Bodes well

This weekend was the final weekend of the Alpine Skiing World Cup season and Bode Miller became the first American to win the overall championship since Phil Mahre and Tamara MacKinney in 1983.
He won the title over Austrian Benjamin Raich by winning this week’s Super G and placing second in the GS. In the Super G, Miller tied for first with teammate Daron Rahlves.
Miller is the most entertaining racers to watch– he is always going all-out, and at the edge of control, which is why he tends to wind up on the podium or as a DNF, not in the middle.
NY Times: Miller Breaks the Curse to Reclaim the World Cup for the U.S.
Ski Racing: Bode Miller First American Overall World Cup Winner in 22 Years: “Bode Miller of Franconia, New Hampshire, clinched the overall World Cup title today at Lenzerheide, ending a 22-year drought for American skiing. ‘This might be a springboard to something,’ Miller said. ‘I don’t know where I’d spring to. Maybe just away.'” Also at Ski Racing: Bode Miller at Finals: A quote compendium and Miller considers starting his own team
It will be interesting to see if Miller can break out as a star to the general public rather than just among skiing enthusiasts. Alpine skiing is nowhere near the most popular sport in the US (though more people watched World Cup skiing this year than NHL hockey.) Aside from one early season race and some world championship coverage on NBC, American television does not broadcast the world cup. OLN does televise more World Cup events, but who actually has OLN? Not me. Admittedly, world cup ski racing on television is not the most interesting for the attention deficit set, but perhaps Miller’s win will make the American public both aware of and interested in World Cup ski racing.

The other games begin

Need distraction from the Republicans? Going through Olympic withdrawal and miss watching water polo at 3:30 AM? Fortunately, this is a great time for sport. For those who have a need to break out the nationalistic cheers, the World Cup of Hockey is underway now and the Ryder Cup starts in two weeks. Even though it has been overshadowed by the RNC, the US Open started yesterday at the National Tennis Center out in Flushing Meadows. Finally, NFL football kicks off next week.

Easy as 1-2-3

ESPN/ABC Sports broadcast this year’s NHL Stanley Cup Finals as well as the NBA finals. Hockey coverage on the Disney-owned networks has always been haphazard and mediocre at best. Apparently, their basketball broadcasts suck, too. Outside of football (which it does well), can ESPN actually televise sports properly, or is it just best at highlights?
In other hockey off-season news, The Hockey Rodent finds that neither players nor owners supports the interests of fans: And They Know Who They Are

Not to gloat, but…

In early April, I predicted that NBC might pick up the NHL broadcast deal on the cheap.
In the NY Times, Richard Sandomir reports: N.H.L. Games Go to NBC Next Season

NBC will carry a regionalized package of regular-season games on six or seven Saturday afternoons, followed by playoff games every Saturday until the Stanley Cup finals, when the network will pick up coverage with Game 3 and continue through Game 7, if necessary.
The league will not receive the kind of upfront fees that are common in most network television contracts….In this deal, which is structured like the one NBC has with the Arena Football League, the network and the N.H.L. will share revenue. NBC will take the first chunk to cover its production and distribution costs, and the cost of pre-empting other programming during the Stanley Cup finals. The league will then get the major part of the next set of revenue, and then an even split of what remains.

Chutzpah

The person sitting next to me in class is checking her voice mail on her cell phone during class. Is that any worse than checking email, surfing Friendster (very popular on the screens that I can see), playing solitaire or, um, blogging? I think so.

Not So Amazin

I went to the Mets game last night, or at least as much of the Mets game that we could stand. The Mets beat the Pirates 5-3 in front of a sparse assemblage that could hardly constitute a crowd. The game, or at least 5 innings, defined dull.
This was one of the many meaningless baseball games that close out the season. There’s little reason to go to these games (unless you get free tickets.) For the Mets, the last 60 games or so have been pointless. Baseball needs to give some reason for non-competitive teams to play the last month (or more) of the season. European soccer leagues have relegation, where the bottom couple of teams from the top league are relegated to the next level down.
Baseball’s minor leagues could, in theory, support a system of relegation, where the worst teams (the Mets, Tigers) would drop down to triple A, while the top Triple A teams would step up to the big leagues. While, in theory, this would be a good idea, the farm systems would make it unfeasible. Assume that the Mets were demoted, while Richmond (the Braves” Triple A team) was promoted. Then, the Mets organization would have no teams at the major league level, while the Braves organization would have none. If the minor league teams were not affiliated with the major league teams, the system might be feasible. The way that baseball works now, such a system is too far-fetched to be possible. With such a long season, baseball needs some incentive for the teams at the bottom.
I agree with Bob Costas that expanded playoffs are inferior to true pennant races, so expanding the playoffs to NHL-like inclusiveness would be dull and pointless. Besides the carrot of the pennant, baseball needs a reason for teams to play in order to avoid the cellar.

No such thing as a free shirt

Where have all the free t-shirts gone? While law school is good for free beer, free food, free pens and some other random freebies, I haven’t gotten a free t-shirt in about a year. That’s bad.

On elections

We’re in the middle of election season at the law school. The Student Bar Association (student government) had their elections last week. Judging by the posters and flyers hanging all over the law school building, the people who run for SBA office are the same people who ran for student government in high school and undergrad.
In contrast, for some groups, showing up is 99% of the the election process. For example, I’m now vice-president of the Intellectual Property & Technology Association. Why vice-president? I picked heads in the flip of the coin, so I’m vice-president rather than president.
Membership on the e-board of one of these groups essentially means organizing events. We had a nice reception last week with alumni practicing in IP, entertainment and media law. Not only did I get a nice dinner and some wine in a plastic cup, but also met a number of alums with interesting jobs, including John Maltbie, the brains behind Actual Malice.

Not Giant Salmon, Giant Slalom

NYT: Miller Shares Golden Moment

USSA: GS Gold for Bode, Bronze for Schlopy

USSA: Miller, Schlopy Talk Medals

NYT: Swede Cruises to a One-and-a-Half-Second Romp

Ski Racing: Anja Paerson dominates GS field to take gold; Canada’s Forsyth gets bronze

NYT: U.S. View Doesn’t Set Well With U.S. Star

Taped and heavily edited TV coverage will be on NBC tomorrow (Saturday) from 4-6 PM EST and on Sunday from 1-3 PM EST.