All bloggers who focus on politics seem to have a seemingly inexplicable activity of interest. For the Chris Beers/Mason Conservative-Professional wrestling; Ben Tribbett/NLS-Politicians dress and fashion; Lowell Feld/RK-Judy Feder; and for me…professional bodybuilding.
But the men’s professional side of Olympia 2008 should be of interest for anyone who follows competitions, especially any competition that is or is potentially judged. Because this year we get to see the unusual situation of a reigning champ who may not have draw odds going in.
What are Draw Odds? Well, in international chess matches it means that if the match is drawn the champion retains his/her title. They don’t win the match, but the retain the title. In boxing, it has led to the observation that one has to crush the champ to win, because any close decision will go to the champ.
Many will tell you this concept was in play during Olympia 2007. Jay Cutler was defending the title he won from sitting champ Ronnie Coleman in 2006, stopping Coleman’s run for an unprecedented ninth consecutive Mr. Olympia.
Cutler came in less dry on Day One than needed, and was soon being pressed by Victor Martinez and the new fan favorite Dennis Wolf. Cutler came back strong on Day 2, and won (apparently narrowly) over Martinez (2nd), Dexter Jackson (3rd), Coleman (4th), and Wolf (5th-after finishing in 16th place in 2006).
This evening it starts again. Cutler is back, determined to win big. Martinez is out, and Coleman retired. Jackson has announced this is his last Olympia, and his last chance to see if perfect form can offset mass. Wolf has apparently stayed out of competitions all year, and hopes to make the “Peoples Champion” the new Champion.
Given how close Martinez pushed him last year, I wonder how much margin for error Cutler will enjoy this year. Cutler was behind Martinez on Day One, and came back enough to win, but not decisively. Will Cutler enjoy Draw Odds this year as he apparently had last year, or was the close win in 2007 enough to bring him back to the crowd?
All I know is that it is going to be interesting…