Random Thoughts

Tech, words and musings from an Englishman in Seattle

The World Cup


This is why it is the greatest game on earth.

A Wonderful Round

This morning, CJ, Tim and I hit the links at Snoqualmie Falls for a wonderful round of Golf.

I hadn't played in almost a year and was feeling fairly rusty, but nothing was going to stop me from enjoying the morning.

Yesterday's horrendous rain had me worried, but I'd told CJ that I'd be there rain or shine and so it was to great relief that I woke up at 6.30 this morning to be greeted with glorious sunshine.

The drive to the course along 202 was great, and shortly after I pulled in, Tim arrived with his “caddy” - his nine year old son, Austin.

Then CJ arrived and we headed to the Pro shop to check in.

Everyone was in a great mood - I felt good about my crummy swing.

I had left all my woods at home other than the three, so that I wouldn't be tempted by my driver, aka “house-on-a-stick”, and my first tee shot - my first swing in almost a year - was a thing of beauty.

Two bogeys and a par over the first three holes - that just doesn't happen for me, but nonetheless I was hoping for a “career” record.

That record being 112. As a golfer, I'm an eternal optimist.

It was all actually going pretty well for me over the front nine which I finished for a 54, but when Tim and Austin left us at the turn my game collapsed a little, but I was at 100 going into the last hole.

At which point I completely lost the plot.

I walked off the eighteenth green with a 12 for that hole - I hadn't shot anything worse than a snowman for the entire round up until that point.

Ah well. So I tie my career record.

Not bad for the first time out this year, and one of my most enjoyable rounds of all time.

Which, of course, is really what it's all about.

Nineteenth Hole

The origins of Basketball

Via a mailing list on Game Design, I found a reference to a paper written by James Naismith - the inventor of the game of Basketball. Chapter 3 is very interesting, as it details the process he went through designing the game and formulating it's first set of rules.

I concluded that the most interesting game at that time was American Rugby. I asked myself why this game could not be used as an indoor sport. The answer to this was easy. It was because tackling was necessary in Rugby. But why was tackling necessary? Again the answer was easy. It was because the men were allowed to run with the ball, and it was necessary to stop them. With these facts in mind, I sat erect at my desk and said aloud:

“If he can't run with the ball, we don't have to tackle; and if we don't have to tackle, the roughness will be eliminated.”

I can still recall how I snapped my fingers and shouted, “I've got it!''

What is really interesting, as a European, is that the initial rules, especially rule 3, sound a lot more like Netball (popular in the UK, Australia, NZ, etc…, not really popular at all in the USA), than Basketball.

3. A player cannot run with the ball. The player must throw it from the spot on which he catches it; allowance to be made for a man who catches the ball when running at a, good speed.

It seems to me that Netball is very closely linked to the original design of the game, and that Basketball evolved from that.

Anyhow, this just seemed interesting to me. In the industry there is a large amount of published information about ”videogame" design, but this is the first time I've seen anything about the design of an actual sport.

Plus, it's slightly amusing that the inventor of one of the three big US professional sports was a Canadian…

Eighteen Holes of Glorious Golf

This morning at 7.30am, CJ came round and we headed off to Mount Si Golf Course to meet up with friends Andrew and Dave for four and a half hours on the links.

The weather was perfect with very little wind. It was cool for the front nine, with low lying mist over the fairways giving us some glorious views of the surrounding mountains. It warmed up considerably for the back nine, but the beer cart helped with that...

Of course, my golf game still sucks, but I take consolation from the fact that my driver behaved reasonably well, and my irons (especially my favourites, the four and six) were, for me, outstanding.

I really need to work on my putting and chipping, though I had some flop shots come off very well and I stayed out of the water and sand. In fact I only lost two balls, both on the same hole.

As for amusement value, CJ and I shared a cart for the round, and shortly after Dave described how his son had flipped a cart on a flat fairway, I proceeded to nearly roll ours after launching us down a steep dip. This triggered much hilarity.

Hopefully, we can get out on the links again soon.


2006 World Cup to be broadcast live and in High-Definition


Time for everyone to get HD installed, because the World Cup is going to be broadcast live in HD!

ABC and ESPN will broadcast their fourth straight World Cup next year and will televise all 64 games in high definition.

The networks will not decide until after the draw on Dec. 9 how to split the games among ABC, ESPN and ESPN2, they said Wednesday.

All games of the tournament, which will be played in Germany from June 9 to July 9, will be broadcast live.

Via SoccerNet.

The World Cup Starts

The last world cup was phenomenal. Football was in the media here all the time, and the USA team even made the front cover of the USA Today. The bars were packed watching the action. To a football fan transplanted to the USA it was a dream come true.

Until the USA national team was knocked out.

Then it disappeared from the media. Handily, most of my American friends here are big football fans, to we continued to watch the games in the wee hours of the morning.

Steve and Julian

Today, it kicked off again (at least for me). The USA v Canada World Cup qualifying game was held today at Qwest Field in Seattle and we had free tickets. So Darwin, his daughter Gabriella, Nabila, Julian and I went to watch the match.

And a fine match it was too. Qwest Field is a great stadium and as a bonus the weather was superb.


I've dumped the rest of the photos I took over on flickr, and for those of you in the UK paying attention - yes, you can drink beer at a football match in the USA ;-)

© 2001 to present, Steve Lacey.