Jason Marsteller on the job keeping it clean, the string of opinions here is pretty darn good reading.

Please note that in the Mark Schubert press conference posting, the blog fight was so intense that for the first time I know of, lawyers got involved. Also, in the article about the FINA shake-up proposal, it was nice to hear John Leonard refer to the coaches commission as "fake." I am pretty sure several of us bloggers and commenters called them on that one when they got together to help FINA botch the suit list the first couple of times. In case you don't remember how that went down, check out this interview from way back that got 136 comments and the response I threw out there that brought on another 97.

Circle up, enjoy the battle, and be sure to throw in a couple of zingers when you get the chance. Yay internet!

*Jason, I am just giving you a hard time. You know I am glad you are there moderating. I don't miss the anonymous haters that much. :)

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Craig Lord: The J. Jonah Jameson of Swimming

Craig Lord's campaign to eradicate the costumed menace that is the shiny suits has not slowed, even after they were banned so long ago. When I read an article like the one released today, which highlights that no world records have been broken this year since non-permeable fabrics were banned, I chuckle and think of how similar Craig Lord's campaign is to that of J. Jonah Jameson, the editor of the Daily Bugle who has made it his life's mission to crush the costumed menace who plagues him: Spiderman. If Craig had his way, it would be Fred Bousquet being hauled to jail in a Jaked in this picture.

Spiderman was often blasted for interfering with police operations and for destruction of property when he helped put away the bad guys, and was conversely criticized when he wasn't there to get the job done, kind of like the way world record breakers should have been celebrated in 2008 but were instead often scorned because of the suits they wore. Jonah didn't quit pestering poor Peter Parker even when he quit the hero gig (multiple times) and even during the few times that everyone thought Spidey was dead. Superheroes always seem to come back. Maybe Craig still has legitimate fear that the suits will too. Who knows?

There have been a lot of writers who have handled the character of Jolly Jonah since he first appeared in 1963. The reasons for his hatred of the costumed characters has been speculated on for decades and it seems to always boil down to this: How can a normal guy compare in a world of superhumans who don't have to face the consequences that come with owning up to their actions? It is partly a matter of jealousy, and the fear that these men and women have more power than they have moral sense or responsibility, especially considering that many are hiding behind masks. Jonah is really a terrifically complex character who strangely represents our own subconscious resentment of humanity's innate need for leaders, heroes and even celebrities above us in society. While we build them up we feel we need to also tear them down.

The fact is, the Daily Bugle sells papers, partly because Jameson is outspoken and puts a dramatic spin on every editorial. He has become a media personality in the Marvel Universe who could be considered the Glenn Beck of a world where superheroes are a part of daily life, and is similar to Craig Lord in the world of swimming where world rankings, records, swimsuits and sponsorships are the topics we care about and want to read up on daily. Craig's mission against tech, as it has been in the fight against doping in the past and present, are important and still relevant, but I can't help getting a chuckle when I think about the nights that Mr. Lord must stay late at the office to pore over the final draft of his latest rant. I like to picture him typing the final phrases with frenzied adoration for his most inspired works, peeking out into the hallway to make sure no one else is around, putting on a red Jaked01, and doing this:

Of course, Jameson's son was an astronaut who flew to the moon and turned into a werewolf, which is part of a long list of other personal incidents he blames Spidey for... so I guess he has a pretty good excuse.

We love ya Craig. You keep writing it, we'll keep reading it

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Help my self-esteem. Like me on facebook...

Help a brother out by spreading the word and getting me some likes on facebook. Click the pic below to go there and click the thumbs up button. And don't forget to click on the pic above to be able to enlarge it and read the word balloons. I put a lot of thought into it (not.)
Apparently, all the bigwigs in swimming are excited to finally be my friend.
As a challenge, I'll buy you a brew if you an get any of the four people in that picture to actually admit they are Viking fans by liking my page. (I don't know how you will prove it to take credit, but it is worth putting that out there.) Thanks, dudes!

Looks like we might get some answers straight from Schubert himself!

From SwimNews.com, Nov. 17, 2010:

The break-up between USA Swimming and former national team coach Mark Schubert is about to get ugly: Schubert has called a news conference this morning at the International Swimming Hall of Fame in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to discuss his dismissal...

Read more here in the
AP article run in the Washington Post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

We coaches hear this every day...

Whoever made this is pretty darn brilliant. Please pardon the language, it adds to the hilarity.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

High School Highlights

Those of us who have high school season in the fall are now in championship season and I want to draw a little attention to the meets I have been paying attention to:

Last weekend was the Alaska boys and girls state meet. My old high school had a pretty phenomenal year. Remember, our school has less than 200 students and is on an island. Keep that in mind when you look at the results. This is a school that has sent a disproportionate amount of students on to college programs, including a
guy who split an 18.6 50 free on a medley relay for Auburn pre-tech. This year they took fourth overall at state and junior Preston Marsh won the 200 IM. Read the article here. Check out the results here. Preston destroyed my old 200 IM team record. No hard feelings. He is actually the nephew of a couple of my good friends in high school. I lasted 19 years on the board. That's long enough. Congrats to the Vikings on a great year!

The Missouri HS boys meet prelims were pretty stellar last night. I am about to head over to watch my diver in a few minutes. My swimmer who is at his first state meet ever actually earned a spot in the B final. As far as the prelims go, in my opinion the schools from SW MO seemed to steal the show. Nik Brink and Matt Margritier are going into the final with a tie (45.69) in the 100 free. It is gonna be a fun day. There should be live video here in case anyone wants to watch the finals. Diving starts at 9:30 and swimming finals start at 3:00 CST. Good luck to all who are heading into the fray today!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Schubert is Out...?!

Just in case you don't have ESPN on your RSS feed:


I am sure that many people out there on deck at the big meets know a lot of things that us guys out of the loop never hear, but I never really thought the leave of absence would go beyond the sixty days. Now more than ever, I want to hear the whole story. Anyone out there got any insight they can share?

Thursday, November 11, 2010

What part of "Permeable" do you not understand?

I did not have any worries about swimsuits this year; at least, not until one of my swimmers asked if I had seen his LZR Pro. This was at our last practice before we hit the road for the Missouri High School boys meet. Watch what he wanted to show me.

Please note-- this suit has the FINA barcode. This suit is approved without question. I looked for the wording of the actual FINA rule and couldn't find it, but on the Missouri HS Activities site it says "As was discussed in the online rules reviews this year, officials can be assured that suits with the FINA barcode are legal under NFHS suit rules. The similarities between the rule sets, including a mandate for ‘textile material’ in both make this an easy way to confirm legality."

It also says "material shall be woven/knit textile, permeable (100% to air and water.)"

So, I guess I don't know what the testing process is to earn FINA approval... but I am pretty sure that it can't be a real rigorous process. It doesn't pass my test, and mine is pretty darn unscientific. "Does water pass through the fabric? NO? FAIL."

Doesn't it seem like a suit wouldn't be able to be used as a canteen if the fabric was even a little bit permeable? If I wore that suit as underwear, I wouldn't need to take bathroom breaks. I could just empty the leg at the end of the day. Know what I'm saying?

Luckily, Austin only wasted $190 and one race on this piece of junk. It was certainly not a performance enhancer. It served as a ridiculously expensive set of brakes.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Mark Schubert's Leave of Absence

My favorite part of the McCaffreyCap on SwimmingWorld.TV is the awesome photoshop pictures Garrett has made of USA National Team Head Coach Mark Schubert. The mysterious leave of absence really hasn't gotten enough of that kind of attention. So, of course, on the bus the other day I decided I was gonna play around with a couple of iphone apps to see what I could come up with in my speculation of how Mark might be spending his down time:

Maybe he has been working out to finally get his modeling career off the ground:

He could totally fit in with the cast of Glee as a substitute teacher. I think they are doing Grease 2 that week. I think he is playing Eugene. Can't you see him being a love interest for Sue Sylvester?

I heard his Motley Crue cover band finally got a gig

Come on, you know you wanna party with that guy!

Not as good as Garrett's hot tub time machine pic, but still not too bad for getting all this done on my phone while I was waiting to get 3G service back so I could finish watching Dead Snow on my Netflix app. If you have any pics or ideas, send them to me and I will post. Enjoy.

Dead Snow Trailer
Uploaded by dreadcentral. - Check out other Film & TV videos.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

2nd Annual Pink Speedo Night

I haven't had time to report on this year's pink speedo night at our home meet on October 26th. Last year was a surprise for our diving coach, but this year all fall sports at our school made a BCA effort and raised over $4400 for the cause!

This year we had pink caps donated for the team to wear and had a successful raffle. Our team mom's made posters to honor the family members who have fought the fight against breast cancer personally. There were several survivors in the crowd, and the crowd was much larger than it would have been for a normal quad. It was a heck of an event and we are very proud.

Don't forget, it is not too late to vote for our pink pic from last year to go on the Jones Soda label. Let me know if your team or school did something pink this fall. It means a lot to those who need the support!

Monday, November 1, 2010

A Moment of Silence for Fran Crippen

Did you participate in the worldwide tribute on Saturday? If so, how?