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Posts posted by Treblemaker

  1. 12 hours ago, yorikiried by fate said:

    Three truths possible to draw from the Enho situation:

    Never change a gripping grip.

    Never grip a changing grip.

    And the philosophically advanced: Never grip a gripping change.

    And never gripe about a grip.

    And never change a grip on a grape.

    If you have enough, you can have a group grip.

    I prefer a grape group.

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  2. Chiyonokuni's injury (I'm guessing when his knee folded under the weight of his body) is the exact same injury that basically finished YMY. Having all that weight come down on a knee basically tore his knee up. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often. 

    And, yeah, it's been an interesting basho so far, eh? 

    Kotoshogiku has the biggest, hugest hams of any being alive. 

    Aoiyama needs to get out in the sun more often. In today's White Guy Battle, he's pretty pasty-white. At least Kaisei has a bit of colour. 

    The expression of former Takamisakari's face as Shohozan falls out of the tree is priceless. It's not like HE didn't land on a few laps in his time.

    And I'll never understand why everyone sits so damned close to the dohyo. People have been flying out fast and furious and it'll be a matter of time before the equivalent of a small cow lands on some frail, little old man. 

  3. 26 minutes ago, Amamaniac said:

    Interesting observation.  I decided to check today's NHK broadcast (mbovo) and could not spot the toe cleansing rite that you describe.  What I saw was the ladle being passed to Hakuho by Goeido, and then Hakuho passing the ladle to the yobidashi.  The yobidashi held the ladle until Goeido left to resume his place seated alongside the ring.  Then the yobidashi poured the excess water into the metal bucket that is embedded into the side of the ring.  (n.b., don't ever look inside the bucket – totally gross)

    At no point did the yobidashi this day pour "power" water on the surface of the corner for Hakuho to dip his toes in.  The closest thing that I saw was Goeido spilling a little water from the full ladle as he handed it over to the Yokozuna.  But it occurs to me that if Hakuho really wanted water on the surface of the ring he could spill water from the ladle himself; we wouldn't need the yobidashi to do it.  

    Pouring or sprinkling water on the clay & sand ring is a routine thing.  As a non-expert, I would say that a little water helps maintain the integrity of the clay dohyo, and dissolves the salt that gets dropped/thrown on the surface.  Each wrestler has his own routine in the corner, and those routines often involve placement of feet on or alongside the tawara - water or no water.

    Now that you've mentioned "Haku-toe" dippings, I will definitely keep my eyes open.

    If you have the video of the whole thing, it was Day 5, right as Hakuho approaches his corner before he does the water/paper thing. IIRC, the camera was focussed on the gyoji, and I caught the action in a corner of the screen. If that helps. The only way to see this is to watch the live stream, which includes the whole 4-minute run-up with the corner visits. Anyway, I found it really interesting.

  4. 5 minutes ago, Yangnomazuma said:

    You will see, more often, when the rikishi are offered the water before their match they will take a small sip and 'spill' some by themselves.  I remember it being quite common.  That said, I'm relegated to highlights on this side of the world.

    This was different. The yobidashi deliberately spilled a few drops of water right on the clay using the ladle, in front of Hak's feet, and he dipped his toes into the water. Never noticed that before. 

    And I'm on your side of the world. Hence the 2-4 am, coffee-induced sumo watching.

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  5. 3 hours ago, since_94 said:

    The crowd energy in the Kokugikan was noticeably lacking today. The basho seems deflated somehow, for want of a better word, like a balloon after the air has been let out of it, with so many crowd favorites and heavy hitters out. Kisenosato's retirement has really cast a pall over the whole thing. Enho's juryo bout was really something to see, though. The guy really brings it.

    There's not a great deal of charisma around these days, even with everyone healthy. Maybe that's the nature of the sport, but it makes me think of the absolute tension around bouts that featured Asashoryu or HF. There are no "characters" like Takamisakari anymore. No stare-downs, not a lot of excitement. Just two guys going up there - any two guys - going through the pre-fight motions, and then 4 seconds of grunting. (If that.) One of the reasons I took a couple of years off from watching the tournaments. 

    I recently discovered the live English feed, and started watching again, mostly because I missed it, (and the fractured English of Hiro Morita that makes your ears bleed). But, to be honest, there's no individual that immediately grabs your imagination. Finding a favourite becomes mostly a shrug, because they're all pretty much on par, and the parity is more spread out than it was years ago, with really good young guys, really bad Ozekis, and now with Kise out of the picture, two steady and competent Yokozunas. 

    What we need is a loose cannon. A guy who takes things to a different level. Someone to generate interest other than just "going after their KK". 

    We need another Asashoryu.


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  6. Rewatching the videos, and noticed something I had never seen before: Just as Hakuho is getting ready for his match, on his first visit to his corner, he has the yobidashi spill a small amount of water in the corner near the salt bucket, and then he dipped his toes (both feet) in it. Didn't do it again in subsequent trips. Have never noticed anyone else doing this. Is it for better traction, or superstition, or what? Anyone else noticed this?

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  7. So I'm watching the live streaming in the middle of the night (because the basho is on from 2-4 am here), the house is quiet, and I'm enjoying the usual butchered commentary, and seeing upset after upset, and it's time for Ichinojo's match, and I'm ready for another demonstration of size, strength and speed as he easily dispatches another opponent and WHAT THE HELL WAS THAT WHAT ARE YOU DOING ARE YOU CRAZY WHO ARE YOU WHERE'S THE ICHINOJO FROM YESTERDAY THAT WAS TERRIBLE WHERE DID THE POWER GO WHAT'S HAPPENING HERE?

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  8. That was quite the day of action. 

    Chiyoshouma's win over Yutakayama was a perfect demonstration of roping a cow. 

    I never fully realized just how round Takekeishou is. 

    One bout I was looking forward to was the Ichinojo - Kakuryu dance. This would be the indicator of Ichi's sumo, and probably his best test. With Kak's experience, either he could handle the Fridge, or get pushed out, and he couldn't, so he was. 

    Watching Hakuho for years, I found that everything he does has a reason behind it. The mattas seemed planned to some degree. Maybe to throw Nishgiki off his plan? Or maybe it was nerves? I think it was planned. With both being 4-0, this bout this early was significant, and being lucky yesterday meant Hak was not taking chances. The ending today looked very similar to yesterday's synchronized diving, but, where there should have been a mono-ii yesterday, today they got one, and it was only sensible to re-start. Had a chuckle when EVERYBODY flew off the dohyo at the same time. (Reminded me of the bout years ago when the Gyoji tripped during a match, flew off the platform but got back on to finish the match...) I think today they did it right and got it right. 

    Yago - Chiyonokuni bout had everything! Pushing, pulling, grabbing, belt work... And Chiyo, sensing the threat of imminent victory, took action and rolled out of it. Watching the two of them flailing arms at each other, I got the image of this:


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  9. With the anticipation of a Goeido - Ichinojo bout where you already knew how it was going to play out, it almost didn't. Credit to Goeido for giving a perfect impression of someone trying to move a fridge. At least here, for the first time in a while, was the old Goeido in the attempt. But the fridge won. 

    And I was hoping for Hakuho to extend the bout at least another 30 seconds, really enjoyed the action. But that should have been a re-do. Both were neck-and-neck (heel-and-toe? on their way down and I don't recall either initiating the action. I mean, you have 6 pairs of eyes + video... How can you not catch the action? Oh wait... 5 of those pairs of eyes belong to former head-butters with dubious vision and thick glasses and slow reflexes...… Yeah, never mind.

    And I spotted a very old man in the third row being helped up by two gentlemen on either side of him. Who was that? Anyone important?

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  10. So, if the reports are true, Kise is done. It's really sad, and frustrating. I remember him beating Asashoryu at a time when nobody could touch him. 

    If his injuries were so severe, why were they not treated properly? From what I've read, it was ligament and muscle damage (please correct me if I'm wrong). I've had this sort of thing, and it takes forever to recover. Surgery and rehab, physio.. he could have come back almost as good as new.  OTOH, if his injuries were so severe, the proper time to quit would have been at the end of the Nov Tournament. 

    I put 10 shekels down on Ichinojo as your next Yok. Don't know when, but I honestly think it's a matter of time.

    To those closer to the wheel than I am: The Ozeki group looks terrible. Are there injuries? Tochinoshin looks like he has a bad arm, and the other two just aren't firing properly. What's going on with them? If Goeido injured as well?

    And what's happened to Yoshikaze? He looks slow and sluggish. At one time he was the crazed electric eel people were afraid of.  Does age do that to you?

    And full credit to Hakuho for winning an impossible bout. Even at this stage of his game, he's consistently competitive. Good for him. 

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  11. I catch Moti's highlight package for the first tie in ages and the first thing I see is blood! That was a nasty headbutt Ikioi took. How he managed to finish the fight was testament to training and muscle memory. 

    Other thoughts: How does Kise end up being ranked YE1? He had no power, and was easily shown the exit.

    And logically, ichinojo should never lose a bout. Big and agile. 

    Anyway, I might stick around a bit. I dearly miss the English broadcasts and there are new faces about which I know absolutely nothing. 

  12. I haven't kept up on the injuries, just getting back into this after being away a while, but on a Day 1, where (usually) people normally look fresh and ready to go, there seemed to be a LOT of walking wounded. HF and Kak didn't look ready (while Ichi and Geek looked more than prepared).

    I've been watching Hak like since forever (we all have), but I noticed something today, and I'm wondering if it's an optical illusion: For a man his size, is it my imagination or does he have really small feet? (In relation to his height.)

    And can someone please explain the Pink Mawashi?

  13. I've been gone for a while. Has anything interesting happened lately?

    Kidding,.... kidding....

    So now that you have four reasonably relevant (if all are healthy) Yoks running around, I'm guessing that most of the second week will be these guys beating up on each other. IF parity exists (and I'm putting NO money on this, but it's a possibility), and they all go 12-3, there's a good chance that if someone else down the ranks catches fire, they might just sneak through for the yusho with a 13-2. Or not, but it makes for an interesting scenario. (Of course, if it DOES happen, you heard it here first.)


  14. Let's play "what if"...

    Let's say both Geeku and Goeido crap out of the Ozeki roles, and Kise gets promoted. Essentially, there would be 4 Yoks and only 1 Ozeki (Terunofuji). (I don't see anyone realistically being imminently bumped up to Ozeki any time soon.)

    I remember the days when there were a glut of Yoks, but they were on their way out, and there were enough Ozekis to hold a nice campfire.

    With the banzuke now completely looking like something from Bizzaro World (4 Yoks, 1 Oz), is there something in the NSK handbook that would serve to correct the balance? I'm sure this has happened before, but I don't remember if there were any special steps taken at the time.


  15. Someone waking up from a 6-year nap and having a look at the Leaderboard might think krazy things... I mentioned the parity at the top - and how better to illustrate it than the top 5 people after 10 days: Kise leading? ( (W00t, w00t, w00t...) ), followed by Hak and Goeido? ( (Hit the wall...) ), followed closely by Myogiryu and Ichinojo? ( (Poking the other guy...) )??????

    HF? The Geek? The Kak? Terunofuji? Tochinoshin? Where are these guys? And when was the last time Hak and Goeido were at equal ranking during a basho? And what fumes is Kise sniffing?

    Pick a winner? No way. Not this time. Anyone who's betting has balls of steel. This is getting to be like NFL betting... Rolling dice fixed to kites attached to whales would give a better outcome of what's going to happen in the next 5 days. It's almost like watching a Doctor Who episode.

    And blood everywhere.

    Now THIS is a civilized sport.

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  16. Preface: Having been away and out of touch for the first 9 days of this basho, tonight I had the luxury of sitting down and watching just the Sanyaku bouts from the start. (Sumo Binge-Watching, a phrase used by nobody ever.)

    Here's what I've noticed:

    Yes, Hakuho is nothing like the guy we saw 5-10 years ago. Gone is the sit-back-and-take-what's-given-go-with-the-flow-etc-etc.He's far more aggressive, but not to the same degree that, say. Asa or Chiyonofuji or even Kitanoumi could be. But we've realized for years that someone was going to get hurt by a small piano falling off the dohyo. I don't know about you, but I only saw that action from one camera angle, one view. And when something is coming right at you, in art, we call it fore-shortening. Things don't quite appear properly in perspective. Would love to have seen that from a totally different angle.

    And I'm not blaming Hakuho for trying to "aim" a human missile at anyone. People have been thrown out farther and faster. Asa once threw Baruto half-way up the hanamanchi. (Or was it Kotooshu? Someone big.) It just happened that some poor guy (who happens to be the head of the shinpan) was on the receiving end of a few kilos of brisket. It could have easily been that really old guy in the front row beside the judge from a few bashos back that narrowly escaped becoming salsa when Toyonoshima was bowled out. This stuff goes with the territory. I'm still not sure that Hak used extra sauce on that shove. It LOOKS like it from the one perspective I've seen, but the jury is still out. And I give Hak credit. In his old age, he's finally becoming someone to watch! Kind of like when Hulk Hogan went from a babyface to a villain in his latter years, to protect and extend his career. After years of turning off the basho before Hak's bouts, he's now the one to watch! What I'd love to see - now - is the current Hak vs the THEN Asa, circa 2009.

    I'm thinking that there must be something going on with Kakuryu. He doesn't have the same arsenal of weapons that HF has, but he's always been consistent and reliable. He doesn't seem himself. An injury or something?

    Enjoying the re-birth of Kise. Been a long time since he's gone this deep into the pool. Of course, the proof is how well he does against the Yoks. And all of them look do-able.

    Ok, so whose basho is it? There's so much parity now in the top levels that anyone with enough staying power could walk away with the flag. And frankly, it's good to finally see that. After years of what essentially a one- or two-horse race, on any given day, it seems anything can happen. And at this point, I really don't care who wins. I'm just enjoying the action. IMHO.

    And as always, and huge Thank You to Kinta for the videos. What would be incredible is for him to do an audio track over the action, as a commentary! But that so much more work. I'm thankful for whatever he can provide.

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  17. A Kisenosato henka?

    How was that a henka?

    How wasn't it a henka? After a couple of cool stare-downs (the likes we haven't seen since the Asa days), Kise plays matador to Geeku's bull. And The Geek NEVER looks up. Possibly the most henka-prone guy up there. Loved every minute of it.

    Edit: Ok, so it wasn't a PURE henka, but it was enough of a side-step to thoroughly punish The Geek who clearly wasn't paying attention. Still, great shock value. (Dribbling...)

  18. I think the greatest fear is that in this basho, The Geek doesn't come up smelling like the stuff you put on roses in the spring. Anything less that 13 wins will probably not lead to rejoicing. Of course, for 13+ wins, some of those have to come from the likes of Hak, HF, Kak, T-Fuji and Kise. Can he do it again? Wasn't sure he could do it the first time. Happy for him, and would be happy again if he repeats, but my money's on Hakuho this time around. Just because.

  19. I'm not sure what the Vegas Oddsmakers had Geeku, but I'm pretty sure he was a long-shot, at best. I think this is wonderful. Yes, some of the bouts looked very strange, and we'll never know for sure if he had "help". but in his own bouts, there was absolutely no doubt. With a little care, this could have been a zensho yusho. I, for one, am happy with the result.

    And again, an important THANK YOU! to The Great Kintamayama for the videos. A lot of hard work goes into the editing and co-ordinating of those things. I know for a fact that it's a labour of love for him, but it's still an effort, and I thank him.

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  20. We still have 3 days to go. While my heart's with The Geek, my money's not on him. I think we pay close attention to, not only how he does over the next few days, but how the Yoks go about their own business. How can you reconcile them getting knocked off with relative ease, and then they put up the usual epic bouts with each other, if that should happen? Know what I mean? (I don't even know what I mean.....)

    ... aaaaand reality, being stretched to the limit, snaps back with a loud crack!

    This match was doomed even before it started. The Geek threw SO much salt onto the dohyo that his left foot slipped three times as he was looking for traction. It didn't matter that Toyonoshima was quicker, moving laterally, grabbing the arm, etc.. Geek basically shot himself in the foot. Literally. With that much salt, it may not have been the defining factor, but I'll bet it didn't help matters much.

    And perhaps facing the Little Wrecking Ball was the last thing The Geek wanted to do. Smaller opponents don't fit well into the Belly Bump approach.

    So now we have a really interesting couple of days before us. If I were a betting man, this is one time I would really sit on my wallet.

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