Sunday, August 12, 2012

OtP Presents The London Closing Ceremonies "Live"

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


This is one way to achieve it.

One hopes Stephan Feck of Germany has a sense of humor about his failed dive, because long after the medalists are dead and buried, he will live on.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Alex Morgan's Knee Smells Like Hurting

We call that in the States a 'Tallahassee Nosejob.'

Team GB Goalkeeper Orders 3 Beers...

...the wrong way, dooming Operation Kino (and British hopes to medal).

Friday, August 3, 2012

Parade of Fictional Nations

The Parade is on!

Here is a sample!

The Seven Kingdoms of Westeros

History: Covering a significant portion of the contest of Westeros, The Seven Kingdoms is a fractious collection of individual fiefdoms that are ruled by a single king who holds on to his power with roughly the same kind for ruthlessness that was necessary to secure it in the first place. The land, from George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire (also known as HBO's Game of Thrones, when not plagued by war is also at the mercy of extreme environmental phenomenon including seasons that last entire years and supernatural threats including fantastic creatures and destructive magic.

Chief Export: Treachery, Illegitimate Children

Flag Bearer: Jaime Lannister

Sport: Fencing

The eldest son of House Lannister, Jaime dedication to the art of swordsmanship is legendary. Thanks to it he has earned a lasting reputation for engaging in swordplay, often times to the death even if his opponent is unwilling to or if he is even facing the right direction at the time. Though this behavior has left him largely ostracized by those of his same social class he draws on the support form his sister with whom he remains very close to. With the copious rules, judges and safety equipment in competitive fencing it is unlikely that Jamie will be unable to (directly) kill any of his foes, but his reputation will cause more then one of his opponents to simply withdraw rather than face him.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Coming Soon to a Theater Near You

The minimalist trend is the best thing that ever happened to my art

So eight Olympians got the boot for the worst attempt at gaming the system in the history of sport.

Opie, call me, I smell Oscar!

Monday, July 30, 2012

True Colors Showing

Seen at the Horse Guards Parade Beach Volleyball Stadium 7/30/2012

A full body Lycra Zentai suit decorated with the American Flag. 

Awesome at a stadium, awkward at a customs.

(image (C) NBC Sports)

Separated By A Common Language: "Tickey Boo"

"It was all Tickey Boo"

Is how Opening Ceremony Director Danny Boyle described the production process of the semi-infamous Queen of England/James Bond sequence, the most shocking crossover of fictional characters since The Avengers movie.

So what does "Tickey Boo" mean? According to the Dictionary of (British) Slang it is NOT a way to describe the sound made by a clockwork ghost but actually an adjective meaning:

Fine, all right, in order. E.g."Yes indeed, everything is just tickety-boo, I've never felt better."

So the next time your mom/spouse/The Voices ask you how you day was and you'd rather not get into another argument about how 'eh, it was ok' is not a real answer, try "Tickey Boo" and fight instead about how you don't take other people's feeling seriously.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Coming Soon

The new features:

Separated By A Common Language


The Parade of Fictional Nations

Stay tuned!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

NBC has secretly replaced the regular Phelps

With new and improved Ryan Lochte, lets see if viewers can taste tell the difference.

ETA: I wonder of Lochte likes Quiznos....

I had the weirdest dream last night...

I don't know if you saw the Opening Ceremony, though its likely if you are here you did, but outside of a North Korean Mass Game, that was a prime example of what a shared hallucination would look like.

50% Homer Simpson Halftime show, 50% leak of Scarecrow fear gas.

Anyway, I liked it, or at least I think I did, as predicted I was pretty hammered and didn't even make it to the Parade of Nations sober.

What I do recall is NBC's talking heads deserve a visit to the Tower of London for a lesson about knowing when to speak and when to as the locals might say  "shut your gob."

Friday, July 27, 2012

I Live By The River!

Has it been 2 years already?

Time for the London Games, time plus 2 days actually if you want to count soccer. Which two years ago I didn't care for but now I just love. Something must have happened, brain damage likely.

I'm off soon to watch the OCs and get drunk. The goal is to be hammered old-world style before Croatia comes out. Seeing how there are always more A countries then you think there are, odds are good.

I'm going to try and keep this blog up again for another 26 days, good luck to me (and i guess to all the people who've been working towards this their ENTIRE lives too I guess.)

I'm on Twitter now too @seth410 , lots of stuff there, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ten Ways: Arrowette

Ha! But you thought I was done! Well luckily, you were wrong! Head here to check out the last one (on Newsarama).

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Ten Ways: The Golden Age

Before TiVo, the Internet, the Television, photography and indoor plumbing, there was just one way to get a look at the action from Olympia and that was the “use of skill and imagination in the creation of aesthetic objects, environments, or experiences that can be shared with others” (thanks, Britannica!) better known as ‘art.’

(The first issue of Sports Illustrated, all the men the cover were eaten soon after by bears)

If you lived 2,784 years ago, you’d find that major sporting events were immortalized in single panel comics known as “paintings.” Having not been invented yet, there were no word balloons; instead, descriptions of the action were given in person by ancient live-bloggers, who, as per tradition, embellished events they themselves may have only heard about second-hand.

Nike of course sponsored these ancient games, albeit in her pre-sellout form as the Greek goddess of Victory, which were held every four years in honor of her celestial contemporary, Zeus. The true origin story of the games are now shrouded in myth, having been subject to hundreds of ret-cons though the centuries by artists and their patrons looking to put their own spin on popular classics. Although the ‘ultimate’ version of the story has the games being founded by the great hero Heracles in the midst of his maxi-series of twelve labors.

At first the games comprise of a single footrace between qualified citizens of the Greek city-states, but as its popularity grew, the games branched out, offering new content like boxing, wrestling, the now classic field events like the discus or javelin and even chariot racing. (There was also a lot of nudity…almost exclusively male nudity, which is fine if you’re into that, although I’ll take modern Woman’s Beach Volleyball, which is close enough.)

Soon (soon being a relative term when talking about history, in this case almost 300 years later) rival games began popping up, like the Isthmian Games in Corinth, which split the fan base, but overall they aided in each other’s stability.

However, by 393AD, social pressure in the form censorship by state sponsored religion, backed up by the threat of Roman Legions ended the games’ Golden Age. The games would pass into memory, and the public domain, until 1896 when the Modern Age began.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Nine..D'oh, Ten Ways: The Simpsons Go Olympic!

The smartest show on TV tackles the biggest sporting event in the world! Right here!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Closing Ceremonies, Live

:02 The drummers are back and now they look like Chinese Power Rangers...oy I'm dating myself, is that even still on?

:03 Someone is lowering a big wheel of cheese into the arena....

:05 Burning Man is going to break out here any second

:09 I see a lot of those anti-red eye camera flashes going off in the crowd, I'm not sure they are going to work that great.

:15 I love how all the athletes come in together like this...if anything it won't take as long.

:34 The Marathon winners are then followed by a parade of more of the Chinese's elite team of tiny stunt-cuties. Adorable. They are the perfect weapon.

:42 Oh they are not playing fair if they don't turn that flag-blower on for the Greek flag...ok, nevermind.

:43 No translation subtitles NBC? This event happened almost 12 hours ago, c'mon!

:55 That is some impressive flag-folding. Hey black colored fireworks, cool.

:56 The London Mayor is rocking some classic British teeth.

1:05 I think the Austin Powers movies have ruined the idea of British citizens dancing thing for me

1:06 Oooo! The bus is transforming....c'mon Giant Robot!!!! it's some pop star, who wants to bet no one can remember her name by the time the London games come around...And Jimmy Page is miming the guitar live!


1:24 I'm getting a real ant-hill vibe off of this tower, and it's kinda creeping me out.

1:31 Pre-fab pop groups are decadent! Lip-syncing is counter-revolutionary!

1:45 WHOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! Up With People! Hey, it's Jackie Chan! And he's singing! Let's see Chuck Norris do that!

1:51 I think they undid all of their 'progress' on air-pollution with those fireworks.

2:01 Hey it's that one 3 Tenor who's not Pavarotti or that other guy.

2:37 Montages.....if you want memories of the games, look below.

2:28 Mao is looking over Bob Costas' shoulder, if there is a better metaphor for China's realtionship with the media, I don't know it.

Well, that's the end of the 2008 Olympics, and while I'm more then a bit sad to see them go, we're not quite done yet here at Off The Podium. Stay tuned for some last little bits, then it's...the future.

Ten Ways: Epyx’s Summer Games

The late, lamented video game developer Epyx holds a special place in history, it not only managed to use two ‘extreme’ consonants to replace one vowel sound in the pre-l33t days of 1983, but also put out one of the most sophisticated and varied sports games in the post Atari-crash era: Summer Games.

First on the Commodore 64 in 1984, Summer Games let players compete in such events as the Pole Vault, Platform Diving, Sprinting, Gymnastics, Freestyle Swimming, Skeet Shooting and Rowing at the “Epyx Games.” (Either they couldn’t afford the official license, or they just didn’t want to confuse people by calling it the “Summer Olympyx”)

An odd combination of sports, but basically all the individual events (and in the case of running and swimming, one-at-a-time relays) whose motions can be replicated using the most ubiquitous controller of the era, the single button Atari Joystick.

Being a digital signal device, there was no room for the nuance that can be found with the modern analog sticks, so trying to make your tiny gymnast avatar land on her feet after tumbling though the air was a little like playing the piano with your face.

The game came packed onto a storage medium that considered massive now only in terms of its physical size. A single five and a quarter inch floppy disk, like the one found in the box for Summer Games, at its peak could hold up to 360 Kilobytes. To put it in perspective, you could fit about 11,650 copies of Summer Games onto the first-gen, 4GB iPhone.

Very popular, Summer Games would be ported forward until finally it arrived on the Sega Master system at the start of the 8-bit era. Epyx, would also find success spinning-off the franchise with Winter Games, World Games (Caber Toss! YES!) as well as California Games, which made an appearance on the Nintendo Wii’s Virtual Console in Europe this past April.

Sadly, Epyx folded slowly in the late eighties and early nineties, until finally selling the bulk of it’s assets to Atari, including their work on an early handheld system, one that would become the Atari Lynx. Epyx is gyne, but not forgytton…x.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Dix Manières: Asterix

Plus de ma marque unique d'amusement est maintenant finie disponible chez Newsarama, le vérifie dehors !

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Ten Ways: Goldfinger

Head back over to Newsarama for the next installment of the Pop Culture Olympics!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Trampoline, Explaned!

Want to be an Olympian? Sure you do, but what’s that you say? You don’t qualify under either faster, higher or stronger? Cut from the JV Basketball team on the first day? Not patrician enough to afford sailing or riding lessons? Well, what about your classic backyard sports? Sure, Lawn Darts have been outlawed by people sensitive to skull puncture, and offering to demonstrate your skill at “Corn Hole” keeps getting you arrested. But what about the trampoline? You remember that thing don’t you, it’s the bouncy toy that’s kept generations of orthopedics in business for years! That’s right, the trampoline is not just a good way to pretend to exercise, its an Olympic sport!

The trampoline dates back to the old world practice of ‘blanketing,’ in which an angry mob would administer a humiliating punishment upon transgressors by flinging them into the air several times, before finally just letting them crash into the ground and become injured for their amusement, notably this is also how NASCAR got it’s start.

Science took most of the human effort out of the equation when George Nissen and Larry Griswold created the first ‘modern’ trampoline in 1934 after observing the net used by trapeze artists, and named their invention after the Spanish word for diving board, trampolin.

After stints in the Air Force and NASA, the trampoline was employed for sport and was contested for the first time in an Olympics at the 2000 Sydney Games, although international trampoline competitions were held as early as 1964. A relatively simple sport (with just the trampoline, copious padding and Dramamine for the audience needed) trampolining is judged using the same, clearly defined rules that make subjective grading so popular.

For each competitor’s routine, five judges grade how well each move (drawn from both traditional gymnastics and other gravitationally hampered sports like diving) is executed, and each keeps a running total of penalizing deductions, which is then subtracted from 10, and then the highest and lowest result from the five totals is omitted. These three numbers are then added to the difficulty score that the competitor accumulates with each move (each move having been pre-scored on its individual difficulty, and placed on a handy chart). This results in a final score that is used to rank the competitors. In case of a tie, both competitors must engage in a round of Kosho to the death.

With this info, you’ll be performing Barani Ball Outs in no time, good luck, and enjoy!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Friday, August 15, 2008

Phelps Plus Ten

NBC’s coverage of the games is an easy target for complaints, but really it’s just the prime-time program that’s making the entire Olympics look like a 3 person show (although that includes the Beach Vollyball duo of May-Treanor and Walsh, so as the man says 2 out of 3 ain’t bad). Even then you have to realize that they are trying to appeal to a mass audience, and nothing is more popular than a winner, and there is no winner in the games like Michael Phelps.

In his defense I don’t think he even knows the level of coverage he’s getting in the states, not only is every swim and swimmer compared to him, but it’s starting to cross over to other sports, like this interview with Yang Xiuli of China, shown here after receiving her second career Gold Medal in Judo’s 78kg class.

[Phelps? I just spent two days trying to avoid being thrown to the mat with considerable force and speed just to win just this one gold and took a beating doing it, and he can win eight just by swimming, then swimming a bit further, and then swimming in a different way? How do you think I feel?]*

*(Roughly translated from Chinese)

I don’t mean to be tough on the guy that Bob Costas calls “Superman,” even though the title of Aquaman is right there and fits so much better. (C’mon Bob, show a little Geek cred and throw that one out, I know you can, I can tell you’re Nerdcore just by looking at you.) However, I will say this to young Michael, if you hit that magic number of eight golds and come home to parades and a lifetime supply of Wheaties, just remember you are only ten years away from starring in an ad opposite a guy dressed as a giant marsupial.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Off the Podium and over to Newsarama!

Hey there sports fans! Now you can read more of my own brand of nonsense at Newsarama's Blog@ under the banner of "Seth Robison's Pop Culture Olympics!"

Here's the first one!


Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Judo Scoring, Explained!

Now, if you’re like me, you’ve been watching Judo online while you should have been spending time with your family or sleeping…or working. Firstly, I’m sorry you’re like me, but secondly you’ve probably been baffled by how Olympic Judo is scored. You’ve no doubt seen more then one match where the score went quickly to something like 101 to zero, and then an instant later then losing fighter is declared the winner after a single move.

(Fighters struggle to reach the score multiplier before it fades)

Therefore, I scoured the web looking for an explanation and found the answer to be a lot more interesting than I first thought. (H/T to

The goal of competitive Judo is to score a single point, called an Ippon (this is opposed to actual Judo where the goal is to finish off the masses of redshirts in front of you and still have enough energy left to take on the hidden island’s boss, the old man with the razor claw and the wheezing laugh who’s holding the world for ransom).

The first competitor to score this one point by either maintaining a pin for 25 seconds, choking out or submitting an opponent, or ideally: throwing the opponent to the mat with “considerable force and speed” (you gotta love a sport with that phrase in its official rulebook) will win instantly.

Lacking that, one can win by scoring two half-points (math is power) called Waza-ari, by achieving a not-so-forceful throw, or a 20-second pin.

Points are also scored for ‘partially successful’ throws and 15-20 second pins, known as Yuko, and non-back landing throw results and brief pins, called Koka.

Scoreboards represent these by separating them into three digit numbers. Therefore, a contestant with one Waza-ari, one Yuko and no Kokas would have a score of 110. While an opponent with zero Waza-aris three Yukos and two Kokas would have a 32. If this match timed out, the first competitor would win, even though he or she had less scoring moves. (Ippons are not recorded since scoring one would end the match)

Recently abandoned scoring rules include the awarding 5/8th of a point for throwing your opponent through a wall. Also removed: knives, lengths of lead pipe, and hunks of energy-restoring, bone-in pork roasts. Finishing moves are still allowed if enough Chi has been accumulated.

Hajime and enjoy!