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Everything posted by ScreechingOwl

  1. ScreechingOwl

    2012 Sumo Games World Championship Finals

    Many thanks to Doitsuyama for all the work he put in before and during the basho to make playing and following the sumo games so enjoyable. We appreciate it. Hearty congratulations to Taka for a strong tournament and great job at being the best sumo gamer in 2012. Well done!
  2. ScreechingOwl

    Kyushu Basho 2012 Discussion Thread

    I'm always amazed at just how agile Miyabiyama can be, considering his size and age. Sure, he belly-flops with the best of them, and he's slower than he used to be, and his tsuppari technique wouldn't knock a book off of a table, but even so, he still floats like a butterfly. Lands like a cement mixer, but I'll bet he's a great dancer. Miyabiyama certainly doesn't sting like a bee anymore -- almost all his wins come from pulldowns, as he seldom has the power to win by pushout now. And floats like a butterfly hasn't been the phrase that comes to mind when I think of Miyabiyama either, rather I think about things like that weak henka against Fujiazuma on day 10 and all those flops. When you can't win going forward any longer your basho in the makuuchi division are numbered on one hand. One interesting thing I noted while filling out my Toto picks was that in the first Juryo match on day 15, Serio, the Makushita 2 rikishi called up to fill in for an injury, has already wrestled 7 times this tournament (2-5) so he will end up with 8 regulation bouts. (I assume no one with a record of 4-3 o 3-4 would be scheduled to fight an eighth time in case they ended up with a tie record.) I'm sure this has happened before, although I can't recall when and I wonder how rare it is.
  3. ScreechingOwl

    Masunoyama heart condition

    This thread is another in a long list of reasons why the Japan Sumo Association has to be among the worst sports authorities in the world. (I'd put FIFA up there too for rampant corruption, inter alia.) Masunoyama's situation reminds me a bit of that of Tamanoumi, who died from heart problems in part because he put off getting an operation. We've already had an unnecessary death in sumo recently because of JSA's lax overseeing of the oyakata. When people notice the difficulty in getting new recruits does anyone ever tie it into the total lack of concern shown for the health of the rikishi? It's hard to see how any middle class family in Japan (at least one not connected to sumo) could let a son join sumo. Moreover, now everytime I Masumoyama has a match I can barely watch, although to be honest that's been true throughout Kyushu because he's so clearly having trouble breathing. Maybe JSA can turn sumo into auto racing where fans show up expecting someone to die (eventually). Most sports understand the need to protect their major stars. Even sumo allows yokozuna to miss basho. I agree with Simon, it's well past time to bring back kosho, perhaps in some limited form, say no more than for one tournament a year. In the short term it will lead to some fan unhappiness, but in the long term it will produce better quality sumo and longer, happier careers. It makes so much sense, in fact, that I'd give JSA about a zero chance of implementing it.
  4. ScreechingOwl

    2012 Sumo Games World Championship Finals

    Thanks for running this very interesting thread, Randomitsuki. It's an exciting race for the year title between Panda and Taka, with Taka having a good basho but Panda having an amazing one. Slow and steady is the way a real panda would do it too. And to have ten players tied in Sumo Game with four days to go and another eleven only one game behind is amazing. Because of kyujos that's well over half the division with a possibility of winning the yusho, and as Doitsuyama points out another eight players close behind. (I can see someone in that bunch finishing in the top 10, but I can't oversee anyone two back even tieing for the yusho when there are 21 people ahead of them.) I believe that Randomitsuki has mentioned previously how difficult this game is in the top division and Kyushu 2012 certainly seems to support that statement.
  5. ScreechingOwl

    Kyushu Basho 2012 Discussion Thread

    Kotooshu came into day 11 only needing one more victory for his kachi koshi, so there was certainly no necessity for Hakuho to throw the match. As lackluster as Kotooshu often appears, the last time he needed a win on day 15 to get his kk was 4 years ago (Kyushu 2008). Part of the reason he appears weaker is because once he gets his kk he seems to lose focus and/or effort. Plus some of his losses are very bad. Kotooshu's not good enough to yusho anymore, so really once he gets his eight victory the rest of the matches don't have much meaning for him other than pride and some kensho envelopes. Plus, I'd wager that there may have been some celebratory drinking going on last night for Kotooshu and his fans. Kotoshogiku's need for a win was much greater. If you look at the replay you can see that Harumafuji's left foot slipped and left quite a divet when he pushed off. That could certainly legitimately occur, and Kyushu is reknown for having a slippery surface. On the other hand Harumafuji is also bright enough to make it look that way if he so desired, and he'd know there won't be much criticism for losing because of a slip. As Shumitto noted, to have some cynicism present when two yokozuna lose to two kadoban ozeki on the same day is inevitable given the last few years in sumo. For what it's worth, Kotooshu has now defeated Hakuho in two of their last 17 bouts, and that seems a believable ratio to me. And Harumafuji's build doesn't match up well with Kotooshu's, so I can see him trying to get a big pushoff at the tachi-ai. In the end, however, the issue isn't provable either way.
  6. ScreechingOwl

    Kyushu Basho 2012 Discussion Thread

    You are dreaming for sure. We're complaining about this particular henka because: A. It happened in a bout between 2 Ozeki. B. One of them is kadoban C. This guy in particular should know better. D. The whining is specific. No generalizations about henka as a tactic. E. Do you not see the subtle difference? I can't stand these double standards. If you are complaining about a particular henka but not whining against the tactic in general this is a paradox to me. It's like turning a blind eye on rikishi punching each other in the face in Juryo, but aaah, if an Ozeki does it, it is a problem. Time to chose a side - if henka in juryo is not a problem to you, it can't be a problem for the Ozeki as well. After all, a Henka in juryo today might lead you to Ozeki tomorrow, so I can't see how one thing is different from the other! I don't like to see a henka every, period, but it's not exactly a double standard to complain about it being done to a kadoban ozeki, it's a recognition that some bouts are more important than other bouts. Imagine if Hakuho's 63 bout winning streak were ended by a henka. I think most people would have felt cheated. The same feeling prevails if a yusho is decided by a henka. If something important is on the line it shouldn't be decided by a henka.
  7. ScreechingOwl offline?

    Thank you for all your hard work with so many of the sumo games, Doitsuyama. I'd like to add my voice to the chorus of appreciation for all you have done to make Kyushu so much more enjoyable for the sumo gaming community. As for the Sekitori-toto results not being posted yet, I know we are all eager to see them but we should try to keep in mind that it's really the Aki results in that game that are the most important. Just my two cents....
  8. ScreechingOwl

    Kyushu Basho 2012 Discussion Thread

    It was wrong for Kakuryu to henka Kotoshogiku because he was kadoban. The two ozeki are about evenly matched: it was 12-10 in Kotoshogiku's favour before yesterday. That's only the second henka by Kakuryu this year that I can remember, so he's cut down on his rate, but the circumstances surrounding yesterday's henka leave a bad taste. On the plus side, it should be noted that Kotooshu, who used to henka too often, hasn't made even one henka in the last couple of years. Kotooshu receives a lot of criticism, some of it justified, but certainly deserves praise on this issue.
  9. ScreechingOwl

    Shotenrou and Kitataiki reprimanded

    The first matta was an obvious false start by Kitataiki and no contact was made. With the second, they were wrestling for a few seconds and things seemed about even (maybe Shotenro had a slight advantage). The third "matta" was fought to conclusion, with Kitataiki pushing Shotenro off the dohyo, only to find out that he'd have to do it all over again. After Kitataiki lost he looked visibly upset and made a loud grunt too. It's the second time the visibly injured Kitataiki has been "robbed" this tournament, and he may not end up with enough wins to avoid a demotion to juryo.
  10. ScreechingOwl

    Aki Basho 2012 Discussion Thread

    Kyukotenho's easy schedule in Natso was an aberration, brought about in part by his 2-3 record after day 5 and in part by the fact that while he had improved to 8-3 on day 11 Kisenosato still had a two win lead over him. So through day 12 I cut the JSA some slack. They screwed up big time in giving him M11 Sadanofuji (with a losing record) on day 13. Clearly they didn't take Kyukotenho seriously. Then they paired him with Kotooshu on day 14, perfectly appropriate, but they didn't back that up on day 15 with another ozeki (because they assumed he'd lose on day 14, I'm sure) and instead gave him sekiwake Goeido, a good rikishi in most cases but not someone you want meeting a potential yusho winner on day 15. As has been noted, this basho Kisenosato's schedule is clear for day 15, so if Kyokutenho wins today and tomorrow that will be the pairing. I can't imagine that will happen. What Kyukotenho has shown again though is that even as the oldest sekitori out there he can cut through the lower rankings like a knife through butter. And frankly, after last tournament's 2-13 debacle for him, it's nice to see do so. Best non-retirement decision ever.
  11. ScreechingOwl

    Haru banzuke discussion.

    I think it's clear that Aminishiki returns to Sekiwake -- otherwise not entirely clear at all. In general the banzuke makers don't seem as impressed with the quality of opposition as with the number of wins. As for Takanoyama, I think he'll be kept in the makuuchi division because he's on the border and a crowd favorite. However, at his current weight, or anywhere near it, he'll never make sanyaku, and in fact will be fortunate to go kachi koshi. I see him seesawing between makuuchi and juryo, although I can envision him eeking out an 8-7 in the top division sometime.
  12. ScreechingOwl

    Haru banzuke discussion.

    I think it's clear that Aminishiki returns to Sekiwake -- otherwise not entirely clear at all. In general the banzuke makers don't seem as impressed with the quality of opposition as with the number of wins. As for Takanoyama, I think he'll be kept in the makuuchi division because he's on the border and a crowd favorite. However, at his current weight, or anywhere near it, he'll never make sanyaku, and in fact will be fortunate to go kachi koshi, and will likely seesaw between makuuchi and juryo, although I could see him eeking out an 8-7 in the top division sometime.
  13. ScreechingOwl

    Kofuji Intai in all games

    I was very saddened to read your post, Bob. Although we've never spoken directly, I've always felt like I knew some things about you and when a new basho came around every other month I've always enjoyed looking at that photo of you in a kimono. Thank you very much for all of the time you've shared with the greater sumo community at large in running the games. I know they are mere frivolities in the larger scheme of life, but they have brought a lot of happiness (and some frustration!) and increased my pleasure in each basho. If it is your time to go in the year of the dragon, I wish you as comfortable a journey as possible toward, as Shakespeare put it, "the undiscovered country." I hope you are able to enjoy some additional time with your family and that you have God's blessing, just as you have our thoughts. Thank you again for all your help. -Douglas (ScreechingOwl)
  14. ScreechingOwl

    Guess Kisenosato's Aite

    Day 1 -- Homasho Day 2 -- Aminishiki
  15. ScreechingOwl

    Hakuho in 2012....

    Hakuho said his goal this year is to reach 25 yusho. I predict he'll win 5 yusho (only nervous about that because it's one more than he's predicting himself) 2 zensho yusho 81 wins 24 wins in a row (I don't anticipate that Hakuho will ever have a record approaching streak again; it's just too hard and even for someone as talented as him, requires some luck.)
  16. ScreechingOwl

    Hatsu 2012 Banzuke

    The notion that Miyabiyama could ever become an ozeki again was pretty firmly squelched by the JSA in July 2006 when, despite Miyabiyama having surpassed the supposedly magic "33 wins" mark (winning, 10, 14 and 10), they refused to promote him. This may have in part been due to the short and unsatisfactory nature of his tenure at ozeki, which consisted of only 8 basho, during which he never managed to win in double digits; perhaps even more importantly the decision of the JSA reflected their belief that his sumo was no longer of ozeki-quality. At least in the long run the JSA was undoubtably right about that, and in the five years that have followed he is only a shell of his former self. Although it's true his footwork is better in that he doesn't flop as easily as he used to, his sumo is no longer powerful or forward moving. Most of his Miyabiyama's wins now are by slap down or push down, and he is increasingly relies on the henka. He'll now be facing the sanyaku for the time in over a year and a half -- and he'll be fortunate to win 5 bouts in Hatsu.