Anime vs. Sports

Okay folks, (Note to self: What do you mean ‘folks?’ This is basically my public internet diary, you idiot) it’s time to address the “big changes” I’ve referred to in previous postings. Last Friday evening, I went to the Student Union for a meeting with the staff of Akron Sports Now. Mike, the man in charge over there, asked me if I’d like to join as a contributing blogger, and I happily accepted. The purpose of the meeting, for me anyway, was to hammer out a few logistical issues so that I could start contributing. Unfortunately, the meeting was canceled, and, through a comedy of errors (with some of the blame attributable to me, some to others, and the rest to your dick), I wasn’t notified of the cancellation. As I found out whilst milling around in the union, the room was double-booked. Although, maybe a more apt expression in this circumstance might be that the room was “double-manga’d,” as the organization taking precedent was the anime club.

If you, like me, fashion yourself a generally cool, savvy kinda dude, then you’re probably assuming everyone in the anime club is probably lame. You’re right. From the sailor moon getups to the general lack of physical well-being and social know-how displayed by every single person I saw file into the anime club room, it became a decidedly easy decision to declare every stereotype I held about anime kids to be 100% true.

Now, I don’t intend to deride anybody for the decisions they choose to make on how to spend their free time, but I have to say I think the university dropped the ball a little here. Given that American institutions of higher learning generally fashion themselves robustly cosmopolitan, and taking into account Akron’s constant desire to adhere to this standard to prove its standing as a “real University,” you’d think that whoever is in charge of scheduling things takes into account, at least to some extent, the public health implications of what they’re doing. Now, I think it goes without saying that the activities correlative to sports reporting and analysis (i.e., playing sports) generally can be correctly considered healthier than those activities correlative to anime consumption (i.e., having acne).

Before I continue, I’d like to address the fact that the above paragraph is total and utter shit. It’s a bunch convoluted, posturing word-vomit, no doubt about it. Let’s start with the first sentence: “I don’t intend to deride anybody blah blah bullshit.” This statement is obviously not the case. I wrote this post in part to mock anime kids, and it’s dishonest to suggest otherwise. I honestly think that the only thing separating the kids I saw go into the anime club and people who have Asperger syndrome is that aspies can’t help but not pick up on social cues; anime enthuists have nothing to blame but their own bizzare social choices for squawking nonsensical phrases at simple questions like, “how are you?” If I was to suddenly become self-aware in the middle of attending an anime club meeting, I’d probably just give up and transfer to Kent.

All insults aside, that doesn’t even begin to address the real reason the aforementioned word-puke is, in fact, word-puke. In that paragraph, I somehow expect the guy who makes the schedule for the Student Union rooms to be a conscious actor who keeps in mind the broadly enumerated goals of an entire University, which itself probably misleadingly implies that an entire University is even capable of such enumeration in the first place. It’s entirely unfair to attribute any sort of blame to “the University” when, in fact, “the University” actually is comprised of a multi-tiered and layered bureaucracy so dependent on multiple decision-making agents that it can’t possibly be aware of everything it does at once. Further, this doesn’t even begin to address the possibility that the notion that “sports consumption is healthy” is a total crock (see: consumption of junk food, rising stress levels, etc.).

So, I’ve admitted my logic is garbage. This begs the question: Why write something so obviously fallacious in the first place? The answer is this: It defends a narrative that desperately needs defending. Throughout my childhood, I’ve been confronted in t.v. shows, books, and elsewhere, with the notion of the spoiled dumb jock. I imagine, dear reader (Note to self, pt.2: no one reads your blog, you dick. Also, even if someone reads your blog, they haven’t read this post because it’s too long and it’s about I don’t even know what the fuck) that you’ve been exposed to the same. We’ve been confronted in large part with the idea that the quarterback of the highschool football team is a great athlete and a supreme dolt/asshole. I don’t intend to argue that this stereotype is totally untrue. I’m sure it has been the case in at least one instance. Still, this stereotype has probably done some disservice to, firstly, our collective attempts to become athletic, and secondly, (and, perhaps more importantly) our appreciation of athleticism.

(Note to self, pt. 3: this post IS REALLY LONG-WINDED, and you should at least force writing words like “penis” and “ballsack” into your writing if you’re to keep any potential readers interested).

Penis, ballsack, and scrotum. That said, I’d like to call attention to that fact that I am a twenty-something male and, at this point in life, that I can be quite justifiably hedonistic. Perhaps you, dear reader, (see note to self pts 1&2) are in the same boat. You’re cool. You generally mean well, but maybe you still adhere in part to certain stereotypes you feel allowable to people like you, no matter how cosmopolitan and suave you cast yo-self. Admit it: you think instruments like the electric guitar and drumset are cool, and instruments like the clarinet and susophone, maybe not quite so much.

I’m bringing this up because I feel like it was in this spirit that I started writing zippersnstuff. The stated reasons I started this blog were to get myself writing more often and to find an application for my interest in Akron sports. At the core of that, though, is a more simple reason: I started this website for fun. I write how I want here, unapologetically. So, I make fun of Anime kids for being lame, make fun of David Arquette for being infertile, and make fun of Mike Bardo for being Mike Bardo. No matter how insensitive that may seem to do, it takes an honest approach toward what people think is funny. Too often, the idea is advanced that sports jocks have uninteresting or unsubstantial ideas to offer. Zippernstuff existed, at least in part, to argue against that.

A move to ASN means more exposure and a bigger readership, which I’m looking forward to. Still, this short-lived website has had some sentimental value to me, as it was an attempt to sort of go off on my own and make something. As for the future of this blog, I’ll make a post after this one redirecting anybody stumbling here to my posts at ASN, and that’s pretty much it. Mike had said that I can repost everything I write there over here, but I doubt I’ll actually do that.

I’d like to dedicate this last post to everyone who thinks that sports are a more fun and useful way to spend your free time than anime. Thanks for reading. It’s been fun guys.

-Andy

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Zips abroad: More randomass MLS stuff

There’s some cool videos on San Jose’s website featuring Ampai. The big one is the latest, the life of a rookie pt. 1. Amps shows that, despite being a professional athlete he, like the rest of us, eats as much grease-covered garbage as possible. Mildly surprised he didn’t puke at fitness training. Also of note: He’s wearing an Akron soccer hoody and probably likes Cali weather better than Ohio weather. Jesus that city is gorgeous.

Teal gets axed some questions and then answers them. The quickest answer concerns barbeque. Does no one eat healthily in this league?

Perry Kitchen got interviewed on a podcast. They talk about Akron some. A slightly more enlightening one can be found on D.C’s website.

Inside the superdraft ep. 4 is out as well. It’s weird, because I thought Seattle had Amps on their list, and they never even mention his name. Wonder how that rumor got started. In any regard, he seems to like San Jose, and there’s plenty of Zips that’ll be playing for the Cascadia cup this season anyway.

Changes to come to this site? Stay tuned.

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Recaps: Men/Lady Hoops win, and one snarky blogger comes to appreciate the Pole Vault

Some links:

Men’s hoops – lol ball state

Women’s hoops – big win on cancer day

My spectating was limited to day 1 of Akron invitational over at the field house. When it wrapped up yesterday, the Zips had set two records: Max Hiltner ran a 4:06.18 mile (and here I was happy with my 7:30 clip) and Willie Brown ran the 800 in 1:50.08, which breaks the record he himself set, which actually broke the record he himself had set before that.

My viewing before I left focused mostly on the pole vault. I sat next to, and talked a little with, the mom of Duquesne’s vaulter Jon Dorph. He and Akron’s own Mike Uhle dueled it out to see who could fling themselves higher off the top of a bendy stick, and some Ashland guy was in the mix for third. Both of those guys cleared 15’7″, but neither could get over the bar at 16’1″. Sort of a shame, because they both had plenty of height on at least one of their attempts (you get three), the just kicked/elbowed it on the way down. Would have been a personal best for the Duquesne kid (per his mom), but I’m not sure if Uhle’s gone higher. Either way, fascinating watch.

The problem I have with track in general is that it’s so frantic. A track meet isn’t like other sports where the focal point of action is fairly obvious. It’s like a beehive; One guy is jumping into a pit of sand while some other guy is running in a straight line while some girl is warming up to run in circles while somebody else is trying to throw some real heavy frisbee as far as possible. I feel like I could be missing some unreal record-setting hammer throw because I was too busy watching some joke trip over a hurdle.

That said, I certainly gained a new appreciation for the sport as a whole and certainly wouldn’t mind going to another. The pole-vaulting duel got pretty intense and it’s not every sporting event you go to where you find yourself caring about tenths or hundreths of seconds.

Also, maybe some changes to come with the blog soon. Keep on the lookout.

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Zips Abroad: MLS Schedules!

MLS Schedules came out a few days ago, so I figured I’d post links to teams with former Zips on them.

Probably forgot somebody, whatevs

EDIT: Okay, I forgot Teal on the first publish. But much better than giving you links to all the schedules is the unreal work done by ZipsNation user ZipMe87. He’s got all the Crew games involving Akron alums, as well as the TV games listed. (In general, if you’re a Zips fan you should spend lots of time lurking in ZipsNation – it’s an absolutely fantastic website). To quote him:

All Columbus Crew games will be televised on ONN
2011 Columbus Crew MLS Schedule
Saturday, March 19: @ DC United 7:30 pm
* Saturday, March 26: vs New York
* Saturday, April 2: vs Dallas
Saturday, April 9: @ Chivas USA 10:30 pm
Saturday, April 16: vs Kansas City 7:30 pm
* Saturday, April 23: @ Toronto
Saturday, April 30: vs Vancouver 7:30 pm
* Saturday, May 7: vs Seattle 7:30 pm
* Saturday, May 14: @ San Jose 10:30 pm
* Saturday, May 21: @ Portland 10:30 pm
* Saturday, May 28: vs Chivas USA 7:30 pm

* Saturday, June 4: @ New York
* Wednesday, June 8: vs Salt Lake
* Sunday, June 12: vs Chicago
* Saturday, June 18: @ Houston 8:00 pm
* Sunday, June 26: vs Colorado
* Saturday, July 2: @ Dallas
* Wednesday, July 6: @ Vancouver 10:00 pm
* Saturday, July 16: vs San Jose 7:30 pm

* Wednesday, July 20: @ Los Angeles
* Saturday, July 23: vs Portland 8:00 pm
* Saturday, July 30: @ Salt Lake
* Saturday, August 6: @ Colorado
* Saturday, August 13: vs New England
* Saturday, August 20: vs Philadelphia
* Saturday, August 27: @ Seattle 4:00 pm
* Saturday, September 10: vs Toronto
* Wednesday, Septeber 14: vs Houston 7:30 pm
* Saturday, September 17: @ Philadelphia
* Saturday, September 24: vs Los Angeles
* Wednesday, September 28: @ Kansas City 8:30 pm
* Sunday, October 2: vs DC 4:00 pm

* Saturday, October 15: @ New England
* Saturday, October 22: @ Chicago

ESPN, ESPN2 schedule
Date Time (ET) Match (home team listed first) Network
Tue, March 15 9:30 pm Seattle Sounders vs. LA Galaxy ESPN/Deportes
Sat, April 9 7:00 pm Philadelphia Union vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN2/Deportes
Thu, April 14 11:00 pm Portland Timbers vs. Chicago Fire ESPN2/Deportes
Thu, April 21 8:00 pm D.C. United vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN2/Deportes
Sat, May 7 11:00 pm LA Galaxy vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN2/Deportes
Sat, May 14 11:00 pm Seattle Sounders vs. Portland Timbers ESPN2/Deportes
Sat, May 21 10:00 pm Chivas USA vs. LA Galaxy ESPN2/Deportes
Thu, June 9 10:00 pm Sporting Kansas City vs. Chicago Fire ESPN2/Deportes
Thu, June 23 10:00 pm Seattle Sounders vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN2/Deportes
Sun, June 26 2:00 pm Chicago Fire vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN/Deportes
Sat, July 2 10:30 pm San Jose Earthquakes vs. New York Red Bulls ESPN2/Deportes
Sun, July 3 9:00 pm Colorado Rapids vs. Houston Dynamo ESPN2/Deportes
Mon, July 4 8:30 pm Real Salt Lake vs. New England Revolution ESPN2/Deportes
Mon, July 4 10:30 pm LA Galaxy vs. Seattle Sounders ESPN2/Deportes
Sun, July 10 5:00 pm Portland Timbers vs. Seattle Sounders ESPN/Deportes
Wed, July 27 8:30 pm MLS All-Star Game TBD
Thu, August 18 9:00 pm Chicago Fire vs. D.C. United ESPN2/Deportes
Sun, August 28 7:00 pm New York Red Bulls vs. LA Galaxy ESPN2/Deportes
Thu, September 29 8:00 pm Philadelphia Union vs. D.C. United ESPN2/Deportes
Fri, October 14 10:30 pm Colorado Rapids vs. Real Salt Lake ESPN2/Deportes
Sun, October 16 9:00 pm LA Galaxy vs. Chivas USA ESPN/Deportes
Thu, October 20 8:00 pm New York Red Bulls vs. Philadelphia Union ESPN2/Deportes

The first reply says something about setting up carpools to Crew games, so that sounds like a cool thing as well.

Also, another cool MLS-related thing: Check out the series Inside the MLS Superdraft. It follows Vancouver, Portland, and Sounders. So there’s some good talk about Nano and Nagbe. And everyone has a mancrush on Perry Kitchen.

Episode 3 is the one worth watching. I got the idea that Portland has a really, really savvy front office, and they struck me as the winners of the three followed here. Part of that was luck, because Vancouver just didn’t take Nagbe. What they did with the 11th pick though was just nasty. Looking forward to episode 4.

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Recap: Zips win 83-71

You can read better accounts of what actually happened at gozips or akron sports now, since those people are, you know, real reporters. I’ll just share some random thoughts on this one.

Pre-game notes:

  • Scant crowd, although I guess that’s pretty typical at a non-Kent game. More and more people filed in as the game went on
  • Since when has it been “Rhodes Arena”? I mean, I get that it’s officially referred to as that, but I actually heard people not calling it the JAR in converstation. It’s called the JAR, damnit.
  • Some bald guy sitting in front of me tried to clap along with the fight song. Wasn’t happening for him. Felt bad.
  • Great work by the pep band to finish playing right before the buzzer

First half:

  • We got out of the gate kind of slow. Luckily, they never led by more than five points or so despite the fact we were shooting blanks like David Arquette.
  • Nikola Cvetinovic was a monster. Got off to a slow start, like everyone, then must have imagined he was shooting at Albanians in Račak or something (go ahead, look it up on wiki to get the reference), because dude started going nuts. Scored a couple and-one efforts and generally told WMU to lick his balls on D.
  • I’ll be honest, a big reason I started this blog was a chance to make deprecating jokes about Mike Bardo. Can’t do that today. I don’t think he got on the scoresheet, but he played pretty solid in our own end. There was one play in particular where Bardo showed some quick hands to turn the ball over and it led to a three at the other end. Defensively, he and Nik worked well down low to keep WMU largely impotent (already used a David Arquette joke hardy har har) which contributed in a big way to our mini-comeback. Basically had the assignment of watching Bronco’s fat man Matt Stainbrook when Zeke came off. Which was big, because:
  • Rough night for Magic Beans Marshall. Got pushed around pretty good in the first part of the first half by Matt Stainjock and his shooting touch just wasn’t there. Barely finished the game with more points than fouls.
  • On the topic of Fatt Stainbrook, there were these old guys sitting near me who wouldn’t get off his ballsack last night. They’d groan everytime Zeke got out physical-ed for a rebound, beat down low, etc. They kept making weird comments about the guy like, “I like his thickness.” This kind of pissed me off, because this Stainbrook character seriously sucks. He was kind of dominant before he ran up and down the court twice and ran out of breath, but that was it. He was either gassed himself really fast, or his bra was too tight and he couldn’t breathe. Look, Zeke had an off-night. But if you’d seriously trade a seven-foot tall stud for the biggest Gumpy McGumperson of the century, you’re an idiot.

Second half notes:

  • Zips basketball players collectively continue to play better basketball than Bronco’s basketball players. ‘Grats to Brett McKnight, who scored his one-billionth point ever this game.

Zips are now 14-10 (5-5). Next game is Against Ball State this Saturday 7:30 at the JAR. I probably won’t make it, so read a real website if you can’t watch yourself.

 

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Black and Red United makes blog post of the century

I’d like to redirect your attention to DC United blog Black and Red United’s recent Akron-related fantasy post.

Best bit: “Halftime: In the locker room at the half, the president of the University of Akron extends Caleb Porter’s contract another five years, to the year 2068.”

Sour grapes much, DC fans?

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Zips Abroad: Steve Z’s best bet?

Interesting news article that came to my attention today, basically said said that Steve Zakuani actually hasn’t declared an allegiance to a national side, as was previously thought by everyone, your mom, and your mom’s breasts. Here’s a link to the article:

http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/soundersfcblog/2014054821_zakuanis_international_future.html

Everyone’s take so far is basically as follows:

  1. DRC’s chances of making a world cup are about as good as Nik Cvetinovac’s chances of befriending a Kosovar and/or making a foul shot. Now that he’s got his green card, Steve Z is probably inclined to not play for his birth country.
  2. England is, generally speaking, a tougher team to make than the U.S. squad, so Steve Zakuani is playing for the yanks! Hooray America!!!

I’ll allow condition 1 to get by mostly unexamined for a few paragraphs, because I don’t know anything about the quality of most African sides (next to the Ivory coast, my guess is either Ghana/Egypt/Who Cares is best.)

Let’s start with the second part. In general, yes, the English team has more talented players than us. Would Steve Zakuani really be that much further down the depth chart were he to make that team, though? This is an especially interesting proposition given the way Wayne Rooney has completely fallen off the planet as of late.

The idea that it might be in Steve Z’s best interest to choose England depends on a number of variables. The foremost is, is Wayne Rooney merely slumping or is he on the wrong side of a career inevitably in decline? It seems a bit ridiculous to suggest a player only halfway through his second decade of life might have peaked already, but it did happen to Ronaldhino at a similar age. While this is entirely too early to speculate on, wildly uneducated speculation is in keeping what this post is arguing, so roll with me. It might be possible, that, ala, Jar-Jar dribbles, Mr Rooney doesn’t make the cut in 2014, leaving some space open up top on England’s roster.

Now, doubtfully, this space means Zakuani will get significant playing time for the English national side. The doubtfulness stems from the fact that England has a whole slew of strikers not named Rooney to fill in, not to mention one, Danny Albeck, is probably a slightly better version of Zakuani.

The real point I want to make is that the US is similarly logjammed with players of Zakuani’s ilk. If he plays his more natural wing position, he’s got to deal with being the guy behind the US’s two best players (excluding keepers) in Donavon and Dempsey. If he’s tried at his college position of striker, then he’s logjammed behind star-to-be Jozy Altidore and the emergent wunderkid Juan Agudelo and fellow zip Teal Bunbury.

African world cup qualification is a bit hard to wrap one’s head around, but basically the way I read it the DRC were about a win short of getting into the final stage of World Cup qualification. Now, that hardly means they would have qualified, but they at least would have stood a fair shot at making the CAF’s cup of Nations.

So I guess, here’s my take: Steve Z’s biggest chance to make the biggest impact comes with the least glamorous team, the Democratic Republic of the Congo. I don’t see him working into the starting 11 for either other side he’s eligible for by 2014. The reason I wrote this post is to demonstrate that, although the English side is probably more talented, he’s in not much better shape in securing a United States roster spot. By 2018 or 2022, however, there probably is a need for another attacking mid, as Landy/Deuce might be too old by then. I guess I’d still say the US is his best bet for his international career, as consensus tends to point to. But, as a note to the Akron faithful, I wouldn’t expect things to happen as quickly for Zakuani as they’re happening for Bunbury. The depth charts just don’t allow right now.

As an aside, as I’m publishing this post, Wayne Rooney has 2 goals at the 45-minute mark against Aston Villa. Way to ruin my point, asshole.

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