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The Hustle reports on new weight room toys at LSU

LSU and some MIT grads think data (might) win championships

The Louisiana State Tigers football program makes a strong case for the old “best offense is a good defense” adage. 

But LSU, which finished the regular season ranked No. 1 in the Associated Press Top 25, also seems to have proved that data plays a role as well. 

Geaux nerds

Last January, a startup called Perch -- founded by 3 MIT jocks-cum-entrepreneurs -- started sending unsolicited emails to a number of athletics programs asking them to pilot a device created to collect data through velocity-based training. LSU was the first to say “Heeeeey.”

Velocity-based training is a technique that measures bar speed with respect to total weight and reps. This regimen improves power and explosiveness, which is vital to taking down linemen and breaking tackles.

Perch’s device works by aiming a camera -- similar to an Xbox Kinect -- on top of a weight rack and tracking a player’s movements. Data uploaded to the cloud gives coaches and trainers -- and players, who love to one-up one another -- real-time feedback on performance. 

Also… go team

Three weeks after Perch installed units at LSU’s indoor football facility, Tigers head coach Ed Orgeron said he noticed differences. 

“I think our guys are stronger and quicker and faster,” he told the WSJ. He also noted fewer injuries compared with prior years. 

Since the LSU pilot, Perch has installed units at Duke University and will do so for NFL, NHL, and MLS teams as well as additional college football programs next year.

Exceptional podcast: This week’s “Only A Game” from NPR

Good listening

I didn't know the back story of the lefty, ex-baseball player, Governor Gavin. 

My wife is a big fan of LeBron James too. She talked with him in Beijing in August 2008 while at the Olympics in a neighborhood setting. The podcast goes into the news about LeBron's statements about the NBA and its China dealings too. Humm.

Biggest point to be made about these statements of China, Hong Kong and the NBA include the fact that those in China can't even see Twitter. is a blocked URL from all of China. So,the tweet from the Houston GM was never seen by citizens inside of China.

Show notes: OCTOBER 18, 2019

Gov. Gavin Newsom, Black Sox Scandal, LeBron Faces Criticism

Gavin Newsom says he would not be the governor of California if not for college sports. So why did he decide to sign a law that challenges the entire NCAA system? Also this week on Only A Game, LeBron James is facing criticism for his response to Houston Rockets GM Daryl Morey's tweet. 

Lifeguard shortage closes pool in Milwaukee


Don't plan a dip at Holler Park Pool this summer in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. It won't be open. 

With only 131 lifeguards recruited and certified for 2019 — less than half the ideal 300 lifeguards and 45 short of last year's force — the decision was made to not open the pool this year.

"There's not enough lifeguards to staff all of the pools, so ... the only way that schedule works is if one pool was closed," Milwaukee County Parks spokesman Ian Everett said. 

Holler Park Pool, 5151 S. Sixth St., was chosen based on last year's attendance numbers and its proximity to other aquatic facilities, Everett said. 

Between 2010 and 2018, Holler Park Pool had an average annual attendance of 4,486 — the lowest of the deep well pools.

The lack of lifeguards has also meant reducing hours at indoor and outdoor pools. That includes closing each pool one day each week.

Lifeguard recruitment has been trending downward for years nationally, he said. 

And it's not like hopeful lifeguards-to-be can just walk onto the job.

RELATED: 2019 guide to pools, wading pools and splash pads in the Milwaukee area; county pools open this weekend

"We get a lot of people that are interested in being a lifeguard but they are unable to pass the test requirements," he said of the physical test. 

For those who pass, there's training that follows. That training, however, is finished so anyone who is interested now is too late. 

The department was trying to recruit for six months, he said. 

There are residents who are upset about the pool closure, as predicted, he said. But, Everett added, with only 131 lifeguards there isn't going to be a scenario where everyone would be happy. 

He called on the community to help recruit lifeguards and interest teens in the positions.

The department will also need to look at what else it can do to recruit.

"It's been a trend for a few years, so we're trying to figure out a way to reverse that," he said.

But, Everett said, there are also 47 other facilities open, so there will be many ways for people to stay cool this summer. Additional information about hours, entry fees, maps and schedules is available at

Eight outdoor pools, eight splash pads and 27 wading pools will open on Saturday. Cool Waters Water Park and Schulz Aquatic Park began their summer hours Monday.

Splash pads and wading pools are free and open every day until mid-August. 

Contact Alison Dirr at 414-224-2383 or Follow her on Twitter @AlisonDirr