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Everything posted by straggler

  1. Except Dake outwrestled him and wins without the ref's favoritism.
  2. Yianni in high school had a tendency to put himself in bad positions and lose some matches he should have won. He is up one with riding time and time running out. And he shots with 12 seconds left and loses. It is tendency he needs to clean up or it will come back to cost him again. Since people have made the comparison, Dake knew how to play a winning hand to the end.
  3. Time to expound on one of my favorite subjects, the World Champion Jordan Burroughs. I have to admit I have been hard on the guy, so credit where credit is due. The man is as mentally tough as you will find. Now that last part is interesting given how badly I roasted him for the Rio meltdown. I have and will rail against our qualifying system, although maybe I should let David Taylor take over that department. But one area where Burroughs has had a clear advantage over Dake in their matchups is in mental toughness. Challengers like Dake do have something legitimate to complain about, but it's the reality and you have to suck it up and not let it get to you. Burroughs was an expert at twisting the knife. But that was primary reason why I was so bullish that Burroughs would lose in Rio. In match one of their 2015 matchup Burroughs could not get to Dake's legs at all. I have said my piece about the scoring in that match, but it seemed clear to me that Burroughs was starting to lose that unworldly first step. Even Burroughs admits he has slowed down. That does not mean he is old or slow. He is still fast. Just there is a difference between being fast and being Usain Bolt, which is how I would describe Burroughs circa 2011. Fast forward to the trials in 2016. That unworldly first step is gone, but so are any of the wrestlers that could have pushed Burroughs. Both Dake and Taylor were off on an 86kg adventure. Given the format and the limited talent left in the weight, this meant that Burroughs was not tested and not afforded any chance to readjust his approach in competition. And so I thought there was a huge chance JB would get into a match where his opponent had stopped his standard offense and he would not have a plan b. That is where I thought it would be left, that his gold medal days were over. But then a funny thing happened that I did not appreciate. Dake dropped back down to 74kg and for the first time since 2011 Burroughs was in a real fight. Having to claw his way back against legitimate competition gave Burroughs the opportunity to readjust that the lead up to Rio did not. And to his immense credit he did. He had a plan b and a plan c. He looked better. So there you have it. The Jordan Burroughs era is going to stay with us for a while longer.
  4. Congratulations JB. Never doubted you. ;)
  5. My intuition was pretty good here. Something told me he would have a run. He was behind in every match and came back but he definitely looked better. The whole US team has looked good. They look quick. This version of JB can get caught in a 50/50 match and lose a toss up. But with only one march left probabilities go out the window. So my prediction. JB loses the gold medal match. Why? No rational reason whatsoever. Just my intuition has been good so I'll ride it although this one may be a bridge too far. I'll ride it right off a cliff. :)
  6. My opinion of Burroughs since 2015 is that he no longer has the unworldly first step. He is still plenty quick but those super fast reflexes are the first thing to go. He is not over the hill, but it is the difference between being great and very good. He still has the grit and savvy to compete on a world class level, but the matches are going to be much closer and he can easily fall victim to a lapse or being on the raw end of a 50/50 call. I said on the other thread that intuitively I think he just might have another run in him, but realistically and against this draw he will have to string together nail biters to make the finals.
  7. I predicted JB will win the bronze. But a couple of things. First the US has overperformed. Makes me wonder if certain years are more competitive than others, especially in a post Olympic year. If this was the Olympics I would feel strongly about the bronze prediction. But here we have a super motivated JB off a brutal Rio games. Should I upgrade to silver? Or gold? I'll stay with bronze but my Spidey senses are tingling.
  8. Did he win the second bronze or the first?
  9. Look in all seriousness the way our trials are designed it leaves a lot of ill-will. I thought Taylor seriously dropped the ball but that Cox got coddled by the officiating. I mean if Dake even thinks about stepping backwards against Burroughs he is going to get cautioned. But Cox got to flee the whole match which turned the mat into an ice skating rink. These are pro athletes. We can talk about team work and national spirit and what have you but these guys are ultimately on their own. I know Taylor thinks Cox got protected at the trials, and given that this is precisely what the trials are designed to do, protect the medalist, he's right. He is at least allowed to feel salty and you know he was waiting for the moment to arrive.
  10. I said before that Cox did not have a lot of room to improve. His size/length and athleticism make him a contender. Nothing rules out his getting on a run, pulling a Steiber and winning it all in any particular tournament. But bronze is always going to be his most likely result if he medals. Still being a medal contender is certainly nothing to sneeze at.
  11. I did not even know he was fighting.I just happened to go on the espn site and and it was a big front page story, "greatest mma prospect of all time", etc.
  12. Sorry but that actually makes it worse. Every other fighter in the history of the sport has been able to find a reasonable debut fight opponent. There is always some struggling fighter out there looking for a paycheck. The entire history of boxing and mma attests to that. It is not that Pico's management could not find such an opponent or a more appropriate setting, just that they did not think they needed it. Now to read that Pico was fighting above his natural weight class is just icing on the cake. All fighters are confident, many over confident. And many fight managers convince themselves that they have the next big thing. It is up to the people guiding the fighter's career to put the fighter's feet back on the ground and to not shoot their fighter in the foot. Virtually every other prospect manages it. Compare this to who Cejudo fought in his first professional fight for example. So I would say a lot of hubris and a lot of stupidity. Glad you think in the long term he will be fine. But a lot of fighters careers get ruined by being pushed to soon. All I know is that Pico was made a national laughingstock. Not easy to come back from.
  13. The thing I did not get is the hype. The resume just isn't there. You have experienced fighters with professional boxing and fighting experience who are not labeled "the greatest mma prospect ever" before their first fight. You have guys like Cejudo that actually won an gold medal. You have multiple NCAA champions. Pico's boxing experience dates back to junior level. Nice that he won a cadet title. So have a lot of guys that would make poor mma fighters. (If Spencer Lee decides to forego college and start an mma career, does that make him the next "greatest mma prospect ever"?). I appreciate the Todd Marinovich-like fascination with Pico. But not rushing things and actually having some senior level boxing experience and better yet, maybe some amateur mma fights, would have served him much more than getting humiliated by a management that seemed to believe its own pr. Who makes the young man's first fight against an experienced, quality fighter on a stage like msg? Hubris or stupidity.
  14. Ok. I was not aware of the boxing and pancrase background, although the last competition I see in these sports dates back to 2010 when he was 13. But even without that it is not like he has not trained for mma. Still you have to be careful how a career is managed, and you have to be especially careful with a debut fight. You need to get a new fighter acclimated. I do not see any amateur or lower profile mma fights on his resume. Instead he makes his mma debut at MSG against an experienced, pretty decent fighter. We will see, but he got knocked down and submitted in 20 seconds. Hard to recover from.
  15. I never really followed the whole Pico saga. So he has a huge amount of hype, foregoes college wrestling, focuses on freestyle but falls short of making the world team and emulating Cejudo despite a respectable showing. Then he decides to immediately focus on mma. Trains for two years. Yet despite no fighting background is hyped to the moon as "the greatest mma prospect of all time" for some reason. Then for his debut, gets thrown in there with a guy who is 8-2 and gets beat bad. Who is giving this young man advice?
  16. I say this half in jest, but after reading some of the responses maybe they should make this the official site for US Gymnastics too given how people can twist themselves into pretzels trying to justify the status quo. It is a physical disadvantage that should have no place in a competitive sport. Glad a couple of guys bucked the trend this year and finally won out of the challenge tournament, but it remains an unfair disadvantage unlike anything I have seen in the entire spectrum of Olympic sports. People are free to quantify to what degree it affects the outcome, but in a close march it is more than likely going to tell, and that probability will increase the deeper into the best of three the finals go. Needs to be changed.
  17. Holes? Let's see. Unfair?-check. Creates physical disadvantage?-check. Impossible to justify?-check. Undermines the integrity of the process?-check. Is not done by any other nation?-check. Etc. I really have to work on this I guess. So what exactly am I missing again? I only seem to care about Dake (although before the finals I said Taylor was going to be hurt by it too, but whatever) but the resistance to something so obvious seems clearly motivated by the fact that it involves Burroughs. It negatively affects all the challengers, but Dake is the most egregious example precisely because of who he is trying to unseat. Level playing field? Only diehards won't admit the problem, and the rationalizations are desperate. Not sure what you are trying to say about Gilman.
  18. Give me break. It is a travesty. And excuse me but did Gilman beat Burroughs, or anyone remotely close to that level? Of course not. You knew that before you wrote that. The system is a cheat. Maybe against lesser opponents who are not placed on such a pedestal the disadvantage can be overcome. But having to overcome that disadvantage against Burroughs is absurd. Sorry it offends you that I call our qualifying system the cheat that it clearly is. And sorry if it detracts from Burrough's accomplishments, because it does through no fault of my own. But if you never heard me write about it before, you have been willfully blind. But my indignation comes from the fact that these athletes sacrifice an exatrordinary amount to compete in a sport that does not offer much in return, and they are powerless to say a word. Cannot risk ruffling feathers and piss off the powers that be. The very least we can offer them is a fair shot, a level playing field, and we do not even give them that. It is a disgrace. Say it is whining or excuse making or whatever. It is simple honesty with a healthy mix of outrage. Well deserved.
  19. Except those rules are materially unfair and undermine the integrity of the competition. There is no way around that. If you want to call it an excuse or detracting from someone's accomplishments, fine. Dake did not choose anything. These athletes sacrifice a lot and it seems at a minimum that they should be guranteed an even playing field. That is not what we have. There are excuses and then there is denial.
  20. I don't think there is a conspiracy. But the system we have does place an emphasis on protecting the spot of former place winners/medalists. It instills favoritism imho. The Dake/Burroughs matches are the most prominent example because of who it involves. It is fascinating because it involves trying to unseat Burroughs and in other circumstances Dake is clearly good enough to make the world team. And guilty as charged that I have been a big Dake fan. But what drives the passion this time out is how competitive these two have been this year. It is thisclose.Some of the challengers did pull it off this time out, but none of them had nearly as big a challenge. I think the format affects all the athletes. It did no favors to Taylor for example, although that series had a bit of everything.
  21. Many people who have watched that match don't agree. I just wonder if the bye was not at stake if the calls would have been similar. And to be clear I am not arguing a conspiracy or match fixing. But you got to admit the system domestically is to maximize the chances of former medalists to make the team. Call it getting a champion's decision like in boxing. Whether you think Burroughs won at the Open fair and square or got a gift, that match was so close that to have a bye at the trials is a shame. I'm all for proving mettle. But I'm not going to call an uneven playing field fair either. The qualifying system we have leaves a huge question mark when you have a very competitive series. It is uncalled for.
  22. In freestsyle officiating is always going to be an issue because the rules are so subjective and the ref can decide the match virtually every time. You are always going to have naked Mongolians or guys freaking out like Cox's opponent in the Bronze medal match. That is very hard to fix. A guy like Burroughs will get favorable calls as he clearly did in the Open to the point where he admitted it. I think the criticism of how that match was officiated was so loud (go look at the YT video of that match and the comments) that to its credit the best of three at the trials was much better officiated. Unfortunately Dake getting jobbed at the Open had a massive result, which is likely why he got jobbed. I cannot fix the rules, the subjectivity, the favoritism and spot protection, but fixing a ridiculously unfair qualifying system is certainly doable. Even the most ardent Burroughs fans admitted he got a gift at the Open. But as someone who did not even place at Rio that should not have led to a bye.
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