The Olympics almost here and some of the events are steaming heaps of garbage!

The Olympics, especially these Rio Summer Games, are not with out their well publicized problems and detractors. But besides all that, many of the sports which are included therein are totally stupid.

Here’s a list of Olympic sports we can all completely ignore and not feel bad about it:

  • Synchronized Swimming
  • Synchronized Diving
  • Badminton
  • Basketball (Men’s)
  • Boxing
  • Canoeing
  • Bicycling
  • Equestrian
  • Fencing
  • Soccer (Men’s)
  • Golf
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
  • Trampoline
  • Modern Pentathlon
  • Rowing
  • Sailing
  • Shooting
  • Tennis
  • Table Tennis
  • Triathlon

This may sound like a lot of the sports, perhaps too many, to have been judged worthless. I will try to briefly explain the reasons behind my judgements below:

  • Synchronized Swimming
    • This is a performance, not a sport. Maybe ‘So You Think You Can Dance’ will have a spin off show for pool dancing.
  • Synchronized Diving
    • Anything with “synchronized” in the name is right out.
  • Badminton
    • Good for barbecues and picnics, not Olympics. Also how are you supposed to pronounce this word? Bad-min-ton? Ridiculous.
  • Basketball (Men’s)
    • If you’re so good at basketball why aren’t you in the NBA, getting paid? And if you’re in the NBA, why are you wasting your time at the Olympics?
  • Boxing
    • More like ‘sparring’.
  • Canoeing
    • This is a merit badge, not an Olympic sport.
  • Bicycling
    • Actually some of these events are probably OK. Maybe just get rid of the road races. We have the Tour of France for that.
  • Horse Dancing
    • The horses don’t get the medals, that is discrimination.
  • Fake Sword Fighting
    • Wannabe aristo nonsense.
  • Soccer (Men’s)
    • What is the point? The World Cup is already a better event AND more corrupt. Nothing in this for anyone.
  • Golf
    • I tell ya, golf courses and cemeteries are the biggest wasters of prime real estate!
  • Rhythmic Gymnastics
    • Sorry, you are confusing the Summer Games with Cirque du Soleil.
  • Modern Pentathlon
    • Like fencing, only five times more stupid.
  • Rowing
    • Belongs in the weight room next to the elliptical machines, not the Olympics.
  • Sailing
    • GTFO of here with boat racing. Seriously, get lost.
  • Shooting
    • Unfair to countries that have tougher gun control laws.
  • Tennis
    • Pointless, there are already four majors every year.
  • Ping Pong
    • MAYBE if foosball or skeeball were Olympic sports. Until then, no way.
  • Triathlon
    • Try playing real sports, not trying to be the best at exercising.
  •  Trampoline
    • Go home Olympics, you’re drunk.

While we’re at it, I would get rid of Speedwalking (just absurd) and the Hammer Throw, or at least rename it to the vastly more accurate Ball and Chain Throw.

With all that space cleared up we now have room to add more worthy competitions, like Kabaddi and Pesapallo.

These decisions are final and I will be brooking no debate on the subject. Thank you.

1980ish Political Alignment of Wrestling Federations at the Rio Olympic Games

Since Russia is in the news again for having a state sponsored steroids and other performance enhancing substances program, I figured it would be a good time to look at the wrestling qualifiers at Rio through a historical cold war lens. Back in the good old days when televisions over 15 inches weighed over a thousand pounds and people had to read magazines on the commode.

Screenshot 2016-07-20 at 11.35.36 AM.png

If the USSR were still just one federation, as was the case from 1952 to 1988, it could send a maximum of 18 wrestlers to Rio, or 5.16% of the qualification spots, as opposed to the 29.5% the former USSR countries earned in 2016.

Here’s the total number of qualifier by alignment categories.

Screenshot 2016-07-20 at 11.35.57 AM.png

Into which bucket each federation fell was decided solely by me, so there will be some dependencies when held up to scrutiny (e.g. Finland, Mexico, Yugoslavia, et al). Here’s breakdown showing each country. Feel free to let me know where you think I messed up!

Screenshot 2016-07-20 at 12.25.48 PM.png

Wrestling Federations going to Rio

All the quotas for wrestling at the Rio Games have finally been allocated. Final rosters aren’t due until next week but we can still check out the number of qualifiers each federation won for their countries and make nice heat maps from the data.

Great, so let’s do it!

Worldwide heat map, all styles. Top 5 federations: RUS 17, USA 14, TUR 14, AZE 14, CHN 13

Screenshot 2016-07-15 at 6.00.16 PM.png

 

Greco-Roman. Countries that qualified all 6: RUS, IRI, EGY

Screenshot 2016-07-15 at 5.34.30 PM.png

 

Men’s Freestyle. Countries that qualified all 6: USA, RUS, TUR, MGL, IRI, GEO, AZE

Screenshot 2016-07-15 at 5.24.57 PM.png

 

Mens Freestyle vs Greco-Roman. Red = More GR than MFS. Green = More MFS than GR.

Screenshot 2016-07-15 at 5.18.35 PM.png

 

Women’s Freestyle. Countries that qualified all 6: JPN, CAN

Screenshot 2016-07-15 at 5.36.53 PM.png

Africa and SouthEast Asia need to pick things up. Latin America and Western Euope could be doing better too. Still, definitely a global sport, even though most of the best wrestlers still come from the Caucus Mountain region, an area about the size of New England.

But anyway, stay tuned, more to come!

2016 USA OTT Highlights

I’ve been slaving away for hours creating this highlight video of some of the younger wrestlers at the USA Olympic Team Trials. Took forever mixing the clips just right, adding the special affects and choosing the music. Hope it turned out OK, it was a true labor of love!

Just kidding. All i did was record some youtube videos on my phone and then an app that I didn’t know I had literally did everything else and then send me a message telling me it was there. Kind of cool either way!

2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships: Maps, Charts, Graphs, Tables and more!

Well, not that much more. Just going to dump all the stuff I tweeted recently into a blog post. Enjoy this big dump (of wrestling info!)

AAs by home state

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.55.13 AM.png

Top 16 by home state

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.55.57 AM.png

Map of home towns of 2016 Wrestling All Americans

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.56.24 AM.png

Map of All Americans from the Baltimore region

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.57.05 AM.png

Map of All Americans from Cleveland and Pittsburgh

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.57.41 AM.png

Map of top 3 finishers’s home town at 2016 NCAA Wrestling Championships

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.58.17 AM.png

Schools with at least 4 All Americans every year for the last 3 years

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 8.59.22 AM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.00.42 AM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.01.09 AM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.01.26 AM.png

AA’s by home state

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.02.00 AM.png

2016 All Americans by home state per capita

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.02.44 AM.png

For the next group of tables, some of the labels are mixed up. The columns go WEIGHT, NCAA PLACE, NCAA SEED, NAME, SCHOOL. The PLACE always comes after the weight, ignore the labels if they are backwards. Apologies for the confusion.

PA at the 2016 NCAAsScreenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.05.24 AM.png

OHIOScreenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.05.54 AM.png

IOWA

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.06.24 AM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.06.51 AM.png

Illionois

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.07.22 AM.png

NJ

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.07.53 AM.png

MI

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.08.25 AM.png

MO & NY

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.09.28 AM.png

MN & CO

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.11.11 AM.png

OK & MD

Screenshot 2016-03-23 at 9.11.45 AM.png

All for now but more big news is coming soon!

Jaroslav’s 2016 NCAA Champions: How’d we do?

The results are in, and I don’t want to be overly critical of the performances of these heroic battlers but… well, they’re not great.

Of course, it should go without saying though I’ll say it anyway, just lasting at a D1 program for 4 or 5 years is stupendously difficult. Making the NCAA tournament takes herculean efforts and determination. These kids have sacrificed an unimaginably precious time in their life to dedicate themselves to this sport. They are all true champions, regardless of what happened at MSG last weekend.

Now, on with the post mortem.

125 Paul Petrov (12) BUCKNELL: 0-2, Round of 32. L Russell (US) EDINBORO TB-1 3-2. L Romero (US) AIR FORCE 9-4. Both Russell and Romero ended up 1-2. Drat.

133 Mack McGuire (9) KENT STATE: 2-2, Round of 16. W Bruno (US) MICHIGAN TB-1 3-2. L Hall (8) IOWA STATE 8-3. W David (US) NAVY 4-2. L Rauser (US) UTAH VALLEY 5-3. Hall beat Rauser for 7th so Mighty Mack’s two losses were to All-Americans. Bah.

141 Todd Preston (10) HARVARD: 1-2, Round of 32. L Everett (US) ARMY 4-2. W Finesilver (US) DUKE 13-3. L Pongracz (US) CHATTANOOGA . Neither Everett nor Pongracz made it past the round of 24. Fiddlesticks.

149 Matt Kraus (13) ARIZONA STATE: 1-2, Round of 24. W Cotten (US) BUFFALO 2-1. L Cimato (4) DREXEL 3-2. L Jeffries (US) OKLAHOMA 11-2. Jeffries is a tough wrestler, but he also lost his next match. Phooey.

157 John Boyle (10) AMERICAN: 2-2, Round of 16. W Cottrell (US) WEST VIRGINIA 5-3. L Pack (7) SOUTH DAKOTA STATE TB-1 2-1. W Chino (US) OHIO 4-2. L Gantt (2) NORTH CAROLINA STATE 3-2. No shame in losing to fellow Yunderdog, nor to two seed Gantt. So close.

157 Cody Pack (7) SOUTH DAKOTA STATE: 2-2, Round of 12. Richards (US) VMI 9-1. W Boyle (10) AMERICAN TB-1 2-1. L Walsh (15) RIDER 11-10. L Palacio (5) CORNELL 10-3. Pack only lost to the 4th and 5th place finishers. So tantalizingly close!

165 Conor Brennan (12) RIDER: 2-2, Round of 12. W Faust (US) DUKE 7-3. W Rohskopf (5) NORTH CAROLINA STATE SV-1 4-2. L Lewis (4) MISSOURI 3-0. L Perrotti (7) RUTGERS 5-4. The two losses here were to the 4th and 8th place finishers. Blarg.

174 Mike Ottinger (10) CENTRAL MICHIGAN: 1-2, Round of 24. W Campbell (US) PITTSBURGH 3-2. L Walters (7) OHIO 3-2. L Epperly (8) VIRGINIA TECH 17-6. Losses to the 3rd and 7th place finishers. Wrestling is hard. Feh.

174 Blaise Butler (3) MISSOURI: 3-2, Round of 12. L Reed (US) OKLAHOMA 16-9. W Schleifer (US) PRINCETON 13-2. W Wolf (US) LEHIGH 17-8. W Brunson (5) ILLINOIS 3-2. L Walters (7) OHIO SV-1 4-2. I watched most of Butler’s matches. He was going ape the entire tournament. So much fun to watch. This was an especially tough one. Nards.

184 Mathew Miller (9) NAVY: 6-2, 5th Place. W Schneider (US) BINGHAMTON 6-1. L Boyd (8) OKLAHOMA STATE 10-3. W Krohn (US) STANFORD. W Sleigh (US) BUCKNELL. W Thomas (11) PENNSYLVANIA F 1:50. W Brooks (2) IOWA F 2:35. L Renda (13) NORTH CAROLINA STATE 5-4. W Miklus (14) MISSOURI 4-2. Aw yeah, now that’s what I’m talking about, baby. Miller was one of the most electric wrestlers in the tournament. Then he was awarded his trophy by former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. Miller will also become an officer in the Navy. Well done young man! Whoopee!

197 Rueben Franklin (9) CAL STATE BAKERSFIELD: 0-2, Round of 32. L Scott (US) NORTHERN ILLINOIS 8-5. L Sprenkle (US) LOCK HAVEN 8-6. No All Americans out of this group. Yeesh.

285 Riley Shaw (US) CLEVELAND STATE: 2-2, Round of 16. L Marsden (4) OKLAHOMA STATE 5-1. W Johnson (13) CHATTANOOGA 10-1. W Goodhart (US) DREXEL 7-3. L Smith (12) Rutgers F 1:39. Not a bad showing by the unseeded Shaw. Still, que lastima.

285 Billy Smith (12) RUTGERS 4-2, Round of 12. L Larson (US) OKLAHOMA 8-4. W Solomon (US) PITTSBURGH 3-0. W Gillen (US) VIRGINIA 9-4. W Cornwell (US) GARDNER-WEBB 7-2. W Shaw (US) CLEVELAND STATE F 1:39. L Wessell (8) LEHIGH 3-2. Smith lost in the last seconds of the bloodround to an opponent he beat in the last dual meet of the year. Turds. Double turds. TURDS RAISED TO THE POWER OF A THOUSAND BURNING SUNS.

Phew – I’m exhausted just typing up these results. It turned out to be an incredibly frustrating tournament for a lot of seniors. Of the 4X qualifiers looking for their 1st AA, only three broke through to the promise land. They are: 125 David Terao (15) AMERICAN 4th place (and was one of the great stories of the entire tournament); 133 Jade Rauser (US) UTAH VALLEY 8th place; and 165 Austin Wilson (10) NEBRASKA 7th place.

Regardless, the 2016 NCAA tournament was enormously entertaining. There is an endless supply of fascinating stories to mine from just 3 days of wrestling. I hope everyone enjoyed the rasslin as much as I did!

Jaroslav’s NCAA Wrestling Champions of 2016

With all the NCAA tournament excitement and my twitter spaz about ‘peaking’ I almost forgot to pick my Yunderdogs! (The J in Jaroslav is a soft J, like in jogging).

I try to find seniors who are from smaller, less well known schools who have never made All American before and root for them to make podium on their last shot. Or I’ll just pick a guy for random reasons I make up on the spot.

Either way, you should totally root for these dudes because they are totally awesome dudes!

125: Paul Petrov (12 seed) – Bucknell. It’s always nice to see a Bucknell Bison do well. The program was on the brink of oblivion about a decade ago. 13th ranked Petrov is a solid dark horse candidate and media darling.

133: Mack McGuire (9) – Kent State. This Golden Flash is at his 4th consecutive NCAA without ever making it past the round of 16. I don’t see the Mighty Mack beating Garrett (Cornell) in the quarters but as the 12th ranked guy in his weight,  he definitely could find the podium in the wrestle backs.

141: Todd Preston (10) – Harvard. Tough to call anyone who prepped at Blair and will soon have a Harvard degree an underdog (or Yunderdog), but T-Prez is a New Jersey man and I am a NJ homer. Plus the EIWA needs all the help it can get this year. Plus I think anything is possible in a wide open 141.

149: Matt Kraus (13) – Arizona State. Few would consider Arizona State a mid major but in the world of wrestling, anything in the Mountain Time and west is a minnow. Matty Yowzah Krausah may have an upset special waiting for Ciamat0 (Drexel) in the quarter final round.

157: John Boyle (10) – American; Cody Pack (7) – South Dakota State. Had to go with John Boyle for repping both the Garden State and Chocolate City. Had to double up with Cody Pack because this is his 4th NCAA in a row, and last year he was seeded 7th and lost in the bloodround. Unfortunately these 2 Yunderdogs will likely see it’s other in the 2nd round. Which also means at least one will make it to the quarters! And yes I can choose 2 guys in a weight class, it’s my list, I do what I want.

165: Conor Brennan (12) – Rider. I’m most stoked about how Conor is all like, “You know what, I’ve got 3 Ns in my last name. I don’t need anymore than 1 in my first name. 1 N in Conor is enough. ” Brennan is a 3X EWL champ. This is his 3rd trip to the National Championships and 1st time seeded.

174: Mike Ottinger (10) – Central Michigan; Blaise Butler (3) – Missouri. Yes I went for another twofer. Ottinger is the real Yunderdog as he is seeded outside the top 8 and Central Michigan is a directional. However, I had to include Butler, even though he is from a powerhouse program and seeded #3, because he spurned UVA’s Darden business school to transfer to and obtain an MBA from Mizzou, and I will forever hold a grudge against Darden because I am petty like that.

184: Matthew Miller (9) – Navy. There will always be a room for a Navy Man on my team. This is Miller’s third trip to Nationals, and I believe he was injured last year, after having made the round of 12 as a sophomore. 184 is also one of those WTF -who-knows kinds of weights. I wouldn’t rule out any result for the 9th ranked Midshipman, including an upset over Dean (Cornell) in the 1/8 round.

197: Reuben Franklin (9) – Cal State Bakersfield. How can you root against a Rueben? It is the tastiest of all the grilled sandwiches. The Cal State programs are also worthy of support, one of the few schools keeping D1 wrestling alive in the under served Bear Republic. This is Franklin’s first appearance in the NCAAs, and the 10th ranked Roadrunner has excellent odds of becoming an All-American.

285: Riley Shaw (US) – Cleveland State; Billy Smith (12) – Rutgers. I had to include one of the two Vikings of Cleveland State in the tournament. The program came within a whisker of being shuttered last year. Shaw is making his 3rd appearance, all of them unseeded. Finally, Billy Smitty of New Jersey University. Smith has qualified 3 other times, making the round of 16 in the last two appearances. I will be robustly cheering on Billy to at-last break through into the top 8.

To see if I missed anyone, I combed through the spreadsheet for all the 4X NQs with no AAs. Turns out, I missed quite a few potential Yunderdogs. Yikes. Here, check em out:

Screenshot 2016-03-16 at 9.05.31 AM.png
Screenshot 2016-03-16 at 9.06.03 AM.png
Screenshot 2016-03-16 at 9.06.34 AM.png

Wow, so many worthies. Terao (2X R12!), JMart, Rowdy Roddy Rauser, Deutsch-land, Alexander (Go Terpies), covered McGuire, Horan-so-far-away, Sparty Chino (HOF name), got Ottinger, Barnes! Wellington!! Stolfi!!!!!!11!11ones

Also a shout out to Matt Frisch (Citadel) and Mark Martin (Ohio State) who made it to the last 3 NCAAs but not to MSG. Their college careers are over, but they are still champions of extraordinary magnitude.

OK, time to pack and hit the road. Yes I am going to my first NCAA tournament, didn’t you know? And now you know who to root for as well. Do it. DO AS I SAY OR SUFFER THE CONSEQUENCES.

Happy Pre-NCAA Eve! Here are some wrestling tables!

Only two days until the NCAAs begin and only 1 day before I drive up I-95 to attend my very first Meathead Convention. And then I will be the only person in the world to have attended both an NCAA Wrestling Championship and the San Diego Comic-Con (I’m assuming).

I was fiddling with the NCAA data last night and made a bunch more tables and charts. Hope you find them as interesting as I do!

Number of All-Americans per team over the last 10 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 10.40.50 AM.png

Number of All-Americans per team over the last 5 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 10.51.54 AM.png

Number of All-Americans per team over the last 2 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 10.53.21 AM.png

Number of unseeded All-Americans by team over the last 16 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 10.56.21 AM.png

Number of Top 8 seeds to lose in the Round of 12 by team over the last 16 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 10.59.03 AM.png

Number of Round of 12ers by team over the last 16 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.02.26 AM.png

Number of Round of 12ers by team over the last 10 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.03.33 AM.png

Number of Round of 12ers by team over the last 4 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.04.24 AM.png

Number 1 seeded wrestlers by team over the last 16 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.05.06 AM.png

NCAA Individual Champions over the last 16 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.06.05 AM.png

Number 1 seeded wrestlers by team over the last 5 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.08.32 AM.png

NCAA Individual Champions over the last 5 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.07.02 AM.png

#1 Seeds that didn’t become All-Americans over the last 16 years (Sorry my dudes, no disrespect!):

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.23.27 AM.png

#2 Seeds that didn’t become All-Americans over the last 16 years (Ditto – nothing but love broheims!):

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.24.27 AM.png

#3 Seeds that didn’t become All-Americans over the last 16 years (Please don’t beat me up if we ever meet in person!):

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.32.43 AM.png

Unseeded wrestlers who placed in the top 4 over the last 16 years (nicely done, gentlemen!):

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.31.19 AM.png

Freshmen Champions from the last 16 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.33.30 AM.png

Finally, one of my favs, the number and percentage of All-Americans by seed over the last 2 years:

Screenshot 2016-03-15 at 11.37.43 AM.png

Not quite done yet but that’s all for now! All data is accurate to the best of my knowledge but not guaranteed. Please let me know if I missed anything or got anything wrong!

Happy Pie Day Enjoy Some Pie Charts!

And some other stuff. I’m working my way through the legendary Mr Earl Smith’s NCAA data and came up with some interesting charts (‘n stuff) that I’ve been throwing up on the Tweet-o-sphere. Figured I’d collect them here for easier browsing.

NCAA Qualifiers by School 2000-2016

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.17.19 PM.png

By home state

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.16.01 PM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.18.17 PM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.16.34 PM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.19.14 PM.png

Per Capita

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.20.09 PM.png

Tobacco Road Wrestling

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.21.17 PM.png

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.20.51 PM.png

Rutgers also on the rise

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.21.46 PM.png

Cael is a good coach

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.22.09 PM.png

Odds of becoming an All American based on your seed

Screenshot 2016-03-14 at 5.23.05 PM.png

That’s all for now. Gotta go pretend I have a life for a while.

Jaroslav’s Friday Tweetbag

The monstupolous Coach Mike Riordan tweeted me some questions about NCAA wrestling. Let’s see if I can answer them.

Tweet #1

I don’t think so. In fact, I think you can make a better case that Ohio has surpassed Pennsylvania, at least when it comes to top tier talent.

We all know Pennsylvania sends more qualifiers to the NCAAs every year than any other state. Here’s a comparison of the top 9 states over the last 2 years. Screenshot 2016-03-11 at 4.05.55 PM.png

But there are also more D1 programs in the keystone state, including many public schools, and it has been speculated that the high number of qualifiers may be partly due to the greater number of opportunities for Pennsylvania high schoolers to find D1 roster spots.

To test that theory, we can look at only the top 8 seeds from the past two NCAA tournaments. Screenshot 2016-03-11 at 4.10.17 PM.png

As the graph illustrates, Ohio’s quality has a leg up over Pennsylvania’s quantity.

Of course, there are infinite ways of slicing the data and each iteration will tell a slightly different story. It’s also worth keeping in mind that there will always be some random year to year variation, and I’ve only looked at two years worth of data, so we shouldn’t make too much of any trends. The numbers are worth keeping an eye on, though, and I’ll try to look at a broader time frame in the future.

As for whether it’s good that one state is “better” than another at wrestling, eh, doesn’t really matter to me. As long as the sport is in rude health in any state, I’m happy. Illinois can be better than Ohio or vice versa, whatevs. I don’t have much of an opinion on either state to be honest.

Question #2

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Beats me. My knowledge of college basketball is scanty at best. Especially when it comes to Georgetown. More like Hoya Suxa, am I right? Hahaha, good one, Hasek.

Things concludes the inaugural edition of Jaroslav’s Friday Tweetbag. Feel free to send more tweets about wrestling anytime you like. It doesn’t even have to be on Friday.