Bonus Episode: Interview with’s Josh

As GSB prepares for our July vacation to Japan together, we wanted to get an experienced perspective. Luckily Josh from (our favorite news source) was willing to oblige and help steer us clear of some likely cultural disasters. Call us at 805-613-SUMO (7866) or find us on social media.

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Theme music by David Hall via SoundCloud


Natsu 2019 Fantasy Sumo and Power Rankings

Something we (Jake) have been promising for a while is an overview of our statistics after each basho. We put a bit of effort into running fantasy sumo contests and our Elo-style power rankings, so we wanted to make sure the final results were available more than just on our regular episodes. Check out our results below and let us know what you think. We’re always looking for more ways to over-analyze and quantify this beautiful sport of ours.

Fantasy Sumo – Link to Spreadsheet

Every basho we run a fantasy sumo contest for bragging rights. Check out our Twitter feed for the contest to join us next basho. Here are the rules we use for scoring:


Our fantasy guest this basho was @ourmaninjapan, who won his place by coming up with some great sumo/music puns in our Twitter contest. In a move rivaling the nerdiness of GSB ourselves, he used an algorithm and a spreadsheet to determine how many wins he expected from each wrestler. Here is his team, anchored by the only active yokozuna, Kakuryu:


Next up we have Flyric who has been on a cold streak, losing 2 of the last three basho. Did he turn it around this time?Flyric

He did not. Rough call on that Takakeisho pick. Next up was Mak coming in with a strong looking team on paper:Mak

A few guys out of their depth kept Mak from pulling ahead. Jake picked with his heart instead of his head but managed to do OK


But far and away our winner was Ryan. His picks did well so consistently he would have almost won even without the yusho winner.


Here’s a final look at scores, with Ryan crushing us something fierce and our guest holding his own. Well done and good game, @ourmaninjapan.


GSB Sumo Power Rankings – Link to Spreadsheet

Another of our side projects is our GSB Power Rankings. Borrowing from professional chess’s Elo rankings, we assign each wrestler in the top division a rating, defining 1000 as the (unitless) average. By comparing the rating of each wrestler, we can estimate the probability of victory for each match and reassign points according to the result. If the result was expected, such as Hakuho defeating Tochiozan, then only a few points will be taken from the loser’s rating and given to the winner’s. In contrast, a big upset will cause a bigger point-swing. By following this process over all 15 days of the basho, we can visualize how the wrestlers compare to each other in regards to their current momentum. Here’s a graph of some of the top guys in Natsu:


Check out Asanoyama barging into the pack of elite talents at the top. You can see a better view with all the numbers by going to the Google doc linked above. On that document you can change any of the blue cells to compare whichever makuuchi wrestlers you like.

Well that’s all for now, feel free to send us any questions or suggestions and we’ll see you after Nagoya with more pointless stats!

Natsu 2019 Recap

Natsu is complete with plenty of controversy. We’ll try to talk about more than just those few important matches at the end…. Check out out something far cooler than a boring monster truck rally at 57:53 and afterwards join us for what we honestly feel is the best prediction series punishment we’ve ever done. More bonus episodes coming between now and the GSB Japan vacation in July, so let us know what you think on social media or call us at 805-613-SUMO (7816).

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Theme music per David Hall via SoundCloud, commercial music: “Summon the Rawk” Kevin MacLeod ( Licensed under Creative Commons: By Attribution 3.0 License

Natsu 2019 Midway

*Spoilers through day 7*

First week of the Natsu basho is in the books and we’ve got two obvious front-runners. Join us as we somehow turn that into a full hour of content along with our thoughts on the rest of the banzuke. Check out our preview of a fellow talk radio show at 40:06 and give us a call at 805-613-SUMO (7866).

Editor’s note: It took some creative censoring, but I promise I got all of Ryan/Jake’s Game of Thrones babbling covered, no spoilers here.

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Theme music by David Hall via SoundCloud

Natsu 2019 Preview

Sumo’s back, and with it is a new and improved GSB. No, we’re still losers who treat each other poorly, but now we’re on YouTube and Instagram! I suppose that’s pretty cool. Check out our new sponsor at 1:06:07 and our improved Intro to Sumo episode (for real this time, I promise). Leave us a message to tell us how bad an idea this is at 805-613-SUMO (7866).

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Theme music by David Hall and commercial music by Doncler via SoundCloud

Bonus Episode 20: Intro to Sumo, Take 2

*Not April Fool’s this time, we promise*

So a year and a half in, we thought it was time to re-do our very first episode, a guide for newcomers to the world of sumo. It’s a bit of an info dump in the first half, but we hope it’s something you can use as a resource if you are struggling with the rules or traditions of the sport. If that’s too boring, try skipping to 29:08 where we embarrass some very special guests with a sumo game show! Feel free to leave us a berating voice mail at 805-613-SUMO (7866) or find us on social media (now including Instagram!)

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Theme music by David Hall via SoundCloud

Natsu 2019 Banzuke Review

Ryan and Jake go over the recently released banzuke with a fine tooth comb while comparing it to the banzuke Ryan put together right after the Haru Basho. Ryan gets a little drunk with power, but we are able to power through with a little help from Jake trying to crush his ego. Messages of congratulations to Ryan for his impeccable guessing ability can be sent to 805-613-SUMO (7866)

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Theme music by David Hall via SoundCloud

Bonus Episode 19: Futahaguro, the 60th Yokozuna

The world lost another yokozuna this year, again at far too young. Join us to explore and celebrate the life of one of sumo’s most controversial characters: Kitao Koji, a.k.a. the 60th yokozuna Futahaguro. We apologize for some slight audio hiccups, we are working off of some backup equipment that we haven’t perfected yet. Leave us your verbal abuse at 805-613-SUMO (7866) or find us on social media.

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Theme music by David Hall via SoundCloud

Bonus Episode 18: Intro to Sumo, Take 2

*Sorry if we got you with this one, this was our 2019 April Fool’s gag. Check out our ACTUAL new intro to sumo episode in May*

We at GSB are a nostalgic bunch, so we thought it would be cool to edit and re-release our first episode, an introduction for newcomers to the world of sumo. Through the magic of editing, we got rid of a few errors we made and we hope you’ll enjoy!

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Music by David Hall via SoundCloud