ETSC 18: Discover the Winner!


ETSC – This is it! Our traditional summer Eurovision-like game to feature and introduce new music is concluding tonight ! 39 of you participated in the 18th edition and the results are out!

Each summer, a good number of regular readers stay around for different reasons (they don’t get breaks from work or don’t go on holidays…) but there aren’t much news to keep us going. So the last few years we introduced all sorts of games. The Eurovision Times Awards (Fridas) and the Douze Points Trivia Quiz kept us going in 2013 and Fridas have made come-backs the past five years. Four years ago, a lot of you asked for a fake Eurovision where each one of us would send songs and get to vote. And that was it: the Eurovision Times Song Contest, from then on known as ETSC.

We’ve therefore had 17 editions of ETSC, as we hold two per Summer, one in July and one in August. For more information, you can discover our new page dedicated to the contest, with its history, all songs participating and the rankings here. A specific article for Top 10 stats was also open here. You can also find it by clicking on the “Specials” section of the site, in the top menu in the red box, just under the site’s name. “ETSC 18 – August 2022” will be officially held in T’bilisi, at The Palace of Rituals after George Ergemlidze won with In My Sleep. Tonight’s show was hosted by Nika Kocharov (leader of Young Georgian Lolitaz, Georgia 2016).

After a first round open for people to sign up with a country and send a song, we got 39 people in (40 plus 1 withdrawn). In the meantime, to keep us busy, I made a random draw. I also made personal postcards for each entry which will be revealed along with the songs. You can click on the picture below to listen to the songs again:

These songs were presented by the following HoDs, in alphabetical order: Antonio, Arpatilaos, Avat, Bay, Caolán, Daniel, David, Dimitris, Dino, Dominik, Donnie, Elmar, Franco, Gregor, Guitar, Hjallis, Lina, Mark8, Matt D, Matthew, Mermaid, Michos, Mylor, Nick P, Oasisoffear, Ovidarch, Oxi, Pablo, Patrick P, PJ, Porsteinn, Razvan, Ren, Sekhmet Morgan, Sheldon, Shevek, Trekks, Valen, William and Xello!

Results lasted for 4h! 966 comments later… Here are the full results (click to see in big):

So the winner is France! After it failed to enter the Top 10 three editions in a row, since the 9th place in ETSC 14, the former heavy weight country of ETSC (first two wins and a third one in ETSC 7) finally snatched a fourth gold! The HoD, like last time France won, was Sekhmet Morgan, who also got his first Top 10 since ETSC 15 and first medal since ETSC 13! The song is “Mal barré” by Marie-Flore:

It was so close that the last vote had to decide the winner and even the country ranked 3rd, the Top 5 and the Top 10! Insane but true, 6 HoD who will be happy and see 2022 as their year have returned in the Top 10 after ETSC 17: Donnie (6th and 2nd), Daniel (2nd and 3rd), David (9th and 6th), Ovi (8th and 8th), Matthew (4th and 9th), Trekks (5th and 10th)! On the other hand, Caolán enters it for the first time (and he participated since the beginning, so huge hugs), Mermaid and Dominik for the 3rd time after a looooong dry spell! Congratulations! This bronze is Daniel’s third medal, after getting silver last edition and gold in ETSC 4 for his first entry. He has now one in each metal! This is Donnie’s third medal too, but like Norway it’s three silvers! However he did get two 4th and two 5th places as well! Last but not least, Morgan has gotten his 11th medal (4 gold, 3 silver, 4 bronze)!

Using the pattern used for the 10th anniversary ETSC stats article, we get this (the number in brackets is the number of times in the Top 10):

1 France (14) Marie-Flore
Mal Barré
Sekhmet Morgan (15) 134 #23
2 Greece (5) Die Arkitekt feat. Lena Platonos
Julian
Donnie (11) 132 #30
3 Russia (6) Zventa Sventana
Na Gore Mak
Daniel (6) 114 #4
4 Turkey (3) Alaca
Bye
Mermaid (3) 108 #21
5 Italy (8) Nòe
Farei Anche Un Figlio
Dominik (3) 93 #6
6 Norway (7) Ane Brun
Take Hold Of Me
David (4) 88 #35
7 Slovakia (4) Jana Kirschner feat. Štefan Štec
Láska Neumiera
Caolán (1) 86 #26
8 Finland (11) Pehmoaino
Haluun Takas Mun Perhoset
Ovidarch (7) 85 #28
9 Switzerland (4) BLACKBOOK
Slowlove
Matthew (4) 82 #7
10 North Macedonia (5) BNNY RBBT
I Am The BNNY
Trekks (2) 81 #18

Now time for the prediction game! It was first started in ETSC 4 “hint” article and back then I wrote this: “We can play a guessing game, people wishing to participate can post a “prediction” top 10 and I’ll award points based on the countries that are in the actual top 10 and predicted in yours accorddingly. I wont reveal the results until after the voting and winner is announced, but we’d get an extra side bet to care about ;)” In the end, it has secured itself has an ETSC standard: former winners were Donnie (ETSC 4), Nick P (ETSC 5), Donnie (ETSC 6), Dimitris (ETSC 7), Gregor (ETSC 8), Razvan (ETSC 9), Razvan (ETSC 10), Donnie (ETSC 11) and after a very close battle Razvan again (ETSC 12)! In July 2020, Patrick P won his first prediction game with a record of 12 HoD guessed right and the August edition was won by Donnie even though Ovi got the bonus! In July 2021, Donnie won discovering the rightful winner and in August 2021, he won it again but three people had the bonus: Donnie, Dominik and Ovi while both Oxi and Patrick got 8/10 prediction resultswise! Last edition, a surprising low results in prediction game (only 4 countries right in the Top 10) shook things up, and with no one with a bonus, David came on top for the first time!

So what was it this time:

PREDICTED TOP TEN CORRECT TOP TEN
1 Norway (6) 1 France (3)
2 Greece (2) 2 Greece (2)
3 France (1) 3 Russia (9)
4 Sweden (24) 4 Turkey (16)
5 Slovakia (7) 5 Italy (24)
6 Spain (12) 6 Norway (1)
7 Australia (11) 7 Slovakia (5)
8 Ukraine (27) 8 Finland (11)
9 Russia (3) 9 Switzerland (10)
10 Switzerland (9) 10 North Macedonia (32)

So we did much better than last time when we were just 4/10, with a very decent 6/10, including two of the Top 3! Plus two of our predicted entries got 11th and 12th and considering how close it was (they missed the Top 10 by 1pt and 2pts), it’s a decent prediction. Only two big misses: with Sweden and Ukraine (yellow and blue?) which we overrated and Italy (predicted 24th and Top 5 in the end) and North Macedonia (not even mentioned once) which were underrated! Finland was twice predicted 11th in a row and got Top 10 both times (this is Finland’s 11th Top 10, pushing it above other countries with ten Top 10 results – Israel and Denmark; this puts Finland second best, even though Finland never got a medal yet!)

As for who did well? Well, two people come to mind, Dino and Ovidarch both having enough HoD guesses to get that bonus, and both having guessed France as the winner to get a second bonus! Obviously, one of them will win the prediction crown! So we get these official results: Dino (540), Ovi (500), Sheldon (420), Pablo (400), Porsteinn (360), Donnie (350), Gregor (350), PJ (330), David (310), Mark (280), Guitar (250), Franco (250),Lina (250), Dimitris (200), Patrick (150), William (100). So congratulations to the two bonus-winners and a big congrats to Dino!

858 thoughts on “ETSC 18: Discover the Winner!

  1. While all eyes are on this weekend’s Basket, let’s not overlook a football milestone.

    Let’s meet 30 year old Zander Murray.
    Zander is the first current senior Scottish professional footballer to come out. His outing today comes after 2 Scottish football referees started the ball rolling when they came out in the summer. Hopefully this will lead to more.

    https://www.thesun.ie/wp-content/uploads/sites/3/2022/09/MG-SPORT-PREVIEW-ZANDER-MURRAY.jpg?strip=all&quality=100&w=1500&h=1000&crop=1

    • I saw that, too – I think Zander’s only the 2nd out footballer right now besides Josh Cavallo. I’m always amazed at the (internalized as well) homophobia of football, I played as a kid and at least in the US it does not have that macho reputation. Gays in Europe generally hate it outside of Spain, on the plus side it gives you soemthing to talk about to str8 guys who will otherwise drone on about their stupid kids/grandkids.

      • In Uk there is one other professional footballer I know of, and it was recent (May I think). The 17 year old Jake Daniels, plays for Blackpool. Like Scotland, there are 2 professional referees in England that have come out. It’s such a tough arena for them to come out but these guys grew the balls they needed to declare themselves. Kudos to them. I hope it’ll start to grow and we’ll see more “straight” guys own their sexuality. But I know how tough that is. Straight guys are only a couple of drinks away from their first gay experience. Next time you’re mixing with your str8 buddies and the conversation is boring, maybe you could just throw into the conversation and ask them, “how many of you have sucked d*ck”?” Watch the squirming. 😂

        • and Jake’s adorable

          In France, there was once (more than a decade ago) a huge polemic as a drunk L’Equipe journalist said in a big Parisian party that L’Equipe had many papers on gay French sportsmen and while they wouldnt out them, it was definitely something that was like a hold on them. Among the leaked list there was the infamous sexy Yoann Gourcuff, whose almost naked pictures were actually shown in the gay magazine Têtu as “the month’s babe” and it was the first time for a footballer (insanely macho sport here). Then in the disaster of the 2010 WC (the footballers going on strike, refusing to train, to obey the coach etc.) it is said that Ribéry, representing the chav/scally types led a coup to try to overrun Gourcuff as the coach’s favorite, considering Gourcuff too “rich prep boy”… and indeed gay!

          Since then, both Griezmann and Giroud did the Têtu cover to support the LGBT community (funny that all three have their last name starting with a G-) so things have changed. The biggest deal was last year, a magazine shown on Canal+ and on L’Equipe TV was “we’re gay professional athletes” with 6 portraits, it was a big success TV wise and stirred things a bit: Céline Dumerc (basketball, former French captain, she led France to silver in London), Jérémy Stravius (swimmer, world champion in backstroke in 2011), Astrid Guyart (fencer), Jérémy Clamy-Edroux (rugby), Kevin Aymoz (figure skating), Amandine Buchard (judo, olympic champion in Tokyo as part of the team event). It was interesting, featured two POC as well and spors that were both considered “obviously gay” (women’s judo, men’s figure skating) and some that werent (fencing, swimming, rugby). It excluded the very famously out Guillaume Cizeron (olympic champion, multiple world champion), whose coming out came as well as his titles and fame here, so making it a bigger deal but then was easily accepted because his sport is considered super gay (even though the former start Philippe Candeloro is a womanizer…) And then Têtu did THAT cover:

          Tbh it’s weird: our society likes sex jokes, is very open about sexuality, has very low age of consent and doesnt criminalize incest, there was almost no uproar to the coming out of Cizeron, the TV magazine was quite a success, our very recent French version of Drag Race was a huge success on France TV main channel (every saturday at 10 around 1 million viewer each week). With all of this, it’s almost dead sure there would be no issue whatsoever to coming out, and yet, we have NO FOOTBALLER at all who came out…

          • Giroud was someone who seemed like he was on trhe cusp of coming out as gay or bi but then he turned weirdly religious.

            • His beard coloring is pretty bad, seems like he’d have the money to make it look more natural.

            • LOL… the stuff I buy at the drugstore is pretty good after 2 or 3 days when it has gotten a bit lighter. With the stache I need it because the grey spots are so visible.

          • I agree, it’s weird. It’s pretty much the same as here. Society laugh at the sex jokes, the “double entendres” especially. Mostly open about sexuality here, though the burbs and countryside are still a bit uptight. Generally the larger the city the freer the talk and behaviour. I think most folk here now are of the opinion when a celebrity comes out, “so what, what they do in their private life is their business”! I’ve seen this attitude becoming more prevalent over the last few years. It’s encouraging to witness.
            The problem of course is football itself and the thuggish following it tends to attract. Those professionals who do come out really are putting themselves on the line, because ultimately they will have to face abuse from louts, generally thickos. Thankfully both the SFA and the FA are trying to stamp it out by promoting tolerance (not something thousands of baying yobs understand while chanting their favourite hate song).
            There is a gay magazine here called Attitude, it looks like it’s probably similar to Têtu, and like Têtu they’ve had all manner of gay and straight from the world of macho sport, including football and rugby on their front cover. They’ve even had Willie Windsor……..but that’s another story. 😉
            It’s long overdue for those football floodgates to open.

          • You mentioning those gay athletes though, reminded me there was a list of LGBTQ athletes published just before the Winter Olympics this year. And again there was another list just before the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in Summer.
            Bruce Mouat is Scotland’s team captain for Curling. Not a high profile sport but still……he’s a Junior and World Champion and at the Olympics led his team to a Silver. He came out at 19.

            • I think it’s only fascinating to those not brought up on it. When you’re used to seeing it on TV every winter and you understand the complexities, then it’s a fascinating game…… a game of skill, of battle, of wits, accuracy and more than a smidgen of luck. Chess on ice is the nearest description.
              There used to be regular Bonspiels every year on the frozen lochs, but it’s warmer now and the ice is not as thick as it needs to be, so now they’re held in indoor arenas. Possibly only Canada now is cold enough to hold them regularly, oh and Switzerland too.

            • It’s one of these sports that seemed ölike an afterthought, a punchline, until you accidentally got sucked into a broadcast. Plus I like the Scottish connection obviously.
              Another sign how global warming has sped up dramatically. The first ten years in Cologne, the fairly big pond near my place would freeze up for a couple of weeks every winter, you could walk over it and people would go chop some holes in the water for the ducks – haven’t seen that in a while tehre. Maybe a thin layer but that’s it.

            • Haha……captured. Once you’ve been sucked in, you’re trapped. Once you learn the rules, you’re hooked. It’s been fascinating watching the sport develop in China, Japan and S. Korea. Love hearing the Japanese ladies team screaming “HARD” in Japanese. They get so animated and excited, which is refreshing. Etiquette determines that at all times to show calm respect. 😂

            • It seems winter sports in general have gotten hugely popular in East Asia; used to be a European/N American thing for a long time but Japan, S Korea and China are real powerhouses.

            • And that’s been brilliant to watch. Would be great now to see the southern hemisphere up their winter game too. If Jamaica can bring a bobsleigh team to the Olympics, be nice to see other “hot” states do the same.

            • They should have winter sports areas in Chile and Argentina but I guess it’s just not part of the culture plus those areas are far from the population centres.

            • My friend ‘s brother in Australia skies, he flies to Japan to do it, insane. He’s loaded, cardiac surgeon I think.

            • He’d have to……..you don’t really associate Oz with being a Winter sport nation, though I’ve been told it does snow, but probably not enough for serious sports.

            • They have some figure skaters but there are probably two ice rinks in the whole country. New Zealand seems like it might have some winter sports, it’s cooler and mountaineous but I’m not aware of any. I actually like the winter games better than the summer ones where I’m pretty much only interested in men’s swimming and men’s diving.

            • Two ice rinks?…….a bit like England’s only two ice rinks that are modified for Curling! It’s not a sport here they’d heard of here until GB (TeamScotland) got a gold and a silver at the recent Olympics.
              I like all the sports in both Olympics. Though I do like watching the kayakers and rowers.

            • Yeah, both fun to do as well. They inevitably show them at weird times or just the final race because it’s all track and field all the time. May stop next time here since we’ve become super bad at it.

            • Agreed, both fun to do. Being from the islands it’s almost like second nature, along with sailing.

            • I never got into sailing; I think part of it is that unlike rowing or kayaking or speedboats I didnt feel in control, I was hopeless with the coordination.

            • Plus if it’s chillier outside, the rowing/paddling keeps you warm, with the sailing the wind makes it worse when it’s chilly.

            • Yeah but you also do that water-skiing in warm weather. Which I learned the summer before I took that sailing class so it was perhaps inevitable I would not get into it.

            • Plus I just love the combo of water and fresh air.
              Oh the politicsblog I had mentioned is politicalwire.com. The comments are usually tze good part and it’s pick ‘n’ mix on the topics, a bit much tRump since it’s US-based but some really cool and smart people. I’ve the same handle as here.

            • Oh just one last royal bit – can we get some Harry and Fredrik of Denmark fan fiction, please? They’d look great together.

            • Lol……tramp. Degrading their Royal status! 😂
              Did you know Fredrik’s wife is Australian but both her parents are Scottish? There was a really funny video when Mary’s father stood up at their wedding in full Highland outfit and told the story of how the Danish Vikings once raided Scotland and was this how he (Fredrik) conquered Mary. Margrethe was amused!

            • Nice story, didn’t know that! The bagpipe playing at the end of the service was nice today, of course. One moment I got a bit emotional. Other than looking at Harry and Fredrik of course. Why do Danish guys always have these cute noses?

            • I didn’t watch it. Been enjoying the peace here today. No cars, no people……apparently everyone gone to London or watching the funeral on tv. It’s just like the lockdown here all over again.
              Tomorrow everyone wakes up to politics and the realisation how much they’re being screwed over.
              Bagpipes always get to me too.

            • How many days till Truss tries to escape it all by popping up in Ukraine?
              I’m in retrospect a bit baffled I didn’t think of a bagpipe piece for my dad’s funeral… I did Angels (of course), Cancao de mar and Vera Lynn’s We’ll meet again. But bagpipes would have been perfect.

            • Highland Cathedral would have been perfect. They played it at St Giles when Lizzie was lying there.

              It looks like this was filmed at the “Rest and Be Thankful”, Argyll.

            • My mom was cremated (sorry, this sounds gruesome) in her kilt, I picked that out.

            • Not gruesome at all. You did what you felt would make her happy.
              Fun fact: The melody for Highland Cathedral was composed by two Germans for a Highland Games in Germany. Ulrich Roever and Michael Korb.

            • I love to watch curling while doing paperwork or other stuff that does not need my full attention.

            • Lol……until you hear some animated screaming and you look up from the papers to see what the excitement was about. 😂

            • That would be the etiquette part…..the gentlemanly nod of appreciation without being too gestural. I like trying to guess the next moves from a strategic point of view, and the aftermath if a move goes wrong

        • From what I’v eread, the younger gus are more… open-minded, not really my style though. Turkish guys have gotten to the point where they’re ok with being gay. Arab guys will leave their briefs and baseball caps as they flee from the apartment still dripping.

            • LOL no – I meant younger guys are not really my thing. Not just the twink stuff, which I find distasteful but probably till about mid- to late 20s . And nowadays of course a lot of the younger guys are so into being “normal” that the culture gets lost a bit, which is too bad.

            • Right, gotcha. The confusion of non-live internet dialogue.
              What is “normal” anyway? I’ve been asking that for a long time. From what I see everything is normal, depending on whose perspective you look out from.

            • Absolutely – but there’s some concern about being “too gay”. Gay marriage, while obviously the right thing, has really accelerated that. There’s now a different perspective than when we grew up (I have no idea how old you are actually, just guesses). I didn’t expect to live past 35 – and until about 30 it was pretty unusual that you meet guys who were living together in a house. Those issues are pretty much gone.

            • “Too gay” “Too straight”……they both exist of course, but aren’t those extremes indicative of a minority? What do those terms mean anyway? “Too straight”……some macho who gets tanked up, takes offence at the neighbours’ dog (or their neighbour), watches his team get beat then goes home and beats up the missus. “Too gay”…..some ott princess who knows nothing of life or value, who thinks the world owes them, and whose daily topic of conversation is the latest Gucci or fashion accessory.
              These are extremes of course. I’d like to think the lines and divisions are starting to blur between the sex preferences.

            • Which is good as long as the culture doesn’t get lost, that’s always a risk as subcultures become more mainstream.

            • I don’t think gay culture is going anywhere any time soon. Pride has become such a regular celebration of that, and a reminder to everyone “we’re still here”

      • It is true that in the US soccer (football) is seen as a girl’s sport or for “weak” European men, and the stronger/tougher/etc. American boys are encouraged to play basketball, (American) football, baseball, etc. instead.

        The macho connotations that the sport has elsewhere is very weird for Americans to see.

        • It’s also due to which sports are around it. Here, you have more than the big 4 associations/leagues (the ones you named plus hockey); of course you have everything in the US and of excellent level (wrestling, tennis, fencing…) but they’re very confidential. Here in Europe a lot of sports are known and possible to practice, and football is more or less the common man / lower class “boy” sport, so it turns out it’s a lot of dumb boys (here it’s a joke that a footballer interview will be filled with grammar mistakes, nonsensical phrases, etc.) and dumber males are more likely, statistically, to be macho, and then the ones who dont become professionals are going to be the fans/watchers and after 60/80 years of that, it sticked! Look at the French national team in volley, handball and football (two of these are olympic champions, the last one is the world champion): they just dont look ANYTHING alike (and that’s not a race thing, as we have blacks and arabs in all three). It’s also down to money, as footballers are millionaires, and the other two arent, even though they win more titles

          • I guess it’s just most odd to me why soccer/football has the reputation it does in the US when it is the dominant sport in nearly every other country. I couldn’t name a single American male footballer, while many of our women footballers are A-list celebrities. Of course the Big 4 leagues take up all the attention so people just don’t care much about soccer, but why was a soccer league not able to be built up into a major league when the NBA, NHL, NFL, and MLB were all being built up in the early 1900s, when every other country was able to do that?

            • The argument against soccer I’ve alwas heard in the US is that “there aren’t enough goals”. Which is kind of absurd when you consider that a touchdown counts as 7 points to 14-7 is 2-1 – in twice the time. I really think football was created by the advertising industry.

            • Sounds more like a fake excuse they came up with after the fact. Especially considering the fact that hockey is one of the Big 4 sports in the US and it has the same « problem » as soccer with minimal scoring. Hockey really just is soccer on ice, sticks and pucks instead of feet and balls. Maybe more punching though lol.

              Plus I don’t understand why « not enough goals » would be uniquely an American complaint lol, if soccer had enough goals for people to watch in every other country.

            • It’s a very strangely American complaint. People obviosuly want goals but real football/soccer is so much about strategy, which isn’ really said about e.g. basketball.

            • It just seems like you always turn your head left, right, left. It’s a bit tedious that way for me.

            • hm, not really (and defo not as much as tennis as you get to watch more than just one tiny ball and two guys but 10 with actions to make that ball move all the time); it’s closer to handball and it’s not tedious! I know my bf doesnt like watching sports but when I took him to basketball games he did feel like it was fast paced and less boring than (regular) football! Also we went to a NBA match when in LA four years ago and he really loved the atmosphere: US sports is really just entertainment for the regular season, and if you take it as well it’s just fun if you do enjoy watching that specific skill!

            • I used to be into handball, it’s really popular in the north where I grew up. I still like handball but prefer a more intimate setting lol.

          • I think the French footballers are especially bad because if they are any good they go to PSG or the PL; in both cases they are overpaid and in a culture of entitlement. The German guys aren’t necessarily all bright but they rarely have shitty attitudes, they’ll go to Bayern, Dortmund or Spain. Most of the ones in the PL fail, I think they can’t deal with the attitude.

            • Possible. Apart from Ribery there are/were rarely problems with the French players at Bayern either.
              I’m curious if it’ll be Mbappe or Benzema who will cause your team’s implosion in Qatar.

            • Oh god, I forgot about that. He should just be sent back to the banlieu, he’s not worth the trouble.

        • I’ve always hated football; all the guys I knew who played in HS and college were usually braindead jerks, too. Basketball is just too much moving your head back and forth plus they’re all like 6’10”, which I don’t find attractive. Baseball is fun to play and they have super sexy uniforms but endless to watch and seems increasingly RW. I like hockey, got into it because my best friend in Phoenix played it for a while. It’s always fkg cold in the arena though.

          • I also hate (American) football. It’s slow and boring and not to mention is linked to many brain injuries which should be taken more seriously. Thankfully up here in NY football isn’t ~as~ popular as it is elsewhere in the country. Obviously people still like it, but it’s always taken a backseat to basketball and especially baseball in my experiences, considering the Knicks and Yankees are such staples, whereas the Giants (and Jets) are just whatever.

            I am “tall” (like 5’11/1m80) so I was pretty much forced into playing basketball when I was younger because if you’re a tall girl coaches will sort of automatically force you into either basketball or volleyball, but I really don’t like it lol. I was decently good I guess but I find it to be such an annoying sport, and especially the NBA sucks since all they do is shoot 3 pointers and that’s it. My dad is a giant college basketball fan so I’ve sort of been exposed to basketball a lot throughout my life but am just not really a fan lol.

            Baseball is like ~the~ sport on my mom’s side of the family so that’s another one I was forced into my whole life, especially since we’re from Yankees country, but I think it is pitifully boring to watch. I’ve had love for the Yankees indoctrinated into my soul since I was a child though so I’m still a ride-or-die Yankees fan even if I hate the sport lol.

            I didn’t mention hockey because it’s very regional in the US, but of the major American sports it is easily my favorite. I’ve gone to many hockey games here in NY and I used to go to a “hockey school” where many of our alumni have gone on to play in the NHL and our high school varsity team was sort of like a training ground for the NHL. It was kind of like how American media pretends schools treat their football players, that’s how we treated hockey players lol. We even had a women’s ice hockey team which is very rare in the US. Surprised to hear anybody in Phoenix is playing hockey though lol, didn’t think they cared much for it in the desert.

            Overall my favorite sports though are tennis and soccer, which of course are seen as the two sports for “girls and gays” in the US. I do like tennis even more than soccer though, it’s the one sport I actually watch religiously.

            • Football’s a religion in TX and the South as you know, sigh… undergrad I actually had some guys and gals who went to Odessa Permian, which is the Friday Night Lights school. Horrible town.
              Hockey’s pretty popular in Phoenix actually, lots of northern transplants, Tom’s originally from Buffalo, he and his brothers all played. It was really funky to go from the arena outside, even in winter you’d feel overdressed.
              Real football and swimming for me, which are the sports I played/did.

            • Yeah just more reasons why I don’t understand the South, of course Texas even more so. The Midwest is decently similar in the football worship, but the South is surely worse.

              Makes more sense knowing he’s from Buffalo haha. It’s cold as shit there.

  2. Congratulations to Spain! France really tried and played well but the Spanish team was more focused, more sober on the field and more efficient overall never losing their composure even after the French counterattack in the second half.

    • It was pre written: Spain is the only team we never beat, the French players shit themselves on the thought of playing Spain, and Spain naturalized almost every player, they have an American on almost every spot in their roster (and as long as it’s legal, so be it) while we got two NBA players not playing and one good player injured! Anyway, with the Turkey and Italy matches, a silver medal is already an achievement!

  3. Congrats to Spain for the trophy and to France and Germany for their medals.
    One of the best European basketball tournaments I have ever followed.

    • I already read that on Tagesschau last night. 👏👏👏

      Btw, I know that all that stuff going on in London atm is supposed to look very important and dignified, but I can’t stop giggling whenever I stumble across coverage. It’s all very pompous, and parts of it look like the Cologne Carnival … and then all those ludicrous titles: the baron of, the duke of, the chancellor of some fairytale … It also telles everyone in the country: know thy place! 🙁

      • I avoid watching tv these days…
        Btw, the Greek media are even worse: they are behaving as if OUR head of state had died. Utterly ridiculous.

        • I guess that they wouldn’t make such a fuss if your head of state had died … It’s sad and pathetic to see so many people bending the knee in the 21st century … and to a family that made loads of money at the expense of others, never apologized for colonial atrocities and slavery and whoe members are all born with golden spoons in their mouths.

          Well, I have the show on my second computer at work. I studied English literature and culture after all …

  4. So the second Elizabethan age is over; hopefully this will pave the way to a free Scotland.
    The archaicness of the ceremony was fascinating; the camerawork and lighting were really outstanding, good signs for next year’s ESC; those BBC guys know their stuff.
    I’m weirdly emotional about all this because of my dad of corse, plus I spend a bunch of time again in London the year before the first lockdown. Plus every time they showed Harry I had to think of Diana’s funeral and his card addressed to “Mummy”. Prince Fredrik of Denmark also looked good, they’d make an excellent couple if they were gay.

    • I think that I would get emotional if I were there in person, part of the crowd lining the streets but watching it on TV I simply find it odd and slightly comical …

      • Camerawork was really excellent. The music was really drab, sign of the monarchy’s old-fashionedness. The bagpipe player in the end really got me of course – another dad reminder.

            • Truly everything. I don’t know how but it seems of the last 4, every one of their PMs became even worse, unthinkable as that seemed. May looks like an elder stateswoman now.

            • That’s what I thought but hasn’t happened yet with BoJo gone. I’m not sure on the process though.

            • Entry to the Lords? You only need to be a Russian billionaire willing to donate funds to the Conservative Party. Just ask Boris….or Google Alexander Lebedev
              Talking of whom……BJ will be back to claim the PMship when Truss cocks it up.

            • Well, the oligarchs cant all go to Cyprus or Israel… BoJo looked dishevelled as usual today and agree he will be back, wonder if truss will last the year.

            • We don’t have that many of them – lots of Saudi, Dubai, etc. money esp. in Munich tho. Plus our governments usually seem to be in hock to Russia.

            • That seems pretty standard all around, …….govts being in hock to Russia. Russian wealth props up London.

            • Yes it’s always intriguing how supposedly there’s this tough sanctions regime and then drop by drop they will come up with some big names that hadn’t been sanctioned at all. They jumped on Roman Abramovich really fast because he was so high profile but yeah, all these palaces and mansions somehow still haven’t been seized.

            • They don’t want to uproot the money tree, and we all know the money tree talks. War “elsewhere” of course, is the biggest money maker for all those govts “appalled” by war. We’re all too stupid to see how this all works.

            • The amount of weapons and ammo being produced right now is insane – but it’s only right that we give them to Ukraine. They are really a fierce and amazing people.

            • The importance of drones is kind of fascinating; I’d always thought ofthem more as toys or sth people use to take cool photos.

  5. Massive 7.6 earthquake in Mexico exactly on the anniversary of the 1985 and 2017 devastating ones.
    This is so creepy.

  6. So, I’m officially an Elizabethan myself,! for those years studying history in the far future, I wonder what they would make of us here?, I wonder if ESC will still exist in 100 years?!
    and no news on UK venue for 2023….maybe something to tie in with the Queen in the end…Balmoral?!

  7. Adorable otters raise money for Ukraine – it’s the perfect Tweet.

    • Indeed it is.
      These two gentlemen had one of the greatest rivalries in sports of all times, and they marked an entire era in tennis.
      Excellent players, and wonderful people.

      For me, it was always Roger, but I also have a lot of respect for Rafa.
      ❤️ ❤️

  8. Did anyone watch the Dahmer series with Evan Peters? I used to be very invested in the Dahmer investigations, what went wrong, how the police conceived gay men back then and there was an incredible graphic novel called “My friend Dahmer” which got me hooked but now it’s passed and I’m not sure I want to dive back in so I’m interested in reviews

    • I can’t believe this; such a coincidence! Just this afternoon, 2-3 hours ago, I was reading about this series, and I was thinking of watching it tonight.

      I didin’t even know there was a series about him. Apparently, there are mixed reviews, and many people actually said that some circumstances were not well presented.

    • The reviews are pretty bad, apparently it doesn’t get anywhere until the 6th episode. It’s telling that Netflix dropped this show on a Wednesday with basically no promo.

          • I still have to see “Saving private Ryan” tonight; it is leaving NetFlix in couple of days, and believe it or not, I’ve never seen it.

            Thanks, and you too enjoy your comedy :-)

            • That one is a difficult watch I think – good but difficult. There’s enough war in real life right now so it’s Golden Girls for me!

        • Yeah I started reading Dahmer’s wikipedia entry and a lot of stuff flashed back so I thought I’d rather not watch. RM has gotten very tiresome.

          • Agreed; if you care for something actually interesting, “My Friend Dahmer” by Derf is fascinating (I never watched the TV movie adapted from it): the famous comic strip drawer Derf actually grew up in the exact same town than Jeffrey, and they went to the same school, same class and he shares his input in what he actually saw of his awkward and lonely teenager and his reputation to skin cats!

            • I’m generally not big on those real life serial killer stories, they inevitably become these hype machines. I did some journo work on Cunanan and Rafael Resendez Ramirez and it’s just uncomfortable.

    • Shocking. A piano teacher before the war/dring the first days/during the Azovstal siege and finally a few days ago when he was released by Ruscists:

      • The immediate association is of course Ausschwitz. And this is not an aberration – Russia is using the same playbook it has always used, it’s systematic. It’s a profoundly sick society, I don’t give a damn about “But Tolstoi! But Tchaikowsky!” Russia rapes and tortures children, Ukraine drops care packages with fresh sox, briefs, Ts and soap to give Russian soldiers back their dignity. It’s good that there are protests but they’re for the most part not protesting the war, they protest because they don’t want to be sent to the killing fields.

        • yes, the Russian people leaving the country now are doing for self-preservation (“not me, I wont die for this”) just like Americans during the Vietnam war: the war lost its credibility when the US government/army were picking which boy to send to his death at the lotery (draft they say)… when it hits home, when it’s your life on the line, suddenly you become “anti war”! But even for the wrong reasons, it’s definitely a super bad move Putin just did, as it does make people resent the war, and while maybe (we can’t know with Russian people after what they’ve been through for the last 20 years, and for the older generation with the end of the Soviet Union) they were anti war but would never have dared speak out, now the propaganda can’t hide in each village the image of people fleeing and not accepting the order coming from the top… it’s baffling that after Vietnam or Afghanistan (twice) and Irak, a supposed “super power” would repeat the same mistake

        • Exactly. And the Russians that are protesting are only a tiny fraction of the population. The vast majority believe the propaganda the kremlin-controlled media spread.

  9. In lighter notes, more world championships going on (women basketball in Australia, cycling, rowing…) In cycling, Frenchie Julian Alaphilippe, who won it the last two times couldn’t do anything against a Belgian superstar, one of the best cyclist right now! But glad that Christophe Laporte got silver, meaning France got two golds and two silvers in the last 5 editions! In rowing, France doesn’t have more than 1 or 2 guy and 1 or 2 girls who are top tier at international level, so France can’t get more than 1 or 2 medals per edition! At least our superstars, Matthieu Androdias and Hugo Boucheron (olympic champions in Tokyo) just won their second world title!

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