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Sounds like Fighting Talk to me - Many a mickle maks a muckle

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December 3rd, 2007


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09:46 pm - Sounds like Fighting Talk to me
Fighting Talk is a BBC radio show that solicits sports journalists to discuss sporting and other topics of the day quasi-competitively in a fashion that might very reasonably be compared to the USA's ESPN show Pardon The Interruption. The final round sees two of the initial four competitors invited to speak, off the cuff, in support of a contrary or distasteful theme for twenty seconds. The show has been running weekly, on and off, for about five years now, and has built up a reputation over that time, winning some radio awards. Certainly it has developed the confidence to play with its own format, and develop in-jokes that reward regular following, in a fashion that relatively few TV and radio shows ever attain. On the downside, I don't think it's quite as funny as it thinks it is, though probably because I very nearly only ever listen to the radio when I'm driving, and when I'm driving, I don't want to have to think about what's being said.

fx: theme from "Rocky" plays

jiggery_pokery, in this very special online edition of Fighting Talk, you have argued your way through to the Defending The Indefensible round at the end of the show. You have twenty seconds to defend each of the following three topics. Here they are:

If you don't love LiveJournal's new Journal Flagging feature, you're not thinking of the children.


It doesn't affect Friends-locked posts, you can't set up trolling accounts just for the purpose of shutting down other people's journals, you can't campaign to lock more than five posts away in a day and if you start abusing the flagging feature then they'll stop taking notice of your flags. Even if one of your posts does get found to be naughty, the worst that happens to it is that it gets hidden behind a LJ-cut, and even then it's only cut for users who haven't claimed that they're over 18 years old. If there must be abuse flagging, how could it possibly be any less obtrusive than that?

Who needs college football play-offs when we've got the Bowl Championship Series?

You can't fit play-offs into an already crowded season without making it longer still, changing dates or doing away with beloved Thanksgiving rivalries. Nobody wants any of these because college football is all about tradition. For every National Championship nerd, there are lots of Big Ten and Pac Ten fans who care about nothing more than winning the conference or the Rose Bowl. The BCS formula improves from year to year and learns from its mistakes - there's really very little computer influence, which is good because humans play football, not polls, and yet there's enough to counteract polls' tendencies to reward fashionable teams rather than good ones.

The best thing Six Apart ever did was to sell LiveJournal to СУП.

You can't see me, but imagine, if you will, that at this moment in time I am opening Winamp, I am loading up the .mp3 of the Soviet National Anthem that Comrade folk once sent me, I am enjoying its stirring orchestral charge, I am getting out of my chair, I am standing up and raising my right fist in a properly respectful salute to the way of the future. Don't know about you, but I, for one, welcome our new Russian overlords.
Current Mood: quixoticexaggerating for effect, obv.

(15 comments | Leave a comment)

Comments:


From:songmonk
Date:December 3rd, 2007 10:33 pm (UTC)
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Now how much of that is humor and how much of that represents what you actually believe?

The last response is obviously tongue-in-cheek, but are you happy about the sale really?

The only response I really take issue with is the second one.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 07:41 am (UTC)
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Varies between the three cases.

Not sure myself in the first case, though my views are probably less towards the humour side on this issue than most.

In the second case: well, part of me thinks that the best way to sort out NCAA football is root and branch reform which would do away with very many of the old traditions, so that's not really a starter. There are some smaller reforms that are possible, but they do involve making the regular season shorter, making the post-season longer or otherwise messing around with the times of things. (I came up with a cracking idea involving removing two of the non-conference games in the regular season and replacing them with compulsory the-system-chooses-the-opposition-not-you non-conference games in a post-season that started in late November, but people like their traditional non-conference Thanksgiving clashes too much for it to work in practice.) The "four plus one" proposal offers a pretty good return in return for extending the season by one week for two teams, which is a relatively small price to pay, but I can understand the views of those who reckon it's a price that can't be afforded at all.

Third case: the sale can't be good news and I think we'll only really appreciate how hard Six Apart tried to maintain some parts of the theoretical traditional LiveJournal virtues, even if they applied and announced their work spectacularly badly, now they're gone. But, hey, if you don't laugh, you cry!
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From:bateleur
Date:December 4th, 2007 10:02 am (UTC)
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I disagree about the sale - I see it as probably good.

Six Apart never seemed like good guys to me, but by far the worst thing about them was a clear conflict of interest: they do stuff that competes with LJ.

Now if I was Russian I might have some misgivings about the purchase. As things stand I'm relieved that LJ is out of Six Apart's dirty paws before they did something really horrible to it.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 01:36 pm (UTC)
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Certainly a pragmatic viewpoint, but I find myself having more in common with the Russians than you do. Perhaps it's just that I might be more likely to write about a certain former chess champion who was recently put into jail than you are.
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From:songmonk
Date:December 4th, 2007 12:12 am (UTC)
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I think there's a lot of reasons a playoff won't happen. But as for the reasons you name...do they not apply to Division I-AA (excuse me, FCS), Division II and Division III?
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 07:56 am (UTC)

+1 to songmonk

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All of which seem to me to serve as good examples of why the I-A, er, FBS calendar is the exceptional outlier that might be amended, rather than the alternative.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 07:54 am (UTC)
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I admire your principled stance that student athletics should be for the benefit of the students! Sadly, I fear that there is already far too much money involved for this to be the case in practice. The amount of money that US universities spend upon very small sections of their athletic program, for prestige, is shockingly (and sadly) high when there are so many sections of athletics programs, and so many sections of academia, that are in some cases very badly funded. However, when the demand for football is so high and when a moderate-prestige football minor league has not been allowed to evolve (*), this is probably a natural consequence - and the turbo-charged, super-sized nature of college football is probably also a historical artefact to some extent from the way in which college football was the premier form of the sport up until not all that many decades ago.

(*) I tip the hat towards the increasingly successful arena football here, but I'm more thinking of the we'll-believe-'em-when-we-see-'em UFL and AAFL here, with cautionary examples provided by the USFL, the US chunk of the WLAF as was and the XFL.
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From:alice_and_lain
Date:December 3rd, 2007 10:52 pm (UTC)
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I know nothing about football! In fact, I know nothing about sports! So, I skipped #2.

And I giggled through #1 and #3. I love journal drama. The mental image for #3 is truly fabulous.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 08:02 am (UTC)
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While I agree of the general "post things to news, not lj_biz" stance, I note that in this case they did announce the new journal flagging scheme in the middle of their last start-of-the-month regular posting, so I'm not sure I agree with you in practice here. Like everyone else, I do think they very frequently do a spectacularly bad job of not thinking through (and, to coin a nonce word, failing to provide a prebuttal for) users' reactions in advance, and that the scheme could have been announced in news in a way that would cause much less angst and woe.
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 08:06 am (UTC)
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See, I'm not that much of a journal drama fan. I don't make the time to post nearly as much, or nearly as topically, to LJ as I would like, so to have two-thirds of a relatively rare post dedicated to talking about LJ is rather a waste of time. :-)

Funny thing is that I went to bed on Sunday night with two-thirds of that post firmly in my mind, but feeling that I wanted there to be another indefensible topic to defend in order for the post to work properly, for two repetitions is famously the key to comedy. Thanks, Six Apart, for giving me the third topic to rant about!
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From:kay_taylor
Date:December 4th, 2007 08:22 am (UTC)
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I played DDT's "Born in the USSR" when I found out. I must be the only non-Russian I know that has a WHOLE COLLECTION of Russian rock music. *hangs head*
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From:jiggery_pokery
Date:December 4th, 2007 08:51 am (UTC)
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More *bangs head*, less *hangs head*, please.

(Wikipedia wins at pop culture, as so often is the case.)

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