Bigalke's Comments

Posted Wednesday January 29, 2014, About: Pay for Play
Ieresting take on this situation from a unique perspective, Appleseed. Personally, now that I have actually started attending UO and not merely cooking for the campus, I think that the resources earmarked for athletics are exorbitant. At the same time, I do think that the time and energy required to keep up with training is in essence a full-time job. I would personally rather see each student-athlete getting a stipend for their efforts (as I have when I've covered these athletes for campus newspapers in the past) than the Division I arms race to build the most lavish facilities and pay the biggest salaries to coaching staffs. But as someone who hopes to teach at the university level I can also understand the reluctance to open Pandora's Box. Thanks for a great read, really thought provoking!
Posted Monday December 31, 2012, About: NFL Strength of Schedule 2012 / Draft Order 2013
Thank you, (Un)... these are always one hell of a valuable resource, especially to be able to look back at over the years. Do you by chance have any archive where you can compare years? And, if not, would you be interested in creating one? I'd be happy to help you out with it if you're into the idea... I think it would be incredibly valuable as a reference for anyone and everyone who are interested in the minutiae of football and/or statistical analysis. FM me if you're down, or with a link if you've already got something like this...
Posted Tuesday September 18, 2012, About: Tarnished Idols
Loyalty and sportsmanship are two fascinating concepts, Appleseed. They're taught to all of us, from our youth first tentatively trying out sports to our later lives living vicariously as fans (some more active with their personal fitness than others), as the core values of why we compete. Yet they're vacuous, subjective concepts upon which we can never firmly plant our finger.

Intriguing thoughts. I really appreciate the effort you've put forth to present them!
Posted Saturday July 21, 2012, About: The Olympics have lost sight of the real Olympians
Damn double posts!!!
Posted Saturday July 21, 2012, About: The Olympics have lost sight of the real Olympians
Excellent read. The reality, though, is that this isn't an argument for amateurism -- that ship sailed decades ago thanks to the Dassler brothers and others who would deign to get Olympians sponsoring their gear -- so much as it is an argument for shining a light on obscurity. I've long thought myself one of the few American sports fans who are engrossed by the non-traditional sports, seeking out track meets and cycling races and swimming and water polo and all those other sports that most Americans forget even exist until the Olympics roll around. The problem here isn't professionalism... it is that only professionals who are already well-known to the public are used as the primary marketing engine.

Great read... thanks for provoking some legitimate thought around FanNation!
Posted Saturday July 21, 2012, About: The Olympics have lost sight of the real Olympians
Excellent read. The reality, though, is that this isn't an argument for amateurism -- that ship sailed decades ago thanks to the Dassler brothers and others who would deign to get Olympians sponsoring their gear -- so much as it is an argument for shining a light on obscurity. I've long thought myself one of the few American sports fans who are engrossed by the non-traditional sports, seeking out track meets and cycling races and swimming and water polo and all those other sports that most Americans forget even exist until the Olympics roll around. The problem here isn't professionalism... it is that only professionals who are already well-known to the public are used as the primary marketing engine.

Great read... thanks for provoking some legitimate thought around FanNation!
Posted Sunday June 10, 2012, About: SOCCER IS FAKE!
I could say the same thing about basketball... whether in the NBA or at an international level.
Posted Saturday June 09, 2012, About: A Ray of Sharapova
Steven, this is one hell of an article. It is a fine look at the development of a superstar who has been anything [i]but[/i] complacent during her career. To see her come back from a shoulder injury, when the money and notoriety she already possessed from tennis and her ability to model for any number of sponsors would have led many others to walk away happily from the game, is a testament to just how impressive an athlete Sharapova has proven to be. It is inspiring to see the perseverance which has led to the rehabilitation of both her arm and her career, and to see her finish out the Slam and regain #1 is to see just why sports are such an integral part of the fabric of humanity. Thank you for the piece, and I look forward to more insights in the future...
Posted Sunday April 01, 2012, About: What's The Matter?!
Wow... good call. As with any website, the experience is what the user makes of it.
Posted Tuesday March 27, 2012, About: Outrageous 'Justice'
Wow... that was one hell of a take there, John. Nobody else seems to be taking that look of the real intentions of punishment these days. Then again, as we've also seen in the prison system, incarceration and other penalties have increasingly turned away from rehabilitation of either the aggrieved OR the aggressor and have instead focused on this mindset that punitive damage is the appropriate way to rectify a situation.
Posted Tuesday March 27, 2012, About: Changing Horses
WT! So good to see another series of thoughts from you... glad to hear life is treating you well, even if things don't always seem to make sense in the new locale.
Posted Saturday March 10, 2012, About: The Final Farewell
And remember, folks... you can see Rude in the flesh along with myself and Ethan Calof every Sunday evening for our weekly podcasts. Stay tuned at Twitter (@zbigalke)...

As for you, Rude, it's been a pleasure getting to know you here at FanNation. For what it's worth, for all the flaws this site has had essentially since I joined back on that fateful day in 2007, it certainly has fostered some lasting friendships. Good luck and we'll certainly be in touch... after all, we've got a collaboration to continue! ;)
Posted Friday March 02, 2012, About: Saved By The Bell
Good ol' Lark Voorhies... ;)
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
Braun has plenty of time to remain questionable...
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
Hell, I've been writing about the Contador story alone for two years now and we've only finally come to some "resolution" on the subject. Yet the questions will always simmer there forever as well, considering how much was stripped from him on what might very well have been the technicality of the lab to which his sample was sent.
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
What will be interesting to see is how this affects his potential earning power down the road. How he produces this season was already going to be in question now that Prince Fielder's bat is no longer in the lineup to help protect his own batting stats. Any regression that might once have been attributable to other factors will now come squarely in the crosshairs of "Is this just a tapering off because he's no longer doping?" sort of question in the court of public opinion.

And, subsequently, it could seriously dilute his interest in the free-agent market to come. When the paychecks get written, those zeroes will still extend far further than the ones on my paychecks ever will... ;)
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
Well written, well thought-out piece here, Marlins... thanks for sparking some lively conversation on a subject that can spark some visceral response!
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
To get back to point, though, I certainly agree with your assertion that this arbitration ruling in no way exonerates Braun from what that test result revealed... even if, as has previously been mentioned here in the comments, it is in no way admissible or relevant to the ruling due to a procedural bungle.
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
Ultimately, the question comes down to what we punish... and whether zero tolerance is the answer. In the case of a T/E (testosterone-to-epitestosterone test, the initial one that red-flagged Braun for the advanced testing that found the exogenous testosterone sourced in the sample) result, there is variance built in with the 4/1 standard that is found worldwide.

Of course, the East Germans were manufacturing synthetic epitestosterone to give their young athletes along with the steroids they were using to build up their bodies. And they were using their IOC-sanctioned lab (predating the 1998 founding of WADA, it fell to the IOC to govern international testing) to pre-test athletes before competition to ensure they were within acceptable range to foil the tests. Nothing is sacred in sport, nor has anything ever been sacred. Every era has had its attempts to outdo the competition by any means available...
Posted Saturday February 25, 2012, About: Ryan Braun, PEDs, bad tests and the presumption of guilt
Lord knows, as a guy who has written extensively about cycling and other international sports, I've penned a lot of stuff out there about doping in sports. Hell, I'm due to do a podcast on this very subject on Sunday evening, but you could probably just Google "Bigalke" and "doping" and I'm sure plenty of good stuff turns up. ;)

Anyway, I've bloviated a lot already on this subject and there will be tomes to come in the distant future. I've vacillated a lot on this issue over the years, what constitutes "doping". The real question is where we draw the line, what gets discriminated against in one era when it was celebrated in another. Yesterday's "better living through chemistry" is tomorrow's evil henchman, "tainting the sanctity" of our precious sports.

A testosterone level can spike for many reasons. And yes, there are those who still utilize synthetic testosterone to try to enhance their performance. As a Brewers fan since birth, born just barely too late to witness their lone futile World Series appearance and clad in the residual baby garb celebrating that era out the womb, I was initially overjoyed to see Braun cleared to play. But I am also as skeptical as anyone else as to his sincerity in whether or not he was the guilty party in this fiasco.

Are players tested for too many things? In international sports, I would have to argue that the WADA code prohibits too many things that have limited enhancement value at best and can have legitimate therapeutic value for much of the populace (and no, I'm not just speaking about marijuana for those who assume the bearded one is high and ranting again, but also things like salbutamol in asthma inhalers).

Major League Baseball at least is looking for most of the right substances. And Braun's test seems to have been conducted properly -- the WADA lab in Montreal is one of the most advanced and established in the world, and Dr. Ayotte is among the best in the field. The only place that might have more finitely detected whatever was in Braun's body might have been the lab in Cologne, Germany that detected minute traces of clenbuterol in Tour de France champ Alberto Contador's system.

He landed a two-year ban (to include time served after initial ban was issued), saw his 2010 Tour title (and 2011 Giro d'Italia title) stripped, and will always bear that black mark against his name. Braun, too, must live with the stain that the test essentially fingered him as somebody who tripped the test, and his is far more suspicious than the picograms in Contador's body.

So what does this all come down to in the end? You'll see Braun on opening day, while another champion sits on the sidelines in his sport until August. It means that, perhaps, Major League Baseball isn't leading the world with its self-congratulatory testing program... or perhaps it is, if you consider due process more important than punitive damage to everybody who sets off the alarm with his or her micturitions.

(Sorry... I forewarned everyone that I'm prone to rambling... ;)
Posted Friday February 17, 2012, About: NFL Mock Draft 6.0
Hi-oooooooo!
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