Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - August 31, 2008

I started this regular feature when the NFL was not in season to highlight that there were plenty of happenings in the sports world on Sundays without the NFL. I love the NFL just as much as anyone, but I also love MLB, MLS, NBA, etc. I'm sure now that what is now considered to be the most popular sport in the US starts its regular season next week the sports blogosphere will be filled with football, football, and more football (nothing wrong with that). I'm going to continue the Sunday Sports Wrap feature as I always have while including some NFL observations. Otherwise, we'll still have what else is going on in sports and a bit of history as always. The only exceptions are when I've covered a minor league in the area the night before. At any rate, that was all a long-winded explanation of the premise of the Sunday Sports Wrap for those of you who haven't been around here for very long. Now, on with it:

MLB: One of the biggest pleasures this baseball season has been writing about the Rays at the top of the AL. As of this morning they are 4.5 ahead of the Red Sox and 11.5 ahead of the Yankees. The Trop must certainly be a fun place to be right now. The Rays host the Orioles today after a 10-9 victory over them yesterday. A Tampa native I know commented that they might actually get a new stadium now. I never saw anything wrong with the old one but I hope they get the respect they deserve from the home crowd.

WNBA: The West is pretty tight with Seattle, San Antonio, and Los Angeles jockeying for the top. Seattle is at Connecticut today in a nationally-televised match-up.

MLS: Chicago travels to Houston today. The Dynamo are ahead in the West with 32 points. The Galaxy are waaaaay back with 25 points. Even Chivas USA is ahead of Los Angeles at this point with 27 points. Looks like the Galaxy took a page out of the Dodgers playbook - stay strong at first but finish out with a fizzle...

Today in Sports History

1964 - Ground is broken for Anaheim Stadium, future home of the Angels

1997 - Don Mattingly's #23 is retired by the Yankees

Saturday, August 30, 2008

The Age Mythology In Sports

As I woke up this morning I was feeling the usual neck/shoulder pain that has plagued me for some time now. I’m pretty sure it stems from a car accident many years ago. As with many injuries it seems to worsen/become nagging with time and age…ugh! I really try not to let it get in the way of anything – I figure if senior citizens can play golf and surf, so can I. As I climbed into my computer desk chair this morning I read a very sad headline about someone else’s injury:

Triathlete dies after bike crash in Santa Barbara

Barbara Warren was 65 years of age and still a competing triathlete. She had a fall from her bike while going downhill and became paralyzed from the neck down. With a ventilator helping her breathe, she was only able to communicate with her family by blinking and nodding. Apparently, as an active person, she could not bear living this way. Her family understood and took her off the ventilator that kept her alive.

I was definitely saddened by the story but also encouraged. Warren was a remarkable athlete that defied the stereotypes of her age. Her story reminds me that I still have many, many years of activity left. I think it is about time that media and the public stop nurturing the belief that we can only be athletic or in shape and competitive if we are 20 years old. I’ve read about and met many in their 40s, 50s, 60s, and beyond that participate in strenuous/competitive physical activity nearly every day. Need an example? Come check out the beaches in Southern California. You’ll see women and men as old as your parents/grandparents and older out surfing every morning. Oh yeah, and they certainly don’t look their age. The same goes for a lot of folks that I meet on the golf course. You’ve all heard of that remarkable Olympic swimmer Dara Torres also.

What’s my point today? I guess I’m just both delighted and inspired to know that simply because I’m getting older, it doesn’t mean that I will have to throw in the towel on my favorite activities. I’ve really always known that though, even when I was 20. Being active truly seems to be the fountain of youth.

My condolences to the family of Barbara Warren. I’m glad to have read about her inspiring career and hope her relatives heal from the loss.

Who are some “older” athletes you admire?

Friday, August 29, 2008

Tales From The Inbox – August 29, 2008

Creating Interest and Viral Ventures
: You know - Digg, Hype, Buzz, and the sort that give you the opportunity to generate virality for your posts. I was introduced to another one called Root Zoo that is geared toward sports. I have honestly not had the time to try this one out yet. Drop me a note if you have and let me know what you think.

Life Rolls On: This non-profit announced its 5th Annual Night By The Ocean event that will take place on October 12, 2008. This will be an amazing evening since it will be at the famed Kodak Center in Hollywood (you know, where they have the Academy Awards now). The announcement goes like this:

“Please join Life Rolls On for our most glamorous and important night of the year, as we bring the beauty of the ocean to the heart of Hollywood for the 5th Anniversary Night by the Ocean presented by Disaboom. Held on Sunday, October 12 at the legendary Kodak Theatre’s Grand Ballroom - the home of the Official OSCAR® Party each year - this will be a black-tie affair to honor those who have made extraordinary contributions to the SCI community and celebrate the remarkable work of Life Rolls On Foundation. Brought to life by the producers of the MTV Movie Awards, VH-1 Divas Live and more, Night by the Ocean will feature Wolfgang Puck-catered cuisine, hosted bar, a spectacular auction, A-List entertainment, and stories that will tug at your heartstrings.

This inspirational evening sells out fast, so don’t miss your chance to be a part of one of Southern California’s most memorable and engaging events of the year. For more information or to reserve your tickets to this event, please contact Life Rolls On Foundation at (310) 807-5488, send an email to NBTO (at) liferollson (dot) org, or register online.”

Seating is limited to 500 so don’t miss out! Life Rolls On is focused on young people who have been affected by spinal cord injuries and is responsible for the They Will Surf Again events.

Olympic Workouts: Ask and you shall receive – I mentioned how motivated I was to stick to my workout after seeing the Olympic athletes and I was sent a link to some of the types of routines they use. Check out 3 Olympic Workouts You Can Do To Get Ready For 2012. You’ll get some info on how to train like Usain Bolt, Michael Phelps, and Dara Torres. I am even more motivated now and will be incorporating some of the information into my routine.

How Do I Get Here? If you are interested in being featured in an upcoming edition of Tales From The Inbox just send me an email and I will let you know how. You can reach me through the "view my complete profile" link at the top of the page and then click "email" under the "contact" heading.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

5 Of My Favorite Sports Moments

Every sports fan has them…the moment where their favorite team/athlete (or least favorite team/athlete) makes a play or is part of a game or an event that you remember and relive over and over again. I’ve had several sports moments that I look fondly upon – some include me as a participant. In no particular order, here are five sports-related events that have occurred in my lifetime that always give me that warm, fuzzy feeling:

Derek Fisher and The Shot: With 0.4 seconds left on the clock, Derek Fisher makes the impossible 3-point shot to push the Lakers to victory over the Spurs. I kept a picture of this at my lab bench in grad school as well as a shot of the very frustrated Manu Ginobli immediately afterward. When Fish left for Utah it was a sad day but was quickly forgotten when he came back. Derek Fisher will always be “The Man” as far as I’m concerned.

Phil Jackson Returns: When the whole Shaq-Kobe fiasco was boiling over we also lost Phil as the coach for a bit. It was a sad time indeed. I was fortunate to be at the pre-season game when Phil made his return as the head coach. It was Chick Hearn night and the Zen Master got a very long standing ovation.

Dodgers Return To Coliseum
: Have you ever been in a place where there were over 100,000 people? It’s absolutely nuts! This was a truly breathtaking event as the pre-game and in game guest pitchers and presenters were various figures in Los Angeles sports and pop culture royalty. At the beginning, Vin Scully was given a plaque to forever hang inside the famed stadium. When his standing ovation lasted for what seemed an eternity he humbly said something to the effect of, “It’s only me”. The crowd roared even louder.

Opening Day 2008: A few days after the exceptional return to the Coliseum was the Dodgers' 50th anniversary in Los Angeles Opening Day of the regular season. We were waiting for the pre-game when the stadium went quiet. A lone gentleman walked out from center field…it was Duke Snyder! No words at all, just more players from the team’s past accompanied by a name on the scoreboard. We got to see the likes of Steve Garvey, Rick Monday, and Steve Sax. The crowd totally lost it for Fernando Valenzuela, Sandy Kofax, and Tommy Lasorda.

Grade School Athleticism: As corny as that sounds…I was always taller than everyone else in school except for maybe one of the boys. Needless to say, this was a bit awkward but sure came in handy for sports. During this time we had fitness tests at my local school and I received ribbon after ribbon for first place in track and field events. I was even able to play football with the boys for a bit. This was the time in my life that I was fortunate to be ahead of my peers and I really enjoyed it. I’m still athletic, just quite a bit older…and slower…and more injury prone…

There’s more…The Raiders win a Super Bowl in Los Angeles, the Dodgers win a World Series (with the famous Kirk Gibson run), the Lakers win the Championship …again…and again…and again…and again…the first time I caught a really sweet wave, when I learned how to do a double axel on roller skates and later in life on ice skates, when I first was able to drive a golf ball over 200 yards…I could go on and on and on…

What are some of your most delightful sports memories?

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday – August 27, 2008

NFL Football: So there are new rules again this year. I get a bit frustrated with the rule changes every year…just play football. At any rate, I was watching the replay of the Raiders v. Cardinals game (again) and came across one such rule change (actually just a wording change). This has to do with that “football move” thing about possession. Okay, it was subjective to start with and now they’re totally leaving it up to the referee? Huh? Maybe I’m missing something here. Incidental face masks are no more, making them all a 15-yard penalty. This is a good thing because twisting someone’s neck around is never an optimal move. The forceout rule is gone and replay can be used on point-after and field goal attempts. Check out the rule changes, including the new defensive helmet radios, at this link. We'll see how long in to the season it takes to get something mixed up.

Oh yeah, and Michael Strahan is going to stay retired. You could tell some of the media were trying very hard to make this a bigger deal than it was. In fact, there is only one Brett Favre – something most of us were already aware of.

MLB Baseball: Speaking of rules, the MLB referees decided that they couldn’t possibly make a bad call and therefore do not need replay. Excuse me. They boycotted a conference call but to no avail. The new system will be implemented starting tomorrow at three stadiums and everywhere else on Friday. Good thing. Why on Earth would this be a bad idea? I personally like to have someone double-check my work. I don’t like to make mistakes. Whenever someone has asked me about a typo or misprint I re-check and make the correction happily. C’mon refs, embrace the learning experience and move on. Nobody is perfect!

Oh yeah, and speaking of baseball…the Rays are still on FIRE! Deal with it Northeastern teams. Bwahaha…they’re 3.5 games ahead of Boston and 9.5 games ahead of the Yankees. They still have some time to mess things up but have been solid all year.

Today in Sports History

1988 - Tommy Lasorda wins his 1,000th game as the manager for the Dodgers with a victory over Philadelphia 4-2.

1994 – The 94th US Golf Amateur Championship is won by Tiger Woods

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

5 Sports I Can't Live Without

Well, there really are more than five…but for the sake of brevity and a less than novel-sized post, I thought I would just cover five. In no particular order, here are five sports I cannot possibly live without:

1. American Football: NFL, minor league, women’s, NCAA, you name it – I gotta have it! If you’ve ever been so fortunate as to be on the sidelines of a football game it is one of the most exciting things you will ever do. Equally exciting is getting sweet seats at an NFL game. I remember the first time I went to Raymond James Stadium when I was in college – I got goose bumps every time they fired the cannons (yeah, I know…I’m a dork). Last December when I went to Candlestick Park – also an amazing game as it was Bryant Young’s last home appearance with the team before he retired. Even better, many years ago I was in Washington, DC and was lucky enough to see the 49ers visit the Redskins – when Steve Young and Jerry Rice were still on the team. Ah, so many great football memories…like when we had two teams in Los Angeles...

2. Soccer: Futbol, Futebol, Football. I love it all! Watching the Premier League is absolutely riveting. Just this last season, watching Manchester United pull out the Champions League victory in penalty kicks was amazing. Olympic Soccer, the World Cup, Street Soccer, and the Homeless World Cup…I just can’t get enough of it.

3. Golf: Yeah, I enjoy watching LPGA and PGA golf but playing is my real joy. I’ve really started to make some serious breakthroughs in my game and am on my way to a very nice handicap. I’m fortunate to live in an area that has some of the hottest courses on the planet, world-class instructors, and weather that allows me to play year-round.

4. Baseball: Specifically, I cannot live without Vin Scully and Dodgers baseball. If the rumors are true and he only calls the home games next year it will be a very sad thing. As everyone is saying though, half a year of Vin is better than a full year of anyone else. Yeah, Jeff Kent, deal with it – we love Vin. I have many happy childhood memories with his voice in the background as does every kid who grew up here. He can say whatever he wants…I can do without you and your comments! Ahem, anyhoo…enough of that rant…Chavez Ravine is the happiest place on Earth as far as I’m concerned…

5. Board Sports: Skate, Surf, Ski…I love following, watching, and – more importantly – doing! There’s nothing like being out in the water or barreling down a mountain. If you haven’t tried it then you wouldn’t understand. I still remember nearly drowning in the Pacific as a kid...okay that sounds worse than it really is...

What are some sports that you can’t live without?

Monday, August 25, 2008

5 Questions With A Head Coach

Southern California is full of exceptional sports and exceptional coaches. Often, a motivated and caring coach can make all of the difference for players. One such extraordinary individual is Coach Manny Ojeda. Assistant coach for the Southern California Breakers and Head Coach for the TC Titans, Manny always has a smile and word of encouragement for you (even if you’re only reporting from the sidelines). Manny resides in North Long Beach, Ca with his wife of 22 years and has four children and four grandchildren. His oldest sons are also coaches. His daughter teaches Preschool and his youngest son is everyone’s favorite water boy that will soon start high school football himself.

Coach Manny always has a motivating thought for his players and is clearly well respected. When I first went to see his TC Titans play there were players and other coaches from his Southern California Breakers at the game to show their support for the beloved coach. I caught up with Manny recently for five questions:

1. How did you become involved in coaching? What are your basic coaching philosophies and how do you keep your players motivated?

I grew up learning and playing sports at the parks. It was fun helping coaches teach sports. The park coach would pick me to help kids that needed to learn the different sports, baseball, softball, volleyball, basketball, and football.

Philosophies; they change over the years, but the main and true are the oldest lessons - work hard, discipline, sacrifice, teamwork, fighting to achieve, and working towards a goal. We must always teach these lessons or else the country’s future population will be made up of a majority of crooks, drug addicts, and so on. Paul “Bear” Bryant said the same thing 40 years ago, I was 12.

Motivated: I had many coaches and fathers and mothers that coached. As teachers, the coaches used fear as the primary motivator, fathers used competition to performance and mothers used love and respect. My main teachers were my mom and dad. My mom gave me love and respect and my dad total sportsmanship, not winning or losing.

So with my learning I motivate by love and respect, it produces great memories and lasting friendships. All tasks are completed, discipline accepted. We uplift and inspire all expectations are increased. We want our players to be self-motivated, so we teach them day after day. I love the saying by Zig Ziglar, “People often say that motivation doesn’t last. Well neither does bathing, that is why we recommend it daily..” Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going (by Jim Ryun).

2. What is the most vital ingredient one needs to be a successful coach? How do you keep your skills fresh? Do you ever stop learning/discovering? Do you prefer being the head coach or an assistant?

Love, desire, determination, commitment to excellence, iron will, and sense of freedom. Coaches should teach players to play together as one and play hard, winning takes care of itself. The big one: sense of humor...

Many ways, I try coaching and teaching to men, women, and children. We want all athletes to be successful. To learn life-long lessons. All levels require communication, as a teacher you learn. Some kids are fast and some are slow. What works for some, won’t work for others. Be open minded, as coaches we learn inventory assessment.

Learning /discovering - no one should think they know it all. Yes, you must learn always and not just football’s X’s and O’s (offense and defense symbols). You’re working with all kinds of people with different needs. Values, you must learn patience and compassion of others. As a coach , teach and treat people as you would want to be treated.

Discovering: As a coach you will learn yourself , coaches must stay in control of themselves. Your ability to make these quick decisions may be the difference in the outcome of the game. (Love and Humor) You’re always learning, how to get someone to do something they don’t want to do.

Head or assistance coach: I love being number 2, working hard behind the scenes. Number 1 must always stay focused on winning, as number 2 teach the way to reach the goal. Coaching is action not a title.

3. What level do you prefer to coach, if you have a preference (men's/women's/high school/ect.)? What is it about this level that is so rewarding? What is the most rewarding part about each level/league that you coach in? What is your favorite overall part of coaching?

First level of players are kids 9 to 18 years of age. We teach playing and having fun, building confidence and positive sportsmanship, practicing fundamentals, with effort and a will; never give up … Total team effort.

Second level are women - they are (usually) newer to the sport and are willing to learn. Our job is to teach fundamentals and have fun, with a positive and rewarding experience. It is imperative that everyone is working toward the same objectives and goals to secure a successful and positive experience for everyone…Every one plays and has a fun experience.

Third level are men - the challenges you must be a positive demanding leader, without being demeaning. Total relaxed and most of all confident in oneself...(there are many critics at this level and a must win “always”.)

Fourth level is men’s pro level indoor. Players want to win and fans want to win, owners need to win it is no longer fun - it’s “money.” I am a believer, builder and praiser. I teach the love of the game, not the love of money... the destroyer and critic.

Fifth level is the lower ages 5 to 8 years old. Teaching fun with a positive attitude. As a coach you’re laughing all the time.

All the levels of coaching helps. You must learn by doing. I have a desire to give back the benefits I received from sports. To teach other, so they will soon teach others.

4. What do you hope that your players learn from you? What do you think the most important thing you can teach them is?

Love yourself, so you can love others. You are serving others. Coaching is action.
Coaching is teaching first at all levels. Make a lot on time, talk with family and friends. Many hours go into coaching, you’re a awesome influence on players. Act appropriately.

5. What advice would you give to young people who are interesting in becoming a coach someday? What is the most important thing, in your opinion, that will help them attain this goal?

Advice on coaching: learn the game, read books, talk with coaches, go to games of all levels, become an assistant for a team and helping. You will learn a lot. Know your weaknesses and strive to improve. As a coach you will change with the wind or break. You will all keep learning, the game changes. I’m still learning.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Sunday Olympics Wrap - August 24, 2008

Yeah, they're over...I'm quite sad...

As I've pointed out, I really am a huge fan of the Olympics for all of the reasons I laid out yesterday and more. Here are some of the happenings over the Games that were especially exciting:

USA Men's reclaims gold against Spain: Pau Gasol was a different sort of player that was the clear leader of the Spanish National team. The USA team completely dominated them in the earlier rounds but Spain made the collection of NBA stars really work for the gold. Even Coach K couldn't help but smile!

USA dominates volleyball: The USA Men captured gold in volleyball for what was certainly a bittersweet victory. At the start of the Games, coach Hugh McCutcheon's in-laws were the victims of a random act of violence. His father-in-law was killed and his mother-in-law seriously injured. No one will ever know why the family was targeted since the assailant ended his life immediately after committing the heinous act. McCutcheon had to be alone for a bit after the win.

On a much happier note, Team USA secured the gold for both women's and men's beach volleyball events. This was the second consecutive Olympics gold for the women. They've gone undefeated for a ridiculous amount of games and haven't ruled out London in 2012...

Swimming royalty: Michael Phelps can no longer have his record-breaking 8 gold medals questioned as they have gone over his finish time and time again in the 100m butterfly. He won - no question about it. The remarkable Dara Torres proved that age really is only a number. Equally amazing Natalie Couglin won six medals in swimming which is the most by a US woman.

Track and Field: I wish I was a runner - can you believe the amazing shape these athletes are in? I'll be motivated to keep up my workout for quite some time after watching them! A man from the US takes the gold in the decathlon again. Bryan Clay is one that has a story we are hearing so much more of lately - a troubled youth leading to athletic greatness. Good for him. The US women and men both took gold in the 4x400 events but did not fare so well in individual races.

There is so much more to talk about too - Argentina winning the gold in men's soccer, the US capturing gold in women's soccer, gymnastics, the taekwondo family, synchronized swimming, and so on...I really cannot comment on all. The entire Olympics are such a treat for a sports nut like myself. It will take me a few weeks to digest it all but I will certainly miss that for the last two weeks there has always been something on television to watch!

I found this medal tracker on where you can click on each individual country and see all of the medals won. Yahoo! Sports has a user-friendly guide to all of the individual sports as well.

What has been your favorite Olympic story?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

5 Reasons I Love The Olympics

The 2008 Olympics are almost over and I’m quite sad to see them go. I really do wish we could have them more often…but I guess that would water down the excitement a bit. Anyways, here are five of the reasons that I love the Olympics:

The Sports: This is the time we get to see serious competitors in badminton, ping pong, synchronized diving, and a plethora of other sports that never get much attention. The Olympics is the pinnacle for many of these sports. The world gets to see that someone who participates in these events and realize what is meant by dedication, perseverance, and athleticism.

The Athletes: Dara Torres at 41, Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor both over 30, and many others show that you don’t need to be 18 to compete. I really admire all of these folks who prove to us that just because you reach a certain age it does not mean you have a license to give up. Too many times I see people just over 30 who think they shouldn’t even try anymore. Guess what? Thirty and forty are not “old” anymore. There is no excuse to be out of shape.

The Culture: We get exposed to people and places that we never would have otherwise. Over the course of the Games I’ve noticed others becoming more aware of different countries and people. We get a geography lesson and realize just how small our world is.

The Camaraderie: People from different walks of like support each other. We watch the USA athletes go to the different events and support their teammates. People are brought together that otherwise may not have crossed paths. In addition, athletes from different nations will embrace and understand each other in ways not otherwise possible.

The Unity: The world really is watching. I had a conversation with a colleague that is close to my parents’ age about how she is staying up late every night to watch. This is someone I would have never suspected as being a sports fan. For some magical reason, the Olympics bring this out in nearly everyone. Also, many who don’t normally socialize nor have anything in common come together to root for their country. It’s like that point in history where the whole country was united for that moment when the USA Hockey Team had their spotlight. Not often do so many people in this country agree on one thing. When the Olympics are going on, we can feel like we really are the United States.

Why do you love the Olympics?

Friday, August 22, 2008

My Fantasy Football Season and Cuzoogle’s Pigskin Picks

Well, it’s that time again…the NFL season means Fantasy Football and pick ‘em contests. I’ve got a few more brewing than I originally intended. If I didn’t have to actually work and make a living I would have joined a few more Fantasy leagues. Well, I would golf and surf a lot more also…

I’m in one league with a bunch of colleagues that was supposed to start last night but something odd happened. All of a sudden we had an odd number and no one could agree on live or autodraft. I got roped into another one as a partner of a team with almost the same group. The commissioner of the second league informed me that he would not be using his powers for good. Nice. It should be a good time in spite of that. I’m also giving the site Pay The Fan a try this year. They have fun giveaways like a motorized cooler that you can enter to win without even playing. Talk about a conversation piece while you’re tailgating…

One of the other fun things I’m doing this yeas is competing in Cuzoogle's NFL Pigskin Picks challenge. Each week the participants pick the winners of the NFL games for that week. The blog that picks the most wins will get their 125x125 ad placed on the front page of Cuzoogle each week for the whole NFL season. At the end of the season the overall winner will get a cash prize and their 125x125 ad placed on the front page for the duration of the NFL postseason.

I plan on winning since the others will probably underestimate me. I’ll skip out on the trash talking and sneak up on ‘em! Bwahaha…

Here are the other blogs in the competition - be forewarned that a few are not exactly G-rated.

Blogs (in no particular order)

Yep Yep
The Sports Dungeon
Waiting for Next Year
The Sports Lounge
Tailgating Ideas
NESW Sports
The Blue Workhorse
My Sports Rumors
Inside Plays
Juiced Sports Blog
Buzz Pirates
Busted Coverage
The Chocolate Dog Blog
NE Patriots Draft
The Sports Dollar
Don Chavez
Banned in Hollywood
Mac Gs World
Macho Chip
Zoner Sports
Sports Opinion

What are you doing this year? How many leagues or pick contests are you playing?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Football Blogspotting

With the NFL and Premier League starting up I thought we’d do some football blogspotting. I mean all football, futebol, and futbol in every form that you can think of. I've pointed out before that if you're only interested in the American variety you are missing out. Think about it...the entire planet is completely taken by the soccer variety. There certainly has to be something to that.

Dave’s Football Blog inspired me to create this edition of blogspotting. This site covers NFL, soccer, rugby, and forms of “football” you probably didn’t realize existed. Go through the pages and there is a description of what he calls the six most popular forms of football on the planet (Association, American, Australian, Rugby, Canadian, and Gaelic). Give it a look!

While you’re at it, hop over and see what Georgina is up to at For Girls Who Can’t Do Football and then go to FOOTBALL: Just Love The Game. These both cover the Euro action far better than I do! FC Football Blog also covers the European teams and has really cool highlight videos and I should give a shout to Football Videos and Pictures on that same note.

In The Bleachers has your NCAA College Football blog coverage. You can also check out their podcasts.

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – if you want a ton of news about futebol all over the planet then you must check out A Futebol Fan. I’ve not seen a blog that covers nearly every bit of the happenings like this one does.

I can’t mention football blogs without pointing you to some of my favorite NFL teams. Here’s and Raiders blog, a 49ers blog, a Chargers blog, and of course…a Bucs blog! Draft Day Suit covers much of the NFL world as well. Speaking of NFL team blogs, check out Lombardi Ave…for guess what team…

Speaking of favorites…I came across this interesting blog for Manchester United and this one.

(What’s that? How could I be a Man U fan? Simple…if you’ve been paying attention you know that I did my undergrad in Tampa and followed the Bucs while there. Anyhoo, the Glazers own the Bucs…and they bought Man U a few years ago. Poof! That is how I chose which team to follow since I have no other justification to jump on any other bandwagons. But…I must admit…I watch Chelsea and Arsenal and then hop over to Real Madrid and AC Milan...oh yeah, and I get South American games with my satellite… If you didn’t believe that I had sports ADD before then you must now…)

You can follow ex-Man U star David Beckham and the Los Angeles Galaxy here at The Offside. I also found MLS Fan Blog that covers the rest of the league.

Of course, I have to remind everyone that I give you Southern California Minor League football right here. Although the Southern California Breakers season is over for now, use the search bar to find coverage of this awesome women's professional team. Women's Football Talk also has coverage of the IWFL and NWFA leagues and does a weekly radio show with people in the sport. I also bring you the TC Titans who are in the midst of their season now.

At any rate…tell me what your favorite football blog is. I mean any form of football. Tell me about some that are not in this post or on my blogroll.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday - August 20, 2008

I just absolutely love the Olympics! There is so much to talk about that I know I won’t cover it all. I won’t even try.

Track and Field: The small nation of Bahrain received its first Olympic medal. Morocco native Rashid Ramzi won the gold medal in the 1,500 meter race. The tiny country sent one shooter, two swimmers, and 12 track and field athletes to the Games.

Bulgarian coach Dimitar Vasilev took the blame for runner Daniela Yordanova’s positive drug test. That was nice of him to do. He’s blaming the positive results on shoddy manufacturers selling impure product.

Futbol: Nigeria bested Belgium by a score of 4-1 to reach the finals. Belgium was a surprise as the country has not competed in the sport at the Olympic level for some time. Argentina beat the Brazilian powerhouse to advance to the final round. Ronaldinho and company will be leaving without the gold. Interestingly, even though Brazil has the most World Cup wins they do not have the same luck with Olympic gold. The US women got it together and will meet the Brazilian women for the gold medal match.

Beach Volleyball: The US is on fire! Misty May-Treanor and Kerri Walsh look unstoppable. They beat the Brazilian team in about thirty nine minutes. They’ll play for the gold against one of the teams from China. The bronze match will be Brazil vs. another team from China. Todd Rogers and Phil Dalhausser will also be representing the US in the gold medal match.

Softball: The US team was tested but came out on top versus Japan. They won by a score of 4-1 in extra innings. The team now advances to the gold medal round.

Today in Sports History

1920 - Preliminary meeting in Akron, OH to form the American Pro Football League - which would later become the NFL

- Brooklyn Dodgers Tommy Brown (SS/OF) is the youngest player to hit a home run at only 17.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Greatest Athlete of All Time

Since Michael Phelps has accomplished his remarkable goal of winning eight gold medals in a single Olympic Games gathering there has been much talk of who the "greatest athlete of all time" is. Tiger Woods and Michael Jordan come to mind in these conversations that are happening all over sports media lately. All three are exceptional athletes that have mastered their sport and inspire fans everywhere. I'm personally a fan of all three. For example, when I am setting up for my golf swing, I think of a photo that my instructor superimposed of Tiger Woods so that he was hitting lefty like me. I try to mimic that stance since it is considered the right way to swing. I just wanted to add two more athletes that don’t always get mentioned when there is talk of superiority in a sport. While this is by no means a complete list of those who dominate, these are two athletes that I also really admire and have thought of as superior since I was a child.

Babe Didrikson Zaharias: Born in either 1911 or 1914, Babe got her nickname as a child when she demonstrated her prowess with a baseball bat. Later, she expertly played basketball and was truly recognized as an exceptional athlete. Of course, this was in no way acceptable in her day and she was considered a “freak” and “unladylike” among other things. She had a natural ability and could excel at whatever sport she wished. She won many honors in track and field events and qualified for five events in the 1932 Olympics. Women were only allowed to compete in three events and she took the gold medal in the javelin and 80 meter hurdles. A controversial ruling meant that she was disqualified in the high jump, even though she by all rights set a new record. Eventually she was able to share the gold medal. Later, she took up golf and again excelled. Babe won thirteen consecutive tournaments in 1946 and was the first American to win the British Amateur tournament. She had a total of 55 tournament victories that included three US Women’s Open events. In addition, she was one of the founders of the LPGA in 1949. She found out that she had cancer in 1953 and survived until 1956. She was a charter member of the US Olympic Hall of Fame and was the AP Female Athlete of the Year six times.

Billie Jean King: This remarkable tennis player won six Wimbledon titles, four US Open titles, and was ranked number one in the world for five years. In addition, she defeated the likes of Chris Evert, Martina Navratilova, Margaret Court, and…Bobby Riggs…more about that in a moment. She was the first female athlete to break the $100,000 mark. She was the first woman to coach a co-ed team in sports, first woman to be a professional sports commissioner, and one of the six inaugural inductees into the Court of Fame at the USTA National Tennis Center. She is also the only woman to have won US singles titles on four surfaces (clay, carpet, grass, and hard courts). She also lobbied for, and obtained, equal prize money for men and women at the US Open in tennis. In spite of all these accomplishments, many remember her for the match she won against Bobby Riggs. This player was a former Wimbledon champion and had actively challenged her to this match. He already hustled Margaret Court into a match and beat her. Riggs smugly proclaimed that women could only play about 25% of the level that men could and should only receive 25% of the pay that men get. Billie Jean took the high road at first and said that playing against him was not worth her time. After Court’s loss, she gave in…and ran Riggs ragged. Riggs later enlisted Vitas Gerulaitis to play a doubles match against Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver and lost again. Billie Jean remained friends with Riggs throughout the hype and when he died she claimed that, "Bobby Riggs was a true friend for the last twenty-five years." Of her match with him she said that, "It helped a lot of people realize that everyone can have skills whether you are a man or woman... as well as helping men and women understand each other." Not only an exceptional athlete, but a good sport!

Who are some of your favorite athletes that we don’t always hear about?

Monday, August 18, 2008

5 Questions With Fathead

Do you remember those commercials a few years back with Ben Roethlisberger’s giant head filling the television screen? Now gracing the walls of sports fans everywhere, Fathead has expanded their line to include many more sports and other famous figures. I caught up with one of the folks at Fathead and asked them five questions:

1. How did Fathead start? What inspired the idea and the name? Why so darn big? What is your target demographic?

Fathead began with one entrepreneur’s dream of creating life-size wall graphics of his favorite NFL players. Amongst Fathead team members there is still some dispute over who that entrepreneur actually was…what we do know for sure is that Dan Gilbert and Camelot Ventures bought him out. (You may have heard of Dan Gilbert as the owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans, ePrize and a bazillion other proftibable ventures?) Camelot immediately began building a company around the idea of selling licensed life-size wall graphics. They hired CEO Brock Weatherup, VP of Licensing Linda Castillon among other marketing and website development personnel and soon was born. This site is a labor of love we work on every day – adding new Fathead products, features, functionality and basically doing everything we can to keep the Fathead brand and appeal REAL.BIG. in the eyes of sports and entertainment fans.

Ever the movie “Leatherheads?” Me either. But those helmets the players wear in the movie (or on the movie poster) were colloquially referred to as “fatheads” because they offered no protection and a single hit could result in a swollen noggin. Consequently, anyone willing to risk concussion to play had to be damn passionate about football. Like our fans. Fathead (the company) lives by that passion too. Our products give physical form to the passion of fans in every sport and for quite a few entertainment properties too.

Why so darn big? Why not? Seriously, the people represented by Fathead wall graphics may only be flesh and blood…but they’re also heroes. They’re larger than life in the eyes of their fans and the general public. You might say their size is a visual metaphor for their hero status. Or you could just dig the fact that, no matter where you have a Fathead, they’re big enough to ALWAYS be the center of attention.

Target demographic? Fans of professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, soccer, action sports, boxing, NASCAR, WWE, the Dark Knight, Hannah Montana, Pirates of the Caribbean, The World of Cars, High School Musical, Cinderella, The Little Mermaid, Beauty & The Beast, Star Wars, Spider-Man, Superman, the Hulk, the Fantastic Four, X-Men and, of course, fire-breathing Kodiak bears.

2. What sorts of characters other than sports figures are Fatheads?

See above.

3. How does Fathead choose athletes to highlight? What happens when they are no longer popular?

To become a Fathead and have your face on thousands of walls across the country, you must be considered “Fathead-worthy.” No amount of Boy Scout merit badges can earn you this honor. You can’t buy your way into Fathead-dom – lobbying firms have tried and been summarily rejected. You must actually be a hero. Of course, there are different kinds of heroes: sports heroes like Brett Favre and Derek Jeter; super heroes like the Dark Knight and Super Man; secret heroes like Homer Simpson (who, I think, is the secret hero of every man). Of course, having a passionate fan base helps too.

As for being unpopular - I don’t know. It hasn’t happened yet.

4. When did the Fathead blog start? What type of things do you try to cover? What's on the horizon?

Unofficially, a few weeks ago. Currently, our blog resides on MySpace here and the WordPress version is here. We hope to address a wide variety of topics. We’re working with a handful of extremely talented bloggers to cover their favorite teams, major events in sports and exceptionally newsworthy items like the story of one man’s agonizing over where to stick his favorite NHL player Fathead. We’ve also had cause to include informational posts on decorating with Fathead and, my personal favorite, how to talk your parents into buying you a Fathead. On the horizon? The sun. A few clouds. And some REAL.BIG. sports writing by passionate fans.

5. What else can we expect from Fathead in the future?

We’re holding the Presidential election early this year on We are actually debuting two new products: a Barack Obama Fathead and a John McCain Fathead. In anticipation of this, we’re preempting the November election and allowing everyone a vote - registered voters, unregistered voters, kids, foreign nationals - if your dog has an email address, he’s got the franchise. Of course, unless your pooch has a credit card, he won’t be able to enjoy the 10% off he’ll get for casting his ballot.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday Titans Wrap - August 17, 2008

The last time we caught up with the Tri-County Titans was for their home opener back on July 19. Since then, they lost a close one to the Desert Valley Spartans the following week by a score of 19-14. The team had a rest afterward with a bye week and then last week they were victorious on the road vs. the South Bay Skulls, 19-7. Last night they were at home again and hosted the Valley Trojans.

The Trojans won the toss and elected to defer to the second half. The Titans looked strong behind QB Billy Hudson (0), the Player of the Week in the win over the Skulls. Indeed, Hudson seemed to be on track to clinch this honor again. With 11:33 in the first quarter, the Titans would draw first blood. With a key block from OL Manuel "The Birthday Boy" Ojeda III (77), RB Carylon Prevost (28) would score. The resulting 2-point try was unsuccessful but this was not an sign of things to come.

When the Titans kicked the ball off to the Trojans after the score they were able to keep them back inside of their own ten yard line. At 1:03 left in the first quarter, the Trojans almost went the distance of the entire field but ended up having to settle for a field goal try. This attempt was unsuccessful and the score remained 6-0 at the end of the first quarter. The Titans continued to hold the Trojans scoreless and were able to put another three on the board with 8:49 left in the second quarter. K Gary Melnick (32) was responsible for the successful kick, making the score 9-0. The Trojans were unable to score in the first half and only threatened twice with two unsuccessful field goal attempts.

In the second half, the Titans missed a field goal opportunity as well with 4:54 left in the third quarter. At 2:00 left in the third quarter the Trojans scored on a 72-yard pass and made the extra point. The score was now 9-7. With 1:45 left in the game RB Prevost came through again with another touchdown. The resulting point after was blocked so the score was 15-7. With 1:05 left, the Trojans managed to run the length of the field to score a touchdown. The score was now 15-13 and it was looking as if they would possibly tie the game. Lining up for the 2-point try, they caught a delay of game penalty and got moved back. The last few moments seemed to take an eternity but when the ball was snapped they could not deliver. Final score: Titans 15, Tojans 13.

LB Albert Alvarez (40) and FS Cesar Sutton (42) were also key ingredients in the victory. Next up, the Titans will be on the road with their 3-2 record to play the Inglewood Blackhawks on August 23.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Michael Phelps Diet and Other Olympic Headlines

Since Michael Phelps is the latest athlete to reach iconic status it seems as though fans want to know everything about him. People can’t get enough of the 23-year-old “Aquaman” phenom and are dying to know what he eats and what he is listening to in his iPod. Apparently, he’s big into rap/hip hop and carbs. Lots and lots of carbs. Sugar too. Indeed, back in the day when I swam competitively we ate as much carbs and sugar as we wanted to. At any rate, Phelps will try to get to eight gold medals today. He certainly looks poised to achieve that goal. Good luck, Michael!

Speaking of swimmers…Yahoo! Sports has been solving “mysteries” of the Games. One was the aforementioned playlist on Michael Phelps’ iPod. Another mystery? Why did the diving competitors shower after every dive? The mystery of the showering divers was explained as the athletes keeping their muscles from getting tight. Interestingly, one analyst that gets paid to report about sports said that “they just want to have fun”. I’m trying to figure out why it is “fun” to shower off in front of the world but I guess to each their own.

Another Yahoo! Sports Olympic mystery solved was that of the black stuff on Kerri Walsh’s shoulder. Some people thought she was hiding a tattoo. That could make sense since being out in the sun all that time would cause it to fade. The stuff is actually something called kinesio tape and is there since she recently had surgery on the shoulder.

One athlete in the Olympics believes that everyone is plotting against him. Ara Abrahamian of Sweden was stripped of his bronze medal for wrestling when he took it off, dropped it on the ground, and walked off. He was protesting a disputed penalty call that cost him a match and apparently there was a similar situation that caused him a loss in 2004. Either someone is “out to get him” or he’s a magnet for bad calls…either way, its pretty sad.

In other medal-stripping news, a North Korean shooter and a Vietnamese gymnast got into hot water for failing doping tests. The shooter reportedly used a drug that prevents trembling for events such as archery and shooting. The gymnast tested positive for a banned diuretic.

Others around the blogosphere are finding other interesting topics at the Olympic Games. And One has a gem about parenting that you should check out. Afraid of Ed Hochuli has a hostile editorial about cheating. Women’s Sports Blog is keeping track of the medals won by women. This is in two parts so far. The Athletic Women Blog links us to the secret behind Chinese weightlifting success.

What is your favorite Olympic story so far?

Friday, August 15, 2008

Golf Blogspotting

Since I’m off to the desert for a round I figured we’d do some golf blogspotting today. I know – the desert is hot. That’s the point! Anyhoo, read about the game from these golf fanatics: has a review of a retro golf book that looks like a fun read. “Don’t’s For Golfers” was first published in 1925 and talks about long gone nuances of the game.

The Grouchy Golf Blog describes itself as being written by a golfer who loves and hates golf nearly the same amount. There’s a section at the top for “Latest and Best Golf Deals” and plenty of interesting content.

Armchair Golf Blog has a riveting interview with and avid Tiger Woods fan about Numero Uno’s absence.

Hireko Golf Blog claims to be the friendliest place for golf blogging and has a post about the 70/30 rule. Basically, 70% of your shots come from 30% of your clubs.

The Golf Doctor shares a story from The Lighter Side of Golf on CNN/SI that claims Morgan Freeman was concerned about his golf swing after his recent accident. I’m thinking I would be worrying about that and my balance for board sports.

Average Golfer discusses who should be number two in golf. Mickelson? Harrington? Read the argument.

Golf in the Olympics? Discuss the possibility on Nicks Golf Palace.

If you’re interested in course design be sure to check out The Golf Course As Art.

In Golf We Trust found a nifty golf-related photo to share.

Don’t forget to check out Bag Chatter at GolfWRX…of course I’m biased toward that one…if you’re a total nut go to their forums and discuss everything golf with the rest of the golf obsessed.

Wish me luck today! My swing is getting back into the groove after an injury setback. I’m investing in a few more lessons to get back on track and I’m totally focused and committed on the practice range. I have a specific goal to be more than just socially acceptable and get my handicap index to a very respectable place by next summer. I’ll talk about it more as I get things into gear.

What’s your favorite golf blog or golf-related news source?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Tales From The Inbox - August 14, 2008

WPS: Brandy Chastain wants to know if your town is the top WPS town. Enter here for a chance to win an all-expense paid trip to a major WPS event. Whether or not you have a team makes no difference – you can enter either way! If you’re in Atlanta, there will be a WPS team in your town come 2010.

MLB: There are a ton of baseball promotions right now. Check out this one that gives you a chance to win two tickets to the 2009 All-Star Game. Oh, and the Devil Rays are doing so well that they are already taking deposits for 2009 season tickets. Speaking of baseball, don’t forget to follow the USA Olympic baseball team. This is the last time baseball will be in the Olympics until they decide to let it back in one day…maybe…

Golf: Check out the PGA Tour widgets that have been available for just about a month now. While we’re on the subject of golf – Morton’s Los Angeles is holding their 6th annual Golf Classic to benefit the Make-A-Wish foundation on August 22. The event takes place at the Braemar Country Club in Tarzana. On the lighter side of golf, check out Tattoo Golf’s new koozies that you get free with orders of $75 or more.

Today in Sports History

1959 – Los Angeles Lakers icon Magic Johnson is born

1997 – The Los Angeles Dodgers retire Tommy Lasorda's #2 jersey

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wild World of Wednesday – August 13, 2008

What can I say but Olympics, Olympics, and Olympics! If you aren’t totally captivated by all of the exceptional stories, camaraderie, and athleticism then I don’t know what to tell you. Check out ESPN or Yahoo! Sports for schedules and info. Michael Phelps is halfway to perfection so far by winning four gold medals and setting four world records in four tries. Can he get all eight? The Chinese Diving Team has been rather amazing to watch as well.

Golf: Tiger Woods announced that he probably won’t be swinging a club until next year sometime. He’s able to ride a stationary bike to rehab his injury but he’s not rushing back to golf. He announced in his newsletter that he could probably putt, but he isn’t going to. I’ll bet that Tiger could take several months off from golf for what is likely the first time in his life and be fine. It will probably do him good. Heck, he might actually like staying at home with the family! He’s plenty busy with his endorsements and designing golf courses so it’s not like he isn’t working at all.

NFL: Jay Feely was cut by the Miami Dolphins this week. Feely claims that he never felt wanted since the team was trying to be “younger and cheaper”. Chad “Ocho Cinco” Johnson is over the shenanigans that plagued him in the offseason and seems to be playing just fine with the Bengals now. Don’t look now, but there is a quarterback competition going on in San Francisco. Imagine if the team had a real QB again…oh and speaking of QBs…now there is complaining about Tampa Bay not fighting hard enough to get a certain one that ended up going to the Jets.

Today in Sports History

- Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins the LPGA World Golf Championship

1988 - Ronald J Dossenbach sets the world record for pedaling across Canada from Vancouver, BC to Halifax, NS in 13 days, 15 hr, 4 min

- 71st PGA Championship is won by Payne Stewart by shooting 276

1995 - Baseball Hall of Famer Mickey Mantle dies of liver cancer at age 63

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Trash Talking Gone Awry

You know, I’ve never been a big “trash talker”. When I was a kid playing sports and other kids heckled me or tried to get under my skin I would just smile. Sure, I might say something under my breath or vent about it to someone else. I just never gave the loudmouth the satisfaction of getting a rise out of me. It always just motivated me to do that much better. Today, colleagues trash talk about how they are going to show me up on the golf course or beat me in fantasy football. I still don’t talk trash. At most, I’ll say that their opinion is noted and we’ll see what happens at the end. Don’t get me wrong – I’m as competitive as anyone else. I just prefer to have my performance do the talking. I’m not a fan of braggarts or sore winners/losers. I’m usually just mostly happy to participate. I realize this doesn’t work for everyone. If you like to talk the talk, go for it.

The French men’s swim team at the Olympics is the prime example of why I do my very best to avoid trash talking. I’m sure they felt they could back up their talk. They almost did. They are very good at what they do.

We’ve all heard it by now…record-holder Alain Bernard claims that the French team will “smash” the American team. As it turns out, it was more like a bad commercial…

Swim Cap - $4.99
Swimsuit - $ 550.00
Your face when your mouth wrote checks that your body can’t cash…priceless…

Yeah, I know…it’s corny…deal with it.

American swimming is doing execptionally well. Michael Phelps is collecting the gold, Aaron Peirsol sets a new record, and Natalie Coughlin becomes the first woman to defend her 100m backstroke title. There is plenty more swimming to watch as Phelps tries to become the first swimmer to win eight gold medals in one Olympics. Its a tall order, but he looks focused and determined. Oh yeah, and have you seen the shape this guy is in?

Monday, August 11, 2008

5 Questions With Chicks In The Huddle

I had the pleasure of catching up with Nola Chick/The Head Chick/Shaneika of Chicks In The Huddle recently. If you haven't been to this blog, you’re missing a good read for sure. The posts are informative and always entertaining. Go to the Scoop On The Coop page and the contributors describe themselves like this…

Ever been to a Saints game and saw a slightly drunk chick yelling her lungs out at a 300lb linebacker? If she was undeniably adorable, it was probably one of us…

I’ll let Nola give you the rest of the story and answers to five questions:

In the sports blog world, I go by the name of Nola Chick. My name is an ode to my beloved hometown of New Orleans, Louisiana. It is a city that is as beautiful as it is dysfunctional and as colorful as it is complex. And no matter how much you may think you know about it, you still don't know enough. I'd like to think of myself in the same way.

1. How long have you followed football? What got you interested in the sport? Did you ever personally play the sport - with friends or even organized?

I've been following football since I was about as tall as my dad's hip. I would hear him yelling (most often cussing) at the TV at the top of his lungs during Saints games. Initially, I was annoyed that he was disturbing prime Nintendo time. But eventually, I got curious. I started to watch the games with him and he'd explain everything to me so passionately. I instantly fell in love with the underdog story of the Saints. Once he took me to my first Saints game (versus Tampa Bay in the Superdome) I was hooked for life. And like any good junkie, I can't get enough! I've played powder puff football in high school, but nothing serious. I'm also joining a co-ed football league with some co-workers this fall.

2. How did you come to start Chicks in the Huddle? What were your goals at the start and how has that happened/not happened? What do you intend to do in the future on the site? grew out of a passion to rant and rave about the Saints as much as I'd like without the judgment of friends and disinterested family members. I hated going to sports forums and feeling like I had to "prove myself as a fan" just because I was a woman. I needed a place to speak my mind and wanted other fans, regardless of gender, to feel they could do the same. The site's only been around for a year, but I feel like we've developed a small community of regulars and fans who appreciate what we do. I'd love to expand the site to involve female fans of other NFL teams. But my primary goal is to continue to bring our regular readers information, entertainment, and at times quite raunchy content!

3. What sports/teams do you follow other than football? What other diversions fill your hobbies other than sports?

Football is pretty much my end all, be all. I'm a pretty fair-weather Hornets fan. Although, they slowly started to win my heart last season.

4. What has it been like over the last few years in New Orleans for sports fans? How important have the Saints and other teams been to the area's sanity?

What's interesting is that the media played up the Saints as this team that suddenly "won the hearts of New Orleanians" after Katrina. Truth is, Saints fans have long been among the more passionate and dedicated fans in the league. Our team's never won a Super Bowl and only recently won its first playoff game. But still, every year since 1967, legions of fans have found themselves saying in September "This is the year." And sure, we may wear paper bags to the game, but at least our butts are in the seat. With that said, the team's success in 2006 was a much-needed distraction from the woes of hurricane recovery. But regardless of how successful the Saints are, people still know that at the end of the day they have to pay their bills, rebuild their homes, and in some cases, continue to rebuild their lives.

5. Tell me about what kind of season Saints fans believe they will have this season. What do you think their strengths and weaknesses are? Which players on the team do you think are fantasy-team worthy?

Saints fans are cautiously-optimistic about what the Saints are capable of this season. We have a lot of the weapons we need, but there's still a question of execution. Acquisitions like Jon Vilma, Randall Gay, and Jeremy Shockey will have a huge impact. And getting Sedrick Ellis in the draft will only serve to bolster what should be a much improved defense. As for fantasy studs, I'd look to Pierre Thomas as a solid sleeper pick, obviously Shockey at tight end, Marques Colston is a guaranteed 7 every game, and if you pass on Drew Brees, you're a damn fool! Don't be surprised if Reggie has a big season as well. That guy has a lot to prove! I'm still a little antsy about our secondary, but I think Jason David will have a much better year and cornerback Mike McKenzie is expected to be 100% come week 1.

I'm definitely predicting playoffs this year but then again...I do EVERY year!

Geaux Saints!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Sunday Sports Wrap - August 10, 2008

Today I decided to do this post in the opposite manner that I usually do. Instead of giving a preview of what was to come for the day in the world of sports I will recap a bit of what went on. There was quite a bit to keep up with today...

Olympics: The United States and China both have eight medals so far and South Korea has five. China leads in the gold with six medals. The US men's soccer team looks very competitive so far. They almost held off the Netherlands but ended up with a 2-2 tie. They play against Nigeria on Wednesday next. Women's soccer is having a bit of a struggle at the games so far. Don't forget to catch some of the less-hyped sports at the Games like badminton, taekwondo, and table tennis. I discovered that Yahoo! Sports has a very user-friendly site for Olympics coverage also.

: The Countrywide Classic ended today with Juan Martin del Potro defeating Andy Roddick. Roddick made no excuses for his loss and praised the 19-year-old from Argentina.

Premier League
: Manchester United defeated Portsmouth to win the FA Community Shield. The 3-1 victory came down to penalty kicks.

NFL: The NFL preseason is in full swing with seven games today. I've learned over time that making any sort of speculation about teams during the preseason is a waste of time. The predictions are usually the same and there is always a "sleeper" player/team that makes those predictions useless.

Golf: Padraig Harrington claimed the victory at the 90th PGA Championship today.

Today in Sports History

1988 - Matt Biondi swims for the world record in 100m free style at 48.42 sec

1997 - Vijay Singh wins the Buick Open at Warwick Hills

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Are You Watching The Olympics?

I’m such a sports nerd. I woke up this morning to Olympic coverage and couldn’t be happier! First up was beach volleyball with Australia vs. Russia. The Australian women pulled out the victory after both teams looked quite spent. Next, weightlifting! Wow, these were some truly amazing women that were in remarkable shape. The gold medal went to Xiexia Chen of China, Sibel Ozkan of Turkey took the silver, and Wei-Ling Chen took the bronze in the 48kg class. Just watching them motivates me to stay in shape! Not that I would be out there powerlifting…

At any rate…I found some great sources for Olympic coverage. In addition to Christine Brennan’s blog that I mentioned the other day, try these:

Get news on the Irish Team from John Kenny’s blog. Catch up on the team from India on this blog link.

Check the Beijing Olympics Blog for general resources and information.

Of course, the New York Times has a blog, as does the BBC. ESPN has complete coverage as well…no kidding. NBC has a comprehensive source as well as information for television listings here in the states.

What are your favorite sources for Olympic news?

Friday, August 8, 2008

Brett Favre Top Five...

I was set to write a post about my five favorite Brett Favre moments or quotes and realized just how much everyone has beat the dead horse that is the Brett Favre story. I really can't believe I'm talking about Brett again, actually. After searching the web I found a plethora of Brett Favre top fives. Check these out:

ESPN’s John Clayton says here are five reasons Favre would start for the Packers. I guess those weren’t compelling reasons. He cites experience, pressure, squeaky wheel factor, salary, and a chip that is on Favre’s shoulder. I guess Brett decided it didn’t matter what shade of green it was he wore on the jersey.

Hungdizzle has a fun list of the top five reasons Brett should leave Green Bay. My favorite is the one about his jean shorts.

The Bleacher Report posted the top five reasons the Packers don’t need him. They make good points like age, interceptions, retirement carousel, and more. You have to remember one thing about those interceptions…there are a lot of touchdowns also. One of my silly inspirational thoughts when I was a freshman in college was John Elway’s stats. He threw a ridiculous amount of picks…but look at his accomplishments. I guess that’s my corny way of pointing out that in order to succeed you must fail quite a bit.

Mefeedia has video of what they call his top five career moments. I know YouTube has quite the collection of Favre vids also. A fun one to watch is this one where he gets goosed while talking to Goose. has the top five potential Brett Favre Headlines. My favorite is “Jets looking Favre better”. Sports radio today here in Los Angeles was still skeptical about the Jets even making it to the playoffs, even with Favre. Personally, I think he would have had a better chance in Tampa. He would have had a built-in fan base too – have you ever been there? It’s like Green Bay south. I had never fully experienced cheeseheads before I went to college in Florida.

NFL Gridiron Gab plays both sides of the fence and give the five reasons he should retire and the five that he should come back. has a post from last year that gives seven of the most ridiculous things others have said about Favre. They are all pretty funny and Chris Berman is on the list more than once!

Check out this video collection of funny Brett sound bytes while you’re at it.

I’ll bet John Madden can’t wait to get to New York!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Tales From The Inbox - August 7, 2008

Sports Personalities: Christine Brennan of USA Today, ESPN, ABC, and many others will be covering the Beijing Olympics on her blog. This will be her 13th consecutive Olympics. You can find links to this blog and her columns by going to her webpage here.

Life Rolls On: Two events are coming up for this non-profit. First is the premier of the documentary Jesse’s Story:

Jesse's Story - August 14, 2008 at 7pm at Charter Centre Cinemas, Huntington Beach

After seven years in the making, documentary filmmaker Mark Jacobs brings you a story of tragedy turned into inspiration that will forever change the way you look at your world. This is Jesse's Story. This feature-length film will show Jesse Billauer, an up-and-coming star athlete, who sustained a spinal cord injury. Through stunning emotional moments of triumph and sadness, this film inspires you to look at how you live your life... How do you motivate and inspire others? What dreams do you want to achieve? How do you live life to the fullest? Jesse's Story will inspire you to charge life.

Also is the next They Will Surf Again event:

August 16, 2008 - Life Rolls On presents They Will Surf Again at Bolsa Chica State Beach - Tower 21

Recently recognized by the National Therapeutic Recreation Society for its demonstration of the benefits of therapeutic recreation, They Will Surf Again returns to Bolsa Chica State Beach at Tower 21 for its 20th event! There is still room for participants and they can always use more volunteers on land and in the water. Click here for more information. You can register here for the event to volunteer or participate.

Women’s Professional Soccer: The WPS has launched their own social network – check it out here. Some of the things they are providing to members are:

Live online chats with Boston Breakers Head Coach Tony DiCicco during USA games
• Regular blogs from USWNT team member Leslie Osborne, who will bring you direct access to Team USA as they compete in China
• Beijing "Behind the Scenes" blogs from Chicago Red Stars Head Coach Emma Hayes and General Manager Marcia McDermott
• Olympic soccer commentary from's Graham Hays
• And much, much more…

Street Soccer: If you’re the street soccer type, visit the XTremBol network and check out some of their upcoming events. While you’re there, check out some of the sick videos on footwork!

Real.Big.Fathead: Yup, the people who brought you those commercials of Ben Roethlisberger’s big mug have a new blog. Give it a look here and make some comments to the posts that have your favorite teams (or favorite teams to talk trash to). Stay tuned right here for an interview with the folks over at Fathead on an upcoming Monday for 5 Questions.