Thursday, May 30, 2013

Flopping - It's Not Just In Soccer

Flopping is the "art" practiced by athletes in team sports of dramatically falling to the floor or the ground following minimal or even no contact from a close by opponent. A small touch to the back turns into a dive to the ground and writhing around like a player was shoved and injured.

Why do they do this? Primarily it's to try and get a foul or penalty on the opposing team because often that can turn directly into great opportunities for points or it can mean forcing a player to the bench.

Soccer has an unfortunately well earned reputation for this type of behavior. It's one thing that a lot of U.S. sports fans say the dislike most about the sport actually. I have to agree, you see it a lot. Heck, some countries even specialize in it - I'm looking at you Italy. But I don't like it.

But guess what? It ain't just soccer. No way. Basketball in particular has a lot of floppers.

Just this week, none other than LeBron "King" James was fined by the NBA for flopping in a playoff game against Indiana. See the story and the video of the flopping HERE.

The NBA itself knows this is a problem in their league. So much so that they've posted an official Flopping video on YouTube that shows flopping happening and saying what will be penalized. And flopping goes on all the time in the NBA. Check this video HERE.

So why bring this up? Two reasons:

1) I just want to hold the mirror up to a lot of self-righteous sports fans (you know who you are) who criticize soccer for it's flopping. Yes, it happens in that sport. Most people don't like it. But guess what? It happens everywhere, in particular in traditional U.S. sports like basketball.

2) It brings up the question of cheating. Flopping means many pro athletes are willing to cheat to get an advantage. And, many fans are willing to put up with it as long as it's their team getting the advantage. The first fans to boo when the opposing team flops are the first to express delight when their player does so and gets a positive result.

So, where is the line on cheating? Flopping suggests that its doing whatever you need to do in the flow of a game as long as you're not caught. Is that right? Maybe. After all, players wouldn't flop if it didn't regularly produce results - as in, a shot on goal, free-throws, ejection of an opponent. Maybe not because, well, it's CHEATING. And as for fans, where is the line. Do the masses put up or even emulate the spirit of cheating that they view in sports during normal life? If so, what does that mean? Is fan behavior on flopping in athletic contests indicative of something broader?

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Istanbul Pictures Revisited

Recently I flipped through a travel magazine featuring Istanbul, and as I perused the pictures it brought back memories of our trip there in 2001. Now, back then I still was taking pictures and creating books of those photos, but of course it was all film based work. So, all my pictures from that era, including Istanbul, are prints or film negatives to this day.

Later when digital photography took off I bought a digital SLR camera and began using it - along with the by-then-available book making Web site called Shutterfly - to create customized "coffee table" type books of our trips. The first trip I used it on was our vacation to Vietnam and Cambodia in 2006. And over recent years I acquired a nice home scanner capable of creating high resolution pictures from negatives.

But still, I hadn't scanned my Istanbul pictures.

Anyway, that magazine prompted me to do so at long last. So, I've started.

It'll take a while and I will eventually post some online and I'll create a photo book too.

As  a teaser, here are two shots of the Blue Mosque in old Istanbul - one an abstract, one a more traditional study.

More to come for sure.

Pictures in this post were taken by Marc Osborn. Marc Osborn owns all copyrights for these images and no use of them for any purpose by any part is permitted without prior written permission from Marc Osborn.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Seattle Photo Project Update

Earlier I posted on how I am starting a Seattle photo project. Recently I took some more shots - this time I hit the Ballard Bridge and Gasworks Park...with a short (too short, gotta go back) trip over to Magnolia.

Below are a few examples. You can see the now updated Seattle set on my Flickr Photostream HERE. The new shots start with the Ballard Bridge station shot.

All pictures in this post were taken by Marc Osborn. No use of these images for any purpose is permitted without prior written permisison from Marc Osborn.