Ski resort uses helicopter to bring in more snow

Over the weekend, the Luchon-Superbagnères ski resort in the French Pyrenees used a helicopter to bring in fresh snow to the slopes from higher elevations. The chopper dumped 50 tonnes of snow on the beginner and ski school slopes. From The Guardian:

Hervé Pounau, the director of the local department council, said the cost of the operation would be recouped many times over by the business that would have been lost to a lack of snow.

“It will cost us between €5,000 and €6,000, in the knowledge that over the long term we will get at least 10 times’ return on that investment,” Pounau said in a statement...

The operation has angered French ecologists. Bastien Ho, the secretary of Europe Écologie Les Verts party, said the snow transfer operation was evidence of an “upside-down world”.

“Instead of adapting to global warming we’re going to end up with a double problem: something that costs a lot of energy, that contributes heavily to global warming and that in addition is only for an elite group of people who can afford it. It is the world upside down,” he told French television.

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Wrestler dives off shopping mall balcony (VIDEO)

Watch this guy jump off the balcony of a Louisiana shopping mall in the name of wrestling.

What a stunt! Read the rest

Bill Murray blows a putt

Actor, comedian, golfer. Bill Murray has style.

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Trump congratulated Superbowl winners Kansas City Chiefs who "represented the Great State of Kansas"

After the Kansas City Chiefs beat the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl LIV, President Donald Trump tweeted his congratulations to the team who, er, "represented the Great State of Kansas."

Seriously.

Within a few minutes, he deleted the tweet and posted a corrected version. Here's a response from Claire McCaskill, former Democratic senator from Missouri (2007-2019):

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Watch Tony Hawk skate in the '80s

In addition to being an amazing skateboarder, Tony Hawk is also just cool. Read the rest

Australian Open tennis player scolded for asking ball girl to peel his banana

Courtside at this weekend's Australian Open, French tennis champ Elliot Benchetrit requested that a ball girl peel his banana. Apparently Benchetrit felt that he couldn't peel the banana himself due to his finger bandages. Chair umpire John Blom wasn't having it and gave Benchetrit a real what-for. The tennis player then appeared to start peeling the banana with his teeth.

(CNN)

Update from CNN:

Now Benchetrit has offered his account of events, and insists he's amazed at the furore.

'At 6-5 in the final set, during the changeover, I asked the ball girl to peel the banana for me as I had put some cream on my hands in order not to sweat," he said.

"She had done it once before at the beginning of the match. But the second time the chair umpire stepped in and told me that the ball girl was not my slave and I had to peel the banana myself.

"I could not believe that the umpire said that and I find incredible how this situation got out of control on social media without people knowing what really happened on court."

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Boos vs. 'USA!' as Trump and Melania take field for National Anthem at college football championship

[IMAGE: @markknoller]

This is some real propaganda bullshit right here. Who thought it was okay?

During the LSU vs CLEM playoffs tonight, they brought President Trump and his wife Melania on the field for the singing of the national anthem. Read the rest

Olympics warns athletes that kneeling, fist-raising and other political actions will be banned at the Tokyo 2020 games

The International Olympic Committee -- long a swirling cesspool of corruption, censorship, and reputation-laundering for repressive regimes -- has attained a new low, issuing guidance to athletes competing at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics that no political protests will be tolerated, specifically banning kneeling or raising fists. Read the rest

Baylor University used puppets to announce its newly signed football players

National signing day is when high school athletes sign letters of intent to play for specific university. It's a big enough deal for college football fans that ESPN was updating it class rankings every hour. (Apparently Clemson did well, and USC did poorly.)

Each school wants to get as much attention as possible. This year, Baylor announced each player with two tweets, one a traditional highlight reel, and another featuring puppets:

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Jack Russel Hurdle Racing

Jack Russell Hurdle Racing is a lightning fast race where the dogs leap over three obstacles while chasing lure, and then cram through the narrow finish arch. The television broadcast that was on over the weekend was as well-produced as a premier NFL game:

Here's an older video featuring almost twelve minutes of Jack Russell Hurdle Racing:

It's just one of several events at the Incredible Dog Challenge, including agility, diving, and fetch, Read the rest

The best sports gifs of the decade

SB Nation asked for recommendations for the best sports gifs of the decade, and boy they got some terrific responses.

Elite skill:

The exact opposite:

Extreme effort:

Irrepressible exuberance:

Unwarranted confidence:

Live broadcast moments both goofy:

and mysterious:

Enjoy many more responses here. Read the rest

The best thing about American "sports"

Wally Backman, seen here as manager of the South Georgia Peanuts, just wants to know what he said that got him ejected from the game along with his player. The umpire, he says, is "an embarrassment to professional baseball."

The screaming begins 1 minute in; the action begins 3 minutes 8 seconds in. Read the rest

NFL player wears unusual furry dog cleats to support an animal shelter

Cleveland Browns wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. (OBJ) is a supporter of the Berea Animal Rescue Friends shelter in Berea, Ohio. As part of the NFL's My Cause My Cleats program in which players wear custom shoes at big games to spotlight their favorite charities, Nike tricked out OBJ's cleats as a tribute to the animal shelter. From Hypebeast:

In line with the canine inspirations, ear flaps have been placed on two sides of each foot, hanging from the upper collars. On the medial side, “OBJ” is embroidered in gold, complemented by round tonal laces at the center. The lateral side features the Swoosh logo as well as the number “13,” while the black toe cap references a dog’s nose.

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Crowdfunding for Los Anarchists, a junior roller derby team in Sun Valley, CA

Anthony Gulino writes, "Los Anarchists Junior Derby is a nonprofit that takes a DIY approach to teaching roller derby to kids. It runs programs for all levels from the youngest, newest skaters to the highest level of competitive junior derby at its dedicated facility, Anarchy Hall, in Sun Valley, CA. Los Anarchists' travel team is the current Junior Roller Derby Association World Champions in the Female division and have been invited to The Big O in Oregon, as well as tournaments in Los Angeles, Seattle, and Tampa this season." Read the rest

Watch a 5'2" player dominate a college basketball game

Darnell Rogers, listed at 5'2", 150 pounds, is starring for the University of Maryland, Baltimore County Chesapeake Bay Retrievers. Here he is driving to the hoop against LSU:

Getting lost in a forest of trees and exchanging words:

And looking like he's jumping off a trampoline as he pulls down a rebound:

5'3" Muggsy Bogues was the shortest player in NBA history, and at least as of last year, 5'9" Isaiah Thomas was the shortest active NBA player. Read the rest

Audio misencoded in post-game interview with football coach Ed Orgeron

Sports reporter Timothy Burke writes that "Something went wrong with my archival encode of the Utah State-LSU game, and all the audio is pitch-shifted down 100%. Which resulted in this." Read the rest

The potential number one NBA and NFL draft picks were both ruled ineligible by the NCAA

At the end of September, California enacted a new law that will allow college athletes to make money from endorsement deals starting in 2023:

the law creates an unrestricted market for others who want to use the athlete's name, image or likeness. Money could come in the form of major brands like Nike or McDonald's using the athletes in commercials. It could also come from small businesses like car dealerships putting an athlete on a local billboard or memorabilia shops paying an athlete to show up for an autograph session for fans. Athletes could also make money themselves by monetizing social media feeds, selling T-shirts online or advertising to give lessons in their sport to younger kids. The new law allows athletes to hire an agent to help manage the process.

Among the voices speaking out was Ohio State University's athletic director who cautioned the move would lead to California schools being excluded from the NCAA:

if Newsom signs the bill, schools in California are "going to have a model where they can almost pay for play – not quite – but I think they’re going to be challenged to maintain their membership in the association because, as an association, we have the authority as a group to make our own rules and regulations, and they will be outside those rules and regulations. So, I’m not quite sure how they will stay in the association."

As reported by USA Today, the athletic director specifically expressed concern California schools would have an unfair advantage:

And how those schools will compete against those schools in California who have an unfair advantage because they’ll be able to offer student-athletes benefits that the other schools will not be able to offer.

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