Thursday, August 21, 2008

Bajungi Tilt - Mega Post

I am somewhat inebriated right now. I can't remember if I've written about Bajungi tilt before.
In the levels of TILT, there are varying degrees: simmer, steam, boil, TILT, Mega tilt, and the highest level, Bajungi tilt (sometimes incorrectly transcribed as bajunky tilt).
Today, in my regular poker game, I lost a $5000 pot after flopping bottom set (44) on a 4-5-8 two diamond board in a raised pot, and running into a maniac who had flopped the nuts. Ok. Believe it or not, I wasn't tilted. I felt sorry for myself, I complained that I was running bad, I wasn't happy, but I realized that the hand played itself from my end. It was a cold deck.
So I went home and started drinking, as I threw in the new Phish Walnut Creek dvd and fired off a few texts to Dr. Pauly. I met up with a few of my college friends, and we went out for more drinking to one of my old haunts, the Barrow Street Alehouse. Most of the TVs in the bar were showing the Mets of Yankees games, but I was lucky enough to be facing two different TVs showing separate Olympics broadcasts.
There was one problem: the TV on the right was showing the Women's 100 mile Walk. cue: tilt. It doesn't take more than 5 minutes of watching competitive walking for me to skip the first few stages of tilt and cruise right into BOIL. Seriously - competitive walking?
Now, I happened to have it in my head that one of the rules of walking is that you cannot have both feet off the ground at the same time - and it turns out I was correct about this. I was a little surprised when they showed the lead walker, a Russian chick who would eventually WIN about 4 hours later - in a slo-mo replay where she CLEARLY had both feet off the ground.
I watched the Men's 200M last night, where Usain Bolt again dominated the field in an impressive performance - but what was notable was that both the second and third place finishers were disqualified after replays showed that they had stepped on their inside lane lines. But wait - in Olympic walking, according to the link I found above in a simple google search (and if you think I care enough to waste any more time on this, well, you overestimate my sympathy for Olympic walkers) - the infractions in walking must be seen by judges with the naked eye! This quelled my hope that the leader would truck along for the duration of the race, swinging her arms and looking like she had a dump in her pants, only to be told at the end that she had been disqualified for illegal steps in the third kilometer. (It turns out this was only a 20km event, not a 100 miler). What are the other requirements of racewalking? Swing your arms like you're trying to elbow your way to the front of a line, and don't let any of the dump in your pants spill down your legs? A friend I was with wondered aloud, "Why isn't running backwards an Olympic event?" Things got somewhat interesting when they showed a replay closeup of the lead women sticking her fingers down her throat!!! I'm not making this up! Is the 20km walk such a brutalizing event that the athletes need to make themselves puke in the middle of it? Most disappointingly, NBC did not show her puking! Brutal beat for the viewer. I mean, you remember when Uta Piipig pooped herself while she was running the 1996 Boston Marathon right? That was a frickin MARATHON! not a 12 mile WALK!
So anyway, I'm working into a voracious state of tilt, as the women's race walk refuses to abate, when the other TV begins to show the 100m relay prelims. First they show the men's relay, where the US team had qualified for the finals in EVERY Olympics except 1912 and 1988. I have never been a competitive relay runner. However, I was on the track and field team in high school, on a good, well coached team. Even though I was on the "field" side of the equation, I remember one thing clearly that we were taught, that I constantly see done differently by top class athletes: the passing of the baton. First of all, you NEVER turn around to receive the baton like this. That, however, is not where the US team went wrong.
Our high school coaches, and I'm hesitant to believe they were splitting the atom when they taught us this - made it clear that you receive the baton with your hand back and palm spread open with your fingers closed and thumb out - imagine the motion a 4 year old kid makes when he's learning to tell his left from his right hand (yeah - the LEFT hand make an "L") - then put that behind you. Now this is the IMPORTANT part: the runner who is doing the passing, puts the baton into his teammate's hand on the UPswing!!! Simple! Why? because the baton hitting the "V/L" of your thumb and index finger naturally results in your hand closing around the baton, and the hitting of a naturally open downward facing target.
Somehow, though, if you watch competitive relays, I'd say at least 85% of the competetors do either the "I've never received a baton before" move where they turn backwards and look over their shoulder, giving up significant time, or the baton passer passes the baton on the DOWNswing, which is completely unnatural for the receiver, and results in the passer trying to slam the baton into a narrower target.
Where was I? Oh yeah - the men's 100m relay. So the US men are cruising heading in to the last pass, and what happens - they go to do the exchange but Davis Patton went to hand the baton to Tyson Gay with an OVERHAND pass! Did I mention it was a rainy day in China? Gay missed the baton, and the US failed to make the finals for the third time in history.
I heated up to full TILT. It's not that I really care - but this is something that's been bugging me ever since I, the non-runner, learned it in high school, and I cannot comprehend how professionals still fuck it up. I'd love for a competitive relay runner who reads Kid Dynamite's World to tell my that I'm wrong about this and that the overhand pass makes more sense.
Anyway, NBC then showed the women's 100m relay. Would you be disappointed if I cut to the results and told you that THE EXACT F'N THING HAPPENED!?!??!?! cue: MegaTilt. Could the Weston High School track coaches in 1993 have been so far ahead of their time that the US Olympic Track Team still hasn't learned of their baton passing techniques? I just don't get it.
But wait... I'm not done yet. After enduring more than 90 minutes of the women's 20km walk, the race finally ended, only to be replaced by... wait for it... a REPLAY OF THE SAME RACE!
Water polo? beach volleyball? table tennis? weight lifting? wrestling? they have to show us a REPLAY of the 20km WALK that they just showed - in PRIMETIME on a THURSDAY night?!!? Is my advanced use of CAPITAL LETTERS getting my point across?
You got it. I'm on Bajungi.


Schaubs said...


Baton consultancy in your future?

Hopefully the Tilt wears off quickly...

Tyson Gay said...

if you are such an expert on baton passing I would like to challenge you and your Weston track and field team to a 4x100m relay, any time any place. perhaps we will race and then we can follow it up with a game of hold'em where i will proceed to school your ass again. i do not blog about your weak poker play after any of your embarrassing losses and prefer you refrain from disparaging me and my team.

Kid Dynamite said...

ok.. who left that Tyson Gay comment? well done...

Kaetlyn Wilcox said...

Wait. You were on the Weston track team? And you graduated in 95, right? I had no idea that my future stepbrother was witnessing the enormous ass-whoopings that our girls 4x100m relay team (with yours' truly on lead leg) used to regularly administer upon your girls 4x100m team.

But enough Wayland/Weston rivalry. I too am supremely mystified by the overhand baton pass (attempts) of the US Olympic teams. You'd think they would have practiced handoffs. I mean, it's the OLYMPICS, not the division D Massachusetts state championship meet (which we also won, thanks to intensive underhand handoff practicing).

Zachary said...

I know I'm a little late to the ballgame here, but I've know college track teams to use the "downswing" baton pass, for reason I can't remember. If you ever get a chance to go to the Penn relays, you'll see lots of elite 4x100 teams using this technique.