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Monday, May 29, 2017

Christian Santamaria

Christian Santamaria is a model from Barcelona, Spain.  He was out walking in Barcelona when  a beautuiful young lady told him he should be a model, so he looked into it.  He has had a successful career

Height: 6′ 2″ / 188 cm. Chest: 38″ / 96 cm. Waist: 32″ / 81 cm. Shoes: 11½ / 45 Hair: Brown Eyes: Green

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Farmboy Jocks

Sunday Sport: Totti, Indy, Monty, and Nibali

In the United States of America:  the Indianapolis 500.  The Indianapolis 500 is an automobile race held annually at Indianapolis Motor Speedway in Speedway, Indiana, an enclave suburb of Indianapolis. The event is held over Memorial Day weekend, which is typically the last weekend in May, and annually has the highest attendance of any sporting event in the world. The raceway has a seating capacity of 250,000, and today attendance figures will surge past 300,000.  This year's guests of honor include Vice President Mike Pence, former governor of Indiana.  

The 2017 Indy 500 could live up to last year's 100th running of The Greatest Spectacle in Racing, thanks to Formula 1 star, and twice world champion, Fernando Alonso.  He has skipped Monte Carlo this year to  partner with Indycar's Andretti Autosport.  Following impressive speed throughout practice, Alonso secured a fifth-place starting position during last weekend's qualifications.  After a scary scene at the qualifying rounds last week,  with Sebastien Bourdais suffering a broken pelvis and right hip, Sunday's race is still shaping up to be a great one. Bourdais was pacing to take the pole, but after the terrifying wreck, has had to give up his position in Indianapolis this year.  

The first race was run in 1911, and 2017 sees the 101st running of the storied race.  It is part of the "triple crown" of auto racing, one of the other two tiers, the Grand Prix of Monaco, is also run today (see below), the third is the 24 Hours of Le Mans.  500 miles is 200 laps at the course.  3 drivers have won 4 times each, and the team with the most wins overall is Penske, at 16.  

In Monaco:  the Grand Prix of Monaco.  Today a 3.3 kilometer circuit through the streets of Monte Carlo will see the competition of the Grand Prix.  This is the sixth event of the 2017 World competition.  78 rounds are planned in the competition, which equals more than 260,000 kilometers.  

Mercedes-GP arrive in Monaco on a high after Lewis Hamilton’s hard-fought win in Spain to cut Sebastian Vettel’s advantage at the top to six points. The German marque have been the winning team around the tight streets of Monte Carlo the past four years and are bidding to be the first team since McLaren (1988-93) to win the race five times in a row. Hamilton prevailed 12 months ago for his second race win in the principality, the previous one having come in 2008 when he was with McLaren.

Given they are the most successful team in the sport’s history, it is something of a surprise that you have to go back to 2001 for the last time Ferrari won in Monaco, with Michael Schumacher triumphing that day. Sebastian Vettel, despite four world drivers’ titles to his name, has won the race only once, in 2011, but he has been in superb form this season and will be confident that he is well placed to end his team’s drought on Sunday.  Two astounding days of auto racing on the same day... 

In Italy:  The historic hundredth running of the Giro d'Italia wraps up today, with an exciting individual time trial.  It is even more exciting this year, with the top racers all being within a few seconds of each other, and the trial course being long enough to make those differences meaningful.  Dutchman Tom Dumoulin was leading the race until the last few stages, when Colombian Nairo Quintana retook the lead. Yesterday's thrilling win by Frenchman Thibaut Pinot changed the race standings.  Quintana wears the pink leader’s jersey after the last mountain stage, but breathing down his neck are three men: the defending champion, Italian Vincenzo Nibali, Pinot and Dumoulin. Respectively, the trio are 39, 43 and 53 seconds behind Quintana.  Two others are also, in the running, 

Russian Ilnur Zakarin and the Italian Domenico Pozzovivo, who are 1min 15sec and 1min 30sec back.  Today's thrilling final stage may be the closest finish in any Grand Tour in history, 8 seconds being Greg LeMond's Tour de France cushion in 1988.  Dumoulin has been considered a time trial specialist until this year, so the flat 29.3km from the Monza race track to Milan’s Duomo is just his cup of tea.  More than three weeks on the road, however, can change a man, so the finalists, all riding under that fatigue, are unpredictable.  Pay attention for a fine Milan finish! 

In Italian Soccer:  Roma wraps up its season today, which also means the last regularly scheduled game for storied player Totti. Since the administration announced his retirement, Totti has refused to comment, preferring instead to reserve participation in the circus until after the season end.  This last game in the Olympic Stadium for the season, however, has been sold out for weeks, and the silent Totti may find himself in the midst of his own glorification at today's game.   

Then again, he could play a Brett Favre.  When the administration of the Green Bay Packers American Football team unceremoniously forced him into retirement,  after faithful, lifelong service, yet unwilling to end his football playing days, he did the unthinkable and signed with two successive team, playing well for other teams well into his forties.  Perhaps Totti is next to be signed by Real Madrid, or cross-town rivals Lazio.  Probably, though, he will probably valiantly accede to what has been forced upon him and join next year's Roma management team. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Daniel Peyer

Saturday Sport: America's Cup Sailing, Aussier Rules, English Soccer and Monaco GP

1851 was the year of a yachting race in Great Britain, held on August 22.  14 British ships were racing, and one schooner was American, called "America."  Upon that victory, the competition was named, the trophy was brought back to New York, and the America's Cup was born. The second competition was held in 1870, and then it was held on an irregular schedule, normally every two to four years, but sometimes with a decade or two between races.  

Yesterday this season's America's Cup began in Bermuda, where over the next month the "Great Sound" will be filled with racing, involving competitions of teams of 6 nations.  Defending Champions are the United States of America, whose skipper is James Spithill of Australia.  Most unfortunately, the yachts of yesteryear no longer can take part. When experimental floating vessels were introduced, a few decades ago, they developed into almost unrecognizable and unsafe versions of a ship.  Reason prevailed, though, and dictates came down from on high, so while the racing may be thrilling, and still maintain a certain kind of beauty, it is no overtly unsafe.  The USA squad sail in a catamaran which can go as fast as 45 knots,  with a foil on the back which helps it fly about the surface of the water.  In any case, only about 7 feet are submerged beneath the water. 

This should be a thrilling month, with beautiful and evocative spectacles which awake man's primal yearning for the sea.  In today's round robin races, New Zealand contends with the USA, Great Britain with Japan, Sweden with France, and finally the United States with Great Britain.  The best to all the teams in this year's America's Cup. 

In England:  FA Cup final, Arsenal vs. Chelsea.  This year has been a year of ups and down, down, downs for Arsenal, one of England's best known and premier soccer teams. The year when Arsenal’s ever-present streak in the Uefa Champions League ends cannot be called fantastic, especially when the other five of England’s top six clubs should all advance instead.  Sometimes English football is not just about wins and losses, though, it is about revenge, and meeting a bitter enemy head on and winning.  Arsenal and Chelsea meet in the FA Cup final this evening, and some fans think that a win there could "salvage" the season for the Gunners.   Arsenal has won eight of their last nine games, losing only to Tottenham somewhere in there, so they finished a mediocre season strong, and want desperately to go out on top.  The season has been so strange, they lost to lesser opponents, put beat both Manchester clubs.  Chelsea is in the catbird seat, only having lost only six of their last 32 matches with Arsenal.   The winner of this afternoons match is hardly "in the cards," but a win or loss will perhaps cause more ink to be spilled over Arsenal than Chelsea. 

In Monaco:  Grand Prix:  The Grand Prix of Monaco will be raced on Sunday and today, as the past few days, the streets of Monte Carlo will be shut down to welcome those drivers competing in the qualifying rounds.  Qualifying is important at the best of times,  but in Monte Carlo, a top qualifier is usually the winner on race day.  Only once in the past 30 years has a driver won the race starting lower than third after the qualifiers.  Saturday’s session is usually one of the highlights of the season.  The streets of Monte Carlo are narrow and steep, and drivers push to the limit on a track which has no margin for error, with the barriers so close to the edge of the racecourse.

In Australia:  in Aussie Rules Football, Saturday's prime match seems to be that between the Western Bulldogs, winners of last year's Grand Final, and the St Kilda Saints.  Both teams make the Etihad Stadium their home stadium, and both teams have had rough starts this season. Etihad is an indoor stadium, with its own influence on the games.   The Bulldogs have a 5-4 start to this season, and have staggered to the end in their wins.  The Saints had won three straight, but lost on their home turf to Sydney last week, losing by 50 points.  In their last several meetings, they are evenly matched, but the Bulldogs are undefeated in their four games at Etihad this season.  Other AFL action includes Melbourne at the Gold Coast Suns, Richmond at Essendon, and the Adelaide Crows at  Freemantle. 

Friday, May 26, 2017

Gettin Wet

Anatoli Goncharov
Daniel Rumfelt
Davey Koch
David Lurs
David Gandy
Denis Gusev
Diego Amaral
Diego Lauzen Rodrigues
Francois Schoder
Lance Franklin


By Ralph Waldo Emerson
The water understands
Civilization well;
It wets my foot, but prettily,
It chills my life, but wittily,
It is not disconcerted,
It is not broken-hearted:
Well used, it decketh joy,
Adorneth, doubleth joy:
Ill used, it will destroy,
In perfect time and measure
With a face of golden pleasure
Elegantly destroy.