Friday, July 31, 2009

This Is Not My Week...

...but this IS my blog so I can cry if I want to. Well, I am not actually crying tears but simply whining. I've been working like crazy (which I am grateful for) but I am so tired. In addition, there have been some really challenging projects.

I tried to actually take a lunch break yesterday and buy another surfboard. I've got a 6'8" and I really want to add something that is at least 7'2" to the quiver. A colleague sent me a link to a 7'4" funboard that looked like it would fit the bill. She is looking for a similar setup. Both of us want to practice a bit more and then find an awesome local shaper to make us each a very nice investment.

We took off for lunch to meet up with the company selling the funboards. They had at least 2 in stock and the price was right. Well, we had such an education yesterday. I didn't realize that nowadays people take a piece of foam, encase it in some clear coat, and call it a surfboard. Ouch. We stopped at another shop close to the water and found the same thing, only more expensive. Not only could you see a ton of flaws, warps, and other imperfections but they felt like any wave over ankle high would snap them in half. Bummer.

My search for another board at a reasonable price continues. Luckily, I do have one to use and my colleague spotted a sweet used deal that will get her in the water. We'll be hitting the beach this weekend.

Oh, and speaking of surfing - check out Shayne McIntyre tonight in Encinitas for a screening of two On Surfari episodes. There is also a killer raffle with giveaways from all of Shayne's sponsors.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Flying Balls And Other Adventures On The Course

Yesterday as I was trolling through my RSS feed I caught a post by one of my very favorite golf bloggers, Heather, that is the mastermind behind Real Women Golf. I cracked up after reading her musings about naming golf balls. In fact, I left her a comment that I was inspired to write about adventures with golf balls myself. So just to be sure to give credit where it is due - Heather wrote about golf balls yesterday and it got me thinking about some of my experiences with golf balls. It's interesting how a cue from someone else can trigger a whole flood of ideas. *Thanks for the spark that inspired today's post, Heather!*

The Mark: I was playing in a foursome at a local course. I shanked the heck out of a drive and then took a provisional and played on. I had seen where my first stinky shot landed and planned to pick it up on the way to the next hole. Sure enough, my ball was right where I thought it was and I picked it up. As I was walking back to the cart I noticed a couple of guys racing over while yelling and waving their arms. Once ran up to me and announced that I was taking his ball. I held it up to show him my distinct mark - it was my ball. In fact, there were no balls anywhere close to mine. That's when they noticed hubby in the cart and quickly walked off. I think they ran over to talk to the female on the course and then noticed she wasn't alone. Odd, but it happened.

Hurry Up: We were playing at a very nice local course near Thousand Oaks with my cousin and her husband. She is a beginner and really trying to pick up the game. We had already let a group play through but were keeping pace according to the cart GPS system. What we thought was a single drove up behind use and we decided to let him through...except he was not a single and had two other guys with him. The single ended up in the bunker and took three shots in there before he finally picked up. The other two lost a ball in the trees and actually started an extensive hunting expedition for it while we sat and waited. They did finally pick up apologize. In fact, we caught up to them on the next hole and they skipped the next one entirely to get away from us. It seems they kept losing balls.

My Ball: I know that many golfers have a particular type of ball they must play with and have neat little specific markings. Personally, if it flies and I have it then I will go ahead and hit it. I'm particular about my clubs, right down to the shafts and grips, but am not picky about balls. I think I've tried too many to have a favorite. The countless demo days, events, and golf shows that I have attended means that I have balls galore. My cute little nephews even bought me two huge boxes of balls about two years ago because they just knew I had to have them. The one thing about my golf balls is that I do mark them with a big, distinct mark so I never have a question of who it belongs to. Since my first initial is an "A" I figured this would work:

Yeah, I told you it was a big, distinct mark. I know that not many will mark their ball like that, even around here. I also wear golf shirts that have skulls on them. No one can accuse me of not being an individual, eh?

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wild World Of Wednesday - July 29, 2009

Thank You!: Thank you for retiring again, Mr. Brett Favre. I really appreciate it. Don't get me wrong; I completely understand the desire to continue doing what you love. It's a way of staving off growing older. Nobody wants to get out of shape and become irrelevant, so I completely understand the delay. Why not take up golf? How about starting a football camp for kids? There is so much you can still do.

Enough With This Guy: Aww...poor Michael Vick. Seriously? I can't even talk about this guy more.

He's A Human Too: So Michael Phelps came in second - big deal! Lance Armstrong just came in third and everyone sees that as a victory. Guess what, it was bound to happen. Phelps can't win every race he enters for the rest of his career. Nobody is perfect. Oh, and as for those swimsuits making a big difference - please! Nothing takes the place of training and being in top shape. Equipment evolves for every sport and each generation of athletes achieves more than their predecessors. Get over it.

Today In Sports History

- The 23rd Summer Olympics opens in Los Angeles

- Carolina Panthers beat Jacksonville Jaguars in their first NFL exhibition game 20-14

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Art Of The Fan Review

Are you ready for some fantasy football? Yes, it is already that time of year. As you go to your fantasy drafts you now have fashion to match the event. Enter Art Of The Fan.

Corey Robertson and his wife came up with the idea for this obsessive pastime after a "discussion". In his own words he says,

"I'm a web/graphic designer that's been absolutely obsessed with sports since my early teens. My wife is also a designer that's had to live with my sports obsession for over 10 years now. Fantasy football took things to a whole new level, for me. I first played fantasy football in 1998 and made it to the championship game before losing but that got me hooked.

I've always had an interest in t-shirt and apparel design but struggled to come up with a concept that I was passionate about that wasn't being over represented in the t-shirt market already.

Finally, after a nice "discussion" with my wife about the amount of time I spent managing my various fantasy teams, we did some research and decided to use this fantasy inspired line as a way to get into the t-shirt biz.

The company started prior to the 2008 season and I actually didn't participate in any fantasy leagues last year so that we could devote our time to getting the company going.

Art of the Fan will look to have fun and explore things that people become fanatical and obsessive over. For me, fantasy football is something that I obsess and spend way too much time on; but it's a lot of fun. We're looking to create different lines of t-shirts that are sometimes funny, sometimes subtle but are always looking at unique ways examine various sports and entertainment related topics.

We're still coming up with ideas for what's next. The focus will be on fantasy football through the end of the year. I'm sure you'll see more crowd inspired designs along the way, similar to what we have on our current signature tee.

My wife and I may end up going back and forth on things that one of us likes that the other just doesn't "get". We're definitely going to have fun with this.I hope you enjoy the current line of fantasy inspired t-shirts. We'll update the site with new designs throughout the season."

This is the "about" section from the website:

"Art of the fan is a concept-driven graphic apparel line that takes inspiration from things that have the power to turn people into fanatics. Over time, we will cover subjects that include music, movies, food, pop culture fads, and more. The designs are inspired by hand drawn artistic elements and hand-written typefaces with a touch of splattered paint.

We're a small team with big plans and lots of determination, so expect lots of growth and expansions from Art of the Fan in the years to come.

Art of the Fan has quickly become the #1 source for fantasy football t-shirts, gifts and merchandise. Use this site as your "cheatsheet" for gift ideas for the fantasy sports obsessed. Our site is constantly being updated with shirt designs about all things fantasy.

In additon to being great gift ideas for sports fans, our shirts can also be used as fantasy football league prizes."

I've got the black "signature" tee and definitely like it. The design is printed on a high-quality shirt that has a nice feel. The company doesn't have a women's cut in this design right now so I've got the men's small. I do notice that they have the "Fantasy Football Widow" design in a women's cut and I imagine there will be others. I've only downloaded a few of the designs in the slideshow - check the site for many more.

The company has a contest going on to give away their signature design tee. Enter here until Thursday, September 10.

Check out Art Of The Fan for your obsessed fans (or yourself).

Monday, July 27, 2009

5 Questions That Don't Seem To Matter

Okay, maybe I have just been in a critical mood lately. Over the last two weeks I am just starting to wonder if anyone is "normal" anymore. By "normal" I mean not rude or hateful toward others.

Last week I talked about the words of encouragement I have received from fellow golf and surf enthusiasts. This sort of thing seems to happen outside of sports with more frequency as well.

Over the weekend I was at an outdoor event. This is the type of event where you bring a blanket, cooler, and relax. I had a great time and packed up to leave when it was over. As I was knelt down folding up my blanket something hit me in the back of the head pretty hard. As I'm saying something to the effect of, "What the heck?!" a couple stops in front of me. The guy very angrily says "sorry" and the woman says "You'll get over it".

What the heck is going on? You hit me with your chair and I'm the jerk? What!? Am I insane or missing something here?

So here are my five questions. No one needs to answer them. I am just ranting because I am truly appalled at my once fun and friendly community that I live in is now filled with cynical jerks that believe the world is theirs to crap all over. I most definitely appreciate having an outlet to rave on like a crazy person about this.

1. What happened to common courtesy?

I understand that times are tough and people are losing their jobs, homes, and basic ways of life in record numbers. Why add to that and make the world an even crummier place to live by having a bad attitude toward people you don't even know?

2. Why so selfish?

It really feels like the old "do unto others" is dead, buried, and brought back as a horrible zombie. It evolved into "treat others as they want to be treated" for a brief moment before turning into "treat others as you think they deserve to be treated because everyone is your doormat".

3. How hard is it to smile?

Seriously! Smile at people and you'll find the world is a brighter place all around.

4. How did you become so important?

On the golf course, the waves, or in line at the did you suddenly become the most important person on the planet? Apparently, you are the busiest of anyone around and no one can possibly come before you. We must all bow to your greatness.

5. Is it that hard to just be civil?

The people who ran into me over the weekend didn't need to stop and fawn all over me. A simple and sincere apology that was devoid of rude comments and a smile would have gone a long way. They probably went home feeling great about themselves since they were able to cause someone discomfort...oh, wait...they probably went home to their miserable lives wondering why everyone is trying to screw them over.

These are interesting, scary, and difficult times we live in to say the least. Why make it worse? Whether in sports or life you'll find that things are easier when approached with just a touch of class and self-control.

Thanks for listening!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Sunday Sports Wrap - July 26, 2009

Evian Masters: Word was that the winner was prematurely announced. Ai Miyazato took the event in a playoff against Sophie Gustafson.

Get the results of the Hurley US Open of Surfing here

Get the scores from what happened in mainstream sports today here

Read about an interesting event in sports history that involves trading NFL teams here

Get the rest of your sports history fix here

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Know Your Limitations

In every sport one should understand limitations. The body can only take so much and before you know it you could be in real trouble. Sure, I've been out golfing in Palm 114-degree weather. I was completely prepared, though. I had ample water, light clothing that covered my skin, hat and sunglasses, snacks, and sunscreen. This is not something everyone should do. I also would not do it if my tee time was after 9:30 am.

One thing that is important to note in the above example is that I've always lived in warm climates. As a Southern California native that went to college in Florida, cold is not something I experienced regularly. Well, at least not Northeast or Midwest cold. In college I even worked outside in the Florida heat most every day.

One place it is especially important to know your limitation is in the water. Specifically, surfing in high waves. After spending my college years in the Gulf of Mexico, returning to the Pacific was a bit of a shock at first. Not only did it feel like I was in fresh water but I wasn't used to the power anymore.

I guess I am getting really cautious in my "old age". When I hit the beach now I never surf alone and always check in with the lifeguard. It just makes sense.

Unfortunately, not everyone has escaped the monster swell we are having in SoCal this week. I am headed out to the beach myself today - not to Wedge - and will definitely respect my limitations.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - July 25, 2009

It's The Same Everywhere: The UK loves their cricket and celebrates it vigorously. Need proof? Check out these gentlemen and their entire album dedicated to the sport. You can expect such ditties as "Rain Stops Play" and more!

In the same way that championship teams visit the White House, England's women's cricket team makes a stop at the Prime Minister's pad.

* thanks to Katharine for the cricket info

Beat Gasoline: The Nike Beat Gasoline contest is still happening. Enter a video to show how you beat gasoline and win prizes. This is geared toward the sports-minded youth and has skate, bike, water sports, and other similarly-themed videos. Check out the entries here.

By The Way: If you are in SoCal you should really get out to surf this weekend. Seriously.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pops and Sunshine by Dave Andrews

I was recently introduced to the novel Pops and Sunshine by Dave Andrews. Dave is a Harvard-educated former television news reporter that is an an avid golfer. He's one of the biggest cheerleaders for the Duramed FUTURES Tour and his home course in New Hampshire is the site of one of the tour’s events every year. Dave says that his inspiration for this novel was the many young women he met on the tour.

Check out the Pops and Sunshine website and the description of the book will tell you:

Pops and Sunshine will make the reader laugh, cry, and cheer. Anyone who has lost a loved one too soon or faced high hurdles in his or her own life will be captivated by this touching story. It will appeal to golfers and non-golfers alike.

The story is about a young woman on the Duramed FUTURES tour, Lisa Nelson. She's just lost her father a year ago and her family at home is struggling. She travels to the final tournament of the season that is also her last shot to make the LPGA. At the course she meets an amateur golfer that lost his wife and daughter four years prior. His daughter was an aspiring golfer and he sees a lot of her in Lisa. He learns of her dreams and struggles and he becomes a new father figure in Lisa's life.

The book has been recommended by a wealth of magazines and bloggers and is a story that all can appreciate, even if not a golfer. I started reading it and can't put it down. It's a great summer read for sure.

You can order your copy of Pops and Sunshine here. Dave is reportedly working on the sequel and has a screenplay version of Pops and Sunshine.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - July 22, 2009

Ready To Scream: If I have to hear a focus on the age of an athlete or competitor one more time I just might scream. Seriously. During the Olympics there was Dara Torres. More recently we followed Tom Watson and his performance at the British Open. Let's not forget Brett Favre that is pushing 40 also.

Okay, first of all, 40 is not that old and 60 is still too young to call it a day. I'll bet Dara has trained and maintained a healthy lifestyle for decades. I'll also bet that Brett Favre can run circles around a majority of 20-somethings and that Tom Watson can out-drive a lot of hacks much younger that I see on the course all the time.

Sure, it's easier to be at your peak in your 20s. Most of the folks I see in their 30s and 40s that use age as an excuse are simply lazy. Really - the path of least resistance can be so convenient. I sure don't plan to get out of shape and lazy in my 40s, 50s, 60s, or at any time in my life.

Double Standard: A double standard in sports? Say it isn't so! Diana Taurasi did a really stupid thing by drinking and driving. Unfortunately many seem to think she's being held to a different standard than the fellas. I'm still trying not to lose my lunch over the people that are begging for Michael Vick another chance. Hmm...wasn't he already a first round draft pick? It sounds like he had a pretty fair shake already. What do you think?

Get your sports history fix at In Historic and read about Sonny Liston's win on this day in 1963. Today In Sports History says that Nick Faldo won the British Open on this day in 1990.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Words Of Encouragement

After I had been playing golf for about a year I went to a demo day. This was a big event with nearly every major club OEM that had a large selection of lefty clubs to try out. At this point, I hadn't really tried to hit hybrid clubs. At one of the tents I found some lefty hybrids and decided to give them a try.

I set up on a mat with a hybrid club and set up. Not really confident of what I was doing I topped the first ball. I tried again with the same result. It was after the second ball I noticed the three gentlemen behind me. Both times I had missed the ball they roared with laughter as if they had just heard the best joke of their lives. When I looked in their direction one grunted, "It's happened to all of us, sweetheart!" I had never met these people nor did I have any previous conversation with them.

Over the weekend I went to try out a new surfboard. This one is shorter and lighter than I normally use. Knowing I would likely wipe out and look a bit kooky at first I chose a less crowded span of beach with smaller waves and a lifeguard on duty. Sure enough, I was wobbly on the new board and spent some time paddling around to orient myself. I only ended up catching one wave and didn't get a full stand going. I did, however, have one pretty big wipe out.

Telling the story about it later was pretty funny. I had misjudged the power of a particular wave when I went to duck under it. I didn't duck as far as I should have and got knocked off and held under a bit. The funny part in the retelling was that it was such a forceful wave that it tangled my hair up into a nest.

When I had finished I went to the car and put my board on the rack before I went into the ladies room to rinse off and change. When I came out a guy that had been on the beach asked me where my board was. I said it was already on the car and he smirked, "Oh, I thought you broke it." I had never met this guy nor did I have any previous conversation with him.

I guess I'll never understand why people make snide remarks to complete strangers. At some point most everyone has been a beginner, changed equipment, or practiced when recovering from an injury. There are a lot of reasons athletes and amateurs make mistakes from time to time. The only way we can improve in a sport is by practice. There will always be someone more skilled than I at whatever sport I try. Simply because some smarty-pants decides to heckle me doesn't change that nor will it stop me from practicing.

You can read about golf etiquette here and surf etiquette here.

Monday, July 20, 2009

5 Questions With Sweet Spot Golf

If you've read anything about women in golf over the last year then you've probably heard of Sweet Spot Golf. The company has been featured on several golf blogs such as Golf Views, Real Women Golf, and I talked about them on Golf WRX last year. I was able to personally try their putters but haven't been able to test the rest of the line. When I met up with them last year they only had putters in a lefty but not the rest of the line. I recently caught up with Sweet Spot's Brian Allman once again to be a guest for five questions:

1. Tell me the history of Sweet Spot Golf - when did you start the company and what was your goal? How has that evolved?

In 2007 SSG was started from the idea of incorporating aerodynamics into the sport of golf. The designer for many years wondered why other sports like downhill skiing and bicycle racing were doing this but no one had yet brought it into golf. With that basic concept and the look of bicycle racing helmets, our club head design was born.

As the club went through the development stage we also started to ask the question, "What else can help the average golfer?" We soon realized that many players don't set up to the target properly and with that we created the Sweet Spot Golf Precision Positioning System. It's pretty simple, without proper target alignment at the moment of set up reaching the correct position on the golf course is a lot harder. It's been said many times that our clubs with this PPS help the average golfer begin their swing routine correctly for the moment they address the ball. We are the only manufacturer that carries this concept through all our clubs with the same head design on our driver, hybrids, and putter. We are developing a full line of clubs that we are planning for a Winter 2010 release of a full set including this design concept.

How has that evolved: we set out to have a men's, women's, and sports-branded line of clubs but have recently made a strategic decision to become exclusively a women's golf equipment company. This was a big revelation for us to move in this direction and we know we have made the right decision by all the positive feedback we have received. We feel strongly that the women's golf market, the fastest growing segment in golf today, is the right place for us and the most in need of fresh ideas as well as more functional equipment to fit the consumer's needs.

2. How often do you get out to golf? How long have you been involved in golf? Are you involved in or follow any other sports?

I love golf and I am an average player but since entering the golf industry I actually get to play less than ever before. Running a small company leaves very little time for play and most of the time I spend at golf courses tends to be at Charity events when I'm actually working the event (poor me...). We started this concept in early 2007 and are aiming for a full product launch at the PGA show in January 2010.

I'm a sports junkie, I follow EVERY sport including table tennis, cricket, just about anything...

3. So I have to know - what is your handicap? Do you game anything other than Sweet Spot products? What was your first set of clubs?

My handicap is playing golf...(ha ha ha), no I was a 19 and now not playing much so I'm guessing a bit higher now? (shh...don't tell anyone *Apryl's note - come on Brian, you knew I'd let that slip*)

OK, my first set of clubs were hand-me-down women's clubs... do you think my Aunt Sally knew something about me way back then? Now I use Sweet Spot clubs and Montech Irons.

4. What is unique about Sweet Spot clubs? What makes your company stand out from the others? Who is your target consumer?

Sweet Spot Golf is a product of the times. The traditions of golf are changing as the world changes and people want different things out of their game now than five years ago. Sweet Spot incorporates the high performance aspects of playing with a personalized lifestyle statement. Many women play golf for the social aspects of the game and now that fashion has crept into the sport Sweet Spot feels it's time to also have fashion in the equipment arena. Who says golf equipment can't have it's own personality other than that of the tour player won the last tournament? We think clubs, apparel, accessories, etc. can ALL be an integral part of the game. This can make a more fun experience by reflecting a more fashion forward player. I think everyone will agree that when you feel good about yourself you are more relaxed and you play better golf and our clubs help you do that on both the performance and lifestyle aspect of the sport. We will soon have a full assortment of colors for our clubs but right now with our Pink line, you can feel great about making the statement both on and off course.

I also care about finding a cure for breast cancer as well and we support the National Breast Cancer Foundation with the sale of these clubs.

Our target consumer is the avid golfer that wants more out of their game both in performance as well as personality. We want to be the fresh and fun alternative that is more responsive to the current consumers needs. We have no age demographic but we do seem to get players that are just as interested in having a fun experience on the course as they are scoring well and we love that approach which just points out, how many of us will ever be a professional golfer and should take the game so seriously that we can't have a good time while playing.

5. Do you have any plans to branch out to any other products? Bags, clothes, etc?

We have BIG plans to launch a full lifestyle Brand once we secure our position in the women's golf equipment arena. We follow fashion trends very closely and have some favorite apparel and accessory companies whom we feel are on the right track. We feel strongly that we can grow the Sweet Spot Brand to be much more than an equipment company. More importantly we feel consumers are ready for a new voice in this industry and hey... it might as well be us!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Sunday Sports Wrap - June 19, 2009

I'll spare everyone the whole whining about injuries thing this week and get closer to the usual posts. I've been toying with the idea of changing things up a bit for the Sunday Sports Wrap. The premise started as a summary of sporting events that were happening during the NFL off season. I was inspired by a group of friends that groaned there was nothing to watch on Sundays in the world of sports without the NFL. I disagree. More on that later (and I'm always happy to hear suggestions).

Here's a bit of what I saw today:

The Open:: Who says golf is boring without Tiger Woods? Don't get me wrong - I have no problem with the world's number one but the finish to the Open today was awesome! The announcers would not stop talking about Tom Watson's age. At 59 he's not your average Tour player. Since Thursday we heard about him atop the leaderboard. By Sunday, everyone had forgotten that Tiger missed the cut. Watson has won this event 5 times before over the years but this time was not to be. A blown last hole and playoff with Stewart Cink left him as number two for this one. I'm sure it is a bit hard to swallow. He's got nothing to be ashamed of. I am quite fond of how he showed that age is just a number and just because he is old enough to be a grandfather, he is still a competitor. Seriously, people that are not in their 20s are viable competitors. I just wonder when the media will catch on to that.

History was made in the event, however - Stewart Cink has captured his first win in a major. Congratulations to him!

Speaking of history - get your sports history fix here and here.

One more thing
- the US Open of Surfing is still happening here in SoCal through next Sunday, July 26.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Which Open Are You Watching

Today there is more than one Open Championship event taking place.

First, the Hurley US Open of Surfing is happening in Huntington Beach. There is a local calendar that tells you the heat schedule as well as one that is on the event site. If you aren't already there the beach is most likely already packing up even though I am writing this at 7:15 am PST. Get there soon.

Next, how can I overlook golf's Open? Although there is much focus on the leader, Tom Watson, many are abuzz with the news that Tiger Woods didn't make the cut. However, John Daly did make the cut and good for him! He seems to be back on the road to success. What I find interesting is that two-time winner Padraig Harrington isn't much of a threat. I'm scratching my head at the fact that after he won twice he decided that he needed to change his swing. Why fix what isn't broken? I've seen others do this with similar challenging results. Personally, I stick with the tried and true. If something works I will wear it out until it no longer does. Am I nuts?

Which Open are you watching this weekend?

Friday, July 17, 2009

Miscellaneous Rants And Whatnot - July 17, 2009

I'm feeling a post that is part Blogspotting, part Tales From The Inbox and all whatever comes together. Come along for the ride and you might see something you like.

Men In Kilts
: Heather from Real Women Golf has been spotted with a few gentlemen in kilts and has lived to tell about it. Surely this must have to do with her newly-appointed position. You go, Heather.

More On Surfari: Although I don't see it on their site yet I did get notice that Shayne McIntyre will be hosting another On Surfari screening on July 25. The events seem to be moving up the coast so I'm hoping they make it up here to Venice again. More info as I receive it.

Speaking of Surfing: Don't forget that the next Life Rolls On event is tomorrow in Zuma Beach. The two events after will be on the East Coast and the group returns to SoCal on September 13. Check the website for more details.

What To Wear? While you're at the beach you can sport the latest bikinis from Fighter Girls. They've introduced a new Brazilian cut in pink and white.

Follow Friday: If you're an action sports fan and have a Twitter account you really should be following @espnxgames. Seriously.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Follow The British Open

Is it just me or does golf's British Open seem like a bigger deal this year? As technology evolves there is a plethora of sources to get info about the event.

If you have DirecTV there is enhanced coverage.

Here's an iPhone app to follow the event.

Check out this widget to keep up.

These folks on Twitter are chatting up the event - some are even there:






How are you following the British Open?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - July 15, 2009

Can you believe that it is mid-July?

WNBA: The New York Liberty is giving away a pair of tickets to attend their game versus the Washington Mystics on July 30th! Enter for a chance to watch Shameka, Essence, Ashley, Janel, and the other ladies of the New York Liberty battle it out at Madison Square Garden. Click here for details on how to enter.

Timeless Torches:
Speaking of the Liberty, have you heard of the Timeless Torches? If you're tired of the usual basketball dance squad then check this group out. The Liberty website describes them this way:

The latest addition to the Liberty family is a little bit older and whole lot wiser. The Timeless Torches show that you don't have to be young to be a Liberty fan...just young at heart.

The latest dance group to grace The Garden consists of men and women over 40 who still want to share their Liberty love with the crowd. The Timeless Torches made their debut in 2005, and were a hit from the get-go.

Get your sports history fix here and here.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Blogspotting - July 15, 2009

It's been some time since I've done some blogspotting. I've been reading plenty but just keeping it to myself. Time to share! Blog networks and my Google reader are what keep me in the loop. Here are some good places/posts to read:

It's summer - why not learn to surf?

Once you learn how to surf you can check out Rincon Surf Blog for Ventura and Santa Barbara area surf happenings.

Speaking of happenings, there is a surf contest at Pt. Mugu in August. The Navy website link doesn't seem to be working right now but registration is still open as far as I know. Shoot me a line if you need the contact info for entries. I heard about the event from TRUNQ.

Speaking of TRUNQ, they'll be at the next They Will Surf Again event put on by Life Rolls On at Zuma Beach this Saturday, July 18.

Monday, July 13, 2009

5 Questions With Swing Reminders Golf

Today's guest is retired USAF 1st Sgt. Scott Jessee. Scott is now the "vetrepreneur" behind Swing Reminders and Life Reminders. You can follow him on his blog or Twitter for great reminders about golf and life.

1. How long have you been involved in golf? What other sports have you been or are you involved in? What do you like to follow?

I started playing golf in 1984, started doing club repairs in 1986, and then started organizing tournaments in 1992. All of this while in the Air Force. I have coached little league and basketball, about 10 years each. I was assistant coach for Bisbee High School Golf Team 2006-2009. I follow The University of Tennessee, Bisbee High School sports, Indianapolis Colts, Duke Basketball, Arizona Diamondbacks.

2. To you, what is the most challenging aspect of the game of golf? What is the most rewarding?

The mental aspect by far is the toughest. The most rewarding is taking a kid who has never hit a ball and watching them develop and learn to play this great game.

3. When did you start "Swing Reminders"? What was your motivation and what keeps you focused to continue? How do you stay so positive?

Swing Reminders actually came to me in a dream on Nov 19, 2006 (read about it on the website). It took about 6 months to dream the idea, put it to paper, and then produce the actual tokens. My wife Julie is my biggest motivator, she keeps me grounded and focused on the future. I won't say I used to be negative, but maybe a realist. Julie and I met and it changed my whole outlook on life. How influential can you be if you’re negative all the time?

4. What golfing pros do you feel are good role models? Are there others outside of golf (or even outside of sport) that you consider a good role model? Who are your role models?

Jack, Arnie, Payne Stewart, Nancy Lopez, Kenny Perry (I played Kenny's course last summer on vacation, it was terrific.), and Buddy Allin (he was one of my instructors at SDGA, now GAA, and a Vietnam Vet) are good role models. Outside of golf would be Coach K. and Peyton Manning. I'd have to say God for my role model, even though none of us will ever meet his standards, we can certainly try as hard as we can.

5. What is your involvement in junior golf and how do you think the game benefits young people? Do you consider yourself a role model in this capacity?

I taught my first Jr. Golf clinic in 2004, and do about 3 clinics per year. I love working with the kids. I just started a Non Profit Jr. Golf program called Junior Golf of Cochise County, Arizona. We live on the Mexican border and there are a lot of things kids can get into that aren't very good. My wish is to provide golf to as many kids as possible. They are the future of this great game. I guess that makes me a role model. Julie says certainly, but I like to think that if it weren't me, somebody else would do it.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Sunday Sports Wrap - July 12, 2009

I feel like I should be in a wrap. Ugh. I don't mean to complain but I am so stiff today from just a medium bucket at the range yesterday. This has motivated me to hijack the regularly scheduled Sunday Sports Wrap post to talk about sports injuries.

My injury did not start out as a sports one but in a car accident. I got quite the case of whiplash that I knew would eventually haunt me later. Over the years, I continued to surf, waterski, swim, and other things that use my shoulders and arms so the condition exacerbated. About two years ago I found out I have degenerative discs in my neck. There is pressure put on a nerve as well that translates to my right shoulder, elbow, and hand (good thing I'm a lefty).

Golf becomes difficult as you can imagine. I've had to take several breaks in the four years that I've played because of the injury. Lately my game has really improved but the injury has decided to really flare up. The last round I played was quite evident of this - I got through the first 9 holes with an awesome score and then fell apart a bit.

What's my point? I'm not fishing for sympathy - rather I just wanted to remind all of my athlete friends out there to take care of their bodies. I'm going back to the doctor, finding a new physical therapist, and doing my stretches and exercises. This will be my third try to find a PT that can help me but I'm not giving up. Even if you don't have a recurring injury please remember to stretch and use proper form - whatever your sport.

If you need your sports history fix you can find it here and general "today in history" here. Also, In Historic is an awesome blog that is full of sports history for every day. A list of what mainstream sports are happening today can be found here.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

These Are A Few Of My Favorite Tweeps

Yes, it happened. I was dragged kicking and screaming to Twitter. I know there is someone reading this and smirking right now - you know who you are.

At any rate, it has been quite fun so far. It really isn't so bad. I send silly messages to personal and internet friends almost every day. One of the best parts about the medium is that you can connect and talk to big brands. Duh, this is why they do - it to connect with their target audience and build brand awareness. I was surprised at how many brands are on there giving things away to followers and how often. Some of the bigger brands I like to talk to (and that talk back to me) are:





There are a plethora of actual sports figures online as well. Ian Poulter, Morgan Pressel, Christina Kim, John Daly, and Stewart Cink are are probably the tweetingest pro golfers out there.

Tony Hawk always seems to be tweeting quite regularly and was giving a bunch of swag away last week. Shawne Merriman is always talking about his workout and other everyday things. Project X Golf gave away shafts, hats, and shirts every day for quite a few days. ESPN X Games has been giving away tickets and other X Games 15 prizes. FunOutfitters has trivia contests very regularly and offers discounts on their merchandise.

Of course, there is a giant group of golf, surf, skate, and ski buddies on there that I exchange messages with all the time - too many to list here. I also have my football, baseball, and basketball buds. Then there are the Los Angeles locals. Yeah, too many categories to list. Seriously, everyone and every activity is represented.

It's pretty fun. Go take a look.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - July 10, 2009

Life Rolls On: Life Rolls On Foundation announced that actors Simon Baker, Jeffrey Donovan, and surf legend Rob Machado will serve as 2009 honorary event chairmen for the 6th Annual Night by the Ocean. Held at the Kodak Theatre Grand Ballroom at Hollywood & Highland, Night by the Ocean is LRO’s signature fundraiser, from which proceeds support Life Rolls On’s quality of life programs, spinal cord injury education campaigns and outreach to newly-injured young people and their families. For more information click here.

On July 18, Life Rolls On will hit Zuma Beach in Malibu, California for the fourth stop on its 10 city tour for They Will Surf Again (TWSA). A week later, on July 25, TWSA will roll into Cocoa Beach, Florida. Volunteers are needed for both. Click here for more information.

Join LRO at the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA, July 23-26, 2009 for North America’s largest surfing competition. As the Official Charity of the event, Life Rolls On will have an interactive booth, displays and a “They Will Surf Again Expression Session” featuring surfers with spinal cord injury, including LRO founder Jesse Billauer. Hurley and its partners are providing heart-pumping, non-stop activity, demonstrations, exhibits and booths surrounding the “50 Years at the Pier” celebration. Activities include Hurley’s Walk the Walk fashion competition (in which LRO ambassador Patrick Ivison will model), Elite-levl BMX courtesy of Nike 6.0 and the best skateboarders around competing in the Converse Coastal Carnage. With so much activity, the group could use your help. If you are interested in joining them for fun days, sunny skies and amazing waves, e-mail LRO Program Director Meghan Schinderle at Meghan(at)liferollson(dot)org with your availability! For event information and live webcast click here.

Fresh Air:
The Fresh Air Fund is looking for runners and sponsors to join the Fresh Air Fund-Racers team for the NYC Half-Marathon on August 16th. This is a great way to participate in NYC's premier summer road race while helping Fresh Air Fund children. Last summer's NYC Half-Marathon was a huge success and the Fresh Air Fund-Racers raised more than $125,000. For more information click here. The group is also still in need of Friendly Town hosts for next month. Host families open their hearts and home to a NYC child who would not otherwise have the opportunity to escape the hot, crowded city streets. You can find more information here.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

General Complaining - NFL

I haven't dedicated an entire post to complaining about the NFL in quite a while so I figured it was time. I did recently mention something about rookie salaries and occasionally take a shot at the NFL Network but have otherwise left football alone for several months. With that...

Yeah, rookie salaries...I must harp on that again. I really get tired of hearing these divas (yes, they ARE divas) believe that they are worth millions of dollars before they even step on the professional field. It reminds me a little bit of the job market right now. There are a crop of fresh college grads that believe they should be making 80K plus even though they have no experience. I must be getting old or something because all 18-24 year olds seem to think they are the most clever and deserving bunch to me. What happened to gaining experience and proving yourself? We've all had to do it - NFL or business world.

Next whine - the Bucs...I still can't get over the choice that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers made for their new head coach to replace Gruden. Maybe this guy is well liked and knows the team but wasn't Mike Shanahan or someone else that has won a Super Bowl or two available?

And to beat a dead horse even further...what the heck is up with the NFL Network? Does anyone else find it nearly unwatchable for 23.5 out of the 24 hours it is on every day? I know hubby is even tired of the incessant kissing up the hosts to to each other and the guests. It seems like some of the guys nearly break their arms patting themselves on the back. Yes, we get that you have one of the best jobs in broadcasting. How long do you think you can keep it if you bore the viewers to tears?

Finally, I must send my condolences to the family of Steve McNair. His wife and four children have quite a bit to deal with in this mess surrounding his death.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - July 8, 2009

Give Back: The New York Liberty and Nike Reuse-A-Shoe are teaming up and collecting your old, worn-out kicks at Madison Square Garden this Thursday, July 9th as the Liberty face off against the Sparks. Just bring your sneaks to the Mall Entrance of MSG and drop them in the Nike Reuse-A-Shoe bin!
Buy your tickets for the game here. Nike reuses your worn-out kicks and grinds them into a material for sports surfaces, playgrounds, and even Nike products. For more info click here.

Homeless World Cup: Nike and The Homeless World Cup are offering a $50,000 fund to produce a short film (5 minutes, no more than 10 minutes) capturing the Spirit, Unity, Victory of The Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup. The event is from 6-13 September 2009 at Arena Civica, Sempione Park, at the heart of one of the most football-crazed cities in the world. The film may be used for broadcast, digital channels, and public screenings. Submit your treatment (using the mandatory entry form here) to by midnight GMT, 31 July 2009 for a chance to win the opportunity.

The Homeless World Cup is an annual, world-class international football tournament energizing people who are homeless with the opportunity to change their lives. Players wear their shirt for their country, stand proud and over 70% change significantly by coming off drugs or alcohol, moving into homes, finding jobs, resuming their education, or becoming coaches, football players, leaders in their communities, or social entrepreneurs. The Homeless World Cup has triggered and supports grassroots football projects in over 70 nations working with over 100,000 players since the first Graz 2003 Homeless World Cup.

They are looking for a film that will bring those who don’t know about the Homeless World Cup immediately into the energy, action, and force of change. In telling the story of the Homeless World Cup they want you to capture the real issues and real changes in a fun, energetic way. As they step away, people should feel the truth of this quote from a Homeless World Cup player, “We destroyed the stereotype. We were cool.”

For the official Entry Form and Rules, Terms and Conditions click here.

On Surfari:
Quiksilver Waterman & Rusty Del Mar Presents A Night with Shayne McIntyre of Fuel TV's On Surfari on July 11th 7-9pm. The event is behind Rusty Del Mar. Shayne will be showing two episodes of On Surfari and discussing his experiences on the show. Post showing Q&A and autograph session. Free Sambazon! Popcorn and drinks will be served. The first 100 People receive a free raffle ticket. $1 Raffle - Shayne's Rusty board, shoes, sunglasses, tons of free goods! The raffle will benefit "Strong Heart House"

Today In Sports History is taking a break today for the first time in it's history for a Wednesday. If you want your trivia fix then click here as this is one of the places I look to get started.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

What's The Rush? Golf Pace Of Play

Yesterday I joined some relatives I hadn't seen in a while for 18 holes. I was really looking forward to it. On Sunday, hubby and I hit the range to work out some kinks and I just knew it was going to be a great round.

The first nine holes were awesome. The driver and 3 wood were cooperating and my short game had definitely improved. For once, hubby was only beating me by a few strokes. I did notice something coming up behind us though on the ninth was the speed golfer!

Okay, first let me just say that we had already let a twosome play through on the second hole. Even so, the cart computer showed we were only six minutes behind pace. We thought this was quite good considering one of our group was a bona fide beginner that had never played a full 18 before.

But alas, as I mentioned...when I was waiting my turn at the 9th tee box a guy with a push cart was jogging, nearly running, up to the tee. There were two others trailing behind him, trying to match the running start. Two of my group had already hit or else I would have insisted that speedy and the crew go before us. We played the hole and made the turn up to the clubhouse. I stayed with the carts while the rest of the group went in the clubhouse to fill up on food and drinks for the rest of the round.

Sure enough, speedy and his crew came running around the turn. They stopped long enough to talk to the starter and were kind enough to point to me and wave their hands around. Nice. The best part was watching speedy hit from the blue tees and stick a lovely 90-ish yard drive. His buddy got up and did about the same. Sweet. I figured they might want to work on their actual game as opposed to trying to run through a round but who am I to judge?

When the refreshments were full we got up to the 10th tee and the starter couldn't be nicer. We had let 2 groups through, got snacks/drinks, had a beginner in the group, and were still only 14 minutes behind. He mused that if those few minutes are that important in your life then perhaps golf is not the game for you. We agreed. He watched us all hit our first shot and wished us a fun round.

We thought we were safe now that speedy and his group were gone. We were wrong. After we teed off, a single (so we thought) was right up our backsides. Hubby offered to let him play through if he was alone and he took us up on the idea. He wasn't alone and he teed off into us on the fairway as did the other two with him. I never even heard a "Fore!" uttered. Okay, fine. We're there to enjoy ourselves. If you must go then please do. This guy gets into a bunker, takes three shots and can't get out, and finally picks up his ball. His two buddies end up in the trees, go searching for a ball, shank 20 yards over and over, and eventually pick up. We ended up waiting for them on the next few holes and they finally skipped an entire hole to get away from us.

We were able to enjoy the remainder of our round without any further interruption. I did see speedy and his crew on a hole adjacent to ours later and they tried to stare us down but I smiled and waved until they walked by. I felt sorry for them and the other group that let a few minutes made such a difference in their lives. I guess it made them feel better about themselves to judge us. Oh, and in case you were wondering - we finished the first 9 in 1:48 and the whole round was done in just over 4 hours on a 6,274 yard, par 70 course.

For those of you who don't play all the time you should know that it is expected etiquette to let a smaller/faster/more skilled group play through. The people I play with are always happy to let others go through as am I. Pace of play is a hot topic among golfers. This link has a survey that claims most golfers believe they are fast and others are slow.

When you're outright bad it is a bit silly to insist that you go in front of someone and then make the group that you just passed up wait on you. Being an outright jerk is never cool either. Unfortunately, in golf as in life you will run in to those folks now and then. I prefer to keep my blood pressure low and take the time to enjoy my round. I won't dilly dally and I'll let all of you speed golfers through, please just be cool about it!

Monday, July 6, 2009

5 Questions With Scot Duke - Business Golf Country Club

Today's guest is Scot Duke, founder of the Business Golf Country Club golf network. You haven't heard of BGCC? Read on as I let Scot introduce himself and answer 5 questions:

I am a fifth generation Texan who resides in Dallas. I spent 32 years in corporate America’s battlefield as an operations manager before being forced out the door into early retirement. Over those many years I saw too many times how business people attempted to use golf as a six hour sales pitch which was resulting in golf getting a bad name and thousands of people quitting golf because they either were tired of being hit on by sales people while on the golf course or could not figure out how to get an ROI out of playing golf. So, I set out to find how golf can be used as a business tool and to find someway to get the message across to all business golfers. I quickly found the only way today to communicate to the masses is through the internet. Five years ago I began my trek on the information highway to find out how to get to the golfers of the world to tell them what I learned from studying business golf. It was then when I also started to find out all of the things that people online suggest you do to get a message out to everyone on the internet that do not work. I also found there are not very many real golfers who use the internet regularly. I then set out to find out why golfers were not using the internet. Over the past few years I found that the deception, scams, schemes, and spam that has become the norm of the internet was why most golfers are not interested in coming online. My mission then included building a sanctuary for all real golfers to gather in a safe spam free environment so they can learn more about how to use the internet effectively for their personal and professional needs while meeting other like-minded people who play golf. All of this resulted into me creating and developing the Business Golf Country Club... ...that is where I am today...building a community for golfers.

1. How long have you been a golfer? What other sports are you involved in now or growing up? Other than golf, what sports do you follow?

I have been a golfer for over 30 years, but only been playing avidly for about 15 years. I played all of the team sports growing up and over the years have attempted to play almost all other sports. Out of all of the sports I have played I have not found one that holds my interest as much as golf. I understand all of the other sports since I have played them but bore easily to their violent approach to entertainment so I only follow golf.

2. How often do you get out on the course? What are your favorite courses that you've played on? What courses do you dream of/plan on playing?

During the year I studied business golf I was averaging 4 rounds a week. However, I have been dedicating more time to developing the BGCC and am now down to an average of 2 rounds a week, but have a goal of getting back to the norm of 3 rounds of golf a week. Living on a golf course helps me achieve this but I also travel around the country for business. I play golf nearly everywhere I go. I have played in a lot of areas of the country, but not been overseas to see those wonderful courses. I favor the beauty of the desert courses of Arizona and Southern California, but I have a list of golf courses I want to play someday. I am sure the BGCC will bring me to those areas. Pebble Beach, Bandon Dunes, Pinehurst, and of course August National have always been on the short list...maybe I’ll get to play them someday.

3. Okay, mandatory golf questions: What is your handicap and what's in the bag?

I currently have dipped down to a 10 handicap and playing more to a 15 due to some adjustments to my swing I was forced to make this year to overcome some old football and baseball injuries (another reason why I am not a fan of those sports anymore). However, under the watchful eye of the PGA and LPGA instructors I have had the fortune to meet over the years and from the golf school I plan on attending soon I feel certain that I can get back to the single digit handicap before I am forced up to the forward tees.

In my bag... Ping G-10 Driver, Titleist 975 13°, Cleveland 17°, Titleist 22° fairway woods, Titleist 802 forged irons, 48° , 52° and 60° Vokey Wedges, Odyssey (not sure the model) putter and hit Titleist Pro-V1 balls.

4. When did you start Business Golf Country Club? What is your main focus and what do you hope to accomplish with the network?

The concept of the BGCC began in early 2008. I launched the Alpha as a group on LinkedIn in August of 2008. Within in two weeks the number of business golfers interested in joining the private club grew so fast I was forced to move to a platform that had fewer limitations. So I continued the Alpha development of the concept by moving over to NING this past January. During my development of the BGCC, Dave Bisbee, PGA teaching professional, former tour player and president of eGolfGroup, contacted me about developing a synergistic partnering on several projects related to the development of business golf. Our business relationship grew positively and I brought Dave in to joint venture the development and management of the BGCC.

We have been very excited with the acceptance of the BGCC within the amateur and professional golf community and are now working day and night to jump the BGCC to Beta. This will open the door to all the things business golf can offer golfers and is much, much more than what is being shown in the BGCC today.

The BGCC is a club for golfers, business golfers, and golf professionals. The purpose of the club is to help bring more golfers online and get more people into the game of golf by providing them a safe environment they can connect to others online that offers not just the obvious business networking opportunities, but services and products that ad in the development of their golf game as well as their business needs.

In the next stage of the BGCC, there will be Regional Chapter Club developed around the country to accommodate the members who reside in those areas. The BGCC Chapter Clubs will offer members an offline opportunity to meet other members and play some business golf. Members, of course, will be offered tremendous discounts on a number of services and products we have found worthwhile. And much, much more .

5. Who can join BGCC and how do they do it? Can just anyone join or are their certain requirements?

The BGCC is not going to be for everyone and that is OK. The BGCC target member is everyone who really gets golf…who sees golf as not just an opportunity to get out and drink beer, not to say that the members of the BGCC are not going to drink beer. The BGCC is for golfers who also see golf as a healthy way to enjoy life, meet people, and learn. We encourage any real golfer who is looking to gain a better understanding of golf, business, and the internet to join the BGCC. There are few requirements to join. Every member must have an above average level of interest in golf to become a member. To show they are serious about themselves and image they need to portray to gain trust from others the BGCC only allows golfers who submit a headshot photo of themselves to join. We take the club seriously and monitor its activity to sort out individuals who attempt to gain entrance to the club for the sole purpose to market to the membership. We want members to be able to relax and experience how building business relationship through casual conversation can produce more than a spam email. Our membership exit program is much easier than the entry process. To join click here. Look forward to seeing you there.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Sunday Sports Wrap - July 5, 2009

Wimbledon: Roger Federer is fighting it out with Andy Roddick right now for the men's final. Yesterday's women's final was awesome, pitting Venus vs. Serena. The younger Williams sister prevailed.

Golf: Tiger Woods and Anthony Kim are paired up for round four of the AT&T Invitational. The two shared the lead at the start of the day and many hope that the event ends up in a shootout between them. In fact, there has been speculation that AK is next in line for greatness. All said, the two Californians should be fun to watch! I'll have to catch the updates on my phone or something because it is just too nice to stay inside today for me!

Okay, this is a really great shopping weekend - whatever you are in the market for. I scored a brand new surfboard yesterday including all accessories (like a sweet cover) for a very nice price. I'll have new pics and stories up using it in the very near future. It's a bit shorter than I'm used to and it's got a bit more of a point to it as well (I usually have a fish or an egg). This should be fun.

Today in Sports History:

1946 - The bikini made its debut during an outdoor fashion show at the Molitor Pool in Paris.

1997 - Martina Hingis, 16, became the youngest Wimbledom singles champion in 110 years as she beat Jana Novotna in the women's final.

- Baseball Hall of Famer Ted Williams died at age 83.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

"Is This A Sport?" Revisited - Competitive Eating

Last year I pondered whether competitive eating was a sport and many of you weighed in. I figured we'd revisit the topic. Here's some fun links about competitive eating and the famous Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest:

Read about competitor Crazy Legs Conti - the opening paragraph is priceless:

Competitive eater Crazy Legs Conti is talking to me about complexities surrounding the sports. He's telling me how heat and humidity can cause a hot dog frank to expand and contract. He's describing how not everyone's mandibles work in the same way and comparing the competitive eating circuit to Jack Kerouac's "On the Road."

Check out In Historic with a post about the takedown of Kobayashi.

Also, this article brought to my attention that you can watch the 2009 contest on ESPN 360. If it's on ESPN then it is almost really a sport, eh?

Friday, July 3, 2009

Photo Ball Markers Review

I recently found the website Photo Ball Marker and got the opportunity to review their product. These are just what the name says they are - ball markers with pictures on them. In a word: cool! I found the premise neat, the ordering process easy, and the final product a great little accessory. The price of about $30 including shipping makes this an easy gift to give or a fun, personal touch to your golf game.

All you have to do is go to the ordering page and upload three pictures that you want to put on the ball markers. Next, you line up the images and then choose divot tool, hat clip, or just magnets. Fill out your info, pay, and your order is complete.

My pictures don't really do these the justice they deserve. I've got my silly dog drinking from a bowl, my 17-year-old cat curled up in a ball, and my two baby cats cuddled together. The company warned me that the one of my old, grey kitty might not come out but it does look great in person. In fact, all three look great in person and I opted for the hat clip. I'll be using my new clip with one of the magnets on the course come Monday.

You can pick any personal picture you want for a marker that nobody else will have. I think it is a cool idea and the reasonable cost makes it a great find for yourself or as a gift.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Rubio To New York?

Today's guest post is another submission by Zach Smart. Zach Smart is an award-winning writer whose work has been featured in a number of sources--The New Haven Register, The Rivertowns Enterprise,, and Big East Basketball Report--to name a few. Mr. Smart is a New York native and currently operates ZSmart's Sports Blog.

With Donnie Walsh promising to reach out to the Point Guard-crazy Minnesota Timberwolves about Ricky Rubio, we suddenly have grand illusions about the Knicks re-writing the script this season and luring in LeBron.

With the Knicks never seizing to disappoint, what else can we be but positive about about this downtrodden, piecemeal team?

I wasn't drinking the cool aid at first, but Rubio's flair for the game and Olympic dominance has suddenly sold me on the paper-slim neophyte.

His name mirrors that of some Latin singer, his game mirrors that of a new generation Pistol Pete in the frame of Dan Dickau on yayo.

Big Sully illustrated a great point via text message when I was steering my beat-to-death Honda through Yonkers.

"I like that we got Darko," said Sully.

So, Larry Brown isn't the only man on the planet pulling for Darko to pan out.

He continued, "We got to get Rubio. We need a good point guard to entice LeBron."

It's hard to imagine a property of 1990 operating offense in the high-stakes, win or get booed, pressure cooking New York City landscape. Still, if he's talented enough to compete he's talented enough to compete.

Plus, D'antoni's speedball, go-go style is one which Rubio is tailor-made for.

The 6-foot-4 cat-quick guard seems to be a step ahead of everyone else on the floor and can create buckets easier than Sunday morning.

I'm not sure why the T-Wolves went on a point guard-mad rampage on draft night.

I know I can't speculate but maybe they were taking Jonny Flynn as the ready-made player to test Rubio and use one of the two as trade bait....still, that's more questionable than Seth Rogan's taking home Meghan Fox on a Tuesday evening.

"If he doesn't want to play in Minnesota than they (Minnesota) gotta trade him. He will play in New York City I imagine," Big Sully said.

I believe dealing Q Brick was a good move, as was acquiring Darko--who has the opportunity to revive his image as the biggest bust since Sam Bowie.

An interior presence is something the Knicks are in dire need of.

Darko and Jordan Hill could start as a stopgap measure in that area.

This would also prove proficient because it would help take some stress off of David Lee. Lee was forced into guarding the other team's best big and defense has never been the double-double machine's calling card.

While this won't give D. Lee a free pass on D, it could help him establish himself as a go-to-scorer.

Lee averaged 16 points and 12 boards last season, albeit had little help inside. Jerome James' behemoth self was a fixture on the bench...

The triumvirate of Lee, Darko, and Jordan Hill would help clog up the lane a bit and allow Lee to roam freely. The blue-collar bastard can board up, hustle, and score buckets with the best of them.

But will Lee--he of the shallow slingshot--be in orange and blue next season? That remains to be seen as both he and energy-bleeding spark plug Nate Robinson have been dominant on the rumor mill. They've generated more rumors than a Perez Hilton blog for crying out loud.

The talking heads are saying the Knicks are probably going to lose Lee.

"Maybe use him in a sign and trade for Rubio," Sully opined.

Still, Big Sully accentuated the positive on the subject of Rubio, the Spanish wunderkind whose been shredding up the professional scene since he was 14. I can only put a few athletes in that early pro category: Michelle Wie, a teenager who has been dominant since 2005.

Sully is tattooed to the belief that Rubio delivers pinpoint passes, is cheetah-quick and virtually a step ahead of everyone else on the floor. These aspects are extremely paramount to success for the Knicks' immediate future.

Sully doesn't believe that Rubio's boyish, toothpick frame will render him guardable.

"That's the kind of point guard Lebron needs," said Sully, who's been envisioning LeBron in Orange-n-Blue for quite some time now.


1 of 2: Rubio, Nate, King James, Wilson Chandler, and Chris Bosh. Darko, Gallinari coming off the knot.

2 of 2: Jordan Hill off the bench. How's that sound?

1 of 2: Rubio, Nate, King James, Wilson Chandler, and Chris Bosh as a starting lineup. Darko, Dano off the bench....

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - July 1, 2009

She's Back:
Candace Parker returned to practice with the Los Angeles Sparks yesterday:

Parker practiced fully for the first time since her maternity leave but told the Los Angeles Times she would have a better idea about how she is adjusting after contact drills Wednesday.

"I think that it's going at the right speed," Parker told the Times.

The reigning WNBA MVP and rookie of the year had a girl, Lailaa, in mid-May.

Lisa Leslie also returned to practice after missing a few games. Leslie plans to retire after this season.

Putt This: I just discovered that SeeMore Putters has a blog. Cool. They have some pretty awesome putter and headcover designs.

Okay, call me crazy but I just cringe when I hear a story about an NFL rookie "holding out". Seriously! Read this:

Cincinnati Bengals rookie Andre Smith, the sixth overall pick in the draft, said Tuesday that he hopes to be signed and in training camp on time because a holdout could hamper his transition from left tackle to right tackle.

Okay, let me get this straight. You worked all of your life to be the best at what you do. You got picked in the first round - something 99.99% of people who ever picked up a football can only dream of. Next - you hold out. I'm wondering what the difference between like 30 and 35 million is. Not sure if that what this boils down to but the amount of money these untried, unproven guys get is just insane. Am I the only one that sees the absurdity here?

Today In Sports History

1997 - Nevada Athletic Commission suspends Mike Tyson for biting Evander Holyfield

Happy Birthday
Rod Gilbert and Carl Lewis