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22 minutes ago, John E. Dynamite said:

Saw this topic bumped and instantly assumed Kise retired.

Pretty sure it's about to happen. There's no way he makes it through the tournament.

There is a theory on a Sumo-Board I lurk around that he might want to try and make it to day 8 to fight in front of the Emperor of Japan for a final time. The Heisei era ends May 1st since the reigning emperor decided to step down. Still, with all the importance of that, I can't see any good in him showing up and getting embarassed. 

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4 hours ago, ReiseReise said:

Pretty sure it's about to happen. There's no way he makes it through the tournament.

There is a theory on a Sumo-Board I lurk around that he might want to try and make it to day 8 to fight in front of the Emperor of Japan for a final time. The Heisei era ends May 1st since the reigning emperor decided to step down. Still, with all the importance of that, I can't see any good in him showing up and getting embarassed. 

Welp.

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. Alas, the theory was wrong. Kisenosato retires effective immediately. There will be a huge celebration later in 2019, probably in the Ryōgoku Kokugikan.  His career achievement shouldn't be marred by his unlucky tenure at Sumo's highest rank.

He was able to shake up the Mongolian dominance for a bit. He had an incredibly succesful Ozeki run. As a new Yokozuna, he won his second career Yusho with what turned out to be a career-ending injury and basically one arm. He constantly pushed the top rankers and seemed always in hot pursuit as an Ozeki. He even sports a good record against Hakuho, who is easily the best Rikishi of all time. 16 wins, all of them won against Hakuho at his peak. 

It will be interesting to see what this will mean in regards to the newly resurging popularity of the sport. To many, Kisenosato seemed to be the hometown hero to bring back some of the glory to a sport that had been dominated by foreigners and scandals over the last 10-15 years. There are promising Japanese talents this time around at least. 

Kisenosato will stay in Sumo as a stablemaster. Maybe he will have a hand in grooming a future Ozeki or Yokozuna? 

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As long as they take Kisenosato as their role model and not Kotomitsuki, they should be fine. Have they really decided to run Takakeisho vs. Mitakeumi on Day 4? I'd have thought they'd save that a few more days. 

It's a shame to see Kisenosato go, but he clearly hasn't been there for a while now. 

Is Hakuho human, or a sumo wrestling robot? It feels like he could just wrestle in Tokyo and rack up at least two yusho per year for another five years. When he's healthy, he's unstoppable. Still. 

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Hakuho, to me, seems to be in decline regarding health and strength. But he has outstanding technique and versatility, coupled with great Sumo-intelligence. There is undoubtedly a good reason why he still is the guy to beat. 

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So far this tournament, Hakuho has let someone get behind him *and* underneath him, and he's still unbeaten through three days. 

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I will always love Kisenosato for his one armed basho performance, but for complicated reasons.

See, my main man is Kotoshogiku. At that basho, he had just got demoted from Ozeki and was at Sekiwake, struggling to win the 10 he would need to immediately reclaim Ozeki. He was at five losses when he went up against the leader of the basho, Terunofuji.

Terunofuji jumpstarted to broadcast a charge, and then the second time, immediately Henka'd. Kotoshogiku didn't get a fucking fighting chance.

So when one armed Kisenosato beat Terunofuji two times in one day, first by Henka and then by straight up belt wrestling with one fucking arm, I laughed so much I almost cried. I'll always love Kisenosato for that.

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2 hours ago, DangerMark said:

So far this tournament, Hakuho has let someone get behind him *and* underneath him, and he's still unbeaten through three days. 

Today was unbelieveable. With everyone else on the tawara, Hokutofuji would have taken that W. It could very well turn the same way as Aki 18, where Hakuho looked very shaky early on, yet collected a Zensho in the end. 

I have severe dislike for Aoiyama and his Sumo, but I really don't think that was a hairpull against Onosho. Mitakeumi won against Takakeisho and looked very convincingly in doing so. I sure hope second week fatigue won't catch up to him. Takayasu might be over his flu, as he looked his usual powerful self for the first time this basho. 

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On 12/28/2018 at 4:35 PM, Fuzzy Dunlop said:

I've been part of darts crowds before, albeit for the Premier League and not the World Championship at the Ally Pally and darts crowds are distinctly...uncouth but, absolutely, positively, fun as fuck. I was there one night when Adrian Lewis hit a 9 darter and, I mean, I can't stand Adrian Lewis and, yet, I still reacted like a 14 year old girl at a Beatles concert. The overall reaction was fucking BONKERS. It's a simple yet incredibly difficult sport played by great big fat men but it's fucking great.

I figure MVG wins it this year the way it's going but I have no idea. Maybe Michael Smith. Maybe some random fucker.

Ah, ah how can you not like "Jackpot"? He's the best heel in darts! Like me, he's knows how to be entertaining about it. MVG is a far better player, hell, he's the best I've ever seen and I've played against Paul Lim, Eric Bristow, Barry Twomlow, but MVG is just you're basic #1 seller at the jerk store.  Never got drawn against Phil Taylor, and I was perfectly okay with that. 😉  Taylor doesn't strike me as a particularly fun guy either. Twomlow,  a perfect gent and spokesman for the game. You know who was a blast to hang out with? John Lowe, (first guy to throw a perfect game on TV). Lowe was just like someone you'd meet in the local (other than being one of the best players in world) I had quit drinking just a couple of years before I met him, which is probably just as well as he was doing shots and I'd have been right there with him and likely would have died. 😉  Those Brits can put the shit away, let me tell you...

Best I've ever done was playing doubles with my friend Angie, who I've known since high school, we made Stacy Bromberg (#1 or #2 ranked woman in the world at the time) and Paul Lim (#6, #7, or #8, somewhere in the lower top ten) take to a third game in order to beat us. For two bar room shooters from Seattle that's pretty damn good. One thing I noticed and commented on was that Paul Lim didn't use his own signature model darts. I mentioned that I used to use them, but they were too light (23 gm), I said that I had moved up to 34 gm Harrow Assassins "a manly daet!", if looks could maim, I'd have been carried out in a basket. 😉 I've noticed that with the exception of "Snakebite", "Jackpot", and "Barney" that most of these top players have the personality and sense of humor of a fucking eggplant. I took the darts very seriously when I played, but I didn't take MYSELF seriously, after all, whether at the highest level or not, it's a fucking game played in a pub and it's supposed to be fun. If it wasn't fun I wouldn't have done it for forty years.

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Without a camera at Dohyo level, it's impossible to see who was below ground level first; but I thought Hokutofuji was hard done to not to get the rematch at least. When you're the best, you get the calls, I guess.

Aoyama did get his fingers in Onosho's hair, but I really don't think he did enough to pull him down.

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7 hours ago, Lamp, broken circa 1988 said:

I will always love Kisenosato for his one armed basho performance, but for complicated reasons.

See, my main man is Kotoshogiku. At that basho, he had just got demoted from Ozeki and was at Sekiwake, struggling to win the 10 he would need to immediately reclaim Ozeki. He was at five losses when he went up against the leader of the basho, Terunofuji.

Terunofuji jumpstarted to broadcast a charge, and then the second time, immediately Henka'd. Kotoshogiku didn't get a fucking fighting chance.

So when one armed Kisenosato beat Terunofuji two times in one day, first by Henka and then by straight up belt wrestling with one fucking arm, I laughed so much I almost cried. I'll always love Kisenosato for that.

Okay, I'm a newb who has hardly watched any sumo in the last twenty years, so I'm going to ask a really stupid question: Does Kisenodato overly rely on one arm or does the dude really only have one arm? If so, that's pretty fuckin impressive. I can see how you could drum for Def Leppard, (it's not as though they're playing anything difficult; but I can't for the life of me see how you could survive. let alone win in sumo at a high level with only one arm...) Now don't make fun, I seriously don't know...

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He has two arms. I think one was just injured for that tournament.

Oh, and while I'm here, did Ichinojo ever take Goeido to the deep water today. Figuratively speaking. Goeido was blue in the face by the end of it.

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The arm injury occurred in his first tournament as Yokozuna and he chose not to go under the knife for it, as his Yokozuna promotion was considered borderline and sumo's injury culture is absolute bullshit. It's the reason he's retired.

No torinaoshi for Hokutofuji stinks.

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2 hours ago, OSJ said:

Okay, I'm a newb who has hardly watched any sumo in the last twenty years, so I'm going to ask a really stupid question: Does Kisenodato overly rely on one arm or does the dude really only have one arm? If so, that's pretty fuckin impressive. I can see how you could drum for Def Leppard, (it's not as though they're playing anything difficult; but I can't for the life of me see how you could survive. let alone win in sumo at a high level with only one arm...) Now don't make fun, I seriously don't know...

lol yeah he endured a serious pectoral tear and shoulder injury on day 13, refused to pull out, and spent the rest of the tournament not able to use that arm in any real way. Here he is, winning the tournament in a tiebreaking playoff against Terunofuji with a one armed throw.

sp-sumo-a-20170327-870x723.jpg

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1 hour ago, Contentious C said:

There isn't really a dedicated thread for college bad behavior (aside from football, I guess), and this thread, as often as any other, is a quiet wish that someone foolish would shut up, so why can't people in charge at Michigan State just shut up already?  I mean, what in the everlasting fuck.

Nuke. East Lansing. From. Orbit. 

 

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On 1/16/2019 at 12:39 PM, ReiseReise said:

Today was unbelieveable. With everyone else on the tawara, Hokutofuji would have taken that W. It could very well turn the same way as Aki 18, where Hakuho looked very shaky early on, yet collected a Zensho in the end. 

Halfway point reached in the basho and Hakuho seems in charge with 8-0. There are a few lower rankers with great 7-1 scores. Kaisei, Chiyonokuni and Makuuchi debutant Yago to name them. 

Kakuryu and Tochinoshin with drew among the top rankers. This will mean Kakuryu being back on the chopping block, and Tochinoshin being kadoban for the second time in his first five basho as Ozeki.

Takayasu and Goeido both had subpar outings so far, both battling for Kachikoshi. Mitakeumi, after a 5-0 start, got injured while picking up his first loss. Apparently, a minor ligament tear, might return later in the basho (which I hope he doesn't, he should recover properly). 

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Takayasu looked hurt on Day 9. I hope it's nothing serious. Goeido just looks bad, by which I mean he doesn't look obviously hurt; but I could just watch that guy lose forever. Are we going to get three Kadoban Ozeki in March? I kinda hope so because I like chaos, but I also like Takayasu, so I hope he pulls through. At least getting one, and possibly a second with Goeido.

I also don't particularly like watching Ichinojo. He's the very model of crushing inevitability when he gets a belt grip, but if he comes up against any kind of pushing or thrusting attack, he just looks so lost.

Oh yeah, Hakuho is still pretty good.

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Hakuho has looked good, but he seemed distracted (?) today and lost to a one-legged Mitakeumi. Mitakeumi forfeited one and sat out three Matches, a win over the Yokozuna puts him at 6 wins. Hakuho is the sole leader with a 10-1 score. 

Fellow Mongolian Tamawashi is in hot pursuit with a 9-2 score, and both leaders will face each other on Day 12. Tamawashi is 0 for 13 against the Dai-Yokozuna though. If he aims for a Yusho, he has to Pull out all the stops. 

The remaining Ozeki Takayasu and Goeido seem to rally somewhat, especially Takayasu who scored two convincing victories over a game Takakeisho and an on-form Okinoumi. He needs to go 2-2 to avoid kadoban in March. Goeido has to win three of his remaining four matches which could mean beating at least two out of the trio of Takakeisho, Takayasu and Hakuho. Quite the task... 

Takakeisho won a very spirited oshi-match with Hokutofuji today. He collected losses, but bounced back in a strong fashion and it is still possible for him to get into consideration for Ozeki or at least keep his run alive. 33 wins near the top of the banzuke over the span of three tournaments is generally considered enough for a promotion. Takakeisho has collected 30 so far, could be a candidate with three more wins. 

 

 

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Hatsu Basho, here we go.

Up until day 11 it looked as if this could turn into yet another zensho for Hakuho. As I told you, he lost to an injured Mitakeumi. What followed might surprise all of you, because arguably the greatest rikishi of all time lost for the first time ever to Tamawashi AND Takakeisho. He stands at 10-3 now, and while a Yusho is still possible, he needs 11-2 Tamawashi to slip up within the remaining days for some catchup. Tied with Hakuho is Ozeki hopeful Takakeisho, who at the very least has extended his run, another win would surely bring him Ozeki, beating Hakuho coupled with another strong tournament might already be enough for him. There is no "hard" requirements, only general guidelines. Kisenosato and Goeido both got promoted with 32 wins, e. g. 

Returning Mitakeumi won 8 out of 9 he actually fought, but forfeited one and sat out three bouts. Truly makes you wonder what could have been. 

The two remaining Ozeki scratched and clawed their way towards two 7-6 scores when Goeido beat Takayasu today. Tomorrow Takayasu faces of with the still injured Mitakeumi, Goeido gets the reeling Hakuho. Takayasu v Hakuho and Goeido v Takakeisho will be the very likely pairings for the final day for the flu/injury-ridden Ozeki. 

Tomorrow could already decide the Yusho:

Tamawashi (S, 11-2) v Aoiyama (M#5, 7-6) Head to Head: 4-5

Hakuho (Y, 10-3) v Goeido (O, 7-6) Head to Head: 37-6

Takakeisho (S, 10-3) v Okinoumi (M#4, 6-7) Head to Head: 2-1

Very excited! 

 

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Takakeisho fascinates me.

I remember two years ago, his first match against Hakuho made me cry laughing. Hakuho was chasing the wins record, and he just taunted Takakeisho, who was using the very earliest version of his now impressive style. He wanted to be a thruster, but he had very short arms, and so Hakuho had no reason to really fear him. Here's the match if you've never seen it.

And now, a year and a half later, he scores his first win over Hakuho with the full version of his style. He's turned his short arms into an advantage: his huge torso allows himself to force anyone out once they're in his range, but for someone to try to get him they have to put themselves in range of that attack. However, if they over extend he can pull himself out and force the opponent into an unfavorable position. His body is now his offense and defense. It's a fascinating approach, especially since it covers for the deficits he'd have belt wrestling with short arms.

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4 hours ago, Super Ape said:

Just starting to dip my toes into sumo myself. I just stumbled upon this gem here; Enho vs. Mitoryu. Mitoryu is twice Enho’s size, and the difference is almost cartoonish, like a guy fighting his young son. Enho finesses out a win.

https://twitter.com/ebgteddy/status/1088818290615558150?s=21

Enho is one exciting up and Comer, despite his huge size difference to the majority of other rikishi, he manages to make bouts very interesting with a variety of techniques. He is Hakuho's pupil after all. 

Speaking of the GOAT, Hakuho has now withdrawn from Hatsu 2019. Have yet to find out which injury is cited for this, but he had a worrying loss of form in the last three days. Hakuho will finish the basho with a 10-4-1 score, one of the losses coming by forfeit. This also means that Goeido, after an abysmal 0-4 start, picks up a Kachikoshi in the easiest way possible. 

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The conclusion of the Hatsu Basho 2019 saw the 4th (!) debutant to win a top division Yusho in a row at that particular tournament. January seems to be a good month for surprises in the sumo world.

Tamawashi made it clear that he didn't want to risk a Playoff, straight up beating Endo and improving his record to 13-2. Since his lone rival for the tournament victory Takakeisho sat at 11-3, it was clear that the Mongolian Sekiwake had won his first top division title at 34 years of Age. Double congratulations are in order, since this glorious victory conincides with the fact that Tamawashi's wife gave birth to a Baby boy today. 

With the main question of the basho answered, Takakeisho looked without focus for the first time in a while and fell to Goeido's Ozeki pride in a very short encounter. According to Sumo elder Ounomatsu Oyakata the heads of the Sumo World will wait out Takakeisho's performance in Osaka's Haru Basho (talking place in Match) before giving him consideration in regards to an Ozeki-promotion. Too bad for the little canonball... 

Goeido and Takayasu, the two competing Ozeki, were able to finish with 9-6 records after horrible (Goeido) and bad (Takayasu) starts. Hokutofuji seems to finally be in line for a hard earned Komusubi promotion. He had some bad luck near the top, but this time there is no way he gets passed over for a sanyaku debute. 

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Gutted for Takakeisho. I have a feeling if there were only 2 current Ozeki, they would have given him the spot; which supports my stance that Goeido needs to be launched into the sun. I can't explain it. I find Takayasu's surliness endearing, but Goeido rubs me the wrong way. At any rate, if Takakeisho gets 10 next time up, and they don't give him the nod, I'm probably going to give up on this stupid sport for another five years.

Congratulations to Mitakeumi on his Shunkun-sho. Hopefully he hasn't knackered his knee too much to get it. I presume that's to make up for the fact he's not going to be a Sekiwake next time out. Technically, they can promote him and have three Sekiwake, but I doubt they will, if they won't promote Takakeisho to Ozeki despite getting 33 wins over three tournaments.

Hokutofuji was the only person Maegashira 1-5 with a Kachikoshi. He surely will go up to Komisubi and join Mitakeumi.

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