Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - December 31, 2008

Oh, and today's video pretty much has nothing to do with the following post. This just remains to be one of my favorites that I have ever used.

MLB: The wildest thing that I can think of so far is that the McCourts have not re-signed Manny Ramirez yet. He should have been inked the day the season ended. Those rumors of being relieved of the burden that is Andruw Jones are totally bogus too. They let Brad Penny go to Boston also...Boston of all freaking places! What the heck!? Are the McCourts in cahoots with the Red Sox since that is where they were originally from? This is why I hate outsiders coming to my city and messing it up. Don't act like this is a novel idea either. I've traveled around the country only to find that people weren't happy of my mere presence in their city or state. I'm happy to let everyone enjoy my beautiful hometown...just stop ruining my teams! Argh!

NFL: If you could hear just how hard I am laughing at the fact that the Patriots are missing the post-season you would think I was having a seizure. I'll just leave it at that. Clearly the best "gotcha" story belongs to Chad Pennington. Don't get me wrong, I do like Brett Favre. I am a bit disappointed that he came out of retirement, but I still respect him. The Jets basically threw Pennington away and he led the previously laugable Dolphins to a playoff berth against his former team and said legend. Talk about vindication. You go, Chad!

Today in Sports History

- Charles H. Ebbets, team treasurer, purchased controlling interest of the Brooklyn Dodgers.

1967 - The Packers beat the Cowboys 21-17 in the NFL championship game with the temperature a balmy -13F. All remember the game as the Ice Bowl today.

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Top Ten Stories of 2008

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, right? Yeah, everyone is doing "top ten" and "best of 2009" posts right now but I didn't get the idea until I read the post at That Mutt yesterday. For this blog, the top ten posts from 2009 are:

10. The Pitcher With One Arm

9. Top Ten Phil Jackson Quotes

8. The State of the NHL -- thank you Casey of Bringing Hockey Back and Pittsburg Penguins Analysis

7. Top 5 Sports Songs

6. Notes on Golf Style

5. Meet Brittney Griner (Female Athlete of Today) -- thank you Rob Mars of the Athletic Women Blog

4. Remarkable Athletes

3. The Girl Who Struck Out Babe Ruth

2. 5 Questions With Lisa Guerrero

1. Manchester United defeats Newcastle United 5-1

The number one must certainly have to do with the Cristiano Ronaldo pic I chose for it. I had noticed some time ago that this day was getting plenty of hits so I gave it an update added more content as it was a very short post to start. I do have to give an honorable mention to So What If He Cried? since I know it had a plethora of hits. At that time, my counter was not working correctly.

Thank you again to my readers, guest posters, commenters, and all of you that make this blog possible! It has been a blast so far and I'm excited to see where we go next!

Monday, December 29, 2008

5 Questions With "Women's Football Talk" Host Barbara Coletta

I was excited and honored when Women's Football Talk host Bj Coletta asked me to be a guest on their radio show a few weeks ago. Of course, I had to ask her to be my guest for five questions. She's another inspiring athlete that I am fortunate to have crossed paths with. I'll let her take it from here:

I was born Barbara Jean Coletta. My family calls me Barbie and my friends call me Barb. I started being called Bj on the softball field. I was born and raised just outside of Chicago and moved to the Sacramento area just before I started my senior year in high school. I graduated at 17 and moved back to Illinois for a year after finishing a semester of college before I joined the Army at 19. I was a helicopter mechanic. I was stationed in El Paso, Texas and Stuttgart, Germany. When I got out of the Army I moved back to Germany and lived there for 13 months just six miles from the East German border. I volunteered 40 hours a week on the military base in a civilian office until I was able to secure work at the Burger King on base. In 1987 I left and went to a Aeronautical school in Oklahoma and got my Associate in Applied Science degree in Quality Control and diploma in Non Destructive Testing. That's where I acquired the skills and have been a technician of some sort ever since. Today I work in the Aerospace industry where they make rockets that put things in space. My job though not so glamorous, I work in the environmental laboratory that tests water and soil for the projects that were tested. I'm a proud Mom of a 19 year old son who stands 6 foot 5 inches. He didn't get his height from me (smile). He starts college this semester.

1. How did your fondness for football begin? Did you play as a child? What are your earliest memories of the sport? Tell us about your professional career as well.

I grew up about 30 miles North West of Chicago. Football and snow always went together. It still does. I remember we played without rules, it was just fun. We played on the streets that were plowed pile high with snow. No out of bounds and the catches even on the tallest snowdrifts counted. I remember playing with the neighborhood boys. There was one time we played and I made what would have been a amazing catch, unfortunately the snow helped it so I told them it was no good. No one believed me, not even the boys we played against. They made me count where I caught it. Even now watching a game when it snows brings back those great memories as a kid.

I played for the Sacramento Sirens in 2006 and 2007. Starting football again at the age of 42 after being away from sports for so long was a big challenge for me. I was more of a "show me" player, I couldn't get the concept of calls in my head. My brain just couldn't formulate fast enough. I think it really had an effect on my confidence level as a player. 2006 was my better year. I played 3rd and 4th quarter DB as a corner as well as on Special Teams. I really enjoyed special teams because my purpose was to get to that ball carrier as fast as I could. Short and simple.

2006 was also a big moment for me when I made my first tackle (not a hard tackle), but the carrier lost four yards and I made my head coach ("Diamond" Lill Jarrell) proud.

2007 I played DB, Special Teams and Linebacker. At 130 lbs I didn't make for a scary linebacker, but the coaches said they wanted to make me more aggressive. I wound up fracturing my rib during practice and was out the first four games of the season and never really developed any technique or skill for the remainder of the season. I gave up football. It was no longer fun.

2. What sports did you play through your life as a child and through school other than football? Do you continue to play football or other sports today?

Growing up as a kid I played tether ball and softball. When I lived in Germany, I played on a softball league for the military. I also played on a softball league during 2005 and 2006.

Today I don't play any sports, though I played a few flag football games on a Sacramento league this year with my former teammates. I wound up breaking my finger in the first game but didn't know it that day. I benched myself for the rest of the season because as a chemist I need the use of my hand.

3. What inspired you and your colleagues to start the Women's Football Talk site and radio shows? How are you able to cover all of the leagues in women's football so thoroughly?

Women's Football Talk started with an idea that originated while I was maintaining a local website called SacTown News (during 2006 and 2007). The website's focus was to report on unconventional sports that were conventional to me. I mostly wrote about the Sacramento Sirens (women's professional football team part of the IWFL) and the National Golf League, a professional team golf league that was formed in 2005 that I had volunteered for since its beginning.

After the end of the 2006 Sacramento Sirens season, I thought why not talk about all the teams and all the leagues. I was interested in knowing what was going on with all the teams and the all the leagues and no one was reporting on any of them.

In the last week of November 2006 I purchased two domain names, and One I would designate for the BlogTalkRadio website using the call letters (WFB Talk) and the other I would use for the online blog.

The original on-the-air debut was scheduled for December 19, 2006. During the six hours up to the show debut I was extremely nervous and wound up canceling the show and rescheduled it on December 26, 2006. I talked myself out of that show as well, it was the day after Christmas after all.

My brother suggested that I get the aid of some friends to help out with the show. I asked two of my teammates, Megan and Beebe, if they would be interested. We decided that our new air day would be August 21, 2007. We decided to hold our first meeting to discuss the show at our end of year banquet of the Sacramento Sirens while we ate our meal. Megan had worn the t-shirt that I gave her with the WFB Talk logo on it. There were only two t-shirts in existence with the logo and the name of our website, and I owned neither of them. I had given the other to our future Director of Marketing, Nancy. Robin, another teammate of ours saw Megan's t-shirt and asked her about it. She was immediately drawn with our ideas, since she had a degree in communications and one day wanted to work with the NFL.

In the early beginnings we held meetings every week deciding what topics we would discuss. We made a list of things we thought our listeners would be interested in. After Meg moved to Texas we stopped holding our meetings. Now week after week we may find a particular subject matter we are interested in and just make a phone call. Our show is done on week by week basis so there are times when the show listing is not up until that day. Sometimes we even surprise ourselves who is going to be on the show (smile).

4. What is the most rewarding part of covering women's football for you? The most challenging?

The most rewarding part is getting the chance to meet the players, coaches, owners, volunteers, management staff, and fans either in person or by telephone. I am even in contact through text messaging thereafter. Getting their personal insight and getting to know them on a one on one level is a big high for me. I still am in contact with a lot of the people we have had on our show. I feel a special bond to them. I don't want to get too sidetracked where they don't think that I'm not still thinking about them. I want them to know that their story or connection has touched me and I do still have them in my thoughts, even if I haven't contacted them recently. We are just one. My dream would be to have more coverage for women's football by others following and using our show as one of their ideas behind it. It's not copying, its promoting! To be honest, I prefer behind the scenes and talking to the individual one on one. I get more heartfelt satisfaction that way.

I think the most challenge is reaching out to the players. They just want to play. The players are the start of the young girls future. If they don't work to push their own sport and to help promote it, it could be too late for some young girls dream. After 10 years, women's tackle football is still unknown to many. On average still only 400 fans fill the stands per game. Who is still not talking?

5. Who are your role models? On that same note, do you consider yourself a role model? Why or why not?

Growing up I think I always looked up to my brother and sister. Each one was unique and had different aspirations that helped round who I am. I have loving parents who always encouraged us through our growing years and even supported our decisions as adults, even at 19 when I joined the Army unknowing to them until after I signed on the dotted line. They still were in my cheering section.

I don't consider myself a role model, but as a parent my 19 year old son looks to me on decisions that I have made. I have been a single parent since my son was four. Last month my son even accused me of making him too honest. My son will be starting full time at a local community college in late January. He took a semester off and has played nothing but video games and drove me nuts. I'm lucky. A lot of kids can't wait to move out. My son wants to stay with his mom. I must be doing something right (smile).

I'm sure she is doing something right - you can see her son on the sidelines with her in the slideshow. He volunteered for the Sirens when she was a player and continues to do so. Be sure to visit the Women's Football Talk site and from the top you can find links to the radio shows, video, and information for the world of women's football.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - December 28, 2008

: Week 17! Oh my gosh! Where has the season gone? I cannot believe that I am sitting here watching the end of the NFL season as I am typing this. I've got the Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. Oakland Raiders game on and can't help but think about that Super Bowl where these two pirates met. What different teams we have today! I keep begging someone to take the Raiders away from Al Davis before he hurts anyone else. Now, I'm starting to believe that it is time for a complete coaching change in Tampa. Yes. I said it. I never thought I would believe it. Maybe it is time for Gruden to go. They can still make the playoffs this year...

NBA: Golden State comes to visit the 24-5 Los Angeles Lakers. Yes, the team is afire and doing fabulous. I will refrain from any predictions for the post season whatsoever since we are entirely too early for that. Much can happen in the months to come.

Snow: Yes, there is plenty of it in the California mountains today so why not get out and get on a board? The conditions are very nice.

Today in Sports History

- The first indoor pro football game is played at Madison Square Garden. The event is a series in which the Syracuse, NY Athletic Club wins the tournament.

1998 - Mark McGwire is named the Associated Press Male Athlete of the Year.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Griffith Park Hiking Trails

As I’ve mentioned before, there are some amazing trails to hike here in the Los Angeles area. For me, these are ideal locations since I’m not out in the middle of nowhere. I only look to the side and I see the city. This is quite comforting for us city folks. Those of you who grew up in a big city (especially this one) can relate. When I was in college on the East Coast, actual woods freaked me out since there was nothing but that – woods! Scary!

Griffith Park is a great place for urban hiking. When I say urban, I don't mean that you are hiking on actual city streets. You are on an actual mountain that is complete with coyotes and other wildlife. Don't worry too much about them, there are too many others around for you to be bothered and is part of the reason this area is closed from dusk to dawn. Not only is the very cool observatory there, but so are panoramic views of everything from the Pacific to the San Gabriel Mountains. Check out my pics from yesterday’s trip. We found a great trail that had plenty of inclines and declines mixed throughout. The best part – it was totally dog friendly. We’ve only met one dog that was not friendly in all of the times that we have gone here. His human was very much in on it as well and had a quite a sturdy leash and a friend to help him. He was at least trying to socialize his dog and get him accustomed to others.

Look through the slideshow and you’ll see Downtown, the Observatory, the Pacific Ocean, Wilshire, “Eas’ Los”, the L.A. River, and part of the San Fernando Valley. There are a few more landmarks in there and some snowy mountains in the distance. I highly recommend exploring the many trails if you are out this way. Drop me a line if you need advice on where to start, park, etc.

Where is your favorite hiking spot?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Making Goals in Sports

I am really not one to make resolutions for the new year. I always find that most of the time someone will binge on whatever it is they are going to cut back on or give up and then go without come January 1. By mid-February, the "resolution" is in the trash. Personally, I like to make goals regardless of the time of year. In the near future, I have a few sports-related goals that I hope to accomplish. For those of you that have been around here before, you'll probably remember that I wrote about goals in the past. I thought it might be a good time just to reaffirm since part of setting goals is reaffirmation and refocusing, in my opinion. I hope to:

* Get back to training for my first marathon: I am not a distance runner, nor will I ever be. As a brisk walker, I would like to participate in some shorter and then longer marathons. I know I could eventually work up to a respectable pace and I have the stamina to briskly walk for quite some time. Let's see if I can translate that to finishing an actual marathon.

* Get my husband on a snowboard: No, I will not be forcing him to do so, but I am absolutely dying to go! He has never been on a snowboard so I'm going to start with some indoor lessons. There's a place here in town that has a carpet on a conveyor-belt contraption to get your footing. Then we'll do a lesson at a local mountain and we should be good in no time! Wish me luck.

* Lower my golf score and register my handicap: A few trips back to the doctor to fix my shoulder and I should be out of excuses. After that it will be practice, practice, practice! I will be doing some golfing this weekend, in fact.

Do you have any sports goals?

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sports Widow?

Not in my family. The holidays were always a time where we got together and watched whatever sports were on. Thanksgiving = football and Christmas = basketball and many others. Oh, and don't forget since I am lucky to be a Southern California native, holidays sometimes mean surfing, skiing, snowboarding, or skating. Some of my earliest, happiest memories are with my family watching or doing sports since I was a child. My mother loved sports as much as my father and the four of us children would play football together all the time.

I really wanted to give a bit of advice for those men and women who consider themselves "sports widows". Yeah, you heard me - men and women. I once dated a guy that would rather watch a romantic comedy than a football game. Don't act like all men like sports, because they don't. At any rate - sports has always been and always will be a fun, happy thing in my family. It brings us together and always has. I could not imagine growing up in a house that one parent freaked out about the other watching sports. I never even knew that existed until I got older.

Give sports a chance, "sports widows". Don't sit there and act like you are too good for it. Do you go to the gym? Have you ever shot baskets? Ever skate (roller, ice, board)? Do you run? How about golf? If you've answered yes to any of the above or can think of something close that you do then I've got to break the news to you - you actually like sports! Not all of us who consider ourselves sports fanatics know everything about every sport. You don't have to.

I dare you to get out there and enjoy a sport. Go ahead! Give it a try!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - December 24, 2008

Okay, so this version sort of reads like a “Tales From The Inbox”, but with all of the holidays I am losing track of what day it is!

The Cheer ‘Em On Sports Guide: Written by a mother/son team, the Guide is intended to teach girls the basics about sports. I think it makes a good guide for both genders since it gives explicit details about rules, origins, the fields of play, etc. They’ve got a Facebook page that you can become a fan of and the book is available on Amazon. Here’s the description:

“Cheer 'Em On Sports is the quickest and easiest way for girls and women to get up to speed with the world of sports. Its one-of-a-kind, "just for us girls" approach to teaching sports basics helps readers understand key terms and how that terminology fits into the overall game. First, it's a sports handbook that teaches the ins and outs of baseball, basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, and wrestling. Then, it functions as an anytime reference guide to quickly find and learn terms as they come up. Written in a light and fun style, Cheer 'Em On Sports is like learning about sports from a good friend. Taking 30 minutes or less to read per sport, not only is your friend a sports wiz, but also a timesaver!”

A review on the site also calls it the guide for “sports widows of the world”. It is an easy-to-read book for a particular niche but I would like to see an edition that is geared for our “label-less” world we have longed for and discussed over the last few days. I’d recommend it for anyone who wants to know the basics of football, baseball, basketball, soccer, volleyball, or wrestling. You can check out the facts on the sly and sound like an expert!

The NBA RV? It will be here in Los Angeles on Christmas Day at the Staples Center. There is usually a Lakers game on December 25th.but I don’t recall the RV. I just might have to be “too sick” to visit my relatives on that day…oops! Does that make me a bad person? They aren't anywhere near as bad as the family in today's video. Oh, and I found my very cool Magic Johnson 1987 MVP t-shirt today in a box that was hiding in my storage room…score!

Today In Sports History

1982 - Chaminade, with a student body of only 850 students, beats #1 ranked Virginia 77-72 in a Honolulu holiday basketball classic

Happy Birthday Elbert Shelley

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Vintage Blue - A League Of Their Own

During World War II, although there was not a draft, many men decided to serve in the military rather than be professional athletes or other “glamorous” vocations. The United States was truly united to fight against the Nazis and women’s roles started to change. At this time in history, there was basically no choice other than having women enter the workforce so the door was open to show what we could do. Most everyone has seen the image of Rosie the Riveter flexing her bicep and exclaiming, “We Can Do It!”

In addition to working in factories and keeping the country’s manufacturing industry intact, women played professional baseball. The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League had over a million fans in its heyday. Was it a bit sexist? Uh, yeah! However, I prefer my glass to be half full and see that women were able to show off that they, too, were athletes. These were remarkable women that played a sport they loved in spite of being made to wear short skirts and lipstick. In addition, the league provided an escape from the harsh reality of war.

I was introduced to a company recently that took that spirit called Vintage Blue. The owner, Liza Goncalves sent me an email that read:

Vintage Blue is an eco friendly, vintage-inspired sportswear clothing line. We are launching with our first collection based off of our exclusive license to The All American Girls Professional Baseball League featured in the movie A League of Their Own starring Madonna and Tom Hanks. Right now our line consists of organic tees and totes printed with graphics inspired from the 40’s and 50’s.

Vintage Blue not only uses eco-friendly products but uses only chemical free printing methods, and uses sustainable methods in all business practices including print material (when necessary!) and hang tags and promotional products.

Vintage Blue also donates 5% of each online sale to Kiva, an organization that supports entrepreneurs in developing countries.”

Their tees have great vintage designs including one with the famous “There’s no crying in baseball” line. I’ve got the ”Doris” tee that features the priceless line “Catch A Foul! Get A Kiss!”, and is complete with a vintage-style pinup girl in a team uniform. The quality is very nice and a medium fits my 5’10”athletic frame just right. You can tell there was thought and care put behind the design since I usually have to get a large so I’m not walking around in a “belly shirt”. The “worn” tag is carefully attached to the shirt with a small safety pin and a hemp-like string. I’m definitely loving my new shirt and eying their totes and can’t wait to see their hoodies and dresses.

Although I’m quite partial to vintage clothing and sports, I’m positive that this line has a wider audience. Goncalves says that her line is meant for “women who are passionate about sports, music, and fashion”, and keeps a blog to track “The Making of Our Brand” linked to the main site. In addition, if you take a look around the website there are hidden gems all over. The vintage design elements of the site are very spirited and fun to look through. The brand is dedicated to empowering other women while being socially and environmentally conscious. What is not to like?

Vintage Blue is hosting a New Year’s Eve party, so if you’re in the Philly area, check out the site and get your tickets before they’re gone. There will be events in Boston, Chicago, New York, and here in Los Angeles in the future. Meanwhile, check out the website for some very stylish tees and totes. (By the way, if you use the code "holiday1" between now and January 1 you will get 20% off all tees and totes.)

What do you think about the women’s professional baseball era in WWII?

Update: I just got word that there's a cool promotion on the "Doris" tee where you get a free tote with purchase! Check the offer here.

Monday, December 22, 2008

5 Questions With A Lineman/Ironman

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Fellow Los Angeles Native Jody Van Zanten is a soon to be 40 year old that has what she describes as the best jobs in the world…wife and stay at home mom of three. She was born in downtown LA, grew up in Whittier, CA and now resides in South Orange County. Oh, and she loves sports! Everyone will really enjoy today’s five questions!

1. How did you first get involved with sports - as a young child, teen, etc? What organized and recreational sports have you been involved with throughout your life?

I grew up in an athletic family and got involved with sports at an early age. My dad was an exceptional athlete throughout high school in various sports (baseball, football, track) and carried over that love of athletics to our family. I am an only child so I had a lot of opportunities to try different sports. I was swimming competitively by age 6. I was dirt bike riding, snow skiing, and water skiing throughout my elementary school years. I started playing volleyball competitively in 5th grade and continued that for the next 20 or so years. I swam and played volleyball in high school, played club volleyball throughout my teens, and then played a couple of years in college. I even got to travel to Australia to play volleyball when I was 18, it was great!

2. How did you come to start competing in the Ironman competitions? How do you train for these events and what are the most rewarding benefits to participation?

I grew up watching the Hawaii Ironman because of my dad…he enjoys watching various sports on TV and I remember watching the race in the early 80’s and I knew I wanted to someday try it…to test myself, to push my limits. I got into the sport of triathlon when I was in high school. My dad started participating in some sprint (shorter distance) triathlon races and got me involved in a few. Kind of funny as back then the swim was last, not so good when you are tired. We did a few as relays and I did a few individually. I really enjoyed the sport but looking back I think I was a bit too young to appreciate the opportunity at the time. This first foray into triathlon only lasted my last couple of years of high school then I continued on with volleyball, college, and work. After about a 13 year hiatus I got back into the sport again because Ironman brought an event to Oceanside in 2000. I volunteered for it and knew before race day that I was signing up for the next year. I had run a few marathons by this time so I knew I liked the endurance events so I went for it; I bought a bike and a wetsuit and started to train. In 2001 I raced at Ironman California and Ironman Canada. In 2003 I participated in Ironman Revisited Oahu which is a fundraiser event for Challenged Athletes Foundation, and in 2008 I raced at Ironman New Zealand and Ironman Arizona. I am currently signed up to race at Ironman Canada again in 2009.

I love this sport and I love the Ironman distance. It is hard and challenging but I have learned so much about myself. I am not super fast by any means but I have a strong endurance base and love seeing how far I can go. Ironman training is crazy busy and lasts about 6 months but because I am a mom of three I don’t do as much training as most Ironman triathletes. I have really tried to balance my training time with my family time so that everyone is happy and so far it has worked. The only downside is I am not as fast on race day so my Ironman finish times are slower than most. I figure it is worth it though because I am able to continue to participate in a sport I love and my family continues to support me. During training I usually do everything twice a week: weights along with a shorter speed workout and a longer workout per swim, bike, and run. By the end of training my swims cover 4000 yards, my bike rides about 7 hours, and my runs about 3 hours. It’s a lot but Ironman is 140.6 miles (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run) so the training has got to be there or I won’t make it to the finish line.

As a wife and mother, I spend a lot of my time taking care of others. I would say that the biggest reward for me of doing these events is doing something for myself, something that nourishes my soul and the need to challenge myself, to push myself physically and mentally, and to see what I can do. It makes me a happier, healthier person which makes me a happier, healthier wife and mom. Of course, hearing “Jody Van Zanten…You…Are…An…Ironman!!!” being announced as I cross the finish line roughly 15 hours after the starting cannon went off and getting the finishers medal put around my neck are pretty cool too!

3. How long have you played professional football? What has been the most challenging thing about participation? What have you gained by participation?

I started with the OC Breakers in the fall of 2006 and played half the year for the SC Breakers in 2007-8 and it has been a blast. It is so great to be a female and have an opportunity to play contact football…it’s empowering and exciting. For me, the most challenging thing has been my knee. I have a bad knee from an old injury and sadly my knee just doesn’t like me playing football. I have gained so much from playing football and being involved with this amazing group of women athletes. My confidence and belief in myself and what I can do have grown (especially after going up against those 280-350 lbs girls of Phoenix). I have made some great friends and I am inspired and motivated by these women to work hard and be the best I can be in sports.

4. Who have been the role models in your life and why? Do you consider yourself a role model? Why or why not?

Two main role models in life have been my Grandpa and my Dad. Their personalities, their passion for sports, their continued support of my adventures in athletics and throughout life, their unconditional love and shared wisdom have helped mold and shape me into a big part of who I am today. Do I consider myself a role model…upon first thought…no, I am just your normal person. But, when I think about the things I have done, my positive attitude, my determination, my desire to encourage others to go after their dreams, my philosophy of “Why not…Anything is possible”, my love of adventure, my lack of fear in pursuing my dreams, I think…maybe. I would hope that my attitude, my accomplishments, and my willingness and constant dedication to making my dreams come true will and do inspire and motivate others to do same. Going after a dream no matter how large or small is invigorating, inspiring, amazing, educational, and exciting. Making them come true is the icing on the cake and something that molds you, becomes a part of you, and stays with you throughout your lifetime.

5. What would you share with young people about pursuing their goals in sports (or in general)? What are your best bits of advice for the good, bad, and ugly of competitive sports?

Just do it! Pursuing goals take perseverance, hard work, dedication, and drive, and we don’t always know where it will lead. But, if we didn’t try, we would never know and I would rather try my hardest and not succeed than to not try at all and regret it. I always think that when I am older and looking back on my life I want to look back and think, Wow, I did some pretty neat stuff, even if they didn’t turn out perfectly or the way I wanted, instead of looking back knowing I let my fear and insecurity dictate my decisions.

Bits of advice…

Always show good sportsmanship: it’s respectable and admirable and no one likes a jerk.

The older you get the harder team dynamics can be due to various personalities so try to be flexible, tolerant, patient, and mature.

Competitive sports are like survival of the fittest…not everyone can be the superstar so you need to focus on yourself. Regardless of your sport, level of play or success, give it your best and be the best you can be and in doing so you can feel good about your effort and the results.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - December 21, 2008

Women's Football: Don't forget that every Sunday at 3:00 pm PST is the Women's Football Talk radio show. This week's guest is Jeff King, president of the Women's Football Alliance.

NFL: Playoff scenarios are taking shape and I am totally at the edge of my seat watching the San Diego Chargers visiting the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. This game is killing me...back and forth...I am jonesing like you would not believe to hear them fire the cannons in person! The intros using O, Fortuna of the Carmina Burana, the Ozzy song Crazy Train for kickoff...I had to settle for today's video. Fire them cannons!

Today in Sports History

1941 - Last NFL drop kick for an extra point is done by Ray McLean of the Chicago Bears

- Joe DiMaggio announces his retirement

- Vince Lombardi coaches his last football game.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Ah, To Be A Woman That Writes Sports

I try to be an extremely neutral and accepting person. I cover all sports with the same enthusiasm. Women, men, children, and everyone else regardless of whatever demographic group you are in can come and be interviewed, covered, and make comments. Sports is sports in my eyes...if that makes any sense. It does not matter to me who is playing the sport.

Anyhoo...I am in on the fact that not everyone feels that way. As I was wondering what I would write about today I thought I'd share some stories that would not probably not happen in the same way if I was male. Please comment if you feel differently.

First off, even coaches and players that "like me" and are "buds" say some pretty silly things. I was on the sideline of a game watching a play that was a 4th and goal situation. Sometimes when I have the video rolling, I "see" the play without really seeing the play. There was another person standing near me talking and I basically turned around and when I looked back, there was 8 points on the board. Alright, they obviously made the touchdown and a 2-point conversion. What I was thinking to say to one of the others on the sideline was, "Wow, that was quick to get a TD and the 2 points in that short amount of time." Instead, I said, "Wow, what happened?" The gentleman next to me proceeded to explain that a touchdown was worth six points and they didn't kick for the point after...yadda yadda. I recall thinking how interesting that this person knew I was a sports writer but felt that I didn't know how 8 points could get on the board. I wonder if he would have given a man the same response? I just walked to the other end of the field since the kickoff was happening.

One of my favorites was the high school football coach that I was emailing to get an interview with. I was writing for a small, local print publication and trying to get some info since he was newly hired. I left my phone number for him to contact me when he had a chance. Okay, maybe my first name doesn't exactly register to some if they glance quickly, but I am pretty sure that "Apryl" is not a man's name. At any rate, I received a phone call for asking for "Mr. DeLancey". I explained that I was his wife and asked who was calling. It was the football coach I had contacted. He wanted to talk to the sports writer. I calmly explained that it was actually me that he was looking for. He asked that I email the questions and he'd get them right back to me. Great. He did eventually give me the answers, but he sure took his time.

Another funny thing is covering golf. When I go to fittings or talk to instructors, they like to get very close to help me with my swing. My husband, being the golf nut that he is, always accompanies me to these golf events. The instructor or fitter still gets very close to me and barely shakes his hand. I mean, they do shake his hand but they describe what he should do where they feel they need to actually hold my arms to do the same thing.

I heard an interview with ESPN's Linda Cohn once describing the same sorts of experiences. She even commented that the men on ESPN will jokingly say that a baseball team beat another "by a touchdown" if the score had a seven point differential. Will she? Never. She said that she would never hear the end of that and everyone would assume she knows nothing about baseball.

I may sound aloof about this as I write about it to you in a tongue-in-cheek manner. I just always take the high road. Imagine how much fuel I would give naysayers if I lectured or became angry with them. I will just carry on, covering sports and enjoying every minute of it. I mean really, it does not matter what job you are doing whether you are a woman or a man...someone will always be there to criticize.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Are There Sports In Your Holidays?

NCAA Football, NFL, NBA, and so much more happens during the next two weeks when everyone has a lot of extra time off. The weather has been really nasty all over the country so I can imagine there will be a lot of snowboarding! I know the mountains of SoCal have been snowed upon. Golf is doable here and in Florida, but can be chilly depending on where you are. Hiking is the old stand-by here for me. I don’t have to get cold and I can bring the dog. If you are here in the SoCal area, check out these places to include sports in your holidays:

Mammoth Mountain

Big Bear

This link will tell you about places all over the state to ski and board and current conditions. No doubt that Tahoe is jumping off now!

Oh, and as a bonus… for those of you on the other side of the country…I have been tubing at Roundtop and it was a blast!

If you're in Florida, I don't even need to start to tell you how much golf you can play now. Not to mention scuba diving! Last time I was in the Keys I was at Molasses Reef.

Grand Cayman isn't a bad spot to be either to hit Eden Rock. You just walk right off of the beach and you're 80 feet deep before you know it!

There are a plethora of Palm Springs golf courses in their prime this time of year. Of course, don’t forget IE, Orange, and Riverside too. Just hop over to the Los Angeles Times Southern California Golf Guide

I’ve talked about hiking trails before so here is the link again. I definitely see some hikes with the dog for my days off.

Oh, and to keep up with the mainstream scores and what is televised on the USA Today sports page.

What sports will you watch or participate in over the holidays?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Tales From The Inbox - December 18, 2008

Make Brad Pitt Happy!
Nola Chick send me over this note (oh, and yes, that is her beloved hometown in the video just a few days ago):

"Hello my fellow sports nuts! I wanted to let you guys know about a big cause our blog "Chicks in the Huddle" is pushing to help build homes for Hurricane Katrina victims. We've teamed up with Brad Pitt's Make it Right Foundation to raise money for building supplies and construction to build flood-proof, eco friendly homes in New Orleans Lower 9th Ward. It was one of the sections hardest hit by Hurricane Katrina. Believe it or not, many of the folks who lost their homes are STILL homeless. Ugh! So, we're asking folks to donate anything they can to "The House that Chicks in the Huddle Built." Our goal is to raise $500 by the Super Bowl, $1000 by draft day and $5000 by the start of the new season.

Head to the Make it Right Foundation website and click on the "Donate Now" button at the top of the page. Enter your donation amount and click "Make Donation." When you're filling out the information on the Donation page, be sure to choose "The House that Chicks in the Huddle Built" under the "Team Sponsored Home Options" tab. (If you click on the "make donation" tab there is a drop down menu on the second section where you can select the Chicks team.)

We know times are tight for everyone. (Hell, I heard even Santa's house got foreclosed on and Mrs. Claus has resorted to turning tricks.) But we're firm believers that every little bit helps! And just think of all the good karma you'll have. Please pass this along to whoever you can think of. We really want to do our part to help our home town, but we'll need your help to make it right!"

More Hard Times: Professional sports are taking another hit from the recent economic climate. I really have another word for it but, as you know, I try to stay fair and let others share their views. At any rate, Carolyn sent me the link that arena football is canceling the 2009 season. The team in New Orleans has already folded but the league claims that play will resume in 2010. They want to "fix their economic model".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - December 17, 2008

: The Women's Professional Soccer will have its inaugural match here in Los Angeles on Sunday, March 29. The Los Angeles Sol will face the Washington Freedom at the Home Depot Center. The following Sunday, April 5 will continue to kick off the season. The Los Angeles opener will be on FSC and featured as the "Sunday Game of the Week". A professional women's league has been absent for over five years.

Sign Manny Now: As the McCourts claim they want to help the community rather than spend so much money on one player, you can give them more of your own hard-earned money next month. Under The Lights is a live batting practice that you can participate in with Matt Kemp, James Loney, and an assortment of minor league players. It's a steal at only $495.00 and you can even run the bases. Oh, and food is catered and you get a VIP goody bag. Really?

In the meantime, the New York Yankees are turning up the heat to get Manny Ramirez. Rafael Furcal remains without a new contract as well. I am honestly near the breaking point with all of this nonsense...

Today in Sports History

1920 - Baseball's AL votes to let spitball pitchers to continue using it

- The NFL starts keeping official stats as the Bears beat the Giants 23-21 in the championship game

Happy Birthday Chase Utley

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

I Got A Basketball Jones

I do…really! I’ve complained over and over lately how I just have not had enough time to pay as much attention to all of sports as I normally would like. Seriously, the Los Angeles Lakers are on fire and I can barely catch a game. I feel like a fair-weather fan! Honestly, I am always embarrassed to run into my fellow fanatics during the day and have to admit that I did not see the game the night before.

Okay, so I know that the team is 20-3 at this point and seem unstoppable. Of course, you only need to walk outside of your door here in Los Angeles to know that. In spite of the record, the Los Angeles Time is complaining that the team can’t make free throws in clutch situations. No joke. Is this the first time that particular writer watched them play?

However you slice it, they are alive and well and number one in the Western Conference so I’m happy. Now I just have to find time to watch them. Oh, and it would really rock if I could find some more time to write too. I’ve got so much in the brain that needs to come out.

In the meantime, watch the video and sing along with me…I got a Basketball Jones…

Monday, December 15, 2008

5 Questions With Coach Bartley

He’s been a guest before and he’s back again. Coach Anthony Bartley has moved to a new league and new team for the upcoming women’s football season. In addition, you can catch him every Tuesday on the Women’s Football Talk radio network with his new show GameTime. I caught up with him to discuss his new team, the California Lynx, for five questions.

1. Tell me about your new team the Lynx! What league are they in and who will you be playing against?

The California Lynx is relatively a new team in women’s football, but not new overall. The Lynx started out as a professional minor league arena football team I managed and coached. With that in mind I started the Lynx as a women’s team. After being released of my duties with the Breakers I decided to do something new. We are part of the WFA (Women’s Football Alliance) a new national level league. I am currently the Pacific Regional Director for the league as well. We will face such teams as the Las Vegas Showgirlz, who was released from the IWFL, Phoenix Prowlers, Marana Shedevils, and the Ventura Black Widows who I retrieved from the NWFA.

2. What are the challenges to starting a new franchise? Have you had a hard time recruiting?

With any franchise whether old or new, it is difficult putting a franchise together. I was fortunate to have had experience as an owner in the past so starting a team wasn't hard for me. As for my recruiting, it has been very good for me. I have 25 on my active roster with many more to come.

3. I've heard you on Women's Football Talk a lot lately - are you doing a regular podcast? What is your involvement there?

Its GAMETIME BABY! I have my own radio show on WFB Talk every Tuesday night @ 7pm. I am the Howard Stern of women’s football. My goal is to bring real football talk from real experience.

4. Where are your practices and how can one get involved in becoming a member of the Lynx? Where will your home games be?

Its not hard to become part of the Lynx Family. Right now we workout every other Saturday at 10:00 am. Our location is Maxwell Park in Anaheim. All of our information is listed on our website. As for our home field, I am looking in the North OC area. I should have my schedule in December so I can secure my field soon.

5. What are your goals for the season? What can we expect to see from you and the team?

My major goal for the 2009 season is to be the WFA Champion, get the free uniforms from our league sponsor Gamewear Sportswear, and get that ring. My next goal is to make it so where my players are getting paid to play this game. I have set up a system to where my players have 4 ways to get paid to play this game. I want everyone in California to know that my girls will get paid for their efforts. For those who know me I will continue to bring hard hitting smash mouth football. I will put on a great showing and shock the world with the level of talent I have wearing the scarlet and white.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - December 14, 2008

Sunday is about football! Every Sunday on Women's Football Talk the hosts have coaches, players, and others from around the world in women's football. They cover every team, league, and level. I was so honored when the crew contacted me to be a guest on their show today! The show is from 3:00 - 6:00 pm PST and I'll be calling in around 3:15 pm PST. We'll be talking about this blog and most importantly, the Southern California Breakers coverage I am involved in.

As most of you know, I covered the home games for the Breakers last season and will be doing so again in the upcoming year. The team has a new page on their site which has all of my game stories and interviews called Riding the Wave. In fact, next Monday I'll have another Breakers interview with another amazing athlete from the team. Trust me, you won't want to miss this one!

So get on your computer and have a listen starting at 3:00 pm PST here. You can also catch the podcast later if you aren't around for the live show.

Listen, read, comment, and show your support for women's football!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sports And The Economy

How can anyone get away from stories about the economic downturn? It permeates our culture regardless of what you are doing - politics, business, fashion, sports, etc. Every day another company talks about layoffs - big companies. It is a scary time and those of us fortunate enough to be making an income should realize that we are not immune.

Sports and entertainment are in an interesting position during tough economic times. When people have less money to spend freely, they are looking to be entertained more via movies, sporting events, and the like. Nowadays, couples are more likely to spend the night with a movie rental rather than going out to dinner and a movie. It is also much cheaper to watch the game on television that to try and buy tickets (especially if said tickets are to see the Los Angeles Lakers).

What is especially unfortunate is the fact that sports programs are being cut all over the country in high schools. The arts and sports are always the first to go in times of budget cuts. We won't even get into how important these are for children in addition to math, English, and the like. There is no one subject or activity more important and well-roundedness really needs to stay in schools. I could go on and on about how sports are being affected by recent money issues at every level. The evidence is everywhere.

How has the economy affected your sports habits? Do you play your sport less often? Do you go to fewer events?

Friday, December 12, 2008

How To Shop For A Sports Lover

During this time of year I get a lot of questions from friends and colleagues that have a sports fanatic on their shopping list. Of course, I don’t think it is terribly difficult to buy anything for someone that is a sports fan, being one myself. Apparently, those who aren’t “in on it” find it to be daunting at best. The catch-all, easy gift that everyone wants to buy is usually a t-shirt, jersey, or sweatshirt. This can be difficult since the most dedicated have most of their gear and unless you are very close to them you may double up. Get a bit more imaginative with this. For example, I have enough Dodgers shirts and jerseys to wear a different one for at least two months. I don’t, however, have the latest division champs shirt from this last year. Be careful here, some fans only buy the types of team shirts that say division or league champs.

Why not stay away from a shirt completely? Buy tickets to a game. Very simple. No sports fan will ever be disappointed with tickets. Of course, be careful to find out whether they already have season tickets and choose your seats wisely. Ask someone that has been to the venue (if you have not) and get advice on the best seats for your money. Do not simply take the seller's advice on what seats are good.

Be careful about books. Some of us love to read about sports. Other sports fans didn’t realize that there was an “academic” part to sports. Some sports books are just silly – have you read anything by John Madden? I started to. Some golfers really enjoy reading about their sport in the technical sense and collect method books. Again, check your sports fanatic’s collection and you can likely make a good pick. If you do have a golfer or other sports fan that does collect books on their sport, you can’t go wrong with a gift card to Amazon or Borders.

How about a tee time? Buy your golfer a tee time. It is simple and something they are sure to use. Be very careful about buying your golfer gifts. I know some that are very particular. When I say particular, I mean obsessive. Again, a gift card to Roger Dunn or the local shop will probably do the trick.

Do you have a snowboarder or outdoorsy type? Get an REI gift card. Alright, by now you’ve figured out that I’m gift card happy. Don’t find this impersonal or lazy. You also need to determine the difference between the athletic participant and the spectator. There are a few things you should realize about sports fans and athletes – we are quite particular about our sports and use particular gear. While I will wear any Dodgers shirt you buy me, you really run the risk of buying me one I already have. If you buy me golf gloves, you have to know me well enough to know that I not only need a large, but am left handed. Oh, and I only wear synthetic material gloves, please don’t buy me leather. Buy me some surf wax and I’ll be grateful and use it even if you get me the kind that I don’t like how it spreads as well as another brand. I like to read particular sports stories and others completely put me to sleep. Oh, and I pretty much already own every sports movie on DVD that I want. See how complex even small things can get?

You can make put your gift cards in great little imaginative boxes and such. Borders is great for this. Wherever you get your gift card from you can stop in and get a little book or something kitschy to put it in. You can always get us an iTunes gift card as well so we have our soundtracks when we are practicing and sometimes playing our sport! There is always the direct way of taking your sporto shopping or point blank asking what they want.

Oh, and don't forget your small, local sporting shops. The surf, skate, golf, and others that are not a chain. These folks are usually the most helpful at finding gifts. They may even know the person you are buying for and can make a suggestion that is spot on!

What do you think is a good gift for a sports fanatic or athlete?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Blogspotting To Get A Clue

Not the blogs…me! I’ve been so darn busy with everything that I can’t keep up with myself, much less what is going on in the world of sports. The closest I’ve been lately is listening to a Southern gentleman that I know explain why he is a Celtics fan. You just don’t picture that accent on a fan of a Boston team. So yeah, I feel like I don’t have a clue lately. I am way behind on sports in general – all of them. Why can I not just sit and watch ESPN, Sky, and whatnot all day…go to a game…not work 16 freaking hours or more every single day…waa…waa…waa…

Monica keeps up with soccer for us and does so quite well. She’s always got some new Cristiano Ronaldo pics too…I’m just saying…

I was introduced to The Sports Judge yesterday. Nice! Fantasy Football geek paradise! Not that I’m still in it this year. Can you say IGNORAMOUS!? I did get high score two weeks…woohoo…$20 for me!

Nola Chick means business. Seriously.

Go read Club Lakers. Just do it.

Pretty Tough has a link for a Women’s World Cup blog.

The title of this one cracks me up!

And finally, a pick ‘em for women’s football

Got any more clues? Leave me a comment and let me in on it!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - December 10, 2008

NBA: The Los Angeles Lakers are on FIRE again, oh yeah! 17-3 so far! Nice! I do feel sorry for the Los Angeles Clippers with the nearly opposite record of 4-17. Their new practice facility is very nice looking but cursed. I'm sure it is. Just look at their record. Well, that and some jerk decided to do a hit and run on my car when I was parked at the store across the street from it. Yes, I am still reeling over that one. I'm especially grateful *sarcasm* for all of the help I've received.

MLB: The Los Angeles Dodgers have re-signed Casey Blake. This only leaves 13 of their free agents unsigned. How much longer do I need to complain? Do I need to become an *shudder* Angels fan *shudder*?

Premier League
: I've had zero time to follow this wonderful sport so far this season. The standings aren't so surprising at all - Liverpool, Chelsea, and Man U at the top.

Rugby: Wembley Stadium recently hosted a very historic rugby match in which our cricket contributor Katharine wrote to me about. I'm envious that she was able to attend but thankful she sent this account:

"I thought you might be interested that I have finally made a visit to the new refurbished Wembley Stadium. This was to see the Australian Rugby Union team, who are currently touring the UK, against the Barbarians. I don't know if you know about the Barbarians, but they were always considered an important part of Rugby Union history and culture as they are an invitational team that it is considered an honour to play for, a little like an all-star team to put it in US terms. The match was actually a slightly contrived commemoration of the rugby final in the 1908 Olympic Games, which the Australians, as they did again on Wednesday night, won. The stadium where that was played, White City in west London, was knocked down some years ago, so this was played in the rebuilt stadium that hosted the 1948 Games. Traditionally, the Barbarians, or 'Ba Bas' wear the socks of the teams they normally play for with their Barbarians kit, but on this occasion because the Australians' opposition in 1908 were all Cornishmen, who were representing Great Britain, they wore the socks of the Cornish county team. (Well, in their colours, I don't think they were their socks!)"

Today in Sports History

1992 - The NHL awards franchises to Miami and Anaheim for the 1994-95 season. Southern Californians scratch their heads at the power of Disney.

1995 - The first meeting of the latest NBA expansion teams happens with the Raptors beating Grizzlies 93-81

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Afghanistan Wins Homeless World Cup

You can get all of the fixtures and scores and other information about the event on their website and YouTube channel. I'll catch up with the organizers soon to get a recap of the whole event.

Congratulations to Kat Byles and the Homeless World Cup organizers for another successful event.

Next year the event is in Milan and I really hope to find a way to get to it!

Monday, December 8, 2008

More Than 5 Questions With an It Girl

Today's five questions come from Jenn Zettler. Jenn was announced as the November "It Girl" – a winner of Ortho Women's Health & Urology It Girl Essentials contest. The contest sought to identify the ultimate real-life "It Girls" who embody confidence, compassion, and a little bit of flair. She's a senior at the University of Texas, is interning at ESPN Radio Austin, and when it comes to sports, she's a self-proclaimed expert.

1. How has your life changed since you've been an "It Girl"?

Being an "It Girl" has made me realized how grateful I am for everything I have, have experienced, and achieved in my entire life!!! And not to mention, it is kind of nice to hear, "hey I saw your video!" Did I mention the really cool prizes? No, it really has impacted my life in a very positive way and I couldn't be more grateful!

2. Who are the role models in your life? Do you consider yourself a role model? Why or why not?

The role models in my life are (as cliché as it may sound) my family, especially my sister. Lauren is a huge role model because my entire life I have always looked up to her and have wanted to follow in her footsteps. She is so smart, dedicated to everything she sets her mind to, and treats everyone with so much respect. She is just so gorgeous inside and out! I would consider myself a role model...I know I am not a person everyone would look up to, however, I know there are people in my life who I have influenced. I believe a role model is not just someone you look up to, but someone who has truly impacted your life. I think that is a big reason I think my family is my role model.

3. What are your duties as an intern with ESPN radio?

While I am no longer interning full time with ESPN Radio this semester, I worked there over the summer and am now helping them out when I can this semester. My duties consisted of a range of things....the usual filing, answering phones, and greeting people as they walked through the door. In addition, I found information for the on-air hosts to use, I recorded some commercials for the station, I did a few interviews that played on air, I was featured on air a couple of times, and I organized a game day broadcast from my sorority house. (The Friday before every home game, ESPN Radio would come to my sorority house. It was my job to organize the event and invite people to attend.)

4. Did you find that you were as accepted as your male counterparts?

I would say that I was accepted with my male counterparts. I have noticed in general, I am accepted among many males...let's be honest, most males like sports, anytime a girl can hold a conversation about statistics, players, and team history, it is easier to be accepted in a male world. I am sure at times when I say "I love sports," males look at me like I am crazy, but once I open my mouth, their perception of me changes a little bit.

5. How else do sports play a part in your life?

Aside from interning at a sports radio station, which was a huge part in my life, sports play a big role. I love watching sports and attending different games. A priority is purchasing UT Longhorn season tickets to make sure I am at every game. My sister planned her wedding on Texas' bye-week if that tells you anything! I like the organization and togetherness in sports. A team doesn't work well together if they can't get along. I think sports shows everyone that no matter how different you are, if you find something in common, you can and should work together. A saying I picked up from a UT Football t-shirt and always use at work is "Teamwork makes the Dream work."

6. Other than sports journalism, do you play any sports regularly?

With a job, volunteering, and school...I don't have time to play an organized sport. However, I do like to throw the football around with my dad, boyfriend, or any of my girlfriends that know how to catch a ball! I plan on joining a flag football or softball team when I graduate!

7. What organized sports or other activities have you been involved in through your life?

Well, my entire life I cheered, danced, and tumbled!!! That took up a ton of time, but it was something I loved and miss dearly! I did try playing basketball for a couple of years, but I was kind of short and my high school's (girl) team wasn't that good. I did have a teacher in high school ask me if I would be interested in playing Varsity Softball, but cheering and tumbling was more important to me at the time.

8. What advice would you give to other young women and girls who want to follow a career in sports?

First off, go to the University of Texas- you can't go wrong there! (smile) Also, don't give up. Males and sports in general can be intimidating. For example, the other night I played ESPN Scene It. I lost; however, being able to answer some ridiculous questions I didn't even know I knew confirmed that this is what I want to do! You will come across obstacles in your life you think you might not overcome....but you will. And like I have said before, tomorrow is another day. Always be yourself and don't put yourself in a situation that could potentially harm your future. If you would like to hear more advice from me, check out

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - December 7, 2008

The big deal today is the BCS Bowl Selection Show tonight. Every year it seems to be the same thing...the BCS is scrutinized, complained about, defended, etc. It will be interesting to see if anything ever changes. If enough people are upset about the current system it just might. One day. Maybe. Perhaps.

As usual, you can find the mainstream sports listings and scores here.

My weekend has not been very sports-filled, unless you count slaving away over my laptop as a sport. I don't. Sure, I've got the games on in the background but I am not able to pay much attention. I do know that the Titans have clinched (no, really) and that the Jets actually lost today to the San Francisco 49ers. The latter puts them in a tie with the Miami Dolphins with a record of 8-5. Wow, did I just say that the Dolphins are 8-5? That's a turn from last year. I guess Chad Johnson had something to prove and went to work. Ha! And look at that, the New England Patriots just barely squeezed out a win against the Seattle Seahawks. That makes them also at 8-5. Wow. It should be an interesting last few weeks of the season. Unless you are a Lions or Raiders fan.

Today in Sports History

- NBA settles referee strike and decide they will return on Dec 12

Happy Birthday to...Larry Bird, Terrell Owens, Eric Chavez, and Fausto Carmona

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Women's Sports - Enjoy Them While You Can?

Because I Played Sports posted that the NCAA website had the headline "Will the economy undo women’s professional sports? Would this have a trickle-down impact on women’s college sports?"

Today, Carolyn sent me the Reuters feed about the WNBA disbanding the franchise in Houston.

Other women's leagues have reported troubles with revenue and sponsors. I am extremely disappointed, of course. I wish that little girls could grow up to be professional athletes just like little boys...and not have to pay to play or have a second career since sports doesn't pay their bills.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Just Be A Good Sport

Ya know, I really am the person who will let you in front of me in traffic or allow you to get in front of me in line if you've only got two items while I've got a full cart. I really don't see a reason to be completely self-centered and drive like a jerk or make it clear to the world that I think that I am number one.

My week so far has been all give and no take. It just seems like no matter how much I try to "do the right thing" I just can't catch a break. In spite of this, I refuse to give in and be a jerk. Why? We are all here occupying the same space. Is it so important that you inconvenience or even damage those around you in order to save a few seconds in your ever-so-important busy life?

I thought I would just rant today about being a good sport. Being a good sport is not only like the young women in the softball video above, but in life. Anyone can be a jerk. That takes no effort. It takes character to be considerate.

There are plenty of examples and guidelines for good sportsmanship:

The NBA has good sportsmanship in the player's guide.

LaDainian Tomlinson is known for his lack of trash-talking on the field.

Tiger Woods also exhibits grace when playing. Sure, he may throw out a few f-bombs, but he's always a class act.

Why am I going on a rant about sportsmanship? I just had to get it all out and remind myself that no matter how I get treated by others, I will continue to be a good sport on the hiking trail, golf course, mountain, and waves. I refuse to let someone else's behavior dictate mine.

Oh, and a special note to the person that inspired this post: the parking lot that I was in yesterday in which you so selfishly decided to hit my car and take off has working security cameras. In addition, there were several helpful people that are working to help me find you.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Blogspotting - December 4, 2008

Remember Cory Everson? I found this gem of a video above of her in her prime.

Kerri Walsh is taking on a new role

What does DNA have to do with your athletic ability?

I found a rock climbing blog!

The NCAA has established policies on athlete pregnancies

How about a rugby calendar for next year?

Check out this amazing athlete

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - December 3, 2008

Well, my Fantasy Football season is so over. I had more points than several of the other teams but it is wins that matter. Urgh. At least I won two weeks so that I got those nominal bonuses. Oh well, that is what I get for completely dominating the last FF league that I was in. You win some, you lose some. I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of time to keep up on it either. Some of the folks I was playing with were absolutely ruthless though. You would have thought that their very lives depended on whether or not they won the league. It will be interesting to see who comes out in one league particularly. But enough about me…

Did you do anything active over the long holiday weekend? I know that the tradition is to sit in front of the television with the feed bag on and go for it. Football was a bit mediocre to me this year. Then again, it always seems to be odd during Thanksgiving. Teams play in ways that they don’t for the entire season and we always have to watch the Cowboys and Lions. Sure, the Redskins or Eagles will be thrown in for good measure but when I think of those teams I just don’t get excited being a Southern California native. Sorry Cowboys fans, but the Thanksgiving Day game in Dallas usually bores me to tears in spite of being a dedicated NFL fan.

Oh, and has anyone else noticed the sophomoric coverage of football on the NFL network? The first Thursday game this season I thought I had on a high school game. Others watching the broadcast agreed with me. Call me critical, but I would think a network that was completely dedicated to the NFL would actually have better coverage. And no, smarty, I’m not claiming that I would do any better. I was just expecting more from the NFL Network.

For the record, I did go hiking two days and to the driving range another two days. I can’t sit still and simply eat and make excuses for why I am gorging myself. I also don’t sit there and give myself a license to eat until January since I am going to make some New Year’s Resolution that I won’t stick to. I like to be fit year ‘round. Yeah, I know, I sound judgmental and cynical today. Oh well, we are all allowed to have our moments, eh?

Today in Sports History

1956 - Wilt Chamberlain's plays his first collegiate basketball game (scores 52)

1968 - The pitcher's mound drops from 15" to 10" and the strike zone reduced from knees to shoulders to top of knees to armpits in order to help hitters

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Women’s Football Talk - Weekly Features

Women’s Football Talk is the premier site that keeps track of nearly every league and team in the world of women’s football. Besides regular blog updates they also have featured radio programming throughout the week. Seriously, there is nobody that has more information about all of the women’s pro and semi-pro leagues than this group.

Tonight’s show features not only the familiar Coach Anthony Bartley’s new weekly show but will have some of our familiar Southern California Breakers coaches and players that we’ve had as guests on this blog in the past (and will do so again in the future) The details are:

Tuesday, December 2nd, 2008

Time: 7:00pm

Call In Number: (347) 826-7278 Radio Phone Station

Interviews with:

Breakers Coach Manny, Coach Vanessa, and Rookie kicker Joy Berry will be tonight’s guests.


We are promoting the Southern California Breakers Football Team and IWFL on a radio phone station show with an interview with our Sports Performance Trainer Coach, Vanessa and one of our rookies, Joy, who has played high school and college football and 6 years men’s semi-pro football.

Be sure to catch this and the other podcasts from this dedicated group.

Monday, December 1, 2008

5 More Questions With An MMA Athlete


I last interviewed Lauren Feldman back in March of this year. Since so much has been going on in the world of MMA, I thought it would be a great time to catch up with her as well. Lauren took a moment out of her busy day for my five questions:

1. How has your MMA career progressed since we last talked? Are you any closer to turning pro? Is that even your goal or do you plan to stay with your current status?

My career has changed so much since we last talked that I had to go back and read my own interview to remember where I was in my head; there's certainly a lot going on. As far as going pro, I am definitely closer than I was the last time we talked. I've participated in some significant competitions; I placed in two divisions in the no-gi pan am tournament and I won my last MMA fight against the female WKA champion in my division. More importantly, I've gone through some things in (and out) of the gym that I think prepare me in more important ways than any victory or trophy could really help with. My training has completely changed from physically intense, to more technically focused. That said, I'm certainly not sitting around getting soft, I've just refocused my energy a bit. I have gotten closer to my coaches and have built unbelievable relationships with my training partners. I'm learning slowly that it is the people that make martial arts so amazing. I am lucky to have coaches and friends that understand my goals, my frustrations and my mood swings! It is everything to be able to go to the gym and get away from everything. I've been struggling, along with everyone else in this economy, with figuring out how to "make it work." My family at the gym has helped hold everything together. I am confident that with their continued support, and my persistence, fighting pro will come. It will come when we are all ready (smile). I'm not going to rush it. I'd rather go in there and dominate than go in there uncertain. I will certainly dominate when the time comes (big, snarky smile).

2. Please update us on Legal Mayhem and the quest to make MMA a legal sport everywhere.

Honestly, I have slowed down in my participation with Legal Mayhem. I truly value everyone who contributes to continuing to push legalization. I think that by continuing to pursue my dream of fighting professionally as a female, I am still carrying some weight in this difficult task. The way I think about it is this -- I am physically not going to be able to fight forever (sadly, I will be old and feeble at some point -- ok maybe not feeble, but I will pass the stage of my life where I will want to fight anymore.) I think that is the point where I will go back to the community and serve as a leader for others who want to participate but feel isolated and shut down. In the future I envision a school, similar to my own, where others can come and feel safe to participate in this controversial sport. Until then, I will serve as a leader by training, fighting and having a great time while doing it. I also make a point of not fighting in any leagues that have unclear amateur rules. In my opinion, amateurs should not being participating in fights where only the time limit is modified. This is not an amateur event -- this is a shortened pro event. I do this to keep myself safe, and hopefully, to show others how to participate safely as well. So I guess Legal Mayhem is moving along... just in a different way that it had when we started it.

3. Since not everyone may realize it, what makes MMA a sport that young people should be able to get involved with? What can kids and teens learn from participating?

I think the most important thing about MMA is that it teaches you self control and confidence. Kids who are confident don't need to pick on other kids. Kids and teens who have self control in the gym can find self control on their own when other aspects of their life require it. MMA is highly misunderstood and is generally associated with aggression. I think of martial arts as a dance -- think about your body, your breathing, where you step, where you move and what the other person is doing. Additionally, there are so many small skills that kids can learn. Every time they learn something new they will have a feeling of success -- but martial arts is a feeling of success that never runs out because there is always more to learn. MMA should be added to the list of all the sports that are good for kids! One day instead of a soccer mom maybe I'll be an MMA mom... who knows? I'd love to drive a whole bus-load of kids to a state MMA tournament one day. Maybe I'll add that to the Legal Mayhem list of things to do...

4. What effects have you felt from the recent meltdown of Elite XC? In your opinion, how does this affect women's MMA?

Personally, I haven't felt an effect of the meltdown of Elite XC. I think its a bit sad in general, but overall I don't think this will have a large affect on women's MMA. There are always other leagues to fight in and there are a lot of people fighting for the women now. The women are also fighting for themselves a whole lot more. I feel badly for the fighters who were affected by this; I feel good knowing that other promoters will see the value of women being involved in this sport and there will be another place for us to compete on the national stage soon.

5. What is on the horizon for Lauren Feldman? What can we expect to see from you in the near and not-so-near future?

Me, well right now I'm just trying to keep my job like everyone else in NYC. That said, I have a few MMA matches pending for January and February of next year. I also anticipate participating in a few more bjj tournaments this year than I did last. In the not-so-near future, look for me to fight pro, to win, to lose (MAYBE), to laugh and to cry(definitely... hahaha). Also look for me to start a MMA's school for children... maybe to some personal coaching before that. Who knows, anybody have some good ideas?