Conference Championships Fake Live Blog – March 21, 2020

Because we need this. And by we, I mean me.

Today—what would have been conference championships if the NCAA season were still going on—I’ll be blogging a couple of old conference championships as if they were happening live. Here’s the schedule.

Saturday, March 21Video
3:00pm ET/12:00pm PT – 2008 SEC ChampionshipLINK
5:00pm ET/2:00pm PT – 2012 Pac-12 ChampionshipLINK

I’m pressing play on the YouTube videos at the exact moment listed. Do the same if you want to be part of this cool kids sleepover.

Up first, the 2008 SEC Championship.

Georgia has won the last three national championships and Suzanne’s cheekbones are more confident than ever. Georgia comes into the conference championship as the #1 team in the country and de facto host of the event but is critically without Courtney Kupets, who tore her Achilles (again) four meets prior. That development has given #3 Florida, #5 LSU, and #6 Alabama hopes of snatching an upset win.

A whole ELEVEN 10.0s have been awarded so far this season including TWO (!!!!) at Georgia’s senior night last week, team scores have been trending into the higher part of the 197s, and we’re all worried about what this means for rising scores again.

Continue reading Conference Championships Fake Live Blog – March 21, 2020

COVID Coping: 2003 Team Final

Albertricus Trautwig welcomes us the 2003 team final by revealing that Chellsie Memmel is “in the news for all the wrong reasons.”

I mean, did she steal a bank?

No, but Chellsie did receive a last-minute phone call to join Team USA. BIG CRIME HEADLINE.

“Ring ring it’s Martha, hope you’ve been eating your air salad, now strap into that leotard and thin me four events in a team final. okhateyoubyee.”

Continue reading COVID Coping: 2003 Team Final

Why Does the Code Hate Nastia So Much?

Interested in a pointless exercise? SAMESIES! Hey, what else are we going to do?

I decided to take the US 2008 Olympic team and calculate their D-scores as if they were competing now—under the 2020 code—to see how things might change.

And they sort of do!

(Save all comments about comparing a 10-skill code to an 8-skill code and composition choices and all that. No one is pretending this is real or means anything.)

Here’s what the D-Score hierarchy would be for that team under the 2020 code.

VTUBBBFXTOTAL
Shawn Johnson5.85.36.25.723.0
Nastia Liukin5.06.05.55.221.7
Chellsie Memmel5.05.75.55.521.7
Sam Peszek5.45.25.65.521.7
Bridget Sloan5.45.25.25.221.0
Alicia Sacramone5.85.75.416.9
Routines from 2008 Olympic Trials

Compared to the actual actual D-Scores (A-Scores) awarded at the time.

VTUBBBFXTOTAL
Shawn Johnson6.56.46.96.626.4
Nastia Liukin5.57.76.76.226.1
Chellsie Memmel5.57.06.96.225.6
Sam Peszek 5.86.26.66.425.0
Bridget Sloan5.86.76.16.124.7
Alicia Sacramone6.36.56.219.0
D-Scores from 2008 Olympic Trials, best of 2 days
Continue reading Why Does the Code Hate Nastia So Much?

Covid Coping: 2012 All-Around Final

Finding the will to continue living can be challenging in a time like this, so I decided to watch the 2012 Olympic All-Around final—I think for the first time since it happened. More specifically, the NBC broadcast where they showed about six routines and were like, “This is gymnastics. Eat it.”

It’s a real doozy.


We are welcomed to the broadcast by the Crown Priestess of All-Around, Nastia Liukin, sounding like an 8-year-old bird for some reason. I’m reminded of the fact that she’s about to kill Elfi and bury her body in the woods 13 seconds after this Olympics ends, and that’s adding a rich drizzle of nuance to this voiceover.

Sure, Mary Lou and Carly may have won before Nastia, but send those footnotes out to pasture because 2008 was better and more important and Nastia.

Alas, now it is the year 2012. Nastia has reigned long enough and is ready to hand her crown over to someone else.

…starting now.

“Tonight, it’s all about Gabby and Aly,” and definitely not Olga and Rhoda or whatever those other goddamn names are.

BUT WAIT. What if you—an honest and true and pure American who works hard and deserves a gold medal because of Good Guys Team—might have it callously snatched away from you? And by a RUSSIAN no less? A Russian who definitely hasn’t worked hard and doesn’t deserve a gold medal, because of Russia and Yucky Poo Poo Team.

That would be gross and bad.

What’s that you say? Why yes, it IS super weird that Nastia had to deliver the quadrennial We Can’t Let Evil Russians Beat The Good Guys Team address.

Continue reading Covid Coping: 2012 All-Around Final

Gymnastics – Does It Still Exist?

For when you’re looking to check in on whether gymnastics still exists.


March 13

The answer to the title of this page is officially no. After completing qualifications, Baku has canceled the finals of the apparatus world cup, per the Canadian federation. I mean, they’ve all been there competing and training together for days, so damage done, but it was hard to imagine that event still continuing while all other sports in the history of ever have been canceled, but it seems this decision came from higher up…

We don’t know what the FIG is going to do about Olympic qualification for the apparatus world cups at this point…and I’m sure the FIG itself doesn’t know either.


College gymnastics is officially ceasing competition for the rest of the season.


The Birmingham World Cup, scheduled for March 28, has not yet self-canceled, but I can’t imagine we’re far off.


March 12

A few hours after the Pac-12 and SEC conferences announced the immediate suspension of all sporting events, the NCAA officially canceled all championships, and other conferences like the Big Ten are beginning to cancel competition for the remainder of the season as well.


The Baku Apparatus World Cup is still truckin’ and the first day of qualification is complete. Stephen Nedoroscik left the competition early, before competing, to return to the US because who knows what sort of hastily organized, reactionary, ill-explained travel restrictions will be imposed between now and the end of the event. That ends his chances of earning an Olympic spot this way unless some drastic change to the qualification procedures is announced.

Rayderley Zapata withdrew from the competition with potentially flu-like things and was taken to a hospital and tested for coronavirus (TBD), so they’re probably really glad they held this competition.


March 11

The Stuttgart World Cup has been canceled. It was scheduled for March 21-22 and was to be the 2nd of the 4 all-around world cups in that qualification series.

The FIG does have a note in the rules that if only 3 events in the series are held instead of 4, then everything goes on as planned with those 3 meets counting. But it’s realllly tough to imagine Birmingham and Tokyo going ahead at this point.


After previously announcing that the event would be held without fans, the Doha World Cup has now announced that the final apparatus world cup in the series will be pushed to June 3-6 (originally scheduled for March 18-21).