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Sports
Status: Undetermined (but I'm guessing fake)
image Nike has a new ad featuring Brazilian soccer star Ronaldinho Gaucho. In the ad Ronaldinho puts on a pair of Nikes, juggles the ball a few times, and then kicks the ball towards the goal so that it hits the crossbar and bounces directly back to him. He does this four times in a row. And it's all shot in a single take. This has inspired a lot of discussion on the net, because it's hard to believe anyone could be skilled enough to do this. In an article posted on the BBC (in Portuguese... I read it via AltaVista Translate) Ronaldinho swears that the scene is real, although the reporters interviewing him refuse to believe him. Given that it's an ad, I would assume it's fake, since one should always assume that what you see in ads is bogus, unless it's proven otherwise.
Categories: Advertising, Photos/Videos, Sports
Posted by Alex on Mon Dec 05, 2005
Comments (56)
Status: Real
I feel compelled to post something about this simply because I've posted about the sport of penile weight lifting before, expressing a few doubts about its reality. (I also had a few questions about the actual mechanics of the process). Inside Bay Area has this report of a recent demonstration of penile weight lifting in action:

Grandmaster Tu Jin-Sheng, best known for his Iron Crotch, attached himself not once, but twice, to a rental moving truck and pulled it several yards across a parking lot in Fremont. In lace-up leather boots and a black tank top, the 50-year-old tied a strip of blue fabric around the base of his penis and testicles and tugged to make sure it was on tight. An assistant kicked him hard between the legs before he lashed himself to the vehicle.

Here's the best part of the article:

Jin-Shengs performance drew a hearty applause (and only a few gasps) from the sparse crowd. He wrapped a piece of fabric around his waist to conceal his genitals from the crowd, but in the heat of the second truck pull, when he tied the cloth around his testicles only, it was pushed aside to reveal a ball of flesh that looked ready to burst.

Lovely. So apparently this sport doesn't involve muscle training, per se. It's more like hoping your skin and connective tissue don't rip apart as you lift (or pull) the weight. The description of the event sounds credible enough for me to categorize it as real.
Categories: Body Manipulation, Sports
Posted by Alex on Tue Nov 29, 2005
Comments (59)
Status: Never Existed
image Remember the Black Basketball League? Its teams (including favorites such as the Newark Eagles, Harlem Knights, Baltimore Crabs, West Philly Dancers and Cleveland Ebonies) competed from 1920-40, when they were shut out of the all-white league. Consumers can now honor the memory of this league by buying sportswear emblazoned with the team logos. Of course, if you don't remember this league, it might be because historians insist that it never existed. But Eric Williams, the guy who's selling the black league sportswear, isn't letting that minor fact bother him. He explains that:

"These logos had to come from somewhere.. Whether there was a league or not those logos ... that's still nice to represent the 'hood or whatever it was. Those were all the inner cities. (Whether it was) an interim league or a professional league, those leagues and those logos, to me they sound like they exist. The story sounds good to me so I'm rolling with it."

So there you have it. Damn the facts. He's rolling with the story. (Thanks to Joe Littrell for the link.)
Categories: History, Sports
Posted by Alex on Wed Nov 16, 2005
Comments (32)
Status: Real
Chess Boxing seems to be getting a lot of attention lately. The basic premise of this sport is that you play chess for four minutes, and then you box for two minutes. Then you go back to playing chess, followed by another round of boxing. And this goes on and on for eleven rounds until someone is either knocked out, or checkmated. The website of the World Chess Boxing Organization states that:

One of the goals of this new sport is the old ideal of a healthy mind in a healthy body: mens sana in corpore sano. During a chessboxing fight the control of aggression plays a big role. That's why WCBO's motto is: "Fighting is done in the ring and wars are waged on the board".

A search of news articles about chess boxing confirms that this is, indeed, a real sport. Though it may be a while before it gets included in the Olympics. The Wikipedia article about Chess Boxing provides this history of the sport:

The concept was invented in 1992 by cartoonist Enki Bilal, and a match of chess boxing was a major plot point of his graphic novel Froid-Équateur. Iepe "the Joker" Rubingh, a Dutch artist, inspired by Bilal's book, brought the concept to life in the spring of 2003... The first world championship was held in Amsterdam in 2003 and was won by Iepe Rubingh himself. The 1st European Chess Boxing Championship took place in Berlin on 1 October 2005 when Tihomir Titschko of Bulgaria defeated Andreas Schneider of Germany after the latter conceded defeat in the seventh round.

(via The Presurfer)
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Thu Oct 27, 2005
Comments (16)
image
Status: True
It sounds like a joke. Jennifer Wilbanks, the Georgia woman who made headlines earlier this year by disappearing shortly before her wedding only to surface a few days later in New Mexico claiming (falsely) that she had been kidnapped, thereby earning herself the nickname 'The Runaway Bride,' is running again. But this time it's in a marathon. And it's for real. At least, her name is listed among the contestants in the Chicago marathon. Of course, if she really wanted to add to her notoriety, she could pull a Rosie Ruiz. (via Marathon Pundit)
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Wed Oct 05, 2005
Comments (5)
Status: Pathetic, but true
Fanatical Gambian soccer fans chartered a jet and faked the need for an emergency landing so that they could watch their team play:

The plane, claiming to be low on fuel, landed Tuesday in Peru's northern coast city of Piura, where Gambia played Qatar in the FIFA Under-17 World Championships later that night. Emergency crews were scrambled ahead of the Lockhead L1011 Tri-Star's unscheduled landing. It was to have landed in the capital, Lima. The fans were allowed to watch the soccer game in Piura, which Gambia won 3-1. The fans apparently would have been late or missed the game if the flight had first gone to its scheduled destination of Lima, 550 miles to the south. "It truly was a scam," said Betty Maldonado, a spokeswoman for Peru's aviation authority, CORPAC. "They tricked the control tower, saying they were low on fuel."

I think there was a TV show on recently about the lengths some fans go to in order to see their teams play. But I can't remember the name of it.
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Thu Sep 22, 2005
Comments (4)
image About a year ago I posted an entry about cup stacking, since I found it hard to believe it was a real sport. Now after watching this video of Emily Fox stacking cups (requires windows media player and also viewable at speedstacks.com), I've got to say it's not only real but pretty impressive. I don't think I've ever seen cups move that fast. Assuming, that is, the video hasn't been speeded up.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Sports
Posted by Alex on Mon Sep 19, 2005
Comments (23)
image Here's a photo that I received in my email (forwarded by Robert Avallone). My first impulse is to say that it looks real, though it's conceivable that someone whited out something that Jim Edmonds (on the right) was holding in his hand, making it look like he's groping Jason Marquis (on the left). I haven't been able to find any references to the photo online. Maybe this is an example of the 'Pope grope' that cardinals are said to use to check the gender of the Pope (following the Pope Joan debacle). Wait, no. Wrong type of Cardinals.
Categories: Photos/Videos, Sports
Posted by Alex on Wed Aug 03, 2005
Comments (10)
Curtis Heroman has decided to toss his hat into the ring to make himself eligible for the NBA draft. The unusual thing about this is that Heroman isn't a particularly good basketball player. He played in high school and competes on Louisiana State University's intramural team. But that's it. So he would seem to be an unlikely candidate for the NBA draft, but as it turns out, anyone can sign up to put their name on the list of eligible draftees. All you need to do is fill out the paperwork. It's just never occurred to anyone in the past to put their name on the list if they weren't a serious candidate. An NBA scout commented that "It sounds like he's playing a joke for his friends."
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Wed May 18, 2005
Comments (1)
image Watch out all you people who enjoy hitting golf balls. Justice will be done:

GOLF BALLS ALL OVER THE WORLD ARE READY FOR A NEW LEADER.
HERE'S A WARNING FROM THE GOLF BALL LIBERATION FRONT.
WE'RE NOT GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!
THE GOLF BALL LIBERATION ARMY IS ON THE WAY!
Categories: Sports, Websites
Posted by Alex on Thu May 12, 2005
Comments (4)
I never realized that coin stacking was a sport, nor that people could create such intricate stacks. Some of these things really seem to defy gravity. But I see no reason to believe that any of the images aren't real. It reminds me of rock balancing, which I posted about last year. Check out some of the other coin stack pictures here. (via Reality Carnival)
image
Categories: Sports
Posted by Alex on Thu May 05, 2005
Comments (11)
As a representative of Westchester Cable Services, Mark Sabia has been allowed into press boxes at sports games for years. The one problem is that Westchester Cable Services doesn't exist. The teams finally figured out he didn't belong there (but it was a good scam while it lasted):

Sabia, who lives in Ossining, was arrested Monday when he showed up to cover Opening Day at Shea and was charged with scamming season passes for almost all of New York's professional teams, as well as for several World Series and League Championship Series dating to 1998. He was charged with five felony counts of falsifying business records and 16 misdemeanor counts ranging from petit larceny to criminal impersonation.
Categories: Journalism, Sports
Posted by Alex on Sun Apr 17, 2005
Comments (5)
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