Sunday, September 24, 2006

U!S!A! no longer dominates international sport

So I watched the final day of the Ryder Cup today. As the Europeans finished crushing the American squad I realized I haven't seen an American team win an international competition in a long time. Here, a recap of the United States' performance in recent compeititions.

Baseball. The first of a few sports invented in America in which we can no longer defeat foreigners. In May the first "World Baseball Classic" was played. It featured the best professional athletes each playing for his home country. While favored to win, the US was defeated in the second round robin round, finishing 8th overall. Ahead of them, Japan, Cuba, Korea, and the Dominican Republic.

Soccer. A sport that has only recently became popular in the United States. It is no surprise America didn't win the 2006 World Cup, but many had hoped for more than one American score.

Basketball. Created fairly recently here in the US of A. Massive number of talented Americans. Defeated in the semifinals of the World Basketball Championship by a Greek squad lead by Michalis Kakiouzis. Spain won the championship.

Golf. Today, a talented United States squad lead by the top 3 golfers worldwide were defeated in the top International team golf competition, the Ryder Cup. The United States has now lost 4 of the last 5 contests between a team of US players, and team from the European Union. Pathetic.

Tennis. The largest international competition is the Davis Cup, which is played every year. Today, Russia defeated the United States in the semifinal match. While America has captured the cup the most number of times, we haven't done so since 1995.

Sailing. Here's one we should win. Heck, the competition is called, "America's Cup". And indeed, from 1851 to 1980 America never lost the cup. However in 1983 a team of Americans lost the cup to Australia and we have never regained our dominance. In the most recent competition a team from Switzerland captured the cup from Team New Zealand. The next competition is in 2007.

Hockey. A sport more favored by our neighbors to the North. Still, we've been the best team in the world in the past. In 2006, Sweden captured both the Olympic Gold Medal and the Men's World Ice Hockey Championship.

So what do we have? Looking a wikipedia's "List of world cups and world championships" USA appears only under "FIFA World Basketball Championship for Women". Their solid fundamentals make up for the lack of dunking. There's even a American Football World Cup. Current champion, Japan.

I prefer to blame our lack of a good fight song for our current woes. Most other countries have atleast one, if not many, great fight songs for their international soccer and curling matches. The steady chants of U!S!A! no longer inspire our athletes to band together. We need something to remind us that while we have great talent, its teamwork that allows Greece to beat us at our own game. I leave it to our world renowned musicians to create for us such a song. It should be as easy to play on an ukalalee as a fiddle. You should be able to sing it drunk or sober, young or old. And it should be inspiring.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

World Cup Bracket Challenge

Hey yo,

I'm starting a World Cup bracket challenge today. It is similar to the March madness, NCAA Tournament, bracket pool, but using the 32 nations of the world cup tournament instead. Here's how it works:

  1. In the preliminary round, you pick the winner and second place for each of the 8 groups. For instance in group A we have Germany, Costa Rica, Poland, and Ecuador. I could pick Germany to win the group, and Poland to come in second.
  2. Knowing who advances from each group you can seed the knockout stage bracket. For instance, group A's winner plays group B's second place first.
  3. Continue to fill out the bracket, picking the winner of each game, until you crown your world cup champion!
I'd like to set the entrance fee at 5 simoleons. Since I expect people to be playing on multiple coasts of this country, I'll collect money from those on the east coast, and Brian will collect money for those on the west coast. I'll post a downloadable bracket for everyone to fill out shortly.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Global Asset Allocation Podcast

Just a quick note from Boston. My group at Putnam Investments is going to be setting up a podcast in the next few weeks, so watch this space for a link.

Friday, November 11, 2005

Music Monopoly

So let's examine the economics of music from a consumers standpoint. How about an Apples to Apples comparison.

The list price on Amazon of the bestselling music soundtrack vs. the DVD:

1) Garden State is $14 for the CD, $20 for the DVD
2) Love Actually is $19, $15 for the DVD
3) Ray is $19 for the CD and $20 for the DVD.
4) Nightmare before Christmas, $12 for CD, $19 for the DVD.
5) O Brother where art though? is $14, and $20 for the DVD.
6) Star Wars Ep. III, is $19 for CD, and $30 for DVD
7) Grease is $14, vs $15.
8) Batman Begins is $14, $30
9) Crash is $17, vs $30.
10) Phantom of the opera is $19, vs $20.

Does anyone else find this weird? A consumer would assume that the price of a product is related to the cost of its production. Using that logic, 50% of Batman's cost comes from the soundtrack. Star Wars spent 66% of its budget on music, and 75% of Garden State's cost comes from the soundtrack. Its actually cheaper to buy the DVD of Love Actually, turn off the screen, and listen to the music within the movie than to buy the CD. No wonder CD sales are down, and DVD sales are up.

Friday, February 11, 2005

Hello from New York

Writing this from the beautiful Melrose hotel located on Manhatten's upper east side. Kind of inspiring actually. Found an old church near by, everything made out of stone. Sunday masses are at 8am and 10am, so lets hope I make it there. The hotel has a CD library collection, but unfortunately they've had only 2 CDs here that I wanted to grab, 311's 311 and the best of Herbie Handcock.
To Do today, finish up my generic cover letter and have Lauren take a look at it
Read some material
See Burrows
Thats it!

Interesting things on the web:
Check out the latest headlines, as compiled by you!

Monday, January 31, 2005


Haven't updated in a while. Pretty busy. Napa was cool though.

Tasks for today:
  1. Go over credits to make sure I'm graduating on time
  2. Email advisor so he can double check
  3. Email Dr. H about getting back on the horse
  4. Email Cornell alumni contacts. Need to start building a network. Focus on quantitaive risk anlysis, derivatives, developing countries. Maybe should look at the "disater insurance" guy from The Economist.
  5. Email guys from class to make sure I have a group.
  6. Hang out

Tuesday, December 14, 2004


List of cool people with my same birthdate:

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart
Carl Jung
Aldous Huxley
Stanley Kubrick
Mick Jagger
Kevin Spacey
Chan Pennington