I was in Italy all last week (more on that in my next post!) when a flurry of sports activity happened. On Halloween the All Blacks of New Zealand won an unprecedented third Rugby World Cup. It has been a real treat living in England for the Rugby World Cup. I got to watch several games live on television. The US didn't do well, but I got to root for local teams like England, Ireland, Scotland, and Wales. At the end of the day, however, the two best teams, Australia and New Zealand, fought for the title. I could only follow the end of the game on my tablet while in Italy.
The Kansas City Royals beat the New York Mets in the World Series -- and I didn't get to see a pitch! Games mostly started after I went to bed, and it was especially hard trying to follow the World Series while vacationing in Italy. I remember so vividly the Royals winning in 1985. Has that really been thirty years ago?!? To bad I missed all the great comeback wins by the Royals this year. But, hey, I got to watch the Rugby World Cup, and it's impossible to watch everything!
A story I worked on for the Wall Street Journal appeared in the paper on Monday, 25 October 2015. Click here for the online version. It was fun reading that in Italy! The subject of the story is the great free-throw shooting of Elena Delle Donne of the WNBA's Chicago Sky. Hitting 95% means hitting 19 out of 20, with crowd noise and pressure to boot. She has amazing technique and my contribution to the story concerned the physics behind her great shooting. By the way, it's cool that she and I share 5 September for a birthday.
Before leaving for Italy, I was coincidentally interviewed by an Italian online magazine, L'Ultimo Uomo. Click here for the Friday, 30 October 2015 story that heavily quotes me discussing goals from corner kicks and other aspects of soccer physics. The story is in Italian, but Google translate does a decent job of giving a good representation of what I contributed. What was great about doing the interview was that the reporter was from Venice, which is one city I visited last week, but was contacting me from New York City. He gave me a few good tips on places to eat while in Venice. A great experience all around.
Sports like rugby and soccer have kept my interest while living in England. I do miss seeing college football, and I'll especially miss seeing my Hoosiers and Commodores during college basketball season. But one of the many thrills about being in a foreign country is experiencing new culture, and sports is a big part of culture. I'm rooting for the Sheffield Wednesday to continue their unbeaten streak, which now sits at ten matches. How great would it be to see the Wednesday get promoted out of Championship? But I'd miss Premier League action in Sheffield next year!