Monday, January 21, 2008

101010100 = Hike

So I'm catching up with Spiritual Hero Stephen Colbert, and he interviewed the freakish author of the tome that appears to the right of these words. While it seems odd and wrong and something only a complete loser would go for... well, the same thing was true of personal ads and dating sites in the not-so-distant past, so maybe the author has a point. But enough about cold and impersonal nooky, and the inevitable and sad jokes about my first marriage. Getting back to the point of the blog, at what point does sports transcend the ability of humans to perform it?

We've already seen this in chess, where a computer has beaten many grandmasters. Recently, a competitor with an implant raised questions in a track and field event. If you are one of the glibertarians who believe that steroids are just fine, then cybernetics is as well. So why not root for robots?

We'll start with the welcome innovation of field goal kickers that don't break your heart. After a few years and the inevitable cozying up to the Vinateri2000, we'll move to wall-like offensive line "men" that never jump offsides, no matter how loud the road crowd is. Next up, a possession wide receiver that never whines to the ref for a flag. It's all good!

Finally, we'd reach the culmination in a quarterback that really does know when the pressure is coming, a second before it happens... not that, of course, the pressure will ever get there, due to the force field of protection that will wrap it in a warm cocoon until the milisecond before the ball is launched. Plus, we'll never have to worry about QB Robo (as opposed to QB Romo) losing his focus for some hussy she-bot!

I, for one, will welcome our Robot Overlords, but only if they are wearing Eagle Green. But I can't help but think we'll always have last year's model or software... or that the PatriotBots are introducing viruses to their opponents.


Tracer Bullet said...

My father has an issue of "Creepy" that tells the story of the "Cincinnati Reds," robots playing in all-robot MLB. Humans had long ago give up sports because they couldn't compete and didn't bother even to go to games because television provided a better experience and the "players" didn't care one way or the other. There's a much longer plot, but, in short, you're 30 years late.

Also, I'd say the difference between steroids and cybernetics is that muscles, no matter how thoroughly drugged get fatigued and injured. Humans, no matter how well-drugged, make mistakes. Otherwise, we could do away with games altogether and declare champions based entirely on statistics. And any man willing to watch his nuts shrink as his muscles grows deserves the right to play for a championship.

Alpha Doug said...

Reminds me of the commercial a few years back where Andy Roddick (I think) steps on court for a match against an unseeded opponent known as Pong. With typical robotic efficiency, Pong effortlessly blips back all of Roddick's most powerful shots--until Roddick resorts to the drop shot, neutralizing Pong's superior baseline game. The moral? Same as Rocky 4. The robots always lose.

OTOH the Phillies could really use a power-hitting automaton at 3B.

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