Weller’s Favorite Teams

Bryan and I were trying to come up with something for one of us to write tonight. Later this week I will be putting up a new mock draft and will be taking another look at the NFL playoff situation while Bryan will be putting up another one of his draft position posts, but tonight neither of us could come up with anything to write. With nothing else coming to mind I decided to lay out where my loyalties lie in each sport. I will briefly explain why each team is my favorite for that specific league and list a runner-up as well. This idea came to me because over the weekend I had stopped in Columbia, MO on my way from Knoxville back to my parents house for Christmas. On Saturday morning we watched a soccer game from the EPL (English Premiere League). After the game Bryan suggested that I pick an EPL team to be a fan of. I ended up settling on one and which team it is will be revealed later in this post. Let’s get started. Continue reading

Weekend Update

Bryan and I were both out of town for Fourth of July weekend and weren’t on the internet at all. There were some pretty big things that happened in the world of sports that we feel should be mentioned but didn’t have the opportunity to write full posts on. I’ll just give a quick one or two sentences about each one.

– Steve McNair was shot to death in his downtown Nashville apartment. It currently looks as though it was a murder suicide by the girl whose body was found next to his.

– Roger Federer beat Andy Roddick for his 15th Grand Slam at Wimbledon, passing Pete Sampras previous record of 14 career Grand Slam victories.

– Tiger Woods won the AT&T National this weekend. This gives Tiger 68 career PGA Tour wins, five short of Jack Nicklaus and 14 short of Sam Snead’s record 82 career wins.

– Manny Ramirez returned from suspension and hit a home run in his second game back.

– USA beat Grenada in soccer to win their first round match of the 2009 Gold Cup and will face Honduras in their second game.

– Serena Williams beat sister Venus Williams to win Wimbledon on the women’s side and then the two teamed up to win doubles.

– Three stages into the Tour de France, Lance Armstrong is currently in third. He is seven seconds behind Tony Martin and 40 seconds behind Fabian Cancellara.

– Some big name NBA free agents have agreed to terms with different teams from the ones they played with this past year. The most notable are: Ben Gordon to the Pistons, Hedo Turkaglu to the Raptors, Trevor Ariza to the Rockets, Charlie Villanueva to the Pistons, Rasheed Wallace to the Celtics, Marcin Gortat to the Mavericks, and Ron Artest to the Lakers.

– And most importantly Bryan and I got the oportunity to play two games of Schleuderball over the weekend and we won both games.

Weller’s Five Favorite Sports

I was having a conversation with Bryan earlier today that led to the idea for this post. I said something about how schleuderball might be the best sport ever and it got me thinking about which sports are my favorites. My top four were pretty easy to pick but the fifth was a bit harder to decide on. One of them is the most popular sport in the country, one is hardly played at all in America, one is probably the least heard of sport in the world, one a lot of people have never even tried, and the last one is only a popular spectator sport every four years. Most people who read this blog can easily guess at least one of the sports, that being football. I’ve mentioned in previous posts how overwhelming the ratio is between how much I write about football and how much I write about any other sport. Continue reading

Schleuderball

This is the heavily anticipated first post about schleuderball. Since I’m pretty sure that there won’t be anybody (except for a select few people that I know) reading this that will have any idea what schleuderball is, this post will simply be a brief explanation of the game. I will include some pictures and a video, to help me out with showing you how this works. I will start with explaining the dimensions and layout of the field that the sport of schleuderball is played on as well as a description of the ball itself.

Let me start by saying that the first rule on the official American schleuderball website is “if it doesn’t hurt then you’re not doing it right.”

The ball is made of leather and it weighs 1.5 kilograms (or about 3.3 pounds) most commonly filled with cork, similar to that which a baseball is filled with. Attached to the ball is a leather strap, there is a picture of two schleuderballs above, on the right side of the page. The field is 100 meters long and 15 meters wide, and is broken into three sections. Two thirty-meter sections on the ends with a 40 meter section in the middle. At the ends of the 100 meters there are end zones that extend indefinitely. So the way that the field looks is demonstrated by the picture below, it’s not exactly in proportion to itself, but you should get the idea.

The game can be played with up to 8 people on each team. Though similar to basketball, football and other sports you can play pick-up games with less than the total of 16 people, such as 2-on-2, 3-on-3 and so on. The object of the game is to get the ball to land in the opponents end zone. The game starts with each team standing at their own 30. The team starting with the ball throws (schleuders) the ball from their 30, and the other team tries to stop the ball as soon as they can. As soon as the ball’s momentum is stopped, it is the second teams turn to throw. They then schleuder from the the new line of schleuder, which is where the balls momentum was stopped. Then this process continues to repeat itself. Each team has a throwing order, similar to a batting order in baseball, determining which player’s turn it is to schleuder when it’s his or her team’s turn to schleuder.

Now it gets really interesting when a player catches the ball. If Team A schleuders the ball and a player from Team B catches it then the player that caught the ball then gets to shock the ball. A shock is when a player throws the ball without using the strap. After the shock, it is still Team B’s turn to schleuder from where the shock was stopped. So essentially if a player catches a ball then that team gets two throws, the first being the shock by whoever caught the ball and the second being the schleuder where normal throwing order resumes. A shock itself can be caught and in term shocked back, but only three shocks can occur per schleuder, though this is a rare occurrence.

When a team gets the ball to land in bounds past the other teams goal-line, then they score one point, and they then start back at the 30, with the team getting scored on starting with the first throw. However if a team scores with a shock then they get two points, and this is known as a shock-point. There are quite a few other specifics to the rules, but hopefully this has given you a general idea of what it’s all about. To show you what the sport is like in action, I’m inserting this video that was put together by some German students here at KU. They were doing a class project and were assigned an area of German culture, and this group was supposed to put together a demonstration on the sports in Germany. With that said, you can watch the whole thing if you want to, but you don’t actually get to see schleuderball clips until you get about two minutes into it. Here it is:

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