Thursday, April 28, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors is a Sport, Round 5

“You can sit down... That is a monumental strike against it's sport-hood.” Nice job insulting everyone that uses a wheelchair and plays sports. Since their legs don't work, they don't play basketball, do distance racing, or anything else of the sort. Typical East Coast arrogance! “People who aren't like me suck at life” would have been a better way to conclude your article. Wheelchair basketball is a sport, so your whole concept here is completely flawed.

“At least their whole body is involved” You my friend, have never heard of the knuckleball. It takes the same amount of effort to throw rock as it does to throw a knuckleball. Leaving a comment on this blog takes up about as much energy as throwing a knuckleball. In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if it takes more energy to walk up to the mound than it does to actually throw that pitch.

“There isn't a sport where you can fill the league with fatties” You must not have seen the Yankees play this year. Bartolo Colon, CC Sabathia, and Joba The Gut. These guys are so fat that they would be picked on by people in fat camp.

I'm not going to take this much farther. You obviously believe that RPS is not a sport purely because the Yankees have a few guys that weigh less than a metric ton on their roster. Whatever. I will end by saying this: You have yet to give a legitimate definition for what a sport is. If you do give a legit definition, it better not be one that would include NASCAR. Now that's not a sport.

-Gus Rafeedie

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors is NOT a Sport, Round 4

Gus, Gus, Gus. You can find fatties in any other league, clearly. Who else is going to protect Tom Brady's precious knee and pretty hair? Why be a DH if you're in good enough shape to play the field? But there isn't a sport where you can fill the league with fatties and it will work. However, in the Rock Paper Scissors League/Association/whatever its called, you can do that. Which, in turn, revokes is status as a sport.

To address your argument of a baseball hurler being as active as a rock hurler, I can barely take that serious. As a pitcher, during a wind-up, or from the stretch, you use your whole body to get every drop of energy required to throw the ball with that velocity. If you stand as still as a Rock Paper Scissors competitor, you'd have little speed on the ball and it'd get hit all over the park. They may only have 25-30 repetitions of physical activity lasting only three or four seconds each and only do that three times a week, but at least their whole body is involved. As opposed to just their wrist and fingers.

New point of contention: You can sit down and be actively playing Rock Paper Scissors. That is a monumental strike against its sport-hood. I tried to think of all the sports you could counter me with where sitting down happens and the best I could think of is crew/rowing. Sure, you're sitting in that one, but you use your entire upper body and probably your core and legs too (I've never done that, so I can't be sure, but it seems like that makes sense).

So if your entire league can be made up of fat guys sitting down, I can't, in good conscious, call what you do a sport.

Bonus Easter Sunday with Gus

Gus' ideas for when we take over the local blog market. What to name the site to relate to people in each region.

Chicago, IL: Sausages In The Morning
Houston, TX: 68oz Sirloin Steak In The Morning
Los Angeles, CA: Chorizo In The Morning
San Francisco, CA: Alternative Soy-Based Meat Substitute In The Morning
Philadelphia, PA: Cheese Steak In The Morning
Portland, OR: Organic, Humanely-Raised, Grain Fed Meatballs In The Morning (editor's note: my favorite)
Kansas City, MO: Slow Roasted Meatballs In The Morning
Atlanta, GA: Double Battered, Deep Fried Meatballs In The Morning
Kentucky: Tobacco In The Morning
Wyoming: Shot, and Hung From A Tree In The Front Yard In The Morning
Alaska: Moose Shot From A Helicopter In The Morning
Boston, MA: Chowdah In The Morning
Palestine: Shish Kebab In The Morning
Greece: Lamb In The Morning
England: Bangers And Mash In The Morning
Switzerland: Neutral Meatballs In The Morning
India: Something Really F***ing Spicy In The Morning

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors is a Sport, Round 3

Jesse, you're a friend of mine. Not that that means anything, but I thought you could use some reassuring words before I dismantle your logic on your own blog.

Your definition is so well thought out that you decided physical activity needs to be either “continued or sporadic.” Knowing that you hate it when people use the dictionary to define words, I'll just tell you unofficially that sporadic means something along the lines of “it rarely happens.” So, your definition demands a discussion of physical activity, while at the same time admitting that you don't need much of it to happen for it to be a sport. That makes about as much sense as Rocky Balboa retiring from boxing to do speech therapy.

Athleticism? Is that a joke? Have you seen CC Sabathia? Cecil Fielder? The Pittsburgh Pirates? How on earth do you define baseball as a sport when that fattest man in the world would probably play a better first base than half of the American League, since at least he covers a fair portion of the field already. Point being? You can find a guy like that in every sport. Robert “The Tractor” Traylor played in the NBA for 8 years. Cecil Fielder played in MLB for 14 seasons. Ted Washington hit 400 lbs with the Browns. 400. As in 250 pounds, plus another human being.

Let's face it, RPS is a sport. Even going by your definition rather than the actual definition accepted by society and scholars alike, it's still a sport. There is still sporadic physical activity in the same way that a relief pitcher has sporadic physical activity. They throw a ball 60 feet 6 inches about once a week. Don't act like there's a boatload of athleticism to do that. You're throwing your arm forward. The only difference is you do it much less than an RPS player does, but with more intensity. I hardly call that a big enough difference to say baseball is a sport and RPS isn't. Hell, the American League even designates someone to not play defense. As if the rest of the sport is so grueling that you need to avoid defense. There's a reason they call him “Big Papi” instead of “Athletic Papi,” and it sure as hell ain't his grueling work out regiment.

So, if you're going to claim that since fat people can play RPS than it's not a sport, please explain all the fat people in MLB, NBA and the NFL.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Rock Paper Scissors is NOT a Sport

Gus, let's get real. I'm not about to call it RPS either. Just because something has a sweet acronym doesn't put it on the same map as NBA, NFL, WBC, NCAA, etc. I'm talking to the LARPers as well with that point.

You used the definition for sport, I'm going to hit you with the definition, which is more highly regarded in this space: a sport requires coordination, continued or sporadic moderate to high physical activity, and at least some semblance of athleticism.

Here's a nice rule of thumb, if the world's fattest man can do it, I'm gonna call it an activity, not a sport.

Sure, if you throw 250 rounds of Rock Paper Scissors (500-750 tosses), of course you're gonna be a tad achey in the wrist and hands. My wrist gets crackly after several rounds of Wii Sports Tennis, after whittling a charm from a piece of wood, after rolling coins up for an hour. That doesn't make them sports.

Picking up on your opponent's tendencies is key to any competition - which I won't deny that Rock Paper Scissors is - whether it's in poker, basketball, the court room, hockey or in a sales meeting. You've got to key in on a guy's tell to give yourself or your team an edge. No denying that that is a finely tuned and impressive skill, but an athletic ability, not a chance.

The most active you can get in Rock Paper Scissors is shaking your fist and mimicking a weak punch. Unless you're going to be over the top and winding up to toss, there's not much athleticism required here. There's a teensy weensy bit of coordination, basically confined to one hand, or rather, if you can put out two fingers, and open your hand, you can play. It's going to be pretty tough to lose your breath from the amount of activity needed to toss out a Scissors Scissors Paper combination.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Rock, Paper Scissors is a Complicated Sport [Mondays with Gus]

Most people that hear me talk about Rock, Paper Scissors think I'm joking around. I, like many others are not. While I may not be a card carrying member of the World RPS Society, I do take this sport very seriously. It's more complicated than most people think, so I've taken the time to give you a little insight in the mind of a real RPS strategist.

First, let's get some of the basics out of the way. “Why does paper cover rock?” you might ask. The roots of rock and paper go beyond just the end product. Paper derives from trees. If a tree manages to plant it's seed (tough to say that in a serious, actual seed conversation kind of way) in a rock, the roots will break through the rock. Trees destroy rocks, hence paper wins.

You can also look at this game in the philosophical way. It's nature (rock) battling the end-product of man's attempt to use nature for his benefit (paper) while they both fight the corporatism that is the raping of nature in a non-sustainable way (metal, scissors). A little intense? Sure. But, the point is to show you that the game is much more complex than most of us will choose to admit.

RPS is very much a psychological game as well. Let's use Jersey Shore to demonstrate. If Ronnie and The Situation were to play, they would likely throw rock first. Why? Rock is an aggressive throw usually used by people who are either threatened or want to be intimidating. Workout freaks like Ronnie (called Meatsticks) LOVE rock. JWOW would likely throw scissors. Scissors is usually thrown by people who are arrogant or confident. Paper is thrown by the bureaucrats; people who are quiet and timid. Think Sammie Sweatheart. She loves to act quiet and timid, when in reality... You get it.

Is it really a sport? I've heard great arguments on both sides of the aisle. defines a sport as “An athletic activity requiring skill or physical prowess and often of a competitive nature.” I will say this, in it's defense, this sport requires some serious physical prowess. Try throwing down about 250 rounds, best two out of three per round. It requires skill in that you can read your opponents throws and see if they twitch their pointer finger (sure fire scissors), or twist their wrist (sure fire paper).

I would argue that it is a sport, but I would love to hear arguments to the contrary.

-Gus Rafeedie

Editor's note: I will be blog-battling Gus on the topic later this week. Stay tuned.

Friday, April 15, 2011

NBA First Round Playoff Picks

Eastern Conference
Bulls over Pacers in 4
-D. Rose is a man. I am happy that Psycho T will be in the NBA playoffs though.

Celtics over Knicks in 7
-Melo and The Apostrophe each go off at least once, resulting in two Ws and they can steal another one from the Old Big Three plus Rondo. D'antoni gets de-pantsed by Doc in G7.

Magic over Hawks in 6
-The third most interesting matchup of the opening round. Howard finishes with a average line near 30p, 15r and 4b per game.

Heat over 76ers in 4
-Sorry Betsy and Joey O. This is the worst possible opponent for Philly. The Miami Tropics will run through them.

Western Conference
Thunder over Nuggets in 5
-Nuggs magic run is over. Hope Gallo shines in the playoffs, but the Durants are too talented.

Spurs over Grizzlies in 5
-The Big Fundamental and crew are not about to lose to the Grizz in a playoff series. Plus, they're pissed about Memphis basically tanking to play them.

Mavericks over Trail Blazers in 7

Lakers over Hornets in 4
-This is the only matchup that I had to look up because I had no idea who the Lake Show was up against. That should tell you what you need to know about my thoughts on the Hornets' chances.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

NHL First Round Playoff Picks

Eastern Conference
Rangers over Capitals in 6
-The Blueshirts are 3-1 against the Caps this year including beatdowns of 6-0 and 7-0.

Sabres over Flyers in 7
-Ryan Miller, American hero. Plus, I'm not picking Philly in anything but baseball. Isn't a sabre a type of sword? What's the deal with their logo/mascot?

Bruins over Canadiens in 5
-Hate picking Boston, but love Tim Thomas. They'll do it without Chara, who will be executed during a stoppage in the first game in Montreal.

Lightning over Penguins in 6
-Stamkos, Lecavilier and St. Louis are too much for the oft-injured Penguins to overcome.

Western Conference
Canucks over Blackhawks in 6
-The young Chicagoans partied too hard all year celebrating their 'ship. The Sedins light it up.

Sharks over Kings in 5
-All Cali, all the time. Mostly picked the Sharks because I have a friend who works for them.

Red Wings over Coyotes in 5
-C'mon Bro. Phoenix is one of the worst sports cities in America and Detroit is Hockey Town. Why do you think they call it that?

Ducks over Predators in 7
-I can't name a guy on either team.

NBA Picks coming later this week.

I Still Love Manny Ramirez [Mondays with Gus]

Warning to all readers expecting a rational argument for why I love Manny Ramirez: it's not going to happen.

I'm sure all of us sports fans have the one thing that we argue that makes us sound like an idiot when discussing it with others, and this one is mine. I love Manny for the same reason many people hate him, I love to see “Manny being Manny.” In a sports world filled with cliché statements, public relations, and image consultants there is just something refreshing about how little Manny cares about any of it.

I had the great opportunity to meet Manny when I was 11. I was at a function where you could meet Cleveland Indians players. I ran passed Kenny Lofton and Eddie Murray and went straight for Manny. I heard Eddie Murray say to a kid “This ain't no time for autographs! Get out of here!” Ignoring his use of a double negative for just a moment, his behavior was irrational because he was at an autograph session. Hearing that, I still went to Manny who said to the same boy “I don't care. Gimme your card, kid.” I will never know if he really thought he was breaking the rules for that kid, or if he was just trying to make himself look good by showing what an ass Eddie Murray is.

When he left Cleveland to sign a similar contract with Boston, he was asked why he left for a few million dollars on a $100+ million contract. He answered that he would never spend that amount of money in his life anyway and that his agent told him to do it. Many hated him for that, but I loved it. His antics on the field were just as hilarious. While running down a fly ball to the warning track, Manny caught it while giving a fan a high five. He proceeded to continue the play and make an incredible throw to second to throw a runner out.

This is the definition of “Manny being Manny.” When fans talk about how players should play just for the love of the game, this is exactly what they're talking about. Ignore the public relations, cliches and sometimes even the rules of the sport. Just get out there and have fun. While I will never praise Manny for cheating (twice), I will say that it doesn't ruin the image I have of him. Frankly, I don't care if he cheated. I love Manny because he loves playing baseball. To hell with everything else.

I'll end by saying this: I wonder what the sports world would be like if everyone played like Manny.

-Gus Rafeedie

Monday, April 4, 2011

Why College Athletes Should Stay In School [Mondays with Gus]

Every year, dozens of student athletes have to make the decision as to whether or not they should go pro or stay in school. Without getting into a debate on the value of a college education (and it's incredibly valuable on many levels), I can still put together an argument that it makes financial sense for them to stay in school. The assumption here is that the student athlete who decides to go pro will be a great player that lasts significantly longer than the average player, and that he will be able to demand a large salary.

In order to understand why this makes sense, you have to look at the two possible scenarios involved. In the first, you have a young player who spends a year or two trying to learn how the NBA works. He will have statistics that aren't impressive as they can be, mostly because the focus is, or at least should be, on learning rather than improving numbers. This time spent learning a new system and developing skills will be used against the player when the second contract is negotiated. This can easily cost a player millions of dollars, especially when you realize most contracts are fully guaranteed. In the second scenario, you have a player who comes in more polished, has better statistics through his first few years in the league and can command a higher salary due to a more impressive resume within the time period specified (usually around four years).

With scenario one, the player will have an extra year in the league while in scenario two the player will have a stronger argument for a big contract towards the end of his career. The amount of the second contract (let's say five years) should normally be a lot more than the salary earned through one year in the league, mostly because it's a higher pay for multiple years versus a higher salary in just one year.

While there are many players (LeBron, Kobe, KG) that have made a fortune through skipping school, my point here is that student athletes in general would benefit from developing their talents instead of jumping at the first chance to make money. If many of these kids are jumping ship because they think they will automatically make more money - because they will be able to work an extra year - they haven't analyzed everything properly. I hope these kids make the right choice and stay in school.

-Gus Rafeedie


(unless they play Boston in the First Round, then it's a sweep)