Thursday, April 30, 2009
That's Just Silly: Someone sent me today's video of tennis star Novak Djokovic's recent commercial. The 90's boy band thing is pretty funny.
Life Rolls On: Kicking off the 2009 season, LRO’s first They Will Surf Again (of 10 in 2009) will take place at Bolsa Chica State Beach on Sunday, May 3 at Tower 21. With close to 25 surfers, including Ms. Wheelchair California Alyson Roth, and more than 100 volunteers already registered, spots are filling up fast. If you plan to join them for some surf, sand and sun, please register ASAP. Three of the surfers will be catching waves for the first time since their injury, so come out to show some Life Rolls On love!
Off-Topic: Here is how to tell if you have that swine flu that everyone is talking about.
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Ashoka’s Changemakers and Nike: Four months ago Ashoka’s Changemakers and Nike asked the online global community to help them change the game for women and girls through sport and recreation. Through the creation of the GameChangers: Change the Game for Women in Sport competition, they have been raising awareness of the wide array of solutions available for women looking to improve their access to sport around the globe. The GameChangers community has welcomed 400 new initiatives from 50 different countries that have inspired thousands of enthusiasts in the community and improved the lives of women.
Over the month of March, the esteemed panel of judges including: Lombe Mwambwa of the Kalusha Foundation, Sheila Johnson – Ambassador for CARE, Abby Wambach – Member of the US National Soccer team, Jill Ker Conway – Nike Board Member, Ann M. Veneman – Executive Director of UNICEF, and Tanni Grey-Thompson – Vice Chair of the Laureus Sport Academy, reviewed these entries and chose 13 for special recognition. Since April 1, 2009, an extensive network of innovators, thought leaders, investors, journalists and enthusiasts have been making their voices heard by voting for these finalists. The votes have been tallied and the three winners are:
1. 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking – Nepal. This initiative is training women to be trekking guides, leading to educational and employment opportunities never before known by rural Nepalese women.
2. Moving the Goalposts – Kenya. The vision of this project is to provide affordable sanitary pads to girls in Kenya so they can participate fully in sports and in school.
3. Team-Up for Youth – United States. Team-Up for Youth empowers college-age women to volunteer their time as coaches and role models for girls in low-income communities in California.
I Knew They'd Do It: Sure, the Utah Jazz play the Los Angeles Lakers tough at home. But seriously, did you really think L.A. would drop every road game to them? This is the post-season, silly! The Jazz are a good team but the Lakers are just that much better and got it done in five.
Let Me Just Vent One More Time: For the last time - everyone is welcome here. I'm not going to slant to one sport, gender, demographic, region, ideology, or anything else. The best part about this world we live in = diversity. Deal with it!
Today In Sports History
1961 - ABC's "Wide World of Sports" debuts
1986 - Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens strikes out 20 Seattle Mariners
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
After much ribbing, discussion, and general griping...I have a Twitter account. I haven't magically gained more time nor have I fully embraced the platform. I've created an account so that I could assure to have the @WomenLikeSports user name. Now I have to go back through my email archives and get in touch with all of you that have invited me in the past. I'll get there...
Honestly, I don't see myself updating very frequently at this point. I did put one update on that linked to Sunday's Breakers story and I'll probably update in the future when I've got other game recaps, interviews, or other special posts. There is a possibility for live event info like game score updates and the like in the future.
Are you happy now? (You know who you are!)
Monday, April 27, 2009
Interviewing interesting people in the world of sports is one of my favorite things about writing this blog. Every so often I give myself a break from the stress and pressure of putting new interviews together and reminisce about some favorites. I've decided that I'd really like to catch up with some of the folks I talked to last year. A few have been contacted but I really need to get on the stick to put something together. Here are some of the original interviews with folks I'm hoping to talk to again soon:
On Surfari hosts Shayne and Shannon McIntryre
Lauren Feldman, amateur MMA fighter
Debi Purcell, professional MMA fighter
Freg Roggin, sportscaster extraordinaire
Lisa Guerrero, sports personality, film star, and so much more
Who would you like to see a follow up with?
Sunday, April 26, 2009
Last night the Southern California Breakers hosted their home opener against the Los Angeles Amazons. Amazon QB/RB Christina Rodriguez led her team to a 42-0 victory over the Breakers. Here's how it went down:
First Quarter: The Breakers had possession first and started on their own 25 yard line. Unfortunately they couldn't score on their first drive and the Amazons ended up starting their first possession on the same Breakers' 25 yard line. At 10:16 on the clock, the Amazons scored a TD but could not convert on the 2 point try. The Breakers didn't let this phase them and RB Vanessa Santillan (28) and RB Kayla Clark (38) both managed to get substantial gains on subsequent possessions. The Breakers were able to intercept an Amazons' pass and start a drive on the 50 yard line. The momentum died with a fumble that the Amazons recovered at 6:41 on the clock. They did get another shot with a bad snap by the Amazons for a punt but then turned the ball back over on the next play.
Second Quarter: The Breakers got a good drive together but missed a field goal attempt at 5:42 on the clock. The Amazons started to get riled up and scored another TD with 1:02 left in the half. A penalty on the subsequent 2 point try made it no good and a second attempt also failed. Score at the end of the half was 12-0 Amazons.
Third Quarter: The Amazons came on strong with a long TD run at 14:24. However, a penalty nullified this run and the team could not regain momentum on the drive. A 3rd and 5 sack by the Breakers gave the Amazons a 4th and 14 they could not overcome. On the following possession by the Breakers, a face mask penalty on the Amazons put the team on the opponent's 19 yard line. Again, the hearts of the team and fans was broken when they were intercepted. At 8:53 on the clock in the 3rd quarter the Amazons scored another TD and made good on the 2 point conversion. The score was now 20-0 Amazons. The Breakers had another opportunity at 6:23 in the 3rd quarter. A wild snap on the punt turned into a roughing the kicker call against the Amazons. This 15 yard penalty made the 4th and 12 disappear and gave the Breakers another shot. Most disappointingly, the Amazons got the ball back on the very next play but also could not capitalize. Later, they turned up the heat and scored another TD at 3:01 showing in the 3rd quarter. The 2 point try was good to make the score 28-0 for the Amazons.
Fourth Quarter: With 13:26 showing on the clock the Breakers had another shot at 3 but the attempt was no good. The Amazons drew blood again at 7:32 and added a very hard-fought 2 point conversion to make the score 36-0. The Breakers tried again to get a drive going only to be intercepted at 6:17 in the 4th. The team made it into the Amazons red zone and put together some nice drives but just could not get over the hump. Again at 2:40 left in the game, the Amazons intercepted the ball and ran back for another TD. The 2 point conversion didn't work this time but it didn't really matter at a score of 42-0. With 0:54 left in the game, newcomer RB Kayla Clark (38) turned a wild snap into a substantial gain for the Breakers. Again though, just when it looked like the team would drive the Amazon intercepted the ball and extinguished any hopes for the Breakers to break off a score.
Okay, in my opinion the final score is misleading but some may call me biased. Seriously, this is a Breakers team that has improved exponentially from last year. With a mix of veteran leadership and explosive new talent, this team has a bright future. Don't get me wrong, there is definitely room to improve as the 42-0 score does read. Fumbles, interceptions, and a few other fixable mistakes are what cost the game for the Breakers against the Los Angeles Amazons. I don't want to take anything away from the Amazons at all though. They are an exceptional team with very talented players. They've got the play action and QB keeper plays down as well as other synergistic moves that make them the powerhouse that they are.
In spite of the loss, the team manages to keep a positive spirit and congratulate each other on the job each has done. New head coach Manny Ojeda is very encouraging to his players and makes sure they all know that he believes in each member of the team.
The IWFL and teams around the league are doing a lot more this year to promote the game and get the fans to interact and have a good time at the game. Last night, the Breakers had a 50/50 raffle and even gave away Angels baseball tickets. The league has a weekly MVP contest that allows fans to vote for the player they believe to be the MVP of the game. There are some big prizes for fans in this contest - check out the information here.
Next Game: The Breakers host the Modesto Maniax at Capo Valley High
Catch Women's Football Talk today at 3:00pm PST for recaps from around women's football and hear my Breakers recap as well as other correspondent reports.
Update - May 3, 2009
I just received more photos from this game courtesy of Marc Roth. Thanks Marc!
Saturday, April 25, 2009
It's finally here! Today is the 2009 home opener for the IWFL's Southern California Breakers. The team has their work cut out for them against the Los Angeles Amazons. The Amazons are a new addition to the IWFL this year but have been in existence since 2002. They went 8-0 last season and were the Western Division Champions of their league. Two weeks ago the Amazons completely dominated the California Quake by a score of 32-2 and then the team rested up with a bye last week. The Breakers traveled to New Mexico last week and did some dominating as well against the Menace by a score of 33-0. The Breakers are psyched and ready for the challenge!
Tonight's game starts at 7:00pm at Irvine High School. Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 8-12 & Seniors. Children under 7 get in free. Also, military and law enforcement with proper ID get in for only $5. Come out and join the fun!
Friday, April 24, 2009
Little League Baseball in Williamsport, PA estimates that there are about 50 or 60 perfect games thrown in any given year. This year, one of those games is catching quite a bit of attention. Mackenzie Brown, a 12 year old girl, retired all 18 boys that she faced in a game on Tuesday. She even struck out 12 of those batters. There is no record of how many times this has been accomplished by a girl playing with the boys.
She's creating a lot of buzz for her team in Bayonne, NJ from major media:
The story by Fox 5 Atlanta has more of her thoughts and stats:
"It feels good. I can't explain it. It just feels really good," Brown said.
Facing an all-boy team, Brown struck out 12 of 18 batters, using her fast ball and change-up pitches.
"For the bigger hitters, I was going inside. And for the weaker hitters, I was just throwing it over [the plate]. Just trying to get them out," she said of her strategy. "And it worked."
Brown threw just 70 pitches and the Unico Club beat the McKenzie Post team, 8-0.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Katharine across the pond sent me an article about a former cricketer that found his passion in making art with his sport. Michael Vaughan recently retired from cricket and claims he channeled inspiration from Martina Navratilova and her tennis ball art.
As silly as it may sound, Vaughan is quite serious. His tearful retirement and desire to return has been channeled into this new passion:
Salvation came from the unlikely inspiration of mind-numbing reality TV. He said: "I was watching that Celebrity Jungle on the box (I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here!) and Martina Navratilova was saying how she had taken to creating art by hitting tennis balls at a canvas.
"I thought, why not try that with a cricket ball? So I experimented by smashing a few cover drives at a canvas, and recreated some images including special moments in my career, and we came up with artballing."
Michael Vaughan's collection will be exhibited at the Smithfield Gallery, London, from May 2.
You can see some of the cricketer's work here and even purchase if you like.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Technical Difficulties: The Women's Sports Roundtable that should have been broadcast this past Saturday experienced technical difficulties and cut out early. The episode is now on demand and can be listened to if you click here.
It Costs More Everywhere: Even though the entire world isn't doing so well financially the powers that be still raise ticket prices. I often complain about the rising cost of venues here but caught a piece about how the Man U fans at Old Trafford will be given a ticket price increase next term. Many football clubs in the area lowered prices for their fans but this organization did the opposite. I don't think it will affect attendance given their popularity but still - why raise at all? I guess they are capitalizing on the fact that there is still over 5,000 fans per game that are turned away at every game. Greedy, eh? The message isn't so kind and sure doesn't make them seem like the "good guys" in this time where everyone is tightening the belt.
Yes, We Know: The NFL Draft starts on Saturday. Although I am always interested in who gets picked in the beginning, the overexposure of this event in the last few years is tiring. The NFL Network beats it to death, of course, but ESPN sure does a good share of it as well. I'm just not a big fan of the shoulda/coulda/woulda/what if. Oh, and don't get me wrong - I'd love to be one of the people that gets paid to sit there and analyze and run statistics about who will be picked when. However, I think those are the only people that the scenarios are fun for. For the rest of us - it is as exciting as watching paint dry. The actual event is what I'm interested in.
Today In Sports History
1947 - First NBA Championship: Philadelphia Warriors beat Chicago Stags by 4 games to 2
1981 - Dodgers rookie pitcher Fernando Valenzuela tosses his 3rd shutout in 4 starts
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
More and more sports organizations have a dedicated YouTube channel that fans can subscribe to. Much of this content can only be found on the internet even if the outlet has a dedicated television or cable broadcast network. I've updated my subscriptions to include more channels and thought I'd share some of my favorites with you.
Interestingly enough, I found today's video of Candace Parker on the NBA Channel. You can find WNBA videos on their site as well as their own dedicated YouTube channel.
The LPGA and PGA each have their own channel as does the WPS. For the cyclists - REI has an informative channel that gives biking "how to" videos. For you rugby fans - Your Scrumhalf Connection has a channel dedicated to the sport. Some really good action sports channels are Roxy, Patagonia, and The North Face. I've also found interesting surf channels like Surf Goggles, Surf Osiris, ASP World Tour, and Billabong USA. Of course ESPN has a channel too.
Yes, I have a channel as well that I will be uploading Southern California Breakers video to as the season progresses.
What are your favorite YouTube channels?
Monday, April 20, 2009
The Homeless World Cup has just announced that there will be 48 nations participating in Milan for this year's event. The progress of each team can be followed here. I thought this would be a good opportunity to bring the event to everyone's attention once more. I've had several interviews over the last year with the organizers and others involved.
Here is my first interview with Kat Byles, media director of the HWC.
Afterward, I spoke to two street soccer coaches that were putting together a team here in the US.
Later, I interviewed Kat again after the event in 2008.
In addition to interviews, I've had stories of street soccer athlete success stories and brought you other operational news from the HWC. In fact, the 2009 Milan event is still looking for volunteers.
The 2009 Homeless World Cup takes place in Milan from September 6-13. There are many ways to get involved - click here to find out how.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
Wow! How the day flies by. Here it is after 1:00pm PST and I haven't posted yet. Yeah, I almost forgot! Oops! I've been very busy lately to say the least. I'm not complaining though - I am grateful to be working.
Women's Football Talk: Don't forget to listen at 3:00pm PST to Women's Football Talk. They've got correspondents keeping them up to date from around the country on all the latest women's football action.
Go Lakers: So far, so good - the guys are up against the Jazz so far in Game 1.
Go Dodgers: The Dodgers have been doing rather well so far at this preliminary stage of the season. They're hosting the Rockies today at Chavez Ravine.
Today In Sports History
1986 - Michael Spinks beats Larry Holmes in 15 for heavyweight boxing title
1991 - Evander Holyfield beats George Foreman in 12 for heavyweight boxing title
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Women's Sports Talk Radio is on every Saturday at 1:00 pm PST. Today is the Women's Sports Roundtable - a feature they have every month. I was quite excited when they asked me to be a part of the broadcast this week. The panel members other than myself are Tammy Garner, writer for Women's Sports Talk, and Jayda Evans, Women's Hoops blogger/reporter for the Seattle Times. The show today focuses on the recent WNBA Draft and tennis star Serena Williams.
Here is the mission statement for Women's Sports Talk Radio:
In recent years traditional Sports Talk Radio has progressively expanded with an almost exclusive male demographic primarily devoted to the discussion of traditional male sports and the male athlete.
WomensSportsTalkShow.com a subsidiary of Women's Sports Talk Radio (WSTR) will host a weekly 1-hour, online call-in sports talk show with a format devoted to the discussion of women's sports.
Our mission is to provide a new medium and long overdue outlet for women's sports fans to discuss sports issues, games, plays and scores; listen and talk to players from all areas and all levels of women's sports.
In addition to listener participation & topic driven segments WSTR will also conduct interviews & commentary with your favorite female athlete from high school to the professional level.
Listen here today at 1:00 pm PST.
Friday, April 17, 2009
NFL fans all over the country shed a little tear (or sigh of relief) that John Madden has announced his retirement from announcing. The former Raiders head coach known for his fear of flying will be missed for a number of reasons by all. Personally, I am not a strong lover or hater of Mr. Madden but was always amused by his personality.
Here was a guy that obviously loved the sound of his own voice. That alone was pretty comical and part of his “charm” if you will. Better yet, his phallic references and crude innuendos while announcing were certainly intentional. I remember suggesting a drinking game to some friends where you had to drink every time Madden said something that could be dirty. I would imagine that one could be quite lit by the end of the first quarter in this case.
I once tried to read one of his books and barely got past the first chapter. As much as I love football, the NFL, and sports in general I just had a hard time with the whole toot-your-own-horn mantra. But, the way I’ve felt about Madden has never been fueled by strong emotion as I mentioned – no love, no hate. I guess I just assumed that he’d always be around. Whether or not you liked John Madden you must agree that he had one of those unmistakable voices. His redundant and often silly comments were a fun part of NFL games.
Madden’s retirement only brings the fact that Vin Scully’s years are numbered a more real possibility for me. As a Los Angeles native that has followed the Dodgers since I can remember this is a very scary thing for me. When Vin hangs it up it will be even harder than when Chick Hearn left. Scully is one of the MLB’s treasures. He came with the Dodgers from Brooklyn and has been part of the organization since they’ve been in Los Angeles. We absolutely love him. I gave the account at the preseason game last year many times where he so humbly announced, “It’s only me” to a crowd of around 100,000. I still get goose bumps about that. (Yes, I am in on how dorky that is but I just can’t help it.) If anyone has any suggestions how to cope with Vin’s retirement please let me know. I need to start preparing myself for the inevitable.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
Thursday is upon us and so is another installment of blogspotting. Send me an email if you think you should be spotted next time:
I Wish This Was Me: Jody Van Zanten has been an interview guest on a previous 5 Questions and never ceases to inspire me. Just before her 40th birthday she took part in the 2009 Paris Marathon. I have just been reminded that I really have no excuse whatsoever to not be in shape and exercise. Thanks for sharing your experiences with the world!
I Missed This Too: I wish I would have been at the Quake vs. Amazons game on Saturday. The Women's Football Talk gang was there and have pics from the event. I'll eventually stop kicking myself for mixing up the date. Ugh!
Think Of The Children: Real Women Golf made me laugh this morning with her commentary about Tiger Woods. Apparently, one journalist is terribly offended by Tiger's use of four letter words on the course and claims he is bad for golf. I agree with Heather on this one - just because Tiger lets a few bad ones fly does not mean he is bad for golf. I'm guessing the writer of the article in question is a scratch golfer that never shanks one or is a freaking robot. Sure, I keep it clean here but if bad words offend you then you shouldn't golf with me. Oh, and you probably don't want to go to a Dodgers game with me either.
Speaking Of Golf: My buddy BJ lives in Augusta year-round and wrote up some of his experiences at the Masters this year.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
Wild About Popcorn: I've noticed a lot of chatter in the blogosphere about the New York Liberty. They're certainly reaching out to bloggers and fans all over the country. A while back they made sure to notify me about a Q&A with one of their stars. Check the Liberty's website and they've put together a synopsis of their excitement for the season. In addition, you can receive a free small popcorn with tickets priced $34.50, $39.50, $54.50 and $85. You must mention code SHAMEKA when purchasing tickets at ticketmaster.com, 877-WNBA-TIX, or The Garden Box Office. Offer expires September 14. You can also have lunch with Kia Vaughn, the Liberty's new draft pick and a Liberty "Just Drafted" t-shirt if you purchase season tickets. You have to act fast on this one - it expires on Friday, April 17.
Wild Times At The Trop: Summer is not complete without baseball season. The reigning AL champs have just announced their Summer Concert Series lineup with retro faves like Pat Benatar and the B-52s. The wildest part about the Rays is they are back at the "bottom of the heap" so to speak and getting no love at all. Sports media is completely discounting them and any chance of making a statement like they did last year. They've already beat the Red Sox two out of three times in this young season and have split the series with the Yankees so far. They play New York again tonight. Whether they win or lose, it will likely still take quite a while for AL East fans to decide that they are a challenge for the overexposed Yankees and Red Sox. Yeah, you heard me - overexposed. There are many more teams in the league. I'm talking to you ESPN.
You May Have Noticed: If you subscribe to my feed via email or RSS the full post does not show up any longer. I am experimenting with a few options so I appreciate your patience. Drop me a note or leave a comment if you have an opinion either way. If you have only been reading the email or RSS feed then you are missing the daily videos that I include with each post. While most is either relevant to someone that is mentioned that day or a snarky bit, I do publish original photo and video from events that I personally attend to cover.
Today In Sports History
1958 - The first MLB game in California is played and the San Francisco Giants beat the Los Angeles Dodgers, 8-0 and a rivalry is born.
1997 - Baseball honors Jackie Robinson by retiring #42 for all teams in the league.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Another day and another inbox full of interesting news items and events from all over the world!
They Will Surf Again: Life Rolls On has scheduled ten They Will Surf Again events for 2009:
TWSA #22 - May 3 Bolsa Chica State Beach, CA
TWSA #23 - May 16 Jacksonville Beach, FL
TWSA #24 - June 28 Long Branch, NJ
TWSA #25 - July 18 Zuma Beach, CA
TWSA #26 - July 25 Cocoa Beach, FL
TWSA #27 - August 1 Virginia Beach, VA
TWSA #28 - August 8 Wrightsville Beach, NC
TWSA #29 - September 13 La Jolla Shores, CA
TWSA #30 - September 27 Cape May, NJ
TWSA #31 - October 10 Santa Cruz, CA
Life Rolls On is dedicated to improving the lives of young people with spinal cord injury. They Will Surf Again events are just what they sound like - volunteers take those affected into the water and help them feel the rush of surfing once again. To sign up to become involved click here.
A Cricket First: Katharine in the UK sent me a great story about the cricketer Claire Taylor. She's become the first woman to to be named one of the five Wisden Cricketers of the Year:
"The 33-year-old from Berkshire was the World Cup player of the tournament, scoring 324 runs at an average of 64.
"It's a huge honour to join this amazing list," she told BBC Sport.
England seamer James Anderson, Durham captain Dale Benkenstein and South Africans Mark Boucher and Neil McKenzie are the other players to be recognised.
The historic edition of the famous Wisden Almanack is the 146th, and the coveted awards have been in existence for 120 years."
You can read the whole story here.
Riding The Wave: I just wanted to remind everyone that in addition to finding exclusive Southern California Breakers content on this site the Riding The Wave blog on the Breakers page will have everything in one spot. There you'll find every Southern California Breakers story that has been published since last season. In addition, I'll be adding exclusive Breakers video to my YouTube channel throughout the season. Also, I'll be providing some commentary and whatever else they'll have me for on the Women's Football Talk broadcasts during the season. Stay tuned for more details.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Coach Manny Ojeda is no stranger to this blog. I first met him last season as an assistant coach for the Southern California Breakers and then followed him as head coach of the Tri-City Titans. He is now the head coach for the Breakers and looking forward to the start of their season this weekend. The team travel to New Mexico on Satruday, April 18 to face the Menace. Coach took time out of his busy schedule to answer five quick questions.
1. Coach Manny, how do you think your team is poised for this new season? What challenges are you facing with the new league structure? What advantages have you gained with this new structure?
The 2009 Breakers have balance and confidence with the mix of pros and rookies, which brings out their combined potential every game. To our returning members the challenge is that we moved down from Tier 1 to Tier 2 in the league's structure and arrogance. The challenges overall remain the same; to teach confidence that benefits our athletes to always remain cool and steady. The new structure allows us to show the league; (1) that they made a mistake moving the Breakers down and (2) showing that the Breakers are athletes ready and prepared.
2. What has been the biggest challenge in your transition from an assistant to the head coach of the Breakers?
The total rebuilding of the team has been the most challenging. In 2008 as assistant head coach I had 1 binder that was 1/2" wide with a practice plan, game plan, and good work habits. This year 2009 as head coach I have (so far) 10 binders 4" wide of preparation. More work and hard work and preparation are part of the new title.
3. What do you find to be the most rewarding part about being involved with the Breakers? What is the most challenging?
The family attitude, enthusiasm, and creativeness are the most rewarding. The most challenging is keeping the peace with other coaches, reminding them of the Golden Rule, and sportsmanship always.
4. Who should we watch out for in the new season? What players do you think would stand out?
The entire 2009 So Cal Breakers and their determination are what to watch out for. Everyone on the Breakers team stands out - from pros to rookies. They have proved they are a Team of One working together.
5. If you had to sum up a motivational speech into only one sentence to your players, what would it be?
Sportsmanship, play hard, play together, and have fun - "To Tough Competition".
Sunday, April 12, 2009
In case you're new here - Sunday Sports Wrap was first created with the intention to point out that there is much more to Sundays than just the NFL. This Sunday is no exception. I also throw in some sports history with each of these posts.
The Usual: All seasons collide during this month as evident by MLB, NBA, and NHL games that are happening. These mainstream events can always be found summarized on the USA Today sports scores page. I'm itching to go to a baseball game and opening day for the home team is tomorrow. I've already got my first new shirt for the season also, as if I needed another.
Masters: The final day of the Masters has Angel Cabrera and Kenny Perry on top at eleven under. Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson are among a group of nine that are four under. In a matter of hours we'll know who will be wearing the green jacket. I'm a fan of Tiger Woods but I think it makes things more interesting when others win. It isn't that I'm rooting against him at all but I really do like to see the field more evenly dispersed.
Footy: Yes, I've been ignoring the Premier League for far too long. Two games happen today although none of the league leaders. It's no surprise that Manchester United is on top although Liverpool is close behind. I really miss the days when I would sit at my desk working and have soccer on the television all day because I am seriously behind.
Today In Sports History
1961 - Douglas MacArthur declines an offer to become the MLB commissioner
1964 - 28th Golf Masters Championship: Arnold Palmer wins by shooting a 276. This would be his 4th green jacket win.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
Today the California Quake face the Los Angeles Amazons at 6:00 pm. The game is at Downey High School. Admission is $10 and children under 5 are free. The Quake will be giving away some youth items and the Downey Vikings Cheer & Dance Team are providing the halftime entertainment.
I had thought that I would be attending this game but was incorrect (sadness). I've got another project pressing. My first game this season will be on April 25th. The aforementioned Amazons will be visiting the Southern California Breakers. This game has a start time of 7:00pm and will be at Irvine High School. The entire schedule and location info for the Breakers can be found here.
On Monday I will be featuring a new interview with Coach Manny from the Breakers. I'll continue to have the Sunday game wraps and player interviews as well.
Are you ready for some football?
Friday, April 10, 2009
One solid rule that I have in life is to never have even a sip of alcohol if I have my car keys. Just one drink can put me and much of the population over the legal limit of 0.08% blood alcohol content. Think about it - "one little drink" and your life can become extremely complicated. Here in California the penalties can be quite complex but you basically pay a hefty fine, your license is suspended, and your car insurance goes through the roof. I believe you spend a weekend in jail as well. "One little drink" can have repercussions that last for years and several thousands of dollars. Mitigating factors can add fines and jail time to your sentence. Some employers won't hire prospects that have a DUI on their record. The penalty varies by state. Any way you slice it - it isn't worth doing. In addition, you have to think of more than just yourself when you get behind the wheel.
Last month, Charles "Mask" Lewis - founder of the MMA clothing line TapouT, was killed in Newport Beach. He was driving his Ferrari and apparently racing a Porsche. Lewis had no drugs or alcohol in his system according to ABC News this morning. The other driver, however, was intoxicated and has been charged with vehicular manslaughter.
Just the other night alcohol struck again. This story is especially horrifying for a number of reasons. Andrew Gallo, with a prior DUI and a suspended license, decided that he hadn't learned his lesson and that the laws don't apply to him. He got behind the wheel of a minivan while drunk and ran a red light. By running that red light he slammed into a vehicle driven by 20 year old Courtney Stewart. Courtney was a cheerleader at Cal State Fullerton. She died on the scene. One of the passengers in her vehicle, Henry Pearson (25), also died on the scene. Henry was a sports agent. John Wilhite, a 24 year old ex-CSUF baseball player, is in critical condition but expected to survive. Another 22 year old, Nick Adenhart died later at the hospital. Nick had just pitched an MLB game earlier that evening for the Angels. The team postponed their game last night because of the tragedy.
Here in Southern California the public is absolutely furious! Why did this idiot decide that he was above the law? What did he not learn from his first DUI experience? Oh, and did I mention he fled the scene? Driving drunk, hit and run, and three people dead! How selfish can one person be? If anyone deserves to be made an example of I believe it would be this guy.
The good that can come from high profile cases like this is change. This sort of thing happens all over the country all too often, unfortunately. Maybe now there will be a bigger crackdown on drunk drivers. Maybe if they changed DUIs to always be attempted murder it would prevent senseless tragedies. Think about it - you have impaired judgment and have unleashed yourself on the public. No one, including you, has any control over whether you hurt or kill someone. Sound harsh? Maybe that is what it will take to save innocent people that are minding their own business on the road. Unfortunately, there will always be some bonehead that decides they are above the law.
My condolences to all families affected by this.
Please, stop drinking and driving already!!
Thursday, April 9, 2009
When Tiger Woods broke out on the scene his niece, Cheyenne, was only in the first grade. She even received her first set of clubs from her grandfather - Earl Woods Sr. You may know him as Tiger's late father. When she was young, her mother would take her to practice at a park since she didn't realize what a driving range was.
Instead of staying on the West Coast, she is attending college at Wake Forest. Her teammates claim that she isn't affected at all by her famous name, but a really down to Earth person. I found it interesting that articles, the video, and the radio spot I heard about her yesterday on NPR made sure to note that. I pondered for a moment whether anyone would worry about her attitude if she was a nephew instead of a niece.
Fortunately, much attention is given to her game. She's got plenty of that. It seems to be in the DNA - drive, ambition, and the determination to win. I'm sure doors will open much easier for Cheyenne, but fortunately she's got the game to back it up. Perhaps she could give the LPGA the jolt that her uncle gave to golf in general.
Wednesday, April 8, 2009
Earlier this year I featured this contest here and now the voting period has begun. Ashoka’s Changemakers and Nike have selected 13 finalists for special recognition in their GameChangers: Change the Game for Women in Sport competition. They received over 400 entries from 50 countries and now you have a chance to vote for your favorites! Winners will receive $5000 (US) for their project. Please vote for the 3 initiatives you like best by April 15th and please encourage your network to support these projects by voting online here
The Finalists are:
· 3 Sisters Adventure Trekking, Nepal
· Adapted Physical Activity International Development, France
· Back of my Feet, United States
· Boxgirls International, Kenya
· Bpeace, Afghanistan
· Give to Colombia, Colombia
· Kolkata Sanved, India
· Moving the Goalposts, Kenya
· Oregon Health & Science University, United States
· Partners of the Americas, Brazil
· Team-Up for Youth, United States
· The Cambodian National Volleyball League, Cambodia
· Women Without Borders, India
Learn more about these social innovations here. They also have a YouTube channel.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Homeless World Cup: I've snipped the significant details of this press release for you by overwhelming consensus: "Scotland’s Homeless World Cup Foundation and Powerleague have today announced a community partnership that will take the power of football to thousands of people who are homeless across the UK and the rest of the world.
Powerleague runs 5-a-side football centres in the UK. The community partnership will make Powerleague centres available to run football coaching and leagues for people who are homeless in Scotland, England and Wales and for fundraising activities. 130,000 players at Powerleague centres will be invited get involved, raise funds and create change."
Don't forget - this year the Homeless World Cup is in Milan - September 6-13.
Masters Madness: Golf Vacations Ireland has a giveaway centered around the upcoming Masters - here's the vital info:
"Golf Vacations Ireland is championing Rory McIlroy to win the Masters in Augusta 2009. We’d like golfers everywhere to join us in cheering on Northern Ireland’s youngest Tour player, so we’re giving them something to cheer about.
Here’s the deal – if Rory’s wearing the green jacket in Augusta Sunday evening, we’re going to celebrate in style with a US $100,000 giveaway.
To enter, visit our website, answer a competition question and, if Rory McIlroy wins the 2009 US Masters, entrants could be in with a chance to win one of 4 amazing golf vacations in Ireland, each to the value of US $19,000 – that’s $1,000 for each of Rory’s 19 years. The average cost per golfer of one of our vacations is US $2,500, so there’s plenty here to make this a trip of a lifetime for the winners and their golf buddies.
And that’s not all! In recognition of Rory’s youth and golfing talents, if he wins, we’ll also donate US $24,000 to The First Tee."
Monday, April 6, 2009
Yes, it's here - Opening Day 2009. The start of the Major League Baseball season is upon us. Here's a few questions that I've heard come up about this day.
1. Um, who played in the World Series last year?
Unless your team won or lost, many fans forget who actually played in the World Series last year. The Philadelphia Phillies pulled it out against the Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays have nothing to be ashamed about though. No one gave them any credit as they had no high-paid superstars. Many jumped on the bandwagon when they took the early lead in the Series but to no avail. They're back at the bottom of the expectation list again this year. We'll have to see how this pans out. (Of course, mentioning the Rays gives me the excuse to play my favorite video of their mascot!)
2. What are some significant milestones that have happened on opening day?
From the Baseball Almanac:
"Ted Williams was a .449 hitter in openers, with three home runs and fourteen runs batted in during fourteen games. "Teddy Ballgame" also boasted at least one hit in every Opening Day game he appeared in. Williams' first Opening Day (April 20, 1939) was especially noteworthy as he faced the rival New York Yankees and Lou Gehrig, who was playing in his 2,123rd consecutive game.
Opening Day 1940 witnessed one of the most famous pitching events as Cleveland ace Bob Feller and White Sox hurler Eddie Smith went head-to-head. Smith blinked, but Feller remained in control and tossed the only Opening Day no-hitter in Major League history.
Hammerin' Hank Aaron ignited the crowd at Riverfront Stadium on his first swing of the 1974 season when he tagged Cincinnati Reds for his 714th career home run to tie Babe Ruth on the all-time list."
3. How many United States Presidents have thrown out the opening pitch?
At least twelve sitting presidents have thrown out the ceremonial first pitch. One of the most interesting had to be Harry S. Truman - he threw one with his left and another with his right hand on Opening Day 1950.
4. What is an interesting movie to watch about Opening Day?
Well, I know of the ever-so-creepy Robert DeNiro and Wesley Snipes flick, The Fan. It's a pretty cheesy "thriller" where DeNiro plays a psyshopath (he's good at that). The movie isn't totally about Opening Day but the event plays a big part of the film.
I did find a nice list of less creepy baseball-themed movies here.
5. What has been your favorite opening day?
I've been to a few at Chavez Ravine and one at Tropicana Field and always have an amazing time. My favorite to date was last year at the Ravine that celebrated the Dodgers' 50th season in Los Angeles. What an awesome day!
Sunday, April 5, 2009
Final Four: The women's bracket is down to four teams today. UConn face Stanford and Louisville go against Oklahoma. Since my bracket is toast I'll just root for the California team - go Stanford!
WPS: The WPS season is spreading around the country. Today the Los Angeles Sol visit Sky Blue FC and the Boston Breakers visit FC Gold Pride.
MLS: The season started and I barely noticed. There are 3 games today including Chivas USA hosting the Columbus Crew.
Today in Sports History
1973 - NFL adopts jersey numbering system - for example - QBs are 1-19, running backs are 20s, 30s, or 40s, and so on.
1992 - 11th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship is played - Stanford beats Western Kentucky, 78-62
Saturday, April 4, 2009
Although I've always been athletic, I am not a "runner". I am, however, a brisk walker. I can walk for a very long time over a very long distance at any time whether I've trained or not. Being an actual "runner" would be great - it is something I've always wanted to do. Even when I was involved in track and field competitively I was only a sprinter. This was the same thing for swimming. The fifty and hundred yard dashes were my specialty - that or the anchor of a relay.
Last year, I really wanted to enter the Long Beach Marathon and it just didn't happen. This year will be different. I'm going to be in that marathon. Granted, I don't expect to be an actual runner, but I will very briskly walk and finish with a respectable time. Seriously, since I'm tall and have long legs my brisk is nearly a jog.
I'm starting today with training. I've slacked off with my fitness since I've been quite overwhelmingly busy at work. No more excuses though, that really has to stop. My poor dog is suffering also with the lack of exercise and that isn't right at all. I'm trying to keep up with a goal to walk him 100 miles in a month.
Today and tomorrow we're going to hike. In addition, I started making use of my elliptical trainer again this week. I'll be using that for at least 30 minutes five days a week. I try for six or seven but give myself a break there with expectations. I really believe that expecting too much will put too much pressure on and can cause a plan to fail. Also, I have other exercise equipment to work arms, legs, and abs so I will make proper use of that again. I'll let you know the routines I decide on.
If anyone has great training routines or suggestions I'd love to hear them.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Yeah, I get tired of the big babies in the NFL. I really do. These guys get paid a lot more money than most folks will ever see. Gross. Yeah, I know...this is not a new gripe. At any rate, this rant was brought on by the whole Denver and Jay Cutler thing.
I was all for the firing of Mike Shanahan. It isn't that I don't like him, but it was time to go. Just like I thought, as hard as it was to swallow, that it was time for Jon Gruden to get out of Tampa. Both coaches had taken their teams all the way. Well, you could argue that Gruden took Tony Dungy's team to the Super Bowl but it was against his old team so...
So Gruden and Shanahan were both hotheads that got the job done before but lost their luster in recent years. Fans respected them, hated them, enjoyed them and got accustomed to seeing them on the sideline.
But seriously, the choice that Denver had made for their new head coach was interesting. Josh McDaniels had spent most of his coaching career in New England and had worked with the quarterbacks for some of that eight season tenure. This is where the issues start.
McDaniels didn't want Cutler from the start. He felt responsible for the rise of Matt Cassel in Tom Brady's absence. He wanted to show how great he was and bring Cassel to Denver. Well, the Broncos had spent the last several seasons trying to find an heir to the John Elway throne. Cutler seemed to be the most likely candidate. He wasn't perfect, but was darn good and could be called a franchise player.
Fast forward and a whole lot of whining and testosterone contests later - Cutler is out of Denver and in Chicago. The Bears are celebrating since they finally have a real quarterback. The Broncos? They have their new coach and his monstrous ego. Enjoy that.
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Hoops For Hope: Thanks to Carolyn for bringing this story to our attention. JD Walsh started out teaching kids in New York basketball. Now, with Hoops For Hope he is teaching children orphaned by violence in Kashmir. One of the best clips of the story:
The local press reported that less-privileged kids played with wealthier mates--a mixing of classes not at all common in this part of the world. By the end, some quiet messages had gone out: about team play in a tough game, about bridging economic divides, and yes, even about peace.
The Masters: The Armchair Golf Blog has produced a 2009 Masters Tournament Guide. Sign up for the email list and get yours. You can also check out my friend BJ's blog for his insider info on getting around the tournament. BJ lives in the area all year and is a great source of info for this event.
Wednesday, April 1, 2009
March Madness: My women's bracket has no chance of survival. It was on life support and has completely died. I was going against the popular UConn pick and that sure didn't work. As for the men's bracket - who woulda thought Michigan State? The only person I know that picked them was because they are an alum.
Narcissist Of The Day: Yeah, you know who I'm talking about - your favorite tragic hero and mine - Terrell Owens. I woke up to his smiling face on the NFL Network talking about his favorite subject - himself. Warren Sapp claims that Keyshawn Johnson is worse. I'm happy that I don't work with either. I did find this funny shirt with T.O.'s favorite expression.
I Still Can't: No, I still am not on Twitter. I know, I know...
Today in Sports History
1972 - Major League Baseball players stage first collective strike
1990 - The 9th NCAA Women's Basketball Championship plays out - Stanford defeats Auburn 88-81