January 19, 2010

Now, was that so hard?

60 Minutes ran a story Sunday night on Samoan football players, and for once the press respected the public's intelligence by admitting what everybody can see with their eyes: that Samoans tend to be large.
There's a small community that produces more players for the NFL than anyplace else in America. It isn't in Texas, or Florida or Oklahoma. In fact, it's as far from the foundations of football as you can get.

Call it "Football Island" - American Samoa, a rock in the distant South Pacific.

From an island of just 65,000 people, there are more than 30 players of Samoan descent in the NFL and more than 200 playing Division I college ball. That's like 30 current NFL players coming out of Sparks, Nev., or Gastonia, N.C. 60 Minutes correspondent Scott Pelley traveled 8,000 miles to American Samoa and found a people and traditions so perfectly suited to America's game - it's as if they'd been waiting centuries for football to come ashore. ...

It's estimated that a boy born to Samoan parents is 56 times more likely to get into the NFL than any other kid in America. ...

The Samoan people are big. And big is beautiful, according to Togiola Tulafono, the governor of American Samoa.

Tulafono said it's not just size that makes the Samoans such great football players. His people come from a farming culture that prizes hard work, reverence and discipline. And he thinks that's why scouts and coaches are pulling out their atlases. ...

Samoans are born big, but the island makes them tough.

"Samoans are born big ..."

That wasn't so hard to say, now was it? And in the subsequent 48 hours, the world hasn't come to an end, either ...

My published articles are archived at iSteve.com -- Steve Sailer

57 comments:

Blumenthal said...

Jon Entine has written extensively about biodiversity as seen in sport:

"HOTSPOT 5 Pacific Islands

SKILLS: Sumo, rugby, American football, flexibility, speed, size THE top stars in Japan's beloved sport of sumo wrestling are not Japanese, but quick-footed behemoths such as the 600lb Konishiki and 6ft9in, 516lb Akebono, both of Pacific Island ancestry.

The cluster of islands that straddle the international date-line in the South Pacific, including Samoa and American Samoa, have also funneled hundreds of players into American football and rugby in Australia and New Zealand.

"Football is like legalised village warfare, " explains "Throwin' Somoan" Jack Thompson, an all-America quarter-back from the University of Wisconsin in 1976.

"There is an innate competitiveness in the warrior sense in Polynesian culture." But more than cultural factors are at work. Polynesia is a hotbed of human biodiversity, with links to sub-Saharan Africa and aboriginal populations of Japan.

This genetic mixture helps in part explain why athletes from this region are large, agile, and fast."

http://www.jonentine.com/reviews/express.htm

"Sport success is a bio-social phenomenon, with cultural factors such as opportunity amplifying small but meaningful differences in performance related to heredity. Genetically linked, highly heritable characteristics such as skeletal structure, the distribution of muscle fiber types, reflex capabilities, metabolic efficiency, lung capacity, and the ability to use energy more efficiently are not evenly distributed among populations and cannot be explained by known environmental factors. Scientists are just beginning to isolate the genetic links to those biologically-based differences (though the fact that this patterned biology is grounded in genetics is unequivocal).

A glance at a world map of athletic pockets or hothouses highlights places where evolution and accidents of culture play a key role in the patterns of excellence we see in sports: The domination of endurance running by East Africans, sprinting by blacks of primarily West African ancestry, Eurasian white supremacy in weightlifting and power events, etc., are explained, in part, by patterned anatomical differences."

http://www.jonentine.com/reviews/straw_man_of_race.htm

Anonymous said...

Well, before anyone starts ascribing superhuman abilities to Samoans, a better explanation might be that they develop their football skills earlier by playing rugby from an earlier age. 60 Minutes briefly(a 2-3 second clip) showed part of the reason why Samoa produces so many NFL players-These kids start out playing rugby, then graduate to football. For as much as rugby and Am. football have gone in different directions, many of the skills in rugby are transferable to football. Not to mention the costs of rugby are as cheap as basketball-all you need is a ball. No need for helmets, pads, et al until these kids start playing rugby.

It's interesting to note that the Polynesian nations typically field very competitive rugby 7's teams but they struggle when faced with rugby 15's nations. They just don't have the manpower to compete with the Springboks, England's, All-Blacks, and Wallabies of international rugby.

The real question is why Americans haven't fielded a competitive rugby team since they won the Gold medals at the 1920 & 1924 Olympics? I can only assume that not only is it an obscure sport played by foreigners, like soccer, kids lose interest by high school and move on to other sports and never develop the skills to compete internationally.

Anonymous said...

It's easier to say it about people not in America.

Svigor said...

Is that MAO aggression gene concentrated in Samoans, too? I remember it was some Pacific Islander population but not which one.

Steve Sailer said...

In America, rugby seems like a sport that guys who played sports in high school take up when they get to college and play for fun until maybe age 27 or so. It looks like a good game, but we Americans don't know much of anything about it.

me big said...

I heard Polynesians have some black blood. What %?

What positions do Samoans usually occupy in the NFL? Offensive Line?

I wonder if 60 minutes will run a special on why Jamaica produces more great sprinters than all of Asia and white Europe. Could it be body shape and muscle tone?

60 minutes could probably get away with talking about 'born traits' because Samoans are exotic to us. Talking about them doesn't push the kind of buttons as when we talk about blacks or Jews.

Anonymous said...

Steve, your explanation fits me almost perfectly. I played a number of sports in high school-football, soccer, track & field but wasn't good enough to get an athletic scholarship. When I got to college, I ended up playing rugby with a lot of Kiwi's, Brits, and Aussies, and that motivated me to study over in the UK, live, and work there. It's a great sport with a lot of good comradery e.g. a few pints at the pub after the match. It's too bad it's not promoted more in the US, it would improve the skills of football players tremendously.

jody said...

for me all it did was corroborate how truly one sided is the issue has become in the US. next up, 60 minutes special on how a nation of 200 MILLION europeans cannot produce ONE, not ONE SINGLE athlete capable of being even a BACKUP cornerback or running back in the NFL. cornerback: 32 teams, 2 starters, 2 backups = 128 players at this position. 128 out of 128 are black americans, and have been, year after year after year. with no variation at all. what happened to the white athlete? 60 minutes investigates...

oh wait, 60 minutes has no interest in that. just like how HBO rapidly lost interest in showing numerous important boxing matches after eastern europeans, prevented from turning professional for almost all of the 20th century, rapidly became competitive with black americans by 2000. ross greenburg, the guy who runs HBO sports, would actually rather show fat mexican chris arreola, than let viewers see super determined, highly fit products of the soviet sports machines knock out black americans, even if it is for a major belt.

that these guys come from extremely poor, extremely disadvantaged backgrounds, is of no concern to HBO or ESPN. that the GDP in their nations is half or less, of what the average black american earns, is of no concern to HBO or ESPN. that the ghetto in eastern europe is easily twice as dangerous as a black american ghetto, and is filled not with handguns but actual WAR, with assault rifles and mortars, is definitely of no concern to the US media, which loves to potray how "hard" and "tough" black americans are. but hen whites from harder and tougher places rise to the top, HBO and ESPN are suddenly mute. HBO and ESPN, which purport to care so much about human interest stories, and LOVE to go on and on about black americans overcoming adversity, suddenly have nothing at all to say about whites from even worse backgrounds. indeed, HBO and ESPN often seek to ignore these athletes and not even report on anything they are doing, to maintain the image of the invincible black superhuman which they have spent a long time developing. black american athletes are great. but they aren't invincible superhumans, far too "hard" and "tough" for any other athletes to compete with.

Anonymous said...

But what are their IQ's? I really find it increasingly hard to get enthusiastic over one more big dumb lug who handles a ball well. I thought we already had a surplus in this country, we should be exporting them, not importing more of the same.

Steve Sailer said...

Rugby seems like a good compromise as a participation sport between American tackle football, which is too violent to be played much without pads, and American touch or flag football, which is too nonviolent to be really interesting to 15-25 year old guys.

But, we just don't play rugby much.

Anonymous said...

Not enough pzazz in rugby for Americans, you would fall asleep I think, as you do watching cricket.

I doubt if the American Samoans grow up playing much rugby,but is certainly true of Western Samoans.

A non-trivial number of the Samoan American football players listed in Wiki were born in San Diego or Hawaii.
They also seem to be heavier and taller than the Samoans playing for the All Blacks, showing where different skills and body types are in demand.

Of late, Samoans have formed up to a third of the All Blacks rugby team...not to mention the Tongans and Fijians.

Did not the King of Tonga once have the right to pollinate all available virgins in the kingdom? thus making the current population
significantly his offspring...'a la Ghengis Khan.

Farmer F

Whiskey said...

Rugby does not allow the athletic specialization that Football does, with vastly different body types and such. It has more demands on stamina than football.

Currently the craze for Sumo-style offensive and defensive lines benefits Samoan players who have that body type, but there is some evidence that these guys break down during the season, with the weight they carry.

You don't get something for nothing. Injuries to the line can make the difference between advancing or exiting the playoffs.

Interestingly, the best known Samoan ancestry player is Steelers Safety Troy Palamalu, known for his aggressive running and tackling.

An interesting subplot in Football is how older QBs can continue to thrive in the NFL playoffs (Favre, Warner).

Truth said...

"Well, before anyone starts ascribing superhuman abilities to Samoans, a better explanation might be that they develop their football skills earlier by playing rugby from an earlier age."

Yes, playing rugby at an earlier age gives them a great advantage in football over our kids who, well, play football at an earlier age.

Jody, what the hell did your response have to do with Samoans? You cut and pasted that from an old thread didn't you?

I'm watching you buddy!

jody said...

as far as running back goes, i see once again that NFL teams would LITERALLY prefer to lose playoff games, than allow a capable white athlete to carry the football.

the chargers stick religiously with broken down ladainian tomlinson, long after it is obvious to everybody that he cannot effectively move the ball anymore and is at the end of his career. meanwhile, on their roster is a young, fast, strong player who carried for 1000 yards in his senior season on the LSU national championship team. but the chargers did not see fit to try letting this player carry the ball a few times, because he has a debilitating skin disease. you see, jacob hester is white, and cannot be allowed the carry the ball under any circumstance except extreme emergency. apparently, losing a playoff game that you are supposed to win is not considered one of these emergency situations.

not even when the team has nothing to lose, will this player with a skin condition be allowed to touch the ball behind the line of scrimmage. tomlinson carried the ball for a whopping 24 yards in 60 minutes of play. hester, who is bigger, stronger, younger, and faster due to not being broken down, was allowed to carry the ball 0 times.

strict, fanatical adherence to the blacks-only policy at running back is the rule, even when a team has something to gain by letting a player show if he can deliver. i don't think hester got 20 carries in the entire 2009 season. and of course, the chargers staff will certainly replace tomlinson with some other black player. not once, not for ONE SECOND, would they consider allowing young, fast, strong, 1000 yard SEC rusher jacob hester to split carries with darren sproles in 2010. he must not be allowed to carry the ball 5 to 10 times a game. not even to see whether he can play or not - we already know he can't, because he's white, and has no afroletic upside or blackletic potential.

i already see the same process starting for toby gerhart. some NFL scouts and NFL drafts have already moved him to fullback. toby slowhart is lead footed, unathletic, and a natural blocker in the NFL. he might have been able to barely play NCAA football, but he won't be able to make NFL defenders miss. he certainly can't play against the kind of superhuman blackletes found in the NFL, since he didn't even play NCAA level afroletes in the SEC.

except, back in reality, he was regularly making NFL drafted, NFL starting players miss tackles in PAC-10 play. in 2008, gerhart faced USC linebackers brian cushing and clay matthews and rey maualuga. every one of them NFL drafted, and NFL playing. he carried 23 times for 101 yards and 1 touchdown against them. and how about this? CUSHING AND MATTHEWS ARE BOTH ARE IN THE 2010 NFL PRO BOWL! but, naturally, gerhart will magically lose his ability to compete against these kinds of players in the NFL.

both cushing and matthews outperformed black NFL linebacker aaron curry, who was drafted number 4 overall in the 2009 draft. curry was, naturally, the "superior athlete" and "the most NFL ready linebacker", and cushing and matthews were white non-athletes primed to bust in the NFL. in reality, aaron curry was outperformed in 2009 by cushing, mattews, and even james laurinaitis. every white linebacker drafted between him and the next "natural, superior athlete" rey maualuga. maualuga, a good athlete, was nevertheless still outperformed on almost every NFL combine test by david buehler, the dallas cowboys kickoff kicker, something i've posted before. buehler is merely a white non-athlete, and so was forced to play kicker instead of linebacker at USC. i'm sure it is considered a total joke when he is on the field for the cowboys, trying to tackle superior black NFL athletes returning his kickoffs. if only he had the natural athletic ability of samoan superman rey maualuga...

maualuga is, as you guessed, samoan, making him automatically the "natural, superior athlete", easily able to outperform joke white athletes. 60 minutes said so.

DCThrowback said...

As a friend of mine once said, "There's nothing to do in Samoa except play volleyball and eat dirt." (At the time, we were playing in an Army gym against some Samoans who were beating our asses - and only one of them was over 6'1" - and he was an alternate for the Olympic team.)

I guess you can replace "volleyball" with "rugby" or "football" and you can get the same laughs.

Anonymous said...

“It's interesting to note that the Polynesian nations typically field very competitive rugby 7's teams but they struggle when faced with rugby 15's nations. They just don't have the manpower to compete with the Springboks, England's, All-Blacks, and Wallabies of international rugby.”

A major reason why Polynesian nations lack the manpower for 15s is that many of their best players are given citizenship by and play for Australia and, especially, New Zealand. Also, they are not treated as well by their clubs as are players from 1st world countries. For instance, in the last World Cup, many French clubs refused to release their Polynesian players to play for their home countries, which they did for players from 1st world countries.

Another big reason is that speed much is more important in 7s and 15s and the better technical skills of the white teams don’t come to the fore as much as much in the former with its much more open field. Whites can do big and whites can do fast, but they don’t seem to have the combination of big and fast to the extent you find among Polynesians. Also, Polynesian teams usually have terrible kicking skills (both kicking to touch and penalty kicks), which are enormously important in rugby. Notice how for Australia and New Zealand the kickers are almost always white. Also, contra the 60 minutes spot, Polynesians are massive, but not particularly tall and don’t seem to produce the 6’7”+ fellows you want to play locks to jump for the lineouts (I’ve noticed that locks for Samoa usually tend to be 6’3” to 6’5”.

Here’s a New Zealand study comparing whites and Polynesians aged 17-30 (avg.23):
http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/117-1207/1203/content.pdf

Summary: whites/Polynesians
Height: 1.78m / 1.79m
Weight: 79.1kg / 94.7kg
Fat-free mass: 63.2kg / 72kg
Body fat %: 19.4% / 22.7%
Appendicular skeletal muscle mass: 26.9kg / 31.7kg
Bone mineral content: 3.33kg / 3.81kg
Bone-mineral density (g/cm2): 1.24 / 1.34

“What positions do Samoans usually occupy in the NFL? Offensive Line?”

They often play positions that require size and speed – D-line, linebacker, safety, and fullback.

“that the ghetto in eastern europe is easily twice as dangerous as a black american ghetto”

Rubbish – the murder rate per 100,000 for Eastern Europe is 8.1 per 100,000. (Russia is 16.5 per 100,000).
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_intentional_homicide_rate

The Murder rate for African Americans is over 25 (42.1 for males).
http://www.prisonpolicy.org/prisonindex/murder.html

And for black youths between ages 17 and 19 the murder rate is almost 100 per 100,000 in 2004.

Anonymous said...

Jody- you are starting to de-rail. Yes, the Chargers should have let another RB run the ball- that RB is Darren Sproles....anyone that knows anything about football knows this. Gerhart will get his chance and Cushing and Matthews were both NFL 1st round picks so most of what you said makes no sense. Also, hate to break it to you but there's a reason blacks dominate the cornerback position- it's fast-twitch muscles, or hip movement or something like that- but it's a good reason. Don't worry- we'll still have the QB position. Also don't forget the great cornerback work put in by Pat Fisher, Pat Tilley, Brian Davis, Jason Sehorn and Dustin Fox.

White CB's have been a favorite topic of mine but not in the same psychotic way as Jody. I honestly can't remember a white starting cornerback before Sehorn or after obviously. I know Pat Fisher was great with the Redskins in the early 70's, Brian Davis was a nickel back/occasional starter with the Redskins in the mid eighties- had an INT in Super Bowl 22 (crazy random fact in a span of 3 years the Redskins drafted 2 white cornerbacks from Nebraska- Davis was one and I will give 9 dollars if you guess the other one)...is that all there were?

Can somebody please name some other white cornerbacks who played in the NFL in the 80's or 90's?

Dan in DC

Anonymous said...

“Rugby does not allow the athletic specialization that Football does, with vastly different body types and such.”

Whiskey, have you ever actually seen professional rugby? I’m sure that your statement about body types would be surprising to your average 5’10”, 250 lb. prop forward, your 6’7”, 250 lb. lock, your 6’3”, 220 lb. flanker or 8-man, your 5’11” 200 lb. center (230 if he’s Polynesian) or your 5’9”, 175 lb. scrum half. The different positions have unique body type and speed requirements, just like football.

“Currently the craze for Sumo-style offensive and defensive lines benefits Samoan players who have that body type, but there is some evidence that these guys break down during the season, with the weight they carry.”

Can you back this statement up?

“hester, who is bigger, stronger, younger, and faster [than Thomlinson].”

Thomlinson is 5’10”, 227 lbs. and runs a 4.49 forty. Hester is 5’10.5, 226 lbs. and runs a 4.58 forty. Not saying that Thomlinson isn’t over the hill or that Hester wouldn’t be more effective, but they’re not materially different in size and Thomlinson is (allegedly) faster.

Anonymous said...

"And in the subsequent 48 hours, the world hasn't come to an end, either ..."

I don't know about you Steve, but hearing that Samoans are genetically distinct is giving me this irresistible urge to enslave my neighbors.

E. REX said...

New Zealanders can emigrate to Australia as they please. As a result we have a big polynesian population, real big. So things have to change.

Anonymous said...

"In America, rugby seems like a sport that guys who played sports in high school take up when they get to college and play for fun until maybe age 27 or so. It looks like a good game, but we Americans don't know much of anything about it."


I played Rugby in college (recently).Though your guess is accurate--at my first team meeting the captain described himself as "washed up basketball" while most of the team was "washed up football" with some wrestlers mixed in--it's more popular on college campuses these days than people might think.

It's a fun sport to play with a great culture for preppy jocks. All of the camaraderie and alpha male posturing of their high school sports experience with a lot more drinking and a lot less fear of your coach/authority figure.

Rugby teams often have a reputation for being a kind of superfrat. Playing hard and partying hard, if not always working hard. College rugby in this country has certainly improved dramatically over the last 25 years and the level of play is certainly respectable at the top. But we simply won't compete with England/SA/AU/NZ until rugby is a serious choice for elite athletes in this country (read: never).

It's not enough to say that the US is "horrible" if we get crushed by England. Those guys are objectively very good. They are only terrible relative to countries who can afford to select deep into the 99th percentile while the US team is made up of 98-99th percentile athletes (numbers are somewhat figurative, but I think they convey the right idea). America has no shortage of elite athletes, but no one is turning down the NBA or NFL to play rugby.

It's not even necessarily about culture or growing up with the game. It definitely helps to have experience, but if the NFL was shut down tomorrow and the players were told they could either get nothing or have their contracts honored by the newly formed NRL, we would soon be the major world power in the sport. Whether that's in a year or five years is splitting hairs. Rugby is different from football, the positions don't translate, the athletes and body types are different, skills need to be learned, etc. But make no mistake--NFL athletes are on a different level.

Julius Peppers is 6'7, ~300 with incredible speed. He played basketball at a high level (major contributor to a Final Four team). He sprinted and triple jumped in high school.

"To say Julius’ pro day was impressive is an understatement. ;They laid out the long mat with numbers on it to measure his standing broad jump,' Danny explains. 'Julius lined up, then jumped all the way off the mat. Everyone just stared at each other—no one had ever seen that before.'"


I'm completely confident he could pick up rugby if he had the motivation. It's not just NFL stars who could dominate, though. Even if only the best football players who can't make the NFL went into rugby, America would still field an incredible team. As it is, we get bourgeois white kids* who like being on a team and drinking. Nothing wrong with that, but it's not enough to compete with countries who live and die with the game.

Anonymous said...

*this is, of course, the major reason for the incredible surge of interest in lacrosse. White athletes and middle class parents love having their own sport where tougher, athletically superior black kids don't ruin their fun. Sure, playing golf at a country club is nice, but it's even more awesome, bro, when you have your own elite team sport that's not ice hockey. Sure, scholarship lacrosse players could be star football players--in high school. However, it's certainly much easier for a 6'3 suburban kid to become a lacrosse god at UVA then start for the football or basketball teams.


As long as I'm rambling, props to Jon Scheyer of Duke, who's in the running for NPOY. Can anyone think of another upper-middle class Jewish kid who has dominated college basketball or football in the past 10 years? I follow college sports, and I've got absolutely no other name to throw out there. Maybe I'm missing someone?

I'm aware of the Jewish tradition in basketball, but Scheyer seems anomalous in this era. According to Google, there are two Jews in the NBA. One is a 6'9 Israeli; the other has a black father who was a professional athlete.

josh said...

"In America, rugby seems like a sport that guys who played sports in high school take up when they get to college and play for fun until maybe age 27 or so. It looks like a good game, but we Americans don't know much of anything about it."

This describes me. I saw it on tv, joined a club, played until I had a baby, then couldn't make it to practice. Some guys play into their 30s. There are generally "A" sides, which are relatively serious, and "B" sides, where older guys, beginners, and guys who don't feel like coming to two practices in the middle of the week play.

Mostly it is guys like me and expats from the commonwealth countries (and refugee Afrikaners). The great thing about rugby in the US is that it is the only contact sport where (non-professional) grown men play the real thing and not a watered-down version.

ironrailsironweights said...

Rugby may not be a popular spectator sport in the United States, but it's a major adult participant sport. There are thriving amateur adult leagues in many urban areas. Contrast this with football, which hardly anyone past college age plays.

Peter

Anonymous said...

"Well, before anyone starts ascribing superhuman abilities to Samoans, a better explanation might be that they develop their football skills earlier by playing rugby from an earlier age."

*groan* Yeah in term of playing football the Samoans are super human. Yet another insecure comment about white athletics.

dk said...

After the rookie combine I wasn't aware that 40 times for veteran players were recorded. In fact when the baltimore ravens brought in corey ivy as a emergency nickelback the papers reported that they had him run a 40 (because of prior performance there were questions whether he had the physical skills) but even that time was never publicly reported. Ands that was only reported cause apparently it is really quite rare. So that 4.49 may be from LT's draft combine which was a Looooooong time ago. If you have some way of getting current 40 times I'd be real interested.

Anonymous said...

White cornerback: Jason Seehorn

They exist, but are very rare. Also, no white guy as run 100m in 10 flat or less -- even under the Soviet sports program -- whereas hundreds of black guys and even one Japanese guy have done it.

The recent trend is to see more Polynesian players in skill positions like QB, RB, safety. They're not just big guys who play on the line.

I don't know if 60 minutes covered it, but the football equipment and training available in Samoa is very limited.

For those of you who don't know, football is a technical sport (albeit not as technical as, say, swimming or tennis). Starting in a 3-point stance and getting up to full speed in a few steps requires quite a lot of training (try it), as do tackling, blocking, catching a ball over your shoulder while running full speed, etc. States that have sophisticated peewee programs (where kids play in pads from an early age) turn out a lot more good players than states where that training is unavailable.

So I would say the main advantage Polynesians have is genetic, not environmental.

Le Mur said...

Semi OT:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100119172758.htm
"Face Recognition Ability Inherited Separately from IQ"

Gene Berman said...

Svigor:

That'd be the Maoris you were thinking of. (I forget where they come from originally but they "discovered" and settled New Zealand about the same time or slightly before the Brits).

Anonymous said...

@ Blumenthal's comment "Polynesia is a hotbed of human biodiversity, with links to sub-Saharan Africa and aboriginal populations of Japan"

Polynesians are a genetically diverse population? Seriously? That's how he tries to explain Samoan athletic success? Diversity? A Pacific Island people who are about as far down the out of Africa serial founder effect as you can get?

albertosaurus said...

If Samoans are better football or rugby players just because they are big, why not just develop some artificial Samoans - much as we have developed St. Bernards? We don't have a pill to make you smarter but we do have pills that make you bigger.

We have recombinant HGH these days and plenty of anabolic steroids. Just get a boy at about 10 or 12 and start to juice him up. We should be able to create a lot of seven footers who weigh 350 pounds or more. There are already some Korean martial artists about this size from natural acromegaly.

Polynesians are recent arrivals to the Pacific Islands. This suggests that large size arises fast. It should be relatively easy to make our own race of big guys.

Picking specialists from among existing natural races (e.g. cornerbacks from West African blacks) is an early and primitive strategy. Juicing up for the body type you want is the next step and selective breeding is the next after that.

Anonymous said...

"The real question is why Americans haven't fielded a competitive rugby team since they won the Gold medals at the 1920 & 1924 Olympics?"

I believe that your national team as reasonably competitive when compared to countries with a similar rugby population. They made a good fist of it at the last World Cup. They lost every game, but that doesn't reflect the quality of their performance. The eventual winners (South Africa) and runner ups (England) were in that group and the Americans gave a brave showing against both teams.


"I can only assume that not only is it an obscure sport played by foreigners, like soccer, kids lose interest by high school and move on to other sports and never develop the skills to compete internationally."

It's the other way round. Most Americans don't pick up the sport until they are at university.

"Thomlinson is 5’10”, 227 lbs. and runs a 4.49 forty."

Surely you mean Tomlinson used to run a 4.49 forty?

Anonymous said...

Rugby in the USA is very minor sport, mostly college kids playing for club teams and post-college adult club teams where the socializing aspect of the sport is as much or more the point as the competitive aspect. There are two only states (IIRC, Vermont and California) where rugby is a recognized high school sport, with a few hundred players. Of actual "youth" rugby, almost nothing exists. Most American rugby players learn rugby far too late to develop good technical skills. Consequently the USA Eagles are a very minor second tier team, internationally.

To the comment upthread about rugby being "boring": most of the world finds American gridiron football to be excruciatingly boring. So what? You love what you know; you find "boring" that which you do not understand. Your personal tastes are not some kind of objective universal standard.

Point of information: there are two "codes" of rugby, rugby union and rugby league. Most of the world plays rugby union, but if you get a chance to watch rugby league, do watch (it's only really popular in two states of Australia and in northern England). If you are an American gridiron football fan, you'll find rugby league similar enough to appreciate, more so than the much more complicated and slower rugby union. For starters, rugby league has a six tackle rule (get tackled six times and you are forced to punt) which functions a bit like the four downs/ten yards for first down rule in American gridiron (except there's no "ten yards for first down" rule in rugby league). Also league has no rucks, mauls, or lineouts, and minimal scrums, so doesn't get bogged down like rugby union does in the kinds of technical things likely to bore American sports fans who are notoriously easily "bored" (ie, who suffer from AADHD and don't know what to do if play isn't interrupted every 3 minutes by a commercial).

Also other commenter is correct, Whiskey does not know what he is talking about, as per usual. Rugby union players are very specialized by position. Rugby league players are less specialized and tend to all look alike regardless of position (big and lean; no fatties or shorties unlike in rugby union). Rugby league is like checkers, rugby union is like chess: checkers is easier to understand and to learn, chess is more rewarding to those who can take the time to study it. And the players in union are most definitely specialized like chess pieces.

headache said...

jody,
simple quess: who runs HBO and ESPN?

Anonymous said...

“If Samoans are better football or rugby players just because they are big, why not just develop some artificial Samoans …We have recombinant HGH these days and plenty of anabolic steroids. Just get a boy at about 10 or 12 and start to juice him up. We should be able to create a lot of seven footers who weigh 350 pounds or more. There are already some Korean martial artists about this size from natural acromegaly.”

A few points: 1) Giving steroids to 12 year olds would prematurely close their growth plates, making them shorter than they would otherwise be; 2) the big Korean martial artists with acromegaly suck and regularly get their butts handed to them by normal sized heavyweights; 3) there’s more to Polynesian athleticism than their size (and I mean bulk, they’re not particularly tall people, just wide) – they have tremendous speed, explosive athleticism and power. I’m not so sure that HBG and steroids would help one’s explosiveness.

“Polynesians are recent arrivals to the Pacific Islands. This suggests that large size arises fast. It should be relatively easy to make our own race of big guys.”

Your musings do present an interesting question: how did Polynesians get so big? I’ve read one Anthro article that posited that they were selected for stockiness by having to handle cool night winds over long Pacific voyage, but I find this unconvincing. Personally I think their traditionally extremely violent culture where all men were expected to fight (and with warclubs and other close combat weapons – they didn’t have bows and slings) is more likely. In Eurasia, by contrast, fighting was often the preserve of a military elite and most people were peasant farmers, not warriors. Also, as aristocrats enforced legal codes that reduced interpersonal violence to keep their peasants from killing one another (and hence paying taxes), population rose and resources per capita became scarcer. In most of Eurasia, the increasing gracilization of the skeleton which we observe over historical times was probably an adaptation to a meager, agricultural diet. In Polynesia, the high levels of violence would have resulted in higher living standards for those who survived and their wouldn’t have been this pressure for producing smaller bodies that could survive with less food, but for massive bodies that could win hand to hand struggles with other men.

“Also, no white guy as run 100m in 10 flat or less -- even under the Soviet sports program -- whereas hundreds of black guys and even one Japanese guy have done it.”

What about Marion Woronin of Poland? He ran a 10.00 hundred (actually a 9.997 100m). Last Olympics I looked at the top sprint times of white and Asian sprinters. Here they are:
100m:
White: 1) Marian Woronin (POL) 10.00, 2) Pietro Mennea (ITA) 10.01, t3) Matthew Shirvington (AUS) 10.03, t3) Nicolas Macrozonaris (CAN – Greek descent) 10.03, t5) Johan Rossouw (RSA) 10.06, t5) Frank Emmelmann (GER) 10.06
Asian: 1) Koji Ito (JAP) 10.00, 2) Nobuhara Asahara (JAP) 10.02, 3) Shingo Suetsugu 10.03

110m hurdles
White: 1) Florian Schwarthoff (GER) 13.05, 2) Stanislavs Olijars (LAT) 13.08, 3) Frank Balzer (GER) 13.10
Asian: 1) Xiang Liu (CHN) 12.88, 2) Dongpeng Shi (CHN) 13.19, 3) Tong Li (CHN) 13.25

200m
White: 1) Pietro Mennea (ITA) 19.72, 2) Konstadinos Kederis (GRE) 19.85, 3) Marcin Urbas (POL) 19.98
Asian: 1) Shingo Suetsugu 20.03, 2) Koji Ito 20.16

400m
White: 1) Jeremy Wariner (USA) 43.45, 2) Alberto Jauntourena (appears white) (CUB) 44.26, 3) Alejandro Cardenas (appears white) (MEX) 44.31, 3) Thomas Schoenlebe (GER) 44.33, 4) Andrew Rock (USA) 44.35, 5) Iwan Thomas (UK) 44.36, 6) Roger Black (UK) 44.37
Asian: no Asians under 44.70

“Can somebody please name some other white cornerbacks who played in the NFL in the 80's or 90's?”

There a white CB who played for the Bears for 9 years in the 90s named John Mangum.

Anonymous said...

"how did Polynesians get so big?"

500-1000 (I think that's correct, but not entirely sure) years of war with clubs as the main weapon. These people are descended from SE Asians who were forced off the continent, to Taiwan and then to the pacific archipelago. They are a prime example of how fast selection can work.

Starker said...

Regarding the meme of the superior but ignored white athlete: Most football and basketball coaches, GMs etc. would cut their grandmas into fish bait to win. Their jobs depend on it. What would persuade them to pass over someone who would help them achieve their goal? No, ESPN and HBO don't call shots on who gets to play.

Most viewers are white jock-sniffers who would not be turned off by white stars, ESPN's political views notwithstanding.

About 20 years ago I remember Brooks Johnson, then Stanford track and field coach, said that the nation was teeming with white Carl Lewis types but they were too busy on Wall Street or med school to get into the starting blocks. It's all cultural, see? Johnson said he would find them. A local sportswriter said, "Good luck Brooks, but better pack a lunch." Johnson is still in the track business and is presumably still looking.

Whistling Past the Graveyard said...

N. European types were totally destroyed from the American Civil War through WWII - 100,000,000 civilian and military deaths. Combine that with industrialization, sterile diets, and overall dysgenics and you get the population you have today. Go to South Africa, Zim, parts of Iceland - places where the N. Europeans weren't totally destroyed in the conflagration, and you see a different, larger breed of man, similarly shaped to some of the Pacific Islanders.

Anonymous said...

Go to South Africa, Zim, parts of Iceland - places where the N. Europeans weren't totally destroyed in the conflagration, and you see a different, larger breed of man, similarly shaped to some of the Pacific Islanders.

I've been to South Africa, didn't notice that at all. Maybe fewer scrawny, short guys, but not particularly a lot of giants, either.

Anonymous said...

"How did Polynesians get so big?"

I read the reason for this somewhere. Because they spent so much time on long sea voyages, they evolved the ability to store fat more efficiently than other races.

David said...

Whistling,

100,000,000 seems exaggerated. Probably the white population loss was much less than half this. If your count includes white people who failed to be born because of the overall destruction, then you may have a point; however, I don't think many or any Europeans looked or look like Samoans.

Anonymous said...

The Austronesians, of which the Samoans are a sub-population, contain a lot of small, gracile types--like Malays and Filipinos. How did the Samoans get so big? In a word, founder effects. These can be quite noticeable in Polynesia where a whole island can be populated by the descendants of couple canoe loads of people. I have a friend who claims that he can usually tell what island in Micronesia a person comes from by their facial appearance.

The first settlers in Samoa undoubtedly included a few very robust individuals. I don't doubt that these men might have been very successful at perpetuating their lineages by hogging all of the available women for a few generations, but founder effects are the primary cause.

Bruce Banned said...

re. Whistling
There's no shortage of big guys in the UK and elsewhere. Two centuries of warfare have selected for tamer personalities but the physical type is still there in Northern Europe.
Same in the Balkans (Romanians, Serbs, Croats, ect.)

Anonymous said...

“N. European types were totally destroyed from the American Civil War through WWII - 100,000,000 civilian and military deaths.”

First of all, all the wars you mention were of short duration and, although they decimated some birth-year cohorts, they were too short in duration to have an enormous effect on European and N. American populations. Also, you make two other false assumptions: 1) that military standards were particularly high and that the people taken into the militaries and that were killed were significantly more intelligent or athletic than average; and 2) that those who died had 0 fitness – before Vietnam soldiers tended to be men in their mid or later 20s, many of whom already had children and not the 19 year olds we sent to get killed in the jungles of Vietnam. If you’re looking for a culprit for any dysgenic decline in Western man, look instead to the welfare state, which had been subsidizing the reproduction of the least able among us for some time now, whereas in the past they had below replacement fertility (i.e., children surviving to adulthood) without subsidies. This kind of constant, long-term, dysgenic selective pressure can have a much larger impact.

“There's no shortage of big guys in the UK and elsewhere. Two centuries of warfare have selected for tamer personalities but the physical type is still there in Northern Europe.
Same in the Balkans (Romanians, Serbs, Croats, ect.)”

I haven’t been to the Balkans, but I have spent a lot of time in N. Germany, Holland, and the Scandinavian countries. They are tall people (look at the national health stats – young Dutchmen average 1.84 m, and in the other countries they average about 1.8-1.82 m), but they are not a big people. The typical body build is tall and thin, with a relatively short torso with narrow shoulders, a small chest, and comparatively broad hips and long, thin, arms and legs. Don’t get me wrong, one does come across some large and athletic types there, but most of them are pretty poorly constructed and don’t give the impression of power or athleticism. Central and S. Euros (e.g., S. Germans, Czechs, Italians, Greeks) are much more muscular and better put together. As for the Brits, I lived there for 4 years and the body build is similar to N. Euros, but with less elongated limbs (i.e., medium height and scrawny rather than tall and scrawny). The average height for young Englishmen is 1.78m.

Anonymous said...

Re: founder effects, I just don't see it. Why are there so many islands on which the polynesians are big and robust? (BTW, not just fat, but also with a lot of muscle mass and explosiveness.)

That phenotype is very rare in the progenitor SE Asian/Austronesian population.

Re: this guy who always comments about the lost giants of the white race, you've been refuted so many times I've lost count, but you don't seem to learn. The commenter who discussed war and population dynamics, and described the physiognomy of various European groups, had it about right.

swede said...

"Two centuries of warfare have selected for tamer personalities but the physical type is still there in Northern Europe."

Sweden avoided wars in the 19th century, in WWI and in WWII. How come Swedish men are such PC dorks?

Africa has been raging with war for all of the 20th century, but I don't see anyone getting tamer.

Anonymous said...

Aren't Bubba Fatt and the stormtroopers in Star Wars Samoans?

dude BIG! said...

http://www.news.com.au/common/imagedata/0,,5634637,00.jpg

Whistling said...

"100,000,000 seems exaggerated."

You can take five minutes online and find the deaths attributed to the Civil War (620,000), WWI (16,000,000), Russian Revolution/Holodomor/Bolsheviks (20,000,000), WWII (55,000,000 - 72,000,000), and throw in the small fry Franco-Prussian War, Boer War, post-War German expulsions (500,000 - 3,000,000), etc...I realize these aren't all "N. European" casualties (e.g. Turks), but I was tossing out an easy estimate.

Whistling said...

"First of all, all the wars you mention were of short duration and, although they decimated some birth-year cohorts, they were too short in duration to have an enormous effect on European and N. American populations."

Pergola says that if not for the Holocaust - which lasted less than the Civil War - there'd be approx. 32 million Jews worldwide, instead of the current 13 million, a factor of 2.5. Sure, there are a ton of variables in coming up with that number, and demography as a field is a bit loose, but, if you believe his numbers, you can easily take them and extrapolate to other populations. Your assertion that duration of conflict is the key factor is wrong - number of dead of child-producing/bearing years as percentage of the population is. There are others involved, (pre-conflict children population, conduciveness of environment for childrearing post-conflict), but that's the biggest.

This drifts slightly from the relevant topic, but regarding your claim that there was no effect on national populations in Europe and America from the various wars of the industrial era, I can counter with all those old-school early 20thC. racial writers that are often talked about on Sailer's site (Jordan, Grant, etc...) They were always talking about the changing phenotypical makeup of the U.S. and I see no reason to disbelieve them. Anecdotally, I remember reading Lovecraft somewhere mention in a snarky context that the Civil War was fought so that Czechs could inhabit Boston Common (I'm paraphrasing). If the percentage of blue eyes, to cite one physical marker, can drop so drastically (see everyone's favorite Wikipedia), there's no reason to assume that other traits couldn't be altered as well.

"Also, you make two other false assumptions: that military standards were particularly high and that the people taken into the militaries and that were killed were significantly more intelligent or athletic than average."

I didn't make that assumption, though the intelligence part is a whole 'nother can of worms. There have been volumes written about the decimation of the English upperclass, the aristicide of the Russian nobility and intelligentsia, eradication of the best and brightest Germans and Poles, and so on. Again, that wasn't the point of my comment though. I was simply talking about a particular physical type among Europeans that, while perhaps not prevalent among the population on a whole, certainly existed in larger numbers than we see today. I've seen those types in the places I've mentioned, as well as certain areas of Texas and the mid-West. You also see them in those great strongman competitions on late night ESPN - it seems to always be some enormous Icelandic farmer flipping the semi tire. The various locales I've encountered them in any substantial number indicate to me that that they're outliers, obviously, farmer types on the fringe of where the most vicious wars took place.

"Before Vietnam soldiers tended to be men in their mid or later 20s, many of whom already had children and not the 19 year olds we sent to get killed in the jungles of Vietnam."

Not true. You can go here re: Civil War -

http://www.civilwarhome.com/boysinwar.htm

Half the soldiers who died in WWI were under 21.

"If you’re looking for a culprit for any dysgenic decline in Western man, look instead to the welfare state..."

No denying it. But there isn't a "culprit", there are "culprits", and modern internecine war certainly looms large in the rogue's gallery.

Whistling said...

"Re: this guy who always comments about the lost giants of the white race, you've been refuted so many times I've lost count, but you don't seem to learn."

Not me. I've never commented here about any "lost giants of the white race". As mentioned above, the burliest whites I've seen have been in particular areas of the world, places colonized long distances from population-heavy urban centers. It's like Rome - after the center rotted, the best men they produced were of the original stock whose families had set up camp in the provinces generations earlier.

Anonymous said...

Look Whistling, a German man living in the 20th century had less than a 1% chance of dying a violent death, which includes two world wars and all incidents of criminal violence. Of course this could have some small effect, but not huge. There was nothing like the Holocaust where 1/3 of the population was killed. Also, my point about war deaths is that they were confined to a few birth cohorts. For instance, men born from about 1895 to 1900 got decimated by the WWI, but the effects on either side of these cohorts wasn't huge. As I said, the real culprits in any deterioration of Western man are the Welfare state and possibly the long lasting murderous activities of collectivist dictatorships (e.g. USSR), especially to the extent that they targeted more able portions of the population.

Anonymous said...

Whistling: And your story for Swedes is... ?

(I swear, this World's Strongest Man thing is the last bastion for delusional white racialists. Did you ever stop to think that the pool of competitors for these events is TINY?)

Whistling said...

Go to google books. Read "War and the Breed". I don't know how anyone today can claim that modern warfare isn't dysgenic, so I give up. Think what you want, dude. I'm going to stick with my nutty belief that the loss of millions upon millions upon millions of murdered people has an impact on the caliber of the population the following generations.

Other anonymous, or same, or whatever - can you really not sit and think what happened to Sweden? Are you just sitting there scratching your head, waiting for a reply from some random guy about what took place so you can tell him he's wrong? Do you have any history books?

"I swear, this World's Strongest Man thing is the last bastion for delusional white racialists. Did you ever stop to think that the pool of competitors for these events is TINY?)"

Sigh. I can't compete with loaded adjectives and ALL CAPS. That's a real relevant comment to my single line of text.

Anonymous said...

Comparing body builds, Europeans compared to Africans, at least, follow Allen's Rule and have shorter limbs and a longer wider trunk, with relatively more muscle mass on the trunk and less on the arms, although it seems African Americans have relatively higher levels of muscle mass relative to size. See - http://racehist.blogspot.com/2009/12/racial-differences-in-muscle-mass.html.

Really, if this surprises you, what else are you expecting? The slimly built and reedlike people from the cold climates? Doesn't work like that.

Anonymous said...

Then why do pacific teams hardly win againt the Northern Euro dominated teams like Australia, New-Zealand, South Africa, England etc... in rugby?

Anonymous said...

Let's get down to the facts. Some in here said that America Samoan kids grew up playing rugby and when they older they play football. That's not the case. American Samoa kids don't have any sports to play but baseball. They don't even have football teams until they get into high school. In Samoa they play rugby. That's there main sport, but they don't have rugby programs in school. They will have to wait till they get into college and try out. The rugby clubs in Samoa are mainly in downtown area. But for the rest of the country it's not like that. The players who play in those clubs get paid little or nothing at all. But they play with pride. But in New Zealand and the rest of the top rugby countries have the money and resources. Samoa doesn't have that. That's why you see a lot of Samoans playing in New Zealand and else where. Samoans who were born in Samoa but move to New Zealand have a greater chance of becoming succesful, because they have rugby programs for kids under 15, high school, and colleges.New Zealand also has the money and resources. That's why Samoa doesn't have a good 15s but 7s they are one of the best. Samoan players in 7s doesn't get paid a lot compare to other countries. Australia, USA, and so many paid there players a lot of money but can't seem to perform well. For a small nation were are the Best. Now if NZ or England was the size of Samoa it will be too easy for Samoa. New Zealand are the number 1 team but it's because the only sport they mostly like.