Digital Headbutt

A sports blog about stuff…stuff that involves things.

Archive for July, 2007

Huevonazo of the Week: Self-Infliction

Posted by Mike on July 31, 2007

The #1 reason not to kick a soccer ball directly at a brick wall: ricochet.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Funny Videos, Futbol, HUEVONAZO!, nutshots, soccer | 1 Comment »

Grylls vs. Stroud: The Survive-Off, Day One

Posted by Mike on July 28, 2007

Bear Grylls and Les Stroud are now facing the ultimate challenge to find out: Who is the ultimate survivor? Today, our heroes begin their journey.

beargrylls1.jpglesstroudsmall.jpg

———————————————

Sapporo, Japan. It’s winter, as both men enter a large helicopter, bound for the wilderness of Northern Hokkaido, near the center of the island.

Pilot: Everyone check your gear! we’re gonna be heading down soon!

Bear: (to camera): Hokkaido is a beautiful landscape, but it’s also deadly. Of the 3 million people who visit the island each year, four need rescuing.

Les: That doesn’t sound very intimidating…

Bear: I wasn’t finished!

Les: Sorry, Shakespeare.

Bear: …And more than 100 tourists die from hypothermia, volcanic activity, bear attacks, the yakuza, and even Pokemon.

Les: Okay, now you’re just making s— up.

Bear: Maybe you won’t be laughing tonight, when I have Pikachu for dinner!

Les: Not sure that’s a good idea. Last I checked, Anime characters have no calories.

Bear: Sure they do! You just have to cook it right. They have top be one of the worst things I’ve ever tasted, though. Whats the worst thing you’ve ever tasted?

Les: Celine Di-
Bear: You know what, I probably don’t want to hear about that.

Pilot: You guys have to check your gear! We’re going down!

Bear: Right, right.

Les: Lessee. I’ve got, multitool, aboot…3 raisins, an extra pair of waterproof pants, and of course, my trusty harmonica.

Bear: What are you gonna do with that, annoy the fish to death?

Les: Them, no. You, maybe.

Pilot: 30 seconds, 100 feet from the ground!

Bear: Knife, check. Water, check. Flint, check. Parachute, check.

Les: Parachute?

Bear: Yeah, why?

Les: Didn’t you hear the pilot?

Pilot: Five feet above the ground! Let’s go!

Bear: (climbs out helicopter, hangs on to edge, looks into camera) This is going to be my toughest survival challenge yet!

(blesses himself, jumps off skydive style with his back facing the ground)

(lands flat on his back five feet later)

(after three seconds, parachute deploys)

Les: Idiot. (nonchalantly walks out of helicopter, steps on Grylls’ stomach)

Pilot:

Les: Uh-oh.

Bear: Um, they’re gonna bring another one…right?

Les: Dude, it’s the Discovery Channel. That helicopter was worth more than the entire network.

Bear: I guess we’re really alone now.

Cameraman #1: (waves for attention)

Les: You guys don’t count!

———————————————-

Our heroes are at the top of a cliff, 5,000 feet up a mountain side, 30 miles southwest of the Shiretoko Peninsula. The helicopter just crashed in a nearby lake; our heroes now have absolutely no backup. They are completely alone.

Bear: That’s what I just said! Be original for chrissakes!

Sorry about that.

———————————————

Bear: (to camera) I’m off to find my bearings. I’m just gonna use a few of these cords to hunt or fish, but I’ve got to get to that ledge 2 miles away. That’ll give me a good vantage point but getting there won’t be easy.

(30 minutes later) To get to that little peak up there, I’m gonna have to climb up this cliff. Now when climbing a rock face like this, always remember to keep at least three points of contact, and to use your legs to drive you up, and your arms for balance.

(slips, falls onto rock outcrop between his legs)

Uuuuughhhh… also, remember, that if you’re a bloke, your man part should definitely not be your third point of contact with the cliff.

(At the top)

Okay. From here I can get a good look at the sun, which is about to set right now, and of the terrain. The mountain sides that are facing me, they are completely covered with snow, and that means, that they are north facing. So that direction is southwest where Sapporo is, but my better bet is to the north, where I can get to the sea, and hopefully find a fishing settlement or something. But the sun is setting fast, and I have to get back to camp with Les.

———————————————

Meanwhile, Les Stroud has taken the remainder of the parachute and turned into a tent, a campfire, hunting gear, fishing gear, climbing gear, a pot for boiling food, and the pimped-out ride you see below, all before nightfall.

pimp_ride.jpg

The night has fallen, and Bear is still far from camp. He must now find another place to sleep for the night.

———————————————

Bear: Well, I’ve found this little ice cave on one of these north faces. It’s not ideal, but I really don’t have any other option. The weather is starting to get really bad, and I have to get out of the wind.

Unfortunately, I can’t make a fire here, because these ice caves can be very delicate, and a lot of heat could melt the ice, and cause some chunks to come crashing down onto you, and there’s actually a story about a tourist from Tokyo, who got lost here, and tried to make a fire in an ice cave just like this. While he was sleeping, the heat from the fire, cracked the roof, and a 2-ton piece of ice came right onto his body. He stood no chance. And that’s why you have to be so careful in these things. It looks like it’s going to be a very cold night for me. At least, the ice will provide me with some fresh water to drink. I’m gonna try and get some sleep now.

———————————————

Meanwhile, Les has turned Bear’s parachute into much more comfortable accommodations.

Les: I’m feeling pretty good about tonight. I’ve got a good shelter, and a good fire, and the gear to find some food tomorrow. But still, I feel uneasy with all the legends of the creatures that live here. Luckily, I have my little harmonica to put me at a little more ease. Remember, the most important part of survival is to keep a cool head.

Les begins to play a basic blues tune on his harmonica. Off in the distance, he hears two Japanese Shamisen playing. A Deliverance-style musical duel ensues.

Bear hears this music off into the the distance. While the music is beautiful, just as in Deliverance it is a bad omen of things to come. Both men are now scared out of their wits. They try in vain to fall asleep as the moon rises in Hokkaido…on the first night of the Survive-Off .

POLL UPDATE: More than 160 votes for the Survive-Off have been cast on Ballhype. After reading the preview article, 52% of you think Bear Grylls will win, and 48% of you think Les Stroud will win. Bear was leading handily until the news that he might be faking some aspects of his survival journey. After watching how day one played out, it’s time for you to vote again…

Who will win the survive-off?

Stay tuned for the Survive-Off Day 2, as our heroes face new and unforeseen challenges, such as volcanic activity, unforgiving weather, and…Doritos?

Posted in Bear Grylls, Deliverance, Funny Videos, Great Moments in Stupidity, Hokkaido, Les Stroud, Shamisen, Stuff That Involves Things, The Survive-Off, This is why the Internet was invented, this isn't real, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, what is this hyperbole of which you speak? | 37 Comments »

Huevonazo of the Week: Karate

Posted by Mike on July 24, 2007

Other than this, it might be the most painful minute of YouTube-age that you will see on this space in while. In a demonstration of her black belt Karate skills, this girl delivers not one shot straight to the groin…but five.

Two points to make:

1. Why does the guy keep fighting? He knows that the girl is going straight for the forbidden zone–it probably isn’t worth stealing her purse after about the third time.

2. I want to see ESPN cover way more martial arts. In all seriousness, the top martial artists are incredible athletes, but sports fans almost never get to see them. And no, UFC doesn’t count.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Funny Videos, Great Moments in Stupidity, HUEVONAZO!, Martial Arts, nutshots | 2 Comments »

Bear Grylls vs. Les Stroud: The Survive-Off

Posted by Mike on July 21, 2007

For the past year or so, there have been many a debate in my house centered around one question:

Given the exact same scenario, who stands a better chance at surviving? Bear Grylls, host of Man vs. Wild, or Les Stroud, host of Survivorman?

beargrylls.jpglesstroud2.jpg

With the new season of Man vs. Wild just ending and the new season of Survivorman about to begin, I have decided to end this argument once and for all by creating a fictional scenario to see: who is the better survivor?

Before I go on, you’re probably asking “Wait a minute…this is a sports blog! What does this have anything to do with sports?” Well, two facts make the Grylls-Stroud survive-off perfectly applicable to to this piece of Internet real estate. First, the subtitle of Digital Headbutt is “A Sports Blog About Stuff…Stuff That Involves Things.” That gives a fairly wide berth of discussion. Second, writer Barnaby Conrad once said, “There are but three true sports–bullfighting, mountain climbing, and motor-racing. The rest are merely games.” (This quote is normally credited to Hemingway, but he never actually said it.) In essence, it’s not a true sport unless there is a very real chance that you could die while participating. Under this precedent, TV survivalism is definitely a sport. This challenge will also be presented in as humorous a way as possible.

 

On to the competition.

The Players:

bearchillin.jpg

Bear Grylls. Host of Man vs. Wild. Former soldier in the British Special Air Services; youngest Briton ever to climb to the summit of Mt. Everest. Seen here inside a glacier in Alaska.

  • Survival Strengths: Can climb just about anything; has a million ways to make a compass; very fit; willing to take a risk to survive; purposefully puts himself in worst possible scenarios in order to show his TV audience how to deal with them; unmatched intestinal fortitude; knows all of the survival techniques from the British Special Forces and the French Foreign Legion.
  • Survival Weaknesses: Mother Nature will make him pay for that bravado of his; has never been truly alone in a survival situation, and thus is less cautious; somewhat of a carnivore, taking less opportunities from the plants around him; take away his flint and he might never see fire again; that barge on the river Thames isn’t exactly the best place for him to practice his skills.
  • Ideal Location for Showdown: Any rough terrain where he can exploit his climbing ability.

stroudlarge.jpg

Les Stroud. Host of Survivorman. Survival instructor from Canada, where his backyard is one of the toughest environments on Earth. Seen here here on the second biggest hunk of ice you will ever see in your life, enough ice for every margarita in the course of human civilization.

  • Survival strengths: Can make a fire from just about anything; Efficient hunter and trapper; has been in many survival situations where he is truly alone; takes a more realistic approach to survival, an example more worth following; the knowledge that, no matter how much you have in terms of tools and knowledge at your disposal, the most important survival tool is to keep a cool head and not panic; he lives in Canada, for crying out loud.
  • Survival Weaknesses: While Stroud is fit, his age (45) might give a physical disadvantage against Grylls; lives in Canada, and when in very warm environments (e.g. Costa Rica rainforest), he can be very much out of his element; struggles a lot more when climbing, but not having to haul camera gear might him more evenly matched; let’s face it, his show isn’t as exciting.
  • Ideal location for showdown: Any location that is cold.

The Location: So, Bear’s ideal locale is a rough and rocky terrain, whereas, Les is at home in the cold. So, should we hold the Survive-Off to test their weaknesses in a hot, flat area, or or should we test their strengths in a cold, rough terrain? The biggest issue is that we cannot give either of them an advantage by choosing a location with which Bear and/or Les are familiar. This eliminates the following locations:

  • Nearly all of North America
  • Costa Rica
  • Ecuador
  • Sahara (from Bear’s “Escape to the Legion”)
  • Australian Outback
  • African Savanna
  • Alps
  • Scottish Highlands
  • South Pacific Islands
  • Scandinavia

 

This pretty much leaves us with Asia. There are plenty of harsh environments from which to choose: The Arabian Desert, the Himalayas, Siberia, the Gobi Desert, and even the Central Asian Steppes. However, for this challenge I have chosen one of the most remote areas in the developed world:

Hokkaido, Japan. An island the size of South Carolina and north of Japan’s main island of Honshu, it’s one of the most most remote areas in the developed world. more than half of Hokkaido’s population of 5 million live in the area around Sapporo, in the southwest peninsula of the island. The rest is absolute wilderness. Hokkaido has several active volcanoes within its cold, wet, and rocky forests.

hokkaido.png

The Challenge: Both Grylls and Stroud will begin from the same place, either in the north or east part of the island, and will be put at least 25 miles from shore. They must camp together for at least three days. Each player will have their own cameraman do document everything; however, they cannot interfere even if a player faces death. Hey, you got yourselves into this mess when you decided to have a survival show on the Discovery Channel; you should be able to get yourselves out! Both players will camp with each other for at least three days before going their separate ways.

You may not know much about Hokkaido, but it has one of the world’s highest concentration of bears. The volcanoes could be helpful, but both players would be doomed if one of the volcanoes erupted near them.

Just because you find civilization in Hokkaido doesn’t mean safety. Any western-looking residents are Russian spies who still believe that the Cold War is alive and kicking, and they may very well kill to keep their secret. Any Japanese looking residents are either various Anime villains or Japanese hillbillies. The only true safety is the Southwest end of the island.

Both players will choose exactly three things to bring with them, along with the clothes on their backs. Bear will have his usual knife, bottle, and flint, while Les will brings a multitool, water bottle, and the world’s most underrated survival tool: the harmonica! Because nothing says “In your face, nature” quite like an annoying musical instrument.

harmonica1.gif

The Objective: First man to arrive in Sapporo alive wins. It could be in five days, it could be in five weeks, but the first man to arrive in Sapporo alive will win.

The Prize: The title of Ultimate Survivor; a 300-foot sculpture of their face on K-2; everyone on planet earth must take his survival tips as gospel from then on.

The Survive-Off will be a mini-series of sorts on Digital Headbutt, so stay tuned in the coming weeks to find out: who is the ultimate survivor?

UPDATE (7/23): I’ve set up a poll on Ballhype, so now you can vote whom you think will win the Survive-Off. If you pick right, you will win…the knowledge that you guessed correctly.

Go out and Vote for your ultimate survivor!

UPDATE #2: According to the Times of London, Bear may not be roughing it as much as we thought. Still, we are going to hold the Survive-off with the Bear whom we know, the one prepared to sleep inside a rotting deer carcass in the Scottish Highlands.

FINAL UPDATE: The Survive-Off has begun. Read day one and day two.

 

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Bear Grylls, Great Moments in Stupidity, Les Stroud, Stuff That Involves Things, Tar Heel posts, The Survive-Off, This is why the Internet was invented, what is this hyperbole of which you speak? | 934 Comments »

Look Out, David Ortiz: Daisuke Wants Your DH Job

Posted by Mike on July 20, 2007

YouTube is a fabulous place. You can entertain yourself for hours. But even better, you can post something on your blog if you’re to busy (or lazy) to any actual blogging for a short period of time, which has been the case for me.

Anyway, it turns out that Daisuke Matsuzaka averaged 19 at-bats per home run, which puts him somewhere between Pat Burrell and Alfonso Soriano in home run efficiency. The problem is that he only batted 19 times in his Japanese career, which means he’s hit a grand total of one home run as a pro.

Want to see it? Come on, I KNOW you want to! Well, here it is:

The unfortunate victim is Darwin Cubillan, Venezuelan pitcher for the Hanshin Tigers. He throws a high cheese, and Matsuzaka hits it 370 feet to the seats in left-center field. Overall, the homerun was not that impressive. However, those announcers…I want those guys covering the game whenever I hit a home run.

OHHHHHH! KORE-WAAAAAAA!!! HOWAITO-NOOOOOOO DA-KYUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!

Posted in Baseball, Boston, Dice-K, Red Sox, what is this hyperbole of which you speak? | 1 Comment »

Brazil vs. Argentina: Copa America Preview

Posted by Mike on July 14, 2007

I was quite surprised when SA from Ladies… asked me to help write a preview of tomorrow’s Copa America final. Aside from the World Cup, soccer is somewhat of a new interest for me, and there are several bloggers who are more soccer literate. However, I accepted the challenge. The final is to be waged by two of the most legendary soccer teams in the world, Brazil and Argentina. This made the article much easier for me to write, saving me hours of necessary research on team Uruguay.

Below is what I wrote. You can also see the Ladies… complete Copa America article for more analysis (and by “analysis” I mean “pictures of South American soccer players they think are hot”).

————

            We’re getting to the good game now. Trust me, no amount of fiestas on La Republica Deportiva could make Peru versus Bolivia watchable. It’s now a battle between the two best teams in the American continent, and quite possibly the world, for bragging rights and the chance to give Jozy Altidore a rude welcome to senior international soccer at the 2009 Confederations Cup. It should a very heated game, as Brazil and Argentina absolutely hate each other.

Argentina is the heavy favorite to win this year’s Copa America. They bring with them a team that could be more formidable than their World Cup team. In their five games leading up to the final, Los Albicelestes have outscored their opponents 16-3, including a 3-0 annihilation of Mexico in the semifinals.

            A lot of pressure is on Argentina to win. The team has not won any championship of significance since the 1993 Copa America, an unprecedented dry spell for one of the world’s best teams. In Peru 2004, they held a 2-1 lead in the final a against Brazil heading into stoppage time, but Adriano robbed them of a title by scoring in the 93rd minute, in essence when the game was supposed to already be over. Brazil took advantage of their new opportunity, beating Argentina 4-2 on penalty kicks to win. Make no mistake, they need to win this game. For pride. For revenge. To take back their place among the world’s best.

Key Players (club affiliation in parentheses)

  • Lionel Messi, striker (Barcelona). Quite possibly the best soccer player in the world right now, and he’s only 20.
  • Carlos Tevez, striker (???). Ugly as sin, but he’s the reason West Ham is still playing in the English Premier League.
  • Juan Roman Riquelme, midfielder (Boca Juniors). Has five goals in this tournament. Messi and Tevez may be the flash, but Riquelme is the centerpiece, the man that keeps team Argentina running.

Brazil is perhaps the most legendary team in all of sport. At least outside of this country, but we all know that the universe revolves around the U.S. of A. Why else would American football have grown so quickly overseas?*

If you have a hard time recognizing this Brazilian team, that’s because Brazil sent a young, experimental team to Venezuela in order to build for the future. You aren’t going to see names like Ronaldo, Ronaldhino, Dida, Cafu, and Kaká (heh heh, ka-ka). The United States took a similar approach to Copa America. However, Brazil is the soccer equivalent of pre-Coker Miami Hurricanes football. Just about anyone whom they put on the field, even their third and fourth-stringers, can compete with the best teams in the world. The USA, they’re more like Notre Dame; impressive against lesser opponents, but tends not to show up for the big games. (Our youth team notwithstanding, of course. this year they beat Brazil 2-1, and they have a real chance at winning this year’s U-20 World Cup.)

Brazil’s Copa America “B” team was embarrassed by Mexico 2-0 in group play, and nearly lost to Uruguay in the semis. However, anyone wearing those yellow shirts has a chance to win a soccer game, and this Sunday’s final is no exception.

Key Players

  • Robinho, striker (Real Madrid). He leads all Copa America players with six goals in five games.
  • Gilberto Silva, midfielder (Arsenal). Captain of team Brazil and a standout midfielder for a British powerhouse.
  • Vagner Love, striker (CSKA Moscow). Just because he has the oddest name. Ka-ka would have been funnier, but this will suffice.

TV Coverage

The game will be played only on Univision in America. Don’t fret if you don’t speak Spanish; it’s a lot more fun to watch soccer on Univison than on any English-speaking network. I’m very new to soccer, but the past two insanely hot summers would have been unbearable without Fernando Fiore and Pablo Ramirez; instead, I would be worrying about the Red Sox’s dwindling AL East lead, which by the laws of physics will dissolve sometime in August.

Prediction

I cannot bring myself to root for either team. To be honest, I despise them both. Argentina because they’re smug, holier-than-thou and are the second dirtiest team in the world (Italy being #1), and Brazil because…well, they’re Brazil, that’s why. The ideal situation for me would be for FIFA authorities to find them both guilty of steroid use and award the Championship to Uruguay. However, that’s not going to happen. Brazil will compete well in this game, but they are undermanned against a stacked, angry, and determined opponent. Argentina wins 3-1, but they don’t get the go-ahead goals until the second half.

Posted in AHHHHH!!! MY EYES!, Argentina, Brazil, Copa America, Futbol, GOOOOOOOLLLLLL!!!, Shameless Self Promotion, soccer, Things that are more fun in foreign dialects, Way More Tags Than This Post Merits, yes this is a slow news day. how can you tell? | 4 Comments »