Saturday, January 31, 2009
Super Bowl Sunday is tomorrow and what was once a day or two has become an entire week. Really, it has...just ask ESPN! Super Bowl Week has speculated, guessed, polled, and every other verb you can find that describes predictions. There isn't much for me to say at this point so I just thought I'd point you to the Super Bowl 43 website and wish you all a safe and happy weekend. I'm actually in Tampa but not going to the game (sad face). I will be going to an awesome Super Bowl party, however.
What are you doing for the Super Bowl?
Friday, January 30, 2009
Here is a contest that I was alerted to yesterday that I thought I would share with everyone. Candace Parker has become one of the most recognizable names in women's sports and has teamed up with adidas for a new contest. Below is the full press release:
ADIDAS AND CANDACE PARKER EMPOWER FEMALE ATHLETES TO SHARE PERSONAL STORIES IN “ME, MYSELF” TRAINING CONTEST
Contest searches for three real women to be featured alongside WNBA MVP in new campaign
PORTLAND, Ore. (January 26, 2009) – adidas announced today that starting February 1 it will host an enter-to-win promotion encouraging women to share their real stories about training struggles and successes. Three entrants whose inspiring stories receive the most votes will star in the new women’s ‘Me, Myself’ campaign alongside adidas basketball star Candace Parker.
“adidas presented this project early on and it really hit home for me. It was a determining factor in my decision to join the adidas family,” said Parker. “It celebrates women of all ages and athletic abilities and shows that despite our struggles we can achieve our impossible.”
This distinctive and inspirational new women’s imagery celebrates individuality, confidence, and motivation through a series of intimate portraits depicting women during key moments in their fitness routines and daily lives. The campaign features real women alongside Parker, 2008 WNBA MVP and Rookie of the Year, and throughout the month of February, consumers are invited to become the New Face of the ‘Me, Myself’ campaign:
* Consumers can place their photo in the ‘Me, Myself’ campaign creative and share their stories and sources of inspiration both in-store and online.
* Participants can invite friends and family to vote for them via an online widget compatible with Facebook and other networking sites.
* The three entrants whose stories are chosen will take part in a professional photo shoot with Parker in the spring and images from the shoot will be used in ‘Me, Myself’ in-store and online.
* Contest retail partners include adidas Sport Performance stores, shopadidas.com, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Hibbett Sports, Sports Chalet and Scheel’s stores across the US, as well as Paragon Sports in NYC.
“Our goal was to create a contest that not only celebrates women’s achievements but allows all participants to learn from each other’s stories,” said Britt Jorgenson, US brand marketing director, adidas sport performance. “Candace is coming off a remarkable year; she won Gold in Beijing, took home the Rookie of the Year award, and was selected MVP of the WNBA. Her inspirational story lends itself perfectly to this campaign and we hope it encourages women to share their personal successes and triumphs.”
The ‘Me, Myself’ campaign also includes the launch of the new adidas women’s site which will be home to an innovative styling tool that allows users to create and personalize their own color palette so they can mix and match outfits while browsing through the key styles and products featured in the new adidas women’s collection.
Check out the contest and let me know if you enter!
Thursday, January 29, 2009
Golf: If you are a complete golf junkie then you must register for the forums and check out Golf WRX's coverage of the 2009 PGA Merchandise Show. The Show is on in Orlando and runs through Saturday. I'm with them now and getting ready to head over to the Convention Center shortly.
Soccer: Because I Played Sports featured a story about a co-ed soccer game in Iran. Yes, you read that correctly.
Basketball: Reading through And One's coverage of the Cavs game is both thorough and amusing. Read it.
Football: Check out part one of the Chicks in the Huddle Super Bowl predictions.
Speaking of football, don't forget about the high school girls flag football campaign. Women's Football Talk has continuing coverage.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tennis: Serena Williams has advanced to the semi-finals at the Australian Open. The temperature during her match was about 104F. Andy Roddick has advanced in the men’s to unseat the reigning champion. Novak Djokovic succumbed to the extreme heat and allowed Roddick to move on.
Another sign of impending doom: The poll question on ESPN’s website asks, “What will be the outcome of the pregame coin toss before Super Bowl XLIII?” Not surprisingly – the poll sits at a 50/50 split. You think?
Tiger watch: The golf world is abuzz with speculation of the return of Tiger Woods. Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia has narrowed the gap at number 2 in the world and is closing in on Tiger…for now…
Today in Sports History
1960 – The NFL announces Dallas Cowboys (1960) and Minnesota Vikings (1961) franchises
1995 – In the 83rd Australian Men’s Tennis final Andre Agassi defeats Pete Sampras (46 61 76 64)
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
I was involved in a conversation about women's football over the weekend and someone asked about the history of women in the sport. I knew there were tackle football teams in the past and other games with varied rules throughout time. I found a few different sources that talk about women in the game over the years:
Women's Professional Football League gives a detailed timeline
A historical account on the Sacramento Sirens, an IWFL team, website
Another history that talks about women in flag football and says that football was played in ancient times
Today, it is exciting to note that flag football is being organized in some states at the high school level for girls. Women's Football Talk brought this to my attention and is doing what their part to spread the word about fundraising efforts to get another state what it needs to participate. As it stands, girls in Florida and Alaska have this sport available to them. The NFL is also involved and you can read more about the campaign here.
Monday, January 26, 2009
Kat Byles, Communications & Media Director for the Homeless World Cup, put her busy schedule on pause for a moment to give me a recap of the 2008 event.
1. What was the most challenging thing about pulling off the Melbourne 2008 Homeless World Cup? The most rewarding?
Time zones and the distance to Australia was a big challenge! Most nations this year had to travel to the other side of the world to participate and raise nearly double the funding to get there. Some teams had to travel for nearly 4 days. It really showed their dedication to participate. So when the players were supported by over 50,000 fans during the finals day in a packed out Federation Square in the heart of the City of Melbourne, this was amazing. However, the most rewarding for me personally was seeing 80 women at this year's tournament and Zambia become the first Women's Homeless World Cup Champions. The attitude of the women and support of each other was exceptional. Really wonderful!
2. How much of the action did you get to watch? Were you able to take in most of the matches or were you busy behind the scenes?
I got to see a lot of action, which was great. There are some must see matches during the tournament that even tea with the queen wouldn't keep you from. For the first time in the tournament's history Scotland were drawn against England in a quarter final. Scotland reigning champions came with a strong team with their sights on retaining the trophy. England fielded one of their best teams since the first tournament in Graz 2003. The tension was sky high with both teams determined to win. It was a very fast, tight game that went to penalties. In what now seems to be a tradition in England one of the best players on the team sent the ball skyward and Scotland went through to the Semi-Finals. The semi final Ghana v Afghanistan could easily have been the final. Brilliant play and when it went to penalties the players from Afghanistan could not watch. They made it through to the final and went on to become champions.
3. What were some of the most memorable stories of the athletes for 2008?
They are all amazing. Each player has an incredible story to tell. You can meet some of them in the daily videos that were made by the players and also see some of their dream goals here.
The most memorable team for me this year was Belgium. They had a team in the tournament for the first time in Melbourne. They did not win a single match. However, one player has won his battle against alcohol. Another player has a job. Another player has a home. They won the bravery cup for their demonstration of real courage and determination. They were a team that won the hearts of everyone.
4. What do you feel was the defining moment that captured the spirit of the event this year?
The spirit of fair play. Players fought really hard to win their games. However as soon as the whistle went and the match was over, whether they had won or lost, they went straight away and celebrated with the other team. They were so happy to be playing for their country, so happy to be in Melbourne and united with all the other players. There were many comments that this was an excellent example for the professional football players and teams to adopt. It made a very exciting, competitive atmosphere that was also a real celebration.
5. Do you get any time off or are you right up to planning for Milan 2009? How are locations chosen for the HWC?
We are now on the road to Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup which is all set for 6-13 September. Then we will go on to South America and we hope to announce the location shortly. A city and nation will bid to host the Homeless World Cup. The best bid wins.
Here are previous HWC-related interviews and stories:
5 Questions With The Homeless World Cup
5 More Questions With The Homeless World Cup
Afghanistan Wins Homeless World Cup
Homeless World Cup Starts Monday!
5 Questions With Street Soccer Coaches
Street Soccer Athletes
Sunday, January 25, 2009
Listen: Starting at 3:00pm PST today I will be a guest host on Women’s Football Talk. I am both excited and honored. Listen, call in, make fun of me, or log in to the message board to give me a hard time. You can also just call in and be nice, of course. Either way I would appreciate the listens. This is a weekly live show and when the IWFL season starts again I’ll be giving periodic reports about the Southern California Breakers.
Golf: Two big events wrap up today. The Bob Hope Classic has already been an eventful tournament. Pat Perez broke a record on Friday only to have Steve Stricker break another and pull ahead going in to the final day. The European Tour’s Qatar Masters also ends today.
NCAA Hoops: There is one women’s and a few men’s games to follow today.
Winter X Games: The Games finish up today with events like the SkierX and Snowboard SuperPipe finals. If you missed the events it looks like you can get most of it on iTunes. The link on the EXPN talked about free downloads but when I checked on Saturday there was only one free video, another for $1.99, and a “season pass” for $8.99. You can get highlights on ESPN’s video section and I bet you can see some or all of the games rerun at a later date as well.
Today in Sports History
1924 – The first Winter Olympic Games open in Chamonix, France
1939 - Joe Louis KOs John Henry Lewis in one round for the heavyweight boxing title
1989 - Michael Jordan scores his 10,000th NBA point in his 5th season
Saturday, January 24, 2009
Yesterday's ranting talked about what I've been missing...well...I am also missing the Winter X Games. Where have I been? The games started on January 22 and will end tomorrow, January 25. I still can't believe that this is the 13th Winter X Games. How time flies. So you don't miss anything - check this link for all of the results. The events with snowmobiles have been very interesting with riders attempting double backflips and other insane tricks.
Even though I missed watching it, Serena Williams has advanced to the 4th round of the Australian Open. Rafael Nadal is still in the mix and looking like he means it as usual.
Have you ever watched the movie Hooligans? It's been out since 2005 and I finally caught it on cable last night. Never having lived in the UK, I can't comment on how accurate the depiction is but it sure was interesting to watch.
Listen to Women's Football Talk tomorrow starting at 3:00 pm PST as I have the honor of being a guest host! This weekly show interviews players, coaches, and others involved in women's football around the country. Call in or listen and light up the message board! Try not to miss it!
Friday, January 23, 2009
For one, I am missing the Australian Open. I haven't mentioned it at all this week as if it didn't even exist. Venus Williams is already out and Ana Ivanovic will not be in the finals either. You can get all of the latest news at the official website.
Secondly, I can't tell you the last time I was able to sit and watch an entire Premier League match. There is plenty to talk about also - both Liverpool and Chelsea are rumored to have takeovers in the near future. Manchester United and Liverpool are on top of the league with Chelsea just behind.
In addition, I am missing out on some golf. Pat Perez set a PGA Tour record for 36 holes with a 124 total and is on top at 20 under par. On the European Tour, the Qatar Masters is anyone's title at this point.
Don't get me wrong - I am very grateful to be too busy working to keep up on every little bit of sports. Very grateful!
What are you missing lately?
Thursday, January 22, 2009
It should be no surprise that UConn is dominating women's basketball.
Speaking of dominant women, here is a list you should read.
Talks of a sports czar in government point out regulations and rule changes that many believe are necessary.
The Kobe vs. LeBron game is still being talked about. Not everyone is happy about the outcome.
Stories abound of how unusual it is to have the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl.
Speaking of football, this post about Mean Joe Greene is quite interesting.
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Politics: For the first time in my memory, the sports world came to a halt to watch the Presidential Inauguration. ESPN even covered the event and still has a story on the front page. This is the sort of world I recall my grandparents telling me about - where everyone cared about the world around them and got involved. Let's do more of that.
Super Bowl: We all know how wild it is that the Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl. I'll not go over that again and just point you to the Super Bowl website for all of the facts, stories, and info that you could possibly want.
Cycling: Lance returns. Really, just check out the eerie pic on ESPN. I'm excited to see Lance Armstrong return but frightened by the image they chose to use. I get that they are trying for the whole Star Wars thing but it looks quite odd.
Today in Sports History
1951 - Babe Didrikson-Zaharias wins LPGA Tampa Women's Golf Open
Happy Birthday to Jack Nicklaus and Hakeem Olajuwan
Tuesday, January 20, 2009
NFL: The Arizona Cardinals are in the Super Bowl. Yes, my friends, it is a sign of impending doom. After the game on Sunday I had to look outside of my window to assure that I did not see any donkeys or pigs flying. Nope, there were none such sightings. Even so, one player on the team could not help but whine about the game. I just don’t get that? How is it you are on the way to the Super Bowl, your whole team is celebrating, and you are complaining about your lack of playing time? Apparently, Anquan Boldin thinks he has a reason to complain. I can think of a lot of people that would like to be in his position right now. I just don’t understand that mentality. Yes, that is another sign of an upcoming disaster – you are on your way to the Super Bowl but can only complain. Interesting.
Poker: Yes, as the video above suggests, I have thought that poker being broadcast on sports channels is also quite silly. This is not a new observation, just one I haven't discussed in a while. Yes, there is strategy and skill involved. I am just of the opinion that calling poker a sport is truly stretching the definition. You can disagree, its okay. I believe that chess and spelling bees are also questionable on sports channels and there must certainly be something else out there that they could broadcast. In defense of all of these; there is a competition, a winner, and a loser. To some, this is all you need to have a sport. To each their own!
Beer Pong: You heard me correctly, beer pong. ESPN.com has a feature on this new pastime. No, I did not have to dig deep in the website; there was a link to this gem on the front page! Just so you know, this is taken very seriously. Just follow this link to the World Series of Beer Pong. I’m not making this up.
What signs of the apocalypse have you noticed in sports lately?
Monday, January 19, 2009
Atlanta native B.J. Hathaway is a true golf professional that you can find at Augusta Golf Instruction in Augusta, GA. With a B.S. in Business Management, he has since added certifications such as Golfing Machine Authorized Instructor and Medicus Certified Instructor. The AGI site says that B.J. is one of only 98 teachers worldwide designated to hold a "Bachelors in Golf Stroke Engineering." Go to the AGI site and you'll see other glowing recommendations about his expertise. In addition, he has recently started a blog in which he will share his knowledge. I roped B.J. in from the range to be my guest for 5 Questions today.
1. How long have you been involved in golf? Did you play as a child or pick up the game as an adult? What other sports have you played competitively or otherwise?
30 years! I did not know golf existed until age 10. My parents took me to a practice round at The Masters and I have been hooked since. I played high school football, soccer, and basketball and played on two college golf teams.
2. What are the most challenging parts of your job as a teaching professional? Most rewarding?
The most challenging part of teaching golf is changing a person's perspective on what it takes to have a good golf swing. Some people expect a golf lesson to be a fix-all, but don't understand the work and commitment it takes to build a solid golf swing. The most rewarding part is the look on a student's face when they hit a ball further and straighter than ever before with less effort and understand it's about proper mechanics: effortless power and not powerful effort!
3. Is there one thing that you see nearly everyone doing that ruins their swing? In other words, what is the most common error you see golfers making?
Most people try to scoop the ball into the air and don't maintain a flat left wrist. This disturbs the geometry of the swing and is the cause of many poor shots. The first Imperative of The Golfing Machine is having a flat left wrist at impact!
4. In your opinion, what PGA/LPGA tour pros have the best swings? Why or why not should the average golfer try to emulate their swing?
Stuart Appleby probably has the most technically correct swing on Tour with solid fundamentals, balance, posture, and impact alignments. On the LPGA, I would watch Paula Creamer, but all of those ladies have good rhythm- one of the essentials to good golf. The average golfer should certainly watch the Tour pros and try to understand the fundamentals of any good golf swing. But..... every golfer is a hitter or swinger and unless you are physically built like a certain player in regards to size, natural rhythm, strength, etc.- you should not try to exactly duplicate a swing. Learn the fundamentals and make your own swing! Trevino didn't swing like Nicklaus and neither would have made it to the top if they tried to copy each other, but they both had correct alignments and fundamentals and they made the best use of their own style.
5. Okay, out with it - what is your handicap and what is in the bag?
Well, with a constantly sore back and left shoulder I've been able to maintain a 4 handicap. If I could get more time to practice and play at least once a week that would help! In my bag: Tom Wishon woods & irons, Miura & Epon wedges, Positive putter.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
NFL: Yeah, it is THAT weekend. The one you have waited for to find out who will be in the Super Bowl. It's halftime and I'm watching the game at home as any other sport fan would - stuffing my face and drinking and adult beverage. Larry Fitzgerald has been on fire for the Cardinals in the first half. The state of Arizona must be more than elated. Later today it the Steelers vs. Ravens. That will be a great game to watch for sure.
Oh, and you want to know how busy I have been? It took me until recently to realize that I will be IN Tampa for Super Bowl weekend. I'm in Orlando earlier in the week and was so busy planning that golf-related trip that I didn't realize it was Super Bowl weekend. I have said before that I have sports ADD, now do you believe me?
Side note: I totally saw the Gruden firing coming for weeks! Where were you?
Speaking of football: Don't forget that Women's Football Talk radio is on every Sunday at 3:00pm PST. I am please and honored to announce that they have asked me to be a guest host next week on the 25th! I'm quite excited about it. The season is coming very soon!
Today in Sports History
1951 - The NFL takes control of the failing Baltimore Colts
1973 - Orlando Cepeda signs with the Boston Red Sox, making him the first player signed by a team specifically to be a designated hitter.
Saturday, January 17, 2009
Every new town I happen to visit I have the overwhelming desire to take pictures of the local stadiums. Sure, I like to get other landmarks here and there as well. I have pics of Times Square from my recent NYC trip and always get the obligatory recognizable places. My absolute weakness that sends me to total geekdom is stadiums and sports landmarks. While some women dream of a Paris shopping vacation (which I’m not opposed to some good shopping at all), my ideal vacation would be to hit all of the historic stadiums and sports landmarks. On my list to see before I die: Lambeau Field, Wrigley Field, Joe Robbie Stadium (or whatever it is called now – you know it is where the Dolphins play), Cooperstown, and Canton just to name a few. I’ve got to get to the UK and see a Man U and/or Chelsea game as well, some rugby, and cricket. I also want to go to every single Dodgers home game for one season. I’ll save that goal until the current ownership has been removed. They have enough of my money for now.
At any rate, I have some pics of some of the stadiums that I have visited over the years in the slideshow above. There’s Camden Yards, Madison Square Garden, Chavez Ravine, the Coliseum, and Invesco Field (which will always be Mile High to me). There are SEVERAL that I have been to that are missing from this collection. I have been to the old RFK stadium (saw the Redskins play the 49ers when Steve Young and Jerry Rice were still playing and also saw them play against the Giants when Jason Sehorn was still on the team), Candlestick Park (saw Bryant Young’s last home game), Raymond James Stadium, Tropicana Field, the Ice Palace (or whatever it is called now in Tampa where the Lightning plays), Staples Center, Great Western Forum, and somewhere else that I am forgetting. My college graduation ceremony was actually at the Ice Palace in Tampa (okay, I think it is the St. Pete Times Forum now) and I got to address the crowd and introduce one of the speakers. I will not get pictures of a few of those places for obvious reasons (as in, they no longer exist). The stadium I have been to the most times in my life has to be, hands down, Chavez Ravine. This is why I get so darn sensitive about the Dodgers.
At any rate, when you are traveling, many stadiums offer tours. For example, Invesco Field has a Colorado Sports Hall of Fame and tour of the stadium. I was standing ON THE SIDELINE and nearly lost my mind. I have also been on the field at Raymond James and thought I would just die.
Yes, I am a complete dork and totally in on it.
What is your weakness when it comes to sports? Is it having to see and photograph every stadium possible like me? Do you have a different thing that puts you in the dork category?
Friday, January 16, 2009
Most of the US is freezing or has had plenty of snowfall for your favorite winter sport. Although temperatures in the L.A. Basin have been in the 70s and 80s, the mountains are primed for snowboarding, skiing, tubing, etc. The rest of the country has had its fair share of cold and snow so this weekend sounds like a prime time to get on the slopes. I've collected links for different areas that give you the latest updates on the conditions around the country and a couple of International spots:
California Snow looks at the entire state
Ski Tahoe is specific to the Lake Tahoe area
Snow.com covers Colorado resorts
Ski Vermont has information for the whole state
Ski PA tells you where to head in the Keystone State
I Ski NY gives you the ski areas of New York
Canada has a site dedicated to direct you to ski and snowboarding locations
Ski Europe has resources for the hot spots on the continent
From what I understand, there are fun and somewhat dangerous snow activities to do if you live in a flat area and can't get to the mountains. I'm sure I'd be right out there with you sliding on pieces of cardboard/plastic, being pulled behind cars, snowboarding off the top of the house, and other absurd things. But seriously, be careful! Certainly there is a safe place to ice skate or sled? Don't be one of those folks we laugh at on the bloopers shows. Be safe!
What is your favorite thing to do in the snow?
Thursday, January 15, 2009
On Surfari - On Surfari is back with a new episode tonight on FuelTV. Shayne and Shannon are in Nicaragua and have an upcoming episode in Russsia.
Haxey Hood - I had no idea what the game of Haxey Hood was until Katharine sent me this link about the current champion. It involves a Fool, English footballers, and a tradition that is quite interesting.
Fitness - The 2009 National Body Challenege kicked off at the beginning of this month. If you are looking to get fit all you have to do is register on the site and get tips, recipes, and many other resources. It is that time of year that everyone makes resolutions to change. I think I've mentioned before that I like to make goals and do them when I think of them and not make a resolution for a new year. However, if it works for you to make a resolution and you get fit - go for it and good luck!
General Thank You! In case I haven't said it before or don't say it enough, I just want to thank all of you that stop by here and read my blabbering. I really do appreciate it. Your comments and private email praises are one of the things that really makes this fun for me and keeps me doing it every day. Thank you!
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
NFL: I just can't get over the fact that the Arizona Cardinals are in the title game that decides the NFC champ. Wow. And really now, how about that Donovan McNabb? Just a few short weeks ago Eagles fans were screaming that he should be gone. I'm really not so sure he will last much longer, regardless of how far the team does go.
MLB: And still...the Dodgers have not signed Manny Ramirez. Since they've played this game for so long now, I'm sure he'll have a different attitude if he does get signed. Thanks for keeping the momentum, oh powers that be. I haven't heard any more about the McCourts building all of those fields in Los Angeles either. I would take back every bad thing I've ever said if they just got up to the podium at a press conference and admitted that they were just trying to squeeze every penny out of fans. At least then we would have honesty. How's that new mall at Chavez Ravine coming?
NBA: The Lakers are still on top of the West. Watch out Celtics, it looks like the the Cavaliers are going to give you a run for your money in the East this year. I can't gloat about the Celtics being in third yet since that still means they are in contention and I hate to jinx my Lakers.
Today in Sports History
1954 - New York Yankee Joe DiMaggio marries actress Marilyn Monroe
1987 - Catfish Hunter is elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I'm back at home in the EIGHTY, yes EIGHTY degree weather and could not be happier! I don't know how people live in snow like that. I felt so out of place with all that snow and not a mountain or snowboard in sight. Ugh! At any rate, here's what's going on in the blogosphere...
...Because I Played Sports looks at budget issues for athletic programs
Chicks in the Huddle ponders the Eagles Playoff win
Check out the new look at Women's Sports Blog
Women's Football Talk will be on the road for the start of the season and in my neck of the woods
Pretty Tough has a great story about Lindsey Jacobellis back on top of the pack in the world of women's snowboarding
Make sure you watch for the new episodes of On Surfari this month...Shayne and Shannon are back hitting the waves
Monday, January 12, 2009
Since last week’s “instructional” post was a hit I thought I’d do one more before I got back to interviews. I was inspired by a gentleman that I met today that knew seemingly nothing about football as I was trying my best to comfortably watch the Playoffs while indulging in a lovely black and tan and pasta (Yeah, I am still in NY). He asked some questions and I had some others recently so here we go…
1. What team has the best Super Bowl record?
That would be the San Francisco 49ers with a perfect 5-0 record. The Dallas Cowboys have also won five, but lost three and the Pittsburg Steelers are in the five win club but have losses as well. The Green Bay Packers have won 3 Super Bowls, but have 12 championships. They won the others before the current “Super Bowl” format.
2. Where, when, and who was in the first Super Bowl?
Bart Starr led the Green Bay Packers to a 35-10 victory over the Kansas City Chiefs. It was on January 15, 1967 at the Coliseum in Los Angeles.
3. It seems like Super Bowl Games are always played in California or Florida, what gives?
Yes, someone asked me this. Since the Super Bowl has always been played in the winter, it is generally played in warmer places. Sure, you could have one at Lambeau Field, but it would be awfully cold and an unfair advantage to any team playing that always played in cold weather. Really, the idea is to have the conditions as neutral as possible and South Florida or Southern California are both well suited for this. There have been several games at the Louisiana Superdome over the years. In addition, there have been two Super Bowl games played in Michigan since the field has a dome.
4. Where do you find out records like who has the most sacks or receiving yards in Super Bowls?
The NFL has a very nice site that tells you all these facts and more. Oh, and by the way – sacks would be Reggie White and receiving yards would be Jerry Rice.
5. How much do Super Bowl ads cost this year?
Apparently it will set you back about 3 million dollars for a 30 second ad this year. This is one of the only games that fans actually pay attention to the commercials during the games since companies really go all out. For many fans, it is part of the whole watching the game experience.
Sunday, January 11, 2009
NFL: Excuse me while I laugh my head off at the fact that Carolina could not come up with any 4th quarter shenanigans in order to come back against the Cardinals. Jake Delhomme likely felt like Miss South Carolina in today's video with his 5, yes 5, interceptions. AND it was his birthday...Happy Birthday Jake! Oh my gosh, I can barely contain myself. Now I am being mean...oops...I better not travel to North Carolina any time soon. My luggage could disappear again. I know someone else that is probably laughing just as hard as I am. Go Cardinals!
Can you believe the Titans lost? I can. It was just bound to happen after their amazing season. I really wasn't pulling for either team here since I've got an AFC love...
The San Diego Super Chargers. I'm worried since it is so cold today! I am here in the Northeast today and a native SoCal gal so I could imagine trying to get it together to play football.
Speaking of being in the NY area...I am soooo wanting to ditch my responsibilities and sneak over to the Giants vs. Eagles game. I'm not a particular fan of either team but would be excited as can be to get there and check out the tailgating and try to score some tickets to get in. I was asking Mr. DeLancey who he liked for the game and when he said the Eagles the gentleman behind the bar we were sitting at that was cutting fruit immediately pointed his knife in our direction. Oops.
So who will the Super Bowl be? My dream is Arizona vs. San Diego with San Diego taking the cake.
Today in Sports History
1977 - Chicago Cubs trade outfielder Rick Monday to Los Angeles Dodgers for Bill Buckner
1987 - Largest crowd (76,633) at NFL New York Giants' Stadium is recorded. They beat Washington 17-0.
Saturday, January 10, 2009
Southern California Breakers : The IWFL has released the team's schedule for the upcoming year. The roster is growing, coaches are aligning, and a new season is almost here! As last year, I will be covering each of the home games. The first of those is Saturday, April 25th. I will be catching up with the team next month for practice. Don't forget to check Women's Football Talk for updates on the entire world of women's football. WFB Talk is also on the hunt for correspondents around the country. Visit the link and find out how you can get in!
WPS: The WPS draft can be followed online, and on Fox Soccer Channel! I'm very excited to have women's soccer back at the professional level. Don't forget, the season starts on March 29 in Los Angeles!
Disclaimer and Apology: Alright, today's video is not very PC at all and has some cussing and insensitive language that I certainly don't condone. Those of you who have been around here should already know that. Those of you offended by old school punk rock or any of the band Fear's songs should not watch the video. That said, I have to apologize to New York. I arrived here yesterday and the years of karma that has built up from chanting "Yankees Suck" caught up with me. Upon my arrival, I was informed that my luggage never left LAX. I joked the entire time that this was my karma and the karma that all native Angelinos carry for taking the Dodgers all those years ago. In my defense, I did root wholeheartedly for the Giants in the Super Bowl last year. Fortunately, my luggage eventually found its way back to me very late last night. The video is for the song that would not get out of my head once I found out I had no luggage. Besides, many of you told me you liked it when things were shaken up a bit sometimes.
Friday, January 9, 2009
I’ve complained, ahem, written about people that don’t like sports before. It just seems like such a foreign idea to me. Whenever I hear someone say “I hate sports”, I really do not understand it at all. Not even a little bit.
Don’t get me wrong – there is a sport I am not a fan of - NASCAR. No matter how much you try to get me excited about the cars going around the track repeatedly it just isn’t going to happen. I gave it a chance and everything. It just isn’t going to be something I get interested in. The same goes for all forms of racing – equine or vehicular. I can’t outright hate it all though – these are sports that have a major following. I totally respect the fact that these folks are passionate about their sports and even do the whole fantasy league thing for some. Get down with your bad self. I might like it if I could drive one of the cars or something, but who knows?
I’ve mentioned before that I once dated a guy that didn’t like sports so much. I call those the dark years. I had to sneak around and watch games, check scores, and get excited about significant events. Urgh! How is it that I am the one girl on the planet that ends up dating someone that wants to go see some sappy romantic comedy that would rather go to a game? Yeah, I know, Bizarro world. Seriously though, I’ve had a hard time finding guys throughout my life that enjoyed sports as much as I do! That is…until I met Mr. DeLancey. We even met at a very cool sports venue.
Ya know - I understand that people like to have the whole “personal interests” but wouldn’t you rather have someone who wants to do the same things you do? Call me crazy, but I think the whole “opposites attract” thing is baloney.
So you ask, “What is the point of this post today?” Well, I am just wondering how people who are obsessed with sports get involved with those who are not. What do you do with sports-haters that are close to you? I have relatives that aren’t big fans…actually…not too many now that I think about it…
But really, how do you deal with people in your life that “hate” sports if you’re a total fan?
Thursday, January 8, 2009
Yup, it happened again. For the second time in the history of my blog I have spaced out and did WWOW on Thursday. Nice. Nobody is perfect. Things happen. At least I post every day. I still promise to post every day in spite of the busy month I have coming up as well. It is only Jan 8th and I’m already slammed. Ouch!
I really need to get together with Jane from Pretty Tough. We are in the same vicinity and can’t seem to get together to have a cup of coffee. You should really check out her site since it totally rocks.
Speaking of ladies that rock, Megan that writes …Because I Played Sports is managing to collaborate with Jane in spite of being on the other coast. They did the awesome women in sports video that I recently posted.
Alright, what else is wild…well, can you say San Diego Super Chargers? I’ve had that silly song in my head for weeks as I mentioned and am tormenting a Steelers fan colleague with it. No trash talking, just fun singing throughout the day!
The Dodgers have still not signed Manny Ramirez. How much more complaining must I do?
Today in Sports History
1984 - NCAA announces that basketball tournament will have 64 teams
Happy Birthday Jason Giambi
Wednesday, January 7, 2009
After yesterday’s post that once again stretched the definition of sport by talking about tetherball I thought I’d really push the limit and talk about other elementary school recess sports. Yup, I’m going there. Stay with me, this will be fun!
So I searched the web and found this gem on YouTube that explains how to play hopscotch. What did we ever do before the web? In addition, I found that a school in Canada has a hopscotch tournament in the spring. Nice.
Even more fun was this video explaining the rules of four square. I recall that there was also a two square version in my elementary school and we would also get bored of this and play handball with those giant rubber balls as well. Ah, memories.
Okay dodgeball – forget about it! I don’t think they actually let elementary school kids play this any more - at least not the way our rules were. We used to play it quite brutally from what I remember. There would be one person that threw the ball and the rest of us would stand against the wall. The ball thrower would fling the ball as hard as they could at us. It was always a bit sad since the slowest or least athletic kids would be picked off first. I always hated when a strong boy would throw the ball. Kids were getting hit quite hard. My reflexes became quite fast because of this game. The last one standing was the winner and the next ball thrower. If you have the urge to play this game, there are plenty of leagues and groups all over the country.
Elementary school recess sports were great, weren’t they? The bars, kickball, volleyball…
What was your favorite elementary school recess sport?
Tuesday, January 6, 2009
I absolutely loved to play tetherball as a kid. This crazy sport was one that I totally dominated at and got to the point where no one would play me. I was that "lucky" kid that was taller than everyone else in the entire school except for one boy. Sure, it didn't feel so lucky then since I was teased incessantly. At any rate, all I would have to do was hit the ball over the other kid's head and it was all over. I remember how it would feel to be undefeated and it was awesome. Yeah, I know, stop bragging...you would too!
I looked around and found a few spots that had rules and that the game was making a comeback at one point. After an extensive ten minute Google search I was unable to find any competitive or league tetherball. Let me know if you find any. There certainly must be more to this sport than the playground, silly instructional videos, and blooper reels!
This post was inspired by my buddy Carolyn at And One. She sent me a link to the image below that was captured in 1910 Manhattan.
Did you play tetherball as a kid? Do you know if there are competitive leagues today?
Monday, January 5, 2009
Today's five questions are a little different as they are questions that people have asked me either in person or email lately. It seems like since the NFL season is coming to a close, I've had a lot of inquiries about the sport or football in general. Don't worry, I'll still have plenty of athlete and other sports figure interviews but since we have a new year we may as well try a new format at least once!
1. The New England Patriots finished with a record of 11-5 and the San Diego Chargers finished with a record of 8-8. Why did the Chargers make it into the playoffs and the Patriots did not? Both teams are in the AFC!
Simply put, this comes down to the way the divisions are divided up. The Miami Dolphins were also 11-5 in the Patriots division, as were the Baltimore Ravens. The Pittsburgh Steelers and Indianapolis Colts finished 12-4 and the Tennessee Titans finished 13-3. Someone had to be the odd man out! Playoffs are when it all gets turned on as we see since the 8-8 Chargers beat the 12-4 Colts. The AFC was very tough this year and it will be great to see who eventually comes out on top.
2. Why is there no playoffs in college football? What the heck is the BCS and why does it cause so much controversy?
Ya know, I scratch my head at this one every day! As a statistician, I understand how someone has come up with a formula that supposedly makes it all fair and balanced. However, we have seen MANY times over the last few years that whole "strength of schedule" baloney goes in the can. In addition, rankings are figured using coaches' opinions. Years ago, college football seemed so much more segregated. Here on the West Coast we cared about the Rose Bowl and you had the Orange Bowl in the Southeast. Now there is a bowl for every sponsor imaginable and a National Champ is crowned that may or may not be the best team in the NCAA. It is definitely a broken system that many want to see a playoff system for so that there is no question about who is number one in the nation!
3. Do kids from "less privileged" neighborhoods still have a chance to play for a good college and eventually the NFL or is there just too much nepotism?
Sure, if you go to the private football factories of Mater Dei or St. Bonaventure you'll have a better shot, but I think that kids from "the hood" can still shine and make it to the NFL. Two of the public high schools I went to, Ventura High and Dorsey High, produced NFL players. It does seem that California, Texas, and Florida are general factories for kids to become athletes but I believe that anyone can make it. Seriously. Jerry Rice was from Mississippi Valley State College, for example. Do your best to stand out and keep your "eye on the prize" so to speak. This goes for any sport.
4. How many women's football leagues are there? Is it the same rules as the men's sport?
There are the IWFL, NWFA, WPFL, and WFA to name a few. Women's Football Talk is the best way to keep up with all of the happenings in women's football. They have posts and podcasts with coaches, players, and other correspondents from all leagues. You can catch me writing for the local IWFL team, the Southern California Breakers, on the blog Riding the Wave.
5. I have also been asked to talk about actually playing football myself.
Yes, I played with the boys when I was very young. It remains one of my most precious childhood memories. I wrote about the experience on another site that you can read here.
If you like this five questions format, I'll do it again with another sport or even other questions with football. Drop a line with your questions or leave a comment and let me know.
Sunday, January 4, 2009
NFL: Save a seat for me on the San Diego Chargers bandwagon! Woohoo! Well, you can't really call me a bandwagoner since they are in my 4 faves since Los Angeles is team-less (Raiders, Chargers, 49ers, Bucs). Can I just say that Sproles is the MAN! Today's matchups should be exciting - I'm rooting for the Dolphins over the Ravens and am not really rooting for anyone in the Eagles vs. Vikings matchup. I guess since I can think of four people rooting for the Vikes I'll half-heartedly go that way. That and they COULD be one of the teams that eventually moves here. At least they'll match the Lakers and Kings already. Purple everywhere!
USA Today Schedule: This is where I keep telling you all to find the mainstream events of the day. There are plenty of sports to watch - woohoo! I'll be outside hiking though - gotta stay in shape over the winter months too. I did get out and golf on Friday but nearly froze my fingers off. Yes, I am a big baby.
Today in Sports History
1920 - The National Negro Baseball League organizes
1980 - President Carter announces US boycott of Moscow Olympics
Happy Birthday to Don Shula
Saturday, January 3, 2009
In my ideal sports world, this is what would happen in 2009:
The Dodgers re-sign Manny Ramirez and everyone else that they are dragging their feet about. They have a stellar season and win the World Series.
The Angels own up to the fact that their stadium is well over an hour away from Los Angeles, in another county completely, and drop the "Los Angeles" title from their name. They go back to the California Angels moniker.
The Lakers sweep the Celtics for the title.
The Galaxy and Chivas USA play so well that the city of Los Angeles is actually really interested in soccer. Really.
The Sparks start selling out and become an elite event to attend, complete with celebrity fans littered throughout the crowd.
Barry Melrose comes back to the Kings and makes them a real hockey team again.
An NFL team will return to Los Angeles. It will be IN the city of Los Angeles and not out in I.E. or some crazy place two hours outside of the city.
Yes, the chances are slim that ALL of these will happen, but one can dream!
What are your sports dreams for 2009?
Friday, January 2, 2009
...Because I Played Sports and Pretty Tough put together today's video to salute the accomplishments of women in sports for 2008.
My favorite moments...so many...but I really have to bow to the excellence that is Dara Torres. Not only is she an elite athlete, she's over 40! She really motivates me as I am getting up there in age myself. She's one of those athletes that I think about when I don't feel like I can do that extra 30 minutes on the treadmill or another 10 reps with the weights.
The combo of Kerri Walsh and Misty May-Treanor also inspire me. Again, they are in the "older" group of athletes and were absolutely amazing to watch. I'm sure that since I've been on the beach my whole life the swimmers and beach volleyball players are easiest for me to relate to, now that I think about it.
Let's also not forget that we saw women in sports show amazing sportsmanship, amazing abilities at a young age, and perseverance above all.
What was your favorite moment in women's sports for 2008?
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Daniel Sagal has collaborated here in the past and recently sent me this excellent analysis that he posted on his own blog yesterday. It is a recap of the Lakers for the 2008 calendar year. Thanks Daniel!
Trevor Ariza - Trevor joined the Lakers midway through last season when they trade Maurice Evans and Brian Cook to Orlando for him. The Lakers already had small forwards that could shoot and pass in Radmanovic and Walton, but Ariza was a special king of player that could slash to the basket. In the 24 games that Ariza played for the Lakers last year, before his season ending injury, he averaged 6.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 1.5 assists in 18 minutes. He started three games last season and showed great strengths. After losing to Boston in the finals, the Lakers new that Ariza would be a big part of this years team. He definitely has. His minutes have gone up to 24 per game, coming off the bench, and he is averaging career highs in points, rebounds, and assists with 9.1 points, 5.0 rebounds, and 2.3 assists. I would say that Ariza has been what the Lakers asked for and more since they acquired him and that as time passes he will only continue to improve.
Kobe Bryant - This is quite obvious. Kobe won his first MVP award last year as he led the Lakers to the NBA Finals. This year, he is on a mission, a mission back to the finals in which he hopes to win the championship this year. The team is currently 25-5 and Bryant has been the MVP no doubt. He is averaging 26.3 points, 5.4 rebounds, and 4.2 assists. Kobe is playing less minutes for the Lakers this season though averaging 35.3 minuted per game. His lowest minutes since his 2nd year in the league. Kobe is also enjoying his highest field goal shooting % and his highest free throw shooting % of his career. His veteran leadership has truly become an asset to the team.
Andrew Bynum - After last year’s disappointing season ending knee injury, Bynum has returned to the Lakers lineup with strength and determination. In the same amount of minutes as last season, pre knee injury status, Bynum is averaging less points and rebounds. The presence of Pau Gasol in the paint may have a lot to do with this, but in the meantime, lets focus on his numbers alone. The fact that he is averaging 12 points does not bother me, I would just like to see him reach double digit rebounding numbers. Currently pulling down 8.4 board per game in 28.6 minutes, I truly believe that Bynum is capable of even more.
Jordan Farmar - Jordan is currently down with a knee injury that will keep him out of action until approximately the all star break. In the 25 games that Jordan has played in this season though, his numbers have regressed from last year. His points are down to 7.9 from 9.1, his rebounds are the same at 2.3, and his assists average has gone down to 2.4 from 2.7. To give Jordan some credit, his minutes have decreased from 20.6 to 19.6. Farmar’s shooting however has been somewhat questionable recently as his fg % is 40.5%, three point fg % is 35% and his free throw % is 64.3%. Perhaps its time to work on that jump shot, but for now, lets get through a full recovery and get Jordan back on the court for a successful 2009 year.
Derek Fisher - Derek Fisher has started 29 out of the Lakers 30 games this season and is playing 29.4 minutes per game which is two minute more than he was averaging last season. A lot of that average was inflated in the last few games after Farmar was sidelined and before Jackson played Sun Yue. Fish is shooting a career high 89.2% from the free throw line and career high 43.9% from beyond the three point arc. He is also averaging half an assist more than last season with 3.4 per game. His veteran leadership is the true asset that he brings to the team but his streaky hot shooting, such as the 9-12 against the Golden State Warriors this last weekend is a big boost for the team. (Apryl's note - Derek Fisher is THE MAN! I'll never get over the 0.4 shot!)
Pau Gasol - Gasol has been nothing but a pleasure to have in a Lakers uniform. He has been great throughout his time in Los Angeles. Last season he finished off big by helping Kobe lead the Lakers to the finals. It was his first appearance this deep in the playoffs and he definitely delivered. He is averaging a career low in points this season with 17.4 per game, but again, it’s understandable considering he’s sharing the paint for the first time in his career with another seven footer. I do like that Gasol is averagin 8.9 rebounds and 3.7 assists though. He’s sharing the ball well, especially with Bynum.
DJ Mbenga - I truly wish there was more to say about Mbenga but with a team as deep as the Lakers currently have, Mbenga has only been on the court for a total of 3 minutes. He did come up big in the three minutes that he played however getting 2 blocks. I’d like to see more of Mbenga but if the Lakers don’t start blowing teams out, DJ is going to continue spending time on the bench.
Chris Mihm - Mihm is in a similar boat to Mbenga. With the rotation of bigs starting with Gasol, Bynum, Odom, and Powell, it’s difficult to fit in two more seven footers in Mbenga and Mihm. Chris is averaging real minutes with 5.3 in the 9 games he played. He has 2.6 points per game and there really isn’t much more that we can ask of him. Hopefully as the season progresses he will have more opportunities, but with this current trade speculation of him being shipped out to Milwuakee for Tyronne Lue, we don’t know what to expect.
Lamar Odom - Since the day that Lamar has come into town there have been high expectations. After playing solid throughout the year last season at the four spot while Bynum was out with an injury, Lamar performed quite nicely. Now that Bynum is back, Lamar has been asked to come off the bench and play behind Bynum and Pau Gasol. Lamar is averaging 26.5 minutes per game, more than 10 minutes less than last season. His points per game, rebound, and assists per game have gone down. Odom is averaging 8.5 points, down from 14.2, 6.2 rebounds, down from 10.7, and 2.3 assists, down from 3.5. The numbers that truly matter to me though are his shooting percentages. Lamar is shooting his lowest percentage since joining the Lakers at 46.2% and his free throw percentage is a horrid 60%, lowest of his career. Perhaps he’s still in the adjustment phase of coming off the bench for the first time in his career. I do smell potential 6th man of the year award though.
Josh Powell - Powell has played in 14 games and is averaging 6.1 minutes. His shooting has been really good as he’s averaging a career high 51.7% from the field but his free throw shooting has been poor as he is barely over 50%. He is averaging only 2.9 points and 1.7 rebounds which could really use some more work. It would be nice to see him1 progress as a player and contribute a bit more the way that Ronny did when he was in LA.
Vladimir Radmanovic -Radmanovic was the starter throughout most of last season while he shot 41% from three point range. This season, Vlad started the first 20 games before losing the starting job to Luke Walton. Actually, I wouldn’t consider it losing his job because his shooting has improved significantly to 45.6% from 3 point range and his defense has become better as well. He is also less of a “space cadet” when he’s on the court. Radman is also averaging about 5 minutes less per game than he was last season and actually did not play due to coach’s decision twice. It’s been nice seeing Radmanovic finally find his rhythm as a shooter wearing a Lakers jersey and hopefully he continues to get a better understanding of the team’s functions.
Sasha Vujacic - Sasha has quickly become one of my more favorite players on this team. One thing that fans always ask to see of athletes is passion and hard work. For years now we have heard about the many hours Vujacic has put into practicing his shot, lifting weights, and improving in all aspects of the game. Kobe has called him an even bigger gym rat than himself. Last season, Vujacic played 72 games and averaged 17.8 minutes, this season he has appeared in all 30 games thus far and is averaging 15.2 minutes per game. The injury to Jordan Farmar will surely give him some more playing time and this will be his opportunity to show off his strengths in handling the ball. Sasha is averaging 5.6 points and 1.5 assists per game on 39.7% shooting and 39.5% 3 point shooting. Sasha has been very unhappy with his performance so far this year and continues to put in the time to improve his game.
Luke Walton - After seeing practically no playing time in the first 20 games due to Radmanovic starting, Walton has taken over the starting spot and is now playing many more minutes. Due to the inactivity of the first 20 games, his minutes per game is only at 12.1 compared to his 23.4 last season. I’d like to start off by pointing out that Luke Walton has the best free throw shooting percentage on the team at a staggering 100% with all 8 attempts made! His other numbers however are not as nice. He is averaging 3.5 points, 1.7 rebound, and 1.8 assists per game. Luke’s field goal percentage is 38.6% and after leading the league for the first half of the season two years ago in three point shooting percentage, he is now down to 26.3% this season. The best number on his stat sheet is the 0.8 turnovers per game. It’s nice to see that he’s protecting the ball.
Sun Yue - Sun has shown some good signs in his time on the court. He is averaging 3 points per game shooting 60% from the field. Of course, thats quite skewed as he’s averaging 6 minutes in the two games that he’s played. During this time that Jordan Farmar is out, Sun Yue is sure to play a bunch more minutes and perhaps even impress the coaching staff with smart in game decisions.